During my job interview nearly five years ago I asked, in a pro-forma way, about work from home options. When informed that wasn’t an option, I accepted with resignation the reality that I would commute twenty-odd miles to downtown Seattle every day. Over time, that hour-plus-each-way commute felt less and less logical. I’ve asked myself time and time again whether it was worth spending nearly three hours every day traveling just to have this job. Three extra hours away from my family, hours I’m not spending with my kid, who’s growing up without me. Is that sacrifice really worth it? Heck, if nothing else, I could spend more of that time asleep!
I realize that, typically, a background image may not stir a huge amount of excitement or warrant a particular mention, but I want to take a moment to highlight the change in the background image on my blog.
The new image is this:
Last spring, between the pandemic, family struggles, and work challenges, every day felt like another impossible battle to survive in a raging, dark sea. At one particularly low moment, I had a vision of a tiny, distant lighthouse, battered by stormy seas all around, but grounded, firm, and bright. Not a very unique concept, perhaps, but in the moment it reminded me that I have a foundation that can withstand any storm. I quickly sketched the idea, the lighthouse surrounded by huge crashing waves, and set the drawing next to my monitors as a reminder that even in the hardest moments, I had a guide and a refuge.
As the pandemic continues, I’ve kept on riding mostly alone or with Dad. Now, after finally getting fully vaccinated, I expect to start riding with other people again, so this will probably be the last bike selfie post.
From November through May, here’s where I’ve gone. As usual, I took pictures on sunny days. I didn’t take many pictures of all my indoor rides — and I did a lot of indoor riding, taking advantage of being at home to avoid riding in cold, rainy, dark weather.
Today I took the day off work to get my hair cut (taking immediate advantage of full vaccination!), but really spent most of the day with Benji and Mom enjoying an almost -3 foot low tide at a private-access beach. Mom has connections. Anyway, after my hair cut, we drove down to Burien, where we’d access the beach.
We had some extra time, so we planned to eat lunch there first. The restaurant Mom had in mind was closed, so we picked a random place that was open.
The less said about that meal, the better. Suffice it to say that we waited nearly an hour and found the food more than a little disappointing. Still, it was my first meal “in” a restaurant since the pandemic started, so that’s another vaccination milestone.
May 27, 2021. I literally marked it on my calendar: “Fully vaccinated.”
To celebrate, I’m getting my hair cut. It’s grown quite long since I last trimmed it in September.
Then we’re inviting one person who’s not a family member over to our house for Memorial Day.
On June 5, I’m riding in my first organized group ride since 2019.
After that — who knows?
What an unfamiliar sense of possibility, of taking a deep breath after holding it for so long.
On May 23rd I passed another birthday. I haven’t cared about birthday gifts much lately — it doesn’t mean much when you have a job and can buy yourself most gift-priced things you want — but I did buy myself a really vibrant bouquet of local flowers from the farmer’s market.
Unbeknownst to me, however, Ian had plotted a much more surprising and extraordinary gift: super-fancy bike jersey. I’d mentioned it to him in passing, not planning to drop that much money on piece of clothing. It arrived today and, although the weather refused to allow me to wear it outside, I did have to immediately try it on.
Today I accidentally caused us to miss church. To be fair, I didn’t mean to — I forgot it started at 9:30 instead of 10:00. Goodness knows how I forgot this, but there it is. Too many schedules in my brain, perhaps.
But the good news is that we missed church for a great family activity: our weekend park walk. This week we stayed close to home, visiting O.O. Denny Park, conveniently only a short drive from our house.
On the way, I learned that O.O. stands for Orion Orvil, a truly amazing name for one of the white dudes who founded Seattle. This property belonged to O.O. Denny as a “country retreat,” and his widow donated it to the City of Seattle after his death. It officially remains a City of Seattle park, although jointly managed with the county, since it’s across the lake from the actual city.