Failure and opportunity

Over the last few years, I’ve come to firmly believe that mistakes are only failures if I don’t learn from them. Yes, I make mistakes, of course, and I suffer the consequences sometimes. But if I also take away a solid lesson – even if it’s as mundane as “Don’t leave a cast iron skillet unattended on an induction stovetop” or “Plug in the car every night” – I don’t consider the experience a failure.

In the past, I thought of a divorce as a “failed marriage.” Now that my marriage has become a statistic, I’m realizing that my no-failure-if-I-learned philosophy applies here, too. Continue Reading >>

Sing the holiday blues

Okay, before we start, let’s talk about the point of this blog post. It isn’t meant to be a post complaining, whining, or seeking sympathy. I’m going to take some time to express the emotional experience of going into the holidays this season because writing things down allows me to work through them, and because maybe other people might have insights or relevant experiences that they can share around this topic. Take it or leave it. So, that said, here goes.

Our church has a tradition I never really understood before: the Longest Night service. Held on the longest night of the year, it’s an opportunity to mourn and acknowledge the pain around holidays. I intellectually got it, that people might have lost loved ones and find the holidays a hard time. Sure, good idea, let people feel sad. Continue Reading >>

“How are you?”

Have I mentioned the concept of social lubricating lies here yet? According to the scholarly article “Lying as norm in social interactions”: “One prevalent reason lying is a norm in North American society is because politeness is generally an upheld value. Thus, people are even encouraged to lie in certain situations in order to protect others’ feelings and to be polite.”

As the New York Times puts it, “To most people, the minor lies we sprinkle in our daily conversations are a confection, a social lubricant, not a poison. What a nice dress! What a swell haircut!” Continue Reading >>

First week in the apartment with Benji

This week marked the first week Benji joined me in my new apartment. I’ll be honest: I felt deeply apprehensive. I’d done weeks with him before, but at my parents’ house, where things were familiar and, worst comes to worst, there’s other adults around. This was the first time I’d really be 100% flying solo with him.

Sunday night, I put him to bed and he came in twice – once to “get help falling asleep,” and once to adjust his nightlight. After I finished up with him the second time, this huge wave of feeling overwhelmed washed over me. How was I going to do this?! Continue Reading >>

What’s missing

Not to state the obvious, but I haven’t set up a new household for a long time. I’d forgotten all the small things that I, at least, use on a fairly regular basis — but I’m finding them out!

Yesterday I went on an epic grocery shopping trip to stock my pantry and fridge. I tried to think of everything I could possibly need, and when I checked out, I wheeled away an overflowing grocery cart. It contained such various items as nutmeg, tortillas, frozen peas, maple syrup, pears, baking soda, and cereal. But not five minutes from the store, I realized I had forgotten milk. Start a list: milk. Continue Reading >>

Accomplish all the things

Although only a week and half has elapsed since my last post, it feels like I’ve lived at least couple years.

Let’s start with the easy stuff: work. I completed a project that I’d timeboxed to two weeks, then immediately demoed it for a variety of very high-up people. No pressure! But don’t worry, I’ve got another major project lined up right behind it, so I won’t be tempted to rest on my laurels.

I work best when I have a firm deadline and just a hint more work than I think I can accomplish. It inspires me to rise to the occasion — and, amazingly, somehow everything always works out. Right now I’m in that sweet spot. (I trust this will be the case with my big project; it’s due at the end of the year, which looks terrifyingly close, given how much work I have to do.) Continue Reading >>

I have an apartment

Starting on September 23, I now know where I’ll live for at least the next 11 months: in an apartment complex called the Woodin Creek Village in downtown Woodinville.

I’ve always wanted to live in a small city downtown, so I’m actually pretty excited about this opportunity. It’s fairly easy walking distance to a couple parks, the grocery store, lots of restaurants, stores, and a movie theater, and the Woodinville P&R, where my commuter bus originates. (I had to think about the possibility of some day going back in the office, although that won’t happen until at least January. And let’s be honest; what’re the odds that the pandemic will be better in January? Seriously?) Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget — really close to the bike path. Continue Reading >>