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.)

Overall, I’ve had a heck of an amazing work year. My boss acknowledged this with a very generous, rather unusual third-quarter raise. I sure appreciate that, since I’m now living on that salary!

Okay, so that’s the easy part.

The tricky and hard part: everything not-work.

Last weekend and again this weekend I went shopping for literally thousands of dollars worth of “starting fresh” stuff. This included ordering a mattress, which I paid a lot for. After all, ideally I’ll spend at least eight hours out of every 24 enjoying the tender embrace of that mattress. No need to wake up sore every morning.

I did the same thing — paying extra for very high-quality items — with a set of table and chairs and some other small occasional furniture. Spending that kind of money is scary/exciting. I’m willing to pay well for high-quality items that I anticipate keeping for long periods of time, but in the moment, the salesperson says a dollar amount and inside I think, “Yikes!” while outside calmly saying, “Okay, sounds good.”

But honestly buying stuff is the easy part. The hard part is moving. Which I did on Thursday.

I won’t give a blow-by-blow of the move. Ian generously took the day off work and helped me load the U-Haul I rented, then unload it at my new downtown Woodinville apartment. We had some hurdles — the truck was too tall to go into the parking garage, where you’d access my fourth-floor apartment; the elevator near my apartment was out of service, and although there was another one, it involved a very long trek across a parking lot; they were testing fire alarms in our building much of the day; my remote/key fob to unlock building doors didn’t work — but eventually we cleared all the hurdles and filled my apartment with furniture.

I spent the rest of Thursday, most of Friday, a lot of Saturday, and a good bit of Sunday doing all the little things you have to do to set up a new home. Mom helped a lot by helping with Benji while I made zillions of trips to and from the apartment. Ian helped a ton with moving. A biking friend super-generously delivered a hand-me-down desk. Things are slowly coming together, one piece at a time.

Oh, yeah, and on Friday I bought my parents’ Nissan Leaf. So now I’m living in my own apartment, which is mostly furnished, and I own a car.


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