Vibe Check #3

Three of the past four weeks have been a four-day work week. It's been wonderful. And yet still I'm posting this a week later than I'd like. The weather has been overcast, but everything in balance, even good weather. Still, some rain would be nice.

To burden the spring metaphor further, April has often felt like it's in service to future things. Professionally, there's a lot of flow, with little turbulence (but high variation). Personally, I'm doing things which bring me joy. I don't feel a craving to have done something, but rather to be doing.

I've re-started one-one French tuition with a woman on the internet living in the South of France, who doesn't speak much (any) English. But we converse happily enough for an hour a week while I stumble my way through understanding 15% of what's said to me. It's tough, but I think it's getting easier.

I've read (mostly via audiobooks), and continued writing everyday. I've purchased more inks for my pens (after purging my collection 5+ years ago). Writing feels joyful.

My task management system is being tested by a lot of things that need doing. It's the corporially-struggling canary in the mines of my productivity. I'm still undecided if the pressure of knowing the things I'm not doing outweighs the benefits of knowing the things I'm not doing. It's also okay to delete, defer, and re-schedule things. Past me was optimistic about what present me could do.

While we're moaning, I've also cut down on snacking as much as I could. Nothing sweet before lunch, and no unintentional snacking between meals only. No boredom biscuits. I hate to say it, but I feel so much lighter during the day, and now I find myself less hungry less often. It took a few days to move past severe snack withdrawl. Your body isn't always your friend, it's just a ~~serviceable~~ good house.

Highlights of the month include:

  • Sewing some spring-themed cushions, to replace the Christmas themed cushions (it is May)
  • Taking an adventure-themed staycation: climbing, canoeing, and cycling (plus a lunch after each) in a three day window. Day four was recovery.
  • Being given Easter eggs and chocolate. I love chocolate (see snacking note above)
  • Seeing a school friend for their thirtieth birthday, and regressing ~50% of my life away with people I've not seen in about as long
  • Drinking red wine with a best friend while overlooking the botanical garden in Oxford

Books I've read this month:

  • Shadow of the Gods, by John Gwynn. Strong recommend for this book for anyone with even a passing interest in fantasy. Really fun, great concept, clearly written, there's a Rat God and a Dragon God. Yes yes.
  • Leviathan Wakes, by James S A Carey. Another strong recommend. It's a book with space ships, and I'm far more versed in dead gods and trees that fight (see above), but this sci-fi romp has great characters draped over an epic plot. I look forward to reading the entire series.
  • This Party's Dead, by Erica Buist. Picked this one up on a whim because I'm a sucker for a book about death. I wasn't expecting it to be so memoir-y, but I've not put it down yet so she's doing something right.
  • Islam Explained,, by Ahmad Rashid Salim. After realising that I knew precious little about the core beliefs of one of the world's major religions, I thought I'd do the bear minimum and read an "introduction to" book. This book does exactly that, but sometimes with too much verbal padding.
  • Amongst our Weapons, by Ben Aaronovitch. The latest in Aaronovitch's Rivers of London urban fantasy series, which is secretly a love letter to London but with river gods. This is the first one I'm reading while not living in London and it's exactly the same feeling, I love it.