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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me in September (as posted on 09/05/21)

It was good to be back out in the world a bit recently with my first professional appearance in 18-months. But the experience certainly has me reflecting upon my chosen profession and questioning things a lot. I’ve been dancing around within L&D for a few years now, trying to find where I can fit. The question I’m asking myself for the first time now is…what if it isn’t me? More to come on this, I’m sure.

I’ll be returning to Panama to renew my Residente Permanente visa in a few weeks. Because of this visa, I’ve actually been able to travel there throughout most of the Pandemic. Even when they close borders, they don’t generally close them to citizens & permanent residents. But given the ongoing issues with travel safety, it hasn’t made sense to go again until about now. I’m looking forward to being back, even if it is just for a few days.

Yesterday, I was part of a fundraiser for a local community preparedness group that I joined over the Summer. While I do enjoy helping my neighbors be ready for disasters that may strike, it’s really brought to my attention just how in the minority I really am. We all share a great many of core values, but under no circumstances can I discuss or react to any discussion of religion or politics. It just won’t go well. And unfortunately both religion and politics are really important to people here. I don’t know where I belong, but I certainly don’t belong here in one of the reddest of Red States where only 1 in 5 people have been vaccinated and almost everyone reads about God from the same book. Maybe that’s why the chance to get out of the country for a minute is so appealing.

It’s still been really smoky here, just as it has been for many months now. We’ve had a few storms that helped clear the air some, though in general it’s still pretty bad here in Central Utah. Not as bad as the areas West of us that are up in flames, but bad enough. I’m still walking around the lake at dawn most days, as it dwindles to a muddy puddle. Some days it just doesn’t look like a good day to go out breathing though.

Taxes are finally getting done for 2020, which is good. I’m getting a refund for once! That never happened while I was running my own business, but last year when that stopped and I took up employment from an employer who pays the employer end of those taxes, wow it’s a big difference. I was accustomed to it so I almost forgot, but there really is a serious penalty for being self-employed or having a company of your own in the US. It’s just another one of the perks that I didn’t realize I was getting when I started working for ConvaTec last year.

That’s it for me. How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me in August (as posted on 08/02/21)

I’m just back from traveling to visit family for the first time since the Pandemic set in. Driving through Utah, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon reminded me just how much I enjoy and have missed road trips for the last 2-years or so. Even though most of the trip was choked with smoke from all the fires, it was good to get moving and be in different climates for a change.

Of course it was great to see my mom, brother, aunts, and cousins too. Though we used to gather once a year, this was our first time coming together again since my grandfather passed several years ago. Everyone was on their best behavior, and I think we all had a lovely time. I was so grateful to be able to make it!

If you noticed a pause in my usual 2-3 x per week posting schedule here, that’s why. But that was July, this post is for August…

In the next week I deliver on an LMS integration project that I’ve been working on for over a year. So…I still work way too much, for the moment. Meetings at all hours for this global company, etc. I do have a new job req opening up soon, and many of my efforts are really gaining traction, so I’m hopeful that I can pull back on the hours soon.

I’ll be out in the world a bit at the end of the month with my first L&D Conference since all this global silliness went down. It turns out ATD’s International Conference & Expo is coming to Salt Lake City, and so is my manager, and we’re speaking together about developing a learning culture. Outta be fun.

The greenhouse is going well, made some recent changes to automate it while I was traveling. Nothing died, and the peppers and tomatoes are really coming in now. I’ve been enjoying making my own vegan pesto from the 7 different kinds of basil I’ve planted. I should probably post some pictures soon.

There new internet upgrades I just made are holding up great, I’m happy to say. With the new 5Ghz point-to-point wifi clocking in at 20mb/s speeds both up and down now, we might even be able to do some high-bandwidth VR streaming finally. I look forward to testing that. Got a NAS and backup NAS on both ends now, so after 3-years of uncertainty, I’m nearly completely backed up again. I think. Few more steps to confirm.

All in all, it’s hot, it’s smoky, and I’m doing alright here in the middle of Utah still. So that’s me for now! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me in July (as posted on 07/04/21)

This month sees the completion of my 100 Days of Health drive for 2021. I missed my last update, but will have one soon. In short, both ups and downs have occurred ;) Overall, totally worth it if only for getting caught up on medical stuff. For instance, I went to the dentist last week and am getting invisalign braces soon. Both things I’ve been thinking about but not doing for far too long, and having the 100-day container provides just enough of a finite sense of things that items like this make it from to-do list to the done pile!

Lots of progress in the greenhouse lately, where June has been busting out all over. Now the challenge is in keeping it cool enough in there that the plants don’t fry in our 100+ degree arid Summer weather. This is year one, so I’m learning a lot and enjoying the journey.

Over this holiday weekend, I’m spending some time updating my NAS & network setup. More fun to report on that over the next month, I hope.

Mostly, I just work. I work way too much. Still averaging 10-12 hours a day, often more. I’m trying to figure out how I can pull back a bit without compromising deliverables too much. Delegation is one thing, but it’s really hard letting balls drop on purpose — which I’m experimenting with, very gingerly. Suggestions welcome.

So that’s me for now! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me in June (as posted on 06/02/21)

All is fine for me these days. Still working too hard, but also really making the most of time spent in between. It’s early summer here, and my 100 Days of Health has me out and enjoying nature and great food as I’m getting back in shape. It’s so simple yet makes such a big difference in how I feel.

When I’m not in front of a computer, you can usually find me in the greenhouse or the kitchen or going for a walk around the lake. Usually while listening to music or an interesting audiobook. I’m not making much music these days, though I do play my knockoff-hang for a few minutes every evening or some other meditative percussion.

Over the holiday weekend, I spent a bit of time examining and updating my plans. I’ll write about that more soon. But for now, I’m surprisingly okay with being more isolated and more boring than ever before. Who’da thunk?

So that’s me for now! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 05/06/21)

Well, I’m breathing a bit easier since my second jab. Still got another week before it’s “set in” as they say. Though soon, I look forward to slowly returning to the world. Still not quite sure what that is going to look like yet.

One of the more productive bits of panic to come from the last year of isolation was putting up a greenhouse. In addition to providing a bit of food security, it’s just nice to be around all the plants bursting with life inside. I don’t know what I’m doing yet, and still it’s doing great. We’ve been able to have a few full meals from things we grew from tiny seeds now. And it’s all delicious! Nothing like picking something and eating it minutes later, farm to table in about 30-feet.

This goes nicely with my Hundred Days of Health drive, which is also progressing well. I’ve already lost weight even while gaining muscle. Unlike having this as a goal every month (as I have for months!), I’m finally actually doing the work consistently. It really helps me to have a dedicated container, and I am taking better care of myself and feeling better in general. I’ll probably have some more detailed progress reports to share around day 25, 50, & 75. I’m only about two-weeks in right now.

Work is still the main thing taking my attention. Last week I got through a major push that was pretty critical, and while it’s not exactly smooth sailing yet, the extra effort I put in really did help. I hope to be able to hire some more folks in soon that should take this pressure off of me.

And lastly, one of the milestones that I hit this month is being totally debt-free again. Last year (before I go the job with ConvaTec), I had to take out a loan against my 401K to cover living expenses. This week, I pay back the last of it! This after paying off all credit cards in March (not that there was a lot on them, but there was some from the holidays still). I plan never to be in debt like that again. And by plan, I mean save up a one full year of financial runway this time. Because as the pandemic showed me, the six months that I had just wasn’t enough. So I’ll do better for next time.

So that’s me for now! How about YOU? Hit me up or leave me a comment below. Hope all is well with you :)

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