It’s a little embarrassing to have written so infrequently for a long while. As happens to everyone, the muse or prompt to write a blog post just ebbs and flows sometimes. It’s not that there has been nothing of interest happening to write about. Too much has been happening, perhaps, to feel like writing here is a blessing rather than yet another “thing to be done.”
Where I live, we are deep in winter time with heavy and frequent snowfall and very cold temperatures. Yet I quite enjoy it all, particularly as there are many days of bright sunshine, and the daylight stretches out longer and longer over time. It helps as well that work from home is the modus operandi and that means we don’t have to go out in inclement weather that often.
A new aspect of change for me is giving up sugar altogether, or as much as is possible. This has been particularly a challenge in the morning coffee routine as all my life since grad school, I’ve enjoyed coffee but only with plenty of milk and some sugar. My taste buds are slowly getting used to this latest shift. Surely there is no more addictive substance on Earth than sugar. I mean, once you make a choice to go without it, you begin to realize just how omnipresent it is in everything you normally eat and drink. To cut it out of your diet is challenging. I’m finding, though, the joys of subtleties in taste that I have missed or overlooked. Fruit takes on a very different flavor and tastes much sweeter than before. For example, I used to dislike blueberries, especially frozen ones, and now I find them tasty and sweet.
Work on inside of our house (cleaning, getting new (mainly used and found for cheap on Craigslist or FB Marketplace) decorative things, repairing or fixing up various things) has made an enormous positive change for us all. The lower level of our house, which is fully half of the available living space, spent most of the past ten years or more as a storage/junk space and a very depressing one at that. But now, this space is transformed. Broken down furniture and various odds and ends have been thrown out and everything cleaned or fixed up. It is now a bright, airy, and comfortable space in which to relax, watch movies, and have friends over. That last part is particularly noteworthy since it is the first time we’ve ever had our kids’ friends over, even in pre-pandemic times. There is a lot more to be done such as a fresh coat of paint, but still, expanding our living space at a time when we are mostly confined indoors makes a big difference.
My real job has continued to be mostly a pain in the neck. My second, part-time job as an adjunct professor has been demanding but a lot more fun and interesting, with a great group of students. And then taking another course in pursuit of my second graduate degree in theology has also been challenging and painful at times, although I enjoy the learning that I get to do.
In sum, there is a lot to daily life, and I haven’t even mentioned the process of applying and interviewing for a job elsewhere. No firm news yet, but I suspect we will need to make a hard decision soon about whether to uproot ourselves and move to a new environment. We will see.