2019: Non-consumption recap

morning swim before work, new year’s eve 2019

Here’s to the new year.
May she be a damn sight better than the last,
and may we all be home before she’s through.
(Col. Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H)

Crush Girl’s Christmas gift to me was a gift card from my second-favorite boba spot, plus a small boba charm/keyring. And a Ghirardelli peppermint bark square, which may not have been part of the actual gift but Crush Girl knows I have a weakness for them despite my not being much of a chocolate guy.

Pretty good friendzone gift, right? Thoughtful but not too personal. Well done. Mine to her was a set of color pencils, with the colors named after references to her favorite TV show. Also thoughtful but not too personal, and sliiiightly less friendzoney than a gift card. I think I did pretty well too.

I think I’ll remember 2019 as the year of Crush Girl, and while that’s not the cheeriest possible milemarker for 365.25 days, there are certainly less cheery options, as there have been in years past. Except for Crush Girl the only thing really distinguishing this year from others was my company’s physical move from the university campus to an office building near Ala Moana, kind of a boring thing to mark a year by, but certainly influential in a lot of ways. Where a person physically goes to work is as big a deal as for whom one goes to work. We just usually tie the two together, so they seem like the same thing but here’s one case where they’re not.

I’m encouraged by my adding some healthy things to my daily life. I got the wheels in September 2018, but we had such a wet winter that I didn’t habitualize the morning beach stops until around March. I can’t say there’s been a noticeable, visual difference in my health, but I’m doing things in the water (and for longer) I haven’t done since I was in my twenties.

The benefits of morning swims and long evening walks to my mental health cannot be measured (nor even really confirmed, especially given my Crush Girl depression around the middle of summer, and lingering effects deep into the fall), but when I go without for a week or so at a time, I feel the difference. And the difference isn’t mere self-loathing brought about by malaise. I wouldn’t call it an endorphin addiction (if only!). I might call it something related to the multi-sensory stimuli I get from both activities.

After two years of adjustments to my medication and sleep routines, I seem finally to have gotten my BP into acceptable ranges, and fiiiiiiiinally I’m regularly getting good sleep with the stupid Darth Vader mask clinging to my face. The two major factors were 10 mg of melatonin before bed and a black sleeping mask. I must be a sight but since I’m still single, I’m not going to worry about the sexiness and feel good about the REM sleep.

My living space continues to be a disaster. I suppose that will have to be my 2020 focus, somehow adding that enormous project while maintaining personal health gains. I have to be honest and say I don’t know if it’s doable.

Personal writing slowed way down but didn’t come to a screeching halt, thanks largely to NaNoWriMo and its step-sibling forms in April and July. I wrote some interesting short-shorts and the beginnings of what may be a fleshable novel. My writing partner’s new freelance gig certainly helps there too.

I’ve had a few service-related projects in mind for some years, and now that I have wheels and a steady job again, I’ve felt the need to put at least one of them in motion. That’s going to be a January initiative for sure, although I’m wary (again) of losing the gains my positive lifestyle adjustments have brung about. I never was Superman, but I’m less so today than I ever was. And now I’ve learned to accept it. I’m beginning to think this is one of those step-out-in-faith things.

I’m writing this in a boba cafe, not any of my usual haunts but one at Ala Moana. After a swim, I had breakfast at Subway (of course), then took a short walk and sat down here to write. I’m off from work until 1 p.m. and at first I had no plan for the extra time, but taking a moment to write this was a good move.

Tonight it’s all about chilling at home, and hopefully doing part two of this recap.

One Reply to “2019: Non-consumption recap”

  1. Can you give us a little more detail on the pencils? Are you talking about the Parody Pencils? Were they from Amazon? Where they wrapped? Did you beef up your gift by including a card, adult coloring book, candy bar?

    I feel like the gift she gave you showed a lot of thought: it was to one of your fave boba shops, it included a cute trinket, she had to take time to go TO the shop to get everything, it’s a gift that is easily transportable, and the chocolate was a nice gesture. (I include small candy or a packet of tea with all the Christmas cards I send out.)

    Remember: just because think you are friendzoned, that doesn’t mean you actually are. She might just be hesitant.

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