Monday, June 28 2021

travel, being home, and breaking the streak



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, friends. Happy Monday. I can't tell you how good it feels to be home. I slept in my own bed. I'm sitting in my own chair. I'm drinking my own coffee. Normally I'd get Rodney up in about an hour and eat a quick breakfast at our own table, but we're only half-unpacked from the road. A hodgepodge of baby toys, dog leashes, and lonely dress socks are taking up that space today. Until further notice, we have deputized the dining room table as the unpacking zone.

It feels good to be back. All weekend, we were teasing Miles about his grumpiness. "He's a COVID baby," we mocked. "It doesn't take much to throw him off balance." Whether he was eating ripped up chicken tenders at the bottom of his pack and play, nodding off to sleep in his stroller, or dipping his legs in the hotel pool, he had the look of someone utterly burnt out with travel. Using only the look on his face, he said what we were all feeling, and we grew to empathize.

miles

The face of a broken man, still in diapers.

The dogs struggled with the hotel as well. We learned it's actually kind of difficult fitting three dogs and two kids in a hotel with us. We failed to account for body heat, and that made sleeping more difficult.

sleeping

Staying in the hotel, we felt the loss of our fenced in backyard. It's not the biggest yard by any measure, but nothing beats the freedom of cracking open the door and letting your dogs run out at their own leisure. At a hotel, potty breaks require leashes, key cards, and pants. Pants - blegh - how tedious!

ollie

Ollie thinking, "I have to pee, but it's not worth the trouble."

Don't get me wrong - these are all just general complaints about hotel life with three dogs. We have nothing against the American Inn. They demonstrated championship level patience putting us up for the weekend, and Rodney and I endorse their continental breakfast.

breakfast

Special shout-out to the waffle maker.

And now the difficult part of this entry. I'm going to do something that I've never done in 721 journal entries about my personal life - I'm going to ask for some privacy. The wedding weekend didn't go very well for us. We have a lot of stuff to figure out, but you have no cause for concern. The highlights are as follows: Justin and Megan got married in a beautiful ceremony, Rodney nailed his job as the ring bearer, and we're all home safe.

snack

The Ring Bearer on his union allocated bagel break.

It feels so strange to ask for privacy. Rigorously documenting our daily life has become so ingrained in the way that I live my life. In fact, for the first time after 672 consecutive days of writing journal entries, I took a day off writing. I broke the streak. I had my Forest Gump I think I'll go home now moment. But it needed to be done.

A quick calculation shows that 672 days is about 1.84 years. Would it have been better to take it all the way to two years? Would it have been better to just stop at 1 year? I never made up my mind up about how long the writing streak should last. Perhaps all those wickedly difficult SEGA Genesis games I played when I was little influenced me to keep any high score alive for as long as possible. Perhaps just knowing the number and having as script to calculate the streak every day made me feel the need to protect it. As silly as it sounds, I think the biggest driving factor behind the writing regiment was a fear that I would stop.

There was a time where I only wrote blog posts every few months. I wrote topical rant-filled essays that rarely touched my personal life. I knew I was supposed to be writing, but I couldn't find the motivation to produce something more often.

After 672 days, I feel more at peace about writing. I no longer fear I'm suddenly going to stop or lose motivation. I feel secure enough to start taking breaks when I need it. Skipping an entry felt weird, but honestly I think I needed it. It made me take stock of all the things I do every single day and weigh the respective time and effort. Brushing my teeth, making coffee, doing the dishes - and then there is writing, the only activity on that list that takes a whole hour out of the day.

I'm going to start taking weekly breaks. From this point forward, alex-recker-dot-com operates like a Chick-fil-A: closed on Sunday.

Sip. So happy Monday. We got a busy week ahead of us. Rodney and I pick up with ice skating class today. On Thursday I begin my brand new career as a networking engineer. We're having the interns over at the end of the week for a celebratory pizza party. On Saturday, I'm flying out for a wedding reception. It's safe to say we're officially in the busy part of the summer - the part you live one weekend at a time until it's suddenly September and the weather starts to get cold. In that case, I'll see you on the other side, readers.

Thanks for stopping by today. See you tomorrow, and every day after (except for Sundays).