My days are busier, but my cup of water is feeling a little less full lately.
And I had a really busy day at work today. Someone asked me if I could look into an issue, and I read their request, and it all just sounded like Greek to me. I tried to dig into the code on my own, but I was lost, and it felt like I needed two weeks to get up to speed. I asked for help from a guy that has at least ten times more domain knowledge than I do. He would say one thing, and by the time I understood that one thing, he'd have already said 10 more things and I would be lost again.
And before I knew it, it was already 5:30 and I really needed to get out of work and give my brain a rest. I wanted to go to the arcade. I've been wanting to go to the arcade for the past who-knows-how-many-Thursdays. Last week there was a pinball tournament. The week before that I needed to be home to receive a delivery. The week before that I was in Seattle. The week before that the SMX machine was broken. The week before that was another pinball tournament. And the week before that, well that was the last blog post.
So I called Victory Pointe, and it went to voicemail.
This week, we are open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday...
That sounds...promising? But what is "this week"? The last time I called and it went to voicemail, the message actually stated which week it was, and the dates it told me were actually from the prior week, so could I really trust them to be open this week?
But I had to take my chances. It was an unusually nice day out. I got changed and left the office, and I still read over chat as my really smart co-worker continued to work on this problem and explain all the details. I soon got to the bus stop, and I walked over to Victory Pointe, and...it was open.
,.-~. / \ ! __/_.-~~~-._ , ,' ,' `. ' |,' '. | ; | ,~,~ '~' ._. ' : ((:;))~._ ! / `--' `~3---. ' ' \ | _, \ | ' _.' . `-~' \ ' \ / / ,' ,' ,-~~~-, ,--' (___.' (____)
And then I finally stopped looking at my phone, and I stopped thinking about work, and I started dancing.
It was nice. I had a couple of people walk up to me and compliment my doubles play. I got a round of jubeat in too. I ended my session with Born to Run, and I was sooo inaccurate, but it was sooo much fun 🎶
I've been trying to get back to Victory Pointe more regularly. Even though they no longer have console and board games, and there's no more all-you-can-play deal, and they only open four days a week, and they stopped making milkshakes (they were the best milkshakes), it is still a local establishment that I'd like to support. And they have Stepmaniax and Jubeat and I quite enjoy playing those games.
So I've been making it a point to go into the office on Thursdays so I can take the bus to Victory Pointe after work. Back in 2018, I was doing this regularly, except it was on Tuesdays instead (because Tuesdays are the best days), until one sad Tuesday when I walked up to the door of the arcade and I saw a sign saying that they were closed and switching to "Winter Hours".
,.-~.-~. ,~-.-~.- ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) `--~'`~-~' `~--~'`~-' * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Anyway, I'm trying to get back to that. I'm trying to get back to ending my workday setting my status to my favorite emoji and making my way to the arcade. I haven't quite made it a routine yet, but I've gone more than a few times this year!
_.._ ,_ \ ,-~~~~~-.'. . / \' , . ._. '~' . ' --E-~(w) ' / _ | `.__) ; ' / `-._ _ , (__) \__)
Two Thursdays ago I had left work at 4:30pm (that's early for me!) and when I got to Victory Pointe, I saw a sign saying that it was closed that day.
I cannot tell you how many times I've walked up to an arcade only to see that it was closed. But it has to have been over a year since this happened to me, so I guess I was due for another one.
My birthday was about a month ago, and it wasn't very exciting, but in the midst of all the happy birthday messages, one person reacted with 💃. Man, I hadn't felt like that since my sabbatical.
As much as I wish I could go back to that sabbatical, I know that I've still got at least another year of working full-time. I'll get back to my creative endeavors when the time feels right. For now, I'm just relaxing and trying to find time to get some dance games in.
, , \ \ O/ O/ /V /V `/\ `/\ L \. /L\\.
Like, in a good way.
The first month of this year has been busy. Way too busy. I somehow seem to keep getting myself in this state at work. But now that it's February, things have calmed down.
This past week was my company's semi-annual company meeting that we traditionally have done in person, but it's been remote ever since COVID happened. As it stands now, this is the last virtual company meeting week, and I am so excited for when I'll get to see so many of my co-workers in person again.
Monday was actually kind of nice. I went into the office and two of my friends were there too. We got smoothies in the afternoon, and we goofed around and didn't work too hard.A bunch of other friends were also going to come in on Tuesday, so we all planned to grab Tacos. At the end of the day I thought, "Wow, this might be the best virtual company meeting yet!"
Then on Tuesday morning, I learned that one of those co-workers tested positive for COVID, so I stayed home for the rest of the week out of an abundance of caution. I never ended up catching COVID from that, but I was pretty bummed about having to stay home.
I wanted to make the most of the week though, so I went for a run on Tuesday, which was the first time in months that I've been running. I did a simple strength workout on Wednesday, and I went on a longer run on Thursday. I also bought groceries and cooked every night. And even though I was kind of sore, my body felt good.
I wasn't terribly invested in all of the work meetings throughout the week. There was a point in time where I would get so motivated every time the CEO spoke, talking about the growth we saw year over year and how every single person contributes to that. And I wanted to do more. Apparently I had been working at "snail pace", so I must have felt like I needed to do more. But I didn't. I have never ever been told that I wasn't getting enough work done.
And now, while I get so much more done every week, so much that people tell me that they can't believe how many tickets I keep cranking through, I still have lingering feelings that it's not enough. Not because I care so much about the company, but because I just have these expectations for myself.
I'm still working on letting go. I'll probably struggle with overworking until the day I quit my job. But this week was okay. This week I took breaks and put exercise and good food and social interactions and even household chores above my work. And I'm finding that when my mind isn't so mentally drained from work, that it's possible to find some time to read and work on my personal projects. And that feels really good.
For the past two weeks it seems like the people in my apartment building are constantly doing laundry. I've had to do my last two loads of laundry at friends' houses. And today, when I don't have to do any laundry, the machine is finally available.
Anyway, I've been back at work for three weeks and it's been an adjustment. Work itself isn't really that bad. It's not as busy during this time of year, and we've made changes to my team's processes so I don't have as many meetings to attend. Work is interesting enough, but not too hard. It's pretty chill.
But work just takes up so much time. How am I supposed to work 40 hours a week, cook my own meals, exercise almost every day, keep my apartment tidy, occasionally hang out with friends, and get enough sleep? I didn't even bring up my personal projects. How do people with families do this? How do other people have so much free time that they get bored?
And there's something about working that gets me so hungry. I am convinced that critical thinking burns more calories than physical activity. I've been eating breakfast every morning, before I start work, and at 10am I'm feeling the shakes, and I need food. It's like clockwork. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with this.
So yeah, I still want to keep saving money so I can retire early and just have more time to do the things I want to do. I don't need a ton of money. I've been tracking my spending and I spend way less than I make, but the unknown cost of health insurance keeps lingering in the back of my head. My dad is currently on COBRA, and I'm looking into options on the healthcare marketplace on healthcare.gov for when that runs out. And holy crap, these options are terrible. COBRA is not cheap. It's like 4 or 5 times the amount he had to pay when he was still working. But the marketplace healthcare options are even more expensive. And none of the options even come close to having coverage as good as what he's getting now.
I hate the fact that getting healthcare is so much of a hassle. I hate that there is even a "healthcare marketplace" to begin with, that you can shop for health insurance. I hate the idea that healthcare is so closely tied to what job you have.
I feel like I shouldn't be complaining about this when I'm privileged enough to even consider retiring early. I'm just trying to help my dad right now, and researching healthcare options has made me very, very tired.