Q1 progress report

At the beginning of the year I wrote that, this year, I would like to build habits around the areas of reading more, cooking more, and stretching (at all).

Happy to report that I’m doing great on reading more, and I’ve definitely been consistent (if not improved) at cooking with some frequency.

Stretching, however, has not come together as a priority for me. Plainly, I’m just not doing it. OK maybe I did it (with intention) a few times, but it quickly fell-off my to-do list.

When I fail to develop a habit that I say I intend to develop, I often blame things like “available time” or “fitting into my routine,” but really I think it just boils down to how much I value a thing. You’d think that, were doing a thing to offer incontrovertible positive results, I would have no problem valuing it. Doesn’t seem to be the case, though. “Fit” (into schedule and routine) is such a big thing for me. Where do I put this? Where does it fit? What goes best before and after it?

Anyway I’m not stretching. Still want to.

out here

Out here in the middle of the lake the sun feels much warmer. Maybe it’s because it’s reflected up from the water and kind of doubled onto you? There’s a breeze but it’s slight, so to feel cooler I hang my legs over the side of the kayak and let my feet dangle just under the surface of the water. The water is cooler, it’s not fully summer yet. In summer the few inches of surface water on the lake are bathwater warm.

Now and then the breeze dies completely and the water is glass and I try to be as still as I possibly can so as not to disturb it and ruin the smooth reflective flatness all around me.

I paddled myself to the middle and am just drifting. Sometimes the wind blows me towards shore but right now, when it’s glassy and unmoving, I just sort of do a slow twirling in place.

Out here you can ugly cry in peace and solitude. The turtles that pop their heads up occasionally don’t judge, they’re too busy warming their cold blood in the sun or looking for bugs to eat or whatever turtles eat. You can think about souls leaving this earth and children leaving the nest and the slow movement of all things.

You can laugh, too. You can even mix the laughter and tears into a powerful cocktail which, were I a bartender, I might call “Healing Waters.” Things move on. Forward maybe, but definitely moving regardless. Change is constant. That kind of bullshit.


The other day a stray hair from my beard made its way into my mouth and, somehow, got lodged between one of my teeth and gums.

So many years on this earth in this body and still experiencing new things.


Had my first crash on the bike commute this week.

Went a little aggressive on crossing an intersection and a car I thought saw me did in fact not. Had to stop hard mid-turn and the bike didn’t like that. Went over the handlebars and landed on my shoulder/hip. Never was an real risk of being hit by traffic, and I was up and riding again straight-away, but still a crash.

Been expecting a spill at some point; this week marks one year since I ditched the vehicle and started my cycle commute so you figure statistics… and all. At present time, then, using all available data, I crash about once per year. Let’s hope the real number is more like once every five years and check back in come 2029.

That’s it then. Hugs.

free time

I feel like I must either be (1) more discriminating in deciding how I allocate & spend my time than most, or perhaps just (2) more anxious/guarded about over commitment.

Making a new commitment, particularly ones which entail a recurring commitment of time & energy, is not a small thing to me; not a decision I can make in the moment or on the spot. I mean I have to really evaluate it, consider the tradeoffs.

Maybe I’m just generally more booked than others?; have less free time for allocation and thus am more jealous of any further slices I “give away?”

Or maybe I’m lazy, making myself feel better by ascribing too high a value to my free time & imagining I’m allocating a precious limited resource when I really just desire ample time to loaf?

Or maybe it’s some in-between. Whatever I do I like to do it well, so maybe I’m tempering my overall commitment to keep me level of engagement high quality?

Or maybe I’m selfish.

Regardless, I am judicious about allocating my time, and some of the allocations I enjoy most are the simplest: spending time at home with my family watching baseball and cooking or reading or working in the yard. Those things bring me consistent and abundant joy.

Yeah maybe I’m selfish.


One of my three goals for 2024 was to return to more regular pleasure reading. I’m doing pretty well, although putting that into words makes me fear jinxing it. It helps that the books I’ve read thus far, and am currently reading, are really resonating; hitting me at the right place and time with ideas that land. A good example:

Meanwhile, it can be stated with some validity that for all of the clamorings and phobias that it generates, money barely exists. An abstraction, a symbol, an act of faith, an IOU backed only by a banker’s word, money is first and foremost a substitute. The funny part is that it’s a substitute for things that often do not exist.

So, even for those of us who can’t personally witness Salome’s dance, the fifth veil surely will fall. It will fall at the moment of our death. As we lie there, helpless, beyond distraction, electricity stealing out of our brains like a con man stealing out of a sucker’s neighborhood, it will occur to many of us that everything we ever did, we did for money. And at that instant, right before the stars blink off, we will, according to what else we may have learned in life, burn with an unendurable regret—or have us a good silent laugh at our own expense.

I read this around 6am Monday morning and it felt personal. Not because I feel like I’m going to be surprised with a huge pit of regret when the described realization occurs to me, but instead because I’m already working towards not being in that space and it felt like a prescient reminder that it’s worth it. Yes, I think about money a lot, fret and worry occasionally, even.

We’ve done a good job, I feel, prioritizing people-things over money. Especially in the past several years, making decisions which I’m sure look fiscally foolish (and likely could accurately be described as such) because we felt some other factor was more important.

For me, then, maybe that deathbed realization won’t be about squandering my focus on money. Doesn’t mean I don’t have things to work on… plenty of deathbed realizations which could still haunt me. OK enough talk about deathbeds. Peace.

i’m being serious

As a parent, you know to look forward to, or at least think ahead of time about, certain changes, transitions, your kids will go through, and the implications for the rest of the family, particularly budgetary implications. Yeah I know that’s a long comma-filled thought, but I think it’s grammatically correct enough.

To some degree, and maybe this is because I’m a heavy-duty planner, I thought about things like the cost of school lunches and clubs and back-to-school clothes and whatnot. I even thought (a little) about weddings and college educations. Maybe that’s better than most, I don’t know.

I didn’t think much about the whole car situation. We hadn’t really planned on buying our kids their first cars, we didn’t encourage them to create any car-focused savings. We didn’t have a plan at all, really. And, honestly maybe that’s fine. I’m not pushing the notion that parents should be responsible for supplying their children with vehicles (or paying for their weddings or college educations or school lunches, for that matter). I’m just saying we had zero plan.

What happened then, at least with Keaton (our first driver) is that she basically assumed primary drivership of my vehicle when I started cycling to work. I mean it makes sense, my car was sitting idle in the garage and someone may as well use it. That’s been the case now for about a year. I rarely drive my car, and I’m used to not having a vehicle here on-demand even when I’m not at work.

And, really, it really hasn’t even been a thing. I don’t miss driving (I still drive, just way less), nor have I wound-up in a bunch of frustrating situations where I’m stranded without a vehicle. When Sharaun and I need separate vehicles, we give Keaton advanced notice and work out how we’re going to make things work. It’s been a non-issue.

So to the point of my post: I have proposed to Sharaun, and she’s agreed, that when Keaton heads to school, wherever that may be, we’re going to “gift” her my car (which is basically already her car) and attempt to not replace it with a second car for the family (minus Keaton). We’re going to give being a one-car family a shot, see how it works for us.

I know there will be some instances where it’ll be inconvenient and frustrating. But the tens of thousands we’d save not buying a 2nd car could buy a ton of public transportation or rideshare rides before we’d break even. Heck if a longer-term need arises maybe even renting a vehicle for a week or so.

I’m eager to see how it works. I think it’ll be a good exercise in humility and good humor for me, since Sharaun will be the one with all-time access to a vehicle and I’m the one volunteering to go without. My bike gets me to work and back, and with coordination and patience I think we can handle the rest.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Hugs.