Being Judgemental

Last weekend I flew to Tucson to be a judge in the first Tucson Thunderdome freestyle contest.

Great contest. Exactly the shot in the arm the U.S. freestyle scene needed, and I can’t wait for next year. Grass roots. By the skaters, for the skaters. Fantastic venue. Friendly town. Beautiful landscape. Just great.

2022

2022 was a busy year. We did a major house remodel that took the first quarter of the year. We got a puppy in October, which is a challenge and tiring but also a joyous delight.

2022 was a year of healing in many ways. I started the year with severe anxiety but with the help of a good therapist and a patient wife I’ve learned to deal with it and for the most part I don’t feel like catastrophe is about to occur at any time (though of course it might).

I’d like for 2023 to be a year for regrouping. Not like in groups. I just feel like with all that happened in 2022 I was really out of any sort if rhythm in life. The remodel was all-consuming and exhausting. It was very hard to think about anything else while that was going on and we were in temporary living accommodations. And it was hard to recover from. As a result many of the personal pursuits that keep me sane were not pursued. These include skateboarding, gaming, and reading. I did get back to Aikido practice a few times, and I am not quitting Aikido, but my life is a lot different now than it was 10 years ago and it is very hard to work practice in. If I can get to practice once a month in the coming year that would be good, but I’m not stressing out over it. Frankly I’m still not excited about being up in my fellow aikidoists’ faces, breathing up all their Covid/Flu/RSV germs.

Like anyone else, when I’m tired I tend to do mindless stuff like stare at the TV or just fiddle around on the computer. Sometimes the idea of summoning 20 minutes of energy and focus to simply go to an empty room and read is just beyond what I can muster.  I really want that to change. Nothing makes me feel more down than getting to the end of a day and realizing I haven’t done a single thing that I enjoy just for me. And it’s my fault. The time is there. The focus and determination are not.

As our dog gets more mature and is eventually not freaked about by cars, trucks, and the other horrible noises of suburban life I’d like to get up early with my wife and take him for a walk. This will be a real stretch for me. I’m not a morning person. But I think this would be good for me. The current schedule and lifestyle clearly are not working.

If I can skate twice a week that would be good. That will be enough. And if we can get back to our D&D game that will be good too.

Overall 2022 was a good year though. We got our house fixed up. This year we’re getting the yard fixed up. We took a great trip to Mississippi to pick up a great puppy, and man we love this little dog. Most importantly, we are both healthy.

Pandemic Nostalgia

Are we ready for Pandemic Nostalgia yet? I mean, the virus is still out there, and frankly in our house we still treat things as if there is a pandemic, but nostalgia?

For reasons I’d rather not delve into deeply, the pandemic was extra horrible for us. Simultaneously it was the most time my wife and I have spent together in over 30 years of marriage. I was working from home for 14 months. I was here with her and our cats. I have to admit I miss being here all the time.

One thing we really came to enjoy was Twitch.com. My wife discovered it while following the comedian Anthony Atamanuik, who was playing DayZ online with his friends. Eventually I got her an Xbox, and we discovered lots of great streaming music shows on Twitch.

Tonight I am sitting here watching the Wax Trax Records channel on Twitch and just remembering what a joy and comfort these music shows were during a horrible time. I’m so glad those horrible times are in the rearview, but I still enjoy these shows. I am calling this a technology WIN.