Out With The Old, In With The …

This may be the last year I get to use that tagline.

Last year (2014 – yes I’m late with my End of the Year post) was intense. Heck, every single year for the last four has been intense. Ending an 8 year job, international move, career reboot, starting and finishing law school, ending relationships and starting new ones, running an award-winning podcast, and those are just the big things off the top of my head. I realized yesterday that these two weeks off have been my first official no plans, no requirements, true Down Time since I’ve met Alasdair.

That’s scary. And completely unacceptable.

Look, I am the first person to admit I’m a full-blown Type A workaholic. Give a task to a busy a person and they get it done could be my motto. I like it. I thrive on it. I’m good at it. Which is part of the problem: it’s not going to slow down (let’s be honest, it’ll never stop) unless I make it.

The September Deadline was a fantastic (and successful) experiment which I’ll be repeating. And this year we’re only going to three conventions (two for me, unless Charles Soule makes it to Thought Bubble). We’ve scheduled several long weekend / short vacations, money willing. Time for this country and part of the world to be a place I get to explore and experience and enjoy instead of being just the place I work.

And tentative feelers are in the water about wedding venues and dates and such, but that’s a whooooole other thing I’m still unpacking.

Looking back 2014 was amazing and hard and busy and emotional. Amazing highs (engaged, training contract started immediately) and tough lows (visa trauma, yet another Annual Move). All I want from 2015 is a more stately pace: more breathing room, more downtime, less cost to the accomplishment. I want to concentrate on spending more time doing and learning and experimenting with the things I enjoy. I know what that involves in an ideal world, we’ll see how reality stacks up.

Four years worth of montage. Time to see how it pays off.

Three Weeks ‘Till Easter

I blame Paris.

Yes, the trip and the experience and the competition was wonderful. But it devoured my reading week. And the three days of rest I actually did get were spent being sick, plus a few more. Normally I get the six week burn-out in week four or five. Here it is Sunday of week 3 and I can see it on the horizon.

I’m resting, and a guilty part of my brain says I’m resting too much, but I’m finding it easier not to listen. Two more weeks of the full school-and-job-and-pro-bono schedule, and then we’ll enter the review period and it’ll be half as much class time. More importantly, it’ll be NO NEW SUBJECTS so I can feel like I’m caught up and able to more fully digest the material.

Just a few more weeks. More things are dropping off the to do list than being added, and that counts for a lot.

Wow this is a disjointed blog post, just like the state of my brain. Quick! A distraction! How about some bullet points. Bullet points are easy. I do bullet points now, bullet points are cool.

  • I have my first summer vacation scheme in-person interview this week.
  • I’m back at the Coroner’s Office as of next Friday and gearing up to finish my research paper. Just need to finish the last coursework first.
  • 59 on my criminal mock exam, on top of the prior 68 in land, and a good feeling about EU last week. I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m not as far away as I feared.
  • I completed my first play-through of Musaic, a wonderfully addicting musical puzzle game. I’ll talk about it in greater detail in another post, I think. I’m still mulling over a couple of suggestions.
  • Editing at Cast of Wonders is going very well and I’m having a fantastic time. I narrated a recent offering as well, the excellent “Mercurial Skin“.
  • The airfare search for my cousin’s wedding the end of April is in full swing. If you see any good London to San Francisco round trips, please send them my way!
  • Alasdair and I are watching West Wing as my surrogate evening entertainment until Tomb Raider and the Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 comes out. It’s not as restful as I find video games before bed (weird, huh? I know!) but it takes the edge off the occasional homesickness. I adore CJ and Mrs. Landingham. 🙂
  • My phone died today, which in retrospect is probably a good half the disjointed mood. It feels weird to be without it, even when I’m inside and working on a desktop. A repair / replacement (God Bless Apple Care) has been arranged, but it’ll be a few days.
  • At dinner with some new friends (Hi Troo!) over the weekend, we reminisced over LotRO. I reinstalled the game overnight, but wasn’t able to remember my password from oh, five or six years ago. Searching for hints in my old e-mail turned up some unhappy memories and past messages. Combined with the two hours on tech support with a dead phone, and I was gearing up for a full-blown Sunday afternoon meltdown.
  • Only, I didn’t. We ate take-out chicken and watched a couple episodes and I took the shortcut off my desktop until support gets back to me with a reset. All in under 20 minutes. Go me!

Three more weeks. I can do this.