It’s January, and it doesn’t feel like January.
While the rest of the US (or so it seems) is experiencing bizarrely cold weather patterns (I’m looking at you, snow in Charleston), the Tahoe region is a balmy 50-some degrees with a light drizzle. Remember this time last year? When the calendar ticked over to 2017, and the sky started dropping white stuff, and it didn’t stop? Le sigh, the glory days.
You can pick any day of the 365 and declare it a ‘new year’, and we all have our own arbitrary points in time that mark some significant event that we can use as a benchmark for life progress (or regression, pick your side of the optimist/pessimist line for the day). In more recent years, October has rivaled January as my ‘restarting’ point, but both months have been, year after year, chunks of time where ‘significant’ things have happened in my world, in an optimistic and pessimistic significant way. This October-October and January-January was an optimistic jump, where the 2016/2017 of each of those months was, in contrast to the year before, the start of some positive change, and the 2017/2018 endpoint approached without me being anxious about it and instead being pleasantly surprised by where I am and how I feel and the lack of life altering things happening.
Whereas the former half of the past two years (if you’ve followed along here for that time) was filled with chaos and random insane adventures and the ‘go-go-go’ of my desperate attempt to stay alive, my life is blessedly boring at the moment, in a ‘thank god, this is so refreshing’ sort of way. It’s not boring (my life is never boring, but anything would be ‘boring’ in comparison to the shitshow that was 2016), but there is now some routine, and stability, and genuine happiness, and spontaneity, and small and big joys. My anxiety and paranoia about the insignificant significants is rapidly decreasing, where it’s shocking when it happens versus a daily norm. I’m running a very pleasant 15-20ish miles a week through the valley sunrises, and it’s just enough. I barely use my computer outside of work. I can turn my mind off slightly more often. …And all of that is a breath of balmy winter mountain air.
In other news from my now boring little world:
I skipped out on teaching kids skiing this winter (for several reasons), and while I’ve missed it occasionally, I switched over to working in the XC center, and it’s been a nice change that gets me out of the house and around an interesting new group of people and is much more low-key and less exhausting than chasing kids around the mountain all day.
Despite the lack of snow, I’ve still made it out on skis some 10-15 times already this season, which isn’t too horrible. January’s a bit of a schedule nightmare, so I’m not anticipating much on-snow time (until we head to Utah at the end of the month), but that’s okay (until/unless it finally does decide to start snowing). There are still several months left in this winter…right?
I went to Arizona before Christmas to see the family… and then promptly got some version of the flu that was circulating the Tahoe and Phoenix areas. On the plus side, it hasn’t lingered as long as last year’s post-Christmas chest-thing-turned-bronchitis-super-asthma… but it was not exactly the way I wanted to spend the trip. We did make it out for a (very) short hike up a tiny desert mountain, but it was rough going.
I finished off the year at 46 books (out of my last year’s goal of 52), and I’m calling that a win. I’ll post my favorites later, but I really, really, really enjoyed forcing myself to read again. I thought I needed a bit of a break from it, but I’ve read two more books in the past 3 days… so I guess I’m not actually ready to stop yet.
Back sometime this fall, I started actively re-learning to play the piano again. About this time last year, I randomly bought a $100 spinet (very out-of-tune) piano on Craigslist. I took lessons from about age 8 through high school, and while I’d finally (finally) at that point reached a level where I could sightread comfortably and really play, life happened, and I stopped. Over the years, I’ve occasionally sat down and messed around with it, but it’s been generally frustrating to see how quickly my ability disappeared. It’s taken a solid few months of several hours a week of consciously sitting down and playing repetitively, but I’ve got it back, and it’s amazing now how buried down in there the skill is. I still love playing; it was always a stress-relief thing for me, and I genuinely look forward to using my lunch break now for it. I’m probably driving the neighbors crazy, and next up on my life-purchases list is to buy an electric piano with headphones (and the full 88 keys) so I can bang around to my heart’s content without bothering everyone around.
I carted home from AZ approximately 15 lost notebooks I (apparently) documented my high school and college years in, and I’m slowly working my way through reading them. Some of it’s hard to read – there were some not-good times over those years – but there’s also mixed in some actual writing I did (that I have no recollection of) that is pretty crazy that I wrote as a 14-year-old. I’m not sure what to do with it all; I kind of want to take it and use it all as the backbone of some book I’ll write, but how to merge it all together is still a bit of a jumble in my mind. The thing that constantly shocks me (I’m not sure why) though reading back through is the whole ‘as children/teenagers/etc we are really just miniature versions of our current selves’ – 14-year-old Tara has the same thoughts as 18-year-old Tara and as 29-year-old Tara, and while circumstances change, the core doesn’t change with the passage of time.
And on that note… Happy 2018?!