A New Season
As the temperature cools and we await autumnal leaves, I am surprised at where I am and how far I've come since the beginning of the summer.
Building an Emotional Foundation
I am no longer in a state of depression. I feel alive and interested in engaging with the world, people, and activities. Creating a task list and executing against it is starting to feel normal again. I make regular plans with friends to enjoy their company, share interests, and spend quality time together. I also enjoy spending time alone, and have taken micro-steps towards improving my home life.
Developing a sense of comfort and security with myself over the last few months has strengthened my self-respect and appreciation for life. It has also inspired me to revisit the healthy life practices that I have maintained over the years in a deliberate manner. I've decided to take a break from alcohol for the foreseeable future, and focus on investing in my health -- something that had slipped during a combination of Covid/pandemic life and burnout.
A huge growth area for me recently has been to allow myself to be open and vulnerable to human connection, grey areas, and conversations that touch on complex and deep emotions. I sincerely hope I can maintain this thread of emotional connection and intimacy in my interactions with others going forward. In fact, whether I am regularly engaging in true human connection will be a soft benchmark that I can use to understand whether I have taken things too far with work or at the risk of burnout.
Feeling more grounded in myself and my emotional position gives me more confidence to start leaning into work again. I established a few (ambitious) goals for myself over the next couple of months, and will think about how to better structure my weeks to come to help me achieve them.
The month of September marked several clear financial milestones for me.
I finished maxing out my workplace retirement accounts (including after-tax/Mega backdoor Roth).
I unwound my 529 plan position, taking a small loss on my initial investment
I paid off my land loan
Having accomplished these final milestones for the year gives me more freedom over the next couple of months to invest more in my home life, from furnishing to decorating to remodeling.
Where is Home?
My life now consists of regular travel, whether for work, personal, or family. With all the travel, I am starting to better appreciate my home life in my base city and am still uncertain about whether it makes sense to move anytime soon.