Working: I've stayed true to my resolution to not work as many overtime hours as I have in the past. At most I've taken home maybe one project to work on so far this year. Based on my past track record, this is outstanding and, as any sensible person could have told me, I feel much better and less exhausted.
Reading: I've been getting a lot of reading-for-fun in lately. In fact I've done so much that I can't quite list everything here. I did take a break over this late spring and early summer to take care of other things.
New Home: I've recently moved into a new apartment this month. As much as I absolutely loved my old apartment, I just couldn't really afford to live there anymore. They would have raised the rent by $100, and that put it in a price range that was falling out of my comfort level. Either the rent is too damn high or my paycheck is too damn low! So I frantically searched for a new place and found one that's priced at about $200 less than what I was paying. It's nothing fancy, there aren't brand-spanking new appliances, there aren't 9 foot ceilings with crown molding, but it is still nice and in a very good location. I moved in about three weeks ago and I'm still getting settled and adding my personal touches, but it will be charming and cozy in no time. I really miss my neighbor Kitty friend from my old place, but I'm trying to make friends with the cats in my new area.
Deeper Thoughts: This past spring and early summer has been a bit of a struggle emotionally at times. It was the one year anniversary of my dad's passing. The pain of losing someone as close as a parent never truly goes away and it doesn't necessarily get any easier with time. As they say, there are really good days and really bad days. The biggest struggle is when something happens in my life that my dad would have been especially interested in or happy about, and I think, I can't wait to tell him about this, and then realize that I can't.
I realize I'm not alone in my loss, and I think about that a lot too. I've had friends and family members experience losses of their own and I feel for them and share in their pain. A dear friend lost her mother about a month before I lost my dad, and she was going through the same painful one year anniversary that I was going through. Last month, one of my cousins lost his partner after a long battle with Alzheimer's, and another dear friend recently lost her father also to Alzheimer's. And more sad news touched my family after a beautiful cousin passed away on July 4 from pancreatic cancer. All this loss, both the loss that I'm feeling and the loss that loved ones are feeling, has left me a bit sad and shaken over the past few weeks, but the wonderful thing about family and close friends is that we can all find support and strength in one another and that helps all of us get through these difficult times.