Unpacking joy

It’s now about 2 weeks since I moved, the unpacking goes on. I keep finding more things to get rid of.

When I was a summer camp counselor, they trained us up about how to help homesick campers: home is a place one returns to, but to return one has to venture out. So I encouraged homesick campers to embark on an overnight adventure: outcamping (just driving to a campsite), backpacking, or horsepacking. Then when they returned to main camp, it felt much more like home, and this usually solved it. So when I go somewhere new, I try this same trick.

I went with bike friends (now that we can carpool again) to Sisters, Oregon where we stayed for two nights and rode bikes. All my bike friends are straight, but that’s never been a big deal to any of us. The first night was planned, the second night was more spontaneous as one bike friend encountered another friend who was local to Sisters who offered us lodging for a second night. It was strange not to have to consult with anyone about the decision to stay a second night other than if my catsitter could catsit an extra day. Overall it was a banner weekend. There was also a cute, interesting gal I met who was local who also lived at the compound we lodged at the second night. I was actually sort of shocked to realize that I could enjoy flirting with someone and not feel guilty and the need to throttle it right away out of respect for my partner. A new “having fun” headspace that I didn’t think I’d be as ready for as I in fact turned out to be. It wasn’t the kind of thing that would really go anywhere, but it was like suddenly there’s this open door in my life, which I had thought would actually be more monastic and even a little more depressing for several months after moving. “Hot vax summer” might in fact turn out to be a hot vax summer.

The other thing that happened while I was there was that I learned that I’ve been granted a scholarship to study cybersecurity. It comes with a cohort of other scholarship holders. We will meet regularly to support and update each other. I’m really excited. It’s my first big IT-related hand up the ladder other than clients giving me referrals to more clients. A little scary.

I also saw my excellent surgeon last week and need another ankle surgery, which is scheduled for the rainy season here. The surgery is anticipated to set me up with good mobility for the next decade (they don’t do ankle replacements until one is over 50), but it means the last 2 months of the year with my right ankle in a fixator (I will be able to walk around in it but probably not drive) and then in a boot for awhile into the new year. So I’m doing my planning around that.

Lots of ups and downs, which is life. I try to be good about planning and managing the headspaces I can anticipate, (ie my surgeon also gave me a cortisone shot, which in the past has led to some extreme negative mood swings so I made sure to have CBD gummies on hand for the few days afterwards) but having success and fun and enjoyment set off old things or habits, or feeling out of control catches me totally off guard.