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The last 30 days were a whirlwind.

It was a lot of work and just a little play, but it felt invigorating. I did good work and it has motivated me to take on a new project.

This week, I’ll explore that, but I’m also making time to rest and to be quiet.

If I feel like returning to answer support questions this week—because there’s no getting around that—I’ll start when my energy picks up. If I don’t feel like it, I won’t press myself and I’ll commit to resuming it at least by Sunday. There are 5 payout days in September, so I have some flexibility.

Flexibility is a form of freedom I like to have. I felt a great sense of that freedom when I paid my rent for September on August 21st. We may exist for more than the urgent need to pay the rent, but anyone who lives paycheck-to-paycheck knows that rent is the undeniable first priority in both thought and action.

To deny it or to spin it in any other way is inauthentic. It’s better for me to calmly acknowledge the reality of my situations than to focus on a lofty and inflated sense of my rank and file in society. Plus, it’s incredibly humbling to see clearly who makes it possible for me to pay the rent on time. #thankyou

All that being said, I’m happy to have found a new volunteer project that puts my talents to good use for a cause I care about. Since it’s remote work, it will fit nicely into my lifestyle and I’ll keep an eye out for additional related opportunities to get outdoors with the same organization.

It might feel a bit like relying on my past experiences, but I also feel good about investing myself into the environment and nature. It will also feel like I can pick up where I left off in 1996. I’ll get to see a hint of what my career would have been like if I had continued to explore environmental science as a calling.

1996 Regional Summer School of Excellence, Environmental Science

The thought had occurred to me back then to write about the environment—not necessarily instead of practicing the science—but since I enjoyed writing and since I did not enjoy Calculus, I thought I could write for a scientific association if I would choose that direction; however, I ended up changing my major from Chemistry to Nursing to English. What would have happened, though, if I had made a simple decision to stick with writing about the environment? I guess we shall see…

My volunteer activities have always been an effort to explore that area where my professional skills and my hobbies overlap. These days I understand how to make sure I don’t turn fun activities into stressful ones. At the end of the day, I know I can rest and play when I want.

That is to say, of course, when a global pandemic is not our constant concern and limitation.