Probably about time for an update.
At this point, I've been gainfully retired for about five weeks. In that time, I've only sat at a computer to play games.
There was six hours about two weeks ago where I sat and tried to troubleshoot the problem with a Raspberry Pi appliance I've been running. After six hours, I sat up, reminded myself that I had better things to do, and haven't touched it since.
That was liberating. Haven't worked on any technical stuff since.
What have I been doing?
I've taken on all the cooking duties around the house, and for the most part I love it. A couple of things I have learned:
- Read the recipe the night before. Especially if you got it off the Internet. Otherwise, you'll find out something had to be marinated for 18 hours in red wine you don't have enough of and you'll have to substitute weird stuff (dry vermouth and sherry -- I'm looking at you, Coq au Vin)
- Read the recipe the morning you need to cook it. Or else you'll discover that something needs to cook for far longer than you expected. (I'm looking at you, Coq au Vin)
- Read the recipe about an hour before you start cooking, or you'll realize that there's far more prepping of ingredients than you realized. (I'm looking at you, Coq au Vin)
No, I'm not fermenting myself. I've not given up on hygeine.
- I've started a batch of sauerkraut. Two heads of green cabbage, one of purple, caraway seed, salt, water, and a little whey to give the lactobacillus a leg up. SHould be ready in a few wweks.
- I have a mead still going from last Halloween. It's a wild ferment, meaning that I made the sugary base and let it out on Halloween night to catch the wild yeast in the air, then let it go for a year. I'll be bottling it next week.
- Skyrim's 10th Anniversary update came out last week, and so I've been enjoying the new additions to the standard build. Survival mode has been a lot of fun...I like how having to eat and keep warm changes the necessary actions of the game. A bunch of stuff that I ignored before (cooking, alchemy especially) have become both more necessary and more interesting. I play the game differently. Fast travel being disabled forces me to think long and hard about what order to do sidequests in, and is it really worth running all over the continent if i don't camping supplies and a few meals prepared? I dig it.
- Tavern Master - Whooboy. This is a good time. Simple resource management, but in a setting that is near and dear to my heart. at \$15, it's a steal.
- Elder Scrolls Online - I know...it's been out for a long time, but I finally have a coimputer that runs it well, so I've been digging in. I've also got a few friends to adventure with from time to time, and that's pretty great.
This is the thing that is taking up most of my concentration, but I'm making good progress. At this point I am working with a team of doctors that include:
- An endocrinolgist
- My GP
- A nutrionist
- A psychologist specializing in eating disorders
- a physical therapst
Improvement is slow but steady. I'm doing all the things: lower carbs, logging food, etc. It's helping. The biggest help right now is the continuous glucose monitor that I use. It attaches to your arm and has a tiny pipette that constantly measures my blood glucose level. I scan it with my phone and I can see how different foods and activities affect my sugar levels. It's kind of neat...I'm doing science to myself and seeing good results.
Other good news: I'm completely off my anxiety and depression meds, and I feel a lot better. I'm engsaging with the world in the way I used to before I worked in the always-on-fire IT situation I was in. Between mediation, exercise, and a good therapist I'm getting my anxiety under control. No doubt leaving the work world is instrumental -- I recognize most people cannot do this. I am extremely lucky.
Once I have more of my mental and physical health sorted, I'm hoping to get off the meds I take to sleep at night. One step at a time, though. The fact that I am finding a (mostly) predictable routine is a godsend.
Other than the house, we are now completely out of debt. Living on one salary will be tougher (unlearning a bunch of bad financial habits), but the reality is that we were spending so much money on consolation purchases once we eliminate the majority of those, we are able to deal pretty well. My job, along with the cooking, is household management. Managing the budget is part of that, and I'm enjoying the challenge of spending less.
And yes...as I reread that, I recognize how very much privilege is in there. But this is where I am. I...don't know how to say it otherwise.
To Sum Up
I'm happier than I have been in years. Special thanks go out to my reitrement plan, my wife, who made all this possible.