It became official last week. I am now legally single for the first time in eight years. It was strange. In and out in ten minutes. Instead of the vows we exchanged in 2008, we responded under oath. Had Juanita not had to go back to work, we’d have gone out for drinks.
I’ve been a hermit, as I’ve documented here, since December. I took this to be a cue to start emerging from my cave and circulating among humans outside of work again. The things that have demanded my attention the most – building a new household from scratch, rental property issues, training for a marathon – have lessened their grip on my time and money. So now it’s time to get out again. So what am I doing?
- Running less. The Flying Pig is less than a month away now. Training will end, and the stress on my joints will require a brief rest. Since my next race is a 10K in July, working out won’t take nearly as much time. And with a half marathon beyond that, long workouts should be no longer than 2 – 2 1/2 hours rather than the 4-6 hours needed for long marathon workouts.
- Getting more involved with my WordPress user group. I’m planning to build my web design business around WordPress. Cincinnati has a good core group that’s starting it’s own Word Camp conference in the fall (unfortunately the weekend of the Loveland Half Marathon.) It’ll be a while before I can build these for money, but I’ve got a good support group to get started. Speaking of business…
- Self-publishing group. Writing is also a business, even if the only book that’s selling right now is the free one. But as the Compact Universe gains more titles and the Jim Winter books return and multiply, I need to be able to promote, manage, and sustain what I’m doing. That’s best done in groups. So I joined a self-publishing meetup in Dayton. I’ll be attending in May after the Pig. And speaking of writing…
- Writing group. I’ve met with a shifting group of writers for about two years now. Currently, it consists of me, Jennette Marie Powell, Athena Grayson, and Stacy McKitrick. Membership waxes and wanes. It began with an old friend from my fandom days and was built around two former classmates at Wilmington College. Business groups are all well and good, but you have to take care of the writing side of things as well. So one Saturday every month, we gather at a local Barnes & Noble and talk shop.
- Live music. I’m starting to get out and see bands now that I can afford to have a few beers. I’m still trying to find the right venues. Believe it or not, the one I saw last Friday left me bored. So I went back to my old watering hole in Deer Park, which is kind of dead after 11 PM. OK, this is going to take some experimentation. I’ve not really been much of a bar person. And when I used to go, I usually brought my own companionship rather than looked for it. Well, we all have to learn life skills sometime.
- Church, volunteering, Toastmasters. Getting into community not only builds a social life, it gives back as well. If I wanted to be selfish, I’d join a seedier dating service and spend the rest of my time by myself binge watching whatever streaming show caught my fancy. Instead, giving time is a way to contribute to good causes while getting out amongst humans again. Besides, if you’re going to seek out humans, you may as well help a few of them out.