Monday, June 11, 2018

A Week "Off"

May 29 - June 4, 2018

the week.
As I mentioned in my May roundup, my organization's annual conference was at the end of the month. As it was my first time attending a conference as a professional and also my first time being part of the planning and organizing of a conference, I wasn't sure what to expect, but it ended up being a good -- and dare I even say fun -- few days learning more about the efforts made through legislation and "in the field" to solve problems. I met some of the nationally-located people with whom I frequently talk to on the phone, and it felt good to get out of the office for a week and be in a different environment. Even though I ended up working 15 hour days while I was there, they somehow seemed shorter than regular 8 hour work days, and I think a break from the usual day in-day out routine was needed.

Immediately after conference ended I drove down to Raleigh to visit family and see my brother's high school graduation. It was, again, a good break from the norm; D.C. has quickly become my home, but Raleigh is home. And as much as I hate the North Carolina heat, there's something so nostalgic about summers spent in Raleigh, and I was happy to have a few days to soak it all in.

I feel like I somehow got the mental benefits of a vacation without the vacation part. I am such a routines person, but there was something about completely throwing a routine away that really brought on a mental refresh, and it made me consider how I can continue to jump out of a routine every so often to keep daily life from getting too stale. Too often I rely on the idea that I'll just stay at home or at some of my favorite places and relax without taking the time to visit new places and keep some adventurous, creative energy alive. With the long summer evenings ahead, there's no reason not to take the chance to stay in the city a little longer after work and walk through nearby neighborhoods, and to take weekends to see new places.

a refresh.
Most of my life outside of work is lived within a few exits on 395, and while I'm happy to have found the places that make D.C. feel like home, I'm feeling the itch to get out a little more. There are six states within a few hours of D.C. — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and Virginia  — and it'd be a shame not to take advantage of the convenient geographic location I'm in to see more of some states I've not visited much or at all. I spent a day in Annapolis recently (post coming soon) and spent some time re-focusing my goals for the summer and the rest of the year (post also coming soon), and I'm ready to center my attention on accomplishing new things. I've intentionally only followed vague goals for the year so far, but now it's been six months and it's time to get into action once more and really pursue what I want to accomplish.

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