by Jon Sullivan - 2023-03-03 - Status

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Growing up on a farm meant daily chores. If you didn't do the chores, things would die and we'd freeze in the winter.

Today I settle into a strict chores regime. All the job exit stuff is done. Ended up with more money than I thought I'd get, which is nice of them. I still need to get unemployment going, but California makes it seemingly impossible. And the word "impossible" is deliberate. Yesterday was spent calling over and over and over and over. Because I have income in two states I can't use the online application. So I call, answer questions for 15 minutes, and only then do they say volume is too high and hang up. There is no option to wait on hold. They just hang up. On ONE of the approximately 10 times I've called they gave an option to set an appointment, but after I'd chosen a time and verified my number they said the time wasn't available and hung up. So there will be hours of that again today. That's my chore. I understand that unemployment shouldn't be an automated handout. But it shouldn't be dehumanizing either.

So on to chores. Going forward chores will be something like - morning walkies, coffee and Wordle, OMAD and videos, maybe a blog post, dive into a "work day" of online learning and building stuff, then hit the gym and fight old age. The goal is real retirement which is completely off the rails now. My plan for getting that train back on the tracks is to be pretty relentless about it for a while. Weekend adventures will be scaled back a bit for budget reasons. Every gas tank fill-up pulls money out of savings now. So driving up and down the coast will transition from being something I must do every chance I get, to more of a special event. Or food gathering, as foraging around here will be a great way to stretch a budget.

I often ponder how much things have changed in the last year. Last March I was deep into "joy on tap" and making the final decision about moving to Oregon. But I was still a hermit in San Diego, never leaving the house, never talking to people, rarely taking photos. Even my mental image of how Oregon life would play out was radically different. I assumed I'd be the same hermit up here that I was in California. It was only after Calgary that I worked out I was living life as if there were no possibilities, and I realized I *wanted* possibilities. Then once here I pretty much rebuilt my lifestyle from the ground up. And it's a good thing I did. Trying to handle current circumstances completely alone would have been a horror show.

So chores. Today we start planting the garden, sharpen the chainsaw, clean the cow shit from the barn. Daily chores.

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