Status Quo

I’ve taken the last few months off, in the sense that I’ve set aside most of the work that I typically do on a day-to-day basis so I can focus, instead, on recalibrating my lifestyle.

In practice, that’s meant decompressing after my recent speaking tour by spending time with my parents in Missouri, then leaving for London, where I’m spending the rest of the year with my girlfriend.

There’s still work of the conventional kind to be done, of course, despite this shift.

When I started up my podcast, Let’s Know Things, over three years ago, I committed to producing an episode each week, and that’s something I’ve happily kept consistent in the years since. The process of research, writing, editing, recording, refining, and publishing has served as a sort of heartbeat for my lifestyle: a thump thump thump that’s reminded me that I’m alive and churning along, even in moments that seem comparably static and sluggish.

There are downsides to committing to such a project, of course. But I find the work fulfilling and enjoyable, and the outcome immensely satisfying, so it’s a heartbeat that’s both sustaining and reaffirming, even when a bit inconvenient.

Beyond podcast-related efforts, though, I’ve intentionally set aside the past few months to focus on different aspirations, putting my other ambitions on hold for a spell to reallocate my mental and physical resources, elsewhere.

Setting up a home here in London, for instance, has required no small amount of effort. Like the podcast, it’s fulfilling and enjoyable, but also requires intention and attention.

Part of the challenge and enjoyment of this particular house-establishing process is that I’m living with my girlfriend, Michaela, who is in the midst of producing something very big and cool, but which also requires a great deal of her time. This means we’ve living a very unusual life together—odd-shaped and un-templated—but which very much reflects us: our individual and combined flavor of unusual.

It’s been wonderful so far: a true joy.

But it’s also work, and thus, I feel fortunate to have a flexible lifestyle that allows me to apply my effort where it’s required, and to adjust my schedule around her (currently) far more rigid and demanding one.

At the moment, I’m shuffling through components of my previous status quo to see what I should reintroduce, what I should leave behind, and more broadly, what shape my new normal should take, considering the novel internal and external variables that have been introduced in the meantime.

After so long in flux—first on tour, and then in the liminal state between the end of the tour and arriving in London—it feels good to reimplement some habits, some rituals, some healthful practices.

I feel great, I’m excited about what’s happening day-to-day, but I’m also enthused about what comes next; and figuring out what that “next” looks like, in greater detail.

This essay was originally published in my newsletter.

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