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Vibe check no. 1

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Introduction

For years, years I tell ya, I’ve been telling myself I need to write better week notes. “Better” refers to their frequency and to a lesser extent to their content. I never seemed to have found the pace to spend my Sunday afternoons sipping tea and reflecting on the week gone by.

I just noticed in my RSS feed that Rach Smith is adopting a new habit of writing Dave Rupert-inspired month notes. I thought about my week notes, and immediately heard the voice of my wise mother-in-law saying “why suffer?” And why suffer indeed? Today, I’m writing my very first Vibe Check.

What happens to my week notes?

Good question. I’ll keep writing them, just privately so. There are great benefits to reflecting on the week, and some of those benefits can be reaped only when I write about things I can’t share publicly. An example of what I’ll be using the week notes for: reflecting more closely on mental health as well as work-related goals and productivity.


Highlights

Recovery, the halfway point. If you know me personally, you’ll know that I’m recovering from a persistent health concern. It’s one that lingers in the background, popping up as a coping mechanism whenever it thinks it’s required. When I’m in the thick of it, it’s difficult to see how far I’ve come. January proved to be a reminder of where I am in this journey. As Anja frequently sings as a form of praise: “this is what recovery looks like”.

I’m a crazy church lady, and leaning into it. I feel thankful that I get to help make All Saints Amsterdam the church I want and need to be a part of. As the weeks go by, a community slowly begins to form. People who return again and again, for the Eucharist, for Bible study, for coffee and intimate conversation. It has me rethinking what Church actually means to me. Much of my exposure with it has been fairly formal. Now, I’m a part of services that take place in a living room, where I get to give the host to my neighbor, where I read from the Bible aloud almost every time I’m there. Something is happening here, and I’m so pleased I get to be a part of it. If you’re in Amsterdam, come on over.

Various international friends came to visit us. My heart overflows. Anneli spent a long weekend with us, and the Flores Boys came from Texas to explore the city and share delicious cheese platters with us at Abraham Kef. There’s something special about hugging people you normal only see on the Internet. There is such warmth in all of these relationships, as well as immediate depth, closeness, and realness. I love, love these people.

I dipped my toes in at Omek, a community for the Black diaspora. So far, I’ve already met three amazing people one-on-one, outside of the wonderful events they offer. I’ve given myself the assignment to engage more, much more, with Black people in all aspects of my life, and Omek is a lovely starting point to help me on my way.

Work

Work is great. As a newly-established UX team-of-one I’m taking a fresh look at productivity, deliverables, and the general position of UX within the product department. As always, I work to unblock development teams as fast as possible, so I have room to explore, learn, doodle, play, and grow. We’re working on some pretty cool broad-scope stuff right now, which has me working with various stakeholders to whom I usually have limited exposure. They’re awesome people in their own right, and I can learn a lot from their perspectives.

Work soundtrack: Abao in Tokyo’s Study With Me videos.

What I’m consuming

I’m watching good crime and bad garbage. There is a disgruntled woman who is 37 weeks pregnant, homeless, and a “targeted individual” of social injustice. I can’t stop looking at her. It’s either her, or Sword and Scale, which is great true crime, but I wonder: how much torture must I consume for entertainment purposes before it becomes suspicious? Luckily, there’s also Better Call Saul, Berlin, and season 4 of True Detective.

I’m reading more than I have since I graduated in literary criticism. I added a reading challenge to my Goodreads account, and so far so good! I believe I’m three books ahead of schedule. I’m learning a lot and, again, seeking out Black voices in particular. The effect: as simple as less social anxiety.

I’m exploring a daily Bible reading practice. This was a suggestion Mpho made after I shared that I struggle to read the text in the discomfort of not knowing what it means. So far so good, although I still don’t know.

Instrumental lofi music is great for work and doggo. Other than that, my most popular track was Marc Rebillet’s Late To Work, very closely followed by Kana Kassy