Day 66: My Daughter the Author

In today’s mail we received the second issue of Oak Journal, a self-described anti-civilization journal. I would have never heard of this journal had Clare not published an article focusing on plastic words in the most recent issue.

I was already delightfully proud of my amazing and talented firstborn. This article only increased that pride. I would likely have been proud of her had I not understood the article, however it was very well-written and even a lay-person like myself could comprehend the entire article. That’s good, because that’s sort of what the article was about — using language that is understandable, not vague or pliable — not plastic.

Plastic words, such as management and development mean many different things in many different situations, so much so that they end up meaning nothing at all, although they sound authoritative in their various contexts.

In the article, Clare goes deeper into discussing a few of the plastic words and the different ways in which they are used. She not only discusses the problem, but proposes a few solutions.

From what I understand, some of the other authors in this issue of Oak Journal are renowned in their fields. For instance, John Zerzan is listed as an American author (and anarchist) on Wikipedia. I’ve not read any of the other articles, but I will.

And I will reread Clare’s. It’s likely I won’t see her until one of us feels safe to get on an airplane again, which may not be for at least another six months. It’s already been 10 months since we were together. I miss her. She’s one of the biggest joys in my life.

Day 16: Labor Day

Labor Day has often been problematic for me. It usually meant I was either a student or teacher who was returning to school the next day or had recently returned to school. I never much liked school — it had other people there and other people scared me most of my life. More recently, September meant spend-down and many of the projects on which I worked put off accessibility until they knew they had leftover money that they had to spend before the end of the fiscal year. It was a VERY busy month.

This year I had no school to return to nor a potentially busy month, so the day was not much different than any other day, making it, if not delightful, not dreadful.

Husband went kayaking for most of the day again, so the house was, again, mine for several hours. I spent it cleaning out my dresser which does not sound like a delightful task, but it ended up being just that. Without discarding any of my clothes, I will no longer have to swap winter/summer clothes again because I organized all my dresser clothes in my dresser + the empty drawer under my side of the bed. The closet is next!

Other delights today:

  • It was a delightful day, weather-wise
  • Clare’s being published (more on that later — it deserves its own post)

Day 11: Organizing My Brain With Technology

I am surprised how quickly this week is going, especially compared to last week, which seemed like a month. I think I might have found a solution to my not-quite-right feelings about my new life (delight!) Details below.


I spent much of today writing lists — long-term goals and regular goals — trying to organize my mind around how to spend my day-to-day retirement time. Then (being a “technology will solve everything” kind of gal) I searched for an app to help with those lists. I ended up downloading the Habitica app again, a program I’ve used before, but always discarded mostly because I don’t like the game aspect of it.

The program divides tasks into three categories:

  • Habits — things you want to change about yourself, good or bad
  • Dailies — regular goals, can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
  • To-Do — long-term goals

I like that you can create checklists for the goals (not habits though) to divide it into manageable tasks. Another thing I like about this app is that it can be used either as a mobile app or on a desktop, so it is always in my pocket, but I can enter or edit the goals on the computer if I want.

Everything this program does can be done with pen and paper, but this is easier for me.

Another delight today was a phone call from Clare. Even though she was upset about work, it is always nice to talk to her and I always feel honored that she feels comfortable unloading on me.

Profile card of Dona Patrick's Habitica character showing icon of warrior and pet fox.
My Habitica profile