Wow, it’s already been a month since I last posted here (or, well, nearly a month - I’m rounding up slightly).

As you’ll notice if you’ve followed my blog within the past half-year, previously I was attempting to do one post a week, my “Weekly Notes” series. That started to fall apart in April, and in May completely collapsed. Why? Probably for a few reasons. First of all, I realized that I often only have one or two really interesting things to mention a week, and that doesn’t feel like a good post at times. Secondly, there are weeks when I’ve been busy enough with work that I really don’t want to write on the weekends about what I’ve been up to, as it boils down to “work, and related topics I won’t discuss publicly”. And third, if I’m going to write, I want something interesting for at least friends and family to skim, if not the broader internet.

So, I’m going to pivot to a monthly note for a little while, and see how that holds up!

May was an overall busy month, mostly centered around work, but also bookended with a family wedding at the start of the month, and a camping trip with friends to close it out (which I just got back from yesterday).

During the first weekend in May, I visited family for a few days, and attended a joint wedding ceremony of two of my cousins (brothers) to their respective significant others, now spouses (sisters). The event was a joyous occasion, and it was also the first time in recent memory that I attended a Catholic wedding (or service at all), which was an interesting experience for me.

The week after I returned home, I learned that a coworker and the (now former) head of our R&D team was choosing to take a leave of absence to spend time with family, and to focus on areas of his life that had been neglected in some ways due to the schedule his job required. This gentleman has had a large impact on me from a leadership perspective, and so finding out that he would not be present in that capacity anymore caught me by surprise, and I had a more emotional reaction to it than I expected. I’m doing okay with it now, but it’s taken time to process.

About a week ago, towards the end of May, I began wrestling with my choice of task manager again. I was feeling very overwhelmed at the time, and decided that the best way to attempt to gain perspective was to migrate from Todoist to OmniFocus (again), with a bit more intentionality this time. I have learned that while I vastly prefer certain aspects of Todoist’s interface and behaviors, at a certain project quantity it tends to fall apart. So far, I’m managing to keep OmniFocus in a better place, but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’ve done a decent amount of research into tools to try to rectify the holes I’m seeing in my processes, and I’m beginning to thing the issue isn’t entirely tooling, but is largely around habits I need to form or improve.

And that brings me to the past few days, when I was camping with friends near the Wisconsin border! For the past few years, a group of guys have been heading up to a family farm in Northern Illinois for a few days of camping out, just relaxing in nature and getting away from the grind of daily life. This year I was really looking forward to the time away, and I definitely feel slightly refreshed!