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Do something you enjoy!

As Shia Labeouf would say, JUST DO IT!

Since the pandemic started, life obviously changed drastically for a lot of people. People went from going into the office every day to suddenly working from home (myself included). If you wanted to go out and do something for fun, you would have to determine 1st whether it’s possible given the various restrictions put in place, and 2nd whether the additional hassle was worth it. For a lot of people, it wasn’t worth going to a bar or a restaurant anymore when there’s only outside seating or the occupancy was drastically lowered.

All at once, we were all thrown into a new existence. Suddenly, we all were forced to experience the world different than we ever had before. Thinking back on it, I’d say it’s impressive that things went as well as they did given the circumstances.

Personally, I really enjoyed life at the start of the pandemic. I’m generally not much of a people person, so I was thrilled that I could just stay home with my loving family and spend a lot more time with my wife and children. The spring and summer of 2020 was a truly great bonding experience for the Nichols household. Of course, there were frustrations from us all being home together – and having to deal with the kids screaming while in a meeting. But up until then, I had never been able to spend that much time with them. I had never been able to just go into the backyard and dig holes, throw pine straw, or find “crystals” with them in the middle of a workday. Those moments were, and are, precious.

But of course, as time went on, things started getting back to normal. The kids went back to school and daycare, respectively. Places started removing their restrictions, and people started to venture out into the world again. And personally, I found that I wasn’t ready to (and largely I’m still not) resume life as normal again.

While I definitely miss the camaraderie of being able to just turn around and talk with my coworkers, I still love not having to interact with as many people. I’m not very good at holding a conversation, and honestly, I’ve LOVED not really having to fake it anymore.

But something didn’t seem quite right.

I started to feel “trapped” in my house. Not in a way where I felt threatened or anything, but just that I was missing something in the world by never leaving. To counteract this, I started jogging. Going from doing absolutely zero cardio consistently to jogging almost every day was extremely exhausting. But it was really refreshing. I had spent plenty of time outside with the kids, but this was different. I felt ‘free’. It was just me with my thoughts and the open air.

At this point I quickly realized that just actually doing something helped my overall psyche. So naturally I started doing more. This blog is part of that effort. But I also started reading consistently again. I’m a very competitive person by nature, so I also started to really grind and get better at the game I was playing (Apex Legends). All of this was to combat the, I guess you would call it, ‘boredom’ that resulted from living a fairly secluded life during the pandemic.

I mention all of this because it ties directly into my last post. When my family and I were dealing with all of those issues, one thing that made everything worse for me is that I couldn’t do a lot of the extra things that I had been doing that basically helped me feel better. I know it sounds a bit simple and silly, but the reality is that I felt like I was wasting away not being able to do anything.

It took a while to start getting back into things. I basically had to go through the whole process over again. I’ve been adding the things that I enjoy into my routine and have even come across some newfound joys!

The first and most obvious, is my 1-month-old son, Max! I absolutely love and adore him – even though he has caused many sleepless nights.

Enjoying the Chelsea match with my little blue

Secondly, as I’m sure most of you already know, I love sports. I played baseball and football when I was younger, and love watching and following my favorite teams now as an adult. So, with the help of my cousin-in-law (I guess that’s what he would be considered) Andrew, we’ve started a YouTube channel: Outhouse Saloon.

The beauty of it is that it’s a place where we’ll be able to talk about anything. Just like in a bar, you’ll hear conversations ranging from that weird thing my neighbor is doing to an in-depth opinion on how OPEC is taking advantage of the Russia/Ukraine war to raise oil prices. While most of what you’ll see on the channel is sports related, everything is welcome.

Currently, we’re still finding our way with things and only have up soccer (football for you non-US folks) content. But we’ll be branching out into other topics as well.

So, yeah. All I can say is do something that will make you happy. Whether its riding your bike, starting a podcast, playing DnD, whatever. Just find a way to make the time to do it. Believe me, I know it’s a lot easier said than done. But if you can make it work, you’ll certainly be happy that you did.

Lastly, I want to shout out the workers at the Staten Island Amazon warehouse. They are the first group of workers to vote in favor of unionizing a US Amazon warehouse! This is huge news and I hope that this will encourage other workers across the nation to look into starting a union in their workplace.

 

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