I turned 42 earlier today—I’m almost finished with the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy collection to mark the occasion properly—and it feels good, although also much less significant as a birthday milestone than my pre-40 birthdays did. The major themes of the last year were work (2021 was by far the busiest year I’ve ever had as a real estate agent, as the pandemic continued to supercharge buyers’ demand for new places to live), Laura’s and my ongoing home remodeling project after our own pandemic house purchase in the fall of 2020 (which will hopefully be as complete as it’s ever going to be later this year), and wedding planning (we got legally married in our backyard last spring, but we’re going to have a full wedding this summer). It all falls under the broader umbrella of the two of us continuing to build our shared life together, though, which I’m greatly enjoying and which is what the overarching theme of every decade from here on out is truly going to be. I’m continually grateful that we found each other when we did.
I didn’t set aside enough time to write a proper birthday post this year—writing in general is something that I’ve struggled with during the pandemic, and it’s also just harder to set aside a full day for writing now than it used to be—but I did revive one of my favorite pre-birthday rituals by taking a mini-retreat in the middle of the week last week to probably the most peaceful place on the planet, New Camaldoli Hermitage on the California coast just south of Big Sur. I was only there for one full day with a travel day on either side, but that one full day with no internet access or distractions of any kind was a great mental reset button.
In lieu of a longer post I’ll leave you with a few photos from New Camaldoli, and the hope that we all find some peace where we can this year.