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April Wrap Up

May 4, 2021

How did it get to be the end of April already??

Money & Net Worth & Spending

We filed our taxes and received our federal refund. There was a brief moment of worry when we noted a letter from the compliance division of the tax board, but it turns out it was just for some extra identify verification checking. We should get that refund soon.

I pulled the trigger on the megabackdoor Roth, with a tentative goal to do about $10k this year. Maybe more if we don’t do some home stuff that we are considering. It was dead simple, so now I feel a little silly for waiting so long to figure out how to do this.

We also made some “big” purchases: a new gas grill and a guitar. We have long had an outdoor charcoal grill, but I don’t think we used it at all last year. With wildfire concerns, it really is rarely useable in the summer, especially on the very hot day when we want to use it. The guitar was something T has been wanting for a long time, and though LO would enjoy, so he decided to pull the trigger. (I suggested finding a used one, but ultimately just deferred to his judgement on this.)

COVID

I had a few days where I was imagining a post-COVID life, but… I looked around again. Even in this very privileged country, things are not smooth sailing in so much of the country. The anti-vaxers are everywhere, spreading false information, preventing herd immunity. Is it really true that 50% of republicans do not want the vaccination??? This is such a toxic political situation. We have been manipulated by tech algorithms, shady politicians, foreign interests, and our own former president. It is so disturbing. Beyond that, India is in total crisis. South America is in trouble. The rich countries can’t just move on from COVID (even if we could convince our own population to do so!), we have to go together, as a species.

On the bright side, both adults in the home are now fully vaccinated, and my parents are visiting! Hooray!

Activism

It feels so difficult to impact change meaningfully. It is incredibly frustrating to see how far there is to go. One thing I can do is financially support those who are effective at activism, so I’m doing that. There has to be more.

I heard a few people talk about people taking bystander intervention training, but right now I’m not really in public at all, and I pretty much never am in situations where I expect to be a bystander to harassment… but maybe that is still something worth doing. How have you been supporting BIPOC communities lately? One year ago, it felt like we were on the precipice of something big. Conversations have shifted a bit. And (with video evidence and a long line of police testifying against him) a police officer was actually convicted of murder. It is just not enough.

Work

It is going fine. Nothing exciting to report. My level of burnout is going down, but productivity is not as high as it needs to be. Part of that is still trying to do a full work week with reduced daycare hours, and I’m not sure what our long term game plan is for that. I do think there will be increases in productivity as soon as I drop my meeting heavy project, and also just with taking a real and full vacation. And probably with getting back to work.

There talk about “most people” going back in person mid-summer, at least some of the time. I think that will be a good thing. Vaccination compliance is very high, and it is likely to be mandatory at some point. I’m not a big fan of working fully from home long term. My commute is very short, my work environment is nice and quiet, so there aren’t a lot of downsides to going into the office, once COVID concerns are mitigated.

Family & Life

I had an endoscopy this month for some swallowing concerns. It has been literally going on for years, but seems to be progressively worse, especially this year. After choking on an ill-advised cold medicine gel cap for 10+ minutes, I decided to get it checked out. I completely underestimated recovery, expecting to be back at work later that day. The sedation did a number on me, and I had pretty extreme throat pain for the first 24 hours, then a liquid diet for a few days. Anyway, it doesn’t seem to be anything too serious.There is more follow up planned before I will know if any treatment (surgical) is needed, or if it is just something that I can leave alone indefinitely.

We are still thinking about a year long sabbatical starting in Fall 2022, and I am already getting cold feet. It is potentially a huge sacrifice for me in my career, and I’m just scared about that. But, it is an opportunity for me (and our whole family) in non-career ways. I guess we can see how the next 6 months play out before getting too worried about it.

LO is amazing and adorable, as usual. We’ve been having bedtime struggles again, but nothing unsurmountable, and she still sleeps all night – so that is enough for me!

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