Back in December, I left earlier for PA than I usually do because my Mom needed some help with renovating her house. Then I spent most of January in Chicago helping out my sister after her child care situation evaporated suddenly. It was really nice seeing my niece and nephews, and I did get to spend some time exploring Chicago a bit more. It left a much better impression than it had on my previous visits. Sure it's sprawl-tastic, but I'd forgotten just how nice a truly large city can be. Boystown was great (had never spent any kind of time there before), the bars were absolutely wonderful AND well-attended, and there were so many instances of each type of store.
But since being back in Seattle, I've been slowly but surely going down my list of Things To Get Done. My bedroom closet is about half deep-cleaned and organized. I want to wait until it has been gone through completely so I can put everything back in a good arrangement. Many piles of things are out in my hallway and living room awaiting the remainder to be complete, so I can know what sort of free space I have to put them back into.
I've also been going through my list of Fun Places To Visit, though more slowly. Most of those involve food, and I'm seriously trying to lose weight. I've been dieting consistently, and am taking the "one cheat day per week" approach, so despite my excess of free time there is less gluttony available. Been going to the gym 3 days a week consistently, and am unable to push myself to do 4, frustratingly. Still, I'm down 14 pounds since Jan 1, which is 2 better than my goal!
As for a longer-term plan, my current thought is that I have too much travel I want to do in the 2nd half of this year, so trying to move internationally before then seems unworkable. Waiting a year only loses me 1 point in the Canadian immigration schedule, which is not trivial, but I really cannot fathom beating that deadline regardless. My goal then is to continue to generally clean up my life and myself, and enjoy Seattle while I'm here.
A trip to Essen Spiel is high priority for me this year, but British Air (where I have MANY miles) has been spectacularly unhelpful in finding a usable set of flights. I shall try again this week.
I've also booked a space for me in Madras, OR for the total solar eclipse in August this year. That is a neat little town on the edge of the OR desert, just past the mountain ranges, so the chance of cloudiness is among the lowest across the whole path of totality. Further likely-clear and high-totality-time places are available by driving east along conveniently-placed US highways, although roads are likely to be crowded if such travel would be desirable. Other things in Madras' favor are that their viewing site is almost dead-center along the path of totality, and they seem to be actually preparing for significant crowds, with multiple backup parking places, a festival with prepared vendors, a shuttle bus around town, etc. In short, they seem to be taking the massive temporary influx of crowds seriously. As opposed to another unnamed town east of there, with even better August weather odds, whose main website says they might think about having an eclipse planning page in the future and they will email you if they do, but in the meantime there's some extremely expensive RV parking 60 miles out of the way. Anyway, this may evolve into renting an RV with some friends, but right now it's just me sleeping in my car the night before. Which is fine; at least I'll get to see it.