Happy Leap Day! Today marks the end of my February Writing Challenge. I really can’t believe it flew by so quickly. Instead of recapping my day, which turned out to be the norm over the course of the month, I thought I’d recap the month as a whole:

This was a rather uneventful month. I kind of knew that going in, which is part of why I chose this month to do this challenge. I knew I had the time to write a post a day. But once the buzz died down from my trip to Dublin and I got back into regular day-to-day life, I really didn’t have much to talk about. I spent the entire time in NJ and rarely left the area. My days just kind of melded together into planning, logistics, a bit of work, and other miscellaneous stuff. I wonder what the challenge would have looked like during a more “interesting” month.

I spent the entire month planning. This was literally an entire month of getting my life in order and trying to figure out the next few months. I moved out of my apartment in NYC at the very beginning of the month and I’m leaving on a 5-week-long trip on Wednesday. This short, gap-month was all about cleaning up the mess that comes with moving and getting ahead of the mess that comes with traveling and being away for an extended period. I spent so much time looking at airfares and maps and routes that I considered getting a travel agents license. Because why not? I actually still might do that, but not right now.

I have no idea where I want to live long-term. Obviously I won’t be living at my mother’s house forever. I know I want a place to call my own at some point. Or at least maybe a place that’s my own but I rent out when I’m gone. I’ve been thinking a lot about lifestyle and values and what I’d want in a place I move to more permanently (theoretically buying a place). I’m not ready to settle down in suburbia. I’ve said for years that I would only do that when I’m ready to resign myself to a spinster future. So I need a young-ish, city-ish town/city that has decent walkability and an interesting food scene. If I’ve learned nothing else in suburbia it’s that the food options are horrendous and the grocery store doesn’t even compare to the ones in urban areas.

Exercise makes me a happier, more productive person. I kind of knew this one already, but doing that week-long bootcamp with a personal trainer last week really cemented it in my mind. I haven’t been to the gym in 2 days and I already feel sad about it. I like feeling like I have some command over my body and that it’s being used for its intended purpose and is working toward its ideal state rather than sitting in front of a computer all day. I get more done. I feel better. It’s an investment in myself that I know I need to keep making both in the time and financial senses. I need to find a place to exercise while I’m away.

Adulthood in a city apartment vs a suburban house are two very different beasts. Living in a place where you have your laundry done and food delivered and hallways vacuumed and snow shoveled and plumbing/electrical issues all done by someone else is so, so, so very different from having an entire house to maintain, no delivery options, not much variety in restaurants, and your very own washer/dryer. I always thought the markup on city apartments was for the location. Living in Manhattan with everything at your doorstep is a cakewalk compared to having to drive literally everywhere you want to go and not being able to have Amazon deliver something to you within 24 hours. Everything requires so much more planning and time management. Eating out isn’t really an option because it’s basically choosing between Chili’s, Applebee’s, and TGIFridays, none of which I really care to eat. So that means cooking all the time. Which means grocery shopping all the time. Which means driving all the time.

All of this has me pretty convinced that despite my strong, strong, desire to have my own little farm in my future yard, I’m probably best-designed for condo or townhouse life. Even though my mother does pretty much all of the house-related things, even just the small list of chores I handle take up insane amounts of time that I never really had to budget for before. It’s been really eye-opening. I always thought life in suburbia was so much less complicated than living in the city. You don’t have to rely on public transportation. Big box stores have everything you could possibly need, so you don’t have to run to 5 separate little stores like you would in the city. You have space to put all of your stuff. You don’t have to sit in front of a washer and dryer for 2-3 hours waiting for your laundry so your neighbor doesn’t take it out for you. But living in suburbia is a whole different kind of complication. Grass is always greener I suppose.

What I haven’t talked much about is what my actual plan is for Belated 2016. I hinted at a lot of it - travel is definitely involved. I’ve already dipped my toes in a little bit and I think it’ll be a really interesting next few months to say the least. Kind of an amalgam of all the different threads that have been running through my life for the last few years. I’ll share more about it in the next few days. First, I have to pack!

I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue this into March. I kind of like my daily brain dump. It’s become a fun habit. But, I’m not convinced it needs to live on the internet. I may go back to just dumping it all into my notebook and leaving this space for less mundane things.

So let’s say that February was a moderate success - I made it through the whole month of posting. I don’t think it evolved my ability to think or write in any substantial way, but it did give me something to tie up my day and say “I did the thing I set out to do today” which was actually really helpful to me in a month of little structure. Mission: Accomplished. We’ll see what March holds. Thanks for playing along :)