February 2022

Last Updated February 25, 2022


In January I left my job of 23 years. After a lot of thought and reflection I’ve moved up plans to open my own consulting business. Monarch Strategies LLC was officially born on February 4, 2022. Consulting was always my plan - I’m just going to do it longer than I originally planned to do so.


I’ve gotten to enjoy a load of coffees, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, drinks, and zooms with friends and business acquaintances as I dive into business development. I’ve always hated the term networking so I try to remain focused on the people and then know that great relationships lead to more great relationships and opportunities. In early March, I get to do an e-Learning day with my great niece and great nephew as well as an overnight with that same great niece. Two of my nieces and nephews announced to the public that they are having babies in August (both due the same day) so our extended family will grow to 9 under the age of 10 in 2022.


If you read last month’s update, I said I was getting ready to go on my 15th cruise - it was really my 13th (I need to get that list fully updated). That was a Marvel Day At Sea cruise aboard the Disney Magic. Yon can read a detailed account of the trip here. My dad, sister and I are also going to take a trip to Glacier National Park by Amtrak this summer and I’ve got another cruise planned for September.


I’ve let learning and health slide a lot this month. I lost my Duolingo streak when we cruised and I haven’t committed to restarting it yet. Most of my learning time has been spent trying to figure out health insurance as a solo-preneur. If you think the ACA Marketplace provides good options - you would be wrong. I have learned that I can get Dental and Vision insurance through my current providers which is wonderful.


My health is a horrendous disaster this month. Definitely something to focus on in March. I’ve had time to cook and exercise and simply haven’t done so. I don’t have a regular daily routine yet. I have appointed Kona the Mini Double Doodle as the Chief of Peace and Wellness (Chief PAW) for Monarch Strategies. I’ve tasked him with ensuring that we are more healthy in the coming month.


Kona the Mini Double Doodle and I have done our first volunteer visit with a local hospice organization. We’re working on getting into a regular habit of doing these weekly.


I didn’t finish Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers before it was due back to the library. I’ve placed a hold on it again. I finished Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart. I tried to summarize it yesterday but Notion was running slowly so hopefully I’ll have that posted before next month’s update. I’m currently reading Making Numbers Count by Chip Heath & Karla Starr and Pete Greig’s How to Pray. Both are good and I’ve enjoyed reading them.


I finished binging FBI on Paramount Plus and binged FBI International which I really enjoyed. I’ve also started getting into Curiosity Stream and Nebula after having the subscriptions for 6 months and not using them. I watched a short episode last night on Nebula on why Russia is invading Ukraine. I’ve got several episodes on my watchlist on Curiosity Stream about Glacier Park. I also thought I’d watch Encanto while we were on the cruise and didn’t get it done so hopefully that gets done before next month.


My favorite podcast - Happier with Gretchen Rubin and just finished Bill Nye’s Everything All At Once. The book is part memoir, part call to action. I found it an enjoyable listen as Nye has a good sense for comedic timing even within the limitations of an audio book. I also found it surprising that he did dive in, late in the book, specifically on his own religious beliefs. I appreciated his call to critical thinking and activism in areas that matter to you. As I watch the events unfolding in Ukraine I also see that, beyond Putin’s desire for supremacy, much of this conflict is environmental - related to water and energy availability and rights. It was interesting to listen to Nye’s take on the world while I watched this conflict unfold halfway around the world.