How is it September already?

I swear the year only just started, and yet January also seems like it was ages ago. Life has been so full lately.

Last year I got laid off, spent a while dealing with burnout (including a month doing nothing but playing late-90s Japanese video games), spent some time doing contract work, and finally landed a job with UPMC, a local hospital and insurance company, where I have been helping kick-start the UX process for an internal insurance application. I know far more about insurance claims and payment authorization than I ever expected to know, and yet there is so much more to learn. Fitting UX processes into a long-standing development process without stepping on too many toes has been interesting, and is still an evolving process. We also just added a couple new people, and learning to organize and delegate has been an interesting process, too. I don’t quite know what I’m doing, but it’ll be ok.

I don’t know if UPMC is an anomaly in this, but I actually feel better about insurance having seen how much the people working the claims care about the members health and well-being. Most of them are former nurses who have been in the hospitals; they have seen patients with the same conditions they are now authorizing claims for, and they know how serious these things are. Not that that necessarily changes corporate policies, but it’s good to know there are people in the middle who care.

I’ve also been dealing with new dietary restrictions. At the end of last year I developed an inability to eat wheat or dairy, and learning how to eat again has been hard. It’s probably been good for me overall, in that I’m more mindful of what I eat and I don’t go out to restaurants as much, but it has been stressful at times. Sometimes I have to go out and there’s nothing I can eat. Sometimes I just want a cookie, and the easiest way to get one is to make it myself–and baking with no wheat and no butter or milk is extra hard. I’m getting there, though. Today I actually managed waffles.

Also this year, after 10 years together Zack and I finally got married and had a lovely honeymoon in England, Wales, and Scotland. It’s been 8 months, but after 10 years of having a “boyfriend” it’s weird to say “husband”. It’s weird to think that I have a husband. But not in a bad way. I feel like I ought to say more about this, but really, life together continues much as before (also not in a bad way ☺).