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I dreamed vividly last night, in detail, of a possible future. Or perhaps it was just a general direction, I donít know, but somehow, the fact of this dream, and my remembering it, on New Yearís Eve, seems significant. What was the dream? That we bought the shingle-style house that has the separate guest apartment, and I turned half of that space into the Bakery Test Kitchen. Thereís a kitchen area already, giving me an approved food preparation area to start a baked goods business, shipping frozen cinnamon rolls, making biscotti, cookies and such for local venues Ė no storefront needed.
The world returns to its regular working schedule around me. Another scenario at work today provides me with further evidence that there is no real point to my being at this particular job at this particular company. So I start to immerse myself in the dream, doing such research as I can online, trying to learn as much as I can about what others are up to in the marketplace. It may not ever come into being, but I feel compelled to move forward with it, at least doing the preparation that will allow me to make an informed decision.
After long consideration, Iíve joined the yarn crowd at Ravelry. And I think I may be in trouble. Now that Iíve seen what it is, what it can do to help me organize my knitting, never mind the whole community aspect, Iím sorry I waited so long. This may well push me over the edge into obsession with my hobby on steroids. I feel compelled to start taking photos, to document and share the projects. All my ramblings about my knitting, the yarn, frustrations with the works in progress, should now have an appropriate home with others of their kind.
The Elliot sisters delighted me when I ran across them years ago. I spent the evening with them tonight, learning the beginning of their story, and loving the detail of the clothes, even before they established the House of Elliot. The colour, texture and individuality of the clothes reminded me of Alicia Mughattiís clothing, my favorite designer, although Iíve never even tried on any of her clothes but I window shopped en route to the IFA all the time. I get inspired watching the show, the way I get inspired reading the Yarn Harlot and Knitspot blogs: creativity begets creativity.
I can get so psyched looking at Ravelry and seeing what others have done with the yarn I have had for months, loving it, but not quite sure how it would behave once knitted. Sometimes the photos confirm the knitted fabricís drape or bad behaviour at edges. Other times the photos leave me more confused when one pattern is knit in completely different yarns with different effects, and some look great and others terrible, but I canít tell if the issue is the body shape underneath, the combination of the yarn and pattern or if it is just poorly made.
House hunting seems much harder this time around. I donít quite know why. Itís still the same rollercoaster of ups and downs as you see a listing that has potential, and then you see the reality, the excitement of finding something that is close, but not quite. Perhaps Iím just more mentally exhausted going into this. It may be because I feel there is more at stake this time around: finding the house would allow us to start our life together in our house, even if himself still has to run to Westchester on weekends to check on the Gatehouse.
A completely lost day - other than sleep, I don't think I did anything. I have always resented days like this, when you're so out of it you can't do anything: you can't read, you can't even keep track of a half-hour sitcom on television. I donít remember anything about the day. I canít even say that I felt rested and refreshed after that much sleep. I feel heavy, my joints hurt, I donít want to move, it definitely isnít a day for moving furniture, which I used to do when I was bored and home sick with chest infections.
Clawing my way through the day, still exhausted and hurting from whatever hit me yesterday, and unstimulated by anything in the office, the refrain repeats in my head, ďI must get out, I must get out.Ē The job is pretty much career suicide Ė thereís not been any significant progress for too long, and it is not for my lack of trying, it is due to the lack of commitment by the organization. I am only cheered by the thought of getting together with colleague in the city, one whoís trying to help me move on. Yes, Iím ranting again Ė DAMN!
Sitting on the train today, I accept the fact that I do miss the train commute. It may be another hour a day or more, but is much more productive time. I could have time to myself again, which may be critical as himself and I really start life together. Heís got Fridays to himself. I would have nearly a dayís worth of time over the week, to read, to listen to podcasts or music, to knit, to write, whatever. Never mind being in the city for dinner with Helene. Iím ready to go back to work in the city.
Alone on a Thursday night. How odd. And then, how odd that I think its odd; a few months ago it was the norm. I like to think Iím flexible about change. Between the schedule during college, moving around in the city, there was a lot of change for many years. Recently, though, thereís been a lack of change, Iím probably in a rut. Leap and the net will appear Ė thatís what it says at my desk. When was the last time I leaped? Leaving my job for the consulting gig. Perhaps thatís why Iím so cautions about jobs now.
I told myself over and over today, ďjust get through the day, and you can die at home.Ē I want to sleep. I hurt all over, still, I donít know why. I donít want to go to meetings, review change control, or prepare meeting notes. Iím whining again, and I know it but Iím not thinking clearly, firing on all cylinders or any other over-used similie, metaphor or other abstraction of thought or speech. Me want sleep NOW. Iíve got a nice pictogram of that which I doodled today, but it doesnít translate to the written word very well. :>)
I finally feel somewhat better today but still have to work very hard to get on the road in time to visit Helene. I am still supremely unmotivated to do anything social. I donít know why I am in this retreat from the world. No, thatís not true, I have my suspicions. I tried to remember the bad times at my former job; it was really bad, I hated going into work and was bored, but I canít really remember the details of how I felt at the time. You really do forget the bad and remember the good.
The first house has a lovely, private property but is a bit small. The other contender has over 2 acres set on a hillside, and the house is simply spectacular. I donít know how to choose between them, itís Solomonís choice. If the second house was put on the first houseís property, there wouldnít be any question. My heart wants the second house, but my head says number one is a better choice. I donít know if Geoffrey is also waffling back and forth. But wait, thereís a third option that we need to see, we drove past it today.
I played with my new toy today on the drive into the office, a device that connects my iPod to the car stereo, a Christmas present from Helene. It was such a gloomy January Monday morning, altogether depressing, especially after not sleeping so well and never mind having to go to work, that I chose to listen to Pierce Turner, hoping that his bright melodies and nostalgia for the old days would help me wake up. I was doing fine until we hit ďMoonbeam Josephine.Ē Thereís something about that song, happy as it is, that makes me want to cry.
We are past the Winter Solstice and the days are getting longer, never mind colder. When I left the office today the sky was clear and you could see in the west the pale streaks of purple, orange and crimson of the sunset, still visible. It is a small detail, but one that give you hope, that the sun is returning, that winter is not endless. Iíve learned in recent years that even if the winter is a light one weather-wise, there is a winter of the soul that is harder to deal with than snow, ice and cold outside.
I was stunned when he said he was worried about me, he didnít know what Iíd do if we bought a house, that Iíve lived for the hunt, what would occupy me if I didnít have that? I thought about all the things I used to do: garden, bake, explore the Island, and the things Iíve promised myself Iíll do: start playing music again, go to the pool more. All things I havenít done, not just due to the house hunt, but our schedule of bouncing back and forth. I want us to be settled, together, in just one house.
Iím supposed to be understanding what makes me happy, explore new paths to having fun, to look for humor and amusement in everything, and yet thereís the elephant in the room Ė my job. Yes, it has been particularly bad the last few days, however, showing that I can do the job elsewhere is difficult when you cannot state that youíve done everything you can but your current employer has no interest in spending any resources, that you are not allotted any budget whatsoever. Yet as there is no G/L code for what I do, securityís not even a cost center.
As I drive the winding, hilly roads, lined with colonial style buildings set close to the road, I realize that some may be actual colonial period buildings. Thereís so much more history visible here and the landscape is so very different from the south shore, it is difficult to reconcile them as part of the same island. Iím oddly touched to see so many buildings still showing their holiday decorations, which add to the picaresque feel of the area. I find myself suddenly actually truly wanting to live here rather than in the broad, open flatlands of the south shore.
I had almost forgotten about the groove you get into when cleaning, just moving through the house, putting things away, creating restrained order from chaos. It is a Zen-like state, although Iím not sure the idea of taming chaos is consistent with Zen. It leaves me quite tired a couple hours later, not in the ďIím going to take a nap nowĒ way, but more in the ďLet me sit here comfortably with a cup of coffee and rechargeĒ way. Which is the best way to enjoy a clean house, because if you do anything else, it doesnít stay clean!
With time on my hands today, I did manage the somewhat uncertain satisfaction of applying for a few jobs. It is always a roll of the dice, sometimes youíre certain youíre perfect for the job and it sound fabulous (at least on paper), sometimes the job just sounds better than where you are now and youíve got the qualifications. Both of these jobs were of the latter flavor Ė the jobs that really excite me arenít available. So now I wait to see if anyone calls in the next day or two or if I am a wallflower at the dance.
Iím sure youíve all noticed that work is a four letter word. Ba-Da-Boom! That thought is quite reflective of my inner landscape these days, itís very negative, and I am evolved enough to realize that isnít helping me cope. To try to turn it around in my head, shift the attitude, can I think of some other four letter words that are actually good, positive things? . Free. Will. Live. Gold. Love. Life. Give. True. Pure. Play. Salt. Help. Cope. Kind. Fuel. Dawn. Dusk. Star. Warm. Rose. Iris. Make. Iím on a roll now, look out: Wish! Bake! Yarn! Knit!
Iím sitting here at my desk, back-filling entries for when I was so sick I couldnít write, and I have two words as placeholders for what I think happened on those days. The first word is Work. The second word is Dreams. Polar opposites, those two words, especially in my current life as it is, as it appears to be. And I have no idea what I meant by them now, what memories or thoughts they were supposed to trigger, but I am struck by the juggernaut that they represent to me in the here and now, a week later.
Montevideo. Itís in Uruguay, in case you were wondering. It sounds wonderfully exotic, warm, and inviting, filled with wide plazas lined with palm trees and cafes with tables outside, where you can have coffee or something stronger. I have no idea if it is any of that, but it is a large port city, and might have been something of a get-away for upscale Americans in the post-war years when Europe was still too devastated to be attractive. I want to go somewhere seaside, warm and inviting. But not a cruise ship, not right now. No more Norwalk virus, please.
Iím falling off the writing wagon. Being so ill has many consequences, and being unable to keep up with this project is one of them. I donít want to miss posting January, I know I missed November, but catching up is going to be tough. Being home sick with Geoffrey was kind of like a vacation, in an odd, twisted, Dali-esque kind of way. We didnít go anywhere, but we didnít do anything productive, didnít go to work, we kept odd hours, and we were even more tired when we went back to work than we were before we left.
I would love to just rant here and now about work, Iíve got some truly excellent material and have a good head of steam worked up about the whole thing, but this is not the right venue for that. As Iíve repeatedly Ėrepeatedly- told myself. And it would probably just perpetuate the entire situation and my feelings, which are very, very strong at this time. I need to take a step back, get away from the edge, so that I have a chance of enjoying the weekend. I survived the day, I won: take the victory and just walk away.
I daydreamed today about eating something that goes CRUNCH. It seems like I havenít eaten anything since Monday, but itís just that Iíve only eaten very bland, very soft food. I canít wait to eat something that requires me to really bite into it and chew. Iím still not particularly hungry, which I find a little strange, especially since Iím preoccupied with chewy, crunchy food right now: a Heath toffee bar, peanut butter, corn chips, celery, carrots and the grand-daddy of them all, grape nuts cereal. The final stage of recovery will be when I want something with real flavor.
Two weeks after seeing the house for the first time, Geoffrey finally states out loud that it is his favorite. I am stunned, having spent the last week trying to figure out how to wedge us into the smaller house he proclaimed he loved. The colonial-period home is my favorite as well, although not without a few not-quite-perfect details, but they are details we could live with. The house would require no construction, nothing other than paint for us to move in, assuming we can agree on colors. Having decided the house is for us, we must resolve the finances.
I sat in my car today at lunch and knit, worked on the midnight heather stole that seems to be taking forever. I really wanted to nap, but that would have caused more problems in the long run. Knitting has very therapeutic properties, except when youíre dealing with a mistake. But the stole is ďmindlessĒ knitting, simple stitches and row repeats, the yarn just glides on the needles, no issues. An hour and two full repeats of the pattern later, Iím calmer and feel refreshed. OK, Iím not fully restored, not ready to take on jerk-boss, but Iíll get by.
I realized suddenly this afternoon that if weíre not buying any house in the foreseeable future, then I donít need to hang on to this job. Iíve stopped caring about it and now Iím going to stop pretending to care at work. What are they going to do, fire me? Iíd welcome that, as Iíve gotten over my fear of failure here because I realize this job is rigged so that I cannot win no matter what I do. Why continue to hurt myself trying to succeed? Why not just roll with the punches instead of trying to fight back?
There was real sunshine, which has been so little in evidence as of late that I really noticed and enjoyed it, in spite of the very blustery wind. Weíre so used to sunshine in winter here, it is hard to imagine experiencing true cabin fever, but having lived through Michigan winters, I know better. And as I left the office I realized that it was not dark, there still late afternoon daylight visible. I watched sunset turn into dusk in the rearview mirror on the drive home, rejoicing in the fact of the days getting longer, if not yet warmer.
Ninety-nine percent of lives are invisible, the real life is surprising. These comments got me thinking today about the subterranean parts of my life: what are they, should some of them come out into the light, where they can grow and blossom and somehow make my life richer, help me be more fulfilled. I know this is what the mentor has been driving me towards, to take apart my life as it appears and my life as it is and consider these pieces in view of what I want my life to be. Hard work, reminiscent of The Artist's Way.
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