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An April Fool's day with no particular prank but much overall foolishness. Or would stupidity be a better choice? According to Merriam-Webster, foolish is lacking in sense, judgement or discretion, while stupid means slow of mind, given to unintelligent decision or acts. Gee wilikers - do I have to choose between the two options? In this particular case I think both foolish and stupid apply to the manglement, no sorry, management in question, and their minions. On second thought, I think minion ascribes too much to the poor sods, theyíre just blindly following the path on which theyíve been set.
Aha! The NY Times today validated my earlier hypothesis: ďTighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your MindĒ states willpower is ďdepleted when people control their thoughts, feelings or impulses, or when they modify their behavior in pursuit of goals.Ē Using your willpower to suppress emotional responses, for example (dealing with house & job search issues) means I have less willpower available for other things (weight management). Yes, I know, thereís a study to support any position, but the timing of this one is so appropriate. Regular use of willpower increases reserves: no wonder I did so much back in the early 90ís.
Yarn Harlot is back on tour. She was at Columbus Circle in NYC last night, but there was no way for me to go see her, what with working on Long Island until 5:30. If I worked in the city, it would have been easy to go to the event, even if it meant arriving home late and tired. Instead, I shall have to get by on her blog postings, generally theyíre quite complete with photos of the events and knitters. And reading her latest book, which I how have. A Knitting Rock Star on tour, thatís what she is.
A soft gentle rain is falling this morning. Although its a little cool, I keep the front door open to I hear the sound of the rain. It is early enough there arenít many cars, there are more birds chirping. I love the sound of such gentle, steady rain and the trickling sounds you hear is there is steady runoff from high to low. Why is it so calming and soothing? Iím clearly not the only one who feels this way. Did gentle rain mark a day of rest for our ancestors who didnít yet have the five-day work week?
Working in the garden is always a way for me to forget whatever is stressing me. I love playing in the dirt like this, playing hide and seek with the tender young shoots, and waging war against the invasive mugwort that invaded two years ago. I can see the potential in the garden and I know how I would like it to look, which bears no resemblance to how it has looked the last few years. It has been woefully neglected and is in need of serious attention. I do hope that I can manage to maintain it this year.
We spend a quiet day together in grey gloom. It is one of those days that would be perfect to spend in the Gatehouse parlour with a fire going, and I know we both wish we were there today, as I donít have a fireplace. Or a comfortable couch for the both of us to curl up on, for that matter. Iím somewhat at a loss on how to rearrange the house to make it more workable and comfortable for the both of us, especially without a couch Geoffrey likes, but he is not ready to bring down Big Red.
Iím looking at more and more laceweight yarns, recognizing that I donít seem to have the available knitting time or stamina to knit sweaters. There are several sweaters Iíd really like to knit this year, but I think I shall be lucky to manage another sleeveless shell this spring. Stoles can be simple but also seem to require a certain stamina, at least in the laceweight yarns. But the lace scarves, oh, they can be a delight to work, as intricate or simple as you wish, and they donít take too long, so I can enjoy the Act of Completion.
Geoffrey joined us for walking tonight. Three abreast in the road made it a little dangerous at times (there arenít sidewalks on a lot of the streets around here) but it was fun. I need all the encouragement I can get to keep walking these days, most nights I just want to sit on the couch and do nothing, maybe knit a few rounds. I know Iím not actually physically exhausted, its mental and emotional fatigue, but keeping active is critical right now, I want and need to get back to losing these extra pounds that have stuck with me.
Iím building new patterns and habits to try to get through the day, new coping routines. I certainly have need of them. News that the museum is reconsidering the position hit me like a truck, flattened me and sucked the air right out of my lungs. I knew it was not wise to place all my hope in one option, but I had done it anyway. In so many, many ways it seems my dream job right now: substantial vacation, no clock watching by manglement or others, as long as the work gets done, and working in an artistic atmosphere.
It seems like Iíve been struggling, fighting my way to what I want for the last twenty years. In many ways, thatís exactly true. Iíve always had a non-traditional background: a ďdeviantĒ from the plan at college, working full-time while enrolled in a grad school program where no one worked full-time, coming into IT from the business just before the dot-com boom. Iíve never had the approved degree, background or training, yet Iíve always proved I can do the job. But Iím tired of fighting, of trying to prove that to others who are filled with preconceived notions. Iím tired.
Iíve started researching bakeries, beyond creating the list of what I would bake. Iím starting with the most direct route, looking at purchasing an existing bakery. There are at least four for sale in the county according to the web and they vary quite a bit in price and gross receipts. Iím literally dreaming about bakeries these days (nights) but there is probably nothing to be done until we settle the house issue. I clearly need something to distract me from the depressing reality at work and current lack of prospects, and Iíve fixated on the idea of a bakery.
Iím swatching again, finally, but for a simple shell, not a sweater. Iíve got scarf yarn and patterns in bulk now, but somehow, I donít think some of Anneís patterns are ďmindless knittingĒ so I need something else to occupy my fingers and mind during lunch and those early morning and evening hours. Knitting is my therapy these days, I really need it to try and get through the days at the office, but I donít see it as my ďnew prospectĒ as the area couldnít support another yarn shop and my skills as a knitwear designer are totally untested.
Working in the garden this morning on true drudge work, Iím glad to be playing in the dirt. It is something real, and while Iím doing this kind of work, I donít think about all the other stuff that bothers me, I get into a kind of zen-like state. It isnít one of those beautiful days that tells you spring is here, and the ground is cold beneath me as I tear out the grass that is encroaching upon the front walkway flowerbed, but for a few minutes, Iím happy and hopeful. And I need hope, even in limited quantity.
I think too much. Thatís part of my unhappiness, Iím sure. Combined with my inclination towards perfectionism and my desire to actually be happy, not just get by, it is probably not surprising that I try to find ways to get around whatever is making me unhappy. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes I wake up at 3:00 AM thinking about options. I seem to have less tolerance for stupidity and for being not-happy as I get older. I donít know if the Stupids are actually happier, but they certainly seem oblivious to many of the things that frustrate other people.
Tax Day. Maulaís birthday. And the day Rae died Ė or was it just the day I was told that sheíd died? That day it was both Easter and Tax day, the day I met Merlin for the first time, I believe. What a day that was, with an Orphans & Oddballs dinner at Spilís apartment, but it was just the two of us, Otis and her several dozen rescued cats. That was when I first learned of her activity with the cause. One which has probably taken over her life these days, unless sheís managed to channel that need elsewhere
So, Iíve been terse of late, have I? I donít know whether to laugh at the idiocy of the comment or the attitude. I have always found her overly verbose in a PC way even on a good day. Why canít people just come to the point on simple business matters? Being brief and to the point is not mutually exclusive of being civil or polite. In fact, I think being brief and getting to the point is more civil and more polite, acknowledging that weíre all constrained by time, so I will ask as little of yours as possible.
Driving home from work today, I glimpse a ghostly outline of the nearly full moon, hanging well off the horizon, so large and so ethereal, I thought it was a cloud the first two times I looked at it, in part because it was so big. I love the big, fat, full moons that flirt with us when the moon is close to the horizon, they glow with warm colors. When the moon is high in the sky, it is smaller and brighter but somehow colder. Watching the moon transmogrify through its various phases has become my favorite spectator sport.
I think Iím professionally burned out, never mind burned out at this particular job and company. I find myself thinking and saying things about users and companies that were unimaginable when I took the job. Thereís a certain jaundiced eye that is reviewing everything, challenging those who say they have a success story. Unfortunately (for everyone, not just me), when I press for the details of that success, the story falls apart, there is no real success unless mandated by management. I need to find a job at a company where management gets it, so that I can be successful.
Cruising around the Farmerís Market (much improved from when I lived in the city) I noted that the green produce is a little behind schedule, truly an indication of the slow spring, and was late getting to Westchester but everything was forgiven because I had found enough fresh kid goat to make things interesting, even for Geoffrey. Perfect timing, too, as we brought down his big barbeque today Ė disassembled, it fit easily into the Subaru. Now he has toys for entertainment for Fridays on Long Island and weekends when I am otherwise occupied. Iím looking forward to having him play.
Sock camp sure looks like fun. Iíve wondered about going to one of the knitting retreats or camps or cruises or tours. While I might be in heaven at the idea of yarn and knitting all day, I am not sure I could get Geoffrey to go along with me, except perhaps a cruise. And with the limited vacation I have these days I want to spend them with him. At least we have Beltane sorted out now: Philadelphia, here we come! With a very nice hotel rate! Weíre driving down on Thursday and coming back Saturday, short but sweet.
I look at job postings these days and my heart just sinks. There isnít a job listed anywhere in this profession that would make me happy - based on description of duties and responsibilities - and there hasnít been for weeks, not within commuting distance.. Thereís an occasional job outside of a 2 hour commuting distance but still within the metro area that sounds entertaining, but that presents issues for the ďwhere we liveĒ situation. So, do I look for something outside my chosen specialty? Something that will maintain the current revenue stream for a year or two while I transition?
Strange dreams continue: an orchestra assembled and waiting for the reveal of music and conductor, while I pull out nearly every woodwind instrument from my flute case, garnering strange looks from the rest of the orchestra. I look at the music that is passed out, and although it is one of my favorite pieces, I am unable to bring the notes into focus. In another dream, Iím knitting with yarn that keeps breaking, with nearly every stitch, no matter how gentle I am. It doesnít take a genius to understand what these dreams mean, but Iíd rather dream of solutions.
Crimson Tower Palace now has a phone that pretty much matches its age. At my request (and I think it surprised him) Geoffrey has brought down one to the house of his ďoriginalĒ phones, with a rotary dial and made of heavy black plastic, although it is a relatively trim shape. It is now in the bedroom, and I can hear the gentle ringing of real bells through the house when the phone rings. The sound is somehow much more friendly than the electronic tremolo that todayís cordless phones have, and softer than the princess phone I grew up with.
A week from now Iíll be in Philadelphia, I keep telling myself today. And this is an easy day with no boss and no real meetings scheduled, although they give me something to do with my eight full hours a day in the office. I am fixated on the trip, now that we have a plan for Beltane. I hope to scope out a bit more of the town, see different areas. We did have thoughts last year about the potential of relocating to Philadelphia, but that was before we were living together. The trip will be vacation and research
Choux beignets and Apricot Curd from Tarlette. Another little nothings scarf swatch in a pea shoot green from Anne. Linen knitting. Online and brick and mortar store clothing purchases. Yes, spring is in the air Ė the yard even got its spring cleanup yesterday. Real spring needs to hurry up and get here. Iíll have a new roof in a couple of weeks, and then we can set up the table and chairs in the back yard. The spring fever is descending and I want to enjoy blue sky, sunshine, sandals and short sleeves, and flirting with Geoffrey. Perhaps in Philly? [
A busy day today with a trip to up to Rye and back. On the drive, we can really see how spring is arriving Ė the shadows of green are on every tree now, and forsythia is starting to turn from yellow to green. The potential new agents seem nice although Iím sure some of what they have to say isnít quite what Geoffrey wanted to hear. I do hope they are right about being able to get some offers on the table for the Gatehouse, we both are caught in limbo until it sells. But then what will we do?
Iíve lost the discipline again. It has just petered out. Last week I managed, probably due to the easy commuting with spring vacation and my boss being out on vacation, it was a little bit easier to get up and go to the office. This week, Iím right back to not wanting to go to the office tomorrow, as the afternoon passes my tension level increases. Iíd love to just sit home and knit, garden, bake, or do whatever tomorrow morning but that will create problems with going to Philadelphia on Thursday and Iím determined to go have some fun.
I keep having these rather significant thoughts, some of them commentary on my current life, or things to do, and then I forget them twenty minutes later, before I can commit them to paper or bytes. I cannot remember them, no matter how I try, or donít try. My memory appears to be all but useless these days. Perhaps it is just because Iím so tired, so continually. I donít have to actually remember much these days for work, which is a good thing. Time for Ginsana or something, as I donít think anything in the current situation will change.
Dreamed of Spil again last night. I went to visit her, apparently in Nashville, and she had a party, a large, lavish, catered affair in some bar or restaurant, complete with a band and such, she was dressed to the hilt. So even though she had seemed happy to see me when I arrived, we didnít have time for us to talk and I hardly saw her as the party lasted into the wee hours. It was rather reminiscent of her wedding reception. Why am I dreaming of her so often now? What is lurking underneath the surface in this?
It is Beltane eve, and it is a quiet one this year, not exactly celebratory. Despite my plans and our best intentions, the early morning wake up time we have on school days definitely has its price in the evenings. Especially after a busy day or one with emotional ups and downs. We do manage to have a decent evening meal and stay up a bit later than usual, but I think we were both asleep immediately after becoming horizontal. Ah, never mind, Philadelphia beckons us and tomorrow is May Day Ė and I wonít be in the office until Monday.
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