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I spent the first day of the new year finishing things from the old year. I knit a second sleeve that actually matched the first, and then washed and dried the cashmere pullover. There are still ends to deal with, but I am delighted with the pullover Ė it fits closely, but not tightly; it truly does skim my curves. I also finally crocheted around the neckline a sweater that has been unfinished since January 2009, because of the floppy neck. With buttons sewed on and neckline stabilized, it is a perfectly acceptable sweater, if not as perfect as the other.
It's Deja vu all over again. The first time I wrote today's words, I essentially wrote the same thing as yesterday. I used different words, but it was the same basic gist. I guess the sense of accomplishment, of actually having done something, two sweaters finally and happily completed, is amazing. Once I put them next to yesterday's words, I realized what I had done. I won't call it a mistake, but clearly having successfully finished the 12 sweaters in 12 months project and having two more sweaters that I really like has affected me more than I initially realized.
Bringing together our individual traditions into our own tradition is proving to be challenging. The tree didn't go up until the Saturday before Christmas and not decorated until Wednesday; traditionally I put a tree up two Saturdays before the holiday, and it comes down on New Year's day. Having the tree up for just a week seems like a waste, and I hate taking trees down on the first Sunday of the year, so we agreed to keep the tree up another week. We still haven't really found our holiday traditions yet but at least we're breaking our past traditions.
You have to find something you love to do, he said. It isn't that simple, however, as for the moment, there is the very real consideration of paying the bills, which requires at least one constant, steady income, and after last year, my savings are gone. If there was no income at all, I would risk nothing by trying. At the moment, I cannot find the courage Ė or lack of sense Ė to leap out of a steady job that covers the bills and provides health insurance and trust that the net will appear. I should, but I can't.
It is so much more convenient for others if I have obvious symptoms. This heavy weight everywhere, especially on my shoulders and arms, makes me want to be very still, but isn't visible to anyone. I alternate between waves of heat rolling off my chest and shivering under the blanket. I'm a desert, my lips dry and cracking already. My head seems like it has an expanding bubble in it. Sorry, I'm not coughing, I haven't lost my voice, and nose is not dripping. But give me some time, I may yet fulfill your image of someone who is sick.
Perhaps induced by being overheated, sleeping with the heat on, last night I had another bizarre dream in which everything is so very real, yet even as you are dreaming, you know something is wrong, this isn't reality, something is off. I was with my father's parents and Geoffrey in Germany, in the mishmash city of my dreams that is part Berlin and part Bonn. We were searching for breakfast and Grandfather did his disappearing trick, wandering off in search of interesting people watching. I always wonder what it means when my past makes such an appearance in my dreams.
I don't mind that there's not a drop of sympathy or understanding. I've learned not to expect it at times like this. What I do mind, however, is that at times there is open antagonism and derision of my situation. Is this some kind of Psychology 101 ploy that is supposed to spur me on to do better? Or do you honestly believe that I'm faking it? The plain fact is that I don't have the strength of will to battle with this behaviour because no matter what I do right now it will merely encourage more of the same.
Everyone I know was hoping 2010 would be better than 2009. For many, the continuing saga of the economy was the main story, for others, it was just the icing on a bitter cake. Starting the year in retrograde is tough, and may be adding to the difficulties all around, I don't know, but it is not something most people will consider. I know that while for some 2009 was a year of changes (not always good), nothing really changed for us, which was disheartening. I sincerely hope that 2010 will finally bring about some positive changes for us, soon.
Iím sure Iím not alone in feeling that taking the Christmas tree down is always a slightly depressing event.† I donít like to do it on a Sunday, it adds to the general depression of Sunday afternoons.† Decorating the tree and taking it down should be communal activities, but it doesnít seem to work out that way in my experience.† This year, the tree was so lightly decorated, taking it down and putting everything away took about twenty minutes.† This was especially fortunate given that I was apparently remiss in not making it my first priority for the dayís events.
I am momentarily disconcerted by how open and uncluttered the living room and library look with the holiday paraphernalia removed. I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off me and I realize there is once again space for me to do pilates in the library. The living room is still awkward, but with three windows and three doorways, it will always be awkward, especially for viewing TV. There is still stuff everywhere, but at least I don't feel as quite as crowded.
Leaving the office tonight, looking out over the harbor next to the parking lot I realize that it isn't yet night outside. The return of the sun, the return of the sun! Hurrah! So, alright, it isn't exactly daylight yet, but it definitely is not dark out. There are shades of color visible in the sky off to the west, it is still early twilight. Just three weeks out from solstice! I so badly need this return, movement towards light, spring and warmth. Last summer was (literally) a wash, and this winter has been cold, in more ways than one.
I slept on my back last night, apparently all night.†† As a rule, I donít sleep on my back.† And I certainly never stay in one position all night.† I roll around, twitching on a good night, more like thrashing on a bad night.† I was tired when I went to bed, this I know and the kitties came to join me as I got comfortable.† What happened after that is a mystery, except sometime around 4 AM Fionn came back up on to the bed and asked nicely for some pets. Which makes me suspect him of doing wrong.†
I can feel the frown setting into my face, the lines of disappointment and discontent becoming permanent.† I donít want this.† Perhaps this is what my mid-life crisis looks like.† Gone is the bright young idealist, in her place is this serious stranger who moves through the days, dreaming of somewhere, somewhen else but without the vision to get there. This isnít a passing fancy on a day spent in the city, this feeling has been building for a while Ė who am I anymore?† There is no family or career that claims me Ė who am I?
Two discussions in the past two days finally revealed to me what really bothered me about genesis of the whole situation: it is another example of ďits not what you know, but who you know.Ē I knew how the organization worked, what people really did, how we needed to change and move forward. She knew nothing about the organization but has a massive network of personal connection. And the person able to influence the decision of which one of us would lead in the future chose who she knows over what I know. My leaving was determined in April.
I bolt from the office on Fridays.† I probably always have, but it seems that lately I am all but running away, running toward the weekend and my so-called real life.† †Iím not sure why Iím so eager to get there, as my weekend life these days is pretty boring: thereís not much point in going to open houses, and while I can immerse myself in cleaning house (ugh!) or knitting (yeah), thereís not much that seems to entertain or occupy G.† Even going to a movie doesnít seem to entice him, although most of the choices are completely uninteresting.
Inspiration comes in many forms. I have known for a while that I need to interact with things, to experience art, music, fiber, color, beauty in the world around me. I am trying to listen to more music on the drive home, and made a commitment to an online music service. I don't have a favorite local yarn store anymore, but even looking at things online -different things, not the usual places- can be rather inspiring. I'm even going to try to make my space at work a bit more inspiring, to the extent possible in such a small space.
The local yarn store has changed hands.† Iím surprising unmoved by that Ė beyond regretting that I didnít have a real opportunity to consider buying it. Which is the clearest indication yet that I didnít like the store Ė the physical being of the store and their stock. I really do miss the shop in St. James, and none of the other local shops Iíve been in really appeal to me, although I try to keep an open mind. They either feel tiny, or dark, or I donít like their stock or I donít want to drive an hour to get there.†
I find it rather disappointing that after ten years of living in the same place that Iím still struggling to find local friends.† Friends that I enjoy hanging out with, that contribute to a positive vibe, that I look forward to seeing.† I am not expecting to find the close, intimate bond that I have with friends whom Iíve known for twenty-five years, but someone that you can call up and just hang out with.† I probably feel this more keenly now that KnitNite is gone, I enjoyed the acquaintance of the women, and hoped some might eventually become friends
Tolerance.† Not everyone sees things the same way, assigns the same value and priority to things. Some of us are also very cynical in terms of ďother peopleĒ: jump and shout until you lose your voice, you wonít be able to get other people to change their mind.† Your rabid behavior demonstrates intolerance of their beliefs and actually shuts them down to the possibilities.† Rather than expending the energy actively trying to change other people, some of us prefer to live by the values we espouse and thereby quietly demonstrate to others the possibilities of a different point of view.
An article in the NY Times today made me reflect on my first few years living in Manhattan; the struggle I had finding an apartment that was acceptable, moving in from Astoria; Manhattan rents were nowhere near what they are now, but they were still a pretty significant chunk of oneís salary. Iíd lived in Queens for two years, but it was exhilarating to explore the neighborhood I called home, Yorkville, as well as other neighborhoods.† Itís not that I donít like living in the city Ė but it is very expensive to live comfortably in the city, beyond my means.
Iíve been working on alternative approaches to reducing my work-related frustration.† A running theme in my life is that I donít understand other people, and so trying to manage them is often very frustrating for me.† Iím trying to improve my people-skills, reading books that come highly recommended on just that topic in the hopes of learning some insight that has been hidden from me.† Instead, I discover that I fundamentally reject many of the concepts that are at the core of how to influence others.† If that is really how ďothersĒ think, react, and function, Iím in big trouble.
Peter Murphy is doing a concert webcast next month. Not a concert tour, apparently, but a webcast.† Twenty-five bucks for a webcast.† Iím not sure I can really gear myself up for paying that amount for a webcast, when Iíll be sitting in my chair at home, listening to it alone.† This may be the coming trend, but if so, I will be very disappointed.† I donít need entertainment that keeps me at home, I need entertainment that will get me out of the house.† But Saugerties on a school night is a bit too far out of the house.
It is not a lot of progress I've made so far, knitting on this second-time-around sweater, but I am much more pleased with it this time. Although I'm eager to have it done, and want to be able to wear it this winter, I also want to enjoy the knitting process and yarn, something that got rather lost in the process of last year's 12 in 12 project. So I am swatching a lot for other projects, trying to find the combination that sparks me, that makes me want to knit it up RIGHT NOW, it is a lovely feeling.
At the grocery store, we're behind a large family: Dad, two tweens, two kids under five, and when you finally see mom, she's pregnant. We can't help wondering about the size of the family in this day and age. When the WIC coupons come out for milk and formula, we're shocked. The family doesn't fit stereotype expectations, although what possesses you to have more kids when you can't feed your current brood? Possibly someone recently lost a job, but what of birth control? How much is enough and when is it too much, unless you're still working the family farm?
What do I want?† More time of and money.† What would I ask for?† Another week and another 10%.† What do I want to be doing? †More research, more writing.† What do I not want to be doing?† Program Assistant with no authority, managing people.† What is the minimum I would accept? More than cost-of-living raise.† Well, at least I have some answers to these questions, and thereís time to work on better answers and developing some negotiating strategies. Alternative options for a steady income are quite limited so I suspect Iíll be at this job at least another year.
I do so much better Ėmeaning, Iím so much happier at work -- when thereís a huge pile of work that needs to be done right now or yesterday.† When thereís something I donít really want to do, I can procrastinate very easily, even if it is the only thing to do and Iím bored. †Even though I really, really hate being bored. According to this Expert People Skills course Iíve been listening to, everyone dislikes being bored, but I havenít exactly seen evidence of that in my various work environments.
Driving to work this morning, the snow started again. Big, fat snowflakes, gently wafting to the ground, with enough space between the flakes to allow you to notice each flake.† There was no wind driving them in any direction, they just Ė fell. †I watched the flakes in their gentle ballet as much as I could while driving the windy, hilly road.† When I parked in the lot and walked to the office, I really looked up and †around, and for a moment, I felt that special snowflake magic from childhood along with a rush of memories of similar snowflake moments.
I finished the people skills CD today and I find that I'm still perplexed. Anytime they provided a categorization of people Ė they do/feel/react this way, that, or the other thing Ė I didn't fit into the category. When they made sweeping statements about ďpeopleĒ I often found myself in disagreement with them, or completely not comprehending WHY Ė which of course, was never discussed. I think I will have to take a psych class, but I'm afraid I will still be confused and befuddled by the actions and reactions of others. I guess I really am Mr. Spock.
I spent my yarn allowance on buttons earlier this month. Beautiful, shiny, buttons, for projects I have not yet knit. I have a little stash of mad money, and I can't pass up the soft, yak blend that is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I know what I'll knit with it, so today I finally purchase it. Bored at lunch, I check the website of one of my favorite handdyers. I fall hard for the color I see, apparently just minutes after its posted, not her normal shade but quite mine. Yes, it definitely is a full moon tonight.
Who knew the little Turkish place would be absolutely full on a Saturday night at seven? An inquiry if we had reservations, then a not so polite, ďwe have no seats available.Ē Well. We did a quick foray further east, to see if there was some place new, but then headed back to the Curry Club, where we had a warm greeting and were immediately seated at a comfortable table. The lack of local restaurants in this area which we are considering moving to gave us momentary pause; we are used to Main Street being littered with decent eateries.
After finally discussing just what it is that is so objectionable about the village where we currently live, I don't believe he'll ever be happy in this house, even if it was remodeled. There are fundamental problems with the layout of the place, the village, and nothing will make them go away. There's not a house on the market in any of the neighborhoods we really like that is also within our desired price range, which is rather disheartening but I'm realizing it is par for the course. Perhaps we should consider Albany or Maryland should the opportunity present itself.
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