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Due to whatever reason, an oddity of schedules and timing, I did not speak with himself at all today, not even through email. For at least a month now we've spoken or been together every day. It was decidedly odd, climbing in bed without hearing his voice tonight, although I was too tired not to fall asleep almost immediately; a day at work completely washes me out. I have begun to seriously think about just leaping and trusting that the net will appear. I need to make a decision before things shift again and put me into a holding pattern.
I watched a snow cloud move across the sky this morning. It was a bright, clear morning, with fluffy mounds of white clouds at the horizon when I left the house. By the time I got to the station, there was a scattering of snow blowing across the cars, the large, pixelated flakes that look fake. A large cloud mass, grey and dingy, the whole thing blurred as if someone used one of those waxy pencil-end erasers that smudge and streak the lead, was directly overhead. As it moved toward the Great South Bay, the snow stopped falling around me.
Signs and portents, without a clear message. Perhaps it's all just in my head. A quiet voice whispers the message has been there for months but I'm choosing to ignore it and I'll pay the penalty for that.
I swore I'd never again let a job make me physically ill, but here I am again. Tired, dazed and with a burning in my stomach that's slightly calmed by extra-strength Tums, I review my options. The only one of them that feels good when I think about it in the abstract also terrifies me when I think about its potential reality.
Laid low by an as yet unidentified illness - most certainly the flu either from Geoffrey or the office - I go home very early. The late morning trains are quiet and with my mind already in an odd place, unfocused and full of random quarks, I think about what was and wasn't said in yesterday's pep talk / lovefest with the VP and the CIO. It is easy to make promises for the future when you know the specified circumstances will likely never occur. The underlying problem is rooted in senior management; I could not stay unless they left.
My first of the long December weekends and I'll be spending it in bed, alone, at the Crimson Tower. Kitty love is wonderful, but not really a substitute for the anticipated snuggling in front of the Gatehouse's fireplace. Is the universe conspiring against us? I take a weekend long enough to match his and I wind up sick. On another front, my cohorts are advising me to stay put for a while longer, until things settle. I am torn – do I trust them because they are my cohorts, not just naysayers from the sidelines who do not understand the vision?
After sleeping for the better part of two days, I do feel more well-rested, if not exactly better. I am not up for real activity of any sort, but I do have an appropriate entertainment, or occupation, for long hours on the couch or being propped up in a chair: knitting. I start working on the black mohair cardigan, modifying a pattern originally designed for a summer-weight yarn. I have no end of ideas, just limited time and opportunity. This is one area of creative endeavor where I do have many of my own original ideas, unlike music and painting.
Very little happens when you have the flu and what little does occur, you are not really in the frame of mind to think about it or remember it. This weekend has been filled with lots of very bad TV, complete with several miniseries from the early 1980's, heavy on the glamour, glitter, shoulder pads and eyeliner. I've watched a number of my meager store of movies on videos, books require too much effort at this point. Likewise, toast, canned soup and nukable leftovers in the fridge have been my constant companions at mealtime. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Knitting slippers is such a domestic activity. A small project, they are easily made while watching a made-for-television movie. I daresay they will be received with delight. If I had a supply of gift boxes that were the right size....well, let's just say that the idea of slipper-making as a cottage industry occurred to me today. The wide variation in yarn suitable for these slippers means there could be a great range in "style", they're quickly made for less than ten bucks (including fantastic decorative buttons), and I am willing to bet the right shops could sell them for $25.
I discovered today there is a third book in the Artist's Way progression. I want to have the time to read the second book, Vein of Gold, and work through it, and then take up this new book. I learned so much from the first one, even though I hardly count as a practicing artist in the traditional sense, I have learned that living my life is an art form and takes a lot of applied, disciplined creativity. Time. Even though I have spent the last five days at home, I crave more time in which to live, not work.
This week provided an opportunity to re-establish the bond with Merlin and Fionn. They were a bit put out when Miss Leo arrived, not so much because they didn't like her, but because she occupied most of my attention, she's not at all shy about asking for it. As she wasn't in my lap every single minute today, both the boys have had some real snuggle time. Fionn has even starting talking to me again in his odd pattern of chirps and purrs. All of this begs the question: when will I get time to snuggle and bond with himself?
I want to be well enough to go back to work. I want to be well enough to go to Rye tomorrow. I'm tired of being ill, of staying quiet, of being in the house and yet not being able to do any one damn thing of the many things that need to be done around the place. It is an absolute waste of opportunity. I don't bother reading any of the professional literature that has accumulated, as I am unlikely to retain any of it, and I have run out of cheap fiction amusement. Time to start another scarf.
At first I feel as though I've been exiled: strange tides of grief and desperation run through me as I try to grasp the why of it all. It seems an arbitrary decision, one I don't want to agree with but I know deep inside, even at the start, that his decree is right. I do hear the regret in his voice even as he says the words, but all I know for several minutes is that it will be still more days, seemingly countless, before I see himself again.
get a damn flu shot next year, okay?
am in love… with Roomba. I want one, desperately, on that odd level that only someone who is both a techno-geek and neat-freak can understand. Since seeing the printed blurb in TOH Journal over Thanksgiving, the television ad campaign has kicked into high gear, and I've succumbed completely. I'm enamored with the idea of a little robot, my own 21st Century prototype of Molly the Maid, hoovering up bits of debris from the floors several times a week. And I'm sure the cats would be fascinated with what they would consider their new toy.
The whirling snowstorm hangs around an extra few hours, but the house is warm, dry, and cozy as I create my own whirlwind inside. I feel like a reasonable facsimilie of a human being today, becoming a Domestic Goddess, cooking, cleaning, knitting, sorting; this is my idea of domestic tranquility. About a week of this and I could have things neatly whipped back into shape. Yes, sadly, I'm still under the illusion that everything should be orderly and tidy at all times. I prefer things that way and am uncomfortable in what others might view as a comfortably lived-in look.
At dinner, I have a glass of wine, a lovely Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon, which mixes with the meds in my empty stomach. Or maybe it really was just the wine. But the moonbeam started to glow as conversation centered around the complications of what seems to be a straightforward industry, the problems faced by the company I work, and the problems it doesn't have because I've done my job so well the last few years. With that information, it is easier for him to grasp just how frustrated, disappointed and broken-hearted I am by the way things have shaken out.
means "life out of balance," if I remember correctly. There are moments when I feel that is exactly that is going on, but then a few minutes later, I decide I have things fairly well in hand. Until I realize I'm qualifying that last statement with an unspoken, "considering everything." I'm back to the whole catch-22 regarding life and work: I need more than 15 hours for my life during the week work, yet it is all but impossible to change jobs while where and how I work remains the same. Unless I give up my personal life entirely.
The sacredness of words is something very few understand about me. I do not say things for the sake of saying them. This is why the family tradition of nicknames, of finding the "true" name is so important to me. For both the native Americans and the ancient Egyptians, the spoken word was something sacred; incantations were magic and transformative. You can say something without words, but once you have expressed it into the air, it cannot be ignored, nor is it to be taken lightly. If I say something, I mean it, however difficult it may be to accept.
Collapsing upon my arrival home I survey the landscape that needs to be cleaned, the piles of laundry, the gifts to be wrapped. I am unable to cope with much of anything, but decide that wrapping gifts is a small enough project. The holiday spirit seems lacking this year, perhaps the result of being so depressed about the current work environment and the lack of movement on the consulting horizon. And again, the lack of time hits me; there is not an afternoon to spend baking and decorating cookies. The field marshall will have to simplify, consolidate and cut plans.
I am simply tired of the scene at work, the ups and downs from the tug of war between all parties. I am resigned to the fate of a slow transition out of the door, rather than being able to just jettison it all behind me. A change of cubicle does not provide a fresh start, but rather, a loss of status resulting from being moved away from the window. I am cognizant of the real meaning of this transition, even if Rob refuses to acknowledge it; this is the penalty for my honest confession of discontent two weeks ago.
Driving east from Glen Cove, I find myself pouring on the speed, most out of character. I am normally a rather sedate driver, going with the flow of traffic, not being a pacesetter. This morning, however, I am racing the clock and all comers in my eagerness to get back home, to go back to bed for an hour of snuggling. Rather than see the better part of two hours on the road as wasted, I see two hours gained, two more hours to spend with himself as a hedge against the massive to-do list for the next 24 hours.
During Solstice Celebration I am startled to realize that there is a community here, one that I have built, a commingling of the immediate neighbors and my personal friends. They recognize each other and pick up on conversations started six months ago at the last solstice event, or last week across the driveway. The newest neighbors are proving very reliable and warmly friendly, most convenient as our houses share a property line. I am not certain how it happened, but remember a similar development with the January Picnic. This is a real gift infused with the spirit of the season.
After surviving the weekend, with a few pointed comments from himself, I'm trying to loosen up and enjoy the preamble to the holiday. How is it that every year the holiday rush gets worse? I don't think it is just me, our society at large seems to be moving at light speed year-round and December seems to be spent at warp 10. I want to just disengage from the world around me in the weeks before Christmas, to rise and set with the sun. The sunlit days are technically getting longer now, but it won't be evident for weeks yet.
After five years in my window-ledge cubicle, I find myself confronted with moving day. Although I can understand the arguments about mixing management and staff, the arrangement existed for two years, and exists in other departments. I am not swayed by talk of the rumoured settlement that might allow me a return to pure security; in fact, I view it as all the more reason to view this shuffle as suspicious indeed. Having been forced to give up my window cubicle, I will not get it back; this is the only small stretch of exterior wall with cubicles, not offices.
I find myself enveloped in very warm greetings from everyone. It completely startles me, and I spill my wine. I'm not prepared for it on many levels. My family was not, is not, a demonstrative one, although years in German society have made me much more comfortable with hugs and kisses on the cheek from others. It is the second family dinner in less than a month, as noted by Colson, and yet still it is only the second time they have met me. I won't place any significance on it; this is a completely different family dynamic at work.
It is not a white Christmas this year, not at the Gatehouse, nor at the Crimson Tower Palace. The traffic gods continue to bless us, with a rapid journey between the two homes. I am surprised by all the traffic that is a car with lone driver, no passengers. It does not seem right that all these people traveling on major roadways should be alone on Christmas day. . . even thinking of the many reasons that perhaps many of them are might be alone on their way to the big family gathering. I am blessed; I am not alone.
The CISSP certificate arrived today so we had another reason to make Boxing Day something of an event. Yeah, like we really needed an excuse. Geoffrey seems to really understand how important this is to me although he never saw the blood, sweat and tears that went into it, he somehow takes all that on faith. He gets it more than anyone at work or anyone in the circle, though perhaps the distances involved is affecting the appearance of things. I may not have the PhD; without the French test there won't be the MA, but this I have achieved.
After a day full of small yet lovely indulgences, the universe strikes back, disrupting plans for a final indulgence. He says I should be happy about the greater, underlying significance of the unexpected (and unwelcomed) surprise, but I am not such an optimist, and I've never had much use for that particular underlying significance. To be completely honest, however, I will admit to occasional thoughts as of late, of almost being tempted, but I am all but convinced that even should everything fall into place, we'll be caught by the temporal realities, it will be too late to do anything.
Interaction with someone else's close friends is always revealing. Not only do you have a chance to see what kind of person makes it to the other's innermost circle, but the truth about speech patterns, phrases, use of endearments and such becomes evident. I am again reminded that I have an unusual perspective on the use of words; I cannot in all reasonableness hold others to this standard. In our society, words are basically empty shells exchanged as symbolic tokens, rendered devoid of the greater meaning and truth. It can hardly be surprising to find that that they are interchangeable.
Three months in Ithaca. Three months away from home, the kitties, himself. And not to actually DO anything, but simply to construct the RFP for a project that may never be realized. This kind of work in the NY Metro area, and I'd jump. A month in Ithaca and I'd jump, but three months in an apartment or hotel? Alone on weekends in a strange town, or shuttling back for a day or two? Three months?! However unhappy I may now be professionally, that would certainly make me unhappy personally. I don't want to be that kind of road warrior.
After being sufficiently beaten upon by himself for not allowing for the fullness of all possibilities, I allow those in charge to put my name forth for the Ithaca project. I still don't see it happening -- meaning how to do the assignment and be happy, personally -- , but perhaps the point is to not see that now, but just see where it goes. I dread the thought that if it is three months to complete the RFP, what would happen if they got the project? Would they want me back in Ithaca, and for how long that time?!?
I don't make the traditional New Year's resolutions; I never have. I do try to envision the life I would like to have, think about pathways to help make it happen, become real. For the first time in many years, I seem to have a clear vision of what I want in that wished-for life, and more astonishingly, it would appear that things are developing and I am moving toward that life. Looking back at this year in review, although it was very rough at times, I have made a lot of progress toward both short and long-term goals. Slainte!
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