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At times in the last few weeks I forgot that Mercury is in retrograde. Then I get smacked in the face with a mucked-up communication issue and I remember that little fact. Thereís just over a week to go and this pass will be over, and I cannot wait. Lengthy business travel during retrograde is just a bad idea; I will do my best to avoid it in the future. But for now, I am home again, no plans to go anywhere for the next few weeks. And my butt sure hurts from all that sitting in meetings and planes.
Iím droopy after the travel. It almost doesnít matter what time you get home, after the better part of two weeks on the road, youíre tired. I would like to be sitting home today, but Iím in the office today and tomorrow morning. Thereís work to be done and I donít want to chew up PTO just to recover, I want to be able to enjoy my hard-earned time off. I will slog though today and count on the last Summer Hours Friday to get me through to three and a half days off. I should be recovered by then.
The ringy-dingy clocks have finally made an appearance in the house. This week G brought down his shipís bells clocks, and some others that make noise of their own. They arenít all turned on right now, in deference to she who sleeps so lightly, and theyíre spread out over the two floors so that one isnít bombarded at night in the bedroom. It is nice to occasionally just ďhear the timeĒ as youíre puttering around the house, doing chores, whatever. Depending on the ambient noise level, they can be so unobtrusive that the time just barely registers in your consciousness.
I donít want to go the neighborís party. The reasons are simple: the food will be mediocre, the band will be loud and I am still not over my forced socialization experience from the last two weeks. Of course, with it taking place directly next door, with live music, Iím going essentially be at the party even if Iím in my own house. Thereís a reason we donít socialize much with any of the neighbors Ė we have different life interests. While I detest small talk, thereís not much else once you learn what the kids are up to these days.
Up early this morning despite last nightís festivities, I enjoyed the quietness that surrounded the house. The neighbors were still all tucked in their beds after a late night, and the streets were somewhat devoid of cars. I love this time of day when you have sunshine brightness combined with such quiet stillness, it is almost as if youíre alone in the world. Wait a few minutes and youíll have evidence that you arenít alone, but it is a nice momentary illusion. Still, Iíd like to live somewhere a little more sparsely populated, where the illusion had a longer lifespan.
Although I had noticed the MLS sheet from the new construction house being used as a bookmark, and the occasional lingering glance at the picture, I wasnít really sure how much he liked it after the fact. Itís really easy to get excited about a house when youíre standing in it, but a week later you might not feel the same way, youíve had a chance to realize the flaws. Then he asked Ė in a way seeking confirmation - if we were staying, the new construction house would be perfect, if we could get it for a decent price, right?
Iíve always found it difficult to get up when thereís an alarm set. The mere of the alarm, indicating I need to be up, functional, and probably somewhere other than home by a specific, inflexible time Ė well, it just ruins the process of waking up for me. As a result, I donít want to wake up, even if Iíve already opened my eyes a few times. It is amazing that I can get up at approximately the same time on a weekend with relative ease (maybe a few grumbles) but if Iím going off to work, it requires significant effort.
I am sure none of these sayings are anything new under the sun, that theyíve all been around for ages, but several of them I hadnít heard before. I do consider them mantras to live by and will post them by my desk:
I used to be an adult before I grew up.
Reality is for people who lack imagination.
Never let your sense of morals interfere with doing the right thing.
Life is too important to be taken seriously.
To achieve the impossible all you have to do is to attempt the absurd.
Thank you for the reminder, Rob.
I like the doctor well enough, he doesnít give me such a hard time about my weight, but I donít know if I can deal with the schedule at a teaching hospital. Maybe it will be better since heís a third year resident with hopes for another contract (making him an attending?) next year, so heíll be around for a while, not gone in a year, and with him there are no consults required to finalize diagnosis or get prescriptions written. Getting to the doctorís office from home is much further than I want to drive when Iím really sick.
This will be a mini vacation, two days of local fun and relaxation, plus a Sunday for getting those necessary chores completed. We certainly got off to a great start in the North Fork, finally stopping at Wickham's before heading on to Greenport, where we hit the mother lode of the best fried chicken at Salamander. Finally figuring out that they close for the winter, we stocked up, bringing home three full fried chickens most of which will be frozen immediately. Driving back in a car redolent of peaches, raspberries and fried chicken was a unique, simultaneous torment and pleasure.
We loaded up the car at the Gatehouse in no time and decided to head across county to Lyndhurst. It was a bit of a disappointment this year; many of the vendors were executing the same ideas and had nearly identical items. Especially given that fact, I was delighted that the jeweler who designs the unusual pearl earrings was in attendance, and even happier that I actually liked the smaller earrings better than the larger, more expensive earrings. I was prepared to buy them myself, but G took the opportunity to get a future gift he knows I will love.
Lately, there have been several more serious than not conversations about buying and running a B & B. Both of us would prefer not work for anyone else in the future, and a B&B seems to suit us. That means I am now off and running in my research mode, digging up massive amounts of information, getting books from the library, looking at various B&Bs for sale online, using Google maps go figure out how many other B&Bs are in that neighborhood. Interestingly, there are not nearly as many B&Bs for sale as there were in the winter of '08/'09.
Yarn Harlot set up monthly sock project bags so that she can just grab and go when she needs a new project. I like the idea and Iíve been trying to swatch and make some final decisions on the disposition of some of my stash so I can set up project bags for sweaters, scarves, whatever seems right for the yarn. I may have managed NaKniSweMoDo last year, but thereís no way I will knit a new sweater every month. With some careful planning, I do hope to complete something every month moving forward, between WIPs and some new projects.
I have been thinking a lot recently about the reasons I write, both here and in other places/spaces. I am not a writer by trade, training or profession. I write for the same reason I bake, listen to and play music, knit, and garden: I need to express something. Sometimes I use this particular space just to get something off my chest, a rant; sometimes I manage somewhat articulate expressions of the ďunbearable lightnessĒ or darkness of being. Sometimes, I try to capture that inexpressible bit of a particular memory I want to hold on to as long as possible.
I really have to figure out this discipline thing all over again. But it all boils down to the same thing: ďMotivation, whatís my motivation?Ē Really, just what is my motivation? I may feel compelled to do something or know in an abstract, intellectual way I should be doing X or Y, but if I canít find an honest, personal motivation for doing it, it ainít gonna happen. And finding any true, meaningful motivation for most of the stuff that is currently on my infamous list is proving difficult. Even for the stuff that used to be easy to do.
Iím very worried Ė I seem to have lost the file of September words. I canít find it anywhere on my home computer. I posted a few days to the site already, but I know I have written words at home. I know there are a few days on my computer at work but I donít understand what could have happened to the file on my home computer Ė there was no September words file, not even an empty one. So now I try to re-create the missing days, approximately ten of them? Iím not giving in and doing stupid placeholder entries.
Miss Leo decided to make a break for freedom after seven years of being an indoor cat. She dashed off the porch as I was closing the porch door behind me and took off, slow at first, and then picking up speed. Even with Geoffrey joining in the chase, she quickly got away from us and ran into the wilds at the back of the property. After much nailbiting and tromping through neighborsí yards, we eventually saw her again, cowering alongside a tree at the edge of our property and Geoffrey was able to retrieve her, one very scared kitty.
It was like looking at my life through a kaleidoscope. Trying to make enough room for the last bits of stuff from the Gatehouse that will be coming in the next two weeks, we opted to put more shelving units in the basement rather than renting storage space. Trying to consolidate and start the inevitable disposal process, I began going through the boxes I hastily put together two years ago, along with boxes that have been sitting downstairs for a decade, I got random glimpses of my former self, fractured pieces of history, both the nearly forgotten and dearly held.
I woke up too early this morning, at 5:00 a.m., and just could not get back to sleep. The ringy-dingy bells going off every half hour in the guest room (which I can normally sleep through) kept me from sinking back into sleep, so I just gave up and got up at 6:00 a.m. It made for a long day, mostly productive, and yet relaxing, not a frenzy of activity. This used to be the typical pace of my weekends. I nearly completed my to-do list for the weekend, an amazing concept. Going to sleep tonight should be very easy.
Priorities. We all have them. Very few of them are constant, they shift and morph and it is to be expected. And very few of our priorities are well understood by others. So I shouldnít be surprised when through the course of events it becomes clear that Iíve mistaken the priority. What does concern me is that I still donít understand what the priority actually is; the priority that is suggested by these events to be is so ludicrous that I cannot accept it. Yet I donít see how to interpret them differently. I must somehow still be missing information.
I have decided to spend as much of today as possible doing the things that I want to be doing in the next year. Iím listening to great new music, ensuring I have an income (by going to work!), gardening, knitting, maybe Iíll even get some baking done. Iíll try to be at peace with the world and myself today. I am not entirely sure what the next year will bring but I do hope that it will see some major changes, that the holding pattern will be broken and life will begin to take a new shape and direction.
Finding new music that I really enjoy has always been tough, but the last few years it is nearly impossible, so while still at work I listen to the music that Helene sent to me. The different bands have a similar sound and vibe, not one that is my favorite (at this time) but one that I could listen to in the background more easily than most of what plays on the radio these days. I am trying to listen to more music and am transitioning my vinyl and tape collection to CD, but something completely new would be nice.
It is a small thing that made me happy today. Writing a Statement of Work for a contract job is difficult, because it needs to be precise enough to allow someone to gauge the effort required and then budget for the work at a fixed price, yet vague enough to allow for all the things that we donít know yet because the final product for the whole project hasnít been clearly defined. Most of the SOWs Iíve written in the past needed a lot of rework by Boss Lady, but today I wrote one that only needed tweaking, not re-writing.
Iíve been looking forward to the Rhinebeck trip for nearly a year now, and went to some lengths to get us a nice room with the intention it would be something of a getaway for both of us, a retreat. Rhinebeck looks to be our only trip away this year, and it is only a long weekend. Given that Iíve been away on business so much recently, and that we had such a sucky summer with heat and humidity, I have particularly been looking forward to the weekend trip and exploring with Geoffrey; never mind the yarn aspects of it.
I spent the day Ė or so it seems Ė trying to knit six inches on the front of a sweater. Trying to mirror the shaping on the completed side. Realizing the lace was asymmetric and so it could not ever be an exact mirror to the other side. Hoping not to have to rip out four inches, but doing it anyway in the end - twice! It was frustrating, but nothing like the frustration of having a finished sweater that I wonít wear because all I see are the flaws. I finally got it right in time to go to bed.
I donít know how many times Iíve made this scone recipe, but today I finally got it right. Maybe it was using the full 8 tablespoons of butter. Maybe it was the baking powder that was opened just before I scooped out a tablespoon for the recipe. Maybe I held my mouth just right (thatís a big one in family lore!). Whatever it was, it did the trick: they are golden, soft, buttery, slightly shaggy, and about 2 inches at the high point. I know theyíll be gone in about three days, but thatís as long as theyíll be good.
A day of planning, thinking about the future at work. Three hours of meetings about who works what project and should we hire this guy or not. There doesnít seem to be any way out of my particular overload, but by April, things should even out. Assuming Iím there in April. Iíve been thinking about the comment G made about switching places, and yes, Iíd like to give it a shot. Iíd be happy going back down to 4 days a week, but several things have to happen first, and at the moment there donít seem to be any prospects.
Caught in LaGuardia for hours amidst a maelstrom of activity as frustrated passengers shuffle from gate to gate, desperate to get on a plane, any plane, I tried to shut it all out by knitting. The multiple gate announcements coming from overhead about weather delays competed with the blaring TVs, so much so that it was impossible to have a phone conversation or think straight, but once I got settled on the pattern, I just knit and knit, ignoring the world around me. By the time we landed in Dayton, I was halfway through the planned length of the shawl.
I am really enjoying having a smart phone on business travel, especially when Iím stuck in an airport (I blogged yesterday about the shawl progress, complete with photos!) and, yes, I even caught myself in that bad behavior Ė checking email in a boring meeting. And when it is too dark to knit in the car home, I can use the phone catch up on whatís going on, rather than having to wait until Iím home. I havenít yet transferred all prior capability from my Palm: I still canít believe that a notepad app isnít part of the basic app package.
The last two days have left me bone tired but I haul myself to the office and put in a solid dayís work. I discover that I donít have to travel to DC next week, someone else will go Ė happy, happy, joy, joy! When I get home thereís even better news as my reward: closing date for the Gatehouse has been set for next Tuesday. Just five days left and a tremendous burden will be lifted from us. Iím not thinking about what comes afterwards, I just want to the deal to be successfully concluded, no more stops and starts.
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