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As this New Year begins, I wanted a way to encourage myself to write more, and this seems like the perfect place – 100 words each and every day. There is an old wives’ tale that says that whatever you do on the first day of the New Year is what you will be doing a lot of all year long, so you had best choose your New Year’s activities wisely. My day so far has been all that I wanted it to be, but I still have a few things to do yet. Next I’m off to ride my horse.
Another day almost over. I hate my job. I will be moving, as soon as I find a new job, to another city in this state. To a place out in "the country" where I can fall asleep without hearing the constant drone of the freeway or the sound of my neighbor playing what sounds like a pipe organ. I will be able to breathe air that doesn't stink of car exhaust. I will be able to hear birds and the neighbor's dog will think she lives in my house. I can't wait for my life to get good again.
This week is dragging on. The chaos of the Holiday is over and I just want to sleep. Having a day off in the middle of the week is just too hard. Having two weeks in a row with a day off in the middle of the week has just thrown my internal clock all out of whack. I want a job where I can work at home, even through the Holiday, in my jammies, with toast crumbs on my shirt, a cup of tea at my elbow, and a crazy Siamese cat getting in my way at every turn.
I’ve been packing up my life today. I need to purge the crap and only keep what I truly love. Only those things that I can’t live without shall come with me to the new house. This is my vow. If it sucks, it’s going in the trash or to GoodWill. I just can’t take living in so much clutter any more. Of course, it does help that the new house is quite a bit larger. I will at last have my very own fiber studio and I may hang a sign on the door that says, “no boys allowed.”
I am so tired today. Moving takes so much out of me, both physically and emotionally. I am stuck between worlds, neither here nor there, with ties to both places. Only a job stands between this crazy schizophrenic life and bliss. Or terror. Will I get a good enough job? Will M. settle down and just enjoy our new, quieter life? Will we survive the transition? Are we doing the right thing? Will this move kill our relationship? Will I ever feel secure enough to quit questioning every comment, every glance, every mood swing? Should I just quit trying now?
I don't know how this will turn out. M. won't speak to H. H. won't speak to anyone. I'm stuck in the middle. Counseling or not? Who decides? I was the same at 13, but not so belligerent – I had my nose in a book until the world slowed down enough for me to hop on. I don't know what to do. Whatever I do is wrong, no matter how right I think I might be. I want to reach a place in my life where I don't have to second guess myself, and where no one else will either.
I am pleasantly shocked anew each time I take the time to clean out my vacuum cleaner. Just when I think that I’ll have to pony up big bucks to get a new one, I get out the screwdriver one last time to see if I can revive the poor machine. So far I have been successful. I have suction again! My floors will again be free of toast crumbs and cat hair. I am able to fix a mechanical object without the use of testosterone. I am woman, hear me roar! I am inordinately pleased with the smallest things.
One of my New Year's resolutions was to get in touch with old friends. I sent out some Holiday cards with my new name and addy and waited for a response. I heard from a friend from the town I used to live in. Her son committed suicide almost 2 years ago. I met him a couple of times. He was troubled, but it's still a waste. Makes me wonder, as a Mom, if my son has the potential to take his own life someday. What convinces a person that his life is just unbearable? I can't imagine her loss.
Have I said that I hate my job? I am trapped in a cube for 9 hours a day, regurgitating the ideas of others until I feel like my brain is atrophying. This place does not encourage individual thought. Anything outside of the box is a threat. It's not even worth it to try to think while in this air conditioned hell. I am cold, bored, I ache from my head to my ankles from a desk that is not ergonomically suited to my body. No one cares as long as the deadline is met. I am a deadline pro.
I don't cry. What I mean to say is, I don't cry like other people cry. Most people (I think) cry often, and it's over with and they feel better and move on with their life. When I cry, it's a gut-wrenching, breath taking spectacle that leaves me feeling, not relieved, or even better, but totally wiped out and stomped upon. My face swells, I can't speak coherently, my nose runs like it will never stop. I cry about 3 times a year, almost at the same time, and it hurts just as much each time. Why do I bother?
I am so tired of not being good enough. It doesn’t matter at what; I’d just once like to be “good enough”. To not be criticized, not be ridiculed, even in a gentle, loving manner. To be just good enough to pass muster. Good enough to not be judged. Good enough that I don’t need to be corrected or redirected. Good enough that the way I do things would be accepted. I don’t need great or wonderful or perfect. Just good enough. Just once before I die I’d like for someone to find me good enough. I’d be happy then.
One more day, and a little closer to the big move. I’m looking forward to it, but also scared out of my mind. If this doesn’t work out, I don’t know what I’ll do. I can’t keep making bad decisions forever, can I? There has to come a time when I do something right, don’t you think? M. is wonderful, I know that’s right. It’s the whole job thing. If I can’t make enough to pay my bills, I will need to get two jobs. I’ll schedule meetings next Monday with potential employers. I hope one of them likes me.
January is turning out to be a depressing month for me. I have nothing positive to say these days, and that bothers me. A lot. I feel totally wiped and gray. I wish I had been born a bear – then I could hibernate past these cold wet days and wake again with the sun in Spring. Unfortunately, I was not born a bear and so I have to suck it up and try to be nice to all of the assholes and losers that I'm surrounded by all day. Or, am I the loser and I just don't know it?
So tomorrow I have this meeting. I am so not looking forward to it. I mean, I'm leaving as soon as I can get even a nibble of a better job in or near Sweet Home, but they don't know that here yet, so I have to be quiet and go along like a good little drone when all I really want to do is stand up and say, "Learn to speak proper English, you white trash bitch! While you're at it, learn to draw, too!" I'm afraid that would get me fired and I wouldn't get a good reference…
Rode my horse last night. I hurt today, although I did not fall off. Damn creature has a very well-defined opinion about how life should be. Namely, he should be left alone in a green pasture unless he wants to be petted and generally fawned over, at which time I should appear and treat him like the king he is, brushing his coat until it shines and lavishing treats on him. The reality is that he is 1300 pounds of hay-burning attitude that needs to give me $300 worth of entertainment value each month or be turned into dog food.
How does the little Chihuahua feel in "Mommy's" shopping cart, surrounded by potential purchases, shivering (with cold, or fear?) and making little chuffing noises that might pass for barks in Lilliputt? Does he know how stupid and freakish he looks, with his big eyes and stand-up ears, pacing back and forth, trying to look tough, when no one who looks at him sees him as anything but what he is – a toy? It's hard to look tough when you're only 6 inches tall and you shiver uncontrollably all the time and your "Mommy" calls you things like Snookums and Itsy…
When I first heard of this little venture and again when I decided to sign up, I was so sure that every day I would have some wonderful thing to say, some ironic little twist of words that I could put out there in this limited format that would make me seem profound and worldly and special to hordes of readers who would worship me forever more. I would become famous in cyber space. The sad reality is that I'm just ordinary and I don't always have anything worthwhile to say, to the world at large, or even to myself.
I am amazed at how stupid I feel sometimes. Isn't it surprising how the people around you make you feel? M. is quite a bit more intelligent than I am. I don't dispute that fact. Sometimes he makes me feel like a total idiot. It seems that he is always thinking of every possible outcome to every single thing going on around him. It makes me crazy. It makes me wonder why I don't think of all of those things. I suppose that I would, eventually. Or is it that those outcomes are just not important to me? I wonder.
If M. is more intelligent than I am and makes me feel incredibly slow (and I know that I'm not a moron) how truly slow must the people that I work with every day be? Not all of them, of course, but a few of them seem so surprised at the things I say sometimes, and I am just stating what I see to be the obvious truth. It makes me sad and brings home "the dumbing down of America". And that makes me wonder at the sharpness of my son, who seems too lazy to have an independent thought.
I think that my short term memory is shot. I can't remember conversations that M. says we had. I can remember other conversations with other people just fine. I think. Is it because I just have too much crap crammed into my brain, or is it because I really don't want to hear what he has to say? What if I don't want to take his advice? What if I really want to do things my way? What if I don't care that my legs hurt the next day, and even relish the pain in a sick sort of way?
They refuse to lay me off at work. I really wanted to get some unemployment and have some time to look for a new job in the new town with less pressure to make money. I feel stressed and anxious. I've gained 12 pounds. I've started smoking (albeit in secret) again. I really would like to have a girlfriend to confide in, but I don't. Is it terrible that I don't share my deepest fears with M.? Is it terrible that I probably wouldn't share my deepest fears with anyone? Does that make me "abnormal", or do I need therapy?
My neighbor is going off the deep end. He's been heading that way for a long time, and I think it's a chronic problem that the State monitors. He calls in bomb threats. He shouts things in the parking lot. He shouts while walking up and down the driveway. At first, I wrote this all off as eccentric, but harmless, behavior. Last night he threatened my son through the window of our apartment. His shouting now contains my name and my son's name. He's in the process of being evicted. He has two registered firearms. Now it's personal. I'm scared.
Where do we draw the line to keep people who are mentally unstable out of the "mainstream"? My neighbor kept me up most of the night with his noise. It sounded like he was using a spoon to tunnel through the bathroom wall into my apartment. He exhibits a lot of bizarre behavior in public and the police know him by name and remind him to take his meds every time they see him. Should this man be allowed to live alone? He is threatening and I don't know if he might be dangerous. Is there a place for him?
I am a total wreck over this neighbor thing. The news is that he is in custody. I have no way to verify that. That I don’t know his last name or D.O.B is proving to be a hindrance to any action I might be able to take. Can you believe that if the police AND sheriff are keeping this creep under surveillance, I need to know his vitals? The authorities know he is a problem, and yet I can’t get a Stalking Order because I don’t know his last name? Do I have to bleed to get some reaction?
I taught my first knitting class on Saturday. It went okay, despite pattern screw-ups by the knit shop and a diverse crowd of students. I think that one woman was not satisfied, but the other 7 went away happy, if a little overwhelmed. Note to self: next time make it much more simple and bring the patterns yourself. I felt bad that the knit shop dropped the ball, and will have to talk to the owner. If it is a regular occurrence, I'm done with teaching there and will look elsewhere. It is a lucrative way to spend a Saturday…
A totally frazzled day. M. thinks we won't be able to make the new house work. The physical labor is proving to be too much for one person, and I don't know enough (having never had a house with a real garden and trees to manage) to pick up and *do* stuff without being told what needs to be done, and M. doesn't operate that way. I feel guilty being inside doing stuff while he's outside, with a sore back, on a ladder, pruning apple trees. Granted, we only have one ladder and one set of pruning shears, but still…
Monday again. While I am happy that I finally got a full night's sleep in my own bed, I wish I didn't have to be at work. This place bores me to tears, but it does have a fast ‘net connection and my cube has some measure of privacy. I dyed some wool and stayed up too late last night spinning it for an exchange, so I'm operating on autopilot today. Not that anyone will notice. I'll let visions of new dye experiments and knitting projects dance in my head while I regurgitate the ideas of someone else onto paper…
Today is much better. I'm not caught up on my sleep yet, and M. feels that the situation with Thomas is not over, but it feels good to know that if he shows up on the property he will be arrested for trespass. Now if only Harley would straighten up and fly right, life would be just grand. What is it about 13 year old boys that makes them feel the need to buck authority at every turn? Homework is not that hard. Chores take but a few minutes. I'm tired of being a Nazi. I just want some peace.
I've always wondered just where we get our habits. Did my mother always dry me off as a small child, fresh from the bath, with a scruffing of the hair, working her way down, back last, like I do today? If so, why don't I remember? And why have I always done it this way, rather than troubling myself to try something new or even to think about it. M. says that we should all strive not to be "victims of habit". Now he has me analyzing just about everything that I do, wondering if the routine is even mine.
I spend way too much time online. I am neglecting my "real" job. Not that it matters – I can still draw circles around these hacks and waste half the day – but someone is bound to notice soon. You see, I don't have DSL at home, so it's a tedious process to get logged on and there are a million other things to do while I'm there, so it's just easier and faster to log on at work. I know it's bad, but it's not an addiction. I can stop any time I want to. I just don't want to. Yet.
A whole month of writing here at 100 words, and not a single profound word. This became a sort of diary about my day-to-day crap and a little whining. I vow to make next month all about the things I see around me. Notes to those that I deal with every day or see on my commute, those in the grocery store or at the bus stop. Things that I would never say out loud but can't help but think quietly to myself, trying not to stare or let my thoughts be too transparent on my face. I'll be better.
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