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This month is usually the worst for me – the skies are gray and it rains almost constantly, making me depressed and anxious for no good reason. This year is no different, except that my fatigue is greater with the move and the stress of my job. This month it's all about me. It's time I take some time out for the things that I truly want to do, time to see if I can get a design business off the ground and stop feeding at the trough of the corporate paycheck. If I can get started, momentum will carry me.
It seems so simple on paper – write patterns, chart designs, knit a prototype, photograph it, put a package together, and then publish it to the web. Should make a million bucks without having to do much else. Hah! I seem to have much more creativity than time, and no ready cash to invest in sample knitters. Submitting swatches to the magazines would be impossible, as they have very tight deadlines and this full time job takes more time and energy than I really have to spare. I am exhausted all the time. My youthful energy has fled. I feel ancient.
To top it all off, I have a family and a horse and a huge garden to plant in a couple of weeks. I'm trapped here in the Big City while I search for a job in a tiny town and my life feels like it's on hold. I seem to be frozen by indecision, doubt, and fear. Which path to take? I could just quit my job and work my ass off designing and hope that I can pay next month's bills, but the very thought of not having a plan makes me hyperventilate. I'm not good at improvising.
I've been surfing the web (while I should be working) looking for a job in my field every day for weeks. There just isn't anything within a reasonable commute from Sweet Home. Changing careers is an option, but I get paid very well for what I do, and I'm very good at it. I really don't see myself working behind the counter at the Feed Store during the day and at the Dairy Queen at night, which wouldn't come close to paying enough to keep me afloat. I am firmly between a rock and a hard place. Nowhere to go.
What I really want is to sleep in, wake next to M., have a hot breakfast and then begin a leisurely day filled with all of my favorite things – riding my horse, gardening, knitting, spinning, walking in the woods, playing with the dog, surfing the web, designing, etc., followed by a long nap in the afternoon, a wonderful dinner cooked by M., a long soak in a bubble bath and a restful night's sleep. In my fantasy world, someone would come by once a month with a case full of cash and tell me to enjoy myself with this money.
I've been submitting applications to every job opening that is even remotely similar to something that I feel I *might* qualify for. No call backs yet. I'm getting depressed over the whole thing. It's sad that I have no personal references, either. I mean, I have no social life to speak of, so any references would have to be co-workers, and some applications say that personal references can't be co-workers. How can I deal with that? How would a "friend" know what my work ethic is? Should I include a letter from Mom? I *have* worked with her, after all…
I really don't think that the whole "personal references" thing is a good idea. How do I know what a "friend" would say? If I've never worked with them, but they have visited my apartment, then all they know is that I am a pack rat with questionable cleaning habits. How would that look to a potential employer? They would also know that I have some rather arcane hobbies that I practice to near obsession and that I am addicted to the ‘net. Not good things for a prospective employer to find out before I'm even hired…I am so screwed.
I am also a procrastinator (I'm writing this on the 11th). Again, not something that a prospective employer wants to hear. I could have M. write me a letter of recommendation, I have worked with him (that's how we met, in fact), but I would think that the opinion of a lover would carry little weight with a potential employer. Maybe I'm wrong. Old friends have moved away or we've lost touch. I'm years out of school, so teachers won't do. Maybe I need to get out more. I could ask strangers to write me a letter of recommendation. Maybe.
Today is my little sister's birthday. She's two years younger than I am. We are not close, despite living only ½ hour apart. She often goes past my apartment on her way to Mom's for the weekend. She never stops by or calls to come visit. I've never seen her house, and I've only met her roommate once. It seems sad sometimes. I did call her – she had to work, so was not having the best birthday, but she seems always to be working some odd shift or other. Sometimes I wish we could make more time for each other.
Monday again. Sent out another application. I just want to be out of here! I won't obsess today, I'll just let it go. Maybe. I'm bored to tears at my current job, and dreaming of my new house and a career change. The new kitchen cabinets have been painted and are awaiting doors and hardware. That's where I really want to be, not here in this dingy cube regurgitating someone else's ideas. The pay is good, though. If only my soul got the same nourishment that my checking account gets. I feel totally drained at the end of the day.
I am having a very hard time concentrating on work. Tonight I need to go see my horse. I have a lot of work to do with him before the move, or it will be a total disaster. He pushes fences, so miles of electrical wires will need to be installed. He is not trustworthy outside of the arena – or is it all me, as I suspect it might be? Perhaps I am the one who needs work and lessons and more training. There are good trainers in my area, but I don't have the time to search one out.
Another busy week half over. I am almost too tired for words, but I went knitting anyway. I have to make as many connections in the fiber world as I can in the hope of making my little business take off before I go totally broke (yeah, that already happened, but I'm in denial) or totally crazy working for "the man." My apartment is looking like no one lives there these days since I've been putting everything in boxes and hiding it in closets – kinda like I feel – not empty, but all the good stuff is hidden behind closed doors.
I had a dream the other night that really disturbed me. M.'s reaction to that dream disturbed me even more, but I didn't say anything at the time. I was just too shocked to start a discussion. Besides, I had to leave for work in 15 minutes. I've been mulling it over, and I'm not sure what bothers me more – the fact that the dream seemed to be telling me that I want another child (insane!) or that M. would be willing to entertain the idea, which means that his emphatic denial a year ago was not the whole truth.
I do not really want a child. I really want a dog. And more time to do the things that are important to me. I want less tension in my life. I want to take a long bubble bath every single day. I want to not have to worry about money. I want a job that doesn't make my hands hurt. I want recognition, maybe even fame. I want to be able to control my blushing. I want to trade bodies with someone interesting. I want to have control of my life. I want to be able to read thoughts.
Another trip to the SH house. This commute is killing me – the better part of 2 hours in a squeaking, bouncing truck are not good for my back or my disposition. And at the end of the trip we unload stuff, put it away and work on food. The chores are endless, and are made worse by the fact that we have only half of this day and half of the next. I can't wait until we live here full time. The wait is killing me. I don't know where I'll wake up on any given day. Find a job.
Home again. I hate this apartment. I hate the neighbor's dog that shits on my doormat. I hate the rain that was pouring from the sky when the truck pulled up. I hate that the bathroom is not properly vented so that mildew grows over the tub. I hate brown carpet and cheap paint. I hate suspicious neighbors who would as soon shoot you as say a simple "Good morning." I hate the sight of the dumpster right outside. I hate the litter and filth and pollution of this city. I long for my house in the country and peace.
Today is my Mom's birthday. Her father was also born on St. Patrick's day. I am not a devoted daughter. I don't call every other day to fill her in on my life or drive up to spend the weekend. I don't arrange to meet for lunch when she comes to the "Big City." I hate family gatherings, but I do love my family. Mostly. I'm the black sheep, the daughter who would rather be a hermit than travel in a pack of people who share DNA. I don't vacation with family. I did send her a funny card, though.
Today I made an appointment with a clinical psychologist. Things are just getting out of hand with H. and I see no way to get around this little "phase" than to get someone impartial involved. M. will be pleased that I finally gave in and admitted that the boy needs help expressing himself. M. has decided that when things are getting tense he will just remove himself until the episode blows over. This is not the way to have a peaceful home. I won't have them hiding from each other. The whole thing makes me crazy. I want peace, too.
With the threat of war looming, M. has become melancholy and won't talk to me. With all of the strain at home, we are not communicating. It makes me too sad for words. This man who is the most emotional and communicative of any person I have ever known has shut me out. Now I know how he feels. I know that I sometimes just need my own space and time to quiet the voice within, but having it reflected back at me is very painful. He has regrets and fears, as do I, and I wish we could share.
To my new neighbors: I'm sure that your kid is really cute and well-behaved under normal circumstances. The stomping, banging, crashing and jumping on the stairs in the middle of the night is beyond "reasonable" noise in an apartment situation, and I won't tolerate it. I realize that your sleep patterns may be disrupted with the move and the new place and all, but it's been a couple of weeks. If your household does not sleep at night, stay the fuck downstairs and be quiet! If you are a day sleeper, you have noticed that my apartment is blissfully quiet…
To the new neighbors: Why in the hell do you let your 3-year-old little girl run amok? When my son was 3, I was totally on top of him. He never "got away" from me. He never spent the night running up and down the stairs or watching movies while I slept on in total ignorance. He never stayed up all night destroying things or letting the dog outside to cruise the streets. It seems to me like maybe you should spend a little more time managing your child (and your dog) and less complaining about how busy you are.
Day three of the War. With all of the protests going on all over the world it's a wonder there aren't riots in the streets. I am not interested in politics although I do vote (if you don't vote, don't bitch). I am not in favor of this war. I am woefully misinformed, but my view is that it's all about a bully (Bush) not liking someone (didn't we put Hussein in power?) and deciding to get rid of them, trampling innocents all along the way. Where are our Special Forces? A single shot would take care of the problem.
I am sick and tired of all of the war coverage. On the one hand, I know that people want to know that their soldiers are safe, but I really don't need a blow-by-blow accounting interspersed with commentary on every shot fired and debate about who is justified. It's like a train wreck and I fear that way too many people are becoming involved more than is healthy. There is nothing I can do, and I don't want to be assaulted via TV, radio and print in all it's forms about something that I can't change or even argue about.
What is an army for? Breaking things and killing people, nothing more. I really doubt that the US will liberate Iraq. They (I have a hard time saying "we" here) will likely install a puppet leader and continue to rape the land for oil and tell the people that they are so lucky to be "free" and protected by the might of the US. I don't approve of Saddam, and I condemn the things that he has done to his people, but is Bush any better? If you ask me, there will be an exchange of one bully for another.
To Mel: You really should let that chip on your shoulder go. Even talking about spraying pepper spray on protestors who might slow you down is over the top. I don't know why you are so angry, but you really need to find a resolution. We grew up in the same house, endured the same crap, but I've let it go. I refuse to become a product of my environment and I refuse to lay the blame for my unhappiness on a troubled childhood. Grow up, take responsibility for your own happiness and move on. A good fuck might help.
To C.: I know you've been here a long time, and people were happy to see you come back, but you annoy the hell out of me. I detest Mark & Brian, and if I have to listen to it for much longer I will commit an act of vandalism that will make your stupid little head explode in fear. There is an office policy that states you can listen to music, but you have to use headphones so as not to disturb those around you. Everyone else does, why not you? Are you so special that rules don't apply?
I am sick to death of people giving me condescending advice. Sometimes I just want to rant. I know that there is not a thing I can do to change the situation, but just complaining out loud makes some of the crap go away. Is that so hard to understand? Men are the worst offenders – women just sometimes need to vent, we don't want you to step in and solve the problem, and we don't want you to talk down to us like we're total idiots. I am capable of making a decision – I need to vent about it first.
To Big Dave: Thanks for the lawn mow. We appreciate it, even if you only did it so that the whole area looks better. I think you are lawn obsessed, but it takes all kinds, right? I love your dog, and am scheming to figure out a way to make her mine without causing a neighborhood scandal. Since our house is already her "second home," it shouldn't be hard to convince her to stay. The problem will come when you want her back. She fits in here. If I feed her better kibble, will she desert you? I hope so.
What a wonderful day! Finally some sun after weeks of cold, gray, wet skies. I love this time of year – my mood lifts and I finally feel alive again. Moving firewood to make room for a barn is hard work, but with the sun beating down and the sound of birds, who cares? My aching muscles make me feel like I'm really getting something worthwhile done for a change. A nap would have been the perfect end to the afternoon, but I'll settle for stir-fry and a big cup of hot tea, especially when made by someone who loves me.
To Dale: I was reminded of you the other day. It's amazing that after 8 years of marriage and a rather nasty separation that I don't think of you more. The fact is you are totally forgettable. I don't regret leaving – I only wish I had done it sooner. Maybe if I had I'd be in a different place today and counseling wouldn't be necessary. Then again, maybe I wouldn't be where I am today – happy with who I am and where I'm going, secure in a wonderful relationship. Fuck you. I hope the rest of your life is miserable.
The boy is back from Grandma's and I hear he actually behaved like a real human for the whole weekend! Amazing! The rest of the time he is sullen, moody and depressed, interspersed with bouts of anger, screaming, tears and confrontation. What a roller coaster ride we're on. I can only do my best and try not to choke some sense into him or pull out all of my hair. Being a Mom is hard! I only hope that someday I will be rewarded by being able to say of my grandchildren, "He's just like you were at that age!"
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