Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ok, so I lied about the sleeping in thing. I'm still in that OCD making lists of crap that I either REALLY have to do, or at least my reptilian brain tells me I REALLY need to do it. It's a crap shoot as to whether or not anything REALLY needs to be done at 3:00 AM, but there you have it.

Funny thing. I was reviewing my severance agreement, and they laid off the oldest two employees on the team. Almost makes me wonder. But then I know what we did for a living, and know the logic behind it all. Basically what keeps me from going all conspiracy theory on it is that they made the right decision for the situation. And that does kind of bite a bit.

Meh. I'll get over that though. There's always my URGENT work on my farm. On Facebook. Because that is very important...

Sweet Jebus.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yeah it's official.

Out the door. With a gentle nudge, a pat on the head, and some very nice farewell emails from people I have grown very fond of.

So something about tomorrow being the start of the rest of my life....sure.....

I do know I'll be sleeping in.
It's been a long time since I've been up in the middle of the night writing, instead of just rolling over and going back to sleep. But tomorrow looks like it's going to be a big day. I fully expect to have plenty of time in the near future to write a lot. A lot.

I had the pleasure of getting the odd calendar request for earlyish tomorrow morning. With my manager. When I connected the dots a bit, I also discovered that the HR director is in the room. This spells one thing. I am getting laid off tomorrow morning. My spidey senses were tingling all afternoon yesterday, and believe me- if I could deny this, I would.

There are a couple of things that make this a real shitty problem to have. First off, it definitely ends the house buying process. Since it is a short sale with a few more weeks to go before their bank signs off on it, we have time to get the hell out. That appears to be necessary. Sad though. It is such a nice house.

The other really shitty issue is the whole job hunt begins again. For those of you who played along at home the last time around, I know that I'm in a much better place, but it still sucks.

The interesting thing about where I currently work (until tomorrow AM, that is), is that there hasn't been a boatload of opportunity for me to advance anyway. That is the upside of this situation. It offers me a way out and up. They have this system, see. They provide you with a level. That level determines what your pay scale is, and stock awards, and certain other HR relevant things about you. My current level (again, until tomorrow AM), is rather low. Painfully so, actually. It inhibits hiring managers from considering me for positions that I would be quite good at. Because it is too much of a leap in levels for them.

But apparently that won't be an issue for me any more.

Now, because it is almost 2:00 AM, and I consumed the better part of a bottle of wine earlier this evening, I am feeling an odd sense of calm. Not despair. Not even close. It'll be sad as hell to say goodbye to the people with whom I have been working. I really, really like them. That was the part I enjoyed, and what got me out of bed in the morning with regularity. The job itself was rather a drag in the last few months, as it had devolved into a real grind. But the people have been lovely. I hope that at least a few of them remain in my life in some capacity.

I will miss the company itself. I have enjoyed being part of the environment. It's a surprisingly creative place in many ways. Yes there are the frustrations of dealing with a bureaucracy that is more firmly entrenched and larger than most small towns in Montana, but overall I have had so many opportunities to grow that the place provided. I cannot complain about that. I can't complain about the FABULOUS benefits package that I have had for all of these years. Free medical care is something I will miss tremendously. Luckily I am pretty healthy overall.

Sadly I was also supposed to start a new fitness regimen last night, with a personal trainer and everything. Since the company paid for the health club membership, I canceled out of that right quicklike. I'll just have to do with finding the motivation within. Or something.

But overall, it will be different. I have been lying in bed thinking my way through this. I have contacted a few friends who can assist in resume crafting, and who might have leads for me in the short term. I have been mentally listing friends who I can contact after I get the official news, and get further leads.

I have avoided posting anything on Facebook about this, as the main players in this drama are all there. They don't need to know diddly squat about what I have figured out. Let them lose some sleep over this too. I like them, just fine, as I totally understand that this isn't about me personally. But I still want it to be difficult all around. Changing a person's destiny, potentially for the worse should NEVER be easy.

I keep trying to figure out if I'll cry. Not yet. And yes, the wine has worn off. All that is left is a slight tummy ache. And wakefulness. I haven't had one of these kinds of nights in a very long time.

I guess to sum it up, it'll be an adventure, no?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Truly, I have been trying very hard not to make this a diary of my dissatisfaction. There is always something for me to bitch about. Check the archives, if you don't believe me. I just think it's boring after a while. Imagine being stuck in my OCD-inclined head, and listening to the same crap on lather-rinse-repeat cycle. I just doesn't end, just changes incrementally.

So interesting cycle though. Things HAVE to change for me to be happy. I can't just stay in the same place for an endless time. If I'm not learning something new, I get cranky.

Thus the current job scenario. It is secure. It isn't arduous. I DO make the least of the entire department of 130+ people, with no hope of that changing. Makes me a little tonky on occasion, but I can cope, as it's pretty cushy otherwise. But the boredom is starting to set in, folks. Thus the trouble emerges. I've got irons in the fire aplenty, but haven't followed up on those diligently, since we're in mid-house-purchase. Doesn't seem like the kind of thing a loan officer would really be pleased to deal with. Yeah, changing jobs might make that difficult.

But yes, it's time for a change. It is time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day of the Dead

This last year has been in many ways preoccupied by death. Death in its most tangible form, with the loss of several loved ones, and death in a metaphorical sense in the transformation of areas of our lives beyond recognition.

So traditionally tonight the veil between the worlds is supposed to be very thin, and communication between them can occur with relative ease. I am having a hard time deciding whether or not I would really want to have a conversation with my newly dead. There really isn't much to say to any of them, including the 16 year old cat we lost. Though it would be very nice to snuggle with him again for a while. But then it would be that much harder to say goodbye again. So that's not a great idea. My Grandmother left mentally so long ago that the final goodbye was merely a formality in a sense. I said what I needed to say to her a few weeks before she died, and have no real sense of unfinished business there.

My father-in-law had a more troubling death. I think it would be nice to say goodbye to him properly. I know that my husband would love to have one last conversation with him, as there wasn't any chance at all for them to talk. By the time that he had arrived to the hospital, his dad was in a coma. And they never had the chance to talk. It was fast, horrible, and as ugly a reminder that life is finite as you get. I would dearly love for them to have the chance for one last discussion. But there again, saying goodbye would likely be harder afterward. So it's a mixed blessing of sorts, I suppose.

I rather like the Mexican tradition of going to the grave, setting up a picnic and celebrating the dead where they lie. I think it has a lovely mixture of reverence, irreverence, good food, and pagan sensibilities thrown in. It makes me smile. Unfortunately I come from a place without the temperate weather. Having a picnic at the cemetery where my dead lie would be chilly, likely windy, and not horribly private, as the highway is next to the cemetery. Oh, and the rest of the family might think it was a little strange. Not that me being strange is really such a stretch of their imaginations, but seriously, why give them the ammunition?

So tonight, I think we will toast our lost family members, think happy thoughts about them, and hope that the ghosts of the newly dead don't linger. They belong someplace else, and I wouldn't keep them from more important things.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Memory is a funny thing. I've been thinking lately about an evening from long ago. I was likely about 10. I might've been younger. Hard to say, really- memory isn't quite that precise.

We lived at the small house on the dirt road, that was later paved with delicious, bike-loving blacktop. It was summer. It was very late, because it was totally dark. That doesn't happen in the summer in Montana until around 11:00 or later. The temperature drops incredibly quickly at night there, most nights. Then you see the stars, smell the damp from the grass, and feel the chill starting. It's quite delicious, really.

That particular night, I was on the front steps. The concrete was still warm from the day, and I was in my pajamas. The light was on, the front door was open, and I could hear the TV through the screen door.

More than anything, I didn't want to come inside. I wanted this night to stretch on forever, only I lacked the language to know this. I saw the stars. I felt the heat of the day beneath me. I saw the water from the sprinkler sparkling in the light of the porch. I also saw the green of the grass, almost black in the darkness all around. It was likely one of the most magical nights of my life.

I keep finding myself on that porch in my mind. I'm much smaller in the memories. I'm much more impressed by the magic of the moment. I'm much more transfixed by the colors of the night and the smells of darkness.

I've been thinking about this night a lot lately for some reason. I suspect that I would love to resurrect that sense of magic and mystery in the night. But with the tethers of safety behind my back, linked to me by the sounds of the TV through the screen door and my parents inside the house.

But then, there really isn't any going back now, is there. I'll just have to soldier on, using this memory as a foundation for new dreams of magic and mystery.

Monday, August 09, 2010

I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about and dealing with redemption. But I got some this weekend and it was a sweet experience.

Back story: I have a sister with whom I have a very troubled history. She has more challenges to basically deal with life than I will ever imagine. But she is not a very pleasant person. Not even close. It is much like being with a thunder storm. About as peaceful, and the threat of explosion is constant.

This isn't a new situation in her life. It was that way for as long as I can remember. But my coping skills are much better. I had a very hard time with her when I was a teen. It was an ugly, volatile situation, and I have carried a ton of guilt about it since.

The redemption came in the form of a weekend visit. It was good to see her. And to see that she doesn't still push the buttons. And that her attempts to push those buttons hasn't changed. And to know that once upon a time, I didn't have the adult skills to deal with her rage and problems. That helps me forgive my own transgressions.

Better than a crapton of therapy.

And I can still deal with her. Just fine.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The house thing continues- we have had 2 THE HOUSEs, and neither has worked. The second one had an insufficient well. Sounds very odd for Western Washington, but there you go. Thanks geology. The builder was a total tool about it and tried to bullshit us as to what the yield was, despite the well report that HE supplied. We passed on that one. It was beautiful, though.

Hope remains alive.

The best part of this whole thing is that Kman and I are doing well as a couple throughout. I can see where this process could destroy a marriage. It's bloody hard to define what you want in the first place, and gets more difficult the deeper into the details you go. We definitely have some different parameters, but overall it has been very respectful and supportive. I like that.

I have some rules for this. I'll even share. Because that is how I roll.

1. Don't buy a house to end the fucking ordeal of buying a house. (I have teetered on this one more than once. Just. Don't.)
2. Don't fall in love until the paperwork is signed. (Failed this one on THE house #1, not on THE house #2- that was just a crush)
3. It may be a deal, but it can be someone else's deal.
4. It has to be at minimum 85% ready to go- otherwise it's a fixer-upper. We are NOT in the construction business, so walk quickly away. Nothing to see here, folks.
5. We each get a veto. It may be painful, but it is important.

So we have another batch of about 20 listings to dig through, and I will start vetting the options for Kman, and let him see the best of the bunch. Some day we will have our very own home. But for now, our rental is lovely, in a great area, easy to access, cheap as hell, and ours for the duration.

Friday, July 23, 2010

There has been so much happening that it's hard to keep it all straight. We are tying up loose ends all over the place. And saying goodbye. This weekend I say a final goodbye to my grandmother. On a mountain. In Montana.

Last week we said goodbye to Kman's home. We moved his mother to Oregon. We emptied his childhood home. Only the ghosts remain. I hope they are content. It was harder than I thought it would be.

We are also in the middle of a house hunt of our own. We found the perfect house. Then there was a bidding war, and we were no longer in the hunt. So now we sit and wait until another perfect house arrives on the scene, and hope for the best.

I am also in the hunt for another job. At the same company. But would love to find something else. Something overall more rewarding. More money too. But that is another topic for another day. I try not to let my bitterness show, but it's there just beneath the surface. I hate that it is this difficult. I can only hope that if and when it happens, it is worth the effort. Otherwise that would really, really suck.

It has been quite the summer so far. That is really about all. Just no time to catch my breath and really reflect on it all. So I keep moving forward and hope for a clean moment of time here and there to figure things out.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saying goodbye

We're getting ready to move my Mother-in-law out of the house they lived in for over 30 years. I've had 18 of those years. It is sad. I'm not looking forward to driving away with all of her worldly possessions in the van. It not only means a concrete and irrevocable end to that part of my life and hers, but it also means that things will never revert back to normal. There is a new normal. And we get to deal with that.

It also means that I have aged, and am not who I once was. Recognizing that is generally not traumatic. But when it means walking away from people and places that have significance, there is pain.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Day 2- still not giving in to the paranoia. It's not fun, mind you. But I'm not as tense. I'm hoping that this "facing my fears" thingy gets a little easier.

If not, I'm in for a really nasty time of it.

Oh, and my legs hurt a bit. Excellent that- means stuff is happening.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Day 1- address the fear, keep breathing.

So I went for a walk. That might not sound like much, but when you're borderline agoraphobic, and apparently have been since your teens, it is kind of a big deal. Not that I walk in sketchy neighborhoods late at night, either. Very upscale community with a lovely rainforest park. That I have walked through with Kman many times. It's just the alone part. I have never been to a movie in the theater by myself either.

This was a big deal. I hate treadmills. They bore the crap out of me. I like being outside. I just am afraid. Not sure of what, really. It wasn't an issue when I was little. I would ride my bike anywhere and everywhere. I would walk to the school 6 blocks from home and play in the playground. I would walk downtown by myself and visit my mother at work.

Then something happened. Not sure if it can be only one thing. I think it was cumulative. Mainly because there was no traumatic event to attach to this fear. Just...time.

When I was in college, I just got used to driving everywhere. Especially at night. And having someone with me when I went for hikes in the mountains and parks. But I still went skiing alone, and walked to school. It wasn't a big deal.

Then came Tempe. Not long after we moved there a woman was found headless in a canal not far from where we lived. That scared the hell out of me. Angela Brosso. I don't think they ever found her killer.

There was an unsolved murder in my apartment complex.

My friends were very upset that I went to the grocery store alone after dark.

Nothing ever happened.

But the fear grew.

Seattle was fine, I could take the bus around town. I could drive anywhere. But walking in my neighborhood alone was beyond me.

So my fitness has been at the mercy of the ability to go for a walk with Kman. And not my own.

This doesn't please me. I don't like being afraid of things that don't exist. So I figured that I would go for a fucking walk today. And if anything happened, I would have something tangible to fear. Which I would prefer.

I got home just fine. Saw several rabbits. Decided that I don't want to be like them. Fearful and jumpy. I'm too old and too out-of-shape for that.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ah memory.

It's memorial day. Appropriate.

Last night was a meltdown. I predicted it. I knew it would happen. If the right triggers were pulled. And I knew exactly what they were. And it happened. No one should be surprised, but someone was.

"Up" was on. That, my friends, was the trigger. I saw the movie when it came out. Loved it. Thought it handled love, loss, regret and aging remarkably well for a big-budget animated movie. Loved the humor. Loved the whole damned thing.

Then we lost my father-in-law before his time. Then we lost my grandmother long after hers, but still a loss. Then we lost our oldest and dearest cat. All within 6 months.

And apparently that is all too fresh for me to face "Up." I rather figured that would be the case, and have avoided it assiduously since it came out on video. But Kman thought it would be fun to watch. Until I broke down at about the 10 minute mark and had to go upstairs, as far from the movie as I could get. I do have a hope. I hope that some day, not too long from now, I can face the movie. And not lose it. And not succumb to what I think is the devastating combination of regret that I imagine the humans we lost dealt with. I don't think the cat would be overly worried. But the Father, yes. Too young. Too many unfinished beginnings. The grandmother, yes. Too lost too soon. Too many unfinished endings. It's just horrible to encounter this many ghosts via the simple act of sitting on the couch and watching a movie. Just horrible.

So there is the Memorial day. Spent remembering, all right. But sadly not spent moving on quite yet. I'm hoping that can happen soon. Ghosts get heavy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Again with the patterns. They haunt me. And hunt me.

Right now I am thinking about times when creativity wasn't enough to inspire me to act. Yes, the skills were there. But the incentive wasn't. It just didn't matter enough. And from an objective standpoint (if such a thing is possible), there wasn't really anything that was lost by not acting. So, I didn't make art at some point or other. So I didn't write something. What was really lost? Well, the world lacks some stuff. Is that really so bad? When all I wanted to do was something else? Good question. That's the kind of thing I castigate myself with. It's all a big session of shit or get off the pot. Do I want to write? Well, it doesn't drive me to put words on the page with a focus beyond all else. It is fun. I'll give it that. And I'm pretty good at it. But it's not something that wakes me in the morning with the compelling urge to write. It's just something that fits around other things.

And probably the saddest admission is that there isn't anything else that is all that compelling. Nothing wakes me and fills me with the urge to do whatever-it-is. I find that a relief, in a way, as I have experienced that kind of urge, and don't find it conducive to being content and happy. It just feels like wearing an overly itchy sweater all the time in a very hot room. I don't like that.

So, what to do? What to do? I think the best course of action is to wait this one out. And see what transpires. I have found in the past that flexibility helps. So does the lack of the personal accusatory voice. So does plenty of sleep. So does not drinking too much wine. So does walking away from the computer. So does putting down the tv remote.

It'll happen. Or it won't. I'm not convinced that either will be a tragedy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today is meant to divert and play the role of a palate cleanser. Or to be more specific, this afternoon. Because enough, already.

It's never enough, though. Funny, when I didn't have enough to do, it wasn't enough. And now that I have too much, it's not enough. There seems to be a problem with either my definitions or my aspirations. I am going to personalize the problem, mainly because I don't know how else to tackle it mentally. If it's not me, it's you. And if you're some anonymous internet user, that's pretty presumptuous of me. So I'll own this one, and try and figure it out.

I suspect that it's the balancing act that is thrown off a bit. Lately it's been me on the head of a pin, spinning plates with a blindfold on. Funny how that works. Not very well, and there tends to be some noise involved.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For the last two weeks I've been immersed in my job. Almost to the exclusion of everything else. It feels a bit odd- like I need to struggle through and find myself again. But the weekend helped. So did an odd exercise that we did at work last week. It was strangely personal, and I brought it home.

We did a values exercise and determined from a stack of cards with words on them what our values are. Mine did NOT include Power, Influence or Accountability. But they did include Knowledge, Reflection and Family. Big shock there. Kman did the cards this weekend and had a totally different outcome. We didn't share any of our words. But the funny thing is that I predicted 3 of his 5 words, and ours were compatible and complimentary to a scary degree. It's cool to come to those kinds of conversations and have them confirm our reality.

Not to feel smug, or anything. But I might've felt a little smug. Then I was just tired. And then I slept.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I haven't said much about life in general- the lockdown on revealing diddly squat on Facebook has apparently extended to this forum. Likely a safer option. But things have been ... interesting. I still have a job. In fact, more secure than ever. But it is stressful.

In the last month and a half I have:
-put together a series of roundtable events across the country for about 150 participants
-put together a meeting that included our company CEO and CFO (yes, I met them. Yes it is very glamorous).
-put together a team offsite in Chicago for 30 people
-put together another team offsite here for about 40.

Overall, it resembles being a wedding planner. Something that I had absolutely no aspiration towards becoming. And still don't. So the hunt begins. I started today. We'll see where THAT goes.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I was thinking about influence. And aging. How things that didn't seem to matter at the time can have repercussions decades later. And how things that were perceived in one way look totally different later. This was all in the context of thinking about songs. Songs that meant something to me, and still do.

The first adult song that I remember being important was "Age of Aquarius." Yes, I was under the age of 5. But it still makes me smile to hear that song. I'll explain.

I remember a sunny summer day. It is morning, and the sun is shining. Dad has the top down on the convertible, and we are driving to Grandma and Grandpa's house. I presume I am going to spend the day there. The radio is on. We are at a light, I think that it is the one by the old National Guard armory on Euclid Avenue. That's how I remember it, at least.

The song is playing, and my hair is whirling in the wind, as I slide around the white patent shelf seat in the car. I am singing along to the radio at the top of my lungs. I only know the chorus, but I remember the feeling. I remember the day. It has been decades, and that day still matters. Later life would take some of the wind out of me, and I have never recaptured the ability to sing in public with quite that freedom, but I remember that day.

I still don't know the words to the song besides the chorus, and sure as hell can't hit the high notes, but it is the song of the 1960's for me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've been re-reading books that I loved when I was very young. I am looking for where my writing sensibilities came from. So far there have been some dreadful books that I couldn't finish. There have been a couple that were fun. Overall, though- apparently I naturally gravitated towards feminist writers. Who'da thunk.

On that theme- I'm growing increasingly irritated by the folgers coffee commercial with the woman who runs into her father and they discuss her proposal. It annoys the hell out of me that the boyfriend already talked with the father in that archaic permission thing. I would break up with a man who spoke with my father before asking me to marry him. I am not and never have been my father's property to give away. I cannot express how much I hate, hate, hate that whole idea. Well, I can express it. I just did.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

So let's get this straight. Traditionally subverting healthy sexual appetites and functions, with the expectation that God will make that ok- check. Throwing the men with the allegedly suppressed appetites into positions of absolute authority- check. Ignoring signs of problems and covering up molestation when it happens- check. Incriminating records indicating that the corruption spreads to the highest authorities in the church- check.

So where in the FUCK is the proof that the church keeps whining about that this is some kind of fraudulent attempt to besmirch a blameless Catholic church? Right. Nice try, boys. I don't think anyone outside of zealotdom buys it though. So shove those shiny PR happy commercials that you are blasting the airwaves with "inviting" me to revisit my lapsed faith up your sanctimonious, lying asses. Fuckers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I dream of shelves with jars.
In the jars are drifting glittery pieces of me.
They catch the light like dust motes.
They sparkle.

The jars stretch on and on,
well past what I can see from where I stand.
They glow and shimmer and change.

When I look at my body,
I see where the pieces came from.
Where there would be my own skin,
is a carapace of darkness, with some glimmer.
It's a hard shell of dark.
Housing a core of light.

Yes, there are some regrets.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

So am trying something new for this insomnia thing. Just got up. Instead of struggling against the weight of all of the crap spinning around in my head. Just milling there. Like one big clusterfuck of a Russian grocery store circa 1975- when all of the broad-shouldered grandmothers would mill around waiting for the cigarettes and toilet paper to go on sale. Shoving and angry. That is my brain. Imagine if you will. Just the smell alone is deafening.

So the thoughts. They carry me along. Career stuff. Life stuff. The lyrics to songs that I thought I had forgotten. Sadly, I did not forget them. They are still stuffed up there, waiting for a weak moment to emerge and torment me. Yes, Genesis, I remember you well.

Also visiting me are the twin glories of fear and doubt. Love you guys, wish you would come by more often! It's great to entertain old friends in your head. Not crazy-making at all.

It's enough to inspire a colossal drinking round. But enough of that. It's 3:00 AM. Sooner or later, the sun has to rise on all of this, right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I've been spending plenty of time thinking lately. Because that apparently is what I do. Mull crap over. Cogitate until it's dead and rotting. Zombie philosophy. Or something like that.

I haven't been overly fond of a trend I am noticing. It's something about uncompromising. I see it internally, and I see it displayed all over my work and around me. Hearing, "that's just unacceptable" just inspires me to a cold rage. Because that is one of the main symptoms. Yes, darling, it is acceptable. Because we don't always get what we want. And bad things happen. And people can be shits. And people can be nasty and difficult. And most of all, people can fuck thing up royally. And guess what! You have no choice but to accept it. You don't have to like it, but it is part of life. And biting that little tirade back on a daily basis has become my biggest struggle.

Because it all boils down to the idea that every mistake is to be taken personally, and that you are that bloody important. Somehow, somewhere, someone decided to fuck you the hell over. Well, reality check. It ain't about you, sunshine.

Now I feel a little better.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

-sometimes I miss the feeling of a porcelain bowl forming under my hands. Mostly not. The act of creation almost destroyed me, and I don't trust it.

-I still wish that I knew how to blow glass. But I lack the motivation to invest time in that. I have enough excuses in my life and unfinished projects.

-There are days I ache with wanting so much. I don't even fully understand what exactly it is that I want. But it hurts. Like a bone-deep bruise. And it floors me.

-I often put myself to sleep with stories that I tell myself. Sometimes I star in them, sometimes not. And I always convince myself that they are only meaningful to myself, and I won't share them. I get to keep these ones.

-when I re-read my dream journals from 10 years ago, I can still visualize the dreams themselves. I'm not sure if it's comforting or alarming to revisit these dreams.

-I am fearless when I cook. My mother raised me to play in the kitchen with food. My father is an excellent cook. It rubbed off, and I am very lucky.

-I can't be a pot head. It would be lovely, but all I ever want to do while stoned is eat salty foods, be alone and listen to Led Zeppelin. That is hardly related to productivity. I hate feeling like a 14 year old boy, and being that lazy.

-I have always wanted to travel, but am so very afraid of disappointment that I refuse to do it. It would be supremely heartbreaking if the destinations of my dreams weren't what I have fantasized about for years. And since this is inevitable, I stay home. And pine.

-the smell of violets reminds me of being a child. I had a doll with hair that smelled like violets. She was my favorite. Until her little head popped off.

-I used to cut pictures out of books and magazines in order to collect them. I added them to my paper doll collection, and fashioned elaborate and intricate stories about them. I regret the books, though. And wish that I had kept the dolls.

-I am grateful and honestly pleased not to be a mother. I have never desired motherhood. I have never been comfortable thinking of myself like that. I never imagined myself with children of my own. Never. I am grateful that I live in a time that allows me that choice. I needed it. I would've made a horrible, resentful and selfish mother. I am a fabulous aunt.

-I love to drive. I have always loved to drive. I wanted my license more than anything else. I wanted the freedom. I wanted the ability to go wherever I wanted without telling anyone. I loved having my own life, independent of my parents, and belonging only to me. The only restriction was gas money.

-intense privacy is one of my foundations. I don't share some things with anyone. I keep them. I dole out information on a strictly need-to-know basis for the most part. I don't trust that what I have inside will readily translate. The people I share most of my days with would not understand. I have let enough out of the bag to know this for certain. It's just not worth it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The downside? Feeling inauthentic. That is hard. Harder than I would've expected. But with authenticity comes responsibility. That is another kettle o' fish entirely. Not sure if I'm up to that one. Not that I think it's important to be some kind of zen master or the like. But still- it's harder to compromise your ideals and personal institutions if you are being all adult-like and authentic. It's also harder to convince yourself that it really doesn't matter, and that none of it touches you. Because once you make that stance permanent, there you go.

So I guess this points to a general lack of commitment. Oh, my. Shying away from decisions. Oh, my. These are the words of nightmares. Indeed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So taking the persona idea a bit further- there is the stress it induces. It's really part of life in general- there's always the strain of meeting expectations. Of being who you think that others expect you to be. That isn't new. It's just keeping it all straight that can be a little confusing. In my case, it slips sometimes. And then people give me 'the look'. It's usually amusement plus a bit of shock. They didn't expect what came out of my mouth. And I am generally a bit nonplussed. Because the control slipped. And that's not the most comfortable thing in the world. Small wonder I don't drink around my co-workers.

But it's more than that. It's the feeling of being the odd man out in a deeper sense. Like there is a subplot that I am totally missing. But then I realize how many of the people around me aren't all that deep. So the subplot isn't anything deep- it's more of an appearances thing. And yes, I am missing that. And that's just fine. I don't think it'll inflict lasting damage on my soul. Just a bit of discomfort. Which is also fine. Discomfort makes me explore things, and learn.

But I tell you what. I am not interested in several of my old personas. They have been retired for good. And that is a large comfort. The goal ultimately is to feel like I belong in my own skin. And that I like it there just fine. It's a work in progress.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I know that I've discussed personas before. It just keeps coming up. What is required and expected and from whom. It's complicated.

Work demands a certain me- usually good humored, and professional. Never the grumpy me. Never the bitter me. And certainly keeping the sense of humor well in check. They just wouldn't get it.

I should qualify that a bit. Work in this case = people in my immediate circle. There are others at work who know me differently, including the sense of humor fully intact. It's a big place. There are many circles.

Home demands something different and more authentic. Sometimes it is a strain to dump the work persona and be the person who is expected at home. Ditto with the friends and family in general. It is like unwrapping a package. Many layers of that clear tape with the fiberglass fibers in it. Not easy to cut through, and impossible to tear.

So in the morning, much like today, I gird myself with the armor, and get ready for the psychic wars that are work-related. That is overly dramatic- most of those occur at a level that I am oblivious of, by design. I have developed a thick skin when it comes to the kind of crap that develops at work- if it's not overt, I ignore it. I might know it's there, but I choose to ignore it until someone is open about it. Works fine for me so far.

And now I must go put on my professional face and face the madness.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I have been reminded today that I have apparently forgotten my blog out here. It's kind of funny really- not in a particularly ha ha way- that these words are just hanging out here, incomplete and just abandoned.

So there it is. I have been feeling very beaten down of late- it has been a long, cold, and difficult winter hereabouts. We have dealt with a heavy burden. Together, luckily, and I will always be thankful for that. But it has seen death of two family members, a very sick big kitty, a nasty head cold or two, job travails that continue to annoy, two trips to Montana, distractions provided by an overloaded basement full of boxes, and plenty of other day to day things.

But I am nothing if not a Fire Horse (according to Chinese Astrology). Fire horse girls were traditionally exposed at birth, as they were trouble. That sounds accurate enough. But also, there is a bit of the fire burning in the belly that I can't attribute to whatever I have eaten. And therefore, I won't let it all get me to that place of utter despair. So I keep moving. Just keep moving.

Part of that process has been a total re-evaluation of a lot of things. I took about 8 boxes of old stuff to the goodwill yesterday as part of this process. I donated a bunch of art supplies to the high school in my Mother's small hometown as part of this process. It's important to me to examine all of this and decide what I want to carry forward in my life, and what it's acceptable to leave behind.

While liberating, the aforementioned process is difficult. I am trying to be relatively gentle about it, but there are regrets. Mostly regrets for past behaviors and the ability to just carry around a bunch of shit I don't either need or want. And the thought that it was all very important to me once upon a time. This leads me to believe that the things that are currently very important to me will likely face a similar fate some day. That is a hard-earned but good piece of perspective.

On other fronts, I have been trying to heal my sad and heart-sick husband through cooking. I am an excellent cook. Just let it get out of habit for a while. I learned how to roast a chicken. Then I learned how to use that chicken for chicken soup- I made up a recipe that is now demanded with some frequency. So I suppose that is a hit. Then I made up a chicken enchilada recipe that is also in high demand. It'll get made tonight. The effort has made him a bit happier, and we understand what he needs a bit better.

So in summation, it has been a season of growth, despite all of the blows. I would rather not have had these learning "opportunities", mainly because they have come at a tremendous cost. But there isn't a box for me to check that will allow for a do over. It's done. Pactum Factum.