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It is like watching the cartoon of a snowball rolling down a hill, getting bigger and bigger until it threatens to engulf everything. The posts in the forum keep coming and my mad idea is gaining steam, getting more popular and growing in size as I watch.† People are coming from outside the original group to express their interest, and a thread on this topic launches in another group. It is a little intimidating to see my idea for an intimate event become the incredible blob as everyone from all over declares they love the idea and want to participate.
I want to do this, to somehow find a way to carry off this crazy event, my mad idea.† The idea of it makes me laugh inside.† It would allow me to be a field marshall, and creative.† Part of me is even speculating that perhaps there might be a way to morph this into a personal career, which would put me in charge of myself, something I very badly want at this point, thereís no denying it any longer.† I need to crunch some numbers, see if thereís any possibility of eeking out a living for myself.†
I donít seem to be able to put aside the concept, I canít stop thinking about it. It's a most excellent distraction from everything and anything, and so once I start thinking about it is almost impossible for me to turn aside from it. This near-obsession is more than a little dangerous, I have a full time job that I need to be doing, it is what is paying the bills. I realize that escapism is part of the attraction, that Iím feeling very bored and stodgy these days, and this project is a different reality.
If I want to see her, Iím going to have to push for it, make it happen. When we were both in the city, it was different, although once we werenít working at the same place, the drift began. That seems to be the reality with many of my female friends, that Iím always the one suggesting we get together, that I am the one that hangs on. I suppose it means that we arenít really good friends, or maybe not friends at all, Iím just trying to find a new friend among the women I know that I like.
I am not used to only having two things to work on.† Iím used to having a whole panoply of very different things that need attention so when I become bored or tired of something and need to recharge by doing something else, I have something else.†This is month five with only two things to work on, unless something special comes up.†I now recognize that this does not suit me.†Especially when tethered to a desk, in a shared office. I need to move more often, and to hear the other end of my own phone conversations.
Looking for a badly needed fall getaway I accepted that while Lake Tahoe is absolutely beautiful in October, it is just too expensive.† And then I realized, with utter clarity, that I have to go to Rhinebeck this fall.† I must.† I need to see a fiber festival.†This is a huge event within driving distance. †I promised myself last year that I would go this year and book a room well in advance. Never mind that every hotel, inn and B&B in the immediate vicinity is completely booked by now, Iím on a quest.† And eventually, I will succeed.
Saying goodbye today to the very last of my ďold guardĒ friends left in the city was difficult. She's moving on, leaving the city for family in Florida. We talked about the changes that have happened over the last twenty years, the destruction of the individual neighborhood flavors, that you can no longer tell if you're walking up Third Avenue, Columbus Avenue or West Broadway. The stores all look the same Ė no, they are the same Ė and everything is now sanitized and thrill of adventure and discovery is gone.
It arrived! My new laptop came today! Although I was worried about getting everything set up, it has been a breeze, rather stunning in comparison with my past experience setting things up on Windoze. I haven't installed the printer yet, nor actually synched my Palm, but I'm astonished at how quickly things have happened. The majority of my documents, all of my photos, and about half of the music on the old laptop are already moved. There are a few adjustments I'll have to learn, but I'm already fairly comfortable with the keyboard, and I'm learning the mac mouse manoevers.
I was delighted today to discover thereís a podcast just of the News from Lake Wobegone segment of PHC. †And several †other podcasts that Iíve never heard of before that look interesting. †Iím †also really surprised by how different my iTunes podcast experience is on Mac; I must say that although I'm delighted to found a few new podcasts, I am being frustrated by the change in the interface. If it was truly intuitive, then I would have figured it out by now. I'm clearly going to have to search the online help forums Ė local help is no help.
I ran into Jason on the street today Ė what are the chances? It is probably almost a daily occurrence in New York, it has happened to me four times in twenty years: seeing a former colleague on the street, miles away from where you used to work and on a street you donít normally traffic. Or running into someone from college while youíre off playing downtown and heís vacationing in town. But I did once run into someone on a train in Germany, someone who had stayed with me in NY for a week, the friend of a friend scenario.
There are always tough days at work.† There are jobs you like better than others.† Iíve struggled through my fair share of bad days and rotten jobs in the past, but never really had a problem with the general concept of going to work, even in the first year of owning my house, balancing a very tough commute schedule with the reality of having bought a fixer.† Iíve listened to friends complain bitterly about work interfering with life, and quietly wondered to myself about it, although I might be complaining bitterly about a specific work environment at the same time.
There are so many possible topics for ranting today. The weather, my headache, general stupidity, bad drivers, whatever. But I persisted and slogged through the day, I made it through. By the time I got home, however, I just wanted to go to bed. I know something isnít quite right with me, Iím too sluggish and tired by far. Maybe it is the funky weather, or that I donít sleep straight through the nights (I generally wake up when G comes to bed), or that Iím not active enough, or maybe Iím still depressed. I want to be me again.
It is only 9 AM but everything I touch today is turning out wrong. The dress doesnít fit, the game scenario is all wrong, the Keurig machine at work ruins my first attempt at a cup of coffee, the dentist canít do anything until I talk to the insurance company (ďbut HR is supposed to tell you thisĒ Ė ah, the joys of a small company where there is no HR!). The dread and reluctance associated with the board meeting at noon is beginning be overwhelming. I really just want to go away and hide today. Take a mental health day.
An afternoon off with no rushing about to get back from or to the city. The weather is beautiful, and I just want to relax, so I won't tackle any chores this afternoon. I'm not really sure how well I like the company's summer hours. I mean, the Friday afternoon off is great, but the reality of working an extra hour on the other four days I find more then a little rough. Particularly this job, with the longer commute and all the sitting once in the office. Evenings during the week, I'm lucky to get one small thing done.
For years now Iíve dreamed of becoming my own boss, as a consultant or as a shop owner, trying to resolve some of the basic problems I seem to have with working for someone else. So clearly there has been some essential dissatisfaction with the status quo of work all along. But recently I'm feeling strong resentment at having to spend 11 hours a day running on this treadmill for someone else. The result is a rather severe lack of focus on anything at work I donít find fascinating, which is unfortunately not the majority of my job to date.
I seem to be on a collision course due to this change of attitude, but I donít exactly know what the collision is with, or if it really is a bad thing. I have always been afraid of not having a job, mostly the financial uncertainty and, for me, the real sense of insecurity that results from an irregular flow of income when freelancing, performing music, consulting or other career or job opportunities Iíve ever considered in my life that were not ď9 to 5Ē. Iíve generally not pursued those options, never mind how much I may have wanted to.
I have ignored The Artistsí Way - I have not leapt.† Iíve been timid.† The one time I did leap, back in 2004, the venture failed. I do not I think of myself as timid or a failure but, seen through a certain lens, apparently I am Ė I am not actively leading my own life.† Which is in large part why Iíve recently been so focused on the question of what do I want.† I am not sure what it is, I can only explain it in terms of what it is not, which isnít good enough to take action.
So it is as I predicted last year:† I needed to get out of the toxic environment of the Local Expansion Team in order to understand if I want to stay in this field or move on. Iíve invested more than ten years in this profession, but Iím fairly disillusioned with it and donít see a way to be personally successful .† Nor is the consulting path likely to work out: I donít have the professional network to make it happen or the interest in developing the network.† That leaves looking about for a new career path. Oh Happy Day!
Over the past five years, Iíve considered running a B&B, opening a bakery or cafť, buying a yarn store, and designing knitwear as future careers.† I am quite aware that just because I enjoy something doesnít mean it is a viable career, but the advice is always to do what you love.† I donít quite see the economics of any of those options working out while living on the Island, housing is simply too expensive.† That brings us back to thinking about relocation.† And looking for a new career path.† Running away and hiding is sounding really good right now.
Running away, returning to the landÖ Iíve been thinking about how that evil of modern life, working for someone else, became a necessity once people were no longer growing their own food.† Wouldnít it be nice to have an acre or two so we could plant a garden, with some berries and fruit trees as well (peach, cherry and figs).† Of course, there would be a small chicken coop for fresh eggs.† Iím not sure about other farm animals, but perhaps a small number of sheep to keep the field grass under control and provide spring lamb.† Idyllic, isnít it?
So am I really thinking of running away from the world or am I trying to run towards something else? I donít think theyíre mutually exclusive concepts, in this instance theyíre more inversions of each other: wanting away from the world I know and the life I currently have, and wanting to experience a different way of life in a different setting.† For the last few years, life has almost been on hold as we tried to bring everything together with no sudden shifts, waiting for the changes to occur naturally, but it doesnít look like thatís going to happen.
OK, so the idyllic agrarian life isnít really going to happen in my own lifetime, and besides, being able to grow your own food does not mean you can support yourself. †The internet isnít free, and neither is gas, just to start.† But I still want to run away, to move away from what is, to move away from the too small house in the ever-declining blue collar neighborhood where I live.† I want us to be able to move on, to find the place that is right for us and live our lives, to stop waiting and start living.
While looking and looking and looking for yarn I knew was stashed ďat handĒ rather than buried under boxes, I realized that although I have a closet to store my knitting supplies, I donít have any workspace. Thereís no table where I can put a couple of skeins, bring out some books or my pattern binders and just contemplate the options, just sit and look at the yarn until it speaks to me and tells me what it should be. I have no board where I can pin up swatches and consider how they drape, or begin to stretch.
I canít stop researching.† Itís what I do when an idea occurs, to bring color to the outline.† The more I find out about the small Hudson Valley town, the more Iím liking it.† It sounds right: small, but not a village; it is a town, so it can support some of the things I find necessary in life.† The local economy is small but there is a hospital and an artistic community of sorts but no technology that I can find.† I suspect weíd both have new careers, although Iíd like to think that doesnít necessarily mean full-time jobs.
Thereís a highland castle on the extreme northeastern tip of the Scottish coast for sale that is truly breathtaking.† Itís only eight million dollars. ††It would be a wonderful B&B, except for the remoteness †-there might not be as many visitors as you need!† But then again, youíd be able to enjoy it more for yourself, with long walks along the beach or the English walled garden, or enjoying tea with scones in the sitting room with the window overlooking the cliff to the ocean.†† I want it.† Iím sure Geoffrey will want it.† But unless we win the lottery. . .
I am antsy, wanting to move on already. The actual knitting on my current project is done, all that remains is the cleanup: weaving ends in, then the wash & dry so the yarn achieves its final shape. I have patterns in mind (already thinking about fall and winter options), there are pretty yarns in my stash I want to use but the combinations just aren't working. I've got three swatches in progress, probably none of which will be used. Perhaps this is the time to finish some of the works in progress that have been lingering for a year.
I canít seem to stop doing what is no longer my job.† I know the turf better than anyone here and I am compelled to make them aware that they are exposed, vulnerable to a significant risk.† I know it isnít my job here Ėit is nobodyís actual job! †- but given the nature of the business I am disappointed when the first casual mention of the situation results in a dismissive comeback.† The risk can be mitigated, but it must be acknowledged first.† †It makes me feel like Cassandra Ė I hope I have a better end than she did.
We havenít exactly made the most of these summer Friday afternoons off. Probably because Iíve been so tired after four 9.5 hour days (plus commute) that all I want to do is veg or take a nap. I canít really tell if I think they are work the hassle on the other four weekdays; maybe if we had used them as a way to jump-start a weekend trip or something special, but we didnít. This whole summer has been something of a letdown in many ways. Although cool, it was also very wet, not much chance to enjoy the sunshine.
Sometimes, decisions are easy, once the right solution presents itself. All the other options that you had agonized over are suddenly revealed as wrong, incorrect or not optimal, and you wonder how you could have not seen that they weren't right. And sometimes, very occasionally, once that right decision is revealed, the universe gives you lagniappe, that little something extra, a bonus for having made the right choice. But you have to make the choice first, unaware that there's an additional prize if you make that choice. Kind of like all those game shows with Daily Doubles or Extra Spins.
I finished the August project completely, before August is over (never mind that I started in July) Ė hurray! I have finally figured out the right combination of yarn and pattern and have swatched for September's project, but need to knit another swatch on smaller needles to get the right size. I love the way it is looking though, and I suspect it will be an absolute favorite, if I take the time to do it right. I downloaded a bunch of knitting software to help me with charts and patterns as I start trying to develop my own creations.
I havenít accomplished what I set out to do this summer. The massive garden weeding & landscape mat project is about 80% done. I havenít even started writing the story of Iowa Chocolate Cake for the KnitIn women. Three WorksInProgress are still sitting on the knitting needles, a year after being left there. I didnít start baking more varied kinds of bread and such. The pool schedule changed but I didnít muster the requisite discipline to go every week. This is not just the usual over burdened To Do list, it is an acknowledgement that my disciplined energy has dissipated.
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