Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Growing pains

Is it spring fever?   Is it the disquiet that accompanies major life changes?    Is it the outside edge of recovery from a very bad year?   Is it because I've been sick and lying with a blankie and my laptop on the couch for 3 days?    Whatever it is, I feel the need to force some growth in my life.    I have spent much of it responding to things, dealing with things, trying to float through things that were outside my control.   Moving here to my new house, in my new city, with my new job search represents a choice that I made, that I controlled in the middle of my uncontrollable life.    A choice that was not forced on me by circumstance.    And now it it time to decide how best to manage that choice.

And so I am making these mini-commitments to me.   These are not my usual self-improvement promises - frankly, I've lost credibility with myself and see no sense in promising to upack the basement boxes, exercise more, or be more careful about what I eat.   These are promises I hope I can actually talk myself into doing.

I've been visiting a lot of artists' blogs lately.   And it's made me realize that I want to find some new creative outlet.    I love crafty things, and I've done many over the years, even though I am embarrassed by them sometimes, and by golly, I plan to find a fresh crafty-hobby thing of my own.    Something I can work at semi-seriously, not just the fun projects I hope to do with or for the little ones.

I want to meet a new bunch of friends, both because I am living in too much isolation, and so that my family here doesn't feel the burden of my entertainment.  I want them to enjoy seeing me, not feel an obligation to do so, but so far they are my only social life.   So I want to find new local friends.    They don't have to be best friends, or the friends of my dreams, just nice, decent people.   It sounds so easy, I somehow suspect it won't be quite that simple.

I want to find work that I love.    I hated my job for the past several years - not the work I was doing, so much, as the JOB.   It was awful to be laid off, it was really awful to lose a paycheck, and it was sad not to have daily visits with people I've known for over 20 years anymore, but the awful-ness was overwhelmed by how glad I was to be out of there.     And even, years earlier, when I was happy at my job there, it wasn't a job that I felt any passion for.   That was fine then -- it was a living, and that's what I needed it to be at the time.    But now, at this stage of my life, I would like to feel passionate about my work.    That's a pretty tall order and maybe it won't be possible to hit that mark, but I'll never know unless I shoot for it.

I'll give myself six months or so and, if I haven't made any progress . . . I guess I'll conclude that these weren't important goals and try to find some new ones!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feeling poorly

I feel yucky.    I fell flat on my face a couple of days ago for no apparent reason (I think I tripped on one of the many bags I was carrying) so I wasn't surprised to wake up the next morning, bruised and achy all over.    But I WAS surprised when I also quickly developed a very, very (very) sore throat, a fever, and the general awfuls.   Getting sick was NOT on my to-do list for this week!    I usually have a high resistance to illness (I am woman, hear me roar); it's my theory that when I foolishly fell, my body was so annoyed at me that it threw in the towel.   I can hear my immune system now, whining to my brain, 'why should I work my fingers to the bone keeping you healthy, if you can't even bother to stay upright!    I quit!'    As soon as I feel a little better, I'm buying myself flowers and chocolates.    I can only hope that I accept my apology!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

winter whites

I drove to Detroit to visit Dr. Not-so-cranky this week.   I swear, the harder he tries the more crazy he makes me, and I have a hard time being patient with him these days, but that's another story and not a very interesting one, at that.  

But while I was there, I drove past the lake a couple of times.   The bank was covered with snow and the whole landscape was made up of tones of pewter - the sky was a pale grey, and the silvery grey water was smooth as glass, except for artfully placed chunks of ice and a flock of scattered white swans.    It was so bleak and so beautiful, and there was nowhere to park so I couldn't take a picture.   

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Crazy about the cold

My treasured (and copywrited) bumpersticker, "Sanibel is my sanity!", was the brainchild of Cheryl, one of my cyber-friends.   You can see that I wasn't fully sane when I put it on, I did it on a windy day and it went on all crooked!   I bought my bumpersticker years ago - maybe 6 years ago? - and people have pulled alongside at  red lights and rolled down their window to talk about the island.    It's brought me many a smile through many a winter -- and, through the wonders of internet friendships, I finally met Cheryl IN PERSON last year!   She is the one to contact if you want one, but be sure she saves another one for me!

I see my bumpersticker every time I clean the snow off my car -- which has been way too often, lately -- and it reminds me that I can hold on until my next trip to paradise, no matter how far away it is.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

For me? You shouldn't have!

I got terrific presents for Christmas, but you never know, so I prepared in advance by ordering an amazing present for myself.  This beautiful handmade Ulu is from Siksu's Knives in Kotzebue Alaska.  I saw lots of Ulus the two trips where I played tourist in Alaska and was tempted by them because I love kitchen tools, but on inspection I could see that they were poorly made and not for any serious use.  This Ulu, on the other hand, is absolutely beautiful, sturdy, sharp, and comfortable in my hand.   I have not been able yet to use it for the jobs it is designed to do so well (we don't get many moose or caribou here in Saginaw and it is unlikely that I will ever skin a seal), but I've cut tons of veggies and pizza, and love the way it rocks and chops - like a chef's knife is supposed to if you can hold the tip down properly, which I cannot.   I am enjoying its use, but I really think of it as a piece of art.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My front walk

It snowed all night, it snowed all morning, and it is STILL snowing this afternoon.   I am trying to convince myself that my yard and neighborhood look pretty, but "pretty is as pretty does," and when I have to shovel several times a day, pretty isn't doing it for me!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New year, old attitude

Lately it seems like my get-up-and-go got up and went.   I am listless, so boring that I bore myself to sleep, and worst of all, could care less about it all.   I can't even imagine what would make me feel happy and energetic.    I wonder if all the changes and troubles of the past year -- from my daughter's traumatic injury to losing my job unexpectedly to selling my house and moving to a new city - are finally catching up with me.   Or maybe after a year of flight after flight and trip after trip, I just need a vacation.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I've been deluged with a zillion spam messages this week, so I am adding 'word verification' to my blog -- I know it can be annoying and regret having to do it.   I hope my friends will still visit me and comment!

Snow Day

I am glad I got home from Detroit before the snow started yesterday. The morning news says that we got 6 inches of snow here in the city -- it seemed like more when I was shoveling last night, and I know there's been more snow since then! My old car (and I) been through years of snow-abuse, but neither one of us is giving up our (copywrited) bumper sticker from Sanibelover!