This is hard

All this impending change… it’s time to ACT, but action seems somehow disrespectful to the upheaval this is causing in my relationship. I don’t have a lot of choice. Things need to get done. I’m torn. I’m hurting. He’s hurting. Things right now just feel like This Better Be Worth It. It will be. Right?

I’m driving up to my hometown Monday to pick up my father’s old bedroom set that my sister kindly offered to store for 3 months about 10 months ago. I rented a cargo van, which is not an easy task, and will drive up one day and come back the next. The bedroom set will get dropped off at the farm.

My biggest fear right now is the loneliness that will be the first few weeks at the least. I think I’m going to be living alone for the first spate of time. I haven’t lived alone since 1998ish. I really do love the life that I currently have. Leaving that life, not the job stuff, but the life—the community, comfort, love, that I currently have—is terrifying. I don’t want to be lonely. Sitting alone at night and endlessly on the phone or turning to the TV for company. I don’t want to miss my boyfriend, my dog, my friends, the joy and comfort that I find in my day to day right now. I know and recognize that part of this huge change is knowing that the path I’m on will not lead to Happy. It will not lead to Less Stressed Out. It will not lead to any of the things I want for my life, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t the good points. The happy points. The things that I just have to hope that this will make up for, and that the new normal will have as many Happy Points as right now… once I get there.

That’s right. FIVE weeks from today my whole world is going to change. I have been dreaming about this day since I left the farm in 2004. Now, I’m nervous, and slightly terrified, and cautiously little-kid excited.

Last week, everything came to a head. There will not be another contract offered from the comfortable, but not happy-making, current job. So, no back-up plan that I did not plan on taking but somehow felt more cushiony comfortable. And, I will have to move to the farm to work on the farm. That was a big detail that got left out in the deal negotiations these past several months. And lordy, what an email chain of angst that was. So, I will go live on the farm, because I want this. The boyfriend and I will make it work and figure it out in separate houses but still together. Then, a date was set. April 5, 2010, I report for duty. I will be a farm worker.

Five weeks.


There’s a lot swirling around in my head right now about personal focus and perspective. About how this world is what we make it. About how we can actually change ourselves, change our perspective, change our focus. Only we can do that for ourselves.

It started with good old Crazy Aunt Purl’s New Year’s post.  Specifically #2—come from a place of yes. Go ahead and read that and then come back. This concept is something I’ve been working on for years now. Slowly. I have long recognized I was brought up with exactly the opposite attitude. I was brought up in a house that recognized the negative, harshly judged the different, and squelched possibility. At some point I stepped back and listened to myself (again) and said NO. I don’t want to end up an old woman who carps and complains, unable to see the good, unable to see the beauty, unable to recognize and share in joy, crippled by my own defensiveness, feeding my loneliness.

I want to live my life seeing the happy things around me, being grateful for all the good that my world encompasses and focusing on the beauty and joy in the world. I want to think that people try hard and do their best at the time. I want to listen in a way that assumes the other person has the best intentions with their words, even if they come out wrong. I want to see the possibility in the day, in my dreams. It is so true that you notice what you look for, and I want to look for the good.

It’s not easy. I can see the ways that I’m slowly changing. One of my biggest pain points is how to deal with the negativity around me. I feel that I come to the brink of confrontation at times because I’m trying to deflect another’s negativity through conversations where I, in the end, sound defensive and judgemental. I think that’s a big growth point I need to focus upon this year. I need to accept another person’s viewpoint as their own, and know that it does not need to shade mine.

This is my year of possibility. This is my year of taking the plunge and making something possible that I’ve been slowly feeding and forming a dream about since before I knew I had started dreaming. This is my year of action. I’m exhilarated. I’m terrified. I’m ready.

  1. I had the realization this morning that I woke up just about exactly 12 hours after I arrived home from work yesterday. This means I had 4 hours of time that was not dedicated to sleeping, getting ready for work, or working in my 24-hour day.  In that time, I try to fit exercise, dinner making and eating and cleaning up, any phone calls with friends or family, any reading or some knitting or any other hobby-like activity, and any household chores. No wonder I’m so stressed out and can’t keep up and am desperately ready for change.
  2. The sun is out today! For now. Yay sun!
  3. I got to stand in that sun for 7 minutes while waiting for my first train this morning. While it was nice to soak in some sun, that is way too long between trains for rush hour. (I waited 5 minutes for my second train, which totals 12 minutes added on to my commute.  Yes, I am obsessed with this because of #1 above).
  4. People on the metro in the morning, especially the very, very crowded metro where there is no room to even shift position, let alone read a book, wear some of the most blank faces I’ve ever seen. It’s like a can of zombie sardines.
  5. Working for the metro must be one of the most thankless jobs in DC/MD/VA.
  6. It’s two of my friends’ birthdays today! Yay!
  7. Another friend had a baby girl last night. So very wonderful!
  8. I have almost finished another mitten, and I like it. That makes me happy.

That is all. Happy Thursday!

2010 Knitting List

I keep having this notion that I want to do a year of knitting selfishly. I have little that I’ve actually made myself, and a whole queue of things that I want to make. For me. Now. I sat down and made a list of all the things I’d want to make before starting to knit selfishly. The items slated for others. Because I’m very verbally generous, but knitting time poor.

  1. ‘K’ hat for my niece. I made her one already, but she grew out of it. Pattern kind of in my head and on scrap paper and graph paper.
  2. Stocking cap for my niece. I made her one already, but she grew out of it.
  3. Stocking cap for my brother in law. I did not make him one, but he keeps asking and so it might be time.
  4. Mittens for my niece. These were almost done, but proportioned wrong for her hands, so I frogged them back to yarn balls on New Year’s Day. Cleansing?
  5. Mittens for my nephew. (Ravelry link)
  6. Mittens for my other nephew. Pattern TBD.
  7. Gloves for a different nephew than the two mentioned above. Pattern TBD.
  8. Flip top mittens for my boyfriend. Pattern TBD.
  9. Reknit the cashmere hat for my boyfriend that got all stretched out and was a valuable lesson in cashmere. Plan of action TBD.
  10. Socks for the boyfriend. I have a couple patterns that I’m choosing from.
  11. Cowl for my boyfriend’s cousin that we recently found out is knocked up with identical twins. (Ravelry link)
  12. Baby gift A  for my boyfriend’s cousin. No freakin’ clue.
  13. Baby gift B for my boyfriend’s cousin. See #12.
  14. Peaks Island Hood for one of the kids I used to babysit who is now 21 but we don’t like to think about that.
  15. The queen-sized blanket I promised my sister after I’d obviously had way too much to drink.  Man, I must love her a lot. (Ravelry link)
  16. Oh, and the secret santa scarf that is now way overdue and I’m contemplating ripping out again and re-knitting, so let’s not link to that.
AMan's Hand Warmers

This nephew is very large

A coworker/friend left work today because his wife was FINALLY in labor. She was due on Christmas. I’m definitely contemplating a gift for their wee one.

So then comes the $1,000,000 question. When the hell do I knit for me?

I’ll figure it out. I swear. I will.

But look! Today I mailed these out. (Ravelry link) They’re a pair of mittens for my other nephew, not to be confused with any of the others mentioned above. Prolific bunch, my two sisters. AND, I have almost an entire mitten done for a nephew that is mentioned above. That’s some pretty good progress for January 6 (for me).

It’s a sparkly new year

That makes me want to write here again.

I think the word that can adequately sum up last year is INTENSE. Life seemed to take place in screams. I’d like to make 2010 more like positive movement forward. Or less stress. Or, if we have to use one word, how about Growth. It’s time to stop talking about the shit that would make me happy and DO it. That whole ‘life is what you make it’ thing.

So, of course, I’m starting by organizing the piles of yarn and projects that have accumulated. That is the most important thing, right? I mean, when your knitting habit starts to get stressful, you know it’s time to act. So, currently, this is my dining room table.

getting organized

Wish me luck.

30 Days of Happiness – Day 5

This should really be day many-days-more-than-five, since I’ve become so happily behind, but we’ll just call it Day 5 and continue from there. (That will make my 30 days last even longer!)

Since my last post:

september 001I gave notice at my current job. It’s amazing what nice things people have to say about you once you give notice. It’s a very nice ego boost. It’s also nice that the people I worked with are genuinely happy for me. I seem to have developed a little team of cheerleaders who understand that the current situation is unhealthy, unfix-able, and beyond my control (how validating!), and have been waiting with me for me to find the next opportunity. There has been a lot of grinning.

We drove to Pennsylvania for a family weekend and had a really, really, really nice time with cousins, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and on and on. There was catching up and eating and singing around the campfire and eating and homebrew and eating. The rain pattering on the tents was actually a nice sound while we slept, and the rain let up enough to let us pack up without getting drenched.

We went to East End Brewery and stocked up on beer. Beer with fresh hop flowers. Mmmmmmm.

My nephew turned 12. TWELVE. How does that happen? I love those kids like crazy, my nieces and nephews. I love watching their personalities grow and bloom, watching them turn into good people, not just well-behaved kids. I wish I lived closer to them so I could spend more time with them, but I’ll head up sometime in October and we’ll have a big birthday celebration.

september 002bI finished mittens for my niece! They were for last Christmas. Ahem. They’re Give A Hoot by Jocelyn Tunney (Ravelry link) and I LOVE them. It felt so good to get them done. I also am finishing up the button band on the baby sweater I’ve been knitting since July. They baby was born July 20 and the mom is back to work, so that’s a little behind too.

And, I’m just generally feeling good. I haven’t felt good like this in a long, long time. There’s still too much going on. I’m still not keeping up on life, but I feel like I’ve turned some kind of corner and I’ve got an opportunity to take a deep breath and reconfigure things so what’s important to me is on the top of the list again. It’ll be hard to be patient while I figure out what works, but that’s ok.  I’ll get there.

30 Days of Happiness – Day 4

So yeah, as I mentioned at the end of the last post, I got a new job!!!

This opportunity came to me by my good friend that I worked with one job back. I trust her judgement completely, and she says I’m going to love it. She let me know there was an opportunity on Thursday, I sent her my resume on Friday, I received an email setting up a phone interview that same day, I had the interview at 3 on Monday, I received a follow-up email 45 minutes later asking me to come in the next morning, I went in at 8:30 on Tuesday, found out they wanted me at 5pm that same day, and received the offer letter today. Fast and furious, but it feels very, very right. And I trust my friend.

I had a call with them yesterday afternoon and they were giggling with happiness that I’m joining them. I can’t begin to describe how good that feels. I’ll be working with a small team, it’s a contract position, so I’m my own boss, and it removes me from the very miserable current situation that’s been eating my energy, soul, and ability to be happy.

So today, I’m overwhelmingly happy for good friends who look out for each other, for a new job, and for the great possibility that lies ahead!

30 Days of Happiness – Day 3

Today I was walking from the Metro to the office after a great interview for a new job. I had texted my mom to tell her it went really well and to keep her fingers crossed. She responded with, “I’ll say another prayer for you!”

I’m not a God girl. I was never drawn to religion, never found comfort or solace in it, and never really bought it. It just never made sense to me, never clicked. My mom required that we attend church every Sunday (except summers) our entire childhoods, and then stopped going after we were all out of the house.  I know there was more to her leaving church than that, but it seemed hypocritical at the time.

Recently, she began attending again and has started up with random “pray for me” comments. I’ve found them really annoying. I’m not into church, or praying, or your defined religion. Don’t push that on me. Why would you say that to me knowing who I am and how I feel?

Today, I got that text and felt the annoyance start to creep in. I started formulating snappy replies in my head.

Today, I was able to stop.

Mom saying a prayer for me=me crossing my fingers for someone=sending someone hugs and good energy=wishing someone well. This message came from her, and so I need to perceive it as coming from her. I understood her intention, so why should she have to modify her way of communicating that intention because she’s talking to ME? I won’t pray for my Catholic friend, but I will send her all the good energy, healing thoughts, hope and peace that I can possibly conjure up. She knows my intent, and she appreciates it. It’s the same thing.

I don’t know what made me stop today, but I feel like I finally internalized a lesson that I’ve been trying to teach myself for years now. Maybe it was the confidence boost from the great interview and the bouyancy that gave me. It felt so good to drop the defensiveness and just take in what she was saying. It felt good to take her for the best person she could be. And it felt amazing to feel myself finally, and not in retrospect, thinking in this way.

Oh, and by the way… I got the job. GLEE!

Cool breezes in the summertime.

When I was young, I would watch the curtains for signs of fluttering. It would mean relief on those stifling summer nights when even the sheet felt to heavy, sticking to my skin. I’d throw a leg toward the breeze, hoping to feel it whisper on me, hoping it would cool me down so I could drift with it into sleep. Sometimes, when the season was right, it would bring wafts of lilacs into the room and sweeten the evening, or raindrops from a summer storm. Mostly, it just brought cool relief.

Tonight, the windows are wide open. It’s cool outside, and the breeze is following me through the house. It’s bringing back visions of childhood of looking from my pillow towards my feet and over to the window to watch the curtains billow towards me, breathing their relief, sighing me to sleep.