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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Need to be rooted

Past two years I've been thinking about quitting my activities.  Maybe it's not about what to quit.  Maybe it's about how to be present in what I do, how to choose rather than be buffeted about.

Two woman I know come across as whiny.  They are overwhelmed.  So much pressure on them.
Three men I know are the opposite.  They say okay, this is the problem, this is what we're going to do about it.  In particular, today I saw one of them approaching the bureaucracy at my job that way.  I get frustrated about it.  But they are just like okay, what do I have to do, and they do it.

I was like that Monday.  Not at my job.  Not about  my life.  But when I needed to help someone else, I didn't agonize and fret. I just went forward, finding out what I needed to do and doing it.  Patiently facing each step of bureaucracy.

On Saturday, I was part of an event that was not well organized.  The woman who organized it was overwhelmed, not enough time to do everything that should have been done.  I know what that's like.  That's what I'm always like.  But she should not have held the event if she couldn't pull it off.  People invested time and money into participating.  They counted on the organizer to pull it off, and she failed.  We wasted time and money as a result.

A man I work with is constantly frustrated with another man we work with, someone who says he will do things and then does not do them because he has too many things to do.

So we need to just say okay, this is what I can do, and this is what I can't do, so I'm not going to do it.

And Morris dancing.  I am often frustrated about how my group is run.  I'm frustrated that the teacher does not teach in a way that I can learn from.  I am frustrated that the organizer does not welcome input from new people.  I am frustrated that we are not a good team, that we are just stagnant, we're not learning to be better.

But it is what it is.  I say okay, this is the Morris team that exists in the area where I live.  I'll deal with it, just like the guy I talked to today deals with bureaucracy.

I can't control anything but myself.  The world is what it is.  I make choices about how I'm going to deal with it.  I can decide I want to do Morris dancing, and I can be assertive about trying to get what I want out of it, trying to shift the team more toward what I want, but there's only so far that can take me.  Beyond that, I just have to live with what is.

In any sort of dance or exercise class out in the world, I am klutzy.  I am not rooted in my body.  I try to put my body into the positions demanded by the instructor, even though it is not the way my body wants to go.

When I am home alone, I feel at home inside my skin.

And I think that's what I'm looking for.  Not just the physical, but just to be rooted in myself.  Instead, I go through life trying to conform to the demands of the world around me.  Instead of trying to fit the world, and being frustrated that the world is not what I want it to be, I need to walk calmly through the world, saying this is what I am, and this is what the world is, so what do we do next/

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Casting about

From What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson: "They did not find some Single Perfect Answer to the question; at some point it felt right enough that they made their choice, and the energy formerly spent casting about was now devoted to making their choice fruitful for as long as it might last."

That's the experience I had 20 years ago. I was casting about, jobhunting.  When I finally found a  job, it was such a relief to just sit down and live.  But now for years I have been casting again.  I've been jobhunting, but also, I'm casting with my activities.  I have the urge to join things right and left, even though I am doing too many things.  I want to just settle.  To make choices about my activities, to do few enough that I can really get involved in one, and develop in that area.  Instead, I can't quite put enough time into any of them, so I don't get what I want out of any of them.

Dreams

I had a lot of dreams last night.  What that really means is  I woke up a lot.  Because I only remember if I wake up right after.  I dreamed about the phantom of the opera, trees, my cousin, my other cousin, my cousins again, and playing bass.

Phantom of the opera: I don't remember very well.  I was a performer, and I had a phantom to help me.  But in the Phantom of the Opera,  it was like a guy hiding behind the walls.  This was more like an actual phantom.  I think I was dancing, and he kind of got inside my body and moved me.  I was glad because I wanted to be able to perform.

Trees: I was at my mother's house, and the leaves had very few leaves on them.  I said, "It's not because it's spring and they haven't come out yet.  It's July.  They should be out."  I was upset.  It seemed to be caused by some human thing, like pollution/climate change.

Cousins: It seems to me that I had a dream that told about my cousin's career or education.  Then I woke up.  Then I went back to sleep and had a dream about her brother.  Then I woke up.  I tried to remember that dream by reviewing it.  Then I was having a dream that I was reviewing it.  I was at my mother's house, where my cousins, their father, and other relatives were gathered.  I told them the story of the dream I had about my cousin.  It was time for them to go, and I was finishing the story about the dream as we were walking them out to their cars.  I was kind of hurrying to finish up telling before they left.  I didn't have time to tell the dream about his sister.  Now I don't remember a thing about the dream about his sister, and I'm not totally sure if I had the dream or just dreamed that I had had one about her that I also wanted to tell.  But it seems to me that I had one.  It seems to me that I remember knowing that when I was awake, before I had the dream about telling the dream about her brother.

Anyway, a few more things about the dream about telling them the dream: We were in the living room at my mother's house, but when we went out to walk them to their cars, it was not like the front yard at my mother's house.  It was flat, and you walk straight ahead for a while, and then you get to the road, and the cars were parked along the side of the road.  It wasn't a city place, with sidewalks and cars parked on the street. It was a country place, where cars pull partly onto the grass when they park on the road.

There was a girl already in a car, and I had some concern, I think that we shouldn't surprise or scare her when we came up to her.  I think that some other relative had a mischievous scheme.

So the dream about my cousin that I first had, then re-told in the subsequent dream:  It seemed to be long and detailed, but I don't remember that many details now.  He went to college.  A friend from high school went to the same college.  The dream seemed to cover details about what great achievements he had in college.  I think he originally intended to major in one thing, and then decided to major in political science.  Then he went to graduate school for a PhD, but did not like it and left after one year.

Playing bass: We were at a place, like a store.  People were going to play music instruments.  Last time, I had played bass.  I didn't know how, so I had just played random notes.  Someone asked why I wasn't playing this time.  The reason was because there were real musicians this time.

Also at some point in the dreams, I was looking online for my high school yearbook, but it was missing.  It was like there was a listing for my high school, but my year was missing.  Then I did a search for the name of one of my classmates.  (Someone I have been in touch with on Facebook recently, but was not close to in high school.)  I got a result.  It said it was for British Columbia.  I looked through it, and all the people in it were my classmates.  So it had just been mis-labeled.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A good day

It seems like today was the first time in a long time that I've had a day of my own.  Weekdays, I've been working long hours, so I've been kind of exhausted on weekends.  Last weekend, I had social events both Saturday and Sunday. The week before was my radio show.  The week before was car shopping.  The week before was more car shopping and a time bank meeting.  The week before was a time bank picnic and a radio show. But today was all my own.  And it's a three day weekend, and all three days are all my own, except for one hour of giving my friend a ride.

Today I did laundry and got groceries and went for a walk.  It has been a long time since I went for a walk.  Was the last time when my aunt visited in June?  When was the last time I went for a walk on my own? I think I remember one in the winter.  Any since then? I used to go for walks every week.

The weather was superb today. It will rain Sunday and Monday, so it's good I got my walk in, and that I have indoor chores to work on in the coming days.

I had been stressed out about my situation.  Stressed out about:

  • I have to get a new job but I don't know what kind of job to get.
  • I have to get a new job but I never have time for jobhunting.
  • Even if I did apply for jobs, I wouldn't get them, so I'm stuck with my job, and my job bugs me.  It bugs me that the past few months there are people implying that I don't work hard, don't know what I'm doing, and don't work efficiently.  
  • I need more free time, because I need more time for chores, walks, sleeping, cooking, etc.  But in order to get more free time, I would have to quit one of my activities, and I don't want to.
Today I read some job postings.  Today I felt like I had a plan.  I'm going to apply for registrar jobs.  It think I can be comfortable earning a living that way.  Meanwhile, what seems really interesting is oral history.  I'm going to apply for an oral history job, but that's a long shot.  What I'm also going to try to do is volunteer to do oral history.  Working as a registrar and volunteering to do oral history.  That's a plan I can live with.  In my imagination, I get the registrar job here in the city where I live now. Of course it's not so simple.  But when I imagine that, it seems like there's a future that would be okay for me.  Yesterday, I don't think I could see a future that would be okay.

So my to do list for tomorrow and Monday:
  1. Apply for the jobs I found posted today.
  2. Check for more postings.
  3. Looking into oral history volunteering.
  4. Pay bills.
  5. Financial management. Figure out budget, and how to move accounts around.
  6. Sort clutter.
  7. Clean house.
  8. Iron clothes.
There are also several other things, but those are the main things.  

Today, I hung laundry on the porch.

Today it was very windy.

Usually I hang some things on hangers and some with clothespins.

Today was too windy for hangers.

Today was so windy that the two things hanging on my porch fell down -- a plant, and a decorative thing.  

Today was sunny, warm, not to hot.  Blue sky.  Glittering sunshine.  A superb day.  

When I was a kid, teeanger, and young adult, on days like today, I wanted to be in the woods or at the ocean, but I could not go because I had not car, and the people I lived with did not want to take me.

Now I have a car.  Today I drove to a park by a river, and took a walk and saw the sunlight shimmering on the river.

A good day.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Incompetent unless proven otherwise

At my job I always work long hours in August.  I've told people months in advance that I can't do the activities they propose if they will take place in August.

Yesterday evening as I sat working in my office, it struck me that I don't mind being here.  I like what I'm doing.

But what upsets me about my  job is people implying that I'm not working hard, that I don't know what I am doing, that I'm not efficient.

And at Morris dance, it upsets my that the organizer shuts out people who want to be involved, and that the teacher can't teach.

But the thing is, that's what human endeavors are like.  Fellow humans never behave the way we'd like them to.  Part of life is accepting that and rolling with it.

But there are also times when the situation is wrong, and the best thing you can do is walk away.

Article from the New Republic about what transgender people learn from the experience of changing genders: female to male, you get treated better.  Male to female, you get treated worse.  Article says, “men are assumed to be competent until proven otherwise, whereas a woman is assumed to be incompetent until she proves otherwise.”

It hit me today because that's how I feel at my job.  Like they assume I'm not competent.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Media sensation

In my Facebook news feed, an article published by GQ a few days ago.  I think it might be for what is called the September issue, though it is not yet September.  The article was about Christopher Knight, the North Pond Hermit.  After seeing the article, I looked for other articles about him.  Some were not so sympathetic.  Some called his living conditions "squalid."

They say things like that to make it sound shocking, because if they make it sound shocking, they make more money.

He never wanted to be a media sensation.  A very private person has his life put on display for the profit of the media.  It's obscene.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dreams

A few nights ago I had a dream that was inspired by both my car shopping and my upcoming high school reunion (I had recently seen some Facebook posts about the reunion.)  I dreamed that I was at the reunion, and the it was a lecture given by the valedictorian.  [My high school valedictorian is now my Facebook friend, and someone I like.]  In the dream, I did not see the valedictorian.  What I remember is sitting in the seat, feeling really good because I had just heard a great speech.  Then it was over and everyone went out to the parking garage.  There were some people who I did not know who were getting into their car.  I said, "Hey, is that a Chevy Cobalt? Can I sit inside for a minute and see how it feels?"

Then I was sitting in the back seat, and the two people who came in that car were in the front seats.  It was a two door car.  They started driving away.  I said, "Hey, I want to get out!"  But because it was a two door car, I could not get out unless one of them got out, and they did not get out, so I was trapped.

Then last night I dreamed I was going back to my college.  There is a long campus road leading into campus.  Along the road are houses occupied by the college president and other administrators and faculty.  Apparently I was going to start a job there, because I was thinking about whether I could live in one of those houses.

I was with my sister.  We saw someone walking along.  She looked familiar to me, and I looked familiar to her.  We thought that perhaps she had taught one of the classes I had taken, and we were trying to figure out which one.  "Did you take any political science?" she asked.  I told her that I graduated in 1988 and that I had taken two multidisciplinary courses at a neighboring school  that were partly political science.

We were in a room and there was a shelf with senior theses on it.  Mine was there, and I was surprised to see that it was about education.  I thought I had majored in psychology.  My college did not have an education major, so people who majored in education only did so as a self-designed major.  I was the only education major my year, and there wasn't one the year after, so the thesis next to mine was from the next education major, who was in the class of 1990.  It was my sister, and her thesis was on the philosophy of education.  [My sister is 17 years younger than me and did not go to college.]

Later, I dreamed that I was working on an Excel spreadsheet and I clicked on a cell that it did not make sense to click on.  It was like I was in a daze.  Excel recognized the lack of sense behind my actions, and a message box popped up that said, "Are you ok?"