Monday, October 13, 2014

A Day of Reflection

Sundays seem to be a day of reflection for me. This is the first day of my weekend every week, and Sunday evenings are when I can finally sit still, not worry about the next day so much, goof off a little and relax. So yes, I get reflective. And again I'm thinking about how much things are changing, have changed. It's an odd thing to pack up all of our things and move across country at my age. I'm sure it's odd regardless of your age, but I suspect that it's more unusual when one is past mid-life, or at least well into mid-life. I've never lived outside of Ohio before . . . well, those 4 years at college barely count because a. I was only 30 minutes into the next state and b. I was only 1 hour from home and c. I still had my bedroom at Mom and Dad's house. Sometimes I forget that I'm not in Ohio. I mean, you know how you get used to working and going home and taking care of yourself and you don't see your personal pals for several days or maybe a week or two? Sometimes it feels like that is happening here and like I'll just have to make sure I get all my chores done during the week better so that when Sunday afternoon comes I'll be able to go to knitting. But then I look around me and see the palm trees, the oh-so-bright sunlight and the 90 degree weather in October, not to mention the new-to-me faces and town, and my situation comes back to me like a flood. Mostly I really like my life here, actually. Thursday was an All Staff Training Day for the library system and I got to see the whole system together in one place. This staff is about 1/2 the size of the staff in Columbus (numbers, not pant sizes . . . although I didn't go around and measure waists, so you never know, but that would be weird, to measure everyone and really, who does that?). So there were about 250-300 people there. It was a great day, good training and decent food. The best, though, for me, was that I actually felt like I knew people and like I had enough friends that I wasn't the total n00b that I was afraid I'd be. These folks are great, fun, creative, talented, warm, accepting, open-minded, snarky - all the things I like in people. It was fun to mingle, and I learned stuff, too. And church - I love my new church! The people are fantastic, so kind and generous. They serve their community, care about the world and the city, the environment, the children - it's terrific. They like me for who I am, even allow me to have faults and don't judge me harshly. Pretty cool stuff. I get lonely sometimes, but you know what? Truth be told, I got lonely sometimes in Columbus, too. It's just the stage of life. It's how things are when you're a divorced 50-yr-old woman. The world doesn't revolve around me and I can certainly take care of myself. I'm doing just fine.

Friday, September 19, 2014

There is an app that I've loaded on my phone called Timehop. It's a cool thing. It digs through your twitter and Facebook feeds for posts from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 years ago and sends you "memories" each day. I kinda like it because it gives me a sense of the passage of time. I can see how it will be really cool the longer we've all been social-media-ing. And in a week like this, for me, it's a mixed bag of emotions. Yesterday was Simon's birthday. He's 20. Timehop sent me all the posts, each year, that I've put up to celebrate his birthday, including his pictures. Sweet. Tomorrow, however, will be the anniversary of my wedding day. I don't even know what to call it now that we're divorced. Unniversary? Angriversary? Whatever. 4 years ago I said "18 years ago I married my best friend! I love you . . ." blah blah blah. 3 years ago I said "tomorrow is our 19th wedding anniversary - my heart is breaking again and again". Pretty darn accurate. The last 2 years I posted nothing that Timehop shared about the event, just other stuff. 22. This would be 22 years. And look how much has changed in the last 4. I don't know if I'm crazy for changing so much so quickly, or if I've kept myself sane BECAUSE I've adapted and changed so quickly. Since I'm unsure which it is, I'll err on the side of positivity and say it's the latter. So, Happy September 19.

Monday, September 01, 2014

The New Kid

I can't say it has been easy.  The last 6 months have been the craziest, quickest and slowest 6 months of my life. 6 months ago I was packing my stuff, endlessly sorting and packing and throwing away and crying and giving away and cleaning and packing.  A year ago I was searching and praying and crying and worrying and searching and searching and searching. Today I have been living.

What I did today:

  • Chatted with a dear friend on FB early in the morning.
  • Sang too loud and long in church - twice.
  • Hung out with a family at their home, walked through their garden, clucked at their chickens, buttered bread for a little boy, shared heart-truths with a friend.
  • Took a long nap with my cat.
  • Talked on the phone with my mom.
  • Watched several episodes of a good tv show and missed the kind, sweet, generous man who recorded them for me, but I talked to him on the phone today, too.
  • Played my uke.

In short, I'm back to living life. Sure, I got a little teary during a few episodes of Growing Up Fisher, and I miss my friends back in Ohio.  I miss my Sunday afternoons of knitting and sharing with Laura, Don, Josh and whoever else showed up.  I miss the ease of never having to look at a map to find my way around town. I miss not having to explain the backstory of my life every time I share anything. I miss knowing other backstories, too.  Heck, I miss  being certain I know the person's name who is talking to me.  I often have to ask!

But I don't miss the worry.  My house is sold, my job is secure, my boss likes me, I'm working hard and I'm passionate about my job again, I'm involved in a good church where I and those around me are valued and loved and I feel like I'm really starting to make a place for myself here.

Oh, and yea, I kinda like all the sunshine.  I mean - it's always sunny!  Except at night.  California is dark at night.  You know, like normal.

I'm still The New Kid, but I seem to have found people who "get" me.  What a blessing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Last Night

So many goodbyes this week, but I am done with crying for now. My mind is filled with all of the final details of my move. Tomorrow I will pack my cat and myself into my little car and head to Kansas City. Friday Simon will join us and we will take an epic road trip. It should be a great Spring Break for him. I am concentrating on the trip. Got maps from AAA today. Next week I will think about how my trip is one way this time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


There is one more load of stuff in  my house hat needs to be taken to be donated; furniture, mostly.  My couch, bed, a table, a few chairs I've kept to use here in the finals days.  I have 2 suitcases to pack, some random food that is left that I will take to  my boyfriend, and those most important papers I have to keep with me.  The party Saturday night was fun, and this week is filled with last minute errands; getting records from the Vet, going to the post office, handling paperwork.

But as I go through the week I am struck by the seeming finality of it all.  I have to concentrate on the adventure of my life, but I can't help but feel doors closing.  I know these friendships will last forever, but the changes wrought by my new geographic location will be abundant.  What this change will mean for us all will be determined in the coming  weeks and months.  For now, I try not to weep as I sit across from my dear bff for our last breakfast, share my last quick lunch with my sister, my last Sunday afternoon of knitting with the gentle group, my last evening with the GKP, the last night of sleep in my house . . . so many lasts.

Next week I will get some firsts.  For now, I will embrace the lasts.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Next Great Adventure

I've been on an odd journey the last 7 months.  I've been aggressively seeking a new job while jobless.  Add to that the exciting fact that this is one of the worst periods in US history for people in mid-life to find jobs, and one of the worst periods of US history when considering the funding of public libraries . . . you can start to see glimpses of some of the challenges I've faced.

But I have been victorious!  I have a job!  I will be starting work with the Sacramento Public Library  March 25! 

Just let that sink in a minute.

Sacramento . . . as in California.  It happens to be the capital of California, and although it's a smaller city than Columbus, it is still fairly large.

I can hardly express all of the emotions that are swirling around inside me at this point.  I'm excited, for sure, happy and honored to be going to a new library, to have been chosen.  I am thrilled for this new adventure, going to California and staying!  I am sad to be leaving friends, getting further from family, leaving this house in which I raised my son.  I am tired from the stress.  I am relieved to be working on a specific goal now, able to truly pack so I can move somewhere specific and do a specific job.  I'm a little anxious that I'll overlook something important, forget to do something that needs to be done, miss an appointment. 

So yes, there is a lot, but mostly I'm excited. I have but a few days left in Columbus.  My stuff is all sorted, and the things I'm keeping are packed into Uhaul Pods and already en route to Cali.  Everything else has been portioned out, donated, taken by others, hauled off to the dump, trashed, sold, etc.  Seriously, I can't even tell you how much stuff was in this house.  Way.  Too.  Much..Stuff. Never again!  Lean and nimble, that's how I want to live.  In fact, I'm already thinking that I'll have to donate more stuff once I'm moved into my new apartment and see what, exactly, I need and what I don't need.

But that's just stuff.  The hard part is my friends, my dear chosen family.  A few friends put on a party for me last night here in my mostly-empty house.  There were probably over 40 people who came, and I know a bunch of friends who couldn't make it for one reason or another.  How blessed am I?  Very!  Each person who came is special to me in one way or another - co-worker, colleague, knitter, college friend, friend through other means. church mates, you name it.  I am fortunate to have so many friends, and I really really appreciate Carol and Nick who did so much (esp. Carol) to make last night's party a success.  Such great food, so much laughter, so much joy bursting around in my house again!  This is how our lives should be lived, not around stuff, but around relationships, around people, around sincere caring.  Thank you, my friends.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dream of a Hero

I once had a dream that I was at a reenactment event (Rendezvous friends, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout) and as I was walking through the field at night, making my way between tents, I heard singing in the distance.  This is not unusual.  Singing at night around the campfire is largely why I fell in love with Rendezvous and there are usually many sing-alongs around many campfires all around the encampment.  In this dream I turned towards the music and walked up over a small rise to see a group of folks around a warm, inviting fire.  The singing grew louder as I approached and I could make out the individual instruments - washbasin bass, banjo, guitar, fiddle, maybe a dulcimer in there . . . yes, there's the dulcimer's drones . . .

I kept walking and could begin to make out some voices.  Many I recognized as Rendezvous people and one voice, in particular, sounded so familiar it was like family.  It wasn't family, though, it was Pete Seeger.  I could hear him singing and I was so happy because I knew he must love Rendezvous and all of the music we have at night.  I started walking more quickly, nearly running (although even in my dream I knew that running through a field of tents in the dark is foolish - too many tent stakes and ropes), and just as I got to the edge of the circle and was about to speak to my hero . . . I woke up.

That dream was so vivid, so real at the time that I spent all day recalling it.  I've thought about it often ever since, and it's probably been at least 12 years since I had it.  I've thought about it as I lay down at night, hoping that I could return to that fire and sing along with him, but it has never happened.

Today, on the day after his passing, I pray that he is enjoying a great campfire with a great many singers.  I know that someday, Mr. Seeger, I will get to sing with you in the afterlife . . . unless you're singing protest songs in front of the Pearly Gates. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Is It Too Late to Air Grievances?

Pet Peeves
  • adobe forms that don't save
  • requiring snail mail submissions
  • waiting
  • applications that require that you repeat everything on your resume (what is the point of this?)
  • requiring someone applying for the top position in an organization to complete the same application that your entry-level positions require (yes, I'm over 18 and no longer need my parents to sign for me, yes I want full-time)
  • requiring an official transcript from graduate school after I've been in the field as a professional for 22 years
  • waiting
  • printer cartridges that run out too quickly
  • drafty house
  • waiting
  • waiting 
  • waiting

Thursday, January 02, 2014

2013 is dead, long live 2014!

I shall make 2 lists (love them!).  One is the list of good and wonderful things of 2013.  The other is a list of things that provided big challenges to me.  You decide which is which.

List 1

  • stopped working at CML
  • worked hard to ready the house for sale - after living here 16-17 years, it's a big job!
  • living completely alone (with Rosie) in my house most of the time now

List 2

  • A dear friend successfully came through a double-transplant procedure and is still doing well a year later!
  • participated in a great group called Divorce Care that really allowed me to process more stuff from my divorce.
  • got to hear Geoffrey Canada speak in person.
  • met Troy - a really great guy and we're still dating after 9 months!
  • stopped working at CML
  • have received remarkable and heroic support from my parents
  • had loads of help and did some great clean-up and work on my house to ready it for sale
  • celebrated my son graduating from HS and Career Center - so proud!
  • watched a great revised performance of Hamlet done by the Black Box Theater Career Center, Simon as stage manager
  • had a boarder for a month
  • went to ALA in Chicago, visited Scott and Tony
  • had many interviews for a bunch of different libraries over phone, skype and in person
  • transported Simon to Kansas City Art Institute - got him settled in  with the help of Mom and drove back - much fun!
  • saw Troy perform a couple of times, even provided rides as the chief driver - much fun!
  • Troy took me to Hawaii!
  • Many good times with my friends  - so supportive, loving, compassionate.
  • Great visits with my folks and renewed friendships from college days up in that area - really wonderful
  • Great times with my son, mostly watching movies or talking about movies
  • Miraculously able to keep afloat and make ends meet, with help from my parents and support from friends (not to mention support and encouragement from Troy)

I love how these lists all worked out.  It's been a hard, challenging year in some very crucial ways but overall it's been fine.  I'm still here, I'm still afloat.  My unemployment may have ended (unless Congress does something to change that) but I somehow have this feeling that everything is going to work out.  I don't know what it comes from except possibly God.  I haven't been doing much of those godly things that one is supposed to do, but somehow He is still with me.  Go figure.  I still freak out sometimes, get really upset or really worried about things, and those close to me will attest that my emotions are always right under the surface and come bursting out most inconveniently at times (seriously, must I cry so much?).  All in all, though, there are worse things to deal with in this life.  I am fortunate to have so many blessings.  2013, a rocky year but one filled with MANY MORE BLESSINGS than challenges.