Too busy?

Alright, so I’ve been really bad at keeping my thoughts updated and organized (and published here).  I, like probably many people, am going to make the excuse that I have been too busy.  And while that does hold some weight because life does get busy, and we often take on too much to be able to actually get it all done, we all choose the things that are most important to us to spend our “free” time doing.  And while I have been taking on some quite important tasks, I feel like this here is something that I need to find the time to do.

This chronicling, while not for fame or fashion, is a wonderful way to do exactly what I first stated I was neglecting–getting my thoughts organized, focused, current, and concentrating on what is important.  It’s also a great way to keep myself accountable.  Though I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with all my personal homework assignments, I am going to lay them out again.  For me and anyone else to see:

  1. Get fit – for sailing, for self, for skinny jeans…
  2. Run, bike, hike, camp, SAIL
  3. Therapy – of all sorts

Someone told me once you should write down your top to-do items.  Never keep more than 3-5 items on the top list, and don’t worry about the rest of the things to do.  You only lose focus on the whole list if you don’t stay focused on the top items.  And, really, when do you not have real top 3 items that you HAVE to get done.  It’s like laundry–there’s always some you could be doing, but when you’re down to your last pair of skivvies that task shoots straight to the top of the list, now doesn’t it?

So there’s my top list overall in life.  My daily list is always different, but those are my top 3 things to get done this year.  I have specifically taken steps to make sure I stay on this path.  We have the California State Golden Poppy Day Pass, running shoe shopping is constantly at the top of the daily list (until it gets done), and vacation is already requested for some camping dates and sailing dates.  2014 here I come!  (Starting out sort of organized.)

Of superheroes and promises

There’s a point in everyone’s life when they realize their hero is just a wo/man.  A moment when reality catches up and overtakes fantasy.  When cognition switches from concrete to abstract.  There also seems to be a moment when ultimate mortality becomes a real and pressing problem.  Not just when we understand what it means, but when we really have to face it square in the eye.

I think most children when very young believe their parents can do anything.  They are Superman, Wonder Woman, maybe even the Hulk.  Parents have supernatural powers that heal wounds, and save us from peril, that protect and shield us from corruption and harm.  They’re like Macgyver and Santa Claus all rolled into one.  We get older, though, and start to question, some even rebel against the idea and the person they used to idolize.  We see failures and short-comings, and begin to understand that our parents are only human.

When I was about nine I’d had enough of the realities of life.  I had already experienced too much loss, sorrow, and suffering, and I knew I was on the verge of having to experience so much more.  I broke down for days sobbing and railing against time.  I could not be consoled with logic or bribed with sweets.  So, finally, in desperation, my mother promised me that I would never have to pass that year up–that I would never have to grow up–that I would always get to be 9.  I knew it wasn’t true even then, but for some reason it was very comforting.  And it made the future less scary.

I prayed every night for about two years straight that my parents wouldn’t die while I was asleep.  That my family would still be there in the morning.  I feared additional loss.  But physical presence does not a relationship make, and over time we all grow up and move apart.  We suffer more loss, but we also find joy.  We learn and grow and get older.  Like all humans I could not escape time, no matter what my superhero said.  But some parts of me must still be stuck back at 9.  Still trying to delay the inevitable, still railing against time……and loss.

A Knitter’s Tip

Don’t get too attached.

It’s probably a very common warning among creative types, but it’s something that I find very important in continuing to love my hobby. Many people when they start a project—any project—really just want to see it complete. Personally, I love knitting for the process. (Otherwise I would have gotten bored of scarfs and hats years ago.) But many people, once they’ve started something, and especially when it’s almost done, can’t bear to “lose” that progress. Some folks might even just finish for the sake of finishing, even if the end result is virtually unusable.

Don’t be afraid to rip it out!

A lot of projects you end up doing twice. If at first you don’t succeed, and that awesome orange hat you’ve made for your big-headed boyfriend is too small and pinches his head, rip out the stitches and start anew. It’s never a waste do something right, even if it takes a couple of times doing to get it there.

Love what you do.

As I said before, I love the process. I love yarn shops. I love yarn. I like the simplicity of knits and purls. It’s a quick easy meditation. It keeps my hands busy and my mind at ease. It’s beautiful, simple, and a wonderful thing to share. And if you love it, it’s not going to matter how many times you knit it.

And, yes, I have to knit that hat again. All told it was a few rows too short.

Update

I just re-read my last post. Boy do I feel like a schlub. My intentions were a little greater than my body could handle. I did go sailing though, so I’ll let you decide if the tradeoff was worth it. (Hint: I think it was!)

I ended up re-injuring myself a little. Not to anywhere near the same scale as the suffering from last year, but enough that I was incapacitated for several weeks and in the chiropractors office about 4 times during one week.

It all comes back to sailing. I went out for a Friday night Beer Can race. I can’t recall the last time I was on a boat before that night…..I was trimming jib and it was a good, breezy night. We tacked and jibed for a good starting position, and I was getting a good workout. I had been complaining for about an hour before we got to the dock, but that old familiar feeling of working those muscles removed all whiny-ness. Two hours of sailing bliss, back to the club for a beer, then home, tired and sore.

Fast forward three days and it feels like my rib is trying to rip out away from my spine. Which it was. Chiropractor confirmed I’d pulled a rib in the back. Who knew you could do that?!? It was horrible. I couldn’t sleep on that side—any weight was extremely painful. I couldn’t ride my bike or carry a backpack, do yoga or any other physical exercise that included weight or stretching. It hurt to use my computer. Seriously. Using my mouse off to the right of my keyboard irritated the whole region where that rib was, and it made work a realllllllly looooooooong day.

So I made the brave decision to just give it up. Rest. Relax. Recuperate. It’s hard to do nothing. I mean for a day or two, that’s easy. But I’ve been doing nothing far too long, and after having made some progress, it was hard to put it all on hold.

Well, it took a few weeks, but I finally felt that rib popped back into place. I rested up a couple of more weeks so the soreness, stiffness, tenderness would go away. But now it’s time. First day back on the bike tomorrow!

Oh, but can’t eat now. Got braces. Ah…life.

Making change happen today

We all have it. The mile-long to-do list that keeps are lives perpetually moving toward getting something done, changing a situation, improving ourselves in some way. And for many people, including myself, it’s a to-do list that keeps growing and rarely shrinks except for forgetfulness. But here’s the rub: in order to actually create change—to make something happen—you have to change, you have to do something different.

Now, this may seem obvious, but really think about. How many times do you step back from a situation and actually try to do something differently? How many times do you simply write it down again on that everlasting to-do list of things you need to change? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the fuzzy, feel good, self-improvement cheerleader type. I’m far too pragmatic for that.

This is how I’m making change happen today.

  • 1. I’m doing the things I mean to do. Instead of wondering how others find the time to do yoga every day, I’m doing yoga. Instead of talking about when I’m going to start a daily routine of it, I just did it.
  • 2. I’m holding myself accountable. I’m making my intentions public so that I have someone besides myself to answer for when I look at that morning donut or think about skipping just one ______ session. There’s no better motivation than public humiliation. Might as well set myself up to show off excellent results.
  • 3. I’m not apologizing anymore. I hate sounding like a broken record. Apologies seem less sincere, less meaningful, when repeated time and again. Instead of apologizing for something for the umpteenth time, I’m going to balance the situation with action. Accept my mistake, change the behavior, move forward.

Street art

I was driving home a couple of months ago, passing several little corner shops—you know the ones, that mostly carry soda, cigarettes, and beer—when a stop sign gave me a second to pause and look around at my surroundings.  What I found was life, art, creativity, a vibrant excerpt of a unique urban experience.

Everyone has their own idea about what constitutes art.  My mom always complained about a guy who peed in a jar and put a crucifix in with it.  I agree, not art.  Kind of disgusting really.  But I’ve seen some…interesting examples of art in the numerous galleries and coffee shops and studios around town.  I’ve also seen some pretty amazing graffiti.  What I found I think measures somewhere in between.

streetart

115 days?!?!?

Could it really have been a 1/3 of a year since I last logged a weblog entry?  How is it that almost 4 months have passed without me writing down a jot?

Oh yeah, working full time really does suck up days.

I had gotten so used to the “more casual work schedule” shall we say?  I had forgotten what it was like to work every weekday, each week, for months.  I hadn’t even noticed so much time had passed since I had last visited my thoughts.  The public ones.  Here.  I have had thoughts……

Anywho, it did occur to me that it’s been quite some time since I had spent any REAL time worrying about getting these particular juices flowing, and I have to say, I’m really glad I’m taking the time now.  Working the 9 to 5 (again) you forget sometimes to take a step back, breath in, re-evaluate, breath out, and move on, move forward.  It’s not a bad thing to be busy, but it’s nice to make time for other things besides life maintenance items and lists, the commute, and the constant chatter in your brain that is left-over stress from the daily grind.  (Note to self: that’d be a GREAT coffee shop name!)  Honestly, it’s also nice to have the holidays over.  They’re always……a mixed bag.

Now that it’s March, it is, of course, easier for me to think.  The winter hazy is fading away.  The spring sneezes have moved in a little, though.  I’ve gone to working somewhere between part time and full time, and I like it.  I’ve been crafting, hot tubbing, traveling, crafting, but no sailing yet.  I rode my bike to work almost every day in February.  Life has kept moving along, even if I wasn’t paying attention to the time that was passing.  Friends got married, others fell in love, I gained and lost 5 pounds in a week, 1 year olds became 2 year olds and 3 year olds became 4 years olds, I found new family and re-visited old memories, and still time doesn’t care if I notice it at all.  It just keeps ticking by, little by little, second by second, minute to hour, days, nights……but not for another 115 days till I meet you again.

 

I know I already said this

But I LOVE road trips. Of all the things that could be troublesome in relationships, road tripping is not one of those for me and G. I am grateful for long car rides, hoppin’ tunes, tethering, and SoCal beaches.

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A “free” democracy

Today I am grateful for the right to vote, and while not all choices are easy, or even good, it’s still nice to have that choice.

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Road trips and pizza places

So G and I have adventure days. We purposefully plan nothing for an entire day. Well, we put a whole day of nothing on the calendar since we’re usually so damn busy on the weekends, but what we actually end up doing those days is taking ourselves to look for a new adventure!

We all get so busy in life with the every day worries of maintaining life that sometimes we forget why we’re living it. So G and I remind ourselves. At least once a month. This month led us to pizza at Prospector in Twain Harte. I’m not going to say that simply driving 3 hours to get pizza is necessarily adventurous per se, but it does get more interesting when you’ve reached your destination in the middle of nowhere and the restaurant you’ve driven to is closed. For the next 2 days.

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I am grateful for pizza, road trips, and especially ADVENTURE!

Friends with…..announcements

So this is my gratitude for November 4: two, I repeat TWO, of my friends got engaged today! How exciting to have so much love in the world. Congratulations to Korin & Joseph and Guillaume & Clare!!!

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What a beautiful day!

In the ongoing month of being and expressing gratefulness I just want to say what a joy it is to live in the SF Bay area. It was a beautiful day today! And I am grateful, specifically, for nice weather. Not to brag, but . . .

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. . . It’s supposed to be 81 degrees on Monday AND Tuesday!

I have a pretty hard time dealing with the winter months. For the last 10+ years November through February has been really difficult. I’ve struggled with these hard months of blah weather and the hibernation they encourage and the memories that make the combination during that time period so difficult. But I think this year is going to be different, and I think the weather is giving me a reassuring sign to that effect. I am grateful for the beautiful weather.

Without friends . . .

I would not have such wonderful times and weird adventures as I do. How great it is to have good people in my life. I am grateful for all my friends, especially the ones who know me now (or have ever had to live with me!).

I am especially grateful for Gabriel.

It’s gratitude month!

So G tells me November is Gratitude Month. And a great month it’s starting out to be. I got a quick one minute fly-by from the boss saying they have full time work for me through the end of the year!

I am grateful for bigger paychecks!!!

Jammed — only one man would dare give me the raspberry

Well, actually, it was my man’s mom, but let’s not split hairs.

So I’ve always been led to believe that canning was an extremely difficult task. Growing up I heard stories from classmates’ moms describing days and days of preparation, hard labor and the final push to preserve hundreds of jars of fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, and……whatever. Well, if you’re going to do it all in one fell swoop and save all that work for just one time, I suppose it would be a giant pain in the ass to do canning.

But I know better now.

The key is to do small batches of canning. Take a few things that you would like to do today, and set aside three hours for working on this task. Yes, it is helpful that California has a year-round growing cycle, so it makes it easier to pick and choose the items and the timing for the canning process, but still—the idea of planning out your time wisely, not a bad one.

So this is what we did in our 3 hours of processing last night:

Step one. Unpack and wash the jars, lids, and screwtops. Sterilize by boiling in water separately. Keeping the jars warm after sterilizing also helps prevent temperature shock when you place the hot fruit in the jars.

Step two. Pick your pleasure. We were make jams last night. Peaches, nectarines and ripe raspberries! Wash and chop into small bits.

Step three. Read the damn recipe. Pectin is generally naturally derived from citrus fruits, and each little container you buy tells you exactly how to prepare the fruit and how much product to use for good gelling.

Step four. Fill the jars. Top with lid. Fasten screwtop. Process (i.e. boil) for 10 minutes.

Voila! DONE. Let set and enjoy.

Raspberry Chocolate Almond Spread

Nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom-nom.

I Git it

I am recently reinvigorated to work hard on the life I want to lead. My title of “Queen of the Geeks” has been slipping further away than I would like, but the idea and probable opportunity to be in Mexico for 3 weeks in December plus some real but horrible little annoyances have reminded me why I want to be out of the corporate world. I really DO want to work for myself.

 

So I am recommitting to Project Norbert. He’s my practice guide while I learn skills I need as a programmer. He was built as an expansion on a coding example for writing your own class in Ruby. I was working my way through Chris Pine’s tutorial and loved the idea of a pet dragon to play with virtually. G and I came up with the idea to model my exercise in writing my Dragon program after Bandai’s Tamagotchi. In having a direction to go and an example program to semi-emulate, I could make real world decisions on how my program would act. It would also help focus my next steps in learning on how to keep improving the interactivity of my Dragon. Things I would need Norbert to do next would stimulate ideas of new things to learn. One thing was leaning GitHub and version control, as well as learning to trust in others’ good intentions. So I’ve published Norbert online. To the public. For anyone to see. Here’s hoping his example and my skills gain traction and a clutch of code friends populate repos next to him.

So here we are—at Phase 2 of operation Liberate Modo. Let’s hope all goes well and in December you’ll be hearing from me from Mexico!

It’s time to get crafty!

So trying to sail again proved to be detrimental to the healing process. Apartment is FINALLY, mostly put away. Code school is in process, but everyone needs a break from school now and then, right? What to do . . . . . . . . .

GET CRAFTY!!!!!

I have to say, I’m a kind of loving the crafts I’ve been making the last few days. I haven’t had the opportunity (for whatever reasons) to really pull out the scissors and glue, knitting needles and fancy yarn, for quite some time. One, it feels nice to have them in my hands. I love the process of creating. I love working with my hands. I like being busy in this way. Two, it’s really nice to have the time for this little escape, a little break from whatever was keeping me to busy to get busy. Crafting.

I’m happy with the results, though concerned with issues of consistency. Possibly need to re-measure, re-make my template. But results are looking pretty!

Coyotes and classic literature

Back at the end of June, I went to the Orinda Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in the Siesta Valley to see a Cal Shakes performance of The Tempest.  I had not read nor seen the play before, so it was a fun little excursion into the woods.  Literally.  The amphitheater looks out onto land owned by the local water district.  There are wild turkeys and a warning on the Theater’s website that says the coyote sounds are actually coyotes.  Novel idea.

Cal Shakes evidently used to be just that, a California Shakespeare experience.  In seasons past, Cal Shakes would gather the players for four installments of classic William Shakespeare.  While their repertoire has diversified, and their mission and vision grown to emphasize their desire to expand theater arts in the community and specifically with youth programs, the primary focus for this particular lovely June evening was The Tempest.

Now, for those of you who were also unfamiliar with the play until this moment, The Tempest is about a deposed royal who gains vengeance and eventually peace and reinstatement to his lordly title by means of magic.  The play constantly stresses what a benevolent and masterful use of magic is his exercise of it, however, to me he seemed mostly a bully.  There is also a humorous sub-plot about drunkards, and, really, who wouldn’t enjoy that.

My friend, Valerie, and her folks have had season tickets for a very long time—they are second row in front and exactly center.  This season they have an extra ticket, of which I’ve been very appreciative to accept.  So, off we went on what was a lovely “summer” day in the Bay area.  The play was fun, well acted, perhaps a little heavy on the feminine side of the stage, and the actors did well assuming multiple roles throughout the night.  Act 1 starts with a storm that shipwrecks Prospero’s enemies on the island where he is now banished.  The storm is conjured by Prospero himself aided by his sprite Ariel.  California did its duty and induced quite a bit of realism into the setting with a “light” fog that set in during the first act (which had to be wiped from the set several times in the second), and made the scene very tangible when the characters had to go wandering around in a thick fog that really was.

A light California fog

All in all, I had a great time.  I love the theater in most ways that it comes.  So bring on the rains, Prospero, and the storms.  I’ll be here watching.

The magic of the mini (skirt)

Last night my boyfriend called me a boy.  Because I passed him a garment of clothing, made puppy-dog eyes at him, and asked if he would sew on a replacement for a missing button.  So, yes, I realize that makes me kind of a boy.  But then I bribed him (like all women do–come on, admit it).  This is the deal I made:

You fix it, I’ll wear it.

He also harassed me about hiding so many shoe/boxes all over the apartment, taking up space where other things might be stored.  So I made this point:

I keep them, I’ll wear them.

Done deal, did it.  So off we went with me in a mini-skirt and pink high heels—even though I’m working with a twisted ankle.  And the secret to the magic of the mini skirt is this:  it makes your legs look longer.  Add to that cute pink heels, also lengthening your leg, and no hot-blooded man could resist.

I wonder what else I can argue my way into hiding in the apartment……

Results!

It has been a long couple of months, to say the least. With that in mind, it has also been a long couple of weeks. With sweat, blood and tears, here are the fruits of my labor:

>> my_reverse(‘I am noob code ninja!’)
=> “!ajnin edoc boon ma I”

>> my_sort(['I', 'am', 'noob', 'code', 'ninja!'])
=> ["I", "am", "code", "ninja!", "noob"]

>> m = Musician.new(‘Yo’,’Modo’,100,’piano’)
>>m.first_name + ” ” + m.last_name + “: ” + m.age.to_s
=> “Yo Modo: 100″
>> m.instrument
=> “piano”

And, with that, I am finished with my application (hopefully) for hacker camp. I am noob code ninja!

The Princess

Growing up I was always a tom-boy.  I idolized my big brother, collected baseball cards, rode BMX bikes (or tried to), climbed trees, and generally just ran around and played in the dirt.  My mom never tried to make me into a girly-girl, either.  I suppose that’s one very big thank you I can say to her.  Thank you, Mom, for not making me try to be other than my dirt-playing, tree-climbing self.

So in my 20’s when boys became a little more important, and I realized that being “one of the guys” usually meant I wasn’t going to be dating any, it became more important to me to try and find a feminine side.  It was difficult for me because I didn’t feel like I necessarily had much in common with most women who weren’t also “one of the guys,” who played in the dirt with me and climbed rocks with me.  That’s what I knew to do and how to relate to people.

But as my 20’s rolled on and it became increasingly more important to me to find my more feminine side, I worked on the concept of The Princess.

Around that same time, though, my bff Dick (no, really, his name IS Dick—short for Richard) and I used to have loooooooong and involved conversations about the nature of men and women.  Why we are the way we are, how we think, why it’s impossible for us to really relate to each other, and why we constantly also want to be together (assuming you’re of the hetero persuasion).  We would talk on the phone for hours, also relating our latest dating foibles and frustrations.

One idea that he presented to me was, Men like the damsel in distress—you need to be the Princess that he needs to rescue.  WHAT?!?!!?  Did you say to me?  I need to be a what?!  I’m sorry, but Princesses don’t get their shoes dirty.  Heck, they don’t even have the hiking boots / climbing shoes / ski boots to get dirty.

Take 2.  Don’t think of it as the weak, needing-to-be-rescued type.  But that’s what you just *said*.  Think of it as the one he vies to win.  We’re not getting any better here, Dude.  I am not a “trophy”, nor a “prize”.  I am not property.

Again, stubbornly.  It’s not about you!  It’s about the guy!  Ooooooohhhhhhhhh.  Yeah……I think I get that.  It’s like Shrek, not Rapunzel?  I can be a big, green, kicks-ass, takes-names kind of Ogre Princess.  First saved from the dragon, but then saves the hero from thieves.  I think……I’m cool with that?

Sort of.  Be the Princess that’s worth rescuing, worth a man proving himself worthy of you.  “Be all that and a bag of chips?”  Oooo, now you’re just appealing to my man-sized ego.

But as my 20’s rolled on and it became increasingly more important to me to find my more feminine side, I worked on the concept of The Princess.  I started to understand what Dick meant.  I could work not only on becoming a better climber/sailor/cyclist, but also a more gentle person when I wasn’t on hard rock, more softer-spoken when not shouting over rough seas, and more still in a conversation when I wasn’t riding 30 miles an hour down a hill.  His concept of The Princess became the way I viewed the other half of life.  The woman who liked to get dressed up in foul weather gear for sailing was the same woman who liked to get dressed up in red patent leather heels for a dinner date.  The Princess was simply one way to express the femininity that already existed inside me—mine was simply a mean, green fighting machine as well.

Summer session programming program

I’ve applied to the Academy!  I am really excited and nervous about my application.  I have been obsessively checking my phone every time I hear it *ding* at me that there is new mail.  I have been biting my nails—literally—and tapping my foot and pretty much employing any little nervous habit that we as Padawans have available to us before we know we are accepted as apprentices.

This is something that I don’t know if I would have necessarily pursued had it been only of my own volition, nor do I believe I would have even ever known about the opportunity.  But life and fortune and love being what they are, the news has come to me, and I have jumped at it like fleas to a mangy dog.

"Kick! Kick! Kick!"

I’ve not only gone both feet into the pool, I’ve climbed up the high dive to take a look from the top. Now, me not really being a swimmer has seemed not to deter my desire to jump.  So now I’m wondering……will my floaties be enough to keep my head above water and let me breathe?

 

I almost feel like a real person again…

After weeks and weeks of bullshit, I’m starting to feel like I’m almost to the surface and can grab a fresh breath of air.  Not that I’m not still buried and need to dig myself out.  Just…..fresh air will be nice.

The accident injuries have been slowly healing.  Somehow, the stress and strain of packing, lifting, moving, boxing, moving, unpacking, repacking, moving, lifting, boxing has helped realign my body into understanding what my expectations are for it.  While I will in no way take credit for the majority of what got done, considering Gabriel was, at times, the only one moving/lifting/reassembling furniture, I will say the effort I put in helped move things along much more quickly—I think…..I hope—than they would have done with him alone.  And I was glad for the exercise.  I know, it doesn’t seem like much of exercise, but when you’ve been as sedentary as I have been due to injury, anything that makes you use your muscles feels like work.  And it feels gooooooood!!

So now that I have a little more time on my hands, and a lot more stuff in my house than necessary, it’s time to even out the two—slowly—until I find a balance of time, energy, fitness, finances and maybe some affection, too.

 

Imbalance

I’m a big baby. I don’t mean to be. But I have been crying and whining about my damn injury status all week, culminating in a shitty weekend of complaining. So I’m going to stop. That’s it. I’m stopping. This will NOT rule me any more.

The price to pay

Recently I made the decision to be happy. Part of that decision will include a huge life change precipitated by the need to reduce costs. The need to reduce my expenses is circularly required because I chose happiness. All that aside, there is definitely a price to pay for happiness.

Instead of accepting a full time salaried position at a company that promotes fitness, I chose a part time position in a call center. Between work that may have been challenging and appealing as analytic and one that does not have obvious paths of growth, I chose the one that may not help me grow—except for this: it will give me the opportunity to pursue the person I want to be during the next 10 years. Although, for the duration of my full time training before I actually begin working part time, I’m going to be bored to tears.

I am fledgling Padawan?

Two months ago, almost to the day, I said I hated blogs.  I didn’t want to blog.  I have my own domain, why should I install WordPress?  Ah, WordPress.  You are quickly becoming one of my most used tools.  ————————————>

Today I took another big leap forward on my way through the Playground.  I opened my Freshbooks account, created my first invoice, and worked 4 hours for my first (and only, for now) client.  Mostly, I’m updating WordPress sites. :)

Some of the items are fairly normal, everyday, if-you-can-use-a-computer-at-all-well-you-can-do-this type of things, but other items are more challenging to my knowledge base and create learning experiences for me while I work.  Of course, I have in recent years also admitted that my scale for knowledge and expertise is perhaps skewed toward the high end of the spectrum.  What I mean by that is this:  my interpretation of what Intermediate means equals what most would consider Advanced or Expert level skills.  So, me saying, “if you can use a computer at all well, you can do this” probably makes other folks go, “holy shit, how do you do that?!?!”

So, maybe I’ve upgraded from my newb status.  But, seeing an email from my client to UNDO an hour and a half of work and redo it specifically copy-and-paste makes me wonder.

Good thing I consider my new life a complete learning experience and my new Playground.

I am my own new playground

Insult to injury

I recently became useless.  Not completely, of course, but in my mind useless.  These little things that I have not been able to do—grab a grocery bag off the floor, get an empty backpack down from a high shelf, carry my own laundry—they really suck.  But not being able to sail……that might just be the end of me.

Last summer racing in Tahoe

I know my troubles are not like that of even people I know personally.  I do not starve; I do not want for basic needs, nor love, nor companionship.  I have not been abandoned nor abused.  I have not suffered the loss of a parent or a child.  I am aware of all the sufferings that I know around me, but I have not yet been affected by these things.  However, I do feel like I have lost my personal liberty.  I have lost the ability to take care of myself.  To move, to sit, to stretch, to walk, to run, to sail.  It might not seem like such a great thing to most—sailing—but to me it is part of being in the world.  I’ve had to turn down so many opportunities in just the last week, and I feel weak because it makes me cry.  This seemingly little thing almost broke me.

Do we become less of a person if the person we are and have made ourselves to be is taken away?  Am I less me for not being able to do something that is so “me”?  Can I really be happy for my friends and loved ones who still get to enjoy this thing I crave so much, or will I suffer only jealousy and envy?

"I wanna go, too!"

It’s hard to be both happy for others and sad for your own loss.  It looks like something other than it is, and it is difficult to make sure they only affect the people they should.  I hope I show others happiness and keep the sadness to myself.  I will not hide it—I don’t think I really can—but I do want to keep it in a proper place.  A place that is NOT jealous nor angry, but perhaps one that is longing and ready; I will keep it in the same place that has anger toward who and what took “me” away from me, the place that is determined to be well again soon, and use it as a motivator toward a better, faster, stronger, million dollar ME. :)

 

Pain

It is amazing how much we take for granted.  Seriously, as able-bodied persons, it’s incredible what we don’t notice is such a wonderful part of being “able-bodied”.  Things like: walking the dog and throwing his ball, doing the dishes, doing your own laundry, lifting, moving, sleeping, reaching, sitting—and being able to get up again—folding your damn laundry, hugging a friend, getting up off the floor or out of bed; not to mention biking, hiking, sailing, doing yoga, lifting weights, stretching without pain, walking, bending down, looking up, dancing.

I miss these things.

A part of the playground

I took a big step today.  One of the many projects in the works for Modo is writing an iPad application.  Not knowing any programming languages (yet) should not be a deterrent.  Nor should having no idea exactly how the process of designing and developing an app make me in any way nervous about taking on such a project.  So today I took a big leap—I bought my domain names.

While many of you might not think that is such a big deal, to me it signifies being one step closer to a new self.  This new playground I’m forcing myself into—the programmer, the Etsy crafter, the Maker—all of that is big and scary and foreign for me.  I like comfort zones.  I like knowing what I’m doing and where I’m going.  I like having some predictability to life.  I would be a good Baggins: predictable, steady, perhaps a little boring to some.  This new playground, it’s in the dark.  It’s in a galaxy far, far away.  It definitely speaks a different language……

So while I search for a way to pay my bills (that’s going well, by the way), I’m still pushing forward into that new frontier.  Hopefully, it’s filled with fun and excitement and happy rewards.

Or at least donuts.

Mafl caap a shmeflpup

Success!

I’ve done it!  Well, I’ve nearly done it.  I’m just waiting for a few more things to come in that I ordered online earlier this week, and then I’ll have done it.  What?  Oh, “It”.  It’s envelopes!  Ok, it might not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but here’s my thinking.  You know that large stack of really nice stationery you bought yourself 3 years ago?  And those dozens of cute notepads sitting around the house just waiting to be used?  I think for most people, it would seem the practice and fine art of letter writing has gone a bit the way of the dodo.  So my recent crafty endeavor is how I plan to solve that problem—at least, for myself.

The Woodgrain Collection

I think these beautiful new handmade envelopes are just the thing to get me charged up again for some handwritten missives, newsletters, and love letters. Break out those dusty pens and stationery paper, it’s time to get WRITING again!

And, if nothing comes of having them up on my Etsy shop, they’re gonna make great gifts. ;)

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