Tis’ the season for expressing thankfulness. And for the first time in a long time, I’m truly feeling the spirit of the season. So I am going to make a partial list – in no particular order – of things I am thankful for this year.
I am thankful for landing the low-paying, non-impressive admin job of my dreams! All those years climbing the corporate ladder and chasing the Next Big Thing pale in comparison to these past months helping to make a small difference in my community. I hope everyone has the opportunity in their lives to feel so good about their work.
I am also thankful for the awesome view from my office. And that I have an office in such a beautifully restored historic building. I am a very lucky girl.
I am thankful for the time and inspiration to pursue my art. I have no intention or delusion about being an “Artist”, but I am nothing if I’m not making something. And now that my career is no longer sucking the creative life out of me, I foresee only goodness going forward.
I am thankful that I’ve misplaced my phone. I last saw it the day before Thanksgiving, which means it’s probably sitting on my desk at work. And it can just sit there until next Tuesday, for all I care.
I am thankful that I have a FIVE day weekend! I have never worked for a company that gave the day off after Thanksgiving, and here I have the following Monday off, too (as comp time for working next weekend). I do not know what I’m going to do with all this time, but I’m going to enjoy every second of it.
I am seriously thankful for all of my wonderful friends who have supported, sustained and entertained me during all the bad times. You mean the world to me. SERIOUSLY.
I am thankful for my fabulous cousins who have been equally supportive and grounding in recent years. They have been the sisters I never had, the best of my childhood memories, and the superior selection of our shared DNA. Thank you for being you!
And, of course, I’m thankful for my own family. As I was driving home from my mother’s last night, I was thinking that despite being part of a hybrid family, I am fortunate that all the whole/step/half siblings (and their progeny) are really good people. We are all so very different, but we are all well-meaning, hard-working folk who get along and enjoy each others company. I’m sure their are many a “traditional” family that would kill for that kind of harmony.
And a specific shout-out to my mom who is not only an all-around cool person, but is a passionate and exceptional cook. This Thanksgiving dinner was one of the best. Good job, Mom!
I am also thankful for my sweet little home, my ever expanding garden, an amazing hometown, the three best felines a girl could ever hope for, mountains, snow, country roads, great neighbors,
Happy Thanksgiving, Y’All!!!
Holy cow, its chilly out there. I’ve already promised a number of people that I’m not going to complain about the cold this year. Just add that to my long list of broken commitments, since I seem to be on a roll.
It’s been two months since I started my new job. And I have to say, I’ve loved every minute of it. Seriously, I don’t have a single complaint and actually like going to work in the morning. Seriously! I plan to stay there as long as they’ll have me. And I hope they plan to have me a long time.
On the flip side, I started volunteering about the same time. Well, it was supposed to be a volunteer gig, but it started to feel like a job after a couple of weeks. I appreciate that an administrative job needs more structure than other positions, but after a day at my oh-so-busy job, it was just too much to handle. It was torture sitting in front of another computer for a few more hours – even if only once a week (plus homework and occasional weekends). There are many other factors that made this a less-than-ideal situation, but the time and commitment were the deal breakers.
So, I quit. Not so easily, though. I thought about it for a week. Drafted an email. Thought some more. Then finally sent my “termination” today. This whole angst thing about quitting a volunteer position is a bit absurd. I didn’t commit to a job. I didn’t join a board. I just wanted to volunteer a little of my time, learn something new, and have a little fun. And it was just not meant to be.
The real problem here is that I threw myself into yet another project, got overwhelmed, and was forced to back out. I keep telling myself that being overwhelmed is better than underwhelmed, but I still feel bad when it all falls apart. Maybe now that I’m settled in my happy place, I’ll stop trying to throw myself into something new just to find out if it will make me happy. If only I could just let things happen naturally, maybe I wouldn’t run out of gas.
(p.s. While also a silly metaphor for my state of being, this is an actual photo of my gas gauge while out leaf peeping last week. I don’t believe I’ve ever driven up into the mountains with enough gas to get home. I wonder what that says about me…)
I still plan to pursue grant writing, by the way, so I’ll have to figure out another avenue. My friend Susan hooked me up with all kinds of non-profit workshops and programs in Richmond, and I’m ready to check some out. Plus, I can always just teach myself. It ain’t rocket science! And there’s no reason why I can’t start looking for opportunities right in my own office. I sometimes forget that I don’t have to enroll in college just to learn something.
Speaking of enrolling:
My boss turned me on to a pottery class at the local community college. I don’t want to cramp his style, so I’m not going to sign up while he’s there (no one should be exposed to more than 8 hours a day of Carolyn). But I’m so excited to have something to look forward to! I really miss my clay.
And speaking of art classes:
I began re-visiting my intro to painting class syllabus a while back. I got as far as reproducing the first two assignments, then life intervened – again. I’m ready to pick up where I left off, which just so happens to be a really fun exercise. Not that this should excite anyone but me, but I’m back on track and it just feels so darn good that I wanted to share.
I’m also proud of myself for starting AND FINISHING a small painting for my friend Carol in Atlanta. It was an art swap with no limitations. She knitted me a couple of really cool leaves, and I painted her some leaves. I wasn’t really going for a fall foliage theme, but there you go. Two great minds, thinking alike. Or two chicks who really dig autumn leaves. Your pick.
Question: How do you ruin a good thing?
Answer: Try to change it.
And I ought to know. I’ve tried to change nearly everything in my life, only to fall further behind.
- I enjoyed blogging when it is random. Stick a schedule on it, and now it’s a chore.
- I enjoy volunteering when it is on my own terms. Stick someone else’s agenda and schedule on it, and now it’s a job.
- I love painting and drawing. Weighed down with blogging and volunteering obligations, my heart’s not in it. And that is not acceptable.
How to I continue to learn and grow in all the directions I want to, and still have the energy and drive to do what I love to do…and do it well? I don’t know. I’m asking. Because whatever I’m doing, it’s wrong.
In the meantime, good-bye NaBlogWrimo. It was great for a day. And next time I put a timetable on something that should be enjoyable, would someone please call me out? It won’t end well.
What do you know, I just thought of something to write about! I’ll save it for another yet-to-be-scheduled day.
Well, I didn’t pull a MacGyver yesterday, but I did get out of the house. And considering how lethargic I’ve been lately, that’s saying something. However, I failed to realize that I’d committed myself to a month of blogging yet no longer have internet service. I’m borrowing my neighbor’s now, and access is rather spotty. I wasn’t able to log in at all last evening. Perhaps I should have spent more time blogging and less time sharing Dr. Who posts earlier in the day.
Back to what would have been yesterday’s post:
I refused to concede that this foliage season was a complete bust, so I drove out to my favorite foliage viewing road – Rt. 56, Vesuvius to Crabtree Falls. And there it was, the last – and best – of the 2013 fall foliage. Not as brilliant as in the past, but still beautiful. And no coincidence that this my favorite painting palette as well.
Now that foliage season is over, I need new inspiration. As I was out hunting for color yesterday, I happened to notice a few forgotten buildings along the road. Amazing how you can drive the same road over and over and never notice them, and then they’re everywhere you look. They can start to look the same after a while, but they all have a story. Some more interesting than others, I gather.
I realize my posts are getting shorter, but may attention span is a bit short these days, too. Maybe I’ll keep hunting for photo-ops, or maybe I’ll get back to my mile-long To Do list. Either way, it’s Sunday morning, and daylight’s burning!
November 1. Day one of thirty, and not a single thing on my mind. And it took me 20 minutes to write that one line.
This is going to be brilliant!
I’ve read that creative endeavors require constant and consistent attention. If I sit here every day and force myself to write something, I will form a habit. I will develop purpose. My writing skills will improve. One day. Just not today.
Today I cheated and used an online idea generator. It took a few tries, but then there it was. My inspiration. My raison d’etre. Don’t hold back your MacGyver. I want to be buried now just so I can have that carved in my tombstone.
[Did you know that MacGyver is actually listed as a verb in the Merriam-Webster dictionary? I have renewed faith in the English language.]
Problem is, there’s nothing more to say. It’s a perfect one-liner and requires no embellishment on my part. Instead, I take this not as a writing prompt but as a call to action. I will make it an early night, get lots of much-needed sleep, and unleash my MacGyver in the morning. Maybe then I’ll have something to write about.
Here we are again, just a week away from November. And you all know what that means, right?
It’s NaNoWrimo Time!
(That’s National Novel Writing Month, by the way.)
And that means it’s time for me to write something about how much I want to join, followed by a post about how I can’t do it this year because __________, maybe next.
The cruel truth is this will (probably) never happen. I don’t think I enjoy writing enough to follow through, and I don’t have a creative idea in my head. In my continuing pursuit of herd thinning, I’m giving up my dream of creative writing just as I did knitting and cleaning house. Only important and meaningful endeavors for me from now on.
However, I do want to get back to blogging. While I love my new job(s), it’s taking me some time to adjust to the increased energy input/output. Non-profit work is just plain crazy. And exhausting. But it’s a good crazy exhausting, so it’s all good. And now that I’m getting in the groove, it’s time to get back to life.
So, in honor of NaNoWrimo, I’m dedicating the month of November to my blog. One post a day for 30 days. Considering that I haven’t had enough to say lately to constitute one post a month, this will be a challenge. I foresee a lot of b.s. in my future… just like a bonafide author!