142 // Saying My Goodbyes

It’s the last day of the school year, for my kids anyway. I transport high school students and the schedule for final exams and graduations mean that I say my goodbyes two days sooner than most other routes. It means happy for summer. It means being anxious and hopeful about the new year, and it means tears for the kids moving on to adulthood.

I have two kids graduating this year, one I only just met this year and who never became very close to me and who stopped needing transportation weeks ago. I wished him the best of luck and moved on easily. The other I have known for two years now. We’ve grown close and his goodbye today hit me hard. I’ll miss him, and if I get a chance to do this route again next year it just won’t be the same.

Despite the endings and goodbyes, I’m having a hard time accepting that the year is over. I know it intellectually but emotionally I’m haven’t moved past two weeks ago. It looks like the end of the month is going to sneak up on me and find me failing at all of my goals again.

P.S. Despite it being one of my favorite books of all time I’ve been reluctant to start the Hulu series Catch-22. Tonight, having nothing else to watch and no motivation to do anything more fulfilling or productive, I gave it a shot. Three episodes in and I love it. It’s pared down sure, but much of the book’s humor and emotion has been retained. I recommend it!

141 // Where to Look

I woke up to a shocking amount of snow accumulation in front of my house and on my car. Around 7:00 last night I noticed the rain turning over to snow, and I noticed it wasn’t turning back, but it seemed to be letting up. I was sure that while the morning would be drab and cold, that’s the worst it would be. 

What I woke to was drab, cold, and about 4 or 5 inches of snow! There are downed tree limbs all over the city and a lot of exhaustion and frustration around my workplace. This is the last thing we needed to happen during the last week of school.

I’m struggling to keep my mood above professional. I’m struggling to be patient, open, and friendly. I’m struggling to be happy at all. I’ve just been so busy and there is always so much more to do, and on top of it all, I feel guilty because I know my fiance has it worse. Still, I’m feeling alone and angry and I don’t know how to get out of it or where to look for the good.

I’m trying not to force it. The fact is, I’m not happy right now and pretending to be won’t make it so. Instead, I’m just getting through it, which is fine. I don’t need, or even want to be happy all the time, but I do need to keep going. Maybe that is the small good I’m looking for? Maybe resilience is what I should cling to now?

P.S. We got homework from the wedding planner and a checklist to fill out for the photographers. It’s amazing and terrifying how quickly things are coming together. Just under two months left now!

140 // To Wash the Day Away

I’m so tired of this weather.

It was another cold, dark, and dreary day. The clouds rolled in early last night, and the rain—and intermittent snow!—has been falling ever since, will continue to fall through tomorrow, they say.

I’m tired. I’m always tired, I know, but today is something more. It’s all weight on my eyelids and a short temper. It’s a longing for solitude, for warmth, and comfort. It’s simmering rage and offense at the expectation that I should be not just awake, but moving, thinking, and working.

It’s an injustice! A travesty! A personal insult and cruelty!

But I made it through and though tomorrow will be much the same, if not worse, I will make it through that too. For now, there is fried chicken, mashed potatoes, Hawaiian sweet rolls, deep glasses of red wine to wash the day away, and chocolate milk to put us in the mood for sleep.

I’ll let tomorrow stay in tomorrow and sleep well tonight.

P.S. If you haven’t seen the new HBO miniseries Chernobyl, I urge and encourage you to check it out. It’s a heart-wrenching and fascinating dramatization of the tragedy. 

139 // It Builds Up

It was a good day. I accomplished a lot in the morning when my energy levels were boosted by my anxiety. In the afternoon I was disciplined and only allowed myself one TV show before returning to my creativity room to finish some blog things and make a new cut out poem, my first in a long time.

We made breakfast tacos for dinner and paired them with a nice red blend wine. The dinner and wine were supposed to compliment the last episode of Game of Thrones but I enjoyed the food much more than the show. The ending wasn’t bad, just boring.

I should be off to bed now, to get rested and ready for the week, buy I’m stalling. It’s like this every Sunday because I have a hard time letting go of the weekend. What does the work week have to offer that stands any chance against a Sunday of my own. Nothing at all.

138 // Just Two More Months

Well, I didn’t make the 6:00 AM weekend writing wake up time exactly on the dot, but being only 15 minutes late or so after forgetting to set the alarm entirely is quite an accomplishment and I’ll take it.

This morning I’m posting early because a very busy day is on the way and after it starts, I won’t have any time for me until I’m too tired to think anymore.

Last night we found out there is a place giving discount vaccinations, microchips, and registration for dogs so Lola is going to a surprise vet visit this morning, poor thing. After that we’re going shopping for more wedding things, then meeting with our officiant, who is also my cousin, to discuss the script over coffee, and then well go back out for more wedding shopping.

This week will mark just two more months until our big day. I’m starting to believe the hardest part of marriage is being “almost married”.

P.S. Lola did great getting her shots. She’s quite a nervous dog, and I worried she would bark or whine the whole time, or worse try to bite other dogs or people, but she turned out to be one of the most well behaved of all the dogs there. I’m a very proud fur mom today!

137 // I’m so Proud

Finally, the true Friday has arrived. I’d planned to take the day off from work but I felt guilty knowing I only really needed the afternoon, plus I wanted the extra hours of pay, plus I secretly kind of wanted to be there for our annual end of the year party, so I agreed to come in for half the day.

My little sister, the youngest and last of us all, is graduating from high school tonight. She’s the reason I took off early and the reason I’m feeling so good. I’m proud of her and, I will admit, a little jealous. I’m somewhat jealous of all my younger siblings.

I know in reality they are living their lives the first and only time the same as me, but in my heart, it feels like they are getting the second chance I will never get. They got to learn from me, while I had no one to make my mistakes first. *

I’m so happy for them, but damn does it sting for me.

*Well, I had my parents, but somehow the more we resist them the more we become like them. Parent’s live the nightmare of watching their worst mistakes made again no matter how hard they try to teach, protect, or control their children.

136 // This is a Home

Where the rain of last week made every day a repeat of Monday, this week’s sunshine is giving us perpetual Fridays. I’m not sure which is worse. Mondays are bleak, sure, but having to keep on remembering over and over again that freedom is not, in fact, just hours away is rather more disappointing.

I didn’t write or read as much as I had hoped to and spent too much of the day walking around and socializing, a big change from yesterday’s feeling though by the afternoon I’d had my fill.

I’m happy to be home now with my fiance, our dog, the cat, and, yes, even the snakes.

This is a home.

This is a family.

This is peace.

P.S. I did some more blog things today. I cleaned up the more recent personal posts at Zen and Pi and am preparing to revive it soon and the accompanying newsletter. Now all I have left to do is the actual writing :/

135 // Working Well With Others

I’d gotten too used to solitude at work and now as the end of the year is getting closer and as we begin moving over to our newer, smaller building in preparation for a renovation I am forced suddenly to suffer the presence, the gaze, and the sounds of other people.

I must respond in the appropriate ways to their small talk and their probing personal questions. I have to laugh at their jokes and listen to their complaining and I just…don’t want to. The slightest unplanned or unsought social interaction has become an instant and severe irritation.

To be fair, though, it may not be the people—or how ill acquainted I’ve become with the rigors of working well with others—at all, but simple hormones. I’ll know for sure in the next three day or so.

P.S. I’d like to share my shiny new sign-up page for my new wholly personal “every now and again” newsletter. I’ll write a formal post about it at some point but for now I’m just inviting people with faith to spare to join the list and trust that I will come up with something good to share, eventually.

134 // Reinforced Connections

And suddenly it’s summer. The heat today feels oppressive and the knowledge the worse is yet to come is worrisome. The upside is I can finally get back to taking daily walks which will soon become jogs and will soon after that become my morning runs. The downside is I am sweating and I hate sweating.

Tonight I’m spending time with my family celebrating a belated Mother’s Day. So much must be put off now that the end of the year is approaching and work hours are (paradoxically) extending but I’m glad we made time to be with people we love. I sometimes forget how revitalizing laughter can be, and how the reinforcing connections can strengthen us for the return to life’s chaos and confusion.

133 // An Audiobook Experiment

Today was a good reading day. I finally made it through The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but I still have to make it through Notes from Underground and the “Other Stories“.

I purchased and began my very first audiobook today as well, Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin. My sisters and my mom all “read” by audiobook and have been trying for a long time to convince me of the method’s virtues, but I know myself and my comprehension cliff dives whenever I am listening to rather than reading words. Hell, I can’t even read well from a screen! Old fashioned ink on paper is the only way for me, I guess.

But! Times are changing and I’m watching the stats of other readers climb to numbers that I know I just cannot attain through traditional means. Plus, Google offered me $5 toward a purchase so I thought, why not give it a try? Perhaps practice is all I need.

I’m enjoying how quickly I can move through “reading” by simply listening, but my habit of reading with a pencil has become another hindrance as well. With audio, I cannot mark the margins, insert my opinion, underline, or argue with the author! I cannot move through a book smoothly without being able to get my thoughts out along the way.

So, I’ve already decided that when I finish I will simply have to buy a physical copy and read it again.

These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren