Monday, May 27, 2013

Pain, Parties, Work

This book, by Elizabeth Winder, is what I'm reading right now.
It's inspirational, in the sense that it talks about Sylvia Plath in the heyday of her youth, her guest-editorial-ship at Mademoiselle magazine, along with nineteen other aspiring young women--the dawn of a new generation, the last one before real feminism, before the Pill, as the book blithely points out.

But the book to me, a collection of letters, observations, samples of Plath's original, unconventional journal writing, her stark way of painting letters onto the page, is much more than just a generational snap shot of a long-gone New York, a bygone era. It's a calling to write again, to understand the practice is often the product.

I've been delinquent on the blog for a number of months now.

Life has crowded in, time seems to speed up and up to a faster rate with every passing day.

The days have a rhythm all their own, it often feels like my life is living me.

I read pulpy novels in between stumbling onto a good one like this, and I'm reminded to stay alert, awake, in my own life.

Often, I get home from work, 7:00, 7:30 pm, and just collapse. I reheat a dinner I've already made, I pour a glass of chardonnay, and I often stare at the tv, not even taking in what is on. It's all just 'there'.
Then I motivate myself to make my lunch for the next day and put away the dishes so I can wake up to a clean kitchen, one of my favourite things. And the next morning comes all too soon, and I do it all again, and I miss yoga due to the traffic and I stay at work until the sun is at eye-level, these long May days, and I ruminate about how I live.  And I keep doing it, as we do, to some degree.

One of the chapters in the Pain, Parties, and Work was in the form of a dictionary, all relating to Plath, each letter illustrating something of her life, a minutae.  I loved this format.

I'm going to borrow it for my next post..
A snapshot of the last few months, what I've been up to, what's new, what's not.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


(And I don't want to be)....
I would rather be sleeping...( this, I think, would make a great bumper sticker).
It was a bummer of a day, tough one at work.
I came home, skipped yoga, did not pass Go, went right to pajamas, and potatoes,
and bad tv.
Boston won their game vs. NY. My husband is happy.
Now I'm cruising twitter, drinking room-temperature water, dream-dissecting, and
looking out the window at the fog lolling about the city 'scrapers. And looking at my
holds on the TPL site.
I commented on my friend Julia's blog last week about the sleep-miracle of melatonin.
And it is amazing-it's just that sometimes the toughest work problems and life problems
will still invade one's sleep.
It's 4am.
Quiet, inviting, and all-in-the-moment.

Work is hard right now, life is a bit tricky.
Running has been challenging as all hell.
Winter weight is holding on for dear life.
Wine seems like a good idea at the time.
Writing is not happening.
My head gave me a headache-versary.

But I'm persevering.
I guess that is the hope portion of the program.

Alright, getting a bit bleary-eyed.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Trust Myself

This is the phrase my wise friend A. reminded me, during our phone conversation last week, to write down somewhere handy, where I would notice it.
I had it scrawled in my journal, page-high, a few moments after we had hung up; I wrote it on my office white board (then erased it, but it was there, glaringly obvious, for a few minutes, visible to me).
And now, here it is, a blog-title, one that won't likely be forgotten for a long time.

I haven't been writing, I checked the date of my last entry, which was an entry of no real consequence, it was mid-April.

I've been working.
I've been working out--phasing out of spinning, back into tentative running (a good run, then a bad run. A ruimination of how my extra-self add to extra-minutes. And on again).
I started yoga, which I love. It doesn't have the violence and loudness of spinning. It doesn't, I suspect, have the fuel-burning power either, but it has a different power.
A quiet power. And that is my type of power.

I have a different power right now, too.
In the last week, some major shifts have gone down at work. With the volume of work I've been
handling, I've kept my head down (rather than have it continually held down) and just trekked on, walking on the very edge of what felt like a high, unforgiving cliff.
Suddenly, I came to the cliff's edge and a bridge came into view, out of the fog. 
Does this make sense?
Again, as I've written before; I despise vague blogging. And here I am, doling it out with the best of them (worst of them).

But, I'm out of practice. Out of writing practice, even a bit out of "thinking" practice.
I've been working, burying myself in it, I've been reading, library book after library book, losing myself in the evenings, I've been going to yoga and running. Spending time with family, my sister, her kids, my mom. Seeing friends here and there.

So what to tell  you, what to write about?
A major obstacle, in the form of a person, a person I work...with....well, this obstacle will no longer be there. Will a different-shaped obstacle take it's place? I don't know. But what I do know is I haven't felt this happy, this secure, this sublime, since probably my wedding day. That feeling where you simply do not allow any other ones to crowd in on.
Example; since I got married in January in Canada (Jan in Can as my friend L. and I joke), it would have been easy for me to obsess about snowstorms, shut-downs, road-closures, City-Hall-snow days. But I did none of these things.  Because I was marrying the love of my life and at the door of an adventure like that, those little things don't catch your eye.
Same with this work situation.
I've grappled, short-term, over the past six months about what I did that was so wrong it provoked a reaction akin to muted hysteria.  I came up with nothing. I dug deeper. Came up empty again.
Then the niggling thoughts started. The ones telling me this wasn't over, that I wasn't wrong to be bothered by it, that it wasn't finished. That I wasn't finished. That although life, in general, is not fair, and I get that, this was monstrously unfair, and unjust.
And I made appointments. And I cancelled them. And I re-booked them. And I cancelled them again. I collected paperwork, and put it in an envelope that I kept at home. I started a file. I started listening. Closely. Watching and learning. Quietly. Waiting for the time when something would be revealed.

I'm not going to lie. It felt hopeless. My work situation was going from bad to worse in a spiral that I couldn't correct.
And suddenly, the major component of it was just...lifted away.
There is no other reaction I can convey right now except the sweetness of that moment. The gratitude. The sense that "all is not right" here and how fulfilling it was to have that sense validated.
And while challenges are part of life and from my point of view my adult life has underscored this fact by being anything but easy, the last week has given me hope, real hope, about overcoming challenges.  It's also given me back a real sense of my own professional self-worth, something I'd abandoned over the past months, my eyes filling with tears when I was alone and could think about it. How easy it can be to influence associates with few original thoughts. To take an idea, turn it into an accusation, and have it blossom into an outright lie, one that gets a handful of believers, and then gains momentum. How even I believed the lie, even though it was about me. How I questioned myself, and judged myself in the harshest, most unflattering light, and as that light was shining on me, it was shadowing all the others involved.

Through the doubt, the fog, the sadness, the sheer frustration, I waited it out, some part of me telling me to not let go just yet.

In the end, a quiet power was all I needed.