Saturday, June 30, 2012


I haven't felt well all week. I've been run down and have a deep ache in my hip and a smattering of other things. I'm usually fairly healthy, but right now things seem to be catching up with me. I'm  eating more, finally, but it's more of the wrong thing, and I'm still not cooking, or even preparing salads. I walk to and from work, and usually to and from other places on weekends, but it's not really enough exercise. My weekly swim time doesn't really do it either, because I never swim for very long, not to mention that I may have lost my swim partner. I find it much easier to stay engaged with laps if I'm not doing them solo.

I'm the type of person who only goes to the doctor if I'm feeling really lousy for more than a day or two, which means I haven't been for over a year at this point. I think I may schedule an appointment again next week, though, because this complete lack of energy plus the various aches and pains plus my usual insomnia are all beginning to take their toll. I know this is part of the aging process, especially when I'm not taking care of myself as well as I could be, but it feels like it goes beyond that. I'm beginning to think that maybe I need some sort of baseline so that I can figure out how to make myself stronger moving forward, because if I do want to make any real changes in how my life is going, I'll need adequate energy to be able to carry them out.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Social Life (Or Something Like It)

I went to a CD release party tonight for a guy I've known peripherally for several years. A few years a go I interviewed him for an article I did on farmers markets in town. I knew or recognized most of the people at the event, there were lots of interesting foods and drinks and wonderful music, and yet I still mostly felt out-of-place.

I do better in groups of ten or fewer. More than that and I get overwhelmed. I have a hard time walking up and inserting myself into conversations. I know that I am at least relatively interesting and moderately intelligent, but I clam up and get what my grandmother used to refer to as "shucksy" in a large group. I am not comfortable being the center of attention.

There were several broad categories of people at this gathering and I didn't really feel as though I fit well into any of them. I'm not a musician. I'm not a college professor. I don't belong to the Unitarian Universalist congregation. I'm not a young, hip, artist-activist. I can have a perfectly fine conversation with any individual member of any of these groups, but get more than a couple from any one of them together and I go back to feeling like I don't belong.

This is in contrast to a friend who was also there, who can and will talk to anyone any time about anything. I watched him circulate around the place, completely at ease with whomever he was talking to, and willing to insert himself into any conversation with any group of people. I sometimes envy that ability, because I think not having it probably makes people think that I am stand-offish or unfriendly rather than simply shy.

Conversing with more than one or two people at a time is obviously a skill I need to figure out how to cultivate, but I find that I'm at a loss as to how to go about acquiring it.

I have plenty of opportunities to go out and be social, and I do it a lot more than I even realize sometimes, but I still somehow manage to feel as though I exist in a vacuum, it's an odd place to be. I like solitude, I need it more than I need to be social, but if I don't get to spend time with people semi-regularly I begin to feel cut off and lonely, so it is most definitely a balancing act.

Tomorrow I will be attending a pool party at the home of a high school friend and will probably know very few other people. Seems like the perfect time to hone those conversational skills. I'll see how it goes.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Today is for Work

I miss temping. Or, at least, I miss the flexibility of temping. I didn't take time off excessively if I had a steady, long-term assignment, but I could have. And even though I didn't get paid for them, I didn't have to worry about counting up my vacation days in order to do something I wanted to do. In April 2008 I took a three-week train trip across the country and back. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I don't know that I'll ever be able to do it again.

My family and I are planning a trip to Ireland next June. My vacation time starts over next week, which means I'll have to begin rationing and hoarding immediately in order to have enough available for a trip that's a year away. It'll be fine, and I'll make it work, but I'll chafe against the thought of it.

I'm not really cut out to have a career. I don't like being in the same job for any length of time. I get bored and restless and tired of the office politics and being told what to do by people who don't really know what it is I do in the first place. I am in my current job for my second go-round, have been for just over a year-and-a-half, and it's already getting to me. I hate the idea of having to stay somewhere that makes me miserable. I guess some people would say that I lack follow-through, that I should just stick with it, because that's what we're supposed to do, stick with things. I don't buy it.

Of course, this time around, it feels harder to leave. I have a mortgage now. I have an expensive phone. I'm earning a larger income than I've earned before (though still quite modest by most standards), so I don't have to worry too much about budgeting. All of these things make it difficult to truly think about picking up and finding something else to do again, the way I have periodically over the years.

I have thought about (and have taken small, unsuccessful stabs at) trying to write for a living, but I don't seem to have what it takes to put myself out there consistently enough to earn enough to support myself. I have a small stack of clips from mostly local magazines that are bunched together every few years, but it's not really enough to hang my expenses on.

If I advertised for a housemate and split the mortgage and utilities, I could probably swing a smaller income, but I like living by myself. I like my stuff being where my stuff is and being able to walk around naked if I want to (and come summer, I want to a lot). I don't want the freedom enough yet to make that sort of compromise, though the fact that I'm even letting it pass through my mind is an indication that wheels deep down somewhere are turning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


That's actually putting it mildly. I don't just get attached, I cling. I hold fast to things, people, ideas, memories. All those things that bring me some sort of comfort or solace, I don't want to let go. Of course, by not wanting to let go, I make them (people, that is) want to let go of me, to flee as fast and as far as they can. It's a problem.

I'd rather not get so attached. I'd like to be a person who could simply bob along in life taking things as they happen, recognizing the lessons that come with experiences, and moving along to the next without a huge amount of nostalgia. It seems as though things would be so much easier that way (though I'm probably mistaken -- everything looks easier that way until you're in the midst of it).

I'd like a middle ground. Some ability to form attachments, get to know people, know how it feels to have that longevity, but also to be able to move on from things when they are no longer working without worrying about what will come next. Or, really, without worrying whether anything at all will come next.

I am introverted. I have a difficult time meeting people, so when someone comes along with whom I have a strong connection, I want to be able to hold on to it, because I know that it will be a while before I will have that again, and I get lonely.

I want to be able to be self-sufficient, to not need another person to validate who I am or how I am. The fact that I am in my 40s and still wishing for this bothers me. It seems as though it is something I should have gotten past, outgrown, as it were, ages ago. I have moments when that is the case, but mostly it is not. It is as if I do not exist if there is not someone around who wants me, needs me, cares for me. I don't like this about myself. I don't know how to change this about myself.

I'll have to think about this some more, this need for attachment, for other. I'll need to figure out why I can't be enough for myself. Why being me, as I am, is not enough on its own.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

30 Days Out

Today is 30 days until I turn 42. Every year as my birthday gets close, I get reflective. I think of where I am, versus where I'd like to be, or possibly where I thought I'd be. This year, I keep thinking of Douglas Adams, of course. In the Hitchhiker's Guide series, it was revealed that the answer to "life, the universe, and everything" is 42. Since I am a huge nerd, this is how I think of this birthday.

I wish all those things would, in fact, be revealed when I hit the magic number, but I have my doubts. I'm not doing the necessary work to have them revealed. I am in neutral and have been for the last year -- if I'm being really honest, most of the last decade -- and am having a bit of trouble getting myself back in gear.

I'd like this next year to be one that sees me finding out how to figure my way back into my life. I'd like this next 30 days to be a time to do some thinking here about what that means. About what I need to do to move forward again. I have the whisper of a plan about that, but still only a whisper, and I'm not very good at holding myself to these time-period challenges anymore, but I'll see what I can do.

This look at myself and my life in the month leading up to my next birthday can only be a good thing if I can make it happen. At the same time, I'm going to try not to beat myself up over it if it doesn't. This first post will be a short one, because I am incredibly exhausted and need to close my eyes. The fact that I managed to even set myself to this first task tonight surprised me, so I'm pretending that I am off to a good start.

With any luck, I'll talk to you tomorrow. About what? Your guess is as good as mine.