Friday, December 31, 2010

Paging Dr. Jung

I'm having recurring nightmares about spreadsheets. Endless, boring, soul-killing spreadsheets. I don't need a psychiatrist to know what that's about.

Do you want to drive a creative and conscientious person to despair? Give her a lot of spreadsheets. I mean, a lot of them. Make sure that some of them only she will ever look at - that they serve no purpose whatsoever - and then require her to keep them up to date.

Next, some spreadsheets should never add up because you have not given your creative and conscientious person the correct data. Change her data to correspond with the numbers she is not allowed to know. Berate her for the spreadsheets not adding up. Repeat.

Of course you, gentle readers, would never want to drive anyone to despair because that is not what nice people do. But I think it's going to be a while before I stop jumping like a cat on hot bricks every time I see the Excel icon on my computer desktop.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's New, Pussycat?

The last day on my job was Christmas Eve. Leaving was the right decision, for a number of reasons for which this is not the proper venue. Giving myself time to figure out what comes next, to heal, to rest -- that was also a good decision.

Still, I find myself like a deer caught in the headlights, like the victim of an accident wondering what just happened. I've spent three days wandering around, in and out of my home, starting at sudden noises and forgetting what I'm doing. I've slept a lot.

Part of me has been upset about this, thinking that I should Get Things Done and Accomplish Tasks -- presumably to justify taking time off. But my body and mind have not cooperated. Beyond taking showers and feeding self and cat, I have accomplished nothing.

This morning the sun came out after a year and a half of overcast days (I may be exaggerating a tiny bit). I sat in my sunroom and thought, "I can do this. I just think I'd feel better if I knew what this is." Apparently, the answer is not forthcoming.

And so, I'm sitting here, watching the sunshine sparkle on the snow, and waiting. Patience. It's a virtue -- one I am being dragged kicking and screaming into cultivating.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"If you should happen, by any unlikely chance, to know a man more blessed in a laugh than Scrooge's nephew, all I can say is, I should like to know him too. Introduce him to me, and I'll cultivate his acquaintance."

Charles Dickens

Gentle readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, filled with laughter and good cheer. Enjoy the day, my friends. You are all awesome and deserve the very best the holiday has to offer.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Presents of Mind

This is what I've been doing instead of blogging.

I know this is a cliche, my friends, but wasn't last Christmas about a month ago? I guess time flies when you're blogging about the important issues of the day -- such as rat whispering, catalog shopping, and the outcome of Project Runway.

This week has been a blur of cookie making and gift wrapping until the wee hours. I don't remember the last time I was this tired. Oh wait, yes I do: last Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas In Rhode Island

You've got to love people who go the extra mile with their Christmas decorations. The Army Dude sent this photo to me yesterday morning and I immediately forwarded it to my brother and sister. It's what we do.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rainy Sunday Morning

I spent the first half hour or so this morning -- the time it took to drink a cup of tea -- looking out my sunroom window, listening to the wind and rain. I watched as a few of the last leaves fell from the maple trees in the neighbor's yard -- some twirling, some floating, some racing toward the still-green grass.

I didn't think about anything in particular. I didn't really think about anything at all. I just watched and listened. It was a welcome break from my usual racing thoughts, my plans and to-do lists.

I didn't worry about the future or regret the past. I simply sat and drank tea. It was nice.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Auntie Incognito

Yesterday was a big day in Maiden Aunt land because the Team Maria president -- who now works in another state -- stopped by my office to see if there were any Peanut Butter Swirl Bars available. Alas, they are all in my freezer (okay, a couple are in my belly).

He took this picture of me cleverly disguised as a demure lady-person whose little cup of joy overflows at the mere idea of ordering more staples and Keurig K-cups. Pretty impressive, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Words of Wisdom: Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

When seeking guidance, don't ever listen to the tiny-hearted.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday Morning

Daphne and The Buddha hang out in the sunshine.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Awesome Rating: Very High

This tackle box was made by my maternal grandfather long before I was born. My Aunt Grace, who is an artist and weaver (you can check out her site here), used it as a paintbox so it has leather tacked inside to hold brushes and a few paint splotches here and there.

Auntie was cleaning out some stuff in her house and very kindly asked my mom if anyone wanted the box. I jumped at the offer, which I guess people found surprising. Hell yes, I wanted something made by the grandfather who died while my mom was still a teenager. Hell yes, I wanted something old and paint spotted and well-used. I knew before I saw it that I would love it and I do.

I use it to hold finished and almost-finished jewelry pieces. Every time I open the box to put something in it, I think of the grandfather I never met, of my aunt, who makes her living with her art, and of my mother, who never met a needlecraft she couldn't master. And I smile.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Don't Judge Me

I was talking with a co-worker yesterday, who said "It's important which college you go to because people judge you based on things like that." At first, I thought it she was talking about job interviews. But no, she was talking about social situations. She went on to say "They judge you about everything -- where you went to college, where you live, how much money you make..."

I looked at her with my patented quizzical puppy expression, head cocked to one side, and said "You socialize with people like that voluntarily?"

The older I get, the less patience I have with people whose entire social agenda entails proving that they are better than someone else. I also have no patience with people whose favorite topic of discussion is whoever is not there to defend herself, people who manufacture drama, those who have to control the behavior of everyone around them, or who don't read. I can't stand people who are humorless and boring (be one or the other, but for God's sake don't be both).

This, my friends, is why I rarely leave my house -- and when I do, I choose carefully. Because I don't want to bring up the length and severity of my menstrual cycle to shut up a dude who is an obnoxious know-it-all, but I will. In fact, I feel it's my duty.

I'm turning into an obstreperous old bitch, aren't I?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Words of Wisdom: Joe

We're sitting on a planet that's spinning at eleven hundred miles an hour. You'd think it'd be more windy.