07 November, 2011

settling in to my new life

So much has been happening since my return to life in the States. It's been a little overwhelming, but, to be honest, I haven't really had much opportunity to dwell on it yet. This is my first week in which I begin my new job at the inn, and, thus, my new work schedule. This schedule is unlike any I've worked in a very long time, if ever. I have alternating weekly schedules: Week A and Week B. Each week I have two free days. These are days I can choose to use for myself, or days I can schedule clients, or both. During B weeks my two free days are consecutive. This will be nice when I need to get myself out of town for a spell, but don't feel like arranging a big to-do. I think it's going to work out well once I'm used to it. My hours at the inn are 1p-9p. This is where most of the major adjusting is going to be taking place. Still, I was able to make a schedule that allows me to work several jobs I enjoy (the inn, The Carolina Theatre, my massage clients, my yoga class, and the farmers' market for Dolly Mama) with only one casualty: I couldn't fit my shift at the video store into the new schedule. I was definitely sad about it. It's such a fun place to be, and such a lovely way to get to know folks in my community. But, I am only one person, after all, so if only one thing had to go, I consider it a positive.

The house is starting to come together. It's still got work that needs doing, though. I still haven't painted the kitchen yet, or finished the trim work. And, sadly, in my zealousness to lighten my material load before my sabbatical, I let go of a great deal of kitchen tools that I now wish I hadn't. Oh well, c'est la vie and lesson learned: Kitchen tools are important to me and are not always easy to replace quickly. I certainly have enough to work with, I just don't have everything I want. After the kitchen, I only really need to do some more tidy organizing and to find a way to creatively store my crafting supplies and unused, but precious, family heirlooms so I can get rid of the leviathan of a bookshelf in the mudroom to make way for a washer and dryer. Then, once the insides of the place are in order, I will be able to start thinking about the outside.

One thing blocking progress lately is the fact that I got sick enough to have to relegate myself to bed for a couple days this week. It was really mortifying to wake up on the first day of my inn job - the day I'd been excited about for weeks - with a sore throat, runny nose and stuffy head. I went to work anyway: I couldn't not go on my first day! I made it through the entire shift somehow. That was Wednesday. Thursday was a free day, but I had a client already scheduled for that evening. Well, by Thursday morning my condition had worsened exponentially. I couldn't get out of bed. I was feverish and my joints were aching. No position was bringing relief. Sleep was fitful, but welcomed, and I was in and out of it in groggy intervals. I had to cancel my client appointment. By next morning, I hadn't gotten any better, so I had to cancel teaching my yoga class, and, regretfully, take a sick day from the new job. My second day there, and I had to call in sick. That made me feel even worse. Still, I stayed in bed. I drank a lot of water and brothy soups. My friend, Dolly, was kind enough to bring me some really delicious and healing spicy Thai chicken soup. (Thanks, Dolly!) I was adding cayenne to everything I could. The combination of spicy heat and hydration and convalescence must have done some good, because by Saturday I was at least able to make it in to work again. It was questionable how I would manage during the morning, but by the end of the day I was feeling a good deal stronger. I'll be going in again today, and while I'm still not at 100%, I am definitely feeling much better than I have been, so I feel like I am on the mend, and hope to be back to my healthy, happy self again very soon.

During some of my down time during my convalescence I began to think about all the things I want to explore in life ... all of those little sparks that pique my interest and set flame to my imagination. (This was probably exacerbated by the fact that I was reading Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids.) As my excitement was wheeling out into the Universe of Possibilities, my rational brain reminded me that my schedule is a lot tighter than it used to be. And, even though all of the things I'm doing are things I'm loving and from which I'm learning, I will never be able to fit all of my interests into my life. So, if I want to, practically, begin to explore my interests [outside of work], then I am going to need to pick a few favorites and try to work those in to my regular schedule. And if those few don't fit, then I'll have to cull the list even more until I have a manageable routine for learning and practicing new things of interest. (We'll see if I can maintain enough discipline to make this happen. It seems like such a simple arrangement, but discipline in these matters has never been my strong suit.) So, to start, I think I'm choosing these things to explore more actively: sewing, photography, drawing, writing (mainly the blog for now), baking/cooking, Spanish language study, and self-care. (The latter to incorporate things such as a regular personal yoga practice and hikes through the woods and time spent wandering aimlessly in bookstores and the like.) Eventually I would like the drawing (with which I have some little experience) to evolve into oil painting (with which I have absolutely no experience), but I will see about that at a later time. It's still a pretty large list, I know, but I am hoping that through creative planning I can make room for these passions. If you have ideas on how to create discipline for Self-pursuits, I would love to hear about it.

Okay, kiddos, it's off to work for me. Enjoy the last vestiges of your weekend!

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