Monday, November 9, 2009

A day "off"

Today was hard, y'all. Not in any major-happening, big-deal, life-occurrence kind of way, just not happy or flowy. Just "off," really. Nothing quite worked, nothing quite grooved -- in small ways that feel like whines, but these days are bound to happen.

First lesson of the day: Late starts to my "workdays" are just no good. Even in a flexible, mostly schedule-free world. Second one: I think I really do need more than seven hours' sleep. Kind of a bummer, really. I want to be one of those people who only needs a few hours, thus gains more hours to live. But I think there maybe something to accepting reality, rather than being tired and fighting to wake up every morning.

So, for a little placement of where are we in the grand scheme of things (otherwise known as: my universe): Start of Week 2 of the Brave New World:

The lookback
Found myself really enjoying life last week, as the reality crept in with each passing day. No anxiety or fear, just relaxing, loosening, breathing. Starting this blog, muy fun. Reading, enjoying downtime, rowing at the warmest and least windy parts of the day, spontaneous, small efforts toward future employment -- recipe for a pretty good life. And yet, that alone of course isn't enough long term, can't sustain that (on several levels). But as a start, it's pretty good.

The now
The late start that sent the whole day spinning off began from waking from a dream of having violated an unspoken etiquette (I wound up asking for too many free muffins, if you must know. oh hush, I felt BAD), plus waking later than I wanted to gain a little more sleep. Result is, I awake anxious.

The row
Then, somehow, it's two hours later. I don't know how this happens. And that sets the tone for the day: me, feeling late (never mind there isn't anything set in stone here), time, like melted butter in the hand. I rush off to get my row in before the wind picks up ... aaand, sorta miss that boat (ha, I know). It's warm and lovely, so I head downstream toward "the basin," which always has choppier water and more wind, but somehow I think I'll just go a little ways for variety then spin for the usual upstream route, and the water gets progressively uglier (picture yourself in a tippy boat as wide as your hips that responds to ANY movement you make, now add wind and choppy water), but then I'm almost to the Mass Ave bridge, which gives me a mile marker, so I'll just go a little bit more....

Rowing in the wind is not my forte. Not most people's. I find it nervewracking, scary, yet I can also appreciate it for the focus it demands and the ensuing boildown to technique basics. It also garners awe, respect and fear at the elements -- especially with the incongruity to such a warm, mild day where I pulled my rowing leggings up to my knees and was down to a tank layer (I even got whistled at as I was heading under the bridge, but by then was too focused on survival and uprightness to pay any attention -- 'cause that would be an awesome moment to flip).

All in all, the row left me feeling ... embattled. Ultimately, good experience, good toughening, but not really enjoyable (yes, some parallel life lessons that I won't go digging out). Oh, and I did the worst docking job in probably the last year or even two -- got close enough to get my oar on dock, but too far away to grab it and pull myself in. Awesome. (I got to awkwardly back the boat up, in the wind, then retry, nearly missing the entire dock.) Only thing better would've been an audience. Afterward, I saw a guy on the dock who I know relishes the wind, and his comment was that, like running hills, he's brainwashed himself to think "yeah! hills/wind!" and take it head-on as a challenge. I completely approve, think it's totally the right attitude, but am simply not there. Something to shoot for. (You counters: only 5 miles today, but all my back and nerves could take in the wind.)

Further excursions: Nahant
All right, I need to do something about how long these keep getting. I think it's just the glee of writing, y'all. But, maybe it's little mini separate posts so my *vast* audience can skim or pick and choose or something?

Anyway, my day's grand plan had been to deal with getting these two laptops plus one external hard drive all consolidated into one, so this meant potentially dropping off at friendly, local Mac shop and then taking off for the coast to soothe myself with the ocean and get a day away from electronica. This did not happen. As I finally got to shower at 1, I realized, to hell with it, I'm dealing with computers tomorrow, I need to get the hell OUT, into the world, to (figuratively) run a little. So, I'm psyched, I rush around, gather too much stuff, head out the door.

Yes! Freedom! Beautiful out! I'm in FLIPFLOPS and TANK TOP! I remember/realize where I am NOT on this fine Monday afternoon, and that's glorious, too. So, away I go, up 1A north ... and then I hit traffic, roadwork. No matter, no matter. I'm scheduled to give blood later in the day, and it's such a late start, I can't run for Marblehead or Gloucester as I'd thought, but as I peer at the map at stoplights, I see the little spit of land called Nahant. Hey, I haven't been there, it's coastal, a little closer, looks lovely, perfect!

Well. It was this perfect, picturesque little New England town that was also so completely inhospitable -- a beautiful little fortress with invisible walls. Apart from large, beautiful homes and lovely scenery, about all it had were lots (and lots) of No Parking signs everywhere. Certainly anywhere near water, views, strips of beach -- forget it, you are NOT parking here. I even got followed around by a local cop at one point (maybe because I was the only car in the vicinity, just me and the No Parking signs).

In my search for signs of life, for parking ANYwhere (OK, to be fair, I DID see 30-min parking near one playground!), I found myself meandering right on away (remember morning theme: things not quite going as planned). Apparently I need a local to show me the sights. On the way back, I find myself in Lynn (Lynn, Lynn, city of sin, would be the chant here for you W Coasters). Now, Lynn has seen some better days, I think, or maybe Lynn has never had better days, I'm just a New England upstart, so how would I really know. BUT what Lynn DOES have is a strip of beach and A PARKING LOT right NEXT to it that you are allowed to PARK at. I found this enormously exciting and welcoming. So, there was my ocean comfort. Of course, by now, I really need a bathroom, and of course, there are no public bathrooms in all of greater Boston (including at the poor Lynn beach facility, now closed and boarded up). So, I don't tarry too long before moving on. I stop at a Dunkin' (as in, Donuts, W Coasters, as ubiquitous as Starbucks in these here parts, albeit the blue-collar version) to get decaf tea and bathroom use. In the bathroom, I realize all the skin on the end of my nose is peeling off from Saturday trauma/repeated nose blowing. It's a good look.

The last thing: a blood theme
So, then I'm home, I gather my library card and head off to the local library for the blood donation. Where I get to wait, squished in with the do-gooding masses, finally get called in by a girl who talks faster than I do (really, Mom) and so obviously doesn't want to be there, I'm flat taken aback. And I find I'm .1 too low on the anemia scale for a blood donation. Awesome (see repeated theme: didn't quite work out). The upside was that I finally visited the main branch of my local library (gorgeous), just down the road (I swear, I'm getting better about THINKING about camera and picture taking, I'll work more on DOING now). I get my Metro Boston library card (not used in a few years, I'm sorry Aunt Genie! [an awesome former children's librarian, y'all]) to now also work in the "Minuteman Network" (cool, right?) and got myself Elizabeth George and Alexander McCall Smith mysteries to lose myself in. Which was what I was about to do, until I sat down here and wrote a book. Really, am going to actively work on shorter solutions here, people.

The messages
The day's themes and emotions suggest the following:
-Learn how to insert bullets (really, no idea how to do this)
-Wake up early or make myself crazy all day!
-Actually take PICTURES with the camera to show y'all
-Start plotting, creating a structure for my time and efforts to find freelance work and ultimately, gainful employment (My starting plan is not for this to be a full-time effort quite YET [like, today], but soon)
-Learn to row bravely and better in the wind
-Derive joy from the knowledge that sourdough toast somehow makes everything better and more bearable
-Use that beautiful library down the street!
-Put extra moisturizer on nose after repeated blowing
-Stop writing, like, right now!

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