Today is my first day off at home for three weeks. I've been putting a few Christmas things out, getting laundry done, and doing a little baking. I've listened to a few RadioLab podcasts, but mostly I've just enjoyed the silence. It was a clear day here in Portland, and having the sun stream through the windows while I messed around inside was a gift.
I haven't posted in so long! One reason I think is because I've been going through some heavy shit and the ol' blog isn't very anonymous anymore. It is in the larger sense, but I kind of miss the days when only the blogging peeps read it. I want it to feel like my space again, not a passive conversation with family or friends. I guess it's up to me to make this space what I want it to be, but it's surprisingly tough.
On to the updates.
- Nephews: I've seen my amazing nephews twice this fall, and the second time was yesterday. I had 5 heavenly hours with them and we raced and pretended and swam and took a train ride. The little one, now 2, remembered me from last time (before that, he had forgotten who I am - which is hard to even type) and he was a sweet little love bug the whole time. The older one, now 4 1/2, amazes me with his beautiful personality and strong sense of self. He also acts like he's about 16, which kind of freaks me out. I love those boys more than life.
- Work: I am still loving my job and am still waiting for the axe to fall on my department. I'm working on a really interesting project right now that you've probably heard about if you don't have your head completely up your ass. (I work for a big bank, and I love it. And I totally support the Occupy movement. And we, along with most of the big banks, paid back our TARP money plus interest years ago, so get your facts straight and move on.) I'm grateful to have a job I love, and I hope I still do in a few months. I need to cut back on my hours, but I'm trying.
- Water: I went surfing most recently about a month ago on 11/9. It was a test run to see if I could make it out and back and still get to work only 2 hours late. (I work the afternoon shift.) I almost passed the test. My first wave of the day was really sweet - a longish, smooth ride; no fidgeting or walking around on my board - just chest up, wide stance, lots of gratitude. Everything from that point on was questionable at best. After about an hour and a half, I put my board up and just swam around for a while because I was too tired to pop up, but I wasn't quite done with the feel of the water washing over me. I'm DISCOURAGED about my surfing, and I missed the connection I had with Jules terribly that day. I just don't see how I'll ever get better - ever ride green waves consistently - living here (inland), not having a teacher, and having a job. I also felt really out of shape. I cried on the way home and wondered if I should hang it up. I don't think I was really close to doing it, but the fact that I was even thinking it was just an expression of my grief and frustration. I have a long way to go. In surfing and in life.
- Travel: I recently spent a quick weekend up in WA with my Mom, and then went to NY for the first time since moving away in 2009 to be with my sister and BIL for Thanksgiving. Both trips were really nice, although it was a bit weird to be in NY, as that was such a strange time in my life. I did feel really lucky to be with family for the holiday. Looking forward, I'm trying to plan a few weekend trips to use a couple of free tickets I have, and then a bigger trip for early 2012. I just can't decide if I should do another surf trip, or if a solo, wandering city trip would scratch the itch. I've been thinking about (shhhh) India. I know it would rock my socks, but that's kind of what I want.
- Fitness: I've been really inconsistent with my running for the past six weeks, and I have the extra 5 lbs to prove it. Add to that the 15 I already needed to lose, and it's time to get serious. I want to fit into my clothes, yes, but I'm more concerned about heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and everything else I put myself at risk of by being out of shape. Man, aging - and specifically for me, hitting 40 - truly has a way of making those risks real.
- Once More with Feeling: I'm giving online dating another go. Or I'm trying to. I had a lot of fun last time around, and it's probably time to get over Huntington Beach, which has proven very difficult. I've traded a few e-mails with guys already and I think I can officially say there's going to plenty of blogging material in this.
- Life: I have been missing my grandmother so intensely lately. It feels like a cut that won't heal. About life in general, I would say that I have been really busy alternating between grieving and avoiding grief. Both activities are serious business. I'm not usually such an avoider, so I don't know what I've been doing, but I'm going for the gold at it. I came across this poem (below) and can attest to the first part. I don't know about that second part, though. I'm skeptical.
When sad, be really sad, sink into sadness. What else can you do? Sadness is needed. It is very relaxing, a dark night that surrounds you. Fall asleep into it. Accept it, and you will see that the moment you accept sadness, it starts becoming beautiful. – Osho