On change

Sometimes you get to the point where you have to change something.

Until then, you can cope and cope and cope.

That moment. The one that changes everything, can be tiny. One you might overlook if it didn’t happen at the exact right time.

There’s a special combination of attitude and exhaustion and hope and dread and longing and probably magic involved, that works with the circumstances and the strangers and the people you think you know, to produce a spark, to set all the balls rolling in new and exciting ways, to shake up the customary and create something amazing.

Revolutionary, if only on a small scale. A personal scale. The only one that really matters.

The newness, when it arrives, washes in, like the tide on a lumpy beach. Some parts flood completely, in one go, others take longer, the waves lapping longest at the shore of commitment and duty until they too relent and give up the fight ready to join the party.

Sometimes, after months of indecisive hesitation, you just know, and act, and relax.

And breathe. As if you’d somehow forgotten how to before, and only now remembered.

The kind of remembering which is more like relearning. Or learning for the first time.

Fresh. Deep. Exhilarating.
*breathes*

Again and again and again.

***

Tomorrow, or on Sunday,  I hope to finish the Dog series. This post needed writing today, otherwise I would have waited until afterwards.

On wishing myself well

This year I’m going to be selfish. I’m going to do the things I want to do with the people I want to do them with. I’m going to go where I want to go and see what I want to see. I’m going to figure out what’s really important to me and spend less time and thoughts on anything that isn’t. I’m going to eat more vegetables, even if that means eating by myself. I’m going to get my book finished and my website sorted out and my mini-company off the ground. I’m going to make time for myself and for catching up with the people who have been waiting for me to wake up to the notion that life is not only worth living, but also happens outside my house and the narrow constricts that have kept me too busy to talk. I’m going to keep up with my school work so that I don’t hurt my thumb writing like a banshee for the last few weeks before the exams. I’m going to get rid of lots of excess baggage – the things I surround myself with which I neither believe to be beautiful nor know to be useful and which have been weighing me down and holding me back by nagging at me to do something about them. I am going to marvel at the sunlight as it dances on the frost and maybe even dance myself if the opportunity arises. I miss dancing. I’m going to read more widely, paint more daringly and listen more loudly. I’m going to remind myself that I’m loved, and remember to make sure other people know that I love them. I’m going to swim 100km over the course of the year and hopefully manage to squeeze 80 lengths into an hour. I’m going to put more pictures up and make my space so pretty it’s like getting a mental hug every time I look at it. I’m going to learn how to use LaTex and how to keep my desk clear enough to put my new laptop down without worrying about it sliding down the paperwork mountain and crashing into my tub of paints or knocking the hopefully no longer overflowing dustbin over. I’m going to go iceskating and cycling and to the zoo. I’m going to sew more, write more, create more, sleep more. I’m going to find the time for all these things by wasting less working on other people’s dreams.

I think this is going to be a good year.

Not only do I wish myself well for the coming year, I also wish you all a fantastic year, doing the things you want to do :).

On sheep dogs

Do sheep dogs care about the sheep who stay where they’re told? Do they even notice them?

***

Today my thoughts kept circling back to sheepdogs.

I don’t think I’ve spent more than a handful of hours in my whole life watching sheepdogs working, but every time I get the chance, I am impressed.

Where the sheepdog-thoughts came from I have no idea. Here they are though.

And if anyone is actually knowledgeable about sheepdogs, please share your wisdom. πŸ™‚

***

They presumably know the sheep who step outside the flock better than the rest; certainly spend more time attending to them.
Would they prefer to run with the flock themselves? Or do they like being outside it, playing an integral part, and still not really belonging? Not getting involved, yet still being involved.

Does all that running about energise them or wear them out? When all the sheep get to where they’re going, are they proud of their results or frustrated by the knowledge that it won’t last, that the next day is sure to present many of the same situations?

Are they going through the motions, doing what’s expected of them, or do they choose what to do, enjoying themselves and relishing in the challenges, stretching themselves with more and more ways to solve the same issues.

On coming home to empty shelves

To some that would be a problem, to me it was a reason to rejoice;

I have too much stuff.

Or not enough cupboards, depending on how you view these things.

I am currently trying to revise for several exams (December) and compile a bookload of photos and old emails for my grandparents for Christmas (also December, funnily enough). It is almost impossible to do either with DB complaining about the state of the house. As much as I don’t want to care about it, he has a point.

I am now also in the process of going through boxes and boxes of paperwork, old clothes, things I’ve acumulated along the way but don’t know what to do with. I am trying very hard not to go through everything individually (next year will presumably provide rainy days too), but rather get it into some semblance of order, where it can wait to be dealt with properly.

Last week, I was given 2 boxes of file-boxes, which I hope are the answer to all my paperwork problems.

Today, I came home to two brand new, empty, shelf units/doorless cupboards to stack them in.

Whoo!
(A post just rescued from the end of October. I still haven’t finished sorting, so the cupboards are still partially empty :(. This weekend calls for remedial action – and lots of revision and book compilation,,because I obviously haven’t finished those either ;))

On the night of the full moon

The filtered water flows back into the aquarium through a tube ending in the bottom right hand corner of the photo. The duck weed span round slowly and steadily, in an almost perfect circle, until I sprinkled the flakes onto it, and broke it.

On writing it out

– or “don’t write back in anger”

(Written yesterday; I fell asleep in the middle if the last sentence..)

Yesterday (Monday) I was mad at a situation involving several people and several opinions.

Today (Tuesday), I wrote them all an email. It took me a good part of the morning to get it into something that I could send, but work was out of the question as long as I was still cross. Glass, hard and brittle as it is, is very susceptible to feelings.

***

I took a copy to my favourite secretary to proof read for me. I needed to know if it was still too aggressive for posting. She asked lots of questions about the situation in general, and pronounced my email adequate for the circumstances.

I left it for a while, and when I came back to it and reread it, it made more sense read backwards, so I changed it round a bit, added a couple of new sentences, took out others and pressed send.

Finally it was gone, and with it, most of my anger.

***

I am now a whole lot calmer, and no longer feel the need for pointy instruments or punching bags.

I read the mail to DB when I got home. he said he wouldnt have been able to write it as well, and he’s German. πŸ™‚

***

So far I have received two (or three if you count two from the same person separately) emails from people who support me, my plan, my ideas and my way of getting stroppy while staying mostly neutral.

I think this might be the way forward. (Loud music – sleep – writing)

On the news

“The news” (as a whole) keeps telling me that scary things are happening in the world at the moment. I’m not too keen on scary things so I plucked up lots of courage as I walked past the newspaper salesman and risked a passing glance at the headlines on my way to the station. According to the main local paper, someone has found something poisonous on a bus in Berlin.

It seems “the news” was right. That’s pretty scary. I hope whoever found the poisonous thing is ok and won’t need too much therapy/anti-poison-medication.

On getting unangry

Getting angry is easy.

Getting unangry isn’t. At least, I don’t think it is. 

Yesterday was an angry day. (And I also didn’t post, so this is a catch up).

I asked three people what they do to get rid of their own anger and all three of them said they listen to loud music. One added that if it doesn’t work, they listen to more music (and/or more loudly). Additionally, one suggested screaming and one admitted to driving very fast.

I tend to want to hit things. I don’t actually hit them – I need my hands uninjured – but the wanting is still there. I also tend to cry. The sort that is uncontrolled and hot and loud and results in puffy eyes and an entire binload of used tissues.

Yesterday I went for music instead. It’s not the first time I’ve listened to music when angry, but it was probably the first time I have done so purposefully, with getting rid of my anger the only motivation.

It helped. I probably need a couple more doses πŸ˜‰ but I am, a day/night and several hours of loud music later, down to a level of anger that isn’t, probably, going to involve injury to myself, anyone or anything else.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll find something creative to do with all this imbalanced energy soon.

In the meantime I will prescribe myself another dose of the Dixie Chicks’ “not ready to make nice (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IHH8bfPhusM) at full computer-speaker-volume in the workshop.

Luckily my colleague is on holiday πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

On red lights

There is a solitary red street light on the road next to the river through the residential area.

Does that make it a red light district?

On firsts

Today was a day of firsts.

Not only did I drive the best part of 600km across Germany, I also ate at a restaurant by myself :).

In addition, there were a whole heap of smaller and/or tiny firsts, including mending/editing the directory of the work’s computer to get it to recognise the user profile, diluting antifreeze for my windscreen wiper water, buying my first own iced coffees in a supermarket (I’ve only ever drunk/stolen DBs’ up to now), poking the button on a car park machine to provide me with a ticket and make the barrier go up (had to back up and try again to be anywhere near close enough to reach it! ;)), unwrapping and eating toffees while driving, changing the radio station while driving, driving on a motorway in the rain, overtaking 3 lorries at once (admittedly not in the rain), driving at 160-170kph (for more than a few seconds), driving through an 8km tunnel, navigating the million traffic cones in a roadworks-labyrinth in the dark, driving in a pedestrian precinct (by mistake), not finishing a meal in a restaurant..

The pedestrian precinct by day. This is where I found the way out πŸ™‚

I am now incredibly proud of myself, and even more incredibly sleepy.

πŸ™‚

πŸ™‚

πŸ™‚

Good night all.

πŸ™‚ zzzzzzzzz

On leaving without saying goodbye

Ok, I get it.
You don’t like goodbyes. I don’t think I know anyone who particularly enjoys them.

You were – and are – well and truly finished here, you did your time, you ate the cake, you packed your coffee cup, you were ready to leave.

There’s no real sensible reason to hang about waiting for people to appear so you can finally say bye and get the hell out of here.

I get that.

It’s just… I would have liked the chance to say bye. And thank you. You’ve done so much for me that you probably don’t realise. It would’ve been good to tell you I appreciate it.

Not that there were no chances. I just thought there’d be more.

More chances. More time.

Time to go the loo quickly while you finished packing.

Time to dig your prezzie out of my bag while you carried your boxes to the steps.

Time to say bye before you drove off to seek more fortuitous fortunes.

(I hope you find them.)

Today was a good day. I hope you thought so too.

I learned a lot, as always, when I work with you.

I’m going to miss those days, the ones where the goal was work, and the way there was fun. Pretty much everything seems possible when it’s fun. Even the tough projects.

***

I suppose the take-away-message is ‘don’t assume’.

Don’t assume they’ll always be there.

Don’t assume they’ll wait for you to say bye.

Get in there first. Say what you want to say well before they’re due to leave, even if it seems weird to say bye hours in advance.

***

No, no one’s died. I was just a bit shaken (and a bit mad) that one of my favourite colleagues not only resigned, but also disappeared without saying goodbye. I wrote it directly after he left, but didn’t want to post it while it was so fresh. I never sent it. Maybe I should have done. Maybe I still will.