December started off with a little drama. We call the week before exams “Dead week.” It has nothing to do with being deceased or wearing tie dye. It simple means the week of no class assignments, no papers due, no tests, no early exams. Nothing is supposed to be happening that week. Hence, dead. It’s an internal term not used campus wide and no one outside the library would get it. Except…my new guy posted the hours of “Dead” week on every campus announcement he could find: students, staff, faculty, admin, you name it. They all got it. Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do! Of well. It could be worse. Last week someone thought we stole a leather chair from the Trustees room.
Anyway, December is the month I go quietly insane. I am brimming with good intentions and somehow get knocked sideways. All those intentions are knocked out of me at the 11th hour (i.e. Christmas Eve). For reading it’s not much better:
- The People’s History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons ~ in honor of the first Chief Justice being appointed in December (John Jay).
- Gideon’s Trumpet by Anthony Lewis ~ for the same reason (hey, I’m in a legal mood).
- To What End: Report from Vietnam by Ward Just in honor of Just’s birth month
- A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor ~ in honor of Southern Fiction
That’s it. That it is all I really have planned for the month. Nothing too earth shaking, shattering or whatever. I think I’ll do enough of that on my own, thank you very much.
What a weird month June ended up being! I wanted to stop borrowing books from other libraries while mine went through a transition period with it’s catalog. I chose one book to read, And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hoover Santmyer which I thought would take me the entire month of June. How wrong I was…about everything. First, the migration is delayed so I could have borrowed books from other libraries. In that one instance the library stayed the same while everything else changed: the entire building has had every light bulb changed, I’m in the process of hiring two new people (and an architect for a complete overhaul of the library’s layout), in September I will have three staff members working nights, only two people are in their same offices, and I even got new furniture. What a difference a month makes. I was also wrong about finishing And Ladies of the Club. I was bored to tears. So I moved on to:
- Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan in honor of D-Day on June 6th, 1944.
- Atonement by Ian McEwan in honor of June being Family month.
- Gold Bug by Edgar Allan Poe in honor of June being National Short Story month.
- Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler in honor of Food Week
Not a huge month for reading. I spent a lot of time focusing on life in the here and now…
I had to say no several times yesterday. What a weird concept. Usually I skirt around the issue, not wanting to come right out with not participating. How liberating, how honest to just say no. Not now. Nope. Why haven’t I thought about this before? Why haven’t I dared?
In the case of the work whiners it was easiest when I could look at the time and say we need to continue this tomorrow. My charges? To find out what makes some so damn inefficient. Easier said than done. No Grace under pressure. I had to admire this one administrator. In mid-sentence she was told she needed to be somewhere else. It didn’t ruin her day. It didn’t ruin her attitude. She was able to slide over to a new way of thinking. When I asked her how she managed she looked at me and deadpanned, “interruption is not a word in my vocabulary.” I love it. Word to the wise. Wise up.
It’s harder to say no to friends. I had plans to get together with someone who really means a lot to me. Yet, I need to stay on my training schedule. I couldn’t have done both successfully. It bothered me that the training won out. It bothered me to have to tell her no. After all, she is my inspiration. She is my hero. Yet, I put her off, hero or not. This is the way it had to be. No, I said. I need to train. Her graceful acceptance allowed me to walk nine miles. I got it done because I didn’t give in.
Later, an invitation to chat. Under any other circumstances I would have loved sparring with this flirty friend. He’s quick with the compliments and quicker with the innuendos. I love the sass. I love the challenge this conversation always presents to me. Who can be the most indulgent, the most daring? But, sigh of all sighs, I had to tell him and his innuendos no. I needed a warm bath and a hot cup of tea. As I let the water wrap itself around my tired legs I thought about this new no I seem to have. While I don’t necessary like it or want it, it works for now. For now.
I was invited to a Girls’ Night In last Friday. It sounded amazing. Pedicures, manicures, massage, pampering, girly time. Despite the temptation of all those pedicures and manicures I concentrated on another cure. By 5:30pm I was hitting the streets training for Just ‘Cause. I don’t think I can call walking “training” without a little smile on my face, but after five miles my hips told me differently. They gently reminded me I may not be able to finish twenty let alone times three. Doesn’t matter. I’m here for the cure. I’m broken but I’m still beautiful.
The Sunday sunshine saw me out again. This time I had kisa drop me off at the public library. I’d walk home from there. 5.5 miles if I did it right. I’m noticing my new neighborhood. My new town is beautiful but in a very broken way. Bottles dropped by alcoholics who have had more than their share. Gamblers casting off their loser scratch cards by the hundreds. Flattened things. Unrecognizable things. Dirty things. Things that make my eyes slide away. My favorite moment: a young cat peers out from under a sodden, mangled box with worry in his eyes. I smile with conspiracy. Have no fear. I won’t give you away. Stay stone still and no one will take you away to anywhere. We will walk on by. Promise.
I have decided there are more important things than worrying about what everyone else is doing. I watch people become sulky and sullen when they don’t get what they want and I’ve decided it’s none of their business anyway. Instead, I will pour my energy into something more worthwhile. Petty you is not pretty to me. Everyone will be in for a shock. Maybe I’ll get that pedicure after all. In pink. Then I can say I am living it right. Broken, but beyond beautiful.
You could say my obsession is my abode. You could say I’ve been too wrapped up in work. You might even say I have been a little fixated on health issues. All of the above I say. All of the above. Luckily, the proof is only in the house. I haven’t been keeping tabs on work or the workings of me. But, here’s the house and how it’s been:
2/23 Closing day. Breasts aside, we are a go.
2/24 Where to begin?
2/25 We have a phone
2/26 Get another truckload from the apartment
2/27 Get another truckload from the apartment
2/28 Get another truckload from the apartment
3/1 Seller here. First visitors. Washer/dryer are in
3/2 First snow storm. How do they handle snow around here?
3/3 Get another truckload from the apartment
3/4 Did first load of laundry
3/5 First cat puke – Get another truckload from the apartment
3/6 Change the freaking locks already
3/7 First day alone
3/8 Get another truckload from the apartment
3/9 Cat comes out
3/10 Ran on tread for the first time – mail didn’t go
3/11 Mail didn’t go
3/12 Mail didn’t go
3/13 mail went- get another truckload from the apartment
3/14 Double apartment trip – in-laws see the place
3/15 Dining room set came – faucet trouble
3/16 Get another truckload from the apartment
3/17 Hate not having the dish
3/18 Really hate not having the dish
3/19 Loving the microwave
3/20 Get another truckload from the apartment – Hello Coldplay
3/21 Get another truckload from the apartment – living room end tables arrive
3/22 Get another truckload from the apartment – Zeke comes home
3/23 This kitchen isn’t working
3/24 This kitchen isn’t working
3/25 This kitchen isn’t working
3/26 Thanks for the manuals
3/27 Get another truckload from the apartment
3/28 fixed the shed window – new security system
3/30 This kitchen might work
3/31 can we get rid of more boxes?
4/1 Hello chocolate for cheaper!
4/2 You shouldn’t have…
4/3 The first turtles come out. Art comes in!
4/4 More turtles
4/5 Get another truckload from the apartment (when will it end?)
4/6 Art gets its place
“I’m guilty just the same.
Sometimes you’re needed badly so please come back again…”
~Duran Duran Hold Back the Rain
The last month has been a weird sort of hell. While the house has been awesome, getting settled hasn’t been all that fun. We are still moving out at the same time as moving in. Still. We are still living out of boxes. Still. Yeah, yeah. Don’t tell me because I’ve heard it before. These Things Take Time. I should be wearing the words as a slogan across my chest. Or tattooed on my forehead. Something. Yeah, yeah. I know the words. It’s not like I haven’t moved (17 times) before. My frustration lies in the lack of time I have to dedicate. It takes time but I have no time to donate.
Last week They were on campus. They are the same They I talked about in my Entitled to Tell You So blog. They stormed the gates again and this time I took it personally. Here’s another yeah yeah moment. I KNOW they weren’t talking about MY job performance. I KNOW they weren’t talking about ME when the listed the library as a concern, as a weakness to the institution. Nothing they announced was new. So, why do I take it so personally? I’ll tell you why. I have been busting my azz to say We Need This- We Need That. My words went nowhere. But, talk is cheap. Words are well, just words. think of all those sayings – put your money where your mouth is, talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words…blahblahblah. I felt like I was screaming into the wind when I should have been learning to harness that wind and fly. DO something.
I have stressed so much about the upcoming, inevitable failings that I have blown off friends and family. I owe my mother a phone call. I owe my nephew an apology. I owe just as much as I woe. My head has been up my azz looking for the sh!t that makes work work. If that makes any sense. Because now that it’s done I feel dumb. I worried for nothing because They didn’t tell me anything new, nothing I didn’t already know.
Now it’s done. I’m done with the rant, too. I got it out. I got over it. Now, it’s time to do something. It’s time to start flying.
I don’t think I care. Nope, can’t say as if I do. For nearly eight years I have been dealing with you and now I think, no – I know I am done. Done. Done. There have been some others I have ceremoniously said goodbye to, but none quite like this. I’ve done the sliding away, glad you haven’t called route. I’ve done the I’ll Make You Mad Enough To Leave Me routine. Been there, done that. This is different. This is me forcing you out and being really glad about it. It’s Survivor meets Lost. Get off the island and stay off. Trust me, you won’t be missed. Or looked for, much less found. This is me, giving you your walking papers.
I can’t stand mimics. Those people who try to flatter you by trying to be you. It’s just not cool. I believe in residual relationships – giving and taking. Adopting, if you will. I don’t care for copycats. Find your own voice. Your own hobby. Your own island. Let me go my own way. Without you.
Here’s the thing. I liked you. I grew fond of what you could be, until you showed me who you really are. Not who you want to be, but who really lives under your skin (and makes mine crawl). Sound the alarm. Scream bloody murder. Cry wolf. Do whatever you need to do – whatever will help you move on from me. I want you to jump ship or else someone will make you walk the plank. That someone might be me.