Sunday, July 22, 2007

Checking in

I've been in my new job for four weeks. I've had the bar in my ear for three weeks. How is it all going you may ask. The ear is still sore--still not sleeping on my left side, but seems to be healing cleanly with no strange scarring and growths. In case you are wondering, I do not actually have a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yet, and I am working very hard to keep myself from contamination. We have always ordered our copies from Britain from the days when the edition were different (HP & the Sorcerer's Stone/HP & the Philosopher's Stone) and now do it to keep the editions covers the same. Our copy will arrive some time this week.

The job...is very, very stressful. Or perhaps it just seems so because I've been in such relaxed jobs for so long. The learning curve has been steep (and will continue to be so). I'm using programs of which I only had passing knowledge every day--like Dreamweaver and Adobe Design. What's funny in Dreamweaver and in the admin control of the website which I also have, I forget that there are such great shortcuts and buttons--I keep thinking I have to actually modify code. The week began badly, but ended well, so that's a good sign. I'm bringing work home every night which isn't--but I keep trying to tell myself that I've done that before when I started new jobs and once I beat them into a system and trained myself it all became much, much easier. I'm trying to re-write some new account letters right now which for some reason is giving me a devil of a time (thus, I am blogging instead). There is also a measure of office politics which I did not catch when I interviewed. I hate to have to worry about such things, esp. this early on.

Being terribly busy at work has also made me aware of how many things I wish I'd taken care of in my private life before I started this. On the plus side, I feel motivated to tackle things. On the negative actually getting down to work seems impossible with so many niggly little things in the way. I spent part of today trying to carve out a space in my sewing room to set up the laptop so that I can say, yes, I have a home office which is not shared with my husband. I realize all of this is a luxury (I'm sorry Musing--everyone should have a room of their own). No room in my house has a view--it's all industrial and seedy from my apartment--the highway in the back, the landlord's iron works on one side, the Mexican place at the end of the street on the other. Right now I'm typing in hardly ideal conditions. My laptop perched atop some fashion magazines atop a lateral cabinet where I keep all my files on fashion research. There is a big box taking up part of the space full of clippings from magazines that I have not sorted and the quilt that I need to reback and rebind is threatening to fall from the cutting table on the other side.

What one needs is a month off. One week to have some fun and unwind, one week to clean and organize. One week to actually get some work and one week to relax before returning to the grind again. Wouldn't that be nice?

Why didn't I back the quilt before this? Why haven't I sorted those files. Better yet, why do I keep them at all?

In addition to too much work at work and too much work at home, I would really, really, really like to move. I've wanted to move virtually since we moved into this place and it's really becoming dire now. Things are breaking down and our landlord's have a habit of asking their Cousin Vinny to do the repairs (really!) with mixed results. With my new raise we are finally in a position to find a nicer place. Of course, I don't want to live up to my means, either.

In preparation for a possible move I've been trying to weed. We have a lot of stuff and all of it has meaning. I've already tossed all of the things without meaning--including unwanted presents and vases bought on sale or aquired with long dead flowers. What's left are the things that seem important. Those lit mags with my annotations, old unfilled diaries, this filing cabinet of fashion clippings.

Clearly I am not going to be a fashion designer, and it looks like I may not be a costume designer either. Surely then I should simply toss the whole thing without looking at any of it. There will always be more magazines.

But...
I've been collecting these since I was 13. 13! There's pictures of models like Famke Jannssen who went on to bigger and better things. Designers I knew were going places. Clothes I simply like and would like to make. And I HAVE used it. I DO refer to it. And life is long and unpredictable.

I have long wanted to be a minimilist. Living with only the needs of the moment, spare and elegant. Able to pack up and move in an instant to any abode.

But, I am not that person and as I slide towards my late 30's, it's time to admit that I never will be.

I was talking with a good friend yesterday about "being grown-up." Accepting the limitations and losses of one's life and making something different than what you had planned. I am thinking of the moment in Pleasantville when Toby McGuire's mother cries and says, "This isn't the way it was supposed to be," and the newly wise McGuire says, "There isn't any supposed to be." (Note, I may be paraphrasing that and I don't feel like going to IMDB to check.)

Do I toss those diaries with their half begun short-stories, trusting that if the story is important enough it will come back to me--it hasn't been finished in this long. I remember a woman I worked with at a fabric store who, when I asked her why she wasn't taking advantage of a sale said, "There will always be more fabric."

For so long in my life, I wasn't sure that there would be money for more fabric, more things, new things--so I still hoard. I don't save useless things. I'm not one of those people who will be found dead behind piles of newspapers from 30 years past (my Sunday paper goes out in the following week's recycling, thank you). But somehow I have too many potential things, bits of fabric and jewelry and writing and their sheer number stands in the way of my actually completing things.

This has gone in odd directions.

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