It's been a while
So, I've been trucking along - enjoying life in Atlanta.
The seasons have changed now, the trees, after their riotous color, have started to lose their leaves, and it's in the 30s to 40s (F) regularly when I wake up. I didn't ride to work this morning because it was 34F. Call me a wuss, but I didn't feel like trying to unfreeze at my desk all morning.
I've been riding a lot lately - I pulled my mountain bike out of storage, and now prefer riding it to work - I feel more solid and stable in Atlanta traffic on a mountain bike. And with rain every now and then, it's nicer to be on mountain bike tires rather than slicks. I"m now almost exclusively riding for transportation on the weekends - to festivals, to the grocery store, to lunch... it's great. I made a compost bin last weekend (with help that made me smile!) - my re-emergence as a full blown hippie is almost complete!
I've been reading about the Vietnam war ('Vietnam: A History'). It's fascinating, troubling, depressing, engaging, sad... I love history, and this is particular close to home (my dad was there in 68) and my brother is active army now. I've had some great discussions with both of them about the hows and whys of war. It's a continuing dialogue, and there's no easy answer.
I like the world to be in black and white - one of the things I"ve been focusing on over the last year (my adventures with depression! (see Hyperbole and a Half for an excellent description)) is being comfortable in the gray (or the grey - depending on how I'm feeling). It's not necessarily an easy thing to be in the gray zone - to be okay with the world as it happens, to not try to CONTROL everything. Because, for me, that's the crux - CONTROL.
At work I'm a coordinator. I coordinate and control things. (this is no surprise to anyone who has spent time with me). I'm good at it.
But I feel like it sometimes is too much and it seeps into my outside work life. This is why I stopped training for the half ironman - I needed to not be controlled by a training plan. This is why I dropped out of the book club I started - I needed to not feel obligated to read something every month and to not feel responsible for the logistics of the club.
All of these things have helped me to focus on living in the present moment. But I've become aware of other things in the process. I am truly uncomfortable when I'm not in control. I was in the cafeteria yesterday getting lunch (something I rarely do, partly because of my reaction) - my reaction to being in the cafeteria, with its inefficient lines for the grill and the sandwich bar and the hot dinner bar is increasing agitation. I waited for 15 minutes for a garden burger yesterday, and I couldn't even keep up a conversation with my co-worker because I was too distracted by the chaos. Literally had to keep myself from running out and just eating chips from the vending machine.
Work has been stressful this week - there are a lot of things out of my control right now - we are relying on a lot of other people to help us do things and bring projects to fruition/completion - and that means that when I get home I need to CONTROL something. So I watch Friends over and over. I know the episodes so well, and it's really comforting to me to have it on in the background. I rarely sit and actually watch - I'm doing other things - but I like the predictability of it. The other night I sorted out a large bag of trail mix. I made a one gallon bag of trail mix into 6 quart bags of almonds, mixed nuts, raisins, pretzels, chocolate granola, and mixed fruit pieces. It was about 40 minutes of targeted work, with a satisfying result.
Why share this particular brand of crazy with you?
Because it makes me feel better to put it out there.
Also, holiday ads have been making me cry and the thought of my brother becoming a dad, while exciting and incredibly awesome, makes me a bit sad too. I guess I'm reacting to the passing time - my baby brother (who will probably always be about 15 to me) is having his first kid! Maggie's daughters are growing so fast - I have conversations with Bridget on the phone now (well - they are mostly one-sided, but sometimes she sings for me)! I think some good family time over Christmas will cure this maudlin-ness I'm feeling.