Friday, May 22, 2009

Just 'cuz

This post of photos is just because the last post put me in a dark place.

Looking up . . .

I met someone yesterday. A new hairstylist - well, new to me. He's been around in the same location for the past 24 years. An awesome, beautiful location - on the second floor of a building on the main drag through town-right across from a huge state University-with a huge, jutting out window that makes you feel as if you are in a treehouse.
He has a wonderful personality and it is quite obvious that he loves his work. And he definitely knows how to cut hair - this is the best cut I've ever had. But yet he mentioned that business has been dying off, that he wasn't sure how much longer he was going to remain open.
Was it the economy? Maybe part of it - but people still pay for haircuts. Was it that the town was over saturated with cheap hair cutting shops? There have always been many hair stylists in town.
No, he said, he thought it was because he had become invisible. Interesting. He has a lovely location, amazing skills, reasonable prices - so he explained a little more. He says it used to be that the college students would come downtown and look around at things but now, although students still come downtown, they don't look around: they look down. At their text phones.....busy, busy texting to people who they can't see because they are looking at their phones. How can we see each other if we are only looking down? We are tuning ourselves out: visually and auditorily.
We are losing our ability to communicate through any mode other than electronic. It is impacting us more than I ever realized. If we don't look to see, how do we know what is there? How do we miss hitting obstacles (literally and figuratively) if we don't see?
Blaine's business is going down the tubes not for any reason other than people don't look around and appreciate their surroundings anymore. Perhaps the answer is to put advertisements where people can see them: on the ground. Renting out sidewalks to advertise - what a novel idea. But it may just be the direction we are heading--down.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Leaf

Turning a new leaf. This looks like an old leaf but it is new.....a maple leaf I noticed on a hike the other day.
I'm still feeling sad and really hoping that writing about it will make me feel better. But I feel like an old dog that no one wants. I don't really think that I'm falling into a deep depression because I still enjoy things. I still run. As long as I am running, I know that I'm going to be ok.
Running is so cathartic for me. It signifies so many things: running away from things that I feel bad about, running toward things I want to achieve, running and hiding, being part of nature - not hurting the planet other than by my footsteps on it. Lately though, my main purpose for running is the solitude. I refuse to use an ipod or take a cell phone on a run. I can't imagine not being able to hear the birds or the wind. I pretend a lot when I run. I pretend sometimes that I'm somewhere else: in another time or place.
It helps me to visualize breathing out bad, breathing in good. I haven't done that in a while. Sometimes I like to take my dog, Sebastian. Sometimes I like to go by myself and run very, very quietly.
And I keep telling myself that I'll be alright as long as I keep on running.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Falling down . . .

I just need to keep remembering to look up . . . My dad always - and I imagine still does - find solace in nature. It is the first place I want to be when I need to lick my wounds. I thought that being turned out for the job could be dealt with through an intensive 'dealing with disappointment' day of running, allowing myself to cry, and pouting. But it is now 4 days later and I still feel a weight in my chest. I'm still stuck with the feeling that I've missed my last chance to ever move ahead. Why can't I get past this? I is my job, not my life! Why has it suddenly become important to me that others don't view me as competent? I've always loved my job because of the energy that young college students exude. I pick up on that energy and their enthusiasm. I love being awashed in their convictions that they can change the world. I can empathize with the parents leaving their babies for the first time. And I love the feeling that I can be here to help. There truly is no place as energizing as a college campus. And I love this one.

Maybe it's not just the loss of the dream - that wasn't really a dream until I decided I could do it. Maybe it is all the other uncertainty in my life. Maybe it is knowing that my husband does not love me anymore. Maybe it is that my parents are starting to experience health problems. It is not my kids - they are great and I love everything about them, everything about being with them.

Maybe it's because of the low I've allowed myself to reach financially. I'm slowly working my way to paying things off but I still have creditors calling me. I don't borrow money anymore - I've learned my lesson. But my credit is trashed so if I had to borrow money, I couldn't. I'm a procrastinator and I don't like to deal with negativity so I don't talk to my creditors which is wrong. Fortunately I never had much credit card debt so I'm only paying on mortgage and some back debts.

Maybe I'm simply allowing myself to feel blue. But it scares me that I don't want to get out of bed and that I actually dreaded coming to work today for the first time in years. I want to just go somewhere no one can find me. And be quiet.

But for right now I will deal with it by putting on my running shoes and going for a run.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Changes . . .

People change. Two nights ago, I witnessed the proof. The change to which I'm referring may be defined more as growth Friday evening, my daughter received an award in Environmental Technology for having the highest cumulative gpa in her class. The prof who presented her award had so many good things to say about her--I think she was shocked.

Let me explain: Kris is a tough cookie. She, her brother, and I endured many years of craziness -- mainly because of me. By the time they were 8 and 6, I had divorced their father, remarried and divorced, hospitalized for nearly a month, and then took the kids and moved 150 miles away from home to a place where we knew no one. In retrospect, I see that I was not being respectful to my kids. I do believe they learned a lot from our experiences but they didn't have the benefit of stability. In their young lives of constant change, they didn't have anything or anyone but me to count on. I feel that our relationships now are very strong. I also think that neither of my olders kids have strong self-esteems.

Kris hated high school. Hated it. One of her teachers told me that she would never make it. Which makes her award even sweeter. She has worked hard. It has been all her. And hope she sees what a positive role model she is. It is very, very hard for her, she has a 2-year-old who she is raising alone because the father chooses not to be involved. She is a good mom, her son always is smiling - I've never seen such a happy kid! And now she has proof that her goodness is not just her mom being biased. She has the proof.

From a high school girl who was removed from class from moo-ing, to a woman at the head of her class in a largely male dominated environmental field. She should be proud.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not good enough

is what I heard. I don't think that is what he said. The associate dean of our college ran into me this morning on my way in to work. I was shocked. He told me that he had offered the position to which I had applied, to which I had been asked to apply, to the other candidate.

Makes me thing that I really screwed up the interview royally. My first response - to myself - was that I didn't measure up, that I wasn't good enough for them. How many times in my life had I had those very same feelings? When my first husband cheated and left me? When my current husband cheated and lied?

When the dean told me that he had offered the job to someone else, I smiled brightly and said, "oh, that's great"! Because I sure as heck didn't want him to think that it hurt. I had, after all, told him that I loved the job I was in now. He told me that we were both highly qualified, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I've had time to think about it. And I hope that this person they've hired can treat our group as kindly as we should be treated and as we treat others. We've all come from a bad place with bad supervision up until the most recent supervisor, Christine. She has been the best supervisor I think from a supervisee's perspective but from anyone - students, parents, people around the college. She is just a good, good person. And she did really good work and made people want to be their best. I hope this new person can maintain this trend - it is why I wanted the job.

I don't feel, right now, like a loser. I am sure that I will still hurt at times. And right now I'm going to go on a long run and lose my thoughts in other matters. It says a lot about my personal growth that I'm not tempted to drink a 6 pack to deal with this or that I'm blaming myself right now. I really hope that the best person for the job has been chosen. And I will work for that person with the same enthusiasm and pride in my job as I always have.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday morning surprise!!!

I've been feeling sad lately: definitely a blue mood has been hanging over me for a week or so. I guess it is a combination of many things: my favorite aunt died last summer and I'm still SO not over that-I dream about her constantly, my parents are noticeably aging before my eyes, my dad is undergoing radiation for prostate cancer and has become very, very unsteady on his feet, my daughters are entering adolescence and one is definitely exhibiting the signs, my relationship with my husband is not good. I could go on and on and on. I get this way sometimes. BUT this morning, when I was out feeding the horses, I noticed a movement in the goat pen. A BABY! There is nothing like a baby to change your outlook on life! I ran into the house to tell the kids - and they all came

barreling out! There were tears and smiles and hugs and cameras! We are a very sentimental family. My youngest son had tears in his eyes when he hugged me and told me how very, very happy he was! My oldest daughter cried on the phone when I told her! Such a little thing - but at least for a little while, we are all together enjoying a new life as we welcome this little being into our One Old Goat farm.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It seems as if there are alot of endings right now. The end of a semester, graduation, possible change of job, and now--the stepping down of a beloved associate Dean.
I love changes. I love to mix things up. But that doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge endings. This associate dean of our college, Jack, is one of a kind. Nice guy. A little odd. Sooooo enthusiastic! Pie-in-the-sky kind of hopes. But how he has changed our college! His dreams are always 100% higher than anyone elses--impossible, it seems. But he reaches them! His enthusiasm is infectious. He makes believers out of us all. He began a program that everyone thought would fail. But it didn't. It grew in leaps and bounds.
Jack announced today, that he was stepping down. I'm heartbroken. He was a great leader but I don't think he felt that way. He came across to me, to others on our team, and to families, as a 'great guy', a real dad-like figure. He took a department in which NO ONE wanted to work, and made it a place that people apply in droves to get a job.
Previous blogs have mentioned how much I love the work I do. I'm sure I will come to enjoy working with the next associate dean. But s/he won't be Jack.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Little Bit of Magic

This looks as if my grandbaby is sprinkling pixie dust! And I'm sure that I was telling him not to throw rocks! Rocks to me, fairy dust to him. I guess I don't know everything! This is just a reminder to myself to lighten up and enjoy the magic and believe me, there was a lot of magic going on this weekend. I just was too caught up in the real world to appreciate it. Too much worrying about getting there in time, not throwing stones (pebbles, really), falling over a log, getting enough sleep, eating much worry and not enough just letting life happen and enjoying it. I'm not saying that some structure isn't important--it is! I couldn't survive without having some of my life well-structured. Well-structured enough that sponteneity works well in the rest of my life.
I gave up wearing a watch about a year ago. I hated that my life had become a series of 15 minute segments. Some people may look at that as terribly irresponsible. and I DO have a watch. I take it with me when I go on a lunchtime run so that I'm not late back to work. Ironically not wearing a watch hasn't affected my punctuality: I've always been late to nearly everything but now, I'm not quite as late and sometimes am actually on time! Go figure! Magical!

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...