Thursday, February 17, 2011

Boredom vs Inspiration or Motivation

I've read that boredom is not necessarily something to be unhappy about. Rather, boredom can be the source of inspiration or motivation to change.

So, although I've felt incredibly bored with just about everything for the last couple of months (life,the universe, and everything), I've just let it be, thinking that at some point, something would catch my mind's eye and I would emerge from the foggy state of nothingness that I've allowed to percolate.

Might be something to it. Just this week, I've found a bit of motivation to move a couple of steps out of my current rut. For example:

For a couple of years, I've mumbled vaguely about fixing up the condo. Things are just starting to fall apart or get worn out (hmm, looks like I need to glue that laminate countertop in the bathroom AGAIN).  Last weekend, I purchased a new tool chest from an antique store that I'm going to use as a repository for all the arts 'n crafts supplies that are scattered everywhere. That meant, I had to get serious about getting rid of the old desktop PC and the computer desk (PC is too old to be useful and the desk is starting to fall apart). I was in Lowe's looking for some glue to do a minor repair on the chest (hey, it's 97 years old, a bit of repair isn't unexpected!) and as I passed by the countertop displays, a sample of a recycled glass countertop caught my eye. Poof! Like being hit by a lightening bolt, I started to research the company and just ordered some samples today. Found a list of suppliers for the product (not sure Lowe's will be the best installers). I'll do some measuring this week and get out to one or two stores to get some estimates.

And, I'm making good progress on getting rid of the PC. I converted the desktop into a Virtual Machine, loaded that onto my laptop, and am now working on wiping the hard drive so I can recycle the hardware. This weekend, I'll tear down the PC desk and trash it. Another step forward!

After procrastinating for a couple of months, I finally got the plumber in to make some minor repairs to the 2nd bathroom (motivated a lot by the fact that I expect a friend to come visit overnight next week...nothing like company to get me moving). And, am now researching new shower heads/faucet for the bath in the Master Bath (which is about ready to disintegrate from our hard water). In fact, I have a couple of selections picked out and I'll ask my plumber whether either of them will work. If so, I'll go ahead and schedule that work before procrastination envelops me again.

Next on my list is to research a possible "retirement career" and I've actually found an online program that just might be what I want. My thought is order to maintain my current, comfy lifestyle when I stop working full time (if I can acquire enough $$$ to do so!!), I'll probably want to continue working part time for awhile. I can't imagine that I'll continue as a tech writer...mostly because I'm totally bored with the job and have absolutely no ambition to learn any of the new stuff or become a social media expert. I need to figure out something else. The one thing that seems like a possibility is learning to be an archivist. Which means, I need a Masters in Library Science. Now, archivist salaries aren't very high and I have no idea where I would find a job (local historic society or museum?), but by that time, I won't need a full salary, so I'm guessing it won't matter much. Will I be able to make this work? I dunno, but at least I'm feeling motivated enough to look at it!

Did I just get bored with being bored? Or did I just need "time off" for awhile?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter of Darkness and Discontent?

Is it because Winter is the dark time that dark news seems to come in wave after wave?

Not for me, that is. But for several people around me. The husband of one friend completed suicide. Another friend is having serious issues with his spouse and isn't sure that they will remain together. The brother-in-law of another friend was just diagnosed with colon cancer. A former co-worker of mine recently divorced her husband of many years. A friend's elderly mother has some type of lung infection that might require some hospitalization.

Makes me wonder what's coming around the corner. Knock on virtual wood, there's nothing new going on for me, same old routine. I'm actually feeling quite grateful for the mundane and steady routine.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yay! Time off from work! Hooray!

T-2 days and counting!

Every year, I do my best to take the last week of the year as vacation. Someone asked me recently why I think it's the best week to have off. I said, "I don't know, but it is!"

Once upon a time, I worked for a company that closed down that last week. Makes sense as so many people take off anyway. For some reason, this became a tradition of mine. Sometimes I travel during this week. Last year, I went to London. This year, goin' no where but home.

I was away a lot this year. Usual trips to Florida, weekend in NYC, a weekend in the White Mountains, a sailing cruise around the New England coast, and a visit to Prague. I'm quite content to stay home and finally, catch up on the house projects that I've ignored for ...well...years

I know, I say this all the time. I'm going to get rid of the junk, clean up, reorganize. But, I've told everyone that's my plan for this week, so I have some motivation to really get the work done. Yes, I am sure I will get to know my local dumpster very well as I expect to visit it several times a day :-) And various other donation centers as I finally get rid of stuff that has lingered in my home way too long.

Hooray! Yay! Can't believe I'm actually looking forward to cleaning ...I love a clean home but hate being the one who is supposed to make it happen. Sure, I could hire a cleaning service. But wait, that's too embarrassing to do because ... I have TOO MUCH STUFF!  I have to clean before I would allow some stranger to come in and clean! Nutty, eh?

Sorry "stuff", your time has come to go away! I have no desire to become a candidate for that Hoarders show on TV.  I am so looking forward to starting the year with a whole lot less clutter.

The only fear...once I have cleared out the existing stuff, will I, as George Carlin has said, just go out and buy MORE stuff??

Thanks, Dad, for that shopping gene...:-)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I am grateful...

As trite as it sounds, looking at someone's troubles can make your own seem trivial or, at least manageable.

A friend of mine is going through a horrible time. And every few days, some new burden is placed on her shoulders. I don't know how she is able to get through each day. And watching what's happening to her is breaking my heart because I feel so inept and lacking in the skills to help her. I don't know the right things to say or do. And just offering my support doesn't seem enough.

Which brings me to the gratitude bit. As much as I might complain, about things in my life, issues at work, or a daily annoyance, I feel enormously grateful for what I do have.

I have a home that I can afford. It's small, it's located in an out of the way place, but it's mine and I can make it comfortable. I am employed. At times, I've hated my job, but today, I'm loving it. I have it, it pays well, and I can be in a much, much worse situation. Seems silly now, watching what my friend is enduring, to complain about perceived slights or frustrations at work.

I have some good people in my life, some of whom I have not appreciated enough lately.  This past weekend was lovely -- a nature walk with one good friend, a wonderful trip to a museum with another. Good conversations, good company. All good. Today, I had lunch with another friend and discovered that my Christmas gift was the perfect one for him. It was so nice to know that I had been able to do something that brought joy to someone else.

Lately, I've been impatient and demanding with some people. Today, I realize I should be grateful and more accepting.  I have many nice things, in general, I have good health. I am financially comfortable enough to be able to afford more than the very basics. I've had wonderful vacations with family and friends. I have more than enough. I am grateful for it, very, very grateful. Today, I want to hold on to everything I have as tight as possible.  I want to hold on to all that's good in my life. Today, I realize how precious everything I have is to me.  And that the issues I have or think I have are nothing compared to how horrible things can become.  I fear that time, so tonight, I'm going to hold on to all that's positive right now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I wasn't where I needed to be...

I often put my cell phone on silent, especially at work. And then, forget to take it out of silent mode. Today, I sincerely regret that I do that and will not do it any more. A friend called me, in great need, and I didn't hear her call. So, I wasn't there when she needed me. 

My friend's husband committed suicide tonight. She called me asking for me to come be with her. I didn't hear the call until 2 hours later. She's OK, she has friends with her now. Her Mom is arriving tomorrow. People who care about her are taking care of her.

But, she called me and I wasn't there. And I wish I could be there. I wasn't any place important when she called. Just another night at the glass studio, which I could have left in a New York minute if I had heard her call.

I wasn't there. I didn't check my phone for messages. I don't get a lot of calls so I got out of the habit of checking the phone for messages. I didn't really think about the fact that terrible things happen, emergencies occur.

I wasn't there when called.

I'll be there in the days ahead. I'll help where I can and back off when asked to. I'll be one of many who will do that for her. I have no doubt that she will have a lot of support from many people who care so much about her.

But tonight, my friend called and I wasn't there.

I hope that never happens again.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sometimes I get it right...

Last week,while he was here in the States for a company visit,  my UK friend was told that his employment was being terminated. This is the same friend who had decided to find a new job, anyway, but he expected to leave on his own terms and in his own time. Being told that he was being "terminated" before he had all his ducks in a row, was quite a blow. Having been in similar situations, I knew exactly how he felt and was able to articulate those feelings when talking with him, to show I understood how he felt (he tries very hard to be uber-stoic, so when I saw his sadness, I knew he was taking the situation hard). Did what I could to ease the pain, as any friend would do.

Today, in a IM chat, he told me how much my support meant to him. :-) Considering how logical, rational, and pragmatic his demeanor usually is, the fact that he shared that sentiment with me is a big thing. Oh, I knew he appreciated my support, but it went deeper than I thought.

I don't always get it right when it comes to figuring out what someone else needs at any particular time. I got it right this time and I feel good knowing that I was able to bring the right kind of help to someone who needed it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bad Behavior

Mine, of course. As much as I strive to be a "person without drama," sometimes I lose sight of my goal and allow myself to be caught up in a moment and poof! behavior I regret.

Had a bit of an argument with someone last night while at another person's house. I felt the person I was arguing with was being hostile and somewhat passive aggressive with me. I finally had had enough and pushed back. Of course, I should have spoken to the person outside of the social situation I was in, but I was "in the moment" and spoke my mind. It was a short moment and came at the end of the evening, but still, I'm sure it was an uncomfortable moment for the host of the evening. I've sent her my apologies for my behavior.

The person I argued with has behaved this way before and in the past, I let it go. I don't think I can do that this time.  Last night, it got to the point where I didn't feel I could even talk because this person would make a snide or passive aggressive comment.

Lately, I feel like I'm surrounded by people who seem to be dismissive of me or just plain mean. Makes me wonder -- is it something that I'm doing or am I just (finally) holding people so my standards of behavior regarding what is or is not acceptable?

Must think on that...