Sunday, 25 May 2008

Time to clear again

Once again, I have decided that I need to drastically cut the junk from my life. This isn't easy to do as I seem to be a natural collector of things.  Last year, upon Jane's recommendation, I bought "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui." It really inspired me to go through my things after I came back from a two month stint away-I remember returning--walking back into my apartment, looking around and thinking, "Oh my god! Why do I have so much crap?" 

I spent the next two months going through things a bit at a time; I think I got rid of at least 5 bags of things, including clothes, shoes (my beloved shoes), and just stuff! Then, I hit a wall. It was time to go deeper and I don't think I was quite ready for that. I wasn't ready to start delving into valid items and deciding which to eliminate. So I stopped. And started buying other stuff. Now, I am back to looking at a cluttered apartment yet again, thinking how nice it would be to live simply-having less "filler" for those empty spaces.  I think that might be one of my issues, trying to fill in empty spaces. I'd like to feel more comfortable with the emptiness-become less attached to my things. After all, they are merely things, meant to make my life more comfortable, right? And if they are not enriching my life in some way, I need to let them pass on to someone else.  

I can sort of see where this tendency of mine started-I can remember at least two distinct times I lost or gave away something I "loved" and then either being heartbroken for the loss or regretting getting rid of it.  I also remember not getting things or seeing others get what I want with no chance of it for me. I certainly don't ever remember making a conscious decision saying, "When I get older, I'm going to start getting things and keeping them," but I do think somewhere deep inside that thought formed because it seems that's what I have been doing most of my adult life. Now, now it's time to release things.  I might have to reread that book again for inspiration and then again and again until it's instilled. 

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Trip down memory lane... confessions by Jane about how life was more fun when there were more Irish boys to flirt with

In meeting up with Hermione last weekend to celebrate my first published article in 9 years and my new job, she mentioned that she had ruined her pictures from our trip to Ireland (on which we met, along with Dancing Diva and our friend Smiling Flower, who lives near the actual city we once inhabited and is currently pregnant with twins. Hermione and I were roommates and got along swimmingly as you'd imagine, since we're in touch 13 years later). The trip was in 1995. After some hunting, I found some of the negatives and had copies made for her. I also went through my old album and found duplicates, so Dancing Diva, you will also be receiving some pics in the mail. Hopefully it will be a fun surprise. I'll be on a mission tomorrow to take care of all of my errands before the weekend begins and I'm on my feet for 10 hours per day TCB at the beautiful nature park. Hopefully I'll get to the post office then.

All of this looking back makes me nostalgic. Diva, remember when we were on the phone, either late last year or early this year, and you said that you hadn't had a truly fun year in like 11 years! And I agreed! I mean, why is it so challenging to be an adult? Why is there so much stress???

My current job is a throwback to my first post-college job in a resort in a national park, except back then, for co-workers, there were tons of guys who were my age and now there are tons of guys who are old! (Well, there are some super-young ones now but they are completely ridiculous and out of the question- which begs the question- why did we have so much fun when we were young and ridiculous?) I think I just answered my own question.

Why is the ridiculousness so hard to recapture? I see glimpses of it every now and then. Hermione had me cackling in an Italian restaurant last week. I told her I knew of a guy who was a herpetologist and she asked if he studied herpes, and if so, were there chlamydiologists too? Oh, Hermione, you are killing me, but in a good way, softly with your songs of ridiculousness as it were.

I can just feel better knowing that I am not aggravating my carpal tunnel, or making my vision worse squinting at a computer monitor. Physically I am better off running around, and this job makes that possible. I'll get tired of being dirty and sweaty soon enough, but the fact is that I feel good when I leave for work. I don't spend time the night before dreading it or feel it sap my energy. I can get stuff done when I get home from work and don't just drag myself around. It is so nice! And so unusual. No wonder it's seasonal work with no future and no benefits that pays less than what I need to cover my bills. Reasonably stress-free living comes at a price.

All I know is that right now I'm learning this job and I think I'll need a few months of fun at the park with the turtles and fish before I can think about returning to an air-conditioned environment where I'd be expected to iron my clothes (perish the thought!). Besides, Mercury is retrograde from a few days from now until mid-June. I'm superstitious after accepting my last disaster of a job and starting it within a few days of Mercury going retrograde. The longer I live, the more superstitions I come up with. Is that bad???

It was fun to see old pictures Hermione had of me with Senor Beautiful Stephen from California as well as our friend Paddy. These were my Dublin boyfriends as it were. How come we didn't have that much fun when we went out in our regular hometown? I mean, really.

I guess it's just that vacation mentality that's so hard to capture when you're at home. With gas at $4 per gallon, it's going to take a lot to recapture those vibes again. (Sometimes, though, when I'm in my room watching TV, I pretend that I'm in a hotel room somewhere exotic. Am I crazy? I just rearranged the room, so it really does feel like somewhere else.)

My good news is, the drought is abating and we're having some rain here in the Rain Forest. Oooh, I hope it rains tonight so I can listen to it while I fall asleep.

Hooray, I just heard some thunder. Time to go dream of happy things and fly with my wings (see previous entry from April about finding a soft spot to land if you don't get that reference).

Your tree-hugging amiga,

Jane Q. Phoenix

Sunday, 18 May 2008

well no wonder!

So, for the past few days, I have been one big ball of an emotional mess. I'm grumpy, and sad, and at other times, just so touched by things that I could cry. I also am quite irritated by little things. I'm irritated with myself as well (at least I include myself in my ire.) All the while, I'm wondering why on earth because I've actually been feeling quite good recently, and grateful for my life. But the past two days?? Big mess.

I just took a lovely bike ride to the grocery store, and the day is gorgeous-sun, blue skies, cool breeze. I started getting wistful for the days I would just ride my bicycle everywhere, and now it seems I just hardly ever have time. And I realized part of it growing up. Instead of putting everything else off to go ride my bike like I used to, now I put off the bike riding for everything else-chores, school, work. So that's part of it. 

And as I got home and sat down to the computer, still wondering why I've been such a grump lately instead of enjoying the days I do have, I saw the calender and the lightbulb went off. Yes, hormones are kicking in and putting me on this rollercoaster-PMS.  Well, no wonder! I can look at my melodramatics (nobody loves me!! I have no friends!! What am I doing with my life?I want to go home! I'm so saaaaaad!) with a bit more humor and discernment. 

What a relief!