When I look back and see I haven’t posted anything for the month of May, I am not surprised. There were many times I wanted to (I know I say that ALL the time), but I had told my husband at the end of April that I needed May to be by myself. To figure some things out, to get organized.
So, it’s June 5, how’d I do?
It’s funny, but I find it hard to believe it was just a little more than a month ago that went to my college reunion. I was still on a post-reunion high for several weeks in May. I am so glad I went, so glad I had the opportunity that was denied me five years ago.
I always believe that people will surprise you, and they do. During my three-month tenure back at the paper, one person came up to me in the cafeteria and told me she had heard that my dad passed, and she wanted to offer her condolences. Someone I had seen in the building for 17 years prior to my eight-year absence, but who I had never talked to before. Not an enemy, certainly, but not a friend either. I was extremely touched and thanked her. But how funny is it that people who had been my close co-workers, who had gone to my goodbye drinkathon party eight years before, said nothing.
After the reunion, I got an e-mail from a member of my class. Again, not a close friend, but certainly not otherwise. She is very successful, and lives a much different lifestyle than I do. But she wanted to tell me she wished she had more time to talk to me at the reunion. It was very sweet, and I was a little shocked. She probably reached out to others, too, but again, people will surprise you.
But I haven’t seen many people the past month. The lifestyle I have chosen for the summer is fairly solitary. I am not complaining. I do get a little lonely sometimes, but Ringo is always here to keep me company. Yes, he sleeps about 20 hours a day, but he’s an old cat. I get it.
Before I left my job, I had a lunch date with the two women I worked for. I felt so uncomfortable at the pricey restaurant on Palm Beach, because I hadn’t been there in years. And I was feeling down on myself while I dined with two very skinny girls. When one asked what I was doing for the summer, and I told her, she seemed shocked. I don’t think either of them understood what it is like to live on a VERY fixed income. The one who originally asked then wanted to know what I wanted to do. I told her how much I had enjoyed my job these past three months, and how I wanted very badly to return in the fall. Brown nosing, you understand. But she practically shouted at me, “What do you REALLY WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE?”
Well damn, girl, first, it’s none of your business. You haven’t spoken three paragraphs to me since I’ve been here. But I told her instead I wanted to design knitwear, and had a few irons in the fire. But I couldn’t make a living from it!
Fast forward to last month. I got an e-mail from Knitscene that my design for the Spring 2015 issue had been accepted.
I don’t mind putting my sad sketch in here, because no one reads this anyway, and I am not scared of being copied.
To be honest, I was gobsmacked when I got the acceptance e-mail. I feel like I’ve been trying to get in Knitscene FOREVER, but this is only my second attempt. I guess I should be proud, and excited, and I am. I’m also a little scared to death, because now I have to make this thing! Truth: I haven’t knit a garment since 2009. Once I put on 30 pounds, it just didn’t seem prudent anymore.
I have until the end of July to do this, and I have to get started TODAY. Yes, today. Today, I will figure out some maths and cast on. Or so I tell myself. I think I can. I think I can.
You see, when you’re home alone you have no one to answer to but yourself, and you’re a procrastinator with wandering attention like me, you get bored easily.
So what did I do in May? I watched a lot of movies from the library and Netflix. I read a lot of books that I have stacked in my closet and need to finish and donate. I cleaned obsessively, and I cooked a ton of vegetables. Roasting in the oven is my thing.
I said I would exercise, and I did. For one week. Then I quit and now I actually sit here in my gym clothes again, determined to go after I finish this missive. I think I can. I think I can.
It’s been hard, too. I have such a limited budget, it is difficult to buy the food that I’m responsible for some weeks. I’m going to a movie with some of my old BN buddies this weekend, and I had to budget for it, too. Buying something for $1 at the thrift store becomes a treat.
But I’m doing my best. I will admit I live in fear everyday that I won’t get my job back in October. I have to know by August, because I only have enough money to get through September. Yes, my husband can help me, but only so much. I have bills that are my responsibility to pay each month. If August comes and I find out I have to scramble, then it’s time to punt.
When I went to that lunch date back in early May, the consensus seemed to be that everything would stay the same and I would be back. But things have a funny way of changing, and out of sight often means out of mind. I wish I could say I felt confident that things will remain the same, but when you’ve been through the work hell that I have these past years, you don’t know.
What I do know is this: If I had stayed at that awful place I walked out of, I would have an ulcer by now and would never have submitted to Knitscene. My confidence would have been shot.
I am learning, if nothing else, to like and accept myself more each day. Even though I shuffle around the apartment in old T-shirts and shorts, I’ve never felt more attractive, and less at odds with my looks. I think it has something to do with not having to compare myself to others every day.
Or maybe I’ve just learned my angles, and how to photograph myself better!
This is me. This is who I am, at almost 47 years of age. I have so much more to do, I have an uncertain future to plan for. But I’m doing the best I can, every day.
Okay, It’s 9 a.m. Off to the gym!