I feel like I can’t keep up. Shifting from a 25 hour, daytime work week to a 40 hour evening shift had a greater impact on the flow of my life than I anticipated (though I guess I wasn’t analyzing it that much – I just went for it).
I like my new work environment, but I still miss the coffee shop. I miss my coworkers, the work itself, the large front window for people watching, the spontaneous interaction. I’ve always considered myself an introvert, but I realize after a few days spent mostly alone at work that I need the presence of others to maintain sanity. My coworker left a few hours early for three days last week and by the end of each night, I could barely function. I felt anxious, bored, and on the brink of emotional breakdown. It was weird.
In a production environment, it’s nice to feel like part of a team. Being alone is overwhelming because you don’t have that safety net, that presence that implies that part of the burden will be shouldered for you if it’s too much to handle. I’ve grown to appreciate the camaraderie of working toward something as a group; it makes the most menial of tasks enjoyable by giving them a heightened purpose, by making them a relationship building activity instead of merely a mechanical chore.
I really do enjoy having two days off in a row, though. I’ve been working weekend shifts since I graduated, so it’s a strange treat to have Saturday and Sunday off, as long as I get out of the house and accomplish things.
So, things are good, just different. Now that Daniel is out of classes for the summer, I anticipate that our weekends will get more exciting. I plan to attend local festivals, visit the farmer’s market, and take trips to nearby towns on my days off. It’s time to re-level the foundation and start building up a full life again.
Hello, y’all. I’m not gone; I’ve just been posting up a storm on my fair trade blog, Style Wise.
I’ve also been reading some thought provoking and inspiring articles:
It’s an almost universal truth that any language you don’t understand sounds like it’s being spoken at 200 m.p.h. — a storm of alien syllables almost impossible to tease apart. That, we tell ourselves, is simply because the words make no sense to us. Surely our spoken English sounds just as fast to a native speaker of Urdu. And yet it’s equally true that some languages seem to zip by faster than others. Spanish blows the doors off French; Japanese leaves German in the dust — or at least that’s how they sound.
Reflecting on what he went through when Ruthie was sick, he told me that the secret to the good life is “setting limits and being grateful for what you have. That was what Ruthie did, which is why I think she was so happy, even to the end.”
While honest compensation should always be sought with both humility and pride, the pursuit of riches and wealth as an end goal is always a losing battle. Riches will never fully satisfy… we will always be left searching for more. People who view their work as only a means to get rich often fall into temptation, harmful behavior, and foolish desires.
And when you believe that minuscule imperative statements trump entire narratives, you miss out on the complexity that is woven into scripture. You lose stories like Deborah and Junia and Phoebe and Tabitha and Lydia and Anna and Priscilla– because these stories about powerful women conflict with the limited suggestion of one author to one friend. You lose the ability to learn from the value of contradictions, because instead of recognizing contradictions as the human component of individual perspective and human narrative, the contradictions become something you have to explain away or deny
Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I drifted off the Romans Road and stumbled onto a bigger, wilder Gospel in which salvation is less about individual “sin management” and more about God’s relentless work restoring, redeeming, and remaking the whole world. Salvation isn’t some insurance policy that kicks in after death; it’s the ongoing, daily work of Jesus, who loosens the chains of anger, greed, materialism, and hate around our feet and teaches us to walk in love, joy, and peace instead. It’s good news, not bad news, and I can’t, for the life of me, believe that only evangelical Christians like myself have a monopoly on it.
What have you been up to?
“If you do really like what you’re doing…you can eventually become a master of it…and then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is…it’s absolutely stupid to go on doing things you don’t like…and to teach your children to follow in the same track…to bring up their children to do the same things. It’s all retch and no vomit – it never gets there.” – Alan Watts
November is difficult to summarize because I can barely remember what happened before Thanksgiving. I think I’m finally at the point where calling these posts, ” …months in C-Ville,” is unnecessary; I no longer think of my life here in terms of my moving date, which is a sign it really feels like home.
Thanksgiving table, sans Turkey
Last month, I:
- toured Luray Caverns and Woodstock, VA with Daniel and his dad
- found a limited edition, made in Israel, art print for .50 at Circa
- went on an invigorating walk on the Saunders-Monticello Trail with two new friends
- had to wear a jacket every single day
- thrifted a ton of vintage (and a few things for myself)
- drove to Richmond twice in one week to pick up and return my sister to her Florida carpool
- took my car into the shop twice
- watched Waitress and sipped hot chocolate with a friend
- promoted Water Lily Thrift‘s first annual Black Friday sale
- edited a product information email for my boss
- got another raise at work
- finished ballet classes for the season
- wrote an article
- got halfway through The Autobiography of Malcolm X
- visited Carter Mountain with Daniel and my visiting friend, Andrea
- spent Thanksgiving week with two friends and my sister (who also happens to be my friend)
- hosted Thanksgiving
- attended the Tree Lighting ceremony downtown
- bought lots of Christmas gifts
- hosted a church mini-potluck (where everyone brought dessert!)
- bought my first real Christmas tree
- began an ornament collection
- tinkered with the blog layout
I’m so glad I sit down to make these lists. Without them, I wouldn’t realize how much I actually do and accomplish each month. It looks like we had quite an adventure after all! Guests, parties, outdoor trails, holidays. We’re regular Charlottesvillians, it seems – all settled in and welcoming people into our home.
December is here. It’ll be an exciting month.
Things have settled into a rhythm of relative normalcy lately. Work, church, pick Daniel up from school, thrift, eat, clean. It’s not bad, but I don’t want to get stuck. We still have a lot to see and do in Charlottesville and we need to prioritize exploring over sleeping in, I think.
We’ve become regular church-goers again after a year long hiatus. I had little hope of finding a church full of friendly people with which I could be open and honest about my beliefs, doubts, and criticisms. In Tallahassee, we seemed to find one or the other, but not both. Or it’d be a Goldilocks situation: we were too liberal for many churches (theologically and politically) and too conservative for others. Here, so far, we feel just right. The members in our age group are almost all Religious Studies nerds, too, so we have a lot to talk about. Charlottesville is a well-educated city, which makes for a positive daily environment and promotes many thoughtful conversations. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.
September here apparently signals an almost immediate turn to fall. Although a few more days in the low 80s have been forecast for the month, summer is clearly departing. I’m excited, as the season change is supposed to be incredibly beautiful. And my new boots should be arriving any day now.
I’ve been working hard to make my online store a success, and I’m seeing positive results so far. I really like where I am in terms of work. The coffee shop atmosphere is a positive one and working for myself on the side is empowering.
I also signed up for adult ballet classes at the local Rec center! One of my short term goals was to start taking ballet. I’m surprised that it actually happened. I tend to make plans and then excuse myself from them.
Life is good here. I have days of loneliness and doubt, moments of sadness, but I can see and appreciate all the blessings. Moving has been good to us.