As Yet Unsorted

Writing to get where I hope to be.

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Talking In an Empty House (and Other Accomplishments)

IMG_1449I begin my odyssey tomorrow (though, presumably it won’t take me 10 years), but today I did at least 10 things in preparation:

  1. Paid a ridiculous sum for a registration card and sticker, since mine has yet to arrive by mail.
  2. Emptied the car of all sorts of stuff that didn’t need to come along
  3. Washed and vacuumed the car. It’s cleaner than it’s been in ages (I skipped the air freshener, though.
  4. Broke down and confirmed a reservation for the first night, and (probably) decided on the in-between stops.
  5. Accepted help from friends. One did a once-over of my car, just to be sure it was as road-worthy as I hoped. One loaned me a hammock, in case I come across some convenient trees. Others will be keeping eyes on the house, and harvesting tomatoes as they ripen.
  6. Wandered around the house, speaking aloud the things I needed to find and pack (am I the only one who does this?)
  7. Cut my grass, so as to make it look less derelict from the back.
  8. Washed my mini cooler, in anticipation of scenic picnics.
  9. Downloaded books and subscribed to podcasts.
  10. Took a few deep breaths and tried to relax.

I know I did more than that, but it’s still nice to see it all laid out that way, to know I got things done, and am ready to roll when the time comes.


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Embracing Alone (Or Trying To)


Living alone works for me. Very occasionally I think about the possibility of finding a housemate to defray some of my living expenses, but usually I find myself unable to conceive of not coming home to a quiet house, and I reconsider and think of other ways to economize. However, now that I’ve left my full-time office job to strike out on my own, things are … different. In addition to my normal at-home alone time, I’m alone most of the time during the day as well, and I’m finding myself struggling to adapt.

As soon as I left my job, I signed up for a part-time membership at a coworking space. It has helped, but I still feel as though I am working in a bubble. I interact with others from time to time, but I’m not great at striking up conversations with people I don’t know, and I’m certainly not going to do so with anyone working intently at their laptop (as I am trying my best to do the same at mine). I hadn’t remembered how hard it was not to have coworkers next door to bounce questions or frustrations off of at a moment’s notice, and the fact that my job now is to come up with everything and send it off to people who will hopefully tell me they like it and pay me to write about it just makes that lack of sounding board all the more evident.

For a while, I was in a position to still have a sounding board most days, which made me less aware of the need to get comfortable with all of the alone time. Now that availability has waned on that front, I am faced with the reality that I need to figure out, for real, how to be comfortably alone with myself more often than not, and to be able to make that alone time productive and focussed, rather than watching it drift away, while I grasp at what to do next.

Getting into my car and driving for days and days with only the radio and podcasts for company is going to be step one of this process of re-learning how to be comfortable with being alone, without having it automatically take that nose-dive into loneliness. Of course, I also plan on practicing striking up conversations with strangers, in hopes of eventually being able to do it without being tongue-tied and shucksy.

It’s long overdue, I do believe. Not that I wouldn’t take that sounding board option again, mind you, but in the meantime I’ll work on finding a way to wholeheartedly embrace “alone.”

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Getting Out Of Dodge

I stopped at AAA on my way home today. I had trouble getting everything into my backpack, what with the laptop and library books already there, but I managed.

Sometimes, things being what they are, all you can do is run away from home. I haven’t been able to travel at this time of year for quite a while, so I figure I might as well take advantage of it while I have a chance. Of course, it’s becoming The Road Trip That Ate September, but, at the moment, it seems that there’s not much reason for it not to.

Of course, I won’t just be goofing off the whole time. I’ll have my laptop, phone, and camera on hand, so if paying work finally falls into my orbit, I’ll be able to handle it, and I’ll be generating plenty of material along the way.

If not this, what? If not now, when?

Go west, middle-aged woman (that’s how it goes, right?)!

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Picnicking In Someone Else’s Garden


Tomato sandwiches, salad, and peaches with sponge cake.

At its best (unless I hire a contractor for a complete re-do), my backyard is not the most comfortable evening al fresco dining spot, and right now it’s not at its best. Fortunately, I live in Lancaster, and today is Wednesday, so I packed up a simple picnic supper and took myself off to Conestoga House to have dinner on their tree-shaded patio. 

Conestoga House is primarily made available to non-profit organizations for retreats and meetings, but during the summer, when the gardens are putting on the best show, visitors can come to picnic and tour the grounds on Wednesday and Thursday. I know this, and do my best to remember, but often the entire summer slips by without my making a visit. When I do remember, I am delighted all over again, and ask myself why I don’t do it at every opportunity.

Tonight when I arrived, there were three patio tables in use, and other people wandering the grounds. I ate my dinner listening to birds in the trees, and watching the sunlight’s angle change as evening came on. Once I finished my food, I gave up my table (they ask that you limit table use to 30 minutes), and moved to a lounge chair near the pool to read and people-watch for the remainder of my visit. By the time I left, the undersides of high tree branches were golden with reflected sunset, and the birds had been replaced by insects in the evening chorus.

As always, I plan to come again before summer is over, and if you have a free Wednesday or Thursday evening, I would suggest that you do too, at least to stroll the grounds, if not to picnic.

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A Cold Stab of Fury (or Forgiveness Doesn’t Always Seem Possible)

It seems as though it’s been a while, but it happened again today, he crossed the street ahead of me, and I simply went numb and quiet, as I watched him walk up the block, and disappear from view, oblivious. He is someone I have known casually for years, though he tends not to acknowledge that fact. I have never confronted him, because I don’t want to be a person who yells in the street, and because the risk of bursting into angry tears is very high.

My sister confided in him, and when he wanted to go beyond friendship and she turned him down, he exposed what she had told him in private in a very public way, costing her two jobs and delivering the final, crushing blow to her already fragile sense of belonging in this community. One of her employers, who had his actions on video, offered to press charges, but she declined, so he walked away with no consequences, other than my shooting metaphorical daggers at him whenever he crosses my path.

I am completely aware that my impotent rage is hurting no one but myself, but I have yet to find a way to reach a level of equanimity necessary to take a couple of deep breaths and let go of the anger and the knot in my chest. I keep hoping it will happen, that one day, one year, he’ll pass and I won’t even give it a second thought. Or maybe one of the other of us will move away from town (which, at this point, still seems the more likely scenario) and it will become a moot point.