Thursday, August 13, 2009

We interrupt this program

for a day off!
When I was growing up, I would hear the announcement "we interrupt this program for an important announcement of the television broadcast system..." Because I basically stopped watching television for several years, and when I watch it now, it is very little, I have no idea if such an announcement is still on the air. Nonetheless, I thought it apropos to announce that I am taking a vacation day.

One of my English professors used to tell her students "write early in the day before you lose your good stuff." My early in the day is a frantic race to get my shower, get dressed, do basic hair and make-up, fly out the door, stop somewhere to get something for breakfast before arriving at work, usually at least five minutes late. Often, my "good stuff" gets smothered beneath all of the normal life racing about stuff. Some of it is called working full time, too.

When I worked as a columnist at my hometown paper for three years, way back in the day, I was always listening, my ears perked, for a column idea. Now, my blog serves as my "column," but it is my time, my doing, no timeline. I allow my life and photographs to serve as guide. I carry my Nikon nearly every day and am on the lookout for for photo-journalism ideas.

Twenty-one months ago, I moved from my hometown, where I had lived, with the exception of one year, for all of my life. There was another town, 45 minutes north, where I worked for fifteen years. That town became my second hometown. Due to convenience, my dentist and doctor and hair stylist were all in that town. Most of my social life was also in that town. All of my friends were people that I met at the university where I worked.

The town where I now live, located two hours south of where I grew up, is where my daughter completed her undergrad. At the university where I now work. During her years at the university, I would come down to visit. Years prior, I had brought my two children down for many a long weekend and we would usually end up exploring bookstores, restaurants and coffee shops. Then, four years ago, I started dating a man that lived in this town. My weekends were spent in this town. After all of this time, I felt I "knew" this town. I earned my degree, was an empty-nester, and moved to this town to be with the Duggles.

After living with only my self and my children, man-free for eighteen years, I had forgotten what the care and feeding of the animalistic creature called "man" would be. The Duggles is especially animalistic, leaving a trail, his mark behind him in every room that he touches. I follow behind, clearing the way, making it habitable, again. His house, which had been occupied by he the king bear and his three male cubs, was something akin to a locker room. The living room had three different kinds of wallpaper on the walls. His furniture, some of it literally, roadside cast-offs, which we, literally, threw out the front door. Kitchen cabinets hadn't been cleaned out since he moved in, several years before. I attacked the house, making it my own, stamping every space with my furniture, my belongings. We painstakingly began the task of re-doing the entire house room by room. I am happy to say we are getting close to being there and having the entire house re-done. It has been a long laborious process.

Once I moved here, nothing in this town was where it was supposed to be. I couldn't get the lay-out of the town in my head. I was hopelessly, continuously lost but too proud to call the Duggles and ask for help. I drove about literally in circles, at times near to tears, finding my way. I went to work for a university that is many times larger than my previous university. On my old campus, I could walk anywhere on campus in fifteen to twenty minutes. Because I was both student and staff, I knew everyone from student to the president's office. At this university, I first get out my map to see where I am going. The map is on the seat beside me so that I might double-check in route to my destination. Then, I search for a parking spot and then I walk to where I am going.

Because I had grown up in my hometown, written for the hometown paper, which makes you an instant celebrity, I could have ran for mayor, I knew so many. In my second hometown, after fifteen years, it was much the same. The university was the primary employer of the town and most people I ran into in that town, I knew.

This town is a transient town. People come here to earn degrees, to work for awhile and many, after a few years, move on. I've been told that people are hesitant to get to know you, for fear that after they have made an investment in you, you will depart. The entire process has been a difficult transition for me. The move, the house, the man bear that I live with, this town, the university. I thank God for the handful of women who have reached out to me and befriended me. One woman that I work with at the university, upon meeting me, proclaimed "thank God, they have finally hired a normal person." I don't know about that, I think I am her type of normal person and she and I are now friends.

Waving my white flag and proclaiming exhaustion, I interrupt my life for a day off, today. I sleep in until 9:30. When I awaken, I lay in bed and recall a very detailed dream of a man I met while on a trip, alone. He is unabashed in his affection for me. Teen-age like, he fawns for me. A very sweet dream. Once I awaken, adorned with the last of my Crest white strips, I crawl back into bed in the cool cave of the bedroom. I am reading the sweetest book and languish, reading for awhile.

I just learned that I am severely deficient in vitamin D, which may explain a few things. Armed with my two buy one, get one bottles, I am filled with hope that in a few weeks I will feel better. I have recently been approached to do design work for a shop that I love in a sweet little nearby town. I am going out to the shop for a few hours to spend time with the sweet shop owner, today. My editor-turned-dear diary friend will be here for an overnighter tomorrow, which means I'm giving the house some much needed extra special attention. We will gad about and have more plans that are possible for the 24 hours that she will be here, but we will cram in what we can.

This morning, I feel rested, hopeful, calm. This day, a much needed interruption.

Do you need an interruption in your life?

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