Cafe Hitch-hike


Maybe this was needed as a reminder

Tomorrow, I report back to what my friend calls the holiday camp. I had 2 full weeks (plus 2 days) off from there, so I guess I should be recharged. I will guess 3 days is all it will takes for me to feel the sense of futility creep in.

We will be having some possible changes. Someone in my personnel constellation was interested in being reassigned. This person griped about a lot of things in our area, but where they want to go has more change and uncertainty than our area ever had. I know they can't stand us anyhow, so other than having to take on this person's work for a short time, I won't feel too bad to see them go.

I know I've been talking about going back to get retrained for quite some time, but I lost steam in 2019 with the house purchase, travel, and then death in the family. However, I think I need to do something if I want to lose my sense of futility towards my job. I'll even take baby steps if I have to, little baby steps. Goal #1: it won't be as big as getting as a doctorate, but maybe an upgrade in skills. Goal #2: network a bit and volunteer or get some side work. Goal #3 (and most importantly): go gently (if it's possible for me, hah hah).

I may be taking on a new assignment this year, but that's largely undetermined. I'll accept it if it's offered to me. I'll try it on for size, do what I can (without bending backwards too often), and take classes.

Once I got back from Texas, I attempted to have a quiet retreat. It was so nice looking out the window and taking naps! The trip was a bit to digest (ok, so what hasn't been in my life already? Hah!). My family is adjusting to recent deaths, and also aging (and some economic and health realities that come with that).

I also thought of the many changes I've seen through the 20 years I've had holiday visits. One of the biggest reliefs was walking through my sister's gated subdivision, and realizing I really didn't covet anything I had seen. The nicely manicured lawns, the brick homes for entertaining, the nuclear families and 2-car garages... I have my home, and one I want. I have my car, I have my family and connections. What I had didn't have to look the same as theirs, and it was something that made me feel quite free.

I had seen a lot of different settings and people, and I was rather spent at the end of my trip. When I got home, I just sat quietly to make sense of the trip, and to a degree, what happened this year which actually lasted 18 months. I felt like it started in June 2018, when I went to a conference, crossed paths with my former grad school advisor, and then handled Uncle Joe's final matters. Then came a house purchase, travels, interview for possible new assignments, niece's death-- This past week was the most stillness I had felt in 18 months.

I was able to do some meditations and yoga. During my summer and fall retreat, I used some rapeh (shamanic snuff, which is legal tobacco and ashes of various plants), and used small amounts in 3 of the meditations. It pulled me in deeper, and I got to the heart of some bigger matters once its initial jolt wore off. These were concerns I've struggled to get through or address, and I was quite impressed with how it helped. I actually prayed and set an intent, so I didn't just jump into it. It included focus and intention, and respect for the plant.

Another part of the meditations was... I felt a bit more sensitive after some of them. Plant medicines don't typically cure, but show the parts of a problem, and then it's the person's responsibility to address them. They are known for doing this and giving people something to work with. They did the same for me, except I was sensitive for sure and already a bit tired. It took even more energy to process the new insights, and I could feel semblances of responses emerging. Although I intended to spend the week relaxing, I guess it turned into some internal house cleaning (or figuring out what needs to be cleaned).

At least I had some fun and had a little picnic by the Intercoastal with a friend. I brought out my stand-up paddleboard and we tested it. I pulled my friend around the water and let them get used to the water and the waves under it. I then hopped up and took it out for some cruises. Oh, how I loved being on the water again! We ended up taking in a light show when we were kicked out of the park at dusk, and tiredly ended the days off part of our 2 week vacations from work.

Maybe this was something we needed with all the seriousness happening? We were good at impromptu fun and finding something interesting in what seems ordinary. We always played well together, regardless of whether it was me or Rafa who found the activity. Maybe this was what we needed to remind ourselves of certain things within ourselves and each other.

downwind | upstream