Tomorrow will be my one year anniversary from not working. The 23rd of June '05 was my last day of employment. Even though I was never one to define myself by my education or position (and snarkily resisted when around people who thought it important) working was always a part of my life and ambition. I loved change and always strove to make a deep and positive mark where ever I decided to plant myself. I often worked 2 and sometimes 3 jobs part-time and free-lancing as a poet in residence...although my last job was often 24 hours several days in a row due to the on-call patterns and helped place in to perspective the value of my family and I knew that it would be my last hooray in Social Services but I never thought it would be due to reasons of health even though I've struggled for a very long time. I never imagined dealing with such fear and anxiety that creeps up as I have in the last year...my guiding motto that helps is to tell myself to keep on keepin' on and if I fall down, it better be doing something I love...I don't always live it but I damn sure aim to.
A friend, accustomed to achieving, who turned 50 a few years ago, when asked about her goals for her over 50 years remarked , "to have fun, if it not about fun, i'm not interested" She went on to say she was going to party her way out to make up for lost time. I thought that was an odd remark from this particular person, but I now have some understanding of where she was coming from and trying to get to. I don't fuss too much over housework and try to keep my time free from imposition...my kids are teens and they chip in and cook, grocery shop, housework and even some days without being asked. My 14 y.o. now has an interest in learning to cook for himself...in the last year he has heard more than ever the reply "what ever you find in the fridge to eat" to his question "whats for dinner". So far he has mastered the scrambled egg for breakfast and the art of sandwich building...I was surprised when he spread sun-dried roasted tomato pesto on his grill cheese sandwich. I do love to cook when I'm trying out something new but overall its just not as important to me as it use to be and summer means SALAD!
It took the turn of the year for me (specifically) and us as a family to adjust to my emotional roller coaster of not working. Ya know, I'd always fantasize about how I would spend my time if I didn't have to work...some days I'm like yes, this is alright (days that I'm quilting or deep in reading or connecting with family, friends) and other days I'm a pillow potato with the remote in hand or stuck to this chair with mouse under hand playing Literati. Good thing I'm very forgiving of myself, eh?!
I think I'll feel less hyper and less yo-yoing and back to my calm and focused self when the house hunting ends...so far its been start-stop-start-stop due to the crazy shift changes and turn overs happening at my partner's work place and my endurance levels and partner's pickiness.
But back when I was joining quilt/fiber/art organizations a few months back, I also held my breath and ordered a bolt of fabric to dye from dharma and will dye it all next week. I spent today ripping it into 3rd and half yards. I'll be using books by Anne Johnston and Jane Dunnewold as my guides and also picked up a book from the library on mono printing with gel plates...and also do some screen printing. If it goes like I see it in my mind's eye...I'll spend 10 hours each day hopefully with some breaks from friends I've invited to stop by or join me for a day. I've outlined somewhat of a schedule but I know it could change once I actually get hands on.
On the right is hand work of an Ankh. The layout has changed due to feedback I received back in March from the Carnegie Art Quilt Critiquers and I wasn't settled on the rosary that was a part of the first embellishments. Due to meeting an angel who gifted me with the 2 Coptic crosses (which I hope to collect one day) I've replaced the rosary with the crosses which unbeknownst to the angel is what I wanted in the first place. The white Ankhs are paper and just used for tracing and I think they will go up through the right side. I plan to fill them in at the bottom portion with thread and foil or a metallic shiva stick. But looking at it here, doing them in white would work.
I'm not sure if I'm going to place another Coptic cross on the bottom left or stitch more Ankh outlines...I'm leaning toward another Coptic cross.
Yesterday was the first day of summer and although the humidity the last few days has given me a "take notice" call, I've made plans anyways and I'm looking forward to attending 3 and half days of the symposium that Juanita has organized for the 3rd year in a row. And then in August taking a 2 day workshop from Carol Taylor. Both of these will be the first time for me to PACK supplies and my sewing machine. Packing tips anyone?