zoethe: (aragorn)
By noon on Thursday, I knew I simply couldn’t keep it up. My body was shutting down at last: I had completed the big projects, and it was having nothing to do with a dash for the finish line. I started running a fever, the chills and aches set in, and I listened to my coworkers admonitions to go home!

Friday consisted of sleeping, lying in bed reading a witchy book, falling back to sleep, wandering around the house in a stupor, falling back to sleep, and a little TV in the evening. Then going to bed early. Saturday I slept in, and eventually dragged myself out to the garden for a little homework. Sunday I took a drive, gamed, and went to bed early. By all accounts I didn’t accomplish nearly enough to be on track for finals.

And yet, this morning I popped out of bed at 4:15, settled right into my schoolwork, and accomplished more in those morning hours than I have managed in days, and didn’t feel frustrated, bitter, impatient, or burnt out at all. I feel ready for the final push toward finals, and more importantly, I feel like I care about it again.

It’s amazing what a brief mental vacation can accomplish. I am certain that without finally giving up and getting sick, I would still be dragging along in misery, my attention span fleeting, my interest flagging.

Don’t get me wrong: I have a lot to do before I’m ready for finals. But I have at least some confidence that I will get through it now. A week ago I didn’t. Now let's just hope I can internalize the lesson....
zoethe: (Default)
Bored now….

Maybe it has something to do with early spring – or the lack of more than fleeting evidence of same. I’m feeling extremely restless, like all the Interesting has gone out of my life. Work and school, work and school (oh, and pain – mustn’t ever forget the continuing faithfulness of that companion), there seems to be nothing else to life now, and I feel like I am letting it get away from me by not doing something remarkable. I feel mundane. I’m not good at mundane. Crazy ideas start to fill my head, like running off to Paris or moving into the loft of some old commercial building downtown and starting an artists’ colony. I’m not going anywhere, or selling the house, but I yearn. Restless, unfocused, unresolvable yearning.
zoethe: (Star Wars)
One of the most upbeat days I’ve had in a long time. I went and watched Buffy at [livejournal.com profile] neorxnawang’s house yesterday evening, where I was fed dinner (thank you, dear, for insisting that I eat something green), and then went home, did a few chores, and was in bed by 10. Actually got a decent night’s sleep – because I took a double dose of painkillers – and was able to get up this morning, get my homework for the day done, pay my bills, fold a load of laundry, and in general take care of myself. By the time I dragged my bags out to the car, I still felt good, felt calm, and felt like I had accomplished something. Usually by mid-day on Wednesday, I’m ready to give up, but I feel like I can get through the rest of this week okay. I still have to finish that damned research assignment, but I think I can get it done tonight.

Amazing the difference that sleep makes.
zoethe: (Default)
The Barrister's Ball is the annual formal "do" for the law school. This year it is in the newly renovated Arcade, all gilt and fancy, downtown. I was going to wear my great, glittery new dress, but the scar and bruising issue may preclude and I may go with the black velvet and lace combo.

It appears, though, that I may be going alone. The ball is on March 1, and Ferrett will be in Connecticut. Hopefully [livejournal.com profile] neorxnawang will still be here, and I will be able to talk him into being my date (eye-batting in the general direction of...).

I never went to the prom in high school because I was such a pathetic loser. I hope that the Celestial Sense of Irony (a being embodied by the foot at the end of the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" opening credits) isn't going to continue my dateless trend.
zoethe: (Default)
I'm tired of having to be the grownup. I don't want to get in the shower, get on the road, get through another 14-hour day.

As I said in a comment to Lyssa, my Legal Writing prof was all sympathy yesterday. "You'd better cut back and take it easy."

Who's gonna let me off the hook? Sure as hell not school, and work's done all they can.

So I take a deep breath and keep moving. Because I don't have any choice.
zoethe: (Default)
This is probably a journal entry more appropriate to New Year's Eve, but I am inspired tonight by some reflection I was doing on my life.

I had a terrible childhood. As I say when people ask, we would have been trailer trash, but we were too poor to afford a trailer. Hand-to-mouth would have been an improvement. Through most of my highschool years we didn't even have a telephone because we owed the phone company too much money. I almost died one night when my family was gone to the coast and I developed a terrible kidney infection, but could not call for an ambulance. I was 18, feverish, delirious, and came back to consciousness enough to crawl to the neighbor's house at 3am and pound on the door until someone finally answered. They loaded me into the car and took me to the hospital.

If you had asked me my life goal at that time, an honest answer would have been, "Never to live like that again."

So I went off to college, got a degree, and achieved the 19th century dream. I married well. He was an attorney, had excellent prospects, and fulfilled them. By the time we had two children and 15 years of marriage behind us, we were living in a big house in the nicer section of town, I didn't work outside the home because I didn't have to, and on the surface everything appeared to be perfect.

I was set up to be a Jane Austin heroine. But I chose to be an Edith Wharton one instead.

Sure it was comfortable, sure I had two cars that were paid for and vacations in exotic locations. But I was also married to an intolerant stuffed shirt whose continual carping was driving even the children crazy. In an act of great daring, I walked away from security, leaving the bulk of it to him, and sought love again.

It didn't go badly. We married, he joined me in Alaska, and we settled into a new life.I became a paralegal, a respectable profession, and we were actually getting our feet underneath us.

But it was too safe. And when an opportunity came to move to the states and be a paralegal in a REAL law firm came up, I jumped at it. And from there, law school.

In four years I will be someone I have never been before. An attorney.

This is not change simply because change is easier. The gods know that settling into this new job and riding it out is not only possible but encouraged - people are here for decades, the money is decent. Law school is hard. Not so much the work itself, but the sheer hours. I could be cruising home at 4:30 every night, getting up at 6:45, living pretty. Instead, I'm getting up at 4am, dragging mysefl home at 9, all so I can be something I haven't been.

An attorney.

I need change. Even when the stress has me screaming for a day alone, huddled in bed with a good book, the very core of me is reaching for something new. Lawyer will be the last great change for me. I know this. I will be sidling up to 50 when I finish lawschool, will have 15 years to practice, to truly learn the art, before thoughts of retirement start to play center stage.

Because retirement will be one more chance at change.

I still have the dream of a well-appointed motorhome, of temp work in pleasant locales and getting to know the locals before moving on. Four, five months in a place and then on to new pastures. America, one small town at a time.

Or that commune [livejournal.com profile] juggernt and I joke about. Horses and houses and the people we enjoy, all in close proximity, roleplaying and philosophy debates and taking turns making good meals for each other.

Or a tiny apartment in Milan, someplace I can close up easily while I'm imposing on friends in France or Germany or Belgium. Someplace just big enough to accomodate those friends when they come and impose themselves.

I don't know what it will be. But it won't be just grinding to a halt because I've run out of steam. Because I have never stopped reinventing myself, and I hope I never will.

I don't know what the future holds, but when I look at myself, I have to bet that it will be not what I expected today. And I'm happy with that. There's a part of me I embrace, a part of me I hope I carry all my life. A dear uncle made an impression on me once, when he refused to come along on a hike up the side of a mountain. He wavedhis hand and sneered, "I've seen mountains; when you've seen one, you've seen them all."

He may have been a dear to me, but he was wrong. Every mountain is different. Every view is new. And my greatest wish in life is to never grow too old to climb a new mountain, face a new challenge, be willing to remake myself again.

Try to keep up.
zoethe: (Default)
Yesterday was a way bad juju. I could not get my sewing machine to work, meaning no skirt for today, Ferrett and Amy managed to leave Erin's snowboarding bag in the airport in detroit (only about $1500 worth of gear), and trying to work out the logistics of today was making me want to tear out my hair.

Today I called the airline and they agreed not only to ship the snowboard bag here but to deliver it to my door, Jeff was able to figure out his kilt alone, saving me one trip today, and a second stab at the sewing machine led to its repair and the skirt being made.

Good juju day. I hope it bodes well for the wedding.
zoethe: (Me)
Yesterday at work I was sitting in my little corner of the copy room (I can't even say cubicle, it's so tiny) when the sun came out and poured in through the windows.

The sensation was not unlike when you have a cramped muscle and someone is rubbing it out and it hurts so good! Like a shock of warmth through my system. I literally could feel myself feeling better.

After 19 years in Alaska, I move to Ohio and get Seasonal Affective Disorder???

I suspect that the combination of stress and exhaustion made the added frisson of darkness just too much for me to bear--like the cold you can resist unless you are worn out.

Having something to hang it on makes it considerably better, so when I got blue last night I at least wasn't quite as viscious in my self-loathing.

After today, the school stress ends for a month. By the time it starts again the light will be returning.

Thank you, all my friends, who expressed concern and support for me when my nose was hitting the pavement. I think the worst is past.
zoethe: (Star Wars)
I have hit the wall. After weeks of studying and working and doing everything, I got slammed by a deep depression yesterday afternoon that I am unable to shake.

The men in my life don't know exactly what to do with me.

Ferrett is concerned, but his concern is that he's done something wrong and that if I can just open up and tell him what's bothering me we can work through it and I will feel better. Which would normally be true, but it's not that kind of a feeling. This isn't supressed frustration or glossed over anger. In point of fact, yesterday when we were walking over to the movie theatre I had to stomp down an unreasonable desire to pick a fight, make a scene, create an incident, because feeling angry would at least be different from feeling so sad. So his concerns are appreciated but are actually stressing me out in an attempt to reassure him that it's nothing he's done this time.

Jeff, on the other hand, has pointed out - and rightly so - that I have no practical, sensible excuse for feeling this way. I have a great job, I'm going to school and working my way toward a career, I have a house I love, and things in my life are good. The problem is, I know all that. I have been beating myself up for being sad because of that. So his sensible perspective, though absolutely correct, makes me feel guilty for feeling so blue. Sometimes all the proper perspective in the world just isn't what is needed to get you past a bad patch.

I am, of course, furious with myself for feeling this way. I don't get depressed. I'm the optomist, dammit. I'm the one who, when totally stressed by the job at the office of the OPB, determined to be the "fucking bluebird of goddamn happiness" -- and, to a large part, succeeded.

I neither countenance nor excuse this darkness in my soul. So why the hell can't I evict it?

I have a party to go to in an hour, at the home of one of my best friends here in town. I want to go, but a big part of me wants to crawl into bed and just stay there. This is not like me.

I'm sure it's temporary, and that by this time next week, when my kids are here and we are in the midst of Christmas fun, I will be fine. Right now, though, that seems a long way off. I think I need a vacation--hopefully the five days I have off for Christmas will feel like one.

Because I can't take this crap from myself very damned long.
zoethe: (Default)
Not religious faith, mind you. Just having trouble keeping focused on what my raison de lawschool is.

And it's all because I've gotten a really good job.

Now, when first I wandered into Cleveland, and for the first year of my life here, I lived in penal servitude to the Psychobitch. So my dream of law school had a multitude of positives about it--I would eventually escape from the hellhole, I would achieve a job that afforded me a modicum of respect, and, quite frankly, working at chez Psychobitch sapped so much of my life force that law school couldn't do much more damage.

All that has changed. Though I haven't started this job yet, I know from a friend who used to work in this office that the work the person before me did will not take up all my time and I will be able to take on even more interesting and challenging work when I have learned the first job--and they are anxious to give me that responsibility. The atmosphere is friendly, even though it is busy. I will be working on the university campus, which is a beautiful environ, as most older campuses are.

Most importantly, the work day is 8:30-4:30 (some overtime, but they actually PAY it, so they keep it to a minimum). Rather than the 7-6 I worked at Psycobitch Central. Meaning that, with a little luck I could be home by betwen 5 and 5:30, instead of 6:30 or so. And get up at a decent hour in the morning. And have evenings to write, read, watch a movie. Weekends to do yardwork, visit friends, relax. I could have something that resembles a normal life.

Except that on top of that I have piled law school. At the end of which I will be something like $60,000 in debt, and be a new attorney, making, what $40,000? $45,000? Probably about what I'll be making as a paralegal by that time.

I was talking to a fellow paralegal who is having the same misgivings. A longtime paralegal at the firm where she works (one of the big ones), finished law school and passed the bar.

They made her a legal secretary. With the promise that she will get a position when one opens up, but a slight decrease in pay in the meantime.

I could spend the next four years in law school, always fighting deadlines. Or I could accept that paralegal for the University Attorney's office isn't too damned bad and enjoy myself.

I'm leaning toward the latter. Maybe that's end-of-the-semester speaking. I'm not the one to judge right now.
zoethe: (Default)
1. The sink is too full of dishes to rinse out the coffeepot and make coffee. You reheat the coffee from yesterday.

2. The house is freezing cold because you can't start the furnace until you go to Home Depot (two blocks away) and buy a new furnace filter. At the end of the day, the house is still freezing cold.

3. Isn't it okay that I wear these clothes I wore yesterday? It's not like I did anything strenuous in them...

4. Chex Mix is okay for breakfast, right? I mean, Chex is, like, cereal... .

5. I don't even want to be around me.

6. Not enough energy to get all the way to 10 signs.
zoethe: (Default)
I started out writing another whining, "I'm so miserable because I'm depressed and I hate being depressed" entry. Who the fuck cares? Some 60% of America is clinically depressed--what's so unique about that??! So instead, I decided to write about the most ridiculous, embarrassing, silly things for which I am grateful and that make me happy. (Just assume the wonderful hubby, great kids thang. They're the tops, but not what this list is supposed to be about.)

Syndicated Television--I've decided that it's not worth getting involved in a show during it's early, first-run stages. Why get all involved with characters that the networks are likely to cancel after 8 episodes? Why, for that matter, care at all until your friends are raving so much that it's obvious you're missing out on The Real Thing. It was GREAT doing 5 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a matter of three months. I'm all kewl and Trivial Pursuit-y now, and I didn't have to spend 5 years getting there. Same thing with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I watched the first two eps and abandoned it with a resounding "yawn." Didn't see it again until the final ep. Wow, fuckin' good TV! Watched 7 years of shows in chron order on 5-day-a-week reruns in about 4 months, and was instantly a superior geek to the friends who had stuck around faithfully all those years. Woo AND hoo.

Videotape--Without this wonderful invention, I would never have been able to catch up on 5 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in so short of time. Working for the OPB, I couldn't get home by 6pm when the first of two eps per evening aired on FX. Thanks to the wonders of magnetic tape, I could come home, have dinner, check email, and then whirr past commercials and watch two eps less than an hour and a half. How sweet is that?

Gardening books, magazines and websites--This is my favorite time of year for gardening. Things are slowing down, there's not much point in doing terribly more, but boy, can you plan for next year. Next year we're going to get that water garden in. Next year we'll put lattices against the garages and grow honeysuckles all up them to hide the walls and build a pergola with a swing and... . This year I got some herbs planted. I went to the garden store and asked them for a plant that could duke it out with the neighbor's thistels and win and they pointed me straight to the mint. I believe them now. Even though the mint went in very late it's already sending out runners like some weird alien creature infecting the environment. We have friends who are gardening experts and they just shook their heads in horror at the amount of mint (and lemon balm and basil) we had planted. "You'll be fighting it in a couple years," they said. Good. At least they don't have thorns like the thistles. And next year my garden's gonna be awesome. You should see the plans in my head.

Singing--Mine's not a great voice, but I can carry a tune and belt out with feeling. I love to emote through music, and can be brought to tears of joy or sorrow by the emotion in song. Which is related to...

Long drives alone--Taking Erin to and from her school in PA constitutes a 4-hour drive each way. One leg of it is always alone. I frankly love this. I sing, I think, I sing some more. I'd probably make a good truck driver, because I love to drive. Long drives give me happy-in-my-own-head time.

Hot bath with a good book--It has to be a relatively lightweight book--the artsy trade paperbacks with 70-weight paper are too heavy to hold up until the water gets cold--but there's nothing more delightful than pouring through 100 pages of a novel in the warm steam of a bathroom.

Cheetos--Whoever thought of turning corn and cheese into a slurry and then flash-frying the ensuing mess should be sainted. Is there a more satisfying snack food, really?

Good food--The opposite of Cheetos, and the light to their greasy dark. There's nothing quite like the sensation of a flavor that gives your mouth an orgasm. I've experienced this a few times, most memorably at The Marx Brothers in Anchorage, AK, and La Bretagne in Hartford, CT.

Good roleplaying--Nothing better to take your mind off your troubles than an alternate universe and a split personality.

Good friends--Nothing better to take your mind off your troubles than an alternate universe and a split personality. The "away from the office, I don't have to be uptight" one. Thank the gods they're there.

So, I have no reason to bitch. Life is good.
zoethe: (Default)
I feel like I need a jumpstart, like I've given everything I had to the job that didn't work out and now I'm just not able to get myself motivated to make another effort. I know it's only been a couple days, but it's left me feeling very unsynchronious and generally out of sorts.

On the plus side, it gave me a chance to bring Erin home for a long weekend and work with her on her magick, something she has ben wanting. Good mother-daughter bonding.

Wow, I just did it again--finding the silver lining, no matter how dark the clouds may seem. This used to actualy drive my ex crazy, that in the most gloomy parts of our lives I would look for something to be cheerful about. When he was in the depths of sorrow and depression, he didn't want anything "trivial" lightening it. Wallowing was the only solution. I am about as down as I have been in years--I have occasional sad days but I generally bounce back quickly. This time I've been having vague thoughts about death--nothing alaming, nothing proactive, just catching myself thinking dark thoughts and pushing them away. Yet, even when I am totally down like this, I'm looking for those positive things.

Okay. I'm gonna get through. It's interesting that putting words on the screen, thinking with the keyboard, so to speak, can clarify these things.

Now I just need to get myself motivated....
zoethe: (Default)
Someone emailed me a bit of inspirational bumper-stickering. Something about every day being as if it were our first, fresh and new, and the past should not affect us.

Who writes this tripe?

Sure, we all have things from our past that we need to lay down, let go, be at peace with. But who we are is the sum of our experience reacting with some ineffable part of our selves that is the foundation for our soul. I look back on my crappy childhood and the abuse that I endured, and I can see any number of paths on which it might have taken me. A lot of them were way bad. I look at my cousins who never escaped it. I don't know why I did, but I did. Yeah, t made me a complicated person, but who would I be without those things that made me strong?

Every day is fresh, but pretending that yesterday never happened only invites the same errors over and over again. I'm the sum of my parts, neither hiding from nor owned by the past.


Mar. 23rd, 2002 09:08 am
zoethe: (Default)
I have a day to myself. Ferrett's off to PTQ Columbus. Marvelous! I so seldom get a chance to do nothing in so positive a manner. I don't even have transportation, so I can't run errands. I can read and play and just take it easy.

so why am I considering loading the tax software and doing our income taxes? And putting together my new desk? And maybe reorganizing the garage and the storage room in the basement?

I am not good at relaxing. Ferrett knows this. He completely knocked himself out yesterday cleaning the house from top to bottom so I wouldn't feel compelled to clean. Goddess love the boy, he knows me.

But still, I've caught myself casting about for something productive to do. There will be none of that! A book, and a tub full of steaming water, maybe some candles.




Erin accuses me of being a workaholic. She may have a point.
zoethe: (Default)
This is a driving day. Erin is going back to school and since I've stocked her up with groceries to get through the spring semester. It's four hours each way, and the only time I wish I had sprung for cruise control.

I really, really need the day off.

Helping Jeff through all of this has been an emotional rollercoaster, worse than my own divorce in many ways. There, I felt at least in control of my own responses (and there was always the consolation fuck that could be administered to blunt the damage [I typed "soften the blows," but that was just WAY wrong {g}]). Here, I am faced with two very emotional people who seriously lack self-awareness, and I'm trying to help them stay balanced for the sake of four small children. I'm spending my time talking them off the cliff of utter implosion.

It's wearing.

Pile onto that the 55-60 hour workweeks in an absolute pressure cooker and the fact that the boss is on a tirade/rampage because she's going to be required to actually obey the Labor Laws and thereby get only 40 hours a week out of most the employees (not me; I'll actually be named a Senior Paralegal and be considered part of the supervisory staff and therefore still exempt from such rules). But she's been looking for someone to blame besides herself and there have been several times the actual management has had to talk her out of firing perfectly competent people for minor errors or "insubordination" in the last couple weeks, so it's eggshell-walking over there.

I'm surrounded with so much dysfunctionality that it makes my own life seem completely calm and sane.

I REALLY need a day off.

So, I'm doing what I always do--lemons=lemonade. I have a nice drive with my daughter and then time inside my own head coming back. Spring is creeping up on us, and it's a beautiful day for a drive, and I'll have all the solitude I could desire. This will be good.

I'm ready now. Off I go.


zoethe: (Default)

September 2012

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