sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 20, 2018


ten things i love about thanksgiving
posted by soe 1:21 am

Because I got nothing else tonight:

  1. Spending time with my family
  2. Watching the Macy’s Day parade
  3. Going on the breakfast run to Dunkin’ Donuts (I’m going to deliberately start using the old name now that they’ve announced they’re officially shortening it) with Dad
  4. Singing along with “Alice’s Restaurant” (“You can get anything you want…”)
  5. Piling on the side dishes
  6. Eating pie (pumpkin and apple are the traditional flavors in our house)
  7. Knowing I’ll get to see Karen in the days to come
  8. Rooting for our respective football teams (although I only care about the Powder Puff game, and I think that’ll be done before we hit the road from D.C. this year)
  9. Talking to loved ones who are far away
  10. Kicking off the Christmas season

(I do not love the long drive, but it will be filled with audiobooks, podcasts, music, and an excellent traveling companion. But think of us when you head to bed on Wednesday night, because we’ll still be on the road.)

How about you? What do you enjoy about the holiday?

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November 14, 2018


ten things i love about fall
posted by soe 1:33 am

With snow predicted in the mid-Atlantic region tomorrow evening and with dark and somewhat dreary weather punctuating the unexpected extra time on my hands (Honestly, it’s so November. I’ve just gotten spoiled living in the south, where cold and dank weather doesn’t generally arrive until December or sometimes even January.), I’m having a harder time than usual remembering how much I love fall. I thought it was time to recap ten of the things I love about it to help get me back in the mood (since there’s still another five weeks left of it…):

  1. The foliage.
  2. Cider doughnuts.
  3. Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  4. Coffeeneuring.
  5. Wearing handknits.
  6. Apples and quince and squash.
  7. Comfortable weather (as compared to winter or summer) for long, leisurely walks or bike rides.
  8. New tv shows. (We’re enjoying several including God Friended Me, the Magnum P.I. reboot, A Million Little Things, Happy Together, and Single Parents, which is nice because nearly everything we watched last year got canceled or bumped to a spring start.)
  9. Digging up the potatoes in my garden. (Because it’s like a treasure hunt.)
  10. Hot drinks. (And the fact that everyone stops thinking I’m weird for drinking six cups of tea a day. They still think I’m weird for plenty of other reasons.)

How about you? What do you love about autumn?

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November 12, 2018


time
posted by soe 1:20 am

If last weekend was filled so completely that I didn’t have time to think about my situation, this weekend was not filled sufficiently. There was too much time on my own, too much time spent in my own head, too much time thinking about how things could have gone differently (not just about being downsized; it was a fun spiral that ran the gamut from dishwashing to grad school).

I realize this is a loss, and while I am not especially upset at having to find another job (that’s not entirely true; I’m looking forward to having a new job I love, but not to finding one), I am still at a loss for the sudden way in which losing the old one occurred. And losses take time and energy to deal with, and there is a grieving process. I’d like to hope that being aware this is what’s going on means that it won’t last too much longer, but I’d be lying if my own consciousness of a problem has historically indicated any ability to move through it with alacrity. But there’s a first time for everything, I suppose. And as long as I realize there’s the potential for this to become a problem, I can take the steps necessary to guard against it — rising earlier, getting out into the sunshine, exercising, talking to people… — and to take further steps if necessary.

I literally keep telling myself to suck it up and power through this, and I will. Just maybe not in ten days. Everyone who kept being surprised when I said I was going to just take a single day to wallow may have had a clearer picture than I did about that aspect of things. So, yes, my plan of thirds is still roughly going to hold true. But I think I will reorder things for the time being so that the self-care comes first and that I’m not dragging myself outside at 4 p.m. in pursuit of a flagging sun.

Because the days will roll past whether I see the sun in person or not, but they’ll sure feel a lot more pleasant if I do.

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November 10, 2018


autumnal weekend planning
posted by soe 1:52 am

Today was grey and dreary and involved a trip to the vet for our older cat, Jeremiah, whom, I suspect is suffering from kidney disease. I expect to hear from the vet on Monday that it’s time to start him on a regimen of fluids. But other than a little stiffness when he first gets moving after a nap and some excess thirst, I think he’s doing well for a 16-year-old cat.

While the weekend is looking drier and sunnier, it’s also looking chilly, which means that I’ll be breaking out the woolens. Here’s some of what I’m hoping the weekend includes:

  • Donate some more books to the Friends of sale at the library.
  • Go on a couple bike rides in the sunshine.
  • Bake an apple crisp. (I made applesauce tonight.)
  • Poach my quince. (The top ones in the bowl remain unblemished, but I noticed the one at the bottom has become less pristine over time.)
  • Take photos of some socks.
  • Write some book reviews.
  • Finish reading Lethal White.
  • Buy a couple plants at the local nursery’s end-of-season sale and plant them in the garden. (They had strawberries and arugula when I stopped by earlier this week.)
  • Water my African violets. (I watered the orchids when I brought them home from the office, but the violets are probably parched.)
  • Do laundry. (Including wool socks, which means I need to stop by the yarn shop for more wool wash.)

How about you? What are you planning to do this weekend?

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November 7, 2018


a new road to be taken
posted by soe 1:12 am

Life handed me a surprise change in fate last week when my office announced a major reorganization and let a large number of us, including me, go.

I’d been contemplating a job change for a while, since while what I was doing was interesting, it wasn’t what I was passionate about. But I was comfortable, I liked the people I worked with, and I was afforded enough freedom in the breadth and accomplishment of my tasks to keep me content, if not happy, so I didn’t pursue the hunt with much vigor, dismissing job listings frequently and applying for new positions rarely. Obviously that approach no longer works.

In my better moments, I’m inclined to look at this change in fortune as an adventure: Who knows what the future holds?! There are a great many possible paths before me yet, and I am okay with experimentation. When traveling places in real life, I like to look at the big picture, plot a rough line to my destination, and then wing it, much to the frustration of those companions who prefer a plotted course. I figure that this jaunt to my next career will likely take a similar approach, and I am okay with that.

I have some ideas about what I might like to do, but remain open to what the winds blow before me. I had an older coworker at one point who said you don’t have to figure out what you want to do when you grow up; you just have to figure out what you want to do next. I can do that. After all, I’ve just spent 15 years working on projects that I never would have chosen if left to my own devices, and I’m probably the better for it. And I have a healthy appreciation for the role of whimsy in decision-making.

My current game plan is to divide my time up into thirds: a third will be devoted to job hunting, professional development, and other career-related tasks; a third will go toward getting our apartment cleaned up (because we were already short on space before I brought 15 years’ worth of odds and ends home from the office); and a third will go toward personal enrichment and mental health care, so that when I do find that next position I’ll be able to enter it as my best self.

Obviously, though, if you can send some good thoughts my way, I’d appreciate that.

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November 5, 2018


extra hour of weekending
posted by soe 1:51 am

Maple

This weekend included a delicious lunch (I had a lemon-muffin French toast with strawberries. Yum!) and a stroll around Eastern Market with Sarah on Saturday, a bike ride home on one of the local bikeshare system I belong to’s new e-assist bikes, and a trip to the movies. We saw Bohemian Rhapsody, which we really enjoyed. If you prefer your celebrity biopics to be full of ruthless truths and raunchy scenes, than this will not be the picture for you, but if you appreciate how friends become family, how relationships can be complex, and examples of collaboration in the truest sense (oh, and the music of Queen), then you’ll likely enjoy it.

Today, we cruised through the farmers market for some breakfast and a few items, spent several hours at the garden, and ended the daylight portion of the day at the park with hot beverages. We had vegetarian pepper steak for supper featuring peppers from our garden, and in the evening I got in some reading and knitting while snuggling with the cats.

It was a good weekend for us. How was yours?

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