October 25th, 2009



Today is the last day of my 3 week holiday and I tried not to sleep in in order to be tired earlier tonight and get an early one in. Getting to my day job at 9am will not be an easy task for me. As much as I have loved my break and I've been dreading today with one sleep to go, I must admit that I am recharged and ready and excited to go back to work. Another week would have been just what I needed to finish the declutter and tidy and sorting of my house (I haven't finished my study, nor started on my wardrobe or the big cupboards near my kitchen, didn't finish assembling my CD tower). And I'm not done with my TPP finances and other things on my to do list. But I suspect I just might have hit cabin fever with any more time off, which probably makes me about right, right about now. And I'm looking forward to getting stuck into finishing up the report I have been contracted to finish - get my teeth stuck into one project with a distinct finishing line.

This break has been just what I needed and I highly recommend taking time out to do utterly nothing or utterly nothing that you don't want to do. I tend to focus on milestones in the near future and so Conflux was the one I had in my head for months - final book done, my contract would be expired and I would have had to have started the whole job search/interview thing. But now I am on the other side of some of that and in the middle of other bits of it, and some of it is scary but most of it is reality. And I have my "where to next" for the next 3 months so I've bought some time in that regard. So the next near future milestone for me is Xmas in Tasmania. And that's yay because that's been my "do this/work really hard/pull allnighters etc and you will have a cup of tea in Tansy's kitchen and a glass of wine at Dirk's place to make it all better" focus. 'Cept now it's on the near horizon! And the bit that was really highlighted for me is - I'm taking all the public holidays and hopefully 2-3 days of yet to be earned (and approved) annual leave to do it. So that means ... no time at the end of the year for catching up with myself. And beyond that, sorting a longer term job situation, my sister's baby, the Aurealis Awards weekend, Swancon 2010 for the launch of Natcon 50, taking over the Swancon reins, a heavy publishing schedule for 2010 in the lead up to Worldcon, Worldcon and not to mention possible work to bring myself up to speed for day job, depending on how the cards fall in that arena. IE not much spare time for me to catch up with myself and get on top of things pretty much anywhere on that schedule.

So that thought - that my next serious break could be xmas 2010, and depending on what my job situation looks like, possibly only the public holidays over that time - and the fact that I was just so behind in things (reading, crafting, bill paying, general domestic tasks, film, tv shows, TPP) and so so soul tired, I started to panic and feel like crying, all the time. It wasn't until I really thought about it that I realised I was utterly burned out. The kind of burned out that physically talking to someone was too much effort. I was totally done inside, no energy to give to anyone, none really to draw on myself. Just completely burned out. I know that I let a lot of people down by not catching up with them on this break. You should spend time with your friends on your holidays. But the truth is, I didn't want to go back to work and feel like I hadn't done all the things that I really wanted to get done, and I wanted to feel relaxed and recharged. And it honestly took a full week of doing nothing but crafting and watching TV and films to even begin to wind down to start to relax. I spent more time than I want to admit to you, in bed. Ahem, I spent most of my time in bed. For three weeks. That's probably quite hideous. But all my laundry has been pajamas for the last three weeks. Oops. And it's only the last couple of days that I have honestly started to feel like my batteries were finally on recharge.

I've done a lot of things - mostly I have removed stressors and background noise from my life. Most of the limited socialising that I have done is for things that I have been feeling guilty about not getting round to doing. And other than that, I have hoped that my good friends will forgive me and will catch up with me regularly in my non-holiday mode as part of my usual programming. And I'm looking forward to that.

So that's a lot of words to say that I have felt guilty every time I have declined an invitation over the last three weeks but that I have done so because I really really needed a really long period in this quiet, dark room here.

So I've spent the last three weeks mostly lost in my own world and my own thoughts. Admittedly for a lot of that time nothing much was actually going on up there in my head. I honestly didn't know I could actually turn that thing off! On the other hand, I bet the fact that I did has significantly contributed to my Zen like current state. I've been doing grunt work that didn't require thought. Clearing and decluttering, putting things back in their newly assigned places and entering 5 years worth of receipts into the TPP spreadsheets. Watching TV and sewing.

The funny thing is though, I feel like the whole thing has been some kind of ritual. I've ruthlessly thrown away a green bin and a half's worth of papers and whatnots. A lot of it has been bits and pieces that I had kept as keepsakes of the ex and my time together and which I now no longer feel a need to keep, to remember or to mark that time. It's been really freeing - not the process of throwing it away but of realising that it no longer holds much meaning or emotion for me. To feel as though I am past this.

Added to this, was the fact that I FINALLY was able to do Marichyasana A at yoga class last week. I have been utterly unable to make progress on this pose for this whole year. And for some reason its the one pose I really really want to be able to do. I want to be able to do the lotus but am far less irritated by my lack of progress on that position. Now, I put that down to not having sat at a desk i front of a computer for three weeks which kinda freaked me out by how that can lock up the muscles across the upper back. Anyway, I went back on Friday for a massage (part of the ritual I'm doing) and had a chat with my yoga teacher during that (I so love her place for having a massage, it's filled with incense and lit candles and calming music and the space is where we practice yoga so it can be either an energising or relaxing vibe but always so utterly fabulous) and she mentioned that the area that I had unblocked was over the heart chakra. Now, believe in that stuff or not, but I like the idea that I finally nailed this position the same week I realised that I am past the getting over of my ex point. I think my heart is actually free of that stuff and that I am now open to new possibilities. But at the same time, I feel very grounded, very zen and very unperturbed but it all. What will be will be and in the meantime I am very happy and secure and filled with purpose and direction.

Last night I finally picked up the novel I was reading on our last holiday weekend trip together to Rottnest Island, just before I left for WFC in 2007. It turned out I was only 60 pages from the end but I just had never even contemplated finishing it. Last night I did. And now it is on the "to leave the house and be returned to its owner" pile near my front door. I finished that book and picked up a new one and started that. No big deal. I am free.

This weekend I got my hair coloured a different tone (chocolate with very red streaks) and visited the beautician as the final steps towards physically bringing my ritual of closure/new start to a close.

I feel really good. Really rock solid right now. I feel, I guess, robust. My yoga teacher says that's what practicing yoga does - the art of bringing the meditation of the practice into your every day life. I didn't feel great about how my interview this week went and the funny thing was, I was able to look at that as one event, one act in my life rather than the entirety of who I am, which would be how I normally process that kind of thing. You know, it went badly so I am crap, stupid, an embarrassment, not worthy etc etc. This time I was able to look at it, feel the emotion of not feeling good about it and then watch it pass by. One emotion floating down the river. Not the entirety of who I am. I like this zen state. I hope it sticks.

And for the reward of coming all the way to the end of this very very long post. Here is the photo of my to read and borrowed bookshelves after the clean and sort of yesterday (thanks to those who tweeted at me during the sorting process!). I thought it might be fun to take regular photos over the next year to see how this fairs. It *should* be the active place in this room - projects in progress that get progressed.

And the sorting of my own books into categories begins:


Getting Sorted Update

About three weeks ago, maybe a little bit more than that, I gave up free to air TV. Technically I have foxtel but you might better to discuss that with Benji than me. Ahem. And I had heard this was true, many people had tried to tell me before but ... I can't believe how much time I have found since giving it up. I'm not watching any less TV in fact I've watched tons more but I'm not "scheduled" the way TV makes your life and I'm not limited to watch shows one episode at a time. And oddly movies seem now such a more digestible format all of a sudden. I gave up watching the news on TV about xmas last year and I never missed it and I don't feel less informed. And I don't feel unconnected - I always thought that I would if I tuned out.

I'm thinking of not going back to watching free to air tv at all. I'm not sure if I could sustain that long term but I can't also think of much that's on right now that I want to watch, either.

So sort of all the tasks finished since the last update (probably missed a few, but they'll get picked up next week I'm sure).

28 Tasks Done:

11 TPP (1 BoE, 3 R/SB, 2 general, 4 ASif! 1 Finance)
13 Personal (3 TV (Big Love s1, Northern Exposure S5 and 6), 8 Film (Frost/Nixon, Picture Perfect, Capote, New in Town, Last Chance Harvey, Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium) 1 Benji, 1 Music)
2 Craft
2 Books finished (both borrowed)

1 item moved to Not Completed (yay review I don't need to write)

And somehow job interview for application 2 was not on the to do list but was done.

And now? Now I have leftovers to go in the fridge so I don't need to cook dinner tomorrow night. I have baked muffins for breakfast and I have shopped for lunch to pack. I am reading another book and am working on LSS - have zeroed some stories and started reading some more.

Not recharged fully, but getting there.