Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a comfy poem

This is an old favorite by Mary Oliver. I remember reading it to a man who had depression, schizophrenia and was an alcoholic, hoping the words would somehow let him stop his cycle of self-blame, if just for a moment. You are good! I wanted to shout. So I'm writing this now to offer myself the same level of compassion:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

laundry list

I'd like my blog to not become just a place to vent, and I feel lately it is a laundry list of complaints. But sometimes I just gotta.

I mentioned last week that I was burnt out at work. I had a fabulous weekend with my sweetie, though - we had a blast just doing everyday things like food shopping and the gym together. Then Monday happened and I saw four patients and each one got harder, culminating in a man in his 30s actively dying of cancer.

Now I can say with complete honesty that the dying part of hospice doesn't get me down. I've never felt personally 'sad', or have cried over a patient. I empathize, and I hold their presence and stories and hand, but I feel like I have cultivated good boundaries. (I watched a documentary about vets at the end of life, and the lady was warning not to use platitudes like 'anyone would have done what you did'. She said you need to let people know 'you have a heart that can suffer their story' - I resonate with that.) So what I am saying is that I feel I have a heart that can suffer whatever people are going through, without trying to package it in pretty ribbons to make them feel better. I just witness...and I don't take on their suffering as my own.

Ok, that was what I've taken for granted about myself, and why (modesty aside for one moment) I am good at what I do. But I noticed with alarm yesterday as I sat in a day room with 25+ people with advanced dementia that I really just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I was just plain sad, as I imagined them all my age not imagining they'd be like this when they aged. And these people are usually my very favorite population to work with. (That statement also implies that where they are now is 'bad' and I'm not in the habit of judging that --- Not a good sign.) Another patient's wife was distraught because her husband of over 50 years rallied one day and wanted to funeral plan. I felt myself jump to say 'wouldn't you want him to plan when he can make his wishes known?'...before I let her tell her story of those 50 years and how hard this is now. Where was this impatience and lack of empathy from?

That was yesterday at work, and I went to the gym (awesome tai chi class) and then came home to cook and clean up. Gabe and I are usually so good to each other when we're both stressed, but we both sort of lost it after I voiced some frustration about feeling responsible for the cleaning. Ugh. Another pattern: I feel responsible for everything.

This morning I woke up with a swollen eye for the seventh or so time, now. I put antihistamine drops in but looked too monsterish for work. I went in for a noon meeting feeling a bit back to normal but everyone kept asking what was wrong with my face. Oh, and a rock hit my windshield on the way to work and cracked it.

Gabe also brought home some more shocking news, and the combination of everything had me in bed in the early evening..just really unwilling to move. Gabe came to the rescue with a horrendously ridiculous striptease and I couldn't help but laugh.

So, I'll keep plugging along with the work thing, because honestly I have no other option. I'm sort of stuck financially and geographically for the moment. Well, not for the moment...indefinitely. And that's the part that drives me batty. Add into it the drama and stress of wedding planning (among 15 other things I could write but won't bore you with details) and I'm waving the white flag. If there was a caricature of me right now... it would be me buried under a stack of papers (to-do lists and bills and parking tickets and wedding website printouts and IEATA newsletters). And I wouldn't be face up anymore... just face down - it was too much and I just gave up.

Ok, that's all very dramatic, but seriously something does have to give soon. Until then I'm waiting for inspiration.

Monday, March 30, 2009

a haiku for a cold, rainy day

Earth- soggy earthworms
limp on wet pavement too cold
to smell like asphalt

Saturday, March 28, 2009

comfort food

Tonight I made some awesome sausage, butternut squash and sage risotto. It also has some parmesan and fried sage on top. I want to give a thank you to Matteo, who ten years ago showed me how to make a risotto with love. He taught me so well that I've never once looked up a risotto recipe. Buon appetito!

a glimpse of life with gabe

Me: I'm going to get a shower.

Gabe: Oh! Hold on, I'll set up some experimentation.

Me: Ummm, ok...How long is that going to take?

So ten minutes later I showered with multiple wire-box things draped around the showerhead, which then snaked through the wall somehow, and then connected with the computer. Gabe has been "crunching data" for about an hour and half now...I think he said something about figuring out a heat recovery system. Who knows.

The Great Muffin Miracle of 2009

I used to have a great recipe for oat bran muffins with yogurt, but I accidentally deleted the bookmark and can't find it. I looked for a similar recipe this morning and just couldn't find anything that was just right, plus I realized I had wheat bran, not oat bran. So I thought I'd experiment and literally just threw things into a bowl and hoped for the best. My only goal was to use strawberries and make them healthy. I can't tell you the amounts, but the muffins have: wheat flour, wheat bran, ground flax seed, oatmeal, brown sugar, yogurt, egg, strawberries, banana, cinnamon, milk, baking powder and baking soda.

Put them in the over and voila! Muffins! (So good!) I just wish I had remembered to put in some almonds or walnuts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

today was...better?

Well, I got to work on time, mostly due to an important 8:30 meeting. There was an issue this past weekend that lingered, and drove me nearly to tears in frustration and other assorted emotions. I made it til 3 p.m., with only two outbursts. It probably isn't a good idea to rant out loud near numerous supervisors that I'm not able to be successful in my job, and I'm burnt out and I want to move to California tomorrow. I had a pretty bad headache when I got home.

I then found out almost immediately one of the cats peed and pooped on a small pile of clothes in the bathroom (wtf!) so cleaned that up. I threw everything in the wash, and then couldn't find my work phone, which I realized I had put on top of the clothes on my way downstairs. Oh no! So I ran downstairs and took out all the wet, soapy, peed on clothes and searched in the water for my phone. I later found it in the living room. Sigh.

I needed major attitude adjustment at this point, so went right out to the gym despite headache, which helped. And then I went food shopping to settle down, and imagined I was in some sunny farmer's market. For dinner I made turkey burgers with sage, apples and onion cooked in it, with brie on top, on sourdough. Gabe came home with some shockingly ultra-shitty news but he also brought home Hot Tamales, which he always does when I'm having a really hard time.

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH. Despite all this, it was the best day so far this week :) And I gotta say, one of the perks of working with dying people is that you get to put all the nuisances, no matter how painfully trying, into perspective. Or at least I'm trying.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the versatility of strawberries

Tonight I meant to make some healthy strawberry-yogurt-oat muffins but this is what happened instead. Actually this is what happened second. First I made a strawberry-basil martini. Gabe couldn't decide if he liked it or not, but it took him the whole drink to not decide. The one picture is muddled strawberries with amaretto and Godiva liquer. It actually wasn't as good as I had imagined it would be. It's still sitting on the table 1/2 undrunk. Third time's a charm?

Monday, March 23, 2009

wedding planning as therapy

At the end of Hardy's 'Far from the Madding Crowd', Bathsheba finally realizes the love between her and Gabriel Oak, and they get married. She asks him only to have "the most private, secret, plainest wedding that it is possible to have." At the time I thought it a bit odd. Not that I've ever longed for a princess-type wedding, but I like the idea of having the event witnessed, and ritual associated with it. Now I understand her words a bit more.

I have learned a lot about myself in these two months of wedding planning. It has highlighted a part of my personality that I didn't realize was such a strong force. In yoga you pay attention to your thoughts throughout the postures and notice patterns. I was noticing that anytime I thought of a potential wedding idea, I immediately thought of who that would put out, who would not approve. Once we decided on a destination wedding, I thought of who would be resentful of traveling, who couldn't travel, or who would have to change their vacation plans, or take off work. In comparing different places, I saw others' opinions before my own perceptions.

I was told repeatedly by others that this is our day, and it should be what we want, period. (A curious note about people, though. People say this and almost inevitably follow it up with their opinion. And then, if said opinion is not directly taken, it comes up again in forms like 'well, what about that idea from before'...'why don't you at least make a call about that'. And if I do actually make some small decision, it's met with 'oh', or 'hmmm', or 'that's interesting', or dismissed as not really a decision yet. In no way am I saying people are not supportive - it's definitely the opposite, and absolutely no one has made any direct requests even, but I think (1) it's interesting and (2) it has inadvertently given me a catalog of subtle requests that I am trying to meet.

Despite encouragement to make a decision that's just for us, it's not like me to not consider others. What selfishness to just outline my needs and make others comply! I decided not to have a bridal party because I could not bear the idea of asking people to buy a dress or stand in a certain place. I did not want a registry because I'd nearly rather die than ask anybody for anything. Don't even get me started about the idea of accepting money from anyone for the planning.

I had NO idea before this process how much of a people pleaser I am. It's not like I walk around as a pushover and have no ideas of my own. I consider myself to be quite an independent spirit. I also didn't realize how much I valued others' opinions about my choices. So this has all been very surprising, and disconcerting. I already knew how stubbornly unwilling I can be to ask people to do anything for me, but I didn't really know it was to this degree. I'm trying to take it all as an opportunity to learn and grow, but it's been a fairly uncomfortable process. (Again, I want to make clear - it's not that anyone has made me uncomfortable, it's just that the process itself has brought up things for me that are uncomfortable to deal with. ) I'm taking ownership there, but see how even then I'm afraid of making people for bad for something I said! Ah, how to break this pattern?!

All this is a prelude to say that Gabe and I decided on a beautiful destination for our wedding. If you hate the place, or think we're horrible for having a destination wedding, or wish we'd made a different choice, please keep it to yourself! Otherwise, it will release all my anxieties and keep me up at night, I promise you. I'm not in a good space to just brush it off.

After much consideration, we're getting married in the Riviera Maya, Mexico - details to follow!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

a fiberlicious recipe

I found this recipe a while ago and have made probably 10 variations of it. It's so simple and yummy I had to share. Once you get familiar with the proportions it won't take more than 10 minutes to make. I do one batch and that is breakfast for Gabe and me for the week. It's based on Nigella Lawson's breakfast bars..here's my preferred version:

2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
1 cup shredded real coconut (not sugared, gross)
1/2 cup dried fruit
1 cup seeds (pumpkin,sunflower,whatever)
1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, whatever)

Mix all this with a can of warmed, condensed milk, press into an oiled 9x13 pan, and bake in a 250 degree over for not-quite an hour. Let them cool 10-15 minutes and cut into squares. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and they only get better over the week!

**Some things to consider. If you want something sweeter, you could add more dried fruit or chocolate chips. To make them healthier, I usually throw in some ground flax seed or wheat germ or wheat bran, whatever is around. There's a lot of leeway in the proportions, so just have fun :) (By the way, the condensed milk sort of ruins the health factor, so I've tried a milk/honey mix and other variations, but I can't find anything gluey enough. If you come up with something let me know.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Kim-belly, part II

Kim at 37 weeks! Due date is April 10.....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

last day of winter!!

Tomorrow I lead my monthly 'self-care through the arts' group at work, and it happens to fall on the first day of spring. So I found this poem to read, and people can then do a poem or picture about what they might want to unleash during this particular new beginning. Thought I'd post it here, in case you need some springtime inspiration:

by Billy Collins
If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I had my 'fitness assessment' at the gym yesterday to find out exactly how out of shape I am. It is partially because I had the flu for a week, but I am WEAK. Man oh man. And my resting heart rate is too high. My weight went back down, but my fat percentage is above normal (the bacon caught up to me!). My blood pressure is really low, but I don't really know how that figures into the big picture.

I was actually really excited to hear this, because now I have some concrete goals to work towards. Just maintaining a decent level of fitness is rather boring. Maintenance in general is boring. I could never be a garbage collector, or janitor, or filer, or one of those people that go around a store putting things back on hangers. I would quickly fall into a depression. I am going to take a moment to appreciate the creativity and variety in my work - every day is different place, different people, different stories. Thank you!

I have other health-related news... I started taking prenatal vitamins today! No, not pregnant, but I know it's best to start 3 months to a year before you get pregnant, so it seems like now is a good time. It's sort of exciting, because Gabe and I talk about starting a family after we're married but this is an actual concrete thing. A little thing, but still a thing rather than an idea.

One last health thing... I noticed in my blog talking about how my body just didn't feel 'right' the few days before I got sick. It's a good reminder to listen to my body more and take care of myself!

Speaking of which, it's now 11 and I'm going to go to bed early tonight!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

today in pictures...

When I was sick I ordered some Vietnamese chicken soup, expecting it to instantly cure me:

It didn't, and in fact the chicken was so weird I pulled it all out. Ah well. This whole winter I've strangely been grossed out by soup - it's like soggy dinner. But I ventured to make a soup a few weeks ago with lentils and vegetables and Indian spices. It was a total experiment but ended up amazing, and Gabe loved it (he usually isn't a big fan of soup). It was sort of a joke too - whenever I go food shopping I get lentils - they seem so healthy and useful and easy. But I've never used them...ever. So this was a first, and it was great.

Today I felt better...I could tell because I finally cooked! I decided to make soup again. I got potato and leeks, and looked up some recipes. But I realized I wasn't really looking for a recipe, it was more like I was looking for validation for a recipe in my head. So I decided to trust myself and make my own again. So good! I sauteed garlic and leeks with olive oil, added potatoes and and two apples, and added chicken stock, water, Indian spices, cayenne, cumin... Cook, then blend and voila - awesome! It was spicy, but balanced with the sweetness of the apple (oh, and just a bit of apple cider)... and the whipped yogurt cooled it just a bit, too. Here's a picture of the one I served to Gabe:

For lunch, Gabe and I celebrated both my newfound health and the 50-degree sunshiny weather and had a little picnic. We got a sub to share, and went to the nearby Mystic River. In the summer we would bike there and rent a canoe. It's peaceful to be on the water there, which in a way is a bit sad since it's so urban. Here's Gabe at our 'picnic':

In this picture you can see the highway and billboards in the background:

Our other purpose in going to the river was to see the local wind turbine that went up a couple months ago:

What was so striking about this is as we walked up I realized it was built right next to a school and its playground. A bunch of little kids not-quite in their spring jackets were running around with this HUGE wind turbine 30 feet from them.

And it made me wonder how this will influence them... every day seeing this green technology and taking it for granted...

I also felt even more removed from the next generation when we got back home.. two boys were riding on...something. It was like a skateboard but not the same shape, and with two wheels. Gabe and I were like what the hell is that? And maybe we stared too much because the two little kids picked up their futuristic toys and ran away :)

One of the best parts of my day was watching the cats' happiness at the open windows. (And yes, I believe they were happy!) This was especially cute - they were looking out together and their head and ears moved in unison with each passing car and bird:

I tried to take a picture of Ookie, and she grabbed at the camera straps - it's a little blurry but hilarious:

Then Gabe took a picture of the two of us:

There was a nice group picture, but I suddenly realized I have a decent amount of wrinkles around my eyes :-0 When did this happen?? I don't think I can blame it on being sick, or allergies...I think it means I'm in my thirties! Since people think I'm still in high school I don't have too much to be concerned about.. but around this time of year I always crave a complete spa day. Boston winters are just no good for my skin or spirit.

One last picture. I mentioned a while ago that I did that 'Aging with Grace' group (ha, didn't even realize the connection til I wrote it). We did images of peace and I did a quick pastel of our wedding vision. I had put it on our living room mantle for some inspiration, and decided to throw it out today when we were cleaning the house, since Vermont is no longer our vision. Here's the picture:

I think it's time to draw a new picture!

Friday, March 13, 2009

i wasn't kidding about hibernating...

I got sick suddenly on Monday night... after days of multisymptomatic misery - hot, cold, confusion, aches, nauseau, stuffy nose, sore throat, lethargy - I finally am feeling better. So much better that I ventured to work this morning. I was met with a rounding chorus of "Go Home, You Look Awful". People don't see the improvement - they just see a pale girl with a racking cough and stuffy nose. I lasted three hours there playing catch-up, and then went home. I napped for four hours.

Ugh. I am rarely sick, and never this long. I am sooo behind on projects and caseload and my to-do list, but what can you do? I am going to feel like a new person when I'm healthy again.

In other news... yeah, no other news.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kim-belly Dawn

I thought I'd use this blog to take a poll. Above is Kim at 35 weeks - she's due April 10th. Leave a comment with your best guess on Niko's arrival. Winner gets bragging rights!

back in hiberation

That one day of spring-like weather disappeared as soon as it came. Yesterday we had crazy snow and slush... and today I am sick. Gabe was sick for a week and I thought I successfully avoided it. Yesterday I went to a tai chi class and breathed deeply for an hour - the first time I'd done that in weeks, maybe months. I was proud of myself for getting there since I'd only gotten three hours of sleep the night before (insomnia plus daylight savings = no good). After the class I felt amazing but noticed a tickle in my throat. By the end of the night i was sneezing and coughing- yuck! I couldn't sleep until daylight, despite the exhaustion. So now I'm in bed, feeling like utter crap and wishing my house was clean so I didn't feel like I was wallowing in filth :)

Hopefully Gabe isn't working too late so he can make me some dinner.. he has a meeting with Harvard today to see if they're going to buy a $400,000+ solar system. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Have passport, will travel...

Gabe and I decided on a destination wedding! We were pretty sure we were going with Vermont, and found two very nice places that would work great, but two issues. (1) Finances - DIY wedding costs add up fast. (2) Planning. Gabe and I are busy with our jobs and the idea of planning every detail of a VT wedding was already causing major anticipatory stress.

We're slightly sad at losing our vision of Vermont fields of wildflowers and a bluegrass band in a barn. But i think a Caribbean matrimonial extravaganza suits our needs at the moment, and it's the Caribbean - how is this a bad option?!! We're getting used to the idea and really excited now. More details will follow...but if you don't have a passport you might want to get one :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

out of hibernation

I went to sleep last night with the intention that i would sleep in, the longer the better. I have been feeling so off lately and I had a suspicion that a loooonnnnggg sleep would recharge my system. There were many interruptions, especially Gabe's coughing from his lingering cold - and I'm sure my whiny admonishments (go get some tea, get some damn chloraseptic already) didn't help the situation, but in the end I stayed in bed from midnight until 11:30! With the time change it was 12:30!! I got up, descended the stairs and did my ritual of heading to the thermostat to make the downstairs livable. But wait. Something was different. Sun, birds, people outside. Huh? I stepped outside and did not freeze! It was.....WARM. It's 54 and sunny right now and I genuinely feel like I've come out of hibernation. I know we're in for more snow (ssshhhh) but for today I'm going to pretend that I can plan picnics and hikes and the canning of non-imported fruit.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

medium rare

So today Gabe and I left our house at 7 a.m.! This was not after going to bed early by any means. Then we drove to four different houses in Vermont - we were gone 13 hours and I think we were driving for 9 or 10 of them. Not a whole lot of sightseeing. But we did see one deer and a GIANT St. Bernard.

(Digression: 'The Anatomy of Sex' is on Discovery right now and these two people are having sex in the MRI machine, for science. They also just said men produce more sperm in one day than people in the U.S. - crazy!)

So our VT trip was very productive...but I'm not revealing any details until Gabe and I make some final decisions...our goal is a definite date and venue this week.

We came home late and were so hungry. My mom visited a bit ago and filled up my shopping cart at whole foods with lots of yummy things (thanks mom!). I had defrosted two filet mignons (filets mignon?) so cooked those. Now one of my major cooking weaknesses is that I overcook nearly every meat because I'm so paranoid about it being undercooked. These steaks looked so good and I wanted to do them justice - how sad would that be to have chewy filet(s) mignon(s)? I am proud to say that they ended up being a perfect(!!!) medium rare-mediumish. SOOOO good. I made this sauce with garlic, vermouth, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar - yummy.

(Another digression: human men have the largest penis of all primates, relatively - it evolved this way after women began standing. If men had relatively gorilla-sized penises they would be 2/3 of an inch long!)

Okay anyway. Wait, now they are talking about how we used to mate when the males approached from behind (before we evolved to stand on two legs). So when we began to walk around like now, people mated face to face, and thus begun communication in a whole new way. This show is pretty fascinating, actually.

Alright, I'm going to make some tea and head to bed soon - I am not setting an alarm and hopefully my body will get as much sleep as it needs to feel normal again. Expect a wedding announcement within a week!

Friday, March 6, 2009


Something is off with me lately. I can't make decisions, can't think clearly, my memory is shot, nightmares, and I CANNOT wake up in the morning. I'm totally unmotivated. It's like depression but without the bad mood - I suppose it's stress. I have been nearly obsessed with wedding planning but feel like I'm making no real progress. Probably because I'm not. And my to-do list: work projects, taxes, newsletter publishing, laundry, housecleaning, bills, etc. just isn't happening. So the cycle is I feel overwhelmed...then i do nothing... then I feel guilty...then I feel overwhelmed...then I do nothing... you see how it is. I have cultivated self-criticism into an art form so it takes a while to pull out of this pattern.

Hopefully a change of scenery will help. Gabriel and I are going to VT tomorrow to scout out a few wedding places. We are leaning towards a destination (island) wedding, but still want to look and make an informed decision. Road trips with my sweetie are always fun so I'm looking forward to it. One thing I've noticed - everyone I've talked to in VT makes me uncomfortable. BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO FRIENDLY! Why would you bring me coffee and ask what donuts I like just because I'm stopping by to look at the house you are a caretaker of? Why would you talk for an hour about how much you can't wait to help plan my wedding with me? It makes me physically itchy and uncomfortable. I've become such a Bostonian, I think. I remember that time when I first went out to San Francisco, and someone randomly talked to me on the street. I must have jumped or made a face because they then said "oh, you're not from around here". I swear I was a different person after two months there. I defrosted. I felt more myself. Oh, I lament I am such a cold city dweller!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Commitment, some thoughts

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.
– Anne Morriss

One day not too long ago, Gabriel and I found ourselves at Starbucks on a cold winter day. We'd been having many conversations about our future (a bit too many for Gabe's taste, I think), and I was trying to make a certain point that I was having trouble getting across. I ordered either a vanilla steamer or a chai and the quote above was on it. THAT was exactly what I was trying to say. Gabe got it, and I think that quote played a significant role in our engagement ;-)

When Gabe proposed that big field of 'what if' just disappeared, like it never existed, and an enormous amount of energy was freed up. I think we both felt lighter and happier... now we have plans that aren't preceded by hypotheticals.. we're not bogged down in the weight of options and uncertainty. I see our commitment like a container for energy, rather than it dissipating out to everywhere.... Okay, that's many ways to say one thing, and a silly cup still says it better.

I've been thinking about that cup a lot lately, for another reason. It's no secret that I want to move to northern California yesterday. There's a lot of reasons, but basically it's that I went there one summer seven years ago and since then it's felt like home. It's surreal to me that I still live in Boston, since I've been meaning to leave for so long. And frustrating. Gabe and I have talked a lot the past year about starting a new life in CA - he likes it out there, and it's a great place for his field. Since we met as roommates and 'fell' into a relationship, it would be nice to purposefully start our married life in a new place. Gabe's feelings about a move are mixed, for a good reason. He started his company a few years ago and has put so much into it to leave before the whole thing plays out. One day he'll be all about California, and then the next he pushes back the timeline. I really do understand, but it really makes it hard to be on solid ground, and impossible to plan anything.

Again, the cup quote. If i just knew we were here for one more year, or two, or forever, then I can commit to that and free up my energy again. But in one day checking craigslist for san francisco jobs and planning boston work events for a year out is a blatant waste of energy, and confusing. And work... I was awarded a consulting grant and have been meeting with someone who is really helping me develop and execute my vision at work. I get all psyched to build up this amazing arts program at hospice, and to do it right will require lots of focus and energy and hard work. A lot, a lot. The kind that shouldn't be diminished with thoughts of moving, or starting a family, or dropping everything and going to culinary school :) So Gabe and I are talking things over and perhaps for our works' sake just committing to staying xxx number of months/years in Boston.

But here's another thing. I was thinking about this whole issue on the way back from work as I'm mulling over all my work projects (including a new one (!) - a reporter is going to shadow me this week and write an article about expressive therapy) - so I turned off the radio and just imagined and felt what it would be like to really commit to my work for a year, to work so hard I'd leave an established, recognized program that would exist even if I left. I imagined it with a mix of excitement and anticipatory burnout, and then I sort of wrote out my blog in my mind.

Then I turned the radio back on - Wilco's "California Stars" was on.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Yay March with its 12+ inches of snow! (Sarcasm.) At work I don't have snow days since patients in their homes need help no matter what. But part of my job is administrative and I had tons of things I could do at home.

Did I do any of them? No. I took care of Gabe who is sick, stayed in my pajamas, and looked up destination wedding possibilities ALL day. I think I know every resort by name in Jamaica. My eyeballs are burning. We are going up to VT this weekend to look at places, and researching destination weddings, and hopefully making a decision early next week. I'll be relieved when we actually have a venue. Know what's funny? We're looking at a house in Jamaica, VT and also Jamaica itself. I guess it's not that funny.

I need to go to sleep now, so I can wake up early and dig out the car - another thing I neglected to do today. I am looking forward to working and going to the gym tomorrow!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

oh no!

Yesterday Gabe and I went food shopping. Gabe pushed the cart back to the car and went to open the trunk. I said, "Oh, there's probably no room in there" - I think my subconscious was saying nooooooooo!!!! but it didn't quite make it to the realm of awareness. I'm 15 steps behind him, so I see him open the trunk, look in, and then look up at me, his eyes horrified and sheepish at the same time, his mouth in a perfect O - I've never seen this look before. MY WEDDING DRESS WAS IN THE TRUNK!!! Oh no. Anytime I remember to move it in the house Gabe's home so it's lived there for a bit. Gabe slammed the trunk down and tried to pretend he didn't see how lovely that dress was but failed in his attempt. He smiled and said you're going to look so beautiful. At least he didn't see the back, or the bottom, but the full element of surprise is gone. Ah well, what can you do?

Today we're home wedding planning. Gabe is never sick, but got a horribly scratchy sore throat suddenly last night and woke up grumpy and sounding horrible. I'm in denial of my increasingly itchy throat. But our goal today is to set up a schedule for next weekend in VT to see potential venues. We'll do it even if we're high on dayquil and using sign language.


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