Keeps pulling me back…

Last week I started a new job. There was a magical two week interval betwixt my old job and this new job. If asked which situation I like the best, it would have to be that fourteen day immersion in non-job activities. I had anticipated having nothing but free brain time, and was a bit disappointed to realize that those days are gone regardless of the fact that I am employed or not. Because there’s always some stupid shit that has to get done, and there are three people relying on me rather than just me. And I am extremely easy on myself when it comes to gettin’ shit done. Not true for the fam.

I was able to get in a bit of painting, and also completed 1.5 pieces that will be in group art shows early-mid next year. Nowhere as much art as I’d hoped, but still, not a complete wash.

The new job is similar to the old one, except it is above ground, with different people.

Neither of them were/are as awesome as being unemployed for two weeks, knowing there was a job on the horizon.

Now that I’ve had a chance to experience it, probably for the first time since I was in my early 30’s, I want more of that good, jobless stuff, without the stress of needing a job. Oh, I know! I’ll tap into my trust fund. The one I don’t know about yet, but am sure some long lost relative will notify me about any day now….

I am tired. Not thinking clearly. Eyes blurry from late night sleep interruptions by the resident six year-olds.

Trust fund. I think I’m finally ready.

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An Autumnal Hiatus

Last week and this week present something strange to me. A visitation of days past, where my hours in the morning and afternoon are strangely silent, where I have lunches with people not seen in months or years as a single person. No longer are there small, cute, intense people attached to me as I attempt to have a conversation with another grown-up. No, I have not died, nor gone completely delusional. My daughters are in kindergarten from 9 a.m. until 3:50 p.m. and I am in-between jobs.

My last day of work at my previous position was October 10 and here it is, October 22. My new job starts a week from today, October 29. I think this is the largest stretch of time I’ve had to myself since I was in my 20s, working three or four days a week at a florist, with the rest of all eternity to do whatever the hell I wanted to do with my time and what little money I had.

Certainly as a mother, this twelve day stretch of quiet, broken up by the two day weekends intermixed, is unprecedented. I can’t say it isn’t good, because it is. There is a part of me that feels profoundly sad that this freedom will end in a week, and I’ll go back to being just a little bit overextended in pretty much every way possible. No, actually, that makes me really sad. And I am definitely mourning this precious time off before it is even over, similar to the way I mourn the end of the crepe papier pink trees at the climax of spring before the buds actually explode. Because I know this idea of perfection is only an idea. That my creative energies are not quite where I’d like them to be with this much unstructured time alone.

Why is the only time a person can have this kind of time is when they are between jobs? Am I wrong about this?

I still managed to get into the studio this morning for an hour and a half before the outside world started calling me with responsibility requests. I should have left the phone downstairs. I will leave it downstairs tomorrow morning. When I attempt to find out where I left the small amount of creativity I used to think I had.

Poop.

November, yesvember

Oh no! I just lost half a page of content. Maybe it’s my computer self-editing. I could use some of that editing for my mouth. That, or maybe I should stop talking.

Life is strange, don’t you think? I spent the last three days at a conference hosted by the content management system the agency I work for uses. A “user conference” if you will. How, in glob’s name did I end up here? Editing web pages. Sending out press releases. I vaguely remember being a creative person. No mas.

I can’t believe this month is almost over. And once November is gone, you might as well just say goodbye to the rest of the year. I guess now is as good a time as any to make my yearly holiday proclamation:

I WILL NOT PLAY YOUR REINDEER GAMES

Yeah, that’s right. I’m not gonna be the bad guy. I worked hard to get that crap out of my system five years ago, after I had children. It isn’t gonna be me. Christmas is what it is, don’t make it something it isn’t. I am not going to ruin it for my five year old daughters, but I’m also not going to raise two brats who expect that every Christmas is going to be a gift bonanza and then be disappointed when they don’t get every single thing they wanted. Nope. Not me.

I just want to be able to get through the holidays without needing cocktails (because my ability to drink is extremely limited), not going broke, not feeling guilty or just bad about things. The children have plenty of toys, clothes, books, everything. Yes, I am aware that I used to be traumatized by the end of year holidays, but now they are fun because Mimi and Beenie are all about it, and I am happy to encourage and support their tinseley desires.

Take your issues and your bad hat and don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out. I say this to myself first, then extend the exit-tation to whomever else threatens to make this a stressball December.

Image of an eye with a scar over it in the shape of a Y
Y didn't I turn on the light in my bedroom?

Y

Have you ever been curious what would happen if you bashed your forehead on the corner of a sharpish, wooden dresser? Well, I can show you what something of that nature looks like…

This little doozey happened back in September. I survived. The current version of the Y scar has faded. I’ll share the updated one with you soon.

Old skool

Section of a map project I'm working on. Crappy photo.

Today’s post is total old skool stylee. Home at 3:48 in the afternoon, fixin’ to leave in ten minutes to collect the ladies from school. Stayed home today because I’m sick, and now that I am employed, I get paid to be sick. I should get sick more often. Really tho, nobody likes a germ carrier polluting the already questionable air in the fluorescent cube-land where I work. I’m hacking in my own space today.

We moved into our house at the end of April 2011, and today, October 20, 2011 is the first day I’ve had all to myself in this house. It has taken six months for me to have total peace. And peaceful it has been, friends. Almost napped with two cats pinning me down, drank tea and coffee, coughed and sucked on cough drops. Contemplated the cause and cure for canker sores (OUCH), wrote a bit. Read a bit. Walked to the grocery store to get some healthy food to help me feel better, and make for my family. And here I am. Still have to unload the dishwasher, maybe throw in a load of laundry. But those are things I typically do once I’ve picked up the girls and come home after work. Those things can wait.

I could use a couple thousand more days like today. Not necessarily sick, tho. Just quiet and curious. And gettin’ paid for it.

What up, August 14th?

I can’t say for sure until I do some research in the 20/20 archives, but I don’t think I have ever had NOBODY come to this blog. But that is exactly what happened — or didn’t happen — August 14th, 2011. I suppose I can’t really expect the viewing public, both of you, to look at 2o Fingers, 20 Toes if even I can’t be bothered to look at it. I am reminded of the early years, back in early 2008, back when I was in the throes of “full-time stay at home with my awesome daughters and lose my cotton-pickin’ mind”-ness. Truly. My early 40’s have been the beginning of the second half of my life. Nothing like the first life at all, except for the fact that my brain was still in my head, though only semi-functional. The first half of my life was spent indulging me, me, my friends, and me, then more of me. From what I can tell, post 40 is all about everybody else.

I miss “us”, you and me. You know who you are. You have never left my heart. Let’s spend more time together, shall we? xo J

 

Beginning to see the light…

It is changing, you know. It changed enough last Thursday night, July 28th, for me to think to myself, “Oh, the light is changing. Autumn approaches.” My thoughts were not verbal, but something that made me feel a certain way, in my chest. Maybe a primitive feeling, then kind when you silently understand a universal truth, that everyone else knows, too. All of us humans. The days are noticeably shorter. It’s early August, but that doesn’t matter. Summer wanes.

I’ve started a new art thing. Alls I’m sayin’ is that I’m not sayin’ yet. It is just brand new and we’re still in the early stages of understanding one another, the artwork and me. I’ll put something up when there is something to put.

My sweet girls are fixin’ to turn five this coming September. When the hell did I start writing this blog, anyway? Some point in 2008? Maybe February? I am too lazy to check, even though it involves a few clicks. Can’t be bothered. Started this because I had a need to share this bizarre experience of child-raising with someone. Someone like the interwebs. Thank you for letting me share.

Mimi and Beenie are big, complex, sensitive, crazed, talented, beautiful, fearless, frightened humans. They are quite mature until someone has a total tantrum. Mimi had a fantastic one last night. She had a total Carol Burnett show moment where she somehow rolled UP the stairs from the basement, hysterical with misery that I did not draw a puppy dog the way she wanted me to. These girls don’t throw many tantrums, so it is always a special delight when one happens. Mimi is just crazy enough to pull one off at this old age. Or maybe they come in phases. There was a month-long period of time where both she and Beenie threw dual fueled tantrums, late 2’s? Early 3’s? I thought they would never end and that I would hate every weekend because that is when they would get really bad. But then, they left as soon as they started. And here we are, back to the occasional irrational explosion. I can’t imagine they are as old as they are. They were 1.5 when we met, I believe. Don’t know that they were walking yet. I should really check.

Pre-K starts up the day after Labor Day. Their last year in preschool before Kindergarten. I used to think of Kindergarten as being full of little kids, but nowadays Kindergarten is full of 6 year-olds. Practically tweenagers at that point. What the hell? They will get on a school bus Fall 2012. FReaky. But shit, I was on the bus when I was FOUR. One day I actually went home with a classmate. Neither she nor I bothered notifying our mothers what was planned betwixt us. I just took for granted I had this transportation at my beck and call. I don’t remember how it was all resolved–I was only four, after all. But I made it home somehow. Can you imagine? I feel like I already told you all of this. My memory is for shit these days.

Nice to chat. It’s been a while.

A B C D E F G


Despite my continued underemployment, I’ve really enjoyed this fall. The girls are doing some serious absorption, like they are normal human children, which makes me feel like I haven’t screwed up things too much. The weather has been cool and cold and warm. Gray and leafy. And is still as such today, December 1. I don’t believe not having a full-time job, or full-time money is even unfamiliar. I’ve lived most of my life without having extra cash. Just enough to pay bills and keep a living space going. But I am not alone anymore, am I?

Luckily, someone put a contract on the house husband and I were obsessing about but could not afford to get on one income, so that pressure will disappear. I’m not feeling stressed about the impending, inevitable holiday season, because when you don’t have any extra money, you can’t buy anything, so what’s the point of being stressed out? Sorry to spoil it, revelers, but you’re all getting Christmas cookies this year, and you’re gonna like ’em. Or not. But that’s what you’re getting. Not the diamond tiara and matching cha-cha heels you put on your list. Not this year. Not any year.

I am feeling grateful at the moment. And excited about the unknown, which surrounds all of us at all times. The universal unknown. It is truly fantastic not to know what the future holds–an amazing gift. And free!