Thursday, April 29, 2004

Time for a Change

This is the last day of class. That means gearing up for finals, pushing through them, then going home for the summer. The last day of class always feels so big and open. It's standing on the edge of a big big change. New daily routine, more free time. I always love the last day of class.

But I am not a student.

I don't have any big projects due. No finals. My work schedule will not change. But I still have that big open feeling. And I have it at the end of every semester.

I work at a university library and my husband is a professor. So although my schedule won't change, his will. And the pattern and routines of people all around me will change. So it will feel like I am changing. Which is wonderful. I love when things change. I get bogged down when I'm stuck in the same routine for too long. And I like rearranging the furniture.

On the other hand, I need some stability. I can't move every 4 months. It takes me a really long time to get reorganized when something major shifts in my life.

So I think I found the perfect situation for myself. I am surrounded by good change every couple of months but I don't have to actually pick up my stuff and move. I get my change fix, I guess. Without any real effort or discomfort on my part. Cool.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Through the busy, I've been happy.

Our family has been so busy this week. Incredibly busy. Two or three functions a day on top of our normal work schedules. We've had way more sitters than normal--sometimes two in one day. And we've had house guests and company for dinner. I had a small presentation which was a pretty big deal to me. And my husband's got a book binding project that we've been rushing to finish on time. It's been great.

We can hardly breathe for how busy we are and I'm actually loving it. I don't know why. Maybe because the relief of finishing things on time, marking them off the list, just feels so good. That's probably it. I'm ready for a slow down but through the busy, I've been happy.

Friday, April 16, 2004


I met a girl the other day. She is a student. English major. Hip type. So I've actually seen her around a bit. She makes me remember back when I was in college. It made me miss my old friends and being single. Mostly having my own time schedule. Go when I want to go, that sort of thing. I felt very independent and adult back then. Lately I've been feeling pretty dumpy and uninteresting.

So, when I met this girl I found out that she is my age. She said, "Yes, but you're a lot more accomplished than I am." I thought that was a funny comment and shrugged it off at the time. We talked for a while and I think she'll be a good sort of friend. But since then I have been thinking a lot about what she said. I'm accomplished? I've never felt that way before. I work at a copy shop. I don't PRODUCE anything worthwhile.

But now I'm thinking about what I have. I have a husband who is successful in what he does. And he's kind. I have a daughter. And I'm thinking of having another one. I have a college degree in a field that I like. I own a home. I spend the afternoon raking my yard and doing my dishes. And taking walks and going to the park. I am involved in my community arts organizations. I feel pretty good about what I have and where I am. I feel like I am moving in the right direction. I'm not all the way there yet. But I'm only 26 and I think I'm on my way. I just need to realize what I have instead of what I don't.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Artists can be testy. You know how we are.

So I am the secretary of the arts council in my small town. I've been on the board for about six months now. I first saw the opportunity as a chance to get involved. I wanted to meet fellow citizens who love the arts and want to share that love with others. I certainly have done that. But I think I really didn't know what I was in for.

First, it seems to me that most members of our board have off motives. Meaning, they want our council to primarily benefit their own interests. And of course, this is human. But I feel it even stronger here. So much for opening eyes and ears. Instead it's, "I want to promote my gallery." "I want to create a larger audience for my orchestra." "I want people to buy my stuff."

I AM just the secretary. But I have some ideas too. Things I think would really benefit our community. I'd like to ask these board members for their opinions. But I dare not. They are not interested in anything new, it seems. They just want maintenance. "We'll just do it like we did last year." What about improvements?

Here's then next thing: these board members obviously have very different tastes. I suppose this is what you want. But these people seem to totally discount what they don't like. I can imagine their brains thinking, "Why would we support that? It's not even art." They would never say this out loud. Instead they each push only what they like. So the pushier people often win and we end up showcasing the same type of music, etc. over and over. Could we have some variety?

At our meeting last night, our president was explaining her duties to a few new members. She said, "A big part of my job is to keep us on task in our meetings. Sometimes we don't agree and get off track. Artists can be testy. You know how we are."


That little word bugged me. Bugs me. Is it okay to call yourself an artist? I guess if your job really is involved in the arts. If you teach art, of one form or another. You should have the right, right? Still, it bothers me to no end when someone says, (with a sweeping arm and hand motion) "I'm an artist." Let ME call you an artist. Let someone else call you an artist. Call yourself a writer, a painter, a sculptor a dancer, a singer, a film maker. "We're artists," doesn't really work for me.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Where Did She Go?

So I needed a space for reflection. I hope this is it. I used to do this type of thing through email--talk about my day and my reactions to it--but I don't think that will work for me anymore. I am in my own section of life now and none of my close friends can quite see into it. So I hold back what I would like to say, knowing that they probably wouldn't understand. In this form I have no particular listener. Maybe no one will read this. Hopefully someone will. The not knowing will probably allow me to be much more open with my words. We'll see.

This morning I found a picture of my daughter Zoë at seven months. Now she is 21 months old. In my life, 14 months is a short time. But in her life, it's ages. She was so small. I immediately remembered how she behaved at that time, how curious she was, how little she could do for herself. I miss that baby so much.

But how can I miss someone who jumps on my tummy and pulls on my legs all day? How can I miss someone who screams at me in protest when I do the dishes or make dinner? How can I miss someone who hugs my neck with her little arms, kisses my lips and says "I lob mommy."?

I don't want her to go back to being an infant. She would just grow up again. And I certainly don't want her to be stuck in infant phase forever (but I want a PUPPY, can't it be a cute puppy forever?) I was in the picture with her and my face looked even more exhausted than I feel now. So what makes me miss that baby?

Now my daughter is a toddler. Really, a small person. She makes decisions and demands. She gets excited. She likes to be involved. She cares about all sorts of things. And she's going to keep growing. Soon she'll be using full sentences. She'll be able to tell me exactly what she wants. Maybe even use the big girl potty on her own. I'll miss the baby but I won't be sad. These advances will make my life easier and easier.

Still, I hope I don't forget any stage of her life. I hope I'll remember how much she needed me in the past. Those memories will allow me to be amazed at all she is becoming.