Sunday, October 05, 2008

at the change of seasons

at these transitional points of year, as summer turns to autumn and autumn fades towards winter, i always get introspective. last year, that introspection led me to change jobs in order to have more time for the things that matter. now, i find myself reflecting on what i've done with that time i gave myself. maybe it's because i felt like i haven't been utilizing it well for the past week. i have a bunch (seven, to be exact) of different articles in progress and feel more or less stuck on all of them.  it's been great to be working mostly at home for almost a year now, but is it time for something new? would i be more productive if i went to an office every day again? i guess what i'm interested in is why i'm so stuck at the moment.

i think it started a few weeks ago when we had husband's old management group over for dinner on a tuesday night. because i'm working at home, i was, of course, home all day, so i was able to prepare the dinner (a big mess of fajitas) and dessert (a pavlova and some creamy, rich chocolate cups). my sister was here, but she had a lunch appointment, so she didn't come home to help 'til late afternoon.

when everyone arrived, i was wearing an apron over my little black j. peterman dress (dang, it's on sale now!). after all, i didn't want a bunch of fajita juice all over it. while husband took everyone outside to show them around the new place and for welcome drinks, monica and i finished up the dinner. we ate the dinner and according to plan, everyone raved over the food. i messed up the pavlova, because i don't really know my oven so well yet, so it was a bit crispy on the bottom [read: burned] and i foolishly didn't actually notice that 'til i had already served it to everyone. so, i joked and told them to avoid eating the very bottom. all very relaxed.

one of the group was a woman in my age group, who is in charge of payroll at husband's work (not a small company, so this is a significant position). she voiced political opinions that were more than a bit disturbing (anti-immigrant with an immigrant in the room!). she also joked the entire evening about firing people, mostly to her male colleagues, indicating to me that she felt a need to show she was as tough as the boys. she made comments that made me think that she thought i was a hausfrau (one of my worst fears). but later, when i thought about the apron, i guess i could understand her perception. in short, she totally rubbed me the wrong way in her white french-cuffed tailored blouse.

i suppose in a way, it made me feel a bit insecure. the thought that i could be perceived as a hausfrau almost as horrifying as anything i could imagine. i felt a strange compulsion to prove myself as a career woman and kept making reference to my previous employer (the other big company in denmark), as a means of proving my own testosterone levels. and afterwards, i felt bad about the whole thing. how pathetic that i felt the need to prove myself to some twat [pronounce this in your head as hugh grant would pronounce it and it will sound as i mean it to sound] who i will never meet again and who i could honestly care less about? why did i waste a single moment of angst or regret on this person who so clearly doesn't matter one iota in my life?

did she dig up something deeper in me? some feeling of dissatisfaction within myself? is it time for me to move on to whatever is next, rather than holding here in the liminal space? am i really holding? or is it just that i can't accept how actually totally awesome my situation is? i have the privilege of mostly working at home, so i'm here to take my daughter to school and pick her up. i sit all day at my gorgeous iMac and i write about things that fascinate me (when i can write, which i currently cannot, which is part of the problem) and then i travel to wonderful places, meet great people who stimulate me intellectually and professionally, eat fantastic food and stay in awesome hotels. are you serious, what's not to be satisfied about?

so, why am i feeling restless? why can't i just enjoy the here and now? why do i get all tied up in knots and restrict my own ability to finish the things i'm working on? is it just the changing of seasons? or is it something more? and how do i get to the bottom of it?


Amanda said...

Ahhh, restlessness. I too go thru those phases, and find that I am "bored" at work, and need more to apply my brain to.

In my line of work, I tell my boss to go buy another company, or make some other large scale change in my responsibilities, and this usually does the trick.

Mostly, my restlessness lately is in my wanting to NOT work. I am so wanting to stay home for a while and be just me, and take care of just me. I have worked since my kiddos were tiny (and I love and need it, don't get me wrong) but I am ready for a break. This all comes at a time when I am making more salary than I ever have, and our economy is in the pot.

Maybe next time I am restless I can convince husband to let me stay at home!

Molly said...

You strike me as a journey, not a destination, person. Now you feel you're 'arrived' you're getting restless again. But maybe it's about redefining the journey and the destination?
Maybe now that you're in a place in which you have time to do and explore all those things you've been wanting to you need to make the journey about really getting into those things - etsy shop?
My 2 cents (and in SA currency that's really worth very little!)...
But keep on blogging ok?!
Thanks for the link!

Barb said...

This post made me feel tense when I read about the "twat" and how she treated you, so I won't comment on that, BUT I will comment on that gorgeous dress.

Even with an apron, I'm sure it was stunning. I think I just might look for a similar pattern and make one for myself.


julochka said...

amanda, it probably is just a phase.

molly, don't worry, no intention to stop writing. :-) and you're probably right about me being a journey kind of person, i just need a new destination.

barb--no offense meant with the strong language (it's weaker in the british pronunciation and doesn't have the same NA connotation), it just felt like what was needed to convey what i felt about the situation! no offense meant!! :-) the j. peterman is on fabulous sale now, so you may be able to just order it up! ;-)

Barb said...

Julie, no offense taken, I used it in the same vein you did. And I will comment to say that I really do think she is a "twat". How can an invited guest be so rude to their host???? Inexcusable. Barb