The saving grace is that life outside of work goes skipping merrily along, whether I have the energy to keep up or not.
Two weeks ago (nearly) was the Minnesota State Shapenote Convention, for which I hosted my friend Nancy Parr (we describe our friendship as "we went to college together ten years apart" -- we met years ago on an alumni mailing list and found many friends and interests in common). Some friends from England were in town for the singing as well. Unfortunately I was too new to my job to take a day off work on the Friday that all were here, but just having Nancy staying with me cheered my days. This year I was able to sit front bench for most of the weekend for the first time in several years, and the weekend's flow carried me along with it. Each evening would end in my kitchen with Nancy, sipping some fine Scotch I have on hand for just such occasions, talking about everything in the universe. I was proud to be able to whip up a real breakfast each morning, which I certainly wouldn't have done for myself alone. There were many individual fine times I had over the course of the weekend, and they added up to a sense of peace.
Last night I had a difficult choice. I could attend a house concert at Bob W's house, a concert given by a woman who is a friend of my parents and whom I haven't seen in at least 25 years. Or I could join Great Northern Border (the winter Border Morris team) for a danceout in Saint Paul, playing the bass drum and singing for one of the Molly dances. I'm not needed for the dancing in the sense that the team couldn't do any particular dance if I weren't there, but for some outdoor venues the bass drum seems to make a big difference. When I thought on what I felt like doing I realized that hanging out with the team was the necessity; since I'm feeling untethered at work, I wanted the counterweight of a night with the Border boys and musicians Shannon and Denise. It wasn't one of those magical special danceout nights, but we had a good turnout of dancers, some of whom brought their kids who danced goofy on the sides. We went to Great Waters brewpub afterwards.
While walking to the pub I told Anna Bean that if she were little I would be making up a story for her right now, and she assured me I could still do that. So I told the story of Anna's pub. Since Great Waters serves beer, she was going to open a pub called Great Beers that serves water. For food she would serve only dishes she liked, which meant the menu would be grilled cheese, pizza, and brie. Nobody thought the venture would work, but Anna lined the walls of the pub with bookshelves full of old comic books and she hired Anna Kate to be the cook and soon there were lines around the block.
That's more writing in ten minutes, telling that story to Anna, than I've done in three weeks at work.
There's the other standard regular stuff. Getting ready for the shapenote convention was a task, with major housecleaning and shopping and cooking. I haven't given up yet on the Eagle, although I seem to be having a string of encountering creepy odd people there. There was a small marching gig with the Freedom Band the other week. There was a big flea market last Saturday, where I found many treasures and even more silverplate flatware which I've been polishing up. I did a nice run to Dreamhaven Books this weekend.
I'm not wholly lost. In time I will settle in to the new job and accumulate enough vacation days to start playing around with travel again. I'm flying east twice over the next month, but only for the briefest amount of time possible, to attend a bar and a bat mitzvah. Drat the no vacation situation, but that's the bargain I struck. In time, in time, I will feel just fine about it all.