Saturday, May 1, 2010


In what's been a recurring theme for me of late, I've found that it's really easy to get caught up in what I don't have, or worry I might not have. But the truth of the matter is that my life is rich, and I've plenty of opportunity to make it more so, even as I walk away from some of the things that have anchored me for years.

Friday was my last day at work, and I don't have anything lined up yet. I paid bills Friday night, cleaned the house for a showing Saturday morning, and generally ran around stressed out -- a condition that's not good for anybody. This after a week where I'd felt really good -- very positive -- in general. I hit the sack at 10:30 or so, and woke up at 4:00 -- an ungodly hour to wake up, but one that's unfortunately on the late side of things for me these days.

Fortunately, as the simply gorgeous day that it was unfolded yesterday, I found myself starting to relax again. I packed us a picnic lunch yesterday (Jake, included), and we spent much of the morning outside at one of the schools in town, where first Ava then Juli had their soccer games. I got a little sunburned (forgot my sunscreen), but both girls' teams won their games and they both played well. Juli stopped four shots on goal in her half as keeper, and Ava scored two of her team's 6 goals. Jake, fluffy as he is, was hot. I gave him a lot of water to help keep him cool, but I was hot just looking at him. Unfortunately soccer fields don't offer much shade. For our next hot day I'm bringing ice cubes -- for him and for our Sigg water bottles. I kept wishing we'd been able to ride to soccer, so in the coming weeks, we'll have to make that happen.

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I went into Boston, to walk around, shop for a gift and find some dinner. What a great day to be in town! We parked at the garage under Boston Common, which was teeming with sunbathers, then walked through the Public Garden, which was likewise full of people out walking, taking swan boat rides and generally enjoying the day. We walked down the park that separates the two halves of Commonwealth Avenue, where we saw a guy make a turn down the wrong (one-way) side of Comm Ave, realize his error, then make a 3-point turn in the middle of everything to to rectify his situation, only to smack into a Lincoln Navigator sitting innocently at a light.

We stopped at a bookstore after that, then walked past Trinity Church over to the Boston Public Library -- a building I've never been in before. It's a neat place and I want to go back when that's more a deliberate destination than a random stop. At Copley, the girls were rather taken by the sight of the John Hancock building, and were impressed that their mother worked in that building for a time, before either of them was born.

By the time we got to the restaurant, Ava had stubbed her toes a few times, and was complaining about blisters. Juli's feet hurt, too. So the next time we go into town for a walk, I'll separate that from getting dressed up for dinner. Maybe just hang out at the common, then walk around the Public Garden. Or pick any of the hundreds of other things to do in town, and dress appropriately.

In any case, it was a good day. I was able to appreciate the weather, to enjoy some time with my kids (not entirely stress-free, but still time to enjoy and, yes, appreciate), share some new spaces with them, and enjoy a decent meal. And today, I woke up feeling more relaxed than yesterday -- certainly more than Friday night. I hope this trend continues over the next several weeks, leading up to my upcoming trip to Tuscany.

I'm not entirely sure how the trip will unfold, yet. The plan is to spend a few days solo, either biking around or taking trains around. Exploring another country solo isn't something I've ever done, and honestly I think it'll be good for me. I'd really prefer to bike it, but my left knee is messed up and I don't want to get stuck somewhere with a bum knee. So I may take trains instead -- I'll see how my knee feels over the next week or so. I'm going to try to ride most every day, now that I'm not working. I also really need to get cracking on my Italian course!

After my solo time out and about in Tuscany, I'll be meeting my friend Allyson in Florence for a few days. I'm really looking forward to that. As a friend, I've been burdensome the past couple of months, and I have perhaps even taken for granted that she would be there to listen and offer support. I'd like to be able to make up for that -- share some quality time, connect, and show my deep appreciation for the support she's offered, and more broadly for what I am certain has been one of the most important friendships of my life. One I hope -- I trust -- will remain so.

So apart from re-learning Italian, and continuing the job search, a primary focus for me the next few weeks will be to relax and reflect. To try not to worry about what might not be. But rather acknowledge what is and appreciate it, focus on expanding my world, and get myself to a place where I'm open to discovering what can be. I've got a few meetings set up for next week, relating to my search, and a bunch of tasks I need to get done. But I'm going to try not to use my car too much, try not to work on the house at all, and do my best to let go of the stress I've been carrying too long.

All for now,


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