It is what it is

So, yeah. I’m wondering if it’s still work if you kind of like doing it. I got a job. Finally. Mercifully. In all seriousness, though, I am incredibly grateful. It’s a contract that is funded at least through the middle of October, but there is talk it might be extended. I am learning new things, and feel that I am capable. That’s a big deal, because I was not feeling very capable, or competent, or … smart.

This is a completely remote position, which is exactly what I wanted. During the interview, which they did with their cameras off – it’s a thing with them – one of the managers asked me to explain the gap in employment from 2018 until now. I spoke the absolute truth – my mother died, and less than six weeks later I lost my job, and it was just too much. I needed to get my act together and grieve and figure out who I was again. They didn’t hesitate, and the questioner said very clearly that she congratulated me on knowing when I needed to step back. OH. MY. GOD. Who are these people????

Well, I am now working for these people, and that is totally representative of their culture. I feel as though I’ve come home. They expect performance, but not mechanical obedience. Questions are not only acceptable, but encouraged. They share knowledge. They want to be successful, and understand that if their team members are successful that will guarantee THEIR success. What a concept.

So, I’m back on the chain gang, working a first shift job. Aside from a kinder and gentler culture, they have bestowed upon me a laptop and a stunning lack of micro-management. It’s what I’ve always wanted, the ability to learn at my own pace and in my own bizarre fashion. I do still have to ask for help on things, but not because I can’t understand the technical competencies but to understand the customization that is employed. That is such a welcome change, and I feel as though I can breathe there.

So, now that I can breathe a bit, what is it that I will do with my wild and precious life? At the moment, I don’t feel as though my life is terribly wild but definitely precious. I was just talking with a friend who invited me to her horse farm tomorrow for a traditional “treasure mapping” experience. She and I took a course together many years ago – The Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron, who used to be married to Martin Scorsese of all people). The course encourages people to gather in small groups to discuss creative efforts and share what amounts to best practices, and we were part of the same group. That group is still meeting after more than ten years, and we’ve become friends. Two of us have died, one of us has retired, and we’ve all had losses and changes and illnesses and whatever else life hands us.

For the past several years, our group has met at the beginning of each year to create intention for the coming twelve months. We call it “treasure mapping”, and it’s an informal gathering where we create individual collages that illustrate the journey we envision for the next year. COVID has interrupted that tradition, and we’ve missed it. Tomorrow it will be just three of us – one of us is out of town, one of us is MIA, one of us is a cancer survivor who isn’t doing group activities. That leaves three of us, who are probably closer in experience and interest than the rest of them – we’ve all worked in the financial sector at some level, so we have seen the worst of human nature. Both of these women are far more financially accomplished than me, and it doesn’t matter worth a shit. They are both painters, and I’m more a writer, but it’s all creative endeavor, and that’s what binds us.

Today, it’s cold outside. Right around freezing but there’s a beautiful blue sky with only a few puffy clouds meandering by. I love days like this, with low humidity and crisp air that feels clean. I have to remind myself that it may not be entirely clean since we just had a fertilizer plant blow up less than three miles from where I’m sitting, but…whatever. It’s a beautiful day and I should just leave it at that.

Things all around me are in a state of unrest if not full fledged chaos. Health insurance is a mess, employment is a mess, the economy is a mess. It’s expensive to live. It’s expensive to raise children, it’s expensive to have children. In some cases, it’s too expensive to actually work – if you make just enough to be in debt you probably make too much to get affordable health care. If you can’t get affordable health care, you are most likely doeing without it and that’s a kiss of death. Literally. People are dying of things that could be remedied if caught early, but if they can’t get to a physician for preventive care they may die of tooth decay that breaks the blood-brain barrier. That is actually documented experience.

Back to my wild and precious life…what WILL I do with that? Perhaps I should focus on the wild, perhaps I should focus on the precious. Perhaps I should look for what is both wild AND precious. That might involve some creative design of adventure. I need awe…and wonder. I need unusual, unexpected, and uncommon. I don’t need the ordinary, I need the extraordinary. I need unbridled beauty and unfettered daring. I need…unscripted synchronicity, the attraction of things vibrationally and energetically, rather than intellectually or strategically. I need to draw things to me from the heart, and not from the head.

I’ll get right on that. My head is gainfully engaged with this new job, and I am suddenly less focused on intentionality and meditation. That’s where I need to be. The real work is how to balance the tangible with the intangible, integrating both into singular reality. That makes no sense, and I guess that’s the point. Sense may well be a figment of the intellect and the ego – beauty makes no sense. Music makes no sense. Art makes no sense. Humor makes no sense. I suppose I am trying to incorporate the senseless with the sensible. Both have a place in my reality. When those are not integrated, the chasm between them is where I lose myself. I’m not willing to let that happen again.

The dog has been out, I have had my first cup of coffee. I need to clean up the dog mess in the living room – she apparently has a tiny bladder and more tiny colon, because she relieves the associated organs throughout the night. I don’t know who comes in here and feeds her but she seems to have more excrement than body weight at times. At least she’s getting most of it on the pee-pee pads now, which is nice but still a pain in my derriere. Gotta love her, though – she still makes me laugh.

I’ve been watching a bat conservancy on YouTube, and the bats make me laugh. They are so unusual and kind of creepy in a certain way. They are backwards – they perch upside down, and poop rightside up. They are fascinating creatures, though, and are the only mammals that can fly. Mother Nature is very wondrous, and beauty happens whether we see it or not.

The secretary bird. It can demolish large snakes and kick the daylight out of larger animals. Wild and precious.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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