Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Vacation Afternoon

Here's a post I penned last Sunday, but just couldn't quite put it up. I know, it's whiney, I know, you can put those violins away…

16 December "Whatever You Do, Don't Cry"

That was some of the best career advice I ever received. It was from my boss when I worked at Martha Stewart Living, after I had just hung up the phone with Martha's assistant, who had imparted the news that Martha herself would be calling me momentarily to speak to me personally. I had recently given a "what's your job like?" kind of interview to a former colleague of mine that I had worked with at NYU and had moved on to an online women's publication. Those kinds of discussions were very common in academia, but not so in the magazine publishing world--quite the opposite, apparently, as I was about to be told. I was able to successfully conduct the conversation with Martha (and the company President, as it turned out) following my immediate boss' advice, however I was completely stone numb from the ribs down. That was definitely a learning experience.

It's been a while since work has reduced me to tears, but unfortunately it's happened twice in as many weeks. Not while I'm in the office, thank goodness, but still…It was mostly out of frustration, feeling like I work so hard and still can't get it right. But on the bright side, it's the new year, and time to take stock and think about doing things in new ways, so I view this as a kick in the ass to help me do just that. And for all you young readers out there, I don't recommend having a job that makes you cry, even if it's only every once in a while. I pass that sage advice on to you.


Other random stuff:

It's Sunday, the other members of the writers group are on their way to the café to join me, and I should be very happy at the prospect of not going into the office for over two weeks! Wow. It's been a long time since I've had that long of a break. Will I be able to break away mentally? Given what's happened in the past two weeks, I'm not sure I'll be able to take a true brain break, but I'm going to try. I have plans to clean out the hall closet and my craft room, finish some felted knitting projects, sleep, watch movies on TV. I can see "It's a Wonderful Life" at any time!

M has to teach next week, also has a two-week break from being a student, which means no studying on weekends! We actually almost completely finished off our Christmas shopping and wandered around our downtown yesterday. We poked into a few stores and stopped in at a new pub and to have a late lunch and didn't feel rushed at all. It was very odd, but wonderful to just be together and not be worried about him taking time away from his studies. That just hasn't happened much in the last few years.

I'll be visiting family for a couple of days next week, then M and I are off to visit more family in San Antonio--a trip together! To a new place! It's been so long. I drove through Texas once many years ago, so I'm looking forward to actually spending time there sight seeing and hanging out with family I don't get to see as often as I'd like.


One nice thing happened to me last week (well, several nice things happened, but this was particularly nice): a long lost friend (my fault for not keeping in touch, of course) sent me a note with a link--her Halloween wedding had been featured in the New York Times! Very cool.


So to pick up the last few days: I did check work email on Monday, but haven't since, and have been pretty good about not thinking too many work thoughts. I finished The Bastard of Istanbul and knitting one of M's slippers, but realized after the cuff was neatly stitched down and ends woven in that I had used the wrong cuff color and am now faced with the dilemma: rip out and use the right color, or buy a whole new skein of the current color and just have even more excess yarn on hand? I'm leaning to the latter. On Tuesday I packed up the dog and headed over to Chico, navigating the Monster Mobile over the mountains in heavy downpour, which always makes me tense. But the rain eased after I arrived, and I had such a nice time with my family. I had lunch with my mom, brother, niece, played Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? With my nephew (whose reading skills are really impressive) and saw his school pageant, went on a nice morning walk with mom, sis-in-law, and dogs, toured my niece's dorm, which seems like a good place for her.

Felicia's dorm room
Originally uploaded by suzipaw

I came home yesterday afternoon, leaving Rex with his grandma, who will be watching him while we're in San Antonio. I'm missing him terribly, but M is glad to have a break from his intense beady gaze and Veronica is in Paradise--no Pookie, no dog, and I'm home, for a couple of days at least. We watched not one but two movies last night, The Simpsons Movie and Domino. I also stayed up late and finished a very quick (you were so right about that, Kam!) but interesting read, The Glass Castle.

I'll stop here to do a little packing--we're going to stay in a motel near the airport tomorrow afternoon--then watch Sunset Boulevard before M comes home.


At 6:11 PM, December 20, 2007, Blogger Kamala! said...

Wow-interesting about your friend. I read the wedding thing in the NY Times. I usually glance at them, but this one I read. Glad you found The Glass Castle "interesting". My latest recommendation is Julia Child's My Life in France-loved it!

At 7:20 PM, December 20, 2007, Blogger elm said...

Thanks Suzanne for your blogs. I love them, and you! I also read that wedding in the NYTimes. However, that page I always read. A.J.

At 6:55 PM, December 21, 2007, Blogger bren said...

I am so sorry that your work has reduced you to tears. I want you to feel valued for your hard work even when events don't work out perfectly.

At 8:38 PM, December 21, 2007, Blogger Warmbeachjo said...

My job makes me cry, and I don't think I would be a very good teacher if I didn't occasionally cry about the terrible lives some of my students lead. It's a great release. I cry when I read a sad book to my students. It shows the kids what great writing is about: voice.

At 10:43 PM, December 21, 2007, Blogger Michelle said...

So happy for you that you get a real break, especially from a job that makes you cry. And on the yarn situation, I personally think you can never have too much yarn on hand (Paul however might disagree!).

At 5:28 AM, December 22, 2007, Blogger K2 said...

I flunked a Topology exam at Buffalo, and I cried. Mostly I hated the professor. I could picture him enjoying flunking me. And there was definitely an age and gender thing happening at that school. Well, age was just me, but all the women hated the grad chair, and none of the men did. It was hard to go back into that building. But I didn't want them to think they were right.


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