Friday, August 16, 2019

Four Months Later ...

It's 8:04 a.m. Normally at this time, I write in my journal for about an hour before starting my day. It's not the most exciting journal. Mostly I just write down what I did yesterday and I figure out what my plans are for the day to come. And then I get to work on those plans.

I lost my job a couple of months ago. I haven't written much about it publicly. I have too much anger about it. It was like a divorce in many ways, and the wounds haven't healed.

Still, I'm better off without the job. As with a divorce, the last year before it happened was particularly painful. So I suppose it's good that the divorce happened, though I would have been in favor of making changes to make the marriage work. But, as was often the case over the past year, my opinion wasn't the one that mattered.

So I'm currently unemployed. While the lack of a paycheck isn't much fun, I'm enjoying the time at home. I got to spend the entire summer being a full-time mom and housewife, and I loved it. My life has been gloriously boring, and mostly free of stress and anxiety. It's free of an income as well, and I admit we've started to feel the pinch. But such has been the price for freedom.

I'm looking for jobs, and I had a pretty good interview recently and am waiting to hear if I got the job or not. In the meantime, I've been doing lots of things I never had time to do when working:

Exercise. I'm getting myself back into shape, for the first time in five years! I have muscle again! I started with lots of elliptical-machine work at the gym, and then I switched to my "soulmate workout," Beachbody's ChaLEAN Extreme, with some TurboFire mixed in. I've worked out nearly every day. I'd be a smokin' hot mama by now, if only I weren't also ...

Baking. I've been baking like crazy. As has always been the case, I tend to bake when I'm happy. In the past week, I've made a banana cake, banana muffins, an easy orange dreamsicle cake, and some even easier vanilla wafer cookies. I also made some butter cookies with sprinkles with the kids. As long as I'm home, I'm going to keep baking, and Anne is going to have homemade stuff in her lunch box every single day.

Voice. Can you believe it? I'm still taking voice! And I've become a living example that someone with a terrible voice can learn to sing. My goal, literally, was to sing in a way that didn't make people cringe--in other words, to have a passable voice, whatever that is. And I think I'm there. I nearly always have the right pitch, except when I sometimes push on the high notes and go sharp. But at least I know I do it, and I know how not to do it, so the challenge is to think about it before I do it. I'm still too self-conscious to sing very loud at choir, but I'm getting better. The good news there is that you're not supposed to sing loud at choir; otherwise you wouldn't blend. So I need to sing just a little louder, and I'll be right where I need to be.

Piano. I'm still taking piano as well (surprise, surprise). I'm starting several new pieces, and am feeling a little intimidated by them. First up is Beethoven's Op. 2, No. 1 sonata in F minor. It's one of the easier Beethoven sonatas, but it's been a bear for me so far. Maybe it's my age, but I'm finding it a lot harder to learn than (I think) I would have at age 21. I'm also going to start the Bach French Suite No. 1 in D minor, and a 20th-century piece. I may go back to Shostakovich's "Dances of the Dolls." It's a suite of maybe seven intermediate short pieces. I learned a couple with Deborah, and I'd love to learn more. The pieces would offer something easier to focus on, as a balance for the Beethoven and the Bach.

Homemaking. I've been doing all the house-cleaning things I never had time to do before: shampooing carpets, polishing silver, washing windows, cleaning baseboards, etc. It feels so good to have a clean house. When I was working full-time, all of that stuff had to happen on the weekend. Since I never felt like shampooing carpets on the weekend, the work never got done. I also have time to de-clutter, do laundry, and even iron the clothes that need ironing. I've learned that housework isn't near the annoyance when there's actually time to do it. It's actually kind of fun.

Family time. I'm spending time with my kid and with my husband. Anne's behavior and attitude have improved so much since I've been staying home. Things will never be perfect, but they're definitely better. It's just nice to be able to be present, 100%, and not focused more on work, or the stress from work.

One thing I haven't been doing much of is writing, other than journaling. It's okay, though. Writing will come. My focus for now has been all these other things. I've gotten some ideas for some stories, but they're mostly swirling around in my head right now. They'll come out when they're ready.

OK, that's the update. I'm not sure if I'll be updating here again anytime soon. But who knows ... maybe I will.

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