the Grind

I think that I have neglected to inform you all about my current job status.  (This because everyone in Knoxville asked me about it last Sunday.)  Here’s your update – sorry I forgot to give it before.  I’m much less inclined to write about work if I am not actively miserable.

So I am partially back in the customer service world now.  I’m not taking miscellaneous phone calls though – just calls from the accounts I handle, and from sales reps.  I’m going to be focusing on food service — which, for right now, means that the food service reps will send me their problematic accounts/orders, and that I’ll be something of a mediator between the sales reps and the buyer.  This will involve a lot of troubleshooting and problem solving — things that not only am I good at doing, but I also kind of enjoy doing them.  

That’s your basic update, in a nutshell.  All this is subject to change, but this is what I’m doing right now anyway.  And I am SO MUCH HAPPIER at work than I was just a few weeks ago.  I love not dreading going to work.  (Now, we’ll see how I feel about it once the leaves start changing and the weather cools down and I want to spend every second of my life outside….but don’t have to worry about that quite yet.)

just a boring list

…because it’s 8:30 am and I’m bored.  THIS is why I never got any blogging done before working here — I was never bored at B&C!  (If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean…always.)  


So yesterday was pretty productive, and I want to keep that trend going this week if I can.  Here’s what I did yesterday.  I’m writing this to alleviate my own boredom, mind you, so no one should expect this to be an interesting entry.  You’ve been warned.

On my lunch, I went to Ross and got some new throw pillows for my couch, because when Katie was over last Saturday she declared that it was high time for me to get a new one.  Since getting a new couch is a hell of a lot of trouble (especially when one of my goals in life is to have a nice leather couch – the type that would sort of match my leather chair – and those are not only expensive but also easy for cats to destroy) ……um, because of those things, I decided to continue to make do with the couch I currently have, and replace my old, ratty-looking throw pillows!  So I got new ones, and re-arranged 50% of the living room yesterday evening.  Just to switch things up.  The couch is now underneath the window, which is a place it’s been before, but not for a while. 

Um, anyway.  So also on my lunch break I dropped off a load of towels, and then picked them up after work when I went to borrow the lawn mower.  And then I mowed the lawn.  I did not die, which was great, and my lawn definitely looks better this morning.  Which I don’t really care about, but meh.  Neat is usually better than messy, and it was messy.  

After cleaning the living room and showering, I got some work done on that quilt.  Finished piecing the top on Sunday, so yesterday I cut out shapes for the applique.  Which I have never done.  But I’m not nervous – it’ll be easy.  I’m thinking I’m going to hand quilt it which will not be easy, but that’s ok.  I have time.  (Sure wish I could have brought my iron to work today so I could continue to work on them….)

Here is that aforementioned boring list.  I almost forgot about it.  It’s a list of what I want to accomplish the rest of this week —

I need to dye my hair

And get it cut?  It’s getting awfully long….

I want to bleach my duvet cover…ugh.

And clean the whole bedroom, which would necessitate either doing about 5 loads of laundry or finding a place to hide it all.

Want to rearrange my pictures in the library and bedroom.  I got some cool Sidney Paget prints at the Sherlock Holmes museum and right now they’re propped up rather pitifully on a window sill.  I want to put those on the wall in the library, and move all my matted photographs to the bedroom.  This will take some time.  I might not get it done this week.  We’ll see.

Oh yeah, and I need to go grocery shopping.  This is something I have managed to put off for a couple of weeks – which really is just as well since that means I actually finish all my veggies and stuff before going to get more food.  

I wonder if I would get in trouble if I started reading at my desk.  Probably.  Dammit.

Matt’s birthday, 2014

I felt like doing some musing this morning. 

Today, Matt would have been 30.  It’s odd to me how distant he feels (and is) — and yet, when I go through Facebook and look at his pictures (which, I’ll note, is not usually a great idea unless I’m feeling masochistic) I can easily remember the way he felt and sounded and smelled.  

I’m still young and am learning so many things about life.  One of those things is that as I get older, I look back on past chapters in my life almost like they are from a different lifetime.  I remember different events and people like they were characters in a movie I used to watch over and over again.  They become more impersonal as time passes – relics and souvenirs of a long-gone vacation, instead of active forces influencing who I am right now.

I remember swearing to always keep Matt’s influence in my present, and I know that even if I am not conscious of it now, he is still there and will always be there.  I suppose most life transitions are not as drastic as this one, and if pain is a catalyst for change then living through a spouse’s suicide is taking the fast train.  It’s impossible to be the same person as before, when your world is up-ended and shattered.  

But I like the person I’m turning into.  Maybe it would have happened eventually, but maybe not.  It took something huge for me to have an inkling of an understanding of death and mortality, and of how one person’s life can affect so many other people’s lives (without trying, without realizing, without even caring).  Knowing Matt and experiencing everything that I have with/because of him has made me want to live as good of a life as I can.  To honor him, yes, but also because I know that I’m lucky.  I am not depressed.  I am not blighted.  I am lovable, and I do my best to love myself.  I’m grateful.

The part of me that wishes I could hold onto Matt will probably never leave, and I don’t know that I want that part to leave for good anyway.  I know that I can’t hold onto him — he’s gone, he’s never coming back of course, and that’s OK.  Because it has to be, because it is.  And I’m OK, because I want to be.  Matt loved me and wanted me to be happy, even if he couldn’t figure out how to make himself happy.  And that’s the direction I want to go in my life.  

If I could just read a book while I was at work, I wouldn’t blog such meaningless sludge.  

Did I mention that I bought a new Chris Thile CD?  Well actually – I preordered his new CD (Bass & Mandolin with Edgar Meyer) and went ahead and ordered another one while I was there – Bach Sonatas and Partitas, Vol 1.  I downloaded the latter onto my work computer (because, you know, I bought it at work), then tried to download it straight onto my phone.  I tried doing this 4 times, and it would just not work.  I guess the file was too large?  I don’t know – stupid phone didn’t even tell me why it was failing me.  So I decided to just go home and download it onto an actual computer with iTunes.  Come to find out, I only had 5 available downloads and had already managed to “use” them all.  

THAT SAID, I’m listening to my other Chris Thile albums on shuffle now (the Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack was too hard to not sing along with, so I had to switch to something instrumental).  I just love his instrumental music (can take or leave the stuff he sings on, heh).  Makes me want to go lie down in the middle of a forest or a field or anywhere away (or at least hidden) from civilization.  

Instead, you know, I’m sitting in a cubicle.  I bought myself some pink spray roses today which help some, but not a ton.  The atmosphere is not good for flowers.  I think I need an easy chair and a lamp, maybe.  Bamboo accessories?  (Do you know how much bamboo desk accessories cost??  There’s a reason I’m using the stuff that came with the desk.)

Anyway, I guess that’s all.  

Cummins Falls, and laundry, mostly.

I’m not exactly feeling inspired to write, and I’m trying to decide whether that means I shouldn’t write, or that I should.  

I just kind of felt like writing about my weekend.  

Anyway, weekend.  Went to Cummins Falls on Saturday, which is a great little waterfall/swimming hole outside of Cookeville.  Here’s a picture.


Now, picture 200+ people milling about on the rocks or swimming in the water, and you’ve got a good idea of how popular this place was last Saturday.  The trail to get down to the falls was more crowded than Radnor Lake trails, if you can imagine.  

Now, because I am great at planning ahead, I work jeans and a cami and a t-shirt, just like about 5% of the other 200+ people there.  The rest of them were in swimsuits.  Which was a good idea.  After managing to not slip and fall on the rocks even once, and watching Stephen stand underneath the waterfall, I decided that I didn’t give a fuck about being “dry” anymore (I wasn’t) and got into the water too.  SO WORTH IT.  Even if my jeans were completely soaking wet the whole rest of the day.  Didn’t matter.  Didn’t mind any of the people after that, either – we were all there for the same reason and all enjoying the same thing. The main waterfall was cold and exhilarating, but getting close/under made it almost impossible to see or breath. The series of smaller waterfalls, though, were lovely and cool and sitting underneath them felt like an embrace.  

I have such a love/hate relationship with people sometimes!  They can be so lovable and wonderful and the reason for staying alive, but they can also be horrible and stupid and make you want to die.  Eh.

Anyway, afterwards had too much Mexican food and margaritas and slept REALLY well that night.

Yesterday I did laundry, and I might go do some more today.  I probably need to mow my lawn soon too, but it really isn’t very bad at all yet.  Need to refill a prescription, and also need to go grocery shopping.  Might do all that this afternoon after I start a load of laundry.  Oh, also need to fold and put away the clean clothes from yesterday.  Stupid laundry.

This is such a good soundtrack.   

one more, sorry —


The Master keeps her mind

always at one with the Tao;

that is what gives her radiance.


The Tao is ungraspable.

How can her mind be at one with it?

Because she doesn’t cling to ideas.


The Tao is dark and unfathomable.

How can it make her radiant?

Because she lets it.


Since before time and space were,

the Tao is.

It is beyond is and is not.

How do I know this is true?

I look inside myself and see.


Will try to refrain from posting more — at least today….  

29 & 30

talking to my friend Cathy this morning and remember that I should be reading the Tao before work.  it gives me a sense of peace and of belonging, somehow.  here are two of my favorites.



Do you want to improve the world?

I don’t think it can be done.


The world is sacred.

It can’t be improved.

If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.

If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.


There is a time for being ahead,

a time for behind behind;

a time for being in motion,

a time for being at rest;

a time for being vigorous,

a time for being exhausted;

a time for being safe,

a time for being in danger.


The Master sees things as they are,

without trying to control them.

She lets them go their own way,

and resides at the center of the circle.




Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men

doesn’t try to force issues

or defeat enemies by force of arms.

For every force there is a counterforce.

Violence, even well intentioned,

always rebounds upon oneself.


The Master does his job

and then stops.

He understands that the universe

is forever out of control,

and that trying to dominate events

goes against the current of the Tao.

Because he believes in himself,

he doesn’t try to convince others.

Because he is content with himself,

he doesn’t need others’ approval.

Because he accepts himself,

the whole world accepts him.



some wednesday morning thoughts…..

this morning is absolutely gorgeous and is making me pine for autumn, and road trips, camping trips, hiking trips.  I can’t wait for the colorful, crunchy leaves and the crisp air – even though they will make me hate going to work even more than I did this morning.  something about fall makes me feel alive and energized and hopeful.  this morning, even though there is only a hint of fall in the air, I’m feeling those things.  it’s awfully nice.

last night, I watched Dead Poets Society with Stephen.  hadn’t seen this movie in years.  it was more poignant than I remember it being, but that’s because I can relate to it on a deeper level now.  you know, people complain about getting older, but I am loving the fact that the older I get, the more I can appreciate and understand life (and embrace not understanding, too).  I found myself wanting to cry several times throughout the movie, but the scene that choked me up the most was when Neil’s parents find his body in the study.  brought back painful memories, and reminded me of pain that is still very much present.  

that said, I’m happy this morning.  it’s such a good feeling.  I’m being reminded of how it feels to be liked for who I am (or at least, for my most apparent qualities — ha), and that – coupled with these reminders of the fragility of life – is making me feel alive and hopeful.  not that I don’t typically feel alive and at least a bit hopeful…but, uh, you know.  I’m not going to delve into it too much.

also I’m still relieved from talking with my boss yesterday.  SOO relieved.  

anyway, ought to work now.  


oh, and –

just spoke with my boss, and am feeling 100% relieved. she always makes it clear that they really value me here and want me to be in a position where I am happy and effective. she said that they have already been throwing around some other ideas for me anyway, which was really great to hear. I’m feeling SO MUCH BETTER OMG.

days like today, when I am reminded of the fleeting and precious nature of life, I find myself wanting to disappear from work and use my time to do something that will be beneficial for my soul. Les Demoiselles de Saint-Cyr are mostly helping to underline the ache. the horrid black and beige colors in my office are made about a million times worse by the fluorescent lighting. they design these office buildings to stifle creativity, don’t they.