--== ∞ ==--
The 21st is also Christine's and my 28th anniversary. How did that number get so large? I blame Y2K. I just looked back in the archive: ten years ago Christine and i went to see Avatar for our anniversary and had a meal at Mings (now closed). Yesterday we went for lunch at Red Lotus in Chapel Hill and then saw The Rise of Skywalker. I am suspicious that the broths were NOT vegetarian, but did not mention my suspicion to Christine. Also, the waitress didn't point out the meat in the wonton of the wonton soup when i ordered. I remember the same frustrations at Ming's. I let myself enjoy the soup despite the unfamiliar mouth-feel. Christine managed her disappointment with elements of her meal and with movie theater elements well enough.
I enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker despite some "take backs" from The Last Jedi. I was surprised to find myself sad because the triple trilogy is coming to an end. Maybe there will be more films in the same arc, maybe the familiar droids will continue to be witnesses - but this is clearly meant to be an ending. And i was surprised at my sorrow.
--== ∞ ==--
On Thursday i started drafting an email to the LGBTQ Quaker list to say "Hi" and reflect on the five years since i last joined the group for a retreat. Would i join this year? As i wrote, i thought about my concerns for Christine who often feels trapped in the refuge of our home. If i travel for not-work, i think traveling with her would answer my heart. (Also, visiting my Grandmámá would be high on the list.) I didn't send the message - not sure that's what i wantedto share with that community.
I thought about social connections for a while and all the people i know on Facebook and Twitter. Ugh. I don't know if there's enough return on investment in those spaces but i'm going to try. On Twitter, i'm turning of retweets from the folks who make liberal use of the function. I don't mind seeing things people make comments about but retweets are noise when what i care about is connecting with people. I've also muted professional connections and shoved them into a list. Facebook is even more annoying, but i'll try, with a commitment to Stop Scrolling after some amount of time.
Neither system really speaks to me as a place to be in community as much as this long form does. Each seems more a way to just let people come to mind rather than really connect. If i'm not going to leave my home much, though, maybe the two systems are a way to at least reactivate some of the connections.
I met with my working group co-chair and he told me i was "right." It's hard for me to hear but i tried to make myself hear it. I told Christine about it. It's a little affirmation for me that i am not out of my depth in the working group.
At Thursday lunch, my sister came over and we celebrated her birthday. Christine showed the "sizzler" video she had produced for her new podcast's Patreon. I was delighted that my sister praised the logo and some of the more technical points: Christine doesn't get much affirmation from others, and L's comments were genuine and informed.
By Thursday afternoon, i had a wave of something ... allergy? fighting off a cold? at the end of the week as well.
Christine had an awful Friday. It started (maybe?) with the morning dosing of Marlowe with one of the two medicines that helped her recover to the healthy and energetic sweet thing she is now. I think she bit her cheek or tongue and blood streamed out of her mouth. Christine was devastated. I'm trying to point out how Marlowe, while not wanting the dose, is not really resisting but just protesting the dosing. She comes when called and doesn't hide or run away except when i put her down after the dose. And she's back with us shortly after.
I think she's a reasonably smart kitten. She quickly learned not to jump up on the kitchen counter and island with me just clapping. I suspect after knocking over a box of bobby pins this morning she may learn to leave my over-cluttered dresser alone. I'm trying hard to not be trained. She started clawing on the fabric blinds (to get us to open them?) I resist following her signal, but clap to get her to stop. Once upon a time we had a cat who would run his claws over the ends of books to get us moving: he trained us really well.
Yesterday, besides an afternoon out, i raked and burned some diseased dogwood branches. The yard is really having some success with the native ground covers. I am making a difference. I've had doubts but i think i'm really beginning to see sustainable differences as opposed to just the effect of a season's work.
I'm really not inclined to go to Meeting today or next week. I just feel a strong sense of retirement and retreat, a seed time of needing to be buried. Part of the reflection on the five years is a realization of how long it's been since i really tried some intentionality and personal discernment.
Things i am thinking about:
* At age 55, if i am let go from my employer, i can use retirement funds without large penalties.
** There's likely to be a gift in the next ten years that will pay off our mortgage.
* What do i want most people to know about me?
** Corollary How much should i be professionally polishing my "brand"?
** Can i brand myself both current profession AND "retirement" profession (current hobby, naturalist-oriented services?)
* me me me me: what am i contributing to making the future? Advocacy vs actions.
* How do i fit into Quaker community?
* What spiritual rituals and practices do i need now?
* What does balance look like?
One thought i've had about Twittery memes is that i could use "Throwback Thursday" to motivate editing old photo collections or going through old conference notes.