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Posts Tagged ‘work’

I took myself out today, all by myself, no dogs–I know, shock. They were sad when I left, without their walk, but I really needed to just be alone and breathe.

I went downtown and walked through Capitol Park to Ambrosia cafe on K Street–great people watching, which is all I wanted to do.  Ho-hum on the coffee, but I ate a delicious apple galette. There may also have been the best pesto focaccia I have EVER eaten, sold to me outdoors at their catering set-up by the sweetest girl, but that’s a lot of food, and oh, how I will pay for it. Comfort food really can be comforting, for a while.

I walked back through the park just taking in all the sensations of a day: the political “suits” on their phones, looking so very handsome & verboden. The state workers in their dresses, nylons and sneakers. The evangelist with a speaker on the corner–annoying. The smell of spring blowing through the trees. It was  mostly all good.

And then I came home and got stuck again. Nothing has sold in the shop. I blame myself–not enough product? Prices too high? Bio not splashy enough? The allure is. not. WHAT?!? WHAT is the allure NOT doing?! I am tired of battling this question. My answer always feels like something I have done wrong, ergo I am wrong.

Spiral, spiral, spiral.

It can be really hard not to go there, especially living and working alone. There is no cheering squad, or kind soul, to really help me out of these emotional ruts.

So, I write–write, write, write it all out–and try to breath, make more coffee (simple tasks), shoot some photos, take a step forward, even a baby step, even a shuffle.

It will pass–and it will come back with a vengeance!–but then it will pass again. this is just how it goes.

d, xo

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I am caught in a moment–one moment of a tangled thread of moments–of deep angst. There is SO MUCH THAT NEEDS DOING! The lists and lists, and lists written on the back of lists:

POST MORE ITEMS! Clean the house, MY DESK, redesign the blog, my Etsy banner, my bio page–it all looks so crusty! Get a model, someone younger, get up on the trends, buy wrinkle cream, whiten my teeth, learn Excel–for god’s sake! Would you just learn it already?! Wash the dogs, buy flea meds, my taxes? My rent? Did I pay rent? Can I pay rent?

To attack the piles, the papers, the stacks, looks like weeding a vast field of daisies, one. pinch. at a time.

So, I turn around, spin around and around, then open my eyes, like Alice in a Wondrous new land, and walk away. Over there is pretty. Over there is clean. Over there I can see and breathe and take in a rich new field of color, textures, scents and  life that has no weeds, needs nothing from me, only a view to be seen, drunk in, replenishing.

 

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Today is my two year anniversary of keeping the cafe flowers . Two years ago I sat and sipped coffee beside one of these enormous cement pots. A dead gardenia bush stuck from it’s center while an array of cigarettes and detritus floated about it. It was appalling.

Cafe flowers

I went inside at the urging of a waitress I knew and told the manager, Remon– a very friendly, flirty man whom I’d met before–that I was going to the nursery for myself and that I wanted to get  flowers for the cafe too. I told him I was going to replant that one pot.

I planted a fiery apricot Chinese Lantern surrounded by various  flowers I had no name for. It looked lovely. Customers applauded; I referred them to Remon.

So, I planted another, then all five; then later–a very ambitious undertaking–I dug up a 10 feet long triangle of curbed ground along their side door. A dead begonia, weeds. I pulled up buckets and buckets of cement clods beneath sparse inches of dirt. The cooks hauled them to the dumpster in intervals. It was nearing 100 degrees. We were exhausted.

I imported dirt, mulched, watered, fertilized, then finally, I planted: two French lavenders, rosemary, a gardenia, yarrow, wild grasses and a plethora of yellow, orange, pink and white Gazanias. In the spring I added sunflowers that grew to overlooks one table. It looked wild and lovely and I have fought to keep it that way.

Cafe flowers2

Customers are the enemy. Cigarette butts, gum, lemon wedges from water glasses (wait staff) and various unwanted food pieces. Children pick the flowers–actually, so do adults.  And sometimes a random clump of flowers will disappear completely. I have no idea where to. Still, I keep showing up. I water, prune, declutter, fertilize and replant.  I treat it like my own garden.

Today,  I just buy flowers then give Remon the bill. I bought a new hose, a trolley and watering system replacement parts. I pushed Remon to get a new lawn mower man and  table umbrellas.  I mess with the watering system. I steam at Remon when any of it has been messed with. And often I can be found deadheading flowers as I sip my morning coffee.

And coffee is what I get in exchange. Depending on who you talk to I am either getting screwed or a great deal. Most days, I think it’s a great deal, because I have a two-trips-a-day coffee habit, minimum. Plus, I like having a place to go to chat. When you work at home there is no water cooler to stand around for gossip. The cafe is my water cooler.

Cafe flowers3

So, today has been two years of cafe gardening. I am their gardener; the cooks call me their “flower lady.”

This day is a good reminder that life is what I make of it. This includes work, relationships and even fun. (All of which I often think aren’t out there for me because I can’t, won’t, don’t see or find them.) But, like my garden, this is a good reminder that my life will take a bit of personal creation. Just because they don’t exist yet, doesn’t mean I can’t make them on my own.

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Sigh. . . today has truly been a Monday, in all exasperating senses of the word. I am so unbelievably grateful I have Tuesdays off, that the night has come, the day is over, the curtains are drawn and my e-mail has been closed. Mostly, all is quiet. If it were to suddenly rain and thunder I would be perfectly thrilled and sweetly content. There is nothing more wondrous and life affirming than a thunder storm, buckets of rain, the sound and smell of rain.

rain

Alas, I will take a bath, lower my head into the water and float away this day–the people, the pests, the clock that didn’t alarm, the tales, the nitpicking, the needs, the nags, the demands, the buzzing, the headaches, the world. Water, water, give me water–my best antidote for life’s little annoyances. And a spot of brandy.

Over and out.

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My low genetic battery Monday wafted onward and is now my low energy Wed. I think I’ve hit a burn out wall. I’ve let my thoughts about “outside views” about what I’m creating–my two Etsy shops cloud my joy. Yep, folks I’ve got cloudy joy syndrome.

My freaked out examples:

1) My mother has not ONCE asked how my shops are doing. No yeahs! No good-for-yous! No cute item, nice pattern, wow, sales, etc, etc. It just isn’t enough for her. I’m not “being the person I should be” for her imagined photo album family. I know, I know. I’m a fricking grown-up–at least on paper–but do we REALLY ever get over wanting our parents to be proud of us? (If you have, in fact, please let me know your secret. I might even pay you for it. I pay my therapist enough and she can’t come up with a solution).

2) When I sit and crochet special orders at the cafe in the morning, I’m the only under-retirement age, non-gray-haired breakfast lounger there. My peers? They’re married, with kids, at a real JOb. It bums me out.

3) I’m working WAY more than any money being produced. It’s almost pathetic. I’m feeling un-employed, not self-employed.

4) My freedom from an  office is starting to feel like an outcast situation instead of a free-to-be one.

5) Downstairs, a soap opera is playing on the tube and I’m too tired to go down and turn it off. Day time television is a BAD BAD sign. Just say NO. RUN!

Okay, enough blithering for one day. Back to . . .

d.

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I was so excited about my wool cuffs. I swirled four of them on the hot cycle–twice! With jeans! And they just aren’t snug enough. They didn’t shrink enough. They just aren’t . . . enough. Sigh. What a waste of good wool yarn. A bit pricey good wool yarn too.  Positive thought: good art is made with many mistakes, so I’ll just chock it up to that. Like I’d stop anyway.

I was just about to write “wish for new year: win lottery.” It’s just so cliche. How about, instead: my wares begin to sell with alarming speed. Happy customers come back for more and more. They tell friends; I make a living w/o succumbing to evil cubicle job in large gray hermetically sealed office building (terribly claustrophobic, allergic to state jobs and mass mediocrity). Instead,  I thrive in creative freedom–gardening bliss, baking happiness and dog walking splendor! I like that one much better.

Slept dreadfully last night, much noise in my nook of a neighborhood lately. As usual, I need coffee. . . ta-ta, d.

P.S. Will accept ANY felting tips you may have to share. Much appreciated. Thank you. d.

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