Archive | July, 2022

Finding balance

26 Jul

As I looked up and started tying the poop bag, I noticed a car park along the curb about 20 feet ahead of us. I paused for a moment. Should I cross the road to avoid the person? I wondered, Or should I just wait them out? It’s a dilemma I face multiple times every walk.

A few weeks ago I read a Twitter thread by a young woman who, for a few weeks, deliberately did not step out of the way when someone was walking towards her. It was a mini experiment she was conducting, mostly to confirm her belief that white men did not step out of the way for others. I’d been taking note lately of who moved out of our way as Richard and I meandered along the sidewalk. In this game of sidewalk chicken, I usually caved first, desirous of the six feet I’d become accustomed to during the pandemic.

As the driver opened the back hatch of her SUV, I debated: Wait or walk around? I saw her finally, emerge, hands full of grocery bags and a baguette. Walk around, I decided, just as the baguette fell from her hands onto the grassy parking strip.

“I’d offer to help…” I said, trailing off.

“But the dog might steal the bread,” she finished for me, smiling.

“Oh, he’d definitely steal the bread,” I replied as we stepped off the sidewalk and walked around the vehicle. “And I have poop in my other hand, so it’s a no brainer.”

She picked up her baguette, laughing, clearly grateful for my lack of assistance. She turned towards her house and climbed the front stairs, groceries balanced precariously.

Three, Two, None

19 Jul

Our school is being reorganized…again.

We found out our new teaching assignments on June 10th, but I had already I begun the packing process. We’d been warned change was coming. Now, I’ve been down this road a few times, so I know to pack my personal things separate from school materials. I pulled out the boxes I’d stored, requested 25 more. I filled and labelled them all.

My morning commute to school is 30 minutes, and my journey home takes at least 45. When I filled up my car the last week of school, I was shocked at the price on the gas pump. A seed was planted and I began looking forward to Thursdays when new jobs in our school district were posted. I wasn’t completely unhappy with my new assignment, but I decided to keep my options open.

It wasn’t until after school ended that anything interesting appeared. Two, in fact. The last time I applied for an internal job, all I’d had to do was click on a button indicating I was an internal candidate and let my principal know. The times have changed. I had to click, then fill out a very long form with questions that were like an interview. It took two days. I was invited to interview for one of the jobs. I didn’t get it, and I was OK.

In the days between being invited to interview and being interviewed another Thursday came and another interesting job appeared. I was invited to interview and again, did not get the job. I was still OK.

I realized a few things going through the process. Despite the commute, I liked my job and my school. I knew that but it is good to have it reinforced. It reinforces the truth that Joni Mitchell taught us in Big Yellow Taxi: “Don’t it always seem to go/That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” and that The Rolling Stones told us when they sang

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you’ll find
You get what you need.

I also learned that I was lucky. I met some teaching friends for coffee the day of the second interview. Two of them had also applied to a variety of jobs. Neither was invited for an interview.

Gas prices have fallen a little. The price of gas is one of the downsides of my commute. It might not be back to “normal” by September, but I am resigned to paying a little more for gas this school year. The upside of my commute is all the audiobooks I will be able to listen to next year.

I may have gotten none of the three jobs I applied for, but I am very OK with that.

Christmas in July

12 Jul

I struggle with paper. It’s an organizational, not an ecological problem for me. I am a stacker, a piler. My desks – at home and at school – are stacked with piles of paper. To an observer, it may appear to be a disorganized mess, but there is method to my madness. When needed, I know which pile a paper is in. The funny thing is, my computer desktop is well organized. There is a file for everything and everything is in a file.

My knitting life is similar. My yarn is organized in an eight-cubby Kallax, sorted in ways known only to me. I currently have two projects on the go – one in the living room, one in the bedroom. Both are Christmas knits. I can’t talk about one of them, lest the intended recipient catch wind of the surprise. The other is a pair of holiday socks for me. It is Christmas in July at my house.

It’ll probably be Christmas in August, too. I have to get the holiday knits finished in a timely manner so I can get them in the mail in a timely manner, so they arrive before the holidays arrive. This requires some backwards planning, which testifies to my organizational skills despite my struggles with paper. Yarn is never a struggle.

I’ll finish these socks today or tomorrow. They will sit, patiently anticipating their use sometime in December. Then I will move onto other gift knits that will remain secret until December.

Thanks, but no thanks

5 Jul

In early May, a letter arrived calling me to Jury duty on May 31st. Knowing how hard it had been getting a sub, I requested, and was granted, a deferral. My new date was July 6th and I would be expected for two days at the East County Courthouse. I was excited because I didn’t have much planned for summer break. Serving in East County was a first …and they had a parking lot!

Jury duty is simultaneously dull and fascinating. There is a lot of sitting and waiting.But there is also the opportunity for people watching and doing the sedentary things I love. I considered the books I would bring along. I was thrilled that circular knitting needles were permitted and began a Christmas project that used them.

Last week, I received an email telling me I was excused.

As I read the message, I chuckled. If you read carefully, you will notice that, in this short message, they tell me FIVE times, that I don’t have to serve. It made me wonder how many people don’t get the message.

A few days later, I got another message:

This message came from a different source, but it tells me TWICE that I don’t have to come.

Tomorrow, instead of sitting on uncomfortable chairs, reading, knitting and watching people, I will be home reading and knitting. Instead of watching people, I’ll be walking my dog and enjoying my neighborhood.

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