Open, Shut, and Somewhere In Between


We’ve just come back from another lovely evening with our dear friends Sally & Michael, whom we are going to miss so much and from whom we hope to receive many, many invitations to visit, and who we hope will spend some time with us at our lakeside idyll – once it’s built; until then, we’ll have to make do with camping out and swimming in the lake for bathing.

And the drive home, short though it was, got me to thinking about what happens when we open our lives to new people, to new experiences.  So much of my own life since October 31, 2009 has been filled with new people and new experiences, with even more to come in the next few weeks.  I like new things, I like new people, I remain hopeful for this and so much more but still…

But still… I have been disappointed too much in the past 18 months to be going forward without my eyes wide, wide open.  I was disappointed with what happened to me with the job that brought me to this little village.  I will absolutely take some responsibility for it – I was a poor communicator with certain members of the organization, I was not prepared for being a manager who was managed by volunteers.  My eyes were not opened wide in this instance until it was too late.

Then I started looking for work in other cultural organizations, in theatre and outside, and while I had several good interviews, I came up second or third choice.  My eyes were wide open heading into every one of those interviews – it’s a tough job market especially in the cultural sector and I knew not everyone was going to work out beyond that hour or so I got to spend with some pretty interesting people.  Of course I was disappointed every time to not get the offer, but I was also very aware of how I stacked up, personally & professionally, as I sparred for the job, so I was rarely surprised.

And then there was our decision to go into an entirely different field of work and boy oh boy oh boy.  Are we ever having our eyes opened wide for us, whether we like it or not!  Although we do.  We need to be prepared for the work, the people, the demands that will be put on our bodies, our minds, our spirits, even ourselves and our marriage.  And knowing that there is stuff that will piss us off, that we will find awful to do, that will be sad and deplorable and messy, but that there will also be stuff that will be enriching and warm and so welcomed by the people for whom we are responsible makes us value the eye opening that’s happening.

What really intrigues me is the reaction of friends and family – who are variously questioned our sanity, our commitment, our goals, our real purpose in making this change.

The real purpose:  We need to work.  We need to be together more than we have been since October 31, 2009, and this seemed like a great way to accomplish that.  And we like a challenge…which it appears we’re getting in spades!

The goal: To work long enough to add serious sales & marketing credentials to our c.v.; to add to our cottage building savings account; to increase Jeff’s SI contributions.

The commitment: Serious, but not in a life’s cause sort of way. We intend to do our very best, and maybe even a little more, and we hope very, very much to never have a middle-of-the-night poop call.

Our sanity:  It’s always been questionable.  Consider all the weird things we’ve done in the past and  you cannot think we are sane in anything other than the medical sense of the word.  But our craziness for each other will sustain us. As does the circle of friends we have developed and nurtured and been nurtured by over the past decades, or in some case, past months.

The open in our life is what we think and say and do.  I’m told, even warned, that I am too open at times, that I tell too much of my story.  It’s my story, so I’ll keep telling it, but I do try to keep a bit of control on whom I will inflect it.  And as for doing, I am just as transparent in my work as in everything else in my life.  I’m not keen on secrets, never have been.  Secrets hurt us all one way or another.  Tell me the truth and even if it makes me cry at the time, I will be a better person for it, and so will you.

The shut in our lives comes Wednesday when the moving truck shows up and we have to leave this house we love.  We were so lucky to find it, so happy to live in it, and are so sad to leave it.  The grey cat, who survived three weeks in a hotel suite, has otherwise lived her entire life in this house.  If I could be sure she would understand what it means to be leaving here forever on Wednesday, I would tell her.  I can only hope that when the door shuts behind us one last time, the three of us don’t weep too much.

The somewhere in between is how I feel.  Neither here nor there, but somewhere in between, waiting for a chapter I want to read, not slogging through the one I have to read to get to the good stuff.  Still, we’re luckier than many, and that too is sustaining.  Jeff has his music (I’m going to make him practise every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, because it makes him feel better) and I have my writing (bless Andrew Lamb for helping me see where the short stories can go next!) and we have each other, and the grey cat, for love and comfort.

That, and a nice selection of wine.

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3 thoughts on “Open, Shut, and Somewhere In Between

  1. Dia,

    Wishing you and Jeff all the happiness and success you both deserve. You give new meaning to the old cliche about “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”. I’m glad you’re going in with your eyes wide open. This job will test you every day but I know you’re up for the challenge. You’re right about the good stuff too. Your writing will help if not just to keep a two column list to remind you that the good outway the bad.
    If you ever need someone just to rant to, think of me.

    All the best,

    Ute

  2. Thanks you for a great evening of laughter and lovely wine and British sweets. The spare bed is always made for you both and I have a spare shovel to move the manure. Big hugsxxxx

  3. I for one really enjoyed connecting last month, hearing about where you were going, and admiring you for your inner strength, talent and the ability to reroute, refocus and go forward. Loved reading this piece. Keep in touch…

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