Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010: in the home stretch

Thanks, ND, for sending this gem from Village Voice. 
The crazy season is in full swing. Like most Decembers, I am reaching for lofty goals, hopped up on carols and caffeine.  This year has its special flavor, naturally, as the count-down is not just to Christmas, to time-off, but also to the end of  my current job.  Fifteen days!!  Leaving this job gracefully really has been my #1 goal for the year, the one toward which all other intentions have been pointed, so it's gratifying to know that on December 31st, I will walk out the door there a final time.  Ba-bye.

But in the last miles of what feels like a marathon, I just need to say that this is hard and I'm tired. Constructing the map for the person who will come after me is grueling, but harder still is contending with my own short-timer's syndrome, my impatience to be done, and the accompanying impulse several times a day to just say "fuck it," grab the purse and go.  Making this transition in December -- a super-social time every year, and now I have a final exam this month on top of that -- is also challenging: there's so much to do, so little down-time at home right now.

Naturally, because I'm complaining, my Pollyanna reminds me that I'm also having a blast.  Going to San Diego last weekend for Mammalogy field trip definitely took away from at-home time, but god damn, that was a blast.  Geeking out for 24 solid hours with my classmates and teacher was so good for me, crystallized in such a remarkable way all that we've spent a semester learning, and helped me make an important decision for 2011 (more on that later).

And Pollyanna also reminds that going out to see a band on a school-night, which may not have seemed like such a good idea, was actually an AWESOME plan.  Charlie Hunter Trio featuring the dancer Tamango blew my mind in the way great live performances do -- took me completely out of my own preoccupations, rocked me deep to my core, made me so super-duper happy, face breaking from smiling, Snoopy-dance head to toe.

To try and create a bit of space, I'm cashing in a vacation day on Friday to study for Mammalogy, and also to have the sensation of sitting in my house and staring out the window.  I need some space to continue reflecting on this year, to brood.  

Because I'm tired, I am wondering whether my time will really be more open, come January 1, 2011.  For some reason (fatigue, impending period, most likely), I am now doubting that not spending 1 1/2 - 2 hours in the car will have any measurable positive impact on my life.  Because, truth be told, I could easily fill that time with more stuff -- or with nothing, with OCD social networking.  The key is going to be saying No after a year of saying Yes to pretty much everything, keeping the 2011 commitment to a core simplicity.

So yeah, yeah, I'm tired but still triumphant, still stoked that I managed to make this change this year, even though I'm taking it down to the wire, stoked that I'm doing it in the best way possible.  I can't wait til tomorrow, to take a breather, study and play in my own backyard a bit.  It really is the little things, especially in the crazy season, that make all the difference.

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