This weekend I was able to get most of my to-do list done, although I didn't really get to do the anniversary shoot with Melinda and Chris. We did meet up and I did get some pictures, but we were pretty disorganized and ended up wasting a lot of time (and light). So I think we're going to have to meet up again, with it all figured out beforehand. The upside is that I got to hang with Melinda, who is a wonderful friend of mine. I don't get to see her nearly enough.
I spent a lot of time this weekend trying to diagnose and fix my computer and working on our place. We think the issue with the computer is spyware, and it's currently being worked on. (I'm just going to interject here and say that my next computer will be a Mac and that I will never use any Norton products again.) Our apartment is looking totally awesome, although something really does need to be done about the brown carpet and wood panelling. Truly, though, moving things around and getting rid of more unnecessary crap has been so therapeutic for me.
One thing that I decided we needed was to have each room's purpose clearly defined. For example, our bedroom was a mess of books, VHS tapes, and electronics, with all the regular bedroom stuff mixed in. I didn't realize how much crap we had in there until we took a lot of it out. Now it feels like a calmer, open area, which makes for a calmer, open me.
The living room, too, was crammed full of stuff, and moving a lot of that stuff out and rearranging the furniture has created positive new energy. The computer room is definitely a work of progress and will probably never feel open or uncrowded, unless we decide to get rid of a ton of books. But it's getting better.
All this sorting, rearranging, and cleaning has made me think back to my summertime manifesto, the list of things I wanted to accomplish over the summer:
1) eat better and exercise and really keep it up instead of doing it for a week and then going back to my old habits - This has not been done. I am still the 150 lb. person I was at the beginning of the summer, but I have a new workout video on the way to me. I am really tired of feeling fat, complaining about fat, etc. It's time to do something about it. I keep telling myself that if I can quit smoking, then I can do this.
2) look for a new job - Done. I have applied for about 50 positions at this point. I've had a few companies express interest in me, but nothing has worked out.
3) purge our living quarters of unnecessary crap - In progress. What a great feeling.
4) have a yard sale - Done. We had two of them in June.
5) complete the documents necessary to amending our marriage license, so that I can finally change my name (hopefully) - Done. Got the new name to prove it.
6) get organized - this means everything: my computer, our apartment, my work computer, and everything else in between (everything has been entirely too chaotic for entirely too long) - In progress. Work computer is done. Apartment is close to being done. My personal computer is a whole other story. It's a mess. Once I get it all fixed, this is going to become a high priority.
7) edit all leftover photos - In progress. I was working on this when my computer decided to crap out on me.
8) take lots of pictures - Done.
9) write a lot - Done, but not as much as I'd like.
10) research and read for my thesis - Oh, please. This is so not done. School really is the farthest thing from my mind.
11) sign up for a consultation for Lasik - Done. Got the 20/15 vision to prove it.
12) relax and have fun - Done.
I can't say this was a good summer. I can't say it was a bad one, either. I can say that it was extremely complicated and emotional, with some really joyous moments mixed in as well as some overwhelming downers. Overall, though, I'd say that I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of handling. So I'm starting the fall with a renewed sense of self-confidence and strength.
To continue on that note, this summer I've realized how much I desire simplicity in my life. There are some things that are never going to be simple, like relationships and my own inner workings. I'm learning to balance that by simplifying the other things in my life, like our home, our finances, and my daily routine.
There are also those things that I will never be able to control. I've spent a lot of time hating my job, and I've spent a lot of time trying to improve it and/ or trying to find a new one. The bottom line is that I have done what I can to make myself more professionally fulfilled at this point in my life, and I will continue to hang tight to my dreams and obey my creative longings. Now I'm just making the best of a bad situation. I don't have more work to do, but I have been keeping myself busy anyway with my own personal work. If they want to utilize me, I'm there and in favor of it. If not, then I'll just do my own thing. Maybe I'll write the Great American Novel on their dime. I already got paid to plan my wedding!
I think I am just tired of feeling angry about my job situation. Anger is exhausting. It can be a great motivator, but sometimes I just have to let go. I think this is one of those times where I just need to acknowledge the situation and move on. Things could be so much worse, especially considering the state of the economy.
So, this is where I am right now at this moment. And frankly, it's not a bad place to be. It's actually a place that feels eerily like...well, happiness.
PS - I feel another long, completely self-indulgent post coming on sometime within the next few weeks.
Photo credit goes to borealnz, another talented flickr photographer. (As long as my computer keeps sucking, I'll have to use other people's photos. They sure are pretty to look at, aren't they?)