Note to my friends: this is a much happier post than the one I'm glad I didn't finish this morning. Things are well with me. Thank you for your patience. (/me waves cheerfully at those who have had the most to put up with from me over the last couple of weeks.)
Yesterday and today had a distinct feeling of transition; many things have become clearer in my mind, and I've started putting them into practice. Events have converged, and emotional uphevals have been processed. Things are different. The ghosts are gone, as they should be, and a few hours after the April finally left the planet by way of the International Date Line I felt as though a weight had lifted from my heart. The fires of Beltane have done their work, burning away the last of the old year's dead leaves and fallen branches.
Let's start with work. Yesterday afternoon I went through the interesting exercise of getting things ready for my annual performance review with $BOSS. This involved both setting down my results from last year, and setting down what I plan on doing this year.
There are opportunities to make mid-course corrections, but as it turns out I hadn't done that. As a result, the main projected new project for the year ended up as "a perfect and absolute blank". Oops! I've been dreading this for a month. Fortunately, over the last couple of days I've figured out just why that project was sidelined (basically, somebody else did it better), and exactly which successful projects got substituted for it, that hadn't been forseen at all a year ago.
And yesterday during my walk I figured out how to combine some vague ideas, a low-bandwidth side project I've been ignoring for much of the last year, and some recent thoughts on refactoring a piece of code I've been only peripherally involved with, into something both coherent and useful. So that's a win.
Colleen's wheelchair arrived yesterday. It marks a major transition in our lives, not because she'll be needing it much right now, but because of what it says about the future. It will be something of a burden, but I've tried it on a couple of times now over the last four weeks, and I can shoulder it comfortably enough.
This afternoon I started looking at wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts for Colleen's van: the thing is terribly heavy; no way she could lift it into the van herself. Prices are reasonable, starting under $400; it'll work. Looking at auto accessories makes it more real somehow, and more familiar.
I often crawl into the office and hide at my computer on Wednesday nights. Other nights, too, if there's something going on in the living room that doesn't interest me, like the TV. (Even an interesting program is a major distraction, and makes it hard for me to carry on a conversation. I don't multitask well.)
This time I didn't: I set up a laptop, a tray table, and a music stand in front of the buffet near the cookbook corner. From there I could write, sing, eat, take part in the conversation, or at least look as though I could if I wanted to. The "workstation" needs to be a little more compact and better organized, but I think the basic idea is sound.
Sold an album, and had a good conversation, with a friend of Bill and Carole's from Japan who was here for Costume Con (he'd run Masquerade at Worldcon last year) and who turned out to be a distant coworker.
Other things, too, are sorting themselves out.
Our finances, while still something of a trainwreck, are mostly in hand. We'll stabilize our variable-rate home equity line of credit at a rate that should turn out to be lower than our recently-refinanced first mortgage, which makes me suddenly glad that I didn't throw in an extra $50K for the tub, re-plumbing, and other maintenance we knew were coming up. It works.
Most of our friends appear to be happy, and Colleen and I are closer than ever. If we're short on sleep this night it won't be because there were ghosts in the bed between us, but because we've had better things to do.
Spring is here, and by some ways of reckoning it's the New Year. Wherever you place that mark on the calendar, I hope that the fires of this Beltane have burned away your sorrows, and that the year to come brings you joy and contentment.