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Most of lead far more meaningful lives than we know. Often finding  meaning is not about doing things differently; it is about seeing familiar things in new ways…But perhaps it is only by those who speak the language of meaning, who have remembered how to see with the heart, that life is ever deeply known or served.

—Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Dear S—

I just went to the bathroom at work to cry. I don’t understand it this time, I suppose. Why it has to be this way, so cold, so stark. Distance makes the heart grow hard…

The things she said to me the last time we spoke still haunt me. I’ve had dreams about her almost nightly in the last few weeks. I’m not sure why this is so much harder this time. Part of it is that work is burning me out some—I put in almost 90 hours of work last month, and that’s just writing the content; I haven’t even added in the other work yet, and I worked on both holidays. I swear I feel like I’m about to have a nervous breakdown. But I keep pushing through as if I’m invincible.

I thought work would at least take my mind off of her, but something about this entire situation continues to loom over me, leaving me with this uneasy feeling I cannot quite describe. Now it’s even distracting me from any real focus on my workload. I can’t believe it happened again, and I let it. Regardless, I can’t take much more of this.

This morning I got up at 5am to finish some work blog posts. I heated up my coffee from yesterday, fed the cat, flipped on the gas logs (vented through a chimney that I am now terrified will catch fire any minute) and fired up the computer. After days of taking work home with me, I really wanted to do some “real” writing. That is, writing for myself. Now I’ve lost confidence in everything I wanted to say. Or, maybe I’m scared of being too self-congratulatory, or writing some cloying post that my readers will gush over in the same manner. You’re right. That style of blog writing annoys me to no end, so I’m not sure why I’m so afraid of duplicating it.

Part of the reason, perhaps, is that all day I write about furnaces and sewer lines, and now chimneys. Between writing lines like, “Routine maintenance and annual inspections for your furnace are an important part of extending the life of your entire heating system, as well as preventing major repairs and lowering heating bills,” I don’t have much energy left to think about how I can best articulate myself outside of work. At least sharing links of absurd youtube videos with my co-workers over Skype throughout the day deflects some of the stress.

Btw, the furnace hyperlink above—that page is all me, along with the heat pumps page, and some of the other heating pages. If you compare it with the “Thermostat” page, which was written by one of the freelancers, you’ll see, yet again, why they hired me. “If you are having a new air conditioning system installed in your home, it will definitely include some type of thermostat.”

Really?

Okay, I should get back to work now. I needed a short break, but I’ve got an enormous amount of content to write for a deadline that I have to meet by the end of the day tomorrow. I’m not sure how I’m going to get it done.

I’ll be home usual time. Talk to you later.

I hope you are well and having a happy 2012!! (chuckle)

—A

Tov l’hodot l’Adonai, ul’zameir l’shimcha elyon. L’hagid baboker chasdecha, ve-emunat’cha baleilot.

[12:09:14 PM] BS: I used to think the idea of cutting someone out of my life completely was unheard of, but in the past few years I’ve kind of changed my thinking on that.  sometimes relationships can just be toxic

[12:09:49 PM] ashley watson: true, but something about this situation feels different, you know? i just had to go to the bathroom and cry..I also have really bad cramps today so that’s part of it, but I have been feeling incredibly sad about ____ lately for some reason.

[12:11:42 PM] ashley watson: i feel awful today, but i’ve got a lot of shit do get done by the end of the day tomorrow.

[12:12:48 PM] ashley watson: I feel like I’ve been staring at the same page for the last hour

[12:22:14 PM] BS: aw, man…  i’m sorry you’re having such a rough day

[12:23:18 PM] ashley watson: well at least I can laugh about chimney fires

[12:23:59 PM] ashley watson: “Chimneys really decorate the roofline of a home… and they’re maintenance–free, besides. Right?

WRONG!”

[12:24:30 PM] BS: haha

[12:24:43 PM] BS: sometimes I worry the internet is making everyone dumber

[12:24:53 PM] BS: and by sometimes I mean just about every day

[12:25:07 PM] ashley watson: yeah, I agree

[12:26:48 PM] BS: didn’t mean to suggest it was good that she used you and now won’t talk to you… more that maybe it’s good for you not to talk to her, regardless of what she’s doing

[12:27:45 PM] ashley watson: i know, but i miss her terribly…i don’t know why it’s so much more painful this time, and it feels like it’s getting worse instead of better.

[12:30:15 PM] BS: mourning is a bitch like that 😦

[12:30:50 PM] ashley watson: sure is…man, i’m having a hard time concentrating today; sorry if i’m distracting you too

[12:30:58 PM] ashley watson: (wasntme)

[12:31:25 PM] BS: it’s cool.  sorry if I’m distracting you too

[12:32:02 PM] ashley watson: no; I’d find other things to distract myself with

[12:32:44 PM] ashley watson: like posting lines such as this one from the CSIA site: As the saying goes, “hot air rises”, and so does the warm air in your home.

[12:33:29 PM] BS: haha “the saying”

[12:33:37 PM] ashley watson: right?

[12:33:42 PM] BS: aka the laws of thermodynamics

[12:33:47 PM] ashley watson: lol

[12:34:17 PM] ashley watson: You know that old adage about gravity, it keeps you on the ground.

[12:37:54 PM] BS: oh yeah, kind of like that old cliche… you can’t survive without water

[12:38:29 PM] ashley watson: lol

[12:40:44 PM] ashley watson: “Since the dawn of time, humans have gathered around the open fire for a sense of safety and community…” jesus, who writes this stuff?

[12:41:19 PM] ashley watson: i think maybe i’m just extra cranky today…

[12:42:55 PM] BS: you know that old math equation…

cramps + monday + workload – cigarettes =  (angry)

[12:44:09 PM] ashley watson: precisely

[12:44:36 PM] ashley watson: add in a little heartache, and you’ve got yourself a safety hazard!

[1:02:37 PM] ashley watson: isn’t #10 sort of a cop out? http://www.csia.org/HomeownerResources/ChimneySafetyInfo/100ReasonsYourFireplaceDoesntWork/tabid/152/Default.aspx

[1:02:56 PM] ashley watson: is cop out one word? i’ve never thought about it before now

[1:03:55 PM] BS: copout or cop-out, says the interwebs

[1:04:26 PM] ashley watson: interesting

[1:04:39 PM] BS: and yeah, total copout

[2:21:15 PM] ashley watson: “Fire is one of nature’s primal forces and it has always held a special place in the lives of humankind. In fact, we’ve relied on fire for so many things that it has become ingrained into our culture and lifestyle. Throughout history, fire has been crucial to human existence. Primitive people relied on fire to cook…” you get the point.

but yeah, copout is now my word of choice when talking about shitty internet content and all matters of the heart…

There’s really nothing like the experience of praying with a room full of people who I know and love (and who know and love me)…

Velveteen Rabbi

JW—

…and then I got home to find the following email about the next chanting group.

JD
I think I found her name. Is it Jenna?

Ashley Watson
to JD
No, it’s one ‘n’…Jena. Don’t worry, everyone gets it wrong.

after all, what else could I say?

—A

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