Sunday, January 07, 2007

Unseasonable spring

I am changing jobs and attempting to achieve an orderly transition for myself and for both employers. It is toughest on the old employer, or at least I would like to think so, but I know that nobody is irreplaceable. Life will go on in my old office, sooner than anyone thinks possible, and my new life will blossom at the new place.

Spring is a good time for planting, as one friend said to me, so let us make use of this strange unseasonable season and plant the seeds of something new.

The rhythm of my day will change. Since I am a creature sensitive to daily and seasonal pattern, I must prepare for an earlier wake time, an hour’s drive, exposure to Vermont’s relatively mild version of road rage, urban energy replacing bucolic rural pastimes. Will I leave my dogs home alone for more hours at a stretch? Will my elderly Honda tolerate greater demands? For how long? Will I be able to find a carpool? Maybe not one that can handle the residue of muddy paws.

Will I take my lunch? What if I forget it? Do I have enough professional clothes? Can I find a dentist, a dry cleaner, a bank that is more convenient?

Will they like me? Will I make new friends? Will my old friends forget me? Will people I thought were my friends disappear? Almost certainly, they will like me. They already do, since I am working at each job part-time, and I can already tell that it is no just a honeymoon that makes me feel at home in the new place. And I know from past changes that some people will move out of my life, even some that I will be sorry to lose. That’s change for you.

But here’s another thing I know about change. Some people will turn out to have been better friends that I ever knew. Some people will pop up again in my new life, surprising me with connections stronger than I ever dreamed. This whimsy in the way the world reorders itself never fails to amuse.

That’s the part I can’t control, nor would I wish to. So for now I will put gas in my car on Sundays, do the laundry every weekend, put lunches in the freezer, renew my pedometer pledge, buy another suit or two, and go to bed by ten without fail. If I can start with a healthy and centered routine, I have the greatest chance to blossom in this new garden.


Yesterday I saw taciturn Vermonters crack and admit that it was kind of nice to have a day of sunshine and temperatures in the fifties right smack in the middle of what is supposed to be winter. Up till now it had been all gloom and despair. No winter sports, no tourists to prop up our local economy. We still feel these losses, but just for a day it was nice to kick back and enjoy a taste of spring.

Cassie had four playdates yesterday. We went to check on Lola and Amiga who had spent two nights with us while their mom was away in Boston, then stayed for a few minutes play. Driving back home, we looked in on Miss Elly, who is Cassie’s aunt and half-sister in one of those convoluted relationships that dogs can have. Acer’s dad called around lunchtime, looking for some playtime, and it was so much fun that we went back for another romp in late afternoon. In Cassie’s opinion, this is how all days should be.

I am conscious of needing to carve out playtime for myself. I am changing jobs, which for now means I have two sets of expectations and demands. The old world is still very much with me, and the new one asks for more attention every day. It’s a good kind of stress, and it is nice to be valued, but still. I need to find that part of each day that belongs only to me and the dogs. I need playtime.