Then on January 31st, on my way to celebrate finishing up a week of public workshops on the US 101 project, I got the worst news I could imagine. I'm not going to go into details here, but it blindsided me. Which is what tragedy does.
February, March, April, May - they're all a blur of intense work meetings, deadlines, presentations interspersed with trips to Portland to pack and sell a house and have wonderful wonderful times with my family. I am truly blessed to have such a strong and loving family.
Some good things have come from this - I am going to say that I have grown up a lot in the last 5 months. Particularly in my work. Having my heart torn open has made me vulnerable and it has reminded me of our collective humanity. My work is mired in conflict. It is the nature of what I do: I work with entities that each want a different outcome and we have to come up with some solution. My favorite phrase I heard, very early in my career is this, "The sign of a good compromise is when everyone is unhappy". Keeping this in mind is important, particularly for someone with an underlying pathological need to not let people down. But I had become self-righteous and quick to anger. I had been fighting individuals instead of remembering they were representing an organization with a set of rules and policies. So the sadness in my life brought me back from that, helped me remember that all people are fallible, vulnerable, and just always trying their best to live in this complicated world.
What does this all have to do with anything?
Well, today is June 1st. And for the first time in months, I'm not going anywhere - except on a 2 day work trip mid-June. And I'm single again - which might sound sad but the word I feel is "unfettered". I also have not worked the last two weekends, so I've actually had time to slow down, look around, and think about what I want.
And here is what I want:
- To stay focused on all our humanity
- To not waste time
- To be active again - I've gotten lazy and my cycling and running have been inconsistent in the last few weeks
- To feed myself well - none of my creativity with sewing carries over into the kitchen and this is unfortunate
- To make some hard choices about how I want to proceed - and then to act on them
I have been doing a little sewing. I will write about that eventually.