Its Cold Outside

“The sun was out for a little while this morning!” Part of the daily conversation between my best friends and I are how much we’re looking forward to the spring and being able to do things outside again. Even inside, I have to bundle up for working in the studio, hahaha. There are good things about the weather not cooperating with outdoor activities though. I’m terrible about sitting still, so it’s important to remind myself that this is a chance to rest and grow. To assess, research and plan. 

I did the research to figure out what I need in order to fix my car, so I’m ready to take care of that once the temp goes above 30 or 40 again. Abby has been cleaning her room and learning about how to install hangers. She’s making decisions about how she wants her space to be and getting rid of the things that she feels are cluttering her life.

While I’m on the subject of the cold, our practice space for roller derby is practically unheated. Two of the girls’ teammates moms also play for the adult league and their practice is right after ours. Rather than let all the kids freeze while they waited for practice to be over, I took them to lunch and the art museum so that we’d have someplace warm to spend the time. It was the fastest trip to the museum I’ve ever had, but kind of fun in a “what have we gotten ourselves into” sort of a way. Next time, we’ll plan a little better because we really do enjoy each other’s company. hahaha. 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

 I decided last week that I was going to put the status update series in a show coming up in the middle of February about Narratives. The stories we tell about our world, and our lives, and the things that inspire them. I told Sandy the other day that when I started to do them for something instead of for myself, they suddenly became work. They’ve been really a pleasure to work on and I’m going back and forth about whether to continue them into february…as I dig further past the surface stories I tell to and about myself though, they’re coming up a little more melancholy, or ugly. They’re still important thoughts and feelings to talk about, to say out loud, recognize, and find homes for but I don’t want to leave it on a less hopeful note. My hope is that once I push through this set I can get back to enjoying them again, or reassess and stop because I’m ready to stop. Not because I don’t want to do the work.

18 – This is my dad. He’s usually the first to show up, and the last to leave. 

I hate being late. When friends say come by whenever, I’ll usually be the first one there to help set up, to play with the kids, try to be helpful and social and out of the way. Hahahaha. 

I’m not always good about this. I can remember plenty of times when I didn’t want to be there. Or when I was tired and ready to go and grumpy about waiting. I could probably do a full post or two about that circular conversation in my head where I try to recognize one idea but hold on to another.

19 – This is my best friend, he’s really good at researching and problem solving

Lists are a good place to start. My Best friend Sally and I were talking about this the other day, and kind of always. We call it the breakdown. Sometimes, a project or dream seems just too big. There’s too many moving parts and it can get overwhelming really fast. So we’ve been talking about how to make things like that more manageable. The first step of the breakdown is something Sandy and I have been talking a lot about lately in a totally different context…I didn’t even think about it until just now. 

Most big projects start out with what Sandy and I call NWE, or defining your needs, wants, and expectations. Need is usually the easiest to define, but we’ve found that our want’s often start life as an expectation…Want’s are the pie in the sky. So at this stage of planning it’s important to define our expectation and leave room for failure. If we expect to get what we want then its a crushing blow when we don’t, instead of a setback or learning experience.

I enjoy research. I learned that it doesn’t have to start in a structured order because as I write a running list next to my computer or books the order of things that need to be done begins to define itself for me. I like how research enriches the question, and sometimes changes the answer I want. It’s exciting finding the thing that I needed and tacking it into the things that I learned while finding it. Research can be from the end of the project or the middle. And that open endedness is one of the things that I love about it.

20 – This is my dad, and he can fix anything.

Hearing my kids say that, cracks me up. I can fix a lot of things. YouTube is amazing, kids these days are so spoiled with the wealth of resources available to them. *grin*

21 – Have you met my friend? He carries so much stuff in his purse.

I don’t really carry live birds in there, but it’s always kind of amazing when I pull everything out of it. My friends always ask me if i have things because so often what they’re looking for actually is in my purse.

22 – This is my son. He dresses like an unmade bed.

I don’t really.

Memory is a funny thing. I told my mom recently that I was looking for a real job, and had an interview. She told me to make sure my hair was combed and that I dressed nicely because I usually look like an unmade bed. 

That residual image of friends and family that you don’t see often kind of fascinates me.

23 – This is my dad. He turned into a popcicle, waiting for the bus.

Nearly a true story. It’s been a very cold week here. While I’m thankful for having actual seasons, I’m kind of done with winter now. 

The girls and I wait for five or ten minutes for the bus every morning. Admittedly it’s partly about building character. If we welcome a few moments of being uncomfortable kind of regularly, then there will be fewer times when we’re uncomfortable in the first place…or something like that. Also most mornings we dread going out and it’s really not that bad.

24 – This guy I used to work with had a terrible sense of humor, but at least he thought he was funny.

A lot of my friends think I’m funny. But it’s not because I’m actually funny, I think. It’s kind of like Babe the pig. Sure he was a filthy animal, but he had personality, and personality goes a long way.

I hope you all had a good, and productive week of love and laughter. Thank you for everything you do, I appreciate you all and look forward to talking to you all week. Until next time, take care and be good!

Your friend,
Jeffrey

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