Saturday, January 04, 2014

Down time

Every two months, for security reasons, my work password dies. I understand this; it's a pain in the tail, but easy to remedy.

In an instance of impressively shitty timing, this occurred yesterday. I spent yesterday attending a funeral, the reception that followed, and then driving from Hilton Head Island back to Weaverville, a 6-hour trip. I didn't go into the work tool to check the queues until 10:45 PM.

I'm stuck, unable to work until Monday, because IT doesn't work on the weekend. I did maybe half my usual quota of sites this week.

Sales hasn't quite ramped up since the New Year holiday, so I may have been screwed anyway; my boss said there wasn't much in the queue to work with. Small consolation.

It's the beginning of a pay period, so there's hope. I can bust my arse on work next week and make up the difference. This will occur only if sales ramps up enough to supply me with work.

I made a good living this past year, better than I expected. I get that this is a temporary condition, that sales should increase in the next week or so. Work has always experienced a significant drop around the holidays. Doesn't make it any easier, and it's certainly a well-deserved/timed wake-up call that I need to expand my portfolio and opportunities.

The funeral was lovely, a standard Catholic mass. I found it a comfort. I don't miss Christianity, but I do miss the rituals behind it.

It almost wasn't my place to grieve...I'd only met Kaye a few times; she was Les' aunt. My grief was for his cousins who lost their mother, and for the grandchildren who lost their grandmother. I was brought to tears by their tears. I watched a 15-year-old boy break down, and I wept for his pain.

His cousins are our peers, and I found myself doing character studies in my head about them on the ride home. We'd be closer friends with these folks, if we lived closer together. This death brought us a little closer, and in spite of the requisite funeral conversations about how we must get together on a happier occasion, I'd like to actually see that happen, instead of it being lip service. But they are spotty Facebook users, and real life gets in the way, so we'll see.

I watched this funeral with a new clarity about my beliefs. In the past, as a pagan, I've been terribly uncomfortable at Christian funerals, not knowing my place, not knowing how I felt. Over my father's dying body, I was forced to take communion and felt like a hypocrite. Yesterday, I bypassed communion and felt fine, felt I was honoring their rituals by not participating. But at the same time, I felt fine repeating the refrains of the mass, doing the motions of the sign of the cross or the little motions right before the reading of the Gospel. I have found my ways to respect religion without believing in it. I found both relief and comfort in this development.

My Lil Sis's friend Kendra is gravely ill. I've written about her before on here. She gave birth prematurely, because she came down with pneumonia, and then a host of other complications ensued, sending her into a medically induced coma for the last 2 months. She contracted pneumonia again, about 2 weeks ago, and if the updates we receive on Facebook are any indication, the doctors are obviously preparing the family for her to pass. Her baby daughter is out of the hospital and thriving, living with relatives while her husband sits vigil.

I learned how to pray again, thanks to this woman's fight...figured out how prayer was possible again, in spite of my non-Christian status. There are other lessons sneaking into my psyche as my mind wrestles with the sadness that this family has been experiencing. It's coming too soon after losing Kaye, standing in a church and realizing that I've hit mid-life and there's still so damn much I want to experience. These thoughts are exhausting, but necessary; they bring clarity about how unique and precious life is.

We came home last night to snow on the ground and bitter temperatures. These temps are supposed to stick around for the next week, turning the roads to ice. I'm going to get back to walking anyway, somehow, and I'm starting the Whole 30 next Sunday. All prayers welcome for my husband's and my sanity as I traverse that sucker.

Image from here.

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