Update Mid-January 2010

I've been blogging lots about knitting things. It's time to take a break and talk about the rest of my life, with a little knitting still thrown into the mix.

*** WORK ***

It's January, and I'm an accountant, so I'm busy contending with multiple screaming deadlines. And I'm just fine.

I started the year with a resolution of sorts. I've become a drift-in-kinda-late-stay-even-later kind of employee. My resolution has been to get in earlier, spend less time being distracted during the work day, and to leave the office at a reasonable time each day. I am doing better! I'm still putting in 9 hour days, but that's hard to avoid this time of year. I am getting home early enough to feel like I have a life at the end of the work day.

My desk has never looked neater during year-end.

The uncompleted boxes on January's checklist are still numerous, and I have to put a chunk of work ASAP into getting our VITA tax prep program up and running. I'm confident, though, that I'll make my deadlines with some room to spare.

As to VITA, I can't do it alone. I've done what I could to inspire others to work with me on the program. If no one ele is able to make it a priority in her or his schedule, so be it. If all I can put together is a mediocre program as a result, I can live with that. The amount of training - on personal time, not paid time - that the program requires is daunting, and I cannot fault anyone who does not want to take on the commitment.


*** HEALTH ***

The bad habits I got in to with my work schedule have had a ripple effect. Getting home late means exercise gets short shrift and supper gets eaten at a late hour. Getting myself HOME at a reasonable hour will help me move my bones more, and feed us early enough so that dinner is digested before we go to sleep.

We got ourselves a Wii Fit for Christmas, and it's helping, and I like it. It may look kind of wimpy, but the exercises focus on balance and posture, and that's just what this 58-year old MS-affected body needs. So far it's fun, too. I do work up a sweat, and I'm feeling changes that tell me that muscles are toning up. We'll see if I can keep it up. Regular exercise seems to be the most difficult habit to make, and the easiest habit to break.


*** FAMILY ***

R's new duties as Town Supervisor are underway. I am amused that both of us are doing much the same kind of work, as he processes vouchers for payment and enters journal entries into the town's general ledgers. He's also just made a trip to Albany for the municipal power project. He's busy, busy, busy, and looking forward to when he gets settled into a new routine.

A is back at school, living the good life. She is waiting now for acceptance into grad school. It looks almost certain that she will be staying at McGill for a PhD in statistics. She has been told that her tuition will be paid and the department will find work for her so that she has a roof over her head and food on her table. It's a sweet deal, and she's taking it, and she's not going to fret about her bachelors and grad degrees all coming from the same institution. Who's going to look down their nose at a degree from McGill, any way?

Time to set up plans to get together with son and family. We had the best Christmas eve ever with them, and we need to spend more face time with them this year.


*** MY DIGITAL LIFE ***

I love my digital life, but find that it can distract me from things I need to do in my tangible life. Anyone else have that problem? I am spending less time on the computer (although between work and play, I still stare at a screen many hours a day), and I'm compartmentalizing my computer time. Less overlap between work and play. I'm trying not to circle around and around the same places.

What I want to read is authentic, honest material. This includes fiction clearly put forward as such; I love a good story. What it doesn't include is drama created to pull on my heartstrings and put forward as biography. This seems to me to be a type of stalking, one that thrives on unearned empathy.


*** KNITTING ***

I finished a pair of socks that are the very first design I've created. Their new owner has them, and they fit! I've written up the pattern, and will be publishing it as a gift to the world in the near future.

The process of creating the design was a fusion of a knitting pattern found in a book of stitch patterns published by Barbara Walker 40 years ago, a sizing template published by Cat Bordhi a couple of years ago, and everything I have absorbed about knitting socks by knitting many pairs over the years. I became unafraid of calling it "my" design when I discovered a stitch pattern in Walker's book that is the same as one used in a pattern published by Cookie A last year.

The nature of design is a melding together of many influences and past learning. Originality lies in the unique nature of a particular fusion, not in any uniqueness of any facet of the design.

My design is my melding, and I can raise my chin and claim it as my own.


*** LOST IDEAS ***

Lately a thought runs through my head, and I think "I should blog on that". Instead I do my work, or read Google Reader, or go to bed, and the thought does not get written down. Just like dreams, such thoughts tend to slip away.

Oh well, I'm no cosmic level thinker, and my thoughts have little power to change the world for the better or the worse.

One thought I do remember right now: perhaps Obama and Palin are two sides of the same coin to a certain extent. They are charismatic leaders, each of whom inspires trust in those who agree with their way of thinking, and distrust, even fear, in those who do not. Obama's way of thinking is based on scientific and scholarly thinking, and Palin's way of thinking is based on "common sense" and on religious precepts.

Because Palin makes me afraid for the future, I can understand what others feel about Obama.

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