Friday, February 28, 2014

Moving to the Lilac Room

DSC03683 (1300x972)I had to smile as I signed the lease papers this morning: The Lilac Room?   I had a horrible thought of cloying floral smell.  ‘Very…but only in colour,’ promised the agent, returning to the stack of contracts and payment receipts.

Today is moving day, again.  Its an easier one physically,  a more difficult one conceptually than my previous moves.  It took weeks to leave Barrington, transferring carloads of ‘Brit Boxes’ DSC03675 (1300x908)and bits of furniture to Maastricht.  What remained in Sandbanks was only clothes, office supplies, books and papers for the business.  ‘familiar and personal things, but it added up to surprisingly little when piled on my bed this morning.  I folded clothes into suitcases and filled Tesco Freezer bags with organized categories of stray items.

It only took an hour.

Then, DSC03677 (1300x955)‘once more into the Fiesta, ‘once more onto the streets wedged among my belongings.  The early sunshine gave way to cold grey rain as I drove along Shore Road.

I came down to Sandbanks six months ago as a temporary haven: A wonderful friend gave me the time and space I needed to get a key DSC03680 (1300x972) - Copyresult for the business, secure my finances and funding, come to terms with my losses, and prepare for life’s next act.  I owe them a lot.

But this move, ill-timed and hastily assembled, feels like backsliding: waiting for the same key result, moving to another temporary house-share, still alone and blown by the wind.  DSC03681 (1300x975)

Why have things come to this, yet again?

People tell me that my circumstances are a direct result of my choices.  But I didn’t ‘chose’ to be moving across Poole today, ‘embrace’ the circumstances of leaving Barrington, ‘seek’ the losses and compromises of the past months.  DSC03686 (1300x975)Nobody would willingly choose to live in such difficult or discouraging times.

But I did choose to build my own businesses, build a new life, move to Europe to do it. Meaningful work, talented people, creative control, keep what I win, travel and culture to share, a full life to create.  I committed, and remain passionate about, those choices.

DSC03690 (1300x955)The link between choice and circumstances is then a question of how?  ‘Not just what methods or which traveling companions, but about how I deal with events and adversity when they happen.  I try to stick with principles, rebuild relationships, stay to the high road, keep a positive outlook, persist when things turn out to be harder and take longer than I thought without becoming frustrated or discouraged.

But its easier in principle than practice.

DSC03692 (1300x966)The new neighborhood looks good, filled with places to explore.  The house has a nice kitchen that I want to break in with a favorite marinara recipe.  I’m meeting my new housemates, and am getting my little lilac office settled into my big lilac room.  It’s only a three month let: time enough to finally resolve things and a nice step above the DSC03691 (1300x973)alternative ‘lets that I visited around Bournemouth and Poole the past two weeks.

It will work out fine for now.  But as I turned in my keys and shut the gate for the last time, I promised myself that I will not do this again.  Ever. 

Next time I move, its with purpose, towards permanence.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A little comfort food.

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The experimental work ended on Monday in Liverpool.  Now it was all about patience and waiting for the report.  We planned for a positive outcome throughout the week in Cambridge: I started waking at 4 am again, fretting.

Do you eat when you worry?  Some sort of comfort food?

Not really, I likely eat less. 

Even though I can be tempted by a Full English Breakfast at the College, that’s more indulgence than comfort food.

So what do you do when there’s just stress and waiting?

Unfortunately, I probably still do things that make me feel worse.  Exercise harder, walk or drive to avoid sitting around workrooms, intent conversation with tolerant or sympathetic friends.  ‘living alone keeps me from being a burden, I suppose.

Comfort FoodsBut it also makes it easy to spiral, to worry excessively, to have an extra Guinness, to get into long conversations with myself that lead nowhere.  It’s not a healthy way of adapting.

I got into a discussion last month about whether I had any safe spaces or people left where I could express my interests or what’s on my mind freely.  There’s a parallel issue with not having a comfortable distractions at hand when stress builds.  They both seem like personal necessities I need to cultivate.

Exploring the Dorset Coast and evenings spent cooking are certainly two possibilities.  And, on the latter, the Times finally came out with the Scone biscuitdefinitive distinction between a biscuit and a scone, once a frequent debate in my British kitchen. 

“Two tablespoons of sugar and an egg,” is the right answer,

to which I’d only add a dollop of cream or melted butter on eating.  And milky tea.   Comfort…

Monday, February 24, 2014

Spring is coming when…

DSC03657 (1300x975) DSC03661 (1300x961)Carnivale

*** Colors bloom ***

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