Thirty weeks since I came home and found that Penny had been unable to keep our mutual promise - when we left the house, we agreed, "Don't die."
She wasn't really given a choice. I'm not either - I have no excuse to die now, although sometimes I wonder why I'm still around, and what living is supposed to be about.
So ... I'm having real identity issues. I've never been all that identified with my career. It's what I do, it's not who I am.
This means that to some extent, I have to fake enthusiasm for the work, in order to get the job in the first place, and in order to keep focussed on the job in the long term. Part of this is that I don't really tend to work on projects that thrill and excite me. Part of it is the role of the evaluation engineer. It's draining, focussing on the 'negative' aspect of finding flaws. I'm so far after the fact, especially now that evaluation and QA has been pushed into the realm of the contract hit-man, that I can't contribute in any meaningful way to the creation side of things. Yeah, I know that what I'm doing is valued, and that the guys I work with are very positive and grateful for problems being identified, and removed before they get to the customer.
My contract has been confirmed as ending August 31st. I haven't been contacted about whether I would like to become a permanent employee; I'm absolutely sure, given the narcolepsy (at least) and the fact that I am far from expert in the area of spectrum analyzers, that they would NOT want me for a permanent employee.
I do know about automating testing, and I do know how to update and maintain their tests, but I'm not convinced they have any interest in hiring me, in particular, for that purpose. Nor am I convinced, any more, that this is what I want to do with my life.
Frankly, if I don't get an extension to the contract, and don't get an offer of regular employment, I think I'll end up visiting my dad in Montana, in early September. After that, back to the job search, I guess. Contracting is tolerable for now.
I'm doing some things for church that should be more positive for all this - but they don't feel that way, particularly. Yeah, I'm going to be presenting the new software that we're considering, to the 'stakeholders' at church, but I'm not emotionally involved in it, at all. It's important that it get done.
I don't care one way or the other if they buy into this, if they have good questions, it doesn't matter to me. The outcome of all this is very important to the operations of the life of our community, in terms of making things a LOT easier, but things will not collapse if we don't buy it.
I think, frankly, that I'm having the same sense of unfocussed lack of purpose that I had when I started college, before I met Penny. And I'm adding ennui to that, I guess, and a bit of reluctance to do things because I'm tired of being reminded of what we did together.
This week has been pretty mixed in terms of emotional balance. I was really angry all day, unfocused. I'm tweaking my hours around so that I can run the morning tests, now that my co-worker and mentor in this product and how to test it has gone off to Marketing. (He's actually gone off to a wedding, this weekend, for his granddaughter, which is really neat, and for vacation... LOTS of people going on vacation... and the end of the month is the SW ER, GAH!)
Anyway. Official emotional pain-o-meter, sustained 3 with spikes to 8. I'm missing Penny fairly constantly. I'm missing talking, I'm missing touch, I'm missing the things we could do for each other just for the joy of doing them. She was the one who would find new things, she was the one whose infectious excitement and pleasure would inspire me to a new hobby or a new game or a new book. I learned to fix perfect sandwiches and decorate the plate for her; I'd just as soon eat out of the pan. I couldn't be bothered to read Trollope or to make sense of Sense and Sensibility, I wouldn't have thought to do cross-stitch. I might have learned to cook better, I suppose, but cooking with her made it worth the effort.
I'm re-reading Narnia. I found the replacement-set she got when her originals fell apart.
The guys in Stephen Ministry gave me the third book in the series of books on grieving, but I have managed to lose it somewhere. Should find and read it.
Anyway. This has now reached the free-associating stage, which is just this side of emo whinging, so I'm going to stop now.
Miss you, Penny.