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week 31

This entry is timeshifted - I started composing it on Thursday but had to get sleep, since I am now required to wake up around 6:30 so I can get to work by 8AM to run tests.

So. 31 weeks since Penny died. No clever way to say it right now, but consider that I've inserted some witty and sparkly line about 'long distance relationships' and 'very out of town jobs' and 'God freed her from the prison of a body that was devouring itself'.

Had an excellent meeting with my Stephen Minister on Tuesday. I'd been missing that. I don't know if I was able to articulate the things I'm dealing with, but I can enumerate them.

1) Spiritual fatigue. I don't know why it is, but while I can pray and do service things, I'm just not getting much joy. I'm getting a lot of 'nagging doubt' which is usually so irrationally phrased that it's trivial to laugh it away, and then every once in a while a not-so-nagging doubt, and when that hits, I have to resort to the stubborn faith model. I use C.S.Lewis' retort: If indeed there is nothing, if there is no survival, no eternity, no afterlife, then it doesn't matter what I believe, and I prefer to believe and choose to believe that God IS, that the many, many times I've met Him in my life have been real and true. Without Him, the world, life, everything, is brutish, ugly, short, and futile; the nihilist philosophy would have it right. With Him, life might still be brutish, ugly, and short, but it's no longer futile.
It's just hard keeping this confidence sometimes.

2) Physical fatigue. This is partly because I'm so desperately out of shape, and partly because the early morning shifts (while I love having the day available to me) are exhausting me. I need to get 7-8 hours sleep every night, and sometimes more. When I do, my brain works well. However, I cannot sleep before 1AM, because I wake up after 5-10 minutes. It's highly annoying.
Narcolepsy works differently for different people, but in my case, I get extreme, excessive daytime sleepiness which makes me useless for about a half hour at a time, unless I can either nap or make time to deal with it. For someone who has never had sleep disorders, the best analogy is 'Hi, I've got the flu so my brain is full of snot-soaked cotton wool, and ANYTHING monotonous makes me fall asleep.'
I was able to manage the 'bicycle to work' trick for a week or so, but can't do it when I have to be here by 8AM because I can't rely on the train timing, and I don't want to mess that up.
I'm desperately out of shape, which is not helping in any way.

3) Housework. I have three major problems with housework.
First, I have too much stuff in my apartment. This could be dealt with if I could take an hour or two, finish unpacking things in the kitchen that I intend to keep, and lose the stuff I don't want, either by donating to rummage sale or to Veterans; I no longer donate to Goodwill as they are no longer following a 'local first' policy, and they overpay their CEO while they severely underpay and overwork their non-client employees.
Second, I don't do the 'maintenance' stuff often enough, because of work and fatigue, so the place tends to be a mess in other regards.
Third, I haven't been planning ahead well. Meals, laundry, etc. all should be on a plan, right? Especially meals. Except, I don't follow the plans. And I need to do that, or food rots.

So, the majority of what I was dealing with during the week and during the day.

They've moved that 'Death Cab' song I will follow you into the dark into frequent rotation. It comes on and I feel like a bug impaled on a display board, unable or unwilling to change the channel, but so, so miserable. Part of this is because I wasn't there when Penny died, and (being a morbid, emo little froth of a thing) the song is about love transcending death.

At work, unless I'm deliberately thinking about Penny, I'm generally so busy that I'm not doing the 'stick tongue into open socket where tooth was yanked out to see if it still hurts' thing.

I picked up comics yesterday. One of the things I got was a graphic novel compilation of some of the OZ stories that were adapted by Erik Shanower (look here) ... when Penny was forcibly relocated to Redding back in 1963(I think), and never got to see her father again, she had some problems adjusting. She had gotten along fairly well at C.E. Mason school in Beaverton. She had friends and was popular. Then, she was pushed into a school where she knew nobody. Her mom was (shameful!) a divorced woman, her grandparents (with whom they lived for a while) were an amazingly dysfunctional family deeply addicted to verbal cut-downs, and all the cliques had pretty much formed up. She was painfully shy and probably either hostile or afraid because of the divorce and having a hair-trigger raving mother and an alternately lovey-dovey or corrosively scathing grandmother.
Any wonder she retreated into an internal fantasy world? Well, after a time, she discovered the Oz books, and was enchanted by the artwork. She created/adapted/stole shamelessly some of the content, and created her own undersea kingdom that Ozma visited; she didn't much like Dorothy (blond, blue eyed, sort of stupid) and she did like Ozma (dark red/brown hair, ingenious enough to deal with Bad People even when she had little access to magic).
I would have gotten that book in an instant for Penny - in fact, I think we got one or two of the stories in their original release - but in this case, I ended up getting it for me.
Around the time we were moving from Butner to Olympic, Penny threw away a huge amount of her childhood artwork. At least part of this was disgust that she felt she'd never be able to use her drawing, and it had gotten rusty. Another part of it was frustration, another part simple pragmatism over lack of space.
I may end up tossing much of it as well, but not until I scan it.

In other news. I took the color printer to workchurch for the secretary. I want to replace it with a combo machine, copy/print/scan, but ... the big flatbed scanner is SO MUCH bigger than these combo guys. I may have to keep it anyway.

I really need to design a compact computer carry tower.
I also need to sell or trade out the leather couch and get two or three recliners instead.

Anyway. To work.
(Miss you, Penny. Especially around now, when you'd call me at work before lunch.)

Edit: correcting something I forgot to fix before posting.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 18th, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
Myself, I think the "joy" thing is way overstated/overemphasisized by most Christian writers, pastors, etc etc etc. I sort of get the imrpession that if you aren't a joyful Christian, well, there's something wrong with your walk with God.
I don't see that. Most days aren't especially joyful or especially sad, either way. I think most Christians, if they were honest, would admit they don't feel the joy most of the time either. It's only in prayer meetings & such that they get all gushy about how joyful they are.
I think the joy of being a new Christian is eventually replaced over the years by the sureness of God's Love.
And the confidence to hard to keep, to be sure. I like what Anne Lamott wrote..."I think on the day I was born, God looked down and said, 'Baby girl Annie, I am going to give you a sense of humor and brains, but I am also going to give you hat hair and a lack of confidence, because I want you to fight your way back to Me.'"
Aug. 18th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
Joy isn't supposed to be confused with 'happiness' or 'pleasure' but it's also supposed to be a positive emotion. I'm not quite sure how to describe it - something like a strong sense of rightness, but coming from outside rather than inside. I've felt it from the inside from time to time when managing some physical action especially cleanly, and I imagine that this is how really good professional athletes feel. From the outside, it's been an awareness that I'm doing precisely what I should be doing, and that all is right with the world even though I might be in pain, angry, tired, and in general _un_happy.

It's that sense of 'this is right' that I'm missing, I think.
Aug. 18th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, I believe God allows us to wander around, feeling unguided (not necessarily lost), quite often. It's only later that we see why.
That doesn't make it any better while it's happening, though.
Aug. 18th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC)
Combo sweetness
We got a combo machine a while back just because we wanted a scanner with an ADF (auto document feeder) like they have on copy machines or fax machines. It's pretty sweet to be able to scan a big batch of papers and go off to do something else while it works rather than having open the scanner each time. If you do get the combo machine, you'd probably really like the ones with an ADF, they are really handy. Happy scanning! :)

Oh, also, I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to scan but was worried I'd never get to it so instead of scanning I just setup some bright lights and put the digital camera on a tripod. I could take pretty decent photos of all the papers that were at least a close approximation to the originals. And it goes super fast since you don't have to wait for it to scan line by line.

Take care good buddy.
Aug. 29th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Combo sweetness
Given the fact that Tiger has the non-feeder combo model that I want, on an omighod sale, I'll most likely get that instead :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


Steve Hutchison

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