labelleizzy: (Default)
I'm supposed to have a list of goals for the therapeutic process. I did write some of them down, and I'll add them either here or in my bullet journal once I have my head in order.

I was thinking earlier today about jobs I've held, and my favorite job. And why it was my favorite job, and I wanted to break it down a little, in hopes of reproducing the conditions someday. In part or in whole.

this is the job I held for eight years and a bit.
it's the reason why every smartphone I've ever owned had "librarianing" added to the spellchecker.

I used to be a junior high school librarian.
I just wanna list the things that I loved about that job, because there's a lot of things I loved about it.
  • It had a regular daily schedule with rhythmic breaks in it.
  • ...but I got to choose my daily tasks, and when to do them.
  • High responsibility, low supervision, I got to determine when something was done.
  • some built in regular deadlines occurred weekly (overdue notices compiled and sent out)
  • some deadlines quarterly (grades for Library TA's), or at other calendar dates (budget deadlines, book ordering, etc)
  • Lots of time with people, specific agenda of helping people (students and staff both)
  • lots of time alone to do one on one tasks (repair, budget work, tidying)
  • Teaching. computers, dewey decimal, how to process books for circulation, some basic book repair, how to circulate books, how to pull records for books that were overdue, how to research, how to use the card catalog, how to find books you wanted... so many teaching opportunities, all in small groups, and NO GRADING.
  • I could take pee breaks as needed. That's a fucking luxurious situation to consider after teaching full time in a public school. I swear to god you can't get five minutes to pee, because it takes you 3-5 minutes to just walk to the other end of the school where the faculty bathroom is, and god help you if you're on your period or have to poop. it's *exhale* inhumane. actually.
  • Professional development funding.
  • Networking with the other librarians in the school district on a monthly basis.
  • Training to be a union site rep and shop steward, learning the history of unions in the USA
  • generally speaking, high interest high novelty work, high number of positive social contacts with students and staff. Decent respect from peers and students. Increasing responsibility the longer I was in the position.

  • There's more of course. Some damn wonderful people really made the difference for me in that job. They got me through the first six months after my dad died, with challenging, interesting work, taking care of tweenagers, teaching and helping and finding and fixing, sorting and throwing out and organizing and tidying. Always something that needed doing. Always something that MATTERED that needed doing.

    It's still MY library. In my heart it's still mine.
    I miss it. Actually.

    so I mean I want another job with some more of what that job had, without the soul deadening paperwork and jumping through hoops that teaching in the public school required.

    And really I want more of that in my life. I've been trying to find that, build that myself, but it's just been so crazy challenging on my own. I miss the community, the sense of rightness and purpose, the ability to HELP SO MUCH AND SO OFTEN SO MANY PEOPLE. I was proud of my work there. It was crazy and sometimes boring and wonderful and the kids were always so amazing and my co workers were always weird, wonderful, dedicated, amazing.


    I have more on this but this is a good starting place.
    I'll go make myself some dinner and dig into my homework reading pretty hard once I've eaten, take some notes to be ready for tomorrow.
labelleizzy: (Scotty)
Today's my little brother's​ deathaversary.
Mom called me a couple of minutes ago. I hadn't truthfully been thinking about it, or him, today...
I have such a good life now. This makes the ... No... TENTH anniversary. Shit. Shit.

I loved him but it feels like I barely knew him.
I don't know what to do with this right now, now it's brought to the surface. I'mma go be productive.
labelleizzy: (growing older)
Hadn't been to visit a cemetery for many years. Got an artistic wild hair to go for a walk through one in my neighborhood today.
Really interesting. Gravestones have *fashions*. You could study the gravestone styles in a given graveyard and then learn more about artistic styles of a particular decade or era. That could be very fun.

Beautiful huge trees in this particular cemetery. Well established. One magnolia tree had roots which had encroached upon and embraced a particular black marble family marker. It was lovely, and oddly reassuring to me. (I've no idea if that makes sense to anyone who's not me.)

We don't even have any TRULY old grave markers, this area has only been settled by the kind of folks who mark their graves with tombstones, for about 200 years. And yet I came away thinking two contradictory things.

One, humans are mayflies. We are born, we live, we die, and then we are dead for a *really* long time. Same as we weren't born, for a *really long time...
Two, humans can make a giant impact on the world. Why are more of us NOT doing so? NOT improving the world, not helping other humans to live happier, healthier, more loving and compassionate lives? (mainly, WHY AM *I* not doing more to improve the world?)
labelleizzy: (bunny writer)
Eighteen years ago yesterday, my dad breathed his last at around 3 am in a room in Kaiser's Morse Avenue branch in Sacramento. Mom and I got a phone call somewhere around 5. I figure now, that was when the shift change happened, and that's when a nurse discovered he'd passed. possible trigger warning for description of death circumstances )

I find myself using words and phrases he commonly used. It's a surprise almost every time. I'm mostly going grey like he did... very silver at the temples, though in the last couple of years I'm getting more salt-and-pepper scatters like my mom had.

Mom called me yesterday and told me again how much she loved me and appreciated the way we had each other's backs during his final illness, and how supportive I was as she transitioned from mother and wife to widow... "the start of her independence" she called it. And it was, no kidding, I mean after years of nursing him as he got weaker and crankier, she recovered a lot of her personal power. She really blossomed after we both did a bit of recovering from the shock. She got her master's degree, she researched real estate and bought a house on her own with the proceeds from the house we grew up in...

I did pretty well myself. Had a job for eight years as a junior high librarian. It was good work, worthy work, with a visible end-result and an obvious positive impact. Worked there from when I was 24 till I was 32. My brother was on track to graduate college in '94, I got a good job, mom had a good job, Jenny had a good job... and it's always felt like Dad sort of waited till all of us were kind of "settled" before he let go. I'm glad of that. Bit weird taking bereavement leave after only being two months in a job.

Still struggling with some of the secrets he kept and the ways he functionally lied to us about who he was and what he felt and what he had experienced as a child. Formative stuff, you know? Stuff that influenced the fact that he barely touched us growing up, for good or for ill. I didn't know I was a huggy person for 18 years basically... having a boyfriend made it okay to ask for touch, and I didn't know I'd been touch starved ... my whole life, I think.

I don't even think I can scratch the surface of explaining the depth and quality of the hole he left in my life... not only from his dying but his inability to connect to us at a heart level. He was always distant and funny and sarcastic, and you wanted his approval SO BADLY but never could figure out how to get it. THAT messed me up until only three or four years ago... He was so smart and so many people liked, even loved him. But he was adversarial with us kids, not cooperative. And Scotty, the Only Son, was the favored child. And now Scotty's dead too. (six years and two weeks ago.)

I have all these ideas of what a father "should be", you know, like ideally? And, at 42 I'm still shocked when I see dads being affectionate in public with their kids, carrying their kids or horsing around, and dads being actually tender with their child invariably makes me cry. Dammit. *wipes face* Because we really didn't get that. At least not that I can remember. I hope someday I can sit with my sister and try to get her take on how that all went down, I just remember being unbearably lonely all the time and basically hiding in my books, on the front porch or up a tree, because dad "liked to tease"...

At this point in my processing and life, at this distance, I can say that it's certain dad was hurting for most of his life. I'm pretty sure his dad hit him, it's sort of "what was done back then" but also, my grandma divorced my grandpa, in the early 50's when You Didn't Do That... She's gone too, gone since I was eleven, I can't ask her why. I'm not very close to my aunts but I would like to ask them if they knew what was going on and why Grandma left.

At this point that's all such old news it's moldering. And I do really have to do The Work based on the Here And Now. What I have is What I have. That's it. That's depressing, but that's it.

Usually What I Have is enough. I don't have quite enough resources to do anything further with Dad at this moment, so I'm just going to lay this here and leave it. My heart feels a bit flat and stony at the moment, I know that will pass though, particularly if I let myself have a good cry and go Do Other Things Instead of Brooding. Heh.

I think it might be a night for crochet and candlelight meditation. After the yoga and the groceries.
labelleizzy: (happy family)
I'm about to employ a rather ... gross... metaphor.
Maybe I'm the only one who experienced this during my teenage years, but I doubt it.
There have been a few truly memorable skin eruptions during my period of puberty... one in particular I'm recalling, analagous to my current emotional state.
cut for gross description, enter at your own risk )
but fuck, I am tired of feeling so raw so often and so easily. I just wish I could be DONE now... not that I want to forget Scotty, I am just tired of hurting all around all the memories of him and how he's gone.

He should have been there today. He would have known what to say to Becky and Rachel... I hope they manage to scan the childhood photos of all of us, I would love to see the photos with Scott in them.

I'm going to bed. I don't wanna go to work tomorrow, but I'm gonna try.
labelleizzy: (sad)
I'ma digress for a moment before getting to my point - heh, like that surprises anyone but me...

There's this book I decided to leave on my work-desk, called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and it's all Small stuff." It's like this collection of short essays about stress, philosophy, relaxing, doing the things in your life that you value?


so the almost first essay makes this point. which is, like that old story about how nobody, on their deathbeds, wishes they'd spent more time in the office... but this author phrases it differently... "your inbox will never be empty"... he says. that's the point of an inbox. and how if you get sick, leave that job, retire, die, whatever, that inbox will always have stuff in it, and it's like near-madness to expect that you will ever... have a perfectly clean kitchen 24/7 when you have an infant, or a perfectly clear desk as an english teacher...

on the way home from work today I took care of my late fines at the video store and picked up my favorite "fairy tale". Ladyhawke. So you could say I took 2 things out of my inbox and did them, since I'll show some pieces of Ladyhawke tomorrow to show the drama kids a "fractured fairy tale."

was going to take a nap when I got home, but my husband said, "you have to listen to the message on the machine. I think you also have a message on the cellphone. I think it's important."

so I do. and it's my mom, and she sounds a little worried-frazzled-upset from the get-go...
and my cousin Jeff, the Nice Guy, big ol' bear of a dude who I always liked, and there really was never a reason NOT to call him and hang out, I just never did... there were complications after his surgery for testicular cancer...

mom says he was great, upbeat, perky for several days after the most recent surgery, but that I think yesterday, he started to experience breathing problems. She doesn't know if it was maybe a blood clot in the lung or what, but he's gone now.

My inbox isn't empty. It won't be.
his inbox isn't empty.

that doesn't help.


I'm glad I have a movie to show for tomorrow.


Apr. 19th, 2007 02:35 pm
labelleizzy: (Default)
I slept FOURTEEN HOURS last night - to bed at midnight, one wakeup at 7:20 when my "it's time to go to work" alarm went off, then back to bed.

I woke up, walked out into the kitchen and thought there'd been a power outage! 2:10? what?
then checked the time on the phone and computer. *sigh*

I think I still have time to do all the stuff I wanted/needed to do today; I guess the first order of business is to brew my caffeine and take the pain meds. (maybe it was the pain meds that had me sleep so long? could be)

Saw an orthopedist yesterday about my knee, per the advice nurse. I am pretty sure he ruled out major ligament damage (i.e. ACL) but _he_ was thinking it might be a meniscus tear. which would of course suck big rocks... though not the end of the world. He said "orthopedics referral will want x-rays" so I went & got x-rays, the Totally Nicest Technician Evar with a Patented Professional Manner did about 5 plates on my rt. knee. It was kind of weird having an exray and not being in OMFG EXCRUCIATING pain... I wasn't worried or hurting or anything. It was kind of neutral. (later that pm got a voicemail from the doc - the plates showed my knee as normal, at least normal in an exray, again very professional to turn that around so fast)...

Went to have a steak dinner at Tahoe Joe's. Got a nice quiet table-for-one. Turned out my server goes to the private school that shares a boundary line with MY school. We got to talking. I got the name of their drama coach, I talked up our administration (cos they SO rock) & the upcoming musical (Some Like it Hot in a musical form) & I got the idea then & there to do some NOT-rah-rah-your-team-must-lose-our-team-must-win collaboration and mutual publicity with the other high school. I'm curious to see what kind of theater facilities & programs they have.

(short-attention-span-moment - SQUIRREL! on my back fence! the cute! - Look out squirrel, kitties are in the back yard!) (Yeah, the coffee's kicking in)

then went to kill the last little bit of time looking at pretty things at Cost Plus where I got a nice phone call from [ profile] battymaiden. Thanks hun, it was a good call and I appreciate the support. (and thanks for the news about Josh and Rosalind - I still have to call him)

And a last conversation with the guys working at Cost Plus. I _must_ have become genuinely extroverted at some time in my life, cos I _definitely_ got energy from those exchanges.

Lots of the cat sitting-on-me last night and this morning.
Mom called (thanks, [ profile] temperance14 for the idea of coding the ring-tone, I did that last night at dinner) just after I woke up, and it sounds like preparations for the memorial are moving right along.

that's all I got right now. I have a to-do list that's 15 items long, including PT for the knee and a condolence email to [ profile] josh_summit.

I better hop.

thanks, everyone.
labelleizzy: (happy family)
for anyone wanting to send a remembrance or a donation... )
My mom said that Scotty will be cremated, per his wishes. I don't know yet what Sarah will be doing with his ashes.

thanks for all the love and support, people. it does help.

(as does a cat who insists on lying on my arm & keyboard while I'm trying to type. I have to keep craning my neck to see the letters.)
labelleizzy: (happy family)
My brother died this Sunday. Yes, while I was in Japan.

I'm dealing. Work is helping me sort stuff out so I don't have to try and teach when I'm, um. Upset.

My brother's, um, widow. *handkerchief*
is doing a college fund for Aubrey Faith, in lieu of flowers.

So let me know if you'd like to contribute, eh? You could contribute anytime. And prayers and kind thoughts/energies are always welcome.

and if you want to help, you can ask me how I am when you see me. I posted to Barbarians list about this but haven't um. tried to read the messages yet. thanks for people's support so far.

If there's an upside to this, aside from Scotty not hurting anymore *handkerchief*
it's that compared to April 28, 1994, when my dad died (yeah, my mom gets two deathaversaries in the same month now...) I'm actually grieving. Took me like 6 or 7 YEARS to move out of cotton-wool-stuffed denial and irrational anger about my dad's going.

So I guess that's something. Stuff is moving.

Better get going.


Jul. 9th, 2003 12:01 am
labelleizzy: (turian)
Isn't it amazing how one word, one concept, can change the way you see the world?
Sometimes, forever.

Sometimes the word is FEAR.
or PAIN.

But sometimes the word is JOY.
or LOVE.

I love the whole world, right now.

I am the Ace of Cups, filled to overflowing.


Jul. 8th, 2003 08:18 pm
labelleizzy: (sad)
Just got notified about the sudden death of a dear friend's father.
I don't know what to do, aside from letting him know I'm here for him, as I know (from his other blog) at least a dozen people have already said.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.

And yet, and yet...

Brings me back to the death of my own father. We knew it was coming, it was not sudden, and yet it was still a shock.

Missing him grew less fierce eventually, the anger and frustration has moderated and matured into something mellower, yet still with a tang to it.

I've been there, it's been 9 years and 2 months since I passed through this door, and I still don't have any idea what to say to my friend.

Isn't the consolation about getting older the conceit that with experience comes wisdom? Shouldn't there be some point at which common experience allows me to comfort and perhaps even help such an old and close friend with his pain?

Words fail me. Words fail most of us at this time in someone else's life. Which was exactly what I found most frustrating, at the time of my own rite of passage. Nobody would talk about my father to me, nobody was willing to share happier memories.

It was like there was a conspiracy of avoidance, of silence. What I desperately needed to know was WHY all these people were at the memorial, why my father was important. In detail. Did he make them laugh, do a favor for them, was he just a great guy, did he ever make them mad?

We define ourselves in part through our parents. We discover too late the parts which are influenced or imprinted by "dad", by "mom", by "grandma" or the "favorite uncle". We define ourselves by our denial or rejection of parts of our parents which we find objectionable, only to discover later that those very traits are often hard-wired, and that we can't deactivate them.

Sometimes this hardwiring is like that of some kind of clock - helpful in maintaining a working, livable rhythm.
Sometimes, it's more like that of a landmine or pipe bomb.

I hope to the gods that K. has found his programming agreeable and that it helps him through this difficult time.

So, I suppose I'm feeling a touch cynical, referring to parenting as programming... Parents out there, please forgive me.

I love my parents, I just find it hard to forgive their mistakes sometimes.

Work in progress...
labelleizzy: (Default)
I wrote the following for the Writer's Circle Mario started up this year. I had some trouble moving out of autobiographical writing style (too many years journalling, I guess) and into fiction.
Technically, it's untitled, but it's saved as,
"His ashes are still in a box..."

Read more... )
more anon. Still waiting to hear about when the SN&R is publishing that poem o' mine.


labelleizzy: (Default)

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