Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Five Year Plan

Photograph of the scrubbed pine table. It smells like Murphy's oil soap. And there are still some wide open bare places. G has all his pill bottles and the newspaper spread over his end of the 8 foot long table. My end is still okay. My written journal. I had to check what I had written here as you guys can enlarge it and actually read the page. No secret stuff.

G had a meeting yesterday with the owner of the restaurant group where he works. The owner was discussing his five year plan and his life goals (which I assume my husband and the others are supposed to be helping him achieve). Five Year Plan. I have been asked this question at interviews and job reviews. I don't have one. I never have. Do you?

The only long range plan I ever had, in my entire life, was the 365 day healthy eating plan. And that plan was so difficult that I find it hard to even go back to it for 7 days. Perhaps I am "plan phobic"?

I know, pretty much, all the things I DON'T want to do. I've got that down. But what I DO want to do isn't as clear to me. I could easily make a list of 100 things I never want to do. I couldn't even get past 3 or 4 things, I do want to do.

Life just happened when I wasn't looking. G's career wasn't something he planned, schemed or even saw coming. Last night I tried to imagine what our life would have been like if we had planned and stayed on campus and G had continued onto graduate school in botany instead of working at a production greenhouse in Georgia. I could have finished my degree. He could possibly have gotten his doctorate. A completely different life. But there was Vietnam and the draft and G just wanted a job.

The only parts of our lives that we planned for and waited for: our second child; my vegetable garden and the dog. Oh, we did have a three year landscaping plan for one of the houses we lived in, but that was budgetary, not creative or anything to do with us doing the work.

If I was to "plan" for the next five years what would I want to happen? I'm not going to speculate here and now. I will have to do some searching and dreaming on this topic. I'm not going to list "retire". A few extra weeks of vacation or unpaid leave would be enough retirement for both of us. We were born to work. Without the structure of work or deadlines we get nothing done. G would nap the remainder of his life. I would sit here writing.

I have the usual suspects on my agenda today. Laundry & Ironing. Dog Walk. With the addition of driving to work and finding out what I'm supposed to be "teaching" on Saturday. "Growing Healthy Houseplants" is the title. I haven't seen the handout yet. I also haven't heard from unemployment, yet. Perhaps I never will. Perhaps, I have been "banned for life" for not filling out my job search diary last year.

It was very cold in the house yesterday afternoon. The temperature dropped like a rock when the sun set and with the wind blowing it was COLD. I didn't go to Art Club. I reheated the meatloaf (sauteed in butter till brown and crispy) and heated the mashed potatoes with warm milk. No microwave. As the food gets hot and then cold so quickly in winter. G had the leftover peas and I had roasted beets. I also had potato chips at lunchtime and late at night. I am craving salt. I ate them all, so now won't be having them anymore. It's a pretty stupid way to solve problems.

So. Not much else to discuss. The comments on Fame & Fortune were interesting. I failed to mention people not wanting to buy your things. This happens. It happens to me. The pieces I have sold have been strongly and intuitively, mine. The viewers see this and react to it. They don't connect with the majority of my work. Only the pieces with which I have a strong personal connection. Because I know this, it makes working more stressful. I can't be emotionally connected to every piece. I can't force the connection. So I have been staying away. I think I see why painters burn their unsold canvases. The work is done, it didn't turn out well, let it go. Burn, baby, burn.

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