Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a sense of satisfaction.

I find the need to romanticize my job today in order to keep myself sane. Things have been a bit quiet here at the ol’ garden shop, but today I woke up at the crack of dawn to unload half a semi-truck worth of Christmas trees. I would have been crankier about it except for the fact that I find an odd sense of enjoyment in these outdoorsy sorts of physical activities. Not to mention, the smell of pine is intoxicating. Autumn leaves drifted and swirled upward in strong wind currents. Everyone walking to and from the coffee shop next door was exceptionally friendly. It seems that, in general, the smell of pine trees has this effect on people. Ok…so never mind that it was dark when I woke up. Never mind that my back is now stiffening. Never mind that I had to coordinate something I shouldn’t have had anything to do with. I admit it: I enjoyed myself. And I feel more connected to things than I have in several days.

Maybe that’s all I needed…a little extra exercise to loosen up and release all those emotional toxins that have been knocked loose during the course of the past couple weeks. Such a simple solution—I forget—is exercise. It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to throw around Christmas trees. Trees are good medicine. Even if they have (unfortunately) been cut down and transported from another state. True, I prefer the deep forests, but in this urban landscape I’ll take what I can get.

These days, I’ve been feeling a persistent urge to keep working on my thesis. Actually, I don’t want to do it, but there is not a second of the day that I’m not thinking about it (except while hauling trees, that is!). I completed another 4 (rough) pages yesterday in between a yard work, a visit to the dog park, sending a few emails, and dinner—a straggling paragraph here, another there. Finally, I had to tell myself: STOP! Other than the four pages I pieced together yesterday, progress has been slow. I beg myself to keep moving forward while reminding myself that, eventually, I will reach the very end. When I get really stuck, I do 15 minute freewrites (alla Peter Elbow), then move on to a new thought. It turns out that those freewrites have become the bulk of my most recent pages.

Last night, to keep myself from total and absolute burnout, I did the wise thing and took a break by going on a little shopping excursion with V (paints for me, pants for him). Once back home, I shifted focus to my other current obsession: web design. I’m presently working on several projects at once and, oh my, I would be so happy to just spend entire days CREATING!!

One thing that I am learning about myself is that I enjoy work that allows me to move around and mix things up. When things get monotonous, I tend to turn off. But multi-tasking on compatible projects? Yes, I love that idea—but compatibility between projects, I’m noticing, is key. And, uh… time management (which is something I would love to get better at). I thrive off of feeling a sense of personal investment in what I do. However, I also need to learn when to call it quits and just relax. It’s a continual process though, isn’t it? To live a seamless life—is that even possible? Maybe not, but what I’m striving towards are things that turn me on, not shut me off.

And so I have two questions for myself: What brings me satisfaction? And how might I create a life based on those things?

* * *


Kikipotamus said...

Sounds like you are a writing workshop leader whose retreats take place in the woods. And people get to bring their dogs. Hee!

Jessie said...

hey, kikipotamus...i like that idea!! :)

Loralee Choate said...

I adore the smell of pine. LOVE it. I have to have a fake tree, but I bring in loads of boughs to try and make up for it!

Leah said...

oo, i love kelly's idea!

regardless, it's so important to remind ourselves what makes us really happy from time to time and then to include as much as we can of those things which bring us joy in our day to day lives. because really, life should be lived with the joy meter turned on high as much as possible. :-) xoxoxo

bella said...

I love the smell of pine. I try to buy a lot of pine scented candles during the holidays to keep them burning throughout the year.
Remember to breathe when it gets to be too much. xo

Sharon said...

Aahh... the smell of pine...love it.
The idea of doing physical stuff is one I follow. Too long at the computer or sewing machine, and I have to MOVE! Even if it's with my walker or cane...

gkgirl said...


and yes,
i think
(since i have gotten my
drivers licence)
that i have forgotten the
importance of
simple exercise
to loosen things up...

Melba said...

all day today I have been getting weird blogger time outs.:(

I wrote you a perfectly brilliant comment and now it is lost!;)

and now I am late for picking up the kiddies at school.
Don't like to be the last mama there!
But I wrote something about evolution and how I am happy to witness you evolve. :)

Later my friend.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I like Kikipotamus's idea too...I could so see you doing that, babe.

Thanks so much for the chat yesterday...my brain feels a lot lighter. xoxo, M

And pine smells exactly like the holidays...no matter people looked happy as they walked by!

Anonymous said...

Totally technical question:
Will you email me and let me know how you keep the left column image stable while scrolling in the middle/right columns? I love that about your blog, and I just can't figure it out.

I tell you what, we'll build a cob retreat center in the pines and run writing retreats together. With dogs and cats and good coffee and lots of recycling. I love it!

Maddie said...

oh I love the smell of pine ~
it is intoxicating and so fresh:)

I can just picture you being a
cute tree hugger and then sipping
some apple cider after ~
and I love your new golden art
creed ~ you do know how to help people
smile and find their voice:)


Anonymous said...

ahhhh...genuine pine.
You've got me feeling all Christmasy now.
I absolutely LOVE that typed word collage!

Sacred Suzie said...

Christmas trees and art! I love it Jessie and thank you so much for your comment. It seems like we are both in between spaces right now. I'm glad the words helped you and thank you for letting them help me. :)

kj said...

jessie, i just love this post, and your ending design is terrific.

you are one talented artist. i say knock off the education, whatever it takes, so you can soar in the world, enough money and power and opportunity to create and share as you think best.

so there.

swampgirl said...

i love that you attended to yourself with the intention of keeping burnout 'over there' while you are 'over here.'

you are brave!

thanks for your comment on bravery with short hair on my blog.

Fiona said...

The world is definitely waiting for that writing retreat in the woods with open fires, story telling, long walks, great coffee and you leading the way. I can't wait!

laundrygirl said...

Sounds like a great day despite your initial outlook. I love all of the photos of the garden shop and yes, I too love the smell of pine. I have not had a real tree the past few Christmases and the smell is what I miss most.