Good evening from New York.
Last time that I wrote, it was just after our Election Day, and I was still in the free flow that my several weeks of vacation were providing. Tomorrow, I will return to the shop, and in the time since I went on vacation, much has changed.
Others might call me a workaholic, but I do not call myself one. I am a Virgo, and like to do things properly, think a lot, try to plan, etc. To step away from my demanding manager role for several weeks, was very difficult. I absorbed all the words about ... it's good for you, refresh yourself, it is part of the company's culture ... all that, and still, it was very difficult to schedule this break.
Well, oddly, my time off not only coincided with our marvelous election results, but also with the continuing descent of the financial markets, and the continuing uncertainty of what is to come. Ah, this Virgo has just tossed analysis to the sky. Let it be, etc.
During the past Monday through Wednesday, I attended a series of managers meetings held off site by my company. During those days we got much more info about how we will respond to the financial meltdown, and even had an amazing workshop by a representative of an organization called the Great Place to Work Institute. My employer has ranked highly in this Institute's surveys for the past five years.
There was a full moon on Wednesday. More input for the mix.
During my free time, I had had enough free time, without any clock, to daydream, paint, doodle, play with yarn, shop for boots, go to museums, get a hair cut, see friends that I have neglected and to let the demands of my job drift from my mind.
Yesterday was a misty, then windy and rainy day in New York. After messing about in my apartment with various creative and practical tasks, I walked down Broadway to a lovely movie theatre just across from our glorious neighbor Lincoln Center, and got a big popcorn bucket to see me through the French film I Have Loved You So Long. It is a film I would recommend to any of you.
I walked back home, still in the mood that the film had induced. Got home late afternoon, and as I waited for the slow elevator to arrive at my lobby waiting post, I saw one of my favorite neighbors come through the front door of the apartment building. She was carrying a huge tote bag. Of course I greeted her, and began to talk about the rainy day. However, she then told me that she'd just been fired. She's a graduate of one of our Ivy League colleges, very energetic and devoted to her career. Her employer for the past 15 years has been a major magazine, part of a major media force.
Suddenly, the television, newspaper, Internet news reports of the recession impact just came crashing home. This hard working person is having her long built career abruptly stopped. She has had a job that many would dream of having, and now ... she does not.
Of course, we talked a long time, and I will say that she is very angry, but much more composed than I would have been had our roles been reversed.
Knowing that the coming weeks will hold many challenges for me as manager of a retail shop, I am so glad to have had these past three weeks pretty much away from the shop. It has given me a chance to recharge my energy, remember I am at heart an artist ... not a shop manager, and re-connect with my many old friends who remind me when and how I stray from that identity.
Today, I got groceries, visited the library, returning books, and picking up others, and did a bit of boot shopping. I wanted to find some that looked good and treated my feet well simultaneously. Got one cheap pair, but still want to find some more special styles.
Returning home, walking along a neighborhood sidewalk, I stopped to gaze in a florist shop that does really creative work, the windows are filled with sculptures done with the combinations of various plants, flowers, moss, whatever. All of a sudden, I heard a deep voice say, Hello, and turned to see the face of a man who was my lover many decades ago. Surely, the full moon was still operational.
He and I do encounter each other every so often and always immediately can just reconnect. He is also an artist. Each of us turned 63 this year.
Well, this chance meeting gained more strength, when we learned that we both saw that same French movie yesterday. He and I have some family histories that are similar, though we grew up in very different parts of the world. How very odd that we each saw that film, in the same theatre, just hours apart, and took from it many thoughts.
After a while this afternoon, we did our usual kiss and hug, and promise to see each other soon.
I came home, made dinner, started this blog.
Just now, I got a call from the shop with a Problem that has suddenly come up, and that I will face tomorrow. My vacation is over, my contemplative moments, thinking of past romance, are suddenly crumpled.
I will soon be going back on duty.