First off, I made it through my week at work. (Thanks, Tracy, for your good wishes!) Breathing definitely helped, as did another Buddhist concept that gets me through a lot -- transience. I keep reminding myself that everything changes, and that, as miserable as a particular experience is, it won't -- it can't -- last forever. Mostly this helps (although, in my darker moments, it makes me think of one of my mom's favorite things to say at times like this: "Cheer up, things could get worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse.")(Mom was an ER nurse for quite a while -- can you tell?). So, the situation doesn't seem to have lasted forever, although the personality traits that gave rise to it are somewhat more immutable. I remind myself frequently that there's nothing I can do about that; I'm hardly in control of myself, let alone other people.
One thing I do wish I had more control over, or at least I wish I understood better, is the image other people have of me. I recently have come to realize consciously something that I think I've known for quite a while, which that there are people in the world for whom I exist less as me (the way I think of "me", such as it is), and more as a projected image that fits their notion of who they think I am or should be, given their expectations and worldviews. For many personal reasons, this is a particular trial for me (I know that there are other folks out there who might find this annoying, but not soul-eating; they have their own buttons, I am sure). I do not quite know what to do about it, although I am very clear that I can't change their view of me. What I am not sure about is how to defuse the trigger for me; how to find my way to a place where I operate with integrity (in that original sense of integration of inner and outer selves), and let the chips fall where they may. I'll get there, but sometimes it's hard waiting for the shift that opens up the next step in that direction.
More concretely, I'm plugging along on Tess' socks. Here's the first one (finally, a photo!), modeled on Tess' leg (I took some of it on my leg -- it just wasn't the same). I am almost done with the leg of the second one, and should get the heel turned tonight (fingers crossed).
I should say that, in spite of my griping about the lacework section of these socks, I remain completely charmed by the ribbing and the way it swirls around the front, and merges together in back (Rick declared them "cool"; they clearly impressed his engineering soul). This continues to be true also in spite of the fact that ribbing normally makes me twitch. Furthermore, I am so completely taken by this effect that I am already planning to make myself a pair, although for myself, I will leave off the lace cuff, and simply start with an inch of 1x1 rib. Although I've never worn knee-socks as an adult, I can imagine that I'd like them quite a bit in the winter under my long denim skirts.
That is, if winter ever comes again. Right now, it doesn't seem as though it will (just this morning, Rick wandered through the living room, which is sweltering on a 95 degree day, and said "who thinks global warming isn't happening?"). We have no air conditioning. In years past, this was a sane and considered decision. We didn't want to add to our carbon load, and since we live only about 8 miles from the ocean, we could almost always count on, at the very least, a nice marine layer to roll in of an evening to cool things down. Apparently, we can't count on it any more. For the past two years, we've been getting monsoonal weather from Mexico -- huge thunderheads on the horizon that never produce rain, but that trap the heat, and make everything humid and heavy. We are seriously considering finally committing to the solar panel decision; at the very least, we could put in attic fans, even if we didn't go for central air. Even after being here for five years, I miss Bay Area summer weather, which rarely topped out much over 85, and always cooled off at night (in fact, friends of mine who moved there from the east coast always lamented summer evenings on the patio; it's true that it's hard to enjoy that quite so much when the wind is blowing in through the Golden Gate, and temperatures have dropped to below 60). At some point, when I do not have to cook two vegetable side dishes for 25 people in the next hour or so, I will tell you of my love of fog and cold, but for now, suffice it to say that I feel the lack acutely.