Looking Up

From time to time, my devoted readers—all six of them—express concern over the tenor of some of the scribblings here at C?WC?  Why so glum so often, they ask. Should they be concerned for my emotional/psychological well being? No, no, I assure them; the sad stories that emerge here (like the last two posts, which you can find here and here) might reflect some down moments, but overall, at least this week, life is OK. Writing about the gloomier things is a form of therapy, and of course if anything gets too dark you can always skip a post and  go back to all the cheery social media posts about our beloved president.

That, of course, was a joke.

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From one of the daily walks. The birds bring me joy.

But just to show that I can pull myself out of the self-pitying muck I sometimes wallow in, here’s a post that reflects some of the good stuff that has happened of late and that I anticipate for the near future.

For one, I got a rush job from a client, which I just finished today (well, at least the first draft) and which has eased some of my financial fears of the summer. As a freelancer, there will always be some angst about the workload—too much, too little—and the worry that the money that does come in just won’t quite be enough to make ends meet. Yet somehow, the mortgage gets paid, the electricity stays on, Callie my beloved feline does not starve, and I still manage to get a few pints of IPA every week at my favorite watering holes.

Another benefit came from this recent assignment. I validated a theory I had been kicking around for a while. Work, at least for me, is therapeutic. When I have to scramble to meet a pretty ridiculous deadline or push myself to  juggle several substantial jobs at once, I don’t have the time for lamentations. And when works slows, I have another thing to worry about it, which makes me more depressed and not eager to do work. So, for me, work is good (even if I do sometimes enjoy those slow days when I can knock off early and go to a matinee).

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Rain’s a comin’.

Also boosting the mood the last few weeks was having an East Coast visitor, one of my oldest and closest friends. I put aside the rush job for a few days so I could play tour guide, take him to some of the must-see sites here in Santa Fe and a few favorite places of my own. The touring included a stop at the Valles Caldera, which I had been meaning to go to for ages. Rain cut short our hike, so I plan on returning very soon.

Now,  his trip here was not all fun and games, as we each had tales of woe to share. But knowing that someone who cares was listening and at times offering solace was comforting. (Of course, the solace sometimes turned into pointed advice, as my friend reminded me that in the search for a significant other, or at least a date, I should stop being so damn picky.)

Another plus: While I don’t always feel as connected to the theater folks I know here as I would like, the reality is they form my largest social network, and at times, the camaraderie and inspiration I get from them is essential to my well being. I felt the latter in spades while attending another playwright’s informal reading of a new play and after attending the annual Fiesta Melodrama, a tradition almost a century old and still going strong. I left the theater the other night recommitted to pursuing my playwriting and am applying to a retreat and a conference for 2018, to try to turn that intention into reality. Fingers crossed.

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Recent purtiness #1

 

Other small highlights: seeing a one-hour preview of the new Ken Burns’ series on the Vietnam War; hanging out with friends; going to the art museum to see an exhibit of drawings from such heavy hitters as Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and da Vinci; making a daily walk part of my new health regimen (have not missed a day in two months! We’ll see how that record stands when winter comes…); harvesting my first tomatoes; making plans to see Green Day and Wilco this month; making plans to finally get my butt down to White Sands on another solo camping trip (report to come on that, I’m sure); anticipating my first trip of any substance since May, when I go visit a dear friend in Washington state.

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and #2

Then there are those things that always give

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and #3

me pleasure, even if I lose sight of them during the darker moments: friends, Callie, music, the farmers’ market, the mountains, the sunsets, taking pictures of the sunsets and other bits of nature around me. I’m grateful that things have taken the upward turn of late. The trick now is to let all these things buoy me a bit when the next down time comes. Or even better, use them to keep the darkness at bay.

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~ by mburgan on September 4, 2017.

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