Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stepping Stones

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

Thomas Carlyle

Friday, I sat in my car eating my lunch. A thundering rainstorm had moistened the few grass areas at my work an hour earlier and after being shut up in a windowless room for the past four hours, I needed some air. I also needed to be alone. Even though this job has me in a room with one hundred others, the work is solitary except for my computer screen. No conversation - quiet ensues. If one minute past our breaks or lunchtime conversation fills the room, there is a reminder from the supervisor at the back of the room that it is now reading time. (Sort of like when you told your children it was "Quiet Time " -- and meant it.) In my own space, my car, I find forty-five minutes of sanity release. I write in my journal as I eat my peanut butter sandwich. Looking back at Friday's entry, it wasn't too pretty.

The "F" word dominated the short entry. Along with the word "miserable." But after I used my pen to put down those feelings, I hung my head out the open car window to gather some sunshine on my face. For now the sun had come out, erasing the dark clouds and rain I could only imagine as I heard the thunder and the pounding of much needed rain on the roof of the building.

I recall my words from when I began this journey, that it is a rediscovery of my talents, abilities, and whatever else I said. Three weeks into this job, I have to say progress has arrived. I now know I can get a job, that the one I have is not the one I want, and I do have something other than freelancer to put on my resume. I've learned that at 52 years of age, it is not easy to go out into this work world, but that I haven't been twiddling my thumbs nor sitting on my ass all these years. I have something to offer. Moreover, I need to honor this committment that I made to sign on for this temporary gig, make sure my eyesight survives, and try to put a smile on my face for my family's sake. Also, to utilize the time to make them understand all that is involved in creating, maintaining, and sustaining a household and family. And that means more than keeping the kitchen clean.

Saturday morning, after dropping my youngest son out in the middle of nowhere to join my husband on a campout, I escaped to the lake. Had intended to invite a few friends to come with me, but I never seemed to make those calls. I've had most of Saturday and this Sunday morning to myself. I like being by myself and I have utilized the time well in regard to getting rugs washed, floor cleaned, some writing and reading done. But more important, I had time for reflection. I'm determined to use this current job venture for what it is, a stepping stone to what comes next. Not sure how close the next step is or if it is even within easy reach. But if I slip, getting wet never killed anybody. Or so I hope.

My duck friends are sqwauking out on the dock. They know I'm here and are looking for dog food nuggets. Guess I'll go feed them.


  1. That's the right attitude to have, and an attitude needed for survival. I too am going through the same thing. It's difficult, but just keep reminding yourself it's just a stepping stone.

  2. You have a great attitude, and you'll need it. We all need it, that's for sure. I like my alone time too, but am thinking I might be getting too much of it lately. Anyway, it's great for reflection and getting those chore-type tasks out of the way. Now, I'm actually going to write on my novel with the time that's left of my too-short weekend.

    Really enjoying your blog. Always so thoughtful and poignant and relevant.

  3. Great post. Honest. I have heard we do our most creative work often after forty. Of course I don't negate what happened earlier, but I think a freedom is in the air for us as we get older. A letting go and picking up new things with more wisdom of how far to take them.

    When I return to the workforce I hope I am as courageous and patient as you!

  4. I enjoy a lot of alone time too. Sometimes I put off making those invite calls until it is too late.

  5. What a wonderful weekend you have had. It sounds so peaceful. I too, love being on my own, a time for reflection, a time to recharge those batteries. You have a great attitude. And at 52 your still a baby, LOL. I'm 60 and have a secret (I haven't told the family yet) career move that I'm hoping will happen.


  6. Love personal essays, especially the ones that are thoughtful and I loved this one.

    Thanks for stopping at my blog. I'll be visiting here often too.


  7. Glad you got some ME time. It's vital for recharging batteries and saving the saniy!

  8. You have the right attitude and having alone time is soooooooooo important.
    It was so funny when I was reading this... my 3 year old said "mommy I wanna go feed the ducks" just as I was reading the last 3 lines of this post. It's almost as she was reading my mind.. ;)

  9. I can emphathize with your feelings; I had them some years back--when the highlight of my day was actually feeling natural light and a gentle breeze on my skin.

    Isn't amazing how tiring it can be to be alone in crowded room?

  10. these are the best years- you can finally find the time to do what you want-- not what everyone else wants you to do- you finally know who you are (kinda) and most of us are more creative, and not so much needing the men folk to keep bugging us.

  11. Mary: Survival and stepping stone indeed!

    Fragrant Liar: Write that novel, grrl. And thanks for support. You got me started in this venture!

    TTWC: I'm not so sure I'm courageous and patient, but thanks for thinking so. And, yes, there is a certain freedom that comes with age. Perhaps more of a belief in ourselves.

  12. PSHT: Yes, sometimes that the ticket - just waiting a tad too long to make that call, and then your dilemma is solved. Patience.

    Margaret: Bless you! I haven't been called a baby, or a babe for that matter, in a long time.

    Sujatha: Thank you for visiting also. Have a great time on your latest journey.

    Angie: yes, ME Time. Who would have though with all these kids that a time for me might arrive? Enjoy your writing conference.

  13. Jill: I'm thinking that with a three-year-old, your alone time is a very important place to find. Cheap dog food - that's what I feed my ducks.

    Jocelyn: "natural light and a gentle breeze on my skin" I'm thinking you understand this completely. And yes, most tiring to be alone in a crowded room.

    Chanel: Yes, there seems to be confidence that I'm finding in this search - one that helps me to have faith in my own decisions. Enjoyed visiting ALL your blogs. Most fun.

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