Friday, June 29, 2007

Focus on the Positive

As you may have guessed, I'm a worrier. A person who feels intense about her work, about getting things done efficiently and early. As a former high school, college and adult ed. educator, I think it's normal to grade 120 essays a week, teach 5+ classes on two campuses a day, and juggle a lot of bureaucracy too...of course, along with managing my household, a part time teaching gig or two, and all the other things I used to do. I'm used to assuming responsibility.

That said, my freelance life, well that took some adjustments a few years ago, but the book publishing industry, with its photography expectations, its financial crunch, its moveable hurry up and wait deadlines--it makes my eyes cross and my blood pressure rise. I'm trying as hard as I can to make things work out for Fiber Gathering. It's been worrisome. Stress is popping out everywhere.

On Wednesday, I headed out into our garden, to dig the cr*p out of some dirt to take out my frustration and aggressions. It was 104, according to the "real feel" temperature, which combines heat and humidity. We've had a terrible drought, so digging was hard. I harvested these potatoes, and a few fava beans. Maybe there are a few more potatoes lurking in there, but I couldn't find them. I made them for dinner, roasting it all with olive oil, carrots, onions, some chunks of beef hot dog (high class, huh?), and a splash of cider vinegar. I ate my dinner. Then, because the professor is burning the midnight oil as well, trying to do two jobs at once AND jury duty, I put the rest of the concoction back in the oven. He ate after 8 pm, when he got home. That was our potato harvest. Most all of it. Woohoo. Good thing I'm frugal, because it's not like I'm making money off the book! Maybe I'll plant more potatoes.

Yesterday was our anniversary. We're a good team, and we're celebrating 9 years. I'd had more work stress, but with an odd respite. At 4:15 yesterday afternoon, there was a big thunderstorm (rain finally!) and the lights went out. I spent 45 minutes spinning and knitting, cause what else could I do? No computer. No internet. Lovely. Even managed to sew some of the professor's sweater up. Sally is modelling with it patiently. We managed to go out to dinner at a high end restaurant. Before dinner, we dropped by the drugstore to pick up my film from Black Sheep Gathering. (Inhale. deep breath now.)
They lost my film.
Ok, they were very nice about the mistake, offered me lots of free stuff, and these things happen. Let's just say that by then, the lights were on again...back in my #*$^%%^ , ahem, challenging-- worklife. I had a big glass of wine with dinner. Then, we went through the professor's 830 photos from Black Sheep Gathering, after dinner, until bedtime. (good thing he takes lots of photos!) These are being narrowed down to show the publisher before the professor leaves again on Saturday for his work trips. I may show you some BSG photos if mine are found...but then again, maybe not?

We tried on the professor's sweater, which, according to the pattern, just needs me to finish the collar. Yup. Except that I'll now be knitting underarm gussets to give the poor man the extra 3+ inches he needs to get the sweater around his shoulders and upper arms. This thing is endless, and the professor's no muscle-bound wrestler. Good thing I'm a designer. I can improvise...and there's leftover yarn.

Meanwhile, Sally is wiped out from all the thunder. (very stressful for a nervous highstrung girl)!
So, here goes, I'm focusing on the positive:

I love your comments. They keep me cheery and let me smile, and I visit the blog to read them often and feel encouraged and reassured.

I am writing a book about fiber festivals, and I love fiber festivals.

The professor is doing an incredible amount of work to make this happen, and I'm lucky to have him.

The potatoes tasted good. The only way to get fresh fava beans here is to grow them, and they were great.

Please join me in worrying and sending positive vibes that I can make this book a reality. I believe the worrying helps...along with turning all my first materials 3-4 weeks before the deadline, which I've already done. While I'm doing the hurry up and wait thing, I'm considering going outside in the 90+ temperatures to chop the heck out of some weeds and beat them into submission. Maybe this is why nice Southern ladies with good manners have such nice gardens?


Blogger Vicki said...

Hang in there. I know you can get the book done. Sorry to hear your film got lost but happy to hear you have backups with your husband. Are you going to be Michigan Fiber Fest and/or the new Midwest Fiber Folk Festival? Vicki M

June 29, 2007 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Hi Vicki, I'll be at Michigan in August but not at the new festival in July. I hope to see you at Michigan? The new festival's not in the budget at the moment, and I daresay we may need a break through July, especially since the professor will be away for 2+ weeks for his work. I hope it's a wonderful event though, and maybe I'll get there next year!

June 29, 2007 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All good vibes heading your way :-)

Funny you should say that about the power cut - I got LOADS done when my laptop was on the blink. I should pretend it's broken more often ;-)

June 29, 2007 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

The photos for my first set of Heartland Knits patterns were ruined while they were being processed (the guy opened the machine up or something). When I went in to pick them up, the woman at the counter made the guy personally tell me what had happened. He looked terrified! Behind me in line were a string of teenage girls waiting to pick up their Homecoming pictures. All I could think of was that it was better to have happened to me than to them, after all, I still had the knit items and could shoot the photos again. I'm glad the professor had back up pics for you, too!

June 29, 2007 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I have not doubt that you are going to be able to finish this book with flying colors and I pray blessings upon you and your house. Yes, my blackberries have looked quite sad, hopefully the rain we have gotten this week is going to make a difference.

June 29, 2007 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Romi said...

The happiest of anniversaries to you, Joanne!

I'm sending good juju and vibes your way. I hope it all works out beautifully. :)

June 29, 2007 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger SueJ said...

I think thats why I prefer digital -if there is a b***s up its usually my fault! Have some of our rain -in Yorkshire, England we did drought in May & now floods in June! Its all down to a stuck jet stream I am informed! That should account for your drought. Our dog takes a different tack on thunderstorms as he wants to go out & shout at them! Our old dogs used to shake & quake though,my sisters dog gets in the wardrobe when it thunders! Stress is a funny old thing -as a teacher I know what it looks & feels like but I appreciate that its the stuff you cannot control that causes the real stress. Sometimes just recognising that helps. I have created a 'only me'blog to record what happens at work (virtual diary) & I have found that it really helps. Enjoy your fibre, your garden, dogs & the prof! These things matter.

June 30, 2007 at 3:53 AM  
Blogger vanessa said...

book juju book juju book juju
on the way to you!

June 30, 2007 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Lots of good vibes heading your way! It was such a treat to get to meet you and the Professor in person.

July 1, 2007 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger annmarie said...

A nice Southern lady with good manners, my late mother, I can tell you, spent hours and hours each week doing gardening and yard work. As one of her five kids, I can appreciate in retrospect that she usually took out her stress and frustrations on the vines and weeds and not on us.

July 1, 2007 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Deborah Robson said...

Ah, the great publishing mantra: "This, too, shall pass." Check Wikipedia (without the commas, which I prefer) for the Hebrew. The hurry/wait process, the lost film, the "will the photos be 'good' enough?" and all. Weeding is good. Continuing to breathe, evenly and regularly despite anyone else's lateness or anxiety, is the very best.

July 1, 2007 at 1:37 PM  

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