Monday, October 17, 2005

Last days, first days - Sunday evening catchup

May you live through interesting times.
(Ancient Chinese curse)

It has been an interesting weekend.

First, a disclaimer: October 8th was the 15th anniversary of my firing from my former employer...it actually took from October 8th to December 12th to actually find the community of recovery. So while I appreciate the many well-wishes I received, even fractional rigorous honesty requires me to say that the "woo-hoo!" moment is, in fact, two months away. The accountant would say "it's materially fifteen years ago," but that kinda stuff just doesn't cut it in my sober experience. Having said all that...

Thursday was my last day at my former temporary place of employment. It seemed like everyone was Barbra Streisand in "The Way We Were" - my accounting supervisor saying "What am I going to do when you're gone?", and everyone saying how much I'd be missed - which was nice to hear, even if I have some trouble believing it.

My "farewell" card was a little weird - often, the staff will take a large leaf from a tropical plant (like a banana-tree leaf) and have everyone sign it. But for some reason, they decided to sign what looked like a cross between a plantain and a banana (it's the size and shape of a banana, but the coloring of a plantain). This is particularly funny, because (since it's a fruit) it simply will not last very long - nor would the dried banana-peel fit well in whatever scrapbook I might happen to keep. So perhaps the message is, "We wish you well, but don't rely on these memories, 'cause they won't last." Hmmm...

Friday was a weird day - some highs and lows. I started off very early, to do a dry-run taking the Metra train and CTA bus down to my new place of employment at Hewitt Associates. It's a beautiful location - right on the Chicago River at Adams St., 17th floor. The commute shouldn't be bad at all - although since the starting time at the old job was around 9:30, and this one is an hour earlier, with a somewhat longer commute, I need to be up and going by 6 AM, which is a big shock to the system. It was good I did it - not because getting downtown was hard, but because I got on the wrong train coming home and ended up at 93rd St. in the South Shores, which wasn't good. It took an extra hour-and-a-half to recover from that little "oops" - so I'm glad I didn't have anything else scheduled for the afternoon.

On that erroneous train ride, I was derailed by a voice saying, "Steve? Steve, is that you?" It turned out to be an LSTC student whom I'd hosted for lunch during one of the "Seminary Sampler" weekends 18 months ago. He told me briefly what was up with him, and then said, "So where are you in school?"

I felt myself freeze-up for just a moment - and then, I got a burst of grace, and I said, "Well, I'm not in school any more - I didn't make it through the candidacy process." There was a brief look of embarrassment (and pehaps a flash of pity), and after a brief "Sorry to hear that," I asked him what he was taking this semester, and allowed his answers to take the focus off me. And I found myself surprisingly at peace with that answer.

I spent some time on Sunday afternoon at the Fulton St. Market's Artists Weekend. The Fulton St. Market area is just west of the Loop, and it's been portrayed as a SoHo-in-process for Chicago. Industrial warehousing, food processors, and art-galleries and lofts are side-by-side in this unusual area. Several friends share studio space in a converted warehouse near Ashland & Fulton, and it was neat to both see some of their work and meet their families and partners.

It was just a little annoying, though, since several folks who had planned to go with me ended up crapping out at the last minute. But I really wanted to see this show (especially my buddies' stuff), so I went by myself. I saw some beautiful stuff - most of which cost way more than the Blue-Book value of my car.

I've continued to struggle with staying focused in my time off - which is definitely a cosmic "joke's on you," considering the bi-polar antics of one of my friends (and the definite negative effects it's had on me, recently). My motivation to do much of anything this weekend has been zero, plus or minus 5% - reading, writing, blogging, cleaning, you name it. I've caught up on a good deal of sleep (which ain't all bad, given my sleep patterns for the last two weeks) (which I'm also kind of undoing by still being up at this hour!). But all I can do is start again later on today, and try to be of maximum service to my employer and fellow employees.

For now, clothes are ready, the day is truly done, and it's time to hit the hay before my "new first day at work."

2 comments:

wilsonian said...

Not to diminish the value in your acutal "anniversary", you deserve a wooohooo every day :)

Praying good things at your new job.

Tony Myles said...

I agree... take a day off soon.