Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Devil's Workshop

Last night, out on the bench in the garden, Nate and I were chatting about my job search. "You know," I said, "my favorite part of being a free agent is really writing, sewing, and gardening." Reflecting on that, it sounds like I should just pick up and move to Wisteria Lane. But it's true. These three things have kept me motivated, and provided enough focus to keep me from obsessing over the inevitable disappointments that come with a job search. There are only so many jobs that hit my radar screen per day, and only so much time one can spend waiting for the phone to ring.

Writing has been my primary outlet since last year, and it's been nice to explore my thoughts in writing as part of a discussion. There's a steady rhythm to blogging, reading what other people write, commenting, and tracking responses to my own writing. It keeps my mind from being over-cluttered with ideas. I suppose it's vaguely equivalent to keeping my desk clean.

Sewing has always been a hobby, since I first learned the basics in Home Economics in 7th grade. I'm a lot better at it now, and I've been able to spend time on fixing the zipper on Nate's cycling jersey, and mending a lot of things that had piled up in my sewing basket. For Nate's birthday, I made him a stuffed squid, since he loves sea creatures, and it was successful enough that a woman in his office ordered one. Let me know if you'd like a stuffed squid of your own...

Gardening is a newer hobby, and a much more labor intensive one. My backyard has terrible soil, good only for weeds and day lilies (I hate day lilies). But I've made progress. I have two roses, a lilac, an azalea, plus I had a nice crop of tulips. All of them have been nice for putting in vases around the house (since I'm not spending extra money on cut flowers). My father-in-law took me on errands with him last weekend, and rewarded me with a few flats of annuals: marigolds, blue dwarf, and Sweet William. I really look forward to going out in the morning and watering everything and pulling weeds.

Certainly all three take a back seat to my job search, but really, I've learned that what I really like is a project with results. It's nice to take a day where I haven't gotten any responses to my search, and say, well, I did fix a pair of pants, and cleared the patch under the hickory tree, and I got in two posts. It's my own miniature A-List. Until I can go back to work.

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