Oh for the deck, a drink, a cat, and DLJ

Not long now. It’s the 21st. I will be home the evening of the 25th. I have had a grand time. I really do miss home. I miss DLJ so much. I like having small chunks of time apart from him, I think it’s good for us to recharge our appreciation for each other by being apart. But it’s been a long time. Yet it feels like a snap of time as well. May 2 until today. Really not that long. But so much has happened, so many places, people, miles, hotels…
A few nights ago we had a video date on iChat and he was sitting outside in the backyard. It was very hot there. I missed it all, the darkening sky, the cats, the air in the evening. I miss my glass. I miss my focus, but it’s been good to visit other towns and gather inspiration and ideas. I only hope that my glass mojo returns to me when I return home. I have to go to Bullseye and get a quickie tutorial from Bonnie, see what new colors there are, and dive back in.
I also have to finish recording all the numbers for this tour, moving things around on the website, and starting up a new website for a new client. I need to repaint the living room and start getting ready for our 2nd annual summer party.
But all of this will be at home. HOME. A Cancer away from home is a Cancer without a shell. I’m an experience junkie, and it is worth it for me to leave my shell now and again, but oh, does it EVER feel good to get back home to my garden, my pets, and most of all, my sweetheart. Not long now, life, I’m coming back soon.

Well, this is it.

The last day at work. The last day of commuting, of a full-time job. Of getting up before 7 am.
I’m very nervous. This money thing, man. It’s a tether. It’s a cage. I sit and wonder how the @#$#$% we will make it. Touching savings and such, we could go a long, long, long time this way. But I want to save, not deplete. We aren’t huge consumers, especially not me. It’s not like I can make a huge change to rapidly lower how much money goes out. But things will help. The new way I will shop for food. Less gas. Less eating out since I won’t be at work. I can lower the insurance on my car as it will no longer be driven so much.

But then I sit here and listen to the whiny call center woman behind me, talking babytalk into the phone, and look at my beige walls like the thousands of other beige walls around me…

The thing that really started, or cemented my decision, was this guy about 500 feet away from me. His cube walls that face the hallway are coated in photographs. Most of them of his young son, but also of trips, waterfalls, fishing, posed photos with friends. But yes, mostly his son, eating, playing, sleeping, smiling.

I started looking at other walls of cubes. Dogs, calm scenes, vacation spots, pictures of people’s homes, gardens, families.

Everything they have to leave every day to come here.

Work is necessary. The trick is to do what you love for work, or what you feel contributes to the overall good. I looked at a job at once…terrific pay, great environment, excellent situation. Except they made infared imaging products. Helping to protect our soldiers. Yeah.

There’s no way I could have ever worked that job. Some may be able to sleep at night if their job does not directly cause harm, but even as a webmonkey, I would be working in a poisoned factory in terms of the effects of that company’s products.

It is necessary I work. It is not necessary I work here. I will not be in a cube that I plaster with images of every other place I want to be. To those who want to be here, and love their work, I salute you. And I leave my space in the hopes that someone who loves it will take it.
My cube has photos of glass, beads, and our cats.

The money will follow me someday. We can do this, terrifying as it is right now. So I will take my photos today, walk out the door and be locked out. And I will go to where the places in my pictures live, and live with them everyday.

I really am scared, you guys. The drop in pay for a while, or for a long time, will be HUGE. But we were doing really well financially before this. With saving techniques, simplified desires and the energy to find deals and work the systems to my needs, we can do it. And if we can’t…well, I can jump back in a myriad of ways.

I keep watching the websites of companies in the art biz, in the glass biz. I’m making connections. As I grow my skills will grow. Maybe I will try to teach glass art someday.

I’m scared.

But I’m thrilled, too.

Eco Christmas`

Being ecologically minded at the holidays is not often thought about, but there are many things you can do to make your holidays truly more everGREEN. ;)

Here is a terrific article with tips and ideas.

A local cut tree, if you must have a tree, is better than a fake one used for years, which is made with plastics, creating noxious gases during creation, was probably shipped from far away, creating more air pollution…

…so much to think about. Even putting your holiday lights on a timer helps. Why waste the energy at 3 am when no one is awake to see them? =)

t minus 3 weeks

So the news is in. This job here that I’ve been at for 18 months likely will be going away for good for me. I’m in the Marketing Dept. and they don’t do the 18 months on, 3 months off thing. So when I’m outta here, its for good, pretty much.
I admit deep down to being happy about this.
I do enjoy this job, but I’m ready to take a break from this cubicle cage. It’s been ten years…more than ten years of corporate web monkeying. It’s been fun, it’s been hard, it’s been an incredibly fulfilling situation at times, and a brain dead one at others. I’ve worked so hard I lived at work for days. I’ve been to company sponsored raves. I’ve worked in the options trading industry. I’ve worked at Microsoft and Xerox. I’ve did the whole dotcom startup in San Francisco thing, down to people riding bicycles in the aisles and playing xbox for a break at 11 am, while being worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on paper. I’ve gone to conventions and put pithy sayings on cube walls. I’ve bought power outfits and commuted. Flash, Javascript, HTML, Cold Fusion, Dynamo, Frontier, CSS, xml, VoiceXML, and more. I stayed employed through it all, I’ve been pink slipped and I’ve been picked up again immediately.

I’m going to leave on Nov. 10th, and then we will see. I will put my resume in with my agency. But…I will not lock in again. One offs, part time, freelance, quick gigs, yes. 18 months and a badge…no. Not if I can help it. It’s tremendously exciting and scary. I will be making a fraction of what I have for the past 5 years.

But I will regain my time, the most precious commodity one has. I will clean the damn house, and take care of it properly. DLJ will not have to spend weekends cleaning because it will be my job to keep it all mostly upkept. He will have less housework and therefore more time to relax at home instead of more work. I will make glass. GLASS GLASS GLASS. I will enter more shows and sales. I will start selling on ebay. I will look for freelance webwork, and continue the part time web gigs I have with one or two current clients. I will drink coffee at home. I will not commute. I will not need fancy clothes. Lunches out. Badges, business phones, cube knickknacks, rush hour, meetings, water coolers, cafeterias, security, managers, bosses, timesheets, timetracker, paper clips, shoes to change into to walk at lunch, clockwatching, faxing, someone else’s schedule, someone else’s orders, someone else’s priorities. No more overflowing laundry, dusty carpet, unfinished projects, incomplete garden, quick meals.

It’s all going to change. I really hope we can swing it. Between glass, ebay, part time freelance, I think we can keep it going. DLJ’s job is good and they will come through for him. We have savings stashed. My time will be mine more than it is, now, and with it I will work and get DLJ back some time, too.

I’m TOTALLY freaked out.

Simplicity yields bliss.

Today was a lovely day off. Summer tinged with Fall, the tips of the Japanese maple in my neighbor’s yard ever so slightly gone reddish-yellow.
We biked along the Greenway Trail, I think that is what it was called, leaving the industrial downtown in minutes and finding ourselves along the smaller, quiet Willamette south of Portland. A carnival went on across the river, the shouts of those on rides carrying over to the west side. Home to a shower. I cleaned beads, cracked a focal, darn it. I want that focal. Tempted to try again tomorrow, even though I need to make one or two more pieces of kilnformed glass. Oh, for another kiln!

But over the weekend I took my Green Lagoon focal and made magic. It will take a lot for me to sell this one, as I do love it so.

Green Lagoon Necklace

DLJ made oatmeal cookies, the cats rolled in the sun, I read “Reading Lolita in Tehran” on the deck with a kir in my hand. Cats, wine, books, sunshine, husband nearby. What more do I need? I was so content, just so happy with what I had, what I was doing, what life was. A glass artist resting in the late summer afternoon, with the freedom of time to relax, a handmade glass goblet holding my white wine and creme de cassis…

Bliss. So little is needed for bliss. And the children growing up now don’t see this…consume, consume, consume.

Not me. Not anymore.