For my 38th birthday, I got a computer virus. Not sure from whom...there was no card attached.
Luckily for me, the Amazing Husbandini - ubergeek that he is - took such offense that any virus would dare strike a computer on his personal network that he immediately launched into that computer voodoo that he do so well, and now my little Mac Mini is back on my desk, happily connecting me to the Interwebs in its own little "don't notice me" fashion.
It's really too bad in a way. I had almost finished cleaning and organizing the studio. And if I had managed to do that, the only thing left to do would have been to create something.
As to that, I am happy to report that after almost three months of unemployment, I have started to return to life. I'm sleeping better, I don't walk around in a vicious, negative, bitchy mood all the time (oh, I still have my moments ... but I no longer pull it on along with my socks in the mornings) and I find that I'm looking forward to most of the things coming down the pike. And best of all, I've been thinking about painting again. And writing. And sewing. And baking. Oh, man! Have I been thinking about baking! Thinking and doing, as a matter of fact. Best of all, in spite of all the baking I've been doing lately, I've still managed to drop a pants size. Funny how using food for nourishment and enjoyment works better for you than using it to self-medicate yourself in a miserable situation.
On the horticulture front, I have a month left in the semester, I've finished all of my Master Gardener classes and I've started in on my required office shifts and project work. Last week was my first office shift, in which no one called or came in and I spent the entire time chatting with the other MG in office about baking, caring for senior parents and the different age-related perspectives on bing a Master Gardener. It was nice to have someone keep telling me how young I am (see above re: turning 38.) I don't know exactly how old MG Lady* was, but I would guess her to be in the early 70-ish range. She has been a MG for about 5 years, which is apparently not very long by MG standards. Her view was that, as a youngster (squee!), I was in a better position because I still had years and years in which to learn all this information. Which got me to thinking about this whole shift I've made recently ... before I excused myself from the rat race, I looked at the years between now and retirement as this unimaginably big space to fill. I simply didn't know how I was going to survive working for a living - in the corporate world - for that long. I Could. Not. see how it was going to happen. Now, when I look at doing horticulture or arboriculture or something similar for those same number of years, what I can't imagine is how I can possibly absorb all of the knowledge that I need before retirement comes. How am I going to learn it all and get really good at it in the the mere 25 - 30 years I have left in the work force??? Odder still, I've found myself thinking that I won't really have to retire if I don't want to. I could just keep going until I expire in the garden some day and my heirs can just till me in with the tomatoes.
*As usual, all names have been changed to protect the innocent.
"Most people give some warning, you know. Premature senility, angina, gout, bed-ridden for years...but not you. Oh, no, no, no. Healthy as an old goat, you pop off one day in the orchard!" (Name that movie.)
Unfortunately, in tracking down the precise listing of expected ailments for the above quote, I've lost my train of thought. Suffice it to say that I'm continuing to be much happier in my new life than I was a few short months ago.
I do have one complaint. It might sound small to some people, but it's kind of a big deal to me. In the MG office, there are many, many jars. These jars range from small vials to quart-size canning jars. These jars contain formaldehyde and dead things. The bugs, spiders, worms and other assorted creepy-crawlies don't bother me, but the cute fuzzies do. There is a Ball canning jar right next to the door that contains a dead prairie dog. I am So Not Pleased. Yes, I know the reason all the dead things are there! If a member of the public describes the pest they are having trouble with, these are excellent visual aids in helping to make sure they really have what they think they have. I get it. But I don't like it. I'm new, so I'm not going to stick my oar in quite yet and start stirring. But if the Master Gardener program and I end up being a good fit and I stick around, the fuzzies may find themselves relegated to one of the other shelves ... one where they aren't always in my line of sight. Give me a pickled tomato hornworm if you must - I could look at that all day with nary a flinch. But the dead, preserved prairie dogs and pocket gophers are another matter entirely. Ick.