Wednesday, September 10, 2008

1:00 am again. No title

Isn't it odd that when we were teenagers, we hide our diaries, and now people are putting their journals on line? Thirty years ago this would have been unthinkable and narcissistic. And now it is just....narcissistic.

30 years ago I would have picked up a dictionary to learn there were that many s's in "narcissistic." Now I just highlight and right-click. Scary.

Once again, I sat down to write a heartfelt post, and have stopped at photos. They are from last night in the cat facility, where I went to sit on the floor for an hour, to decide whether being with the cats still made me happy, and whether I should remain in rescue. I'm in such a state of flux now, I can't really tell what makes me happy and what I'm doing because I have to do it.

Had the cats turned into a "just have to do it" thing? How could I tell when I was painting house and mowing lawn, traveling for work, and having to shove their care into the cracks of time I have, feeling anxious the whole time?

So I took a little time to sit with the cats last night and tonight, and take stock in what I'm going to do with myself from now on. They were in heaven to have me down on the floor on their level. Wings just wound around and around and around... In short order, everyone came over to say "hi."

In those hours I was able to come to some conclusions about what did and didn't make me happy. The cats made me happy. Friends made me happy. Kind people made me happy. Being outside made me happy.

So the next morning, Bear and I took a walk up to the top of my the hill to look at MY farm. My farm, my farm, MY FARM! This farm is going to be something that helps people some day. It's going to be my tiny legacy. Life doesn't hand you a beautiful 58 acre farm on a platter for no reason. Our lives are short, things are a bit scary right now across the world, and I've got a gem in my hands. Land is going to be important. I'm keeping it, and something needs to be done with it.

Bear follows me like a dog up the hill. Coming down, he likes to wait until I'm way ahead, then come roaring down behind me, just like Nick used to. Only Bear is 16lbs of hard muscle. It's like a train thundering down the path.

After work, I zipped into Ithaca (uncommon for me on a weekday) to pick up smoke detectors, as one of mine malfunctioned today. And cat litter, since any trip to Ithaca means buying cat litter. I spent a comfortable half hour picking out books at the library, and wandered over to Mustard, book in hand. I had never been there. The waitress steered me to a table right next to a reading lamp, lamented the lack of a liquor license when I queried about wine, pointed out a wine shop across the way...the wine guy was a hoot...a corkscrew and wine glass were on my table when I returned. I cuddled into a new restaurant with a book, soup and salad, a glass of cheap but good NYS wine, and no ghosts of Christopher Robin to bother me. When I corked up my mostly-full bottle of wine to leave (after paying my meager $10 check) I realized I was going to be sauntering down the street with an open container. I had considered gifting the remainder to a new arrival, but I was the only one left in the place. The waitress fetched me a bag. I joked that I knew all the old cops, so it would be a young one who nabbed me. She joked that she knew all the young cops, so I should be plenty safe.

Speaking of cops....

It was late when I got to campus to feed Gillian, so I stopped to let the Campus Police know I was there before I started skulking behind buildings. I figured I would just report in and go, as I probably wouldn't know the officer at the desk. Explaining I was a crazy cat lady would be bad enough. But L. was on tonight, and she ushered me into the office to sit, just I had when I'd worked there almost 20 years ago (it was a far shabbier dispatch office back then). It was all computers, screens, crackling radios, alarms, and ten-codes, just like two decades ago when I used to bottle-feed kittens under the desk. We talked seriously, we talked humorously, then the guys wandered in from the road and office, and we all laughed. They joked about hiring me back (they are hiring officers how). I joked that the academy would likely kill me. L.suggested that perhaps they had a old ladies division and mimicked rocking back and forth in a chair. I suggested that perhaps she could just take the director's job and I could be in communications again. I stayed for over an hour, and suddenly recalled what it was like to simply feel at ease.

They are such good people.

I wandered out to feed Gillian across the way at the abandoned compost facility, and her bowl still had food in it. I breathed a sigh of relief, because I continuously worry she is not being fed during the week. I was wrong, and it was good to be wrong. But I wouldn't have known if I hadn't checked.

It was late when I got home, and poor Bear came down to meet me at the barn at a run as I unloaded cat litter. I fed kittens, I cleaned the cat facility, scooped up cats for a hug, and came in to my house.

I took a vacation day tomorrow, because I need one. Who doesn't?

This has been a good start to remembering, forgetting, and beginning again.


NancyC said...

You get to bed late, I get up early. You sound good. It is hard, but you will be OK. It is good to see the positive - that took me a LONG time. Keep figuring out what makes you happy - that is a necessary thing, and one I have been missing, especially in my work. Much better now. Love you,

50Kittens said...

We are relatively new to the fostering gig (about 70 kittens) and I have the same moments of doubt about knowing when it's time to rest, lest it become a duty rather than a joy. Same as a job or a relationship or most things, I guess. I've let them all go too long at one time or another. As for the kits, the day after getting home after two weeks away, we picked up a litter of six...nice to have at least one day without tracking litter into the shower!

georg said...

You mention all 58 acres, and I think of this lady.

bcat said...

You are a good woman. I am glad the cats made you happy, because you are truly needed. hugs Bcat

joanna said...

It takes time to work through things--but there's also a sense of satisfaction and pride as you look out at all you've learned and done.

Leigh-Ann said...

Susan, I'm just getting around to making visits to the blogging friends I've missed and neglected over the past few months. Your concern for me in my absence was so appreciated... my depression this year has been unlike anything I've experienced (except perhaps back around '87 when I was divorcing, dealing with being gay, my business was falling apart, etc.). It was an effort just to eat (and still can be), but I can't dig out of this if I don't stick an arm out and at least try to move a bit. Thank god for cats... all my pets have been my mental salvation, but the fact that I can't help more during all these foreclosures and natural disasters and such has also been a mental burden.

I still look at land in your area, and if we lose our house, it's where I/we will end up moving. I hope we'll be able to have coffee occasionally :)