I keep getting sideswiped…like 2-ton vehicles slamming past and pulling me with them, too fast, throwing me to the ground. I try to figure out the why, why now? Why today? Is it hormonal? Is there some reason for the mood change or the lack of control of the mood? Is there something that has made meditation become a weepy place again? He talks about not knowing your emotions, so looking at the frustration, the worry, the doubt, and trying to find the underlying emotion to that surface feeling. Dude. It’s sad underlying sad. It’s sad all the way down. It’s just plain sad. I don’t need help identifying the emotion. But I saw something today that hit the sad into overdrive…and it’s not something I have control over…it just is and I, as he tells me, sink my mind down into that emotion and just sit in it…just sit there, like it’s a big overstuffed beanbag chair, kind of sticking to the back of your legs and not particularly comfortable, making noise every time you move…I just sit. And it’s an ugly color too, and those stupid tiny white styrofoam balls? They’re spilling out on the carpet too, but you can’t find the hole. Apparently the emotion should move on at some point. I’m curious when that will happen. What am I sad about? When will it move on? What is the difference between grief and sadness? Tomorrow I’m supposed to have a question for meditation. One? That’s it? Will he magically answer it? There isn’t enough magic in my life.

Yeah. So I didn’t do well with the sleep thing last night, so it makes sense that I’m writing this past one in the morning. I’m not at all tired, wide awake really, wired. I suspect it’s the artmaking doing that. I didn’t get to it until late, but then I couldn’t stop…I did the 100 pieces of skelly…

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dead bodies hidden in the ground. Then moved on to a few other things I buried underground in this piece…

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This quilt has symbolism all over the freakin’ place. It’s like my depression got a home in fabric. It will be oh so fun to explain. The boychild quite liked this part…

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He’s been writing college essays for the last two days and hopefully his mother’s art was not the subject of a huge number of them…he won’t let me read any of them. I spent about 2 hours with him going through and paying for all the tests to be sent to the various colleges, and then going through and sending all of the application fees. He has 5 more to finish, 4 before Wednesday and 1 later next week. Then we’re done…until the acceptances go out, no stress, and I still have to do the FAFSA and we need to try to hunt down some scholarships. It’s all very terrifying, especially when I look at how much money I charged to credit cards today for all the fees. Yikes. Anyway. We’re mostly done until next year, when we have to do it again with the girlchild.

I went to school in the morning to grade the last of the science journals…

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I had to do it. I had put it off already for two days…but it was as depressing as I thought it would be. There are parts of my job that I enjoy, but the hard work parts of it just make the rest of my life seem so much worse…so I sat there for a minute, staring out at the empty room (they’re waxing floors on Thursday, so everything is up or out), and cried. Then I turned up the music real loud and graded and wondered what magic miracle was expected of me to get some of these kids to give a shit about their classwork, based on what I was seeing. I probably shouldn’t have done that class last…they are a bit challenging. But getting pressure from higher-ups that makes you feel like any F is a failure on YOUR part, and then going through simple assignments like this? Makes you want to quit teaching and go work for the Republican party. Yes. It’s that bad. It would be easier. I think.

Anyway…politics aside, I’m pushing through the grading best I can, because grades are due the week we go back to school. It depresses me to grade at the moment, so I try to do it in small amounts, spread out over many days.

I’ve been falling down on some of my jobs for an art group I’m in, so I tried to get my act back in gear today. I just need a routine. If it feels hard, I just put it off at the moment. I can’t handle anything hard. I say that, but I’m ironing a million tiny pieces down. Hard is relative.

I’m geocaching later this week, and I didn’t know what to bring to put into them, but remembered I had been given an Shrinky Dink oven and supplies many years back, so I pulled them out and started drawing…

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Then colored them in and put them in the oven…

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Which is powered by a 60-watt lightbulb…

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They came out teensy weensy…

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But I think that’s OK. The flame head folded over on itself a little and didn’t fully flatten. I’ll make some more tomorrow.

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The boychild is interested in geocaching, so we might do that on his birthday. He’s turning 18 on Thursday, which is more than a little terrifying. Not as terrifying as paying for college, but close. His Christmas present included hiking boots (his request), so I’ve been trying to get them broken in.

We spent a few hours this evening picking up the kids’ dad from the airport; he’s been in Britain for 2 weeks visiting family, especially his mom. Part of my Christmas present came back with him. One thing that always amused me about British TV and books from when I was younger was how important tea was to their culture, but I didn’t really understand it until I lived there. It’s where I got addicted (and I still drink British tea with milk, thus confusing the majority of Americans, including all my students)…this mug was a gift from my ex-SIL and family, and entirely appropriate to my life at the moment…

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Tea does solve many problems, simply by making you sit down and drink it properly. Sometimes a cup of tea perfectly brewed and at exactly the right temperature can bring an immense amount of calm to my troubled brain.

So I washed and folded all the red fabrics I bought yesterday (yes, some were NOT red)…

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The one on the left was going to be the binding, but it lost out to one of the other ones, which I was lucky to have bought a yard of anyway, because that’s all that was left on the bolt and I had this niggling feeling that it was a better choice than the one above. I’ll try to get the binding on sometime soon so you can see it…but right now, I’m still on a roll with ironing…

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I was going to stop after the bird, but the woman was calling to me…above, she is still in pieces…

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Apparently she called quite loudly, because I got all of her ironed except for the head.

Which maybe is why I’m still up (but finally getting tired) at holy crap in the morning. Plus the girlchild is coming back from Pasadena, where she’s been working on one of the floats for the Rose Parade. I wouldn’t be a good mom if I didn’t wait up. Actually, if I’d thought I could have gone to sleep earlier, I would have.

Earlier today, Babygirl was helping me use the mouse.

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Right before I took this picture, she actually was sleeping with her head on my mouse hand. Ugh.

Then Midnight was standing watch for a while too…

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Actually, she spent most of her time sleeping.

Jake went home today, so the cats seem to feel more free to move around. Jake chases them, stalks them. Calli could care less.

Anyway. I’m hoping to iron more tomorrow…it’s taking me about an hour per 100 pieces, so there are about 8 1/2 hours to go. That’s a lot. Hmn. That might be unrealistic, when I look at what else is going on tomorrow. The ironing did distract me for a long time from the sadness that is lurking around and gut-punching me on a regular basis. Meditation made me think about something I had said or done that was positive, and I remembered making an effort to tell these two girls who are in one of my roughest classes that they were rocking science right now (they really are…and the other positive thing I had come up with just made me cry more, so I picked the girls)…they’re both kind of different and went into teen-girl glow mode when I said it. I was just thinking about trying to encourage girls to be more into science through high school when I said it, plus I wanted them to know I appreciated how hard they worked. I don’t get any happy glow out of it, though. I’m supposed to…for making them feel good. But that’s part of my job. Sigh. I think my emotional machine is out of order. It doesn’t react right. And I’m getting this vision of the Wicked Witch on her bike (broom? Wizard of Oz?) cackling that I will PAY, my pretty, I will pay. That I have been wicked somehow and I will pay.

I should probably iron a lot more tomorrow instead of spending close personal time with that part of my brain. It needs a vacation or something. And the sad? It can go fuck itself. I’m tired of it. If it’s going to be sad, be sad about something that’s real, that’s true, not something that was apparently bullshit and a lie. Oh if only it were so easy to direct the mind to be sad about the right things and to drop the wrong things. The creative mind…it kinda does what it wants. We can try to direct it all we like…it will decide how to be.

I’d like to decide to be asleep now.

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