Friday, January 26, 2007

Downtime

I wrote this post while I was at a conference with my two best friends from grad school, L. and M. I didn't really attend said conference, though I did make an effort to look through the program to find anything related to what I do now. Decided there just wasn’t enough there to justify the registration fee. So, I had a lot of free time. Time to read (Yay!). Time to knit (Yay again). Time to think. (Ummm…. Boo)

Downtime is, I’ve discovered, an interesting thing. As I’ve mentioned before my MO is to pretty much try to trudge onward and upward. Or, if there’s not action to be taken, to research it to death until there’s nothing left to know about it. These strategies are pretty effortful and generally take up a lot of my cognitive resources. In fact, this preoccupation, focus, and intense effort may be precisely why I choose the strategies I do – these things distract me from other things. Things I can’t “fix”. Things I can’t change. Things that really piss me off but are beyond my control.

Dealing with things like that is messy. It’s uncomfortable. It’s no fun. And frankly, I’m not good at it. I *hate* doing things I’m not good at.

The other thing is, with things you can’t change, can’t make progress on, can’t effect in any meaningful way, talking (or writing) about them is, essentially, a waste of time. I know it can be cathartic. I know that I need to get this stuff out. I know that I will feel better afterward. But knowing it’s good for me is not generally enough to make me do it (witness my blatant disregard for the food pyramid and my reckless habit of wearing my seatbelt only 50% of the time).

So here I am, having lunch with L. and crying when she asks me how I am. Thinking a lot about Baby Bear. Thinking a lot about adoption and what I can and can’t tolerate when trying to navigate it. Thinking a lot about whether to throw any semblance of financial responsibility straight out the window and call an agency tomorrow or to wait and do something responsible like pay off a credit card or buy a desperately needed new car. Thinking a lot about how I miss being fun. And funny. How I miss just being me.

And once again, I have to admit that PB knows me better than just about anyone on the planet. It was at his encouragement that I took this trip. He said he wanted me to go, and leave him alone with our three-year old foster daughter for four days. He said I needed it. He said it would be good for me.

And I think it was only partially because HE needed a break from me :-)

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