I walked over 10,000 steps today. I passed by the White House four times. I listened to someone with over 30 years experience on The Hill talk about comprehensive tax reform and how that would affect the solar energy market in the years to come. Later, I was moved by a student's presentation on low income communities and why they lack access to solar power. As someone mid-career, the dichotamy was not lost on me.
I don't know that I did anything new today. But these walks, though busy moving from one work event to the next and, in some cases, working on other work in between, gave me the time and space to pause and reflect and think about the lessons of the day.
I've walked my city and some of these sidewalks hundreds of time. I've seen the downtown corridor where I have work for my entire working life in D.C. morph and change but even so, I still feel I know its every crack, every hiding spot. But there are places I see everyday, every week and while familiar with their exterior, I've never taken the time to explore inside. I made a mental note to myself today as I passed by some of these restaurants, dives, and musuems, familiar and unfamiliar to duck in and dig deeper. I'll let you know if I do.
Tomorrow's an early one - up at 5 - and a long one - off to the theatre - so I'm signing out early tonight.
Pic of the day for Allyson who is rock n roll and cherry pie and doesn't see a lot of sunrises
This morning was encased in a micro-depression. I needed a beautiful but sad song to turn the day around.
the beginning of my #40til40 project is perhaps inconveniently timed. it falls straight in the middle of the busiest week i've had at my very, very new (to me) job. tonight was a networking event, tomorrow the start of a two day tax & finance seminar for which i spent a combined total of about 15 hours printing and readying name tags (and will attend to assist with registration and anything else asked of me). friday is our office holiday party.
after a blissful period as a freelancer, a time that went a long way in soothing my badly neglected introvert and fulfilled my need for a varied and self-managed schedule, i have returned to reception and admin office work for a renewable energy association. i like them. i feel ever certain they like me. but there are whispers about me. and i know what they are saying. they use code words like "capable', "impressive", and "self-reliant". my boss slipped up one day and actually said it, "overqualified". it's a word they have a clear distaste for - like they are worried they will insult me somehow by acknowledging what we all know to be true. yes, i am overqualified. i have over a decade of office admin experience, many years at the front desk for a high-profile law firm from which I was promoted and now, most recently, actual management experience. plus, you know, i've bossed some people around in theatre land :)
in my new job, i assist co-workers who are 15 years younger than me. some are just out of college and will probably be managers in a year's time. it's a little weird. but it's not off-putting and i'm embracing it partly because i'm simply so grateful to have a (good!) job after three months of unemployment and partly because i sense how easy it is to move up at this organization. all you have to do is dive in.
so that's what i did today that i really haven't done before. not at my other survival jobs anyway. i always looked at them as just that, jobs for survival. jobs that allowed me to pay my bills, keep the roof over my head and live my creative life in theatre to its fullest. i didn't seek to make them much more than they were. i punched in and punched out and usually didn't look for ways to expand my role or learn too terribly much about the work the company was doing outside of my inner administrative circle. but my time on tour changed this work ethic. because for a precious little while, my full time job was theatre and i dove in. i owned that position and all its inherent responsibilities. i talked to my co-workers as equals. i treated my actors and crew as a colloborative unit. when i made mistakes, i admitted them and immediately looked for a solution. i celebrated all success as "our" success. this made for an especially postive work environment and experience and i knew, even as i started looking for jobs again way back at the end of may, that i wanted to somehow replicate this - at least this feeling of acting as one unit all in service of a singular mission.
i met with a member of my team today. not just because i want to do more than answer the phone and make name badges but because i CAN do more. i offered my services and sought ways to make contributions that go beyond the scope of my job description. because I can. because i am capable. because a survival job has the potential to become a passion project. it's all in how much you want to invest. and today, i chose to invest.
#40til40 pic of the day for my dear friend David. it was a rainy and dreary day, colder by the minute but i found beauty in the rain drops falling against the window of my uber. nature's holiday lights
The Weeknd's Starboy is swiftly crawling up to the top of my "most played" list and is the first song on my #40by40 playlist
Almost 5 months to the date since the end of the tour, it is now time for a new adventure. In 40 days, I turn 40 and I've decided to approach this milestone birthday with positivity, joy and hopefully, some grace. I want to fill the next 40 days with art, observation, music, love and life. I want to create space to reflect on where I have come and where I want to go and savor the lessons of those who've walked this road before me. I want first experiences that perhaps lead to cultivating a new habit (or two). I want to write more (hello, blog!), photograph more, find more moments of stillness and simplicity even with all (and I do mean ALL) that is going on right now. Do I expect some huge change to come on January 14th at 12:01AM? No, of course not. That change is already here. It has been gradual, shaped by my last decade and the experiences, good and bad, that have molded me into the 39.89 year old that I am today.
Approaching 30, I still felt young. I relished that celebration and treasure the memory. And while I haven't been terribly apprehensive about leaving my 30s behind, I feel distinctly, well, not young. And that's ok. I'm comfortable with that. I finally feel good in my skin (a blog about beauty is coming, I'm sure) and wiser and more discerning in not only how I spend my time but who I give it to. It's an ever precious commodity. Saying no and walking away from toxicity or unecessary stressors gets easier and easier.
Just like the tour, this journey is open for any who want to follow, though I don't expect it. If you happen to be moved by anything you might read, see or hear in this space, I'd be grateful for and appreciate your thoughts.
My metaphorical bags are packed. Tomorrow I embark.
Til then ...
Current mood: Westworld finale
Current sound: neglected weekend laundry in the dryer
Current sight: christmas cave