Walk This Way

SHT signpost for bean and bear lakes

Move ahead: easy choice.

If you come here often, or used to, you may notice that this is the first post in a few months. A lot has been going on with me, but writing isn’t one of those things.

Neither is a job. At least, a job that takes up 40+ hours of my week and contributes to mortgage, food, and expenses beyond the teacher training program I’m currently enrolled in. I do continue to teach yoga classes and that’s been fulfilling. It has benefited from the extra time I have to prepare for teaching, and also from my ongoing learnings in the training program.

I’ve typically viewed this and other virtual/cyber/non-IRL places (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) as venues to post positive, uplifting stories and messages because for me, talking or writing negative things just brings me down even further. I do not like to feed the monster, aside from having a good cry in my car now and then.

A good cry, as a matter of fact, happened a couple times this weekend and I’m going to see if venting about its cause here helps. I doubt it will, but just in case there’s anyone out there that assumes everything is always rosy with me: it’s not. I’m still fortunate in many ways, so I’m thankful for that.

Also: perhaps some of you are wondering what’s up with me.

Here goes:

Job Sitch

I’m job hunting.


My last full-time gig ended in March. I had a good but brief work contract that started and ended in June; it had a very distinct funding and project schedule. Applications and seemingly good interviews have happened but so have rejections, re-orgs, and eternities with no responses whatsoever. My hope is that I’m dodging bullets and the right opportunity is just around the corner. My fears are that my 17 years of experience in my field is worth too much to anyone, that I’m not instilling confidence in hiring managers, that my skill set is too broad -or too narrow- for the roles I’m looking at, that I’m not looking at the right roles, or maybe even that I’m in the wrong career field entirely.

Poop on them

On Friday I came to the realization, again, that some people just aren’t worth trying to fit into my world any more. Even if just by mishap (over and over again, across a 20-year span), they hurt my feelings. It’s clear that I’m not a priority to them. To stay sane and happy, I simply need to let go of contact with these people as a group. This was the item that made me cry on Friday, but the emotional state created by the job situation is perhaps what got the tears rolling like the Columbia River: I was thirsty for the social engagement that ended up not happening for me.Over the last few days, I’ve talked it over with a few close friends: we all have to deal with this decision at some point. It’s a sort of culling of the relationships that has to, or may have to happen for a lot of us. Perhaps I’m fortunate to have started from this position: of having too many (perceived) friends.

You’ve got nothing to lose, you don’t lose when you lose fake friends…

Ahh, Joan. I love you.

When Grass Attacks

Ojo de cabra on the boulevard

Our garden has yielded some impressive fruit, this summer! And yet the yard is kind of a mess. Heads up to anyone thinking of installing a rain garden: they do NOT tend themselves, at least not if they border lawn. Our lawn has made some advances into the RG over the last few years and at times it looks like a fuzzy green goo is succeeding at a phalanx attack on the purple coneflowers, blue flag iris and prairie blazing star. Steve has mounted valiant assaults on the green in the spring, but damn, it’s a lot of work. Thankfully, the tall pinks and yellows of the native plants there make up for it.

Ow. Ow. OUCH.

blistered fingers

Masked by bandages: you’re welcome

I can’t mount an autumnal attack on the too-tall sod, or even on the pile of dishes in the sink or on the tub grout this week because I got a really bad rope burn on half of my left hand, two weeks ago. This happened at the climbing gym: I got distracted while belaying my friend, and while I did catch him well before he decked, it took me a few moments to correctly respond to his descent by correctly activating a brake with my belay tool. The delay allowed at least 20 feet of rope to whip through my hand, setting it afire for most of the afternoon. No flames were present but the nerves in my hand sure thought so!

I’ve been going through band-aids, gauze, medical tape and silver sulfadiazine like it’s a box of See’s Bordeaux truffles, while getting the blisters to heal up over the last 2 weeks. With the handy help of a clinic visit, then daily photos and discussion with my own private wound-care nurse (AKA Mom): the hand is healing nicely. But, I’m still pretty shaken by the real possibility that my friend could have ended up badly hurt by my error. This was my first such error in nearly 20 years of climbing, but still: this kind of distraction. Cannot. Happen.

This non-epic but still nasty climbing accident may have also contributed to the crying.

But hey there’s this…

Somehow, I’ve gotten more fit since having a full time job. I have even lost a little bit of weight. Funny, how not sitting in a car during rush hour for over 10 hours a week is good for the body. I’ve supplanted that time with a little more walking, biking and swimming, a little less running, and a more regular evening yoga practice. This all did not contribute to the crying, Well, perhaps it did in its allowing me to be more in tune with my body and state of mind. At any rate I don’t mind this by-product of the lengthy job search.

Hi, Mom! Dad! Everyone!

Chocolate Chip

One of the Everyone: Chip

More time with family! And friends in distant places! Planned long ago but executed in April: a trip to Ecuador with mom. Planned and executed in the last few months: a week with Dad and other loved ones near my home town, and then a week and a half with Mom. And shorter visits with brother and sister-in-law, within our glorious midwest. And monthly visits with mother-in-law and Cooper. Some of this likely wouldn’t have happened had I been fully employed over the summer. I’m grateful.


MNUFC game

Insane Fan Posse

I’ve inexplicably become a superfan of a team in a sport I hadn’t cared much about since I determined I wasn’t any good at it in high school. Steve got inspired by the advent of Minnesota finally getting an MLS team, and we’ve been watching or listening to every. Darn. Game.

Come On You Loons!

Maybe we won’t hang the art back up

Last year, we gave the dining room a facelift with some lighter, brighter paint. This year’s room to make better: our bedroom. The walls got a different color and the ceiling got a new coat (which fixed the error I made 10 years ago with its last paint experience). We installed a better-looking ceiling fan and sconce. We also got a new mattress for our platform, which allowed us to eject the unneeded box spring that the last mattress retailer forced upon us. Not only did the tiny room get a huge update, but I’m sleeping better, having ejected a too-old, too-saggy old pillow-top mattress and box spring. This Tuft and Needle mattress is our first experience with memory foam and also with having a mattress arrive in the mail. Even with the $50 trip to the dump with the old mattress & box, we came out ahead, costwise. Let’s hope I continue to sleep well: so far the hip pain has diminished.

I did learn that painting a ceiling, even in a small room, in one day is not conducive to a happy lower back: next time, I will not do this in one day. Or I’ll pay someone else to do it.

Plus some fresh air

Steve and I wrapped up Camp Every Month in June, and made a commitment to Camp or See Live Music Every Month until next June. We’ve seen some good shows, but we haven’t camped since early June. For now, I’m pleased with a hike I took last Wednesday with my friend Marcy, who on that day fulfilled a dream to hike on the Superior Hiking Trail. The 3-hour hike wasn’t as momentous for me: I’d hiked on the SHT many times and even done an overnight on it. But it was a beautiful day, and Marcy and I had plenty to talk about over the 14-hour day of driving, walking and snacking. Plus: this segment was new to me, and I was able to share some of my outdoors expertise. And I didn’t really know I had such expertise!

We chose the Bean & Bear Lakes Loop Trail, and aside from a fair amount of mud in places, it was pretty easy going and we suffered nary a blister or bee sting. In fact, the temp and humidity was so optimal that we weren’t damp enough to warrant a change of clothes before getting a tasty dinner at Duluth Grill, before heading back to Minneapolis.

Here’s a tip, because apparently I have some, for anyone reading about the mud on that rail right now: wear ankle-high waterproof hiking boots and bring a trekking pole: the mud will not be a problem. I wore an older version of these Vasque Summit GTX boots: weight wise they were overkill for a day hike, but last summer, during our wet backpacking trip in Montana, they kept my feet dry. When I laced them up on Wednesday, I had wet trail in mind, and they did not disappoint! My feet stayed dry and didn’t overheat.

Twin Lakes Trail mud

Trekking pole win!

So, that’s what been up with me. Things could be better, but they could be worse in so many ways. I am grateful, thinking of those less fortunate than me, and where I can, trying to reach out and make a difference.

Be well.