Friday, October 28, 2016

Last Weeks and Thin Spaces

It has been a strange and wonderful (and sad) week.  Let me record some of it:

--I have had some last lunches with workplace friends--and today, the final events, a lunch and a 4:00 gathering with my department.  I am not sure that I will have time for these kinds of lunches in my new job--at least, not at first.

--Wednesday, I left work early to go vote.  It didn't take as much time as I had budgeted for it.  We came home and made an autumnal salad with leftover candied butternut squash, pecans, apples, romaine lettuce and cheddar cheese--odds and ends in the fridge made into a delicious, nutritious meal.

--Wednesday night I dropped my spouse off at choir practice and kept heading west to the shopping center that has a shoe store and Trader Joe's.  Last week, I bought black shoes for my new job, and Wednesday, I found some pairs of brown shoes.  I'm now set to start my new job on Monday, at least in terms of shoes.  I've been wearing shabby sandals to work, but those won't work in my new job.

--I've had a chance to look over some accreditation documents for my new job.  The only thing that gives me pause is that I have not been on site, gathering the data that I will need.  Hopefully others have been collecting it.

--I've been to spin class--I plan to keep going to morning spin class, but I don't think I'll be able to make it to Tuesday and Thursday night spin class.  Last night, the instructor who has been teaching the longest was there.  She's taking a break too, to do some shoulder rehab.  I was glad to be able to say goodbye-for-awhile in person.

--We had a Halloween spin last night--what fun!  I thought about other instructors who have come and gone, and the rides that they created.  One year, we did spin class to one of the first zombie movies.  It was interesting, but not anything I'd want to repeat.

--It's been that kind of week--lots of memories of people who once were a larger part of my life--and of course, those memories are tinged with the knowledge that I'll soon be missing my work friends in that similar way too.

--I wrote to one of them:  "There’s an old Bob Dylan lyric, “You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go.” I am going to make me lonesome when I go. I will miss the AiFL people so much!"

--I'm also intrigued by the announcement that one of the Corporate highest of the higher ups will be on the campus of my current school on Tuesday.  I wrote this e-mail to the only 2 colleague friends who would understand:

"I bet I'm the only one in the whole organization who has noticed that the Corporate guy is visiting on the feast of All Saints.
Oh, I will have fun with this!  I'm already crafting a short story . . ."
--And I am having fun with it--the main character will teach Animation, and I can have fun with the idea of what animates and what deadens.  I thought about starting it this morning, but it still needs time to marinate.
--Yesterday I had my exit interview with HR.  It went well.  I did discover that if I had waited to have my last day be Nov. 1, my insurances would have lasted through the whole month.  What an expensive mistake on my part.  I won't have health insurance at my new job until I've been there 2 months, so I'll be using COBRA, I think.  The extra month of insurance would have been much cheaper, if I had just known.  I thought my insurance ended with my last day of employment.  Grr.
--Of course, it might not have been possible to start any later, even if I had known.  My new job would have had me start even earlier if I could have--there were hurricane delays and the necessity of giving my current job 2 weeks notice.  I'm trying not to beat myself up over this insurance thing.  There's never the perfect time to make an exit.
--After finding out about my insurance misunderstanding, I went to the hospital for spin class in the hospital's wellness center.  I listened to the conversations that swirled around:  patients dying, family members weeping, stubborn physical problems, the constant presence of pain.  It was a potent reminder that having to pay a lot extra for health insurance is not the worst calamity that one can endure.
--But like the rest of the nation, I am more and more irritated by our health care system and the way we pay for it.  I am also deeply aware that I'm lucky to have insurance offered by my employer.  After church choir rehearsal, upon hearing about my upcoming job move, one of my friends said, "You'll be salaried, and you'll have benefits?  You have hit the jackpot!" 
--It's interesting to move through this week, as the daylight grows shorter, and the holidays of Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls draw closer.  This time period always feels like one of those thin spaces to me, when the boundaries between this life and the afterlife and all sorts of other lives feels thinner.
--This year, it seems thinner still.

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