Call Me (not!)

It’s been a week of such mixed emotions, it’s hard to reflect on anything without breaking into tears or laughter. Emotionally it’s been one of my hardest weeks since 9/11, even harder than the heartbreak of Gerry’s diagnosis last year (when we were in a kind of trauma-numbness).

Some of the emotions I’ve felt make me ashamed, some make me proud, but most just leave me numb after the initial rush of sadness or joy.

– I’m very sad to lose Jan, the closest thing I had to a sister.
– I’m glad that her suffering is over.
– I’m ashamed at the condition of her house.
– I’m sad that I didn’t do more to correct the situation while she was alive.
– I’m relieved to be home.
– I’m very happy to reconnect with distant cousins in my mom’s family.
– I’m queasy about our family’s current financial outlook.
– I’m terrified about our nation’s financial outlook.
– I’m proud of my family, of how well they’ve handled this stress so far.
– I’m feeling paralyzed and confused about my own future.

Because of Gerry I cut down on my teaching for most of late 2007/early 2008. Just when I was ready to take on more teaching engagements, it became clear that Jan’s condition was so unsettled that it would be prudent for me to take on even fewer teaching engagements this Fall to leave time open for the resolution of Jan’s life & stuff.

But she left much sooner than I’d expected.

I can start arranging classes again, I’d love to get back to my 2006 level of an average of 2 trips per month, but I feel paralyzed in an odd way. I think perhaps I just need to take a little more time without putting too much pressure on myself – but then again, the combined pulls of the mortgage, heating bills, groceries, etc., put more than enough pressure on me.

The various financial elements put pressure on everyone, that’s for certain. But I’m just not certain if I have the energy for all of the non-teaching, non-knitting nonsense that come with teaching knitting for a living.

Enter My Nemesis
Talking on the phone, always difficult for me, becomes impossible when I’m juggling emotional hacky-sacks.

My hearing on the phone sucks, and I can’t remember anything that is said. (Talking to me is like making airline reservations – there’s the constant ‘tap-tap-tapping’ while I write copious notes on my keyboard, noting salient points of the conversation)

I hate talking on the phone.

So, on top of the financial pressure I’m feeling, I think I just blew a gig because the person planning the engagement insisted on a phone call and I sounded like a raving idiot.

She emailed late on Saturday asking for a call at my earliest convenience, but unfortunately when I was able to call (noon on Sunday) it was a bad time for her (she was about to walk her dog)

In my stupidity I was honest about how difficult phone calls are for me, hoping to cram in a brief call that would . I think I sounded like a lunatic, and unfortunately the call went south.

Telephoning folks is not just a casual thing that I can easily do – I need to steele myself for a while before I even make a call.

Some folks who are good on the phone believe that the only way to create a personal relationship – outside of meeting in person – is to talk on the phone. And I sound like an idiot on the phone (my constant refrain of, “What?”, “Huh?”, “Excuse me?” doesn’t help, either!)

I feel that good relationships can be forged, too, via email. But I’m happy to make a call every now and then. I just like to make sure that details are handled via email so that I can refer to them later and remind myself exactly what I said.

It’s been a hard, awkward day. Week. Month. I’ve had this feeling all week that I just want to crawl into a hole and cry. We’re going off to the dog run by Minnehaha park, maybe I’ll find a good hole there…

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