This February will go down in my books as the Un-month. February is kind of like daylight savings time in that it throws you for a loop, even when you expect it, cause it’s a bunch of days too short for its own good. Usually February compensates for that fact by hosting my birthday, but this year it doled out a few unpleasantries that tripped me up.
One of my pearly whites decided to implode and grow a nice fat abscess underneath the root, which carried on unbeknownst to me for a couple weeks. I had the raging headaches (leave work and lay down in the dark with a wet cloth over your face headaches), the nausea, the pain. I thought the tooth pain was due to a filling I had done, but it turns out there was a robust infection throwing a party in my jaw.
Because the tooth in question had a broken root canal, it had to be extracted. I’m losing all my molars. Good thing I bought that VitaMix machine — I’ll have to start blending all my meals soon. I don’t know which was worse, the pre-op tooth pain or the illness brought about by two weeks of antibiotics. Then I got hit with a lovely bug that had me in bed for a few days, delirious.
But I’m back to my old bony self again and have that strange feeling of emerging from the darkness, from a coma, from being lost, into the light. I’m joining the world again.
I’ve got lots of good stuff going on that’s been commanding my attention. For one, I’m taking a non-fiction book proposal writing class, which has been a blast. I didn’t realize how big book proposals are or how much work goes into them. Once you finish the proposal, you’ve essentially written 90% of your book, so if a publisher decides to buy it, you can throw it together in a few weeks. In the class, we’re going through each element piece by piece, and in the end we’ll actually submit the proposal. Put it in the mail. With stamps. Frightening.
I also started volunteering at the Seattle Animal Shelter as a dog walker. I’ve finally decided on the direction of my career path, now I just have to find which street to take. My passion is in shelter work. I feel it’s what I was put here to do. But there’s a lot of areas of expertise to check out. I’ve been working solely with cats for over two years now, but at the SAS I’m working with dogs. I’d like to do an apprenticeship in dog training to see if that works for me. I could see myself specializing in puppy socialization. I’m tossing around the idea of taking the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at UW. I just don’t want to end up knee-deep in paperwork for the rest of my life. I’m trying to get out of the office. I don’t want to do the same stupid job I’ve been doing for years except at a shelter instead of a biotech company. So I’ll choose my focus carefully. I need hands-on work, and I need to be in the trenches with the people.
Two of my co-workers at Cat City were out this past month, so I worked most Saturdays and Sundays and a Friday. I missed Cat City. Being back there reminded me how much I enjoy the work there. Sometimes I don’t enjoy it until I leave, but I’m always happy to have done it. I did have a major meltdown one Friday after bringing in my foster cat Donny to the cat colony as he was healed and ready for adoption. I just got so overwhelmed by the number of returned cats — my head went to the dark place where I feel like my efforts are futile. And I was bawling and driving and trying to sort through the emotions. Needing to do this work, but wondering if I can handle it. Then everywhere I looked, I kept seeing these quotes about how when you find your life’s work, you will simultaneously find the resources to do that work. I’m like, Universe — if this is what I’m supposed to be doing, I’ll do it — no questions asked. But you gotta back me up here. It’s just too much.
And the next day I went into Cat City and did a record 5 adult cat adoptions, including a couple hard-luck cases we’d been crossing our fingers for for about a month. The three-legged tabby, the twelve-year-old Himalayan with no teeth. The terror of a Calico that wouldn’t let anyone near her (the new guardian said, “I hear ya, sister. I’m with you!” and promptly brought her home). And Donny the foster cat was adopted to a fabulous young couple who were getting their first cat and were just pleased as punch with him. I cried that day, too, but they were tears of gratitude instead of bitterness. The Universe replying, “Back up? How’s that for back up?”
In other news I finally finished the Volumefreak homepage that I’ve been planning for about six months. I’m happy with the results and I’m quite amazed that I’ve finally grasped movable type and cascading style sheets to a respectable degree. It’s quite fun and I find myself getting lost for hours and hours in the design. Check it out and let me know what you think.
I gotta bust out of here — time for class and all that. Just wanted to pop in and offer a lifeline. I haven’t forgot about you. I’ve just been a very productive little egg. More to follow, as soon as we’re safely out of February.
I slept through my birthday but here’s a picture I took.