Monday, September 15, 2008

In Search of a Jump Start

I’ve come to one of those lulls in life when everything seems to be winding down and I’m waiting to see what happens next. I feel like I need to be jump-started.

The image that comes to mind is the old power mower we had when I was growing up. You had to pull a cord, often repeatedly, to get it to start. Then it would sputter into life as you crossed your fingers and smelled gasoline.

I’ve been playing the same music for months now. As much as I like that Brahms sonata, I’m feeling anxious to move on to something new. Maybe not something quite so challenging, but equally beautiful. I’m frustrated that I never learned to play the second movement up to speed, but I’m starting to accept the fact that a lifetime of practice would not make that happen for me.

As the Darfur tent nears completion, my responsibility for making it happen is also winding down. I’m happy with the result, but almost a little sad to see this project be finished.

As for my style project, the flurry of activity is over. I have the words to describe who I am. The shopping trip to Chicago hovers on the horizon as one of the few bright spots out there.

We have no other trips planned, other than perhaps a visit to the Eastern Shore to do the 30-mile bike circuit. It may be some time before we cross the country or go abroad again.

I have no big sewing project right now. There’s the possibility of bike flags, but that’s not the same as a creation like a quilt. I need to get motivated to find a new project that might spark some creativity.

Are you getting the gist of why I need a jump start?

My husband suggested that I just throw myself into campaigning for Obama. I’m sure they could use any amount of time I could spare for phone banking, going door-to-door, or handing out fliers at Metro stops. I will do those things, but I consider them to be my civic duty, not something that is necessarily fun or exciting.

Maybe I’m asking too much. Maybe I need to just focus on the fact that I am relatively healthy, I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, I have a roof over my head every night, I have a loving and devoted husband and family, I have good friends. All those positives must outweigh the fact that I seem to have the blahs right now.

I’m still hoping something yanks my cord and lets my engine race at full speed once again. I guess I actually prefer life in the fast lane.


Blogger Kristin said...

What is it that people say? Be careful what you wish; you just might get it? I hope you find something enjoyable that starts your engine without overwhelming you!

I know what you mean, though. I don't know what to do with downtime. I've been thinking about tutoring lately.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- These lulls in my life are characterized by long afternoon naps. It's as if I can't figure out what else to do, so I go to sleep! I would much prefer to be busy all day doing fun things with people I like.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hmmmm...I think you're right that the thing to do is focus on what's at hand. Not that you shouldn't look for new things to spark your interest, but don't lose sight of all you already have.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- My head says you are absolutely right. I just have to convince the rest of my being!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

It sounds like you might need some exploring in order to find a new project. I'm sure you'll find something - you always do! Or you could just relax and enjoy the lull since it doubtedly won't last forever.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- Learning to relax sounds like something I should work hard on!

12:06 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

Its a restless feeling.
"Napping" ain't always relaxing is it?
I know what you can can change your "Current Favorite Quotation" because that one has been up for more than 3 years...not that its not a good one, but ...I keep waiting for the same bud to open.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Mo said...

I know what you mean. There are times in my life when, for whatever reason, things are chugging along, and I don't necessarily have any outside pressures to do anything beyond the basics, and I always have to remind myself that setting goals, however small they may be, is what really keeps me going. It gives me something to look forward to, and I have a sense of productivity at the end of the day.

I remember one summer setting a goal of biking to every park in Chicago, and for some reason that gave the rest of my life a little bit of structure that wasn't there before, and I was more productive in other areas as well. Sort of a positive snowball effect, I guess...

3:16 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Bulletholes -- Leave it to you to plaster a smile on my face. Maybe 4 years later, I should choose a favorite quotation that's just a little bitchier, as I probably am. Got any suggestions? :)

3:16 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Mo -- Want to be my shrink? Sometimes I need a swift kick in the rear. Even with your headache, you seem so pragmatic and sensible!

Getting out paper and pen and setting some goals...

3:18 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

I'm with Mo - set some goals. What are you most interested in? What strengths do you have that you haven't tapped yet? You seem happiest when you're helping someone else - is there a place nearby where you can volunteer? How about tutoring? Or sewing for an orphanage, a church? One woman here knitted mittens for all the first graders at her local elementary school. She donated them every December. It was a big deal for the kids and for her :) Go get em!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- I do love helping people, but I think I most want to nurture a handful of friendships so I will have people to enjoy life with. It's only in the last few years that I have realized how invaluable friends are.

9:59 PM  

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