Thursday, July 12, 2018

Summer hits hard

So I stepped outside, to contemplate doing some brush cutting, and went "nope" and went back in and dressed in campus-friendly clothes and came over here. It's incredibly humid out (we got rain last night) and it's already hot and I just didn't WANT to.

And I'm taking the day off from exercising even though I admit I feel a little guilty about that - I'm tired and I hurt. I can probably pick up the missed minutes tomorrow and Saturday, but ugh. Keeping up with an exercise schedule, even indoors, is hard when it's so hot and humid and generally unpleasant.

Also, again I feel kind of lonely. Board and Elders' meeting were last night, those things, I'm essentially working, having to pay attention and consider things and there's always the worry (given that we've had a few contentious Board meetings in the past) that something might go very wrong and so I'm always apprehensive during them. So it doesn't feel like getting together with friends, it feels like working.

And I remembered this song, from the long-ago days of my childhood:

(From the old Sesame Street. And yes, I know, people are commenting on how the apes' enclosure is very old-skool and is Not How It Should Be Done and that's probably why they re-did the segment in the 90s with close ups of snow leopards in a more naturalistic setting).

But yeah. I feel that song hard, and I remember it so much from my childhood. I even remember tearfully telling my mom (I think it was on a day when one of my relatively few childhood friends was off playing with another friend of hers, someone I didn't know) that I wished I had a friend who was always around for me and my mom commented that if the friend were always around, I might get bored of them and wish they'd go away. And I amended my wish: I wish I had a friend who was always there when I wanted them to be there. And yes, as an adult I get that that's a very selfish desire (no reciprocity - no mention of me being there for them when they wanted me, and also my wanting the power to summon and dismiss at will, but then that's kind of how kids are).

But yeah. I remember being a lonely little kid, wishing I had more friends. And I think also the "feeling excluded a lot" thing was part and parcel of this.

But yeah. That sad little kid rises to the surface again when I'm not busy enough or doing enough different things, and I've really noticed that this summer. Oh, I know, at some point I will be complaining this fall about having too much to do (I just agreed to take on a research student starting this fall...). I guess that's the adult version for me of "I wish I had a friend who was always there when I wanted them" - "I wish I was busy enough not to be sad but not so busy that I'm stressed out."

I don't know. I'd plan doing something fun this weekend but it's supposed to be heat indexes in the low 100s and I just can't deal with that. I'll probably just do a quick grocery run locally, maybe early tomorrow morning, and then stay home the rest of the weekend, because the combination of heat, worrying about "what do I do if I'm in Sherman and my car poops out?" (I need to replace the battery some time but just haven't gotten around to it, and I worry about this heat), and just generally not feeling great (heat, humidity, etc.)

It's 30 C in my office. I need to work. There are people I care about that I'm now worrying about for various reason. I don't like this. I want to go back to a time when things were happier and I had fewer concerns and it wasn't roasting hot.

Edited to add: I think I just need to be gentle with myself these next few days. I have worries (the whole bloodwork/looming doctor's appointment, the eternal worry about aging parents, worries about the future (both fiscally - the TIAA and Vanguard statements came the other day - and more globally about what is happening with the world and with people). And I know given the heat and humidity I am not functioning as happily as I normally do. I know when it's hot and humid I am more inclined to be grumpy/sad/irritable*/not want to do things. It's just part of summer for me.

(*There is someone, I know not if faculty, staff, or student, because I keep my office door closed to try to hoard what cool air comes out of the vent, but this person comes and slams a door repeatedly, five or six times, a couple times a day. It annoys me a lot. I try to tell myself that maybe it's someone with OCD or something and they need to do that for self-comfort....but it does me a discomfort. And I guess that's modern life in a nutshell: what comforts one may discomfort another, and so who gets the right to have comfort?)

But I decided: okay, you have to be careful about food for the nonce, but you can go ahead and have other treats - I have decided to loosen some of my restrictions on spending. I found an Esty site the other day that sold what might generally be dismissively called "plastic tat" - the little cheap prizes that came out of gumball machines or cereal boxes or that could be sometimes bought at craft stores. And I admit it: I ordered some stuff. Two "lucky dips" of fifteen small plastic toys each (claim is they came from Europe, we will see), and a set of silly little flat-back plastic sheep that I might glue onto a box or something, and a couple of little tiny "weebles" type toys, and one of those clear plastic "animal family" figures - an animal, with its babies chained to it (these were common when I was a child and were often inexpensive prizes or party-favor type gifts).

And this raises some complex feelings for me....a big part of the "I want this" is "I want the mild and unlikely to be bad surprise of getting something where I don't know what it is." I've always liked "grab bag" type things where you kind of knew going in what was in the bag - one of the quilt shops up in Illinois used to do....I think they called them "ducklings,"? or maybe "piglets" - bags of six or eight small pieces of fabric, usually a fat quarter or two and maybe some fat eights, but you didn't know in advance what the fabrics would be, and I always liked to get those because it was fun to see what the fabric was and most of the time, it was something I could use OR could trade with someone else who quilted for something I wanted.

And my intense love of blindbag toys stems from this. Even as I go 'okay, so now I have Friend Bear, I guess I'll line her up with the other little Care Bears figures I have' and I don't ever really do that much more with them.

But there's another thing going on here, and it's something I'm realizing is a side effect of my parents' frugality. Yes, their being frugal taught me well: I have, currently, zero debt. I own my house outright (long story but: bought a small older house as a fixer-upper. Was able to offer cash and got a discounted price because the seller needed money right then).

But at the same time, I think I missed out on some of the simple fun of childhood through being told to "save your pennies." - I often wanted to put a quarter in the gumball machine to see what little toy came out, but either I didn't have a quarter on me (most of the time) or I was told not to waste my money on it, OR I was saving my meager allowance for something I REALLY wanted, and as the most I ever got in my young life was $2 a week, it took a very long time to save up for something, and I know once I got "burned" by the item being 100% sold-out forever when I had the money saved....

And I know my mother says "I hope they're not spoiling her" about my niece, but I think part of it is my brother and sister are more willing to spend money on that kind of simple fun. And I wonder, if I had been allowed and even encouraged to throw my quarters away on dumb little toys as a kid, I wouldn't be so tempted as an adult.

(And also, there are so many more experiences my niece gets to have, by virtue of where they live and also there being a more general recognition now that there need to be fun things for kids than when I was a kid - they have a membership at a petting-zoo type place and she's gotten to do things like have birds perch on her arm and go on pony rides. I got to ride a pony ONCE when I was a child, and it was for about five minutes at the departmental picnic my dad's department put on)

(And yet? I don't remember ever being discouraged from buying the Diener eraser animals I loved and loved to play with. Maybe they were okay because they were "office supplies"? Or maybe it was that we didn't get to the store that sold them that often? People are odd)

I've also talked before about how I bought some of the Build-a-Bear Care bears when they came out (well, I really wanted Grumpy, but at one point Cheer and Share were on sale for cheap, and I decided he needed friends) because I wanted a Grumpy Bear when they came out when I was a kid, but I was like 13, and was trying to seem sophisticated, and it seemed too babyish to ask for a Care Bear for Christmas, and so I never got one....And that I bought some of the "vintage reproduction" Strawberry Shortcake dolls, because they were another toy line I liked but was just on the cusp of being "too old for" when they were originally in the stores. (And all my vintage Ponies).

And I think also the fact that I now have three dressable Barbies (Sam came yesterday, but sadly, I don't think it's wise to take her hair out of the bun, so she will have to wear a permabun) is part of this. It is just fun - in a very simpleminded very basic way - to change their clothes, to pick out outfits. I admit I've "wasted" a lot of money on Barbie clothes. (And I do want to have a try at making a few things; I found a pattern for a skirt and for a laceweight-yarn pullover on Ravelry). But I don't know. For me it does pay dividends in happiness because when I come home and decide to change the clothes on the dolls, it does allow me to de-track my mind, at least for a few minutes, from whatever I dealt with during the day or whatever was bothering me.

Anyway, if there seems to be interest, there will be pictures of Sam eventually, and also maybe of the "lucky dip" toys when they arrive.


purlewe said...

did you mean to post the mission impossible theme with a squirrel? I thought you were talking about sesame street...

purlewe said...

OK when I refreshed the screen it suddenly changed to the sesame street song. You can ignore both of these comments. And that was WEIRD.