Google always knows, sucking at adulthood, & don’t forget to Keep Calm & Carry On.

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It doesn’t matter how hard you try. Google always knows the truth.
As of today, the two search terms in my google history at work are:
“inevitable robot uprising”
“being an adult”

…possibly these are two highly telling indicators about my existence.

It’s like the grown up version of the last day of school. Except that’s Friday, and this is today.
It’s the last week before the holidays at Museum!Co, and about two hours before the company holiday party. (the second of three that I was invited to — these people loves themselves an excuse to party, that they do.) At this point, I have almost… nada to do. I have one task, but I’m putting it off until Wednesday so I have something to do then. Good times, right?

OMG so boring, I just can’t even tell you. :sigh:

I don’t do well with boredom. I was left to my own devices a lot as a child, so I’m actually pretty good at independent amusement, and thus dislike when the restrictions of my environment prevent me from looking for outside activities once I’ve finished the work that I’ve been assigned. (Oh yeah, they loved me in school. You betcha.)

The thing is that when you’re an employee, you can get away with goofing off for hours on a day like today. But when you’re a contractor, you have to have some justification for your time so they can justify continuing your contract, so my instinct is that when I run out of work, I need to go find more. However, I’m surrounded by salaried employees who are like, “ah, it’s fine.” Which on the one hand – totally nice that they’re okay with me just hanging out & ticking away my hours for the week. On the other hand, my Freelancer Paranoia is just barely kept leashed, and I have to continue to remind myself that things are fine, I have work all through January, and see? They just gave me my renewal security badge, so it’s all okay… basically where I’m working is so relaxed that I’m being forced to breathe & encourage my Inner Buddha.

“Be in the moment, Claris. Live in the now… trust in the universe to take care of you.”
(For the record, that’s my theory on what Actual Buddha would tell me. Inner Buddha’s not entirely to be trusted, as she’s rather fond of cheddar & pretzel Combos & thus sometimes leads down the Path of Temptation.)

For those of you just tuning in, I suck at being an adult.
Late last week, I fb msg’d another rower & in the course of my tangent was all, “You can crash on my floor, that’s cool.” Now, in my experience, this is totally normal for the rowing community – crew is a pretty expensive sport that doesn’t have any professional league, so we’re almost all looking for a way to save a buck of ten, so I can honestly say there’s been a veritable train of rowers that have either crashed at my place or been over for a meal at some point over the last four years. Hell, Hoff lived with me for almost two months before she started grad school. Honestly, facebook Intellectual Property debate aside, I’m half-surprised it was a non-rower that started

Anyway, after I sent that msg, I got home, looked around at the Pit of Despair which is my apartment’s current state of affairs, and thought, “Oh Holy Jesus, I just invited someone up here. What was I thinking?” Whether they accepted or not, that thought alone was pretty freakin’ motivational to start cleaning things up, so a couple bags of stuff have gone to charity, laundry has been done, and the second Amazon delivers my vacuum, I will have the cleanest hardwood floors known to… well mostly it’ll only be known to me & the dog, but they will be damn clean, make no mistake.

So there I was, having for some reason woken up at 11pm Friday night after having fallen asleep on my couch after school, and I just had this ridiculous urge to clean my whole bathroom, which I did, starting with a bath for Zoey, who at this point hears the tub start to run and curls into a ball across from the bathroom door in the definition of dejected resignation whether it’s for her or not.

And as I stood there, dog happily drying herself off on the living room floor by rolling around on the towel I’d laid on the floor (she’s very self-serve), scrubbing away at the shower with a handbrush because oh yes, it was a bout of manic like that, and all I could think of was this piece by Hyperbole & a Half:

Why I’ll Never Be an Adult.

Because the thing is, it’s so true. I’ll do great for like, a couple of weeks, maybe even as long as a month — I’ll be jammin’ along, doin’ my thing, it’ll be totally gravy, and then I’ll have a week or two like the ones that just passed where nothing is done, I feel like I’m behind on almost all my clients, and my nutritional standard has just completely gone to pot, and all I can do is hit the re-set button & start all over again.

However, this time instead of making A Big Huge Effort That Will Change Everything This Time, I Swear to God it’s Gonna Work, I decided to take a second, take a step back, and do things in stages. When in doubt, turn to what you know — Employ the Power of a Well Written List. Because of this, I’ve slowly been ordering Useful Things so that I can use my two weeks off for Christmas & New Year’s to not just hit re-set but also re-organize and maybe get caught up. Hence the purchases of my very own cleaning machines, and a NeatReceipt for myself, and a couple other things that I’ve just been meaning to do for approximately… ever. For instance one of the many exciting activities for me over the holiday will be measuring the shelves in my kitchen so I can re-line the bottom with the cork liners that I’ve slowly been buying one roll at a time over the last few weeks.

Some of it’s cleaning up, such as giving my kitchen the same treatment that I gave the bathroom, some of it is cleaning out, which is what I’ll be attempting in my office on Friday night. It means tackling the corner of my living room that is my painting studio, and finally buying shelving to put all of my supplies into a presentable semblance of order instead of the various plastic bags they came home from the art supply store in. Call me crazy, but I suspect this might help me actually complete a painting from time to time.

An offshoot of this is that right now, I feel like I’m spending a lot of time shopping, which sucks, because I really don’t like shopping. I’m a terrible shopper – never go shopping with me. I’m too picky. Having experience in everything from sewing to carpentry tends to make one very particular in terms of
a) how things are made
b) what the actual cost of production is vs the markup in the store

Thus I tend to be a picky, picky bitch who doesn’t want to overpay. No man who dates me will ever have to worry about going shopping with me, because I wouldn’t do that to anyone I’d want to stick around. ;)

If nothing else, as Polgara pointed out it’s a good time of year to be shopping, because I don’t think my lower-middle-income blue-collar background could have been okay with paying full price for everything, no matter what my finances might be right now. On the plus side, some of what I get to buy is fun — for instance, in going to replace a bent drapery rod I discovered that the neighbor who moved out a few months ago never returned my drill, so I get buy power tools! Yay Buying Power Tools!

…and yet, stability seems to be creeping in.
In some ways, it’s weird & scary to be where I am right now considering where I was a year ago — I got an email from the Dolls asking if I could valet this December, and I realized that I really just… don’t have the time. I have a steady part time contract, enough side work that I can put significant (to me) amounts of money in the bank, and I’m not constantly worried about how or whether I’ll be able to pay my rent. Instead of me having to chase the jobs, now I have people contacting me to ask, “Hey, do you want work?” and in some cases I’m having to turn it down, which would have been unheard of last December.

Rowing is getting better – I’m not where I was before the rug got yanked out, but after the race on Sunday, I at least feel like I’m gaining on becoming myself again, which is admittedly another post for another day.

It’s not 100%. There are still bad days. I’m still not productive when I’m in my apartment, and one of my goals for 2011 is to have saved up enough to move out of my building by the summer. To manage that and other things on the list of dollars & sense, I just need to stay focused & keep on keepin’ on.
I’m half-tempted to get one of these for my office wall. You gotta figure, the reminder can’t hurt.

Music: Cosmic Love – Florence + the MachineLungs - Florence + The Machine

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  • Kate

    I still have some issues with what to do when I have my paid work done at work, and I’m on salary. It’d be nice to goof off, but I get yelled at for it…and sometimes, there’s just nothing else to be done, even busywork. It’s a very hurry-up-and-wait industry, and an even more hurry-up-and-wait company, so…my thumbs get twiddled a lot, and like you, I don’t cope well with that. Wish I could internet-surf more without the fear of being yelled at for it, but…yeah. Ah well.

    I’m in a “clean ALL the things” phase right now, too – I have too much stuff, and it needs cleaning, and I want to be a grownup and go to the bank, damnit! But sometimes that just doesn’t work. Also, I need a Dyson to deal with all the bird fluff. Sheesh. I’d understand all the debris if I had a pup like Zoey, but it’s just a bird! WHY IS THERE SO MUCH STUFF ON THE FLOOR?

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