A lot's happened in the time since I last posted, and most of it's been good. There continue to be some annoyances, but most of them are trifling. The rest of life in this year 2012 is actually pretty decent so far, and I'm finding it possible to breathe a little.
Over the last couple months I came to realize that there's very little left for me to prove to anyone other than myself. The remaining ambitions are mostly very intensely personal, and none of them involve Big Questions. Those have been answered, and happily so, and the answers to those Big Questions contribute to a sense of inner peace.
Happily, it's coincided with no small amount of simplification in my life. At work, I renegotiated some duties and worked out a new agreement on the student paper; not only is it a better deal for the students, and not only does it provide me with some sorely needed help, but it also takes away some major sources of stress. In my personal life, my five-year budget is ticking along as planned, and I'm thinking about long-term financial strategies that may enable an earlier retirement from teaching than originally planned. Why? For one, hubby's older than I am, and when he retires I want to share the time we have left doing the things we've always talked of doing. The other? Because the day I no longer feel I'm effective, the day I'm no longer getting it done, I want to make way for someone who has the fire and the ability. I don't want to overstay my usefulness. I've known people who have, and suffered as a student under some teachers who passed their "use by" date long before I got there. I don't want that to be me.
And the vacation from daily posting has been good, too. I'm remembering how to listen to life's pauses a lot more, and finding that while writing is good, just sitting and listening and thinking and all that kind of thing is sorely underrated. I have thoughts for topics, but no longer having to throw daily treatises on a website has been good for me. No doubt that's had something to do with why life has seemed a little happier of late.
With things thus far being humming along, and with fewer demands on my brain, I've even had time to spend at the workbench. A few hours of parts cleanup, a little bit of paint through the airbrush, and an evening with some glue got me this:
It's the make-rocket-go-now end of the 1:20 Tamiya McLaren M23, reissued about a year ago. It's an ancient kit by modern standards, but satisfyingly detailed and, in typical Tamiya manner, is generally a joy to build. With some luck, paint goes on the body this weekend, and I'll be able to install this monster. It took some time to overcome the workbench inertia, but once I got going, I remembered how addictive it is. When it's something that, in typical Tamiya manner, fits so well that it just begs you to keep building it once you've started, it's pure pleasure.
I've noted before the strangeness of being able to have good things, but not enjoying them because you can't let yourself comprehend that you do have those things for which you've worked so hard for so long. But lately, it feels that's changing, and I'm coming to realize just what I do have. Maybe I'm letting myself enjoy it. That would be nice.