Post #3266: The wet coast returns

I am starting Day 4 of my new job and wow, have I ever learned a lot this wee – and do I ever still have a lot to learn!

But something did click for me yesterday which helped me understand why I am the person for this position, and that was the realization that my new role and team plays a connective function among many parties. That hadn’t been clear to me at the outset, it being a new role with no work description of any kind, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly this new group is supposed to do. But once I heard “connector” everything I had read started to fit into a pattern that I understood, because connector is my central social role as a communicator, creative, and union advocate. And like that, it all fell into place. I know what I’m doing here and the next step is figuring out how to do it.

In the land of government, we almost never get the chance to stand a program up from scratch – mostly we step into a well-worn path, and sometimes we have to dismantle programs (12 years under the Conservatives saw a lot of that) – so I’m grateful to get to experience something truly unique in these last few years of my employment. At the same time, it’s like being a junior employee all over again; I’ve hade those first-week jitters even though I’ve been kicking around for 23 years. Good thing is, now I know who to ask for info and also Google exists which was not the case when I first started in the public service. Acronyms and organizations are only a quick search away!

One thing that’s been interesting this week is my return to normal working hours. For the last six years I’ve worked 6:30-2:30 because most of my team was back east. Now that I’m on west coast time again I’ve moved to an an 8-4 schedule, and am fitting my workouts in first thing in the morning instead of at the end of the day. Work + workout = the same length of day, but the order is reversed. While lifting heavy first thing in the morning is taking some adjustment, I have wanted to move to morning workouts for some time. For one, it gets it out of the way – but mostly, it doesn’t allow for me to make excuses all day about why I don’t have to work out. This week I’ve just gotten my gear on and went straight to the gym after coffee – twice in our garage gym, and twice at the local fitness centre. Besides a little creakiness in getting started, it’s been a nice switch.

The rains have returned full force today and I’m starting to think about fall textile projects. I have been warping one of the looms this week with a table runner that was featured in Handwoven magazine a few months ago. While I mostly want to work on my own designs, this project is an opportunity to work with mercerized cotton (which I haven’t done much of to date) and also explore shadow weave. It’s also a palate-cleanser after several “summer textile school” projects in plain weave, and a way to set myself up for the commission project I hope to get started on later this month. In addition to the weaving, I’ve continued to do bits and pieces of dyeing – and though I had planned to pack up the dye studio for the winter, I think I’ll keep the indigo vat going for a bit and keep a few supplies out for dyeing threads and other small things.

One thing I really need to get to is sewing some new fall/winter clothing. Since losing weight a couple of years ago, I still have not got a functional wardrobe for all seasons and have a hard time with the quality of most ready-to-wear clothing. I have a list of things I want to make, and fabric for most of them – so now I have to get down to putting the work in for some new things.

I did get a big studio clean done last week when I installed some new office furniture, though I didn’t get into the cupboards for a real stash bust on the fabric and yarn. I’m feeling pretty ready to be indoors though, with more drawer space for the bits and pieces and furniture that fits the space better (see my instagram photos on the right for the before and after).

This weekend I am anticipating the arrival of some friends who are coming to help sort out some of the belongings of a friend who died a little over five years ago. Her artworks (and all related materials) ended up in my crawlspace and I’ve started to worry that between rodents and potential water damage (we have a pressure tank down there), it isn’t the best place for them to be. Our goal is to winnow the material down more than we already have and get it stored in the loft of my zendo. At some point though, it needs to be well and truly dispensed with – and it’s not at all clear to me how that will happen. But I’m hopeful we can eliminate some of it this weekend given the passing of time since her death. At the time we initially dealt with it, everything was a bit too fresh and we still thought we might put on a show or have a sale. Now we’re all ready to see the end of it which will help with the decision-making process.

It really feels like another season today, and I’m ready to turn towards the industry of autumn. Good thing I have lots to keep me occupied as the days get a little darker.

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