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East, INTP, Beaver, Enneagram Type 5 speaks out

I am a pretty detached person. Not easily toppled, not easily shaken, somewhat aloof. I am independent, self-reliant, need my space. I cherish my colleagues, friends, and relatives, but mostly from a distance, unless they seem sad or lonely, or may be misunderstanding my aloofness as judgment of some kind. I do not assume I am needed, or wanted at any particular moment, I do not like to interrupt, disturb, or take others’ time. I try to keep my talk to a minimum, am always conscious of the need to finish what I have to say, and to be a better listener. I need a lot of clues and subtle assurances that someone wants to hear more, to know or spend time with me, that someone values my thoughts or feels close to me. I never assume, I do not need many friends, do not need much time with the friends I have, and so sometimes my friends may feel neglected by me. I sometimes lose interest in people who show too much uncritical interest in me, though I have learned to accept compliments and appreciation, neither blushing nor rejecting, but as a kindness we all need and is a blessing to give.

I have a rich interior life, an active intellect, an inquiring mind. I am continually reflecting, analyzing, looking at things from various angles, questioning, wondering. I am an observer, a reader, a copious note-taker. I want to get at the details, roots, befores and afters, causes and effects, determine reasons, extrapolate effects, weigh implications. I feel periodic urges to learn everything there is to know about a given topic, to become an expert, but not by doing as much as reading, listening, talking and debating it out. I am stimulated by controversy, paradox, argument, debate.

I have ideas, lots of them, creative, alternative, various. I delight in imagining, projecting, envisioning, sketching out, listing, ordering, designing, mapping. I sew, draw, have quilted, designed some minor remodels, written some songs and poems, and a lot of letters and essays.

Gardening is my favorite pastime– I find it fully engaging, a truly multi-dimensional, creative, sensual, practical, experience, deeply satisfying at a primal level, and intellectually and physically challenging. I can learn and learn, and experience the fruit of this, but not be complacent or presumptuous. There is always something new happening in a garden, but even continuity may be surprising.

When I was a girl, I was bored with the arrangement of the furniture in my bedroom. So I drew a top view map to scale, marked off inches, measured and located all windowsills, electrical outlets, heating vents, and doorways. I measured each furniture piece, created movable cardboard pieces representing each, and laid them out in one formation after another until I was satisfied, and then moved my furniture accordingly.

My first garden was the same. I planned the shape, researched the methods, mapped out the four year rotations, ordered seeds, formulated amendments, layered compost, scheduled seedings, pottings, plantings, and prunings. I learned discipline of the body as I worked in four dimensions to produce food for several households and run a business.

At work, I am a slow planner. While many days, I am throwing down tomorrow’s lesson plans by the seat of my britches due to lack of time and teaching a new course for the first time, when I have lots of time I use every bit of it as I back up to the big picture view of scope and sequence, to laying out, layer my layer, and in increasing detail, a plan that includes key concepts, learning targets, vocabulary, at least two or three separate resources to support the main curriculum, ties to other subjects and previous and future courses, integrated projects, rubrics, collaborative protocols, note taking scaffolds, and ideas for enrichment and community or career connections. I work on the first of many units until the night before I need to teach, then, having run out of time, whip out a seat-of-my-britches plan on all subsequent days until I have a teacher work day. I forget where my original detailed opus is, so I start it all over again, though it’s somewhat in my mind in the rough. I am learning to be more realistic, though, more practical. Good enough can be good enough, especially when one is  a little worn out.

On a team with the task of getting something done, I want to dig into the information, talk it out, get everyone’s ideas, get all the facts, variables, forward and backward considerations before I lay anything down. After this initial phase, during which I take lots of notes, I want to go off and be by myself, preferably for several hours or overnight with no other duties, to think it all through and come back with an intelligent, well thought-out plan, backed up by a well developed vision, purpose, and justification. Vision is key–I don’t want to go with the flow until I know what the source and the destination are, and whether they are worthy. It’s not enough for me to keep up with a trend, to stay up to date. I want to maintain a direction that is sustainable and leads in a positive evolutionary direction. But I defer happily, once I have said my piece, to the movers and the shakers, as long as they are guided by a decent vision, even if they more too fast at times. I do like to keep an eye out for anyone feeling bulldozed, not that I’m one of those Feelers, but I believe in true collaboration of diverse players, as any biologist should.

I am aloof, as I said, but also very curious about people. I want to know how they think, what interests them, how they approach life, problems, their work, relationships. I want to understand their strengths, gifts, talents, and ways of viewing the world, and why. I believe in the value of diversity for the resilience of a community, and want to be connected with many kinds of people, not with just people I “get” or who get me. I enjoy introducing friends from different circles to one another, assuming each will enrich the lives of the other as they have mine. I am not a jealous friend. Nor do I even understand that sort of thing, drama and such. Though I do find it amusing, and sympathize with those disturbed by this or that perceived slight.

I live so much in my mind, even a little information may occupy me, and I may forget to pay attention to those around me, to inquire into a person’s life, to ask good questions, to show sustained interest. I am startled into the realization periodically that I have not been a very good friend, while at other times I am given ample opportunity to love those around me in practical ways. I feel I am rather stingy of my time, energy, attention, protective of my space, but also, I know a need for relationships and fear their possible loss, at least of those very few I find sufficient.

I am trying to understand how I grieve. The way I explained to others who asked how I was doing was that I mostly live in the moment. There are some many fine moments in which to rest, and with people who care for me nearby, and my pleasures in weather, work, and words, I am never completely without resources, even when I am alone. At least, so far.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

The man inside the boy

I don’t know what happened with my youngest son, but it’s good. I have been urging, reminding, cajoling, conniving, and ganging up on his to either do more physical activity of the ordinary kind such as biking to school, running, or swimming at the local pool, or join a school or club sport or team, to please, please choose something, and I’d support him. But he only dabbled, while his newly developed height with doubled number of muscle cells puddled in a chair as he played computer games for hours a day. I got into it with him the other day–he could see from my intensity how heartfelt my concern was, how serious a thing I felt it was to neglect one’s health that way, how he would be giving up the good feeling of strength, balance, and sense of accomplishment, even while his brain was tricked into thinking that the levels or perks of his gaming were some kind of real achievement. It was a hijack of his innate evolved dopamine reaction that didn’t pay the same dividend as REAL challenges, REAL risk, REAL conflict, trouble, and overcoming, I said. And no, I said, when he told me he needed me to “make him” exercise, I just couldn’t, with a full work schedule and disciplines of my own to fit in. I said he had to make himself, or sign up for something where he would be made to do the work. I acknowledged the reality of the temptation to yield one’s time and attention to those clamoring for it–the games, or movies, or social media for some. I told him it was too much–I had been willing to make athletics mandatory, but there was supposed to be an eventual owning of it, and it was past time.

He wasn’t planning to swim again this year–said he’d had too many ear infections. Last year, with lots of encouragement from his parents and his siblings, he chose to swim on the high school team, after years of unenthusiastically participating in summer league and improving each year, though never enough in his own mind to pay more than grudging acknowledgment to his gradual drop in race times. He felt nowhere near as good a swimmer as his brother and sister before him, though she assured him that his times were about the same as hers when she started. His brother had started much younger and so had immediately made varsity in his freshman year, going on to be count Swimmer of the Year and then almost make college nationals (in Canada). We assured him it didn’t matter, that it was about fitness and fellowship, and that we loved watching him swim, along with his grandparents. Also, he was becoming a bit of a specialist in backstroke, unlike his Freestyle/Fly siblings. So much for an easy choice –excellent coach, good group of boys, great fitness, and fun to watch for us. But it seemed to be over. His sisters had invited him to go for climbing and to the gym, but nothing was happening.

Then today, he burst out of his garage bedroom and said, one, that he was really glad his drum teacher had got him listening to jazz it was so amazing (he never listened to music before this, despite several years of piano lessons and now a few months of drumming), and two, that he wanted me to sign him up for swimming.

So I guess the exhortation with tears got to him where the gentle reminders and reasoning didn’t. He’s a heart guy, like his dad. He’s owning it, too–he doesn’t do things just to be compliant, but he does have a desire to do what’s right. He’s manning up, I think. I’m so proud of him Dare I hope that he’ll also heed my pleas to say no to first person shooter games, to protect his imagination, or to do real live work with his hands, like helping me build a new compost bin, or splitting some firewood, instead of virtual digital building and tearing down?

 

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That was some good soup.

Creamy, red and rich, and with no added sugar. The level of sugar in commercial tomato soup, even the gourmet stuff, makes it not taste good to me. Same with most Asian restaurant food, Halloween candy, and ice cream. Making my own stuff for many years, I got to like the taste underneath the sweetness, and only add a little or none added to most recipes.

A few months ago, I was informed that my blood sugar in on the low borderline of pre-diabetic. Though I’m pretty lean, I’m not too surprised, as I had gestational diabetes for one of my pregnancies, and my mother, uncle, and grandfather, all got Type II diabetes. Still, their diet was pretty heavy on the bread, pie, and apple juice, and low on vigorous exercise, so I hope to stave off any need for treatment for many years.

What I think I need to cut down on next is caffeine. I use two to three times a day. It’s my only drug of any kind (no prescriptions yet), so I’m fortunate, but I’d like to be less dependent, and have room for more healthy drinks like turmeric (which I need for inflammation)  or mint tea. I or so. ‘m starting by delaying my first cup an hour or so. But for energy, I’ll have to figure out how to get more exercise, since the pool is packed in the morning, and I wrenched my bad arm last time I tried to swim laps; I want to run, but not too much on asphalt. I guess I can bring myself to drive to the trail now that I have an electric car–it always seemed not quite the thing to burn gas so I could get fit. The bike issue is not yet settled–I have one picked out–a tour bike in steel for carrying loads–but still nowhere to store it, and work is too far away to bike to. Which also seems wrong, to live a few blocks away from two schools and have to commute to another district for work.

This is all warmup, and I’m getting nearer what I think I need to write, But also, I’m falling asleep. To be continued.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

I drugged my dog last night, got new glasses today, and tomorrow I will make soup.

I got a good night’s sleep because I dosed my anxious rescue dog with a light sedative. I was woken up by a pre-dawn downpour that left slushy sleet coating the ground and vehicles, but I always find the sound of rain relaxing and so I slept another good half hour after that.

For breakfast I stirred up some eggs with broccoli (picked yesterday), and strong cheese, pressed some coffee for the portable mug and a jarful for later in the day, and piled my teacher bags and craft supplies into the chilly car. I unplugged the charger, pressed the On switch, and whirred out for my half hour commute.

This week I’m listening to another audiobook from the mysteries section of the library, involving a stabbing of an upper crust millionaire in his castle while all the greedy, strange backbiting relatives are visiting and wishing here was better cell phone coverage and internet. It passes the time, and is better written and read that the last one. That one had lines like: “She fell and her head struck the cement. She had hurt herself.” Plus the reader’s attempts to “do” the male voices turned them all into irritating dweebs, even the ones the reader is meant to like. The story was okay, though–I considered rewriting it to make it bearable and hiring a different reader, but decided to stick with my own work.

I got new glasses today. The last ones were sturdy brown plastic, but growing brittle, and with a substantial scratch where they saved my eye socket from worse injury when an iron patio chair unfolded suddenly into my face. I think I’ll make a Christmas tree ornament out of them in honor of that role, along with my old mouth guard, which has been protecting my molars from grinding wear at night. I’ve also been meaning to make a multi color wreath out of my children’s swimming competition ribbons.  It’s also time I got the recipe for my neighbor’s fruit cake, the only one I’ve ever liked, even without sauce. Fruitcake is one of those things that tastes better as one ages in any case, and it’s been about ten years since I first had it, so I can hardly wait.

Something I worry about is, as I get older, into my mid-fifties and sixties, am I going to start smelling funny and not realize it, along with my house? The young people I teach would surely notice, with their more sensitive noses. It might be a good idea to start wearing scented lotions.

Nothing so strong as what that man in the grocery store the other day was wearing, though. I knew he was nearby, because the sharp, chemical odor of a certain cosmetic ingredient to which I am sensitive started wafting over me from behind while I was scanning the dairy case for coconut yogurt that my daughter had requested for a recipe. I considered telling him, as a stranger, where a colleague or friend might not. I don’t know, do men do that for one another? (“Dude, easy on the perfume next time!”) It was worse than walking down the detergent aisle.

My daughter never did make her recipe, wasn’t even home when I got there. When I tried to put all the ingredients away in the fridge, I found that the load my husband had just brought home from Costco (Lord preserve us from husbands who do the Costco runs!) was piled on top of the previous ingredients and leftovers so that an avalanche threatened. The table and counters were similarly overloaded. I put two items into my car for return the next day (he hadn’t realized we already had them), exhorted him to eat the store-bought broccoli quickly, s it was likely a few weeks old already, and we had a good crop in the garden. One of the ingredients I stashed in the car was tomato soup. I have been pleading with everyone to eat up the bounty that’s been flowing out of the greenhouse and planning to cook and can the extra.

Today in How to Not Starve, I taught a lesson on food waste. We got into a lively discussion during and after the videos showing how 40% of food produced in the U.S. never reaches any table, and much of what does later ends up in the trash. I hope some of the students will work with me to assess our waste at school and try to educate the community toward better habits. Still, one of the points of the video was that our food system depends on that waste to keep the money flowing, and the poor depend on diverted food that would otherwise be wasted (wrong size or shape, past best buy date, etc.) to feed them at low cost through food banks and soup kitchens.

I’ll make the tomato soup tomorrow, with the past due carrots, runt onions, and a little orange juice. It will be good with the romaine that’s sweetening up in the cool night garden.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Cell analogy poem, verse one

The cell membrane is like my skin
which helps to keep my liquids in.
It has some pores, and so do I
Such as valves that open when I cry
and lips that take in food and drink
Much like channel proteins, I think.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

A very short poem which I would not like read at my funeral, as that would be mean.

Epilogue

I forgive you for not appreciating me enough when I was alive.
You know who you are.

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Featured

Enter title here. There is an easier way to create. Add media, add poll, ADD CONTACT FORM! And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Publicize: Not Connected. Show image, video, quote.  All categories (most) used.

Thank you for creating.

Word count: 49
saved at 8:53:11 pm.:)

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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