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January 12, 2000
a year ago
two years ago

Good Things and Better

All right.

After signing off, taking with John for a good half to whole hour was great. Just talking about everything and anything. It was just satisfying and useful and helped me deal.

The bath was great, too. Lit a score of candles so that the entire area was glowing gold as the candles flickered, since there were so many the light itself was entirely steady but I could watch the living motion of the flames as I liked. Steaming water pouring into the tub from the brass spout and then I spread a double handful of Origins Dead Sea Bath Salts, which actually don't have Dead Sea salt but do have epsom salts with a ton of citrus essential oils and good nut oils that filled the steaming air with their scents. Citrus, for some reason or another, is supposed to lighten ones mood, and it certainly helped mine as I slid into the hot water, muscles protesting for just a second before relaxing completely in the heat. Ooof. Ahhh...

When everything was quiet I could hear the wind outside, howling and rampaging about, rattling everything it could shake and pounding at the walls and corners of the house, and whistling through the eaves. It was probably quite the howler, but it was all outside and I just lay back and soaked deep in hot water and just let it pull all my tensions away.

Sleep was easy.

Morning was better. I'm not quite in the mood I was yesterday. Still feeling a mite lonely, but got a little more done and had a useful meeting with the other engineers despite time away from bug fixing. Talked with Jim in private for a good long while before lunch to head off an explosion tomorrow during the CR meeting, which really worked out well, I think. Better to have the face-to-face talk before anything gets set in stone or bits.

Had a good talk with Jason about self-perceptions and lots of other stuff. He noted how strange it was that someone with all the accomplishments that I've had, i.e. all the technical work, published writing, sports stuff, etc. would still have self-confidence problems and self-image problems. That for all those years of accomplishment to go away required nothing more than the stumbling block of the day. He's right. Absolutely right. That it seems absurd in the face of all that, but then I might as well be the poster child for 'Does Everything and Still Can't Believe' or 'What Have You Done Today?' It seems a common problem, and most people don't look at their good points as often as their perception of what is bad about themselves.

But it really is complete evidence that accomplishment isn't the path to self-esteem. Doing isn't being, and I often think that self-fulfilment is more a state of being than doing. It's more of a state than a goal to be reached. Tom's given me several Sifford articles about that kind of thing and I believe 'em. Some kids are just raised, sometimes, in such a way where they're trained to see what's wrong with themselves instead of what might be right. So it's hard to change the habit from self-dislike to actually liking where one is and what one had become. We'll see.

Anyway, that made me think a lot and helped me figure out the fact that doing things and making them come out really may not be The Way to self-esteem in the better sense. There's other paths to explore, now.

Also had a nice long conversation with Geoff. Just pleasantry and talk and sharing of things and one thing that really, truly hit me today is my own cheat at equating him, in any way, with Mark, at all. It's a cheat of myself as well as of him and it's just something that I should stop. He's himself and that'll be that and decisions will be based on that, not on some ghost or even just the merest trace of a painful ghost. Big light just went on in my brain when I thought of that, and that's going to be the way it goes. I think I'm definitly going to get to want to know him more and take him for himself.

So that was good.

I got work done, in drips and drabs. Here and there between that and Genevieve and Keely and actually getting to talk with Cera again for a bit. That was nice. Also had fun with some of the Horde, Trip, Chrisber, Marith, hegemony, and Carl were all around and punting words about. That is always fun and I didn't feel as alone when I could laugh. They sent me home before it was too late and Fezzik ran up again and ran into my legs when I got home. He greeted me exhuberantly and it was nice.

Thought a lot about dinner, and finally just pulled turkey from the freezer, a bit of the turkey broth from Thanksgiving and then did gravy, turkey and mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes are a technogeek's dream. I pour dry stuff in a bowl, pour twice as much boiling water on it so that it's just completely swamped, then stir and hey-presto! it's actually perfectly textured mashed potatoes with the right amount of salt and everything. Creepy that it's that quick and that thorough from dry to swamped to perfectly fluffy mashed. Potatoes, meat, and gravy. I was in it for the comfort not the nutritional value. Had a vitamin suppliment to take care of that. What an evolution, where food is entirely for comfort not nutritional needs...

John arrived later in the evening, and Fezzik and I greeted him quite enthusiastically. It was good to have him back and very good to just hug and talk again. It also relaxed other strings in my heart and let sleep happen.

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