Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Hello again

Well, that last update was a while ago, wasn't it? Sorry about that.

Apparently I am currently putting on the "watch Abi have a breakdown" show. We are still in very preliminary stages, where people are asking me whether or not I am sleeping properly (getting to sleep is taking far longer than is necessary), but it would appear that I am not putting on a very good front at the moment. However, Christmas is coming and bringing holiday with it. I have another six days I must take before Christmas, most of which I shall add to the beginning of the Christmas holiday - I should get about two weeks off, which should give me a bit of breathing space, along with a chance to catch up on sleep and (gasp) tidy the house.

It is very frustrating, though, this whole not coping thing. I know that I am in an enviable position - I have a secure job which I can do well, I have a committed boyfriend who is being very friendly, I do a lot of things I enjoy doing, my health is mostly good, and my family are great, and I have friends who are there for me when I call on them (although I do need to work on having enough time to be there for them, too, even when they don't call on me).

So yeah, I am a bit frustrated. And, to be honest, I am probably mostly blogging right now because there are things I need to get on with - some joinery homework with actual writing (which I tried and failed to complete on Sunday, on account of not being able to write anything better than "and this is strong because the big bits stick together very well because they have a very big surface area for the glue", and giving up in shame) and some soap making - there is only one month to get the stuff dry before Christmas, which is as long as it needs, which means that it all needs to be made by now at the latest. Which didn't happen. Which is not a good thing. I shall have to do some tomorrow. Which is what I said yesterday and the day before. But things got in the way.

I also need to practise the carols, but I did about 1 1/2 hours of (sometimes half-hearted) practice already, with the pedals, so that is less urgent.

Tomorrow I start to learn joinery so that the organ builder firm will consider my application to be an apprentice organ builder. I shall be making mortise and tenon joints, and endeavouring to avoid removing any fingers with a chisel (or any other sharp (or blunt) object, for that matter). I do not yet know whether or not I have an aptitude for this - it could be very embarrassing. On the plus side, if I am dreadful at this I can pursue the PhD guilt-free, as I will (hopefully) know that I have given organ building my best shot. As the time draws closer I am getting more apprehensive - this is going to require a lot of self-discipline. Which I am clearly not showing by blogging instead of describing mortise and tenon joints.

So that is where I am at. Not a happy little teddy bear, nor very coherent, nor on top of things, but confident that things will improve soon.

Bugger this. They won't improve soon enough for my liking, because the conditions for improvement are not there - I need more free time, and for a higher proportion of the things I do to be interesting - I want to achieve things, and to have time to achieve them well. I predict that things will improve either in a year, when the organ builders decide that I am the apprentice they really need because of my enthusiasm and excellent woodworking skills, or next September when I give up my job a month before the PhD starts so that I can stay somewhere cheap and calm for a bit (I'm thinking of one monastic community in particular). That is more realistic. They will get slightly better after this carol concert is over, though, assuming that I do not die of embarrassment during the event. It is looking promising, insofar as I thoroughly messed up the last verse of "O come all ye faithful", but it was pronounced a success by the conductor; if all that I have to do is play some notes, loudly, and finish at the same time as everyone else, I should have very few problems!

Sorry for moaning. I know that I shouldn't, but it was that or no update today. Anyway, it's all minor stuff - it's only thinking that makes it feel like more. Alas, I think a lot.


Drake said...

Heh, not at all... coming from an expert winer, I won't blame you for doing so.

Difficulties in life, comes from more areas than just health, relationships and so forth. You have a legitimate gripe in the decisions you have to make, as it will ultimately affect your future.

I respect you for going for your "dream" first and if failing, you have a plan to fall back on. My major fall back plan was to do accounting if I couldn't get anywhere with programming, but numbers and me are not good friends at all so I think in the end, it work out for the best that I didn't have to fall back ... yet at least, I had a contingency plan. The only thing I neglected was to build up the guts and try going into music.

Don't sweat the technical garble/jargon too much. Look in side of yourself and think why you would use a certain join like a dove-tail or what not. How you described it was already great in my view but you just have to flesh it out in order to "sell" your opinion and persuade the other person that deep down you see a definate advantage to using it.

It's strange...when you are learning something, it is a real head-ache in getting the knowledge into your head but after a while, when you look back, you might think to your self "This is so logical! Why did I struggle so?!".

At any rate, all of the best! And I am sure your part in the "orchestra" is more than just a couple of loud notes and ending at the same time as the others ;D

Abi said...

I have been thinking a lot about what I am doing, as it has felt very difficult just getting to the stage where I get to hit a piece of wood with something sharp - I didn't think that I would ever get there. But I did. Yay for me.

The thing is, it doesn't seem very likely that I would actually do something like this, which requires a sense of adventure and a hell of a lot of courage (there is so much I could lose if this goes right, let alone if it goes wrong). It seems like the sort of thing other, more exciting, people do. However, I am currently going for it, and could one day be the one with the unusual job title who gets paid (practically nothing) to climb inside organs and poke things. I love climbing, and can poke in so many different ways.

I think that the stuff I had to write went OK, considering. The biggest problems I had were to do with the book not explaining things very well (I knew what was going on until I read the book) and Wikipedia not rescuing me. It wasn't perfect by any means, and I mixed up words in a stupid way and missed bits out, but he didn't think that I was a lazy slacker who is giving up before it even gets started, as far as I can tell. Also, he didn't give me anything to do for next week, so I don't have to juggle organ practice and writing. Thank goodness. I am SO failing at the organ practice as it is. I am trying not to think about that - not enough hours in the day!

It is good that you did not go with accounting - it does not sound very interesting. Also, I think that music is often better as a hobby than a career - it is draining doing as much practice as it takes to make it as a professional musician, and one's career is horribly vulnerable to all sorts of things. Would you be able to become, say, a part-time jazz musician, who played for events sometimes? That could be useful and fun...

Drake said...

I could have, I guess, done things like being a part-time musician but my working hours & demands from work usually kept me away from perseuing that avenue.

Now, I am lucky to get a half an hour in without my body tripping me up and with the latest shoulder bout, there is a virtual yellow tape around my keyboard saying "No admittance" heh

I hope all goes well with the practice. Old cliche ... but ... "Practice makes perfect" ;P