Mind Dump

Back in the days when I was self-employed, I used to reach points where I’d complain about having alligators at my ass. But now my to-do list has become so downright ridiculous when I combine the day job, the other job and my personal life, that I think that, more often than not these days, the expression on my face must be that of a deer in the headlights.

— Three to five major jobs to complete for the other job before I leave Halifax, not to mention the normal day-to-day stuff that keeps coming in.

— Keeping up with (and in some cases catching up at) the day job.

— Apartment hunting in Montréal from February 9 to 13.

— Figuring out the cost and logistics of moving, including deciding what belongings will come to Montréal and which won’t, then actually executing the move, and then replacing the belongings I decided weren’t worth moving from Halifax.

— El Poema and I deciding when, how and where to tie the knot, which is now in flux because of having to…

— …figure out the best way of cutting through the bureaucratic red tape to get his Canadian permanent resident status.

And then I wonder why Spanish is not sticking to my brain as I’d like it to! It pains me that it isn’t, and I don’t want El Poema to think for an instant that I’m not serious about learning or that his fiancé is in fact spectacularly dim. But there are times when it feels like the words are hitting my forehead and just bouncing back off, like trying to save one more file on a hard disk that has reached its storage capacity.

At any rate, I get dizzy just thinking (and writing) about all that’s in store for the next few months. And it makes me wish I were so filthy rich that I could just hire a bunch of specialists and let them take care of everything except what I must absolutely do myself.

Techie Things That Baffle Me

When it comes to “computer stuff,” some things baffle me. Like…

  1. Getting hardware to work. I tentatively bought a laptop this week. By “tentatively,” I mean that I told the salesperson that if I can’t figure out in a few days and with relative ease how to get the blasted thing connected to my wireless router, I would bring it back. For some unexplicable reason, I have no patience for stuff like that. Or a short attention span. But at the rate things are going now, I may end up returning the damn thing.
  2. How some days spam e-mails clog my inbox in a manner that resembles a sudden and heavy snowstorm, and then dies down to a trickle or even nothing. It conjures up images of spammers launching an attack and then the people at my hosting company intervening by altering the server-side filtering rules to stop the influx. But then I suspect that, really, it’s more a case of the storm simply stopping.

A while back, I asked my hosting company if they had any suggestion of what I could do to cut down the spam in addition to applying my own filtering rules. I was given an excellent explanation of why it’s such a big problem for me, but implementing a lasting way of stopping the influx would require considerable work on my part. And work is time, which is at a premium for me these days.

Days of Engagement

David astutely remarked on my previous post immediately after my return from Mexico, “Although this [the Maurice and El Poema engagement] is not what I would have expected many years ago when we met, I am pleased you are at a place where you can enjoy this sort of happiness.”

Now there’s an understatement! Not even a year ago did I think that I would be into “this” a year later. In fact, so huge, sudden and abrupt is the change for both of us that we sometimes find ourselves pausing and saying, “Oh my gawd, are we really doing this?!”

Granted, for me at least, pretty much everything in the last two years has been about change — not just making changes, but also recognizing a deep sense of restlessness within myself that has forced me to assess the previous 5 to 10 years. And what I concluded, at both a very conscious and subconscious level, is that not only have I merely coasted through those years, but that I have also, in many ways, remained relatively static. Sure, new and old friends have come; new and old friends have gone; some people who seemed like friends turned out not to be such great friends; some projects got realized while others never evolved beyond ideas; there were great moments of shared happiness, serenity, fun and support as well as seriously unsettling moments of conflicts and sadness. But really, when one thinks about it, that’s just the normal ebb and flow of living, where the faces, situations and endeavours may vary with the passage of time, but once a tally is done at the end of each year, very little has essentially changed.

It seems pretty clear to me now that fear of commitment is what fuelled my inertia. I don’t just mean fear of settling down with one person; I mean how, even professionally, I resisted for so long commitment to an employer. Yet, in contradiction, loyalty and dedication are values I cherish and, I believe, honour. But I guess at one point, namely shortly after I turned 40, I asked myself the question the insufferable Dr. Phil would ask: “How is that working for me?” And my non-verbal answer — the deep sense of restlessness that very question triggered — was that it wasn’t working. I was left feeling ungrounded. And yearning. Not so much yearning FOR anything or more “stuff,” but yearning TO be able to give more and to find reason to celebrate the comfort that can be found within what on the surface may seem common but perhaps isn’t so common.

There’s something El Poema said to me numerous times from the very beginning, which I won’t repeat here for the sake of our privacy and in order not to seem boastful. But it resonated. What he said is true, I think, and by recognizing that it is, I’ve finally begun to shed my fear of commitment.

In spades! Because not doing things in half-measures is one of the few traits that hasn’t changed.

I’m Back!

Yes, I got back yesterday from Mexico, very delayed due to a snowstorm that first hit Toronto and then the Maritimes. And now we’re in the hold of a cold snap after I left behind mid- to high-teen temperatures in Mexico City …not to mention mid-30s in Puerto Escondido and Zipolite over Christmas.

I have much to write about, but I’ll just cut to the chase for those who don’t know yet from my profile in Facebook: Under the full moon on Zicatela beach in P.E. on the night of 23 to 24 December, I pulled out a ring from my pocket and proposed to El Poema. He accepted, although he didn’t expect it so soon, so we’re engaged now. The tentative date is May 17 in Montréal.

Before that, though, he may come to Montréal and Halifax in mid-February. Today’s his birthday and, on the spur of the moment, aided by an ultra-cheap flight and the gracious offer of a mutual friend for accommodations, he has gone to Puerto Vallarta for a few days. I advised him to soak up and reserve as much warmth as possible since his introduction to the Canadian winter will be brutal. There are several reasons for his coming in such a heinous time of year: so that we can spend more time together sooner than later; so that he can confront his very understandable fear of winter head on; so that he can have a say on the apartment in Montréal; so that he can see what it’s like to live with someone who works from home.

Standing outside the airport in Toronto for a smoke, I was almost weeping. Although by accepting the proposal, he is also accepting to endure the cold to be with me, I feel awful. And I fear that it might be too much for him, for he is one Mexican who has an unusually low tolerance for cold.

Short-term mission: to convince him that he looks sexy in long johns, which I know he will. But then, when it comes to Fernando, I know I’m more than just a little bit biased.