Did You Miss Me? Some Things Take Time

Fall leaves. They're a seasonal thing.

Fall leaves. They’re a seasonal thing.

Miles run today: 10

Days since I last posted: 11

Fish tacos eaten tonight for dinner: 2.5

First of all, just so you know, fall leaves are not easy to find in March.

Finding props for commercial shoots is part of my new job, and apparently, there is not a demand for fall leaves until at least August. So… if you go searching, I’m here to tell you that they will be mighty difficult to find.

Anywhoo….. I’ve missed all of you fellow bloggers tremendously! Apologies for not visiting and not commenting. I am trying to find my perfect work-life balance, and perhaps that’s not the easiest thing to achieve within the first one and a half weeks of a new job.

For my new job, sometimes I’ll get to blog! How fun.

So my new coworkers were wanting me to search through old photos to illustrate my first blog post… something about my time interning at CNN, or maybe my early jobs doing PR at hospitals. Here’s the thing: we didn’t used to have 24/7 access to cell phones with cameras. We didn’t chronicle our every breath. We didn’t have photos of us sitting at laptops… writing.

How very banal.

But it took me back to when I was in my early twenties, when my best friend and I used to frequent a wonderful bookstore (with real, non-e-books!) in Buckhead, right near the heart of Atlanta. In the summertime, the evenings would be humid and wonderful, and we had all the time in the world. We had no real responsibilities, no real pressures.

We would go out for big slabs of carrot cake and cups of Sumatra coffee at The Dessert Place, one of the coffee shops that preceded the rise of Starbucks, a place where the coffee bean roastery thingie was all exposed and beautiful in its steely-ness. We would peruse the (paper!) listing of goings-on downtown in Casual Loafing, circle some of them with red pen, talk about boys, and stroll through the streets to our favorite bookstore.

The bookstore was huge.

The whole thing was wooden, and there were two stories. Stories!

The shelves were wood, the floors were wood, and wherever there wasn’t wood, there were books. It smelled of coffee and wood and old, leafy pages.

We liked to hang out in the numerology and astrology section.

I’m not sure what we thought we would find there. Perhaps a boy? But boys didn’t go there. Too girly.

We combed the pages for hints as to how we would meet our soulmates. But mostly, we talked and laughed. Maybe our quest wasn’t for a boy after all; we were having way, way too much fun.

When we roamed the fiction section, one of the books I remember flipping back through was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Oh, how I loved that book!

A few days ago, my kids and I had run out of good books to read after trying a few boring samples on the Kindle. I started reading Sherlock Holmes to them.

“I don’t get it. Nothing’s happening,” my son said, lolling around the bed, the boredom rolling off of him in waves.

“Watson is explaining the sort of person Holmes is,” I told him. “Be patient.”

“Something needs to happen,” he said. “What’s the problem? The words are so… hard to understand.”

“Not everyone says ‘dude,'” I told him. “Holmes is a master of disguise. And he’s kind of quirky. I think you’re going to like him.”

“Where’s Bohemia?” my daughter asked. “Why are they lighting the lights? They didn’t have electricity?”

We got at least three-quarters of the way through the first story, and they both stopped wiggling. “There’s a photograph? And the king guy can’t get married because she’s blackmailing him?”

I’m here to tell you that Instagram and Snapchat aren’t so far removed from Holmes and his investigations. My kids started listening. And good.

Sometimes, adapting to new information takes time.

And sometimes, as I watch my kids adapt to new stuff, it makes me realize that I need time to adjust, too.

My whole early twenties were a time of adjustment. Combing through the photos made me remember that.

Good books didn’t used to jump right into the action. You had to warm up to it.

And new jobs, new phases of life, take a little adjustment, too.

What about you? Are you good at adapting? Or do you need a little warm-up?


42 thoughts on “Did You Miss Me? Some Things Take Time

  1. Amy Mak says:

    Um, yes, I have missed you! Glad you are adjusting to a new life. I used to think I was brilliant with change, but I find myself more out of sorts when my days are too “different” from the norm. This is disturbing and reminds me of a person much older than myself. Good luck with your job and hey – I’m the first commenter! See how much I’ve missed you???

    • annewoodman says:

      Thanks, Amy! I’ve missed you, too. I’ve seen a couple of people’s blogs, like yours, but I haven’t had time to comment. I’ll try to do better. Hope all is well with you (and I got your book-related email, too–I’ll have to check it out!).

  2. Bernie Brown says:

    I did miss you. Now I know what you were doing. You were starting your new job and I demand a full rundown tomorrow at writig group! I think I adjust to new things fairly quickly, and then after a time, I have a sort of setback and long for what came before. I always have to make it hard. 🙂

  3. Of course I missed you. I think all who follow your blog have missed you. Congratulations on your new job! I look forward to more when you have the opportunity to write.

    • annewoodman says:

      Thanks, Mike. I apologize for not being as good at following my fellow bloggers posts, like yours. I see them and run out of time to read. I’ll do better! I’ve missed them!

  4. robincoyle says:

    Yup . . . miss you.

    I want to hear more about the new job! Are you loving it?

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    Yes, I’ve missed you, too. And I suspected the new job was behind your absence. 😉 I need time to adapt, and even then, I’m not always comfortable with the changes.

    Interesting how your son sounded so much like a modern writing instructor or agent telling new authors how books should be!

    Great to see you back, and looking forward to your posts whenever you have the time to write them. 🙂

    • annewoodman says:

      Thanks, JM. I’ll be back in writing/reading form soon. I’ve started reading/commenting on Summer, too. Just not as far into it as I thought I would be by now. I’m enjoying it!

  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    Although I can be resistant to change at first, I’m good at adapting, which is surprising given how much I love my routine. But if it is messed up, I can quickly get into a new mindset. I guess in this world, we pretty much have to.

    Hope the job is going well. Sounds very cool. I’m impressed you even managed to put up a blog post. I’m not sure I could combine the two worlds so well. Hey, wait, didn’t I just say I was good at adapting?…

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, I’ve found that some people are very good at compartmentalizing changes, so they adapt and show no signs of strain. I guess only time will tell how well I can adapt to this particular major life change!

      I’ve missed reading your blog posts, Carrie!

  7. I certainly did miss you, not posting and not seeing your face popping up here and there on other blogs! In fact I popped back over here a couple of days ago to see when it was you last replied to a comment on your last post, and if it had gone on much longer I was going to email you to see if you were ok! I did remember that you were going to be starting a new job though, so I wondered if it was that. Your new job sounds great!

    I’m not sure of the answer about how good I am at adapting actually. I think it probably depends on the situation.

    • annewoodman says:

      Yes, I guess the situation plays into it quite a bit, Vanessa. I’m usually pretty good at it; we’ll see how quickly I can get “sunk in” and juggle this time around.

      Hope your new blog is taking off well.

  8. Well, there you are! Howdy! And congrats on the new job!

    My son underwent a similar cultural conversion but, in his case, it was silent movies. After he finally got used to the idea of it, he became a devoted fan. He even named one of his stuffed animals Harold Lloyd.

    And yes, I know I am raising my son to be a film geek. So sue me.

  9. 4amWriter says:

    Like everyone else, I’ve missed you — but I suspected “the job” was the reason. I’m glad to know that if we keep reading those older books, that eventually our children will start to enjoy them. My kids got bored with “Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh” and we stopped reading it. I figured perhaps they were too young and couldn’t handle how ‘slow’ it was. Maybe I shall try it again and force them to listen!!

    I don’t adapt quickly to change. I’m too much a creature of habit. But I make the best of it, persevere, and eventually I come around.

  10. Joyce says:

    I miss you. When are we ever going to catch up?

    Sent from my iPhone, please excuse any typos

  11. kabe1 says:

    So that’s where you’ve been!! Was getting worried! Hope the new job is going well. I am definitely a creature of habit but I think I am getting better at change as I get older – I have more of an appetite for it! 🙂

  12. SmartAssy says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m glad I did!

    As someone going through their early twenties right now, I definitely like to have that warm up time…but it’s often nowhere to be found. However, I think it’s great to face big changes and see how resilient you are.

    • annewoodman says:

      I agree, on all points! Your early twenties is an exciting time… so much is changing, and there’s so much yet to be done. I hope you’re having a great time with it. And I’m glad you found my blog!

  13. Welcome back. Sounds like a fun job. Red oaks hold their leaves until spring. In my younger days, I thought I could adapt to anything. However, As I get older, it takes more time to adjust. Guess I’mm more set in my ways.

    • annewoodman says:

      Dennis, Who isn’t set in his/her ways as age has its way with us? The positive piece of that is that we have discovered more about who we are and what we can offer. And I think that’s a very good thing.

  14. Nice to see you back here. It sounds like you are adapting to your job much better than I did when I started new ones. But yours sounds like a lot of fun so I guess that helps. One of my first jobs was in a fireworks factory – that wasn’t too hard to adapt to because it was about coping with severe boredom, which I was used to from maths classes at school!

  15. thepoelog says:

    The work-life balance thing can be sooooo difficult, particularly on a new job. I can’t even imagine. But so excited for you and the fun things you’re getting to do!

    • annewoodman says:

      Thank you! Yes, I need to get back to reading and commenting… sorry I’ve been away for a little while. I’ll get back into it. Balance, balance, balance. I’m getting better at it day by day, inch by inch.

  16. Melissa says:

    Welcome back! You have been missed. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling?!?! I miss those wonderful old book stores…and the idle time to enjoy them. I’m getting some of that time back now, but it’s taking me a long time to appreciate it because I miss the two not so young ones anymore who took me away from that idle time. Don’t be to hard on yourself. You’ll find your balance soon enough.

    • annewoodman says:

      Oh, Melissa,
      I sure hope you’re right! One good thing: we’re still eating. And basically, for my family, that’s the measure of life still being worth living. ; )

  17. Martha says:

    I’m actually very good at adapting, but do have trouble finding balance.
    This post reminded me of a book store I used to visit in Southern California, long before Barnes and Nobles, etc. The lattes came in great big cups and new artists would come and play their music. Loved those days…and that place!

    • annewoodman says:

      That reminds me of the movie, “So I Married An Ax Murderer.” Are you old enough to remember that one, with Mike Myers? He would do beatnik poetry in places like that (he was in San Francisco), and people would “clap” with their snaps. Very funny.

  18. Subtlekate says:

    Yes, yes I did. I am so glad you are finding balance…it’s enormously important.
    Yes, I am good at adapting, sometimes circumstances make that necessary but when people aren’t good at adapting, I am often jealous that they have never had to, so count me officially jealous of your kids and know that eventually they will appreciate the subtle build up. Wonderful to see you 🙂

  19. Laura says:

    Congrats on the new job! Best of luck with all the balancing. I’m actually enjoying my staying home this time around but plan to return to the (part-time) work world within a year. I look forward to reading how everything goes for you!

    • annewoodman says:

      Thanks, Laura! I bet you’re having a wonderful, tiring time right now… I can only imagine! Only someone who is safely past that life stage can say to you: enjoy it, because it flies by. In saying that, though, I do realize the immense exhaustion you must be feeling.

      Every life transition can require a little adjustment, and for me, this one is no exception. Have fun with your little ones. ; )

  20. J-Bo says:

    That image of you and your friend spending summer evenings at the bookstore is so lovely. Thank you.

  21. Ravena Guron says:

    OMG I disappeared from the blogging world too because I was falling behind in the real world! Good luck with the new job 🙂 I haven’t actually read any Sherlock Holmes… though it’s on my reading list. I take that it’s very good 😀

  22. Yes, I have missed you! And no, I do not adapt to change anywhere near as well as I did when I was younger. I suspect that will not improve. I hope you are loving the job!

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