Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Empty Nest Syndrome

This winter and spring will bring forth new adventures for this little bird, many that require me to flee my cozy nest for days, weeks and even a month at a time. Those of you who know me even a little know that I have a traveling gypsy soul. I LOVE to go places. But equal to that love for journeys abroad is my love for nesting. Seems like contradictory, but that's just how I am. Full of contradictions.

I am getting geared up for another visit to the Great Northwest in advent of my Appalachian music fellowship starting mid-January. I managed to secure some travel $$$ from work, which means this time I'll be equipped with a traveling device (a car). I plan to head up to Washington for a week and whisk sister Tiffany away from Seattle to explore the Olympic peninsula. Namely, I want to check out Port Townsend, the home of Centrum and the site of the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. It's located in Fort Worden State Park, which is only a short ferry ride from Seattle. January may not be the most ideal time of the year for a visit, but I'm not the type to let cold, gray, rainy days hinder my desire to explore! To the shock of my Scottish friends, I returned (a year or so after attending Uni there) for a month-long visit in January. Short, damp days are still good days to me when I'm in Scotland!

Another reason for my visit is to spend quality time with my Portland friends, attend the Portland Old Time Gathering, and pick up my new banjo: "The Little Birdie Special."

I am incredibly excited to embark on this journey but also a little reluctant. Well, "reluctant" isn't really the word to describe it. What I want is to slow down the next week, perhaps expanding it into two weeks so I can get my nest in order before I dive full-speed into six months of a dizzying dance of balancing three different archival research gigs, a banjo apprenticeship, my job (yes, I am still working, supposedly "part-time"), a trip to Poland and preparations to finance my career after I return from Poland. Yikes. Very exiting, but I fear it will all whoosh by and leave me even more unkempt and disoriented than usual. If I am to keep up with the small, ordinary pleasures that really keep me alive-- gardening, cooking, writing and romance (when the opportunity arises)--then I must develop a more advanced system of multi-tasking than the one I currently use.

My current plan of preparation is to get my spring cleaning done this week. I figure if I can at least de-clutter my nest in winter it will make life much easier when spring rolls around. Plus it gives me a valid excuse for staying home instead of going into work, which I really ought to avoid as much as possible (seeing as I'm still not able to pay myself!). As I work on my nest I will ever so often repeat the following mantra: "Part-time gives Me time, part-time gives ME time...."