Thursday, May 27, 2010

Borderland Blues

I find myself obsessing about Alaska right now. I'm less than a month away from going up for 5 weeks, the longest yet. It occurred to me this morning that I spend about 4 months of the year in this weird borderland: not quite in Alaska, not quite at home. Two totally different worlds, two totally different me's. It's not pleasant. I want to be here in the moment now, taking care of my kids, keeping house, baking bread, watching the chickens take dirt baths. I want to enjoy the end of my son's baseball season, my daughter's foray into full-fledged girlhood with her buddies, my time with my husband. Instead I attend to all of these in a half-world. The other part of me has already crossed the border to Alaska. I'm ticking off lists in my head of what I need to bring: coffee, iPod, books, soap, vitamins, Clif Bars, long underwear; lists of what needs to be done once I get there: order up containers, train a few new guys, get paperwork and the computer system up and running. The mental work-up is in full force right now. I don't want to leave home because it's spring and beautiful and the farmer's markets are bountiful with greens and strawberries.

The same thing happens when I come back. Half of me is still caught up in the intense 24-hour a day world of salmon shipping: the people, the intrigue, the salmon, the salmon, the salmon. The rest of me is trying to put away the forklift-driving, all male-crew running, shipping supervisor person for another year; trying to fit back into my homemaker clothes, my girlfriend conversations about what we're making for dinner, the playdate organizing, the apron wearing and knitting. It takes a good couple months to shed Alaska and fully embrace home.

Both worlds are 100% me. And both worlds are mutually-exclusive. It's so hard to reconcile both, to allow all of me into each because they are different countries. The mental and physical borderlands between the two becomes its own country: a world in-between. Now the trick is to figure out how to embrace this world, too and not feel so torn.

Tricky stuff.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thinking About Coming Back to the Blogosphere

Test test. Hmmm. After many months and a dip into the whole Facebook world, I'm thinking I like the idea of a nice private chat with myself on my blog. Maybe I'll try it again. Maybe not.