Having a wing-span of almost three feet, the ivory-billed woodpecker was a beauty that once thrived in the hardwood forests of the southern U.S. Native Americans believed the bird's ivory bill had magical powers. They used it as currency and made it into crowns worn by great warriors. Sadly, the species has been thought extinct since 1944, when the last of its kind disappeared. But a month ago, conservationists announced a great reversal of fortunes: Several ivory-bills have recently been spotted in the Arkansas woods. You should regard this as a metaphor for events unfolding in your own life, Gemini. Magic that you thought was gone forever is returning.
You're a week or two late, Rob. There are some other things you could mean, and I'll thank you if you do, but... Yeah. If you mean what I think you mean, then hey, I knew that.
And now, in a break with tradition, I'll explain that rather than go for my usual unexplained vague reply.
As my romantic crises were settling out, I got into real crisis mode. It's a thing my mind does when it doesn't think it's got anything to lose. I have to watch myself carefully when that happens, because my mind wants to throw morality out the window. I don't want to let it, because I don't think that's a trip I'll ever come back from. I watch myself carefully, because I *know* I'm not inherently all that moral.
I watched myself scrupulously. I handled things very, very well. I don't think anybody but me will ever know exactly how well. I'm very proud of how I did, and I'm astoundingly proud of how casually I handled that level of physical, mental and emotional stress. I did good. Partially, I did it by putting off a lot of the coping. I'm dealing with that now, but even now, I'm doing good.
I've had a lot of productive days recently, and I've been amazing at some of the things I used to do well - instantly acquiring new skills, working hard and for a long time, reading and understanding quickly. The geek stuff, the maybe-autistic stuff, the little casual miracles with the nasty price tags.
I suspect that's my ivory-billed woodpecker. It's mostly submerged when I'm being people-y and sociable, because my mind can't fully work both ways at once, and because there are simply too many distractions. I haven't fully made the transition back to uber-productivity, and I may not do so at all. But I may. I may.
I'm pretty uniformly unhappy when my mind is working that way. It's incredibly productive, and it does a *lot* for me in terms of intelligence and organization and productivity, though I probably seem a little dim moment-to-moment. S'okay. If I spent a year in uber-productive mode starting now, I'd have my finances organized, my house in scarily good order, my job stuff mostly sorted out... And, of course, I'd be miserable, desperate and have cut most of my social connections. But there's always a price for these things. Deals with the devil never come cheap, even when you're being your own devil. But I'd be massively prepared for the next wave of trying to get what I wanted from people. I'm doing very well these days, and I could be doing even better if I just withdrew from the fight long enough to solidify my supply lines and training, as it were.
There are timing arguments there, which I cared about for awhile. But right now there's no reason *not* to back up and train harder. There's no reason *not* to make myself briefly miserable to gain, and to regain, strength and ability, except that I don't like being exhausted and in pain. Going easy on myself has cost me a lot over the years. I don't try to calculate just how much. Never thinking about how much is one of my strategies to avoid getting depressed and losing even more.
I whine to myself these days about being tired. I never used to do that. I've spent years getting enough food, enough rest, enough time off, and now the back of my mind whines when I'm tired, instead of getting grumpy and brusque. I liked grumpy and brusque better.
And I have about ten different things to think about when it comes to self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy. There are so many things I could do with myself, and so many of them might be really bad ideas. I'll stay with my current watchword, 'conservative', on that one. I've got years yet to destroy myself that way if I really must, since it's pretty certainly not going to give me any of the things currently slipping through my grasp. Maybe if I'd started sooner, maybe if I'd known sooner, maybe, maybe, maybe. In the mean time, I stay conservative.
There are a few other kinds of magic that could be returning to my life. I don't think Rob means any of them - that is, I don't think they'll be coming back. I'm not describing those in more detail. Leave me my pipe-dreams, at least for a little while yet.