Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Waiting on the sun

It has been a rocky sort of week, and I have been navigating it with about as much grace as I usually exhibit when riding my bicycle across broken stone beaches (which is to say, I'm lucky I don't have a head wound.) Upheavals at work, downheavals elsewhere. I'd like to believe things will even out soon, but there's really now way of knowing what's around that next band of coastal cliffs. So I do what I always do when I am feeling uneasy - I cling to happy sunshines on the 10-day weather forecast. Right now, there's seven of 'em, starting Thursday afternoon. When Juneau's weather forecast calls for "Sunny with 0 percent chance of precipitation," you can all but take that to the bank — because our default setting is rain/snow and forecasters have no reason to show such certainty unless they're actually certain. Now that I've said it, I've probably doomed myself to seven more days of rain. But I like to choose the path of optimism.

Not that the weather or other aspects of the present have been all that bad this week. Yesterday, Sean and I got out for a relaxing walk on the Dan Moller trail, which I've been running on fairly often recently, trying to build up a little bit of a base should I decide to completely throw caution to the wind and enter February's Little Su 50K on foot (this is unlikely, but who knows — nothing in life is certain.) I expected the trail to be packed by snowmachines and told Sean as much, but they recently closed the gate to motorized traffic and then the trail received a foot or more of unconsolidated snow up high. Not so good for running right now, but a great wallow. Sean is usually a skier, so I think he has just about filled up his annual quota of postholing, hanging out with me. Personally, I like postholing. It's endlessly frustrating and invigorating at the same time. I try to stay out of shallow ski tracks. :-)

Today I did some climbing intervals up the Eaglecrest Road. I've added more high-impact cycling to my rides in case I decide to enter the Susitna 100 with my Pugsley (more likely than running the Little Su 50K, but also up in the air.) To say I lack direction right now would be an accurate statement. It's unsettling, having no real training routine or goals, and that uncertainty stretches into other aspects of my life. I have a home I'm never at, a cat I never see, and three bicycles stored in three different places stretched across 15 miles of town. I'm still drifting. I survived the latest round of layoffs at my place of employment, and I'm not even sure how I feel about that. I mean, I'm happy about it, in general. But when I'm deep into a climbing interval, and my thoughts only register in shrieks and groans, I find myself emerging from the haze with a single question — "What if?"

But the sun will come out tomorrow (or late Thursday, or maybe Friday, or maybe not even until Saturday). Regardless, there will be sun.


  1. Stay optomistic Jill, it's contagious. I was planning to drive to a meeting this morning, but you've motivated me, to instead, get on my geaky bike attire and ride around in the dark before heading to the Club. Thanks.

  2. I survived 5 rounds of lay offs, with the 6th being my round. I was laid off in May...I've done some volunteer work...I'm doing some travelling in the spring.

    I have no direction either. Isnt it scary? I hate it.

  3. You are a survivor. You will get through all the uncertainty and come out ahead no matter which way it falls.

    Your first photo today is one of your best.

  4. I hope you'll forgive me for being brash but I'd like to point a couple of things out to you. You survived all the rounds of layoffs so far. This shows a company that values you. Coupled with your blog, your experience with the Iditarod and corresponding book (among other things) you present a meaningful value to the company. You will be let go only if the company has absolutely no other choice. Even in the remote instance that you are let go..... These same unique qualities that you bring to the table will be sought after by other companies. These are hard times indeed. You are however, among the lucky few that will weather these times with seemingly effortless ease. But I'm sure underneath that ease like usual, you'll be pedaling like mad (figuratively and literally).

  5. Remember how Juneau set a record for consecutive days of rainfall last fall? Well it may not seem like it since we have been blessed with some good sunny sunny breaks on some days, but Juneau is on day number 48 for consecutive days with precip starting 10/15. So when that nice weather comes, we will have a new record for you to remember the fall of 2009 by. This is all "unofficial" and "preliminary" though according to the disclaimer so I guess you'll have to wait for confirmation.

  6. Like you said, "the sun will come out" just not sure what day.

  7. Loved that initial shot of Juneau....dreamy....wonderful! Hang in there...
    Drifting is part of what we have to endure. It's an art in itself and I think you are mastering it!

  8. Really? 48 consecutive days of rain? Dang, I must really be a Juneau resident now. I didn't even notice.

    And thanks Hartage. As with the woman who watched six rounds of layoffs, I fear there are larger forces at play but I really just have to sit back and keep working and watch how they play out. But a fun new mental activity for me now is imagining what I'll do if I get laid off. My coworkers who got the ax have all been taking it really well; I think they see the writing on the wall and are excited about seeking new opportunities. One asked me quite a few questions about self-publishing. I hope it works out for him!

  9. Yeah...
    My company (when they hired my training class) went on and on about how WONDERFUL everything was and how the company was only going to get BETTER!!. Six months into it we had our first lay off. I survived two full years.

    It was def a wake up call that just because you can tell people "I have a good job" dosnt mean your all set and safe.

    I been using volunteer work to strengthen skills I didnt have down solidly. I'm looking at more school or maybe taking up a trade. I'm proud of myself that I lasted so long. Went from 2,000 employees to just over 200. In the end though...I got let go.

  10. hi Jill. I only have 8 spots left for the http://whitemountains100.org The entries have been flying in like raindrops falling from the Juneau sky. I think it will be full by Fri this week at this rate. I just wanted to give you a heads up. It sounds like you might be interested.

    The BLM permit isn't in the bag yet but things are looking good at this point. A full refund will be given to all entrants if BLM denies the permit. There is an outpouring of positive support at this point. Email me if you have any questions...

    We will arrange for housing for out-of-towners so they can save $$.



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