After settling in to my new digs and job I am surprised at how content I am with my situation. I did go through an intense homesickness for McMurdo and even Texas during the holidays, but after a few weeks of struggling with my intense fight or flight (FOF) response to situational discomfort, I am happily plugging away in my outwardly conventional life. A good friend once told my I had an extreme case of "fomo": Fear Of Missing Out. She was right. During the week of Christmas and New Years I was sunk in a dark slot that wasn't really despression or despair, but more like Extreme Fomo Gone Wild. I was missing the Mactown Christmas Party! and Icestock! And all the creative and exciting projects people do on Ice. I sound like a five year old whose not getting what they want. During a period of fomo, I will often make decisions that feel very important and necessary: I'm done with Portland, I need to move back to Texas where I know more people and how to get around easier, and mostly, deliberately keep my eye on the prize and don't settle in to any situation that does not lead back to my seasonal lifestyle. This lasted about two weeks. After a flurry of e-mails was sent trying to secure different arrangements in a variety of cities, barely disguising the FOF mania, something happened that put a stop to this crazy cycle that has driven my as long as I've been alive: Winter. As my faithful readers know, weather seems to be the one factor that seriously affects my mood. I've been disappointed in general with Portland: too sunny in general, too warm in the summer, and really not as cloudy as I'd hoped. But winter right now is wonderful...and as soon as it dipped below 35 and started snowing and raining, I've been very happy to be right here. I am still agog with knitting, and bestly, I went skiing for two days at Mt. Hood and had a blast. I knew I had to accept my situation (taking care of my dog until I can go back to the Ice), but I didn't really think I could thrive in it. All this quiet and solitude (I spend so much time alone and not talking to anyone compared to my life before) has made me see how the fomo and fof have worked together like hysterical screeching toddlers in my psyche to drive me to make rash decisions and sign up for a bunch of stuff that I don't go to, all because I don't want to be reminded of the time in my life when I had no activities to choose from except sitting in a room by myself. Now I sit in a room by myself a lot and it's really fun because I'm working on all sorts of complicated knitting projects. And when I ignore the double headed F monster I see that I am really free. And despite what popular culture would have one believe, being a middle aged single woman is about the most rockin'est situation to be in. I love having no estrogen and not having to wear cute clothes. It saddens me that so many believe the lie that one has to have a family of one's own to be happy...there is so much freaking fun stuff to do out there!