Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Goosin'

Disclaimer: There are some names and locations I'm going to modify or omit.  If you'd like to fill them in for the purposes of imagination, please feel free to put that shoe on and lace it up!

Ever feel like you're in a place in life where you just can't move?  Like you're trapped? Or at least, stuck in a routine?  My routine lately has consisted of the everyday stuff, even down to what to get for breakfast and when (a breakfast quesadilla at 8:40 am), when to expect every call, an allotted time to worry about what could be an impending layoff (which didn't even happen.) And, of course, other things to expect right on schedule, such as bills, parking spots, moving desks at work, family events, everything!

So, just a few short weeks ago, a family member who lives nearby asked Jamie this: "If we move several hundred miles away, would you follow us to be close by?"  (This is where that names and locations thing comes in by the way.) Another family member of ours once remarked to me months, maybe over a year ago, that if we packed up and moved, that we would be followed to that location. 

So, it got into my mind that if we moved to this wherever place where the jobs were or whatnot, we'd have company no matter where it was.  But for someone to ask us if we'd do the same, I didn't answer.  It was a secret "I hope so." Then it became "I've thought about this before kinda." Then, I quit putting quotation marks around my thoughts and actually thought deeply about this.

Two days later, I'd done enough scoping around online to get a feel of the area, possible places to move, the logistics of making such a move and what the costs would be.  Just to get away from the routine areas of life. 

I happened upon a job opportunity in this area.  Now, what I do for a living has talents that are generally concentrated in D/FW, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Florida, among a few other metro areas.  But I found one there and applied for it, just for kicks and giggles.  Jamie's career specialty is also concentrated in certain cities as well, and the place we were looking at isn't known for that.  So that was another exercise in imagination research.

That job application got me thinking deeply. 

I thought of all the changes it would require, the possibility of Jamie and I living in two different places temporarily, the expenses.  I decided after relative boredom in the nuts and bolts of life, it was time to get sharp.  Just thinking about all this, the possibility, the peril, the opportunity, it gave me a goosin' deep down. 

So I went to bed the night I applied... fell asleep fairly quickly, but I was up at 2:30 after a fitful sleep.  It all just showed up at once.  I was like, "What if you don't get a call back from this company and all this deep thought about relocating was for nothing?"  Didn't get much sleep that night. 

Something had stirred up inside that I could no longer ignore. I don't know if it's because I've been "climbing the ladder" in life in order to stay afloat for so many years, or if I've just been stuck in a mindset overall for a long time.  We all get older, and we all get stuck in some routine and lose sight of something good that may come around that would be good.  As I get older I've realized that the more you get used to life, the less you have a chance to grow.

Life finally goosed me.  I have been driving a P.O.S. truck for over three years.  Don't get me wrong, it's been good to me, but it's been an all consuming A to B disaster since 2011. Since I've been thinking about this relocation challenge and what it could mean, the upcoming challenge of the old truck came up front and center.  How could I move far away and stat putting down roots for us in a new place with something unreliable?  It didn't make sense.

The next step was realizing it was time to get a new way to go.  Jamie heard about this dealership about 35 miles away that had a lot of used cars, so I decided to check it out.  After looking thru used cars together for hours we showed up.

Through a whirlwind of searching, trading, compromise, discussion, life stories, a rainy day test drive, getting the hell out of town, air conditioning, heaters, and deliberation even on the way, we found a vehicle.

It was surreal. But it's becoming real now.  The old truck is gone, and now I am driving something new, you've probably seen it.  It was needed.  We just bought it Saturday, and I had to get new brakes on it.  The dealership detailed it and all, but I still had to get a bit done on it.  But it got done right. 

There's a lot of happiness here about it.  It's a miracle.  But it is also a part of life.  Life's hard. It is a challenge.  I had to work in Houston away from home for a month at a time.  Had to fight fraud over the phone in freezing weather outside.  Had to take a few for the team, bullshit scenarios where I had to sneak out.

We get put in the corner for a reason, not for our benefit or demise, but to wake us up. I'm awake, and I'm in the outfield, and punching the glove.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Observations About Life

Coming in at a different approach tonight.  Lately I've been under the weather.  Not the actual weather, just feeling sick.  Jamie caught a cold last week from a little girl at Girl Scouts who had no business going to Girl Scouts that night.  And I caught it too over the weekend.  Such is life.  If you have sick kids, don't show up to events with a lot of healthy kids. Not cool.

I was off work yesterday, and had a chance to rest and recover.  Ended up taking a four-hour nap and going to bed early and sleeping even more.  That's just how it goes when it's you vs. the world. I've been on so many vacations where it's been sleep in a wonderful sanctuary of a place.  As in my Grandma's place.  It's always easier to drive 400 miles and hang out with Grandma in Mountain View and oversleep and let the cares melt away. Staying here still has its hangups I guess. But I'll tell ya, being sick and off the grid got me taking naps and sleeping like a champion when it came time.

This morning I woke up rested and ready.  But it was an Arctic Paradise this morning!  I got Grace's outfit together and she picked a long sleeve shirt instead and bundled up majorly. We got in the truck to go to school (which I'd warmed up already.) When we got in the truck, Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song was playing on the radio, and it was so appropriate for the weather!  She thought it was a Harry Potter song! That of course cracked me up and I got to tell her what Immigrant Song was really about since it matched the cold weather.

Which leads me to deeper observations about life.  First and foremost, it got cold and we all gotta warm up! In the now but also with thought.  I've been battling the negativity within and the circumstances.  Things can go bad in a second in life, but it doesn't have to be that way.  Sometimes you gottta say, turn off that MF, and make a quick spin back to the blessings. 

An old friend of mine, who is younger than me, is going in next month to get a pacemaker.  Whaaaaaat!! She works out and takes care of herself and has to have this done, that freaks me out.  It brings out the prayer side of me and the supportive side.  She is younger than me.  That was a knockdown from reality and mortality saying what can you do to help and bring the best of life to others. 

After losing younger loved ones and outliving healthy but physically weak loved ones, the landscape can be pretty bleak. I'm a big believer in prayer and friendship, and at a certain point, not explaining concerns and just acting to make things more bearable isn't enough. It's time to be an ass kicker, to make the actions match the feelings.  We all want to live, but if we don't, we have to prepare for heaven.

This life is a fleeting experience and nothing in it is permanent. We have to balance, on one hand the joy of acceptance and an appreciation of our talents, on the other, the miserable shit that made us that smart in the first place. 

I've always heard that while we are growing up, our parents are growing old.  It's true.  But as we grow older the hands on the clock of time consistently move, as they always have.  We have to know our spot and live accordingly, because the calendar and the clock are much more consistent than any one person.

Life is simply a brief moment on forever's timeline.  What will any of us do with it?


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