So hard to get started in 2012

6 February 2012

It’s only taken me five weeks to write my planned New Year’s Eve post.  Impressive, huh?

In all seriousness, I didn’t plan a month-plus layoff from this blog — it’s just kind of happened.  Every time I went to write something, there would be a distraction, or something else would come up, or I couldn’t get the words together, or I’d be too depressed, or … well, you get the idea.  Writing is not easy for that exact reason: it’s too easy to be taken off-track by almost anything that comes along.  It takes a discipline that I haven’t been exercising, or at least not exercising enough.

And then there’s the depression thing.  I’m thankful that (these days at least) I don’t get depressed seriously enough that I just quit functioning, or require medication to get moving again.  But something about the calendar turning over to 2012 really sent me into a funk.  Mostly, I suspect it was thinking back and realizing that I was barely recovered from the events of 2009 — Sean’s illness, my mom’s death, my continuing unemployment, my wife’s job difficulties, etc.  It’s a lot to move on from (especially when most of them have still-ongoing repercussions), but now I’m finally able to start working on the on-moving.  (Thus, the Churchill quote.  Seemed to fit.)

And so it goes, as Linda Ellerbee used to say. But at least, thank Heaven, it goes!

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Thinking inside the box(es): the blessing of a schedule

16 August 2011

I’m coming up on three years of being unemployed now.

Now, I will admit there are a couple of asterisks attached to that statement.  I did a three-week temp job riding public transportation for a consulting firm.  I’ve also done a little freelance wordsmithing (business letters and the like) for a couple of friends who needed such things done.  And from August 2009 until last month, I was spending several hours a day caring for a severely disabled child.  But still, I haven’t had semi-permanent, full-time employment since just after Lehman Brothers went splat.  (Probably not coincidental.)

All that time NOT spent on a 9-5 or similar schedule has been rough on me.  I’m someone that needs to be busy — even if I’m doing nothing much, it needs to be a “doing nothing much” that keeps me focused and occupied.  (Prayer isn’t a problem; that’s “doing something,” and I have to be focused so I don’t miss what God might say.  But no silent meditation for me, thanks.)  Which means that I end up finding things to fill the time, but without the requirements of a job, filling the time can end up meaning looking at funny captions on pictures of cats for two hours at a clip.  And that sort of thing was beginning to happen more and more.

Clearly, I needed to get myself on a schedule.

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Projecting 2011

4 January 2011

So here we are, four days into the new year.  I’m sure that you or someone you know has made some “New Year’s resolutions,” statements on how you’re going to do things differently in 2011.  Maybe you’ve even broken one or more of them already.  Me, I don’t really do those anymore, for two reasons:

  1. My tendency is to constantly make resolutions for myself year-round, so setting aside one time of year for them would just be excessive.
  2. It doesn’t work all that well.

I look back at my resolutions for 2009 and just laugh — what with my son Sean’s Leigh’s disease, my mom’s death and my lack of willpower, none of them lasted to Labor Day.  It’s just like the bit in James 4:13-15 — you can make all the plans you want, but if God has other plans for you, your to-do list is dust in the wind.  So, no N.Y.R.s for this little black duck!

However, I’m not the type who can simply burrow through the days with no measurable long-term goal.  I used to get those from my job(s), but with being Sean’s full-time caregiver/physical therapist/doctor wrangler, that’s simply not in the picture at present.  And you can’t really set personal goals for someone else’s medical recovery, especially when said recovery is as off the charts as Sean’s is (and hopefully will continue to be).  So I realized as 2010 wound down that I needed some projects, some things that could provide goals (however unimportant) to keep the goal-shooting-for part of my personality occupied and out of trouble.

And given the events of the last couple of years, I figured picking them myself was probably the wrong move.  So I needed to talk to God and find out what He wanted me doing.  Only I wasn’t quite prepared for what He had to say …

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Proud dad moment

12 October 2010

Sometimes, you just have to brag a little.

I’m uncomfortable with anything that hints of boasting — even when I’m just stating facts, I always want to check myself and ask if I’m looking like a jerk while doing it.  It’s a tough balance, and I blow it more often than not.

When it comes to bragging about my kids, though, I have no qualms whatsoever.  So allow me to promote my daughter Charlotte a bit.

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Well, I said I was tired …

10 October 2010

… yeah, I did.  But I had no idea how tired I was until I finally had a chance to really rest!

After this last year-plus, I’ve needed nothing more than a good long vacation.  Even though things have stabilized greatly (I haven’t had any more moms die lately), there was still this residual backlog of fatigue, so to speak.  I was trying to chop it down to size as best I could, and more recently applying the “no competitions – no challenges – no cereals” credo I mentioned a few weeks ago.  (Not perfectly, of course — I’ve fallen back into more than a few games of Risk at Pogo, albeit playing against the computer, which is a lot easier.  And pizza is still my kryptonite when it comes to keeping the carbs down.)  Slowly, my energy tank was getting filled back up again.

And then along came an unexpected blessing: the local school district’s screwball sked.

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Took a couple days off

1 September 2010

(… with apologies to Huey Lewis & the News …)

Yeah, I been blog-gone since last Friday — for what I think are very good reasons:

  1. I was tired.
  2. I needed to rest.

Both of which will not exactly be news to the regular readers of this space — or to anyone who knows me.  What with all the stressors of the last year-plus, “being tired/needing to rest/not really knowing how to rest” has become a regular theme of my life and writing.  That’s been compounded in the last couple of weeks, as my wife Nina has gone back to work as a Special Education assistant (more on that later this week), and I’ve had to pick up sole care during the days for Sean again.  So my energy level, not high in the first place, took another dive.

Thus, I’m taking another run at learning how to rest.  And, with God’s help, I’m trying a new tack.

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Rest as a weapon

9 August 2010

First of all, an apology.  On Friday, I said in this space that I had a “doozy” of a post that I would be putting up the next day.  I still plan to write it up (I’m shooting for tomorrow, August 10), but obviously, it didn’t happen Saturday, and I am sorry for not keeping my promise.  (This may seem a little melodramatic to some, but I take that whole “be a man of my word” business seriously.  Probably because my dad didn’t.  Enough of the Freud; back to the column.)

So what was I doing Saturday — and Sunday, for that matter — when I wasn’t writing a blog entry?  Well, mostly I was resting.  Or learning how to rest, anyway.

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