A roll I find myself in often, and is somewhat suiting to my life desires, is to be the silent supporting staff to what ever events may be occuring around me. At the moment that role is in preparation of my Aunt's funeral. She passed away late last evening. I am not able to fly back home for the funeral. But you can bet I am doing all I can from hundreds of miles away. Phone is on 24/7. I'm doing the photo collage and having it delivered to my family. I have the skills in that area. But more than that, I am attempting to keep a close watch on my mother. She's no spring chicken. This life event has not been easy for her. It came up rather quickly and was over before there was a lot of time to process it. And now she stands alone. The only child left from her parents, with no close cousins or others to lean on, she is the true matriarch of our family. She has good support from my sister, her husband(even less of a spring chicken) and a few good friends. None of that is enough to keep me from being concerned. I spoke to Mom, in detail when she was on the way to be at her sisters side through those last few hours, and we talked about how hard it is to know that sometimes death is the best for the one that is leaving us, while we will always wonder and hope for more quality time. Key word there, quality! I always make my hopes, wishes and prayers for those that are facing difficult health situations to be for their best interest, peace and comfort. My true hope today is that my dear Aunt is now finding peace, something that eluded her most of her days on earth.
I'm not one to be sitting around doing nothing. In fact I'm usually doing at least 2 things at once, like watching football and writing a blog entry. (Side note, I don't really have a preference on a winner this year...but please not New England again.) Today was the day...test out the recovery from the evil germs that are still lingering. You see, my daughter gave me a new spice rack for Christmas. That doesn't seem all that difficult except in order to use the spice rack the cabinet must be cleaned out. To clean out the cabinet, the hall closet must be cleaned out. To clean out the Hall closet the shelving unit in the basement must be put together. Before the shelves can be but in place, I have to clean under the steps. Okay I didn't have to really clean under the steps. But it has needed to be done for years now, and it just seemed to be the right thing to do. before placing a shelving unit in front of a section that will probably not be accessed for 20 years. This was my project for today. I dragged out junk and dog hair and stuff. A few tracks from either a train set or race car? We never had either of those. An old pair of soccer shoes, they were actually both there. They made their way to the trash along with many dirty, unneeded items: Old broken mini blinds, curtain rods missing the other half, old curtains with no matches. Hmm, this spot has been dirty for a very long time. As I swept and cleaned this hidden space, I remembered a lost Polly Pocket from maybe 15 years ago. I had been sworn to never move from this house until she was found. Polly Pockets were serious business for my youngest daughter. Well I am happy to say, Polly has been found. I sifted through all the dust and the dirt just to be sure I didn't miss her. She is now cleaned up and living the good life in a safe place until I can re-unite her with the Polly Family in the attic. The spice rack? Yes, it too has been placed in it's new home today. Clean up, clean out. Positive chnage.
Today was the kick in the teeth reminder...yeah life gets tough, work can be frustrating, empty nesting and being single can be lonely. But there are always circumstances harder than the ones I personally have lived, and I don't have to look very far. I have a relative who has a story...and in all honesty, I know it may not be the worst story, but to me it's the reminder to not ever get caught up in feeling sorry for my self. Not only did my Aunt lose her son to a rare childhood illness, not to many years ago she lost her adult daughter to cancer. She out lived both of her children. A pain I can't even pretend to understand. I know from watching from the outside, it has made her sad. This past summer, she lost her husband, not the father of her children, but her true love. Today I got the call, she's in the final stages of her struggle with COPD. Part of me is relieved that she will no longer struggle with the sorrow and the pain of having out lived her entire immediate family excluding her sister, my mom. And part of me is glad that she will finally find peace that she has needed for so very long. Don't get me wrong, there are moments in all our lives, that for us, at that moment...it's just rough...we're just not sure how to find the new open door or window. Then it's time to dig deep, pull ourselves up and say...it's there. It will be fine...just keep plugging along. The right situation will come through. Everything in life is about timing. Timinig of everything matters. If you make choices at the wrong time you spend days, weeks, months even years getting it sorted back out. At the end of the game it's all about timing. Timing of the throw, timing of the catch, timing of the jump...all about the timing. All things happen as they should in good time.
2016 was one of the most ... hmm well, I have tried to mentally lock the door, close it tight, pour concrete around it...and bury it deep to make it and it's ill will just be gone! 2016 took my work life and flipped it all kinds of upside down. It had one last parting shot...got a 2 week notice from some one at work today. Yeah, it happens...life takes folks different directions for different reasons...2016 was the year of continual turnover. We had hoped to but that issue to bed. Guess not quite yet. That's okay. At the end of the day, I'm not really sure the fit was there anyway. The search is on again for a highly qualified hard working individual. Please can we make this the only major work related issue of 2017? I need a BREAK! (cough, hack...head rolling)
The dasterdly little germs have won the battle! Only for the moment, for today. I will win the war! This really should't be such a big deal. Everyone gets sick now and again. Real life, it happens. Only for me...it is a scary reminder of a series of little broncihal bugs that tried to kill me a few years back. Epiglottitis. A word I never thought I would know...but I know it now, inside out, up close and personal...I was close to not being here anymore. Having a sore throat, although the logical side of my brain knows it's not the same thing, it's a bit unnerving. I never realized how wonderful it would be to feel water swallowed when I'm coughing my head off! Note to self, be sure to replace my head properly on my shoulders before driving or walking. Overcoming fear, no matter how rational, or irrational is empowering.
Okay, it's not really solitary. But there are days when it feels like it is. I'm still doing battle with the lovely bronchial bug acquired over the last few days. Considered not going to work at all, but the be responsible part of my brain said I can't do that. So I went in for 5 hours of the 8+ that I probably needed to spend sorting out all that happened over the last 8 days. Yes, I'm still checking e-mail and the like even now. But, what I discovered is one thing I have to change...the walls in my office. In July 2016 I was given a brand new office. It's maybe 6 x 10 feet, with no windows and one door to the hallway that needs to stay closed to keep out the hot of summer or the cold of winter. It's not a bad office, but when I asked about hanging things on the wall, you know like a beautiful beach scene or sunset or something, I was told no. Every single person that walks in to my office says you need to get something on these walls...yeah I do...I really, really do. It's time to have that conversation over again. My work is all about computer programs, data and e-mail I need some life in there! I can spend 8 hours in that space with zero people coming in, but I need it to be alive. I like my work, I'm really good at what I do...I don't like my office space. It's very institutional. Although the walls are blue...a beautiful sky blue that would go nicely with a beach scene and a flower or two. Change number one...liven up the office space!
I'm planning a trip to the West Coast again, sort of a combination work and personal time. I had a BRILLIANT thought tonight, as the company I work for is willing to pay to get me to and from the West Coast, I'll just book a one way flight to my side destination and pay that myself. My usual airline makes it really difficult to move around on the west coast with out multiple stops and or flying hours out of the way. This will settle that issue and make the travel so much easier! Always look at the outside the box options when traveling around. You never know how you might make it easier on yourself.
So now is where it gets tough what changes will it take to make my world a better place to be? New Job? More Family time? Less Family time? Pursue my dreams and goals? It's quite the quandry really. So the first step for me is to figure out what those dreams and goals really are. Some one asked me once what did it mean to me to live my dream. It actually caught me off guard. What did that mean for me? Hmm...well I think in my heart of hearts...that means to be able to travel the world, share the world and make the world, not just my world, a better place. Sounds lame in some ways. Everybody wants to think they make a difference in some way. I'd like to make a difference, but I don't really care if any one knows it was me. I don't want attention for it, I just want where ever I go to be a better place once I've been there. So many people travel the world with selfish intentions. "Entertain me" so to speak. I want to learn about a place before it was changed by tourism or the onslaught of business by outside countries. What is the local culture? How do the local people feel about the change. Is it better because they have more opportunities or do they long for the simple happy life they had before their world was flipped upside down by progress. Believe me I use that world very losely. In Early December I had the opportunity to visit the town I grew up in. It had been 15 years since I had been there. It has gone from a small farming community to a gargantuin mecca. It has progressed to be a big city. I remember when I was growing up it was a BIG deal when we got an Arby's across the street from the McDonald's. Only towns that were going someplace got those. Well, it's gone someplace. But is it better? It's more crowded. It's busier. But Is it better. I sure wouldn't let my kids ride their bikes across town like we did. Or catch the bus to the "big" town up the road to go to the movies. Nope now, I as the parent would be sure I drove you myself, for your safety. Some how I feel that our youth are losing the opportunities we had to learn and grow as teens. Before you drove you learned how to get around. On your bike, on your feet or public transit. Not sure having to do be carted around only when an adult is available is progress. We are losing our small towns, not just in the USA but all over the world. The reality is there are beautiful things to see everywhere. If you look for them.
I was flying cross country yesterday. Returning from a trip to the west coast and it occurred to me that here we go again, a new year was rolling in and it felt just like it did the year before. Oh sure there were some changes from December 31, 2015, but I was starting to feel like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day, I've done this before, I've lived this before, I've felt this before...and I don't like it. I don't like it at all. If I listen to the people around me, what is my issue? My life is full and complete...is it? Are you sure? Pretty sure you only know what I want you to know, just like the drivel divulged on social media, it's only as real as I tell you it is. We live in this world of false truths. How is that even possible? How can something false be the truth? Maybe it's just part of the truth. Or part of the lie. Either way it's not the whole truth. Some how I still believe in honest truth. And I honestly believe I will find what will make this world a better place to live in for me. Maybe two days of sporadic doses of night time cold medicine had finally made me foggy enough that I was missing the perfect life that I was living. Then I decided maybe it was finally clearing my head. My life wasn't perfect. It wouldn't ever be perfect, but it can and will be better for me.