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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

Add Black to the Red, White and Blue

Today, for some reason, is a very bad day for me. Black. Hopeless. Lost.

Maybe its the preparation of tearing apart everything that has been built for the past 14 years. Selling it off piece by piece, much like it was put together.

What happens now? I just don’t see any real point to it all anymore. When you’re young and just starting out, everything seems possible. Everything IS possible. Family, jobs, homes, vacations… memories.

What happens when that all starts to unravel? I think I sort of saw this coming about a year or so ago. Something, a feeling, a certain sadness starting creeping into things. The stress of all the surgeries and recoveries. all of the time off from working. The bills and the stress of the loss of monies into the house.

You can’t live with that kind of stress, loneliness, depression without it taking its toll. On you, on everyone.

Looking back, it was a coincidence, luck or just the timing, but I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with him, being off work. We didn’t do a lot, but what we did, we did together. Mostly.

I keep myself busy, well sort of busy, doing all these little tasks. Its just one after another, but as they accumulate, they start inflicting all sorts of emotions. Emptiness. The sum total of our lives dissected into tiny little portions. What’s the saying? The total is worth more than the sum of its parts? But what happens when all the little pieces start to disappear?

But on the other hand, it seems like a clean slate. A way to start all over. Unfortunately, being this old takes its measure on starting a life over. And so many options, so many choices, so many decisions.

Mostly I think that this seems too fast. Unfortunately, the time off last year has weighed heavy on the household. From a financial aspect. Which means that I need a well paying job right fucking now or I will lose the house. And the house has been stuffed full of stuff – you know, the things you collect over the years. The little things you bring into the house one or two at a time.

And if you know me, the ├╝ber-organized person, I managed to use up every knock and cranny steath-fully organized down to the very last inch. I suppose in a way, you could call me a really organized hoarder. Many things were bought in anticipation of a larger project. Which seemed a good reason to buy small things again and again and again. Not really keeping a good mental inventory until there were more than one could ever hope to do something with and by that time, the idea’s time had come and gone.

So, on to the next something and building towards another venture. Repeat and restart. Again and again.

The loss of my son – my best friend and funnest cohort – was a real blow. To everything that is me. I seem to have lost even the thinnest of the threads of dreaming, planning and hoping. All I see is down and dark and frightening. And mostly lonely.

It occurred to me the other day that I have lost the one, repeatedly, unending source of physical touch… a hug or holding my hand or my goodnight kiss. It may be why everything seems so, so hopeless and dark. I am beyond any idea of what is means to be lonely. I think I’ve figured out why widows end up in these little groups. They are at least of some comfort to one another.

Which of course, lead to another thought; something I’d heard long ago and filed for future reference: “Women have sex to get affections while men give affection to get sex.”

Now, I know this is a generalization, but when I first heard it, it didn’t make much sense to me. But I was young and affection wasn’t in short supply. Well, neither was sex, for that matter. But without my son, my affection supply is in short supply and in dire threat of running dry.

I am not sure where this was going. It just occurred to me that while sorting through and laying my life literally on tables, that I am running short on life. And I cannot imagine that my life would be this way for another five years. Ten years. Longer?

It really scares the shit out of me.

Streeter's Mom Final

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Taking It One Day At a Time

Watched something today that got me to thinking about quality of life and the right to end one’s own life – when and how a person wants.

The show was ostensibly about the Hemingways and how Muriel came from a long line of family members who had committed suicide. That, along with Ernest, his father, her other grandfather, her father and uncle and grandmother (on her mother’s side) along with some others. So, the discussion sort of gravitated towards what makes someone want to end their life.

SO, of course, it got me to thinking about it too. I mean, who is to say when a person decides that they’ve lived long enough. Is it still mental illness if the person is calm and rational and really just done living? I mean, who is to say how long you have to live? Right?

I remember when The Kid was young and we would talk about perspective. That twenty years is a long time if you’ve been sentenced to prison, but not long if you think about it in terms of death of a young person. And of course, I think about my age and how much longer I could live and sometimes I almost panic thinking about it. I mean, if you take the average age of my grandparents and my parents, I’d say I have a good thirty years, at the very least. And when I think of that number, I get almost numb with the thought of spending those years plopped in front of a television and having no life at all.

I think the way I am feeling today is due to the frustration that I am having right now. I finally get my ortho doc to agree that it is high time we replace my knees and the realization that I can’t do it without first going to work for at least a few months (six months would be optimum). But to think of hobbling around on these knees for a further six months really just makes me want to cry. (And sometimes I do!)

I don’t seem to be in a mood to sew or quilt, to paint or refinish furniture or any of the myriad of things that I love to do. I am just a bit down today and feeling pretty dark blue.

I could stand some really good news or something. Maybe I will turn in early tonight and try to get a fresh perspective in the morning. If you have any good news, please be sure to share it. I can take pleasure in other people’s good fortunes as well.


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What To Do This Time Around?

Okay, I’m banging my head against a wall. Way back, about a hundred years ago, when I started this blog, the whole point imageswas to figure out what to do with this ‘second half’ of my life. I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for more than half of my life. And I am good at it. Not to blow my own horn, but I am really good at it. For the simple reason that it is really a part of my DNA. I don’t just do QA in my professional life but I do it all the time.

So, I think it might be time for a change. The crazy thing is, I have no idea what else I could or would want to do. I am sitting in one of the online job search boards and I am wracking my brain for what I could do, what I would like to do in this next phase of my life. I have no doubt that whatever I ultimately decide to do, I know I will be great. It’s just figuring out what that thing is.

I’ve tried a couple of small businesses, but I don’t think I had my heart in the game. Or at the very least, I think I need someone else to bounce ideas off or someone to pick up slack when motivation is in thin. I thought about blowing some life back into the startup that I was part of years ago. I thought about the doll house and clothing and accessories line, but there is too much red tape wrapped up in testing of children’s toys. I do love the furniture upcycling and restoring and repainting, but I don’t think that would be steady enough and there actually is a fair amount of money needed up front. Almost need a storefront and heaven knows I don’t have that kind of money. Plus, the work is quite physical and if I cannot work regularly or for long periods of time, that sort of puts the kibosh on making any real money from it.

I wish I could find a work-from-home kind of job. I applied for closed captioning writing work, but apparently I don’t meet the most basic requirements… I think after spending so many years only entering information sporadically that my typing speed is really bad. I guess that isn’t really important, and no ‘ramp up’ time is a requirement.

I can think of a couple of places that I wouldn’t mind working, but the idea of having to be on my feet all day is simply impossible. Now that my ortho doc has ruled me ready for a double knee replacement, I guess that goes without even thinking. I think that I could just fall in love with the idea of working at Joann’s or some other quilt shop or art shop. I’d love to help others seeing their projects through to the end.

I guess today is one of those days where I am back to questioning what exactly is the point of all of it. I am sort of envious of those times past where “old” meant you hit your 30th or 40th birthday. I guess this sort of qualifies as one of those first world problems.

I know that in my heart, that once I get more focused and into something that requires my time and energy, this will all turn around. I suppose to a certain extent that the real issue that is pissing me off is the inability to do that which I want. I want to do the furniture refinishing but about 45 minutes to an hour into sanding and polishing and painting and I can almost not stand for hours following. It has been amazing that in less than a year, the degradation has been exponential to the point it is. A year ago when the insurance company told me that they would no longer pay for the hyalgan injections, I had ask the doc at that time when I might be ready for the knee replacement surgeries, he laughed off the request. He told me that I was far too young for knee replacements. Now less than a year, he put up no arguments at all when I asked. In fact, he seemed almost anxious to get me scheduled! I guess this last year has been extraordinarily tough on my knees.

Well, it has taken me all day to write this post. I just don’t have the drive or determination to get much done today. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.


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Any Where But Here?

Okay, so there is something not sitting right with me these days. My job ended a couple of weeks ago and I thought I would try and get in my time off before I started working again, but I don’t seem to have any energy or drive to start the job hunting process. I only have half hearted enthusiasm for any of my creative work, which is what has always driven me. Doesn’t help that the weather isn’t all that good, hovering around the 50 degree mark for the past week or so. Not warm enough to really want to do anything outside (or even in the garage) but not cold enough to really keep me indoors. I think that this particular weather is doing a number on my arthritis in my knees but it is counterproductive to just sit all day.

I haven’t written or posted anything in days on either blog. None of the projects that I have finished are selling – hell, not even getting any interest – and nothing listed on eBay is selling either. I have that dollhouse and wardrobe filling up my entry way and I am sick of walking around all the packing and boxing. I feel like just putting everything away and giving away everything so that I can make a clean start. Not that I am overly optimistic about having any real effect on how I am feeling.

I can’t even find anything really worth watching either. I am watching Six Feet Under – which honestly, I believed was going to be a comedy but is completely not!sfu-1024x831

Its not a bad show, but it certainly is not of the caliber of True Detective or House of Cards. Those kinds of shows are so few and far in between. I wish I could do something like that, write well. I keep feeling like I have the opportunity here to start the second half of my life, but just don’t know how to go about it.

Which brings me back around to this blog. I started writing it – about 300 posts ago – as a way to analyze what I could do, where I could go, what I could become in the second half of my life. I never seem to look that far ahead, rather diverting my attention to the short term and the right now. Even all of my enthusiasm about moving to Europe has waned and I don’t even have any consideration for it in my peripheral. Its almost like I’ve all the options in the world and it is too overwhelming to even contemplate. So, instead, I do nothing.

I don’t know why I get to this point, seems to happen regularly about every 7 – 10 years. The move to Phoenix and then again to L.A. Then to San Jose and then to K.C. Its almost like I don’t know what to do when I don’t have organizing or packing/unpacking or exploring a new city or something that needs to be done. All of the creative endeavors that I have taken on have been pretty successful. It is either that or I simply stopped trying. Can’t fail if you don’t try, right?

So, here I am. Going to take the rest of the week off, I think. I am going to dwell on what I should be doing and not, and not be doing what I should. It’s sorta a plan, isn’t it?


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