Words in My Head

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A Week of Media (Thanksgiving 2018)

Last year I started tracking my media consumption during vacations, holidays, and trips — just to try and take advantage of that time in a way that feeds my creative soul with images, sounds, and words. 

I took the week of Thanksgiving off this year, as I have for a few years, and here’s how my consumption stacked up…

  • Wind River (Netflix) – Amazing film starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen that’s been out a while, but not on my radar. It was about a hunter (Renner) who helped an FBI agent (Olsen) investigate the murder of a young woman on a Wyoming Native American reservation. Not for the faint of heart and based on a true story, this was surprisingly excellent. 
  • Equalizer 2 (Amazon purchase) – Starring Denzel Washington (reprising his role from the first one) and Pedro Pascal, I have to say I liked the sequel better than the first one. Solid story. Great action. 
  • Overlord (at the theater) – This one had been on my radar for a while — a zombie film set during a World War II story. I enjoyed it, but I won’t say it was the best thing I’ve ever seen. 🙂
  • Hurricane Heist (Netflix) – Not a great flick, but fun just to listen to how horrible the dialog was with Maggie Grace and Toby Kebbell. If you need some background noise and have fond memories of Twister — this might be right up your alley.
  • Voltron, Season 7 (Netflix) – AJ and I have been enjoying this reboot of one of my childhood favorites and look forward to the next season in December.
  • A Darker Shade of Magic (book by V.E. Schwab) – This was an impulse buy at Barnes & Noble and ended up being a fantastic story. 
  • Daredevil, Season 3 (Netflix) – I think this season was much better than season 2 and almost on par with season 1. Great action and some amazing new characters with a lot of depth. Once again Foggy & Karen both take center stage over the titular character — and that was fine by me. 🙂
  • Revolt (Netflix) – Watched this on a whim and hung on to the end. Science fiction set during an alien invasion in Africa and it was surprisingly good.
  • Power Rangers (2017 movie, Amazon Prime) – Yeah, I know. Why? Well, my friend Alan Bahr suggested this to me quite a while ago — and I have to say I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the movie up to the point where they put on costumes and rode dinosaurs. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. 🙂
  • Incoming (Netflix, didn’t finish) – Unlike Power Rangers, this was too stupid to watch for more than about 15 minutes. Didn’t make it.
  • Death Race: Beyond Anarchy (Netflix) – Like Hurricane Heist, this was not a good film — but it was fun in spots. Of course, you don’t watch Death Race and expect Shakespeare. 🙂
  • Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (Netflix) – The new host of The Daily Show proved he still has his chops as a comedian. Fun and timely. 
  • Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix) – This was out of the blue from the Coen Brothers and I have to say that AJ and I loved it. It was a series of short Western stories and I think we liked them all except the very last one. Some fantastic character pieces however, including one about a prospector looking for gold. The film starts with a singing cowboy and gets better from there. 🙂
  • Next Gen (Netflix) – An animated flick about a girl and her robot, this was surprisingly good and it had a fun dog as well. 
  • House on Haunted Hill (Netflix, second time through) – Probably my favorite story of 2018 and the last episode made my eyes water like I was chopping onions — AGAIN. Some fun horror elements, but simply amazing writing, fantastic characters, and surprisingly emotional storytelling. 

I won’t say that they were all good, but I definitely got some use out of our Netflix subscription!

A Week of Highs and Lows

The saying goes “Adulting is hard.” And this little guy definitely reflects the way I’m feeling at the end of this week. A bit like I’ve been run over by a truck.

I feel ya, little dude.

Does that mean this was an awful week? No, there were some great highs to go with the lows. I’m just in full on overwhelm mode right now and trying to keep myself together like everybody else.

Honestly it’s a lot of little things. Everybody needs something. And it would be great if I could do it now. Sometimes that works. But the longer the week has dragged on, the more I’m going to have to practice my No face. 

No, not this No Face, sorry Miyazaki

One of the highs was easy to spot. We had a great time in Breckenridge for a 24 hour getaway to see the Bluegrass trio of I’m With Her, featuring Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan, and Sara Watkins. The concert was amazing – fantastic vocals and insane musical skills – and we enjoyed a couple of good meals and some fun before heading back. 

That was in the middle of the week, in addition to dealing with all the back to school craziness for two busy girls, one of whom is starting with a different soccer club at the same time. Add to that the fact that we have car troubles that are driving me bonkers and all the other stuff that’s all wearing me down quickly.

The other high was the fact that I ran three miles in about 49 minutes, with two sets of 50 push-ups and sit-ups between them. One of my miles was a bit over 11 minutes while I ran with a 20 pound weight vest. Even without the vest, 11 minutes is a great time for me, so to do it with the vest was very surprising. 

I’m trying to weigh the positives and the negatives. Trying to rise above the crap. But it’s not all wine and roses even if we have gone through a few more bottles than usual lately. 

So I will do my best to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving in the “right” direction — wherever that leads me. If you see me and I seem a bit down, just know that I’m doing my best to keep my head up and keep on chugging. 

Thanks.

The Grooves of Story

A weekend ago, I attended my 30th high school reunion and I was surprised. Surprised at how social I was this time. Surprised at how some people became more of what they were in high school, just weathered a bit by age and experience. And surprised by how little we all changed. 

In the days since, I’ve begun pondering those deep grooves of the past, and how easy it is to slip into them.

Finding a Groove

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

What the hell does that mean? Yeah, I’m kind of wondering that as well.

Starting the Groove

We are all products of our own experiences. Perhaps we’ve learned a bit from others along the way, but I’ve found that often we only learn what we are willing to learn as we take in the sights, sounds, and actions of our own lives. Sometimes that’s easier than others and we find a groove right away. And some lessons take a few spins on the record player to scratch that first faint groove. 

Once we have that first groove, it’s there in the record of our experience forever, barring some form of injury that affects our brain or our mental state. Like they always say, “it’s like riding a bike.” I haven’t ridden a bike since college, so I haven’t tested that for a while…

Rediscovering the Groove

I’ve never been a social butterfly, but once I get to know people I am more likely to share some time with you. I tend to use that time listening more than talking, but I like hearing about people’s lives and may even toss in some of my own stories, observations, or insights every now and then.

Photo by Gades Photography on Unsplash

For several hours at the reunion, I fell back into old grooves. I gravitated towards the same folks I did in high school — the nerds and the band geeks. Funny enough, that groove never changed – I still like hanging out with those same people.

Just like at the 10 year and 20 year reunions, the same cliques formed that did when we were in school. We all fell in line easily as the ’80s music played all night long, seeking solace and comfort in the familiar while catching up on what had happened since the last time we saw each other.

But it quickly became apparent that each of us was worn by that time between. Some spent time in the military or the police. Others went into artistic careers. Many married and had children. A few were divorced and single or re-married. Some battled cancer or other illnesses themselves or with family or friends.

We all had new grooves in our records. Some were deeper than others. 

One individual had suffered memory loss due to an event, so she was being re-introduced to us all — trying to find those faint scratches from years before. 

We all had a shared history, whether we remembered faces and names, deeds or experiences from those decades ago. It was good to find the grooves we’d left behind.

Keeping the Records Spinning

We all have stories from those years in high school, and yet I was much more interested in hearing the stories I hadn’t heard; tales of jobs and children, travels and experiences. I am not convinced I shared enough, but I did listen to it all with as much focus as I could muster.

Reconnecting with the past reinforces just how far we’ve come and yet how little we’ve changed. It’s a strange dichotomy in many ways. But I’m glad the records still played. 

A Messy, Detached Mind

The last few weeks have been a long mental struggle for me. I can’t point to any single element that’s the cause, just the combined weights of myriad stressors and challenges without end. The bad part is I know there are other people with much larger pressures and challenges, so I even feel guilty writing about what is essentially me quietly going crazy for no good reason.

But let me back up. I’m not crazy. I’m human. And though I understand that other people are going through much worse situations than I am, this is important. So for a time, I’m going to toss off the yoke of unnecessary angst and guilt and talk about the positives and negatives I’ve noticed of late.

First, the positive…

I’ve never been someone who enjoys conflict. It is emotionally draining and mentally crushes me as I do everything I can to avoid it. And this week I had something arise that I always knew in the back of my mind could come up as a blogger, but never had to deal with myself. (The situation is still evolving or I’d write about it here. Suffice it to say I had to chat with two friends about it – my business partner and a high school friend who is a lawyer. They are helping me deal with it as things develop.)

Yeah, I know – that sounds pretty negative. And it is. The positive was the weird way my brain processed this event.

Lately I’ve been reading more about the Stoics like Marcus Aurelius and listening to folks like Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck) and Aubrey Marcus (Own the Day, Own Your Life). And generally just trying to chill the f*ck out. I’ve always lived too much in my head, making mountains of mole hills. My last few years of learning to love CrossFit has changed my mental outlook to embrace adversity and change much better than ever before.  And it helps that my wife, a force of nature, has been whittling down my resistance to change over the last two decades.

Apparently that has all added up, internally, to a better head space for me.

As the events unfolded in my e-mail and chatting with my friends about the situation, I became almost detached. I watched as my emotions bubbled up as always, with panic, fear, and anger, but it was as though they belonged to someone else. The rational part of my brain apparently decided they wouldn’t do me any good anyway, so it just shoved them to the side in a safe space and let them go while it processed the rest of it mentally.

It was bizarre. And awesome. Though the whole situation is infuriating, it didn’t overwhelm me emotionally like it might have in the past.

So that’s a positive amidst all the crap on that front (and the next).

Then, the negative…

Adulting sucks. I have a billion things going on that I need to do. Some for work. Some for home. Some for my family. Some for my publishing business. It’s all piling on.  And I know I’m not handling with all of that well.

I’ve tried some different things with to-do lists and they lasted a week as the overwhelm rose and fall in waves. So now I’m just trying to deal with things as I remember them and have the bandwidth to do so. Some days are better than others. And I’m coping, but not well.  (Remember that guilt I cavalierly tossed away earlier in the article? It’s back with a vengeance.)

So here’s my request for help. Does anybody have coping strategies for how to deal with the overwhelming minutiae of modern life? I’m interested in hearing about them.

Let me know.

The Power of Story

For years, I’ve been attempting to find my “raison d’etre” or reason for being. Sometimes the water of life gets muddied by the debris kicked up by human experience and those bedrock notions get lost. In my case, I’m not sure it’s ever something I really stopped to consider until fairly recently. As we get older, I think those moments of clarity have become more important, but it’s a bit like an archaeological dig at times.

I’ve never led what I consider an exciting life. A moment here or there, perhaps, such as falling in love or witnessing the birth of our children, watching the events of the Challenger Disaster or 9/11 unfold, or dealing with the sudden loss of a dear friend. For the most part my seas have been relatively calm with a few storms now and again. My history is not one of epic moments affecting others.

In the end, my goal is to lead a quiet life where I try to do the right thing when I can and accept my own mistakes and limitations when I can’t.

Some days I succeed.

However, I realize that when I’m happiest, I’m usually wrapped up in a story of some sort told in the company of friends and family. Sometimes they’re my stories. Sometimes those of others. Sometimes they are fictional. Sometimes factual. And all have some element of truth to them.

What I’ve come to find out is that everybody and everything has a story to tell, happy, sad, or ridiculous as they may be.

When we look at history (or herstory), it’s the “story” part that’s key, told from a particular perspective with it’s own biases. And yes, we all have biases.

Good nonfiction lets us draw our own conclusions about real events and people from the facts. Good fiction lets us follow along as our favorite characters stumble along, drawing THEIR own conclusions from their experiences and relationships. And no two people will read the same story and come to the exact same conclusions because no two people have the same life experiences to draw upon.

Consuming a story is not a passive act any more than creating one. We process it through the lenses of our own lives, generating an internal retelling of the tale using our own stories to relate whatever truths we find there and store them to memory.

Stories are magical. And like all magick, it can be beneficial or it can be dangerous.

That’s the beauty of art. Whether you are singing its praises or detailing its faults, you’re right. But others may not share your opinions. Feel free to share them, but don’t be alarmed when others’ opinions differ from your own.

My reason for being is to find and tell stories, both real and imagined. What’s your story?

No Need for Resolutions

As every year ends, there seems to be a rush to dictate the rules for the new one. Eat better. Exercise more. Do something… anything to get back on track.

What’s funny is I gave up on resolutions a long time ago. There’s really no need for the nonsense. Every day can be a new beginning.

So every day, I do my best to do what I can with what I’m given. It’s not New Age mumbo jumbo or Old School philosophical thought. It’s just reducing things down to where they are manageable.

Do I have plans? Sure, there are many lines in the sand on my calendar. However, being married to my wife for 17 years, I have taken away one simple lesson that I have had to learn many times: plans change. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But change is the only constant.

Uncle Fred says “Life’s lessons will be repeated until learned.” This one took a long time for me to accept. And I won’t say I’m good at it yet, but I’m getting there.

My plan for 2018 is much like my plan for 2017 was: Every day do my best with what I have, for as long as I can.

May your 2018 be full of moments of peace, love, and happiness so we may overcome all the other days.

Accepting Compliments is Impossible

One of the challenges I have had to try and overcome in the last 25 years has been accepting compliments from people. And yes, I know that sounds weird.

Many years ago at a Christmas party, we had a “Talent Show” of sorts and I sang and played guitar on stage. We did it two separate years and I don’t remember which year it was, whether it was when Dave G and I played “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel, or another year when I performed but honestly don’t remember what I sang. Might have been a Christmas song even. But the daughter of a coworker complimented me on the performance and I essentially rebuffed it, telling her I was crap. Her response was that I really needed to learn how to take a compliment.

She wasn’t wrong.

These days I have become a bit better at it, choosing to say “thank you” and leave my own opinion out of my response. But inward, I’m still harsh and usually tell myself all sorts of entertaining stories to convince myself it’s not true.

Today, for instance, Coach Drea complimented my ability to push through today’s workout, noting that she can see the change that’s come from the changes we’ve been doing through the nutrition challenge. And I said “thank you” and let it go at that as I cleaned up my equipment. But on the way home, inwardly it was a different story.

Let me preface this next part by saying this has NOTHING TO DO with Drea. She’s an amazing person and coach and I value her has a friend, this is just purely my brain ticking off the ways she must be wrong. So again, I’m not saying any of this crap is true — the opposite in fact.

Watching my inner dialog, I questioned her intent.  She was encouraging me as a coach simply because it was her job to do so and she wanted me to continue paying my monthly membership fees. She was encouraging me because she wanted me to continue on the nutrition challenge and not give up (we’re on day 12 of a 62 day challenge).

Let’s walk through the bullshit factor in those statements. The nutrition challenge is free to members. I’ve been a member for nearly 5 years, so it’s not like that’s going to change unless something drastic happens. She is ALWAYS very positive and every day asks how we’re doing, what she can do to help, and is a wonderful person.

Her intent is pure. But inwardly I still beat myself up about various things. I could have done better. I can always do better. I should have run more. I should have done more weight or larger sets. I should do more mobility to take care of the grip issues plaguing my left hand and forearm.

As a result, her compliments were meaningless to my inner dialog because the inner critic rules the roost most of the time. How’s that for twisted?

I was even encouraging to every other athlete at the box this morning — cheering on Carrie, Logan, and Nick as they fought through the same workout I was doing. It was easier than listening to the supportive comments from other athletes like Caleb & Bill who were cheering me on.

Yeah, my brain is a mess.

Several weeks  ago, Coach Nicole asked me to focus on the positive in my write-ups more than the negatives. It’s something I need to do more often.  Nit-picking is so much easier than looking for the good things that are all around and within me. Family. Friends. Happy things. Life is good if I look at it the right way. There will always be issues, but the good usually outweighs the bad.

So moving forward, I am working VERY hard on being more positive. Accepting things as they are in the moment. And being more thankful for the positive vibes I get from those around me.

An impossible task? Perhaps. But it’s time to make some changes. I fight change constantly, though it’s truly the only constant in the universe.

Who’s with me?

A Simple Philosophy for Living

Getting older, I really hope I’m getting wiser. But some recent events have made me take a look at my own views, prejudices, and behaviors, in an attempt to codify things a bit better. Another case of “simplify, simplify, simplify” at work here…

Brian’s Rules for Life

Be kind as often as possible. Most of us know what WE have been through, but not what others have endured on their own journeys. It pays dividends to be nice to people on general principle, which then hopefully makes other people be nicer to you in return. Or perhaps nicer to other people down the line. One kind deed can create a landslide of good.

But, as Dalton (Patrick Swayze) says in the movie Road Housebe nice until it’s time not to be nice.  Sure, you can be kind to everybody, but at some point you have to stand up for yourself and others to say that enough is enough. That is simpler than it sounds and downright impossible to consider in many circumstances.  Fear is a powerful motivator to avoid conflict. However, bravery is acting despite that fear. Is it worth fighting for? Then fight if kindness and words won’t do the job. (This is something I struggle with because I’m severely conflict-averse.)

Listen more than you speak. If you do it right, you’ll know many things you may not wish to. If you listen, truly listen, complete strangers will tell you their life stories and you’ll begin to piece together some of the interesting tales that surround you. As a writer, I’m always watching and listening, and sometimes I even contribute — but mostly I ask questions and listen to the answers, filing things away to form a more complete picture of the world.

Accept the consequences for your actions. Good and bad. (I have a harder time accepting praise than accepting my failures. That’s still a challenge.)

But guess what? You’re going to screw up. I screw up all the time, but I also try to fix it. And sometimes trying to fix it makes it worse, but at least you’re acknowledging the issue in the first place. Some things can’t be fixed. That’s a hard truth. And the price for screwing up may be huge. But the price for hiding, running, or ignoring the consequences ALSO has consequences, so get ahead of it if you can.

Along those same lines, tell the truth as best you can. You may want to spare someone’s feelings from facts that may be difficult to accept, but if you remember to be kind, truth is its own kindness. Because lies, like screw-ups, have consequences. And just from a practical standpoint, it’s easier to remember one story than to make up and try to remember a bunch of lies.  (BTW, telling the truth goes doubly for yourself. Lying to yourself is never a good option.)

Karma’s a bitch. Sorry Karma. Ultimately I believe that you reap what you sow, so pay the consequences as quickly as possible or they may gather interest and spiral even further out of control. Build a life on a bed of lies and I think you’ll pay for it in the end. Be good and kind to yourself and others and hopefully that comes back in unexpected ways down the line.

Through it all, remember to take time for yourself and be kind to yourself. This is a hard one for me because I try to do what I can for those I love, usually at my own expense. It feels selfish to do otherwise, but if you don’t do it, you will find that your well of energy to help others may hit bottom.

Finally…

In a perfect world, we would all work together. I would help you. You would help me. We would find fulfilling tasks to fill our time doing things we were passionate about and care deeply for.

Ours is not a perfect world. We can’t change that. But we can control our own actions and serve as good examples for others to follow, hoping that we become the change we want to see in the world.

We are not perfect. Our world is not perfect. And we are stronger for the differences and flaws we have as a community. But if we are kind to one another, try to do the right thing, and remember to be kind to ourselves along the way, we’d go a long way towards making it a better world to live in, imperfections and all. 

Peace.

Staying Positive in a Whirlwind

Mid-life crisis or not, it doesn’t change the fact that my life is caught in a perpetual whirlwind of commitments. School events. Soccer. Street Petz. Work. Crossfit. And then I get whatever’s left, though there usually isn’t much left.

So how do I stay positive and cheerful in the midst of the howling tornado raging around me? Damn good question.

Here’s a few things I’m working on and a few others I want to do more frequently.

Gratitude. I’m working on getting a bit of gratitude practice into every day. Some days it works. Some days it doesn’t. Some days I forget. But focusing on the things that go right rather than the ones that don’t definitely helps a bit change the narrative from “today was a shitty day” to “this happened and it was a good thing.” A subtle shift, but an important one.

Endorphins. Honestly I think without the endorphins released during Crossfit workouts I’d be in a lot worse shape than I already am — literally and figuratively. I can tell on the days I don’t work out that something is missing. Pushing myself physically releases a great natural high that I have come to enjoy and depend on for a boost during my day. I just wish my body (and schedule) could handle working out daily vs. the 3-5 workouts I fit in already.

And yes, I’m aware that sounds a bit like an addiction. But isn’t a healthy addiction preferable to other ways to get a high?

Escape. I love reading a good book — especially what I term “bubblegum” fiction. Those are the stories that are just fun to read and don’t require a ton of extra thought to comprehend. I enjoy media in that same way, preferring stuff that entertains me and gives me that escape. Unfortunately I watch far too much TV (it’s an easy trap) and catch far too few movies (more difficult to squeak into the schedule). And I don’t spend enough time enjoying good music the way I used to.

Perhaps it’s time to adjust media consumption a bit more.

Creativity. Writing. Yes, you knew that had to come in here. I need to do more. Some is personal, like this drivel. 🙂 Other bits are for games I’m working on. And I’d really like to get back to trying some fiction. I’m awful at it, but it only gets better with practice.

Same with drawing. At some point in my childhood I decided I was a crap artist and just… stopped. I want to start again to entertain that part of my soul again.

Music. That would also be good. My guitar is collecting dust. I thought by leaving it beside my desk it would get more use… Nope. Time to clean it up and warble along slightly out of tune again.

And games. Damn I forgot how much fun it is to play a role-playing game on a regular basis and guide the story. Doesn’t mean I know where it’s going to end up. This is collaborative storytelling, folks… A group of people enjoying a shared tale and seeing where it goes. Never tried it?  You should! Even crazy things like Cards Against Humanity can really liven up an evening and raise the laughter levels.

Do you notice how a lot of these activities are solo? That’s the introvert in me and why I’m so thankful for the ones that aren’t. When I lived alone, I spent a lot of my time lonely. Now I’m hardly ever lonely because I have a family and friends. But crossfit and gaming are not solo activities and have pulled me out of that realm. Sharing some of these other things may do the same.

So how do YOU stay positive and cheerful in the maelstrom of your lives? Curious people want to know (read: me!). Leave comments!

Mid-Life Crisis Ahead?

Mid-life crisis. It’s a term that gets thrown around quite a bit. Ever had one?

I’m not sure mine qualifies, but let’s examine the facts and look at a few key moments. Somehow, I think I’ve been an adult for my whole life.

Here’s the “More than you ever wanted to know about Fitz” portion of this post.

I’ve been working since I was 16 and only had one break around 1998 or 1999 when I took an unpaid month-long sabbatical from work that only lasted two weeks. Put everything I owned in storage and drove through New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah, and Wyoming on that trip. Had a good time in Taos. Saw the Meteor Crater in Arizona. Made it to the beach in San Diego. Stayed at the Luxor in Las Vegas. Saw the Great Salt Lake in Utah. But got bored and decided to return home. Traveling alone wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Moved into a new apartment across the street from the old one I’d vacated a month prior and settled back into my same old job. True story.

Then my best friend, Sean, passed away suddenly in a car accident. My world changed overnight. When I turned 30, I dwelled obsessively over the fact that I was moving past the age he was when he died. It was a difficult situation made better by my then-girlfriend at the time, Ev, and my good friends Dino and Kevin. We went to Vegas and had a blast. And that was the trip where the “Rainman incident” occurred at a Blackjack table as a highlight of the trip.

A few months later, I was married and a few months after that we had our first child and moved to Arizona. In little more than a year, my entire life changed dramatically and I was just catching up.  With a new child, a new wife, and a new life in a state where I knew nobody at all, I was cast adrift for a good while. It eventually settled down, but those first couple of years were a bit rough.

When I was 35, we had just moved back to Colorado Springs and I was living alone in the house we had just purchased, waiting for the rest of the family — Ev, Mickey, and newborn AJ — to get here. It was a bit of a dark time, but was brightened when they arrived and we began settling in. More craziness as we got our bearings and school started for both of them.

But over the next few years, working from home, I became more and more isolated. By the time I was 42, I was overweight enough I could have gone one of two ways… Continued on the trek I was on and likely eaten myself into an early grave, or achieved control of that part of my life and start crossfit. I did the latter in 2013. Thank goodness I did.

Now, I’m struggling again. Work isn’t fulfilling me like it has for a very long time. And in the last year I rediscovered my love for writing and playing games. A lot of that came as I opened up, gained confidence, and got fitter through crossfit.

Seems that every few years we get a major shake-up that puts the crisis on hold as we regain our bearings. The last one was 11 years ago. It’s been a while.

And now I want more for myself again, which is weird. More fulfillment? What a concept.

Plus I can see the writing on the wall as far as major changes down the line. Mickey will graduate high school next year. AJ four years past her. That’s five years until empty nest begins. What will we do then? Ev will likely still be going a million miles an hour in 18 directions at once. And I’ll likely still be holding the line.

I’m just not sure holding the line is enough any more.

Actually I’m pretty sure that it isn’t.

But where do I go from here? Adulting is hard. Need the corporate gig unless we suddenly win the lottery.

Yeah, maybe it’s a mid-life crisis.

Sigh.

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