Bright and early Monday morning, camped out in a harshly lit conference room, parked in front of my laptop, nursing a badly needed cup of Joe, waiting to press check a marketing piece literally months in the making, I stumbled across this video rallying viewers to reject the horror that is the average metropolitan commute. My own employer will acquire a new headquarters on the other side of town this spring, which will add an extra twenty minutes to an already tedious drive. It will only be my second facilities transfer since starting with the company five years ago, but I've definitely played musical chairs when it comes to office space. There will be moving of photographs, file folders, Post-It notes, again, for the zillionth time.
I sat up straighter in my chair.
Then I got to the post about "escape velocity", at which point a hand reached into my brain, fumbled for the proverbial light switch, and rattled the walls with a deafening slam on its way out the door, tripping over a big fat DUH in the process.
I mean, SERIOUSLY, people. While I may not have been aware of that phrase as defined by the blog writer or even the science community at large at the time of my last post, that's exactly what I was talking about, right? "Leaving a situation that isn't healthy or desired"? In that case, the situation was my health. But it applies to a lot of other aspects of my life, too.
I don't know what it is these days, but I am feeling uninspired, trapped in my day-to-day struggles with work, money, weight, home ownership, and a big-picture path for the rest of my life. I know where I want to be but it seems impossible to get there, or to even find the right words stating why I think that place is the best place for my family. I am too occupied with trivial concerns like All My Children and a trendier work wardrobe and affording new windows for the second floor of our house. I find it easy to become envious of others, forgetting the hard work it took for them to find their own paths, only seeing the end result of their efforts. I focus too much on what I want instead of what I am lucky enough to have. Most of all, I forget that I am in control of my own destiny, and that every single obstacle I face can be overcome.
You can understand, then, why blogging has been sporadic, yes?
It is time to start knocking down those obstacles and gain some fucking perspective.
The biggest obstacle is money. Surprise! What isn't a surprise is that Luke and I took a hit financially when I lost my Parents gig last summer, a hit we are still recovering from. Losing almost a thousand dollars a month, who wouldn't? You would think we could have made the appropriate adjustments before now, but no, we spent like even a fraction of that money was still there, and bonuses made up for it most of the time, but they are not the answer to our problems anymore. Just like my personal experience with exercise, so many of the right puzzle pieces are in place: affordable mortgage for a one-income family; owning our cars outright; saving for retirement and medical expenses accordingly. We just have to take a few extra steps to make sure we are living as honestly as possible. Some of those, thankfully, are small, like reducing our cell phone plan or buying generic contact solution, and others are embarrassingly more difficult to execute, like discontinuing satellite service and possibly adopting a "kids-only" gift policy for Christmas. These choices are not essential to the betterment of our lives by any means, but when you're in the habit of maintaining them, it's frighteningly easy to think otherwise, and equally as hard to tell yourself to let them go, that saving face cannot be a reason to avoid change anymore.
There are happy steps, too, like exploring new volunteer opportunities, discussing our own possible relocation at some point in the future, and maybe even a career change or two. Thanks to Facebook, I just learned that Trophy Frema's ex-boyfriend is in talks with an editor to publish a memoir collection based on articles he's added to his "Notes" section. After raising a fist to the ceiling and wailing "Why not MEEEEEEE?" for an entire night, I realized it's time to answer some important questions about the place that writing has in my life and the role I want it to play in the future. "HE's going to publish a book? Hell, I could be just like Carrie from Sex and the City and put together my own freaking collection of blog entries and do the same damn thing," I fumed to my poor wide-eyed husband, who could only sit back and watch me regurgitate thought tracks and questions about overall talent, ability, and persistence. "Well, why don't you?" he finally asked, and I thought, hmmm, well, why don't I, and the truth is, I don't know. I wanted that at some point for myself. I don't know that I do now. I certainly don't want to be a marketer for the rest of my life.
This is definitely worth finding out.
I am so excited for Luke and I to take the bull by the horns and begin spending our time and money in ways that are more meaningful for our family, to shed what is unimportant and demonstrate to our kids that anything is possible if you're willing to work for it. Even if it means bidding a sad farewell to "Toot and Puddle"* and SIRIUS radio. Good-bye, Coffee House. May we one day meet again.
* Thank goodness for the books.