Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blog Purpose?

I have lost my penchant for keeping up this public diary. In some ways I miss it since it's really the only writing outlet I have now (at least, the only outlet where I have complete control over the content). In other ways I don't really give a rat's ass. My life isn't that exciting, honestly.

Anyway, if I do get back into keeping up with this blog, what will the purpose be? For five years it was about my dissertation. Since then, two years later and it's just been hit or miss. It's been more about my "thrilling" life than anything else. I guess that's alright. Boring, though.

At one point I thought this was going to be a way to chronicle home renovations on our mid-Century traditional house that we bought from the 1965 original owners. However, renovations have been few and far between lately...at least the ones anyone will ever see. I mean, we have a new furnace! We had to get a new basement floor put in after the furnace installers messed up the old floor. Stuff like that. Big friggin deal. The bigger stuff requires extra cash or actual skill on doing things oneself. I have neither. The avocado-green kitchen floor remains in its 1974 grooviness (it's one of the few non-original things in this house). And my life keeps on being pretty boring.

So, I dunno if I'll continue this blog. Maybe I'll shut it down, though it'd be a shame to lose almost eight years of a chronicle of my (boring) life. Maybe I'll be inspired by a whole new theme. Isn't this nice? Or perhaps I'll be inspired to add new content by the coming of the new year.

And maybe not.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Education

I started this post last week but haven't had the energy to finish it till now.

From Thursday 11/1/2012:
If you heard a large SPLAT today, it was likely the sound of my heart breaking once again for our child. Nine years ago we started a 529 savings account specifically for his college education. We figured it was the smart thing to do at the time, and we were fortunate to have a gift from my grandmother to start off a nice account for him. We find ourselves several years later coming to terms with the fact that we have no need to save for his college education. He's not going. Ever. It's done. Over.

Here are a few data points to demonstrate that I am not selling my son short with the words in the preceding paragraph: He is 11 years old. He does not have the knowledge, skill or ability to pass kindergarten this year. He had three years of preschool that ended in 2007. He had a half-year of a self-contained kindergarten where he was the most compliant, quiet kid in the class and yet learned absolutely nothing. That was five years ago. 

Since then, thanks to intensive ABA therapy, he has made a great deal of progress toward gaining independence, but none of these newer skills relate to any scholastic goals beyond age 3. He can feed himself, bring his plate to the sink, brush his teeth, go to the bathroom independently (about 92% of the time), and can respond to simple yes/no questions. He understands most of what we say, and fortunately he's just about the kindest, most honest, most patient person you'll ever meet. We're thankful for the therapy; almost lost that in a medical review by our insurance company, but fortunately they granted us the funding for another six months. Better soak up that therapy real well there, Buddy, at least till next April. No worries, we'll just cash out the 529 and use that money to pay for a few more months worth of therapy...

Suffice it to say formal education is just one more dream we're simply needing to delete from our minds. Easier said than done. I have a Ph.D. in college, for God's sake, and my own kid won't complete high school. It's a very different view of the world, for certain. 

Office/Prison/Life Cleaning

Oh, hello there blog.

Lately I've been diving into a thorough cleaning of the office/prison. This time I'm serious. I've really not been organized in this space in about 7-8 years. Funny thing is that I've only lived in this house for five. Yes, I literally packed a few boxes of unfiled/unpurged CRAP and moved it here to this house, and they have sat in the large closet this small bedroom is fortunate to have ever since. And, since then more unfiled/unpurged crap has accumulated in the room itself. I don't bother cleaning it because I'd have to clean it up in order for it to be cleaned. If you don't understand that last sentence, then you are probably a cleaner/neater person than I.

What's funny is that my brain prefers things to be organized. For some reason, however, I'm perfectly fine living among crap. Until now. Now I'm serious.

I've found all sorts of things, including bills going back five years (in the "shred me" box now) and even other things going back further ... I'm cleaning out old files in file cabinets so the crap I actually need to keep now can have a place to be filed. It's a vicious cycle...not filing because my file cabinets are too full. Sort of embarrassing, actually. So why the hell am I sharing this up here?

I suppose I'm starting to clean up my life just a bit as well. Work has become a pretty big burden more than something I enjoy, unfortunately. It's probably going to be time to make a change pretty soon. It's been five years, after all, and I never made a change when I finished the Ph.D. Something about that bugs me. A lot. So I plan for a change to happen in the next year. Not sure what or where, but something's gotta change. I'm even meeting with a career counselor next week to help with the whole thing. Should be a good move...far better move than just sitting on my ass in my unfiled crap.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Restarting

Today I find myself securely at the beginning of my middle age. I'm learning how to deal with back pain, I really need to get into better physical shape, and mentally I am very secure in the fact that I'm not young anymore. I am thankful for my age and the wisdom it brings. I have no interest in going back in time. I do want to start using what time I have left in a more intentional, positive manner. Many, many days go by and I feel I've let it just waste away with little or no contribution to the world around me. Once in a while being a low contributor is alright, but it's becoming more of a habit than I would like.

Lately I've spent a great deal of time whining and complaining about my lot in life on a couple of levels. While I've been in my job about five years, the last two of them have been transitional in nature. I don't usually mind change, but change is supposed to be temporary. Two years of transition time is ENOUGH, and it's time for that crap to end.

Home life has been great, but unfortunately I've allowed some of the transitional crap at work to bleed through toward home. For example right now I'm skipping church this morning to get work done for an institute I'm helping to run later this week. It needs to happen, and Wife has been more than supportive. I do need to find that balance I have had in the past, and I have not really been able to find it since finishing the doctorate like I had hoped.

I mention the past because in a past part of our lives, Wife and I had a very balanced life together. We had good jobs, we felt financially secure, Chester was just a puppy and could hear us! Life was good. We recently took a vacation where we visited the place we started our marriage. It's also the place Chester came to us and where Moose was born. It was sort of a renewing experience for us. Neither want to go back to being in our 20s or early 30s, but I do miss some of the perspective we had on how our careers blended into our lives. We both felt more respected by our peers and friends. The time felt more carefree. Less pressure. Less depressing. 

So I'm in the doldrums, so to speak. I guess the best way out of this mess is through it. I think I need to redefine what "balance" is at middle age with a larger job, a larger budget, a larger family, a larger life. Maybe I need to work harder to achieve this balance now that my life is larger. Not sure.

Guess my time alone this Sunday on the porch is a sort of church service for me. Time alone to think about one's life can be a religious experience of sorts, I suppose.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Chester is a Teenager

I hardly post here anymore, and I have a feeling very few actually read this. However I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that Chester's 13th birthday was this past Wednesday.

He's such a good boy. In spite of slowing down a bit with playing fetch and pretty much losing his hearing, he's still a strong, healthy puppy. This is a photo of us on the day we brought him to our home in 1999 when he was just three months old.

Happy Birthday, Chester! May we have many more years together.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Phootball

So, what's all this hype about these two northeastern teams playing each other tonight IN THE MIDWEST?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaaack

A good way to determine whether or not you really enjoy something is to stop doing it for a while and see if you miss it. I miss writing out my random thoughts, so here I am once again.

I have no idea if anyone is still actually reading this blog. Not sure I care, actually. The motivation for me to write is really self-driven; it's a good way for me to get thoughts out of my head and out in the open. I don't write for the pleasure of others. I write for my own mental exploration and growth.

If you do happen to be reading this, though, I certainly would welcome your comments and dialogue. If this were really private and personal, then I wouldn't post it online.