Writer's block and other ramblings

What a whirlwind couple of weeks.  I started a new position at work, which requires some upfront commuting into the city.  Something i am NOT used to.  It has really thrown my little corner of the world into quite a whirlwind. I am reorienting myself regarding morning wake up time, Rx and vitamins (remembering to take them), keeping track of kids homework, finding time for my beloved and i to get out on a date, and all of the other routines i used to have fairly down pat.

I am loving my new job, even though i am still in the learning curve phase.  My only regret is i have been wanting to get some more writing done.  Let's be honest... i was not writing all that much before the new job.  I had been in a writing rut for quite a few months.  Part of it was due to wanting to wait until Path of the Seer by Gav Thorpe to be released.  I wanted more if his insight into the Eldar of the Warhammer 40,000 world.  But lately i have actually been having pretty good ideas... well, at least in my opinion.  I've not even written down my notes.  Mostly because i've been pretty tired lately and it clouds my memory so i will forget what i wanted to write down, or to even write at all. 

Well, a friend set a goal for herself... 100 words a day.  It can be an averaged, but she encouraged me to say just to use it as a goal per day, and allow myself the grace to excuse myself when i miss the goal.  Sounds like a plan.


Moving at the speed of life

I once heard a slogan that said, "Moving at the speed of life".  For the life of me i cannot remember what the product or service was that it was for now... and i am too tired to try and research it (sorry anxious reader).  But the saying is a 'truism'.  Life never stops, it never even slows down.  From my perspective it only seems to get faster and faster.  This is the time of my children's lives i should be most enjoying.  Soaking it all in.  But it is neigh impossible.  It feels like i can barely catch my own breath.  I get up, sometimes i help get lunches made and make sure they are on the bus off to school, then i go to work, i get home i play taxi driver to/from practices, when my beloved is working i will whip up something for dinner (over baked BBQ chicken is a recent hit), then i try and check homework (which i think i am failing at because DD3 is struggling silently in math and social studies), try and make sure they wash behind their ears and then shew the youngsters off to bed, and then climb in between the sheets myself, only to repeat the next day.  Weekends are not much better.  Replace work with chores and/or running to/from games and church on Sundays.  I love my kids, and i try and make a priority of spending time with them... but it all just seems to blur by so fast. I don't want to blink and have an empty house.  But life never slows down.  To quote Mr. Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  The trick is... getting yourself stopped long enough to get that look in.  I wish i could slow down those moments like the Ba'ku in the movie Star trek: Insurrection. I think that is why the Psalmist says, "Be still and know I am God." (Psalm 46:10, ESV) (Note: it is always important to read verses in context of the surrounding verses - too often verses are taken out of context to mean something other than they were intended for - in this case the passages are talking about taking the time to contemplate all of the things God has done.)

Speaking of moving at the speed of life... i recently started a new job.  It happened incredibly fast.  I was approached, sort of off to the side, where i was asking how happy i was with my (now previous) employer.  The question caught me so off guard that i asked him what he meant.  When he clarified i say, i'm pretty happy with the people i work with, but the corporate environment and mentality of the company as a whole - i was pretty disillusioned.  I was encouraged to inquire with an incoming company regarding some new positions.  Not knowing what to expect i sent off an e-mail to the points of contact i had been given.  That day i received an e-mail and a phone call from one of the POC's saying he was forwarding my request to what i refer to as a "head hunter" (HH) - sort of a person who weeds through potentials and does a lot of the preliminary leg work so that companies don't have to "waste" as much time sorting through the piles of applicants and can focus on the smaller group of "potentials".  The next day i received a phone call from the HH, but i did not get the message until after work as we were literally moving offices across town.  The next day i call the HH back and he asks me a few questions, then asks if i mind f he bridges on two or three others - i am interviewed right then!  Technical questions, etc.  I was caught off guard again and felt pretty unprepared, but i felt like i did OK.  Later that night i get a call from the company's Human Resources person.  She asked me a few more questions and talked to me about the position they wanted to hire me for.  I was blown away, not just because the speed at which things were moving, but it was also a different position than i was led to believe i was applying for - which was fine, because it was a position i had pined for, for about two years.  The only downside... the group was based out of downtown Washington DC.  I hesitatingly mentioned that i could not do that kind of commute day in and day out; however, if i could work at the 'remote' office and only make the trip downtown a few times a month (after a train up period) i would accept.  The next day (a grand total of three business days) i was offered, and i accepted the position.  I am still amazed how it all happened, but this has been how God has moved regarding my entire career.

When i first got into my career it was because i was having trouble getting started in college (long story) and i was delivering pizzas at the time.  My beloved was starting her career having just graduated college (i proposed to her on her graduation day).  I was just looking to get a better paying job until i could start school full time.  I came in a entry level and they taught me the skills i needed.  I moved up, and then when my beloved became pregnant with DS1 i borrowed some money from the in-laws and went to a 6 month trade school at night.  When i finished that i sent out exactly one resume and was hired.  Again, they taught me the skills i needed specific to the job, and there were a lot of eager mentors to show me the ropes and i moved up with that company as well.  Quickly moving from the desk, to shift lead, and then to a change control group.  Each step of the way i found people willing to teach me.  Then 9/11 hit, i was deployed for 13 months and when i came back i was given a hard choice.  In the end it was not really all that hard - after being away from the family for that year my position was moved to the swing shift.  I was going to miss seeing the family during the week.  But then, an opportunity came along to jump to a new group, one  that was on site with the customer - but... it was a 2 pay grade reduction, and counting the shift differential i lost out on... a 20 percent cut in pay.  Since then i have slowly risen to new positions.  I was once asked how i got the job i had and how they could get one similar.  I answered the guy, it's not possible to do it the way i did it (i still explained how it all went down and the path i had taken)... but looking back... it should not be possible.  God has been incredibly generous to this High School dropout.  I have a position that i can provide for my family of 5 on my single income... pretty much unheard of in this day and age.

No matter how fast life is... take the time to give thanks and look around.  Marvel at all that God has done, and is doing.  We only come this way once... find a way to be like the Ba'ku, and slow down time to enjoy the experience.  I say this to myself as much as anyone.


Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!! and other ramblins

After a miserable 2-14 season by the Carolina Panthers, i will not allow my hopes to get all that high in regards to the 2011 NFL season. I was not one of the fans or media types all hyped about Cam Newton starting week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals, but i have to admit, i was impressed with his performance the past four weekends.  Still, one game - one season - does not make it to the Hall of Fame.  Still, if the Panthers can keep him healthy, and the coaches keep up good game plans and adapt... there very well could be an exciting future for the Panthers.  I have this year's schedule at my work area and i publicly listed my hopes for this season.  I am predicting 4-12, i will be happy with 6-10, amazed with  8-8 , and ecstatically happy with a 9-7 or better season.  Here is to hope, which springs eternal.

Speaking of the Panthers, my all time favorite player for the Panthers, John Kasay, signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints to fill in for their injured place kicker.  This has in no way diminished my opinions of this man as a Carolina Panther player.  The Panthers made a business decision when they released him, and Kasay made a business decision to continue to support his family through a talent that God has provided him with.  I still hope to make the trip should the Panthers do the right thing and honor him.  It is unlikely that the Saints will keep him once their regular kicker is healthy again, so...  I will not be burning my John Kasay jersey anytime soon.  Not like i wanted to do to any Julius Peppers jersey i saw.

Ok - any seasoned listener of Pandora probably already knows about this but the other day i accidentally clicked the "Quick Mix" channel.  It mixes all of your channels together randomly!  How awesome is that!  LOL  I really like that it moves through the various genres and plays a selection and then moves on.  Really cool.  I am enjoying this mostly while i am out exercising. Which reminds me... i like both RunKeeper and CardioTrainer as apps on my Android phone.  RunKeeper has the edge for me with an elevation tracker as well.  In all, i've lost about 6 pounds since starting to exercise at the beginning of summer with a few "set backs" in regards to aches and pains, but so far i've been keeping up with at least 3 times a week of getting out for an hour or more each time.

Have you ever had a song just bust out in your head?  Meaning, you see/hear/smell/read/whatever something and some song just pops into your mind? It happens to me a lot, and it's weird.  And it can drive some people crazy because i like to sing and/or whistle whatever the song is.  I once asked a musically gifted friend if she thought we would learn how to play musical instruments in heaven, and she said that she believed i would get that chance.  \o/  I just lack the time and discipline to do it (so far) on this side of heaven.

I've been struggling to write lately.  I go round and round about what to write but then nothing.  One stumbling block is my ability to access my older, unpublished, work and then edit or add to it.   I have a plethora of little notebooks lying around.  The intent was to add notes about a story line or character now and again and then access it when i am ready to put finger to keyboard.  But now... all my thoughts are jumbled and hard to pick up any one thread.  A friend once suggested to just set a goal for 100 words a day.  I am going to give that a try.  8)  Fortunately blogging counts, so this has given me a start for this month.