Away But Not Gone

I’ve been away, not gone, just absent from here, and there. I’ve fallen so far off the proverbial blogging wagon it’s almost as if I’ve never been. Kinda disturbing to me really.

I’ve still in relatively good health and still working.My 3 – 6 month stint has turned into 7 months to date. Again I’ve been asked if I’m willing to stay but I’ve always declined. Somewhere along the road I decided if I’m to make an informed decision I need to be informed. To that end I asked for a formal offer. It was good, and I struggled for many days with the decision, which ultimately was no. While the job would have benefits, both financial and to some degree emotional, I felt the negative components of the ’emotional’ aspect outweighed the positive of the ’emotional’. Stress has been building and once again I’ve re-realized that working in the pulp and paper industry in a supervisory capacity is not my bag. I do have some skills in that area but I have not real reason to develop them further, in fact I tend to pull away from those opportunities.

“I yam what I yam and tha’s all what I yam.” — Popeye the Sailor Man”

I ain’t Popeye but I yam still what I yam, good bad or indifferent. I continue to work at believing that.


Where Has the Time Gone?

Time is flying by, to where I know not.

We’ve been away from our house/home for over 2 months now of a potential 6 month gig. I have been asked more than a few times if I would consider staying on permanently but up until now I’ve been non-committal, vague even. I imply more money might sway me, or perhaps I should say the same money. As I’m a contractor/consultant my salary is higher than the norm for that position but bear in mind I get no benefits of any kind, except maybe some free clothes or boots.

Bottom line really is that I don’t care to work. I enjoy some of the tasks thrown my way but the longer I do this job the more I remember what it was like the first time around. My early retirement was for a reason.

I do feel validated however, in demand, wanted shall I say. All feelings that were missing before. I want to write more but I’m tired, another thing I don’t miss.


A New day

This morning brings another day of travel, this time back to our home to collect things needed for a longer stay in Kamloops.

The sun is shining, albeit from behind a veil of smoke. Fires burning elsewhere have left their mark on these skies, providing a grey cast to the air and a red filter for the sun.

The travel will take the better part of 7 hours and on Sunday I will do it again, retracing my path to return here with a carload of belongings.

I’m not sure how long my stay here in Kamloops will be, could be 6 months or more. The verdict is also still out on my feelings toward it. Only time will answer both.


New job!

A bit of a surprise to me but an offer came for temporary employment. The job is expected to last about 6 months in Kamloops.
Posts have been spotty lately and I hope to rectify that.


On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.


To Work, Or Not To Work, That is The Question

I received a call the other day, really it was an email but the purpose was the same.  It was a question, asked by the person who took over my previous role at work, “do you want to golf on Sunday?”.  Now that sounds like a harmless question, and it may be just that simple, however my mind went into overdrive and I pondered the “What ifs?”

  • What if he is really schmoozing me to find out if I want to go back to work on contract?
  • What if he’s not, and he just wants to golf?
  • What if he misses my smiling face and wants to bond?
  • What if it’s none of the above?

Tough questions, all of them….. Not really!

I surmise what’s really happening is my ego is acting up, setting the stage for an “I’m so great and they can’t accomplish anything without me” attitude.  I am thinking that in my deep hurt from how I left my career that I am looking for vindication on some level.  I also suspect that this response is normal, or I certainly hope so.  I don’t want to think I’m unbalanced or anything.  I’m not happy that I feel this way, thinking my ego is taking over, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to my way of thinking.

I did email him back and I told him we were on the road camping, that I’d be unable to meet him.  “When you get back call me” he said.  Does that sound like somethings afoot to you?  He has never asked me to golf yet, nor has he ever suggested I call him.   Hmmm, inquiring minds need to know.

When all is said and done and our lives get back to normal I’m sure I’ll find out what the scuttle is, until then I’m left wondering.  And the question is not only whether that’s what he wanted it’s also what will/would my answer be?  That is the bigger question now isn’t it, to work or not to work?  That’s the harder one to answer.


To Rant, or Not to Rant, That is the Question

I’ve been feeling kinda emotionally crappy last couple days, makes me wonder if the change in meds is working for me.  At the same time I think it may be just me, who I am, and maybe I just sweat the small stuff too much and I just need to buck up and quit whining.  I can’t believe that this would be “normal” though as I was feeling pretty good before, all upbeat and stuff.  I do know I over-analyse things though, of that I’m sure, and there is an off chance that is the case here.

It started last night.  I went out for dinner with a group from work, one of them is leaving and this was a good-bye dinner, a last meal as it were.  I felt pretty good, had a couple drinks, and was enjoying a chat with one of the girls from HR about various philosophies in hiring practices.  After some time, and once dinner was over, she left to join another group.  No harm, no foul.  Being a work group of course the topic of work came up, and I was asked a question relating to a meeting we had earlier that day.  Being the diplomatic and ever accommodating soul that I am I responded.  But being the passionate person I am I’m afraid I put too much “heart” into the answer and started the emotional ball rolling.

Now for me work is something I am having challenges with at the best of times, not the work per se but the management leading such work and the way plans and objectives play out.  In short I’m horribly frustrated by my environment and I feel emotionally hurt, saddened and somewhat ostracized.  So of course my reactions always tend to have a negative spin, or at least they sound that way to me.  And if they sound that way to me I’m sure they do to others as well, and that likely influences their reaction to me and compounds whatever perceptions of me they may already have….

It isn’t really something I think I can to talk to anyone about either, certainly not from work, as I just begin to rant and that is counterproductive.  I have discussed it with my wife, and counselor, but at least part of my rant will have to be done here.

So the bottom line is that I think work is a negative for me, it’s apparent there is little positive that comes from it other than a cheque and some positive interpersonal relationships.  Both are very good, but the other negative components seem to outweigh that good.  Plain and simple it feels like it’s a counterproductive thing for me, but I’m scared of making a move.  Retirement is the likeliest choice, but what a big step.  Sounds like another fork in the road.


To Leave, or Not to Leave (Work)? That is the question

I am growing increasingly disillusioned in my working career.  In my current read “The Gifted Adult” I am at a point where the topic is about striving for self-actualization, and how it is important (or very important) for many of the gifted.  I would like to reach that point in my life, no question, nevermind whether I’m gifted or not.  I have my doubts I can do it from here.  Is it possible, Yes.  Do I have the interest or energy, No.  I feel as if I’m spinning my wheels here, and I don’t know if it is only me or the management of me.  I suspect a little of both.  I, and my tasks, are handled poorly or nonexistently, leaving me to my own device, much as a ship without a rudder.  As you can likely pick up I am very frustrated

I am also afraid, afraid I will be found out and really afraid to leave on my own accord.  When you have been employed at what is essentially your only job for 37 years you become accustomed to many things, one of which is a steady income.  My pension will not be small but neither are my financial responsibilities.  It will likely mean a radical adjustment of my spending and current lifestyle, to which I’ve become very accustomed.

I believe I am making progress in personal/emotional life, the depression is still likely there but more subdued.  I am realizing things about myself, acknowledging others.  It’s opening my eyes to what “should be”, and that is also causing me concern.  One thing I’m sure of, “Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread” – Alexander Pope


Hard to be motivated, I hate my job!

For as good as I feel at home, generally speaking, I feel just about as crappy at work.  Really hard to be motivated and want to do a good job.  Whine, whine, whine.  I should be glad to have a job right?

I just learned yesterday that the person that was hired to replace me in my old position is now leaving himself.  I haven’t talked to him about this but I predicted this event months ago.  The organization is not able to fix whatever fundamental problems it has, and in this case they thought that by replacing me they would fix the problem.  Unfortunately I was not the problem.  One of the biggest problems that they have is that they don’t realize, or don’t understand the severity of, the problem(s) they do have.  One example is their employ of me, I’m a fairly sharp guy but they a) either don’t realize it, or b) they know and don’t care, or c) they know and care but don’t know what to do with me.  Any one of these options has a fix.  The single biggest issue we have as a company is our ineffective usage of our largest resource, human capital.

Anyway……I wrote in my paper journal this morning how my hand-writing had improved and I chalk it up to practicing, by writing more and more (by hand).  The same goes for physical exercise, the more you do the more you can do.  Even my Dad commented on that yesterday, how he finds it hard to walk but if he actually got out and did it more then it would be easier when he did.  Makes sense, no?  Anyway it also applies to our brains, the more we use/exercise them the easier it becomes TO use them and the stronger it gets.  This is not rocket science here. I am working on that part and I think improving.

This applies to my blogging also, rather than entering drivel put something down that can exercise our brains.  Hmmm, what to write.

I hope we can go out and get a campsite after work tonight, even though I’ll have to commute to work from there it will still be like camping part of the time, and that’s better than not camping at all.  It allows me to disconnect mentally somehow, to pretend I have another life, one where work doesn’t intrude.  Alas, retirement seems so far away.


In a Funk

I realize ups and downs are normal, I was feeling much more “up” before I think.  I want to drink, not a lot, but drink nonetheless.  Is it bad for me?  Well of course it’s bad, but is it really bad?  Is it an outlet to disengage from what’s going on around me.  I so feel like I want to be away, in some other time/space, not so much another life because for the most part my life is great.  I have a very loving and caring wife, a daughter that loves me and looks up to me (or at least I think she does), most things a man could want.

I don’t know about work, there are those in attendance at that location that like and respect me, of that I’m pretty sure.  There are also those that wouldn’t notice if I never came back.  I suspect that work location isn’t much different than many others.  I really don’t want to be there.  I don’t find the work meaningful, nor do I have a great rapport with many there.  Some I quite like and would love to work with more.  Alas, again I’m in a funk.  Booze or coffee, booze or coffee, which poison do I pick?  I almost feel like I want to cry, what a baby.

Maybe I’ll try a walk, now there’s thinking out of the box…….