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Long Time No See December 2, 2012

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Friends, Life.
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Oh, hi.

Anyway.

If you want to blow your own mind (sounds dirty, wasn’t meant to), randomly run into the daughter of one of your old best friends at an event that is in no way connected to that part of your life and learn that she’s now the age you were when you met and became friends with her mother.

Brian had a work function banquet last night which held nothing but low expectations for me and then all of a sudden it was like I fell into that squiggly corkscrew graphic that depicts time travel in cheesy Twilight Zone episodes. Weirdly, Brian won a corkscrew in the raffle giveaway, which is useful only for this story since even if we did drink wine it wouldn’t be the kind that required a corkscrew. I won a pair of diamond earrings, but that’s not even the crazy thing.

After catching up with my friend’s daughter, and there was a lot of that to do, I learned that her mother, my friend of twenty years, tried to commit suicide about a month ago. I’d call it maybe an accidental overdose, but drinking a bottle of liquid Oxycodone (is that even a thing? I guess it is) and ingesting about two hundred pills probably can’t be considered an accident. It was really upsetting (obviously), especially because the last I’d heard, my friend was doing better, working various programs, seemingly overcoming her demons. Addiction is a motherfucker, in that you can be going along fine, living your life, thinking you’re on top of it all and then boom.

In my last therapy session, my doctor reminded me addiction is a disease that’s classified as Acute, Chronic, Relapsing (ARC, which is kind of a fun acronym if you put some thought into it), and one that never wants to let you go, like a psycho stalker lover. Thanks for that, Doc, really super great news. So you’re saying no matter how much time passes, how hard I work to be healthy, happy, and a functioning member of society, my brain is still warped and vulnerable to this hell. Here’s your $100, C U Next Tuesday.

Was it fate last night, bumping into her in the most unlikely of places? She really wants her mother and I to reconnect. I’m nervous, but I also want to see her, as she was someone who was a big part of my life for a lot of years. She also gave me my first Xanax (we were Christmas shopping and in fifteen minutes I went from wanting to stab people to wanting to give everyone a hug) and we spent many a time together washing pills down with Zima (it was the 90’s; give me a break), acting out our own redneck version of Valley of the Dolls. That wasn’t what our entire friendship was about, but looking back it was a big part of it. It still unnerves me when I think of all the friends I’ve had who have struggled with one form of addiction or another, some of whom are still knee-deep in the hell of it.

This is the time of year when I always (like many people do; I know I’m not a special snowflake) get reflective and nostalgic and long for days gone by. Well, the past ran up to me last night and gave me a big hug. And while it was all a little overwhelming, it made me feel like maybe it’s time to revisit some of it. Anything’s possible.

Malaisey June 24, 2011

Posted by Kimmothy in Life.
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This morning shortly after we woke up, I told Brian my dream: “I dreamt we had sex last night.” His eyes got wide then he said, “So did I.” I performed a quick inspection of my region to make sure we hadn’t actually banged unconsciously (wouldn’t be the first time) and found we hadn’t. A perfect example of the level of lethargy we’ve reached: dreaming about sex instead of putting forth the effort to actually do it. We had a good laugh about it – faithful to each other even in our dreams! Awww….puke. But still, that’s some weird Inception shit right there.

Summer set in a few weeks before it officially started and long stretches of triple digit temperatures have me in my annual Seasonal Affective Disorder, Hot Weather Edition. I haven’t been motivated to do anything beyond what is absolutely necessary to function and it’s beginning to get on my nerves. Nothing is particularly wrong, per se, but nothing is cause for cartwheels either. And I’ve set a very low bar for what could be considered exciting, so I’m basically a big ball of blah. I haven’t written here or anywhere else beyond a quick Tweet or Facebook status in a month, because I can barely stand myself, let alone subject anyone else to me.

This isn’t good. The only remedy I can think of to this (barring drugs, which sadly is no longer an option) is altering my perceptions and appreciating whatever miniscule good thing that may occur throughout a day. That bubbly sound and beautiful smell when the coffee finishes brewing, the actual coffee itself. Watching the fireflies (Brian calls them that; I call them lightning bugs – is that a north/south thing?) and spiders catching and spinning up their prey when it’s finally cool enough to be outside after the ball of fire sets for the day. My evening walks and/or bike rides that I’ve started back doing, albeit sporadically. Being into the long stretch of good books I’ve been on lately. Lunch the other day with my three new co-workers, all of whom I’m beginning to get to know and really like. The new vehichle, which I still can’t believe is mine every time I climb into it. The occasional thunderstorm respites that make everything greener and cooler and alive again, however temporarily.

Considering all the insanity occuring in the world right now and always, my piddly shit is nothing. I know this, which is why I never allow a pity party go on for too long. Being appreciative feels a whole lot better than whining like a little bitch – thank you, El Capitan Obvious, but always good to acknowledge. I feel better already, just writing it.

Hell, who knows – maybe we’ll even have actual waking sex this weekend.

Bitches Be Crazy May 17, 2011

Posted by Kimmothy in Life.
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A tri-lingual, highly regarded in the community law professor in our department regularly comes to me for technical advice. Some of his issues have included not being able to print a document (then expressing amazement when I showed him how to Ctrl P – “Does the ‘P’ stand for PRINT!?!”), not receiving emails (he accidentally changed his email option to receive them alphabetically instead of by date) and how to weigh an envelope on the postage scale. He and his wife will soon be Summering in the South of France. I’ll be Summering in my front yard, but I’m glad I’m able to be of service for him.

One of Brian’s cousins, a guy who gives new meaning to black sheep, told Brian last night on the phone his son burned down part of their trailer, his girlfriend has some life-threatening disease and they’re currently holed up in some hotel, supplementing her disability money by “flying signs” (Brian guesses that’s street slang for begging on the side of the road). He told him he’d already spent most of the $160 he’d made that day on beer and crack and in the background Brian heard the girlfriend chide him to “Stop braggin’.”

Another cousin, I may have written about her here before, spent almost a year publicly shit-talking her cheating husband who was deployed in Iraq. He returned a couple weeks ago and according to Facebook, they’re happily un-separated and anyone who has anything to say about it can kiss her ass. While I’ve actually been in that position, I’m very thankful I didn’t spend the entirety of our separation saying how much I hated Brian because that makes you look kind of like an asshole when it all goes back to “normal.”

I’ve had to speak to my mother on the phone a lot more than usual lately. See: title of this post.

Brian had a co-worker get fired today. Guy is twenty-one, the grandson of the owner of the company and a new father. Since his girlfriend had the baby a few weeks ago, he’s started coming in late to work, not calling when he did, or just not showing up at all. Today he got there on time, but after filling the truck with gas at a convenience store, came back to the truck, got in and opened a tall can of Bud Light. It was 8:30 a.m.

I know I’m neurotic and weird and have just as many quirks as the next person. The fact that any two people can manage to live together in relative peace over a long period of time still amazes me. But lately? The crazy seems to be coming in at an unnatural pace. There’s a full moon tonight and I’m about to drive an hour to pick up Becky, a girl who has been an honorary daughter to me for many years. I’m very excited to see her; I’m just hoping for a respite from weirdness.

One Week In April 13, 2011

Posted by Kimmothy in Home Life, Life, Marriage, Work.
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Funny thing about being unemployed – Sunday late afternoons/early evenings still fill me with a morbid, creeping feeling of dread. Not surprising, since I’ve always had the Sunday Willies no matter what was going on in my life. I think that may be why I ended up loving The Sopranos (and Mad Men and Breaking Bad and Family Guy etc.) so much; ah, the mind-numbing comfort of television. I’m thinking if I do a quick search of Sunday night shows in the history of television from the late 1970’s until now, I’d bet a good many of them have made my favorites list. Intriguing.

I’m not the only one with Sunday Night-itis either; my sister knows what I’m talking about.

This week I have three interviews scheduled, one of which I completed yesterday. Is there anything more insidious than a job interview? After going to the monthly therapist appointment, it became apparent the similarities between a job interview and talking one-on-one to your shrink. In both cases, all attention is focused intensely on you. You’re being questioned and then worry about what the answers you give could mean to you. You’re being judged (and we all know your therapist judges you – I mean, come on) and analyzed. The only real difference is how I feel afterwards: the therapy makes me feel mostly positive and reaffirmed, while I spend the hours after the interviews going over all the things I wish I would’ve said and berating myself for being a dorky moron.

And I swear, if one more person asks me where I want to be five years from now this is the answer I’m giving: At the Botox doctor.

Brian, who I’ve many times established is a way more laid back and positive person than myself, is in no hurry for me to rush going back to work. He’s enjoying the fruits of the stay-at-home wife, including the thoughtfully prepared dinners that are ready soon after he gets home and all the clean laundry that is not only clean but also actually put away. I enjoy it for the most part as well, but I’d be having even more fun if I knew what the time frame I’m going to have was. If I knew for sure that sometime in the next few weeks I’ll  be reporting to a new job, the next few weeks would be fantastically stress-free. But we all know that’s not the way things work, especially if you’re living my life.

One thing I’m really thankful for though – if you have to be unemployed, Spring is a very pleasant time to do it. And anyway, I’m not at all attractive during the Summer months, what with the make-up that slides off my face, the neverending war against the frizz and light colored, Summer-appropriate clothing that is NOT my preferred style in any way. I look best in dark colors and mostly all covered up. For many reasons, here’s hoping the Spring version of me gets hired, so by the time Summer version arrives it’s too late and they’re already stuck looking at me every day.

Cautious Optimism March 27, 2011

Posted by Kimmothy in Life, Work.
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It’s been a week since The Layoff and I have to say I’m feeling pretty darn good, which I never would have predicted. Me, the one who when there’s nothing on the horizon to worry about, will start imagining apocalyptic scenarios. The one who’s usually up in the middle of the night and all thoughts are falling anywhere in the realm of What If to WE’RE GOING TO DIE.

I lost my job and I’ve slept better in the last week than I have the past three months. Go figure.

That’s not to say I’m not, well, concerned is probably a good word. My Jew guilt would never let me completely be good with the prospect of being unemployed for any length of time. And yes, I am slightly trepidacious picturing life a week from tomorrow when I’ll have nowhere to be at 8:30 a.m. But strangely, and this is new, I’m feeling…dare I say…excited. I don’t want to get all into that whole everything happens for a reason garbage, because I don’t entirely buy into that. I still don’t understand the reason why people like my dad aren’t here anymore yet Charlie Sheen continues to live well and prosper. But I do think sometimes maybe when you’ve been sort of lethargic and complacent and life comes along and kicks your ass all of a sudden, it’s good to recognize you probably needed that asskicking.

Though it was by no means awful, I hadn’t really been happy at work for a long time. The university itself, well it’s still my first choice of where I want to be. But my particular department was pretty much a part of USC in name only. Our office is a condemnable building (they prefer the term “historic”) off the beaten path and not really close to where the majority of students and college atmosphere are. It took a good half mile or so of walking to get to where I felt that, which is something I did often, just to remind myself that yes, I actually do work on campus. I wasn’t unhappy enough to be actively looking for another job, but let’s be real – that was mostly laziness. Job hunting is nobody’s idea of fun (or if it is, that’s cool you weirdo) so usually if given the choice one probably wouldn’t do it unless necessary.

Obviously now it’s necessary, but thankfully we’re not in a position where I have to take the first thing I can get. No this isn’t the ideal time to be looking for a job, by any means. But I just have a feeling, for once, that things are going to turn out okay. Maybe a month from now I’ll look back on this post and laugh (and cry) ruefully, but right now I’m optimistic and I’m going to ride out this feeling as long as possible.

2010, It’s Been Real December 30, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Fam Damily, Health, Home Life, Life, Lists.
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Yay, it’s still snowing on my blog! I don’t know how long that will last but I always enjoy it while it does.

It’s that week between Christmas and New Year’s where I always feel like I’m stuck in some kind of Twilight Zoneified limbo. The days feel like they’re oozing by, yet I know that hateful moment when the first alarm goes off to signify it’s back to work is going to be here before I know it, so I’m trying my hardest to make the most of what’s left of my freedom.

For the first time in a really long time I feel like the past year has been significantly good. In list form:
– We paid off both vehicles, two huge monkeys who had resided on our backs for way too long.
– We were able to upgrade our dinosaur of a desktop into two cute laptops and a printer that actually prints. I realize for most people that’s not much of an accomplishment but for us it felt like a technological epoch we jumped.
– I sweated and counted calories until almost twenty pounds came off my body; slowly and painfully, but they did come off. The holidays have put back about three of those pounds and I was at a stand-still before that but at least I know I can do it now and I’m motivated to keep going (after this weekend of course; I’m not a superhero – sheesh).
– Besides my usual trips to Florida (one driving, one flying), I made it to Savannah again (during which time I got to eat at Paula Deen’s restaurant thus achieving a big food goal) and up to New York for an awesome weekend with my favorite cousin. I do tend to somehow always end up somewhere along the eastern seaboard so maybe in the coming year I’ll make it a point to try to go west for once.
– Along with my day job and our foreclosure work, I landed a sweet side job (thanks to Sister) proof reading transcripts for her court reporting company. This is significant in that it let me achieve a life dream of actually reading for money which to me is amazing.

Unfortunately there were a few deaths in Brian’s family that were untimely and really sad: his 17-year-old cousin Justin who died of an accidental drug overdose, his mom’s cousin Keith who was 54 and whose house on the river we went to every summer for family reunions, and most shocking of all our sister-in-law Toni, whose death I’m still having a hard time understanding. She was 37 and her kids and husband are getting ripped off by not getting to have had her longer. Brian is there right now spending some time with his brother and the kids and I can’t imagine how they got through their first Christmas without her. But they did, because that’s what you do.

When we first found out about her, Brian grabbed me into a hug and said, “It just makes me want to be a better husband to you,” and I knew what he meant. It SUCKS, but what I’m trying to take from all of it is to appreciate and acknowledge our health and happiness. Because all the material things, the financial goals, whatever – none of it means anything compared to that.

Even the other day when we were riding around looking at the post-Christmas day snow (also in 2010 it snowed here twice – woo!), I said to him, “MAN I’m thankful I’m not blind so I can see this.” That sounds silly but it’s true. And I guess that’s my main resolution: to pause in the middle of a good moment like that and to recognize it as it’s happening.

Happy: Not Just a Perfume by Clinique December 22, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Holidays, Home Life, Life, Moods.
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Heather & I were chatting online today as we often do, discussing whatever as we often do. Among sharing the ups and downs related to the holidays, the subject of general happiness came up. We agreed that while sometimes it takes actual (and sometimes even heroic) effort, it *is* in fact within our power to choose to be happy most of the time and though there are always plenty of assholes around every day that may detract from it (especially this time of year for some reason), we both think the choice to be happy is worth the effort.

One of the biggies for me at the end of every year lately, besides the fact another year has seemingly flown by which means I am one year closer to not being able to hide things with make-up, is that we still haven’t figured out a way to become parents. And you know, tick-tock – every year that goes by where that doesn’t happen, the odds of it happening drop dramatically. I didn’t bring it up in my post the other day because there was plenty enough bitching in that post as it was and I do try to keep it to a minimum if possible, if only to prevent myself from cringe-worthy moments later on. But this time of year, which let’s be honest, is certainly aimed at/about/involving kids. So whatever kid thoughts residing in the back of my mind come skipping to front and center and remains lodged like a popcorn kernel in a tooth: annoying, painful and difficult to remove.

But something weird happened today I couldn’t help but notice. I was in the middle of running those endless pre-holiday errands, dealing with the crowds and lines and major traffic fuckery, and one of my favorite songs came on the radio. You know how even though you have a song on cd or mp3 or whatever but you still get excited when it randomly surprises you. As I was pulling out of the CVS parking lot, I actually found myself singing in the truck, one of my favorite pastimes but one I can’t remember the last time I did it.

That simple little act, on a lovely cold cloudy day a few days before Christmas driving around the town I love, was enough to make something click. It wasn’t an earth-shattering epiphany, but I have the feeling it was significant even if that only means that was the moment I snapped out of a funk I was barely aware I was in. The song is beside the point but it’s Wasting My Time by Default if that matters at all. Which it kind of might because the song was out during the worst period of time of my life yet it made me happy even then. Maybe that’s what started it – thinking of how thankful I am it’s not Christmas 2001 when for the first and only time in our fifteen years together, Brian spent the holiday with someone else and I spent the day doing anything I could to avoid being conscious. Yes, that’s one holiday season I can safely say I never get nostalgic for, and man it’s nice nine years have passed since that hideous time.

So, yeah. Whatever the catalyst, I’m happy to be happy right now. There are people who have more than me; people who don’t know what it’s like to have financial worries, women whose lives are complete because they are mothers, ones whose air-dryed, productless hair hangs long and straight and glossy. There are also people – people I personally know even – who are dealing with things like breast cancer and the recent sudden death of a beloved spouse. It’s always been and will always be this way; I’m fully aware of that. Measuring your fortune against those of others isn’t a productive exercise though, and I really try to avoid that – it changes absolutely nothing about my life.

But I want to be happy. And it’s something I actually have some control over and I’m going to do my best to keep on striving to reach for no matter what. Which makes me even happier.

October’s Over & All I Got Was This Silly T-shirt October 31, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Life.
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I don’t think it’s a secret (or hell, maybe it is but I’m about to spill it) that October has long been my favorite month of the year. Even as a kid, I appreciated anticipation usually more than the event itself, so Halloween, the kick-off to all the major holidays, was and remains my favorite holiday. I got married in October. Here and also in Florida, it’s when the weather finally lets us breathe a sigh of relief for the first time in months for more than one consecutive day in a row. Football and festivals and all things Fall are in full swing and it’s this more than any other time of year I’m happy to be alive. So the fact I’m sitting here, drinking coffee on my porch in a hoodie enjoying the cool air and the ever-changing leaves on the LAST DAY OF THIS MONTH, is hard for me to believe. October is over for another year and I barely had time to realize it as it was happening.

This month has been a roller coaster of amazing highs and really shitty lows.

One of my good friends from Florida came up to visit the first weekend of this month and we spent a fun-filled day in one of our favorite cites, Savannah. We ate lunch at Paula Deen’s, a longtime goal of mine, walked around the riverfront and the historic district and ended the day with a fun ghost tour. Sunday morning as we were drinking coffee and deciding where to eat breakfast before she got back on the road for home, we got a devastating phone call from Brian’s dad telling us our sister-in-law had been killed the night before in a car accident. Needless to say, Annette left shortly thereafter while we sat here in shock.

The accident – it still doesn’t seem possible. Bruce, Brian’s brother, had been out of town in San Diego on business. She had planned to spend the night with friends and the kids, ages five and ten, were with a good friend of theirs. For reasons no one will ever know, Toni decided in the middle of the night she wanted to go home. Without waking the friends, she got up and left, headed the thirty miles back home. From what we’ve been able to figure out, on a dark country road near a church, she ran through a stop sign and went airborn over an embankment and into a deep ditch. The airbags deployed, and she climbed out of the wrecked SUV. She called her husband and started explaining to him what had happened, saying her leg hurt and sounding – understandably – disoriented. While they were still talking, she somehow climbed up the embankment and wandered into the road and was hit by a car. Actually they now think more than one car hit her. The phone call obviously went dead and he started calling their friends, telling them to go look for her, one of her best friends found her and from there the usual chaos ensued – the shock that carries you through all the family and friends and arrangements that have to be made when someone dies unexpectedly.

They live near Myrtle Beach, about two hours from here, so for the next few days we were back and forth a few times and everything was a nightmarish blur. Like I said, here it is almost a month later and I’m still having a hard time reconciling all of it. As with all young, tragic deaths, the big unanswered question is why, though it’s not a question I ever expect to be answered.

Two weeks after that, on the complete other end of the spectrum, I went to New York for an idyllic weekend with my favorite cousin and his family. He’d invited me up not long before that because he knows me so well and knows how I feel about Fall and wanted me to experience it the right way, Northeast style. We ate, we laughed until we almost threw up (really – you should check out the stand-up of Louis CK sometime), we went to an apple orchard and picked apples and pumpkins and I drank the best cup of apple juice I’d ever had. In a word, it was perfect. Scott is one of those people who after I’m around for a little while, I feel like I’ve gained perspective back and just feel good about life in general. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Also during that weekend, I talked to my sister for the first time in a very long time and she offered me what is turning out to be a dream job. Well, second job. Okay third job, if you count the foreclosure work. She’s a court reporter and her office always needs proof readers. Knowing one of my dreams in life is to get paid for reading, she asked if I’d be interested and I told her yes, very. So that has started and although I’ve barely dipped my big toe in, I love it so far and think it’s going to be an amazing way to bring in more income, which in this house is always more than welcome.

Somewhere in between all that, the truck’s radiator decided it no longer wanted to have anything to do with us and decided to spring a steaming, hairy leak one day during my lunch hour when I’d decided on the spur of the moment to visit a Target all the way across town. It took over two hours for me to travel the twenty-five miles back home, but I managed to do it without blowing the engine up and the next day replaced it for the bargain price of one truck payment. Which, if you appreciate irony as much as I do, you’ll laugh when I say we’d just paid the damn thing off a couple of weeks prior. So to recap: paid off car in June then immediately had to put a new clutch in it, paid off truck and then boom! New radiator. I have to laugh because the alternative is scary.

So that was how I spent my favorite month. When all I’d planned to do was to take walks where I didn’t sweat anymore.

Insomna-blog September 11, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Life, Marriage, Music, The Man, World.
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I feel simultaneously amazed it’s already been nine years since September 2001 and also like it just happened. I guess that’s a fairly common thing. And selfishly, this anniversary always brings about other, more selfish feelings of unpleasantness, as it was September 12, 2001 the day I found out about Brian and the other woman. Last night during a bout of morbidness, I was thinking about whether or not Brian ever thinks about her (he’s human, so the answer to that would be yes) and when he does, what does he think about now about that whole thing. I still sometimes talk to the guy I passed my time with during our separation, but at this point there are no romantic feelings left, probably because I was never in love with him to begin with. It says a lot about Brian’s character that he’s aware of this and doesn’t seem bothered by it…although I’m sure it’s probably not his favorite either.

One of my friends said, But how would you feel if Brian still talked to HER? Well, okay – and this sounds like a lame justification but it’s different. He had a brief but intense relationship with her, whereas mine was more of a friendship that turned into something physical and that was mostly to help my damaged ego at the time. I never once considered ending my marriage to be with the other guy (I’ve had The Other Guy by the Little River Band in my head all week – coincidence, I think not), whereas Brian seriously entertained thoughts like that about her. Shudder.

The Redneck Couple friends of ours finally made it official with a divorce a few weeks ago (everyone who knows them is very relieved) and we were talking about it the other day. Once you bring lawyers into it and have the actual papers drawn up; well, that’s about as final as you can get. For months Nick tried his hardest to convince Sheri he’d change – stop drinking and smoking (tobacco and other substances), cajoled, threatened, plead his case to her mom and in a final stab of desperation got her name tattoo’d on his NECK. Sheri’s brother had the best comment about that: “Well THERE’S a perfect way to save a troubled marriage.” While Brian and I had some serious arguments and hurt feelings and crying marathons, we agreed the other day neither one of us ever came close to calling a lawyer. As messed up as everything was, I guess we both kind of knew if we rode it out for awhile we’d end up back together. Obviously that’s what happened, so in retrospect thank God.

It’s amazing the things you can remain intact through.

Today, nine years later, I can honestly say I would never have been able to picture back then. He’ll be waking up soon, singing and getting his freshly washed Gamecocks jersey on. Friends of his will be coming over this afternoon to watch the game with him and it’ll be his typical fun Saturday in Fall. I will be heading out later to drive a mere half mile to go see Kid Rock, who’s unbelievably playing a concert for the troops stationed here at Fort Jackson. So my day is going to be rather fun as well. It’s funny – my first ever blog post (on MYSPACE, my God) was about a Kid concert I’d just seen. I think that had been the fourth time I’d seen him and this is the eighth. Hi, I’m a well-adjusted super mature adult.

Those old scars will never fully heal, but maybe they’re not supposed to. If they serve to just remind me how grateful I am that we survived something like that, well good.

Wild Man Tamed & I Take the Blame September 9, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Dreams, Life, Marriage, Work.
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Has anyone seen that new show on the History Channel called Swamp People? I know, the name is a little off-putting. But as someone who will now apparently watch reality shows about ANY type of job whatsoever (I blame Deadliest Catch for this), I have to say it’s pretty entertaining – who wouldn’t enjoy watching some grizzled Cajuns hunt alligators in the Lousinana swamp? Last night we saw I think what was the second episode, and it brought up a discussion that’s been held several (hundred) times in our house: Brian’s career choices.

When I met him he was a 23-year-old long-hair working with a crew that applied stucco to newly built homes. Kinda like drywall but for the exterior and it’s bumpier. He’d been at it for several years by that time and was doing well enough that he’d been out from under his parents’ rule and assistance for about five years. He told me then: I’m not the type of person who will ever be able to work in an office, sitting at a desk. Sure, fine, whatever – you have long hair and you love to read; what do I care about your job.

After a couple more years of it though, he was burnt out, so it was decided he’d go to school. Golf course maintenance was the most logical choice, as my dad, who was was a teaching pro, had talked it up as a great career for someone who likes working outside but also someone he would like to help support his daughter.

Halfway through school Brian realized studying plants, flowers, trees and chemicals was more interesting than simply turfgrass, so he switched his major to landscape. I think it was a good choice for him, as he’s been pretty satisfied with it over the years and has continued his education with it, aquiring certifications and things like that. He seems, from what I can tell, to be pretty happy in his current job.

There was one little hiatus though, for about a year when he went way way down to South Florida (far away from me) and worked as a commerical fisherman. And this is the job that he loved more than anything he’s ever done, before or since. The only reason he’s not doing it still is because I flat refused to move down there – my goal had always been to come back HERE, not go farther south. If you’ve ever been to Fort Myer’s you’d understand what I’m talking about. And because he was gone long periods of time, it wasn’t sustainable for more than the year or so he did it. I’d been happy to support him in the endeavor because I knew how happy he was, but after awhile it had to stop.

GUILT. To this day every time we’re watching one of those stupid shows or something about fishing comes up in real life, I feel horrible. I know and appreciate how rare it is to work at a job you truly love. I’ve been gone from the one I loved for three years now and still miss it every day, so I can relate. And no, there aren’t any opportunities for him to fish (for a living) where we live now – we’re two hours from the ocean and freshwater fishing doesn’t provide any financial gain (unless you’re one of those amazing bass guys who do nothing but enter and win tournaments but that’s kind of like being a professinal bowler – there aren’t too many who can make that work).

I know he likes being home with me every night; the separation had started to get to him toward the end of that time as well. He likes my cooking and his Fox News and daily football stats and the PlayStation. But I also know for certain part of him that wishes he could go out into the wilderness for months at a time and shoot and skin whatever he’d eat for dinner that night. It runs all up and down and through his dad’s side of the family and some of them do devote a lot of their free time to hunting and fishing and sleeping in tents. Of course for them it’s a hobby and not a career, which helps.

I don’t know; there’s not really any solution to it. Besides wanting a family, I’d say this ranks up there pretty high on the list of Life’s Disappointments. Which I realize is obviously part of life, blah blah. But I still wish there was a way I could figure out how to make some of these things attainable for us. Most of us have to work but I wish more of us could love it as much as those lucky few do.