The daily prompt for today asks me to define “Peace” on my own terms. Not something I was really prepared for, but a challenge is a challenge.
“Peace” is more than the absence of conflict. It is a way of seeing the world as well as ourselves. Peace has to start from within, it can’t be projected outward if it is absent internally.
Learning to love and accept love is what I consider the first step towards peace. It is like preparing a field for planting. Things have to be prepared in order for the desired results to occur. Like so many people, I learned how to give love, but not as much about how to accept it from someone else.
Once that happens, peace can begin to grow within us. It must be nurtured, because it is fragile and delicate. Peace can be incredibly strong, but only after years of struggle. It has to grow its own thick skin to survive and prosper.
Peace is something we demonstrate to others around us. Peace is something we strive to achieve. Peace is the goal that is worth sacrifice. Peace comes from within so we can share it with the world.
Today’s prompt asks the question about a point in my life when Fear made a decision I couldn’t make for myself, and what the impact of that is even until today.
When I was ready to graduate college with my BA, I seriously thought about going to Law School. It seemed like a natural progression to take with a degree in Political Science. The thing that held me back was fear of the future. I knew that only Dad’s death and the help from the VA had allowed me to go to college in the first place. Mom was doing her best, but I yearned for my own independence.
I knew that if I went to Law School, it would mean moving to another city in another state, with no guarantee that the VA would still help. I checked on several law schools and even in the 1980s the prices were obscene.
Fear convinced me that I had to move on without further education. The decision wasn’t hard because the fear already has me in its grip. I ended up in the Navy and made my way through several career bounces since before settling on the job I have had for the last fifteen years.
For the last fifteen years, I’ve worked as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for a software company with a major government client. I utilize my education and my background experience to demonstrate to the client how our products can improve their own data management processes, written procedures, and their overall data quality.
The job sounds both exciting and boring, and yes, there seems to be equal measures of both most of the time. I am constantly learning new systems and how we can integrate them into the infrastructure we have already constructed. This proves challenging because I can’t control how any external system creates and maintains its own data. The external company is solely responsible for those processes unless we can negotiate a written agreement on how to share data in formats which each separate system can process correctly.
There are times when I wish that I could try to market our products to other data producers, but that job is not in my career path. I exist in that nebulous world between client and software developers. I normally receive high praise from the client who sees what I can show with their data, while at the same time, the software developers in the same company i work for seem to view my inputs less favorably. I attribute this to the software developers mindset that they think they know best what everyone wants. They also seem to have forgotten to approach any data management system from a client point of view.
So, my job is interesting and often full of surprises. I wouldn’t still be doing it after fifteen years if I hated it, but there are some days that are worse than others, as with any job.
The daily prompt I came across today is “How can I improve myself?” Obviously, the first thing is to recover as much strength as possible and get into better overall shape. This is a goal that I’ve ignored for too long. The damage is done and all I can do is slow down further deterioration.
I also want to rededicate myself to my guitar journey. Same reasons as above, I’ve let things slide for too long.
As I prepare to start Tuesday here at home, there are several things that I want to take care of. First of all, I want to walk this morning for exercise. I’m going to try and get back into shape as safely as possible. I’m going to browse for some new comfortable walking shoes later today. I don’t have a lot to spend, but I do want to take care of my feet.
I am not working today because I’m fighting the system to get approval for short-term disability. If I go back to work now, I’ll look be surrendering my chances to qualify for short-term disability unless I am hospitalized again. I definitely don’t want that. Therefore, I’m not returning to work this week as I go through o all of my follow-up medical appointments. I’ll submit all the paperwork after those visits and hope for the best.
I don’t miss work yet. I’m not sure when I will, honestly. I just know that I do need time to recover from all that I’ve gone through recently. I also know that work stress doesn’t help at all.
I decided against shopping for shoes today because that would violate my deliberate plan to avoid crowds of people. I can always order some shoes online and return them if they don’t work out for me. I just want some comfortable hiking shoes so I can start exercising again.
One last thing that is sort of related involves our new method for getting groceries. Placing an order and then picking things up curbside at the store is working out better than planned because it makes us plan more deliberately for what we need rather than just run into the store without a clue. Definitely a win for us.
Nothing has changed since I wrote that entry, at least as far as the relationship is concerned. I’ve been in the hospital, gravely I’ll with pneumonia, but I never reached out to my extended “family” because I still don’t trust them at all. We’re simply hard-wired to not get along and I still accept that without remorse or guilt on my part.
We’ll live our lives as strangers because what has been this broken isn’t worth trying to rebuild. I’m extremely happy with my life and I wish them nothing but the best. We will just not cross paths ever again.
I was awake again this morning and Jax The Cat decided to show up and keep me company. He settled down between my knees, and as I started typing on this blog post, he started purring and talking to me.
I wonder how pets feel about their parents, but seems like Jax is very happy with things as they are. I wish there was more of this unconditional love in the world.
I took a break from writing to enjoy being out of the hospital yesterday. It had been nearly two weeks since I slept in my own bed and it felt wonderful. The last pneumonia attack seems to be a thing of the past now, and I don’t want to go through that again anytime soon.
The Stooges greeted me at the front door early Saturday afternoon as I arrived home. I was overjoyed to see them again and I nearly cried as they all crowded around me to make me feel welcome, at least until they figured out that I had not brought any food with me.
Sunday was a day to learn to be at home again and not being regimented and medicated at the hospital. I have plenty of meds to take, but not on the rigid schedule that the hospital maintained. I hated being woken to take a few pills, or to have my vital signs monitored in the middle of the night. I slept like a rock Saturday night and awake feeling like a million dollars on Sunday.
I am off work as I recover and try to get Short Term Disability coverage to kick in for this episode. I am in no rush to go back to work at this time, I need to take time for myself and recover as much as I can. If I am off work for the remainder of this year, it will suit me just fine.
I am trying to get in touch with the HR Director for our company but he is in California and I am on the East Coast, so the time difference is an issuel. I left a message for him to call me when he has the time so I can get as much of the paperwork completed as possible today.
Once I have completed that task, I will rest for the remainder of today and this evening. We bought groceries over the weekend, using the curbside delivery option. I have no desire to be around crowds again right now since I am in a weakened condition. I also hate dragging an O2 tank with me through the store because it makes me very self-conscious. That is something that I will have to learn to deal with in the future, but for now I think it is best to avoid crowds during a pandemic. I did drive Hal to Target yesterday, but I waited at the car while he did his shopping. That will be how I roll for the foreseeable future.
Just wanted to get back to writing today. It feels great to no longer be typing on my iPhone, instead I am back to the MacBook. I will try to get another blog post done tomorrow.
PS – Thanks for the well wishes when I was in the hospital, they meant the world to me.