Overcomers Journey – When Fear Made My Choice For Me-11 NOV 2020

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.


Thankfully, a lesson I learned from my parents was to avoid looking back at things that already happened. It saved me from second-guessing about what might have been.

I recognize that I am who I am because of the choices I’ve made. The best option is to be as happy as possible with the results of those choices.

Destination Journey -My Job -11 NOV 2020

The daily prompt is about my career.

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.

Tuesday update

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.

Virtual Happy Hour

Yesterday I experienced a new phenomenon that is a direct result of social distancing. The company I work for decided to hold a Virtual Happy Hour at the end of the workweek. At first I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out, but everyone actually had a very good time.

The rules were very simple. All the participants had to show what we were drinking, and either describe it or show the bottle. At first we proposed a series of toasts to set the mood and get everyone relaxed,and within a few minutes it was almost like we were out at a neighborhood pub together.

The software we used was MS Teams, because of the recent issues with Zoom, our company is moving away from Zoom rather quickly. The experience was interesting and different, but apparently this is the new “normal” that we will be dealing with for a long time to come.

Dreamer’s World July 08, 2018 – Enjoying The G.I.F.T.

    Sunday is here. I am still taking the antibiotics for tonsillitis, and my throat feels closer to normal this morning. I just dropped Hal off at work, and now I am back home deciding what to do with the rest of the day, other than taking care of laundry and getting back into the daily writing routine. I am probably taking another day off work tomorrow to make sure that I feel 100% before I go back. Even though I work from home, I don’t need to spend lots of time talking on the phone until my throat is completely healed.
    I was thinking back to last week, other than feeling like shit, and I found something interesting had happened. I wasn’t trying to stay online or write all the time because I wanted to have a real vacation. Even after tonsillitis kicked in, I found that I was simply finding other things to do with my time. I thought of this time away as a gift I had received. That started my mind wondering about things like that, and I realized that I could write an anagram of sorts to describe it.
    G.I.F.T. Stands for Gaining Independence From Technology. This was what I was experiencing through last week. I was spending more time with Hal since I wasn’t at work, and I felt such a sense of peace and calm, even as tonsillitis started wrecking plans that we had. Although I didn’t get any time in with guitar practice, I didn’t feel any sense of guilt about it. The time for just being quiet and living was wonderful. The only way it could have been better would have been NOT to have tonsillitis.
    I have written in the past about breaking away from the tyranny of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. I knew at the time that I was going to be better off as a result, and last week proved it. I wasn’t constantly checking online to see whatever mindless garbage I was missing out on. My news intake has decreased dramatically, but I feel much more informed because I am no longer living within the echo chamber. Looking back, this was a gradual process that has produced positive results for me in my life.
    I wish that I could win the lottery, or break the bank at a casino. Then I could totally divorce myself from the daily rat race that requires me to work and make money that others instantly demand in return. It is a nice dream to have, but I cannot let the seduction lessen my focus on the here and how. I will just enjoy the peace and quiet that I have been basking in and hope that I continue to feel better.

Dreamer’s World July 07, 2018 – Back On My Feet (Almost)

    My week off has been interesting, to say the least. I had a really bad sore throat that I couldn’t shake. I gargled with salt water, and it only gave me temporary relief. After the second day, I realized that there was something really wrong, so I scheduled a visit with my doctor, but that had to wait until Friday of my week off. Therefore, I remained miserable for the week that was my vacation.
    When I got to the doctor on Friday morning, tests quickly confirmed that I did not have strep, but that I did have viral tonsillitis. What a way to spend my vacation! The doctor told me sine it was viral in nature that the old remedy of removing the tonsils wasn’t an option. Therefore, I had to start taking antibiotics yesterday, and they are working. My throat feels much better, although my overall mood remains down because of the wasted time. I am coughing more now than I did for the last several days, and this is because my throat is no longer as sore. I hope that this is also clearing out the crap from my throat.
Plans to do things with Hal had to be canceled due to my illness, but Hal didn’t mind. He helped me through the days when I was in agony, and I love him for caring like that. Hal has had to work both weekends sandwiched around my time off, so right now he is at work, and I will pick him up later this afternoon. I am grateful that my illness didn’t prevent me from driving because that would have adversely affected him since he cannot drive due to his vision. We did go out a few times because I simply refused to stay cooped up during my time off work. Because the antibiotics worked so quickly, I am going to get something for lunch while Hal is at work.
    I will see about going back to work on Monday morning. I have already contacted my supervisor and let her know the situation as of Friday, and everything depends on how well I feel on Monday morning. I suspect that if my throat isn’t sore and I can talk on the phone, that I will just go ahead and work since I work from home anyway. Obvuiously, feeling like shit cost me several days of guitar practice. I will have to get back into the routine again soon so I can continue to improve.
    I hope that the next time I schedule a week off that nothing like this happens again.

Dreamer’s World June 26, 2018 -Where Have The Years Gone?

    I got word from family yesterday that my cousin came through her surgery with flying colors. She will know the results of the biopsy in a few days, and, at the tender young age of 87, she will stay in the hospital for about a week before going home. I hope that there is good news when the lab results come back, but I am a realist, and I know that cancer attacks people who have never been in high-risk groups such as my cousin. It is an evil and indiscriminate killer.
    Thinking about my cousin having surgery days after turning 87 has me thinking about where time goes once we experience it? I can clearly see in my mind the visits to her when I was a child. She is 33 years older than I am, this is the result of being the offspring of the youngest of my Dad’s clan of 11 kids. It seems that an entire generation skipped when it comes to my cousins. All of them are much older than I am.
    I remember getting to know her, and she was already an adult, teaching at an elementary school. We were never close like most cousins due to the age differential, but we shared a bond because Mom and Dad had helped to raise her in the years long before I was born. In fact, Mom and Dad helped her to attend college at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and get a start on her own life. Therefore, she has always seen me as special because of the kindness that my parents showed to her when she was a little girl and a young woman.
    When my Dad died in 1981, she was there to comfort me, but I could see that she was just as upset as I was. We ended up comforting each other. When Mom died in 2001, she was there once again. She feels like a much closer relative than just a cousin who is 33 years older than I am.
    She has her own children and grandchildren now, and they are all wonderful people who care about her more than I can because they are much closer. It doesn’t diminish the bond that we share. My life took me away from western Kentucky many years ago, and I have done well for myself. I still think about her on a regular basis, and she was so relieved when I called her on her birthday.
    I am relieved that the surgery was successful. I will be waiting to hear from her kids about how things turn out and when she might be going home from the hospital. If she indicates that she wants to see me, I will take time off and travel to visit her, but I don’t want to be a burden on her or her family. Her children are all older than I am, and it has been many years since we last saw each other. This is the generational gap that I mentioned before on full display.
    Cancer is a killer, Time is ruthless. Each will have its way, and there isn’t much we can do to change either of them. I will keep her in my thoughts and get on with my life and hope that I will be as well-remembered when I reach the age of 87.

Dreamer’s World June 25, 2018 – Contrasting Emotions

    I start this week with contrasting emotions. Part of me is anxious as my cousin goes in for surgery to remove a malignant tumor. She is 87 years young, and when I spoke to her, she said that she is resigned to whatever the results turn out to be. She said that she will not have additional surgery even if that is what the doctors want. I understand her decision, and I respect it, but I know that things will run their course whether I worry about them or not. Knowing that she is at peace with her own decision makes things easier. She goes in for surgery this afternoon, and I should hear something by this evening about her recovery from the procedure.
    At the same time, I am looking forward to the end of this week because next week I am taking a stay-cation with Hal and The Stooges. I need the time away from work to clear my head and recharge my inner battery. I have not made any definite plans for that time, I certainly have a trip to see my cousin in the back of my mind, but the cost of such a trip is outrageous because there is no major airport within an easy driving distance. It is stunning how much having to fly to a smaller airport changes the cost of a trip, and even then I would have to rent a car and travel close to 100 miles just to get to her.
    Therefore, I will only think of things to do that are close to home for my time away from work. Unfortunately, Hal’s schedule will not change during the time that I am taking off from work. Hal has his priorities, and I have mine. Eventually, we will manage to take a long vacation together. I will be very excited when that finally happens.