Life in the balance

Brookline 3-11-2018_011

I am trying to be proactive and carve out some time for me each week. Mainly to get out for a hike, but occasionally to get to my worktable in the dinigroom turned studio. I tend to lean towards outdoor, camera time since it covers getting some exercise too. This morning I took a trek down to the stream. The recent rain, snow and runoff, plus the beaver dams have the water moving right along. This was the only bit of ice on display, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen one quite like it. It’s a good reminder for me that sometimes things just occur, that I don’t know how things will turn out, and that I can only be so prepared for them.




People rarely consider good change to be any reason to grieve. Grief has been assigned a gloomy spot to reside where it is only associated with negativity and loss. Yet, to leave behind a place, person, job etc all mean a loss of what was even while moving forward.   I guess that is why there is the word “bittersweet”.

I urge you to check out the blog link below and see the list Chris has of losses, it lists a sample of 47 types of losses. They aren’t all what you’d think.




A few weeks back I wrote about a job opening I was looking into. One that would be a big life shift. I applied and waited, and waited, and did calculations, and mulled and waited some more. I considered the work-life balance of the current job vs the potential of having benefits at the other. I mocked up a variety of pay scenarios, and time spent at work vs where I am at. Days passed, then a week, then another. A co worker had a family member die unexpectedly and went on bereavement leave, the boss was deep in contentious budget negotiations and it was a Saturday afternoon when I got the call for an interview. The following Tuesday between 1 and 3. I had pretty much figured the job was to be filled by a long term sub to finish the year, and had mentally moved on. And when I got the time frame, I verbally did. I explained that I would be at work covering shifts as we were understaffed at the moment, that I was sure they had good applicants and thank you for the phone call. There was some dead air on the other end of the line, then a “give us a call if you take the time off and can come in.” Monday being a holiday I was unsure how that would be possible. Plus it gave me pause, what sort of person would I be to call in knowing people were counting on me to show up for a day of work. What sort of employee would they be looking for if that was how I made it to the interview? It made me uncomfortable though.

Did I make the right choice in passing on this opportunity? Impossible to really know. I do know a M-F job would have meant finding companionship for Joe, as leaving him home 5 full days a week would be most unkind and make for a very lonely stretch for him. I now only have 2 full days and can spend the bulk of the others getting him out and about doing stuff, going places and socializing. He gets out to lunch with friends and to karate and the gym. So I traded maybe $400 or so a month in extra income for free time to use as I want. It feels like the right choice for how our lives are, and that is what the decision was ultimately about.



I am feeling slight vibrations beneath my feet.

A job hunting friend casually mentioned that she had heard the local middle school library was going to have an assistant position posted soon. My ears pricked up and I inquired further. A Monday – Friday, 30 hours a week position which offers benefits. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a great job for which I am perfectly suited, good pay, work 3-4 days a week and have a great group of co-workers. What that job doesn’t have is benefits.

The vibrations continue as I hear that the boss is a good boss. I have decided to go for it and submit my resume as soon as the job is posted and see where it leads. Having benefits will save us somewhere around $600/mo, which is huge. Of course, as all change does, it will require upheaval from all that is now familiar, and learning a new system and space. And yet, and yet…it feels like a good thing to shoot for. There are of course things that will have to be considered. But I am putting myself is the frame of mind that the job is mine for the taking, inviting in the abundance and flow of good vibes.


Picturing it


I have been doing well with my self imposed 200 images per month goal. I struggled the first few months of the year with weather and commitments that fell to me to handle. If I don’t get out and use my camera regularly, I find that my “eye” loses some of the skill I rely on. Once upon a time I would get 750 images a month, out several days a week, but now is now and 200 is what I can reach. Change is hard, it forces you to make best use of what is available in the moment.



It took me almost 2 years, but today was the day that the boxes got packed. In hindsight I should have dealt with the items back in the fall of 2015, or any of the following months. But hope kept me from tackling the task. Now, after nearly 30 years of “Protecting and Serving” I have capitulated and packed up all my husband’s work and military uniforms for passing on. It has not been easy to come to this point for either of us, but work will not be something he is able to return to. And for anyone who has had a career identity that was a lifestyle, you know how hard it is to make the change. For someone who has a brain injury it is even tougher, as part of your mind still feels you can do the job, even as you know you can’t. Trying to adjust to this new life we have has been a varying challenge, but there you have it- life does that and the options are, stay locked in place or continue to move forward in a new direction. Accepting uncertainty, and going off script has never been easy for me, so this is a whole new terrain to navigate and one we both often resent having to navigate. It has brought restrictions to both our lives that we didn’t expect. It has also brought time to spend together that was missing when duty called. Light-dark. up-down, yin-yang all part of our new season.