Did I Die?

If you’re reading this, you should probably be able to guess that I have not, in fact, died.

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured ...

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured in dance: an early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So your next question may be “What the heck are you up to, if you’re not posting here?”

That’s a valid question.

It’s been a rough year, and I won’t share details about all of it, but here goes:

I’ve been trying to focus on my marriage.  We’ve had some problems that take time to work out.   One of the problems is that I’m traveling for work at least monthly.  That sounds like staying in a hotel with nothing to do would be great for writing, but it never seems to work out that way.   There’s always something going on.

One of the solutions for that–in relation to my marriage–is that we are going on weekly date nights.  Every Friday, the boy watches his sisters and the wife and I go out.  We usually have a dance lesson, followed by dinner and some activity, which has meant actual dancing in actual bars on actual dance floors with actual bands playing live music.  It’s fun, but it sidesteps frugality completely.  The dancing lessons run $95 each.  Most nights, there’s a $5 cover at the bar where we dance, and dinner is somewhere between $50 and $100, depending on the restaurant and drinks.  So, we’re dropping $150-200 per week on dates.

Totally worth it.

The date nights have also spun off into a new venture.  Dating & Dining (click the link!) is the site where we document and review our dates.  We’re not reviewing our date, because that would be weird.  “Honey, you rocked my world when we got home, bu you were kinda crabby tonight.  I’m only going to give you 3 stars.”

No.

We are reviewing the restaurants and activities we’re doing, using the traditional “Pants Off” rating system.  A really good restaurant will knock our pants off, sometimes literally.

That’s more writing and a lot of time gone.

On top of that, Linda has gotten both her motorcycle license and her carry permit, so there’s riding and shooting(never together!) to fill in the time.

And kids.  Kids–much like our dog, but totally unlike our pythons–want attention.   And food.  And games.  And a freaking overpriced American Girl Doll.  And time.  So we play games and bring out the Daddy/Daughter date.

In short, since we got our finances in order, I’ve been trying to draw back from being an obsessive workaholic and focus on the reason I became one in the first place: my family.

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Focusing on the Now

Delorean DMC-12

Delorean DMC-12 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My company uses a service called KnowYourCompany, that sends three emails each week to the entire staff.   Each email asks a question that the staff can either respond to publicly, or just to the company leadership team.

The questions follow a formula.

On Monday, we get an email asking what we are working on.  This allows us to see what everyone is doing, and in theory, makes offering your skills easier to do because you can see what you might be able to help with.

On Wednesday, the question is something about the company or our interaction with the company.  One week this question was as simple as “Are there any company policies that aren’t completely clear?”

On Friday, the question is more personal.  It’s a getting-to-know-each-other question.  Last Friday’s question was “What’s something you want to do in the next year that you’ve never done before?”

I found that I don’t have an answer.

Right now, I don’t have any long-term goals.  Recently, my personal life has been complicated enough that the idea of planning for later this year–much less the next 5 or 10 years–is more than I can deal with.

My side hustle goals are focused entirely on what needs to happen in the next week.  Work goals are only a month out.    My personal goals involve making it through the next few days without letting anything collapse.

Sometimes, life kicks you in the crotch so hard, you have to let the future worry about itself while you focus on what’s happening right now.  Without a functional present, the future doesn’t matter.  You have to focus on the Now first, or everything else evaporates.

It’s not a great situation, but it is an interesting perspective.  I’ve spent so much of the last decade focusing on what comes next that what’s happening right now has suffered.

Focus on Now.  Sometimes, What’s Next can take care of itself for a while.

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