Does This Devil on My Back Make Me Look Fat?

“…resulting in the elimination of your position…”  These words, echoing in my head, cutting through the fog of confusion and what-the-fuckery. “…the difficult decision to terminate your employment…”

This week I got notice of some layoffs at the company where I’ve worked for the last 13 years. More specifically, my position has been eliminated. I’m being laid off. Shock, sadness, fear – all the usual emotions one feels at times like this, yeah – check.

I’m not angry, though. I get that it’s a business decision, and I’ve been around long enough to see this a number of times. Sometimes I was even the one on the other end of the call, delivering the bad news to one of my team members. It’s no fun for anyone, but such is the nature of at-will employment. This time, I was just one of the unlucky ones.

No grudges against my company – I maintain it’s been the greatest place to work, and I believe in their vision. I chose to work there, I believe I did good work for them, and they compensated me well during my employment. I was a grateful employee during my entire run with them – I will remain grateful for the experience.

But man, it was a crappy way to start the day – and it got worse.  Continue reading

Today I Became An Old Man

Where have I been, you ask?

Yeah, I know it’s been over a year since my last post. As for the reason I’ve been away… well, you could call it a calculated absence; or you could call it lost in depression; or you could call it self-prescribed recovery time from an ended relationship; or you could call it a mid-life crisis… any of these would probably be correct.

But that’s not what I want to write about today. There may come a time when I write about what’s kept me away, but today I need to write about something else.

Today I became an old man.
Continue reading

If There Are No Coincidences, What Do You Call It?

All right, full disclosure: this wasn’t the post I’d planned.

I had planned on writing a post on an entirely different subject. It was going to be insightful, thought-provoking, perhaps a bit controversial, given the subject matter… it was going to be something you’d remember.

But this isn’t that post.

Why? Because I’m a lazy ass.

Well, two reasons: One, because I’m a lazy ass. And two, because I just got one of those “whoa” moments. Read On

The Middle Finger

So my last post was on my birthday, and I wrote about gifts and sharing good things and all sorts of warm, fuzzy stuff.

The girl at the Carl’s Jr. counter was also celebrating a birthday on July 8th. She gave me the number associated with my new age; she didn’t notice I was displaying alternative burger chain loyalty in my choice of hats…

Yeah – here’s what happened after I posted that: Read About the Trauma

Delivery Squid

freckle-cheeked and
blue-eyed girl,
pencil in hand,
and paper
a blank canvas
to convey images
unique to her,
ideas as strange and
beautiful
as all those born of
eight-year-olds
whose minds are not bound
by the limits of reality
but instead exist in a
universe
where birds carry umbrellas
and flowers are
as large as trees. Read On

A Thanksgiving Story

Today is the first Thanksgiving I have ever spent alone. In all of my forty-something years, I have never found myself on the fourth Thursday in November with no family nearby with whom to share the holiday. I knew this would be the case, so it’s not a sudden revelation. But while a month ago I was fine with it and felt no sense of sadness (or self-pity) at the idea of being alone on Thanksgiving, I must admit the last few days I’ve felt a change.

It’s probably because every time someone asked me, “What are you doing for the holiday?”, I found myself without an answer. I’ve always had an answer to that question. I’ve always said, “getting together with family”, regardless of the venue or the attendees. I also usually got to brag about my mom’s fabulous made-from-scratch pumpkin and pecan pies that were fixtures of the holiday. But this year those pies are 1000 miles away, as is my family. And since my own kids are with their mom today, I am alone.

My mom’s pumpkin pie is better than this. Though there’s usually more whipped cream.

Or, put differently – I am free. I know I create my experience of life, so I realize I can choose to create today as a day of “loneliness”, or I can choose to create it as a day of “freedom”. It really all depends on how I look at it. Sometimes, though, I need to look really hard at something before I can see it differently.

Here is a true story of something I experienced once upon a time. Nothing has been changed in this story – not even the names. It happened exactly as I describe it here. It was the first time I was shown how God often finds unique and surprising ways to speak to me. And the message I got on this particular night was: gratitude can be found anywhere.

One night, several years ago, as I was trying to get to sleep, a dog started barking. Read On