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I chose an interesting path

A rope hung across a great crevasse
The sign read “Caution! No way back.
This path is treacherous.
Not for the weak of heart.”

I naively and boldly ventured onto the rope
The path behind me violently closed
I looked down into the ravine
I grew weak and shaky in the knees

Looking forward I found my balance
I was okay with my life’s new purpose
Put one foot forward and stay on the rope
I picked a path that was no joke

When I look too long behind me
The rope becomes extra shaky
When I look forward to the end
The rope initially stabilizes but shakes again

When I look down at my feet
I see my troubles down below and freeze
I think I can be on this rope no more
I become dizzy and fear a fall

But when I know where I am
And look not behind or down or too far ahead
I glance only slightly presently forward
Knowing it is safe to take that step and more

A calm washes over me
Now I walk steadily
And see the beauty all around
Despite the rope which rocks beneath my feet

From this vantage I see things others will never imagine
Adventures never shared
People would not believe if I dared
Tell the tales that I have known

Amazing sights I’ve seen upon this focused path
Walking dangerously over the crevasse
I’ve grown so much stronger day by day
So much I look forward to the steps I’ll make today

Yet sometimes I wish I could turn back
The start is so far behind me
And I cannot see the end ahead
Sometimes I grow weak and weary

And the rope begins to sway
I gamble a glance toward my feet
And note the tightrope has begun to fray
Will I find my end much sooner as the rope breaks away?

Sometimes the ground quakes and ripples the rope
Occasionally winged creatures try to knock me down
Some days the wind blows hard
Others days bring cold and fog

I’ve stood drenched in rain
I’ve bled on the rope but hid the pain
Snow has turned to ice upon the rope
Every challenge trying to throw me to the depths below

Through luck and stubbornness I’ve survived
And think I’m beginning to see the other side
Could it be I am coming to the end of my path?
Could I be at the end of my rope at last?

What lies ahead on the other side?
Another path? A crossroads?
A sign that says, “Go back, it was lie.”?
Will the ground be solid under my feet?

Will there be people there for me to greet?
Will I lie down and forever sleep?
Or will I find yet another adventure?
What path will I choose?

If I find another rope hung across a great crevasse
With a cautionary sign saying “turn back!”
Will I stay upon solid ground
Or naively and boldly walk the treacherous path I’ve found?

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Jan 8

You know when it is freezing outside and you plan on waking early for a busy day but under the sheets are perfectly warm…and there is a dog on your feet. A dog on your feet! You aren’t going anywhere.

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Fugging Elle

When I was 8 years old my best friend and I stood in the woods near our homes and recited every curse word we knew. And I decided I didn’t want to talk that way. I made it one goddamned year. I have turned vulgarities into poetry. My mastery of the art can make a sailor cry. I know expletives that most people probably have never heard.
I did not make New Year’s resolutions but I did decide to clean up my mouth. I made it about 4 hours into 2022 before that fell to the wayside. Frankly, my life has too many frustrations to pretend that dirty words don’t exist and that four-letter-words are not entwined in my DNA.
Ah! Here’s an example. Need to email a file. Try to go to the web browser version of Outlook and it cannot be reached. Let’s sneakernet it to the work laptop. Put USB drive into Mac and copy file. Put USB into the work PC and nothing appears. Do my best Samuel L Jackson impersonation and the drive appears. Computers require cursing to function properly.
And thank you Internet! (gotta love the BBC)

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Jan 4, 2022 – Focused day

The basement office is freezing. I’ve put on a knit cap and a ski jacket. I have several projects that I desire to work on today including side work, scouts, winterizing the basement, etc. To think of them all is to accomplish none so today I have one task that is my sole focus. The others will follow.

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Jan 3, 2022 – Too many calendars

I have to keep up with my personal calendar, my children’s various school calendars, my son’s athletic calendar, my family calendar, three different Scouts BSA calendars, my work calendar, my dry erase calendar, my Hobonichi Techo calendar, a holiday calendar, my Google calendar, and probably a couple I’ve forgotten. Not all of these allow for importing via ICS or linking via a url. So the first Monday of each month, I check all calendars to make sure they are in sync for the month. I also give a look ahead to the next 3 months and a glance over the next year.
Each day before I go to sleep, I introspectively examine how the day went and update any journal notes then I look ahead to the following day to ensure I’m prepared, and I glance over the rest of the week.
Each Sunday, ala Stephen R Covey’s First Things First, I review my previous week, examine my seven roles, give consideration to Sharpen the Saw (mental, physical, spiritual, and social/emotional), and set my principle centered goals for the upcoming week.
I prefer my calendaring on paper. It doubles as a permanent journal and is easier to look up past events than in an electronic medium which could purge past events on some IT policy’s whim. Plus writing with fountain pens is such a pleasure. There are advantages to digital calendars so I tend to keep electronic and paper in sync.
My weeks begin on Monday and end on Sunday.

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January 2, 2022

It feels so odd to write 2022.

Current status of me:

• I’m on my last day of a two week, much needed, respite/vacation. Granted, the first week was shopping madness and cleaning and client work (side work). But I took a break from scouts and everything else for my own mental well-being.
• I accomplished almost none of my vacation goals. Maybe vacations should not have goals.
• I relaxed and connected deeply with my wife.
• I lamented the years lost to which I could have given more time and experiences to my children had I not been caught up in the machine. They are all adults now. Well, the youngest is within a year and a half of college and looks like a college student. He acts like an adult.
• I was glad that I had vacation time to commit a couple of days helping a friend clean up from his house that burned to the ground.
• I’m doing more in my life right now for my own betterment than I have in the past 10 or 20 years. I’m learning like a sponge that cannot absorb enough.
• I’m proud of my children.

What was 2021?

Too much to sum up in the few minutes I’m allotting for this post.
• COVID stress
• Continued attacks on our Democratic Republic primarily by the people who claim to be good patriots (very confusing). The constant stress of seeing these people conned by liars and conspiracy theorists adds to the knot in my stomach over the uncertainty of my children’s futures.
• I became a more focused on my mortality and the life goals I have and have not accomplished.
• Financial stress was extreme.
• A friend’s house burned down to the ground. They have to begin from scratch. It made me take a deep, introspective look at myself and question everything.
• My employer’s leadership team change and altered the department’s direction in a way that made me question what I want to do with the next 20 years of my life.
• I paddled on the 10,000 lakes on the border of Canada for 9 days in the Boundary Waters with 7 other people while pursued by a wildfire. I love being cut off from society for an extended period of time. I want a trip like this by myself.
• After 40 years of false starts and procrastination, I earned my Technician Class Amateur Radio license. I am KO4NFA. I bought a GMRS license after 2 decades of procrastination. I am WRMJ225. That’s Whiskey Romeo Mike Juliet 225. I’m not sure what the 225 is but it looks like Mike has come between Romeo and Juliet and Whiskey was involved.
• I had an incredible Christmas seeing my family come together.
• On December 24, I came down with symptoms that I was certain was COVID. After two negative home tests and one PCR test, I was diagnosed with a man cold.
• I came to the realization that age is just a number. Many of the people I’ve idolized weren’t much older than me. Many were in their 50s or 60s when I thought they were younger. While the body may present some limitations, it is the mind that holds us back or allows us forward.
• As COVID indiscriminately killed friends, family, and strangers, I became tone deaf, and stoic to the loses. I began checking people’s profiles to make sure they were alive before wishing them birthday greetings on Facebook.
• So much more.

What is ahead for 2022?

2022 promises to be a very busy year despite my efforts to under-commit.

• As a scoutmaster, I have 4 youth to achieve their Eagle rank. And a scout troop to grow the membership.
• Having worked in ColdFusion for 23 years, I have to change gears and become an expert in Microsoft Azure and PowerApps.
• I will take a contingent to the Rockies for a 12 days of backpacking.
• I must increase my earnings through investments, side gigs, or new employment; or sales of my belonging, or reduction of expenses.
• I want to make extreme progress on my neglected house. I want it to be a social spot.
• I want to take my family on vacations.
• I want to address any family health issues that we have been neglecting.
COVID uncertainty.
• I want to ease back into entertainment.
• I must buy a second vehicle. I really a need a truck or Jeep.
• I want to write daily. That could be a journal entry, a blog post, a letter to a congress person, or a letter to my family.
• I will get one home repair or some sibilance of progress on this house daily.
• I will minimize or eliminate foul language from my vocabulary, and respond in kindness instead of lashing out in anger.
• I want to earn my General Class Amateur Radio license.
• I want to learn about antennas and build a couple.
• I need a truck or a Jeep.

So what do I do on this Sunday, January 2nd, last day of vacation?

• I’m back at my desk. Glued to my chair. Working on client projects.
• I’ve neglected a friend and have a project I need to complete for him.
• I need to plan out all of 2022 on paper and update my Hobonichi Techo (day planner/journal).
• I have to complete one home project.

I’m sure I’ve missed so much. This post could be a book that I take a week to write. I wish everyone the best 2022 they can have!