Sunday, December 13, 2015

When I look ahead, sometimes it seems a lot to take in

indians watching the railroad
Sometimes I feel a little like those Indians, watching the white man's railroad work itself across the plains.  It just seems in the past week or so, things have been changing, big & small, leaving me feeling uncertain about the future and overwhelmed in the present.

This past Friday marked my one year anniversary of leaving my job at UPMC.  What have I done with this year of freedom?  I admit it, not a whole lot of anything.  But is that a good or bad thing?  I guess only I can answer that question, and the problem is I keep coming up with different answers.  There's one part of me that says "Doug you're only 54, you're not going to just sit there and watch life pass you by, are you?" while another side of me argues "you're in your 50s, you spent 35 years in the workforce more or less and managed to sock away a little money, so what do you have to prove at this point?"   I don't know if I should share this here, but when I was in my teens and twenties my dad (if he was angry or had too much to drink) would call me a bum.  "Boy, look at me.  You're a bum."  I just hated that more than anything.  I always thought it was unfair and mean, and now I wonder sometimes if he had me pegged right after all.

So, for the last couple weeks I suppose I've been in a bit of a funk about things in general, and not feeling a lot of motivation to do much of anything besides watch tv, read & sleep.  But again--is that necessarily bad?  I suppose it is when I start coming up with excuses to get out of simple things like meeting a friend for lunch.  (I was supposed to today, wondered what kind of story I could come up with to get out of it, and decided to just tell 'em the truth.)

This past Friday I thought I'd shake things up a little, get out of this rut and give my blog a new look.  (Hey, you gotta start somewhere right?)   I came up with a couple different templates, like the one below.

newteep
(I'm still deciding; right now ApacheDug's Teepee is in a transitional state.)  But just as I settled on what you're seeing now, and realized I'd have to go back and 'touch up' 255 prior posts because my old style doesn't always work on a white background, Google (who owns Blogger) released a statement Friday afternoon that effective immediately, they were no longer supporting Microsoft's blog-writing tool "Live Writer" and us bloggers were on our own.   (This is my very first post using Blogger's default editor--it's clunky & awkward.)  And while the demise of "Live Writer" was sinking in, the news on my television was about the week's big losses in the market due to falling oil prices and the Fed's plans to raise interest rates on the 15th, and because bad news comes in threes, it was right around then I began hearing an assortment of shuffling sounds and thumps behind the wall behind my couch.  Aw no--it turns out my neighbors, the best ones I've ever had in this building, were moving out.   Yes, of course I know things could be worse, a lot more than this.  But when you're in a sour mood already... and doggone it, where's the cold temps and snow?  It's two weeks before Christmas and it was 70 degrees today.  Nope, nothing's making me happy!

Well, I've always tried to end these posts on a positive note and while I can't come up with anything at the moment, I can truthfully say I feel a little better after sharing my thoughts here.  I'm certain things will look up soon, and as I finish this, I can hear a train's horn in the distance.  I'm taking that as a good sign.

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