I used to like to say, when people asked about my job, that it had a lot of ups and downs. And it did and I miss that- the constant activity. Well, when it was constant. To get done with one task, look at a screen and see where to go next. I keep finding that left to my own devices, that is a chore all by itself, to maintain the list of what to do next.
It seems like this shouldn’t be the first time I’ve asked myself “Okay. So, what do you want to do for the next twenty years?” It will be hard to work, to find a job, to keep one, yet I’m sure that it will work out- and by grace alone, I already own a house. Of course, the challenge is to keep it moving forward. Now almost seventeen months without work, all of my own resources depleted, it’s hard to imagine how the next six months will work out. (On a good note though, I’ve done the math and I’ve got enough stored up pop cans to return for at least few years worth of TP.. some things, you just shouldn’t have to worry about.)
Yet, even as I think back over my own story- never, never did I truly have a five year plan. Goals maybe, hopes even- yet nothing specific enough to call a plan. Well, outside of skydiving- there I had a plan. Get the AFFI, skydive, repeat. And I achieved that plan, twice. The first time I pushed for that success, it just didn’t work out. I’d gotten my AFFI at the end of the eleven season, and just a few months later my eldest son was expelled from school- taking a year off to homeschool him kept him with his grade level and for that I’m glad.
However, although I started the twelve season, my time was too far split between work and family and I ended up going uncurrent. Didn’t jump at all for two years, then just one or two a year until I could go all in again. That almost happened in seventeen and did happen in eighteen. Ahh, I don’t even feel like telling the rest of that comeback to skydiving story.. there I had a plan, had.
When I think about the uncertainty in my future right now, an odd thing, the thought of disability keeps turning two different ways. On one hand and primarily, it would be a Godsend and would relieve all my financial issues. However on the other hand- if I do end up on disability, what next? Next week, next year or twenty years from now- would I still be sitting here wondering all day what I’ll type that night. My disability amount seems a little low- and if it’s low now, I can’t imagine with the inflation twenty years from now. Again, thank God I own a house – the different between the cost of rent versus the cost of mortgage is ridiculous right now.
So as the math works, if I get approved for disability I would have enough to pay my mortgage, utilities, and food and have about seventy five dollars a week left over. Just shy of four thousand dollars per year in disposable income. I suppose I could save up for some trips here and there, yet really, I would have to become a master at entertaining myself without cash. What do I do then.. what will I do then.. with a lifetime supply of just enough to survive. Food, water, and shelter as a given. To have one hundred and sixty eight hours and seventy five dollars every week, and nothing more. What would I be motivated to do with myself?
Is this where I build a list of hobbies to develop? In a way, it’s the same enclosed mentality from the early pandemic in twenty twenty, except now mine will go on forever. Yet even from the pandemic and the last year of downtime, I still have stacks of books I haven’t read yet. I guess I’ve given up on every learning to play the guitar, I could spend a year or two learning morse code or.. idk, I’ve got nothing. What will I do for the rest of my life?
Today was good. Sleep was bad, just over three and a half hours. That will be improved tonight. I was up and seven and didn’t dawdle around upstairs, downstairs by seven thirty. I was just starting the day with tea and going though a few webpages, checking the mail, etc. When I looked at the clock, seven forty. I thought about Mass- I’ve been missing Mass. Though, I haven’t gone since I’ve been back in Michigan. In fact, before today I’ve only been to Mass twice this year, once in Texas and once in New Mexico.
My back was a lot better this morning than yesterday, yet I wasn’t sure how long it would last. Usually I’m a noon or even five pm mass goer, yet as soon as I saw the time I thought, I should go now. Go while I still can. Still can. It’s only two hundred and thirty feet away, yet I wouldn’t have been able to walk that far yesterday and I didn’t know how the day was going to go. Eight am it was. I waited a few more minutes, then walked over.
I still have never been to a Mass that I didn’t like, yet being at my home parish is a little extra maybe. Seeing fellow parishioners as I walked up the sidewalk and into the church. Recognizing the same ushers in the back row, walking past and taking a seat in my usual place- about half way to the front on the right side. Only my third homily this year, yet as I explained to Father Brian after Mass, I am still savoring my first two homilies and have now added his as my third to contemplate for the year.
Things taken for granted. Fifteen minutes for a holy man to tell you how to go to heaven. It is THE thing that we Catholic’s want.. right? Yet, how many pay attention? How many takes notes? How many are even awake? Is this not the most important information you’re about to receive (unless you made the mistake of going to Mass on a seemingly monthly fundraising pledge event.) How many people remember the homily from last week? How invested into his homily should a pastor get, when he knows most people won’t even try to understand the mysterious he lays out.
I’m required to attend Mass once per year and otherwise I just try to keep my eyes on Jesus. He’ll stir me sometimes and I’ll think about Mass and pray. A few Sundays since I’ve been home, I had thought of attending Mass (in the same way I’ve thought about going to do a lot of things,) yet each time the day slipped by without Mass ever being the next best thing to do. All good, only required once per year. Yet, sometimes the call to Mass feel deeper. Like last night when I wrote it, first a suggestion and by the end of the paragraph it was a demand- I had been called to super. I was in the pew before I even realized it was Pentecost Sunday. Are we allowed to have favorite feast days? If so, this is mine. It was either two thousand and twelve or thirteen when I was conditionally confirmed in the Catholic Church on Pentecost.
Home again well before ten, it has really seemed like a long day. Tired, and some residual pain from yesterday, yet also what feels like growth and strength in and around my abs and back that were killing me yesterday. I took it pretty easy today, yet also keep tying to keep myself busy. In the mood to make something, I started pushing though my electronic parts bin, a coil here, a few capacitors there. By the end of the night I made three hundred and fifty to one inverting transformer. Plugged into a twelve volt battery, it produces over four thousand volts of electricity at the tip of it’s coil. Also, having something like this around is super handy too… have fun playing with miniature neon bulbs and wondering what Tesla’s plan was for world wide wireless power transmission.
I’ve always liked the idea of being an inventor. Not that I’ve ever invented anything, but it would be cool. I also, used to like the idea of being an author, and look finally I started to write, and now I’m an author. I think I need to start spending more time with my soldering iron, if I really have twenty, or thirty, or forty years of nothingness in my future, maybe I have plenty of time to get an idea and create something new?
Oh, the last bit of “excitement” from this morning- some may remember my April Fools Day post, from you know, April. A local political hack, Phil Duckham, woke up thinking about me I guess, he had commented on my political Facebook page.. it was an odd exchange, mostly because I couldn’t figure out where it came from.. oh well, in case you can understand what ever he’s trying to communicate, I screen-shotted it for posterity.
Okay, tomorrow is Monday. I need to photograph the whiteboard, it is the list.. then, see how much I get done when I know I’ll have to photograph and share it again the next week.
Time to rest.