Six months (100th posting)

Today marks six months since Lucy passed away. The 80% chance of rain as of last night looks more like a 100% chance of wind and overcast so I will be making a trip to the cemetery today. I still love her and I still miss her. That won’t change.

I’m doing better. I went on a leave of absence at work, which has now become my resignation. As much as I liked my boss, the stress levels I ordinarily handled with ease became insurmountable. I wasn’t ready to go back to work, plain and simple.

At this point if I do go back to work, it probably will not be in an information technology (IT) related field. Rebuilding a life is tough enough without having to rebuild a career for the sixth time. IT changes a lot. When I started in 1980 there were few video display units, punch cards and magnetic tape reels were portable off line storage, mainframes has kilobytes of memory, and 80 Mb “cake box” removable disk packs were $13,000.00 each in bulk. As the technology evolved, the programming languages evolved. I could count on having to learn some exotic new language about every five years. The only constant language was profanity and it is quite universal among developers. I was trying to learn five new technologies at once under deadlines. Perhaps that is best left for the younger crowd. Yet the part I loved about IT was always learning something new and solving challenges. I’ll reassess after New Year’s Day.

I’m still adjusting to solo life. The insomnia is retreating, I’m eating OK, and I’m trying to walk and hike when possible. The weather changes are really causing my knees to let me know I’m not 15 anymore. I have a number of home improvement projects that will keep me busy for a couple of years and I have an extensive collection of books to read. Boredom will not be an issue.

One of the stranger adjustments has been the coupon offers. Lucy was a bargain hunter and we would get a number of buy one get one (BOGO) free offers. Today I received one from Caribou Coffee. If I were to drink two small turtle mochas today, I would be bouncing off the walls until Tuesday. The BOGO meals work out well because I get 2 – 3 days of meals from them. They are a reminder of how lucky I was to have someone to share the offers with on a daily basis. At least I haven’t gained back huge amounts of weight.

Dropping the stress levels to levels that are more manageable has helped me to refocus on healing. Part of the healing is counting blessings. I’m blessed that so many people cared about Lucy. I am very blessed to have you reading this blog because it means you have stuck with me through this journey when the going got tough and to know you care. I’m extremely blessed to have special people who make me smile and brighten my day.

All of us have acquaintances, family, friends and close friends that make our lives better. I can count my closest friends on my left hand and still have my inter-vehicle communication finger (or trigger finger in California) free. Quality is always better than quantity. It’s nice to know those people choose being your life rather than having to be part of your life. C. S. Lewis states this so eloquently as “affection” in “The Four Loves”. Read it for something that stimulates thought and helps make sense of the most complex of human emotions.

For those of you fortunate to have someone special close by, take a moment to tell that person (or persons if you have children) that you care. One can never get too much positive reinforcement. If hugs aren’t awkward or uncomfortable, give a meaningful hug or six. Share a smile with the world. You could brighten the day for someone who needs it.

Thank you for making my world better.

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