Life Experience

Dear J-

If you asked me how long it would take to change a life I’d give you several answers (no one has yet asked me, but I like to anticipate questions and prepare lengthy responses, just to watch the eyes glaze over and have hopes collapse in the space of seconds). Maybe it takes six months. Or one month. Or a day, an hour, an instant. Life changes and you roll with the punches, or you get hit harder than you expected. It’s a simple equation after all (it’s a simple, simple equation!). Seven months is approximately how long it took to complete two moves and two home transactions (selling, then buying) after we heard the plant was closing. Hats off to those who pull it off within a year, which necessarily means the difficulty of being the new kid in town every few years.

Or did things change in the instant I’d heard? Who knew where we would end up, or what we’d be doing there? Sometimes the uncertainty is enough to raise anxieties, preying on lack of sleep to bring you full-circle into the spiral of confusion: more stress, less sleep, which amplifies the stress and decreases the sleep. I’ve been staying up later than I should lately which makes no sense, given how many other different jobs I’ve been doing lately. I got my wish yesterday — we went and bought a new ballast for the garage fluorescent, only to have me crack it open and see there was no magnetic ballast (or at least not one I could discern based on the way that thing was put together; there were nonstandard sockets and just a few wires stretching from end to end).

I suppose you get what you pay for, and I’m not out much (I’ll have to return those tubes and the new ballast) but it’s an example of what happens when you don’t know what you’re getting into (as it is I think the more efficient thing would be to replace the fixture) and you make some assumptions that seem innocent enough on the surface. Thankfully there are no penaltieis for making the wrong choice but that history amplifies your anxieties as you approach new decisions and choices, don’t they?

Mike

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