Ok, so I’ve taken some time off from blogging, and without getting into particulars, here’s pretty much why.
I quit my gig as a chaplain. No plans for another gig, but it became apparent that with the work-structure I was going to have neither the time nor the energy to pursue what I felt called (wanted/needed depending on your theological perspective) to do. I’d been hemming and hawing about it for a couple months, looked at my savings account and realized I could pretty much live for a year without an income and said, “Well, I don’t want to do this anymore” and handed in my notice. That was a good thing.
I had a plan for insurance, rent, incidentals etc.
But a funny thing happened on my way to my last day. It didn’t go to plan. I wasn’t shocked, because I didn’t have high expectations. Ultimately, I left in a way that I could sleep well. I decided not to blog about it, because it was emotional and my singular experience. No good could come from my emotional responses that would be akin to me complaining about my ex-wife. There are good reasons that it ended the way it did (on both sides) and frankly, everyone is better off.
During all that petty nonsense (I speak for myself only), I managed to run across a church that had an information form that I could have written for myself. I talked to many churches while searching (before my last day) and by the time I drove off campus I had a good idea of what was coming up in my life. I didn’t blog about it, because in the PC(USA) there are “many a slip ‘twixt a cup and a lip” and it wasn’t appropriate to discuss publicly. That’s all resolved, and in October I’ll become a pastor again to a congregation that, paraphrasing from their statement, takes their faith and service very seriously, but doesn’t take themselves all that seriously. Sounds like my kind of people. A couple Skype interviews, some visits to town, a neutral pulpit, some committee meetings… and the way turned out to be clear. I start in October (which wasn’t according to my plan – but frankly, I hope everyone is better off).
So – time to freak out. I hate moving with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. I’ve only moved 13 times in my life (less than every four years on average) and I am not a fan. Combine that with the discovery that rental property in the town surrounding the church is difficult to come by and I don’t plan on moving again, rentals were out. It was time to buy a house. Did you know you can buy a house with no income? Thank you Dave Ramsey and your financial peace university, if you have no debt, a high enough credit rating and enough savings, you sure can. I picked one out, then wandered through looking at it calculating the hours of repair/remodel and the cost of replace/reuse that was going to have to go on. Five days later I walked through another one that was more expensive – I’m now under contract hoping the inspections go well. I didn’t blog about it because it hasn’t finished yet, but I’m including it here because … well, now I don’t have to.
I haven’t written anything about my son in a while because he’s doing very well, hanging out with his friends, spending more time with his father (mainly when his friends aren’t available) and not having major problems in school. To say that he is “not enthusiastic” about school at this point is probably accurate. He’s ten. But, he seems to be trauma and drama free at this point, so I’m just riding this out until he notices the little girl that sits at his table-group has a crush on him (it’s been two years and he doesn’t care yet) and then I’m going to stake him out in the backyard (which I will have shortly God willing) until he’s stopped frothing at the mouth long enough to get a job and move out.
I haven’t written about the Steps or any advice either, because I’ve been too busy living life (travelling, spending time with family, hanging at the pool and (don’t tell) napping and binge-watching movies I missed the first ten years of the boy’s life). I’m also quite smitten with a particular woman – and I’ve always found it to be smitten to only one woman at a time, so I may start a new blog under the heading “Miss Advice” because I can’t really give advice (get it). Most of it will sound sexist and be condescending, and I do recommend people read it because it will be both of those plus funny and not a tiny bit helpful.
And the most important thing is I became aware of something after leaving my chaplain gig. I’d pretty much hit “empathy burnout” on some levels. It was there for residents, but not so much for staff and was getting to the point where I would have no patience at all for administration. That’s my own work that needed to be done. That was changing me, as a person, into something I refuse to be. That part of my personality is a defining principle in my life, and I was violating it on a daily basis. I was “prioritizing care” of individuals, because I was exhausted. Part of my writing is thinking about the “other” persons perspective, and I lost that for a bit, and needed to find it before settling in on the corner of west main and… well, I’m not sure what the other road is.
So from time to time, I’m just going to post random nonsense rants about everything but politics because quite frankly – discussing American politics at this point is impossible, it’s just shouting prejudice (preconceived ideas) at each other until someone loses their voice or leaves. Anyone that honestly believes any of the women and men in Congress have the collective “our” best interests at heart I invite them to sit down, have some juice and I can read them a story about the giving tree – which is either about grace, co-dependency or communism if you want to get uppity about it – which is why you shouldn’t get uppity about it.
But that’s what we do – like today, I thought you’d be interested in this.
And now it’s time for my most difficult decision of the day. Pool v Nap. I think you’re right, I CAN do both.
(I have been writing outlines for series, sermons and yes, blogs in my trusty Elfinbook)