Change

***Graphic warning- There’s some foul language in this post***

Money Makers

I find the whole topic of “change” to be fascinating, horrifying, uncomfortable, exciting and invigorating. For you. For me, it’s become one of those inevitable things that I relish at about 3/4’s of the way through the process. In the beginning of it, I reeeeeeaaalllly hate it. Maybe because, most of the time, change for me has some sort of spiritual component that requires me getting my butt kicked in numerous ways before I grudgingly accept the way in which I need to change.┬áNow don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to wax poetic or philosophic or even attempt to give you advice on the best way to handle “change”. What I am going to to talk about is “this change”. And by this change, I actually mean being laid-off.

So, the metaphysical aspect aside for the time being, I have literally been forced into a change that I had no desire to seek, nor had any idea was coming my way. Granted, the industry that I work in has been in the grips of a downturn of epic proportions. Me? I was actually in a position of relative security only six months ago. But, when three projects delay and you are the new kid on the block, and you also happen to be the most expensive, you end up with a pretty sizable target placed RIGHT BETWEEN YOUR EYES. Actually, I felt more like a baby seal saying hi to those curious bipedal furry-faced vodka smelling ice-walkers… ‘Hey guys! you look funny! Why do you need that sti… *Whack!*

To be fair, well actually, screw that. It wasn’t fair. But I do understand the business behind the decision and have always known that the possibility of this type of outcome could happen to me. It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow and coupled with the actual excellent job I had done prior made this one of the most difficult changes I have ever faced. I have not been unemployed in over 30 years. I have never drawn unemployment. And now… I’m not sure.

Going around a boulder on the trail… Ironic

I used to have a couple of “mentors” in the business. My Grandfather, my father, and my first coordinator. They’ve all died. And let me tell you, I miss their counsel. Even if they would not have been very gentle in delivering it! They were all steady voices and knew how to look at things in a way that gruffly exposed their enormous hearts. Berry, Eddie, and Kevin. You are truly missed.

I guess, it sort of gets to the point. The point I would want to make to my sons in the event they are faced with a similar situation. How do you handle it? What do you do? Why the hell did it happen to me? Look, truth is, I don’t know. I’m not even sure God knows. And this is where the part of change that is really important comes in… In fact, this is the most important lesson a man can learn. You are not your job.

Smile

YOU are not your job.

Sure, I mean, thats easy enough to accept when you read it. It’s even easier to accept when you have 4-6 months of operating cash in the bank and have a house that you can afford even if you are unemployed. I mean, I know this is true because this is my situation.

But when HR and your boss sit you down, two days before Christmas, and say “It’s not you. You have done an excellent job. We are being forced to reduce head count because of the delay of 3 projects. As such, here is your package detailing…” The first thing that went my highly evolved spiritual brain was *FUUUUUCK YOU you sorry Motherfucker! If we meet anywhere outside this building I am going break your damned cock-sucking JAW… So help me GOD!* What I said, was “Yeah, man, I get it.”

The fact is, most people, to some degree, are their jobs. Proof? Do you want your brain surgeon to just be sort of interested in his job or do you want him to LOVE his jay-oh-bee? Yeah, me too. And most brain surgeons to a large degree need to LOVE what they do to be able to get through all of the stuff they have to get through to be able to cut on brains. Anyway, I liked what I did. And what made me good at what I did was that I took what I did personal. It was important to me that I did a good job. In fact, the people I worked with also thought that about me as well as clients I worked with thought the same too.

And all of that is great until you become your job. You ARE NOT your job…

Coming up for air

And it’s exactly at that point where your value as a person is tied directly to your job that the whole thing becomes skewed. The point at which you fail to recognize your value in the eyes of your Creator. Or more correctly minimize that value in relation to your value to the Corporation. This is how I came to my current “Change”.

How do I order my life so that the value I bring to life is in harmony with that which my God wants. How do I bring that to fruition while also putting food on the table? Yeah, I’m still working on it and I am hoping that I can get it together quickly. I can tell you that I have spent more time with my spiritual advisor. I have been praying more. I have also been trying, to keep all of my actions centered on Today.

I am not sure that it is making a huge difference in anything other than I have really come to accept that I am not my job. I am a child of God, working at being a better man through prayer. I am trying to make sure that each day, most of my actions reflect what God would have me be. And when I fall short, I ask for forgiveness and pray for the strength to do better.

You are a child of God… Your job is to do His will.

Summer Sun

As an “Ex-Pat”, to say that Summer is an important time of year might actually be an understatement. But I guess a little context is in order. When I say “Ex-Pat” I don’t mean those people who live in countries like England, or France, or Germany though I’m sure they offer some level of difficulty for any non-native. When I say “Ex-Pat”, I’m talking about those of us that live in places like Nigeria, Saudi, Indonesia… Places that offer a 180 degree glimpse of life. A glimpse what the rest of the world lives like.

When one finds themselves working and living in such exotic locals, you start to really appreciate “Summer”. Summer becomes the time for “Normal”. And by normal, for us, it’s the luxury of being able to brush your teeth with water out of the tap. A time when mosquito’s are a nuisance and not a harbinger of a near death experience or even a death experience. A time where my wife can choose to drive herself without it being a scandalous event. Yes, Summer, for those of us who actually chose to live such adventurous lives, is a return to the riches and freedom we sometimes failed to recognize. Even if it is so simple a thing as being able to use a bathroom that isn’t sopping wet. Summer begins with a near sonic boom created by the vacuum of other ex-pats leaving the country on “the day after” the last day of school and my summer generally begins at some other point in time as a result of “vacation” time.

This year, my summer began of July 4, 2016. And this summer was going to be incredibly unique as I was heading back to the “farm”- Fernweh. And though I would like to recount the 30hr journey, it is easy enough to imagine for yourself. You know how when you sit on the toilet for about 10 minutes and your feet/legs, hell, Lower torso falls asleep? Yeah, multiply that by 7 add a couple of poorly mannered waiters and a crazy “neighbor” and you get the idea of traveling in an airplane for 21 hours plus the 9 hours of lay-overs… It’s a whole lot of awesome.

But to be honest, knowing that I was headed home made the travel actually quite enjoyable. Interspersed with the mind numbing muted roar of the jet engines, I was constantly day dreaming of the work that awaited me at Fernweh. And like most “dreams” the reality was a bit different. Different in that I really envisioned things not taking as long to do as they actually took. Part of that had to do with my lack of knowing how to do them, the other part was uncovering things that needed to be done before we could proceed with what we began to do that day. But mostly it was due to being rusty doing those type of things. Hard work is like being fit, its easier to stay in shape than get in shape and so too with hard work…

I also had visions of posting more on the site during the summer… Sipping on coffee while the sun rose and banging out Nobel prize worthy stories… Again, dreams and reality… Your results may vary!