Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Holiday Season; The Fuzzy End Of The Divorce Lolly Pop

I have wrestled with this topic for about two fact...I have avoided this space for almost as long while trying to figure out how to approach this. So here it is;

This will be the first Thanksgiving that I will not be spending with my children.

When my ex wife and I first separated we agreed that we would figure out a way for the five of us to spend the major holidays together. And it worked...for a while...but last year it became apparent it was time for us to do something different. So this Easter we split up the day...I had the kids in the morning and she had them in the afternoon. The kids found it difficult but we thought that Easter would be the best holiday to start a new routine to make things easier for the kids during the Holiday Season.

The ex wife and I started discussing Thanksgiving about a month ago. For a variety of reasons we decided that it would be best for me to spend the morning with the kids and that in the afternoon she would take them to her brother's for dinner. The kids are excited to be spending the day with their cousins. In fact, one of them remarked that holidays are supposed to be spent with aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins.

To her credit, my ex wife is concerned and interested in how I am going to spend the rest of my day. My first choice would be to spend the entire day with my kids. But this simply is not possible. Divorce is hard, its hard on kids and its hard on their parents...but we...the parents...were the ones who failed to make our marriage in our divorce its right that we make compromises to make things easier and better for the kids.

So my ex wife and I compromised to make the best of a difficult part of divorce. And with any compromise you give up something to get something....but sometimes compromise means that what you get is the fuzzy end of the lolly pop...

Monday, November 16, 2009


There's a word for you...integrity. Its a rare trait and not many people have it. When you meet someone who possesses it, hang on to them and hang on tight. And when you run into some one who does not have it, well...its pretty hard to run from them as you would end up running from much of the human race.

Yes...I am in a cynical mood.

Over the last month or so I have been accused of having less than impeccable integrity. I have no delusions about being perfect...I know I am far from it. But I also know that even the appearance of being less than forthright can lead to trouble. For myself, I am there are situations where, with little prompting, I am ready to accuse someone in indulging in the same behavior that I appear to be exhibiting. This is where a deep breath is needed before I fly off the handle and be a hypocrite, which is the opposite of having integrity. This is the place I am at today.

I need to be mindful that things are not always what they appear and that my own behavior could easily be called into question on any number of occasions on any number of topics....and that I can't have the moral high ground while wallowing in the muck. I can't have it both ways.

People do want it both ways, myself included. But in trying to have everything you often end up with nothing...including your integrity.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Job

Yesterday I started my new job in earnest. Its a sales job. Its door to door. No...I am not selling vacuums (my dear friend has a terrific story about a Kirby sales call made to her home involving a vibrating attachment...but I will retell it only with her permission). I am selling something that people actually want; cable, Internet, and phone service from Comcast.

No...this is not my dream job...but it is something for which I am aptly suited, requiring determination, guile, the ability to think on ones feet, and a certain imperiousness to rejection. Its also a job that is, to a degree, immune to the ebb and flow of the global economy which is a far cry from mortgages. People want to be entertained and they are loathe to give up cable TV or the Internet even in the leanest of times.

And these have indeed been lean times. I made the mistake that many people make in lean times. They. No. We, we loose sight of whats important in life and let the crisis at hand define who we are. We also let what we do define who we are. I was a mortgage broker and when that career began to evaporate I found myself adrift. Now I am the cable guy...wait...that doesn't sound right...but you get the idea. I had forgotten that work is what we do...not who we are. Its a means to an end and that end is the ability to live our lives and provide for our families. I work to live...I do not live to work. But work I must.

So last night, for the first time in months and months I slept through the night and I awoke with a feeling that I have not felt since the spring. I felt normal. A job and all that comes with it will do that for a man.

I can't wait to go to work tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Head Up, Eyes Forward

Life is like riding a bicycle. Both are best done with your head up and eyes forward. Any other approach can be hazardous as I learned this morning when, after a momentary distraction, I took a spill on my bicycle in the middle of Route 18. Fortunately, this being a Saturday morning and there was little traffic on this usually busy road, I was able to get up and limp away and avoid an unfortunate encounter with anything other than asphalt.

Equally hazardous, but not quite as obvious, are the dangers of being distracted from one's own life. I constantly tell my kids to pay attention to what they are doing and to their surroundings. I also remind them that their actions have consequences for others as well as themselves. I should follow my own advice.

Adult life as has many distractions as those navigated by our kids. The Internet alone offers enough to keep us distracted from what is really important. I personally think that Facebook is a conspiracy to keep us adults distracted while the television networks capture our kids.

As for my ringing cell phone distracted me. As I fumbled for the phone I had my spill. Re-injuring my leg (I hurt it about two months in a whiffle ball related incident...only men in their 40s get hurt while playing whiffle ball) I wheeled my bike home. As I was making my way home I looked at my phone to see who was calling. A client perhaps? Or maybe someone who just wanted to say hi. was my ex-wife whom I suspect knew that somewhere, somehow I was having a carefree moment... vital as it is to my life...has been a tremendous distraction over the years...It has interrupted vacations, time with my kids, and dates. And today it interrupted my bike ride and I have been couchbound since.

At least I have the Internet to amuse myself with.