Bittersweet Days

It’s been forever since I posted anything here. After catching up on nearly a month’s worth of posts on Amy and Joel‘s blogs, I’m finding it hard to get my brain to shut down without taking a few minutes to write a little bit.

The last couple of months have been sort of bittersweet. Bitter: Work has become much more stressful now that I’m doing the work of two people and our infrastructure upgrades are in full-swing. Sweet: Even this higher level of stress is still far less stressful than my old job working for the eHotel Tycoons. Bitter: My Thursday night men’s bible study group had to shut down for the summer. Sweet: I’ve had a lot more time to work on projects around the house. Bitter: My night class is over, along with it’s intellectual stimulation and one-night-per-week “me” time. Sweet: I have one less day a week that I have to say “oh, no, I can’t do it that night” about, and like Thursday nights, I have a lot more time to work on projects around the house. Sweet: The skunks all died or left. Bitter: The groundhog moved in. Bitter: One of my few remaining great-aunt’s passed-away. Sweet: This prompted a now rare family reunion featuring the last two great-aunts. Sweet: We finally have the hideous in-ground pool remodeling project to the point where we can have someone come bid putting in the new liner. Bitter: Swimming season will be at least half-way over by the time it is in, and I’m not sure where all the money is going to come from yet to line it. Sweet: I’ve had some consulting projects drop in my lap which could help fund the pool. Bitter: The consulting projects take time and brain cells that I don’t readily have available. And the list could go on and on for miles…

I still haven’t had a chance to get ready for or hold a garage sale. I still haven’t worked on the logo image for my mom’s lamb (meat) business. I still haven’t learned to play the guitar. I still haven’t read any of the mountain of books in my to-read pile. I still haven’t put in the sky light that has been sitting here for a year just waiting to bring my basement out of the dark ages. I still haven’t re-assembled the workout-bench that had to be disassembled to be moved to this house 2 1/2 years ago. I still haven’t torn out the flood damaged paneling and carpet in the basement or the badly stained carpet in the family room or remodeled either one. I still haven’t given my daughter’s bedroom the promised “makeover”. I still haven’t fixed the hottub. I still haven’t fixed the shower in the master bathroom. I still haven’t fixed the gash in the screen on the front porch door. I still haven’t gotten the new pc going (it’s assembled, just refuses to boot half the time and refuses to install an OS the other half). I still haven’t set aside any money for the sewer district tax lien which will come due at the end (?) of next month. Two years late, I still haven’t made Aliyah’s memory scrapbook about her mom. Oh, and yes, as friends and now even my daughter are apparently fond of reminding me, I haven’t yet proposed to my girlfriend.

BUT, on the positive side, I have passed a for-credit programming course with flying colors. I have eliminated the satellite tv subscription and hours of tv-time waste. I have installed the solar-powered attic ventillators that had been sitting here nearly as long as the skylight. I have fixed the low-voltage lighting out front that had died about 6 months ago. I have completely re-built the utility trailer I bought at a garage sale so that I could haul of trash and recyclables. I have cleaned out most of the stuff in the garage (with a lot of help from my girlfriend) and hauled it off with the utility trailer. I have cleaned out the nastiness that was the pool liner and hauled it off with the utility trailer. I have managed to live through having a kid in kindergarten (while simultaneously sustaining the life of said kindergartener). I have made it through 10 months at my new job, earning considerable respect and several new good friends. I have managed to keep the lawn fairly well groomed thus far this year. I have been eating better and stayed fairly regular at going to the gym (although I usually only have time to walk). I have stayed consistent with reading my daily devotional for the last two months (usually while walking at the gym). I have even worked some (although not nearly enough) on paying off some debt. This list could probably go on for a little while longer, too, but not nearly as long as the “bitter” list.

Still, I guess I’m doing ok. I’ve once again apparently have two girls that love me, although I’m about as clueless about why as I was the last time this happened. And that, combined with the less stressful job, have helped get me off (and keep me off) both my insomnia and depression prescriptions. Hearing my daughter read me a book or whisper something cute (like “can you marry Jeannie?”) is enough to get me to go through yet another bittersweet day. And getting a funny text message from my girlfriend when stress is really starting to set-in is enough to sustain me through that day.