Tag Archives: work

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I read a post by James Radcliffe about “As I Get Older“.  It has been highlighted should you wish to read the original.  I decided, being 57 instead of 37, there might be a different slant on the post should I write one similar.  So, here it is…

I am happy with my life.  There are problems, to be sure.  The list is (not totally finished, but for the most part):

  1.  I suffer from Diabetes.
  2. I have bad arthritis in my right hip (left one is replaced).
  3. My feet are somewhat numb, are somewhat in pain, and swollen much of the time.
  4. I am disabled and can no longer work for a living.
  5. My Dad had a stroke and is suffering from the loss of a kidney.
  6. I had a major hemorrhagic stroke in May 2010.
  7. I am divorced twice.
  8. I am out of shape.
  9. I have double-vision.
  10. My memory is spotty at times.

There are the top ten, anyway.  So, I do have reason to be cynical, suffering, nasty, angry, and whatever else many people would feel in my spot.  But, as I said earlier:  I am happy with my life.

I don’t know just how many reasons there are for this, so I will just write and see – let’s travel that road together.

#1  I have worked many different jobs in the course of my 29 years of working.

I have done major working as a Security Officer, a Computer Technician, a Computer Programmer, a Computer Systems Manager, and a Teacher.  I have also worked as a Newspaper Routeman, a Substitute Teacher, a Janitorial Person, a Restaurant Server, and a Restaurant Assistant Manager.  Plus, there have been the odd jobs as a Salesman, Babysitter (high school), and several others I cannot think of at the moment.

Through all of these, there were times I hated and times I loved.  However, in all of them, I found a decent amount of pride and joy to know I had the capabilities to be hired to do them and I did them as best I could.  This has been a wealth of information to draw on when talking to people and trying to help my students.

#2  I have been many places.

I sang in high school and did so quite well. Now, my singing performances are restricted to the shower and an empty car with the radio in the background.  But, because of this, I went to All-State Choir, I sang at choral contests, and I even ran a small (4 people) group who sang in churches a few times.  The biggest single thing I did was to go with Varner Chance and the “Sounds of Hope” choir/orchestra to about 18 countries in one month and sing there.  Again, all of this has given me volumes of material to use to help people with and to focus on when I am down.

#3  I have learned to be alone.

Being divorced twice is not a record and it is not necessarily something to be proud of.  However, it has given me two opportunities:  First, I have gotten to “start over” several times.  This has allowed me to be able to learn from previous mistakes and try again.  Difficult?  Yes!  But, I am now doing okay with my life and myself.  The same can be said for all the jobs I have had.  They allowed me to start over.  The biggest thing I have learned (and it took all 57 years) is I am fine by myself.  I can live, function, and enjoy life as a single person, one who is not even dating.  I would enjoy dating again, perhaps even marrying again, but, for now, I am fine.

#4  I can cook and clean.

This sounds a bit trite, but with all the things going on in my life so far, I do count decent cooking, cleaning, and following recipes as something of importance.  I know many men who, because they are single, have to go out to eat, order take out, or find someone to date who can cook.  I can take care of myself.

#5  I have a widespread education.

My formal education comes from the fact I have an BA in English with minors in Religion and Psychology, An MA in English, and advanced certification in Elementary Teaching and Special Education Teaching.  My daughter tells me I have nearly as many hours in education as she does for her PhD.  Again, this spread has given me many different viewpoints and, when coupled with the wide range of reading I have done, I can help people more and more from many areas of life.

#6  I have two wonderful children.

My greatest accomplishment has been to raise two children of whom I am very proud.  Divorce (especially two) can often cause major setbacks in children’s lives; however, my children have turned out wonderfully.  My daughter is married, lives in a nice home, and is a practicing Psychologist with a PhD.  My son is out in Oregon and making excellent money as a Computer Consultant with is both well-liked and much wanted by his community.  There is nothing that compares to being able to say this and stand up tall and proud because:  they both love me very much.

Okay, 6 instead of 5.  They are different reasons, however, I imagine James Radcliffe will alter his choices just a bit in 20 years.  Perhaps not, we shall see.  In my case, I am comfortable with life and, because of my previous stroke and my beliefs, I am comfortable with death (though I hope he stays away for a long time yet!).

Namaste,

Scott

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A Busy Life – Who? Me?

My life has been taking extreme turns the last few weeks.   To begin with I have started a new job.  I won’t tell you a whole lot about it right now, other than it deals with service, can be done part-time, and should get me out of being on disability in about a year.  That has had me going from doing very little and having a free schedule to actually having to plan out my days and keep some notes on what I need to do and when.

“Oh, but Scott, why would give up a life of luxury and freedom?” I hear you all thinking I have gone nuts.  Why in the world would I try to get out of disability when it took so very long to get on it to start with?  The answer is pretty simple:  I would like to hold my own and get ahead.

Being on disability means that I am sorely restricted in any extra income I may make.  What I have had trouble understanding is that to lose my disability I only have to make about 60% of what I am making while on disability.  Since disability just allows me to kind of glide by on finances by the skin of my teeth, there is no way to live on the amount I would be making if I lost my disability by the minimum amount.

So, I begin to look for work that will pay me, at least, what disability is paying and that I can handle in my physical shape with my fatigue so low and my balance off and… um … something else…oh yes…my memory.

So, I turn to God and prayer and intention to help me.  The result has been something coming along that I enjoy and should turn out to be good for me.  When I am more certain that it is going to do what I need for it to do, I will clue you all in.  While almost all of you are among the most positive people I know, I just don’t want some outside (or family) comment to derail me with negative problems.  I hope you all understand.

Namaste,

Scott

Life is, indeed, Short

I just finished reading the blog on “Everyday Asperger’s“.  I follow it and it is a good one, in my opinion. Samantha has already become someone I know and understand, though we have never, actually met. Her post, today, dealt with a small piece she had written awhile ago and decided to share it with us. That small peek into her past, what she thought, how she felt, and what was really going on, gripped me nearly immediately and held on.

I love to write. Since resigning my teaching position, I have found that I do have some time to pursue my writing. Dad’s bout here in the hospital has slowed, but not stopped, that. There is a huge online market out there for writing, from free to paid to Stephen King land.

In a small way, I am published. I am, at least, shown online in 5 small (100 word each) short, horror stories at http://www.microhorror.com as Scott L Vannatter (in the author’s search). I enjoy that.

That brings me to today’s point: enjoying your life. I have spoken to a lot of people about their jobs, their lives, and their loves. I did have one person who did not answer my question when I asked him if he enjoyed his job. “It’s a job,” he answered. I pushed the inquiry and he, basically, said, “no”. That statement has helped shape my life. That and an article I read that spoke of how much time you spend at work or doing work things.

Think about it: 40 hours at the job, about 7 traveling, 7 dressing, 2 undressing, and a bit of it thinking. Not to mention, the sleep you lose or have to get because of the job. That’s 56 hours plus sleep/no sleep time. Most people are awake 16 hours a day. That’s 112 a week minus the 56 equals 56 hours, at most, left to enjoy and 32 of those are on your 2 days off!

I know we have to make money to survive. I worked long and hard most of my life for not nearly enough. When I wasn’t skimming by, I wasn’t enjoying my work.

My teaching was the first work I loved. That’s done now, but I get to say that I did what I loved for 5 years and the 6th was tough but rewarding. I rambled, but the point is, if you are not loving your job, if you drop into bed each and every night just to get up and go to the same job, if you have little to show for the job (especially something for/with your family), you are destroying yourself for something that will pass someday (maybe sooner than you think, like me) and you will, then, have to make a decision that you can spend time on now.

Think about it as life points, not money, not retirement, but now as life points. Do what it takes to enjoy this wonderful part of your life known as pre-retirement.

Namaste,

Scott

Wow! Certainly not me…

Don’t worry, I won’t do two blog posts in one day often.

The entire reason for today is that, in all the excitement of beginning my blog, I didn’t really come forth with what you can get out of this. It certainly isn’t me!

I am not doing anything here but, hopefully, opening up an opportunity for you to speak through this blog to the rest of the world. I don’t want to do all the talking.

I can and will continue to post, but I think it more important that you all be heard, no matter what you have to say. All I ask is this:

Please don’t judge and don’t criticize. I don’t mean you can’t state your opinion even if it disagrees with the person who just posted a comment. I love discussion; I love it when there are more than one side to things. What I do mean is to treat each other here with love.

Sometimes, that can be a scary thing, treating others with love. You fear what may happen if you over-step, or if you come across wrong. Well, what I want to say is “Don’t feel that way!” Share with me; share with us; let us know about you and about the life you are living.

Our job (especially my job) is to sift through parts of it and help us all see that we can love, live, and grow even (perhaps, especially) with the differences we have. We are all spiritual beings, even if we don’t think so. This makes us loved by God by definition.

I don’t care how you picture God. In fact, it’s even your own business if you picture God in the first place. However you look at it, we are here and we are all connected. That should make it easier to love; easier to care; and easier to accept. If it truly doesn’t then, after you have given it a good, solid try, then go somewhere else to seek what it is you are seeking.

Just know this: I love you all and what I would choose most in the world is for everyone to love everyone else and themselves.
Namaste,
Scott

Today!

You know, every single morning when you get up, you have the choice to say either “Good Morning!” or “I don’t want to get up today.”

The problem, the way I understand and have lived it is, that your body will help with either way. If you don’t want to get up and say so, your body will, most likely, keep you dragging all day and wanting to go back to bed. Enthusiasm is contagious, even to yourself.

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I try, really hard, to get out of bed at a decent hour every morning. Monday thru Friday I try to make it the same time, just like going to work. My day is then the same amount of time, I can get into my routine, and I know, pretty much, what I can get done. Saturday and Sunday, I sleep in a bit. I try to still make those my rest days. The result? Well, this has been my first week without actually going to work. I have managed to write and submit 4 short stories. It makes me feel good. Total was about 5400 words. Really that  is about 15-16 pages of writing. At that rate, I could write a novel in 5-6 months or about 2 a year. That seems to me to be a pretty good rate. I enjoy the short stories and have some other reasons to not write a novel at the moment, but just knowing I am going at that pace feels really good.

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Make yourself enjoy the mornings, especially getting up…
Scott

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