Posts Tagged ‘career change’

 

45554_aafd8ed98befa3d1ec68fc8a4ba7efa6_0504103a098d70298fa7446ce398b2a0Armenian Hostage Crisis (Part 4)

My money-sucking car issues have landed me, in a circuitous sort of way, on Skid Row.

Literally “on” Skid Row.

Turns out Skid Row and the Los Angeles Greyhound Bus Station share the same zip code and, unfortunately, I’m becoming all too familiar with the Greyhound bus station these days.

This time, my second sortie there in six weeks involved an unplanned stroll through the aforementioned world-renowned homeless enclave.

To back up a moment: after 81 days at my mechanic’s auto shop waiting for a new engine, my Volvo was up and running again, bestowed a second lease on life.

Or so it seemed. That lease turned out to be short term–a total of four days to be exact.
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slomo(In my daily pursuit to ignite the second-half of life, I came across this. It’s a 16-minute short film (link below) that’s turned heads at film festivals, and now I know why. If you ponder mid-life questions, you might want to watch. You’ll thank me later.)

For John Kitchin, practicing medicine no longer satisfied him. His Ferrari and his 30-acre ranch, populated with exotic zoo animals, no longer fulfilled him.

He left work each day asking himself: “How much of what I did today promoted me financially? And how much of it promoted me spiritually?”

Over the years, the answer became more and more about promoting himself financially.

It made no sense. He was working to support a lifestyle that didn’t make him happy. So he reset his priorities.

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imagesI prepared my friend that this would be a holiday party attended mainly by women.

Wow, I was spot on. It was like walking into a Tri Delt reunion. Or accidentally wandering into the women’s locker room at the gym.

These are writers who are part of an online community of which I’m also a member. But I’m new so I don’t recognize anybody and know only a few names. I predicted it would be mainly women because I see the daily postings, and they’re mostly women’s names.

Sure, there are a handful of guys at the party. A Burl Ives clone on the couch. A middle-aged dude in a tattered pilot jacket, nearly as disheveled as me—who may have hitchhiked to the party. Two cute guys in the far corner who, other than my friend and me, might be the only other gay guys here (spoiler alert: turns out they’re not gay.) And the husband of the couple who hosted the party.

Those are the men I remember seeing. And then there were like a hundred women.

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running-manThis guy, Michael Ward, worked the same job for 10 years, hammering out a routine that began at 6 every morning. When he got laid off, his internal clock didn’t get the message. He found himself wide awake at the crack of dawn every day with nothing to do. He had never been a runner, but he decided to start. First with just a couple miles a day. And then building, and building and building, and eventually, he ran a marathon. He called running his salvation in a time of tremendous financial and professional strife.

Wow, I totally get that. I’ve been running for years but it’s never been more necessary than in the last year, as I purposely set out to create a new identify after intentionally abandoning the previous one.

Running is now something I need every day, like a glass of Malbec and a few minutes with Jon Stewart. The best thing I did for my health when I was in my 30s was to stop smoking. The best thing I did for my health in my 40s was to start running.

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Part 2 here of our little crash course on D4D 1.0. It follows Part 1. D4D 2.0 is when I spring into action this winter. I’ll stick around afterwards to sign autographs.

images7. Presbyterian guilt?: I used to feel guilty if I spent significant time doing something I didn’t consider either directly or indirectly income producing. That’s why I gave up writing–I couldn’t justify it on the bottom line. And I still can’t, but I’ve learned to get over the guilt and enjoy the pleasure. Everybody has a creative side. If you don’t know yours you should find it, nurture it, and let it reward you.

8. Just Say Yes to Drugs: In the last two years I’ve been on a daily, albeit mild, dose of the ant-depressant Effexor and Ritalin, the latter because I’ve been told I have an attention deficit issue. Hard to say for sure, of course, but something is working. Either the life coach, or the plan to be credit-card free next year, or the new apartment, or the medication. But I can assure you my body chemistry is more stable than it’s been in years. And if the medication is to thank, or even just partially to thank, then I’m going to keep taking it.

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22a1f54886179f63b50d250da9bd3635The only good thing about turning 50 is apparently 50 years is how long it takes to figure out a few things. Either that or my recent revelations are the universe’s way of saying, “Hey, sorry about your libido, your hairline, your patience and your eyesight. Oh and sorry you fell through the cracks of the New Economy. In return we’d like to compensate you with the answers to some of life’s mysteries.”

Which is what I’ve been doing here on D4D for the last six months, working through a lot of crap. On the Internet, no less. Apparently I’ve lost all sense of pride as well as my youth. Anyway, speaking of the ubiquitous Internet, I’d like to thank you, the electronic voyeurs in my psychodrama of mid-life. Thanks for reading, responding, and liking.

But now it’s time for D4D 2.0. (Yes, I know that might sound ridiculous–a new version of the new day for an animal extinct for millions of years. But it’s my blog so put a cork in it!) Anyway, I’m hoping the tone and narrative shift away from the self-discovery and goal setting portion of the program. Because I feel that work’s largely done. That was a time for adjectives. This is a time for verbs.

Before we move on, I’ll take a moment to review (as you might surmise this is also the skeleton of what a D4D book proposal might look like.)

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Between getting settled in my new apartment, working late nights, looking for more work, switching from a PC to a Mac, and writing this blog, I’m dizzier than Paula Abdul with a concussion.

So I’m awarding myself an unpaid vacation. Hell, while I’m at it, let’s give the rest of the staff at D4D an unpaid vacation as well. It’s the least I can do, since I always do the least I can.

Seriously, I need to step away to get my affairs in order. That sounds more dire than it really is. But there definitely is urgency; I need to concentrate (more…)