I have mentioned that I once worked the drive-thru at a doughnut shop for four days. I don’t know why I took that job. It was full time, 4am to noon. I already had a full time job that was from 2pm to 10pm, so I had clearly lost my mind that week. I was nineteen years old at the time, and not filled with a ton of motivation. It doesn’t matter. On the fourth day, I went into the manager’s office for a little chat about how this might be the wrong fit for me. He kind of agreed.
I had a little time before heading to my more glamorous job as a Meijer Shoe Department Clerk, so I figured I would just get there early and hang out in the employee break room. I climbed into my 1979 Plymouth Horizon (that’s right) and left that doughnut shop for the last time. It was great. I turned left out of the parking lot and stopped at the light- a little embarrassed at the horrible noise my brakes had been making the past week every time I stopped. Oh, well. I was too broke to fix that…. maybe quitting my job was premature? At least I didn’t have to leave the house at 3:30 in the morning anymore.
I was almost excited to get to my other job. If you have been paying attention to these things I write, you may recall that this was a job where I could perfect my skills of taking naps without getting caught. It was a skill I most likely acquired on this particular week. But as I was walking into the store, a man in a truck pulled up next to me and tried to get my attention. Continue reading →
Sometimes I have actual moments of clarity. Times when, just briefly, I understand what it means to be luckier than most people who have ever lived life on this planet.
Other times I just say I understand it.
And still other times I let myself become concerned with how much luckier people may be in the future. I mean, will they have a life expectancy of 150? Then I get led to other topics of science fiction and apocalypse….evil future government plots.
But right now I am seeing clearly, and I know that I am self-centered.
I was thinking about last Thanksgiving. As we drove home from dinner, we passed a man on the road with a sign that read “Homeless and Hungry.” We had a lot of extra food with us, but we did not stop. We did, however, seriously discuss stopping. Continue reading →
Truly believing those words will get you through a lot in life. I first learned the importance of this with my marriage. The best advice I have to offer newly married couples, other than to pick your battles– is that you will not be in love every day. But it will come back around, so don’t pack your bags quite yet. We are moody creatures, and perspective can change easily.
This advice took on a whole new meaning while I was learning to accept my daughter’s Autism. The idea that this struggle may never pass was too much to bear. And it is a struggle. So everything comes down to that ever-changing perspective. Knowing it will change, even when it feels impossible, has gotten me through the darkest moments.
Some days are harder than others. We were married, without children, for eleven years. We tried for over three of those years to have a baby, and we probably won’t be able to have any more. This is not what we imagined family life to be. It could be worse, and there are no guarantees in life; but we are talking about perspective, and these facts are important.
There are days when I make the mistake of thinking about what Teghan would be like if she had typical social skills. I think about what we would be doing together if she were like other four year old girls. I wonder what we would talk about if she could talk. I imagine a world where she understood pretend play, or could follow storylines of a book or a movie. Continue reading →