August 7, 2016

Too Many Darn "Goodbyes"

Normally, June's my month for sad rumination - after all, my father's birthday and Father's Day are within two weeks of one another.

However, August so far...has been tough.

First, this month marks the tenth anniversary of my father's passing. It was...well, a phone call at work. Rushing to get out of St. Louis home in time for the funeral. Dealing with a very dysfunctional position....and with the inevitable countdown to the move back to Chicago.

But this past week has also had two goodbyes - one intentional, the other sudden. And both have me a bit...well, you might understand why I haven't wanted to write about either for a bit.

The first is about Jake - the neighbor's Doberman who became my "transitional pet". Hadn't seen him for a few weeks, but didn't think anything of it. After all, I'd been busy with a burgeoning freelance business, and work has been...well, it's still a struggle to get work, but I've been more consistent in finding and keeping clients.

However, last week my neighbor informed me that Jake had developed a sudden illness and....well, a difficult choice was made.

My reaction was slightly different this time around - unlike my cat Dax's passing, it was much easier to take. Yes, it was difficult, but Jake wasn't my dog. (Well, he was my dog but he wasn't my dog). I'm still a bit sad over it, and I miss him...but more importantly, I think that the fact that he led me to meet my neighbors, explore my neighborhood, and get out of the house during a tough time has helped ameliorate some of the sadness I might feel.

(And trust me, I am sad. However, I'm hoping to adopt another cat in the next few months, so more cat videos will be appearing via my barely-used YouTube channel).

The other goodbye was to Chicago Nerd Social Club as board member. With everything happening (including Mom being hospitalized last week), I realized that I needed more time. After six years of service to Chicago Nerd Social Club, I stepped down in late June, and had a formal send-off yesterday.

I hate saying goodbye, especially to people and activities I enjoy. In many ways, Chicago Nerd Social Club board membership helped me relive my "golden days" as a board member. Yet I also realized something years ago, after something happened to a friend of mine...a lesson I learned in St. Louis, of all places...

I could have anything I want...I just can't have everything I want.

Right now, I've hit a cliche - I'm at the age where I have more days behind me than ahead of me. I need to focus on making each day count. My old days of overwork, cramped calendars, and non-stop activity need new focus. It means that I need to grieve, but also use that grief as a way of moving forward.

Right now, I'm in an uncomfortable place emotionally. But things will get better. And I feel very fortunate that I have the ability to miss people, activities, and assorted animal companions.

Because that means I'm probably doing something right.





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