Spelling my thoughts out on this page always has been more for me than anyone else. As the years have gone on, these pages have slowly morphed into somewhat of bit of therapeutic relief and often allows for a bit of self-reflection. It’s been two years since my last blurb and as we all know a lot has happened in the world in that time. I feel like I needed to start this over again for my sanity, so here we go.
I have been at odds with a number events that have transpired over the last few years both in my personal and professional life. This morning I feel the overwhelming weight of these altered relationships bearing down on my shoulders and I really can not think about much of anything else. Its easy to get caught up in the mess and then the negative takes over and hours become days and days become years. It seems just pushing it down and pretending that I don’t care really is not the best thing. Too often over the last few years I find myself spending enormous amounts of energy on these relationships and situations that ultimately don’t even return a fraction of the energy I put into them. While to some it seems selfish, but how I have handled things really is about self preservation. I have had to prioritize where my energy gets spent these days and while I know it does not sit well with some in my life, it has become necessary to keep my house in order. I am just trying keep the Big Top that contains the Circus that is our lives from collapsing.
This Circus analogy truly represents how I look at my life today. Essentially summarizing what is most important to me and what shapes my identity in life. My task as a Ringmaster is to make sure the tent is still standing, provide a little bit of guidance to those under cover and try like hell to help keep the show moving along safely. It is at times extremely chaotic, sometimes magical, at times depressing and often rides on an absolutely terrifying edge. The theory is if our kids continue to nail the high-wire act, my Co-Ringmaster and I can keep the Flaming Bowling Pins in the air then show goes on to the next town and a new adventure. We all have to support each other in this Circus because if any one part of any of the act struggles on any given night (and we all will struggle), all the performers have be aware enough to pull out the catch-net for each another. Reliably, predictably and without fail. Keeping this show going takes energy and focus and when some of my energy is bleeding off in a direction that does not help the show, I start to loose my balance. If I miss a pin, the whole mess could come crashing down just when things start to get interesting.
The truth is the last two years in the Circus have been our best yet even in light of everything happening in the world. Without going into detail that we all already know, this pandemic has changed most of our lives and for some very drastically. For me, it marked a shift of work/home balance and a renewed focus on what matters most in my life. I have removed myself completely from an office, choosing to work from home for the foreseeable future when not out traveling visiting my customers. I was able put my own emphasis the things that matter to me personally prioritizing my life in a way not possible before. We were able to travel the country safely from the confines of our home on wheels combining this adventure with a work life. Sometimes for extended periods of time while seeing new places and expericincing things together that otherwise would have been impossible without this new shift in ideology. With all the things happening around us, it seems to have brought us all in together and tighter than ever. I know that I am fortunate to have this situation and with that said, I have earned every bit of freedom by pouring myself into the organization I have helped grow over the last 16 years. There are not many perks of being essentially a contractor who is paid 100% on what revenue one generates, but the ability to delegate my own time/schedule and priorities is one of the best benefits. I should have done this years ago.
I made some changes in my life a number of years ago on how I handle stress and deal with issues that are apart of life. What I didn’t know it at the time, what no one knew was that we would all be handed a gigantic shit sandwich in 2020. Unknowing at the time of adjustment, these changes helped me navigate through this very stressful period with a greater clarity. I have taken time for myself to do things that are healthy for my mind and body including advocating for myself, my thoughts and for those who I care about rather than be just a passive player in the game.
Sadly, other things have changed as well in my life over the last few years that really sting and without dragging those individuals into the spotlight here, lets just say I’m over the lies, manipulations and the loyalty conflicts that have been sewed into the fabric of our new life. These destructive behaviors have impacted and will continue to impact many in my orbit. Some look the other way and make excuses and that’s fine but ultimately I know what I have lived, seen and observed silently in the back. I like to say that I have moved on, but to this day I spend a great deal of time being angry with or thinking about the what and why. In the end it doesn’t matter. There is always a new story to unpack and for those who deal with the fallout, it will never end.
The last two years dealing with the fallout of this individual feels like being out at sea on ship that has struck ground during a storm. I am able to bail enough water out to get the ship stable enough to get back on course and just as the last drop from the bucket falls over the stern and I catch my breath, the alarm sounds yet again breaking the short lived silence and the process, for me starts over. Meanwhile, those who are also on the ship acknowledge that the ship is sinking and sometimes pitch in to bail water but this effort is often short lived and they tend to disappear from the bilge, returning back on deck dreaming of a time before the storm and calm seas. I am 100% committed to bailing out the ship, but my cries to those on deck to find the leak seem to go un noticed no matter how loud I scream.
I’m tired of pumping the bilge.
I’m tired of people around me complaining that their socks are wet while continuing to ignore those who are drilling additional holes in the boat below the water line.
I’m emotionally and physically exhausted trying to stay dry from this storm and my time and energy is better spent paddling a rowboat to shore. I have a Circus Show that I need to get underway, they need me and I need them. Now more than ever.
Here are a few pics from some adventures over the last year.