Hello, old friend.
I haven't posted here in over a month - since before New Year. It's not as though there's any pressing reason for unusually large gap between entries here. It's just that life just starts going and keeps going, and there's noting much more to say.
Lots has happened over that time, though. I had a very pleasant Christmas and New Years here in Charleston. As usual, I was in bed before midnight on New Years Eve so I didn't watch the ball drop - I figure those kinds of parties are a young-person's sport and it's just a more relaxing way to close out a year and begin another one with peace and quiet.
Work has been going well - it's a very busy time of year as projects gear up for delivery throughout the year but much of the foundational stuff happens near the beginning. The good news is that days just fly by, and I actually look forward to going in most mornings. I'm not sure how long the honeymoon lasts but I'm hoping it will for quite a while. All feels good there.
That's critical. Because that's the reason I spend my weeks in Charlotte. That is the single-most significant complicator in my life these days and I'm trying to find ways to make it work better but no matter how I slice it - it's still complicated.
Over the course of my career - especially over the past half dozen years or so - I've found contracts based outside of Charleston, as the city just doesn't have they quality of opportunities for my skills that other, more IT focused, cities like Charlotte or Raleigh do.
I will be leaving the apartment I've been in since I got here a year ago when the least expires mid-month. I have been packing and moving out little by little, but I need to pick up the pace to be out in time. It's just too expensive and too far from my work to make it worthwhile.
My birthday is in a few weeks and I'll be turning 56. I recently asked someone where middle age ends and old age begins. I realize that they're just numbers and you're only as old as you feel blah blah blah - but realistically, when are you past the "middle age" milestone. Is it from 30-55? Older?
Regardless of the age, from time to time I just stop and put the brakes on things. One of the most significant elements of my transition was that it forced me to re-evaluate everything, and I mean everything, in my life to determine whether or not it still fit. The fact that we simply accept things in our lives because they've always been that way is the pathway to more and more baggage. It's time to shed some baggage. I will be taking active steps in an effort to Simplify over the coming weeks.
I suppose the most fun news of the past several weeks is that we bought a new Corvette Z06. This is more than just a cool car for me....it's the first new car I've bought since before my transition and divorce. I had one back when I was still married, in the mid 90's, but it became a victim of the divorce. So although it's a beautiful, bad-ass car that turns heads and tears up the road wherever it goes - for me it represents something bigger. It's recognition that I drive a lote because I have to, and although my Tundra does a great job for me it's far more a working/practical vehicle than a fun one.
To make things more interesting - this car has a standard 7-speed manual transmission. The first manual transmission anything that I learned to drive was my motorcycle, but this is different. So now, although I've been driving for 40 years and likely have at least a million miles under my belt, I've got a high performance car that I can't comfortably drive yet. I need to learn.
Finding a place to learn to drive a manual transmission car is harder than you'd think. But I'm actively seeking a solution as I don't want to make all the beginner mistakes in the Z06. I'll eventually crack this nut....
We were out on the Motorcycles for almost 100 miles yesterday. One of the things I noticed is how comfortable and natural driving it feels now. I can't help but think back to last spring when I started and couldn't imagine mastering all the elements that are involved in riding a motorcycle...shifting, getting to know your engine, working the relationship between the clutch and the gas, turns, hills, traffic....it all seemed so overwhelming at the time. But I've been doing it regularly for quite a while now and that discomfort and clumsiness has largeley given way to ability and skill. That helps when I think those same thoughts with the Corvette.
I enjoyed watching the Super Bowl on Sunday. I've watched every one so far, and attended 4 in person. But now begins the long stretch leading up to training camp and next year. Sigh. I'm already looking forward to it.
Anyway - there will be lots going on over these next few weeks and it has been good to reconnect here. I'll try to be around more. :)