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Changing Seasons

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As our home begins to fill with Christmas trees and puzzles and Chex Mix, a new season dawns. That means something a little different to me this year. It's not just a holiday season... it's a life season.

I had a job interview on Tuesday. When I woke up, it was snowing. If you know me well, you may know that translates to anxiety. I have always been afraid of driving in snow and ice. So, in addition to the nerves an interview evokes, there was additional trepidation over the drive.

It all turned out fine, of course. The snow was wet and there was no ice. The roads were clear and I actually arrived in the area of my interview about 15 minutes early. The interview went well as far as I could tell. The whole experience served to remind me how much angst is self-generated. We worry over things that simply aren't as bad as our minds inflate them to be.

Later in the week, as I was endlessly shifting Christmas ornaments on the two trees in the front windows, a question formed in …

Changing My Mind

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I've found that changing your own mind can be challenging.

This morning, I was to take Roxy to day camp and then I planned to go to the DMV to become an official New York resident (i.e. get my plates and license changed). I pondered whether I should take my car or Kef's, because mine is not 4-wheel-drive. I pondered whether there would be a line at the DMV. I figured there wouldn't be because the "weather is bad." As I was driving away from the house, two things struck me:
The weather is not bad... to them. If I were still in Texas and had this weather, everyone would be holed up in their houses. Waiting. Here, this is perfectly normal and actually quite pleasant. It's currently not snowing. No precipitation coming down at all, actually. So... it's just another day. Not a bad weather day. Therefore, anyone and everyone could be out and about... just like any other day. There are thousands of people driving cars around here that are 2-wheel-drive. Plus, the…

Mood Swings

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This morning when Kef asked me what I was going to do today, my response surprised me. Well, the response didn't surprise as much as the tone. I said simply, "I don't know!" And the tone was not one of excitement and possibilities, but one of despair. Oh no!

Yesterday, I had a great breakfast with the owner of a local design firm, whom I had met at a PRSA event (Public Relations Society of America). I've never really had much time to network, nor have I really relished doing so. But this connection was a great one, and I really enjoyed our conversation. She gave me much food for thought regarding my next steps.

One thing I realized in talking to Kelly was that my thoughts and trepidations about freelancing are on point. That is, unless you want to spend as much time doing business development as you spend doing what you love, possibly "on your own" is not the place to be. Also, she described the challenges she faced when going out on your own: would you…

Living on Purpose

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Sometimes, life just happens to a person. We can live day to day with little or no regard to the meaning or purpose of our lives. As I've been applying for jobs and considering what I want to do next, I've realized that days are passing me by, quite without intention or purpose. I know there's wisdom in taking time and relaxing into some peaceful rejuvenation... and I also know that I can be quite skilled at doing absolutely nothing and having nothing to show for my time.

So, I've begun to wonder if I should schedule out my time, even though it's all really "free time." Should I calendar my visits to libraries and cemeteries? Should I log my every moment? Every episode of American Pickers? Every walk and Google search? At 10:00 I looked at the state of Cindy's blog. From 10:20 to 10:35 I researched the Elder family. From 10:35 to 10:40 I soaked up some sun, swatted dragon flies away from Meg's back, and watched Maya dodge acorns as they fell from …

Unemployment

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The first week of unemployment, I spent driving.

The second week of unemployment, I spent entertaining my parents before they headed back to Texas.

The third week of unemployment, so far... I have returned my router. Exchanged ceiling fan rods. Shopped for greeting cards. Read a funny little book called "All My Friends Are Dead." Written thank-you notes (I promise they will be in the mail soon). Washed sheets (thanks to Meg for standing up from her nap and immediately squatting on Kef's bed). Played games on my phone. Picked up poop of all sizes. Deposited checks. Compared calendars with Kef. Changed my address on things. Applied for jobs (and read about lots of jobs I don't want). Entertained dogs while electricians worked. Spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out how to turn Kef's TV on. Pondered how it's possible that I'm on week three.

What I haven't done is spend much time really exploring my new-found freedom. I haven't put …

Green

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On Monday, my parents, pups, and I set out on a new adventure. After the closing on my house, we hit the road for a series of days driving from Texas to upstate New York. Our nights' stays would be at places I found on Airbnb in Little Rock, near Louisville, and near Erie.

When I told people I was moving to New York, most were immediately concerned that winter would be unbearable. Keeping in mind that millions of people live further north than Texas, I was sure I'd survive somehow. One individual, however, responded with, "New York is so beautiful. The green there is the greenest green." I've been pondering green ever since.

As we drove through East Texas, I noticed how muted the greens were. Some mostly yellow from the summer heat... some sage from the dust... some a muted evergreen when there were stands of trees. In Arkansas, the green got cleaner. There was less dust, less yellow. Moving through Tennessee and into Kentucky, the green was a little bit navy blu…

A New Thing

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This is one of my favorite graphics I've created over the past 13 years at FUMC Grapevine. It was for the launch of a new worship schedule, which always makes people uncomfortable. I still loved it. I loved the fresh feel of sprouts coming out of the letters in the font. I loved the dirt that keeps you grounded and reminds you that new things aren't always tidy. I loved the promise of what that plant would be or do or produce when it grows up. I loved the bright points of light in the background, each with their own possibilities. And, I loved Isaiah 43:19... partially because of the question it asks: Do you not perceive it?

Sometimes it takes a while to perceive - or acknowledge, anyway - a new thing. Sometimes we fight it... deny it... avoid it. And sometimes we throw wide the door and run through. For the past few weeks, my door has been thrown wide, and I'm running through to a new thing. The dates are now firm, the plans in place. So, now the announcement (drum roll)…