January 11, 2017

It’s an early Wednesday morning and we’re somewhere over Colorado as I head back to Massachusetts for a seven-day break from all the crazy activity going on back in Arizona. I’ve got a new laptop from work – a ThinkPad Ultrabook that has turned my flying experience into mayhem as I’ve traded my old, trusty, comfortable and reliable laptop travel case into this tinier version with pockets I haven’t quite figured out yet. It does seem to have a much improved battery that might actually last nearly the entire flight from Phoenix to Boston. I’ve got George Harrison playing in the ear buds, and it’s pretty cool to hear the separation of familiar songs going on between the ears. Next I’ll try some Pink Floyd and really give my ears something to think about!

Even though I’m heading back to Massachusetts there is so much going on back home that it will be pretty hard to consider it a true break: we’re so knee-deep in turning our financial ship around from where we have been for so long to the point of being ostrich-like to where our new Edelman Financial Services advisor says we need to be in preparation for our inevitable (hopefully) retirements that it’s hard to distinguish between all the outstanding items left on out living trust, insurance, house re-finance, and 401K / 403(B) conversions to IRAs to-do list. Our dining room table has become a virtual smorgasbord of file folders, pamphlets, authorization forms, and notes that needs to be sorted out and acted upon at my return.

…and that doesn’t include all the paperwork involved with my sister-in-law Tammy’s divorce: we’re really close to getting it done but because it’s all legal stuff involving the courts and an out-of-state no-fault divorce everything has to be done to the letter proper and on time. The last hurdle comes on January 20 when four different forms need to be notarized and oh-so-carefully assembled in the proper format so that the Arizona Superior Court clerk doesn’t throw them back in our faces instead of stamping them and filing them away for the judge’s final decision.

…and that doesn’t include this damned project at work that has been going on for the past eight months that was supposed to have been completed this month but now looks like it will be more like early February. My company is relying on our team to deliver an interim custom solution to several anxious clients while our development organization comes up with a permanent solution, and each of those clients wants something slightly different from the other. Both yours truly and my valiant team of Indian developers have been pushed in every direction one can imagine to ensure it all happens somewhat on time – something which, given our different time zones, means lots of late-night calls and early morning calls on my part to keep things moving forward and on track.

To say that I’m bushed and frazzled doesn’t do those terms justice. There’s too much on my mind to be getting solid hours of sleep, so luxuriating bubbly soaks in a hot bath tub with a good book and late nights on a dark patio with a Pinot Grigio are about the only chance for relief I get. George Harrison’s music has been a regular accompaniment during this time, and I’ve also been reading two books on his life and music: Simon Leng’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Graeme Thomson’s George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door. Harrison was a very complex individual, the better part of his life spent attempting to reconcile the irreconcilable: the spiritual search for self-realization in the Divine amidst a life lived with the equally-strong pull of the physical and material world.

I’ve come to feel a strong kinship with Harrison: like he, I have long felt myself a stranger walking in a world in which I really don’t feel as if I belong and, frankly, don’t wish to belong. There’s a Tibetan monk sitting in the row in front of me, and how I long to divorce myself from this world and immerse myself in his. At one time I thought God was calling me to be a priest. I have long thought I was called to be divorced from the world and to be a monastic. I’m starting to realize that maybe all this time all God has only been calling me to be me. Which is fine, except that after all these years I don’t know who I am or what I’m supposed to be. I guess that’s where self-realization comes in. Some folks would call it a mid-life crisis and buy themselves a convertible Mustang or ditch their wife for a younger trophy, but that’s just living in denial and external stuff. Self-realization is much more personal and personally taxing.

I’ll admit: I’m feeling kind of lost and running on fumes. At one time I saw golf as a way to escape, to get away from everything and a way to hit the reset button, but I’m just not feeling it anymore – it seems like too much work. Maybe in another month or so when hopefully things settle down on all the fronts I’ll find the mood. But for right now I’m just someone impersonating a train moving from one station to another, checking items off a never-ending to-do list. Getting away from it all for a week will hopefully provide a needed break in the at least the non-work stuff (it’s not really a vacation), and it will be good to how my dad is doing and see a few friends before hopping back into the financial frenzy.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:46 | Comments Off on Thoughts While Flying
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