(Buy some Bowie today.)
The Short & Sweet
- I’m now self-employed.
I resigned from my current job effective July 10, and my family has blessed my intent to plant both feet in Popcorn Press and related creative work.
- We’ve sold our home.
As of July 31, we have to be out of our current digs. We got a reasonable offer on the place “as is” and couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
- We’ve put money down on new digs.
Our oldest daughter and her husband are prepping a corner of their acreage to take a double-wide mobile home that becomes available in October.
- I’m keeping my motorcycle.
A year ago, I thought my motorbiking days were over. Dizziness, drowsiness, loss of attention, and muscle aches were keeping me grounded–and preventing even an occasional cigar or alcohol. Now I’m back on the bike, smoking when I like, and imbibing when I like.
What brought this all to a turning point was a visit from our oldest daughter, her husband, and their new baby in May. Christine and Christopher made the comment that they want their kids growing up within walking distance of their poet and painter grandparents, to provide an alternative perspective to a common rural Nebraska farm/hunt/sports lifestyle.
Shortly after they headed home, I found myself in the ER with what I thought were toxic symptoms of Keppra—which I started taking a year ago as a new treatment for a decade-long “more than migraine, less than seizure” condition. Over the following two weeks, I went through exams, blood tests, X-rays, an MRI, and even an echocardiogram.
The prognosis came back “There’s nothing physically wrong with you. This is just stress. How about some antidepressants?” I replied, “I prefer lifestyle change to meds, Doc.” So he sent me to counseling, and Jenny and I started watching for stressors.
My employer was incredibly supportive throughout—above and beyond most employers. But it became obvious that the job itself was my stressor. Not work in general, but specifically this job. Seventeen years ago, my position was full of challenges and was a constant source of learning. More recently, I’ve become stagnated—enough so to end up in the ER. Blame the dissonance, if you like, on my age, or on my lifelong dissatisfaction with pouring heart and soul into things I don’t own—while NEEDING to pour heart and soul into my work. Or take my college buddy Tim Ryan’s recent words, “Les, you weren’t built to pull an oar.”
What’s Up Next
So, I celebrated Independence Day with a new independence. The D6xD6 RPG (role-playing game) I released last fall has been doing surprisingly well with minimal attention; I’d like to see what it—and a new D13 RPG—can do with some actual nurturing. It’s time to finish that novel in sonnets. I’ve an opportunity to translate a Spanish RPG to English. A novelist friend and I have been planning a “legacy publishing” venture. There’s certainly more poets to publish and promote. And lord knows I have a butt-load of old games for eBay.
But right now, I need to get back to packing.
Wish me luck!