Saturday, January 02, 2016

Where i'm at 2015/2016

Well, here we are at the beginning of a new year. I am going to try to write down some specifics of exactly where I am in life right now. I have no idea what the future holds, and no real plan in mind, so I'm hoping this might at least give me something to look at if nothing else. So, in no particular order:

I live with my wife of 32.5 years and our cat in a comfortable 3-bedroom home on the south side of Fort Wayne, Indiana. We moved here in April of 2011. It is in a quiet neighborhood known as Lake Shores East. Each of the east/west streets is only one block long, and there are only three entrances into the triangular-shaped section we live in. It has a lot of old trees and wide sidewalks, so it is conducive to taking walks and has virtually no crime (or problems of any kind, really). I think the best parts about living here are the attached 2-car garage (that would be hard to ever give up), and the proximity to the Rivergreenway where I can run/jog. I like our house - it has a small yard and is easy to heat - but it is way bigger than we need. With the finished basement it is around 2600 sq. ft. and we could get by with much less.

Jane is still my wife and best friend. A rather big event for us in 2015 was her resigning as branch manager of a bank in November. I'm not sure she ever recognized just how stressed she had become but I think she's starting to enjoy being out of that environment. She's had a couple of interviews, and I don't think she will have any problem finding a new job. For now it has been good for her to take a bit of a break.

Daughter Carrie lives in the same house on Cottage Ave she and Drew bought after they got married. They have three very different children in Anna, Bennett & Caleb. They also recently got a kitten. Anna is sensitive and moody like me, Benny is the typical kind and quiet middle child, and Caleb is a happy guy who has little to no fear. Anna is currently in her 2nd year of pre-school, and I can't believe she will turn 5 this month. Carrie is a full-time mom, and she started working at the downtown YMCA this year part-time. She is very into fitness and baking. Drew still works at the storage place (where he got me a job) and was promoted earlier this year to assistant something (I've been told it was assistant regional manager, but we don't have a regional manager to my knowledge... so... it's something).

Son Isaac is living in Atlanta with his wife, Ricci, and their dog Crosby. They live in the same house they've moved into when they started there. Isaac is in his 2nd year at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has several part-time jobs at the university: the reading lab, admissions, working for professors, etc. I believe he starts as a teachers assistant this next semester as well. While completing his Master of Divinity next year he will then move on to an as-yet-to-be-determined school to complete his PhD. Ricci is in her second year of teaching at a private school in Atlanta and really seems to enjoy it. They are creative, young, and driven people... and dearly loved by their nieces and nephews.

As for me... Well, I just completed my second year of working in the self-storage business. I still manage the facility on Dupont Road. It now has 28 buildings with 750 total units (conventional & climate controlled). I enjoy the job, but as the oldest person in the company, I would feel better if I were an owner and not the lowest guy on the totem pole. I work 9:30am-5:30pm Monday through Friday, with an occasional Saturday at another of our facilities. I can't complain about the hours, and it is not difficult work, but I do come home tired at the end of the day on most days.

Other than work I don't really do much, it seems. I do still try to read regularly. I haven't kept track of the number of books I've read this year, but it's likely far less than the 10-12 a year I used to read. I ran in the summer, but it just hasn't appealed to me lately. I need to start up again. I'm having a struggle with desire at the moment. I have probably only touched a guitar a handful of times in the past couple years. Otherwise... yeah... it kind of seems like I've become lazy. I guess this blog occupies some of my time, but that's about it. Hmmm... that's kind of a slap upside the head. I guess I long for more from life, but I'm not real motivated at this point.

By 'relationships,' I mean people I spend my time with. Jane and I still spend a great deal of time together. We basically do everything together. We also hang out with the grandkids and their parents at least once a week (on Sundays) and often more than that. I still meet with my long-time friend Tom once a week for breakfast (Tuesdays) and we either take turns coaching one another or we brainstorm spiritual/theological/social issues. A new person I started spending more time with this year has been a guy at work. He comes in twice a week towards the end of the day and is my age. He teaches high school special ed but has worked part-time at the storage place since it started. He is a self-avowed atheist, but we have very good conversations. He's an intelligent guy and knows way more than me about history and world events, so I find it kind of refreshing. Interestingly enough, for as many spiritual conversations we have, his atheist beliefs have really helped deepen my Christian beliefs. Otherwise I still see Mike & Kenny on occasion, and Jane and I go out to eat with the Feichters from time to time. Again, kind of sad how few people are in our lives now compared to how it used to be (plus I'm probably forgetting someone).

I don't think I've shrunk too much yet, so I still stand somewhere in the 5'7"-5'8" range. I haven't weighed myself in quite some time but I'd guess it's somewhere between the 155 I got down to this summer and the 170 that seems to be my peak. There is about 25 lbs in my gut that I would love to get rid of... otherwise I'm okay. I eat pretty well (fruit, vegetables, protein and water) but drink too much alcohol still. I am hoping to stop that (maybe entirely) this year. My hair continues to lessen, though I still just have a bald spot in the back, but this is the longest my beard has ever been. I haven't shaved since the beginning of November 2014. I do trim it occasionally, and I'm really getting tired of it, but the grandkids seem to love it (especially Caleb). So... I dunno. It's pretty gray, as is my hair - especially around the edges. I am becoming an old man.

I'm not sure what to even say about this. Jane and I were meeting with two different small groups each week. One was at church and another was with Tom and his wife. We really enjoy getting together with Tom and Kim, and have great discussions. That is probably the high point of our week. We meet from 7 pm to around 9 pm, usually on Monday or Tuesday nights. We take turns hosting at each others house. Right now we are doing a Francis Chan study on the book of James. The other small group... well, we haven't been to it in over a month. We really like the hosts/leaders, but it is difficult for us. There are different people there each week, and it started lacking continuity. Even the leaders became sporadic this summer due to conflicts with their children's events. Those things are understandable, but we just don't have any other contact or similarities with anyone in the group; and it's not much of a "group." So we kind of took the weasley way out and just quit going. Plus it was difficult in that we each had to go straight from work to their house - which is 25 minutes from our house - and it went from 6:30-8 pm. That made for long and tiring (and rushed) days. So, I don't know what will happen with that. We're supposed to have supper with the leaders next weekend (someone from church actually invited us out!!!).

As far as church... Yeah, we still attend Grace Gathering in New Haven on Sundays. We are greeters once a month. Other than that, we've kind of given up trying to get involved. I think we tried, but I kind of get the feeling we are too old for their liking or something. There just seems to be no interest in us whatsoever. And, sure, I know I am overly sensitive in that regard; plus our feelings of abandonment and betrayal are such that it's not really their fault to help address that; but... I don't know. We are getting to know more people, but we don't really feel like we fit. Unfortunately we don't really feel like we fit anywhere.

I am still reading through the Bible every morning - using one of those 'through-the-bible-in-2-years' books. I also continue to read several blogs and articles, and think about spiritual/church stuff almost constantly. Sometimes I think I took a lot of pride in being a pastor of a church. I thought it was "something", and I loved having my kids and grandkids in the church. I suppose I was off-base though. So, it's probably best that I not have any leadership-type responsibilities. I seriously lack confidence in my abilities and even in my opinions. I don't really know what more to say. I don't think I lack faith or belief in Jesus, but I feel a little lost in regard to what to do about it.

AND SO ---
I guess that's kind of where I'm at right now. That turned into a little more of a ramble than I was after, but I finally sat down and got it out. I don't have any resolutions for the new year, and I wish I had some goals for 2016... but I don't. It's kind of just one day at a time. I feel a little restless. I think I'd like to try to be a little more intentional about waiting... Waiting to hear from God. I don't think he's given up on me; on us. But I really have no idea of how we fit into the kingdom or what the future holds. I actually do feel very free right now, but at the same time a little nervous. So who knows. Meh.