Friday, December 19, 2008


Fear knocks at my chest, beating my heart. At three in the morning, I lie awake, eyes wide to the terror of the looming unknown.

In my 35 years as an adult, the ultimate irony is that when I finally “grow up” and commit emotionally to getting a Real Job, it is at a time of massive layoffs and profound uncertainty. Worldwide, there seems to be a shift of energies, tidal changes. But as we reach the Solstice, the metaphor is never clearer that we must go through some serious darkness before we begin to see more light.

People agree there is a compulsion, like driving past an accident, to stare at the bloody mess (perhaps why, Dear Reader, you return to this blog?!). My chosen perspective is NPR where the economic crisis is reported in gory, heart-wrenching, and sometimes inspirational, detail. I should turn away, listen to my own songs of joy or the glory of others, but the stories of doom and glimmers of transformations similar to mine keep me company on the road or installing doors.

As my truck rolled to a stop on the shoulder last week, it felt as if all remaining options of salvation raced out of view like so many cars, shuddering mine as they passed and heading to some distant future I would never see. Always reliant on myself and my unbounded resources to find a solution, I knew this time I had to place myself completely in the merciful hands of others, and ask for help.

So broke no plastic could help me, I had to plead for a break to get the truck towed, and rely on a friend to change direction to take me home. This week, I have appealed to the kindness of others as diverse as my estranged wife, my landlord, and the cell phone operator to stretch their needs for another week as I regain control and formulate better, more reliable resources.

In the past, I have been at this point regularly and promised myself, and others, that my next endeavor would pay us all back with interest and bonuses. Tonight, I know I can scheme and create miracles no more. Refusing to consider any shadow of a project or handyman work dangling in front of me, acting as if one more deposit will save the day, this time I filter the Trickster's voice and hand out resumes instead of business cards.

To reach any stabilization of this freefall to disaster, I need to work regular hours for a regular check, a concept that has been anathema to my Trickster friend. In this last year, I have radically trimmed my budget, expenditures and, most importantly, my expectations so that I can live with less in hopes of gaining so very much more.

Fear beats at my chest, awakening me in the middle of the night because not only am I unable to promise my landlord his check, I cannot tonight describe what my day will be like after the holidays. The unknown is terrifying, but 35 years in the comfort of the known has ruined marriages, alienated children, challenged my father’s love, and left me exhausted.

Who wouldn’t want change?

Please share with your friends


Laurie said...

Regular hours? Knowing what money to expect? Not a bad way to live while you work on your passion in those free times of your life. I don't watch the news. I refuse to be an economy rubbernecker as we call them here in Texas. I will keep driving forward and not gawk at the crash scene.

Since starting my business, I am, for the first time in my life, calculating my groceries. I was proud the other day to drive across the cashier's finish line with 20 bucks left in my budget. While I understand the fright that wakes you in the night, I am also thankful for the opportunity to better appreciate what I have. I am looking at this trip into poverty as somewhat of a challenge. I am also very dependant on God to provide. I trust his sovereignty and promises two of which were to provide and hang around. I know he'll do the same for you. Make sure to have that conversation with him. Sometimes, those who are willing and eager to help, just need to be asked. God likes to be asked.

I know you will come through this time with great insight and a sense of having been bettered by the experience. God doesn't waste our pain and suffering. So far, in my life I can see that has been true. You will as well. I hate to come across as preachy but I believe there is so much power in God and I don't want you to miss that. Keep persevering Kip. Let us know what happens and no, it isn't a compulsion to see the bloody mess. It is with a caring heart I read. It is with an appreciation for good writing and a desire to see the underdog win the game. You will win the game Kip, just keep playing and get advice from The Coach!

froebelslearninglab said...

Dear Kip,
Your cousin Kristen here. I am sending love. I hope that you and I get to sit down sometime and I can tell you my stories of my father and his relationship with money, jobs and his own sense of his life story. There is so much in what you write that I understand as legacy and challenge. The heroes journey is full of obstacles and more than a few dragons must be slayed. Thank you for your generosity with your blog. I go back to it and reflect and learn. Have a blessed holiday. kristen

Cricket said...

I am still going backwards with this blog. I began "after Christmas" to arrive at the post before Christmas.

Hey, you made it past Christmas. Still in one piece.

Hang in there.