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Sideways from Time.

2 January 2013

I always end up absolutely baffled as to the day of the week when Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Today is Wednesday, but feels a little bit like a Monday and a little bit like a Friday after two oddly interrupted weeks. So I have no real idea what day of the week it is, nor any idea about how to get back on track considering all my upcoming life-changes. I’m off work entirely next week. I’ll be driving out to ECC and hopefully seeing a place or two that I can imagine living in. The news that I’ll have a renter is very welcome, because it means I can look for a slightly nicer place. ECC, like all east coast cities, is not a cheap place to live.

It’s somewhat disconcerting seeing how expensive everything is there, because I’m coming from a very cushy place. I have a good job in one of the least expensive cities in America. My standard of living here for the past three years has been very high. It will drop a touch when I go out to ECC. But that’s not a bad thing. Right now, I’m alone in a 1900 sqft house. There are whole rooms I essentially never go into. I could lop 800 square feet off and not miss them, as long as I still had a decent kitchen and bathroom.

So everything is in flux. In some ways I feel too old to be doing all this. I’m almost 40. When my mother was my age, she’d been settled as a practicing psychologist for some time. So many of my friends have lives and families. I’m always trailing, it feels like. A year behind, a phase of life removed. My sisters are capable and married to productive men and raising healthy, well-adjusted children. I’m alone. Starting a new job in a new city.

I made choices in life, like we all do. I studied longer than a lot of people. Longer even that most people who get doctorates. It took me longer because I drank so much. Another choice I made. My drinking prevented me from making good romantic choices. So I made bad ones. As a result, I’m divorced. Now, I feel a bit like I ought to be ten years younger than I am. Just finishing school and a starter job, ready to head out on my own.

Of course, my starter job was as a Principal Investigator. I’ve taken such a strange path. And my path has led to many wonderful things too. I’ve traveled the world in ways that very few people have been able to do. My career is relatively lucrative, so I can afford to live in ECC comfortably. I’m excited for a new challenge. I’m nervous. But I’ll make it. Because I always have.

Now, though, I’ve learned how to move forward and be happy at the same time. Which is a marvellous new skill for someone who used to slam his head against every available wall. And I have AA to thank for that. For teaching me the right way to look at time. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Friday. It matters that it’s now. That today, I do what I can today. Attend to my responsibilities. Make what arrangements I can for the future. Accept my past. Be grateful for the endless now in which I live.

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