Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, October 16, 2020

Birthday post

Today is my birthday. Won't you help me celebrate?


 It's been quite a year, hasn't it? Life comes at you fast. 

There was a point this year that I could have said that: in the previous 18 months, we've had seven deaths in the family; I changed jobs twice within 8 months and I bought and sold a house, then moved with the last two months.

Of the seven deaths, five of them were old and in poor health at the time. Of the remaining two, one was a cousin who was about to turn 50. He died suddenly after some post surgical complications. The other was my sister in law who passed at 52 with brain cancer. 


The two job changes happened this way - two jobs ago, I could see the writing on the wall that my position was going to be eliminated where I worked. I wanted to leave before I could be laid off, so I started looking.

I went back to a company that I had worked at some 10 years previously. It was not my first choice but they met my salary requirements and the position suited me. 

For the company sales and engineering were two distinct silos. I floated between them being a sales minded technical guy who could support salesmen when they were talking to their technical customers. It was good enough.

Then one day, there I was just sitting there at my desk, minding my own business, when I received a call from a recruiter I had known for many years. Did I know "X" company and would I be interested in an account manager position with them? Heck yes!

I went to the interview and spoke to the hiring manager. It turned out that we had worked at similar places in similar positions for a long time. It was a wonder that we hadn't crossed paths before. It was like speaking to an old friend.

So I hired on and was on boarded just everyone was told to lock down on account of Covid. 


For years my wife and I had talked about downsizing. Our house was too big for the two of us. We lived there for 23 years and soon would have to put money into a new furnace and windows. Putting that kind of money into the house would pretty much mean that we'd have to stay there. Also, the value of the houses in the neighborhood were pretty topped out; all we could expect in the future was that the value of the homes would rise at the rate of inflation.

We've been wanting to downsize and buy a ranch. Climbing up and down stairs was getting old  (as are we). They are really hard to find.

But - one day we were driving and saw a ranch with a sign in front saying "move in in 30 days." The realtor couldn't show it to us because of Covid, but she could open it up and we could look around ourselves. 

I said to the Mrs "I could see us living here." The next thing you know, we bought the place, listed our own home, sold it in 5 days (sight unseen) and moved two months later.

We moved from  a 2500 sq ft 4 bedroom colonial to a 2000 sq ft 3 bedroom ranch. I love living in the new house and neighborhood. I have several friends who already live out this way, and it already feels like home. 

The only thing wrong with the house is that there isn't a lake directly behind my patio.


I still continue to practice taijiquan every morning before I go to work. I noticed a karate school not far from me that hosts an aikido class, so I signed up for that. 

Two evenings a week, I'm going to aikido again. It's not the beloved Yoshinkan of my youth, but a different style and organization. I'm starting again from the very beginning and having a lot of fun.

Actually, we're not really doing aikido yet because of Covid. Because of distancing, we're working on Toyama Ryu Iaido after doing aikido warm ups and break falls. I'm having a blast.

I've also taken up (western) archery. I'm on the lookout for a used fitness bike. The neighborhood is filled with bike trails and I want to make use of them.

As a result of all of this, I've lost 25 lbs since the beginning of the year. 

The Mrs and I will be celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary this month. I remember at our wedding, we let the band select the song for the bridal dance. It didn't seem appropriate:


Both of my kids are doing great. 

I've been blessed.

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