I think regularly about things I want to post, but I just haven't been taking the time to post recently. Part of the problem is that I am fairly certain that I have lost 80% of my readers (I used to have 5, now I'll be lucky to have 1). The other part of the problem is that I haven't really had the time to develop the thoughts. It seems that I am preoccupied.
One thing I thought of posting about was a the ice cream truck idea that my oldest son put together. In short, the neighbors gave us a tricycle that has a little basket on back for our youngest son. Our oldest son thought this looked like it would make a good ice cream trike and prepared to go sell Popsicles in the neighborhood. He persisted, so we put the cooler in a trailer and gathered the other kids on bikes and went around selling Popsicles. It would have been a fun little post, but I couldn't figure out the point that I wanted to make. (Believe it or not, I try to make a point with what I write.) We sold 7 popsicles (after many failed attempts) at $.50 each. The boys got to split $3.50 for their ~2 hours of work. They feel like the richest kids ever.
I've thought about posting about my new job which I love, but I don't feel that it is appropriate to post about your employer on a private blog. I'm not an official spokesman and I certainly have opinions so I feel it's best leaving professional and private life separate in the blog world.
On a similar note, I have thought of posting about the doctoral program that I left. I have been enlightened about the volume of 'politics' that occur at Universities and am gravely dissappointed. Maybe someday I'll expound, but not now.
I could write about cycling, but I have a 3 mile uneventful commute every day. I've gone on a couple of Saturday morning bike rides with friends, but they have been generally uneventful.
The topic that has really been dominating my thoughts sort of flirts with many of the areas I've thought about writing about. We are attending a new church congregation and it is in a quite affluent area. The people are very kind and we have been treated great. It is one of the nicest congregations I've ever been in. I just don't feel like I fit in. (Granted, I haven't felt like I fit in anywhere in the last several years.)
I doubt that we make less money than everyone else in the congregation, but we certainly make less than most. I know this because most of the people in our congregation live in houses that cost over half a million dollars.
The amount of money people make has been on my mind. It shouldn't be, I really don't care, but it is. I have had lots of really good friends who make far more money than me and it generally doesn't bother me. I think the feeling of not fitting in comes through conversations that I have with people. Typical conversation will inevitably lead to someone asking what you do for a living. I work for the YMCA.
In the beginning I said that with nothing but pride. I work for the YMCA. I love what I do and I get to make a difference. I am passionate about what I do and feel that I really make a difference in the lives of real people who need help. (those previous links were to the same video, this one is also good.)
It didn't take long for me to notice similar responses to the fact that I work at the YMCA. They seem disappointed, or surprised that I would 'settle' for a job at the YMCA. I enjoy what I do, I just don't make a lot of money. Why does it matter how much money I make? Evidently it matters some because either people have made a big deal of it or I have perceived them making a big deal about it. (I should emphasize that nobody here has been anything but kind. I just spend a lot of time feeling judged.) Unfortunately, I have started talking about my degrees to 'prove' that I'm above a YMCA job.
That last sentence is really what confuses me. I feel that I do find myself talking about degrees in order to prove something, but I don't hold a lot of value in the PhD that I didn't finish (that's why I didn't finish). I also sometimes find myself thinking that I'm 'above' a YMCA job. I love what I'm doing. How can I be 'above' the job that I love? Oh the hypocracies that I have to live with.
I went for a bike ride the other day with guys from my new church congregation. It was good. They make more money than me, but we got along fine. They invited me to do a ride in a couple of weeks, you know, the type of ride that you have to pay to do. I said that we couldn't afford it, but thanks for the invite. That was sort of true, but not entirely. We could afford it, but we choose not to so that we can stay out of debt and spend our money on things more important to us like our garden or savings. Anyway, the guys I was riding with decided they would offer to pay for me to do this ride. It was a kind and generous gesture, but I would feel bad taking money to do a ride that I could have afforded but chose not to because we have different priorities. I actually have a prior engagement that day, so it doesn't really matter, but it's an interesting discussion.
Overall, everything is going great. I love what I do and it provides enough money that I don't have to worry about it excessively. I have an incredible family and the greatest wife possible. Life is good. I will try to return to blogging as I have more time, I still think it's good to stay on top of my writing abilities.
Here are some pictures of the family for those who may be interested.
What an excited little boy! I'm not completely sure where his clothes are, but we've got about 50 pictures on the camera of this little boy with no shirt. Someday we'll get him dressed.
He's still excited and still doesn't have a shirt on. Notice the dinger on his forehead. He was pounding on the screen door, which he likes to do, but the screen door wasn't latched so he did a header out the front door, down a step and onto the concrete. As Homer said, "He took the earth full on the forehead." I'm going to post a video from a few days earlier where this dinger was far worse. Six-Pence certainly likes that his brother had a birthday. He got to eat cake. We didn't get many pictures of the birthday boy. He was making awful faces and then we ran out of batteries.
Something certainly seems to be good.
Here's the birthday boy. The Mugwump turned six. This is the only picture where he's not making a ridiculous face at the camera, largely because you can't see his face. He enjoyed the cake and his birthday.
Here are the videos that we've recently made. Be careful not to play the first one at high volume or CPS will come take your kids away, there is a lot of screaming. The second one is just documentation of bad manners. I don't know where he could have possibly picked up that habit.