Category Archives: Driving

Patience and Determination

This past week, I have been driving around like crazy.  It’s not been easy and I’ve spent almost 30 hrs on the road in the last week.  It should have been more.  I didn’t imagine this being a full-time job when I started it almost two years ago.

What I did imagine was getting further along in my career to where I wouldn’t have to drive around to make ends meet.  I set myself up for this though so I shouldn’t be complaining.

Determination to have a different life will always get the better of you.  When you are satisfied with the status quo, you stay where you are.  Some people are happy just surviving.  They aren’t doing much else with their lives, but they are happy for the most part.  There are days sometimes I wish I could be satisfied with a simple life, or in my version of things, the bare-minimum American dream.

I have always found the American dream to be a sham.  The big house with a white picket fence, a dog, a cat, two kids, a husband… I have already failed at this one since I’m gay and won’t be having any kids anytime soon.  But my wife wants that dream so I’ll patiently and determinately give it to her because it makes her happy.

Roots are not something I have ever wanted and/or needed.  Connections with things and homes don’t leave much space to move around for work or to have a somewhat vagabond-ish life that I had dreamed for myself as I had gotten older.  I used to joke on my dad about his wanderlust.  Looks like I have a version of that bug too.  Being married with kids and responsibilities has gone a long way to making sure that bug stays tucked away in a “What if” part of my brain.

Patience, though, keeps me stationary just as well.  Without patience, the need for instant gratification hits hard.  It’s definitely a generational thing, where I want something and I want it now.  If I don’t get it quickly, I stop working towards the goal and then when I think about it again, it’s too late or has lost the luster it once had.

Patience is definitely needed when it comes to getting the house we are trying for; determination is the only thing keeping me from walking away from it.  Determination to prove to everyone I can do this adulting thing and that I can finally get with the program to reach a lifetime milestone.  Well, that and $3,000 in earnest money (a DMV standard from those I have talked to about it.  Most other states require less.).  That’s too much money to just throw away, when building it back up would take six more weeks of me trying to kill myself.

Isn’t life grand?

Listening to:  The construction going on outside.

Reading:  “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

Quote of the Day:  “Doubt is a virus that attacks our self-esteem, productivity and confidence. Faith that you and your life are perfectly unfolding is the strongest vaccine.” ― Sean Stephenson

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Filed under Advice Column, Driving, Finances, Goals

Saturday Night

I have been driving people around for a while now.  It’s not an uncommon situation:  When someone asks me what I’m doing at night/on the weekends, I’m driving to make money.  June saw me with no car and no extra cash for things.  Needless to say, things were, and are still, a little tight.

That’s why I found myself driving around trying to get to my monetary goal on Saturday night.

My last ride of the night was a young man in relative terms.  I don’t often work the drunk crowd; it’s my scene and I’d rather be the person drinking, not the DD.  Anyways, this guy is slightly wobbly and I’m like this is going to be a really irritating ride.  I picked the young man up; he was headed to the opposite of the Harbor.  His first comment was, “Take whatever route gets us there.”

In the following 20 some minutes, I found out a lot about my passenger.  Former Marine and he was dealing with a heartache.  His girlfriend of several years had a skewd view of a relationship.  We both agreed that a relationship is about spending time with each other.  On top of that, he had started setting up roots for their future.  He had moved to the area, bought a house, and had a decent job…He wanted the works everyone over 30 is supposed to want.  After serving his country and doing several tours, he deserved that.

What pissed me off was here was someone who had fought for our country who deserved to have his dreams come true.  Four years and newly single when all he wanted was to be happy with the person he saw his future with.  We kept talking about how nice it would be to have someone to come home to after a long day who loved you.  Her argument was that he seemed like he wanted Little Suzy Homemaker.  After talking to him, I didn’t get that impression at all.  Of course this was only over 20 minutes of talking to this guy while he was slightly intoxicated.

As an Uber Driver, what gets talked about in the car is supposed to die there, unless it’ an argument with the top dog of the company.  However, this guy’s story stuck with me all weekend.  I wanted to say something prolific about how we treat veterans like crap.  I have seen so many homeless vets and vets like my dad who hasn’t had anything good happen in couple years.  Maybe it’s my guilt of not being there for my dad right now, or when he needed me a few years ago.  I haven’t gotten past what I didn’t do when it would have been so easy to just help, and now it’s way too late to do anything about it.  Whatever it is, this young man’s story had me wanting to end my shift and grab drink just to continue the conversation.  I don’t get many passengers like that.

If you have military personnel in your life or know any military personnel, please say “Thank you” and hug them.  Start a conversation with them and see how they are truly doing AND LISTEN TO THEM.  Take them out for a nice day out and remind them the positives of what they have/are fighting for.  Help with what you can, even if it’s babysitting so they can have some time with their partners.  Most importantly, love them.

 

Listening to:  “Lydia” by Highly Suspect

Reading:  “Uprooted” by Naomi Novik

Quote of the Day:  “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” ― Vince Lombardi

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Filed under Advice Column, Driving

Time Sucks

Today is a question day.

Question #18: Which activities make you lose track of time?

  • Writing.  I can easily lose track of time when I’m typing away at a scene I really like.  I just keep going until I think of something else for another part of the story, questions I want to answer within that chapter, or the scene plays out to the end.
  • Cross-stitching. Going through the thread and the patterns help me get lost when I need something patient to do.  I will admit that it takes a while to complete because I find myself stopping every so often and putting to the side, especially when I’m in school.
  • Reading.  Books are my best friend when I’m on the train or stuck in traffic.  Some books pull me in and I want to keep going until I done with them.  Other books take a while to get through, not because the story is bad, but that I find other things to do with my time other than read them.  American Gods or Eat Pray Love are a few of those books for me.  American Gods because it makes you think about what immigrants brought to the new world as far as their beliefs and superstitions.  Eat Pray Love was because I didn’t want to have to sort through my feelings like Liz did.  Now, I don’t have to sort through them as much because I’m in a different “place” in my life.
  • Binge Watching. Since Netflix started doing streaming and I found some shows that I used to watch and loved, binge watching while cross-stitching is a thing now.  I haven’t watched Netflix in while because of work, school, and training.  I do remember I’m almost done with Ghost Whisperer and Once Upon a Time.  I finally finished watching Haven.  Out of all of series I’ve seen, there have only been two series I’ve watched with really satisfying endings:  Haven and Lost Girl.  Neither left me wanting more so if you need recommendations for binge-worthy shows, check them out.  I’m waiting to see what happens with Grimm  Good thing I’m almost ready to start a new cross-stitch pattern now that I’ve sorted through the books to donate, sell, and read.
  • Ubering.  I’m adding this to the list because I can easily spend ten plus hours driving people around over the weekend.  I’ll tell Ray I’ll stop work at a certain time and then I look up after a few trips and it’s closer to that time than I would have liked.  Nights where I’m up almost 22 hours straight mean I’m stopping somewhere on the way home to nap.  I don’t often do it over the week because when I do lose track of time, I suffer the next day.  Getting up at 4:30 a.m. after you get home at 11 p.m./12 a.m. isn’t as easy as it used to be.
  • Social Media. This is another one that’s easy to lose time with.  Pick a reason for any of the time sucks like Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest, and you’ll hit the nail on the head.  I use YouTube for music and following a few different vloggers, among the “how-to” videos and the Super Carlin Brothers.

I should probably mention I used to be a gamer and that helped me lose track of time.  I haven’t played a game in a while.  After about an hour of playing, I would quit.  Might need to do a game run though just to get rid of some frustration waiting for softball to start.

What are some things you do that make you lose track of time?  Let me know because I could always use new ideas and things to check out.

Listening to: Beauty and the Beast Broadway Soundtrack.

Reading:  Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ― Maya Angelou

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Filed under Books/Classes, Cross-Stitch, Questions, TV Shows, Uber, Writing

Rocks in the Glass…

This morning, after parking my car, Ray sent me a message:  “Let’s guess what this is.”, followed by a picture of a chip the size of a nail head in her windshield.

We went back and forth for a few minutes before I called her and talked to her about it.  We both found it slightly funny and were happy it was just a chip and not a crack.  She agreed to pick up a repair kit on the way home and have one of the boys take a look at and hopefully fix it.

When I hung up, I couldn’t get past the comparison of how pebbles were annoyances, the highway life, and the car a person.  So I did what I do best:  write.

Take any measure of things that can hurt, maim, or damage cars like bugs, pebbles, stones, other cars, mud, etc. and make these the things that people go through in life.  Bugs could equal things that are minor annoyances that are easily dealt with by car wash and some elbow grease.  Stone and other cars, to me, would be deaths and losses since these can do the most damage to your car.

Cars are people, not literally but stay with me.  We all only have one car to get us from point A (birth) to point B (death).  We follow a road (Life).  Sometimes, we are alone on that road, coasting through stop signs and around curves that make up our experiences.  Other times, we have other cars around us, sharing our experiences and then taking another route towards their own destination.  This isn’t much different from the game, Life, a kid’s game I think we have at the house still.

Back to the rocks.  I got “hit” with a metaphysical stone that broke my windshield this week that I wasn’t prepared for.  I was cruising along thinking that everything was one and that I would have passed one of my classes with a “C”.  I could handle a “C”.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the “D” that popped up in the gradebook.  Talk about a blow.  I was eight classes away from graduating with my Bachelor’s and I’ve been at this now for a little over three years.  Now, I’m up to nine classes and a potential switch in my degree program.

For me, that stone and broken glass takes time to fix.  It may not seem like it shouldn’t have done much damage and in the long run, it probably hasn’t.  In the short term though, it has made me stop and think about what I really need to do outside of school right now, as I wait on the side of the road for someone to help me repair the glass.

Have a great Friday.

Listening to:  The sound of my typing.

Reading:  Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day:  “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

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Filed under Advice Column, Driving, Writing

Racing the Dawn

Dawn 3-5-17

Sunday found me driving from my house to pick up my sister and take her to the airport.  It was a 3 hour drive out, a little over an hour drive up and then a near 4-hour drive home.  All in all, not a bad drive and about what I would have spent driving for Uber that day.

MD Snow 3-5-17

It was beautiful morning that was made even more awesome by spending time with my sister, however limited.  However, there was one major, loaming deadline that I was procrastinating on:  My two final papers and responses, due by 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Procrastination

Procrastination in one of my downfalls.  It creates stress, frustration, and a need to rush through things.  My passing these classes rested on my ability to produce really good papers.  I got angry at the dog though for whining, wanting attention while I was trying to write.  After I posted the papers, I couldn’t get to sleep for another hour and yesterday, I almost fell asleep at work.  That’s not a good thing.

According to Psychology Today, there are three types of procrastinators:

  • Arousal types, or thrill-seekers, who wait to the last minute for the euphoric rush.
  • Avoiders, who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of success, but in either case are very concerned with what others think of them; they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability.
  • Decisional procrastinators, who cannot make a decision. Not making a decision absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.

I’m between all three of them.  I think I do good work when I’m under pressure; this is a very reactive personality trait.  I have a really big fear of failure, which I know is terrible because I won’t grow as a person if I don’t try things.  I make a decision but I always think that about the outcomes that could have been.

One thing all procrastinators have in common is that we actively look for distractions.  For me, that starts happening about 3 p.m.  I look for things to read, watch, or listen to.  Right now, I’m listening to “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell.  Audiobooks are great distractions; Pinterest is another, along with Facebook.

For now, I need to get back to work and STOP PROCRASTINATING!

Listening to:  “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell on Overdrive

Reading:  “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell

Quote of the Day:  “If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue and it will select the path of least resistance.” ― Susan Del Gatto

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Filed under Advice Column, Driving