Cat’s in the cradle

The other day, my son woke me up and asked to borrow my Skullcandy ear buds so he could listen to music on his iPhone (or whatever) and when I asked him what time it was, he said “Almost noon.” I said it smelled like bacon and he said “Yeah, mamaw made bacon and eggs, buttered toast and sausage gravy. You missed out. Seems like you’re always missing out these days.”  Wow…I never really thought about that until my 18 year old son pointed it out. He went on to say “You sleep ’til noon, go to work, come home and do it all over again.”  I can’t recall verbatim what my reply was but I’ m quite sure it was total agreement. Strange thing is, I’ve only had this job since October (the first two weeks were just training) but already, he can see how work can take up a large part of one’s life.

Y’know, I don’t want to be a slave to the grind but you’re kinda bound by your obligations because you have to be. There’s really nothing I can do about it. I have to work. I’m trying to get divorced, save for a place of my own. These things cost money, which as they say, does not grow on trees. But by the same token, at what point do you stop living your life for someone else and start living it for you? When do you decide to take a leap of faith and find a trail head on the path to what you really love doing? Well, the shortest answer to those questions is this: NOW. You make up your mind at that very moment and then find a way to achieve whatever it is that keeps calling you, begging for your attention.

I’ll be the first one to tell you that it’s very easy to talk a good game because I’ve done it. Heck, I still do it, to a degree. But when my son made that offhand, yet astute comment, it really woke me up and strengthened my resolve to finish what I’ve started, i.e. my manuscript. Call it a revelation, an epiphany, whatever you choose. Regardless of the label, you have to recognize the Divine when it’s put in front of you like that. The odd thing is, I had just purchased a book at my local Barnes & Noble called Time to Write-No excuses. No distractions. No more blank pages byKelly L. Stone. Within it’s pages are tips from over 100 professional writers describing how to fit writing into your busy life. So isn’t it ironic that only 6 days after purchasing the book, my son would make that comment? That’s no coincidence, friends. That’s God’s way of saying “Just DO it already! Geez!”  And He would be right.

See, the thing is, we get so wrapped up in our work, kids’ sports schedules, vacations, socializing and celebrity watching (Yeah, I don’t get what that’s all about either. Don’t care what they do in their personal life) that we’ve lost ourselves to our own lives. Not everyone, but you get my point. Hours after my son had made his comment about me “missing out”, I remembered that line from the Harry Chapin song,  Cat’s in the Cradle: “And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me/He’d grown up just like me/My boy was just like me”.

If you’ve never heard the song, you should look it up on YouTube. It’s kinda sad but it speaks to us about putting career before family. Keep in mind, it was written in the 70s but it still rings true today. I guess that’s what prompted me to pack my laptop and take it to work with me that night. I made sure I had my power cord and thumb drive so I could work on my manuscript, which I did. Honestly, I haven’t worked on it in a couple days. I’m also still packing my things, as I will be filing for my divorce on Feb. 15th. My bedroom is looking rather empty but that’s fine. That emptiness is a good visual for a new life in the near future. Anyway, moving on…

That one comment made me think back to when I was young and my daddy was working two jobs to pay bills.  I really don’t remember seeing him through the week, though I do recall once when I was sick and another time when I woke up and found him in his chair in front of the TV, eating Chicken in a Biskit snack crackers. On weekends, he would do whatever repairs were needed on the house and cooked dinner on Sunday after church. He didn’t go with us, except maybe Christmas and Easter so he was home on Saturday and Sunday. When we moved from Nebraska to Missouri, we had our own service station so he pumped gas, fixed tires, etc. He was also an auxiliary police officer, subbed at the local post office and when he and mom divorced, he worked three jobs: police officer, postman and insurance salesman. I know because I helped him with his call lists for the insurance job. But he was always working. Always.

Eventually, he quit everything else and became full time at the post office, until his health forced him to retire. Oddly enough, it was about the same time my mom had to retire from her job at the hospital in a neighboring town. That man worked himself almost to death and while that can be an admirable trait, (hard work, that is) it isn’t what I want for myself or my son. Other cultures have learned to find a balance between work and play and I think it’s very important that we find it too, or we’ll lose out on all the beautiful things life has to offer. I see it happening to me and I can’t stand it. However, I must work to pay my bills and make my own way for the first time ever. I guess my belief is that we need to look at the big picture instead of the more immediate ‘snapshot’, if you will.

Just in case you think all my posts will be sappy and serious, I assure you, they won’t be. Lately, these are issues that pop into my head that I need to address or I’ll bust. Believe me, there’s no shortage of drama or people who make me scratch my head in wonder. You know the kind: the engine’s runnin’ but there’s nobody behind the wheel? I’m trying to avoid chaos, if at all possible. Anyway, the point is, relax and smell the roses folks. Find something you love to do and then find a way to do it, if you can. You only get one go ’round so you gotta make the most of it!


Until next time…

  & hair grease, y’all!!





2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kathie Truitt
    Feb 01, 2012 @ 22:12:18

    So glad that you finally get to file for divorce and start living on your own. It seems everything seems to be going your direction – yay!


  2. randomlady65
    Feb 02, 2012 @ 00:49:03

    Amen Kathie…amen!! Been a long row to hoe but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s what makes me who I am and all the glory to God for helping me through it. ; )


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