No Vanity Resolutions Here
Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away.....
I haven’t written much for HubPages lately. It is not that I didn’t want to; I just haven’t had the time. Time, it seems, is relative. It all slips away from you so fast, while at the same time, you are coincidentally trying to save some of it. It is a precious commodity.
But as of late my time has been spent on my new job. Last October I was hired by a local business owner to run his automotive repair shop. I work four 11 hour days a week, and an 8 hour day on Saturday. The shop is closed on Sundays, and I have Thursdays off. But being a manager of this shop, which is one of two that the businessman owns, has its ups and downs. I can’t complain about my salary, and my boss is a wonderful employer. But sometimes it can become stressful. It can be stressful to the point of wondering if it is worth it, or to the point of depression. Once the depression sets in, you get a lot of other crazy thoughts, mostly questioning your self-worth.
I have sales to track and business strategies to create. I have been asked to design advertising and blanket email messages. I have to call new and recent customers to make sure that their experience with us was a pleasant one. I also must call older customers that haven’t been in for a while to try and rekindle our business relationship. When we are busy, I have no time to do these things, and frequently take my work home or stay late in the office to handle it.
On my days off I am hoping to relax. No such luck. Lately, my days off have been mostly the days surrounding the holidays. There is no rest there. My wife had an emergency hysterectomy over the holidays, so her care had taken precedence over everything else. There were doctor visits and pharmacy trips, and a few missed days at work.
Then there are Sundays, my other day off. My father in law preaches at a little church up in Amethyst, just about 18 miles north of Lulawissie in the next county. Church services there are usually a time consuming event. The better part of the day is spent listening to members of the congregation singing horribly to some music that only they hear in their head. I can’t wait to get out of there, only to walk to the in law’s house for lunch and a nap in the easy chair. Not a bad way to relax, but in my head I am thinking of all of the things that I could be doing that are more productive (like production and sales reports or badly needed yard work at home).
“More productive than worshipping God and fellowshipping with family and friends?” you ask? We won’t go there in this piece.
But today was different. Last week my son, brother in law and my wife and me laid out the plans to take the old man out to the local steak house. With the electric company with their finger on the switch and no groceries in the fridge, we went head on with the plans, full speed ahead. I figured “what the heck? Yesterday my blood pressure was 223/136 (no lie). How much higher could it go?” I was stressed about spending the money, but the plans were made and they were set in stone. A stroke right about then looked awfully inviting. At least I would get a day or two off, coupled with a “woe is me pity-party.”
So we planned to go out to Longhorn’s. Being a seasoned butcher for several years, I knew exactly how much meat should cost, and this was not the price on the menu. But I trod on, with the feeling of a choke collar around my neck and a throbbing headache. I kept thinking that my failure to take my meds (for the last few days) may result in the family all sitting around the waiting room of the ER to see if the right side of my face would ever return to normal. But before we left the church to head out to eat, I sat for a minute with my brother in law, Kenny. Kenny is about 10 years my junior, recently retired from the military (the army and the navy). We each have our respective families of our own, and I asked him “Did you ever stop to really realize that we are in the same place that our dads were in 40 years ago? We are the heads of our own families, what you see here before us is our future. Soon we will be the doddering old fools sitting in the couch straining to hear what everyone was talking about.” He admitted that he has indeed had the very same thought. I have my four grown kids, one grandson and another on the way. He has several step kids ranging from 6 months to 18 years.
My blood pressure was beginning to go down. I could feel it. Family has a wonderful healing effect.
The final panacea for my throbbing veins was the dinner. The one thing that I thought would push me over the edge was actually my salvation. It was the presence of family. It was in knowing that aside from my father in law’s presence, I was the patriarch of a good portion of the gathering at the long table in the restaurant. The little kid’s chatter, the babbling of the baby, knowing my new grandson was there in my daughter in law’s tummy and the overall knowing that this family would only grow in size and happiness over the years made me happy and content. I think that I’d like to stick around for more of that.
New Year’s resolutions be damned. I have never kept a single one that I have ever made anyway. During the first week of January every year, the parks and streets are full of people running and jogging trying to lose weight. By late January, 99% of them are gone. They have given up. Vanity is not a good enough incentive to improve your health and appearance, although it propels some people. It doesn’t propel me. I have my grandkids to watch grow up, some of which have yet to be conceived. I want to watch my wife get old and wrinkled even though I will still remain youthful and handsome. I want to see my daughter in law make good on her threats to place me in “Shitty Pines Convalescent Home” when I become too feeble to care for myself. Until then, I’m not going anywhere.
So for now, I keep up with the arduous work schedule, learn to manage my time better on my days off, and enjoy the time that I have with my family. There may not be much of that left. Only God knows for sure.
So when you get to that point in your life when you begin to question your own self-worth and you are wondering if your existence on this earth ever had a positive effect, think of George Bailey. It is the things that you have done that are unseen by you and unspoken of by others that create a lasting impression and change the lives of your loved ones.
As for the vanity resolutions? Bah! Vanity be damned! I will get my health back in shape for my family, not for vanity. I think that they need me, even when I am living at The Pines.
As always my friends, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read what I have put down here. Take care of your families and yourself. Try to always do a good deed for a stranger, put in a good day’s work and give the Good Lord thanks for everything, the good and the not so good. Bless you all.
©2013 By Del Banks