On this day 93 years ago my mother was born in Cleveland Ohio. Her family did not live in Cleveland, they moved around quite a bit. But on this one day that is where they were. Hard to believe she did not live past the age of 45.
She was 40 years old when I was born. I was the last of the 6 children she would have. And I have very few pictures of her. But on this day by luck and by cousins sharing photos on Ancestry, I have this one. This one picture of her as a baby being held by her Aunt.
Throughout the years I have done much family history research. I started by using hand written letters she herself had received from relatives back when she was doing family history research.
Also on this day, 4 years ago, my Dad passed away at the age of 87.
I remember the times when he would pull out this little wooden box with two drawers in it and look at pictures. He might show us kids some of the pictures if we asked, but mostly he would sit at the kitchen table and look through them by himself. Here is one picture of him during the Korean War.
I was lucky to happen across this piece of furniture while out wandering the aisles of a furniture consignment shop. I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, it was more of a hey lets stop here and look around sort of thing. The furniture that this piece replaced was old, and dark brown and peeling wood veneer. It may have been a piece my Mom had when she and my Dad moved into the house together. But the drawers never worked and the veneer was peeling. And it was brown. I am not a fan of brown. I like color. And this has color. I have a house which is pretty close to 100 years old. We have no storage in the house. And this heavy solidly built piece checks all the boxes. And it is heavy. I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to get it up the steps and in the house. Even after removing the drawers and the shelves. Still heavy. But here it is. And every-time I walk past it , everytime I open it to remove a bath towel I smile.
I am reading, Leonardo The Complete Paintings, by Frank Zollner and Johannes Nathan.
Imagine my surprise when I came across something of which I think we could all relate. In one part of the book, the authors write of how the individuals who had Leonardo and his two (unnamed?) partners paint the Virgin on The Rocks set out a list of things they wanted to be completed in a particular manner. Remember we are talking about Leonardo da Vinci. Yet, at that time in the 15th century, the individuals who are paying Leonardo for the artwork had no problem with setting out a list of items to be fixed or completed in a certain way.
Here are some examples:
“Also, the gown is of gold brocade and crimson lake, in oil.”
“Also, the mountains and rocks to be worked in the oil and differentiated with several colors.”
It is almost impossible for me to imagine telling such an artist, or any artist, how to paint or create anything. But, at the time, he wasn’t recognized as the artist we know of today. Still…
Are you trying to become better at something? Remember, even Leonardo da Vinci had his critics. And he probably still does. But don’t let that stop you from becoming the person you want to be.
These past few weeks I have had a lot of time to think. And think is one of the few things I have done.
Almost 8 years ago (8 years in January of 2020) I went to work at a Hospital in their I.T department. Very quickly it came to light that Management and I had grand ideas as to how to change the out of date atmosphere and improve so many things.
Within 6 months the manger who I was working with, moved up to a new position making more money.
Not long after this I found out we were going to merge with a larger hospital corporation.
Within two years of me starting at the Hospital I moved into another position, then went to work for the new larger corporation ( with me still working at the hospital) .
Then I moved into contract mode as the larger corporation did not do Technical I.T instead it contracted those duties out with a company based out of India. Oh yes.
At this time everyone who could jumped ship. But I stayed behind and picked up more duties while losing sleep over all the craziness that was going on. The lack of support the lack of coordination. The unhappy end users. You name it.
Then after a few years of chaos the Hospital decided to dissolve the partnership. The hope for me, at least in my eyes, was that everything would go back in house.
That did not happen. I was however picked up by the local I.T contracting firm, the company whom would be taking over I.T support for the Hospital. I was given lower pay and less benefits. That happened two years ago. And now the hospital is merging with another local entity.
I knew something was up. And I knew I was tired of dealing with all the crazy. Almost 8 years and I have worked for 4 different employers all while parking in the same parking lot and walking into the same building.
I began the process of looking for another job. Even though I had projects I was working on and even though I had co-workers depending on me.
Then last October 11th,with the the local I.T contracting company saying they are not going anywhere and will keep this lucrative (my words) contract – I was asked via a text by my manager to stop by the office. It’s a nice office. A whole new building was just completed recently using, I am sure, the record gains in income from the I.T Contract with the hospital.
And it was there that I learned that they did not need me any longer. On October the 11th I was let go with 1 month severance package.
I truly felt the earth move under my feet. So many thoughts. So many worries.
I went back to work that day and emptied my desk.
Surprisingly by the time I made it home, upper management at the Hospital called me to let me know how they had no idea this was going to happen. They also told me that the following Monday, I had an interview for my now-former position, but this time I would not be a contractor.
It is terrific that so many people moved so much around to make sure I would not be left jobless. And I did get a small pay increase to boot.
But almost three weeks without working has left me time to think.
I think I need to take control of some things. I need to imagine a new path where no matter what happens (within understanding), I will be able to be self-sufficient. The idea of being unemployed did more than freak me out.
I have to take care of my eight-year-old great-nephew. I am the one who pays the bills and keeps things from going into utter chaos. My significant other has a hard time paying the one bill which she is responsible for. A bill she keeps forgetting to pay or thinks she pays or who the hell knows what. She is a very self-aware person in that if it is something she wants, it always comes first.
Me, I don’t like having anyone or anything able to control so much of my life. And with that, I am looking at my options. Or better yet looking to create opportunities. I want to be if not totally dependent on my self for my work and the money I earn; then, I want to be in a place where at least I can try and supplement my income in case something like this happens again.
And with that I am thinking.
And I am trying to imagine a new game plan.
Before I no longer have so much time on my hands.
I have had a lot of time to think these past two weeks.
I also need to have my eyes examined – and when, not if I need glasses, I think I would like a frame such as these, which are my reading glasses.
“Autumn is the hardest season
The leaves are all falling
And they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground
And the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
New leaves will come around in the spring
But you can’t tell trees those things
They’re like me they just stand there
And don’t listen”