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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Nine Months and Counting

Jean Sexton muses:

As I sit here I marvel at the changes that I have seen in the last nine months. A bit back I was summing up "last year" in response to what Facebook thought was important in my life (I didn't agree with all their picks). A friend told me I should make some of those life milestones. So here is a look at how I grew during the last nine months.

I retired from a job that I held for 30 years. I thought I would be glad to go, but I was changing a routine to which I had become accustomed. Change can be hard and this one proved to be. Who was I if I were not a librarian? I was about to find out; a person shouldn't really be defined by a job. I could be so much more than what I was.

I packed up and left a region where I had lived for 30 years and the state where I was born. I knew the land, the people, the weather like the back of my hand. I left behind many good friends. However, I knew that I would learn more about the Panhandle and grow to love this land as well. Still, I never knew I would miss rain as much as I do.

I arrived in Amarillo, Texas with a brand-new full-time job. I had an apartment, but no assembled bed, so I stayed with the Coles for almost three weeks. It became time to leave my temporary nest.

All the bed parts were found and I moved into my apartment. This was the first time that I had the ability to decorate according to what I wanted. Before I was either struggling and making do with my parents' cast-offs, I was pleasing someone else, or I was living in a house that wasn't really mine to do with as I pleased. Now I have things that I have accumulated over the years and I am not worried if someone will make fun of my unicorn collection or my eclectic taste in art. Some are things that I have had since my first apartment, which adds a continuity. I slowly am becoming more self-reliant.

I settled into work and we got out Captain's Log #47 in record time. We went to Origins Game Fair and saw many old friends and made some new ones. It was really the first time I had been part of the company on an official outing. I even had my own vender's badge. It felt like a rite of passage into the company. I added more and more responsibilities to my job -- the Rangers, con support, and more marketing duties.

I went on vacation with my coworkers. I saw things I had never seen before and which are seared on my soul. The sun setting on the Sangre de Cristo Mountains was breathtaking. Riding in the Rockies was so different from my sedate Appalachians. These jagged mountains demanded my attention and got it. It refreshed my spirit.

Markie Dog Sexton bounced his way into my sedate, dignified, tidy life. He needed someone to love him and I needed someone to be there, too. His toys are strewn through the apartment until I pick them up (somehow "Markie, pick your toys up" doesn't have the effect of the toys being picked up). There's nothing dignified about a game of keep away. Who can be sedate when a little dog is wriggling in your lap? He has made me far less sedentary as I go on walks with him. I am becoming more healthy due to those walks.

Throughout this I am remembering that life isn't about all the "stuff you have." It is about friends and family. It is about caring and sharing and not hoarding. It is about living, not merely existing. 

So as I wind up these nine months, I feel somehow that I am having a second chance to build a life. Not many people get such a clear chance to change and grow. I count myself fortunate that I do. What will this new life bring? I don't know, but I intend to find out.