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Sunday, May 04, 2014

On a Year, an Apartment, a Job, and a Life

Jean Sexton muses:

On May 4, 2013 I arrived in Amarillo with the intention of making this my permanent home. I look back over the year and marvel at the changes.

A year ago everything I owned was on a truck or had been shipped to Amarillo and was waiting in an apartment I had never seen. Most of the boxes weren't labeled since we'd left so hurriedly. My home office furniture and equipment went into the office that ADB had built for me. Some of my "stuff" wouldn't fit in the apartment and went to storage (which was emptied in three months!). It was two weeks before we found the hardware to assemble my daybed and I moved into my apartment. I am very proud of the fact that all of the boxes of "stuff" have been identified and unpacked where appropriate within this year. Some are still awaiting putting in the new curio cabinet and bookcase.

My job is still defining itself. I took a lot of tasks from Steve Cole, but they were things he wasn't doing, so I really only divested him of the guilt of not doing them. I took on some things from Michael Sparks that were customer service sorts of things. I took on managing the uploads to the "One Bookshelf" family of venders (Wargame Vault and DriveThru RPG). I took on the marketing of the PDFs. That was only being done to our existing customers before and now there is an outreach to others. I still manage the social media outlets and our internal forums. I also am trying to work on Traveller Prime Directive. There's more work than hours to accomplish it.

Slowly I am building a life out here. I'm learning my way around town. I have a little dog who is helping me exercise and become healthier. For many years my life consisted of doing the "paying work" at work and then working for ADB at home. Weekends were for driving 40 miles to the good grocery store and then fixing meals for the entire week. Now I am able to go to stores on my way home. I fix suppers that I want when I want them. The only required thing is walking Wolf and that means I do the exercise I neglected for too long.

In some ways this year has been remembering what "happy" is. When I arrived I was pretty much in a state of constant stress. I've been able to slowly work out of that state. I've been able to have my apartment reflect who I am, not who I want to impress. I have taken hold of some unhealthy habits and am working to break them. Do I really need so much "stuff" that it doesn't fit in an apartment that is as large as the first house my parents owned (and that had two children living there, too)? Do I need to not exercise? "No," is the correct answer to both questions. I need to choose what makes me happy and healthy. I am glad I brought more than I needed as I could choose what I wanted the most and what suited who I am becoming. The rest has either gone to or will be going to someone who wants it.

I suppose the lesson I have learned is that it is never too late to learn, grow, and change. I expect to continue to do that, probably for the rest of my life. I am thankful that I have that chance and thankful that ADB took a chance on me.