Black and white photo

Rest In Place

I’ve been contemplating being content where we are, today. I’d been scrolling through Instagram admiring my cousin Charles’ wonderful photos of the Pacific Northwest, and missing it badly. It’s so beautiful, and after yesterday’s battle with the sun here in Ohio the idea of living with 300+ days a year cloud cover is actually appealing. For that matter, moving back to Oregon or maybe Idaho would put me closer to some of my family. But right now that’s not an option. And it’s not that I don’t like Ohio, where we will likely wind up staying for a few years as the First Reader gets established and I begin my career. It’s more a matter of feeling restless and wanting to go see things, and take pictures, and…

I’m restarting in life at an age when most people expect to be firmly established in a career. It doesn’t matter that the statistics show the majority of Americans don’t progress through work and life on an even upward incline as they anticipate when they are newly-minted out of school adults. Employers expect entry-level workers to be in their twenties, and I know this means I’ll have a bit of an uphill battle even from the beginning. My motivations are a little different than the younger graduates, too. I’m not looking for the money to settle down and start a family – I have a family I need to be able to support so they can go to college and dream rosy dreams. I want to give them the help I didn’t have at their age.

But this means I have to buckle down, work hard, and not go kiting off after photo opportunities. Or move to a place where I know the taxes and politics are ridiculous, not to mention the high cost of living. Practicing contentment has kept me going this far, I’m not going to lose it now. And it does help to have the geeky kids, to talk to them about their dreams, so I know better how to help them reach for the stars. The last semester starts one month from today, and after that…

Who knows? I think the restlessness I’m feeling is related to that uncertainty of what comes next. The next six months are a huge transitional period in my life, and I’m a bundle of nerves about it. I know what I want, I know that I’m likely not to achieve everything I want to, and I know how much I’m gambling on this path I’ve chosen to walk for four years now. Being content each day is becoming more difficult as the end draws nearer. And there’s the addition of knowing that it won’t just be a clean, clear answer. Life isn’t that neat and tidy. There are always snarls, hiccups, and detours to take.

So maybe today I’ll seize a moment to take some pictures, and hug my kids, and tell them I love them. I’ll snuggle my husband, pat the dog, and do another round on the amino acid quiz app. I’ll go work, come home, make dinner, and relax in the cool of the evening with my family around me. I’ll write more, and add to the 1100 words I put down early this morning. Tomorrow is another day, and today? Today I am content in where and what I am.


2 responses to “Rest In Place”

  1. Reality Observer Avatar
    Reality Observer

    Cedar, you’re going into a field where reliability, maturity, close attention to detail are the prime requirements – and you know you have all of those, PLUS the knowledge, PLUS Sanford and the Geeks at your back. You will do wonders, believe me.

    In the meantime – taking a day off, or at least mostly off – even the Energizer Bunny has to return to his docking station every so often.

  2. John in Philly Avatar
    John in Philly

    Being concerned that the future may not agree with your plan shows that you are head and shoulders above the majority of the young college graduates.

    The other commenters have nailed it.