4.19.2010

that silver lining... it is important to realize that silver lining


Grant flying a kite at Haines Point
oddly enough... there was nearly no wind at Haines Point on this day

when ever I go to Haines Point on the bike there is wind in my face on each side of the loop
go figure.

perspective...
it is all about perspective
perspective is a little more than the just the spin cycle...
although the proper spin does help as does the proper amount o
f cycling
it is always important to put things in proper perspective
perspective is key

when faced with adversity... it can get tough
it is not only important to keep things in check my maintaining perspective... but sometimes we must also look deeper
it is important to search for that silver lining
the silver lining of my situation is up front and center

my silver lining is tough to miss
the silver lining in my situation is the increased amount of time I am getting to spend with my kids

pick up and drop off and all that goes with it is my silver lining in this situation of uncerta
inty and stress
more field trips... more class presentations... more
just more... more time getting to be a dad
more time doing what I really enjoy

several months ago CBS News had major layoffs

it was announced and it was known
there were articles about it all over the country there was no secret about what was going to happen

well... I was not entirely certain what was going to happen

We all knew someone was going to get laid off
no one was sure how many people
no one had any idea of who

I did not anticipate that I would be one of the 100 employees at CBS News nation wide to be laid off on that Monday morning
it did not seem possible that I would be one of the 10 people in Washington DC laid off by CBS News on that day

I thought my job was essential
I felt as if I did a good job

so... even with the articles in various papers... it was still completely unexpected...it happened like a scene from Up In The Air with George Clooney
I was called into an office where a stranger in a suit sat there waiting for me she had a set of folders and an assortment of kind words all along with my walking papers
there was an immediate onslaught of emotions
confusion rushed through my veins
panic built and worry grew

it was hard to piece together what this woman was saying

I got the basic gist

it was not so important for me to even try to hear what this woman was saying
it was all too much to ingest

all that paper work would have to be sorted out later
that moment was about internalizing a very shocking reality not about maintaining benefits for my family and how long I would receive severance for
those things were important... but the reality of being laid off and what that meant was the most important thing for me to get my head around

I maintained composure and tried to breath
no one had died
I had not been diagnosed with cancer
my kids are happy healthy and whole
it was really nothing more than being forced to leave a job that I was already dissatisfied with


in reality... it was a slightly less than gentle push out of the nest
a chance to do something different
an opportunity to become the person I want to be

a moment for reflection
a time where I could regroup and move forward in the direction I want to go

I spent my last day saying goodbye to my "work family"
as the CBS Help Desk... as the "computer guy" I was in a situation where I dealt with most everyone in the building on some level or another

I walked the halls saying my last goodbye to everyone who crossed my paths... from the head of custodial services to the top correspondent Bob Schieffer... trying not to leave out anybody in between

bonds were built and friendships had been made
there had been a grand number of years
that sort of day to day for so many years adds up
we all had seen each other grow and change
leaving made me realize that these co-workers were part of my life and in some way part of me

it made me sad to think that these people would not be part of my life any more
they were my work family... I would be leaving them behind along with that old job

with my desk packed I was out the door
my credentials and building pass were handed in along with my Blackberry\cell phone
my Internet access and email account had been shut down... previously it would hav
e been my job to shut down the Internet Access and Email Accounts for those that were being laid off
it was a day where I went through a wide range of very powerful emotions

I rode home that day feeling energizedas I went up 18th Street in Adams Morgan I rode no handed and sang the song by The Who I Am Free


the next day I returned with my car
I handed in my company laptop and I grabbed my boxes

boxes and boxes of stuff that I had accumulated over the years
clothing and crap... way too much stuff to bring home on the bike

I still have not gone through those boxes of crap that I simply stored in my basement before I could internalize things...

before I could wake up and watch the world get up for work while I stayed home the snow started to fall

it was the DAWN OF THE SNOWPOCALYPSE
the storm of he century
Washington DC became a winter wonderland
I was overjoyed that I did not have to go to work on these days
I was ecstatic that I was able to share in this adventure with my family
that storm was something truly sensational
we really tried to make the most of it

there was sledding... shoveling... then more sledding and more shoveling
our Mount Pleasant home became cross country ski in and cross country ski out

once the roads were plowed it was time to try and get back to normal
only I did not know what normal was

morning carpooling... afternoon pick up
but what about in between?

as it turns out being unemployed is not a vacation
it is a strange awkward time
in my mind I thought that this was the golden opportunity for me to become all of the people I always dreamed to be
there would be time for me to work on a Gwadzilla Photo Book... there would be time for me to spearhead Rock Creek hiking trail repair days... there would be time for work outs and bike rides.... gardening... home repair... three day bike tours...

sure... there are things that have been happening...
I had to tear down and disassemble the deck that the SNOWPOCALPSE pulled off the back of my house...
that was multiple half days
there was the basement project... well... one of the basement projects... cleaned up some ceiling space that got damaged by large volume rains... resume was brought up to date... jobs have been applied for... there has been more... but there has not been this massive
surge of productivity

have I been out riding my bike everyday?
there have been some rides... but I may well be riding less now that I am without my daily commute
the daily commute got me on my bike no matter what
right now there are a thousand and one excuses not to get on the bike

the morning routine of working to get the kids ready for school... getting the boys to school... walking the dog... then

well... then... then there are a few hours before pick up
a few more hours of pick up on the days that they boys stay for after care
but really... there is not that much time

there is time... stuff is happening... but not as much stuff as I expected
there is an old saying, "if you want something done... give it to a busy man"
I may be doing less of the things I want to do than I did when I had a full time job
sure I am doing the car pooling-pick up and drop off-and post school hang with the boys
sure there are soccer practices and coaching soccer games
but that other stuff it not getting the attention I thought it would

severance is up this week
this is the first week of the reality
this is the first week of really "not having a job"
so much of having that job was getting a check... this is the first week that I do not get a ch
eck
time to up the process of finding work

if I am going to do a photo book or expand Gwadzilla
now is the time

the silver lining is there
it is amazing to get to hang with my boys
to have the time and patience to try and be the father that I feel I should be is amazing

knowing that I will get a job soon enough and that my tasks of morning carpools-afternoon pick ups and post school hang out time
well... knowing that this is fleeting I try to make the best of it
there are days when I give the boys space

but most days I try to guide them to do something

each day even if we just go to the park around the corner from their school where so many of the p
arents take their kids after school
unlike the other parents I engage my children
always bringing a soccer ball... several frisbees... a nerf football
I have brought croquet... I have brought rocket balloons
there have been all sorts of post work hikes in Rock Creek Park and bike rides around town
none of which would have happened for me and the kids had I not been laid off
my boys are only going to be this age for this moment

I am trying to soak it all in

today I brought the kids' bikes in the car to school
of course it started to rain as soon as we locked them up out front
but I was planning and am still planning to ride to school on my bike for pick up... they will have t
heir bikes there... we can ride home from school
again... something that I would not be able to script if I were working 9-5 right now

time to finish this post
time to work on my resume
there are a few things on my mental things to do list
time to make these things happen
time to get things done

there are an assortment of photos here

on Friday the boys did not have school... Emancipation Day in The District
in an effort to make good use of my time I took the boys to Chesapeake BMX

initially I had intended to do a day ride on the C&O Canal's towpath
but having to get my bikes from The Family Bike Shop in Crofton made the BMX track a logic
al destination
the boys had a blast! there needs to be something like that in DC
it is absurd to have to travel an hour plus for kids to ride their bikes on natural surfaces

then there are some photographs of the boys flying kites
it was in my head to take the boys out so that they could each fly kites that they had been given for birthdays years past
in Florida we flew some small kites and the boys had a blast
for some reason the larger kite offers a different experience
the wind was slight... we had a blast
flying a kite is like fishing
you work with what comes to you
it is a balance... it is a dance

Haines Point is not the same without The Awakening there
we flew our kites where the sculture once stood... or was lying down


some old photographs of The Awakening when it was at Haines Point I took all sorts of photographs... even got some images of the sculpture torn from the earth being dragged away in pieces on stretcher like flatbeds
Gwadzilla mention of The Awakening
Gwadzilla mention of Haines

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