Curve Ball

December 17, 2004

Sometimes, when you aren't careful, life throws you a curve ball. In and of itself, a curve ball isn't a bad thing, the context of the moment and what you do with it determine its ultimate impact on your life. Take our situation for example. Michele and I have spent the past week or so getting ourselves prepared for one of two futures: (a) I get a contact in Illinois and we move back there and pick up the life we left behind in June, or (2) I don't get the contract in Illinois, we stay here and have a major financial meltdown (including the lose of our house and the investment it represents), and we start over at ground zero. After all that we've been through recently I think we both were beyond caring what happened. (We actually tossed around a third option, that of getting a couple of high-limit credit cards - having a blowout trip to Europe - and then ending it all. Joking about ending our lives is a pressure relief value. Honest.)

So no longer having a vested interest in our future, we were sitting ducks for the curve ball that I was tossed yesterday. I was approached about employment from an unlikely source. This employment would tip the scales on living and working in Kansas City from being marginal to being rather good. Before this approach was made, when we weighed our options, returning to Illinois came out on top as it avoided the major financial meltdown at the cost of a dead-end employment situation. Staying here had a dead-end employment situation AND a major financial meltdown. Factoring in this new employment overture has changed the whole equation. No longer does staying here have a dead-end feel to it employment-wise. Sure, we'll still have a financial meltdown, but we lived through those before.

Our carefully cultivated nonchalance about our situation has been torn, exposing the truth once again. The truth is we are invested in our future but we are so tired of all the chaos and turmoil surrounding it that we allowed our false personality to construct a lie we could live with in the short term. We all construct little lies about reality in order to filter the world to meet our needs. When you start to live the lie is when trouble begins. This curve ball forced us to look at the lie we were succumbing to, and it gives us a chance to turn away from rocks its siren song was leading us towards.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.