This (2018) has been a very big year. Earlier on, we had three young men still at home, the younger half of our children. Now, they are all launched and doing their own things. We are as close to empty-nesters as Lisa and I will ever get, our oldest son Matt having come to stay with us after a good stint as his Grammy's housemate and companion. It is definitely a time of continuing transition for me as I go from a big-family provider that fitfully chased the bigger paycheck to a guy who needs to find new purposes that give his life better meaning.
I was always a bit envious of people who seemed to know what they were about in life - you know, those goal-oriented people. We had a very nice young lady over to our house for dinner last night, one of Lisa and Matt's art classmates, who always knew she wanted to do graphic design and is moving forward on her plan via college. That is far different from my road, which can best be described as meandering. As an example, it wasn't long after my paternal grandmother was finally able to praise me for sticking with my NMSU technical job for over eight years and finally "settling down" that I pulled up stakes yet again and wandered through a succession of jobs that moved the family to Oklahoma and got me working for the military and making more money than I thought was possible (just about the time that we really needed it). It is a credit to God that he can take someone as apparently aimless as I seem to be and make something worthwhile out of the mess!
One seeming tangent, after I got a master's degree for no immediately apparent reason, was to apply for a job as an adjunct professor at the local university, not knowing that I would take full-time technical employment there just shortly thereafter. I ended up teaching (well, not really teaching, but supervising) an on-line course in management, something that I had rarely done professionally, if I could ever claim something as lofty as a "profession". Having only a smattering of much to say on the subject of information technology management, I often fall back on my earlier training as a home economist and what I actually have plenty of experience with - being a maddening husband and an agonizing father! I am happy to say that my background has found some use in my semi-professorial role, at least as far as some of my course-takers (I struggle to call them my "students") tell me. Every semester, one or two people surprise me with a revelation that I had a significant influence on their life, sometimes even for the better! Lately, when it comes to my working life that fills most of my waking hours, I am finding that my occasional announcements and communication with IS 301 pupils, often starting as complaints about my "no late work" policy, become among the most meaningful exchanges in my life of late.
In my somewhat random way, I think I am really in a search for that elusive higher meaning that I often label transcendence. I attempted to explain this in my commercially-nonviable booklet Feeding the Soul of Steve Jobs and its explanation of the Psychic Proximity Principle - which keeps me faithful to the hope that God is steering me to places and labors that are mutually beneficial to myself, my family, and my neighbors. Of course, this means that I never know what is coming next, where it will take me, and how long any particular "mission" will last. Why do you think I love Lisa so much?- She puts up with a husband that seemingly puts himself into God's hands! What amazing faith! What's not to love?
So what is the meaning in all of this? God only knows. Literally. I just have to trust him and whatever his motives prove to be.