All posts by Jayson Langley

Walking in the Dark…

I have a routine when I get to the office… not unlike yours or anyone else’s for that matter.

When I get to work, I put away my jacket and settle my things as my computer boots up.

Certainly I need my coffee so I head down a long hallway to where the coffee is. I get in early so the hallway is relatively dark, main source of light is from a skylight near the half-way point but it is not nearly enough. I pass other associates and friends in the hallway as they are also in the midsts of their morning routines.

It’s a long hallway so their are light switches at the beginning, end and even middle yet nobody makes the effort to turn them on. Instead they continue to walk down the dimly lit hallway.

I always turn them on as it makes sense to me to do so… I usually get a smile, nod or ‘thank you’ from others sharing the corridor.

I can’t help but wonder…

They are walking down a dimly lit hallway which, judging from their appreciation when I turn them on, is not preferred. The solution to the problem is not hidden, it is readily accessible yet most people won’t make the effort, if you have to call it that, to remedy it. It seems they would rather walk in the dark.

I don’t get it. Are we so wrapped up in our lives or confined to our roles that we can’t make the effort to fix things? Do we think it is not our jobs? “No worries… Mike the maintenance man will flip the lightswitch on later when he gets a chance” or “a manager will take care of it.”

We all have our central ‘core’ responsibilities at work and at home but we are part of a team regardless. It does not take much effort or sacrifice to make an incremental impact on progress.

For me it is a matter of pride and common sense. I value my family and the company I work for and look to impact positive change where I can. While only a symbolic gesture, flicking on the light switch represents my willingness to contribute to the team, willing to go beyond my ‘job description’ to help move forward… to help the company to grow and be the best there is. It also makes sense… who wants to walk in the dark?

Your life is not a movie… the big epiphany is not coming…

From wikipedia:

“An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. ”

When I think of an epiphany, I am think of the end of that definition. ‘Any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective’.

While certainly trying to live my life, I think I have been also waiting for some big epiphany. Like in the movies, this magical event happens and suddenly I know exactly what I want and have the energy/drive to get it done. A family ‘not so much of a friend’ told me a story of such an event and kinda hoped it was something that happens.

He’s a putz, a drama queen and certainly took his excessive share of poetic license.

Life is not guided by these giant epiphanies… the magical moments you see in a movie or read in a book.
I have come to the realization that my path is made up of micro-moments.

They guide and reassure me of the path I continue to create each day.

I lost so much.

It snowed again.. can’t remember how many storms we had this year… its been a blur.
Normally I don’t come over to the house to plow the driveway and a path for the dog but I got out early today and came over. Nobody was there when I got there so I went straight to work. You all came home when I was almost done. I was in a suit and coat not in snow gear so I could not join them as you played in the snow in the back yard. I watched from the picture window…

It was like in the movies. Like a Norman Rockwell painting came to life. You and our two girls… and the dog playing in the snow, throwing snowballs, rolling around with each-other. At least for those moments, you all looked so happy and carefree. I guess those moments happened when I was still ‘at-home’ but I can only remember a handful.

I was numb for most of the time as I watched. Everyone saw me eventually and waved. The numb turned to pain. I lost my family… wait… you took my family. You made it so unbearable and unhealthy for all of us that I had to leave. You took them from me. I should be in that painting. I wanted to be a part of that movie.

I am so mad at you… nothing will ever be the same.

You let me down…
The one person who I should count on to build me up while keeping me grounded…
The one person who was supposed to help me grow my strengths while helping me through my weaknesses…

You were supposed to help make me who I could be…

That’s not how it went.
I was always a disappointment.
Not like the rest of the “family”

Is that why I chase them constantly looking to them to reassure me I am part of them?
They are not family… they might have been your friends but I am not as close to them as you were.

I am constantly looking to secure a foundation. I am relentless in this pursuit. I have always talked about how I need to be happy at home or happy at work. The truth of the matter is that the foundation I was supposed to have was from you.

I have always idolized you dad.
Like the name of god. My god.

Things will never be the same.

Inspired by a scene from Suits but I am not entirely sure why.: http://youtu.be/2iGHsl5Uuho

Homeless… for the moment

15 years. That is how long we lived in the ‘Mc Mansion’ as people have tended to call this type of house. It was sold this week. Long story short, my x, kids, and dog are moving in with my mother while we are getting the new house mortgage stuff out of the way. The new house is much more ‘modest’ and suitable to their needs.

The Mc Mansion was built for ‘us’ at a time where money was not an issue, kids were only in the planning stages, and the problems that would eventually lead to our end as a couple, were neatly buried under the surface.

Post closing we have until Monday to be completely cleaned out of the house. Last night was the ‘last night’ so we all slept in the house on the floor as the movers took mostly everything. We worked to clean up and pack last-minute things all day yesterday and we will do the same to day.

There is a spot in the house I just love… from the moment I stood in that spot in the model home I knew it was what I wanted.
image

As the x and my girls sleep (its only 7am), this is where I am sitting. Tons of mixed emotions are in my head, and in my soul.

I moved out of the house over a year ago but I was so proud that I had this house. I knew it had to go, I make less than a third of what I used to. In the last few years, I redefined ‘house poor’. I did everything I could to cut costs in other areas… all in an attempt to keep my kids in this house.

I know what you are going to say (or think)… its not everything. I know this but I feel like I have failed most of the time. I will get over it because I ultimately know the ‘house’ does not matter. I also know what you reminded me of…’we will take our memories of this place with us’. In the end, the McMansion is only a place to live. There will be others and things will be better and more affordable.

With the McMansion gone I can close the chapter of very difficult (I won’t call it extreme) financial times and focus on starting a new life.

Wish me luck… I know I am off to a great start thanks to you.

Its been a year…

Its been just over a year since I left the house.
When making life decisions, do you ask yourself “how will I look back on this decision in a year… in five?”

I asked myself that question in deciding to leave.

Well, I certainly have regrets about the details but overall, I am certainly glad I did it. No, I am not happy that my kids are hurting but I know in the end, it is better for everyone.

A year later and the big house is sold, going to closing soon. The new house for the ex and the girls is in contract and will close soon. My finances after that will improve significantly which represents the last important part of my transformation.

Divorce? Mediation? While certainly on the list to get done, life is better when I can actually afford my life.

I am obsessed with money you see. Not because I am greedy or want material things but because without it, we can’t survive. I can’t work on other things until its done. Its like the ‘security’ aspect of ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’. Once security is met you can work on other things on the path to ‘full-actualization’ (whatever that really means).

I often think I shouldn’t have worried so much about money. After all, what it really did was create more stress for me and for my ex. I am hoping that it at least reduce the amount of spending. At the end of the day, we had enough equity in the first house to pay off debt and get the new house with a reasonable mortgage. If I didn’t stress about money, would the new house be possible? Who knows.

Anyway… things are slowly getting better and I am hopeful. That in itself is reason to celebrate.

Be well.

You Are NOT Your Job…

Damn… I wish that were true.

Let me back up.
I am (mosty)proud of  what I have done professionally in my career. Back in June I was ‘downsized’ out of my job at a decent sized company. Not for what I had done, it was ‘just an unfortunate circumstance’ as a division I was working on was dissolved. I got a package that enabled me to survive while I got a job.

I certainly went crazy looking for a new gig and found one 10 weeks after. The only problem is that it was certainly a step or two lower than what I was doing. The interesting part is that it is essentially the same money (which is why I took it).

I figured that I would work my ass off and impress people in getting things done and I would quickly get promoted… Good idea? maybe in theory.

My new employer moves painfully slow. I am not even sure they are moving forward. Do you remember that scene from Risky Business when Tom Cruise is stilling in his high school classroom waiting for it to end and the second hand on the clock actually moved backwards? That’s how it seems sometimes.

The problem is that I keep getting assigned these crazy archaic spreadsheets to ‘update’ that not only will never be really looked at but can be easily obtained though the web tools we pay for. In addition, as I have suggestions on how to improve things that are ‘industry best practices’ or I find things that prove one of our agencies are ripping us off, nothing happens.

These things destroy me… apparently. I am so incapacitated sometimes I can’t focus. I have to walk away (as proof, I am writing this post on my lunch break because I just can’t deal).

But your not supposed to be your job? I LOVE what I do… Im a 24/7 guy and I don’t call it work (most of the time). The problem is that I am undervalued and when I try to show my value I get shot down. When I try to bring value, its ignored.

I need to be valued… thats for me.

I need to be valued… because I also need to get promoted and make more money… thats for myself and my kids

I should just disconnect. Do what I am told and get paid while looking for something else. Like someone told me… do your job and keep your head down.

I do it well sometimes but sometimes, like right now? I really just want to walk.
I can’t. I won’t. It just really sucks.

I feel like shit doing these meaningless tasks assigned by my bosses boss who has no idea what ‘digital’ is and has no interest in doing things different in order to be better. He is just content with doing things they way they did it last year. Does that work for anyone?

I am not my work… I am not my job. I gotta keep saying some sort of stupid mantra like that so I stay sane. We both know that is not going to work.

I gotta focus on doing my job, looking for something better, and consulting in the meantime. Know anyone that needs a ‘experienced results driven digital marketer’? lol.

Time to go… gotta go update my resume. 🙂

4-4-14-Update… For the most part, I am numb to the BS that happens at work. I’m still looking for a new opportunity and actually have 2 phone interviews next week. The real question is, this keeps happening to me or at least it seems that way. Is it me? Is it the type of work environment I choose? Maybe corporate america is not what I need? Maybe I always end up being the ‘agent of change’ and maybe I just need to be with people with a similar skill set so I can stop fighting and get to the next level instead…. if I am not too late.

 

 

It’s not an illusion…

I have a marriage therapist. I see him once a week. He tells me I’m challenging, in a good way somehow.

I perceverate on the fact that paying the bills is my responsibility. I also need to advance at work to make more money. Ultimately most of who I am are tied to my job and my financial responsibilities

He thinks I need to look at it differently. While I understand why, I don’t get how that is going to change reality. I need to pay the bills. I need to make more money. How does my perspective change that?

If my kids can’t eat… If I can’t pay the mortgage… Am I supposed to blow that off? How is that acceptable?

Shit, gotta go… Gotta work

The Last One To Know…

Its from a song… “The Last One To Know…. Is The Last One To Cry…”
What’s missing is what should be obvious… she might be crying now but I did plenty of crying (ok im not really the crying type though I get emotional) for YEARS.

Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely wish she was not crying but honestly? Its her turn, I had mine.  Denial is a powerful thing and she has been living it for years… let me explain.

Let me use another song quote to start off… this one is from (slightly embarrassed) the country singer Tanya Tucker.
“If it don’t come easy, you gotta let it go”.

My wife and I spent most of our relationship waiting for something to happen. When that event happened, ‘we’ would be better.

‘Once the semester is over, we will be better’

‘Once the sale of the house closes, we will be better’

‘When I get less stressful job, we will be better’

It does not work like that… yes, things would be better because there is less stress but there is always going to be stress. If you are not getting along NOW and it is a consist thing? talk to Tanya Tucker.

DRAFT

35 More Minutes…

That’s how long I have before I leave to see the kids. They are both in a play at school tonight and I asked my ‘x’ if I could come over early to spend some time with them. Things are different lately/now. The ‘x’ wants to keep her distance as she realizes that I am not coming back. She is looking to protect herself and I understand… and feel bad.

What little time I have with the kids is  a bit stressed. Though they have had daily 30 minute time limits on their various Apple devices, I think that’s out the window cause I can’t get them away from them. Its hard to talk to them, its hard to get quality time. I try to get these devices from them without looking like the bad guy… its a skill I am working on. For now I look to distract them with whatever activity I can engage them with.

So I sit here waiting for what is now 30 minutes before I leave. I am stressed out about seeing them. I immediately get stressed when I see a call or text from them.  I am not sure why. I want to see them, they want to see me. My 10 year old is coming over for a slumber party tomorrow night, my younger one wants to stay home with mom. That’s ok, it will get better in time.

Logically I understand. This is still new, they are upset and frustrated that I am not in the house anymore and they want things back to the way they were. Luckily (sarcasm) this is not a logical thing, its emotional. Its gonna take time…. just got to keep my eye on the ball… hopefully time heals.

15 minutes left and I just have to put on a energetic, positive vibe and get going.

Wish me luck. It might be a long night.