Okay, here I am … two weeks through a fast-paced three-course, three-week study and lab program in order to become Microsoft certified as a web programmer, and I’m now finding myself again with three weeks to fill before my third course even begins.
My theme song these days could be that old Bobby McFerrin hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” There’s plenty of both to go around. I can find ways and reasons to be happy. I can also find reasons to worry.
The negative side of me can look upon the three-week wait in finishing my training and think, “Wow, what a fat lot of good it did for me to get in to an earlier class to start out two weeks earlier than I first anticipated. I’ll end up finishing at the exact same time I would have under the original plan, and it doesn’t get me out there working again any sooner.”
The positive side of me can look upon that and think. “Wow, this buys me three weeks’ worth of study time to go through all the information in the courseware and the lab manuals and my notes from lectures and keep reading through that Visual Studio 2010 All-In-One For Dummies book, and I rounded up two more books from the library on Friday — thick buggers, too — to help me study and maybe understand this stuff better in time for the MCTS exam.”
The negative side of me can look at the fact that I went home after class on Thursday to hear the news that our high-mileage minivan was overheating a bit that day, and when I looked in the radiator the coolant was very low so I got some 50/50 mix and filled it up again … only to have it get low and start running too hot again later in the evening.
The positive side of me can look at the fact that for the family’s various driving needs on Friday — as we’re down to two vehicles and four drivers potentially needing to use them — I put in some coolant again before heading off to class in the morning and drove the van myself (if anyone’s going to end up stranded somewhere, I’d rather have it be me) and it stayed cool enough. After class, I got more coolant and some leak seal junk, poured it in, drove the van around and gave it a good test … no overheating yet.
The negative side of me can fear the fact that we could also be looking at a bad gasket, which would mean a more expensive repair, and we can’t afford to be down to just one operational vehicle out of three.
That was how my day went on Thursday: up and down, negative and positive, looking for glimmers among the gloom. I handled it the way I usually do: having a bit of a “conversation” through prayer, and pouring my heart out in the process. I did that a few times on Thursday, in fact, even before getting the bad news about the van. And you can believe that it continued on through Friday.
It’s those times in which I just wonder if I’m strong enough.
I look at my current job situation, and I can’t help but wonder and stress about what “the plan” is for me and my family, just how bad things could get before they start getting better, especially after looking at our bank account before paying bills Friday afternoon.
I wonder if I could possibly go through this programming course, pass the exam, and still have trouble landing a job for whatever reason — under-experienced, over-qualified, over-age, etc. I think seriously about whether I’d make a good car salesman as a “temporary gig.” I’ve known programmers who’ve lost their jobs and done that. After all, not all car salesmen need experience.
I keep wondering where I belong.
I keep thinking about and hoping for — praying for — that promise of second chances, including the chance that’s been in front of me for months now that’s been delayed. It’s that chance to someday do something really big. It would be a glorious second chance, to make a better life for my family and myself as well as others. And it just feels like it’s out there … waiting.
In the meantime, I look for something to get us by. I think and look “outside the box,” to things I might not normally even consider except for the fact that we need more of an income, and we need it soon. A coolant leak in the old minivan only serves to remind me more of that. I look to something totally “off the wall” for me, like trying my hand at being a car salesman … with some training, maybe I could use my “charms” to do that.
Why? Because I’m restless, and I’m still looking for whatever is in “the plan.”
I’m ready for a break … again.
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