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The deepest quality of a work of art will always be the quality of the mind of the producer ...No good novel will ever proceed from a superficial mind.
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Blog Posts for March 2013

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Today's Beauty

 

Creating a garden bed is a great way to discover muscles and strengthen ligaments and employ health while gaining it. This will be one of two beds in the back yard, along with various pumpkin and watermelon and cantaloupe and tomato cages in other areas. Life takes place in a garden. Memories of my grandmother's joy at playing in the dirt, the underside of her nails packed with her fun in the sun.

I've been kinda cryptic and silent about my life in the last year. It's been a complete reset for me. So I will go through a bit of it here.

About a year ago, it became obvious to me that Tamara and I were no longer a fit. I moved into a little apartment, and my son, Aaron, later moved in with me. Life to me is a place of possibilities and hard work and optimism. I needed space for that.

Shortly afterward, my main client dropped me due to the economy, and half my income was gone. A friend of mine invited me to Texas to sell insurance. It didn't work because the model used was antiquated in today's environment of self-education and the election threw a lot of uncertainty into people's minds. So I was mighty broke and a long way from home.

Then in September, my van broke down, I was 1,000 miles from my kids, dealing with the collapse of my marriage, barely making enough money to eat regularly while paying few of my bills, and all by myself pretty much. I lived in a bedroom, rented from a really good guy named Paul.

Around that time, I started writing Seeing, which helped me to re-examine who I am, what I aim to do with my life, and what really matters in a relationship.

I had lost 40 pounds by that time. I rode my bike daily, did some light exercising, ate better... My mantra was to get healthy and orient myself as needed.

During the time in Texas, I managed to get back 5 or 6 times to see my tribe. On any given day, I have 3 to 6 conversations with my wonderful children. My last conversation of the day is always with Jacob, my youngest. I will forever include Tyler, Tate, and Tess among my children. The divorce put a lot of pressure on those relationships, but I trust that they will remain and be okay. I love them and will always be there for them.

Post-election, I considered moving to Canada, though Canadians make it difficult to move there. I wasn't in a place financially without the backing of an established Canadian employer to move there. So I squelched that idea and in December, I started dating.

Texas has a lot of good things to it. I live in Houston, a city with 6 million people - twice the size of the entire state of Iowa. If you want it, they have it somewhere within the city. It has a robust economy and it's a hub for air travel. I can ride my bike year-round.

I came to refer to dating at my age of near-50 as "The Land of Misfit Toys." A friend who has become like a sister to me, Lizzie, agrees with that wholeheartedly. She's married to a gay man, but separated and will someday divorce. She loves her husband, but only as a friend. She dates on occasion, and regales me with her sometimes laughable dates.

After a few missteps, I met Patti. 5'11", curvy, smart, and very down to earth.

She teaches special ed kids in a middle school. Her family is well-established and even has a local school named after them. She comes from a family of 5 kids, most of whom are local. She's very involved with her sisters and nieces and nephews. She's a loving and happy woman and a joy to be around. Kinda cool. We need to get her a bike though...

I'm getting to know her two daughters, both graduated form high school. Chelsea, the oldest, will be helping me with the garden. Mackenzie is pregnant and due in May. Patti relishes the idea of being a grandma. She's about the most nurturing woman you could hope to find.

My former client is back, and my income is once again climbing. This past month is the first when I was able to get close to my former income level.

247Toolset is finding new markets every week.

It's spring, and life is full of possibilities, hard work, and optimism. Just what I need it to be.

ETC: The first bed is ready for planting.

 

2 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 3/2/2013 8:16:48 AM
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Sneaky

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/3/2013 1:10:31 PM
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Today's Beauty

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/4/2013 3:10:18 PM
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Today's Beauty

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/10/2013 5:14:52 PM
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Pea

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/11/2013 5:52:37 PM
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Second Bed

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/11/2013 5:54:44 PM
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Nowhere, Texas

 

 

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 3/13/2013 10:09:05 AM
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Today's Beauty

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/13/2013 10:19:34 AM
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Natalie in Ella Purls

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/13/2013 1:31:26 PM
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Today's Beauties... and Me

 

Yes, my front tooth is missing. Or at least exposed. An old Army accident left me with half a tooth, and so I've had a cap all these years - until it wore out a couple of weeks ago. So I say now that as an IT guy, I'm rocking the software pirate look.

Aye matey.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/16/2013 8:30:33 AM
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Today's Beauty

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/18/2013 8:23:31 AM
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Nicks

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/22/2013 8:47:33 AM
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A Picture I Hope to Take 10 Years from Now

 

I went back to Iowa to see my kids and had a most incredible time. It's hard to be away from them, but it's harder still to not make money. Sometimes life gives you hard choices.

In the middle of the trip, Patti flew up to meet my family... and then for the first time in my life, I watched a woman really win over my mother. Don't get me wrong - to this day, Jackie has my mom's deepest affection. But Mom saw in Patti a grace and a way with me, and also importantly, a way with her. Mom found a kindred spirit and a genuineness and a strength that she really took a shine to.

And vice versa... when we went for a walk together, I pretty much just stayed in the background, watching the two of them chat away and bond and it was pretty joyful for me.

Patti is already working with Mom to have Christmas up at Mom's house, and make plans for future visits.

I love that...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/26/2013 7:54:33 AM
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The Long Road Home

 

I discovered a new feature in my truck on the way back to Iowa: my heater.

Took two days to get back to Houston. 30 mph driving will do that to your itinerary...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/26/2013 8:07:11 AM
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Grizzly Rogers

 

Most impressive...

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/26/2013 8:08:27 AM
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Sneaky, Part II

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/26/2013 8:09:02 AM
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Just a Reminder

 

It is not the job of politicians to solve my problems. It is their job to protect my freedom.

Pretty much every one of them sucks at their job, which is why I loathe pretty much every politician.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/26/2013 8:46:52 AM
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Growing and Blooming

 

Peas

Pumpkin

Tomato

Lettuce

Pepper

Us

 

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by Brett Rogers, 3/26/2013 9:16:26 AM
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Freeing

 

Driving with Patti around town yesterday, I recalled that in Seeing I wrote that "divorce, at the end of the day, is an act of self-preservation." The self has been squelched, sacrificed, and needs freedom to be what it naturally is - itself.

As we talked about it further, it occurred to me that a free relationship would require no acts of self-preservation. Why would it? You're free to be you.

That's when I knew that Freeing, which is a book I'll write about how to allow others be themselves, will be based upon that premise. When people around you require no acts of self-preservation because they feel free to be who they naturally are and accepted and loved accordingly, you're doing it right.

I told Patti last week of an idea I've had for a while that I call the "tendency toward life." The idea is simply that in the universe, if life can take place, it will find a way to do so. The idea first hit me when I was walking up Stone Mountain in Georgia. I saw this small, but obviously very mature tree growing in the shallowest of cracks in the granite. There couldn't have been hardly any dirt in that narrow crack, but that tree found a way. Likewise, there are tiny organisms that thrive near the thousands of the degrees in temperature at the oceans vents. Creatures at the bottom of the sea in incredible pressures... hence, a tendency toward life.

Driving across town today to her mother's house for Easter, Patti told me that relationships can't be measured by the presence of growth. After all, a tree can grow in the rockiest of environments, but that doesn't mean that it will grow to its fullest potential. She reminded me that there is a tendency toward life in people and in relationships, but that doesn't mean that people are free to be themselves.

I'm sure that little tree, if it were possible, would be thankful for the maturation it has achieved, but rock is hardly optimum. What if it would have had the soil under it to grow freely, without obstruction, branches rising aloft and strong?

Big difference. It was a brilliant connection she made, and a great conversation.

As we rode, I coded something I've been working on - the ability to text your hours into an active project. I have a client who wanted an easier way to have their people, who work very long hours on very "dirty jobs" projects across several states, submit their daily time on the project, and the last thing that these workers want to do at the end of the day is fill out paperwork and fax it in. They're not techy, they don't all have smartphones, and they need an easier way. So I took 247Toolset's texting ability and created a timesheet entry protocol via text message. As we pulled into Marilyn's driveway for Easter lunch, I successfully logged my first entry and got a confirmation text in reply about my entry. Patti and I did a little victory dance together as we entered the house.

I love her... and I love life with her. It's the most free I have ever felt. Not once has she wanted to change anything about me - my clothes, my manner, my methods, my words... I'm simply free to be me. I'm not ready to write Being, but I could probably write Freeing. I'm living it.

 

0 Comments
by Brett Rogers, 3/31/2013 10:16:29 PM
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