March 25, 2009

To Be or Not to Be (busy that is)

 

For as long as I can remember, I've usually kept myself busy (I try not to use the terms "always" and "never"). Now grant it my memory isn't as good as it once was.  One thing readers should know is I'm somewhat of an extremist.  I oscillate from one side to the other pretty violently. 

So here's my story and I'm sticking to it..........

In 1990, I  won custody of my two young sons (ages 6 and 8)  as their mother and I divorced.  I worked a night shift to enable myself time for field trips, to represent parents on the school site council and coach little league.  In addition to this, I worked 50-55 hours a week and commuted 75 miles each way. Raising two young sons by myself was challenging....  Life was busy.....and life was good. 

In 1996 I remarried.  Now my commute is 78 miles each way, still work 50-60 hours a week.  I work early morning (4 am) to allow myself to attend high school baseball games, recreation league soccer matches, take a few junior college classes, and help maintain a household with a wife and 3 teenage sons.  Life was busy.....and life was good. 

In 2000, we moved to the country.  A house on 3 acres.  Still work 50-60 hours a week, commute is 53 miles (a lot shorter), kids are pretty much grown up, now have farm chores to "keep me busy". Rabbits, goats, chickens, cats, and dogs.   Mowing, mending, weed-eating, roundup spraying, planting garden, pruning trees, pruning grapes, etc....you get the picture. In addition, add the normal hobbies of golf, camping, traveling, family obligations, etc.....you guessed it......life was busy....and life was good....

Things changed  in 2006.  Another divorce and many decisions.  Fortunately the "farm" was sold near the top of the market.  I needed to decide where to live and whether to buy or rent.  I had lived in or around Sacramento California most of my life and worked in Tracy California for 20 year .  I decided to not buy and to live in Tracy. I live in a house with a roommate (the homeowner)  and have absolutely  zero household responsibilities besides cleaning up after myself.   This created  a problem for someone  (me) who had been "busy" for the better part of 25 years.  Although I still work 50-55 hours a week, my commute is now 5 miles.   I work a 4:30 am shift and even when I work 11 hours a day, I'm off work before 4 p.m.  During the spring, fall and summer, that leaves between 3 and 5 hours of daylight.  What to do with that much available time was a definite problem with someone of my personality. 

So I took some time and  tried to reflect on interests that I've had in my past that I haven't had time to enjoy.  Racquetball, Cycling, Motorcycle Riding, College classes, Volunteerism, Hiking, Taking Pictures, Dance Classes (which was a new one), Travel and of course......Golf. 

I've sometimes been criticized for being so busy.  Some of my co-workers and customers  ask me on Thursdays of each week what was on my schedule for the upcoming weekend.  It would either be a motorcycle ride, a 50 mile bicycle ride along with a 10 mile hike followed by golf on Sunday afternoon; or possibly work an extra day on Saturday followed by racquetball in the afternoon and movie and a bike ride on Sunday. 

I don't know why I have the desire/need to stay busy/active.  All I know is if I'm not busy/active, I tend to get depressed.  So being active/busy is good for my health (both physical and mental)

16 comments:

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Not a lot of guys raise their kids. My hat is off to you. Very well done.

Stay busy Teamster. Being active will allow you to live a much longer life. I've watched people retire and then just sit in front of the television set. Not good at all.

Still sorry we missed you two last weekend.

Have a terrific day. Hugs to you and K. :)

katherine. said...

"somewhat of an extremist" ?
somewhat???
rolling my eyes

You truly are an excellent parent...and you did a great job with your "boys"

is it too early to ask what all is on the slate for this weekend? I need to pack....
j/k

The Teamster said...

sandee...i agree...and i'm not even retired yet..

katherine...this weekend will be a little tame...after my 10 hour day at work, I'll pick you up at the train station, head into town for a "nick and ann" night. Saturday will be meet the gang for breakfast on our way up to the chili cookoff in Jamestown. Then we'll ride another 100 or so miles up to Jackson and head into Sac for dinner with Al and Norma. Sunday will be church, stop by and say hi to Michael and Veronica, then find somewhere to watch the race. After the race, maybe ride home 160 down the delta towards Antioch, thru Oakley, Byron, then home to Tracy. Oh...then wake up at 345 am Monday to take you to the station on my way to work..........

so...not too much...unless we can make it back to Tracy by 3...then maybe 18 holes of golf?????

smiling...

katherine. said...

now everyone knows why I don't have the time to get around to visiting their weblogs on the weekends....

Desert Songbird said...

Busy is not a bad thing. I'm not physically busy all the time, but my mind is always on the go. When I was physically able, I was on the go a lot, but now my activities are centered around cerebral ones since I can't exert myself that much.

I'll live vicariously through you and Katherine with your active lifestyles and dream...

Anonymous said...

you make me tired.....

Mel said...

All or nothin'....I know the syndrome....

dawn said...

the last comment was made by me. I can never get my name on here!

I put in my password, says it's incorrect. This is dawn in case my name doesn't come up.

dawn said...

ok, the anonymous was me. Mel got in there while I was trying to post again. ha ha ha

The Teamster said...

songbird....that's one thing I need to learn to appreciate more in people...those who stay busy reading, writing, researching...keeping busy with their minds..this blogging is a good excercise for me...

mel...you know the syndrome, or you too have the syndrome?

dawn..just sign in like you would mom's

Linda said...

Sounds like you and Katherine will have quite the busy weekend but that also sounds like it's par for the course for you (no golf joke intended!).

My hat is most definitely off to you for obtaining custody and raising your sons and - from the sounds of it - doing a damn fine job. Not many men take on that challenge when a divorce happens but those that do - good for them! I bet your sons are well-adjusted and happy young men who are not going to have any fathering issues thanks to your fine example.

Michael J. said...

Teamster - You know that I have always been impressed and a whole lot envious of you and your fatherhood. Picking up little shards of your experience through the years has just made you seem a little bigger than life. I think that if I had gone through the trials that you did I would have done a lot sh--ier job for sure. Enjoy life every day because God knows you have earned it!! Enjoy your 50 year rideabout and we will all be watching. Just be careful!! Especially when riding by yourself. Oh and everything you do on this trip will be a first time experience. You have never done it at this advanced age. Tee Hee

Talk to you soon

The Teamster said...

thanks linda...the boys are good kids...i'm proud of both of them...and life was busy...and life was good...

Mike J....to receive that type of compliment from my older brother is awesome...thanks...

Travis said...

I prefer to be active rather than busy. Active sounds like more fun.

Bobbie said...

You must take after your Dad & Mom
tee hee

The Teamster said...

Travis...I'm one who uses busy and active as one in the same..


mom...I think I do take after both of you...50-50...