A recent change in fortunes has gotten me to think of a new plot line.

I went through unemployment to re-employment.  I won’t go into details or bore anyone with the “meant to be” New Age axioms.  But as I was leaving my new job today (which IS so much more enjoyable than my old job EVER was) I was replaying the circumstances of my departure.  But instead of rewinding and replaying, I considered a new scenario.  What if I said THIS instead of THAT and I never put myself in the position that lead to my separation from my old employer?

My mind did not even begin to consider the personal ramifications.  I immediately went into WRITER mode and thought of a novel in which every other chapter was the same story except different, perhaps parallel, taking a different track than the main story.  I am aware of a movie called “Sliding Doors” with Gwyneth Paltrow that is of the same concept and I even considered that while driving (still paying attention to the road, of course.)

That movie was seminal for me in that you could consider parallel stories.  When discussing this with my wife tonight, she said that as a reader she would get confused by chapters 1 and 1a and then 2 and 2a, instead suggesting a complete story followed by Part Two titled “OR…”  I know it would be difficult to get published in the manner that I had originally intended but I still believe it would be fascinating to follow parallel lives of the same character.

After my literary thoughts faded, I returned to thinking about my personal situation.  I make no great philosophical claims.  I am not Buddhist so this is the only life that I am aware of and I was not given a handbook at birth.  We grow and we learn, as people and as writers.

These recent events may have had more gravitas because of being married instead of single, a homeowner with a mortgage instead of an apartment dweller with no responsibilities, and getting precariously closer to fifty.  But they were not the worst things to happen in my life.  And perhaps I am better for it.  Judging one’s worth and value by an hourly dollar amount demeans the integrity of the person.

So, from a personal standpoint, there is no need to consider the IF.  The writer in me is still far too curious.


  1. Lonnie Williams said,

    August 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    GEE HB I am not really sure what you just said but Hey I am glad you found meaningful employment!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. tikiman1962 said,

    August 20, 2010 at 6:26 am

    I am beginning to realize that any other employment outside of my former employer IS meaningful. Thanks for the feedback. I still miss our meaningful conversations.


    • Peacox said,

      August 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      I know EXACTLY what you were saying! Funny–how one word can make a difference. What would have happened if I had chosen a different word? Still be there suffering? Another heart attack? And how it is an amazing feeling to be treated like a human being with feelings, and a brain, and actually be allowed to use it and the satisfaction that comes with that. When my manager came up to me the first week and actually told me how pleased she was to have me as an employee and what a good job I was doing, I about fell out of my chair. And it has continued for 2 years now. Amazing. I know–not said as well as you can… Good for you!! Good for you!! I can’t imagine the alternate scenario for either of us. Too icky!


      • tikiman1962 said,

        August 25, 2010 at 8:31 am

        Unfortunately, I know too many people, as do you, who share our sentiment. It is truly a shame that the “old school” style of working graciously for a company for twenty or twenty-five years and then retiring with a smile is no longer the norm. Too many people (and again, we know a few) couldn’t wait to get the heck out of Dodge.
        I am glad to hear you are doing well in so many ways


  3. Sharyl Friebus said,

    August 20, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Being a close family member of yours, I believe I did get your meaning. Also saw and loved Sliding Doors as I often wonder about the path not taken. It’s bizarre really when you think of all the little (and big) decisions we make every day that result in our reality, as opposed to what might have been had we chose other options. Some even spure of the moment. For you, a couple of months ago, you thought that “one word” had ruined a good thing, but instead you are now much happier for it. For that I am happy!


    • tikiman1962 said,

      August 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      I am always gratefyul that you are happy.

      Consider choices: Fifteen years ago, if I had left the place where I was working, I might not have been there when your sister walked in to start work, would not have met her, and would not be here responding to you in this fashion now.

      Too often, we play The Twilight Zone Game, considering the choices and decisions. I believe, as you are aware, to a great degree in Fate and Grace and Faith.

      Trust me: I am highly grateful for the opportunities I have been given, even when it appeared they were being taken away. The deeper meaning of that is known to family and close friends.


  4. jenniferneri said,

    August 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    amazing how you immediately dropped into writer mode.


  5. tikiman1962 said,

    August 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Funny that!


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