Happy Sif’s Day and Happy New Year!
I look back on 2022 with frustration and some sense of self-discovery. It’s amazing how much those two go hand in hand.
My frustrations stem from a lack of satisfaction with where I am and what I am doing. I dislike Texas for a lot of reasons. I don’t enjoy the politics of it; the sub-tropical climate without any season to speak of; unless you count moving from green to brown of the foliage at times. The people are friendly enough but their viewpoints on life deeply seep into Christianity. The Bible Belt is alive and well. I reminded of a Viking saying about Christians – “Don’t trust them – they talk peace but carry a sword”. Christians are on the defensive so they are apologetic and kind. Just wait if the tables ever turn. I remember the 80s and 90s all too well. Politics, Climate, Religion, and Oh, Yes. Houston is without a doubt one of the worst-designed cities on the planet. One of the costs one expects in a city is that its design would help with is transport costs. But no, Houston is designed in such a way that you have to drive everywhere, even down a couple of blocks because public transport is a joke and sidewalks are non-existent as far as I can tell. Overall, I would say the environment fits me like a size 6 shoe and I have 10 and a half feet.
Top it off, my dissatisfaction with being a public school teacher has grown to the point that I want to be done at the end of the semester. I will finish out my contract and call it good. I hear most don’t last between 2-5 years so I am in good company. For me it is a little different – this job requires me to care too much – much as I did as a pastor. This is bad for me personally for a number of reasons. I am burnt out from caring about so many. I just can’t do it much longer. I hope that makes sense. It’s not that I don’t care about people, but the direct involvement in a lot of things in everyone’s life – I just can handle based on the simple fact that I get tired of doing it. I am worn out from that, I now understand I am probably too old to get that fire I used to get from helping people like that back. I will send myself to an early grave with the stress of my emotions. I no longer can help at a deep level without it triggering a lot of the Grey for me. My empathy is killing me at this point.
It’s this fact that has triggered The Grey a lot for me. It has led to the self-discovery that when I help others, I fail to take care of myself. This is not about selfishness – it’s about self-preservation. I getting too old for this shit. I have a lot of goals I have yet to achieve and this is not the way. My self-care has suffered and I can’t let that continue.
So in Viking Spirit, I am planning on ending my raid into Texas this summer and heading back home – north – back to Michigan. I can handle one more semester as long as I know it is the last one. But also during this semester, I need to get back to my coping mechanisms that keep the Grey at bay and make my life better overall. I need to once again put myself first. Getting Back to lifting weights, proper diet, writing, reading, meditation, and plan simply being a voice in the world for the NNV and Reason. To live the Viking Life in the modern age.
I suppose the one positive of raids is the plunder is good. I have made more in the last year and a half than four full years of ministry. That said, teaching is a tough job that deserves more. I think I can do better now that I have some measure of what it means to focus on things. Just wish I had a shieldmaiden by my side to help me with the burden of life. That would have made things easier. I haven’t found any shieldmaidens in Texas, maybe they are all northern gals. So I would be headed in the right direction. Tomorrow’s post will have more details on my vision for 2023.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.