Saturday of the move to the new house.

Saturday of the move to the new house. Still waiting for the movers to be done after five hours. Three hours spent packing the last time I’d checked. I got overly mad last night at a Popeye’s drivethrough person and said regrettable things about her ability to understand English. I yelled at my wife today when she left our son to try to climb the stairs by himself. I am feeling the stress of the tail end of this long moving process that in some ways began back in Waco when I decided to quit my job and be a stay-at-home dad, only to decide that I wanted to be a pastor, only to decide that wasn’t it after a year of seminary, and now about five months into renting our post-seminary apt, we are moving into another house we will own.
I am still kicking against God’s clear plan for me: to raise two kids in a suburb while working a shitty office job that pays well enough to get by and save a little money, but never becomes anything great. It’s really the American Dream. I’ve been doing it pretty well minus the two-legged kids most of my adult life. It’s why my dad paid for my college education and pissed all over me, telling me I was a spoiled brat any time I kicked against his own plan for me.
Sure, I’ve been through the shitty school of life, told time and again that I’m just bitching when I kick against the hand I’ve been dealt, only to find an entire generation following me has turned complaining on social media into an art form. If I embrace the hand I’ve been dealt, and try to make the most of it, I’m told that I am just privileged, and of course my life turned out the way it has, given all of the things I’ve been handed that other people have fought and died for. If I kick against it, I am bitching and moaning and being a spoiled, selfish brat. It’s the same thing I felt when I moved over to East Austin, to be closer to my job–a condo was all I could afford–I literally could not afford to live in a home over there. Suddenly I was the face of the worst of gentrification. If I’d managed to scrimp and get by on next to nothing, and spent a little more on a dump of a condo near the Greenbelt, I would have been ignoring the problems on the East Side and happily living among my own kind. But,

I drank too much last night. I mean, I didn’t think it was too much. A few glasses of whiskey and soda and a couple of beers used to be about right to feel nice for awhile and not feel nasty the next morning. But, I paid for it this morning. I felt that early sleeplessness around 4 AM. I couldn’t sleep again before my son got me up around 6 AM, and then I puked for awhile and tried to lay around while he played with his toys. Finally, my wife mercifully woke up about 7:30 AM, and I slept until almost 11. I felt good enough for a walk, but still haven’t felt 100% again even now at 7:30 PM.
There is a strong sense of finality about this move and my decision to go back to work. There is no question about life suddenly transforming into great riches and bounty, or something otherwise exceptional where we get to live in SF or NYC or whatnot. There is no hidden talent or secret plan of God’s that I should go on to be a pastor to a small flock of appreciative folks somewhere. No bored literary critics are out surfing random blogs like this one in search of the next great American writer.
It’s not to say that life is over, or that even the best parts of life have passed. It’s simply a sense of finality about a certain era of expectations that began back when I was old enough to have dreams about what my future life would look like. Now, life has transitioned utterly and completely into the latter part of its summer as I raise a child or two and then retire to be more or less like my parents and the generations of post WWII old people. I suspect the millennials of today will eventually reach these same kinds of discoveries, and things will more or less go on as they have since at least the end of WWII for those of us who are fortunate enough to be middle-class Americans.
The neighborhood we have moved to gives off some hints that it could one day transition in the wrong direction and become a place where I wouldn’t want to stay, but these are few and far between. I’m talking like too loud music coming out of a house, too many cars in the driveway, too many fast, loud cars going by, compared to, say, my Aunt’s neighborhood or my in-law’s. However, compared to most neighborhoods directly east of here, it is a step up toward affluence.
I think that I would only move from here again if the neighborhood went completely downhill, I lost my job and couldn’t find anything remotely comparable in Austin, or I got an offer I couldn’t refuse from Google or Amazon. The first two are more likely to happen, of course, and I’ve weathered two economic downturns living here while making a lot less, so I think we’ll be fine and stay put and try to just live out a normal, boring American middle-class suburban sleepy kind of life until we are completely old and at death’s door and ready to move into the assisted living home.

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