Friday, September 22, 2017

Bracing Myself

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. -Thomas Paine

Having been released after the periodontal surgery I had six weeks ago, it was time to move to the next phase. On Wednesday, which was also my birthday, I spent two hours in a dental chair for a thorough periodontal cleaning. I have had periodontal cleanings before, but this one was overkill if you were to ask me. Then the following day (yesterday as I am writing this), I spent another two hours at the orthodontist.

Braces again...40 years from the last time I had them put on at 17, almost to the month. I was thinking, hoping, that braces should make me look younger by at least ten years, but I do not think that worked. Maybe the wrinkles and whitening hair are giveaways?

So, I am trying to get used to the metal in my mouth and the tension on my teeth with its new aches, which is why I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not go back to sleep. I finally gave up sometime after 4:00 and here I am at my computer, having much to do, but not wanting to do it. Computers, although inherently innocent, are such terrible time wasting devices when they are not being used productively!

I have been rather productive the last two weeks as to organizing our homeschool and getting on a schedule. The Princess needs structure to get through her assignments (and I need it too). With her working on Friday and Saturday nights and having added giving piano lessons, she has to be even more flexible than before and do some assignments on some evenings.

While my mind is on getting her focused on her education and piano, I was also looking forward to starting back to work on my house clean up, repurposing rooms, and renovations...but my husband has been tossing around more ideas about the business we might be starting and these ideas are good, but just seem to be too overwhelming to try to put together with just the two of us...actually I am not sure that it will not be just mostly me.

He, of course, is feeling pushed into it because he is scheduled next week to start an install that keeps him away from home for five weeks straight, including weekends, which is against our rules, particularly because he is salaried, not eligible for financial compensation, and has to fight to get off for the extra days because they have him going all over the eastern side of the country, even though other co-workers are sitting at home. He was told that this customer would not buy the machine unless they were promised that my husband would be installing it and other customers also specifically request him.

On the manufacturing side, which is based in England, the Brits have decided to manufacture only one machine to streamline production on their end because of higher demand. So, instead of customizing the machine to the customers specifications at the factory, now the field engineers are to customize their base machine in the field. Therefore, an install that would have only taken three weeks, without working weekends, now can take up to six weeks straight because he is not just adding to the machine, but also removing things from it as well to send back to the factory, which seems to be counterproductive. All this time, the customers are getting impatient with the installer, because they expected to the machine to be production ready in two to three weeks.

My husband is one of their top break-fix guys as well as installer, so often what happens is that his manager is hounding him about finishing the install because there is a problem with a machine somewhere that no one else they sent was able to fix. By the time my husband gets there, the customer is needing to vent about how how the machine being down is losing him business because of how long the problem has persisted, but at the same time they are relieved to see him, because they trust him to actually fix it. He is in demand, which is great for job security, but it is wearing on our family. They need about three more field engineers but the manager cannot find anyone who wants to work for the company. Small wonder there.

I am still not sure what we are supposed to do and when we are to do it if we are. We have asked and are waiting for certain things need to fall into place, if having a business or being self employed are paths to which my Lord is leading us.

Meanwhile, I am in braces...and looking forward to a better smile on the flip side.

My Lord, thank you for the opportunity to have a nice smile again and help my family to find reasons for smiling. Please, my Lord, grab our hands tightly as if we are little children unaware of dangers around us as You lead us on the path You have prepared.

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.