How I got Here

Some people who may read this I haven’t talked to since I was a college student at Bethel (now Bethel University).

This isn’t going to be a resumé, but to start with: for nearly five years after I graduated, I had a different job almost every year (I was at one place about three, but apart from that…), while a friend was at the same job that entire time; then I was at the same place about that long, while he was at a different job every year…

I am and continue to be a computer programmer (“software engineer” if I’m trying to sound official).  I was at my previous job for almost seven years, now I’m working at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (but I’m not responsible for any policy of theirs, I just write the software to implement such).

However, that says very little about me.  I’ve tried to live by the motto wrongly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

So I’ve spent myself in time with other people, as much as possible.  I have attended Woodland Hills Church for over fifteen years.

Five years ago I got married to the most wonderful woman in the world.  My friend (same mentioned above) said at the time, “I always knew you’d get married, Greg.”  But I didn’t know it until it happened.  In fact (and there’s a story here), I didn’t know we were dating for six months.

I married a woman who was owned by two cats (cat owners understand: dogs have owners, cats have staff).  Then about two years ago, we got another that owns me, particularly — a Silver Persian.  I’ll have to add pictures ASAP.

I have to brag on my wife a little bit: she is one of the most competent, independent women I know.  A true Proverbs 31 woman.  I was admiring her over the past holiday season, and saw how she managed to take care of herself thru a medical “emergency” and deal with a fussy little boy, and deal with difficult family.  And yet, although I tried to be helpful as much as I can, I did not worry for a minute that she would decide and do the best she could on her own if and when she had to.
I’m sorry I’m not very specific — the details would be boring, or personal, but I had to say something, because I really do love her, and appreciate her.

I earned a degree in pastoral counseling.  I became very interesting in how the human brain works, and I learned a lot about how the people process experiences and communicate, but I don’t know that I’d recommend it to someone else, now.  (I’ll have to fill in details later, I feel like I must post this today!)

We now have a twenty-month old son.  And that is about all there is to my life for the past two years or so.

Last night we shared the “last” Christmas celebration with neighbors who also babysit, and they have five kids — three younger, adopted: 6 yrs old, 8 and 9 or something like that — anyway, we were laughing and throwing Christmas paper around and just generally having fun, and I realized again just how fortunate I am.  Blessed indeed to have friends and loved ones near.  I also see how infrequently I take time to appreciate that simple fact.
I had conversation today with my chiropractor.  He asked how I thought the country was going, presumably meaning what did I think of the stimulus package, etc., etc.  I dodged the question then as now, because I answered that I have a friend who doesn’t consider politics and the like anything more than a curious intellectual exercise — there are things that matter much more.  To quote a song that I like:

“Time doesn’t scare me.  No, I’m not impressed by time!
In the scheme of eternity, millenia don’t seem to be worth much more than a dime,
Except for the love that you find in it, and every minute’s worth its weight in gold
whether you’re a million years young, or a million years old

“And if I’m still around a million years from now,
if I’d been around a million years ago
Everything I’ve learned or forgotten,
Imagined or come to know
would disappear into that Moment
I found a Love that won’t let go
even if I’m still around, another million years…”


One Response to “How I got Here”

  1. Rebooting… | More than a Tweet Says:

    […] just re-read my history post, and I find some changes — esp. regarding our cat status: those that owned my wife and me […]

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