I seem to be losing most of my will to maintain a blog. There are multiple reasons: first, in many ways I've already "written myself out" on topics that interest me (or that once interested me); second, my physical infirmities impose certain cognitive limitations that impair my ability to do any truly original thinking; third, my pondering too much about the current trajectory of the civilized world is depressing in the extreme (even if I contemplate the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the natural end stage of the coming world-wide turmoil, depravity, and chaos); and fourth, honestly, who really cares what I think? I'd like to keep writing regular posts, but I've gone well over a month since my last post, and I still don't have anything I want to say.
My "new" job has been going all right, although it entails several sets of responsibilities that render it virtually impossible to take any meaningful vacation time, at least when it's convenient to me. (It's notable that this year was the first time since I started at Sandia National Laboratories in 1992 that I literally could not take time off during the Albuquerque Public Schools' spring break [March 12-16].) It isn't like I'm deriving any special career benefits from working in an SMU [strategic management unit] business office -- a fairly "visible" place to work otherwise -- so I see myself going back to a "line org" business office eventually, if only not to be chained to my desk when I don't want to be. My main criterion in making such a move would be to have an "old school" manager with substance, intellectual honesty, a customer-service orientation, and a willingness both to trust and go to bat for his/her subordinates -- which, if nothing else, I have in my current job -- and frankly I'm not sure how many business managers at SNL still fall in that category. I originally planned to work 30 years at SNL and retire at age 63, but, between my health reverses and ongoing changes in the company, I'll be fortunate to be able to put in another five-plus years to reach 25 years.
Working two shifts a month at the temple has been much more manageable for me than was doing a shift every week, but it appears impossible "just" to be an ordinance worker without eventually being asked to be a "coordinator" of some kind. Thus I'm supposed to be the training coordinator on one of the shifts that Dorine and I work; however, I'm not a natural teacher, and just about any source of stress, however small, eventually has a deleterious effect on me. I would already have had a conversation about it with a member of the temple presidency, but of course I don't want to feel like I'm not making the full contribution that's expected of me.
Dorine and I are now serving as Sunbeam (i.e., three- and four-year-olds) teachers in our ward Primary. There are certainly worse church callings to have, but our meeting schedule this year has us attending church between 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm, which is smack dab during most of these kids' nap time. Additionally, due to the circumstance of having a Spanish-language branch in our building whose sacrament meeting overlaps with the first hour of our schedule, we have our meetings in "reverse" order, with sacrament meeting at the end -- which is surprisingly hard. I haven't been able to get out and hike on Sundays as I had been doing last year, and I miss it.