Wednesday, January 29, 2020

January is almost over, and I've not even started the year.

Things in life aren't always permanent, but this is, for as long as I can make it, my Hobbit home.
You know that saying "when life throws you a curveball, you make lemonade"? Yeah, I don't either. But it works perfectly to define this month.

January has been to say the least, a tumultuous and sort of bizarre time for me. It's opened up some time, or at least the appearance of it, as I've worked more from home (worked on getting my scores up on my DS games, is more like it), and had to say goodbye to some coworkers, and sent out my 97th resume.

97. Since last January.

If you are about to get laid off, tighten your belt buckle. I wish you all the luck. 

I would say it's been stressful, a bit of a cup of anxiety, and maybe a whole loaf of stupid, mixed in with some really cool moments, some self reflection, and even more pointless metaphors.

But even with all of that. I have had some bright moments. Some of hope. Some of discovery. So without sounding more instagrammy, let me just jump into some points below.

More time driving has allowed me to see more sunsets.
Having had down time, and stretches of days off, has allowed me to get things organized on the home front, and spend time with family members, as well as catch two things I rarely took the time to appreciate these last few years.

Sunsets and sunrises.

Cue copyright free self reflection music.

All joking aside, I really can't remember the last time that I didn't have to be somewhere, that I could just sit on the toolbox of my truck and just take in the sun slowly slipping down past the horizon.

Borderline unemployment is amazing. I don't necessarily mean that in a positive light.
Snow and ice has managed to finally come around throughout this month.
Snow is one of those things that makes a lot of people mad here in the midwest. I guess it gets in the way of football or tailgating. I'm not sure. 

I've been enjoying the quiet that accompanies any of the snowfall. There is a constant cacophony of noise in my head almost daily, so the respite is welcome at times.

I sound like I'm complaining a lot. I know. But there is a point to all of this.
The Genghis Khan show at Union Station was great.
With the quiet, comes time to think, to stand outside when few others are out. Especially if it's like on a Tuesday. Because everyone else is at work when I am on my way to an exhibit at Union Station to see phenomenal things from personal collections from the time of Genghis Khan. 

I was like one of about 8 other people in the entire exhibit. I was able to slow down, and imbibe the details of the swords, art, and other antiquities on hand.

Standing in there did make me think about life back then, the hardships, the lifestyles. And the jobs they all had. Lucky bastards.
January brought a new temporary family member, Ms. Peppers. [Penny, Sgt. Stubbs, and Peppers waiting for treats.]
My dogs have one job. To look as insanely cute as possible and sucker me into consistently letting them have sausage snacks and cookies. I guess that makes me their boss. Sort of. They don't really listen to me, have demanded more blankets and pillows than a FEMA unit, and often are bed hogs. 

But that's okay. And in case you are wondering, Ms. Peppers (the foster from Midwest Animal Resq) was adopted by a nice couple. I do miss her dearly, but she has a new wonderful home. And a new job. 
Luna always wants to be in the shot, and Radar doesn't understand why I talk to a small lens.
These two are the bosses. They are also cats. Their jobs are to be in camera shots, knock toy stormtroopers over, bat expensive ink pens around, meow at me to let me know when I have failed them with a lack of canned cat food.


And loudly. I think in the key of D Minor.

They excel at their jobs.

Magnificent fluffy anime cats, the both of them.

Now, I know what you're thinking, this has been a strange entry. Quite literally, this has been how sporadic and offbeat my thinking has been for a few weeks now.

And to a large degree, it's been a very good thing. 
Retrograde in Warrensburg. An immensely kick ass museum with a big future ahead of it.
The increase in free time did allow me to finally go to the gem of a museum in Warrensburg, Missouri, called Retrograde. I want to go more indepth with this, but guess what?

They agreed to be part of the interview series I do, so expect something in the coming weeks to be featured about this incredibly cool place, with its even more awesome community outreach and mission.
Godbeast seriously makes the most kick ass action figures.
Just before the end of this last year, brought about my second larger acquisition of figures from the uber skilled and rad artist, Godbeast. I had a bit of windfall from work needing me to work a bit more. 

I met him some years back and managed to snag the limited edition Prince inspired black and gold figurine you see on the left. I've got a section coming up soon where I will be covering these figures in more detail soon.
If you haven't heard of Starriors, then the 1980s were not that awesome for you.
Something while I was looking for another job, that I started to do was offer trades for design work and illustration, via the new list on the FAQ board on my About Me page. 

I figured (no pun intended), that maybe there would be some people short of cash that were willing to do trades for some skills I had. Turns out there were a few other Starriors people willing to give me small jobs for some cool things in return.
Page 1 and 2 of Ardor issue #1
Thankfully, though this month had it's ups and downs, there was something in me, that reminded me that I had a job to do. One that focused on myself.

At my heart, I am a storyteller. Not a great one. I am also a visual artist. Not a bad one. 

Having had down time allowed me to understand that time, will keep on going. It doesn't wait for anyone. Of course that is common sense. But it's not always something we think about.

I realized that I'm never really without a job, unless I want to be.

I am human. Humans have the incredible ability to adapt, to overcome, to think, to invent, and to work through things. Not always evenly. Not always efficiently.

I didn't want the rest of the year to be like how January has been. And at some point, I have to believe in myself enough to know that I won't let it go any way other than the way I hope it will.

No horoscope. No magic 8 ball. No hoping. None of that, can help anyone really find what is most important in life for us to find happiness. To find purpose.

No amount of planning or precaution can prevent the unseen bumps in the roads ahead for any of us. But it can help.

For all of you reading this, take the time to look at your life, where you are now. Look to see what makes you happy, and how you can be happy if you aren't now. 

Because at the end of it all, what you think is really important, may not matter when it's all done and said.

Until next time, remember to support artists and local businesses. Be kind to your fellow beings and always take the path less traveled. We all may live in times uncertain, but kindness, understanding, and believing in the good that is in most each and every one of us is what can bring about better days!

Mario, the Artisan Rogue
Illustrator, Voice Actor, Writer, Animal Rights Activist

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