A New Era

Walter’s adventures and thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘rebuilding

Venturing Out and Beginning

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marina channel After getting used to being back home and making sure I understood how much time I could venture out before I I should get back home to check on my mother,  I began to explore Los Angeles in a way I never had in the past.  I looked at it through the eyes of what essentially is the eyes of a different person.   One can take so much for granted.  While living downtown, I missed the ocean and watching the people have so much on it.  I wanted to see it again, experience it and let the environment soothe my soul.   So I jumped in my precious twenty year old car and drove to Marina Del Rey,  a harbor that has developed into an end destination recreation location for tourists and locals as well as an upscale residential enclave.

It was great to be out there and feel the ocean wind sweep across my face and enhance the sense of freedom that comes with being in that setting.  It is a place where you can get away from it all and enjoy a respite from the pressures of life.  All of that was poignant as I thought about the country being in the midst of the worse economic contraction since the Great Depression.   Yes, getting away but remaining in the present and not losing sight of the tasks that are in front of me.  Those same tasks are in front of everyone as the search for ways to rebuild themselves after much was lost in the financial and banking crisis of last year.  Many people lost their homes and their security for the future when Marina from Culver City Parkretirement accounts were wiped out.

I was lucky  I did not have a retirement account wiped out.  I was spared the shock of having my savings evaporate, through no fault of my own, and after doing the frugal diligent thing of putting money aside through a steady savings plan.  I had not done the right thing.  Therefore I had no money to lose.    Ironic, actually, and sad that people can do the right thing for decades and be back to square one.

I pondered all of these things each day I ventured out into Los Angeles enjoying the sight of  tropical foliage.    I Knocked my myself on my ass and fought the good fight and was rebuilding.  Some say that it is difficult to rebuild oneself during a time of economic crisis.  I disagree.  I believe it is the time to prosper.   But first one must survive the economic destruction and then control the emotional despair which is the cousin to destruction.  One must remain fearless in this time.  I keep telling myself that.  Be determined.  Be resolute.  Accept nothing less than to strive for excellence in self.  That is where we as  nation must start.  With self.

Venturing out and seeing the ocean was a  new adventure for me as each day has become.  At first I wondered what new job to get.    It made no sense to try and search.  It took a while to figure that out.  Everyone is different but it made no sense for me to elevate my employment level while I still had to improve on my self management and operational systems.   I fou d it was better for me to wait and invest in my human capital.   My job paid the bills and that enables me to spend time learning, growing, improving and preparing.  And that is what I have been doing for the last few months.  Striving to be excellent, to be efficient and extremely proficient.   Cut out the excess.

Inefficiency comes in the funniest  of ways.  When I purchased the my old Honda,  I received two traffic tickets within a week; I made an unsafe lane change while rushing to work; I had no seatbelt on while driving to work.   “How could this happen?” I said to myself.  It happened because I did not plan.  It happened because I was not organized at this level of operation.  Too many inefficiencies.   I paid them off.  I got parking tickets in front of my house.  I cursed the cops who gave me the tickets, “Damn them.  They did not have to do that”.   But yes they did.  That was their job and the city needs every dime it can get.  Issuing out parking tickets is an easing way to increase revenue.   So it took me a while to manage myself and stop spinning wheels.

Then of course the car hoses would spring a leak.  The engine would overheat.  I was lucky the engine did not explode.  I worried that I ruined it.  But each time my mechanic checked it out and said it was fine.  Each time I paid for the repairs so I could maintain my new level of freedom and not go backwards.  I was determined not to go backwards.  Sure it was frustrating that I could not do more things.   It was necessary to realize  I had to secure and solidify my new level of freedom before I could advance.  Moreover, securing my position advanced me forward in a more sound fashion.  It cemented my minimum floor level.  That is what people need to do in this new era .  Solidify their minimum floor level.

Fortunately  I could afford the repairs of the car.  As long as I had transportation I could get to work comfortably and get home easily on my own.  As long as I could do that, and get to my story interviews and  have enough money to buy my mother her favorite Neapolitan ice cream, then I was  happy.

It is so necessary to get out every day and have these little adventures.  It allows me to see where opportunity is.  There is tremendous opportunity out here.  But one must be open to see it.  Venturing out was a new beginning.  It allowed me to relax and enjoy along with  hunting for new opportunities, opportunities which could help me carve my niche into this new world.

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Written by waltermelton

June 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Mother’s Day review

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me and mom christmas When one begins a new life, there are many challenges.  There is new found optimism for the future.  But many adjustments had to be made.  I was  now taking care of my mother.  That was a different twist.  Prior to January 1, I took care of only myself.  Suddenly I was taking care of my mother.  I lived downtown and rode my bike to work.  Suddenly, I found myself paying someone to take me home every night so that she knew she was not alone.  I did not want her to be alone.  It meant nothing for me to pay money each night compared to the joy I felt being there for her.  That went on for a month.  Sure, it was expensive but sooner or later it would end.  I had purchased her old Honda.  I started paying payment on it last summer and made the last one on Christmas Day.  Little did I know that Honda would be a gift to us both, allowing me to get to her without delay and run errands so that she can have  the little things, like ice cream, which brought her so much joy and pleasure.

It took the month of January to transfer title into my name and get insurance.   When that was done I took a drive with a friend of mine from  Skid Row.  We drove to Malibu.  He had never seen that part of the coast line, being from London, and I wanted to provide him with inspriration that things would change.  2009 was going to be our year.   Yes, we made that trip to Malibu and both marveled at how far we had come.  Mom and the Bear1Chris, my friend, lived in the courtyard of the Midnight Mission for nine months.  Then moved into a transitional facility and finally was able to get his own room.  His knowledge of the internet and emarketing is exceptional.  A graduate of the University of London,  he is an adept programmer.  We have plans to create internet based businesses.  More on that later.

Primarily though, my energies have been around home, getting accustomed to things and developing a system where I can write and take care of my mother’s needs and wants.   I only left, at first, to go to work and the store.   I was a little hesitant to drive as I found myself getting traffice tickets.  Apparently I needed to  pay attention to the laws as enforcement of them has become more stringent than in the past.  The tickets were costly but I made sure they were paid.  No longer was I going to have any thing new to give the court system a reason to be in my life.  So I just swore and yelled to myself about the injustice of it all.  But when it was said and done, what was important was I changed my behavior.  I had to be efficient.  In times like these, the country has to get rid of old behaviors in order to move forward.    If the behaviors do not change.  We as a nation will not change.  The same goes for me.  In order to not go backwards I must change and no matter what I had to do to get through the legal entanglements,  that was only step one.  I had to build upon that.  And that required focus and discipline.  I only learned how easy it was to put on my seat belt once I received a $138 dollar ticket for the infraction.

mom sittingBecoming efficient has been no picnic.  It was trial and error.  But it was vital.  But practice makes perfect.  Soon I was able to create a system of management that created a smooth operation.    It did not matter if I had sudden car problems.  I just got them fixed.  I had to master this stage of the new era without sliding backwards.  I already was reaching out to old friends while at home during the day.  Slowly but surely interaction with them was becoming embedded in my life.  These are guys I admire and respect but had not seen for many years as my lifestyle did not allow for it.  Just as I began making payments with the car and owned finally owned it, along with the previous process of enduring the court system, I  no longer questioned if things would happen for me.  I only knew I had to keep plugging away.  I had to begin each new process and allow for things to develop.  Nothing would happen by itself.

I was able to achieve economies of operation.  It allowed me to sit and study my mother.  What did she need?   It became clear to me that she needed to know that I loved her.  Many elderly citizens feel abandoned and discarded.  Society has no use for them.  Society is misguided and shortsighted as senior citizens and children are the precious jewels of the earth.    I have to reassure her every day that I am coming back home.  She knows she can not fend for herself and fears that she will not have anyone to look out for her.

She is lucky.  She has her son and daughter.   It amazes me how she appreciates the smallest things.  She believes it is an act of kindness.  So many of our parents know how cruel life can be.  After all, they lived through so much–World War 2, the great depression and then some.   But she raised my sister and me to have certain priorities. Thank god her lessons took hold.  She will reap the benefits of her teachings.

So on this Mother’s Day,  I celebrate all of you mothers.  You taught us well.  I learned from so many mothers.  And now I am using their lessons to rebuild my life  as the country is rebuilding itself.  Every thing starts with self and then family.  Fortunately I learned well where to start.   The family is the beginning.   The family base and communication lines became strong.   I am glad I took my time.  I stayed home and took my time.  My mother is secure is secure.  My infrastructure is sound.

That done, I began to explore, with new eyes and determination, the city in which I was raised, Los Angeles, with a ferocious focus to enjoy and build.   I am like a settler who goes out every day hunting for game.  It has become exciting.  Please read my next post as the story begins to develop in ways that has even surprised me.

Happy Mother’s day.

Written by waltermelton

May 10, 2009 at 9:13 pm