Unsticking from the Hustle


May 14, 2020-

One of the issues that some who are not seeing their business at death’s door, during the current pandemic, is that they miss their prior routine, so much.  They are going stir crazy, from being “stuck in the hustle”, working ten-twelve hours, daily, even from home.  The presence of their children, pets, even of their spouse, does not deter them.

Long ago, I was there, to the point that I would come back from my office, a forty-five minute drive from our house, spend five minutes getting a recap of my wife’s and son’s days, and get ready for bed.  The zombie act did not faze either of them- and to their credit, they spoke up.  Son was in seventh grade at the time and wasn’t buying the fatigue excuse-being quite outspoken, about being entitled to some of my time.  He was right, and my long-suffering wife, knowing just how hard it was to do a good job, by a less-than-appreciative boss, would have been within her rights to insist on much the same.

In the end, the fatigue induced by an impossible set of expectations, from a man who lived ten minutes away from the worksite, led to my resignation, in md-year.  That I was also framed by an underling, mattered little.  It was my choice to opt for leaving the cauldron and going into a less-stressful line of work, thus saving my place in the hearts of those who mattered most.

We are all left with the fact that, no matter how complex a situation is, the choice as to the direction of one’s life, belongs to that individual.  It may take longer for a person, whose presence is more crucial than mine was, to process the  pros and cons of one action, over another, but we are each given a Rubicon, or two, to cross in our lives.



December 9, 2017, Prescott-

I awoke this morning,

in a state of tension.

“Come off it, self!

This is Saturday,

and no one expects

anything of you,

except that you

take part in the

noon conference call.”

I got myself together,

drove to one friend’s house,

picked up a bin of cut juniper,

and delivered to another’s house.

Somehow, I will want to do better

than that.

The pieces of wood are small

in the second friend’s eyes.

Aren’t we a funny breed?

A person is entitled

to big, to fine, to proper,

to sufficient.

I thought of other friends,

in Ojai,

looking at the embers

and foundation, where

once, there was a

home similar to

the second friend’s

house, here.

Where is their piece

of entitlement, now?

Once upon a time,

an angry young woman

demanded of her mate,

that he throw me out

of the house

that five of us shared.

It was mid-February,

cold, snowy,

central Maine.

An older couple

took me in,

two days later.

Seems the Universe

decided that I

was entitled to

dignity, and

freedom from


Here’s how I see it, now.

These are our entitlements:

Respect, with regard to

our persons,

our time,

our necessaries.



therefore, never forced.


to make choices

and to follow through,

on those choices.

These three

are enough for me.

All else proceeds

from them.