Oddly enough, something happened this week that brought clarity to a number of things I've been thinking about, trying to work out in my head. No, I don't have all the answers, but I've got enough to work with for the time being.
Getting older brings perspective, if you can quiet your mind enough to let it happen. When you're running full speed in every direction, that gets a bit difficult. And sometimes, the quiet strikes in the oddest places, like a periodontist's office.
I've had this tooth that's been bothering me for almost two years, ever since I had a root canal and a nice gold crown installed. My dentist finally insisted on a visit to the periodontist to ensure something horrible wasn't wrong down there somewhere. So, sitting in the waiting room, waiting, I decided to get out my phone and check email--it had been beeping and blooping the entire drive from work to the doc's.
In my email, I found a message that that just Set. Me. Off. I mean I was pissed to a fare-thee-well. Seething wouldn't have been a bad single-word description. If the sender had been within reach, it would likely have been a bar fight right then and there. The email dealt with a discussion that has been going on within that hobby organization I mentioned, and as far as I was concerned, it marked a new low in behavior from someone who has already plumbed some depths in that area. I read and re-read it, getting angrier as I read.
And then the nice lady calls me back. I stuffed the phone in my pocket and went in. Being a place where they do anesthesia and oral surgery, they take your vitals.
My BP was 170/112, and my heart rate was 126.
Normally, it's around 125/70, which my GP assures me isn't bad for a guy my age. I told you I was pissed. The nice lady was worried, but I explained the situation and they checked it a few more times before deciding to stick their fingers in my mouth. I trended slowly downward the whole time.
So there I sit, or lie more accurately, mouth full of fingers and probes and little sharp things that poked around. In that situation, all you can do is think, unless you like suffering.
I thought back to a time a lot of years ago. I was in my boogie board phase. Man, but I loved to go to the beach for a few days and just board my ass off. I had a bumper sticker on my car from a local surf shop:
If it ain't fun, don't do it!
If it ain't fun, don't do it! I had lived by that for a pleasantly long time, back then. Poor, but generally happy as could be. Loved life and thought that I'd never get old.
Well, here I was, old in relative terms compared to that young highly tanned man. And still pissed. Over something that was no...longer...fun.
Yep. The light bulb had just came on.
Here I was, allowing people to make me miserable--and not only that, I felt that they were causing me to damage my health with my anger. People who had quite happily accepted my efforts on behalf of the organization we all belonged to for the last 6 or 7 years had now decided that they were going to resume the mantle of The Powers That Be once again after very publicly "retiring" from the stage, because they disagreed with their successors, and by God, it was their club because they had taken the risks all those years ago, and they'd had the foresight to Do Great Things, and how dare we change the course that they had so painstakingly mapped out for us...
If it ain't fun, don't do it!
The drive home took around an hour. I thought all the way home. I thought about all the friends I had made in this organization. I thought about the good times and the not so good times, and reflected that I had been warned that this might happen--again. But I figured it had been almost 9 years since the last time, and these guys were all getting actually old--70s and up. They were actually ready to pass it over.
I may have actually snorted at my own stupidity.
When I got home, I drafted a reply to that email. I outlined my objections to what had been said, pointed out the fallacies in their arguments and outlined what I believe was going to be the inevitable results their actions. Then let them know that I would not be treated, as I put it, "like some half-wit child".
And I told them I resigned from my position, effective immediately. Here's the keys, the information pertaining to all the duties I had carried on after moving into leadership. You may buy back my equity in the corporation, and I'll just pay my dues like most folks.
Because it was no longer fun, and I wasn't going to do it.
Now, long suffering reader, if you've made it this far, you're bound to be wondering "WTF does this have to do with guns?" Well, this organization is my gun club. The place where I go to shoot things like these.
That is a Springfield XD-S in .45 ACP, along with its new holster from MTR Custom Leather, a local and favorite holster maker.
I bought this little jewel at a gun show in the small NC town of Micaville a couple of weeks ago. My club had held an open house last weekend, and even though I was working, I managed time to run a couple of hundred rounds through it as part of the proofing process that any of my carry guns must survive.
The gun shoots well out of the box. All the ammo I had, ranging from some older Winchester White Box through some hott-ish hand loads through my carry ammo, Federal Hydra-shok, went through without a complaint or failure from the gun.
Note to self--Hott-ish handloads are inadvisable in small guns. The web between my thumb and index finger is still a tad sore.
The gun is utterly controllable. Yes, it recoils harder than a big gun--practice your freaking recoil control and stop complaining! Follow-on shots were no problem; I was able to Mozambique the steel torso targets at a reasonable speed.
It also carries well. Loaded, using the supplied Kydex paddle holster, I carried it all day with no issues, along with the two magazine in their carrier.
Unlike my leadership position, this gun was fun.
You may guess which of the two has now be jettisoned.