Monday, February 7, 2011

A Year or So Later

It was January 2010 that I began training to become a class A driver, and I'm feeling nostalgic, one plus year later. I've also been reading a bunch of 2011 news reflections on the end of the 'Great Recession' ~ which apparently r.i.p.'d many months ago, although no one told me, nor my struggling friends, family, peers and coworkers.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for those who know me has been how very much I've loved this career change. My ten gentle readers know I spoke often of Sweet Babboo's amusement as I began this 'lark'. He's among those who never figured me for the kind of girl who would shoulder-march across asphalt to get an upward look at the under-belly of a tractor.

A year later, the husband is thoughtful and judicious in answering the ongoing commercial-driving questions I have for him. "Is 140+ psi too high for the air brake cut out?" ... "The tire is hitting the steer arm in right turns. That shouldn't be possible, right? What's supposed to stop it?" ... "Exhaust manifold? Injectors? Leaking injectors? What's that all mean?" ... "How important is it to have dust caps on the brake chambers?" ... "Does my Mack have a brake clutch (oops, I mean clutch brake)? One of the guys says it does but the Soop says it has a hydraulic thingy, not a clutch brake. What's he talking about?"

Babboo has always loved, honored and encouraged me, never fear. But this left-turn-o-mine took some convincing. He's convinced.

While waxing nostalgia and progress tonight, I also find myself revisiting the very fabulous* Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B Crawford. Again, I say, read it. And while I find I agree with him that simplicity is not the same as vocational work or craft work or skilled labor ... I also adore the knowledge that I can only do x in y amount of time. At the end of the day, when I shut down the truck, turn in the paperwork and clock out, I can do no more. Bliss! ~ the liberation of the email-shackled white collar 'information worker'.

The Great Recession is giving me many opportunities. To perfect poverty. To realize, as Thoreau knew, that our wants and needs mandate an exchange of life energy. And to honor my life energy, valuing it above the things I can let go. To learn what I can give up and who I cannot. My family, my husband, my self.

*Yes, I remember, fabulous is a superlative. You've probably noticed many many changes in the vocab over the year. ... Momala despairs over my potty mouth.

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