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That Rolling Stones Song...

Now, I'm not a huge Rolling Stones fan, but I do enjoy their music.

I mean if you can't rock out to the Stones...well I'm not sure I can be your friend.

They have some great stuff, and it really covers all kinds of genres. Rock, Blues, you name it.

This week, 4 years ago, the world shut down. But that's a different song...Grateful Dead ...Truckin'. "What a long, strange trip it's been".

Ok enough...

When 2020 hit, I was starting to train for the BHAG -- Ironman Mont Tremblant! Now in 2024, I am barely exercising and the race has folded.

I was working in the retail world, riding my bike, enjoying the freedom of part time work, and kids that were beginning to be able to take care of themselves. I didn't need to rush home to greet them off the bus. They were old enough to let themselves in the house, and behave for a half hour.

J and I riding in the basement.

Even with everyone home during the first year of the pandemic, I was out and about. My retail job was considered "essential", so we did not close down. The bike industry was crazy busy, with everyone wanting a bike to alleviate the boredom of working from home, and since the gyms were closed, it was also much needed exercise. People were bringing in bikes that they found hanging in their rafters for 15 years, wanting a tune up, begging to fix their rotted out tires.

I wore a mask most of the time, and we did not allow customers in the shop, but assisted them outside on the deck.

If you remember, the pandemic caused some major disruption in the supply chain. Not only was it difficult to buy a new bike, it was getting harder and harder to get the parts to repair bikes. We had to patch tubes rather than install new ones by the late summer of 2020 (discounted of course, but still). We were taking deposits for new bikes that were projected to arrive 4 months later.

It was crazy. But throughout it all, I continued to swim, bike and run. I was probably in the best shape since college! Possibly in my life.

Half way through year 2 of the pandemic, the supply chain was still a nightmare, but at least we were slowly getting product, and parts were beginning to flow once again. I was still training, although my Ironman dream was again put on hold...actually it was dead. But no matter, I participated in 2 half Ironmans, and some other races.

We would joke to ourselves about where the bikes were at. This photo was from October 2021.

But it was also during this time that I was approached about returning to the museum field. Not just the museum field, but back to my old job with the State. But better.

It is a long story that I'm not going to go into, but my immediate gut reaction was--"Hell, no!" There is no way I want to endure the frustration of working in that system.

But I talked with my family; I talked with friends. It was an opportunity too good to pass up. I've wrote about this before, but I still think about it.

Earlier this year, I celebrated 2 years back in the museum at this point, it is now 2 years and 3 months.

And I am loving every minute of it.

Sure, I don't get to ride my bike as much as I used to, and sure, I'm working 40+ hours a week instead of 20. And I'm not working out, I'm in the worst shape of my life.

But I'm enjoying this second time around so much better than the first.

My co-workers on a little field trip during the off season.

There are so many reasons for this, my boss is first and foremost. I think it also has to do with no being at one site, but working at all four. I'm not in charge of a site...just the collections, which is totally my jam.

My co-workers are a dream! It is all about teamwork and supporting each other.

We also have the support of our superiors. The museums are no longer the red-headed step-child of our agency. Well...we maybe still are, but we are valued. People see that we are important. We don't have to scrap and scrape for resources.

And even if we still have to work in a system that makes it tough to hire new (needed) staff, at least we can hire seasonal staff, and a full complement of good candidates. In fact, we have over half our seasonal staff coming back this year!

And, I'm living the dream--working in a museum, and taking care of the historic collections that tell the stories of the people and places that we preserve?

So what does this have to do with the Stones?

I bring up the Stones because I was thinking of the lyrics to the chorus of You Can't Always Get What You Want.

Little did I know that almost 3 years ago, when I was saying, "No No NO!" that what I thought I wanted--easy going, part-time work, and an Ironman, was not what I needed.

You just might find you get what you need. Thank you Mick.

Going back to the museum world was what I needed--mentally, socially, you name it. I now have people I can talk to about the latest museum opening. Who will listen when I talk about exhibit substrates, or archival boxes for documents. Who will laugh with me about visitors that argue about our interpretation.

It's about getting our of your comfort zone...I had gotten too comfortable with my life.

Now, I'm engaged again. My brain is working in a different way than it used to at the bike shop.

Not that it is better or worse, just different.

And I didn't even know I needed it.

But one thing I do still need, even if it doesn't happen as often as I like. I still need to ride my bike.

Now, excuse me as I enjoy this nice March weather, and head out for a little ride. I mean I should...I do have a Gravel ride next week...those 32 miles aren't going to ride themselves.

Keep living your dream!

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