Switching gears

In the beginning of 2017, my work life went through some dramatic changes. The newspaper I worked for had changed ownership in mid-2016 and at the end of the year, the new owners hired a management company to run the paper. Several layoffs were announced.

I was the only one left on the editorial staff, as the one other writer/editor retired in the fall and hadn’t been replaced. The entire design team – two people – were let go, including a co-worker I had worked with for the past 17 years. Most of the desks in the office sat empty although I still mentally connected the desks to my former co-workers who previously occupied them.

In the paper’s more robust days, we had about 25 people on staff. Over the years, it slowly diminished and we were now down to three people. On some days, I worked alone in the office.

With the new management company that were now my bosses, came new policies and procedures and since they were on the East Coast with a three-hour difference, we were often out of sync.

At the same time, our local office building was under renovation and at home, our refrigerator leaked, causing water damage and some of our kitchen cabinets and flooring had to ripped out. This is what I wrote in a blog post at that time:

Work in transition
The landscaping is finally finished and the fake grass looks so green and beautiful. There are even plastic picnic tables on the lawn so you can eat your lunch there but nobody does.

Inside the building, the hallways are unfinished, with cardboard lining the floor. The walls are painted gray and the painter painted right over the mezuzah. The bathroom has new tiles, lots of black and white tiles, but no mirror. The new paper towel holder is very shiny.

Inside our office, most of the staff is gone, there are only three of us left.
What once felt like a family now feels like survivors hanging on, not knowing how long we will stay adrift.
Will we reach the flourishing oasis?
Or we will drown before we reach the promised land?

Home in transition
After a refrigerator leak, a team came and knocked out a few feet of the wall separating our living room and kitchen plus a couple of cabinets.
Pots, pans and assorted appliances sit on the counter.
Boxes and bags and cans of food are stacked in bigger boxes on the floor.
In the next few weeks, we will need to pack up the kitchen and our living room and relocate the furniture to our garage to make room for new flooring.

Life in transition
When so many parts of life feel like they are under construction
Is it a sign that it’s time to move on to the next chapter of our life?

This was what my life looked like when I wrote this next song: “Switching Gears.”

Were all these factors in my life a sign that it was time for a change?

I hear your whisper in my ear
The message is clear, I can’t ignore it
Like a dream suspended in belief
I find a fantasy and I absorb it

Even if it’s not actually a sign, if it makes me feel better to think that it is, does it matter? Sometimes if you’re going through a difficult time, it makes it easier to deal with if you think there’s a purpose behind whatever’s happening and that it will lead to something better.

Whether it’s real is irrelevant
I don’t care as long as it helps me through
A single soul under development
Switching gears to somewhere new

Sometimes you just have to have faith and trust what inspires you.

I feel this could prove to be real
A steady climb uphill. no fear of falling
A stunning view all depends on you
Trust your inner voice that keeps on calling

Song notes

This recording sounds a little weird because I was experimenting with recording it on a Focusrite interface rather than with a microphone/tape recorder and if I remember correctly, I recorded the guitar first and then sang the vocals over it so it’s not quite evenly balanced.

I experienced many technical difficulties when trying to figure out how to use my interface. Since our house was in a bit of an uproar because of the water damage, it took lots of time to find all the parts I needed – the microphone, the microphone converter and the guitar cord – and to set everything up. I developed a strong appreciation for those people who took time to record YouTube tutorials.

I also developed a strong appreciation for producers and all of those involved in recording songs. Even a basic recording of one song with guitar and vocals took me much longer to do than I expected and as you can tell, the result wasn’t great.

I’d like to rerecord this one because I really like this song and has a lot of meaning to me. One evening, I recorded this song with my husband whose guitar playing made it sound much better and if I can find that recording, I’ll post it here.


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