Jen Jeffrey: The Big Picture

Sunday, March 02, 2014 - by Jen Jeffrey
Jen Jeffrey
Jen Jeffrey

For those wondering …my bruise healed, I tackled dry scalp head on (pardon the pun) and I got the Vaseline out of my hair… in fact, I got the blonde out too and went back to my natural brunette color. But most importantly, I finally got to meet up with Jason in Nashville. No rain, nor sleet, nor snow could keep me away and definitely not anything trivial.

The drive was beautiful as always and I got there an hour early. Yes, you heard correctly… I am female and yes I arrived early. I was mission-minded, not only to see Jason but to make time for uninterrupted work. Last week was not good for me. I wonder if part of it was the previous weeks of bad weather and everyone having cabin fever and just being irritable – me included, but I couldn’t seem to find any uninterrupted time to work. Working from home has its perks, but it also has its drawbacks.

When I got to my hotel, I had a full hour to begin a profile piece and was able to write half of it before Jason arrived in Nashville. It felt so good after feeling like a failure in my work. I was able to do in one hour what I couldn’t do all week! That cleared my mind enough to be able to enjoy my weekend. I knew after I got the story going that it would flow the ‘rest of the way out’ and I knew that I had Jason’s support in giving me time to complete it over the weekend.

My work is very important to me and is a top priority. I cannot see my life without it. But, after the last two weeks of storms and chaos I really needed to have some stress-free fun with my boyfriend.

We decided to do what a lot of dating couples do – dinner and a movie. I am a movie buff as far as ‘in the comfort of my own home’ but not much of a ‘go to the movies’ person. On the occasion that I do, I enjoy it, but I feel so out of the loop on what movies are out or … the cost of a diet Coke. Jason and I decided on seeing “Gravity” with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and it was in 3-D.

I had never seen a 3-D movie before and, to my surprise, Jason said he hadn’t either. It concerned me just a tad about what the goofy glasses would do to my eyes while watching. I already have my ‘aging eyes’ problem with the confusion of a blurry world versus a bi-focal world (in which I have not mastered). I have wondered if part of my problem with headaches could be my eyesight. Without insurance, I haven’t been able to find out for sure (that is another story all together and for when I get brave enough to write about my reasons for not signing up with ACA and face the political emails that may come my way - for now, I see blurry and I am my own doctor).

I got a diet Coke at the concession stand and, knowing it was a two-hour movie, I asked for a large. I had no idea what I was asking. The large was a humongous cup that had to have held a whole two liter bottle! And it was three times the cost of a two-liter bottle I would buy at the store. It took two hands to carry my large drink so I could forget hand-holding.

Jason started to head up the steps toward the back and I told him I couldn’t see that far and I needed to sit in the middle. After we parked the drink and got settled, we tried on the goofy glasses. I wanted to see the things that were not in 3-D with the 3-D glasses. They looked the same except the big grey spot blocking my view on the left eye. I commented on how weird it was, and because Jason didn’t think it looked weird, he asked to see my glasses.

He gave them back to me after he had looked mine over and I could see perfectly. I realized mine had a smudge spot on one of the lenses (perhaps a huge fingerprint on the glasses as they packaged them in the plastic wrapper). Jason never said a word so either he cleaned it for me or he gave me the wrong glasses back. I still had this child-like fascination with what 3-D would be like. Before the movie started, I kept watching previews and commercials on the screen and I would lift my glasses up and down trying to see if there was a difference. Nothing.

When we were told to put our 3-D glasses on, they showed a preview in 3-D (I guess to get us ‘newbies’ used to it). What I saw was pretty cool. If you like the techy-graphics-kind-of-things, you would appreciate it. I am a realist AND a creative person, so I like both. I could appreciate the art in 3-D but I also felt it left out a lot of the surrounding things I enjoy viewing. I noticed it was meant for you to just focus on one or two objects on the screen while the rest was blurred out and, yes, it is fun to see things coming at you, but I would not prefer watching 3-D all the time. It was as if I couldn’t see the big picture, but being forced to focus on the immediate things coming at me. It helped me to appreciate the life-like images right in front of me.

How many of us go through life expecting to see the big picture? And, when God has us wait or He hasn’t quite revealed something fully in our lives, we tend to get anxious. This weekend was about no stress and having fun, so my 3-D adventure was perfect timing in giving me a lesson that I don’t always have to see the big picture in each moment. Sometimes it is good to focus on ‘the now’.

The movie was gripping and well done, though the writer in me came up with an alternative ending that I thought would have been cool as well. It took a minute for my eyes to adjust and Jason and I called it an evening. When I awoke the next day, Jason and I had breakfast and then he let me finish my work. I only needed another hour and a half to work and would be able to submit an assignment. This is what I love about my job. I can be anywhere as long as I have some time with no interruptions and can focus on that one task – like the 3-D movie. I just needed to focus on the matter at hand without anything else coming at me. Sitting by myself, I had time to focus on one thing and it felt so good when I sent it in completed.

After I finished my work, I checked Facebook and saw where a friend sent a message that she was in Nashville for her birthday. She invited Jason and me to attend her birthday dinner given by a few of her friends.

Jason and I got to Broad Street early, so we looked around in a few stores. He gets into looking at western boots and he knows I love them too. He has hinted on more than one occasion that he wanted to get me a pair, but I am not there yet. I don’t know how to accept that kind of thing. I don’t know if it is that I don’t know how to be a ‘girlfriend’ and know what is appropriate for him to do for me, or if it is that I just am too practical and I already have a pair of boots. I don’t pretend to have all the answers on romance or what is expected or what is understood.

We met up where the group was at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and went up to the top floor. The staircase was a giant piano that played notes as you stepped on them. We sat down, ordered dinner and introduced ourselves to those we didn’t know. It was so loud and such a busy place. I definitely am not one to ‘live up’ the nightlife of Nashville or any other big city. When I lived on long Island, I loved going to Manhattan, but it certainly was not stress-free. Worrying about your purse, or how not to bump into people, knowing where to go… it took a lot of energy and only something I would do only on occasion.

As we waited for our dinner a man on stilts walked through the crowd and came to our table. He was a balloon artist and made all sorts of balloon hats for everyone to wear on their heads. It was fun to see my friend enjoying herself and for me to have a fun night out with Jason, but I think he and I are both anti-nocturnal. We were ready to call it a night after dinner.

The next day, neither of us wanted to prolong the ‘goodbye’. The first few times we have gotten together, the good bye part was always hard. After grabbing breakfast, determined to make our goodbye easier, Jason and I both said a quick goodbye knowing that we’d see each other in a few weeks. I gave him the drawing I sketched for him for Valentine’s and I got in my Jeep and programmed my GPS for Chattanooga. 

As I continue living my life in Chattanooga, I try not to make any more ties. As I welcome ties in Murray, I feel I have put myself in a sort of limbo state. I have one foot in Chattanooga and one foot in Murray. All I know at this point is - it is a good thing I am limber.

jen@jenjeffrey.com


Patsy Hazlewood Speaks At Civitan Club Meeting

District 27 candidate for Tennessee's House of Representatives Patsy Hazlewood told the Chattanooga Civitan Club, "I think I can go to Nashville and do a good job for District 27...I think I can do it and I think I can do it well." Endorsed by former county mayor Claude Ramsey, Ms. Hazlewood was also the first female president of the Chattanooga Rotary Club. Most recently, she ... (click for more)

New Traffic Signal At Market And Manning To Be Activated Monay

The new traffic signal at the intersection of North Market Street and Manning Street will be activated after 9:00 am a.m. on Monday, August 4 .     (click for more)

Federal Judge Stops Erlanger Foreclosure Of Hutcheson Hospital

In a ruling Friday, a Federal Court Judge in Rome agreed with Hutcheson Medical Center and Regions Bank to grant the request for an injunction, effectively stopping the foreclosure efforts of Erlanger Health System against Hutcheson. In stopping the foreclosure set for next Tuesday, the judge held that the public interest in keeping the hospital doors open was “insurmountable.”  ... (click for more)

Mediated Resolution Reached In TVA Kingston Lawsuits

A mediated global resolution has been achieved in 63 lawsuits pending in U.S. District Court involving more than 850 plaintiffs asserting claims against the Tennessee Valley Authority arising from the 2008 ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant. The resolution, outlined in documents submitted Friday to the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, comes after nearly two years of ... (click for more)

A Tennessee Transplant's Thoughts On Age And Politics - And Response

I have read several opinions favoring the job performance of Representative Fleischmann as well the apparent disdain that they have for his challenger and his age.  I must disclose that unfortunately, I am unable to cast a vote in the 3rd District Republican primary.  I will however always be a Chattanoogan.  As a result, I feel more engaged in East Tennessee politics ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Trump, Stand Down!

I’ve never been a big fan of Donald Trump. Of his worldy possessions, I believe the only things bigger than his $4 billion bank account are his arrogance and his ego but what he did Friday was shameful. Here we have two Americans in Africa on a mercy mission who have been stricken with the ebola virus and as emergency efforts are in progress to bring them home, Trump -- in his usual ... (click for more)