Didn’t Give in to Sunday

Hey kids,

It would’ve been so easy to just wake up today and call it a rest day at home. But we didn’t.

With the Friday night bike ride, the street fair yesterday, and the late night waiting up for the kids to return from the concert with possible car troubles; it would’ve been easy to just pack it in.

Instead we got up, made some pancakes, and got our butts to the lake.FHD1643

My kayak is still out of commission but we grabbed our life jackets, the inner tube from my fishing float tube, and a picnic lunch. We made it for an afternoon of fun and relaxation.

I work overnight tonight and we’ll have to leave well before I will want to, but I feel accomplished, like I didn’t give in.

To me that’s everything.

 

Post #50-61

A Week Into This Thing

Hey Kids,

It’s been a week and maybe time for an update.

My steroid meds reached their full residual strength and for the next week, I’ll be weaning back off of them. I’m not sure what all would happen if I just stopped, but the warnings received were enough for me not to want to experience. My body feels battered and not right and today I can’t regulate my body temperature; I am burning up. I’m hoping, if nothing more, to get back to feeling normal.

The ability to hear with my left ear has not improved to any level that I can confirm. It occasionally rattles like an old car stereo speaker with loud external noises. Whether this is better than before, I’m not sure but it’s different. I cannot hear normal speaking tones and volumes. Occasionally I ask Annette to speak into my ear. I hope her voice to be the reason the ear decides to repair. If I was my ear, I would.

Despite the void of external sounds, the head inside is plenty noisy with a combination of high pitch rings and dead air static, much like a speaker left powered. The more the external noise without or the sound of my own voice; it grows louder. Sometimes it gets hard to think of anything but the noise.

My right ear is not left unaffected. I test it constantly to make sure it works, by brushing my finger along the outer ear. It’s strange the reassurance that the noise resonates. Normally it would be an unpleasant sound, and yet it’s music. As the noise increases in the left ear, pressure builds up against the right inner ear and makes it hard to understand noises such as spoken words. Usually a quick swallow gives quick, temporary reprieve.

It’s hard to tell where the meds, the exhaustion of the second overnight job, and the weariness of the noise; begin, blend, and end. On top of that, the pressures of learning new work duties and the stresses of the day job add to the pile.

I pulled into a drive thru (the meds have me constantly thirsty and hungry, I had to get tacos), I could not hear the speaker to order. Real life interrupted. I’m experiencing a loss.Linus

I do not mean to sound like I’m depressed or pessimistic about all this. I am a little down but I realize I still have so much. Many people have dealt with more, but for me this is my life and it’s what I have for context.

I’m frustrated yet thankful for all I do have. A job(s), a roof over my head, plenty of food, warmth, vehicles, otherwise good health, a strong body, an alert mind, and a will that does not know quit. I have a woman who loves me more than I deserve. So when I come to the realization that I may never hear again in one ear, that the discomfort that I’m experiencing right now may be more permanent that I would like, and that the conversations with people I’ve enjoyed so much in my life may be limited from here on out; I have to realize on the tally sheet I’m still on the plus side.

I do not know what the next week and beyond will bring. It doesn’t really matter, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. Instead I need to look to what new opportunities are available.

The most obvious, maybe I’ll get more writing and editing done if I’m not spending so much time yapping. One person in particular pointed that out to me.

With a little too much enthusiasm in her voice, I might add.

 

Day 292

We’ll Always Have Lovelock

Hey Kids,

It’s a weird, normal day today.

On one hand I’m working on a life event that is a great source of happiness for me.

On the other hand, my dad’s brother died this morning.59785496-1

I’m excited about the future, but saddened by the passing of this uncle I’ve known my entire life.

Life seems to come like that.

Highs and lows. Happiness and sadness. Excitement and disappointment.

Even within the thoughts of my uncle, I realize that next to the sadness of knowing he’s gone, I remember the memories of him when I was growing up. I hear his distinct laughter and his contagious smile. That I will never see or hear again.

In life there’s always regrets. But there are also unknown surprises.

Take life as it comes. It will come in all emotions. Nether the sad or the happy is good or bad.

It’s just life.

 

Day 201

Take on a New Challenge; Go for a Ride

Hey Kids,

It looks like I’m going to be able to take possession of a new motorcycle. Cool, eh? Take a look at her:

IMG_20150301_135446_030OK, she doesn’t look like much. But it’ll be a fun project.

I’ve never owned a dirt bike. Never worked on one either. In fact, I have never even rode a dirt bike. What a great way to venture into a whole new world!

 

Day 7

Dad’s Can Do Almost Anything

super-dad-shirtHey Kids!

I know that dreams are just dreams, but I know that they are also windows into your true thoughts and feelings. And sometimes a truth that you need to hear. I had such a dream last night, right as the morning dawned. I sprang out of bed so I wouldn’t forget it. Nor lose the feeling I had at the moment.

Parent Alienation is a real thing. It’s hurtful, hateful and permanently damaging. Are there times children are better off by being kept from their mom and/or dad? Sure. There are exceptions to any rule. But under normal circumstances, no. Mom’s can’t be dad’s and dad’s can’t be mom’s. Each can compensate for the other but not entirely. Same-sex marriages? I have no comment because I don’t know. I’m not, and have not been, in one. But I’m sure there’s other dimensions that are different from traditional marriages with kids. Not really the area of expertise for me.

But a Parent denying the love, support, and involvement of another parent is inexcusable. Completely. And it can be done in more than one way. Sometimes obviously. Sometimes subtly.

A parent can be near helpless. When visitations are denied. Calls aren’t returned. Messages ignored. Doors not opened. Holidays forsaken. Entire family relations severed. Thank you’s withheld. Courts uninterested. And all contact becomes restricted, controlled and rare through the custodial parent. The answers are few.

The boy in the dream asked, “What can you do?”. The father, who at long last is allowed to answer, responded. “I’m a dad, I can do almost anything.”

In that thought I have hope. I believe that. I truly do. All roads may not be open. But all are not closed.

Be a dad. Do almost anything.

I can do that. I’m a dad.

*Drops mic. Leaves stage.*

Old Dog?

I believed this morning that I had lost my wallet and my phone; that they were stolen actually. I went through the round of emotions of shock, anger and the dread. Who had them? What did I lose? I mean everything I lost. Visa card. Debit card. Even my brand new library card. Cash. Zoo and Park passes. My Subway and Café Rio meal cards.

With the information in the phone, with all the photos and info, I now had to worry about Identity Theft. I called the bank and the phone company cancelling cards and suspending service. I began to realize how much I hadn’t done to be prepared for something like this. I realized how many things I could’ve done, should’ve done, and could’ve and should’ve not done. But it was too late now. Live and learn.

And then the miracle. The phone and wallet were found. I had my things back and my information was never in unsafe hands. A trip to the bank for new cards and all was back to how it should be.

Now it’s time to see how much I really learned.

Life’s Too Short for Negative Reviews

header-bad-reviewsIt’s too short to do surveys too, but that’s another subject.
But I don’t like giving bad reviews, as in reviews on bad books, speeches, etc. I don’t do it. It doesn’t make me feel good doing it. And it can destroy the recipient.
I might give a friend feedback, and I’ll be honest too. But at least then, that person asked and knows that I’m trying to help and not tear down.
But an unsolicited, negative review, I’ll pass. I don’t need it, they don’t need it. I’ll just move along to the next book, presentation, speech. Whatever.
If I like it, on the flip side, unsolicited good reviews is what life is all about!
I love to tell an author how much I loved his or her book. It’s encouraging. For both of us. I feel good doing it. I know the recipient enjoys it too.
And we can all use more time feeling good.

What’s the Point?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat’s the point?

To climb a mountain. Why?

To exercise? What for?

To work hard? For what?

To deal with life? To what end?

When it comes down to it, there really is no answer that works for everyone. And there’s really no reason at all to push yourself. In fact, life would that you don’t. Don’t believe me?

Tell someone you’re on a diet. See how long before you’re told that it won’t work, or you’re not doing it right; not giving up enough stuff, eating the wrong things.

Start a new exercise program. You won’t be doing it long enough, at the wrong time of the day, or you’ll hear some story about someone who, despite being fit, died at a young age.

Set a goal. It’ll be too high, or too low.

Write something. You spelled it wrong or you’ll be told how they should do it too, you know since writing is so easy- a monkey can do it.

You see, no one wants to see you do something out of the ordinary or accomplish something.

I don’t think it’s always mean, but it’s discouraging. And ultimately, the naysayers are right.

There’s always a better way to diet and exercise. There’s always a taller mountain. There’s always someone who worked less and got more. There’s always a better way, someone more accomplished, or a threat of failure and total humiliation.

So what’s the point?

What is it? You know what makes you feel good. You know whether a challenge is rewarding to struggle for. You’re the one that has to tough it out; do the work. You’re the one that has to live with the results.

Don’t let perfection stop you. Go for it. For you. For your reasons. Climb your mountains, set your goals, do what you want to do and do it because you want to. Just be prepared to be asked, “Why? What’s the point?”

You don’t owe anyone an answer, but if you don’t know, ain’t no one going to be able to explain it to you.

Searching for Life’s Mysteries

1e01f62c38d8b8bb3d27588c8cfe09efI’m not sure if it’s the nearer to death one becomes as one gets older in age, or that I realize now that I am beyond dying young and with no assurance to grow older than what I already am, but I find myself weighing each decision I make with more gravity and spending more time wondering if it is the “right” thing to do. I find that, instead of savoring my time and experiences, I have fallen into the trap of overthinking the value of everything.

The problem with the pondering and assessments is that it rarely leads to more time “doing”.

I feel some important things have fallen to the wayside or have slowed down to speeds unacceptable.

Not unacceptable because of no other reason than I want to do more stuff. Not as a rush against a two-minute clock or anything. Instead it’s more like: “Why do I care what it’s worth if it’s what I want to do?”

My writing has slowed down. This blog is a great indicator of a general lack of committing enough time to wrte as much as I want to. One of my main goals for this blog is to leave a record of my thoughts. Remember when Blog meant Web Log, or Web Journal. Now too many times, Blog means marketing. Not exactly why I started my first blog years ago and not exactly enough reason to make me want to write posts. When I blog, I blog because I want to.

I write posts in my head all the time while riding my motorcycle; however, it’s not very condusive to taking notes, or leaving behind a posted entry. I write posts in my head because I enjoy it. How have I allowed life to take place of writing posts for real? I know it’s mostly for me anyway. It’s time to write more blog posts. If any of you read them, I hope you enjoy them. And if you like the posts, maybe I can interest you in a book. *Eye brows raising up and down*. Seriously, do as you wish, that’s what I’m doing.

And Fishing. I really need to fish more.

Ice-off is coming soon to my favorite lake. I will be fishing it. And then I will not stop until it’s frozen again. I will set a goal of how many times my waders need to be wet each month. There’s always something more important than fishing. At lease in other’s eyes, and yesterday in my own. That has to change.

There was a time that I dreamed of being a guide. The big reason I decided not to pursue that dream was that I worried about feeding the family and the thought of leading others to that fish of a lifetime and then being the one at the end of the net and not at the end of the fly rod just didn’t seem right.

And with that dream lost, I somehow also gave up my effort to be as good as a guide, to think it was important to keep the pulse of my waters,  to be the expert, to always know where the fish were, what were they hitting, and to always be into many huge fish. I let things more important dictate skilled fishing wasn’t worth the time and effort.

Life is short. It flies by so fast. And when one is looking at the last stretch of forty, one never knows just how short the remainder might be.

But a lot can be stuffed in a very little. And if God grants me anywhere near as many years in the future as he has in the past, and I fill, no, stuff them with the things I want to do, I have a feeling I won’t feel cheated or wanting.