Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Only Way to Read

I like books. Hardcover books.

Like the look of them on a shelf. Get several shelves of them together and it is just a sight to behold.

I got books, got lots of books, currently they are either in the corner of my room or in the closet, but some day I’m gonna get me a wall of shelves to put all my books on.

Not sure what it is about having a book in my hands that makes me feel good. Not a paperback book, not an e-book printed out on copy paper, but a hard cover book with the sleeve still on it, sitting somewhere just reading it.

The question being asked today is What things do you still prefer in their traditional, handmade version?

And my answer is books. Now, I love my Kindle, it is very convenient and I know that it saves trees and is easier to pack 100’s of books in a suitcase using an e-reader, but it is not the same. Reading on the computer is not the same, convenient but not the same. I like books, hard cover books.

That is my story and I am sticking to it. Nothing profound today, nothing deep, nothing funny, nothing sad, just letting you know that I like books, the old fashioned way

Who woulda thunk?

Back on January 21st, we asked you to predict what day #211 would be like. Well, July 30th is that day — how have your predictions held up so far? If you didn’t reply to the prompt at the time, is this year turning out to be as you’d expected?

Even though I was not a citizen of Blogopolis back on January 21st, the answer to both questions above would be a resounding NO. Not even sure if resounding is a strong enough word.

If someone had told me on January 21st all that was going to happen before July 30th, I would have told them that they were crazy. Then I probably would have gotten mad at them for even suggesting such calamities would happen and that they had better mind their own business!

If you look at my ABOUT page, my first sentence is “Man in recovery from everything, looking for a little help, inspiration and direction”. Well, back in January I was not looking for any of that. I thought I had it all, had the world by the . . ahem . . tail and no one could touch me. 2014 was going to be my year. . .woo hoo . . .rock on! Yeah!!!

Funny part is, 2014 has been my year, just wasn’t expecting it to go this direction, but it definitely needed to. I have learned more about myself in the last 4+ months than I did in the first 49 years. I learned that there really are more important things than having money. That there really are people in this world that can and do love me regardless of what I am, they love me for who I am. That blood really is thicker than water.

Not going to go into details about all that has happened, let’s just say that I am working on having a spiritual awakening and building a stronger relationship with my Higher Power who I choose to call God. Some of you could probably figure out from this statement part of what happened, but I am going to leave it at that.

Ya know, all I can think of to say is the old joke that goes…..”If you want to make God laugh hysterically, just tell Him what your plans are!”

Get Over Yourself. . . and Live

Well, what was I expecting? Been gone a while, did I really think that everything would be the same? That life would not have gone on without me?

Who am I to think that I would be missed? No one is irreplaceable, or so they have told me.

It’s only been a few months, surely I was missed. Of course things are going to be left undone and just waiting for me to clean it all up, that is how it has always been in the past.

No one wrote, no one called, not even an e-mail. . . but I am sure that it is because they were so busy covering for me, right? I was so damn important a few months ago, the place couldn’t run without me. Everyone came to me for answers, and I mean everyone, including my bosses.

How could they just keep it going with me gone, was I that insignificant? Was I just fooling myself? What is going on here?

The past few months have not been easy you know, been trying to get my life in order, surely they all can understand that. Surely they would commend me for “doing the right thing” and overcoming all the issues in my way. RIght?

Life is a funny thing, you think you have everything you want and then it is all gone in an instant. It just changes 180 degrees. What do you do? Feel sorry for yourself? Blame others? Run and hide until everything blows over?

Nah, life is too short for that. My past is my past, can’t change it, just learn from it. Take accountability and move on, maybe to bigger and better things. Find some peace and serenity, it is out there just waiting on me. I can see it, I can feel it.

I am asked what is the one thing that I need to do to feel human again. . . . just live life to the fullest.

Be grateful for what you do have, even if it is not much

Thank God every day for the little things in your life, the ones we have taken for granted for too long

Laugh, smile, learn, share, observe, listen, study. . . . learn how to love again. Have Faith that everything is going to be OK, no matter how bad it had gotten.

This is what I need to do to feel human again

Easy or Hard, Choose wisely

It is so easy to just walk away

It is so easy to just turn it off and pretend it isn’t happening

It is so easy to just not talk about something just because it makes me uncomfortable

It is so easy to just pretend that everything is OK

It is so easy to just say “I’ll start tomorrow”

It is so hard to face up to my actions and take responsibility for them

It is so hard to watch and learn and try to understand

It is so hard to share emotions, to show a weakness, to let them see me cry

It is so hard to know that things need to change to actually do something about it

It is so hard to just start now

No Living in the Past

When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

Don’t do scary movies or scary TV. Just don’t do it. My family absolutely loves them, I just choose not to watch. To each their own and we are good with it.

Why don’t I want to watch scary stuff? Mostly because all I have to do is close my eyes and remember how my life used to be if I want to be scared. My life revolved around fear, it lived for fear and fear was all that I knew.

Fear led me to do some crazy things, some sad things, some bad things, but mostly fear kept me away from the one thing that we all need in our lives, love. I chose a different path than what I could have when I was younger. I had everything I needed and yet that was not what I wanted, so I chose a darker path. One filled with sick people, with drugs, alcohol and sadness. It was there that I thought I felt complete for some reason. It was there that I belonged. It was where I deserved to be.

I once had a guy chase me around his backyard carrying an Uzi asking me if I was scared yet. We had just been on a drug induced binge and were discussing this very subject, scary movies, when he got up and said “So you wanna be scared?”. I once got back to my apartment after work one day to find all (or most) of my belongings being picked through by groups of people after the sheriff’s department had cleaned out my apartment (Ignoring eviction notices is not a good thing) because my priorities were in the gutter. So I lived in my car for a while because I was afraid to let anyone know or to ask for help.

I used to hang out in the crack houses in Evanston, IL, the only white guy around, getting frisked by gang bangers because they thought I was a narc, but I was only there to buy their stuff so they let me stay. And every morning that I made it out of there I swore that I would not go back, and then I was back the very next week. I was afraid to be there and I was afraid to not go.

Believe me, I am not trying to brag in any way about my past and there is a lot more to it, but I do not live in the past any more. I live in the here and the now and the here and now is pretty good. I am drug free and am working on my thinking process on a daily basis, that thinking process that always got me in trouble in the past.

I start out my About page with the following sentence, ‘Man in recovery from everything, looking for a little help, inspiration and direction’. And that is exactly what I am doing. Not sure exactly why I chose to share these stories on here, but am not ashamed of it. My past is my past, I can learn from and build a better today, or I can live the rest of my life in fear, in real fear.

So getting back to scary movies or TV shows, I understand why people watch them, it can be an adrenaline rush that gets the ol’ ticker going. But I choose not to watch them, give me a good animated film, Pixar, DreamWorks, any day. How To Train Your Dragon Part 2 is one of my personal favorites right now….:)

See Ya!

Sand Castles Promises

You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hale starts descending form the sky. Write a post about what happens next.

“Has anyone seen Timmy? Has anyone seen my son?” He asks gasping for air.

He was deeper in the water when the hail hit, Timmy was building sand castles with his friend so he decided to go for a swim to clear his head. Who would have thought that a sudden hail storm would over take them on this sun-filled, hot day?

“Timmy!!!” he yelled.

“He’s over here.” came a response from behind him.

Turning, he spots his son sitting underneath a picnic table, as the hail pelted his own head and shoulders. Realizing his son is safe, he starts to feel the sharp pain from the quarter size hail. Not seeing much shelter available, he runs toward the table that his son is sitting under, just staring at the ground.

Surprisingly enough, people rearrange to give him some room to get to his son and get away from the damaging ice pellets falling endlessly from the sky. He gets down on all fours to get eye level with his boy

“This is weird, huh?”

“I guess.” was the response from Timmy, still staring at the sand

“You OK?”

“Yeah.” eyes tearing up as he stared into his own little universe

“You sure you are not hurt? Why the tears?”

“You promised that it was going to be sunny all day, and now it is ruined.” Timmy said as he turned away from his Father.

“Yeah, that is what I thought this morning when I watched the weather reports. Thought we would have a beautiful day to hang out at the beach.”

“You were going to show me how to make awesome sand castles,” said the boy, anger rising in his little voice. “And now you can’t. It’s not fair!”

Biting back his tongue as he could feel a lecture coming on about how life is not fair, and that sometimes you have to live with disappointments and that it was not his fault that the weather turned bad, he paused, closed his eyes and listened. Listened for the words to say to make his son understand. Looking around and seeing that the hail was not immediately melting, and that the whole beach was now covered in white ice balls, a smile came over his face.

As the hail stopped, he looked at his son and said “Boy, this must REALLY be our lucky day.”

“No it’s not, everything is messed up.”

“Messed up?” he replied, in as positive a tone as he could muster. “What are you talking about, this is awesome!”

Timmy slowly turned his head to look at his smiling father. “Huh?”

“I bet there a thousands of kids that got to go to the beach and build awesome sand castles this summer, but how many kids got to go to the beach and build awesome ice castles?!”

He ran out to the beach, not looking back at his son, the ice balls crunching under his feet, dropped to his knees and started gather up the hail that minutes before had supposedly ruined their day. As he did, he heard crunching coming toward him. Looking up he saw his son running toward him, smiling from ear to ear.

“You were right Dad, this is the perfect day to be at the beach!”

Progress, not perfection

Progress, not perfection

Learning to live one day at a time, with gratitude not contempt

Progress, not perfection

Realizing that I am not responsible for what others think of me, that all I can do is the best I can do for today

Progress, not perfection

Remaining teachable and learning, practicing humility in all that I try to do

Progress, not perfection

Becoming the person that He wants me to be, not the one that I want to be

Progress, not perfection

Asking for forgiveness and having Faith that I will receive it. Looking at life as a journey. Being willing to help others as I have been helped.

Progress, not perfection

Forgiving others, for they know not how their words and actions can be so hurtful and hateful. Praying that they are given the same that I seek. Finding peace within themselves.

Progress, not perfection

Not taking for granted the amazing world that we live in, in spite of all the hate that the media spews at us constantly. The beauty of a lake at sunset, bumblebees defying physics and buzzing around a field of beautiful flowers, the smile of a child and her eyes showing a blank canvas that is just longing to be filled with wonderful memories

Progress, not perfection

Gone Fishin’

See ya in a few days!

Fear? Really?

How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

Part of me wants to say that this is an interesting topic, part of me doesn’t.

For better or worse, fear is a large part of my life. There are many types of fears.

I could easily say that I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t have the fear of walking into a burning building or the fear of jumping out of an airplane without a parachute or of drinking a gallon of pesticide. . . .but that would be morbid.

OK, since I am alive, I guess I need to talk about the inner fears. The fear of failure, the fear of success, the fear of embarrassment, the fear of accomplishment. The fear that what I do doesn’t really matter to someone, the fear of letting down people that are counting on me, the fear of being alone, the fear of being in a room full of strangers.

Fear can be motivating, fear can be paralyzing. Fear can eat me up from the inside out or outside in. Fear can control me, fear can also alienate me.

I am told that I need to overcome my fears to become a better person, a useful member of society. But without fears what is there to overcome?

I have heard several acronyms for the word fear

F#&k Everything And Run

Face Everything And Recover

False Evidence Appearing Real

But I think I am off topic, the question was “How would my life be different if I was incapable of fear?”

Going to stick with my first answer, I’d be dead. So I will continue on trying to face my fears and see how things turn out. . . . . Anyone care to join me? 🙂

See Ya!

Lesser of . . . umm . . . 3 evils?

What do you find more unbearable: watching a video of yourself, or listening to a recording of your voice? Why?

Let’s see, watching myself on video or listening to my own voice?

I could go into a big long dissertation about self-worth and how all that really matters is “what is inside”. . . .

I could write about how I need to lose weight and that the patch of hair that used to be on top of my head (that is mysteriously reappearing on my back) makes me self-conscious.. . .

I could ramble on about how my voice when heard in my own head, sounds NOTHING like it does when I hear a recording of it, which makes me wonder what I really sound like when I am trying to do a stupid impression of someone else . . .

I could expound on how the reflection in the mirror looks nothing like the face staring back at me in pictures. . . .

But I won’t. What I will do is sum it all up in four words