On the Uselessness of All This, or, I am the Architect of my own Imprisonment

•April 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Me : Nosedive? Sure, let’s take a nosedive. All of this is completely useless.

Also Me : Quit trying to figure life out and just live you stupid fuck. All this trying to figure it out has ever brought you is doubt, fear, and anger.

Me : ya but, if there’s no point to all this then why am I wasting all these beautiful days inside a fucking cube farm when I could be out enjoying life?

Also Me : we’ve had this talk idgit. Think long term, think about the future. What you’re doing right now is setting the future for your kids, for your retirement with your wife, and playing with grandkids. Besides, you’ve had a pretty damn good run lately. Why not focus on the good?

Me : What, the great spring break and then the Gator spring football weekend? Ya, those were great but now here we are back to the grind and it sucks. Am totally bonking on this afternoon sitting at my desk. Shit, I can’t even find a nice quiet place in the building to go hide. Working from home wouldn’t work either b/c homeslice is home sick today and mommy’s home watching him poor kid.

Also Me : the sweet is never as sweet without the sour, besides, tomorrow will be awesome. You get the morning to yourself after the kids get to school and wife goes to half day sub gig. Then a nice lunch and afternoon with her after. But wait, is this because we hung out with dad last night? I thought we had a pretty good time.

Me : ya we did, but I guess it still wears on me seeing him like that and seeing me through him in X number of years. The fear of decay without having the chance to enjoy more.

Also Me : Again, we’ve had this talk idgit. Everything in your life is a lesson. The lesson for us with dad has been spend more time with your family, be less worried about career success and provide a great life at home. Aaaaaand enjoy life now as much as you can. Besides, we’re pretty financially secure now and that brings freedom.

Me : well ya, captain obvious, but it also contributes to this general feeling of melancholy because in prior years I didn’t do fun stuff because I was drunk and broke. Now I’m sober and secure and still can’t enjoy the freedom as much as I’d like to.

Also Me : o.m.F.g. would you listen to yourself? Whiny little bitch much? You have more than 80% of the rest of the whole fucking human race. You have a house, family with awesomefantasplendiferous wife and kids, cars, toys, job, etc….you’re doing pretty damn good. You’ve only been secure for around a year. Sure we have to keep working because we haven’t reached that level, so keep fucking working. We are on a path towards the things you speak of, but obviously you haven’t learned your lesson on Patience completely yet.

Me : well, you kinda got me there. Remember that exercise Pug had to do in book 2 of the Riftwar Saga? He’d been a slave on Kelewan after being captured from Midkemia, then while a slave he was discovered to have the power within him by a Great One so he was brought to the Magician’s Academy? Then while there he had the daily exercise of using the pail to take water from the bottom trough and fill the top trough with it only to have it drain down through the successive troughs? It was a mindless repetitive activity designed to allow him as a student to put his body on autopilot while his mind was free to wander unencumbered. He did it for a pretty damn long time (he was at the Academy almost 4 years) before he realized the lesson and was able to move from the White Robe to the Grey.

The lesson being…..He was the Architect of his own imprisonment.

Maybe I just haven’t done enough trough filling yet.

Also Me : heh, well that’s one way to put it. This isn’t all Useless just because you haven’t filled enough troughs yet….Architect something else.

Me : True. Levelling Out.

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A Few of my Favorite Things

•March 1, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Sure rain drops on Roses and whiskers on Kittens is nice, but I won’t ever be mistaken for Julie Andrews.

I had an idea the other day to start writing down my favorite sayings. Now I might just make it into a favorites list of anythingesness.

So, here we go in no particular order of course:

You alone will have to do it but you don’t have to do it alone.

Somebody who breathes more expensive air than me gets to make that decision.

Life Is Short. Take the Trip. Buy the Shoes. Eat the Cake. (It’s not like you’re getting out alive anyway)

There’s 3 responses to Prayer : 1)Yes 2)Not right now 3)No, I’ve got something better in mind

My wife and kids.

Getting bombarded with hugs walking in the door from work at night.

Nose kisses with my daughter. Bear hugs from my son. Agape love from my wife.

The Zen of being outdoors.

The Mountains.

Mountain Biking.

Helping People.

One often meets one’s fate on the path one takes to avoid it

The circumstances we ask God to change are often the circumstances God is using to change us.

Sunsets

Sunrises (the thing and the drink with Tequila)

Whiskey In the Jar (Metallica remake of Irish song)

Just as soon as I belong, it’s time I disappear (heading down another road towards a Metallica song)

being there for 95000+ people going crazy after a big play in The Swamp for the Gators.

Hiking

Waterfalls

Rivers

Lakes

point of view videos of surfers inside the pipe

Movie Quotes

Making people laugh

Making people smile

Euphoria

birds eye view of things

Google Maps

How the Universe Works TV Show

Yearning for the exotic past

Nostalgia

There’s an evil voice dangerously near the front of my thoughts telling me I won’t be able to do it

The one you feed – Indian Grandfather’s answer to his grandson whether the good wolf or the bad wolf within him will win the struggle within him.

Falling snow in a peaceful forest

I didn’t fail, I just learned 2000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

It’s only failure if you quit.

I succeed because I have failed.

Huh. Sidenote : notice I have NOT included my sobriety in this list. Huh. Just, huh. Makes sense, my sobriety is more of a logical conclusion I know I need to maintain (skip back to the previous line regarding Euphoria). It is not my favorite, but the benefits of sobriety are. Ok, so….

Benefits of Sobriety.

that seems like a good place to end for now. I’ll come back later when more hit me, I’m sure I’ve got more. If nothing else, this list is a good exercise in Counting Your Blessings.

I’d love to hear some of yours in the comments.

TTFN =)
Update 03052018

If you’re goin’ through Hell, just keep goin’. (updated my Intro post Miserable Basterd and this one popped in my head)

There are two possibilities : either we are alone in the Cosmos, or we are not. Either option is equally terrifying.

What makes sense to a Cimmerian Barbarian seems like insane savagery to. Turanian Prince.

To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.

One man’s scraps are another man’s feast.
Update 03062018

So hey ya, sorry for clogging up your inbox since you’re getting an update every time I do this, but please just bear with me.

A Goal without a Plan is just a Dream. ( I spose the gnarlier version of this one could be Wish in one hand and shit in the other, then see which one fills up first)

Wear Sunscreen : Advice, like Youth, probably just wasted on the Young.

Be Like Water – Bruce Lee, describing a philosophy on Life : “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Do Epic Shit.

Not all who wander are lost.

03113018

Lazy weekend mornings with the fam.

That buzz/fuzz/euphoria after getting a good massage.

This is Life

•February 6, 2018 • 2 Comments

When I was a kid I watched a lot of TV after school in the afternoons. Lots of sitcom reruns, stuff like that. For some odd reason I have a memory on one of the sitcoms of a character having to write a paper on the meaning of life. At the time I wasn’t really all that introspective and didn’t write, so I just remember being terrified at the prospect of this fictional writing assignment describing the meaning of life.

Well, I still don’t really have the meaning of life figured out, but I have come to realize that life is about the moments. All of them. All the insignificant and mundane ranging over to the spectacular and ones you hope you never forget. I turn 42 this year, and since I’ll be the answer to life, the universe, and everything it’s making me acutely aware of how I want to spend the rest of it. But back to the point…..

I find myself in random situations in my everyday just stepping out of myself in a fashion and observing the moment, the situation, as a 3rd party observer to myself and I say to myself “This is Life”.

This is Life when you’re sitting through a Cub Scout Pack meeting with your son.

This is Life when you’ve gone through the mundane morning routine and have made it to work and are getting warmed up, then your daughter texts you out of the blue to say “I Love You Daddy”.

This is Life when you start trying to talk yourself into drinking again.

This is Life when you imagine the kids are out of college and you and wifey are going to starting bugging them about Grandkids.

This is Life when your wife is so awesome helping take care of your aging Father.

This is Life when……This is Life when……This is Life when……

But then I go a step past that. Remember the 42 and acutely aware? I quite often feel I’m wasting my life going to work everyday and being away from my family. BUT, it’s a necessary evil seeing how the whole money thing…..well, you know. Anyway, on top of doing the “This is Life” bit, I find myself in situations quite often where I imagine I’ve got $5 mil in the bank. These situations are of the type Even if you had $5 mil in the bank you’d still be doing this…..

Even if you had $5 mil in the bank you’d still go grocery shopping.

Even if you had $5 mil in the bank you’d still get stuck in traffic.

Even if you had $5 mil in the bank you’d still need to get the kids out the door for school in the morning.

Even if you had $5 mil in the bank you’d still need to live the rest of your life.

So, I spose you could posit that the meaning of life is to be a blessing to others, or something like that, and we’ve already gone over the point of life ad nauseum with the whole God or not bit and Divine Creation.

But forget about all that shit.

Life is about the moments. You are alive and living life. Notice the moments. Make the moments. Remember the moments.

Life is Short. Take the Trip. Buys the Shoes. Eat the Cake. It’s not like you’re getting out alive anyway.

6 Years!

•August 16, 2017 • 1 Comment

just a quick note to anybody listening…..today Aug 16 2017 marks my 6th year of sobriety. One day at a time ya’ll.

On the Pointlessness of Life

•June 22, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Position : Life is Pointless (or we’re at least so far off from understanding it, it may as well be). Your life, however, is not.

A recurring theme for me lately has been the pointlessness of life. Of course, this is all borne from a longstanding bout with depression and alcoholism, but recently magnified as can be seen by posts lately about caring for Dad. Every time I see him, I am reminded of my opinion on the pointlessness of life. Do a little Dance, make a little Love, end up in a facility all used up and dementia ridden waiting to die at the end of it.

I really want to include uselessness in there too, but I spose within the construct of life itself, a life is not useless, it’s just to me that life itself is pointless.

Because life exists, lives have meaning. What you do in your life has impacts to those around you in your life and to some extent the rest of the lives in existence. But, (I know I’m beating a dead horse here but stay with me) according to a bunch of goat herders from 2000 years ago who thought the Earth was the center of the Universe and created a bunch of writings now coalesced into something called a Bible, there’s an all loving God whose point of life for us is to love one another and love him because he got bored once and decided to create us and the universe, knowing we would disobey him and knowing he’d kill his son (himself) in order to forgive our transgressions against him.

/*
Clarification Eins : I don’t have a problem with the message of Love the Bible professes. Forgiveness, love, respect….all fucking awesome. I just can’t make the theological leap.

Clarification Part Deaux : I’ve got a pretty God Damned good life by all accounts. I am very fortunate to have a good paying career, awesomefanfuckingtastic wife and kids, house, cars, dog, cat, fish, family yada yada yada. Coming home to my family everyday is the best part of.every.damn.day. Still, too often I let myself slide into this pit of despair.
*/

But what about life? Why the Fuck does Life exist? I spose you can glean I am unsatisfied with the Biblical reasoning. I will, however, go ahead and subscribe to Intelligent Design. I believe "something" started all this with a specific construct in mind based on our ever widening understanding of the design of the make up of things, but I don’t think anybody has it right. Not Christianity, not Islam, not Buddhism, not any of the other plethora of beliefs the dominant species on this Pale Blue Dot floating through an unremarkable corner of the Universe has come up with. Easily 100,000,000,000 Stars in 1 average galaxy, call it the Milky Way. Easily 100,000,000,000 Galaxies in the Universe. Even assuming only 1 planet with life in one Galaxy, which seems absurdly low, we still get 100,000,000,000 planets in the Universe with Life. Hey Snowflake, Tyeler Durden sez : YOU ARE NOT UNIQUE. But, all this realization does, is make me more depressed because it’s proof in my mind that every belief on Earth IS wrong because they all point to a creator that made ONLY us. Further, with that realization, there’s then the void of well then WhatdaFuq is the point of all this?

By the way, my favorite joke recently is : You Matter, unless you multiply yourself by the Speed of Light squared; then you Energy. That’s E=mc^2 for those of you scratching your head.

So, where does that leave us? Let it go, Let it go….and just accept you live, so make an impact to those around you and don’t get so fucking down about the daily drudgery…..the monotony never bothered me anyway. (no not really but now hopefully you’ve got the song stuck in your head. pbbbttttt!)

I have seen my End

•December 29, 2016 • 2 Comments

Soooo, I’m back in the states now from Germany.  Haven’t had a drink.  Yet.

Dad’s all set up in the Memory Care facility.  Been back to work since beginning of December, made it through Christmas, glad that’s over with.

Since getting back with Dad, been trying to see him at least middle of the week, then on the weekend.  That’s been fine.  It’s an adjustment, but it’s fine.  Now since it’s been Christmas break, been seeing him almost every day for the past week.

Normal thing is to go pick him up in the afternoon and have him over for dinner then a movie at the house and take him back to his apartment.

If you’ve never been to a “home”, lemme tell you, it’s God Damn depressing.  Men and women at the end of their life, wandering around aimlessly the hallways in their wheelchairs, all manner of physical and mental ailment.  This isn’t even a “home” per se’.  It’s a “Memory Care” facility.  These folks have mental in-capacities and some medical issues, but they don’t require 24/7 medical attention like at a Nursing Home.

Still tho….I’ve had my heart broken more in the last month than I don’t know when.  It’s not just being with my dad and trying to be grateful for the time I’ve been given, but it’s seeing all the others in the facility and how they are.  Between Dad fussing about how the food is horrible, or their’s nobody there he can relate to, or how he can’t even handle the simplest of cognition’s; and the little old lady in the wheelchair pulling herself down the hallway by her hamstrings asking you for help with something as you walk by that you’re unable to even understand much less do anything about.  It’s just heart breaking to see people in that condition.  Just take me out back and shoot me.  Put me out of both of our miseries.

If this is the end of life…..then what the fuck was the point of any of it?  All the work we do during our lives, the little bit of money we make, and then to end up with our mental and physical well being on the long slow decline.  fuck.

Makes me want to quit my job, sell all my shit, and just go live whatever notion of a dream I thought I had.  Nice little shanty on the side of a mountain somewhere.  (don’t forget about the internet and satellite tv tho)

People say it’s all about your attitude towards life.  That’s something I really struggle with.  I don’t know how to be positive about all this pain and suffering.  I was trying to remember to be grateful for 3 things everyday, but I’ve kind of wandered away from that now.  All life is, is one big drudgery of being tired and  moving on to the next task to complete.  Fuck, how did I get here?

But ya, if I end up anything like my dad, I have seen my end.

 

On Exhaustion, Strategery, and Guilt

•November 12, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Prelude

I have not had a drink.  Yet.  5 Years Sober still.  5 Years 3 months to be exact.

I’m in another country right now.  My family and I live in Florida, USA.  I am currently in Germany with my Dad.  His German wife just passed away so I came over for the funeral and will now be assisting him closing out his affairs here and moving back to the states.  My wife is all by herself with the kids back in Florida.  This is a tough situation all around.  My dad is stressed out by the funeral, my visit, his impending travel, and his affairs here in Germany as well as new life in Florida close to me. My wife is stressed because of course as soon as I leave she gets sick, plus running around to everything without me to help with the kids, and stuff breaks, etc, etc….  I’m stressed because I’m here handling my elderly father’s affairs. Plus I’ve developed what feels like a head cold and don’t feel all that great myself.   His wife was bed ridden catatonic for years with Alzheimers, and my Dad has early onset Dementia.   He attempted suicide 3 years ago when things became too difficult.

On Exhaustion

So, all that said.  I’m fucking exhausted.  Been here a week. Jet Lag, Funeral, going through all Dad’s things to try to understand all his accounts be they financial, Military, Insurance, etc…Sitting around all day pouring over his bank statements piles of mail, dealing with the crappy ass internet in the village he lives in (he doesn’t have internet at his house, but his neighbor has graciously allowed me to use theirs)  Folks, lemme tell ya, I will find myself hard pressed to ever take 4G LTE mobile and 100Mbps home internet download speeds for granted ever again.

It’s not even anything physical.  It’s just a constant, nagging stress of fight or flight adrenaline to deal with everything.  Sure, I’ve got a plan and am working the plan, adjusting as needed.  But still, I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. I had a sponsor once give me some great advice on how to handle a situation, and that was to treat it like a Project, since that’s what I know.  Well, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m giving my Dad 50/50 to survive the stress of packing up 2 suitcases and getting on a plane back to Florida with me to his new home at a Memory Care facility.  Ya, I know that sounds awful.  Just trying to paint the picture.

On Strategery

Going through my Dad’s things, I am now aware of his financial situation.  Folks, my Dad has done very well for himself.  He makes more in retirement per month than a lot of people do working full time.  He’s got plenty saved, and with his monthly income from savings should be able to live out his days comfortably in the Memory Care facility 15 minutes from my house, leaving me (sole heir, only child by the way) very well set up when he passes, assuming his monthly retirement income does not change.  That money is going to fully fund my kids college, pay off my house, finally get to that magic 6 months expenses saved number, pay for a really nice family vacation, and then learn how to manage it and increase it exponentially.

On Guilt

I am here helping my Dad.  He would not be able to do this himself.  It is my privilege and responsibility to be here for him during this time.  <hold up, waitaminute>  ya sure, but what if his financial situation sucked?  How would you feel then?  I can honestly say I’m 90% sure I would still feel it is a privilege to help him through this time.  Knowing his financial situation and my benefit at the end of it definitely helps, but still there’s that little voice dangerously close to the front of my  thoughts whispering doubts and dismay.  Guilt of paying myself for my trip over here from an account he has setup for me to use for my expenses for his funeral when he passes.  <this is close enough right?>  Guilt of realizing how fortunate I am when so many people in the world are not.  Guilt of knowing I could rob him fucking blind.  I “could” rob him blind.  I will not. fuck you you little voice of doubt and dismay. Guilt of not doing anything about this for the last 3 years.  Guilt of staring it in the face and ignoring it.  Guilt of wishing he would die so I’d just have to bury him and not have to move him.  Prolly a bit of not having to watch him waste away for years either, but mainly just so this self centered alcoholic wouldn’t have to do as much work.  Which really doesn’t make sense.  Would still have to close down his house and cars here and do a funeral instead of setting up his new living.  Mainly tho, guilt of wishing he would die so it would be easier on me.  fuck I hate that.

Conclusion

I like to think there’s a lesson in every situation.  Something to learn.  I saw something neat on FB a while back along the lines of the things we wish God would change for us are the things God is using to change US.  dunno the validity of the quote author, but I like the quote.

TTFN

"The circumstances we ask God to change are often the circumstances God is using to change us." ~Max Lucado:

 

 
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