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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

PERSPECTIVE (AGAIN!)

This week can be a bugger for some single folks and I am no different. It's easy to get grabbed by the blues monster, and after all these years dealing with it, I am mostly successful. 

Today COULD be the worst. Seeing all the flowers being bought and imagining everyone, but a few of us, is living happily-ever-after with someone terrific. It sure can make this holiday one to loath if you don't have counter-measures in place. You can't even talk to friends today, because they are busy with the romantical crap. 

That's why I am compelled to write tonight. 

The previous week has made me very aware of "perspective" and the need to focus on the positives. Just in the previous 140ish hours, I could have bathed in self-pity. I have been challenged by more than a few instances of things not going as expected. 

(In no particular order...) Things like:

- Mom needing more help with personal care
- breaking the glass on my phone that covers the camera lens
- the car breaking down 70  miles from home
- "black screen" on my phone, making it unusable
- no special someone on this bleeping holiday
- flat tire... again
- engine light comes on, after a repair was done 3 days prior
- item I was going to buy was sold out when I got back to it
- Mom having issues with me, if I want to leave the room
- finding so many negatives in such a short time

Years ago, this mountain of misery might have dropped me into a depressed state and I would have needed a weekend of sappy movies and bawling like a baby to "correct" my mood.  

Luckily, I have evolved.

Mom needing help is expected and for a moment, disappointing. It's always sad that the decline is so constant and measurable. The GOOD side is, my own memories of time with her are overflowing with goodness. The assistance she now requires brings back my own past when she did the same for me. It is not always a good time, but the positives are right up front and happen often. She is happy and can easily come out of a stress-filled situation smiling, if I deal with it in a calm manner. 

Breaking my phone seems to happen way too often. Is it the quality of manufacture or just me being an oaf? That's up for debate. It was TRULY annoying since I already had the screen fixed, returned a defective phone, and in general, don't like my cell since day one. 

On a positive note, the repair will only cost a few dollars and doesn't require a professional to fix. this, for sure, isn't a huge negative, but in the larger picture, it added to the slew of things going on. 

The car breaking down was a real downer. I was not close to home, and the repair costs were over $700. It interrupted my work time so it cost more than the actual bill. 

The positive side of this was I broke down in a safe area that had a heated office to make calls (since it was a BAD cell area) and a safe area to keep the car until the tow vehicle arrives. The car actually started after a while, and I found my way to the nearest dealer for repair. The dealer provided a loaner car to get home and they were very nice to deal with. I got to sleep in my own bed. All in all, while the costs are a bit hard to swallow, the bad was far outdone by the good here. 

Do you get the idea yet? 

Whenever there is a bump in the road, there is ALWAYS something positive to offset the crap. If you focus on THAT, the negative will always seem a lot less imposing. Fill your head with positive thoughts and the bad will have no way to settle in. 

Besides, in six months, you will probably already have forgotten the event and the annoyance. Isn't THAT the test of just how significant a situation REALLY is?? 





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

MOM: FEBRUARY 2018

Another month rolled by and there were a few surprises.

We were listening to the radio the other day and there was a promo about a Johnny Cash musical called "Ring of Fire". It came on many times while we had the station on and Mom made a comment that shocked me. She said how could there be a show when he was DEAD??? 

Now, Mom doesn't may much attention to the here and now too much. She lives in her own little world that doesn't extend much beyond what she can see. So for her to recall that Johnny passed away a few years ago, it was completely unexpected. 

That wasn't the ONLY time I was stunned. 

We were riding around in the car and she seemed quieter than normal. She doesn't usually say too much, and much of what she says is bits and pieces and seemingly in code. Over the last few years I went from knowing what she is trying to say to sometimes having no clue to what she is talking about. 

She turned to me and asked a simple question - Do I think I am making a big mistake having her around? WHERE the heck did THAT come from??????

I didn't know exactly how to respond at the moment but I questioned why she would ask that, then changed the subject to one that I knew she would smile about. It never came up again, and hopefully it WON'T! 

It got me to think, since I always am, and I HAD been comparing Mom's situation to others I heard about. One of the things caretakers talk about is when their loved one is "here" and "back from the void". This is not the type of struggle Mom has. She doesn't have clarity of childhood or any hood for that matter. She is shrinking pretty evenly from all her past. 

She doesn't really want anyone around, although she acts happy when we visit anyone. It makes it confusing to decide what is best for her and limiting the negatives that could pop up. I've talked to professional caretakers and got advice that worked for them. The trouble is, every person experiences their own journey through these difficulties and it's hard to put a plan together that is set in stone. 

Mom's personality has changed and continues to evolve. She started tucking her socks in her pajamas for some reason. She wears double socks now, although she never did before. She has pretty much retired from dishes, not because she doesn't WANT to do them but because I saw she wasn't using soap to clean them. OK.... basically she got FIRED!!! 

She is starting to need help with almost everything now, and I'm happy that she doesn't mind asking me. She sometimes comes and gets me at 3 in the morning for something that, at that moment, gets her upset. It usually can be fixed quickly and without much trouble. 

I know it will only get more complicated, so that is why I can enjoy these days and not dwell so much on the foggy future. There is no way to know what challenges we will have to deal with a week from now, a month from now, or a year from now. I feel fortunate.....


Sunday, February 11, 2018

VALENTINES DAY 2018

Here we go again. 

Another year, another romantic holiday I get to ignore. And survive. And write about, like I did a few years ago [here].

This wasn't supposed to be happening again, yet here we are. I'm alone and talking about it. 

Does it help? 

Not in the least. 

What WOULD help?  

It's not so simple. 

Just finding someone isn't enough. I am changing, as we all are, and I find that the "learning" process gets shortened as time goes on. Why?

Wouldn't it be nice to spend the day (and night!) with someone and NOT be alone? Yes, but only if they are TRULY special. How does one recognize the specialness so quickly?

Often, it is more about what qualities the person DOESN'T have, as opposed to what they do. If they aren't interesting, it's almost instant death. If they are not a thinker, there's not a good chance at a second date. If they are self-absorbed, I don't know how I didn't see that to BEGIN with. That's a trait I rather run away from. If they are not compassionate, I am not going to think much of them. 

I realize, after dating for decades, that these are glaring, easy to see if one is paying attention, and not good for ME. I'm not saying these should be qualifications for EVERYONE. We all like what we like, and it is NOT the same for all of us. 

There's the OTHER side of the coin, and I found those very desirable qualities in people before, but if I am not what THEY want in a man being in their life, I can't complain too loudly. I can be SAD, and I still am. 

I can ALSO be a bit down. That's OK too. Every day can't be a great one or even a good one. Some you just have to plow through, get to the next, and hope to make it better. 

So in anticipation of the 14th, I am sitting here, not with a smile, but not in tears either. I am going to be just fine and so are the MANY others that are in the same predicament as me.... 

....but I can be finer if that very special mate of mine would use her GPS and find me already!!!! 

Until then, I hope you can keep smiling through the pain, through the misery, and know that this situation is VERY temporary. 12 months from now, or 12 weeks from now or even 12 DAYS from now, your life could be exponentially better and more fulfilling.... and have as much love in it as you can handle. 

You just have to believe... and so do I. 

Good luck and Happy Wednesday! 



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

MOM - JANUARY 2018

Well, today started off interesting.

When I got up, MOM of course, was already awake. Nothing unusual there. She seems to wake up early, but stays in bed, until breakfast is served.  I usually check on her a little early, just to ease into the day.

Today was typical and she appeared happy and wide awake.

Unlike a few days ago, when she had a spell that I will just explain as a brain-short-circuit. She gets dizzy and confused and can't talk much. I have luckily been around when they happen. This was the third time as far as I know. We went to the Dr after the first one, but nothing conclusive came of it. That first time, I thought she was dying, but now I realize what is going on. Although it took a bit longer to recover, she did and forgot about the ordeal quickly.

Back to this morning,  I went back to my room for a last few minutes of alone time. It's a good way to start the day. It gives me some time to not worry about her and do whatever I need to do for ME. This is one of the steps that gets lost when you are a caretaker. You give, and give, and give, until you lose yourself in the task. I am trying to NOT let that happen.

When I got up to put on my cook hat, Mom was walking down the hall in a daze, complaining about something. Without going into too much detail, what was upsetting her was the fact that her pants legs were inside each other and she couldn't figure out how to fix it. This is one of the downsides of her memory issues. Reasoning and logic are gone.

 Yesterday, I had asked her to get a cup and she pointed to all sorts of things. Things that WEREN'T a cup. That sort of thing happens more and more. Enough that it's difficult to have her help with almost anything. 

The pants issue was a quick fix. Getting her to feel better and not stupid took a bit longer. She is at a stage where she's still aware of her challenges. She can easily be distracted thankfully, so I just find ways to take her mind off her mind. It made me pause for a moment though.

She won't be any better than she is TODAY. Tomorrow she will wake up a bit less than she is. And the next day. And the next day. It is relentless.

 THAT is the reason I can keep going. THAT is the reason I can (mostly) smile through the little things that pop up. THAT is why I live for today more than I wish for tomorrow. I'm so proud that my Mom has lived through a difficult life and is now happy, if a bit confused at times. She continues to teach me how to be a better human being and strive to be a better son.

 I hope I can make HER proud....


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

39,000

Yes, its an odd number. I would usually wait till 40,000 but I fear it may take a while to get that last 1000 readers. My enthusiasm for promoting this site has just about run out.

I never expected to be "discovered". I only hoped more folks would enjoy and even possibly be helped by encouraging words. I wanted the readers to enjoy it enough to share. Some did and I appreciate it.

Since July of 2016, when somehow 30,000 visits was crossed, I've written about a variety of things. [Mom], of course, has been a common topic. [Relationship] crap ( yes, I'll say CRAP - at the moment.... subject to change I HOPE!). Choosing LAZY as a temporary goal was fun in [Lazy vs Working]. People, such as [Tom Petty] and [Glen Campbell], that have passed away were topics both sad and glad - a nice reminder of why I enjoyed their work. Not so famous was my step-Dad, that I mentioned in [this] post and a new friend [Beatrice]. I wrote about [Fatherhood], my wishing for fatherhood in [An Open Letter To My Unborn Child], and another open letter, this time to the [Girl of My Dreams].

I have a few new favorites. I know writers aren't supposed to favor one over another, like children, but [The Last Song] and [When The One You Want Don't Want You] speaks to my own heartbreak. It's a strong emotion and one not so easily recovered from. All the reason to write about it, right? Hoping to help others and trying to pour out the pain to the screen..... in hopes healing would hurry up and heal!

I wrote about [luck] and my solitude in [THIS] post. I wrote about [Quitting] because sometimes you just SHOULD.[Motorcycles] were a different subject, as was [school pictures]. [Politics] popped up a few times, as did my [favorite book] and some of my [favorite movies].

My attempt at humor didn't exactly get me invited to do Saturday Night Live, but I laughed at {The Family Shame] even if few did. I balanced out the funnies with a look at what was remaining to do in my life, hoping not too much loneliness in closing out 2017. With my own disappointment in love, offset with the shining light of hope in a few stories of students at a local college.

It was a good period for writing, as in the last 18 months, I posted 54 times and have around 20 that are started. The positive, in my eyes, has been the enthusiasm that seeped out of me from July onward. It was no coincidence that the exact time I was exposed to the possibility of drowning  in July. Sorrow from the reality that the woman I wanted in my life didn't want me in hers.

When STRONG emotions run me over, words come out so easily and it seems it will never stop. That's the positive of being crushed. Yet it does.

I have no delusions of this site ever being more than a repository for my thoughts and malformed sentences. If it was suddenly popular, I couldn't imagine what I would do or write about. I always felt like I was a minor character in my postings and that the reader should be recognizing him/her self in them instead. Maybe that is why promoting is such a chore, and why I have pretty much stopped.

I doubt I will get to 100,000 visits, but if it occurs, I will write about that journey as I did with this much shorter trip. With memories of the first day and the first 10, then 100 readers still firmly planted in my mind, imagining so many folks stopping by for a "bag of chips" is both humbling and gratifying.

You will never know how much it is appreciated to hear back from those that my words touched and know that strangers have seen a value here and shared with others.

Thank you and hopefully you will come again!

UPDATE: January 28, 2018

FINALLY got to 40k... a bit fast than expected. Does this mean I'll keep trying to promote and expand readership? Well.....

I'm dipping my toe in Instagram, so I guess I'll keep up the effort to entertain. If you stopped by and enjoyed the time here, let me know! All writers love hearing from readers...

Thank you one and all for visits!


FRIENDS......AFTER

I was watching the Steve Wilkos Show the other day, and it made me think of a few things. One is Friendship.

I know it's been all of 3 days since I wrote about this topic, but it's is a different kind, with a different history. 

I'm thinking specifically of friendship after relationships. Or even dating. 

A little reminder of my past. I have dated. I have dated younger than me. I have dated older than me. I have dated same age and dated outside my race. Let's just say, I have been lucky to meet many extraordinary ladies, and even luckier to call a few of them friends to this day. 

Then I did the math. 

Holy cow. 


If I go by percentages, the number is low enough to make me question why. Why can't people stay friends after a failed romance? Why, if there was enough interesting about the other, wouldn't you want that person in your life? 

Maybe I am just a bit sensitive about this subject lately. 

As I go back memory lane, there have been opportunities to be forever friends. There have been people I WANTED to be forever more-than-friends. There have been some that wanted the same out of me. There are some that were content to get the free meal. 

The hard part of this examination was this - 5%.

5% is the number of real "friends" I maintained past a relationship. That seems like a very low amount. Super low. Really, Really, low. Right? 

I remember once upon a time, folks thought it was strange that my ex-wife and I were still speaking. Nothing awful broke us up. There was no violence or disrespect. Just two people who should have stayed friends. I couldn't imagine why, a person whom I enjoyed being around, enough to walk down the aisle, why would I NOT want to be able to keep her in my life? Turned out, she was concerned about how her new husband would react and closed the door on THAT. 


Ok.... maybe there would be some jealousy. Perhaps the chance there would be old flames rekindled might bother some. There might be some disappointment still festering from one or another. 

There is so much history that just gets tossed aside and forgotten and I think that is a shame. Who was to blame in my situations? 

Mostly me. Yeah.... no surprise there. Most of my struggles rest squarely on my shoulders. I was horrible before my 30's, been called a serial-dater (among other things) in my 30's, bearable in my 40's, and pretty good in my 50's, but who wants the old fat guy?? At this rate, I should be the perfect husband at around 77....Ugh.


To still be unmarried at this age, and with the ladies in my past that would have made wonderful wives, I can't imagine messing up worse than I've done. And cap it off by staying unfriendly with 95% of them is completely embarrassing in my mind. 

I thought I was a good guy. 

The ones I still know a bit about, made major upgrades after me. Their spouses are better for them in every respect. Their kids are amazing and their lives are rich and full. 

Maybe I should be rethinking this idea further... 







Saturday, December 23, 2017

CORRECTING AN OVERSIGHT

Have you ever had an epiphany that.... wait.... you don't know what an epiphany is?? 

Epiphany- a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

OK... mine came today and it was a bit shocking to the writer in me. [note: Being a Gemini, I CAN have different versions of myself, and NOT need a prescription!]

I have written very little about my favorite things in the world. The things that fuel my lottery daydreams. The things that I endlessly debate in my mind, as to how many are REALLY needed by any one person. The things that constantly change and yet the older ones get even sexier as time passes. 

Yes, I am talking about cars. You thought something else???? [Here] are the few postings on this VERY important topic. 

So nothing even comes close when you ask what is the single biggest interest in my life. Since before I can remember, cars, or in those days, HOT WHEELS cars were the ultimate gift. I imagined driving before I even knew what "power slides" were. 

They have been a source of both limitless pleasure and unending frustration. 

Fun because a car (or truck!) is cool AND useful. It is the last resort when you have nothing to do. Or something to do and nowhere to do it! It's one of the largest purchases you will ever make in your life. They can be an extension of your personality. They can be a trigger to memories that span a lifetime. 

Not-so-fun when they break down, get dirty, or even when you want a newer model. An irritation when the insurance bill comes due. A diva when the tank is empty and you don't have time to fill up. 

I don't know where this love affair came from. There wasn't any exotic vehicles in my childhood. We were too poor for that. There was no one in the family that inspired the affection for Fords, or any car at all. Maybe the milk man.... Mom will never tell, now. 

So they have always been there, the coolest ones were beyond my income levels, the practical ones were just not exciting enough. The desire to modify them sometimes, well, ALWAYS exceeded my wallet's capacity to pay. 

There WERE times when the realities of my financial stature won out over the sports cars in the latest issue of Car & Driver. There were also rewards for the hard work and long hours I put in. 

If I wrote about my entire timeline with cars, it would be so long as to require a lunch break... or two. My guess is that small bites are better, so I will tell you about my relationships with cars, trucks, and motorcycles a piece at a time. I already mentioned some of my bike past [here], but there is more to reveal. 

I hope it's an amusing ride.... 









Monday, December 18, 2017

MY FRIENDSHIP WITH FAT

Yes, I know it is a strange title. Who would make blubber a POSITIVE???? 

Not me. 


But it must NOT be an enemy, because I have had plenty around me for a long time. There were times I didn't, the latest being around 2001. I was working out and enjoying it. Then I just..... didn't. All the way to 280 pounds. Holy cow...  

The key to my controlling my weight has always been my attitude. I have a way of not caring, that is awful. It HAS it's merits, as not caring about things you can't control is a good thing. But.... Not caring about what you eat, the amount of exercise you get, or what you look like, can all be very, very bad. 

You would think an unmarried guy would WANT to look his best for the potential ladies that might come along. No one seems to like the fat guy as much.

Yeah, I didn't care about THAT either. But I did and failed to admit it to myself. Yup. I am just as messed up as anyone. I just talk about it more.


I justified not caring by saying, "if someone is that superficial and won't talk to me because I carry an extra couple (dozen) pounds, then I prolly won't want THEM."

yeah... that's crap. 

So why the change lately? 

Well.... you know, when a significant life-event takes place, you examine yourself and re-evaluate things. I did and decided enough was enough. I'm tired of feeling not my best. I am tired of tired feet. I am tired of clothes that look like a small circus tent. I'm tired of causing some of my own loneliness.

Which makes no sense right? To be OK with ALL that stupidity, I must really need to see the neurologist and explain why I torpedo myself so often. 

It all goes back to not caring. It ISN'T a chemical imbalance. Tried that, no effect. It isn't psychological inadequacies, as I tried THAT. I think I just have a life that allows me to do whatever I want and sometimes I don't want the good stuff. I call THAT coo coo.  


No longer. 

Mom's situation has given me something I would have to beg for in the past - time. Why am I NOT taking advantage of it? I could be walking more. I could be working with free weights. I have them. No excuses. I could be watching what I eat. I could be CARING. If not for me, then why not prepare for my girl of tomorrow? 

The time is now. 

So here I am, a week into this new adjustment. It has been easy to focus on the reason why. It isn't difficult to limit my portions or skip them. It has been a pleasure to take Mom along on a walkabout. So far so good. 

Wish me luck in the journey to a new me. 



Sunday, December 17, 2017

YOU'RE BROKE UP... NOW WHAT?

I'm in my car, Ubering, waiting for the next ride request, putting down all these different ideas, wondering if there is a rule about the number of comma's in one sentence, also wondering how all these lines are all going to come together, but knowing they will. Hopefully in a GOOD way!

Why can't it be that easy with people?

Okay.... you've just broken up or just realized that you will never get together with a person you liked.... Now what???

I have some random thoughts....

Of course you hurt.

You maybe even don't know why it didn't work.

You may still care for that person or possibly hate them more then brussel sprouts. [Ok. I KNOW not everyone hates them like I do, but you get the idea...right?]

How do you go on and how long should you feel pain before you're ready to take that leap again? If I tell you, will you listen?

I didn't think so.

It's different with everyone because every situation is not the same.

Sometimes the cause of the breakup or the disconnect is US. Sometimes it's the other person. Sometimes it is global warming. Whatever the reason, once you've given a hundred percent to making it work, there's nothing more you can do. You hoped to win a future of bliss, but didn't.... THIS TIME.

The GOOD side is, you will be more aware and smarter in your choices next time. Your vision will NOT be clouded by the fog we call sadness or loneliness.

I'm not saying you will feel happy and bubbly the day after. I'm sure you won't. I sure don't a week later. Yes, not surprisingly, I'm writing about something that I'm currently going through.


Some might wonder why I bother. Sometimes I wonder why. Let's just say, that there has been enough feedback to know that the words here occasionally help someone I will never meet through a tough time. It's a feeling that drives most writers and I am no different.

I guess more than anything, I hope the reader knows that their bluesiness won't last long, if they not allow it to.

I want people who are experiencing similar situations to know that they're not the only ones suffering and that there is a path to happiness again.

If you remember back when you met that magical person, it changed your perspective, on not only the whole day, but possibly on your whole life. That's just how quickly it can change from bad to good as well. Believe it.

As for me, I used to feel pretty good about knowing another person's character and emotions after some interaction. Until recently. Like many of you, I now don't have complete confidence in feeling good about someone, because I may be wrong. or is it just being human?? Hmmmmmmm.....

I thought about this and wondered...how do you get the trust back in yourself? If you have been more right than wrong in the past, then trust in the percentages. If you haven't, its time to learn from former mistakes or disappointments and be a better, more aware person going forward. If you KEEP making wrong choices for yourself, then congratulations, you are getting exactly what you want. It isn't ALWAYS the other person's fault....

People have been stumbling through relationships since there been people. And I'm guessing since there's been more than two people, there's been relationship issues. Somehow in the last few thousand years, it works out for most, despite what you're thinking now. "Happily ever after" is still out there, closer than you may think.

If you're anything like I am, (and if you ARE, I am SOOOOOOO sorry!) you're wondering if you will ever feel as strongly, as deeply, and as thoroughly as you did before.

For most of us, it's not the first time we failed at relationships. It's never any fun going through it, but if you look back and see how you got your happiness back, that's a start. Time itself helps, but why be miserable for longer than you need be? Your newfound knowledge will bring along a BETTER mate, give THEM a BETTER mate, a BETTER human being, and a BETTER future, if you believe in it.

I wonder why we forget that our happiness is determined by that person looking back at us in the mirror and not anyone else? If you are gloomy before going into a relationship, I fear that the time will be short, because most partners can't fix a broken you.

If you dwell on misery, misery will be your constant companion. It won't go away until it's disinvited.

If you are like me, and try to think logically, you will be completely frustrated trying to make sense of relationships. They just don't.

If you are like me, and you love completely, then you must grieve completely as well. The worst thing to do is to go and find a replacement right away, because your standards have changed and probably not for the better. Instead of being MORE picky, you allow for more nonsense. That usually doesn't end well for you.

Unfortunately for some, they never really get over it, and that's tragic. Life is so much darker, less meaningful,  and less hopeful when you have unresolved issues with a person that doesn't care about you. And yes, they do NOT care.

This world has many, many, many, people that are looking for someone special. You may have walked right past a few of them today. When you are ready to take that chance again, you have to open up your eyes wide and see everything, not just a pretty face or a nice smile, but everything that person is about and brings to the table. You deserve to get what you give. THAT should be the minimum expectation.

It's too bad we all just can't go on the Maury Povich Show with a perspective new partner, and ask questions.... plus get that lie detector test! Haha

What do you do when you have many questions and they never get answered? I tried to put value on the questions that I have, but in reality, they really aren't worth anything. The decision is the decision and no explanation really should be needed. If you can't accept someone that actually wants you, then you are not a couple. If you desire someone that doesn't want you, you are not a couple. If two people care deeply for each other and are together, there's your couple.

The Trap I have fallen into more than once has been to imagine the possibilities and to fall in love with that image. Reality may not even be close, but the picture in my mind, of a life together with someone special, can make you blind to what's right in front of you.

Luckily with age comes wisdom!

I can look back on a long history of frustrations, breakups, and never get with's, and see just how time has affected their importance. Back when I was really young and really, really stupid as - opposed to me being just really stupid now - I had more than a few occasions to fall into deep depressions, and when I look back it really was nothing to get upset about. The issues that caused my downward spiral of emotions is long forgotten. Only the pain is seared into my brain. That is HARDLY worth the months of torment.

If we've been living in Stupidville and the other person has been telling us but we weren't listening, there is nothing to do except move on with questions unanswered or you could figure them out as you look back.Eventually most people realize the cause and effect from their past. It may be embarrassing, but if you learned and improved through it, it WAS worth it. Perspective changes and clarity is more easily seen when time has passed.

It would be easy to get unapproachable during this time, but I think that would be a mistake.

It would be easy to stay angry at this time, but the anger should only be with yourself. That emotion can be a good teaching tool so that it will enable your eyes to stay open in a situation where in the past all you would see is Stars. Get angry and get learning!

Is it okay to still believe in the storybook Romance? In spite of my recent challenges, I have to say that, if I can't live the Fairytale, then I will live another story that won't shred my joy. Life will be as good as I can imagine it to be....and more.

Because you never know what's around the corner....

If you want to use fate to explain away things that don't work or things that do, that's fine, for you. I like to think I have more control and Free Will than that, so once I get thrown out of the party, I must find another party to go to, eventually.

The difference is, my vision is even more sharpened than before. No guarantees I'll be able to see clearly, but I got a better shot at it now.

I don't want to be afraid of getting hurt because that will limit the amount of pure joy I allow in my life.

It's worth the risk.



Thursday, December 14, 2017

UBERCARE

If you have been reading along, the last week has not been my favorite. What's FUNNY is, I told someone that I WASN'T going to WRITE about it! 

oops...  

That someone was an Uber passenger. It is not unusual to share a bit about ourselves as we ride along. The best riders are the ones that like to talk. Not everyone is that type, but I find it easy to get folks to open up about things. Nothing too personal.

Nothing like I sometimes do.

I have to admit that I survey people all the time. It may be about a current event, or something I want to write about or just interested in. It makes time go by fast (sometimes too fast!) and hopefully making the ride a bit more fun for the customer. 

But.... as I've said, this week was particularly difficult to stay upbeat. 

I didn't want anyone to notice, but I may have let my true face show up just a bit. Why do I say that? Because everyone has been extraordinarily nice this entire week. How could I be so lucky?

I wish I could thank each and every one that helped make that fake smile I carried around, a bit more real. I wish I could let them know how much they helped... like a mini-rehab of my heart. I went from incredibly sad, as I started the new week on Sunday, but by tonight,  I'm just plain sad. It's nothing you get over in a blip. 

Without the positive and happy people I had the pleasure to drive around, it would have been a much more depressing 120 hours. It's not like I run into a bunch of meatheads out there. Most people are kind and compassionate. Some are thoughtful. Some are ready to get out immediately. 

Hopefully I don't jinx myself for tomorrow! 


Monday, December 11, 2017

FRIENDS IN ALL PLACES

Today, something strange occurred to me that made me think a little bit more about my life. 

I shared something that was very personal, and very recent. Though just words, they had a recuperative affect on me. At least a little bit. 

That wasn't the strange part. 

What made me react was that, the writer in me shares a LOT of personal feelings and experiences. Some would say, too much. It's easy when I think telling a story may help someone through their own difficulties. 

But I DO withhold more than anyone can imagine. 

But not in the situation above, where I question if there is a single soul that it matters to. I shared with only ONE person other than whom I originally wrote it for. It made me wonder...

Who are my friends? 

I have a lot of people I call "friend", but no one I would think of sharing this particular item with. I guess there are different levels of friendship. Let me see if I can make any sense of this....

Friend - Level 1
Someone you know enough that you each recognize by face at the store, sometimes by name. You don't have each other's number, or email. Are they REALLY a "friend"? I think not. Refile under "acquaintance". 

Friend - Level 1 (Literally hundreds)
Someone you know enough that you have each other's email. You may have never met, but are in touch regularly, either through Facebook or another website. You probably don't live nearby, but if you are in the area, you could stop by and shoot the breeze. 

Friend - Level 2 (dozens)
Someone you have their phone number and they yours. You may not call regularly, and neither do they, but there must have been a time you did... or not. 

Friend - Level 3 (less than 10)
Someone who knows your house because they visited. You know theirs. How often do you go? Christmas? Birthdays? I'm guessing it's not much more than that. 

Friend - Level 4 (I can count on one hand, even if I amputated a few fingers)
Someone who is part of the family. They come over anytime, you stop over for no reason, it's not just about sending cards in the mail. They know family members. They even like your dog. 

Friends - Level 5 
Someone you know inside out, good and bad, and you are still best buddies. You may or may not have a long history, but there is nothing you wouldn't do for them or they for you. In an emergency, they are the ones you call. You like them even more than most family members. Maybe a lot more. 

All of a sudden, I don't feel as lonely. I have friends in every category. I can visit many states and stop at someone's house and not be met with a rifle out the front window. I actually HAVE done this and enjoyed putting a human to the little pictures on my computer screen. 

Obviously, I have changed my opinion of defining a friend since I started writing. I used to only count the top two levels and those left over were something else. 

Do I have as many friends at the top level as I think I should? Not even close. I think I am a good guy. I don't insult anyone, I help when I can, and am respectful in every way. Shouldn't anyone who has decades of building this list, have more at Level 4 or 5 than anywhere else? It is a topic I wrote about before [here]. Varying degrees of success/failure later, I am pretty much in the same boat. 

At least it's not sinking...




Sunday, December 10, 2017

THE WEEKEND

I am embarrassed to say that Mom noticed my sadness today.  

This is NEVER supposed to happen. It is easy enough to get things past her because she doesn't always notice things unless it's staring her right in the face, so you can understand my shame.

On one hand, it's tough to deal with issues in an empty house. Although technically NOT empty, I have to remember FAR back to recall a time when me and Mom could have a real conversation. 

Since I hardly want her to worry about anything, I didn't say a word as to why my heavy heart was on display at the kitchen table. I just said all is well and passed her a full cup of coffee. Discussion over. That's one of the good things about her memory loss. 

On the OTHER hand, words come easily at the moment. That's the thing with being the emotional writer I am. Strong ones create the sentences, following the mood of the moment. If it's a bad mood, bluesy posts will pop up. Happy times bring happy posts. No mood will make it difficult to be interesting. Yup, it's a curse. And a blessing. 

Unfortunately, they aren't all that positive or uplifting, as much as I wish they could be. Not only do I have this world of hers shrinking, despite the laughter, but a personal struggle of yours truly makes it more difficult to draw a smile or pretend to be happy. The good that CAN come out of it is writing about the emotions of a future, altered. 

So, for the next few installments, there will probably be a theme. Sorry...

Mom has a lot less energy today than the amount she had, even two years ago. This limits, sometimes, the things we can do. She also has some days that she runs out by 7 pm. Those are the ones that I end up replacing her as head dishwasher. That is happening more and more. 

It may seem small, but there are so few things she is able to do, that it makes it tough to keep her entertained. You can only watch so much TV...

She brings up Germany a lot less lately. I feared this would be the way it goes. This is a mixed blessing, as we can't afford to go this year, and maybe she won't be capable of speaking by next year. I HATE the thoughts of that. 

She often asks questions or makes statements multiple times in a short span. It's a classic symptom of memory issues and one I hoped she would pass by. 

I wish there was a NEW bright spot to report, but it would be a shock to see anything good added. We still laugh every day, still get in plenty of hugs, and still keep her smiling and happy. 

I guess that's enough.


WHEN THE ONE YOU WANT DON'T WANT YOU

It's so hard to find someone you like.

 Although there's lots of people, in many different shapes sizes and colors, we don't always notice.  When one DOES stand out from the crowd,  you take notice, and if you can, take action!

 You might walk up to her and hope she doesn't run
 You might hit some buttons on your phone and hit send with a 😃
 You do all you can do to make a good impression.
 The best things about you are on full display.

And then you wait with anticipation to see what she will say...  then she says nothing. All the enchantment from the possibilities ahead blown into the dark, cold void that is your life.

No reply or nothing.
No smile or nothing.
No interest coming. 
You might try again. And again.

To show her you need her, and hope she needs you too.
To show her you don't walk away when problems come up.
To show her what a real man would do, if he was convinced she might be the final last love.

When none of that sparks interest, you start erasing all the memories of what made her special, and start listing those things that didn't.

And now there's a whole different hope.  Of one you desperately need. Of leaving this sickening emptiness
and getting back to being you. There is no pill or prayer to ease the pain. There's only the new reality of a world without her in it. The reality you never considered.

You thought she might be the one.
You thought you were her prayers answered
You thought eternity was the two of you together

All the dreams you had with her are now being lived by someone new. The ego takes a hit for sure, but it wasn't so much "you" or "him". It was "I don't want YOU!"

Yeah....you were wrong.