13 years flashed before my eyes

This morning, our oldest son and I got up and went for breakfast. We do this on occasion, but it has been awhile, and with school starting up next week, I thought it was time. While we were siting down to eat after making our way around the Shoney’s breakfast buffet, I found myself a little sad. 13 years flashed before my eyes as we ate, and I realized that there was so much wasted time that I took for granted. Our oldest boy has always been home schooled. He’s always been there, helping out around the house or ready to go when we needed to go. He was home when I left for work, he was home when I returned. But now … in just a matter of days … our paths will seldom cross during the week.

Even if I wasn’t working a 2nd job, I still wouldn’t see him but for a minute or two. He will be gone all day, and even when he gets home, I’ll be going off to my full time job. When I get home, he will be asleep. On Saturdays, I work morning to afternoon, so we’ll have that evening, and most of the day Sundays, but still … I’ve always read those meme’s on Facebook that tell you not to work your life away, or to take for granted the moments we’re given … but evidently I didn’t listen.

I’m excited for our son to be starting this new adventure. He will be going into 9th grade at a private Christian school. He’s as prepared as we could make him, and I know there is a little part of him – behind the nervousness – that is excited to be leaving home to make new friends and new experiences. I just hope we’ve done enough. And, of course, I’m selfish and don’t want him to go at all.

 

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It’s Not a Resolution

Sipping on my nightly mug of chamomile honey vanilla hot tea, I’m thinking of what lies ahead for 2018. I’m hoping to spend more time with my kids, doing things they want to do together and having fun quality time. I’m hoping to spend more time with my wife, treating her to nights out and surprising her with little gifts to brighten her day. I’m hoping to continue working both my jobs for at least a short period of time, before retiring from retail for a while and focusing on some personal time as well as my full-time job for the last 16 years. Most importantly, I’m hoping to dive back into Scripture and reading my Bible, strengthening my spiritual connections. But to do all of this, there’s going to have to be some sacrifices.

Facebook is, by far, the greatest waste of time among the population these days. I spend hours upon hours each year just scrolling through pointless posts of people commenting on sports, pet peeves, reposting memes. Sure, there’s a few inspirational and informative posts on there, but they’re far and few between. I can feel my already low IQ getting lower as the page loads and I start pouring over the daily posts from “liked” pages and “friends” that I don’t have any other connection to aside from the prying eyes of Facebook. So, Facebook, I bid you farewell. I’ll still keep my account, and can be contacted via Messenger, but I won’t be scrolling your pages of lurk-worthy material each day anymore.

Much of my free time, as it is, is taken up by my second job. I’ve been working a retail job seasonally for several months now for the extra money. Before that, I was working through a temp service at a warehouse repacking various computer accessory. So, since about September of 2017, I’ve had part-time employment. Of course, by “part time,” I mean I’ve been working 40+ hours a week at my second job and 40+ hours a week at my “full time” job. The checks have been nice, but the lack of sleep has affected my health several times. My body wears out quickly each week, though my mind has sort of adjusted to the time schedule. I’m just not as young as I once was, right? So, when either my 2nd employer decides my seasonal status is up, or come May of 2018, I plan on retiring. Whichever comes first, I suppose. If possible, I might ask if I can trim my hours back, if nothing else, but I definitely can’t keep up with the additional hours – not with my goals for the new year, especially. Trimming Facebook will only take me so far, trimming 40+ additional hours of work, now that’ll free up some time.

So, without really planning to make this post about “New Year Resolutions,” I guess I’ve actually made this post about a few New Year Resolutions. If it’s all the same to you, I’d prefer not to call them that. I hate “resolutions,” and I’ve attempted to break away from the generic mold of making a list only to toss it in the trash a week later. So take it for what it is. My plans for the 2018 are as I listed above. Basically, be a better man in all aspects of my family life, and trim out the time wasting “fat” of unnecessary clutter.

How will your 2018 unfold? Any plans? Any resolutions?

9 1/2 Years

I checked my archives to be sure, and my first post for this blog goes back to January of 2008. That was the year I decided to try my hand at a blog on MSN Spaces, which went down the pipes a few years later. Seeing their demise, MSN Spaces allowed users to download their blog for safe keeping, or offered to transfer it to another site, free of charge. And that’s the story of how I became a WordPress user, in a nutshell.

For 9 1/2 years I’ve written irregularly on this blog about pretty darn much everything. From reposting news stories to my rambling reviews of movies and books. I’ve posted deep thoughts that may have sounded ignorant, inexperienced or immature to others. But I shared. It was pretty darn personal, at times, and while I might have been embarrassed to share as much face-to-face, the distance between me and your monitors made all the difference.

A Jack of All Trades, Master of None could be used to describe me and my blog, I suppose. I’ve tried my hand at it all. Lately, though, I’ve fallen away from writing/blogging because I just haven’t felt the pull to do so. I take that as a sign that I’m not doing something I find interesting enough to talk about. Or maybe I’m tired of talking about the same things over and over, just as you’re surely tired of reading about them. So, I asked myself yesterday – as a matter of fact – what’s next? Do I try to revive this nearly 10 year-old blog that I’ve poured random willy-nilly tidbits of information into, or do I try my hand at something new? Nooooo, not vlogging, we all know I can’t maintain that, either. I’m just not a video person. I have a face made for radio, as the saying goes.

A new blog, perhaps. Maybe it’s time for me to imitate one of my heroes, The Doctor, and regenerate into my next form. But what is the next me? What do I really want to blog about that I feel would keep my attention for awhile longer? And what about the 9 1/2 years of baggage this blog hauls along behind it in the Archives? Hmm. I may not be a real Time Lord, but maybe I need to study up a tiny bit more before I give in and let the golden blast of reformative energy transform me.

It’ll Be Too Late for Regrets

I was reminded tonight that I “use” to do X, Y, Z, in the past. I “use” to be like this, that, the other, in the past. That’s all true and good. I did “use” to do those things and be that way.

Know what else I “use” to do/be, in the past?

I use to be 26 years old at the time in question. I was ignorant of the world even at that ripe old age. I had a good job and making money I could blow every weekend. I had a wife I loved and would do anything for, and the most awesome son in the world. There were times when we would put our new baby to bed and sit up at night playing Canasta, Aggravation or watch a movie. We’d eat popcorn, have a Coke and just hang out together.

I never worried about house payments, medical bills that keep piling up, being laid off from a job I’ve been at for over 15 years. I was 128 pounds lighter, wore clothes I liked, enjoyed other people’s company even when I didn’t act like it. I was able to get around better, didn’t get winded standing up from sitting down, wasn’t on blood pressure medicine with the threat of a heart attack looming around every corner. My joints and bones didn’t ache and I could sit down and stand up without groaning and listening to my knees pop and grind. I never had to worry about getting the money to have a new roof put on, new windows, doors, building on a spare room, keeping 2 vehicles running. I never had to wonder when I could just sit at home with my family and watch a movie or play a card game or eat popcorn – all of us together at the same time – without having to synchronize our schedules or wonder if one of us was going to be rushing through it to get to the next “thing” we needed to do.

A lot has changed. But a few things are still the same. I still have a wife I love and would do anything for, and now I have 2 of the most awesome sons in the world. And sometimes, in the early hours of the morning when I first open my eyes and see daylight peeking through the slits of our bedroom blinds, “sometimes,” I still feel a ray of hope and all the cares of the world are lifted from my shoulders.

But yeah, nothing will ever be like it was back then. It’s not meant to. And when I am confronted with how much “I’ve” changed, I wonder if anyone else realizes that “I’m” not the only one. That’s life, I guess. We all live it. Every day. It don’t stop, but when it does, it’s too late to take back any regrets.

Love y’all. Be good.

#InsomniacPod

I follow several people who do shows within a podcast network. They are very tight knit in their little community of podcasts, and constantly shoutout and promote one another in their daily podcast listening. They’ve taken to branding these listening sessions with hashtags including their name and “pod.” For example, #InsomniaPod, followed by what they’re listening to. What a great way to promote a podcast, aside from just retweeting a link to a new episode. You’re actually letting people know when you’re taking the time to work that podcast and episode into your busy day.

Do you do anything special to promote your podcast listening pleasures? I know a couple of podcasts use to even recommend burning some of your favorite episodes onto a cd, or flash drive, and just leaving a stack at your favorite comic shop, hobby shop, etc. Or pass them out to friends or coworkers. Interesting ideas!

I also have the Podcasts Worth a Listen page above that is occasionally updated to show my current interests. Feel free to head over to that page and comment with your own podcast suggestions! Maybe someone else will pick up a new show, thanks to your recommendations.