To say my life was flipped upside down last year would be an understatement. From where I started 2017 and where I ended 2018 couldn’t have been more different, and in the course of that year I had more experiences than some might have in several years. Last year felt, to me that it was 10 years long in terms of what I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown. Looking at my recent blog post, 2017 A Year in Pictures reminds me of just much has changed. Here’s a quick recap…
I started 2017 living at the house I owned in Barrie, I had already separated from my 2nd wife (we decided to end our marriage in September 2016)and due to logistics, I was just waiting to list and sell our house to complete the physical separation. Those 9 months of living in my basement, feeling sorry for myself I developed some very bad habits. I had an addiction to marijuana, I started to drink more and I became miserable at work. I was the kitchen manager at a very busy Keg location, but was transferred to a much slower location due to my attitude at work.
It wasn’t until May that I was finally able to move out and into my own place along with my four children. I lived like a king for several months spending too much of the profit that I had made on my house trying to fill my life with material possessions as opposed to being fiscally responsible and purchasing another home, or investing the profits. It was towards the end of the summer I pulled my head out of the sand long enough to realize two things…
First all this spending, and living the high life didn’t do a single thing to make me any happier in my life. I was still miserable at work, I wasn’t any happier in my personal and I would even suggest that my kids were slowly slipping away from me due to my continued use of drugs and alcohol to escape reality. This directly affected my oldest daughter the most and I saw her starting to emulate some of my behaviours. That was the second and eye opening things that I realized, my actions were directly impacting my children.
I knew I wasn’t happy at work, I knew I needed to leave and had been given the chance to work a part time schedule at work. They were overly generous to me, however due to some other work related issues that don’t really need to be explain I walked away from my job of 21 years in mid September. I have been a stay at home Dad ever since. This decision, this leap of faith, this tremendous amount of courage it took to simply walk away changed my life in so many unexpected ways.
The last three months of 2017 have seen me grow so much as a man, as a father, both emotionally, spiritually and physically. I first started to journal a lot. I would write pages and pages every single day, this was a long process that allowed me accept my past, forgive myself for the decisions I had made up to this point in my life. I came to the understanding that I couldn’t change ANYTHING about my past, I had to accept it and where it had lead me. It was a very sobering experience to understand where my path had led me, and now what I needed to do moving forward.
Spending all this additional time with my children has been life changing, having the time and energy and mindset to get down on the floor and wrestle around with them is a daily exercise that I so look forward to. Living life again through my kids eyes has given me a different perspective on life and allowed me to a small degree to relive my own childhood in many ways. I only need to say Star Wars for you to understand, I was 5 when the first movie came out, and as I type this my youngest, Austin is wearing his Star Wars pjs playing with his lightsaber.
I made lots of progress in my family life to end the year, learning about what it truly important and I so look forward to 2018 and the continuing chance to expanded upon and apply what I’ve learned.
I can very happily say that I’ve gotten over my chemical addiction issues through desire, hard work, stripping away many of my friends that I knew were a poor influence on me and pure will power. Today would be day 54 since I last smoked, it had been a gradual weening off process through the end of last year, but I know deep down that in my heart that lifestyle is a thing of the past and those days will never return. Part of that is the people that I have chosen to surround myself with and include in my life, getting help through various men’s support groups have also helped keep me on the correct path.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned this past year is being vulnerable, to open up and share what is going on in my life (at times to my own detriment) and more importantly my head and my heart. To start to share myself with the world, I have found such a strength in sharing and connecting with other people I never knew existed before. I so look forward to taking that to the next level this year, to transforming my emotional and spiritual life like I have never done before.
And I continue to look forward to sharing those thoughts and feelings with anyone that cares to read about them, you. So thank you. I will continue my physical transformation as I train for several triathlons this summer, to complete my 100 day running challenge, today being day 12. I hope to expand and grow the startup business venture I am currently working on, and if successful will allow me to remain at home until at the very least Austin heads off to school full time in September. And I want to continue to grow my own and my families happiness and appreciation for life in the outside world, as I am going to camping, hiking, fishing and spending as much time as I possibly can in the great outdoors.
So buckle up for an awesome 2018 that is going to be the best year yet!