Is a children’s book, where you need to find this tiny dude hidden somewhere in a giant two page drawing with many similar looking patterns and designs.
Followers of my little blog here, might be wondering the same thing. Where’s Waldo? It’s been a while since you’ve written anything and/or updated the site. I’d like to take the chance to explain why, and where I’ve been!
When I first got the idea last year to create a blog, the idea behind it was to share and express some of things that I wrote in my journal, perhaps with the intention that if one person could take something away from my experience with life, some of the lessons I may have learned and were able to better their own life, improve their relationship with a child, make themselves a bit healthier… all of these would be considered wins by me.
More importantly to me, was the ability to record my thoughts and feelings in a litle bit more of a creative way. By adding music, and pictures, and comments to my posts, it is like creating a living and breathing journal, as opposed to mere words on a page. Add on the fact that typing on a keyboard is slightly less painful to fingers after a lengthy period of writing, painful believe me. I have the divot in my fingers to prove it.
Then something happened that I didn’t think of, or expect. Things that i was writing started to come back and affect my personal life.
People from my past and present started to comment on the things I wrote, and often times in a very negative way.
It became very painful, to even share my own life as it was literally being thrown back into my face. Really? Yes, really.
I am very fearful to write about issues my children may be having, or solutions to those problems. I fear to write about personal issues I struggle with not knowing if this information could be used against me in the future.
It’s actually kind of fucked.
What it did do was take all the love and joy out of writing this blog, and replaced it with a head shaking dis-belief that people had nothing better to do than comment on my life, which isn’t really all that interesting is it?
This blog was meant for me, and it was hi-jacked but people whom I sure had the best intentions behind there words. I have been recently reminded that no one can tell you how to run your life. Everyone is different, everyone looks at the world through a different set of us, and what works for me may not be the best thing for you.
With that in mind, and remembering why I got into this in the first place shouldn’t really have affecting me in the way that it has. I am better than that. My wonderful followers (that’s you) deserve better than that. This is supposed to be fun. This is suppose to be for me…
We have officially entered the home stretch as today marked 10 more runs to go, to finally reach the goal of 100 runs in a row, over the course of 100 days. And what started way back on January 1st has now run (pun intended) its way into April.
To say I’ve learned a lot about myself, about drive and determination to see something through would be an understatement. I also learned that this is something that I would never have been able to do on my own, as I had a lot of help along the way. At times from some unexpected sources. It has been quite the journey to say the least.
So today was run 91 of 100, and I knew that during this final stretch I needed to have some epic runs of either distance, or locale or milestones… One of the many things that I learned is that I need to remain smart about things, and my body. And as much as I would love to run long distances every single day, I need to remain smart and see the big picture. The whole point of this challenge was to make me a better runner, to go longer and faster and to get ready for my Ironman 70.3 race this coming July.
I feel I have accomplished this goal with some of my results that I’ve seen sprinkled through out some of these runs. I’ve set personal bests this year over 1 km, 5 km, and 10 km. I’ve logged close to 500 km so far this year and I am pretty sure by the end of the year I will have set a few other milestones or three…
Back to today, I finished up my shift at work and zipped on home. The original plan was to get a run in on the treadmill, however I don’t think I shall be running on one of those again any time soon. And while it was close to freezing with a whisper of snow flowing through the air the great outdoors was calling me and it turned out to be the longest run of the year. I live on the edge of a sub division with some country roads out behind my house, so while I normally turn left at the end of my street today it was a right turn and out into the country for a nice long loop with some great visuals.
I did encounter quite the heavy headwind, and had some decent elevation changes this run was everything I was hoping for and more. The run ended up being 12 km at a pretty decent pace overall with the best part everything felt absolutely terrific during and more importantly afterwards. No pain in my left hamstring anymore, and I might finally have healed that damn thing properly. I have taken to wrapping it in a tensor bandage for these longer runs which I believe helps, and I’ve made liberal use of my foam roller recently to keep my legs and feet feeling fresh.
It’s a little hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that here we are in April. There are nine more “official” runs on deck before I hit the magical 100, I haven’t quite figured out how I am going to finish this off on run 100. Ideas? Thoughts? It’s been a wild ride and i look forward to seeing how this all plays out.
Life is an ever evolving journey that will keep me on my toes right up until the day that I die, which I hope to be many years from now but in all reality who really knows?
I have been doing a lot of soul searching, reflection and subconscious thinking about my future over the past several weeks. At times in my life I have been caught in the cycle of the nothing, but this period of time was completely different… when I am in the grip of the nothing, nothing happens, I don’t do much (usually zero exercise) and I feel sorry for myself, a little depressed, just generally not a good mental place.
Again this was different, I know BIG changes are coming and my mind has been planning things out getting ready for today. Today is the first day of the next evolution of my life as things seem to be falling into place, perhaps not the way I originally planned or intended but that is life isn’t it?
It’s kind of funny to me when I sit here and think about things, rolling with things, being a bit of a free spirit has never been my strong suit and something I have really struggled with in the past. I would fight against what I had planned, and what life was presenting to me, it was a struggle and it would usually end up sucking the joy and excitement of whatever it was I may be doing. A very small change in my own mental perception of things has helped tremendously when approaching life.
Using my oldest daughter as a perfect example, as I have struggled with her or more correctly my own mental perception of what I thought her teenage years should be, and as time went by and I struggled with my vision of my daughter’s life, the way I thought it should be, and what ultimately it turned out to be were two completely different things. The more I would fight against what was reality, and what my vision of that reality the further apart we seemed to grow. Having accepted the situation for what it is, for accepting the way my life has turned out now I can build from here.
The next four months are going to see a lot of HUGE changes coming in this guys life, and I am very excited to see where I can end up come the end of this summer. It’s going to be awesome!!
While Star Wars A New Hope, which was released when I was five years old has been my favorite movie of all time, it is only recently that I discovered many of the truly important lessons in life can be drawn directly from the films over the last 40 years. And while I am sure there are many more lessons you can draw from these wonderful films, here are some of my favorite…
“Do or do not… there is no try.”~ Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Perhaps my favorite life lesson, and a long time source of inspiration for me as there is a framed plaque of this quote right on my recreation room wall. In life you can either do something or not doing, there is no middle ground. It is a mentality I try to take into everything that I do, I am not going half ass anything. I am going to run 100 days in a row, I am certainly not going to just try to do…
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”~ Darth Vader, A New Hope
You need to surround yourself with people that believe in you, and will blow wind into your sails. Life is far too short to listen to the haters, the doubters, the people that just want to drag you down to their level. Surround yourself with amazing people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
C-3PO “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is 3,720 to 1.”
“Never tell me the odds.”~ Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
If you had told me ten years ago that I would have completed an Ironman triathlon, I would never have believed you. At the time I was 234 pounds and completely out of shape, but with the proper training plan, and the motivation from deep within myself I crossed the finish line on Aug. 29th, 2009 and will forever be an Ironman finisher. I have the medal to prove it!! From this experience I learned that there is nothing that you cannot do in life when you put our mind to it. It’s a belief in yourself, a belief that you can accomplish anything. Believe and your will find a way.
“Strike me down and I will be become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”~ Obi Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
Success in life can often be attributed to failure, or several failures in life. It’s about getting back up after you have been knocked down, it’s about getting back on that horse after you’ve been bucked off. Life is hard and at times cruel, it will test you, it will push you to your limits, it will knock you down. From each failure you can learn from you will evolve into a much more powerful version of yourself.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”~ Yoda, The Phantom Menace
Even the worst movie of the Star Wars franchise can teach us something, Don’t let fear guide your life, don’t let fear control your decisions. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future can cripply you into inaction and nothing. You know what happens when your afraid and do nothing? Nothing happens. I sometimes call this the Negative cycle and it has had it’s powerful grip on me for too long at some points in my life. I now longer fear the unknown, I embrace it. I wake up and look forward to each and everyday and what it may bring. With this changed mindset, I’ve seen my own anger slowly fade away…
“One thing for sure, we’re all going to be a lot thinner!”~ Han Solo, A New Hope
Humor in life can go a long way, and can make a stressful situation for tolerable. This would be one lesson that I would want to incorporate more of into my own life, and not get stressed out at things beyond my control. Laugh about, make jokes and make the best of whatever situation you may find yourself in.
“All his life he looked away. To the future. To the horizon. Never his mind on where he was, what he was doing.”~ Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Being mindful, being present in the moment can go such a long way. Imagine you are spending quality time with that special person and you continually picked up your phone to check your social media feed, only giving that other person some of your attention. Now imagine that same interaction with your phone turned off, and the other getting 100% of your attention, your body language, and where your mind is at. Being mindful, being present can go such a long way in a relationship and can make that special person truly feel special.
“Let go of your hate.”~ Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi
There is a time and place to put the past in the past and let go of ill feelings that you may have been holding onto and taking away from other areas of your life. By embracing the hate, it prevents you from growing in the other direction. It forces you to focus on the negative as opposed to embracing the positive aspects of life. Letting go of the hate and anger doesn’t mean forgetting, it means focusing on the bright future ahead that (if you let it) can be filled with love and happiness.
I personally believe in the power of the force, and while I may not be able to levitate boulders with my mind, despite how hard I tried when I was a child I certainly believe that there is an energy that as described by Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, “…an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” This energy you can tap into, you can use to power yourself to great and amazing things, there is also a dark side energy that can, when you start down it’s path will forever dominate your destiny.
The light side, the positive energy in life is such a powerful thing. It is powering me to run 100 days in a row, it is powering me to change my life in such a positive way. I have such a strong personal connection to Darth Vader, as my life was filled with anger and hate until one day I was able to come back to the light side of the force and embrace all that is good in life.
Interesting question? And one I was forced myself to ask this past Sunday. I woke up around 6am to get ready for work, and as usual I pick up my phone to see if there is anything important that may need my attention. I see a message from FaceBook messenger from an old girlfriend from about 10 years ago, definitely not the normal notification I would get on my phone so I gave it a read.
Not the way that anyone would want to start the day. While I believe the underlying reason for sending this message was concern the wording and overall tone of the message was just plain wrong. I don’t even care to cut and paste it here as it basically was calling me out, my actions, this blog in particular were all BAD THINGS for me. That I was in serious denial about my anger, mental health issues and depression and if I continued down this path I would be broke, homeless and unemployable.
She of course then blocked me so I couldn’t send any sort of reply. Since I know that she is stalking me online, and will eventually read this this reply will have to do.
I am living my own life, and the choices that I make (while you may not agree with) are mine to make. Spending this time now with my son is my driving force in life, the day to day interaction that I get with him (and my other children), I wouldn’t trade for the world. I was a miserable nasty who hated his job, and hated the person THAT I WAS. I walked away from all that life to save the future of my children, had I continued on that path I would have been broke, homeless and unemployable.
I have spent considerable time resolving the issues that I had been dragging around with me, I have sought out help and found it in the most incredible and unexpected places. The friends that I have met and made are of such quality they won’t let me fail, they hold me accountable and I have such a network now that I can lean into when times get tough, to bounce thoughts and ideas off of, to lift me up when I am feeling down. The MasterMind course that I am doing had taught me how to be a better man, father and one day again husband. The community of support in these “FaceBook groups”, which I understand are closed for a reason.
And lastly exercise and triathlon are a bad thing? Seriously? I have learned more from the sport of triathlon about myself, self confidence, a healthy lifestyle and showing my children a way of life that they will learn from watching their father participate in. A lifestyle that will allow me to stay active and keep up with them as they grow into their own lives.
So thank you again for your concern, I’ve taken away the underlying message and adjusted my course with a few things, so thank you for that. The rest I am going to leave in the past, with you and the memories of our relationship. I will continue to focus on the positive things that are in my life and that I can control, you , your thoughts and feelings I cannot and I will not your fears and concerns become my own.
I have three coaching calls to look forward to today, each with a slight different area of focus, a bike/run brick workout to get in, a cookie order to bake decorate and ship, some website updates to do while the boy naps, and then an afternoon of fun and games with my children when they get home from school.
The only person I need concern myself with is the man that I see in the glass. Have a great day everyone.
PS – this is why I blog, to clear my mind, to set my focus for the day and then crush it.
Time flies when you are busy running, baking and playing with kids. That could best describe the month of January as I cannot believe is already over, I have noticed that life has both sped up and slowed down all at the same time. Again, allow me to explain…
In an effort to be more productive I needed to go back and follow a schedule for the week with each day laid out, with tasks that I wanted to accomplish. I found that during January I spent far too much time thinking about what I wanted to get done instead of actually doing things. The biggest distraction? Old movies that I have seen far too many times already, and quite frankly I didn’t need to see yet again. There is something comfortable about an old favorite movie, it just makes you feel good. We all like to be comfortable, but to live an extraordinary life you need to push beyond what is comfortable and really challenge yourself.
I’ve done my best to place that mindset into my head for the month of February, as I have set for myself some Wildly Important Goals! I created my own online baking company, as advertised below with a focus only on Valentine’s Day options, to be honest sales have been pretty much non existent to this point while I remain optimistic that as inch closer to February 14th sales will increase. The website only featured options for the Holiday directly ahead, I have over 170 different Cookie Cutters (Thanks Amazon!) and wanted to offer options for the entire year. I believe the biggest opportunity for sales growth will come from word of mouth, and one event will lead to three more, etc…
The biggest season in my old world, the restaurant business was Communion, Baptism season at the Keg (next to Christmas) all that is quickly approaching. So I want to have pages dedicated to these cookies with wonderfully decorated cookies already laid out for potential customers to view, to plant the seed for future purchases. I spent much of yesterday, and most of today dedicated to that task! I have an old colleague that is having a baby shower this weekend and I am going to surprise her with some Baby Shower themed cookies, both for the website (pictures) and word of mouth advertising.
The other half of the hustle, hustle, hustle equation is my triathlon training plan alongside the 100 Day running challenge. So the month of January is in the rearview mirror and I successfully ran all 31 days, putting my total at over 200 kilometers for the month that comes with a great sense of accomplishment. I have learned so much about myself, about how to be a more effective runner, how mental discipline plays into all this, and what drive and determination can accomplish.
The month of February comes with another 28 runs in which the run total will push past 50i n a row, it’s more base building where I am basically just running and increasing my cardiovascular base for the upcoming Ironman 70.3 race that I will be completing in this coming July. In March we will start to transition into some specialty training as we get closer to race date and the weather warms up here in Canada.
I have also successfully incorporated strength training into my training plan and so far have really enjoyed the workouts and maybe a bit more so the results. I can see the changes when I look into the mirror and I like what I see. I was worried that this additional training would tire me out more so than the cardio workouts themselves, however so far that has not been the case. My triathlon buddy is a big believer that strength training will help the overall swim, bike and run times out of the course this summer. I cannot wait…
Well this post has been a bit of a ramble, kind of like where my head has been at recently. Lot’s going on… and I didn’t even mention that I am going back to work part time starting this Saturday. Hustle, hustle, and more hustle!
How are you ever going to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going? ANother example, going for a drive without having a destination in mind. Sure you might see some nice things along with way, and there is something to be said about going on instinct and feel and at times this can turn out to be the most awesome adventure.
My time away from a career and spending all this amazing time with my children has been like going on that long drive without a destination in mind, and yes I have seen and experienced some pretty amazing things over the past several months. Time that I would not trade for anything, but now that we are a good month into 2018 I’ve started to feel the call back to work, being productive and being a little social as well.
My exercise for the week in my men’s mental health group is creating a wildly important goal, and leads you through the process of getting it accomplished within a certain time frame. We will be doing this exercise twice, the first time through as kind of a test run if you will to completely understand the process, and then again over a longer period of time. I’ve decided to use the first run through for my side hustle as advertised below, my online bakery.
The past week I have been using Facebook and Instagram to advertise, and the business has gotten some great exposure. One of the ads has more Instagram likes than I have ever gotten before, but this has not yet translated into any orders. The site only has Valentine’s Day cookies for sale, as this is the next holiday I am looking to capitalize on but there are many other special days throughout the year, and countless baby and bridal showers, birthdays, special events, you name it… I would very much like my website to reflect all the cookies (with photographic evidence) that I can make. When I counted I actually have about 180 different shape cutters to use.
I honestly believe that some Valentine’s Day orders will be coming, and us men are notorious for waiting until the last minute to take care of things, I would like to be ready for repeat and referral business after Valentine’s Day has come and gone with products ready for the rest of the year. I believe that one sale leads to two more, and then five and so on, I really do and I want to be ready for WHEN that happens.
I am sending out my first package through the mail today to see if the product survives, I have packed them safe and secure and now it’s on the post office shoulder not to destroy my work’s of art. Years in the comic book business should help with this! But over the next four weeks I will be baking and decorating a portfolio of cookies, and I really look forward to it! A month from now I will have an awesome website, my decorating skills will have improved ten times over and I will be ready to turn my side hustle into a full blown business. I cannot wait… well two more minutes anyways before the timer in the oven goes off. Hmmmm, delicious!
In the effort to stay at home with my now four year old son I have started to feel the need for some extra income. I recently applied for and got a job back in the culinary industry to bring in a few extra dollars on the weekend when I am kid free. Ideally not what I was looking for but it’s one of this foot in the door and a chance to prove yourself moving forward. A classic case of walking before you can run, and after thinking about it now for a few days it’s absolutely perfect.
However it will only slow the bleeding that has been my bank account the last few months, ideally I want to bring that down to a trickle and eventually start to fill up the federal reserves again. Man I am big on the metaphors today! In comes the Side Hustle! I originally heard this term thrown around in some of the men’s mental health groups I have joined, and more recently on commercials for Uber. #sidehustle
Some friends and I had talked about starting a baking company late last year and this January I finally decided to take the bull by the horn and go all in. It first started with the 6 quart MixMaster mixer I ordered for a screaming deal on Amazon. And then it was Wix.com to set up a website, and finally VistaPrint to get some business cards, car magnets, t-shirts and a large banner which I’ve yet to hang outside my house. Tomorrow’s project for sure.
The Facebook page is up, the Instagram account is active and I’ve even started to boost posts on Facebook which has actually helped bring some more visibility to the site. No orders yet, but as men aren’t we notorious for waiting until the last minute? I have received a few orders already and this morning I went about my normal routine of taking the kids to school, and then making an order for a friend that was willing to help me test out the ability to send these delicious cookies through the mail and see what the end result would be.
I was very happy with the results of my efforts as you can see here…
… however when I went to pack them up the icing had not quite hardened all the way and several of them were squished. I did manage to save four of them but will have to redo the other eight, several of which are sitting at the bottom of my stomach as part of afternoon snack.
There has been a learning curve involved with his business venture for sure and at this point I am just hoping to sell enough cookies to cover off my investment and then make a few dollars. If it can be turned into a profitable enough venture to allow me to stay at home full time then I will consider that a Hugh WIN, however there is a lot of work and a lot of cookies between now and then.
If you have a few moments I invite you to look at the site as advertised below. Not looking for orders but rather feedback, ease of navigation, products you would like to see kind of idea. Swim lessons are wrapping up and then it is off the the 25th run in a row. Now that’s Hustle!
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love. We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event. Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!
As a full time father of four it’s not often I can say that. It’s rare to have any time to myself let alone two full days. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to a quiet house, the sleeping in, the getting to do whatever I want to do.
By having ME time has allowed me to keep my sanity most of the time when confronted with the chaos of four kids. Or six kids back in the day, or in the seven kid chaos coming my way later this summer. I once had a 17 kid dinner in my house and I was the only parent. It was a dream of mine, as each kid asked if they could have there friends over I said yes and yes and yes and yes until I was making dinner for 17 kids. I have the video to prove it…
Although I can’t seem to find it at the moment, believe me it happened…
These weekends I use to recharge my batteries and do the things that I love. For example I am going to go for a nice long run down to the waterfront and back, it’s full of elevation changes and great scenery. I am going to stroll the flea market and do some window shopping, and I am even going to sleep in tomorrow. No five am gym session for this guy!
I consider having the best of both worlds, full time Dad by week and bachelor on the weekends. Yes I miss my children terribly but at the same time I enjoy the peace and quiet a Friday night with an empty house brings… I think I will go play a game of pool.
And if you haven’t seen the movie Dead Poets Society, go watch it and take some lessons from it. You will be glad you did, have a great night everyone!
I have a confession to make, I forgot it was my son’s birthday today. I knew it was coming up and for some reason my mind told me that it was Friday, when it fact it was today. Mom had made a FaceTime call this morning, which she never does and soon as the words “Happy Birthday” came out of her mouth my heart sank. Oops, I didn’t even realize what day it was.
It was rather sad and sobering fact to me to have forgotten, as we had an awesome cuddle session in the morning while lying on the couch and it would have been nice to sing him Happy Birthday while we cuddled… I suppose it’s a good thing that he is just turning four and it went over his head that I had forgotten.
And I must also confess I am totally unprepared for a birthday today, with it still being so close to Christmas perhaps in future years just grab him a couple of extra presents and leave them in my closet for today. I will also be spending the afternoon making a SpiderMan birthday as I like to do every year for my kids when they make their request. It’s a good thing that the Bulk Barn rents out shaped cake pans and I am hoping that a SpiderMan head is among their selections… if not I will have to get creative.
Jennifer requested a Princess Peach cake this past year, and well let’s just say that Mario Kart is a few years behind the times and finding anything Princess Peach was several missions. I ended up having to get creative and make a Pink Castle cake along with a Princess Peach themed background on a large cake board. Turned out pretty good in my humble opinion.
So today we will head out shopping, and I will enjoy every second of my day with Austin as currently he is running around and having a great time with Kristi screaming giggling and tickling as they run around the house playing Monsters… Argghhh I’m gonna get you…
I have this giant calendar on my fridge, and the lesson that I have learned today is to write it down, perhaps set a reminder on one number of the pieces of technology that I possess. Or perhaps I need to slow things down in my life and make sure that I focus on the truly important things in my life, like my son’s birthday. #fail 🙂