The hands on the clock are always in motion, even sitting here today totally unmotivated to do much of anything I still am very aware of the passage of time. You see there is still time to salvage this day and get a few things done as opposed to laying on the couch and watching yet another episode of Mantracker. It’s been an emotionally tough week on several fronts…
I was future endeavoured on Feb. 15th, the day after Valentine’s Day and I couldn’t help but think about the timing of life rearing its ugly head which has been a constant theme throughout my entire life. For example you meet a fabulous person, and they are happily married kind of idea… On the flip side I have seen this principle actually save my life, one example in particular comes to mind when my boss a few years ago gave me the day off work due to the crazy weather we were having. If I had gone in that day I would have been right in the middle of a 100 car pileup that happened later that day on the exact route and time I normally would have driven to work…
Definitely gives you a moment of pause and reflection…
While I had an amazingly productive day yesterday, I just don’t feel the love from my body today. When the spirit is low, the energy level is also low as well. I lack motivation, I lack inspiration and it is going to be a tough weekend for me. A couple of kid free days, a couple of days of work, and then Family Day with for the first time since its inception as a Statutory Holiday I will not be working, and I will be home kid free.
I just may have to pile my hiking shoes, mountain bike into the back of my Jeep and make an adventure of the day.
So as a single guy a day like yesterday kind of sucks. Everywhere you turn love and happiness is being thrown in your face, to make matters worse I was also trying to capitalize on this day by pimping my sugar cookie business to anyone that was interested. To spend the day before (all day) baking, icing and decorating, then packaging up all these tasty treats was a lot of fun but just drove the point home even more.
It was a perfect storm of life events as well, both little kids went back to their mom’s house as it was Wednesday. The eldest two wanted to spend time with their friend and boyfriend so I had an empty house.
Honestly sitting home alone was not so much fun, and it allowed my mind to wander into some rather dark places. I didn’t like where it was going, and I was questioning a lot of the decisions that I have made over the last few months. I immediately recognized this as the beginning a what could have been a very nasty negative cycle. These patterns of thinking have been very self destructive for me in the past, and it is so easy to fall back into them and let the nothing just carry you away.
Good thing for me I have learned a few things these last few months about myself and how to handle this negative energy. As it was February 14th most of my support circle was busy last night having the most wonderful time (I hope), so I had to look at the man in the mirror for some guidance and help. I fired up Titanic on the big screen, grabbed my trusty journal and wrote a bunch of pages to purge my mind of the evil thoughts stirring around in there.
Those thoughts are now out of my head and will be translated directly into actions today which is a great thing. These intermittent thoughts that I would argue we all have from time to time can be self destructive when allowed to take hold, its comforting knowing that I can now recognize the onset and not allow myself to get trapped, but even more so be a source of energy and inspiration to drive me forward.
Today we have 80 sugar cookies to bake this morning for a client tomorrow afternoon, and some for my daughter and her class tomorrow as she is star of the day, then it will be some quality kid time tonight with swim lessons and some family fun at the YMCA followed my Marvel movie night!
I don’t know about you, but when I know I am drinking the last of something I will savour it just a little bit more. My brain makes me appreciate it just a little bit more than say can 3 through 11 of a small case of pop. Wild Cherry Pepsi being a long time favorite, especially after a long run but hey it is one of my few indulgences.
So I came down to the kitchen, to tidy up and turn everything off and I reached into my case, and viola no cans of pop left.
My mouth had been watering the whole walk down the stairs to grab it, I could visualize and it was a huge let down to reach into the empty case. I had jugged “the last can” earlier that night after a 5km run outside in the snow covered streets of Barrie which was really quite awesome. Running along the empty streets making afresh trail in the snow. Not running with headphones and just listening to the sound of winter and feeling the snow fall on my face was really quite spectacular.
I’m enjoying a Moosehead instead, on my kid free Saturday night… it’s okay, but I really wish I had that Pepsi!
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.
My eldest starts a new semester of school today and we both have high hopes for much better results this time. I will be working with her on a daily basis to keep her on track and honest to what she has been telling me. It is a great chance for us to grow closer together as I am going to come from a place of love and understanding as I too struggled with high school at one point. It is going to become part of my daily routine each day after school, go over her day and help plan homework. etc… as this semester is not going to get away from either of us.
I will be diligently working on NorthWestBakery.com website updates every day this week, updating my product line and increasing my portfolio. It’s time consuming project, that I do enjoy and once it gets done it will be done, it will be great to have all these products available so that visiting guests and repeat clients can see what I have to offer. And I get to bake and decorate a lot of cookies!
The little ones continue to have several programs a week at the YMCA with dance class and swim lessons, and I have started to plan my workouts around these events to maximize my time at the facility and at home when the kids are here. It’s a win, win…
I also went back to work this weekend, a part time job (for now, I think I will add a few more shifts a week when I am kid free) moving forward to help pay the bills. I really enjoyed going back to my roots, to where it all started for me, it felt a little bit like a homecoming without all the pressure and stress that my old job came with. I think it is very important to me to add these stresses if you will back into my life slowly, one at a time to make sure that I continue to be in a good frame of mind. I felt great after these two days of work, felt great about the quality of food that I was preparing, and in some small way I know I helped contribute to many many other people enjoying there evening out on Friday and Saturday night. #puttingsmilesonfaces
Ha Ha…. I got so busy yesterday that I never finished this post… and now it’s Tuesday morning!!
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!
I have none. Well when it comes to having to wait around for something. I am a busy guy with a lot of things that I would like to accomplish over the course of the day. My example today being at the 400 Flea Market to have the screen replaced on my iPhone 7 Plus which I’ve destroyed three times because well it’s just too big. I had to switch to a regular 7 and have had no issues since then.
Replacing the screen I’ve done before and was told 30 to 40 minutes. Fine no problems. We walked around the flea market looking for the car vinyl booth, which no longer exists.. 😢
Had some less than stellar cinnamon rolls and coffee while we waited. We sat there and chatted about various topics and after an hour we headed back over to the booth to pick up the phone. I was told that is would be another 30 minutes before it was ready… and this really irritates me for some reason. And I don’t really know why. Why am I letting this dumb little inconvenience ruin a perfectly good morning and afternoon.
As I was sitting there I was losing my desire to go out for a run when I got home. And it pushes back the timetable on the rest of the day, but is it really a big deal? Of course not, even as I type this I can feel the tension leaving my neck and shoulders. And the day will get back on track and proceed as normal I am sure soon enough.
But the why still remains. It will be something that I will need to work on as I can let most things just roll off my shoulders and carry on. Deep breath Edward it’s not that important.
So yesterday was a very interesting day for me, a bit of the continuation of the emotional roller coaster but in a good fun, let’s build towards something kind of day and NOT one with a huge drop back into negativity or despair. Allow me to explain…
I woke up not feeling the best, I could feel the negative cycle that had plagued me in my past start to take hold, and it would have been just so easy to feed that cycle and the next thing I would have known, THE NOTHING would have it’s claws deep into me again and I could have lost another week doing nothing…
I recognized the start of this cycle and I reach out for help yesterday through some friends and leaned into the support circle I have created for myself and instantly felt the love and the accountability that I need to keep me on the straight and narrow. To not slip back into back habits of my previous lifestyle. I worked out, I went for a run and my mood and attitude immediately changed. WIN!
I shared this experience in my group call last night, reading some pages from my journals of that past to give some insight to just how bad the negative cycles in my life would effect me. It was a very moving experience for me to open up and share some of my darkest periods of my life. I know that the others could relate to what I went through as we ALL have points in our lives when we feel incredibly low. I am fortunate to have the support to quickly life me up from this. WIN!
After my call, I had the chance to talk with both of my older children before bed and to share with both of them what I had been going through the last couple of days. We talked about life, about how it can affect you, and ways to navigate those feelings so they don’t take hold of you and trap you into that negative cycle. This 45 minutes was the BEST part of my day and showed me some tremendous growth on my part, to not only break my own cycle of negativity but to ALSO share that knowledge with my daughters.
To say I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently would be an understatement, which is weird because usually after some kid free time I am recharged and ready to face the week ahead. Not so much this weekend, I had the best Saturday possible where it involved a 11.5km run outdoors, followed by a leg workout. Then I had the pleasure of playing my x-wing miniatures game and won 🙂 and enjoyed the time in between playing pool and other things…
I woke up early on Sunday and took a look at my MasterMind homework for the week, this scared the crap out of me and I think started the process of getting inside my own head. To backtrack a bit, I’ve joined several men’s support groups on Facebook and have started working with several guys through weeks of community calls and support to help improve mental health/ The love and support I’ve found here is life changing in so many ways that sometimes words cannot just describe.
So this exercise really got into my head, and it started my mind thinking on a bunch of other things that really had an impact and effect on my mood. This would be one of the greatest things that I needed to work on and change when I decided to walk away from my job and rediscover all the joys in life. We sometimes call it Mental Toughness, and it had been awhile since my mind had gotten the better of me. This mood, if you will drifted into Monday and I got through that day but was very lethargic, didn’t eat well and perhaps drank one or two too many beers last night. Lying in bed eating a large piece of apple pie right before going to sleep perhaps was not the best thing.
The last two night I have also had very vivid and telling dreams about a few of things that I have been thinking on. I think my sub conscience mind was trying to work through some of the mental baggage that I am still carrying around in the back of my mind. And I have a job interview today, one that I am only a little nervous about as it’s my first in a good long while, and there may be some uncomfortable topics on conversation along the way. I think if I approach it with an open mind, and coming from a point of being vulnerable then I should be just fine.
With all this going on today, I reached out to some friends and posted in a few of my support groups, and I was hit back with some instant comments and support. Even had a challenge thrown my way to keep at things and I happily accepted that challenge and found my way down to my gym in the basement for a good hour of lifting weights and running the stairs throughout my house.
It helped immensely with my mood and energy level for the rest of today! I actually feel pretty good, I guess the only thing left to work through is my nerves with regards to both this interview and the fact that I will be the center of attention during my conference call tonight, talking about this very subject. i actually welcome the chance to get 12 other men’s perspective on my situation and what I am currently dealing with. It’s an incredibly nerve racking experience to open up and share what’s going on in my head, not something that I have ever done before which is causing the nerves. When it all said and done I know that I will learn and grow from the experience and continue to move my life in the right direction.
This is a cycle that I have dealt with my entire life, and it would cripple me for weeks at a time. Dealing with addiction made this cycle even worse, and even tougher to shake. I have a smile on my face as I type this now realizing that I have positioned myself to help safeguard these self destructive cycles that I know that exist in my life. Ha ha… win!
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!