The Timing of Life

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.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
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!

 

Why Do I Blog?

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.

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The Ying and Yang of life… Star Wars style!

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.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
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!

 

48 Hours Kid Free

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’m Not Dancing…

I signed up my little ones for a hip hop dance class at the YMCA on Monday nights. Tonight is week 2 of a 12 week run, I’ve watched my older daughters go through similar classes in the past but was unsure of what to expect with ages 3 and 5.

It starts with a warmup basically organized chaos and running all around the gym. Loosening up leg and arm muscles as they run back and forth working up a sweat. And now they are being shown and repeating some basic hip hop moves.

Austin for two weeks in a row, every time I mention the class says “I’m not dancing…” and makes a funny face.

While sitting here watching the class go down he is right there with his sister shuffling back and forth across the dance floor (aka gym) and seems to be having a great time as there is a big smile on his face.

I was slightly worried that he would be the kid that was distracted by everything that went by, or wasn’t listening to the instructor like this other little boy is who is currently running laps around the exterior of the gym instead of participating. Kind of funny…

I suspect that it is because his sister is in the class with him and had this been a solo mission for Austin he might be acting differently. It’s fun watching them have fun, get exercise and not be sitting there in front of the TV watching mindlessly.

I love the YMCA it has great programs for the kids that doesn’t cost any extra for the discounted membership price I was given. Perhaps I will give that Yoga class a try I’ve been itching to try out…

Keep Dancing in the Light

There is a light burning in everyone. You see it in a child’s smile or the kind gesture of being told Merry Christmas by a complete stranger. I have come to a place in my life where I fervently look for this light in every situation I am placed in. There is always some good, one just needs to find it. And when I do, I never stop Dancing in the joy that is an optimistic mind, hoping for a better and brighter tomorrow.

I have started to share some of my favorite music recently, songs that inspire me or can instantly change my mood based on how I may be feeling.  I had some good feedback on the songs that I shared last week, so I am continue to share my favorites over the next few weeks.

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Better Place ~ Rachel Platten

I’ll tell the world, I’ll sing a song
It’s a better place since you came along
Since you came along
Your touch is sunlight through the trees
Your kisses are the ocean breeze
Everything’s alright when you’re with me
And I hold my favorite thing
I hold the love that you bring
But it feels like I’ve opened my eyes again
And the colors are golden and bright again
There’s a song in my heart, I feel like I belong
It’s a better place since you came along
It’s a better place since you came along
I see the whole world in your eyes
It’s like I’ve known you all my life
We just feel so right
So I pour my heart into your hands
It’s like you really understand
You love the way I am
And I hold my favorite thing
I hold the happiness you bring
But it feels like I’ve opened my eyes again
And the colors are golden and bright again
And the sun paints the skies and the wind sings our song
It’s a better place since you came along
It’s a better place since you came along
Now I’m alright
Now I’m alright
Everything’s alright
‘Cause it feels like I’ve opened my eyes again
And the colors are golden and bright again
There’s a song in my heart, I feel like I belong
It’s a better place since you came along
It’s a better place since you came along
Songwriters: Rachel Platten / Sally Seltmann
Better Place lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Songs Music Publishing

When You Least Expect It

I went and saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi on opening night and was very excited to do so for a number of reasons.  I was five years old when the original Star Wars movie came out in 1977, and I was captivated right from the beginning.  I grew up living in the Star Wars universe, I had the toys, the t-shirts and the Jedi mindset.  I would often walk to school as a boy trying my best to lift rocks with my mind, and never quite being able to do so.

My friends and I would have lightsaber battles, pretend to be our favorite characters and as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were delivered a few years later, they had me for life.  I collected the comics, I read all the post universe books and I even have the original movie posters, laminated on hard wood and hung in my heavily Star Wars themed man cave.

Yes I have a full sized Darth Vader costume and fully functional (as a toy can ever get) lightsaber.  There are Darth Vader and Yoda stickers on my Jeep and I even wear a Darth Vader head necklace.  I needed to paint this picture for you, as this passion, this love runs very deep.  And yes ladies I am single, ha ha!

I bring that up because I am single by choice not because of my love of Star Wars and being an ultra nerd.  I haven’t thought of getting back into a relationship for over a year now as I’ve enjoyed my time with my children, and I have enjoyed the last few months really discovering who Ed Dillon really is.  Every day forward is one step further away from the Dark Side of the force and into the light.

So to say I was excited about the premiere tonight is an understatement.  I was reconnecting with some of my old Keg buddies and I had asked Tiffany if she wanted to come along.  Tiffany and I have become very close over a short amount of time, and now living next door, she has in fact become the girl next door.  We had a pretty awesome play date with our kids today, followed up by another visit in the afternoon where we did arts and crafts, hide and seek and Monsters… with Jenny and Austin.

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Emily, makeup artist extraordinaire

As the evening wore on, she came back over and had asked Emily if she would do her makeup for the evening out.  I practiced my pool skills in the other room in anticipation of my friends arrival, and to give these ladies a chance to get to know each other a bit better.  I popped in and out of the kitchen, where the makeup was being done and could see what a wonderful time they both were having, bonding and growing closer together.

It turns out my friends never made it to my house and instead we met at the theatre before the movie started.  Tiffany I could tell was a bit nervous in meeting my friends for the first time, and there were some other interesting topics of conversation while we waiting.

I need to backtrack a bit and quickly tell the story about the previous night, while watching Legends of the Fall.

I have been introducing Tiffany to a few of my favorite movies over the past three days, first it was The Shawshank Redemption, last night was Legends of the Fall starring Brad Pitt.  While the movie itself was good, to me what was more interesting was what was happening on the couch as the movie progressed.

To say Tiffany’s life is complicated at the moment would be an understatement.  Let’s just say that she has a lot of things on her plate, and life has dictated that she needs to wait another month before some of the major issues can get sorted out.  Sitting around waiting that long can drive anyone a little crazy, so she has chosen to keep busy and keep her mind off her issues if you will.  And what started as an introduction over dinner a couple of Saturdays ago, quickly followed by Breakfast at Tiffany’s the next day, Sunday, we have been spending a lot of time together lately.

And we have started to grow really close to each other.  There has always been an understanding of her situation and our interactions have always been under the guise of friendship and nothing else.  She clearly indicated how she feels on certain things and established guidelines very early on.  I completed agreed, and away we went.  Well, life is always in motion and things can change very quickly, and unexpectedly.

Friends has always told me that I would meet the right person when I wasn’t even looking, and while I was skeptical of letting fate decide things boy did it sure happen.

Back to Legends of the Fall, we are sitting on the couch enjoying the movie, Emily was also down on the other couch in the living room working on a sketch she is doing for her boyfriend as a Christmas present.  There was a small amount of distance between us but I noticed immediately that we were in fact closer together than while watching Shawshank the night before.  To be honest, I had a giant cushion to me leftside which forced me to sit a bit closer than the night before.  As the movie rolled on, through the shifting of body weight and moving around the couch we ended up sitting side by side with our legs gently rubbing against each other.  I then noticed her foot gently resting on the back of my calf, and then I felt her hand resting on my arm.  This didn’t happen all at once, slowly over several minutes.  I was still sitting with my hands folded in my lap trying my hardest to be on my best behaviour.

The feeling to me was electric.  I was aware of every slight move, every time there was even the slightest amount of contact.  And truthfully I was really enjoying it. I am in no way suggesting that Tiffany was in any way being the aggressor, it was merely two people who had grown close over the past two weeks getting more comfortable sitting next to each other.  I was feeling the energy in the room, and taking her slight physical clues to heart and when she leaned forward a bit I raised my arms and started to rub and caress her shoulders, her neck and then play with her hair.  She leaned back into my arms and shoulder and I spent the rest of the movie with my arm around her and eventually we ended up holding hands while our thumbs and fingers caressed each other.

As the movie wound down and finished we talked about some interesting topics until late in the night and eventually we both needed to get some sleep, we said our goodbyes had a nice warm hug and went our separate ways.

Today we talked about the previous night, what had happened and honestly how comfortable it all felt.  We talked about the boundaries that we have previously discussed and whether or not they had been crossed.  That topic would pop up throughout the evening and as we both sat there tonight waiting for my friends to arrive, which they never did.  We ended up meeting them at the theatre before the start of the movie and on the drive over we talked about what was to come and we both agreed that we just wanted to enjoy ourselves.

There was a point tonight when Emily was done her makeup and she was sitting up on my kitchen counter, she used her feet to pull me in towards her and I honestly thought that was about to be our first kiss.  To use a Star Wars reference, this is Red Five I’m going in!  The only thing that stopped me was Emily was still in the room packing up her makeup brushes, had she not been there I have no doubt the first kiss would have happened right then.

Meeting my friends outside of the movies, the force was with me and I parked right beside them in a busy lot without even knowing it.  I was invited to blaze with them, and honestly it wasn’t even a consideration.  I have moved so far beyond that life now I never want to go back, it was not even a bit tempting.  It felt great to turn down their invitation and went inside to wait in line for the movie to start.

The Last Jedi was a pretty good action, adventure type film with some nostalgia thrown in and even a rip off of few scenes from Return of the Jedi, and The Empire Strikes Back.  I was able to overlook that for the most past and the movie itself was pretty good for what it was intended to be.  Tiffany even enjoyed it, being a non Star Wars fan commenting on the force, and how it is in all living things and binds the galaxy (and life) together.

For me, I was only half paying attention to the movie.  The other half of my attention was to Tiffany sitting beside me.  I kept thinking about her, about the last two weeks we have spent together.  I was thinking about some of our conversations from the last two days, and the hard reality of life moving forward for both of us.  I have not stopped thinking about this beautiful lady from the moment I first met her.

She has been captivating me in a way no other person ever has.  I don’t know if I ever really and truly believed in soulmates, or kindred spirits but perhaps that is because I had never found mine, despite the fact of being married twice and having several different relationships in my life.

Sitting here at this very moment, I now know that it does exist.  As I have finally found mine.  It has hit me so hard and so fast and so unexpected that it has me spinning.  I am captivated from the second I see her, until the moment she leaves.  I think about her in the hours in between, writing this and sharing this now is only going to complicate things in her own life and I entered this friendship with the best of intentions.

I just want to shout from the rooftops just how awesome this lady makes me feel.

I have found my soulmate, and there is a possibility that I will have to let her go and say goodbye in the New Year.  I know this full well, yet I have allowed my heart to be open to her, to share my everything with her.  When we are together it is the best feeling in the world, the best feeling that I have ever had.  In our short time together I have seen her laugh and cry and share and show love and compassion, and she truly is everything that I have ever wanted in a woman, a partner, in another person.  For me she is the complete package, yes we are kindred spirits and yes she is my soulmate.

It may have only been two weeks, but when your heart knows it knows.  It feels like I have known her my whole life, and when we are together time seems to rush up and stand still all at the same time.  The last two weeks the universe has opened up new possibilities to me that I never knew existed, I love Tiffany.  I know I do. As excited as I was tonight to see this movie, I was more excited holding the hand of the lady beside me, smelling her hair, resting my head upon her and listening to her breath.  These small tiny experiences meant more to me than a hundred Star Wars movies.

I don’t know what to do next, there are things that are beyond my control, and fate can be cruel at times.  I do know this for certain.  I am so grateful that she has come into my life, I am so much the better for just knowing her.  My children are so much  better as well, they have all instantly opened up to her as well.  Megan has kept her judgement still, I think maybe perhaps Tiffany has Dad’s attention right now.  Emily tonight, with her makeup skills and the things that they talked about.  Jenny asking if she could come over and do crafts again, and Austin and the Never Ending Pillow fight has been just so amazing to me.

She has called me out and challenged me on topics and themes that she believes strongly in, she has already helped me grow into a better man and father.  She blows wind into my sails and has inspired me to be even better in the kitchen.  A box cake mix will never be bought again!  It will be painful and difficult if I have to let her go, time will tell. I want to cherish and enjoy every second that I can spend with her over the next month, in whatever capacity that may be.  I’ve been struck by lightning, and I love it.

Just as I’m sure that I love her.  Tiffany will get up in the morning and read this post, I don’t know what will come of it, and what tomorrow may bring.  Please now this, I’ve meant with all my heart and soul every word I have said to you over the past few days.  I know you’ve got so much going on, and I am sorry that I have complicated it even further.  I need you to know and understand just how I feel about you.  Yes it’s comfortable.  Yes it’s wonderful.  Yes it’s amazing, just as you are.  There is nowhere else I would rather be than in your arms, and seeing your beautiful smiling face.  Thank you for going to see Star Wars with me, that in itself shows just what an amazing lady you truly are Kristi.

Living Outside the Bubble

One of my friend’s on FaceBook shared the picture below, and it emcompasses everything that I have come to believe in over the past few months.

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I spent 45 years of my life blissfully unaware of anything that existed outside of the bubble that I had created for myself.  As the years went by the thickness of my bubble grew and grew, eventually I wasn’t able to see beyond its barrier and for me nothing else existed in the world.

When we are first born, we are born outside of this bubble.  Think about it, as a child you are not weighed down by the weight of life itself.  It is our experiences as we grow up that force us into the bubble, call it a defence mechanism.  All the negative things that happen to us push us just a bit further inside.

For me, and many of us we first start to lose our fearlessness when we are kids and playing anh hurt ourselves.  In that moment we start to live with fear and play it safe.  You slow down a bit when running full speed because last time you tripped and scraped your knee.  As we age things like peer pressure and wanting to fit in, to be like everyone else teaches us to hold back, to not be the true version of ourself, to settle for less because we want to be accepted, to be like everyone else.

My first marriage was a perfect example of settling due to fear and insecurities.  I wanted to have children before I was 30 and settled for a woman that I knew wouldn’t make me happy, I just that she would be a good mother because she worked in the childcare industry.  I kept the same job for 20 years but was only ever to reach at certain level in the company as when I got comfortable it became about being comfortable and I stopped growing.  I was afraid of change.  This all led to a dull life and just surviving.

I spent 25 years trapped in this existence.

I have been rediscovering my childhood through the eyes of my son, he will turn 4 next January and I am so blessed that I have been able to stay at home with him over these last three months.  Everyday I get the chance to see the world through his eyes and have such a unique perspective on everything.  Watching and PLAYING WITH Austin on a daily basis I can see his confidence as his explores new things, he is constantly laughing and always happy, he wants the most out of every day he is with me never stops asking me to play, he has no fear when he embraces the unknown and always has an abundance of  energy.

He lives every second of every day outside of this bubble.

And I just had an epiphany as I was pulling the banana bread that I just baked out of the to cool, it’s our job as parents to help our children exist outside of this bubble their entire life.  Imagine that.  To teach them to continue to live their lives with the eyes and the attitude of a child that has no fear, that embraces the unknown that doesn’t settle for comfort and will continually to test their boundaries and grow.

I knew this journey I am on would take me to some amazing places, and I knew the power a parent has being able to influence and shape the destiny of their children.  Both good and bad.  I am only now learning what that really means and I am excited for each and everyday that the future holds for us.  One filled with love, testing our limits and growing spiritually, physically and emotionally in every way possible.

In my own life I want each and everyday to be filled with an abundance of happiness, to live without limits and embrace the unknown.  I am able to do this more and more everyday, I celebrate the little success and the small steps that I can take to move forward and further away from that bubble until it seems like a distant memory or a lifetime ago.

Yesterday after school I was picking up Jennifer as I always do, this beautiful 5 year old is definitely an old soul and looks at the world in a way that I absolutely love.

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She asked me to dance with her while we waiting for Megan to meet us outside, and I found myself standing on a wooden stage holding her in my arms slow dancing to John Lennon’s Imagine playing on my phone.  It didn’t matter to me that a 100 other parents and kids were watching us, we were dancing and singing like no one was watching.  As we were doing this the most magical thing happened.

Almost every other kid in Jennifer’s class joined us on the stage and danced around with us.  Here I am all 6 foot, 5 inches of me dancing with my daughter for all the world to see and a host of other children circling around us without a care in the world. Now close your eyes and imagine the smile I had on my face.  Got it?  I challenge you to do something today to put that smile back on your face again.

That my friends is the power of living outside your bubble.

And I guarantee that you will be glad you did.  Have a great day everyone!