It’s impossible to remain silent

It has been a tough week and I cannot remain silent anymore. I have been reading post after post on Facebook. Friends, dear friends, relatives have all been sharing. And I know that for each of their who have shared there are undoubtedly more who cannot or will not share. I just cannot keep silent anymore.

What I am talking about is the#metoo campaign. It is extremely powerful to see all of these women whom I respect sharing that they have been sexually harassed in their lifetimes. It is powerful and also really infuriating. What is up with us guys?

I will admit to having acted in ways I’m proud of all of the time. Wandering eyes and the occasional comment. But i like to think that for the most part I have behaved well. Most importantly I like to think that I have modeled decent behavior for my peers and my children.

I will end by saying that I am sorry for all of this horrible behavior. And my deepest condolences for all that women have had to endure.


Accepting, nay welcoming, change #mentalhealth

Today was the first day back from vacation. I had a new desk. There was a change in my morning routine. I was trying to alter my dietary routine. Lots of changes.

I could have faced this with anger, anxiety and being upset. Instead I took a different approach. I even looked forward to some of the changes. I had plenty of ideas.

Some of these ideas did not kick in right away as I actually overslept a little. So no altered breakfast or exercise plan. But I steadfastly refused to let that alter my mood.

Work went very well. I embraced the new desk location as it really helped me focus more on my calls. The day was easy as far as calls. I received a new parking pass so I no longer have to allow extra time for morning walk.

My eating went well in spite of the altered morning. I didn’t get in all of the exercise I would have liked.

All in all, plenty of changes. Instead of being anxious though I feel refreshed by it all. Ready to keep working other changes into my life.

Meditating on ‘sin’ #mentalhealth #health

I’m finding myself at a crossroads. For years I have joked about how my only sin was over eating and eating junk food. I had some years recently where I didn’t eat as much, however, food and eating was always a central pleasure in my life. I have made some allowances for health reasons, but in practice I was still enjoying my food.

Events in recent months are forcing me to change that. Between a couple bouts of diverticulitis and the recent development of hemerrhoids I am forced to change. I have been reading up on the lists of foods to avoid. Combining that with food I already avoid leads to an inescapable truth: my love affair with food has to end.

Obviously I still have to eat. But my focus on eating has to change. The changes I have to make are so dramatic that it will be impossible to keep two practices going. First, I have to stop living my life with a focus on menus and what I’m eating next. Second, I have to find something different to occupy myself during down times. Both of these are intertwined. To put it another way, I need to find some new ‘sin’.

I still read, but to an extent reading is connected to eating. Same goes for watching TV. Exercise sounds great, but that is limited by health issues. Just chatting and interacting with folks is limited by my inherent introversion.

I don’t have an answer for this now. There are some ideas I have been pondering. Writing, sketching, finding some decent podcasts to listen to. All I know is that changes have to be made. An alteration to my mind set. For health reasons and mental reasons.

Coping, adjusting, figuring it out #mentalhealth

Yeah, it has been a while for posting. Life has been good. Just not much time to sit and write. I have been occupying my time doing other things. focusing on doing some painting. Getting things done around the house. Family stuff. But the events of the last week have led me to sit down and try to work through some thoughts.

There have been a number of changes at work. One of my managers stepped down and then resigned. Another Senior manager left the company. These were the folks that were the closest to friends I had at the company. That was a little stunning.

In the midst of this some positions opened up for management positions and I took the leap to apply. With the encouragement of these friends and other people that I trust and respect. I went through 2 interviews before I was knocked out of the running. That caught me by surprise. I really felt that I was more than qualified and ready for the position.

All of this meant I had a tough week emotionally. Accepting that I had made some mistakes during the interview process. Obsessing about that. Then a general malaise as I did not have the same companionship that I had enjoyed at the company. All of this meant I did not sleep all that well. On top of all this, we had a real gloomy, rain-filled week. It was rough.

Last night I had a good nights rest. After work, I had a good talk with some folks there. And I had one epiphany. One of the features of my previous job was tenure, there were an awful lot of people that had been there almost as long as I had been. As a result, I had forgotten what it was like to work in a more traditional call center with its attendant constant turnover. That will take some adjustment, but now that I am aware of it I will be better prepared.

Then today I took the bull by its’ horns and tackled a couple of things I needed to do for work. Which allowed me to refocus on my overall sense of the company and why I enjoy being there. That has also helped me overcome my disappointment with the failure int he promotion process. Also reminded myself that it is a process, a journey, and I need to focus on the steps, not on the end of it all.

In the end, nothing has really changed. There are still plenty of opportunities. I just need to keep being who I am. Do what I do. Find ways to excel. And the rest will gradually work itself out.

A year later, and life sure is different #mentalhealth #kids #life

A year ago this last week life threw me a serious curve ball. I was laid off from the company that I had been working for for 15 years. There I was, about to turn 50, and forced to change gears on the road of life.

Here I am, a year later, and I am a changed man. My approach to just about everything is different. My mental state is far more relaxed. I have become a more active participant in the day to day events of others in my life. And, dare I say it, I am happier.

Anxiety and depression are still there, lurking, waiting to pop out. But I am managing them better. Hell, I have even learned how to take advantage of my anxiety and OCD at my work. To turn what could be problems into tools.

Recent events at work and at home have shown me how much I have changed. One of my managers at work, a guy that I have become friends with, decided it was time to leave the company. This is a person who has been the center of my part of the organization. This news rocked the workplace. Instead of passively accepting this change I have embraced it. I have reached out and received encouragement to make myself ready to step up into a management position, an opportunity that is almost sure to come.

At home it is a new school year. And poor Kim has found herself being worked harder than ever at her job. As a result I have taken on more of the day to day work with the kids. And my work over the summer of developing a habit of daily chores is paying off as the kids are doing their part. I have also worked out an open channel of communication with the teen-ager in order to avoid some of the surprises that became a symptom of last year.

I now recognize the benefit of that dramatic change last year. It wasn’t fun. But a year later I can honestly say I am in a far better state as a result of that shock to my life and system.

Pushing thru it #mentalhealth

Day 4 is basically done. While I haven’t done everything I would have wanted it has been a good week. Today was a real mixed bag. But I persevered, practiced some self care and am ready to rest. 

Work has been very interesting lately. As my comfort there has increased I have ventured out of my shell. I have been engaged in writing some tips which has been very well received. It has been very cool to merge my work and interests. 

A week ago I mentioned to one of my bosses an idea of running an after work game club. The idea was approved this week and it fell to me to be the organizer. So I have gone from hiding in the ranks to organizing a company project. Sigh, time to take stock and figure out how to balance this. 

On the other hand this has been a tough week for calls. I have been receiving some calls that I have taken to calling dementors, because they suck the joy and life out of me. These are not challenging calls in terms of constant arguments, or having to answer lots of questions. Instead these are people whose issues is not solvable, and they want to just rant. Which can be very draining. 

It has been a mixed bag for sure. On the plus side the kids have been very good. I have not been coming home to a huge mess or lots of extra work. Aside from some annoying health issues this has been a good home week. 

So I have some work to do. I need to plan in order to balance things. But this week has shown the use of such planning. I just have to keep my mind on what is important. 

Day One was a success #lonelydad #kids #mentalhealth

Kim and Danny left this morning at 0 dark thirty for a week at boy scout camp in Yellowstone. That left me at home with the other kids. But I had a plan. And sitting here before getting myself to bed for my long Monday I can say the day was a success. 

My primary goal was to not sit around and do nothing. To be at least a little constructive. And follow my principles while doing so. Well I did that. I delegated some necessary work. But I also led by example and made sure that I was active as well. 

So now the house is still clean. The yard has been fully trimmed. The menu and chores for tomorrow have been outlined. And I have done all this without the normal incentive of waiting for Kim to get off work tomorrow. 

So yeah, I am feeling pretty good about myself. If I can keep up this effort through the week that will be really good. It is like the adage about character meaning doing the right thing even when no one is looking. If I can do this through the end of the week on my own it should mean I can really do much more when Kim is here to help. Instead of just using her presence as invective to do the minimum. If that makes any sense.