It often is in the details #Life #Mentalhealth

Funny thing life. There’s a saying ‘the devil is in the detail’. In my life and experience, I have found that definitely to be the case. So much of what goes on in life is about making sure that you do not miss the little stuff.

Lately, I have been trying to teach and impress this lesson on Jimmy. I understand that few teenagers grasp this. It is more of a life lesson to be learned. But it is a lesson he needs to learn.

It was easy for me to figure this lesson out. My OCD tendencies helped me pay attention to the little stuff. My only problem is and always has been my anxieties. They have kept me from doing a lot of things and held me back.

Luckily, Jimmy is not afflicted by my anxieties. Which is good for him. He just has to figure out how to control his teenage male hormones. Those wonderful chemicals that tend to fill him full of energy.

I can only do my best to teach him, and keep harping on this lesson. Harp on his need to focus, to bring all that energy to bear on one thing at a time. Learn to finish things properly. To pay closer attention to what he is doing and what he needs to be doing. There is no simple way to impart this lesson, it will just take a lot of repetition. And my paying attention to what he is or is not doing, to see if he is learning the lessons.


Entertainment thoughts #Netflix #Marvel #TV #DC

During this time when I have been unemployed, I have had to find things to pass the time. I have tried to do some constructive things. Some projects around the house, cleaning etc. I have been reading books as well. Now I am trying to make better use of the time with exercise and writing. But despite all of that, I have still ended up spending a lot of time watching television.

In all of this, I have certain thoughts to discuss. One of the shows I have watched was the Luke Cage on Netflix. I really enjoyed the show, very impressed with its quality. I have enjoyed all of the Netflix superhero shows in the Marvel Comic Universe: Daredevil, Jessica jones, Luke Cage.

I also watch all of the DC universe shows on the WB network on cable: Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and now Supergirl. I like those shows, for the most part, they have been generally excellent.

Funny thing is that while the Marvel movies have been great, and very well received the one network show in that universe is not as popular. Agents of Shield is a decent show, but nearly as good as the DC shows or the Netflix ones.

I think the reason for this, and the general rule for making decent superhero TV is to limit the scope of where the action takes place. The most successful of these shows: the Netflix shows, Arrow, Flash, all center on a small location or at least one city. This is what TV shows should restrict themselves to.


All good, time to get to work #Mentalhealth #Health

Had my yearly physical today. No surprises or excitement. Just accepting where I am at. Which is in good health, but out of shape. Now it is time to get to work.

I really like my doctor. He agreed that it is a good idea to find a way to turn my greatest weakness into a strength. Allow myself to obsess with exercise and better eating habits. Not to a point where I start a negative spiral. But to say it is okay to make a point of recording every meal. Establish a mindset that makes getting exercise a priority.

I have to approach this carefully. I need to take the physical activity slow to make sure that I do not overdo it early. It is also important to ease into the mental aspects of this. If I try to hard to develop the habits I take the risk of my brain pushing back. It is going to be a balancing act.

But it is not just the exercise. I also want to get myself back into the habit of writing. In addition to making a habit of daily exercise, I want to get back into a daily habit of writing something. Not setting a word count so much as setting an amount of time at the computer actually writing something. That could be a blog post, or working on an adventure, or something else.

My goal in all of this is to get back into what I consider good habits: eating healthy, thinking healthy, being healthy. Just to break from some of the negative habits.


Ready for change #Life #mentalhealth

Kim has been home from work the last two weeks. It just worked out that she took her vacation during this time. It has been great to spend so much time together. What with my still being out of work. It made for a great couple of birthday celebrations. Mine and Jimmy’s. But all good things come to an end. She returns to work next week. That means I will be left once again to my own devices.

I had an interview on Tuesday for a job. I think it went very well. I would really like this job. Not only would it be nice to just get out and return to a regular working schedule. I also think that I would enjoy working for this company.

Monday I have my yearly physical checkup. I have joked about how I expect to get the riot act by the doctor fo my condition. I will admit that I have been focused on my mental health for the past year. I have had bouts of returning to some walking and increased activity. But it is not anywhere like I should be doing. Any program I have been on, be it eating, or exercise, has been a matter of starts and stops and eventually fizzling out.

I had a talk this week with Jimmy. Talking about how people like us, with our OCD and control issues, need to learn how to harness that and use it for our own good. I know that when I was running regularly I was doing that. My toe injury put an end to the running and I did not handle it well. So I spent a year or two getting my mental health issues in hand. Understanding who I am.

What does all this mean? What do all of these points mean when brought together? I have to confess that I realize that it is now time that I take a little of my own medicine. I cannot expect my son to learn some control over his own feelings if I do not demonstrate some control over my own.

That means I need to begin controlling the physical aspects of my life again. Follow a better, healthier diet plan. Set a regular exercise schedule and follow it. Allow myself to become a little obsessed with that thing laying on the floor of our bathroom that I avoid stepping on like it is made of Lego. A little obsession with my physical health is not a bad thing.

Of course, I will seek to maintain a sense of balance. Return to and maintain a better writing schedule. Keep in touch with family and friends. And try to do all of this when I  get that job I want. I certainly know that it is possible. I just have to work harder at it. Exert a little more self-control. And harness my strengths (and weaknesses) for the betterment of myself. It will require change. But it is a change that I think I am ready for.

Truly a happy day #birthday

This weekend I celebrated my 50th birthday. I spent the actual day with my wife and then family when the kids got home from school. I had a nice party with family and friends. It all made for an excellent celebration. 

I did the normal weekday habits on my birthday. I got the kids off to their respective schools. Got cleaned up, made myself walk some. Kim and I enjoyed a nice breakfast at one of my favorite restaurants. We then spent the day shopping and driving around. Picking up party supplies. And picked out my presents. It was a wonderful way to pass the day. The entire family went out for dinner. I graciously accepted the embarrassing moment that the restaurant likes to do. 

The next day we had a nice party at our house. The extended family all came. Some friends joined the festivities. I had plenty of excellent food. Some wonderful presents and cards. We ended the party with a nice fire where we eliminated a lot of the dead branches we had taken down over the last month. 

I watched some football but kept my heart out of it. In fact, on Sunday, when it became clear that my Broncos were not having a good game, I simply turned the game off. Went for  a walk and then watched the last episodes of Luke Cage. 

I would be remiss in failing to mention an excellent but very filling meal with one friend. We had a good conversation. But I did over indulge with the food. And followed that up with some stairs that I paid for the next day. That was my reminder from my body that I am now 50 years old, and I really need to take better care of myself. 

It was a Happy celebration. With plenty of events and great food and entertainment. I really have a great family and many things to be thankful for. 

Coping and empathy #mentalhealth

I had a hard day yesterday no particular reason, just woke up that way. The whole day was a struggle. From just waking up and getting out of bed to doing everyday things to dealing with anything. All day I just felt terrible.

I did my best to cope. I forced myself to get out and do some shopping with Kim. Just to get out of the house. The day was not a complete waste. But it still felt terrible. Like my brain was too big for my skull. Just a kind of pressure all day long.

Kim is off the next two weeks, which means she will be around the house in the mornings as I get the kids ready for the school. Today Jimmy asked if he could have a rest day. Not completely sure why he needed it. Had I not had such a terrible day yesterday I probably would have been more hardcore and said no. But having had a day like that, when I knew that I could barely cope with family, much less anyone else, made me more open when Jimmy asked for a day to rest.

Kim was not so  understanding. She said I was too soft on the kids, not forcing them to go to school.

I prefer to think of it as being more understanding. By giving Jimmy this day off I realized that he would not ask if he did not think he really needed it. And more importantly, a day off now to sleep might help stave off a migraine headache later. I get that. I can see now how he needs days like this. It is his first missed day of the year so far. I do not think he will fall behind missing one day instead of potentially a lot more if a headache hits.

Yes, I am softer on getting the kids to go to school than I used to be. But I think that is because I have become more open and understanding of their problems than I used to be. And I am relaxing my own need for control over everything they do. Staying home for health reasons (physical or mental) is not a threat to my standing as a parent.

This is all my own way of coping. Keeping my mind open. Doing my best to not let my own issues have a negative impact on others. I think I am doing much better at this than I used to.

Weekend Highlights #CSSReunion #Mentalhealth

Well, the Reunion/Alumni weekend has come and gone. It was a great success in my view. I really can not think of anything I would have done any differently. I had a great time. I really managed to have a good time without slipping into old habits. For now, I will just hit some highlights.

  • I had two main goals. Enjoy myself and make sure that as many people around me enjoyed themselves as well. If the pictures that I have seen are any indication those were both accomplished. Everyone I see in those pictures is smiling and by most measures appear to be having a good time. Including pictures of myself. A quick perusal of my old yearbooks indicated that was not always the case for me.
  • All of the events that I participated in went very well. Not being an organizing person I did not have any responsibility for running anything. But I did what I could to help out. I did what I could, and from what I observed and felt, everything went very well.
  • I really enjoyed the chance to catch up and spend time with a lot of people that I really love. And had the chance to show that. To show that I really appreciated those people, to show that I was glad that they all came.
  • I did a very good job of focusing on being there completely. Not thinking about other things, or worrying about other things. Instead, I just focused on being as much in the moment as I could. That is not nearly as easy for me as it may sound. I do have a tendency to be thinking about the next moment, and that makes it hard to enjoy myself. But for the most part, I avoided that trap, instead just focusing on being there.
  • I did as much as I could to nurture my empathy. By that, I mean that when I sensed people were overwhelmed, I talked to them, gave them hugs and reassurance. I know that some of my friends have almost as hard a time with these types of events as I do. I would like to think that I did everything I could to help them through those moments.
  • One of the positive parts of not being employed is that I was able to really decompress from the weekend. I needed and was able to get the time I needed to recover. Physically, my feet were incredibly sore from the walking and standing. But they are more or less back to normal now. Mentally, I was totally exhausted. But I was able to take the time to myself and really recover.

It was a great weekend. I would not trade the time in for anything. I am so happy that everyone had such a good time. I am super glad that it went so well for the organizers. I certainly hope that it does not take another 10 or 30 years for another such event.