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.

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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.

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. 

R.E.S.C. What it means to me #7Habits #Mentalhealth


One of the things that is asked of you with the 7 habits is to create a Mission Statement. Figure out what is truly important to you and then write that down in the form of a statement, a manifesto if you will, that you can use as a guideline for decisions moving forward. I have spent some time working on this. And came up with my four guiding principles that I want to use to guide my life moving forward.

Respect

I will live my life and make decisions that show respect. Not just for others but also myself. For others that may mean treating others with respect. From dealing with them honestly and openly, to respecting their choices and decisions. I may not always agree with others choices, but I can at least show respect for them. This can mean something as simple as showing up on time (or a little early) for planned events. To being as nuanced as not speaking ill of those who have made choices I may not agree with. That is a lot harder than it seems. And is a goal which I strive for, I am not all the way there yet by a long shot.

I will also begin treating myself with respect. That means making choices and decisions that are best for me. Eating better. Getting more exercise. Sleeping better. Making sure I practice proactive self-care.

Encourage

I will encourage others and myself. When someone wishes to do something I will encourage them. If they are working on a project that does not directly involve me I can seek to encourage them. This can be as simple as a pat on the back for my co-workers when they are dealing with a difficult customer. Or as long term as working with my family members in log term activities like school, work, Scouting.

This does not mean I have to act as a constant cheerleader. But I can still do my part to encourage folks when they undertake activities. Telling my kids I know they can get themselves a meal instead of relying on the parents.

Sharing

I have been on this planet for 50 plus years. I have had an extensive education. I have worked a variety of jobs. And consider myself to be pretty well read on a variety of topics. In short, I know things (although I do not drink). The thing about all that knowledge is that it is useless if I do not share it. So my fourth principle is to share what I know.

As a father, one of my main jobs is to teach my kids. From something as simple as tying a shoelace, to as complex as how to write a coherent essay. As a husband, my wife and I are constantly¬†teaching each other things (even after 20 some years.) At work, I have learned that teaching others what I know has the benefit of solving problems ahead of time which reduces everyone’s workload.

Curiosity 

I know a lot. But that does not mean I know it all. I think that one of the hallmarks of success for me is to keep learning. That could be learning how to do something at work that benefits my position there. Or just learning something that I can share with my colleagues.

It could be as meaningful as learning about the complex nuances of current events: local, national and international. Or it could be as mundane as learning who acted in a current movie or who a certain player is playing for. Or it could be about learning to play a new game or a different way of playing a game I already know. It all comes down to keeping an open and inquisitive mind. Because there is always something new out there to learn about.

Those are the guiding principles I choose to follow. That will affect my choices and decisions. Should I agree to do this new project for the Scouts? Who does the cooking and cleaning around the house? What am I doing for a vacation? I can look to my 4 principles to determine the answers to those questions.