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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


What is going on? #Mentalhealth

Whoa FRG, where have you been? What is up with all the silence? Inquiring minds want to know.

I have been working, working hard. And enjoying what I would call the next step in a process. Also exploring some alternatives. It has been very good.

First, I have been working very hard at the new job. I have mentioned before, but my current work is far busier than my previous job. There is a constant flow of calls that keep me busy. Which is a good thing, because I can really focus on work.

I have also been working very hard at perfecting my skills at the job. I thought that I was good at customer service. And I was. But it had been a long time since I had to really focus on the customer part, instead, I had been focused on the service side of things. So I have been spending the last couple of months focusing on the customer side of the call. Learning new skills and really challenging myself to improve. It was not easy. There were times that I despaired. However, the week before I took this recent vacation I saw the result of all that work. I was promoted to Tier 2, which is the next level at my work and comes with a raise. That was really satisfying. It had been a long time since I had really focused my attention on learning skills specifically for work.

Second, if I think of my mental state as a work in progress, then over the last few months I have moved to a different stage. When I was at my lowest stages of Depression and Anxiety this blog was an outlet. It allowed me to really think through a lot of stuff. It helped me to identify where I was at.

In the last few months, I have begun to actively begin to address what I can in my life to move past those stages. Instead of coping and learning to adapt to who I am, now I am focused on actual improvements. That is a big step. It is about taking preventive steps instead of focusing on protection.

At my work, we have been working our way through the 7 Steps of Highly Effective People. I have been reading my way through the book. Which is helping me work on prevention, instead of reacting to my mental illness.

All of this means that the reason I have not been writing as much is due to my taking a more active role in life. Being proactive about the things in my life that create anxiety and depression. I still have to live with those. But if I work at the 7 steps, I can begin to live more of my life rather than focusing on protecting myself from those dreadful parts of my life.

I plan to keep writing. I hope to use this blog as a space to share the ways I implement the 7 habits. And of course keep up family updates. Stay tuned for more writing. 

It was a whirlwind #Family #Kids

This last week was my first use of Paid time off from my new job. I took the week off to spend time with family. My brother and his family came up to visit for a couple of weeks. I was able to parlay 3 days of PTO into 9 days off from work, due to the holiday week. Which is a nice deal if you can manage it.

I am really glad I did so. I had a really good time with everyone. Did a number of different activities. Had some good food. Good conversations. The cousins were able to spend lots of time together. But now it is time to pause, recuperate, and get ready to resume normal activities. Before I really do so I wanted to take some time today to reflect and review. And I choose to do so with pictures from the week.

There was loads of fun family time. Visiting with each other. Enjoying a birthday celebration for those who we will not see closer to their actual birthdays. Playing on a lake. Exploring a museum. Playing around the house. And some bowling.

There are some missing folks from these pictures. Sorry I could not get good shots of everyone. Of course, those who were missed most were off on their own adventure. Kim and Emily were at the family Girl Scout camp. Which they enjoyed immensely. But they were missed all the same. So I would be remiss if I did not include a picture from the camp:


As is clear from the pictures, a lot of fun was had by all. It was a good week. Now it is time to resume ‘normal’ life. Or at least time for me to return to work along with Kim. While the kids get to enjoy some true time off with no camps of other activities for at least a week.


It was an exciting year, full of fun, challenges, and changes #Kids #Life #Mentalhealth


First Day

For Emily, it was her last year of Lower El. The last year of Ruch kids for Mrs. Clarice.  It was another good year for her. She continued to be the social butterfly. With friends of all ages. There were challenges, particularly the running club. But she persevered for the most part.

It was another great year of Girl Scouts for her. Kim took over the Troop officially. They had a good year, although it was exhausting just to see Kim on Mondays between Scout meetings. Emily did have a stellar year of cookie sales, reaching her goal of 2000 cookies!

She continues to mature and grow. She is smart as a whip when she wants to apply herself. And is a joy for all her teachers to have in class. She is more than ready for the next level next year though.


Last Day


First Day

This was a big year for Danny. First year at a new school. The first year of Middle school. First full year as a Boy Scout. I cannot say enough about how much he has grown this year: mentally, emotionally and physically.

We were a little worried about he would do academically at the new school. There were some initial challenges. But in the end, the picture below is him after accepting awards for the Arrow Club (requires a 3.5 GPA for at least 2 quarters) and Excellence in Social Studies. Turns out he really thrived in a more traditional academic classroom over the openness of the Montessori.

Socially he has also grown, he has made friends at the new school that he enjoys spending time with. And watching him at this last Boy Scout Camp showed me how well he is capable of handling himself in large group settings.

For Boy Scouts, he continues to enjoy himself. Kim has joined him as well as Assistant Scout Master (Yay Super Mom Kim!) He earned his first rank. And seems to enjoy the meetings and being a Scout. Which I think is really good for him.


Last Day


First Day

Last, there is this guy. As you can see there was a lot of growth for him. Physically he continues to mature. His first year of High School was full of challenges. There were some successes along the way. And I envision a bright future for him.

James discovered a love of singing this year in Men’s Choir. While not naturally gifted he does enjoy the singing. Which balances out his wrestling to keep him balanced. Wrestling season was solid for a JV year. He continues to enjoy the physical challenge.

Academics were a challenge. Poor study habits, laziness, and health conspired to keep him from realizing his full potential. And then there were the emotional issues.

We finally recognized the symptoms and got James the help he needs as he was diagnosed with Depression (damn genetics.) Of course this after a nearly wasted quarter, many arguments and trials, followed by a scare when he decided to simply run away one night. All is well now on this front.

All of the above were not helped by his learning the challenges of teenage relationships. That contributed to the wasted quarter and the stress that led to the attempt to simply run away.

However, after getting the help that he needed he was able to turn things around. Turning a failing semester into an average Semester. He now has the understanding of what he needs to do in the future to succeed, and I think the emotional balance that is also needed to get there.


Last Day

It was an interesting school year, to say the least. Made even more interesting by my own life changes as I transitioned to a new job.  We could not have done as well as we did without the aid of Supermom Kim. Here we are at the beginning of Summer break.

The kids all have activities. Summer enrichment programs take up the month of June. Everyone has at least one camp. James starts with his wrestling camp. Then Emily has her first sleep away camp. Later in the summer, Kim joins Emily and then Danny for other Scout camps. While I work, due to the lack of vacation time that comes with a new job.  All in all, life remains good for the most part.

Quick update post #Life #Mentalhealth

Yeah yeah, I know I have not been posting (again.) Life took over the last couple of weekends. Anniversaries, Kids events, weather, celebrations. All of them conspired to take control of my weekend mornings that I usually reserve for writing time.

Look at this space for a couple of big post this weekend. I plan to write a recap of the kid’s school years. Which should be a very interesting analysis. I also have a personal study into the effects of my anxiety on my work and the concept of patience. And with summer vacation beginning I will hopefully have more time for writing moving forward. Stay tuned.

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HA Hunter

Mountain experience #parenting #mentalhealth

So here I am, in a large cabin up in the mountains. With twenty plus teen and pre teen boys. And a handful of adults that I barely know. The things I do for my kids. 

I am one night sleepover for Danny’s boy scout troop. They needed an adult to satisfy the proper ratio, and because of her now schedule Kim could not go. 

The demands are not too high. Drive up here with a car of kids. Help with meals, clean up. I did some socializing. Talking with other parents about our kids mostly. 

I took a walk with some parents, so I got my exercise in. I did some more preparation on my campaign. Now I am reading and doing some writing. Danny is doing his thing, 

So, it is around 7, and the near constant din of the kids arguing about how to properly play hide and seek is officially wearing me out. And there really is no escape. I’m going to have to resort to my headphones soon. 

It is much better than our infamous Cub Scout trip a few years ago. It helps that the weather is great. But more that Danny is comfortable with this group. I am not called upon to push him to participate. 

This is Danny’s ‘I am tired and I’m ready to go home now’ face. We made it home. It was a long night and morning. We were ready by 9, but had to wait until 11. But the cabin is clean. Everyone is intact. And now we can relax. 

Life has been crazy the last few weeks. And while I would rather have been at home working on some yard projects, with the prospect of sleeping in my nice bed instead of a cot. The flip side was I got a day and night away from the rest of the family, all of that chaos. And enjoy the wonderful mountain views and weather. So it was a good moment to pause and gather my thoughts and energy before the last few weeks of school. 

It was a good weekend #Life #Mentalhealth #Hobbies

Did I do everything that I would have liked this last weekend? No. But did do plenty, and I was happy with what I did accomplish. We did get the house more or less in order. I got all my chores done. And I had plenty of fun as well.

Because of the weather and other factors there are some things I did not do this weekend. I did not get any painting done. And I would have liked to leave the kitchen a little cleaner. But I did not miss anything earth shattering.

On the other hand, the laundry was mostly caught up. All of our TV shows were watched. The kids cleaned the basement. I did a little hobby stuff I had been meaning to do. And I got some paperwork filled out or at least started. I also did the menu planning and grocery shopping, which has fallen to me with Kim’s schedule change. I actually enjoy doing that, it gives me the kind of routine and control over one of the things that is most important to me: food.

And, on the gripping hand, I also had some real fun this weekend. James and a couple of his buddies and I played a rousing board game on Saturday night. We played a game of Risk Europe, which is more akin to Axis & Allies than traditional Risk. It was an epic game with several lead changes, but I managed to pull off the victory at the end. It was fun, with lots of table talk and trash talk.

Then I had my Denver game on Sunday. Which was enjoyable as always. I am still trying to figure out how best to utilize my character, but it is always fun. And good for me to have that time away. I even enjoy the drive time as it is time where I can muse and plot on the campaign I am gradually assembling in my mind.

On all sides it was a good weekend. I accomplished a lot. I had some fun. And I felt good the whole time doing it all. And now it is a new week, hopefully with no trauma. Thinking positive vibes.


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Red = Phone number is in BETTI on an existing SP or Consumer
Green = Phone number is a metered number owned by HomeAdvisor

HA Hunter