Anger Management – part two

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m going to see what I can do to fix these anger management issues that I seem to have. I do my best to remain in a positive head space, but I still end up grumpy and then angry at little things that end up escalating until I blow.

Ain’t nobody got time for that nonsense.

So I’m going to make a pact right now to follow this action plan and try to become that person I want to become; the person that I thought I was already becoming but am apparently not quite there yet.

  1. I need to be aware that I’m not perfect. It’s one of those things that I know that I’m not perfect, yet I’m always striving for perfection…thus I’m upset when I don’t fulfill my self-appointed goals. I’ve got such an innate desire to impress people that I end up making mistakes or not doing what I thought I was going to do, thus not impressing people the way I thought and subsequently getting upset at myself for not doing what I thought I could do. I know where this comes from…it’s a problem I’ve had since I was a kid. I’ve never been able to impress my father so I try to impress everybody else in my life as a way to increase my self-esteem. The problem is that when I don’t achieve perfection, it makes things even worse.
  2. I need to stop being overly defensive. This is my biggest problem. I totally recognize this issue hurts me more at home than it does at work…but it affects everyone I know. I’m constantly thinking that someone is trying to put me down or make me feel stupid, another childhood problem that I’ve brought forth to adulthood. It’s not just my wife, either…I’ve actually thought that my stepdaughters, at different times, were trying to make me feel stupid or tell me how I was supposed to think. How ridiculous is that? They’re 9 and 11. Yet I’ve had times when I was a little less-than-pleasant with them because I felt defensive about something. People aren’t always out to get me or to make fun of me. I simply have to stop that way of thinking.
  3. I need to think before I speak. I realized this during the argument I had with Sunshine on Sunday. I couldn’t think of the right things to say or come up with a point relevant enough to the conversation, so I told her that she was “mean and cold-hearted”. I sometimes have a horrific time trying to say the right thing at the BEST of times, so I certainly shouldn’t have expected to come up with the right thing to say during an argument. I have to realize that what I say affects others, including the girls. So even though the tone in my head isn’t negative in nature, I have to recognize that my words can still do damage…as my stepdaughters have come to realize. I’m simply too quick with a snide comment or with my innermost feeling…and I need to just sit on it and think about it before I say something.
  4. I need to realize that the “old me” isn’t the “current me”. It’s difficult to look back and think of how much I’ve changed in the past decade. I mean, I went from a chain-smoking leather-jacket-wearing smart ass to an overweight depressed dumb ass to the person I am today. I am NOT either of those guys anymore. I’m a better person. I’m constantly evolving. I need to give myself a frickin’ break and stop beating myself up for the man I used to be, and instead start giving myself credit for the man I am today.
  5. I need to recognize when I’m angry. Once I’ve done that, I can take just a bit of time to figure out WHY I’m angry. This, of course, will result in me attempting to better handle this anger. Am I really mad at what my wife just said or does it anger me because it rings true? This is the type of response I need to think over in my mind whenever I feel tension mounting.
  6. I need to be more open with all of my children. I’ve said it before: I’m not a hugger. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s also not great. I need to realize that just “being there” isn’t enough. I need to BE THERE for my kids…talk with them, read with them, and really listen to them. Even though I’ve got some decent relationships with my children and stepchildren, those relationships could be a LOT better if I just put in that extra effort. Why beat myself up over not being a better father? Why just continue down the same path? I need to set an example of how a father should be. My dad was absent with me. I don’t want to appear absent to my own.
  7. I need to take my time to notice the tiny details, both at home and at the office. I’m scheduled to have a meeting with my boss later this morning to discuss how I can improve in this area. And it’s weird, because details have never been an issue with me before. But now I find myself getting angry on a daily basis because I’m making small, stupid mistakes…then I rush to fix them and rush to finish something else, resulting in more small mistakes.  I’ve been given a massive opportunity with this job…I can’t afford to blow it now because I’m not paying close enough attention to the little things. It’s the same thing at home. I need to start doing more of the little things to help around the house; not being asked to do something when I know I should just offer to do it.
  8. I need to forgive myself and stop laying blame. I’m responsible for how I act. Only me. Regardless of the reasons behind it, my anger management issues are mine and mine alone. I need to stop beating myself up for all of my failures and start reveling in the successes that I now have in my life.
  9. I need to communicate more. This is primarily for my wife. She needs to know what I’m thinking. She needs to be able to communicate with me without me getting upset. She needs to trust that we can talk about more than just silly, fun things in our lives. I hate it when we blow up at each other because it’s primarily due to me not talking about issues to begin with or her not being comfortable enough to talk to me about things. That needs to change.
  10. I need to stick to these suggestions. This can’t just be a blog post. This needs to be a daily affirmation if it’s going to succeed.

Anger Management – part one

Not sure what’s going on with me. I’m a jumble of nerves and uneasiness lately.  I’m also just full of anger, too…and I’m not sure if I can pinpoint a reason why.

The fight that my wife and I had on Sunday escalated again yesterday. My own fault, I admit…I did something stupid yet again. I’m now staring at the wall in my office wondering what I can do to fix things. I can only work on myself, so how can I work on being a better person? How can I deal with these anger issues and why am I grumpy all of the time?

So many questions…

In reality, I should be happy every frickin’ day. I can even list the reasons:

  • I’m newly married to the woman of my dreams.
  • After many years of messing up, I’ve got pretty decent relationships with my three children.
  • Even though I’m not their ideal stepdad, I think I’ve got a fairly decent relationship with my stepdaughters.
  • For the first time in my life, I’ve got a solid job with a solid income. It’s the best I’ve ever had, actually.
  • I’m out jogging at least three times every week, doing a Couch-to-5K program. I’m all ready to start Week 7 and I’m looking forward to signing-up for my first 5K sometime in June.
  • Up until this past weekend, I’ve been doing pretty good in terms of not snacking at night or having dessert after supper. I’ve been eating better and trying to do what’s best for me so I can become a healthier “me”.

There are just so many good things going on with my life. Why, then, can I only seem to focus on the negative?

  • I’d rather stick my face into my laptop at the end of the day instead of hanging out with my stepdaughters and talking with them.
  • I’m always finding any little reason to get grumpy at something…regardless of how big or small the situation may be.
  • I’m upset that my knees and my heart are both giving me a hard time with this exercise thing I’m doing. I mean, if my body doesn’t want to cooperate, then why even bother?
  • I’m messing up little things at work. Nothing major, but I’ve always prided myself on being a stickler for details…and yet at this job it’s the careless mistakes that are coming back to bite me on a daily frickin’ basis.  Am I simply unable to concentrate or am I just careless?
  • I’ve had weeks to prepare music and a speech for my dad’s wedding this weekend. But because I wasn’t named his best man (my little brother was), I’ve just stopping caring at all about the whole thing.
  • No matter how I look, whenever I see myself in the mirror I’m disgusted by what looks back at me.

So why am I concentrating so much on the negative when there is so much good in my life?

It seems that I’m just not happy unless I’m UNhappy. I can’t seem to let myself enjoy what’s right in front of me because I’m only content when I’m actually miserable. I’m sure Dr. Freud would have a field day trying to analyse my issues and why, in spite of trying to live a happy live, I’ve got such a quick temper that affects those around me and why I can’t seem to allow myself to be happy. I don’t know what to do about it all.

I’m going to tackle this again tomorrow and see if it’s something I can work through. I almost lost a job once because of my anger management issues a few years ago…I don’t want to lose my marriage because of it.

I need to work this out somehow.


A CBG Family Easter

I had done a 5-hour round trip on Friday morning to pick up my son for the weekend and bring him back to my home with Sunshine and her girls. We didn’t have a ton of things planned to do over the ensuing 48 hours, but we were looking to have fun as a family and he was pretty excited about it all.

Thumbs up!

We had a big Easter turkey dinner on Friday. Sunshine had done a ton of work preparing while I was out picking up Ankle Biter. The meal was, as usual, fantastic.

Dinner time

The kids and I all had our fill of turkey and ended the night watching Hop.

On Saturday we decided to lay low for the morning. Sunshine and I both went out for runs at separate times, and we head out the door around 11am to get a bit of shopping done before going to the movies.

I gotta say, I’m NOT a fan of heavy crowds. They turn a good mood sour in a heartbeat. So when we were shocked by the hundreds of cars lined-up waiting to enter the shopping district of the city, my mood changed. We parked at Costco and walked in with the ten thousand other customers. OMFG…I immediately regretted the decision and couldn’t wait to leave. I mean, the kids were fine…it was just wall-to-wall people and carts and frickin’ traffic jams in the aisles. INSANE.

We picked up some movie tickets for the kids (along with a few other items) and left as quickly as possible. To avoid being caught in crowds and being late for the movie, we got there about 40 minutes early and sat in a near -empty theatre instead. The kids didn’t complain…Muppets Most Wanted was a movie we had all wanted to see for a very long time. Thankfully, because of lowered expectations (the movie hasn’t done overly well at the box office), we were all really entertained by the movie. It was quite good, actually.

Movie time

We played some Yahtzee and some Quirkle to wrap-up the day. We take pride in trying to do as many family-oriented activities as possible. Sunshine, especially, doesn’t like the kids being addicted to technology, so we didn’t sit in front of the television on a Saturday night or let them be iPod-zombies. We had a family games night, instead. No complaints from me.

We ended the night with me trying to top 11,000 steps on my pedometer, so we threw on a couple of songs and all ended up dancing around the living room to “Ice Ice Baby”. Good times with great kids!

FAMILY DANCE!!

Sunday morning found that the Easter bunny had visited all three kids. They were quite happy with their various hauls of chocolate, t-shirts, and games.

Sunshine and I had gone outside before 7am to set-up a backyard Easter egg hunt. This turned out to be only three minutes long, but it was a fun three minutes that the kids were thankful for. They suggested we do this every year. If you’re so inclined, the hunt in it’s entirety is here:

So yeah…the kids were excited once all was said and done.

After a fantastic pancake breakfast, we cleaned up, packed up, and dropped the girls off with their dad. Sunshine and I then took Ankle Biter back home to his mom’s before having dinner with my dad and his fiance on the way back home.

We finished our weekend by hiding Easter eggs at our office for this morning’s office egg hunt. Yeah…we did that.

And that was our weekend. How was yours?


Fun Music Friday

I’m getting ready to head out on a 5-hour round trip to pick up my son and bring him back to spend Easter weekend with his step-family, so I thought I’d have a little 90′s fun in honour of the playlist I’ll have going on in my car for the journey…

All nite – Big House

These guys had a Canada-wide hit on their hands with a song called “Dollar In My Pocket”. Then came this as single #2. BOOM~!! This song was everything I loved about “hair metal” from the 80’s (this album came out in 1990). They had one more single with “Baby Doll” and then POOF~!! Along came the Seattle sound and this type of music was immediately discarded by the masses. It got so bad that they tried taking new country band Big House to court in order to keep their name. The judge declined because they were such a non-factor in music outside of 1990 in Canada. Oh well…this song still deserves to get cranked up.

Joyride – Roxette

Roxette is one of those bands that are on my “Concert Bucket List”. I know their lyrics are primarily nonsensical. I realize that they’re cheesy power-pop rock. I understand that I’m one of the few people who still listen to them on a regular basis. I don’t care. I love Roxette and I love this song.

Nu nu – Lidell Townsell

Want to impress me? Tell me the name of the song, “Nu nu”, after I told you the artist’s name without looking it up. This song was never the massive hit that it should have become and that’s a shame. It’s a fun, gradual build of a great pop/dance song.

Listen like thieves – Was (Not Was)

I absolutely love INXS and was very hesitant about initially liking this remake. But the more I listened to it, the more I appreciated it for what it was: a totally different interpretation of the song. You may like it, you may not…but this is one that I find quite enjoyable.

Mo money, mo problems – Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase

I remember how packed the dance floor would get every time I played this on a Saturday night. And I don’t care who you are, this song is still as catchy and as relevant today as it was 15 years ago.

Omobolasire – Prozzak

This band was comprised of two members of the Philosopher Kings who took on cartoon personas with British accents (you can’t make this stuff up, can you?). I still listen to this song on a regular basis as it’s on my running playlist. Check this out…you might end up as addicted to the song as I am.

That’s it for this week. I hope that, whatever you do, you end up having a great long weekend!


Running Into The Wall…Already.

I suppose this is the “dark before the light” or the “storm before the calm” or some other similar analogy. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been fighting with myself about this whole exercise thing. I’ve even had conversations with my wife because I’ve felt a little down about how it was going.

I mean, I’ve been running 3 times a week for over a month now. I’ve been eating healthier and cutting out afternoon and nightly snacking. I’m drinking a ton of water and I’m doing whatever I can to get over 10,000 steps on a daily basis.

So why don’t I feel any differently?

Physically, I guess I feel different. I did end up jogging for 20 straight minutes last week…so there is no doubt that I’m able to do something I couldn’t do two months ago (I could barely jog for ONE minute two months ago).  But I’m still winded when I go up and down one flight of stairs. Maybe not completely “winded”, but I can hear myself breathe heavier when I’m done.

I’m also having heart concerns. Twice in the past week, my heart rate shot up over 200 bpm before going back down and regulating itself over the remainder of a run. Even my normal running heart rate is about a 160 bpm average. Because of that my wife, my friend, and my friend’s medically-trained sibling have suggested I see a doctor just to make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard. I know it’s because I’m 41 and I’ve never done any physical activity for any extended period of time before…but it still sucks that I might be pushing myself too hard when I don’t think I’m even doing much at all to begin with.

I feel that I should be able to visibly notice changes when I look in a mirror. No, I’m not looking for six-pack abs or anything…but I don’t see any real change in my physical appearance at this point. I’m embarrassed when I look in the mirror, and I was hoping to be more comfortable with myself at this point.

I also feel like I shouldn’t have struggled to do a 10-minute session yesterday morning after completing a 20-minute one just a few days ago. In fact, I’m going to re-do the Week 6, Day 2 session just because I didn’t feel strong when I ran yesterday morning. I don’t want to move forward until I feel like I’ve conquered what’s already in front of me.

My whole life, though, I’ve found one excuse after another to NOT follow a healthy routine, an exercise schedule, or anything else that was deemed “good for me”. If I didn’t lose weight after a couple of weeks, I’d just quit and start chowing down all over again. If I struggled to run three minutes straight, I’d just say “eff it” and stop doing the program entirely.

I’m certainly not at THAT point again. I’m not going to quit any time soon. I’m just not feeling as strong as I feel I should after six weeks of the program.

So I guess I just need to remind myself that it’s normal to feel this way. Maybe it’s fear of succeeding…maybe it’s my body not quite ready to give all of itself over to healthier living…maybe it’s simply me having an “off day”.

Whatever it is, I need to shake it. I’ve come too far now to let any little excuse turn into a major setback. I’m running a damn 5K in June…come hell or high water.

*****

FOLLOW UP – I wrote this before going on my run this morning. I re-did the two 10-minute sessions and felt really strong. One more obstacle tackled!


The Do-Over

genie-lampYou’re going through an antique store. You come across a pretty cool looking lamp…like one of those lamps you’d see in a movie where a genie pops out of it. You decide to buy it because heck…it’s a really cool freakin’ lamp!

You take it home and decide to give it a rub. I mean…what the heck, right?

THEN THE GENIE POPS OUT!!

He/She isn’t going to give you the normal “3 wishes” routine, though. They are going to give you ONE CHANCE to go back into your own life and have a do-over. ONE THING that you can change.

So…what is it? What is that one thing that you would go back into your life and change? Is there one regret that has always eaten away at you? Is there one moment in time that you wish you could have back somehow?

I’ve thought about this because, on the surface, there are a TON of things I wish I could go back and do over again…

-          I’d change my hair while in high school. I looked ridiculous…even for the 80’s.

1980's CBG

-          I’d actually study hard and ensure that I didn’t get kicked out of not just one university, but TWO!!

-          I’d work my ass off to get better jobs once I finished university because, quite frankly, being a DJ or a suit salesman or a waiter was fun but it really didn’t do anything for my long-term career aspirations.

-          I wouldn’t have walked away from my first child…having to wait 15 years before getting the chance to meet her in person and start a new relationship.

Pebbles

-          I wouldn’t have let my second child move away with her mom. I would have fought to keep her closer to me.

Rugrat - August 2011

-          I wouldn’t have made financial decisions that would adversely affect my credit on more than one occasion.

-          I would have made sure that I was at my mother’s side in the moments leading up to her passing away. My dad, my brother, and I had left the hospital to grab some lunch when we got the call. We didn’t make it back in time to say a final goodbye to her.

mom 8

Sigh…so many things, from the trivial to the serious. I don’t know if I could choose just one thing.

Of course, I don’t know if I should even choose anything at all. If there is one thing I’ve learned from watching Back To The Future and The Butterfly Effect is that any little detail altered in the past…any little change made in history…can affect the future in a massive way.

I’m in a really good point in my life right now. I’ve built pretty decent relationships with my two oldest daughters. I’ve got a good relationship with my son. My step-daughters are MY daughters. I’ve got an incredible wife and I’ve finally got a good job. Everything’s coming up CBG at the moment.

wedding 2

For as many mistakes that I’ve made (and I’ve made a TON), I feel as though I’m finally beginning to live the life that I’ve always wanted to live. No, not everything is perfect…but it’s pretty damn awesome. I couldn’t imagine, for one second, doing anything that would prevent my current life from taking place.

So while some of you may have at least one thing in your past that you would want to do over again, I can’t say that I would.  I’m at peace with my past, I’m happy with my present, and I’m excited for my future.

I’d have to thank that genie for the opportunity before graciously declining his/her offer.

 

THEN I’d hope for that whole “3 wishes” thing!!


What’s YOUR Guilty Pleasure? – Late 90′s Boy Bands

I’m a rocker at heart. I’m also a guy who used to be a club DJ back in the 90′s, so I learned to appreciate an entirely different genre of music: dance-pop. I can’t lie…there are still times when I listen to the occasional Backstreet Boy song.

What’s YOUR Guilty Pleasure? - Late 90′s Boy Bands

bsbcover

 


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