How a child can change anything

Today kinda sucked for me.  

I had to make a really brutal decision yesterday about my relationship with K and that’s been kickin’ my ass ever since.  I think we both realize it was the right decision to make for any number of reasons, but it doesn’t make things any easier…especially knowing that we both really still care deeply for the other.

And then I spoke with my daughter’s mom last night.  We talked about M’s impending 2-week visit (starting next Friday!!) and then the conversation moved to other things.  Those other things will be blogged about tomorrow…but they’ve been weighing on my mind all day, too.  Big time.

So I was relying on B to help me deal with my funk.  I had relied on Wendy’s & Oreo’s…so now I had to shake that off and simply BE with my son.

It was cold and raining and crappy outside…so I spent the day inside (except for a 20 minute drive) and did my best to entertain my 2-year-old.  Fortunately, he also seemed to do his best to entertain me…

Who is on the phone, daddy??
Who is on the phone, daddy??
Of course I can read.  What do you mean it's upside down?
Of course I can read. What do you mean it's upside down?
HECK YEAH!!!!
HECK YEAH!!!!
Oh...did YOU want the comfy chair?  Hmmmm????
Oh...did YOU want the comfy chair? Hmmmm????
Just lookin' cute, daddy.  Just.  Lookin'.  Cute.
Just lookin' cute, daddy. Just. Lookin'. Cute.
Watching a bit of television before bedtime.
Watching a bit of television before bedtime.
Funniest.  Thing.  Ever.  (and the laugh looks a little creepy, to be honest)
Funniest. Thing. Ever. (and the laugh looks a little creepy, to be honest)

Ahh.  I can let out a sigh of relief.  The day is over and I’ve gotten by pretty well.  B’s pretty darn awesome and I’m very thankful that it was my weekend with him…I certainly needed this.

And if anybody knows this about me (and K knew this), it’s that I absolutely LOVE live music when it’s done well.  I’m a big-time live music fan, although I don’t get a chance to see enough of it in person as I’d like.

But this is why I love YouTube so much.  Much like the live Styx cover of a Gowan song that I posted yesterday, I went there today to see if anything would “tickle my fancy”.  Luckily I did.

This is a tremendous live performance by an unknown artist.  Much like KT Tunstall, this guy uses recording devices to capture segments of his performance so he can do “other parts” and it sounds like more than one person actually performing.

The artist’s name is Jacob Moon and he’s doing a cover of “Subdivisions” by Rush…a song I never really cared for too much.  This video absolutely brought a smile to my face…

So all in all, I can’t really complain about my day.  I’m going to try and continue my Six Feet Under viewings…something that K got me hooked on…and then catch a few Z’s and work on a whole new day tomorrow.

New beginnings…better memories.  🙂

I will not revert…

…I can’t.  I just can’t do it.

Two years ago I was 235 lbs.  I’m 5’7″.  NOT a good combination.  

2006 -- B at 3 months old.  Me at over 230 lbs. The ex "edited out"...poorly.
December 2006 -- B at 3 months old. Me at over 230 lbs. The ex "edited"...poorly.

Of course, two years ago I was in a loveless marriage and a dead-end job with a colicky baby and panic attacks hitting me once or twice a day.  I had quit smoking a couple of years prior so I did the only thing I could do and turned to food as a substitute to help me deal with my depression.

That’s how I went from 185 lbs to 235 lbs in two years.  I’d eat because I was depressed and then I’d be depressed at knowing just how big I was…so for whatever reason I’d eat more so I’d feel comforted.  Then I’d be depressed at how big I was and then I’d eat more because I was depressed.  Wash…rinse…repeat.  It was a vicious cycle.

dsc00173
November 2006. B at 2 months old. Me at over 230 lbs.

As the marriage crumbled, I ate even more.  It was even more depressing because I ran my tail off at work…and I just knew that if I had been at a desk job (as I am now) I would have ballooned up even bigger.

I had tried a few times after the marriage ended to lose weight.  I did a couple of “Biggest Loser” contests at work where I would eat nothing but salads and chicken breast all week long.  That totally sucked, but it did work a bit to help the weight come off a bit.  I even tried a ridiculous lemon juice detox thing…where I ended up going four days living off of just lemon juice & maple syrup.

Today?  Today I’m down to 205 lbs…which is the lowest I’ve been in years.  And at this point, I’m not even trying one way or the other…I’m just eating as normally as I can without pigging out.

But now comes the depression.  It’s not a huge funk…it’s just me being depressed because the relationship with K didn’t work out and I ended up hurting her.  And I realized today that I need to blog or find another way to deal with this depression because already today I had a Baconator combo from Wendy’s and then 2/3 of a box of Oreo Double Stuff.  It’s not even 4pm yet.

So yeah…you might see a few more blog posts than normal over the next few days.  Some may be about something, others may be about nothing.  Either way, it’s going to be my outlet.

B
B

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wake up B from his afternoon nap before looking for a non-existent bag of chips to inhale for supper.

 

Mmmmmmmm…………………chips.

I am…

A song popped up on my iPod this morning and it did two things:

  1. It took me waaaay back to the mid-1980’s (y’know…’cause I’m old).
  2. It made me feel even more guilty about yesterday’s tough relationship decision.

The song is A Criminal Mind by Gowan…aka Lawrence Gowan, the current lead singer for Styx.  I remember LOVING this guy “back in the day” and even got to see him at the Moncton Coliseum during the Great Dirty World tour.

So I always thought the song was a literal translation of what a criminal was thinking…the lack of compassion, the lack of guilt, the rationale for making poor decisions.

But now I can also see it from a slightly different perspective; from somebody who is continually failing at relationships.

  • Am I the criminal here?  
  • Am I the one that is numb to pain?  
  • Do I consider a permanent relationship to be my own prison?  

I wish I had the answers to those questions.  I’d like to think I’m not so bad…but maybe I am.

Anyway, in searching YouTube for the video, I instead found an amazing live version that he performs with Styx:

 

A CRIMINAL MIND

You see my hands are steady
You’ve seen my face before
Soon you can take your last look
And they’ll close the door
I stand accused before you
I have no tears to cry
And you will never break me
Till the day I die

(chorus)
A criminal mind
Is all I’ve ever known
They tried to reform me
But I’m made of cold stone
A criminal mind
Is all I’ve ever had
Ask one who’s known me
If I’m really so bad…
I AM

I’ve spent my life behind these steel bars
I’ve paid my debt in time
But being brought to justice
That was my only crime
I don’t regret a single action
I’d do the same again
These prison walls secure me
And I’m numb to pain

(repeat chorus)

Before you hand me over
Before you read my sentence
I’d like to say a few words
Here in my own defense…
Some people struggle daily
They struggle with their conscience
Till the end
I have no guilt to haunt me
I feel no wrong intent

(repeat chorus)

I’m made of cold stone
Just like your prison walls
A criminal mind
I AM

To break a heart…

broken-heartI thought everything was great.  Sunshine and I were so psyched going into our week-long adventure as a “real” couple…it seemed like there was so much to do and so little time to do it all.

We are considered an LDR…long-distance relationship.  It’s only a 3-hour trip, but it’s significant enough because I’ve got a 2-year-old son who lives in my city with his mom and she’s got two girls who split time between her and their father in her city.

This time together was supposed to not be a “honeymoon phase”, but rather be a test…a way for us to find out what it was like to actually be a “normal couple” for a change, and we were excited about it.

Needless to say, things haven’t turned out as we had expected.

In the interest of privacy, I’m certainly not going to go into details.  But I made the decision today to end the relationship and not only was it not an easy decision to make, it was even more difficult to explain the reasons behind it.

I think the bottom line is that I’m not ready.  The end.

Okay…not quite “the end”, but that pretty much sums it up.  There is an emotional and mental commitment required in a serious relationship…it’s required more in some cases than it is in others.  In this case, I’m simply unable to provide the emotional and mental dedication that this amazing woman needs from me.

I feel horrible about it.  I mean, I love the woman.  She’s awesome in every way.  But there were a couple of days over this past week that really shed light on where I am emotionally and where I need to be in order for any relationship to truly work.

Enough time had passed since my marriage ended for me to give love a shot.  It had almost been two years.  I was ready, willing, and able to try.  And once I stood back and looked at things, the end result was me just not being ready after all.

I wish I could explain it better…I wish I didn’t have to sound so selfish…but it is what it is.  I broke her heart today, and I feel terrible about it.

But I’ve got my son with me this weekend and my daughter flies in for two weeks next Friday…and they need my love and attention and my 100% emotional investment.

So I’m going to do my best to wipe the tears from my eyes and be strong for my kids, because they need their father more than he needs to mourn a lost relationship.

No seempathay!!!

no-sympathy-cardsI’ve been reading up on that octuplet mom.  It’s like an addiction to me at this point.  It’s crazy.  I mean my god…what an insane story.  It was revealed today that Dr. Phil interviewed this psycho and that she told him that she may not get her octuplets from the hospital.  Not only that, but apparently Vivid Entertainment has offered to take care of all of her financial worries (and even her medical ones) if she agrees to become a “Vivid Contract Girl”.  Wow.  And on top of all that, there was the big story that the grandmother of the eight children…the one who has been taking care of the other SIX children this crack-pot woman already has…may end up losing her home.  She is apparently $23,225 behind in her mortgage payments and that the house could be sold at auction beginning May 5th. 

At first, I was wondering if I should feel sorry for the woman.  But then I began to think about it.  Has she brought this on herself?  Has she not enabled her daughter by putting up with all of this craziness?  It was then that I decided to create a one-time QUOTE OF THE DAY.

The what of the day??

Well…the quote.  Y’know…of the day.  

Okay, here’s the back story.  When I was going to college (in between my university stints), I had a Welsh facilitator.  He wasn’t a professor…he didn’t have a teaching degree…he was a businessman who decided to teach this course at the community college.  He was always good for a quote or two.  And there was one in particular that has stuck with me over the past 10+ years that still brings a smile to my face and that I’ve repeated on numerous occassions.

(More back story)  Y’see, everybody in the class was fairly young (early/mid 20’s).  At that time, it was the “in thing” to head down to Teaser’s Pub on a Thursday night (it was WING NIGHT!!), drink until the DJ started, and then party into the wee hours of the morning.

But what that ended up meaning was that Friday mornings were brutal.  To say that they “dragged” wouldn’t do “dragging” justice.

One Friday morning, our facilitator looked around the room and asked us just what in the heck was wrong.  We all sheepishly explained that we had been out the night before and weren’t feeling too good.  His response, in this really thick accent, was pure gold:

“Ieeve goat no seempathay foor self-infleected wooounds!”

 

 

Ummm…or in plain English:

“I’ve got no sympathy for self-inflicted wounds.”

I think this sums up my opinion on this particular situation.  Things out of your control, I can have sympathy and/or empathy for.  If you put yourself into a situation and had the opportunity to NOT do it, then you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.

Confessions from a cubicle…

This morning I was subjected to a two-hour conference call at work.  Where I didn’t have to actually talk for more than 10 minutes out of the two hours, I had some time to reflect on this past weekend and some other random things that have popped into my head.

  • I had a GREAT weekend with K.  There were some things that we got to talk about and once that was done, things really progressed in a positive way.  101_0111aHer daughters went off with their father on a week-long retreat so that means she is on vacation with me for the week.  We really don’t have anything crazy planned, just spending time together and relaxing.  It’ll be our first real “test” and a chance to be a “real” couple…which is very difficult when we live so far away from each other and normally only spend about 3 days at a time together.  It’s certainly off to a great start.
  • I tried yoga for the first time on Friday night.  One of the first things K had asked me when we first started our relationship was if I would be willing to at least try yoga, which is something she loves to do every Friday night.  For whatever reason, I actually agreed and said that I would (she would claim it was because I was trying to get her into bed…lol).  After we arrived and laid out our mats, I sat cross-legged and waited for things to begin.  The instructor came over and introduced herself.  She said that I appeared to be “a natural yogi” and then walked away.  Listen, I’m 210 lbs and I’m far from being in the best of shape…so to hear that I would be a natural at yoga seemed a little odd to me.  Needless to say, it was definitely a 90-minute workout.  I was bending and stretching and twisting and turning and balancing and (at times) asking for an early death.  But once everything was all said and done, the instructor came back over and confirmed that she thought I was a “natural yogi” and that I seemed to have done things very well.  I was asked numerous times from K and her friends if I had planned on trying yoga again, and my immediate reply was “ask me tomorrow”.  Well, it’s three days later and I can say that I’ll definitely try it again.  It was hard, but it was something that K loves to do and she loved the fact that I was open and willing to try it myself.  I’m at a point in my life where I’m all about new experiences so I’ll absolutely do it again.  I’m just hoping it only gets a little bit easier.
  • Didn’t watch the Oscars last night, but from what I’ve read I didn’t really miss much.  I’m a little surprised that Mickey Rourke didn’t win best actor, but I’m told that Sean Penn’s performance was incredible.  But other than that, nothing about last night really screamed out “WATCH ME”.  Hugh Jackman singing all night?  No thanks.  In the end, most of the predictions came true and life went on as normal.
  • Twitter went nuts last night.  Seriously…did I really need to have a million updates on every little thought that you had on watching a three+ hour telecast? 2765103Sorry…but when I check my Twitter feed and I see the same name taking up the entire page, I immediately go to “unfollow”.  That really annoys me.  On the flip side, Demi Moore looked phenomenal as she got ready for her Oscar party.  If I actually cared, something like an Oscar party might actually seem fun.  As it is, I’d rather have a SuperBowl party or even a WrestleMania party over the Oscars.  Yeah…I’m such a guy.
  • Did Atlantis exist?  I love a good mystery…and I especially love fiction that’s generated from bits of truth but woven into fantastic stories (ex: National Treasure, Da Vinci Code).  Why anybody hasn’t really jumped on this as a movie idea is beyond me, but after this story came out I’m sure there’s SOMEBODY in Hollywood who is wanting to create something.  While Google is quick to shoot the rumors down, there are a LOT of theorists out there that really want to believe this is Atlantis.  I guess anything’s possible. 
  • Got a big snowstorm last night/this morning. About 12 inches all together with another couple on the way tonight.  The entire city was pretty much shut down until noon.  In fact, most of the people at my office didn’t make it in to work on time.  But coming to work does have its priveleges, though…the manager has announced that he’s buying pizza for everybody who came in today.  Pretty sweet.

So all in all, not a bad day.

Instant family? Just add water

monkeysI had a really long conversation at about 2am last night with K about my relationship with her and her two girls…aged 3 and 5 (soon to be 4 and 6, respectively).  We had spent the entire day together yesterday…all four of us…and she made some observations that had bothered her a bit.

Basically, yesterday was only the third time I had ever met her girls.  They really like me…a lot.  And that’s awesome because they are beautiful girls.  They’re smart and playful and simply wonderful.  My problem, though, is that I’m not yet sure what my role needs to be.  At least not yet.

See, I’ve only ever been a father to my own children.  I’ve never been in a serious relationship with somebody who had children of their own.  So at this point, I’m just a little uneasy.  I don’t want to try and assume a fatherly role yet…it’s just way to soon for that.  I want to be their friend, absolutely…but I’m not used to having two children all over me, searching for my attention.

And I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because I’m really not.  I’m totally committed to being in this relationship and I’m 100% ready to be part of this “instant family”.  I just need to figure out what my role is and become comfortable in that.

On top of that, I guess that I’ve got some feelings of guilt.  I mean, I’ve only given my feelings of love to my own children up until now.  I don’t know why, but I feel a bit guilty over spending time with K’s children.  Those feelings are to be expected, aren’t they?  There’s certainly enough love in my heart to go around.

Anyway, we talked and I think K now understands that for as much as her and the kids need to adapt to me and my quirks and uniqueness, they also have to give me time to adapt to them and their lifestyle.  I want to be in their lives a lot more going forward, so I want to make sure the relationship is there and is strong.  But I also need to recognize my own comfort levels and try to work within those boundaries until we can all meet in the middle.

Maybe I’m rambling because I only ended up getting 4 or 5 hours of sleep last night.  But I think both myself and K ended up at the same point in the conversation at around 3am or so.  I need to open up…be less timid…be the very close friend that the children already want me to be.  K needs to lower her expectations just a bit…especially where this is only our third meeting as a “family unit”.  Things aren’t going to be absolutely perfect right out of the gate.

But I really feel like they can be.  We just need  a bit more time together.

I want this.