5 Step-Parent Struggles YOU Can Overcome

I wrote a new post for ParentSociety.com. Being a step-parent isn’t easy, but there are ways you can overcome the difficulties and obstacles involved…

5 Step-Parent Struggles YOU Can Overcome

Parent SocietyAnd while you’re there…don’t forget to click on my tongue-in-cheek thoughts about having an age limit for yoga pants!

Traveling’s Little Details

When it comes to traveling, I’m a little bit on the “anal retentive” side of things. Why? I just want everything to be perfect. Or at the very least, as perfect as it can be.

I fully realize that things will happen beyond my control. I also fully realize that not everything that I plan will turn out exactly as anticipated.

A couple of years ago, I did research before going on a cruise with Sunshine. In addition to planning the where, when, and how I was going to propose to her, I also did research on what to do in each port that we were going to visit. I used a great tool like TripAdvisor.com to see if Cave-Tubing.com in Belize was really all it was cracked up to be (it was!!) or if Victor Bodden Tours in Honduras were really worth my money (they were!!).

There are plans afoot to take a large family trip to a south-of-here location (but that’s a blog post for another day). I’m already planning the little details like a crazy person…even though this trip probably won’t take place until November (yes…NOVEMBER). Still, I find the need to ensure that details are taken care of so that we don’t have to worry about things once we are there.

For example, I want to make sure that wherever we stay is respectable and reputable. I plan on using whatever tools I can to find a great spot for a decent price. I haven’t really found that spot yet (nor the online tools necessary to really go over reviews), but the search is ongoing (suggestions for great review sites are definitely welcomed!).

I’m also going to need to rent a vehicle for a week. I mean, there are going to be six of us…we can’t all fit into a Kia Forte. So that means I need to check out a site that has new car reviews so I can see if a particular minivan or SUV is recommended or will be better on mileage or even be more dependable than others. This is the type of resource that I’m looking at months in advance of a trip…even before I know what’s available! I guess I’m simply trying to make sure that if I’m at the car rental desk and they ask me about choosing Model 1 or Model 2, I want to already have an informed decision in place.

Heck…I want to find out where we should go to eat BEFORE we even buy the plane tickets! I mean, I want something that’s economical but yet isn’t completely fast-food. Because we won’t be in a familiar area, I want to know what’s available so we’re not making poor choices once we’re there.

What about you? Do you pre-plan all of the tiniest details of your vacations or business trips? Or do you simply plan the basics and let the chips fall where they may?

My Couch-to-5K Journey Continues

I’m still doing a daily diary of my Couch-to-5K journey over at My Couch 2 5K Diary. I’m trying to document just about everything of substance when it comes to this journey…the struggles to get off the couch in the morning, the aches and pains not only during the running but in the hours afterwards, and the fears I’m doing my best to overcome.

If you’re curious about my journey or if you’re wanting to see how difficult it is because you’re considering giving it a try yourself…come on over and say “hi”. I could use the motivation.

My Couch 2 5K Diary

I’m Not Really Trying

Honesty-475x475I can’t tell you how many emails I get in the span of a week asking me to apply to some blog-sponsored site or offering to increase my readership by joining some kind of group. It’s a bit overwhelming at times and yes, I have absolutely had sponsored posts here on my blog.

But here’s the thing: I’m not really trying.

Sure, I write from time to time when I’ve got something on my mind (like now), but I never got into blogging as a way to start my own business. I didn’t start writing to get a million readers every day flock to my website. I certainly didn’t begin writing thinking it would be a way to make money.

I began writing as a form of  self-therapy. I wanted to try to write my way out of a funk that I was going through and I ended up not only pulling myself out of it, but becoming a pretty decent guy who has changed over the years in a very positive way. Some people relate to my stories and other people simply enjoy my stories. Either way, I continue to write only when I feel like it…not as a way to increase readership.

Yet here I get another request to be a “brand ambassador” as if I’m desperate for readership. Y’know, I actually feel bad for people who feel like they need numbers in order to justify the existence of the blog itself or, better yet, as a way to quantify the blog’s success.

For me, I’m a better person today than I was five years ago. I’ve made real connections and some real friends thanks to this blog. I continue to write because I want to, not because I have to.

THAT, my friends, is enough success for me.

Now all I need to do is find a way to stop those incessant email requests from filling my inbox…

Fun Music Friday

I’m a very musical person at heart. I’m a former club DJ and former university radio station program director who still lives, breathes, and loves music each and every day. It’s a passion for me…not just a past time.

So with this said, this is “Fun Music Friday”…which is just a collection of songs that I want to listen to that will help jump-start my weekend. And hopefully you’ll find a song or two that you’ve never heard before…

“Happy” – Walk Off The Earth

This is one of the few remakes that Walk Off The Earth have done that I didn’t love more than the original. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t love this version!

“Jealous (I ain’t with it)” – Chromeo

I know I showcased this song last week, but now there’s a video for it. The step-daughters are in love with this song and it’s getting heavy rotation on my iPhone just about every day.  LOVE this song!!

“Sea of no cares” – Great Big Sea

This is a great Maritime band (from Newfoundland) that has a Celtic sound with a bit of rock and country flair. This song makes me happy and they sound great live (I’ve seen them twice…incredible shows), so why not share?

“I go to work” – Kool Moe Dee

I get a kick out of hearing my kids say they listen to something “old school” and it’s just a song from the late 90’s. No, kids…THIS is old school. And it’s a GREAT rap classic.

“Bad blood” – Bastille

Honestly…this band is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Seriously…I’ve heard four songs from their album and I’ve loved all four. This is their latest North American single and it’s another good one.

Have a GREAT weekend, everybody!!

Pass Me The Spinach…

Okay…I give up. You’ve got me. You win.

Healthy living…I just can’t fight you anymore.

I woke up this morning and found out that I’m the heaviest I’ve been in years: 236 pounds. And that’s AFTER a week of running. I mean…I can’t fight it at this point. Pounds simply aren’t going to “fall away” on their own. I’ve absolutely GOT to do something to go along with my exercise.

Sigh.

I’ve been dreading this and fighting this for years now. Sure, I’ve gone on diets before and I’ve tried eating salads two or three times a week…but I always fell off the wagon whenever I lost a few pounds, thinking the rest would just disappear.

Unfortunately, that’s not how life works.

My body hates me right now on numerous levels. It hates that I’m older. It hates that I’ve got some kind of sugar addiction. It hates it when I move. It hates it when I sit still for too long.

BAH!!

So Sunshine wins. I will eat what she gives me (including salad but excluding tomatoes!) and I will not complain.  If she ends up sounding like Claire Huxtable, I will thank her for keeping me in line because, for whatever reason, I can’t seem to do it on my own.

Similar to Random Esquire training the Couch-to-5K with me, I’m hoping Sunshine can be my motivation to stop hating myself and start loving myself by eating better and eating less. She loves me…now I need to do that, too. This all has to be done simultaneously with the exercise because, quite frankly, I might stumble and fall off the wagon again…and that’s something I just can’t afford to do at this stage in my life.

I’m 41. I’m overweight. I’m unhealthy.

I’m working on one facet of my life and trying to improve it. Why wouldn’t I go all-out? Why shouldn’t I? I’m worth it, aren’t I?

Damn right I am. It’s time I stop whining and stop short-changing myself and stop hating the way I look on a daily basis and just DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. There is no way that I’m going to fail this time…too many stars are aligning and it’s just time to make a change. So you know what this means…

Pass me the spinach.spinach_popeye