Never Stop Trying

I’m trying…I really am.

The past couple of years haven’t been the easiest for my wife and me. I moved here and we got married and then things became a lot more difficult than I thought they would be. As we approach our third anniversary in August, I’m trying to stop constantly falling back after taking a couple of steps forward.

Y’see, it started out with me losing my job due to the economy back in late 2013. We were newly married and flying high, but the housing market crashed and I had to look for something as my job was directly related to housing and real estate. Then I began working WITH Sunshine at her office in a job that was supposed to be the best thing to ever happen to me.

More money…more responsibilities…more hours. Yes, Sunshine and I saw each other on a daily basis but never really got tired of one another because we didn’t working together in the office. So in that regard, it worked out great.

However, I was going through something that would end up hurting us both.

As I wrote about at the time, I was diagnosed with having Major Depressive Disorder…which began to explain a LOT of things wrong with me. I began taking medication and immediately noticed a difference. Unfortunately, the biggest side effect is how it affects one’s ability to perform intimately. This began to affect my psyche and, in turn, affect hers. Without going into a lot of detail, you can only imagine what it’s like for a newly married couple who cannot be intimate with one another nearly as much as they used to due to medical reasons.

It sucks and it’s tough on her because she can’t help but take it personally. It sucks for me because I’ve always been a very physical person in a relationship…but for the most part, certain parts of the machine aren’t working with the rest of them…so it’s really tough for each of us because then intimacy becomes something we need to plan out or even becomes WORK for us. That’s been tough to work through in our marriage.

Then Sunshine helped me get diagnosed with having Adult ADHD (primarily inattentive) about a year ago. At this point, I had been making so many mistakes at work that they were on the verge of letting me go. I wasn’t happy and was taking everything personally…not realizing that I wasn’t, in fact, a loser but simply someone who needed to have a slight chemical change in order to function “normally”.

Unfortunately, I was only three weeks into my medication for ADHD when they let me go. They were kind enough to say “it wasn’t a good fit” but I know that my mistakes and errors in judgment caused them to make the tough decision. I harbour no ill will against them, either. I realize that they had to let me go and, looking back, it WASN’T a good fit. That’s nothing to be embarrassed about, either. Sometimes the company you work for and the people you work with just aren’t a good fit for you or your skillset/personality.

Nine months I sat at home looking for the right fit. NINE MONTHS. During this time, I went through some extreme highs and lows with my motivation in life. For a few months I was running regularly and losing weight and feeling confident about my future. For a few months I sat on the couch, gained back all of the weight by eating and not exercising, and then feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t find a good job. This cycle happened more than once, too.

And during this entire time, I wasn’t “there” for my wife. I was distant. I wasn’t connecting with her. I mean, I wasn’t mad or upset or yelling at her or anything…but I wasn’t the husband that she married. I tried, but that normally failed after a couple of weeks. This went on for nine months and I can only imagine how tough it’s been on her.

Now I’ve been working at what can only be described as “a dream job” for almost a month now. I’m getting out there at least three times a week for exercise and I’m trying to do ‘little things’ for Sunshine to help her know how much I love her. But it seems that I’m still making mistakes that make our relationship regress a little bit. And the little things I do aren’t being recognized. It’s frustrating to say the least.

I’m not really worried about us, though. I’m concerned, but not worried. We’re soul-mates…of that, I’m certain. We’ve worked too hard and come too far with our relationship to simply call it quits after three years. No…that’s not what is going to happen here, kids.

But things aren’t perfect. And in recognition of that, I’m going to do whatever I can to get us back to the ‘fun couple’ that I know we can be. I know where I’ve failed and what I need to do in order to make my incredibly awesome wife happy in her marriage again. And I plan on working my ass off in order to make that happen. I can only hope that my wife feels the same way, though lately it’s been difficult to tell.

Thankfully, we’re not talking about infidelity or abuse or other things that can shake a relationship to its core. Instead, we’re talking about reconnecting and finding those sparks that are there but have been hidden for way too long. It won’t be easy, but that’s just life.

Marriage isn’t supposed to be easy. Relationships aren’t all rainbows and unicorns. But when you know you’re in the best relationship you’ve ever had in your entire life and you never want to let that go, then you will work as hard as you have to in order to make things work. I’m just hoping that we both feel the same way and can truly do what is needed to make this work.

May 2016 in pics

CBG & Ankle Biter
Kicked off the month of May by hanging out with my son for the weekend. Even though we’re not with each other every day, he seems to be getting more and more like me all the time.
In order to get myself prepared for my first day at work (AT THE NEW JOB!!!), I decided to head out for a run. It was a GORGEOUS morning, which totally helped get me motivated.
In order to get myself prepared for my first day at work (AT THE NEW JOB!!!), I decided to head out for a run. It was a GORGEOUS morning, which totally helped get me motivated.
The other thing that motivated me was seeing my incredible wife continuing to run EVERY SINGLE DAY for more than two years straight!! She really is awesome.
The other thing that motivated me was seeing my incredible wife continuing to run EVERY SINGLE DAY for more than two years straight!! She really is awesome.
I stumbled upon this advertisement on my May 2nd morning run. I mean...I have NO IDEA where I can purchase some "Giant Octopus In My Toilet" insurance, but I'm thinking it might be something I need to get.
I stumbled upon this advertisement on my May 2nd morning run. I mean…I have NO IDEA where I can purchase some “Giant Octopus In My Toilet” insurance, but I’m thinking it might be something I need to get.
This was the selfie I took of myself just before walking into the office of my new for the very first time. I was out of work for NINE MONTHS. I was a little bit nervous, to say the least.
The awesome part was walking into my office and seeing the placard that was already made for me. It was just a small thing that made me feel VERY welcomed.
The awesome part was walking into my office and seeing the placard that was already made for me. It was just a small thing that made me feel VERY welcomed.
I had a big pile of awesomeness and a "Congrats" sign waiting for me when I got home from work. My family really is the best.
I had a big pile of “take to the office” awesomeness and a “Congrats” sign waiting for me when I got home from work. My family really is the best.
My teammate at work brought this in from New Brunswick on May 6 at 9:30 in the morning. I mean...you gotta try them, right? Why would you even wait??
My teammate at work brought this in from New Brunswick on May 6 at 9:30 in the morning. I mean…you gotta try them, right? Why would you even wait??
I don't know if my plans for Mothers Day worked out to perfection, but I did my best. She deserves at least that much.
I don’t know if my plans for Mothers Day worked out to perfection, but I did my best. She deserves at least that much.
One week into my job and I was already on the road with my teammate for business. We hit up Relish Gourmet Burgers for lunch.
One week into my job and I was already on the road with my teammate for business. We hit up Relish Gourmet Burgers for lunch.
Business class hotels. Something I'm not used to yet, but something I'm going to have to GET used to.
Business class hotels. Something I’m not used to yet, but something I’m going to have to GET used to. I think I can handle it.
I really don't take too many selfies, but this was one I took while at a work function so I could send to the girls back home. I clean up pretty good, I think.
I really don’t take too many selfies, but this was one I took while at a work function so I could send to the girls back home. I clean up pretty good, I think.
Had a really good late-night meal at the King Street Ale House in Fredericton, NB. Great beer selection.
Had a really good late-night meal at the King Street Ale House in Fredericton, NB. Great beer selection.
The Ankle Biter and I had another weekend together. This time around we went to see Captain America: Civil War. I was totally #TeamIronMan, but he wasnt too sure who he wanted to be. Either way, the movie was fantastic!
The Ankle Biter and I had another weekend together. This time around we went to see Captain America: Civil War. I was totally #TeamIronMan, but he wasn’t too sure who he wanted to be. Either way, the movie was fantastic!
One thing Ive quickly learned is that the office LOVES food. If there is a birthday to be had, there are sweets to be inhaled. This time we celebrated a birthday with the company that helped cater my wedding reception: Suzies Shortbreads. Trust me...these cupcakes taste even better than they look!!
One thing I’ve quickly learned is that the office LOVES food. If there is a birthday to be had, there are sweets to be inhaled. This time we celebrated a birthday with the company that helped cater my wedding reception: Susie’s Shortbreads. Trust me…these cupcakes taste even better than they look!!
Ummmm...Sunshine bought some new panties.
Ummmm…Sunshine bought some new panties.
Sunshine I kicked off our weekend together by hitting up the local farmers market. Theres nothing we love more than the market on a sunny Saturday morning.
Sunshine & I kicked off our weekend together by hitting up the local farmers market. There’s nothing we love more than the market on a sunny Saturday morning.
Saw the coolest new fountain pop machine at a local Subway. I can't even describe it...but for whatever reason, it gave me great joy.
Saw the coolest new fountain pop machine at a local Subway. I can’t even describe it…but for whatever reason, it gave me great joy.
The screen was completely animated as opposed to the buttons on the bottom of a normal fountain machine) and you could press for whatever flavour you wanted.
The screen was completely animated (as opposed to the buttons on the bottom of a normal fountain machine) and you could press for whatever flavour you wanted.
Much to my surprise, when I went to have some Dr. Pepper, I was actually given THREE different flavours to choose from!!! Forget the fact that the end result tasted like soda water...the fact that I was able to even choose Vanilla Dr. Pepper brought more joy to me than it probably should have lol).
Much to my surprise, when I went to have some Dr. Pepper, I was actually given THREE different flavours to choose from!!! Forget the fact that the end result tasted like soda water…the fact that I was able to even choose Vanilla Dr. Pepper brought more joy to me than it probably should have (lol).
While at the local Bed, Bath, & Beyond I found the most incredible item. It was a DARTH VADER TOASTER!! Do I need something like this? Of course not, but when I noticed that it actually printed STAR WARS into the toast, I asked for it as a birthday present. I just have to wait until September to be disappointed when Sunshine doesn't buy it for me. :-P
While at the local Bed, Bath, & Beyond I found the most incredible item. It was a DARTH VADER TOASTER!! Do I need something like this? Of course not, but when I noticed that it actually printed STAR WARS into the toast, I asked for it as a birthday present. I just have to wait until September to be disappointed when Sunshine doesn’t buy it for me. 😛
To further confirm my dedication to getting back out there and training for my half-marathon in September, I purchased a pair of Sauconey sneakers. Like...REAL running shoes!! I'm growing up, I guess...
To further confirm my dedication to getting back out there and training for my half-marathon in September, I purchased a pair of Saucony sneakers. Like…REAL running shoes!! I’m growing up, I guess…
Sunshine and I went to Peggy's Cove for sunset as a Saturday night date. It clouded over before we could get an awesome sunset, but it didn't matter. I loved it.
Sunshine and I went to Peggy’s Cove for sunset as a Saturday night date. It clouded over before we could get an awesome sunset, but it didn’t matter. I loved it.
The sunset may not have been perfect, but I think my wife is. BIG time.
The sunset may not have been perfect, but I think my wife is. BIG time.
Its fiddlehead season, which means that Sunshine cooked up an incredible lemon-shrimp-fiddlehead pasta to end our weekend. Im SUCH a lucky man!!
Its fiddlehead season, which means that Sunshine cooked up an incredible lemon-shrimp-fiddlehead pasta to end our weekend. Im SUCH a lucky man!!
Had a really great business meal at Sushi Name Royal in Halifax.
Had a really great business meal at Sushi Name Royale in Halifax.
I finished off the month the same way I started it...hanging out with the Rugrat. Even though I was sick as a dog, we still managed to have a great time. The boy needs a haircut, though...looking too Bieber-esque for my tastes.
I finished off the month the same way I started it…hanging out with the Rugrat. Even though I was sick as a dog, we still managed to have a great time. The boy needs a haircut, though…looking too Bieber-esque for my tastes.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

CBG NOTE: This is a sponsored post.

With Mother’s Day behind us, it’s time to start thinking about the other half of the equation—dad! It’s never too soon to be thinking about what you can gift dad to make him super happy. So in conjunction with Liquid Communications, we’ve put together a list of some top picks that are sure to please any dad this Father’s Day!

For the Dad who needs something extra

fathers dayTies, socks and…..Botox? In the age of all things “Brotox”, now more than ever men are embracing the benefits of cosmetic procedures. In fact, notable Toronto cosmetic specialist Dr. Cory Torgerson points out that these days, around 45% of his clients are male. Fathers in particular want to dip into the fountain of youth too, with the New York Daily News reporting that many New York plastic surgeons see an additional 25% jump in male clients surrounding Father’s Day. There couldn’t be a better time to treat dad to have him look and feel like the true superhero he is! Although Botox trumps as the most requested treatment among men, less invasive “spa-like” options like the Silk Peel Facial are also top options for men and dads alike to slowly start to reap the benefits of the endless manly makeover procedures available! For more information on all things “Brotox” check out: http://drtorgerson.com/.

For the Dapper Dad

23123955366_c8d62210de_kCan we all just agree that cuff links and ties are super overdone and that dad deserves something more this Fathers day? In that case, opt for a sleek pair of Jacques-Marie Mage sunglasses! These classic frames will not only shield dad’s eyes from the sun, but they’ll also keep him looking dapper– whether he’s golfing, hiking or on his way to an important meeting. The brown tortoise shell colour distinguishes this frame from other styles but is subtle enough for even the most classic dads. As an exclusive to Kaltenbock Opticians, these JMM frames are sure to please the guy who taught you how to tie your shoes and throw a ball! Visit http://kaltenbockopticians.ca/ for more information. For more styles click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsktQsZx3.

For Dad’s with Man Manes

CBG NOTE: This product interested me the most, so I will be reviewing some products in a future blog post.

unnamed (1)unnamed (2)Take your dad’s beard from frumpy to fresh this Father’s Day with natural and organic beard oil from Toronto based international brand Beards and Beavers. Made with a unique five oil blend, Beards and Beavers beard oil will help cure dry skin and itchiness while preventing in-grown hairs and making his beard super soft. With scents like The Cowboy, unnamedThe Lumberjack and Royal Glow, there’s an oil to fit your dad’s personality. Can’t choose just one? Not a problem, Beards and Beavers offers a mix and match option along with a “Super Awesome Value Pack” that includes four top selling oils plus the ultra popular True North Beard Balm. We promise he’ll be addicted in no time and you’ll be his favourite child! For more information on all the scent-sational oils visit:
 www.beardsandbeavers.com,

 

Did I Forget To Mention…?

Oh…did I forget to mention that I’ve finally got a job?

YES!!

I haven’t been around much over the past few weeks because I’ve been transitioning from my NINE month unemployment life (!!!) to my newly ’employed in a dream job’ life (!!!).

So long story short, I had three interviews with this company and was offered a position about a month ago. I started on May 2nd and have been incredibly happy ever since. This job checks ALL of the boxes for me. Not only that, but the amount of welcome and respect I’ve received since starting has been above and beyond anything I’ve ever had before from any other employer.

Two weeks into the job and I feel like I’m respected, appreciated, and part of a team. That, my friends, was all I was really looking for in a job. But to also have the kind of position that I’ve always wanted to have on top of everything else is really a dream come true.

The only downside is that my time management skills are taking a beating. Not so much with the job itself, but with my work-life balance. I mean, I’m home at a decent time and I’m up on my own pretty early, but I find myself either relaxing from a long day or doing things that need to get done.

Thus, my blog-writing has fallen to the wayside as of late. I’m going to try fixing that because I feel as though I’ve got things to say. I’m wanting to do a “re-boot” with a variety of things in my life over the next few weeks and blog-writing is just a part of the overall picture. Fingers crossed…I can do what I want to do without falling off the bandwagon (yet AGAIN).

So if you’re still around reading, I certainly appreciate it. I’m not done yet…not by a long shot.

Using Netflix To Tackle Issues With Kids

NetflixOne of the benefits of being a member of the Netflix Stream Team is reading some of the topics that are provided by Netflix. Each month, we’re provided topics to discuss and blog about and, for the most part, they deal with family interaction and discussion. It’s important to Netflix to promote the fact that their programming isn’t just for zombie-esque mindless visual stimulation, but can also be used for quality family time together. 

May’s topic deals with how parents can sometimes use Netflix to help discuss tough topics that might be difficult to bring up on their own. Whether it’s giving in to peer pressure or finding ways to talk about bigotry and/or racism, sometimes these things need a bit of a “kick-start” to create a casual conversation that kids feel comfortable participating in.

There was one episode of Glee, in particular, that stood out for me. While no longer on the air, my two stepdaughters love the first few seasons of Glee for a number of reasons…the music, the characters, the humour…and can relate to a number of the topics brought up in the show.Glee on Netflix

Near the end of the first season, in episode 16, there is a situation where one of the larger girls in the cast (Mercedes) is told to lose ten pounds in one week for a magazine interview by the show’s resident bad guy, cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester. As you can imagine, losing this type of weight in that amount of time is an extremely unhealthy and dangerous thing to do.

Mercedes & QuinnMercedes goes through an extreme diet and even ends up fainting in the school cafeteria at one point, which inspires Quinn to help change her mindset about loving yourself for who you are. Together they try to teach those watching the importance of empowerment and inclusion.

As you can imagine, this was a pretty important episode to watch with the girls. Thankfully, they noted right away on their own that Sue was asking for something that was very dangerous. They also talked about pressures they have at school and how they deal with those pressures on a daily basis.

The bigger issue, though, is trying to casually start a conversation with them as the episode goes on. What do your children think about what’s going on? Do they feel similar pressures at school or from friends? These are the types of questions that can really bring a family closer together.

Unbreakable-Kimmy-SchmidtNetflix has a number of other programs that tackle tough topics for kids of various ages. From Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to Fuller House to Puffin Rock, you’ll find ways to have really great conversations with your kids if you pay enough attention and ask the right questions.

Are there any shows or movies on Netflix that YOU would recommend? What topics were you able to discuss with your kids?