The Tattoo

I’ve wanted a tattoo my entire life. For whatever reason, I could never really wrap my head around what to get or taking the time/money to sit down in a chair and actually get one done. 

When I was in my 20’s, I really didn’t care about tattoo that much. As I entered my 30’s, I thought that I had the perfect design in mind. It would be a blend of my over-the-top personality while still telling the story that I had finally gotten what I had wanted for so long in my life. It was something in my mind that was very close to this…

A little silly, I know. But to me it showed that after years and years of trying, Wile E. Coyote FINALLY captured the Road Runner…and screw anybody that was every going to doubt him again. Of course, using the cartoon approach would be my way of still being myself.

As time went on and I separated from my wife, I realized that I hadn’t, in fact, captured the Road Runner. I was still the coyote, but I was still using ACME products in an continuing losing effort to get what I wanted out of life. It took me a long time to straighten myself out and focus on all of the good that life has to offer.

Today, as I approach my 45th birthday in a couple of months (ugh), I’ve decided that now is the time for getting a tattoo. My wife is getting her first one this weekend and she has inspired me to finally do what I always wanted to do but was too afraid to actually do it.

 No, I have zero plans to get the Wile E. Coyote cartoon tattoo that I wanted years ago. Instead, I have something in mind that has been with me for a very long time, but only now seems appropriate: 

To me, at this point in my life, I honestly feel as though I have broken the chains that have prevented me from finding true happiness…both internally and externally. Let me explain…

I have a good job with a bright future. Without going into much detail, I’ve finally found a job that is everything I’ve ever really wanted. It blends a combination of sales, account management, personal and professional growth, spreadsheets, reports, helping others, and the freedom to not be micro-managed on a daily basis. Add to that a decent pay structure and I’m one happy, nerdy camper! 

In addition, I have a blended family with five amazing children, three of which I’m having a fantastic time helping to raise. Long time readers already know that I wasn’t around in the beginning to help raise Rugrat (who just graduated from high school and is 18 years old now!). We have a good relationship, but I feel as though I missed out on a lot with her. My oldest daughter (Pebbles, who I only met for the first time four years ago) is almost 21 and is definitely her mother’s daughter. Thankfully, I’m having a hand in raising the three youngest kids — my 10 year old son (Ankle Biter, who is almost 11) and my two awesome stepdaughters (Lil’ Mo – age 12 – and Kiddo – age 14). I never wanted to have children when I was in my 20’s, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without them in it every single day.

Of course, I have an incredible wife who is everything I could have ever asked for in a partner. She is beautiful and, quite frankly, way out of my league. Because we initially met online, we’ve been able to focus our relationship on personalities and really getting to know each other. As we approach our fourth wedding anniversary (WOW!!), I realize that we’ve been together for almost nine years and I don’t ever want to be away from her. She’s my best friend, my soulmate, and the most incredible woman I’ve ever met in my life.

SIDE STORY: I never had a girlfriend in high school. Well, I dated a girl for a week once…but that was about it. Seriously. From eighth grade thru twelfth grade, I never had a girlfriend. I had a ton of girl friends, but was always the guy that was in the “friend zone”. I didn’t hate it, but it certainly made my high school years tough at times. I remember a conversation that I had with a female friend of mine while at a party close to graduation time. She told me that one day I’d find a beautiful woman who would love me for who I was. Little did I realize just how true those words were. 

Finally, I feel as though I’ve made some personal breakthroughs recently that have helped me grow as a person. Without getting into too much detail, I have gotten out from under a thumb that has been on top of me my entire life…even when I didn’t realize it was there. I have finally come to realize why I have certain shortcomings and am trying to work my way through them. This new “freedom” has helped me realize that I’m entering the second half of my life with renewed purpose. It’s like I’m getting the chance to live life all over again, only this time I just happen to be a bit older than the first time I lived. 

So the chains mean a lot to me. I firmly believe that I’ve broken the chains that have held me back for so long so I can now move forward in life without anything holding me down. 

I’m not looking for a massive tattoo or anything; I just want the chains to be on my upper left shoulder on my bicep area. The only question I’m having, though, is what chain photo I should actually get. This is where I need YOUR help.

I’ve got my top 5 choices for a chain tattoo. Which one should I get??

 

1. 

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

The Boston Pizza Kids Card Campaign 2016!

This is a sponsored post.

kids-meal-screen-shot
Boston Pizza has recently launched their annual Kids Cards campaign, and they have again asked me this year to spread the message about this very worthwhile project. So what is this all about?

kids-card-imageUp until October 2nd, Canadians can show their support for kids by purchasing a Boston Pizza Kids Card for a minimum donation of $5. With every Kids Card that is purchased at Boston Pizza locations or online at BostonPizza.com, guests then receive 5 free Kids Meals (valued at $35), and the money is used to help support Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects. If guests sign up for a new MyBP account, they will receive a bonus sixth Kids Meal when they register their Kids Card (registering for a MyBP account is free and can be accessed at the Boston Pizza website or by downloading the Boston Pizza app in the Apple iTunes store).

bp-_bpffp-roundelBoston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects was established to raise funds and awareness for organizations that provide kids in Canada with role models and mentoring programs. Some of the partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, Live Different, JDRF and The Rick Hansen Foundation. Boston Pizza hopes to raise at over $1 million with the Kids Cards program this year, which will help it exceed its goal of providing more than 200,000 hours of role modeling and mentorship to children across Canada every year. Since its inception in 1990, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to directly improve the health and well-being of children and families.

The more Kids Cards that are sold this year, the more Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects can help kids from coast to coast reach their full potential. It’s a tremendously worthwhile program that only requires a minimum $5 donation…and your kids get something back in the form of food!

For more information, go to BostonPizza.com.

Print

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.

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.

Twice This Week

It’s been months since I had a solid job interview. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a solid lead since before November. I mean, it’s been a really tough, brutal job market here in my neck of the woods. After getting interviews in August, September, and October…it’s been pretty quiet. Uncomfortably so.

This week, for whatever reason, I’ve got TWO job interviews lined up.

HondaThe first interview is with a local Honda dealership. It’s for a sales position and, quite frankly, I’m pretty sure I could get it if I really wanted it. The problem, though, is that I’m just not in the financial position to risk my family’s future on 100% commission.

I mean, I have no doubt that I could do well in that type of position for that type of quality company (they’re a top selling vehicle), but the time and effort it would take to get the success I want would take away from my current work-life balance…which is something I’m really intent on balancing as much as possible.

ConsultingThe second interview is with a consulting company that is very highly respected in Canada. It’s a job that is perfectly suited for me and is something I really want. After having an initial telephone conversation with their “Talent Acquisition Specialist”, I was told that they were very interested in interviewing me. This combination of situations has me very excited about the possibilities.

I can’t get ahead of myself, though. I’ve been unemployed since the end of July of last year. I’m wanting to get back to work in the worst kind of way, but I need to remain focused. I have to continue sending out resumes and cover letters on a daily basis. I can’t sit idly by and just hope that this works out…as I may have done in the past.

So that’s the latest update. The interview with the consulting company is tomorrow morning and I’m really excited about it. Life is looking REALLY good at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed for me!Fingers crossed

Wide Open

My future…it’s wide open.

The FutureUp until recently, I had gone a few months forgetting that fact. After losing my job last summer, I was absolutely certain that I’d find something sooner rather than later because I had a really good resume and I was experienced enough to be a great asset to any company willing to give me a chance.

I had a second interview with one company that didn’t work out. I then had a second interview with another company that didn’t work out. I made it to a third and final interview with a company who then contacted my references…before calling me to tell me that they’ve decided to change the position that they were advertising for because they don’t think they need it at the moment.

That’s what sent me downward. 

The holidays were brutal and it’s been tough getting my head in a better space. But over the past couple of weeks, I truly feel like I have. Sure, it’s been a really tough eight months (!!) sitting at home, but all I have to do is sit back and look at what I bring to the table…really look at where I am and how my relationships are…and I see that my future is, indeed, wide open.

jobI’m applying for at least one job every single day. Just by sheer numbers alone that means I should be called for something at some point soon. I’ve updated my resume and updated my cover letter, and I’m doing my best to be exactly the person that these prospective employees want me to be. 

CBG & FamilyMy relationships with my wife and kids are so much better than they were a few months ago. I’m in a really good spot mentally and my medication seems to be working. I feel as though I’m falling in love with my wife all over again and we’re in a really good place. My kids are fantastic and I feel as though we’re all working towards building better relationships. 

So the only thing that leaves me is taking care of myself. I’m still not getting outside and exercising like I should be, but I feel good about myself. I feel confident that I’m going to get where I need to be sooner rather than later. My future is wide open and I’m going to own it.