Archive for January, 2011

Controlling the Gnawing

It’s been more than difficult.

It’s far too easy, and whimsical, for myself or anyone else to earnestly say “Good for you! I know you can do it!”, without realizing the accompanying throbbing anguish.

Tuesday should have been, but was not, the most trying day. You hear over and over that the first day is when the most panic is felt, and with it comes the likelihood of yielding to the snap judgment decision, despite all sane reasoning, to not even begin the process. Apparently, most who try only last a few hours during the first day. I intentionally forced myself to be busy. Busy I was – an all kinetic busy, mixed with a self-assured, false sense of Zen inner calm wrapped in a bravado attitude which boasted frequently that I’m better than the rest. Then came work where I mercifully could not leave. From there it was directly back to my building’s parking lot, and a quick and determined walk past the 24 hour 7-11 calling to me, into the building and the vertical zip ride to my apartment.

I first felt strong mental longing on Tuesday. My thoughts were a dilute mixture of steely logic while concentrating on the task directly at hand, and the icy juggernaut of thought that prodded and pinpointed my desires toward what I was denying myself.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday each held their own tumultuous tempest that seemed pre-planned and coldly designed to annihilate any plebeian willpower reserves that I was accumulating which would allow myself the comfort of solid resolve. Each of those three days held its own devastating trebuchet in the guise of a postal letter, a voice mail and an email. It was as if a troika of Trojan Horses had been misguidedly welcomed inside my already timidly fortified gates, and out of their belly came such mean, significant pains and blows to my wavering goal that the combined fireballs felt as if they descended directly from within Pandora herself. Each of those three days saw my willpower insanely buckle and groan, but denying logic, held together.

I did not give way to the inhuman temptation.

Saturday and Sunday have now officially expired, and with them a crestfallen ego that has been scored much too often with the black steel wool of verbal abuse. But, though the vessel I ride is low in the water due to the cruel barrage of maltreatment on many fronts that has coincidentally coincided with the timing of my quest, the lust for my mission has amazingly remained intact.

I marvel at the money still in reserve, untouched by debit card ripples that until recently, had never seen the account so still and smooth.

Somehow, miraculously, thankfully, through a combination of self-denial, brazen luck and pretending that the desire was not there, I have not relented. At the end of each individual twenty-four hour interval, at the rounded-off anniversary hour, I plant another imagined victory flag.

I will not deny that I have held up my adult fingers and deftly imagined them holding one, and I admit that I have almost felt dizzy as I role-played the inhaling and exhaling, but on Monday, well, actually Monday late night into Tuesday early morning at about 12:30 AM, it will be exactly one week since I last smoked a cigarette.


Whole Lotta Shakin’/What’s It All About

The title of this post reflects what’s been happening within my supernova lately. It’s been consumed with new, and yes, exciting events along with the moments of self-doubt that inevitably stealthily creep back up much like that nasty vine that makes a perennial appearance year after year in the garden.

Yeah I said come on over baby,
a-whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
Well we ain’t fakin’,
a-whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Let’s do this in paragraph bursts:
Work has been fulfilling and rewarding. Let’s face it, having a job that’s in your chosen field is bliss anyway. The way that I’ve broken down my position into rapidly consumable pieces in order to be highly productive has not gone unnoticed by my peers. When they see my daily blueprint of shorthand detailing every aspect of how I will get through my shift they are amazed at the detail and how efficient I am. And they used to wonder at how I’m usually the first one ready to be relieved at the end of the shift! I, in turn, am happy to be with peers who constantly teach, are social, have a tendency to ask each other if they need help, are professional and who also enjoy good natured ribbing and laughing every so often as a way to keep a normally very stressful job  pocketed with needed moments of levity and a reason to smile.

School, more specifically, my class, began last week! I’m not sure if anyone appreciates going back to school more than an adult who wants it enough to sacrifice what they love in order to be there. The joy of opening my new book package after I found my seat in class was a joy that could have brought me to tears. This past weekend I located a book bag – complete with buckles and zippered compartments for holding pens, markers, notepad, calculator and other accroutremonts and caught myself in the mirror looking much as a child rehearsing getting ready for their first day of junior high! The professor is engaging, highly knowledgeable, humorous, uses many, many mnemonics as a tool for memory retention and insists on the highest standards. I’ve invested hours of book/study time this past week and feel confident that I’ve made the most of my time in preparation for our first quiz on Wednesday. Hey world, I made it to school!

Reacquainted girlfriend and I haven’t seen much of each other since we rounded up the kids a few Sunday’s ago. My later in the day schedule starts even before she is through for the day. We’ve had the few times a week phone conversations, but getting together is just impossible due to the conflicting hours we both work.

So, here’s a guy who vehemently tossed out such words of anger and spite at God only a short while ago, who now makes time on the daily work commute to recite the rosary. Those of you who know me – actually, none of you do, would never even take a stab at believing that I would do something of this nature. Clutching a rosary and reciting prayers in a car on the way to work? But, you know what? It works for me and I liken it to anyone else out there who anonymously recites a prayer of any type, of any religion or belief, during any given moment of any given day. I figure that I’ve a lot to be thankful for (even amidst my chaos and exploding upheaval) and once more I’ll state that I enjoy the routine. I need more order, and less entropy.

I’ve been realizing that I enjoy keeping a (almost) daily log of what I’ve accomplished day to day. I still use my notebook for the checklist that I depend on, and once crossed off the checklist I add the line to a spreadsheet detailing what’s been done. It’s a sense of achievement and execution of thought into action that I feel thrilled with. To add a new line is smile provoking. To glance at past days in spreadsheet style is warming to my ego.

On the other hand …

More, after the Break

Sick Kids

My children are with me this weekend and, as always, I looked forward to it! Especially because of the new job position, my schedule to see them is radically different.

But last night around 9PM my oldest told me that he didn’t feel good. This after they ate home-made sloppy joe’s! Everything was fresh from the market so I knew it wasn’t what he ate. But last week the two youngest had been sick so I knew that it was just his turn.

Champ that he is, he made the most of his turn, pukeing all night almost on the hour. Sometimes shorter than an hour and sometimes longer than an hour. It’s so distressing to see your child humped over the toilet gasping after nothing but bile has come out of their throat. And he was so exhausted from retching, that toward the morning while he was vomiting, his head was almost touching the toilet water, so I held his shoulders while he spewed.

Plans were already prearranged with reacquainted girlfriend to bring over her two kids later today so we could watch the Patriots football game. Actually, they’re more into it than I am, me being more of a baseball aficionado than I ever was for football. But they’re individuals and I want them to enjoy what they love to watch for sports.

I plan on making chicken fingers with dip and grilled pizza. I have the dough ready and just need to dash out quickly for the few little things I haven’t bought yet.

He’s eating a small ration of oyster crackers I allowed him and sips of coke until he feels better. Flat coke always seems to smooth out an upset stomach.

Did any of you ever have that as a remedy when you were sick as a kid – flat coke? I remember that coke syrup was sold in drugstores.

Categories: Children Tags: ,

Forgiving Myself

As I’ve ushered in the new year with big hopes and big promises to myself, even at this early juncture of 2011 I find that I’m falling short. Take yesterday for example.

It was a day off from work and I had a list to go through and checks to mark next to the completed tasks.  Well, I ended up sleeping late and never did get through the groggy head that followed after I woke up. I began to feel lazy. I did in fact look extensively online for a discounted price for my course that begins next week, but that was pretty much the end of being productive for the day. I glanced as the clock marked half-hours and then hours while they slipped away. I actually noticed more  after each of the movies I watched all day in succession on Netflix.

We had a big snowstorm in my part of the Northeast yesterday and the one time I made it outside of my apartment, was to dig myself out so that the apartment building plow could scrape the snow into mounds and reveal the parking spaces. But that was it for the day in terms of accomplishments – movies and snow removal.

I’ve heard for most of my life, and also to my amazement and astonishment here in the comments section, that I’m too hard on myself. As to that, I’ve always felt that could have, and should be doing more.

As we all know, staying focused and motivated is a job in itself, and it’s a job that I’ve constantly found particularly difficult to stay on top of. It can be a dangerous line that separates a ‘down day to recharge‘ and a day of slothfulness. And it’s a slippery slope and a habit hard to break that would rationalize being just plain lazy as a need to slow down a bit.

But now, maybe, I’m finally learning the lesson. As I woke up this morning full of zeal and passion – albeit due to deadlines of differing needs, I’m not chastising myself for yesterday’s lack of continued momentum. As long as the time off does not lead to a prolonged drought of robust spitfire, it’s alright to ease the self-imposed restrictions on time management that I’ve place myself into.

I forgive myself.

And, forgiving myself is just as rewarding, and helps ease my conscience, as fully as if I had asked, and received, forgiveness from someone else for easing my restrictions on them.

What about you? Do your self-imposed restrictions seem too rigid at times and do you tear yourself up when you feel you haven’t committed to, or fulfilled, those restrictions? Do you take scheduled, or unscheduled, time off?

Do you find it hard to forgive yourself? 

Divorced Barbie

One of the large components of starting my own blog was the inspiration I found while reading existing blogs that seemed to have similar general overtones about divorce and a wholesome life that can follow.

There were a lot of blogs to weed through at first when I searched for blogs that were similar to what I was looking for, but a large amount of them seemed to center on either hateful themes (such as women bashers) or who after a few years (or more) were still grappling with how to put together their lives. I can’t read a blog continually and permanently bashing anyone or anything, and though I’m here to tell you first-hand about self-pity, it does get stale after an unnaturally long period of time.

So it was refreshing to land on the sweet shore of blogs who though they were still occasionally smarting from post-divorce wounds, had found a way to cope and even thrive. It is these select blogs that write with such determination to continue their lives in a rich and rewarding manner (and even in joy), that have helped me (and I’m sure many, many others) come to the realization that my experience is not unique in a general sense. By my reading these positive-light blogs, I have found community, strength, determination and wisdom along with a steady diet of intellectual enrichment.

One such blog that I read yesterday comes from The Divorced Encouragist who authors Relative Evolutions. She wrote about a forwarded joke centered on the Barbie doll and why it is so expensive to purchase Divorced Barbie. You can read the post here and I urge you to read it through before reading more of my post.

What prompted me to comment was the fact of how true it is that men are still trapped in the divorce laws from an earlier legal age. While laws are continually being updated to insure the post-divorce rights of women and the couple’s children (and rightly so!), laws that keep up to date with regards to the post-divorce rights of men, and men that are fathers, have been allowed to remain stagnant and are antiquated. Thus, these laws are unjust, causing severe and lasting emotional trauma and suspend a lot of males in a refined purgatory of needless suffering.

Do not mistake the meaning of this post. My meaning is to heighten the awareness in the inequity of 21st century divorce laws, and through intelligent commenting following the post, to bring to light  aspects of what is just, what might be wrong, what might be perceived to be wrong, and to bring into focus ideas and actions that might spur change of these laws – real or not.

Again, I ask that you read the original post from which the idea for this post came from before continuing, and rather than to originate more content, I will end with what I wrote as a follow-up comment on the blog.

I wholeheartedly invite your thoughtful, and tasteful, comments.

More, after the Break

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