In my last blog, I told you I’d touch on this topic. So here we go! Aren’t you excited?
Well…at least I’m partially sure that an insignificant portion of the audience is mildly intrigued. Isn’t that right, Dear Reader?
Yeah, either do I. Not exactly a confidence builder. But, we must press forward, no?
Such a badass quote from a badass dude. Just one of many amongst his large library of badass quotes, several of which I have saved in my badass journal.
Don’t be a royal douche, Bitmoji. Throw shade at me, if you’d like, but not at Dr. King.
You’re missing the point. I meant that it’s not cool to insult…anyway, let’s get back on-topic.
This past weekend, my Queen and I created a wealth of new memories:
- We went to our favorite water park. My wife’s best friend and her son, who also happens to be our son’s best friend, came long. Three fun-filled days. Boom!
- Day one started off with an unexpected problem: my wife Keeda broke her glasses. We both have similar myopia, so I knew how annoying it would be without them. A mission! Find superglue.
- Now an inconvenience like breaking your glasses has potential tospoil your mood—and your day—if you let it. We didn’t. My wife did have moments of stress, trying to figure out a resolution, and wondering how she’d be able to see without them. But:
- I found super glue
- After several failed attempts—the smooth, angled fractured caused the mating surfaces to slide, offsetting the joint—we finally succeeded.
Brief interlude: The repeated failures also could’ve been frustrating, and would’ve been frustrating if I were the depressed, insecure, self-pitying person I was just a few years ago. But I’ve grown, and have learned to live mindfully, gratefully. And I was feeling utterly happy, enamored with my soulmate’s presence.
- Rather than waste everyone’s time, we let the kids go to the water park, watched by my wife’s friend. Made sense, considering we had to figure out the glasses situation: a drive to the eye doctor was a distinct possibility. With the glue curing and no one in the hotel room, we had time to be alone. We made love, briefly and humorous interrupted by a knock on the door from hotel staff (It’s not that easy to answer the door, opening it wide enough to collect additional towels, while you’re naked. With a boner.). How freaking beautiful is that (Not me answering the door with a hard-on. The Plan B lovemaking.)? The logistics of being intimate would’ve been challenging…if not for those broken glasses. A less-than-ideal circumstance turned into mind-blowing, highly vocal (on my part!) gloriousness.
True dat, Bitmoji.
Like our unscheduled jaunt to Savannah. A little detour from our 16 hour drive to Florida. It added about an hour to the journey, and we didn’t stay there long. But the four hour stay provided some lasting memories that we still joke about today. My wife got a sweatshirt and I checked off an area of the country that just narrowly missed a spot on my Bucket List (I’d been wanting to go there for years, but it’s not an African Safari. So sorry you didn’t make my list, Savannah). And, we have that mental video of my daughter’s reaction to sucking on a lime for the first time. So fucking funny. Thank you, Plan B.
And thank you, Plan B, for those other added moments, on that same Florida trip. The rocket launch, which was decidedly on my Bucket List, was a last minute addition to the itinerary that fortuitously resulted from the original lift-off being aborted and postponed due to weather. After the launch, we Plan C’ed it to the beach, waiting for the sunrise. A sunrise that was more magical than the rocket launch itself.
Need more examples of Plan B’s? We’ll shift to our honeymoon in Portugal, where we suddenly decided to do a boat tour of caves in the Algarve. It was never discussed prior to that day (my wife can’t swim and has a fear of the water, so I presumed getting on a boat would not be happening). But she suggested it, and planned it, contacting the boat tour company to figure out how we could fit it into an already-packed day. That day turned out to be my favorite of the entire honeymoon. For the glorious images we witnessed, and for the courage my wife displayed in conquering her fear of H2O. Talk about being a proud husband…😊
Why, oh why, does every blog have to start one place, meander someplace completely different, then struggle to tie everything together at the end? Why? Because I ramble, and I’m a madman. Oh and if you think it’s difficult for you to follow, imagine what it’s like for me, being inside my head. It’s like this, every fucking day, racing in whatever direction it likes. It’s not that easy, navigating life like this. A little sympathy, Dear Reader? Oh and lastly, that same racing mind makes it difficult to sleep, which is why I’m blogging right now, at 1:30 in the morning. Lord knows I wont be dozing off for another two hours, at minimum.
Back to Day One at the water park, post-love making:
- Actual water park time. Five hour of slides, wave pools, hot tubs, and relaxation. Since we were exhausted, we settled for a quick bite to eat in the resort, then bed.
- Day Two was more of the same. More water park, more unexpected intimacy (and another hotel staff interruption), more relaxation. Dinner this time, however, was a Hibachi restaurant, offering more memories. Seeing my seven year old daughter master chopsticks was super endearing.
- And then, a visit to the arcade (Not me. I chilled in the hotel. The flashing lights in an arcade are a recipe for instant migraine.). Sadly, the friends had to leave that night. My son was bummed, and in some ways, so was I. I like those guys. And my son’s best friend Elijah was a water slide partner on Day One, along with my wife. Day Two, Elijah helped my son over his fear of heights, and he joined in the fun as well. It was pretty darn cool. Elijah looks up to me, a bit. He doesn’t have a father in his life and I’m a positive male influence, in my estimation. So yeah, I too was a little wistful, but at the same time, looking forward to just-family time.
- Day Three was just the four of us, which was lovely as well. No lovemaking, but more of the same. And then, we left.
- On the ride home, we had to stop at the eye doctor’s (those glasses!), then a bite to eat at our favorite Thai restaurant. And this is where it turned sour:
- Not knowing the area, I relied on my wife for navigation. I didn’t hear her guidance and nearly missed the turn, producing a, “You never listen,” comment, along with a look of exasperation. It stung, feeling like a global indictment, not an isolated error. I felt chided, like when a parent talks to a stupid little child who repeats the same offense. It hurt my feelings.
Such a trivial thing, my wife’s comment. She was tired, I was tired, we were all tired. The kids were a little salty and were ready to be back home. A little perspective and I would bet you can relate, Dear Reader. When we’re tired, we’re not at our best, are we? The difference? I can turn a minor offense into an eight hour spat, filled with silence, sulking, and seeming indifference. And I can do it like a boss. Why? My past + my DNA = me.
I guess, Bitmoji. Strike that. You’re right. It is fun times, because it’s me. My past and my genes have forged me into who I am today. And I’ve got to love me. I crave love, so I might as well give it to myself.
My parents told me to fuck off and die and I don’t remember them ever saying they loved me. I don’t think they wanted me, truthfully. And right now, I feel as if my kids don’t love me, even though in my heart, I know they still do. But now? I feel isolated, unloved. and abandoned by generations before me, and after.
It’s like I have this black cloud of loss hanging over me, ready to storm. Or more like a shadow of gloom following behind me, ears perked, in tune to the mildest slight. And once the transgression happens, the shadow and I merge, like the symbiote Venom, attaching to Spider-man. And just like Venom, once that bitch gains control, it’s difficult to wrestle it back.
After another unrelated dispute, I’ve learned I must get out of my head, and get back into the present. To do so, I leaned on the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding Technique, something my therapist taught me years ago, but for whatever reasons, I never chose to implement. It worked wonders, and it goes like this:
- Start with a few deep breaths to calm your mind. Then,
- Look around and acknowledge five things you can see. Then,
- Acknowledge four things you can feel. Then,
- Acknowledge three things you can hear. Then,
- Acknowledge two things you can smell. Then,
- Acknowledge one thing you can taste. Then,
- End with a few more deep breaths, connecting with the present moment.
Don’t over analyze it. Just focus on whatever catches your attention: a tube of toothpaste; the way your shirt feels or your arm; the smell of soap; or the taste lingering in your mouth from your last meal. The specific objects aren’t important, really. the goal is to get you out of your head, to stop the rumination, and to allow you to focus on the here and now that surrounds you.
That technique pulled me into the present and offered clarity. Maybe it’ll work next, or maybe it won’t. Maybe it’ll be some other technique that does the magic. Regardless, I’ll keep trying. I want to be a better person, for myself, and for those around me. I deserve it. And they deserve it. Keep climbing, keep striving. We can do this, Dear Reader. And on that, and in the spirit of continuous self-improvement, I’ll end with a quote from best friend:
* Probably stolen, or paraphrased. My friend is good for shit like that. Whatever the source of the quote, the meaning resonates: our story isn’t over and where we are now doesn’t dictate where we can be in the future. Peace out!👊