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Tag Archives: health

Don’t Drink the Water

So, about three weeks ago my daughter and I made a trip up to Conesus Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) to visit family. Was an amazing trip and a great bonding experience for my daughter and I. She’s a great travel companion and terrific company on the thirteen hour drive eachphoto way.

As we were leaving she said, “Oh hey! I need to get a bottle of lake water for science class.” So we grabbed an empty “Kroger Water” bottle I had lying in the Jeep and she went and filled it up. I typically have no fewer than eight to ten full bottles in the Jeep. My kids are always asking for one when we’re on the road and I myself try to make a habit of keeping hydrated.

Flash forward to this morning as I was getting out of the Jeep and grabbing my backpack and running into the office. As I was closing my door I grabbed a full bottle and closed the door.

I was browsing the Web, eating my lunch and wrapping things up when I looked down to see some residue at the bottom of my bottled water. It was then that I realized that I had just finished three quarters of the lake water from the bottle that never made it to science class. Should be an interesting evening.

I’ll have to ask my daughter how science class was.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Daily Life, Divorce, fatherhood

 

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Regaining Control – One Stride At A Time

I write on this topic quite often, but it can’t be said enough.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you feel rundown. If you feel beat up. If you can’t think straight. If you have the impression that everything is falling apart and you can’t catch a break. Stop what you’re doing, put on some sneakers and go work out. Run for thirty minutes. Go walk for an hour. Go to the gym and lift weights. Go sweat. Put your energy into letting out some aggression. Release the anxiety. Give your mind a break. Give yourself some “me” time. If you have the kids ask someone to come watch them for an hour.

- First: You will have completed an attainable goal and will have a sense of accomplishment.
- Second: Your body will release endorphins and you will have worked muscles that otherwise would be running-cheaper-than-therapy-squareclenched.
- Third: You will clear your head and have time to think without the phone ringing, kids pulling at your shirt, deadlines hanging over your head or clutter around the house overwhelming you.
- Fourth: You will give yourself a sense of control. YOU decided what was going to happen next. YOU chose to take advantage of a beautiful autumn morning. YOU made it happen. And it worked.

I guarantee you this is a priority. Everything else can wait an hour. You cannot.

All too often we let our lives control us. Every once in a while we need to remind ourselves that we have more control than we give ourselves credit for. Our success or failure depends on a lot of things and obviously there are some things we simply cannot control. But we often let things control us simply out of a lack of effort to stand up and take advantage of the strengths we have. We let fear, depression, anxiety, and ourselves keep us from making things happen. They are excuses and we give them too much credit. This is an opportunity to remind us that we do indeed have the ability to change the course of our day. And the benefits are never ending.

Now go sweat and suck in some fresh air and tell me it doesn’t make a difference. Better yet; go to my facebook page (facebook.com/lifeasadivorceddad) and post a picture of where you decided to go.

 

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Walk A Mile In My Shoes

As a runner I often see parallels between the sport and life. This weekend I recognized another one that I believe is relevant to any single parent, dad OR mom.
Walking to Improve Running460

I used to loath walking during a run. Felt like I was quitting. For me if I didn’t run the complete four miles I was wimping out. To walk was not pushing hard enough. I’ve always been like that in life too. Constantly going and feeling guilty if I stopped to relax and enjoy myself for a moment. I recently read a book about introverts and extraverts and how introverts have periods where they simply need to leave the “party” and recharge. Thirty minutes in another room where it’s quiet and they’re alone. While I’ve always considered myself to be an extravert I believe on some level we all need to recharge from time to time and simply shut out the world. Especially when you have kids running around the house. Trying to keep up the pace of juggling work, the kids and the house can be grueling. It’s something you need to literally train for and sometimes, we need to walk.

And that’s OK.

When training on the pavement, and attempting to teach our bodies and minds to go farther we need to catch our breath from time to time. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If all we do is go hard at it for 3 ss_1miles EVERY time then that’s as far as we’ll ever be able to go. Kids push us to get back up and start running again whether we’re ready or not. So we learn to walk once in a while in between the longer stretches. Can you imagine doing what you’re capable of today three years ago? I remember when we had our third child. One day we only had one of them when two of them were at their great grandmother’s. We realized how easy just one was. But there was a time when “just one” was more than enough.

So this weekend, in an effort to go a little farther, I allowed myself to walk during my run. And you know what? I ended up going twice as far.

As a single parent, I think it’s OK to walk once in a while and recharge. In fact, it’s necessary if you have any chance of learning how to make it through the entire marathon. The secret is to just keep moving forward.

Peace!

 
 
 
 
 

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It’s Time To PANIC!

We’ve all at some point of our lives experienced a panic attack. Life has a way of doing that to even the most well adjusted person. It may be due to something as simple as realizing you may (or may not have) put the wrong zip code on a fed-ex package, left your phone at home or prematurely hit “send” on what could be considered an “angry” e-mail. It of course can also be caused by something serious like losing your family, your job or discovering you’ve been the victim of a ponzi scheme, leaving you to wonder how you’re going to pay for Christmas. Regardless, at that very moment it feels like it’s “all” over. The walls are collapsing, the fat lady is singing and as Chick Hearn used to say, “This game’s in the refrigerator! The door’s closed, the lights are out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard, and the Jell-O is jiggling.”

Typically these moments last for anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes. Or at least that’s what I thought until I got divorced. Suddenly these moments of overwhelming fear and anxiety had the potential to last days, sometimes even weeks. It could become a nagging chronic sense of underlying doom. At times even crippling. A feeling of emotional vertigo that you can be forced to carry through every waking moment as you attempt to regain control of your life. It can be triggered by watching your ex-wife drive away with the kids for the first time or a bank statement. But when it hits, it’s hell.

What I came to realize was it’s simply a matter of cause and affect. That as your life shifts to new realities and unfamiliar territory, the stability and structure you’ve come to rely on has the potential to quickly go “bye bye.” Adjusting to a divorce can present the potential for a string of negative events that can make it feel like it’s all spiraling out of control. It’s actually not unlike being at the top of a roller coaster, sitting in the front seat. There’s that freakish split second when you realize, like it or not, your’e strapped in, and about to plunge.

So what to do? Hmmm. Good question. As a guy, chances are you tend hold on to things. Maybe it’s anger or for no good reason, a towel rack your ex decided she wants. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, sometimes all you can do is acknowledge and move on. You can hold on to the anger and let it consume you and affect every aspect of your life, INCLUDING your relationship with your kids and yes, your ex. Or you can practice the fine art of recognizing that the towels can hang on the bed post for a while.

It may sound funny, but sometimes the best way to gain control is by letting go of it.

Accept change. And by change I don’t mean Fiber One cereal instead of Fruit Loops. (Fruit Loops now provides fiber by the way, says so on the box). No, I mean big stuff. I’m not a psychologist, or therapist, but I can tell you from personal experience, that most likely what’s causing your panic attack can be traced back to something you’re desperately trying to hold on to that’s actually keeping you from growing. It may be the lifestyle you had when you were married and have tried to maintain. It may be lingering feelings for your ex. It may be your core sense of family that’s been stripped away. It may be the simple fact that you’re in unexplored territory against your will. Whatever it is, try to determine what it is that you’re holding on to and start considering ways of letting it go.

I’ll say it again, take control by letting go. Accept change. Life happens for a reason. Acknowledge that some of the things going on in your life are not what you planned on or wanted. And realize that may not be a bad thing. Take a good hard look at the cards you’ve been dealt and, for a while, be happy with a pair of eights. It’s no royal flush, but it beats nothing. And for God’s sake, stop convincing yourself that everyone else has a natural straight. Because chances are they only have a pair of fours and are convinced you have four aces. Bluff if you have to, but get through this hand and prepare for the next one, because a new one will be dealt soon. But first you have to get through this one by making the most of your pair of eights.

So don’t panic. Easier said than done I know, but do your best to ride it out. Talk to someone. Maybe a financial advisor, a friend, a therapist, the dog; anyone who’ll listen. As guys we have a hard time opening up,
but it helps. Sharing the fact that you want to take a step forward is actually the first step forward. You’ll also find yourself empowered through the knowledge you gain through those conversations. So start talking.

And while you’re at it, consider the fact that it may actually be exciting to wipe the slate clean and start over. A dear friend of mine told me that a panic attack is a last ditch effort by your sub conscience to hold on to your old life. It means you’re growing, evolving and ready to let the old life die in favor of building a new one. It’s a scary step, but perhaps your mind is telling you it’s ready to move on and has already started letting go without you. Maybe your panic attack is a sign that it’s time to prepare for a move.

I’ve always found liberation in purging. Getting rid of the crap that builds up in storage. Keeping up with all that “stuff” requires way too much energy. The same works in your head. Purge the crap. Get rid of it. Let it go! Kick it to the curb. Strip yourself of the baggage both emotionally and monetarily and start renovating and preparing for a clean slate. Put your energy toward more productive things, like building a new life. Don’t get me wrong, I personally think it’s healthy to hang on to a few things. I mean, we don’t want to completely lose touch with where we came from, but get rid of the excess. As soon as you do, I’m pretty confident you’ll start to feel some traction and like you’re in control again, which in turn will lead to fewer panic attacks.

And ironically, it’ll be because you accepted the fact that you’re NOT in control, and decided to let go.

 

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“Just One More Son!”

Do you truly know your limits? Do you honestly have a good grasp of what you’re capable of? I often ask myself these questions when I’m on the verge of complete meltdowns. When I’m on the brink of a complete mental and emotional collapse and my head is in my hands and tears are welling up as I hear myself thinking, “I can’t take anymore.”

Yet somehow the sun rises the next day and issues eventually resolve themselves. It may take them longer than we’d like them too, but somewhere, out of pure necessity, we find the ability to fight on. But you and I know it doesn’t feel that way when we’re in the midst of battle. My father used to drive me crazy when I’d work on projects with him. “Just one more son!” he’d say at least 45 times. “Just one more” was never “just one more.” And yet those extra 44 one more’s made the final result 44 times better.

Life does that to you. “Just one more son.” And it typically happens when you don’t really have “one more” in you. And yet you find it. How does that happen? I really don’t think we fully appreciate what we’re capable of until life forces you to find out. When we “think” we don’t have anything left in the tank, yet have no choice but to squeeze out one last drop to get us to the next plateau. (I say plateau because there really is no finish line).

So what is your limit? Do you know? Do you? Are you aware of just how much you can handle on any given day? Are you aware of how strong you are? Do you truly appreciate just how much more you have in you that you haven’t tapped yet? It may not feel like it some days, but you likely have more in you than you realize. You’re likely capable of handling even more than you believe.

Divorce has a way of making a person grow up real fast. When it’s all on your shoulders and that little face is looking up at you for guidance and reassurance that everything is going to be alright. Suddenly you find a new source of energy and motivation. I’ve heard it said that the Lord only gives you that which he knows you can handle. I’m not an overtly religious man. But I do know that life dishes out a lot. And it’s up to us to decide if we’re up for the challenge. And I’m here to tell you point blank, you’re up for it. You can do it. May not always feel like it, but just wait until you see what you’re capable of handling.

Now, always handling it with a smile on your face? That’s a whole ‘nother entry.

 

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