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For The Love of God – Laugh!

I’m not the first person to tell you this. Nor will I be the last (hopefully).

But laugh.

Laugh like your life depended on it because it does. Search out things that make you laugh. Find people who make you laugh. Look at the absurdity that your life can tend to be sometimes and just2014-06-15 17.53.01 laugh.

Laugh with friends.

Laugh with your kids.

Laugh with your reverend.

Laugh with the mailman.

Laugh by yourself.

Laugh at yourself.

Laugh with the check out clerk at Kroger.

But laugh. And while doing so, do your best to make someone else laugh.

Stress will consume you. Worry will deplete you. Laughter will save you.

 

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Embrace The Crazy

When you’re immersed in life as a divorced parent; it’s easy to look at your world some mornings and think, “F#%$, this is some crazy $#*@!” “Why can’t my life be normal like everyone else’s?”

Well, the reality is, normal doesn’t exist and I guarantee you there is someone out there around the corner who’s $#*@ is crazier than yours.

At some point you simply have to accept, nay, “embrace” the crazy and keep on truckin’. Otherwise you’ll drive yourself and everyone around you nuts. I grew up in a house where worry and anxiety were second nature. We had a Top 10 list of “What can and probably will go wrong” with just about every event. Not really the way to go through life. Not to say I2014-05-24 15.30.54-1 didn’t have a great childhood, but I was raised to be ready to prepare for the worst rather than enjoy the best and take the worst as a necessary spice for flavor.

So today I simply sit here to remind you, yes divorced life isn’t easy. But tell me who’s life is? We all carry our own crosses. Some we build ourselves; others are handed to us. Regardless, nobody on this earth gets a free ride; I promise you. You will stress over some of the crazy. It’s natural. I wish I could tell you those moments won’t happen. But that’s not realistic. Just do your best to acknowledge and move forward because it’s those forward moments that will get you through to the good part. Getting stuck in the muck will only make it worse.

Also try to recognize when your stress is because of what you consider to be impending doom, or simply because you may be outside your comfort zone and out of your element as you make efforts to improve your life. Regardless know that it’s part of the ride, not unlike being at the top of a roller coaster. That pit in your stomach means the “fun” part is right up a head and you’ll soon be at the bottom going, “That was AWESOME! Let’s do it again!” (maybe :))

So embrace the crazy. Embrace the good. Embrace your kid. Embrace anyone willing to give you a hug when you’re having a rough day.

Keep rockin’. You’re doing great!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in anxiety

 

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The Wall!

I typically like to write when all is green and I feel enough internal fortitude to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight. To stay positive and take the high road. I’ve also believed, and have promoted the fact, that we can accomplish anything we put our mind to no matter how difficult the challenge or how overwhelming the scope of the landscape.

So, a new challenge today as this week I believe I reached a point I had not hit. A new limit as to how much I was mentally and psychologically capable of handling. I had been going like gang busters, pushing toward several new goals. Making progress buy the minute. At some point I found myself standing in the middle of the hurricane I had created. And then, at the peak of momentum, I stopped. Not sure why. But I stopped and found myself questioning so much of what I was pushing for despite the fact that I was on a good course. And getting started again has been truly difficult. Perhaps I’d been pushing myself too hard both mentally and physically. I had accomplished more in the past two weeks than I had in quite a while. One week in particular I looked back at what I had done and was convinced a team of magical elves had visited me overnight.

Then one evening I caught myself becoming remarkably edgy. Snapped at the kids a couple of times, felt like I was flying blindly and that I was getting reacting to things more than I was being proactive. I consciously stopped myself as I could tell it was becoming too much. I pulled imgres-1back on one or two projects and decided to just stop for a moment and catch my breath and my sanity. When I woke up the next morning, the motivation was gone. I laid there in bed, completely uninterested in getting up. This then happened for three more mornings. And there I sat, convinced I’d failed. More than anything it felt like hitting the wall so many marathoners reach. You’re going, going, going, pushing and then out of nowhere WHAM!

Does it mean I’m done? Nope.

Does it mean you’re done? Nope.

Just means your body is hitting a new plateau you haven’t experienced yet. You’re reaching unmapped territory. You’ve simply pushed yourself farther than you’ve probably gone before and your mind and body are like, “WWWHOA there partna!”

When you feel that kind of momentum, stopping can be a real shock to the system. Call it a mental concussion. And getting started again can be a bear. If you need to stop and recharge a bit, OK. But don’t sit too long. You got to the point you got by focusing your energies and pushing toward a north star.

But the race is far from over. Take this moment to regroup but at some point you’re going to have to force yourself to start moving again. You’re going to have to remind yourself of what motivated you to get started in the first place. It may take a stronger boost to kick back into gear, but find the strength both mentally and physically to do it. If you don’t you’re apt to get down on yourself for not getting things done which is even worse.

Today’s entry is therapy for me as I write to encourage both of us to take it one step at a time and start moving again. Just remember, the next plateau awaits.

 

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Moving On

Three years after my divorce, I am strongly considering selling the big house and downsizing. We won’t move far. We’ll stay close to their mom and all of their friends. This is more about simplifying our lives than anything else. Smaller house, smaller payment, less things. I’ve talked about it before, but this is farther than we’ve ever gone. I initially bought out my ex for her half to ensure the kids would be able to stay, at least half the time, in the house they knew as home and their foundation. That was important to me. We were turning their world upside down. Felt like they deserved to at least be able to lay their head down at night in a familiar space that made them feel secure. I knew at some point we’d probably move, but not until it felt right. Now after three years, with the encouragement of the kids, we’ve determined that it feels right.

We really do need time to heal and regain our wits. Three years down the road, I would never recommend anyone make any huge changes immediately after a divorce. It’s difficult to explain because in theMovingDay moment all you want to do is move on and start over. But I promise you, you’re not ready. You’re going to need some time to regroup. Some things you won’t have any control over. But I found for us that maintaining as much normalcy as possible had its benefits.

I never anticipated the emotional impact the thought of moving would have. Perhaps on some level I kept the house for my own sanity as well, not fully prepared to rip myself from that part of my life. But what an enormous step emotionally it has been to consciously make the choice to move forward and say goodbye to the past. To let go. To accept. To feel a confidence in knowing you’re ready to roll. There is a true cleansing taking place. A sense of renewal. An excitement of starting a new chapter. I’ve held on long enough as have the kids. I wouldn’t have done it any differently. So glad we stayed. It hurt like hell financially, but was worth every penny.

Along with being able to take my time in preparing the house, going through everything and making decisions with a clear head; doing it this way has allowed the kids to be a part of the move. It’s partly their choice. They have some say. With the divorce they had none. Had we moved then it would have been the same thing. “We’re moving because of the divorce.” This way it’s their decision as much as it is mine. We’re looking at new houses together. Discussing the options. The pros and cons. Working together as a team. Moving on as a team. Helping each other through the different aspects of what it means to say goodbye to a house that has been our home for ten years. But we’re doing it on “our” terms, not just mine. They’re excited which I don’t think would have been the case three years ago.

 

 

 

 

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How To Eat An Elephant

I’ve been told the best way to eat an elephant (although I’m not sure I would actually wish to do that) is one bite at a time. How many times have you looked at your day the same way saying to yourself, “Perhaps I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.”

The mass of tasks that surround us from time to time can appear overwhelming and undoable when you look at it as a whole. If you’re like me, you see twenty things that need to get done and your system initially shuts down out of an inability to comprehend how you’re going to get it all completed. I actually find it odd that the more we have tohow-to-eat_an_elephant1 accomplish, the less inclined we are to attack any of it.

As a video director I work off of the same philosophy when filming. Often we attempt to capture too much with one shot which makes it impossible for the viewer to know what they’re supposed to be focused on. The best thing to do is to choose one subject, focus on it and blur out everything around it so you can keep your attention on just one thing for a while. Then move to a second shot when you’re ready. Eventually you end up with everything you need to put together the perfect story.

Same holds true in life. When you’re attempting to focus on too many things at once, the reality is you focus on none of it. It’s just a mass of information and your system simply can’t register it all at once. And so it shuts down.

So, make a list of things you need to get done. I know, “Really? A List? Who are you, my ex-wife?” But it works. Write down EVERYTHING that needs to happen. Pick a couple of small things, focus on them one at a time and then move on to something else. You may not get to everything in one day, but you’ll start to see things getting done which will motivate you to keep going. Before you know it you’ll look at all of the crossed off items and realize you’re capable of more than you gave yourself credit for.

The payoff, btw, is huge. The accomplishment of each task gives you a sense of moving forward and getting your life under control. Progress of any nature is empowering and it all starts with the first small bite.

 

 

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