- Head Injury in Children Has Lasting Impact: Study: "EW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children with even mild head injury may be at risk for long-term complications, including personality changes and behavioral and learning problems, according to a new study from the UK." This is an interesting article. For those that don't know this (just about everyone that reads this!!) I was hit in the head with a bat when I was 7 years old (2nd grade) and had my face partially crushed. reconstructive surgery put me back together, but who knows just how it really affected me? I do know I had a major problem with things coming at me quickly and that is a bad thing to deal with because kids are so cruel and they make you flinch, not knowing what happened to you in your past.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Not much going on right now. work is going fine. I have started eating out after work. cheap stuff. wendy's, taco bell, etc. it just easier that way and i know each evening what i am going to eat. most evenings i eat at the joint and read my book, but on thursday nights i head to the house so i can see "csi" and "without a trace". watched the next to last episode of "friends". i just know ross and rachel will finish the show together. it has to be. anything else would be such a letdown. I ran out of st johns wort last week and i decided to try something else. i felt the st johns wort was a good thing but i also wanted to take some vitamins. i found one called stresstabs and almost bought the generic version at krogers. but i wanted to check the prices at the evil empire (walmart). they did not have a generic version ro at least i could not find one but i did find a vitamin supplement called onesource that had pretty much the same things, some in more amounts others in less amounts. much cheaper. supposed to help you process your food better. i just know i feel really good. maybe just a mental thing, but i seem to be losing weight and i just feel really really good. also, because i am eating out after work and because of the heat i have started changing into shorts after work. it sure does make the drive alot more refreshing. only one more week until i go to arkansas to see jessica. i really can't wait. i miss her so much and i am looking forward to when she comes home. i hope she can get it together and come this summer. she only has a few more years of being a kid and then she will be on her own, i want to be there for as much of it as i can.
Paul, you are a Visual Mathematician. This means you are gifted at spotting patterns. This and your overall high intelligence make you good at understanding the big picture. This is the answer that came from the IQ test I took! I know one "pattern" I am gifted of spotting. The beautiful shape of a woman! HaHa.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Just took and IQ test. scored a 135 on it! Hooray for me! I think that is pretty good. Whether it is completely accurate is something I am unable to vouch for, but the questions seemed to involve critical thinking and logical thought processes. anyways it made me feel pretty good! Today is going well. The weather is just beautiful. I have finally figured out what it is I am smelling whenever I sit here at the computer. It is the large bush that is blooming outside of the window. And it is driving me crazy! I have to say that my new budget process is working. Because I put actual cash in my pocket each week for spending money I can physically see when I spend money. I know it is all about frame of mind, but hey if it works, it works. It has caused me to be much more prudent in my spending. It is teaching me about saving and careful spending. I am learning that I can do without alot of the things I want. I will spend some of it at sometime but I do like watching it grow in my wallet. Human nature. It confuses me so much. Because of what I have been through and the thought processes I have learned I have really started to watch other people. Today at Wal-mart as I was waiting in the self-checkout line I noticed this older gentleman who was in the process of checking out his groceries. He was making it so hard on himself. He had left all of his groceries in his cart (this checkout had the long conveyor belt so there was plenty of room for his groceries) and he had the cart out in front of him. He was only aprox 5'7" - 5'9" tall at the most, yet he would reach across the back of basket (picture yourself as if you were pushing the basket) to retrieve his items one at a time, scan it in and then toss it into the bag. This would continue for quite a bit of time, and to make things more interesting, he just continued to fill bags but would not take the bags off the "shelf" so that they continued to pile up and take up more room. Finally he finished ringing up his items and paid his bill, but because he had left every single item on the shelf his eggs fell on the floor because he could not pick up his bags properly. This man seemed to have at least a normal amount of intelligence and he was not THAT old (maybe in his mid-60's) but come on, think about it. even if you are not going to put your things onto the conveyor belt, at least turn the cart sideways so that it is a little easier to get to the stuff. This is not the rant of a know-it-all (I will never allow myself to become one of those again!), just someone that became amused at the observation that we tend to make things so hard on ourselves because we have forgotten how to THINK before we act!!!! I have learned that I am quite the philosopher and student of human nature. I always have been fascinated and interested in this but only recently did I become consciously aware that I like to do this. I have been a people watcher for a long time but now it is something deeper. I guess this is more for my journal/websites as I go through life. I hope to be able to add pictures to my discussions of people and what makes them who they are. I got a call from Primus today. I am sorry but Mr. Let-Everyone-Walk-All-Over-Him Paul is a person of the past. If Tina cannot come up with the payments for the truck I WILL pick it up and take it back.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Just talked to Bethany. Had a very good conversation. I have decided I would be happy to be her boyfriend if she ever changed her mind on that. whenever I do meet a woman I just want to be a boyfriend for a long time and see where things go. Enjoy some time together. Do some things. I know she reads this and I value her friendship so I will keep this here and only this one time will I mention it. Once upon a time Bethany and I had some fun but we moved way too fast in making our relationship very serious. we are both older and wiser now and if she ever thought about it I feel we could have alot of fun together. No guarantees about anything, just share some time together. And if she wants to keep things the way they are all she has to do is keep silent about this entry and it will stay that way. But I do feel it is important to say this one time. someone out there just might want my company and companionship and I am ready to have theirs.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" The following questions I got off of another blog (Caffeine and Nicotine) that I really thought were a good way to describe a little about me. He got them out of an old New York Times Sunday Magazine. If we keep this going from reader to reader, soon everyone will know everything about everyone! I am thinking of coming back to these questions in six months, answering them anew to see what has changed in my life. We shall see. Morning Routine: Wake up at 7am, drink coffee and surf the net until 8am. Feed the dogs and birds, do dishes, shower, make lunch, eat breakfast, get dressed and then leave for work at 9:30am. What my apartment needs: Wish I had an apartment right now, sleeping on sofa sleeper at the parents house is getting old. Superstitions: To this day I think it is bad luck to step on a crack. Person I most identify with: Bob Saggett's character in "Full House" because he was a single father trying to make it in the world. Also George Costanza from Seinfeld because I seem to always screw up a good thing. Talent I wish I had: Ability to communicate with others with patience and understanding. Next big purchase: 20gb battery operated hard drive that accepts xd memory cards so I can download my photos while I am on a weekend trip. Music I'm listening to a lot: Classical. It evokes such emotion in me. (Jazz/love songs close second for the same reason.) What I'm reading: Left Behind series. I have just finished the 3rd book, Nicolae. I am attempting to deepen my faith in God. Workout: Walking/Hiking Favorite place to shop: Fry's Electronics Favorite living musician: Roger Daltry (does a singer count?) Worst Habit: Letting go of the past. Worrying about what I cannot control. (ok, that makes 2 but they both are hard for me) Most Valued possession: My digital camera. (Before that it was my 35mm SLR's. To record a moment in time and yet it can tell a whole story is just about the best way I can leave a legacy for future generations.) Hero: Dr. Phil. I guess because as I go through this tough time and as a result of this tough time I learn about who I am and what I want I just read his book, 'Life Strategies'. It has had a very profound effect on who I am and what I want out of life. I have really started working on many of the things I needed to change in my life and they actually are working. I look back and I really don't like who I was. I have always had some very good qualities but I had been so angry with the world for such a long time it has cost me so much. After reading Dr. Phil and listening to what I read as though he was actually talking to me, I love his in-your-face style. I had always enjoyed watching him on tv, but reading his book has taken my belief in him to a new level. Favorite household chore: Cooking. I love to cook for others. Simple things, I am not a chef. And I am talking meat and dishes. Dessert is for others to cook. Least favorite chore: Washing dishes. My house and apt after that were without a dishwasher and it was definately low on my list of chores. Favorite City: Rapid City, South Dakota. it is such a quiet, slow city. I miss it so much but I feel that unless my situation with my estranged wife changes for the better I have lived my last day there. I must go back for a couple of days to retrieve my things, but then it will be over. I may vacation there someday (I have told my parents they must go someday) but not to live. Best gift I received lately: Gift to myself of hope for my future. By looking inside myself and working to change the things about me that need to be changed while identifying the good things about me and continuing to enhance those things I give myself a real chance at a fulfilling life.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" I have been repeating conversations tam and i had near the end of our relationship and then thinking about what I wished would have happened. here is one such time: when she told me about her diet the doctors had put her on i reacted in typical fashion. what they told her was irrelevant; only I knew what was correct (in reality it was I that was clueless) and i said 'that is not enough food for one day!'. now this is what i wished i had said: 'hey sweetie, allow me to finish what I am doing (I was doing dishes or cooking, I don't remember exactly) and then lets sit down and go over what the literature says you are supposed to have each day'. Now, would that have been so hard to say? We would have sat down and gone over everything in detail, mapped out a meal plan for the both of us together and the issue would have been over. but no, i had to be the know-it-all i thought i was and take what was a golden opportunity to once again be her hero and I had to become her loser husband. The past is unchangeable, what is done is done, but I can learn to react much differently. I have mentioned how I am trying to use only positive words (not, no, can't, won't, etc. are taboo as much as possible) and while this is very difficult to do, it is an exercise to help me think before I speak. If I have to stop and think HOW to say something, it gives me time to think about WHAT i am going to say. I am sure to some it does seem silly, but when you are a person that has spent a lifetime putting his foot in his mouth and saying without thinking, it is a very much needed thing. And I have to say it is working, abeit slowly. It is a hard thing to change your ways when you have been doing things a certain way for a long time. But it can and is being done. I only wish she could see that. Find out for herself that I want to be someone different than who I was. I want all the things she loved about me to stay with me and to create new things for her to love about me. But oh well, life does go on. I have also been going back over Dr. Phil's book, highlighting passages, so that from time to time I can just open it and read a few lines about an important lesson or thought. Previous owners had highlighted and underlined in it also and I am using their's along with more that I want to take note of. I am also considering seperating the book page by page and scanning in into the computer in complete form so that I can load it on any pc and read from it. It would be a large undertaking. I still struggle with my parents at times. I have come to the conclusion that the way they talk to sister and I is verbal abuse. The anger in their voice when something they want done or want to know about is just unacceptable. I wonder where they came up with the idea that they can talk to us that way. It seems they can subject us to this because we are their children, even though we are grown adults. I help around here because it is the right thing to do for letting me have a place to sleep at night. I pay my own bills, buy my own food but where is it written that I have to accept that kind of verbal abuse from them is beyond me. It is a reminder to me that mine and Tam's issues truly were small. If Tam and I were to talk to each other this way, I would have chosen to end the marriage. They have been married for a long time, why I do not know. To subject others, especially family, to verbal abuse as they do is a horrible thing to do. I have decided this is why I chose silence over confrontation. That was my undoing also, but at the time I only knew one way to communicate my feelings and I knew it was bad way, so I kept quiet. Knowing now what I wished I knew then, I feel I could have communicated my feelings in a much better, more tactful way and therefore would most likely have had the issues resolved ina positive manner.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" All I want to know is "When will it all end?". I am so ready to get on with life. After all this time I still miss her, I still hurt so bad. I will not hold it in. It is what I feel and there is nothing to be gained by pretending I do not have these feelings. I have them and I will let them out. She told me awhile back, "I just felt like you were not moving on" or something to that effect. Well, I am moving on, but we all "move on" at a different pace. Mine takes awhile. I feel she is not aware of just how deep my feelings for her are. This is something that takes alot of time to recover from. I know I am a deeper person than most people out there. I am moving on, it just takes alot of time. I will be ok, I will just be alone for quite some time. I wonder about the future sometimes, try to imagine life with someone new, different. but each time I allow myself to do that, all I get back is the feeling that I would wish that person to be her. Until I can imagine a new relationship without feeling like someone new would be 2nd place to her, then I know in my heart I am not ready to meet someone new. 6 months is not really a very long time. The marriage counselor I saw 7 years ago told me you are supposed to take 2 years off from dating after a breakup/divorce. I think that is sound advice. I don't think it is wise to become involved with someone new while you are still in love with someone. And if she could fall in love that quicly with another then she truly did not love me and that takes awhile to get over also. It means that last 2+ years was a lie and I don't like being lied to. I also feel that she feels bad about things, so bad that she lies just to try to make things better but it doesn't. I am not some bubba from a hick town that see's things with a small narrow vision. I am a deep, emotional person that has the ability to look within himself and see for himself who he is. If she could have done that we could have worked this out. I love her and miss her. have to go to work now.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" "You can't keep it inside, it'll make you sick". this is a quote from a sitcom I was watching tonight. The wife was telling the husband the reason her hair is falling out is stress but that the stress is from the husband. she said that at least once a day he does something that make her want to "kill" him. we know she really means she gets stressed. he asked her why she didn't say something. she said she didn't want be a "nag". and that is when he told her about not keeping it inside. that is what i was trying to make clear to tam as I was trying, (in vain) to keep our marriage together. she has to communicate with those around her. she held her feelings and thoughts inside until she just wanted everything to go away instead of facing it. and because of her inability to express herself, i lose her.
"Marriages are ruined by poor communication. Rather than openly discuss sex, money, body problems or whatever, couples hint about their concerns or simply say nothing. But without support and understanding from your primary teammate, you do not go as far. In fact, a bad marriage can ruin everything in your life. Both parties in a successful marriage are able to give and receive communication from their spouse on any subject." - Ediets.com "So that is the basic lesson that anybody learns in this universe. They learn to keep their mouth shut, and it's the wrong lesson. When in doubt, talk. When in doubt, communicate." -- L. Ron Hubbard Whenever you have doubts about something, COMMUNICATE! Talk, talk, talk until the problem resolves. When you feel stress, disagreement or resistance between you and someone near you, the wrong thing to do is ignore the problem. Instead, start communicating. When you know you should say something, say it! For example, an employee knows another employee is embezzling money and so says something to the employee and/or boss. A doctor knows he must talk to a about the patient's rude behavior to the office staff. An employer knows she must discuss poor performance issues with some employees. Take the bull by the horns. Move ahead in life. Spit it out. (Ediets.com) In the long run, you are always better off by communicating. Take responsibility and talk. Staying silent solves nothing. If only Tam and I could have discovered so much of this stuff together and then applied it together we could have grown so much TOGETHER.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Humans are a weird kind of animal. So much of what we learn and react to is because of perception. I know I mentioned this before but I want to elaborate on it more now. I no longer want to be "right" or "wrong", I only want to agree or not agree and others to agree with me or not agree with me. See, it is all the same thing but it is the "perception" that matters. People do not like to admit when they are wrong about something and they do not like to be told they are wrong when they feel they are right. But truly there is no right or wrong, only each persons perception of the issue at hand. Dr. Phil stated as much in his book. He devoted a whole chapter to this topic and I am just expanding on it as to how I feel about the world around me. Here is a very simple, and really inconsequential, example yet it easily expresses just what I am talking about. The other day mother mentioned that she did not think the lid to a plastic bowl was the correct one. I informed her that it was as we had 2 identical bowls except one lid was white and the other was green. Today I found out that there was a 3rd bowl and it was not quite the same so the lid in fact did not fit on the bowl. Now it is easy enough to just say, "Mom, I was wrong and you were right, that lid did not fit that bowl". But in order for me to get into new, positive habits, I will tell her, "Mom, I agree with you, that lid indeed does go to a different bowl." See, by doing this, as a human I am able to admit I was wrong without actually telling her I was wrong. In most things in life it is not a bad thing to admit being wrong. But when something is serious and has the potential to leave hurt feelings, the way it is said can make all the difference. So, to form a habit of doing it a certain way, it should always be done that way. Looking back, Tam said she did not like the way I parented. Well, you know, I have only been a parent to one child of my own and she is not 19 as of yet (the age of Tam's daughter when all of this was going on) so each and every day is a new experience. It would not have been a bad thing for her to disagree with how I was doing things and compromise and negotiate a different tact. There is no right or wrong way but we do what we know until we do something different. It was her child we were discussing, she could have disagreed with me and told me what she wanted to try to do about the situation. I have been accused too many times of always needing to be right about anything and everything. Well, I agree with that assessment. I wanted to always be right and even if it was for the best of intentions, it was impractical to think this was a correct frame of mind. Animals are about communication and humans use many methods to communicate. I just feel if I communicate in a negative way, I will get negative responses (Dr. Phil, "You get what you give") and conversely if I communicate in a positive way I will get positive responses. Will this happen each and every time? No of course not, sometimes the person I am communicting with will be in a bad frame of mind and they will snap anyways. But then it is up to me to respond back in a positive way and it just might ease them a bit.
according to your birthdate, this is mine and it is pretty accurate: "Poplar Tree (the Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously. "
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Ok, I lied, I would give almost anything for her to show up on my doorstep right now and want to start over again with me. I just don't see it happening and therefore I just want to get this divorce over with so I can move forward. I don't like being married to her while she is living with another. I know she was married to alton for six months after we had gotten together but I am not alton and I had not treated her badly when she ended our marriage. I just want this to go away. If we are not to be together I need it to end so I can move forward. How she can be married to me but be with someone else and treat it as though I don't exist I just don't understand. I would have thought her "boyfriend" would have stepped up to the plate and paid for a divorce. I mean it only costs a couple of hundred dollars to do it yourself. Or she would have borrowed the money from her daughter. I mean Laura would probably be very happy to pay for it and not have to ever worry about me again. If she does not want to be with me why would she want to drag this out so long? What is to be gained by keeping this going? I just don't get what is going on here.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" I have been pretty down today. Everything is going well, so that is not it. What is causing this is the fact I have come to a realization. I feel I no longer want Tam. I don't want her to want to reconcile. As more and more time passes, I realize that if she could replace me so quickly, she didn't care about me, she didn't love me. If she could find another to "love" after just a couple of months, she didn't love me. I miss the woman I was with, but now I wonder if that person ever truly existed. Was Tam just trying to be someone she really wasn't? I now feel that Tam really does not know what true love is. What it means to be loved and to love unconditionally. if she did then she would have fought harder to save our marriage. I will always believe that if someone truly, deeply loves another, then they are willing to fight to the end for what they have together, and since Tam did not even lift a finger to fight for our marriage, she did not truly, deeply love me, not the way I believed she did. I am so tired. I have worked so hard to better myself, to correct the things I felt were my responsibility in this situation. I have prayed so hard for guidence. And I have found direction. Things are coming together. I have a plan, realistic goals and a new mindset. But with all that, as the fog of my passion for her slowly lifts comes the clear picture that she never loved me, did not know how to love me. I will continue to work on myself and pray for help and guidence to find my path in life.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" I awoke this morning remembering a dream from the night just past. In this dream I found at least two watches. At first I did not understand the significance of this, but as I thought about it I came to the conclusion that this is a message to relax and settle down. That I have plenty of "time" and that I do not have to rush through life anymore. What I feel is another message for me is an article I read the other day concerning a retired locksmith. He spends half a year in Arizona and the other half in Oregon living in a motorhome. Because of his skill as a locksmith, he is always in demand by someone in the campgrounds so he either gets rent for free or picks up some spending money. Now I don't know if the message is to be a locksmith per say or just find a trade that I can do in later life that would be in demand in a living situation such as that. I have already accepted that I will never be rich or well off, but if I have no debt I can live quite comfortably on a little money. All I need to live as I want to and do the things I want to do is a couple of cameras and a couple of computers. Give me a camper and truck or a motor home and I will have everything. I am a simple guy with simple needs and wants and with a computer and internet connection I can keep in touch with family, email pics and stories and maintain a website for family to see. I have always been a wandering spirit, wanting to explore and see things firsthand and to bring those sights to others that cannot see them for whatever reason. With no guarantees about how long I have to live, this is my goal now, to set myself up for this life as I get my daughter into adulthood. Soon enough she will be doing her own thing and I can then do mine. This is my calling. I truly believe that. Yesterday was such a good day. Nothing special happened, I was just in such a good mood and frame of mind. I was upbeat and full of joy. I have found peace and harmony in my life. As Dr. Phil would say, I finally "get it". Things have become so clear to me, I only wish I could have had this direction 20 years ago, but as the dream foretold me, I have time to make these things happen. That is how I choose to interpret the dream. I have time. But I have to make good use of this time. I cannot dawdle. Paying my bills is the first step. Once I get those paid off, then I can concentrate on aquiring the things I will need. I will need some kind of truck or van that is strong enough to pull a small trailer. That will take a couple years to do, at the least. Once that is accomplished I will need to save cash to actually be able to go somewheres. Then decide where to go. I am also considering instead of a trailer to haul stuff, getting a small airstream type camper so I can live in it until I find an apartment wherever I end up. Right now Portland, Oregon sounds like a good first place. I know the auto dealership business, so that is what I need, a city large enough to have a few dealers. sooner or later one of them will be able to use my skills and that will be the moment I go, when they can hire me. anyways, I am getting ahead of myself. That is at least 4 years away. But what I do between now and then is what will determine whether I can do this.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Not much happened today. I did talk to Mike Price and got the insurance thing for my child support straightened out. He can't change it so that I can get the insurance, but he did fax a notice to my employer that I do not have to take it out. I am contemplating getting insurance on myself. It will cost me $22 a week. Not much but yet at my take home level that will make quite a difference. I will decide by Monday. Mailed of my income tax return today, also mailed a letter to Jess. Really nothing too exciting planned for this week. Tomorrow is mothers birthday. I am going to take photos of bluebonnetts after work tomorrow. there is a great patch of them off the highway not far from the house. I have to say I am getting tired of these stupid Sonic commercials. They are really getting on my nerves. Well, Seinfeld is coming on so it is time for me to call it a night.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" "A simple truth: You go in the direction you are headed. That's why it's crucial that you not focus on what you don't want." This if from my horoscope in the local paper from yesterday, and I really think it is some words for me to think about. 'go in the direction I am headed'. to me that means just keep doing what I have been doing, working towards the goals I have set for myself. '...not focus on what you don't want.' I am trying to define what it is I truly don't want. I don't want unhealthy relationships. I don't want to dig myself back into debt. I don't want to go back to bad habits. I don't want to become angry with the world again. So I will focus on what I have been doing. Paying off debt, shooting photos and creating my website and albums. Taking care of my parents. I am trying something new to keep a positive attitude. I am trying (takes practice!!) to use positive words such as 'I will, I did, I can, etc.' instead of words such as 'no,not,cannot,can't,won't,etc'. Somehow I feel that the more positive energy I bring into my life, the more positive my life will be. I have started to provide my own dinners 4 nights a week. I am having salad. I purchased all the good stuff, packaged it in small bags, cooked some boneless chicken, got the balsamic vinegar dressing. I have decided that with the hot months ahead, a cool dinner is way better than a hot one. If I am to live here where it is hot 5-6 months a year, cool meals are the way to go. The dsl went down yesterday and I was concerned that it was the new router going out just as the old one did. But i did a did a series of tests and it was not the router. Later I called sbc and they had a recording that the network is down. I transferred 3gb of data from mom's puter to mine over the network. That was really cool!! I know there are many out there that have done that before and it is nothing new, but for me it was really cool. If I ever own a home again, I am going to wire the whole thing through the walls with ethernet cable. I know wireless is out there, but cable is easy so easy to do. I will put a pc in several rooms and network them. I think I would like to have to hidden way back somewheres, one for video and one for music and that is all they would do. Put two 300gb hard drives in each so I would have plenty of space to record television shows and music. This needs more attention.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" what a weekend! work was ok yesterday and mom got me an 80gb hard drive from fry's. i installed it last night and tried to format it by the instructions i downloaded off the internet but as usual it did not go well, so i attempted to use partition magic. but also as usual i did not read the book and it took all night and half of today for it to format. but it worked and now i have plenty of space for my photos and music. Uncle Tony and Aunt Earlene came by today to pick up the camper and we all went to lunch. I took some photos afterward of them and mom and dad. the photos came out quite good and after some editing they really look good. i used the hedge in front of the house as a backdrop and it worked well. mother and i had some words tonight and i said something that a son should not say to his mother even though she said it to me first. we talked about it and everything is ok but what really bothers me is that i allow things to get to me. i want to let it roll of my sleeve no matter how much it hurts. she has two things i wish she could learn better. impatience and she does not shut up after asking a question. i am trying to focus and give her an answer and she keeps on talking, hollering cussing etc. tomorrow i have to call the state on the insurance part of my child support and get that straightened out. i am eligible for insurance may 1st and when i got the memo from work on friday i paniced because they were being ordered to enroll me. the state never checks the original order when sending out these orders. but after calming down i thought about it and this may be an opportunity to get the decree changed from me reimbursing dawn for insurance to me carrying my own and therefore getting insurance on me. we all make decisions in life that seem so right at the time we make them but don't turn out quite as we had hoped they would. it is called gaining wisdom. it will piss dawn off if they change it but it was my idea in the first place to reimburse her instead of carrying him on my own. i also have to do my taxes tomorrow so that i can get them mailed off. i found out the other day when i tried to do them online that texas is one of a handful of community property states. i already new that but what i did not know is that in community property states you cannot file married filing seperately electronically. i thought about using the old south dakota address but i will just download the forms from the irs website and fill them out on the pc and mail them off. i did not sleep well last night and am so tired today. i did get the mowing done even though it feels like january outside. not much else going on here. i am bound and determined to stick to my new budget and not give in. i want to be someone different from who i have been because even though i feel i was a pretty good person, it just was not working for me. if i stay disciplined it will become habit and it will work. it is called living within your means. if the cash is not in my pocket, i don't need it. things are looking up and getting better and if the way i have been doing things is responsible for the good fortune then i want to keep it up. hands hurt so this is enough for tonight.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Six months today..... It has been six months today since Tam declared she no longer wanted what we had together. I thought it would be a good time to reflect back on just what I have learned and discovered since that fateful day. I don't know how to properly list this so I will just do what works. I have... learned that my love for her was much deeper than I had even thought. discovered that there was a lot about myself that needed improving on. come to believe that I have been shortsighted in my beliefs and actions. learned that I have been holding alot of anger and pain inside for over 20 years because of how I was treated in school by some bullies. finally learned how to overcome those feelings of anger and pain. I no longer let those people from my distant . . past control me. figured out how to put into action what I already new. That a relationship is not only about love and passion, but you must work together to communicate, negotiate, and compromise on situations. I recently completed the book by Dr. Phil, 'Life Strategies', and I will soon start the next book he wrote that deals with relationships and how to save them. It is too late to save mine, but I feel I can still get some useful information for the next time I am in one. I learned a number of very useful things while reading this book, such as: You get what you give No matter how right you think you are, if it is not working, you need to change Be committed, Do what it takes, and you will Have what you want Do not blame what happens to you on anyone but yourself. Every outcome to every situation is because of some decision or choice you made. Sometimes you just cannot pass up the opportunity to shutup. That I deserve and have the right to a happy and healthy life As I have been going over and over the events of the past 10 months I have come to realize many things I could and should have done differently. I still believe I had legitimate gripes about some issues. But by the same token, I don't think they were large enough to end the marriage over and in hindsight, I don't feel they were large enough for me to take issue with in the first place. If I had to do over again, I would discuss the issue, ask what was going to be done about it, and then drop it. The joy I had being with her far outweighed any difference of opinion that we may have had. I think had I expressed my feelings and then just let it go, she would have responded to my feelings better. But because I kept up with my stubborness, she turned against me instead of helping me. I also know that I deserve better than what I got. To just walk away without so much as trying to resolve the issues is a travesty. I worked hard to be a good husband, father, step-father and friend. I did for her unconditionally, becasue I loved her. To be cast aside without any effort at all to resolve the issues, I deserve better, I have a right to better. I have spent the last 6 months hurting so bad because of what she did. I have come to accept the fact that no matter how much I loved her or how much I tried, she could not have loved me if I could be cast aside and replaced so easily. To compare me to Alton, to make the decision for me that I cannot change, that our relationship could not get stronger means that she never truly understood me or what I stand for. That she never really felt my feelings for her. Tammi is a good woman that works hard, but she is weak in soul and spirit. I see now it is so much easier for her to walk away from confrontation than to face it. Unless she learns these lessons, she will do this again. The first time her and her new "mate" have a disagreement, she will just walk away again. She walked away from Alton 7 times before she finally was able to stay away, and yet because she was truly clueless about my commitment to her, she was able to walk away so easily. If that is all it takes for her to quit and be a quitter, then I do deserve better. I don't quit. I may not have made good choices throughout my adult life, but I have lived by those choices and I did not quit. I deserve to be with someone that will support me in everything, that will walk side-by-side with me and stand by me in my times of need, just as I stand by them. I may have had a sarcastic tone when talking about her diet, but I followed her diet, I cooked what she needed in the amounts she needed. I carried her when her leg was hurt, I did everything for her. Not to be a hero, but because it was what a person does for another unconditionaly. Because I loved her. I expected the same out of her when I needed it. I needed her support with my daughter, instead I got a wimp that could not speak up at family counseling. She was part of this so she needed to take an active role in it. Instead she sat there quiet. I don't like confrontation either, but sometimes you have to stand up and be heard. I needed her to stand by me when confronting her daughter. Instead I was sent down the road. No, I deserve better because I am better. The only promise I ever made was to try my best. If that was her best, then it was not good enough. To some this may sound like bitter grapes, but it is not. It is the culmination of 6 months of soul searching and learning. It is one man coming to the realization that the love he had for his wife was something that she would not or could not allow herself to truly believe, for if she had, she would have known that his love for her would allow him to look at himself and improve himself. I am not perfect, I will never be perfect, and I don't want to be perfect. She told me she just could not see it changing, but change it did, only it is I, not her, that changed. I will end this by saying there is so much more for me out there in this world. I have been constructing a 'Life Strategy' for myself so that I can have attainable goals for the remainder of my life. I have reflected on what it is I truly enjoy doing, and it is because of being with Tam that this came about so I am thankful for this. It is sad that I had to lose her for me to truly see just how angry and upset with the world I was. I am no longer angry with anyone, including Tam. Anger just consumes time and resources that I would rather spend being happy with who I am and what I do. I wish her well, I hope she recovers from her illness with good health and that whoever she is with in her life she is happy. I no longer have the need to dwell on her or anything to do with her. I am sure someday I will be back in RC, maybe on a vacation or something and if I see her, I will wish her well, but it is time to close the door on this chapter of my life. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Found out some interesting news today. Bruce, my boss, has been promoted to Service Director over both Nissan and Lincoln/Mercury. Donnie moves up to Service Manager and Kristi becomes the Assistant Manager. I spoke at length with Donnie about my work here and what he wants of me. We tried to add a small duty to my responsibilities, but the Parts Director, Sherri Jonte, nixed it. Kristi, who will still be responsible for warranty claims mentioned she may have me recode the suspended claims to help her out. I responded to both her and Donnie to just let me know what I can do to help. At first this morning, I started to panic, just as I did in the past when there was some kind of change in management, but I stopped and reminded myself there was no reason to panic. I know what I am doing, and if for some reason my services are no longer needed, I will just find something else. I really am proud of the steps I took to control my thoughts and feelings and to just talk with the people I needed to talk to. I am not going anywhere anytime soon. I have found out there are alot of issues in the company and I am not one of them. My ability allows others to just leave me alone and do my thing. I guess this is what I finally had to convince myself of, that being left alone means I am doing a good job. My afternoon has been very pleasant to say the least. I am just so tired because those dogs were yapping since 5 am. Everything is going to be ok and I am going to be ok. I used to look in the mirror and ask "Why Me?" but now when I look in the mirror, I ask "Why not me?". I have broken the rest of my life (if I get to live a normal lifespan, not guaranteed) into 3 parts. The next 12 years are about getting Jessica into adulthood and getting my finances in order. In 12 years I will have finished paying child support on Ryan and will then focus the next 5-6 years on saving every penny I can. At the end of that time frame is when I will 'semi-retire'. I do not look to be rich or even well off, but to be debt free with some working capital so that I won't have to work alot of hours and can spend more time with my grandchildren and working on my hobbies. For whatever reason, I just don't have the desire or need to own a house. I have come to understand myself better and I want to be mobile and in position to move quickly when and where I want. This life is not for everyone, but I think I would enjoy it immensely. I have been giving thought to working seasonly in motorhome campsites and such during the vacation season and finding odd jobs the rest of the year. I don't know yet, I just know I want to be mobile with the ability to go. I want to see places and really get to experience what a place has to offer. We shall see. Of course just as I get ready to do this I might meet a woman and I settle in one place forever! I will keep my options open.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" One of the exercises in Dr. Phil's book instructs me to write a few paragraphs about who I become when I have finished this journey. Here is what I envision: "WHAT IS TO COME" PAUL NO LONGER STRESSES OVER WHAT "SOMEBODY" MIGHT BE SAYING ABOUT HIM. HE IS AT PEACE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT HE DOES FILL AN IMPORTANT PART AT WORK, AND THAT HE HAS SOMETHING WORTHWHILE TO OFFER THE WORLD. AFTER 20 YEARS OF SEARCHING, HE HAS FINALLY FOUND WHAT HE FEELS IS HIS CALLING. WHETHER HE EVER SUCCEEDS AT EARNING A LIVING DOING IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN, BUT AT THE VERY LEAST HE WILL BE DOING SOMETHING THAT HE ENJOYS AND WILL LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF HIS FAMILY. PAUL WAKES UP EACH MORNING WITH THE BELIEF THAT EACH AND EVERY DAY IS TO BE SAVORED AND ENJOYED, THAT EACH PERSON THAT CROSSES HIS PATH DESERVES A SMILE AND A HELLO. WHILE HE DOES HAVE SOME FEELINGS OF LOSS BECAUSE OF CHOICES HE MADE IN HIS PAST,AND THE CONSEQUENCES ENDURED BECAUSE OF THOSE CHOICES, HE DOES NOT LET IT GET HIM DOWN. THERE IS TOO MUCH LIVING TO BE DONE, TO MUCH TO BE SHARED WITH HIS CHILDREN AND HIS FAMILY TO LET WHAT HAS ALREADY GONE PAST CLOUD WHAT IS YET TO COME. HE UNDERSTANDS THAT YOU CANNOT UNDO WHAT IS DONE, BUT YOU CAN LEARN FROM IT AND MOVE FORWARD. HAVING FINALLY FREED HIMSELF FROM ATTEMPTING TO BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE, INSTEAD JUST BEING ALL THAT HE CAN BE, HE HAS A PEACE OF MIND THAT HAD BEEN ELUDING HIM. HE NO LONGER WORRIES TO THE POINT OF PARANOIA THAT EVERY CLOSED DOOR CONVERSATION AT WORK IS ABOUT HIM AND HOW TO GET RID OF HIM OR REPLACE HIM. PAUL KNOWS THAT HE CAN SURVIVE AND THAT HE DOES NOT NEED A CONSTANT PAT ON THE BACK, ALTHOUGH HAVING ONE ONCE IN A WHILE IS NICE. PAUL HAS FINALLY LEARNED THAT HE HAS TO BE A FATHER FIRST AND FRIEND SECOND TO HIS DAUGHTER EVEN THOUGH THAT WILL ELICIT SOME PAINFUL WORDS THROWN HIS WAY FROM HER. HE KNOWS MANY A PARENT HAS HAD THEIR CHILDREN SAY AWFUL THINGS TO THEM AND THAT THEY MUST NOT WAVER IN THEIR DEDICATION TO TEACHING THEIR CHILDREN RIGHT FROM WRONG. PAUL DOES HOPE THAT SOMEDAY THOSE THAT HE WAS HURT BY AND THAT HE HAD HURT WILL MEET HIM HALFWAY TO PUT SOME CLOSESURE TO THE SITUATIONS. HE HOLDS NO GRUDGE TOWARDS THEM, JUST THE OPPOSITE HE THANKS THEM BECAUSE IF NOT FOR WHAT THEY HAD DONE HE WOULD NOT BE WHERE HE IS RIGHT NOW. IT TOOK ALOT OF PAIN FOR HIM TO FINALLY FIGURE OUT WHAT HE WAS DOING WAS NOT WORKING, NO MATTER HOW MUCH HE THOUGHT IT WAS. SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE, AND SINCE THE ONLY PERSON HE COULD CHANGE WAS HIMSELF, THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT HE DID. PAUL HAS LOVED AND BEEN LOVED, AND WHILE HE DOES HOPE TO FIND THAT SOMEONE SPECIAL THAT HE CAN FINISH HIS LIFE OUT WITH, HE FINALLY HAS LEARNED THAT HE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE WITH SOMEONE TO FEEL FULFILLED. TO BE WITH SOMEONE JUST FOR THE SAKE OF BEING WITH THEM IS NOT FAIR TO HIM OR TO THE OTHER PERSON. HE IS SURE THAT WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, GOD WILL LEAD HIM TO SOMEONE THAT HE WILL BE HAPPY TO SHARE SOME TIME WITH. IN THE MEANTIME, HE WILL FOCUS ON THE THINGS THAT ARE IN FRONT OF HIM RIGHT NOW. This is my goal that I am striving to reach. I do not know if any of it will come true, but it certainly will not if I don't try. I recieved my new court order yesterday and Mr. Price lowered the arrearage even farther than I had anticipated. It has gone from $400/month to $125, although once again there is a note about me providing medical coverage for Ryan. I will call and have them tell payroll NOT to enroll me in the medical plan as I pay for that through my standard child support payment. On a down note, I also received copies of my payment history to the state with the credits for the payment history to the ad litem. This is such a sorry system. I have been behind since day one and did not even know it. I have paid and paid and no one told me just how the system worked or I could have been caught up by now. And Dawn, because she will not give me credit for money paid to her, I have to pay $1700 that I had already paid to her. But you know what, I am not going to be bitter about this. It is what it is, and I have to pay it, so I will just move on. There is way to much to smile and be happy about to just let this get me down. I read this morning about a former N.Y. Giants football player that dropped dead at his house this week. He was only 46, and he played for 11 years so he was a healthy person. You never know when your time is up so make the best of each momen you do have. I am.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Whew! What a weekend! Did not do anything special, but I have been so busy! Saturday was a challenge. We only had one advisor, so Donnie and myself also wrote service. I was on my feet and running all day. But everything went really well. I put into play a new attitude and I have to say Dr. Phil was right, you get what you give. I put forth a smile and a positive demeanor, and I had nothing but smiles given back. Now I am not naive enough to believe it will always be quite that way, but it is a start. Mom and Dad came up to work so that they could look for a car to buy. They received the settlement check on Thursday. What they thought would be a long day of driving and looking at cars turned out to be a short trip. It just so happens we had a 1999 Mitusbishi Mirage someone had traded in the day before that they could get for what the insurance had paid. They got it at such a good price because of two reasons. One, it had 140,000 miles on it, quite alot for a car that new. And two, it is covered in dents. It appears to be hail damage, except for the rear drivers door, which was hit by another car. But the paint is in good condition (dark blue) and it run really. It is NOT a powerhouse by any means. It has a small 4-banger, but for a work car it is perfect. It looks better than the Nissan, is 12 years newer and has a very good a/c system. It also has a nice stereo and a 6-disc changer in the trunk. The changer is not hooked up, but we can figure that out later. Today I was going and going. Started out going to the bank, library, cleaners, gas, lunch, Fry's, Wal-mart and then home. Then left with sister to go pick up the Mitsu but it was not ready so we went to pay her storage, then Auto Zone, Krogers and then home. Installed the fuel filter, raised the camper top and installed the tire. Dad got home, we went back to my work, picked up the Mitsu and returned home. After eating, we went out and lowered the camper top, took it off jackstands and moved it so it would be ready for Uncle Tony to pick up this weekend. Came inside, showered and now here I am, my fav place (haha) in front of a puter typing away. I have to say as I absorb what I have been reading from Dr. Phil, one thing really keeps going through my head. He said, 'No matter how right you believe you are, if it is not working, then you must change what you are doing'. This may be the biggest thing I take from this book. I look back and realize how so many times I was so stubborn, sticking to my guns when it just was not a big enough deal. I believe in standing your ground, standing up for what you believe in, but you have to be smart about what you sacrifice in the name of your beliefs. There were so many ways I could have approached certain situations differently. I have taken this to heart as no matter how right I think I am, I do not want my life to keep going as it has. Too much heartache, too much work to start over repeatedly. No, I have to do things differently if I want to have a different outcome. I have to make certain sacrifices and some hard decisions. I know what I want to do and I am going to do my best to accomplish it. What I do know is, I certainly will fail if I don't try. I have made a decision that I will never again allow others to control me by controlling my emotions. I want to love and be loved, but there is a time and a place for that. Right now is not that time. I have certain things I need to get under control. Finances, transportation, my relationship with my daughter. All of these things have to take priority to my own personal life. I have never had the energy to make the real sacrifices needed to get to where I want to be in life. I pooh poohed through a couple of semesters of college and gave up. I have just done enough to get by in life without really putting the energy in to get ahead in life. I did climb up to make over $40,000 once and was in the high 30's for several years, but because I chose to be a single father and purchase a house and be very undisciplined with my finances, I had to work such long and hard hours to have these things, I burned out. I have made so many mistakes but I am correcting those mistakes. A big part of life is the habits you develop. And just as a smoking habit can be changed, so can other habits. How you respond to issues, how you handle finances, your general outlook and personality can be changed. But you have to want it. No one can get you to do these things unless you want to do it. I want to change these things because it just is not working the way I was doing things, the way I was responding to people and issues in my life. Something had to give, and I decided that no one but me could change how I feel. I truly want to be happy and I would rather be happy and alone, than with someone and unhappy. This was a question from the book and I have also read it on a number of blogs. I am not saying I want to be alone, or that I will not experience loneliness, rather I am saying I don't want to just rush into another relationship just so I can say "look at me, I am not alone either, I don't need you". That would be wrong. If I can be replaced after just a few months, then she truly did not love me, and I don't want to be with someone unless they really and truly love me. I don't want to hear the words, I don't want to be touched, I don't want to go through the motions of "love" unless it is true. I have felt severe pain, a broken heart, and I just don't ever want to go through this again. People can change if they want to bad enough, and I want to bad enough because I want to be happy. If that isn't reason enough then I don't know what is.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" Upon returning to my office after lunch, I noticed someone had left me a voicemail message. After accessing the message, it was Mike Price, the child support enforcement officer for Dallas County. He said he was finally getting to review the information I had faxed him 2 months ago. He said he started to compare my information with what he had and he stated it would take him hours and hours so instead he was going to send me copies of all the payments that I had paid to the state and he wanted me to compare that to my information from the Guardian Ad Litem and report any discrepancies I noted. But the best part is he said he was granting my request to have the arrearage reduced from $400/month to the $200/month I had requested. After a year of dealing with this issue, finally I am getting this somewhat straightened out . I don't know if this will kick in on next weeks check or the following but I will call payroll on Monday and find out. Read alot more in Dr. Phil's book and I am seeing things in a whole new light. I am working hard and will continue to work hard to implement many of the things suggested in the book. One of the main themes in the book is letting go of the way you have been doing things. Even if you think you are right, if it is not working, if you are not achieving the results you want, then do something different. I wish I could have bought this book a year ago, heck I wish I could have had it 15 years ago. But it is never too late to change the way you do things. But I am the only one capable of changing my ways and finding other ways to do things. As for Tam, I have said goodbye and I have forgiven her for quitting so easy on us. I am not going to allow her or my feelings for her control me any longer. My journey now is about me, about finding out just what I can be. I have to move past her in order to heal, to grow further into being the kind of person I want to be. I have been so angry at the world, and certain people from my past in particular (as far back as high school) that it has cost me 20 years of my life. I will no longer dwell on them or my past. Daniel Zinsmeister, David ???, Michael Groff, Steven Tschirhart, and Dawn Shelton, you will no longer control my future nor cloud my past. I forgive all of you, not for you, but for me and my peace of mind. My anger towards all of you has cost me friends and more, the love of my life, my soulmate. I will not allow that to happen ever again. I have things I want to accomplish while I still have life left in me and to continue my deep seated feelings of anger and hostility towards all of you will only keep me from accomplishing what I want. Only I can release myself from these chains. I don't know where I will go in this world or what I will ultimately accomplish, but I must find out just what that can be. I have finally realized what I have known all along. I want to be a photojournalist. I want to tell stories, both with pictures and words. I have always enjoyed photography. Many years ago I had dated this young woman that just happened to be physically handicapped. I admired her strength and determination to raise her son on her own as best as she could. Without feeling pity for her I wanted to take the kind of photo's that when she looked at them, she would feel as though she was there. I have never lost that desire, but since March of 2003 when I started this blog to keep our families informed of our life in RC (and subsequently my life back here) I have come to the realization that I want to tell the story with words as well as photos. Because of this desire, I am going to change one of my other blogs, themacman, into a place of practice for this purpose. I will probably rename it, although I do not yet know what that title will be. I am going to upgrade to blogger pro so that I may post photos right there instead of just having links. This will still be my forum for my life and what I am feeling. Once I get this going, I hope anyone that reads it will please take time to critique both the writing and the photos, as that is the only way I am going to get better at it.
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" SPEAKING OF YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE, I AM STILL GETTING THE COLD SHOULDER FROM THE CASHIERS. NOT THAT IS MATTERS TOO MUCH IN THE LONG RUN IN MY LIFE WHAT 2 TWENTY-SOMETHING FEMALES THINK, BUT AGAIN IT WAS FUN TO CHAT WITH THEM AND HANG OUT IN THEIR OFFICE. BUT I AM THE ONE THAT CHOSE TO ARGUE WITH MISTY, EVEN IF I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE SUBJECT. "FORGET ABOUT BEING RIGHT OR WHO IS WINNING THE ARGUMENT ABOUT WHO IS RIGHT". "THERE ARE TIMES IN LIFE WHEN YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO MISS A GOOD CHANCE TO SHUTUP. I COULD GO ON AND ON WITH THE QUOTES BUT THIS IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF EVERYTHING THAT DR. PHIL IS POINTING OUT UP TO THIS POINT. BY SIMPLY SHUTTING MY MOUTH AND NOT ARGUING THE VALIDITY OF WHAT MISTY WANTED TO DO, I WOULD STILL HAVE 2 FRIENDS THAT I NOW NO LONGER HAVE. I HAVE TO SAY THAT AS I ATTEMPT TO PUT INTO PRACTICE THESE THINGS, IT IS HARD. JUST LIKE ANY LONG TERM HABIT (SMOKING, DRINKING, ETC) IT IS EASY TO SAY YOU WANT TO QUIT OR CHANGE, BUT IT IS QUITE ANOTHER TO ACTUALLY DO IT. I DO BELIEVE I WILL ULTIMATELY SUCCEED BECAUSE I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH THESE THINGS AGAIN. I FEEL THE FIRST STEP HAS BEEN TO ADMIT THESE PROBLEMS AND THEREFORE I AM ON THE LOOKOUT AS TO WHEN THEY OCCUR. WHEN I DO CATCH MYSELF REACTING INCORRECTLY, I GO OVER WHAT I SHOULD OR COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENT. IT WILL TAKE TIME AND EFFORT, BUT I TRULY BELIEVE IT WILL BE WORTH IT, JUST FOR MY OWN HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF MIND. "PROBLEMS DON'T GET BETTER WITH TIME. YOU CANNOT CHANGE WHAT YOU DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE. AND WHAT YOU DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE IS GOING TO GET WORSE UNTIL YOU DO. "SELDOM DID EITHER PARTNER IN THE MARRIAGE COME TO ME AND SINCERELY SAY, 'DR. MCGRAW, I WANT OUR MARRIAGE TO WORK, NO MATTER WHO IS RIGHT.' WHAT BOTH OF THEM USUALLY SAID, IN EFFECT, WAS, 'I WANT YOU TO RECOGNIZE THAT I'M RIGHT, AND CONVINCE MY SPOUSE THAT I'M RIGHT, SO THAT WE CAN DO THINGS MY WAY.' THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WITH DAWN AND TAMMI, I FELT I WAS RIGHT AND I WANTED TO PROVE TO THEM I WAS RIGHT. IT DOESN'T MATTER IF I WAS RIGHT OR NOT, IF IT WAS GETTING IN THE WAY OF OUR MARRIAGE IT WAS NOT RIGHT. ONCE AGAIN, IT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABOUT WINNING THE ARGUMENT BUT ABOUT ME MISSING A GOOD TIME TO JUST SHUT UP. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE TO GIVE IN EVERY TIME, BUT IF IT WAS NOT WORKING, THEN I NEEDED TO BACK OFF AND TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH. DON'T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW. I LEARNED A NEW WAY TO TIE MY SHOES AND I AM USING IT AS SOMETHING TO KEEP ME FOCUSED ON LEARNING A NEW WAY OF LIVING. I READ DON'T BE AFRAID TO TRY NEW THINGS, SO I TRIED IT. AND WHILE THE AUTHOR CLAIMED IT IS A FASTER WAY TO TIE YOUR SHOES, IT IS NOT YET FOR ME BECAUSE I NEED TO PRACTICE. I HAVE BEEN TIEING MY SHOES ONE WAY FOR MOST OF MY LIFE, JUST AS I HAVE BEEN REACTING TO PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS ONE WAY FOR A LONG TIME. AND JUST AS I AM GETTING BETTER AT TIEING MY SHOES A NEW WAY, I WILL GET BETTER AT REACTING TO SITUATIONS BECAUSE I AM NOT AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW. "YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BE LESS THAN PERFECT. YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO HAVE ACCUMULATED BAGGAGE--DISTORTED THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, AND EMOTIONS--ALONG THE WAY, WITHOUT CONDEMNING YOURSELF AS A BAD PERSON." I COULD NEVER MEASURE UP TO WHO I WANTED TO BE, BUT NOW I AM JUST WHO I AM AND NOTHING MORE AND I AM HAPPY WITH THAT AND ALL OF MY IMPERFECTION. AN EXERCISE FROM THE BOOK IS TO MAKE A SHORT LIST OF PEOPLE CLOSE TO YOU AND PUT DOWN WHAT WOULD BE LEFT UNSAID IF ONE OF THEM OR I WAS TO DIE RIGHT NOW. SO HERE IT IS: MOM: I KNOW I GET ON TO YOU ABOUT YOUR IMPATIENCE AND YOUR 'COLORFUL' LANGUAGE, BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR ME, YOU FORGIVE ME WHEN I SAY THINGS I SHOULD NOT SAY AND YOUR ALWAYS AVAILABLE TO HELP ME. I HAVE FORGIVEN YOU FOR GOING AGAINST ME WHEN JESSICA WAS GOING TO A HOSPITAL. EVEN THOUGH I BELIEVE YOU WERE BLINDED AS TO JESS'S PROBLEMS YOU DID IT OUT OF LOVE FOR HER AND FOR ME. IT HAS MEANT SO MUCH THAT SHE HAS HAD GRANDPARENTS THAT LOVE HER AS MUCH AS YOU DO AND EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN A BATTLE AT TIMES OVER HER, I WOULD RATHER HAVE THAT THAN NOT. I HAVE SEEN GRANDPARENTS THAT DID NOT TAKE MUCH INTEREST IN THEIR CHILDREN AND IT IS BOTH A LOSS FOR THE CHILD AND THE GRANDPARENT. DAD: ALONG WITH THE ABOVE ENTRY I WANTED YOU TO KNOW THAT AS I HAVE GROWN OLDER AND A BIT WISER I HAVE LEARNED TO TRULY APPRECIATE HAVING YOU AROUND. I DON'T ALWAYS AGREE WITH YOUR POINT OF VIEW OR YOUR METHODS, BUT AT LEAST I HAVE YOU THERE TO DISAGREE WITH. I COULD NEVER IMAGINE BEING IN YOUR POSITION OF NOT REALLY HAVING YOUR PARENTS AROUND. I HAVE MORE RESPECT FOR YOU AND WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED IN YOUR LIFE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND. I HAVE NOT BEEN THE KIND OF SON I FEEL I SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUT IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START. YOUR STUBBORNNESS MAY GET TO ME SOMETIMES BUT I DO LISTEN AND LEARN. SOMETIMES SEEING YOUR POINT OF VIEW AND DECIDING IT IS NOT FOR ME IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS AGREEING WITH IT. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND JUST WISH I HAD DONE THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY SO I COULD GIVE YOU MORE IN RETURN THAN I HAVE. SISTER: I WISH I HAD BEEN A BETTER BROTHER THAN I HAVE. WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER WE WERE NOT VERY CLOSE AS YOU HAD YOUR GROUP AND I HAD MINE. I WISH WE HAD PLAYED GAMES TOGETHER MORE OFTEN. I HOPE WE CAN STAY FRIENDS AS WELL AS SIBLINGS BECAUSE SOMEDAY MOM AND DAD WON'T BE AROUND AND WE WILL BE ALL THE FAMILY WE EACH WILL HAVE. NO MATTER WHERE WE GO IN OUR LIVES I WANT US TO STAY IN TOUCH OFTEN ENOUGH THAT WE ALWAYS KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. WHEN THERE IS NO ONE LEFT TO TURN TO WE WILL STILL HAVE FAMILY TO LEAN ON. SISTER, I LOVE YOU. JESSICA: WELL JESS, I DON'T KNOW TO SHOW JUST HOW MUCH YOU MEAN TO ME, HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU. I AM SO SORRY FOR ALL I HAVE DONE THAT HAS CAUSED YOUR LIFE TO GO AS IT HAS. BECAUSE OF MY ACTIONS I HAVE DENIED YOU KNOWING YOUR YOUNGEST BROTHER. BECAUSE I WAS MORE INTERESTED IN FINDING A MATE FOR ME RATHER THAN JUST TAKING CARE OF YOU, YOU WANDERED OFF TO OTHER KIDS THAT DID NOT KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG. I HAVE MADE SO MANY CHOICES THAT AT THE TIME SEEMED RIGHT, BUT TURNED OUT SO WRONG, ALOT OF IT IS MY FAULT. MOST OF IT NOT YOURS. YOU DID MAKE SOME BAD CHOICES ALSO, BUT I WAS THE ONE WHO TAUGHT YOU, OR RATHER DID NOT TEACH YOU VERY WELL ABOUT RIGHT FROM WRONG. I CAN NEVER TELL YOU ENOUGH JUST HOW WONDERFUL IT HAS BEEN BEING YOUR DAD. WE DID SO MANY THINGS TOGETHER WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER AND THEN I BECAME SIDETRACKED FOR A LONG TIME. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS IN MY LIFE, BEING THERE FOR YOU AS YOU MOVE FROM CHILDHOOD INTO YOUNG ADULTHOOD IS MY MISSION NOW. I LOOK FORWARD TO BEING YOUR DAD AND BEING A GRANDFATHER TO YOUR CHILDREN WHEN YOU HAVE THEM SOMEDAY. A PARENT IS ALWAYS A PARENT AND IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE YOUR DAD. I LOVE YOU. TAMMI: I DON'T KNOW IF YOU WILL EVER READ THIS BUT YOUR IMPACT ON ME AND WHAT I HAD WITH YOU IS MORE THAN I CAN EVER DESCRIBE WITH WORDS. I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, FROM THE MOMENT I LAID EYES ON YOU, I KNEW WE WERE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER. I WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT. YOUR SMILE, THE WAY YOUR EYES WOULD LIGHT UP WHEN YOU SAW ME, IT IS WHAT I HAD ALWAYS WANTED. WHAT I DID SHARE WITH YOU WILL STAY WITH ME FOREVER. I AM SO SORRY THAT WE WERE NOT ABLE TO WORK OUT OUR DIFFERENCES. I WISH I COULD HAVE DONE MORE TO CONVINCE YOU TO KEEP TRYING IN OUR MARRIAGE. MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN RAPID CITY AND KEPT WORKING TO SHOW YOU THAT WE COULD HAVE GROWN STRONGER TOGETHER. I AM KEEPING MY PROMISE TO YOU, TO CHANGE AND GROW AS A PERSON, AS A MAN, AS A PARENT. MAYBE IT JUST WAS NOT MEANT TO BE. BUT HAVING KNOWN YOU, I WAS SHOWN WHAT REALLY MATTERS TO ME IN LIFE. LAUGHTER. I HAD NEVER LAUGHED SO MUCH BEFORE I MET YOU NOR SINCE I HAVE LEFT. WHOEVER YOU ARE WITH NOW, AND IN THE FUTURE, I HOPE YOU MAKE THEM LAUGH AS MUCH AS YOU DID ME. SOMEDAY I MAY FEEL ABOUT ANOTHER AS I FELT ABOUT YOU, BUT NEVER, EVER, WILL I FEEL MORE THAN WHAT I FELT FOR YOU. I HOPE THAT NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO IN LIFE, YOU WILL REMEMBER OUR TIME TOGETHER AS A SPECIAL TIME. SAYING GOODBYE IS SO HARD TO DO, BUT DO IT I MUST. JUST KNOW THIS: I AM FOREVER JUST A SHORT DISTANCE AWAY. MY HEART, AND MY LOVE ARE YOURS FOREVER. "PAIN, IF ACKNOWLEGED, CAN BE A POWERFUL MOTIVATOR." IT IS EXACTLY THE PAIN I HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH FOR THE LAST 5+ MONTHS THAT IS THE REASON I AM CHANGING MY WHOLE LIFE AND BELIEFS. "LIFE DOESN'T REWARD QUITTING". ENOUGH SAID. I AM IN THE CHAPTER ENTITLED 'THERE IS NO REALITY, ONLY PERCEPTION'. AND WHILE I WILL NOT QUOTE LONG PARAGRAPHS HERE, IT BASICALLY IS SAYING WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR MONTHS NOW. IT IS ALL IN HOW YOU REACT TO A GIVEN SITUATION. PART OF THIS BOOK DEALS IN DEPTH WITH 'ACTION'. AND I AGREE THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU MUST TAKE ACTION, RATHER THAN REACT. BUT MY JOURNEY STARTED OUT ABOUT REACTING TO SITUATIONS BECAUSE THAT WAS THE DOWNFALL OF MY MARRIAGE, AS IN, MY REACTIONS SET OFF OTHER REACTIONS IN TAM UNTIL WE ENDED UP AS WE ARE. "REFUSE TO LIVE WITH UNFINISHED EMOTIONAL BUSINESS." THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO ME LAST SUMMER. I HAD SOME ISSUES. I PERCEIVED THAT THEY WERE NOT BEING ACTED UPON OR LISTENED TO. I LET IT CONTINUE AS UNFINISHED EMOTIONAL BUSINESS UNTIL EVERYTHING FELL APART. WHETHER I GOT MY WAY OR NOT, TAM AND I SHOULD HAVE COME TO A RESOLUTION RIGHT AWAY AND THEN SUPPORTED EACH OTHER ON WHAT THAT RESOLUTION WAS. INSTEAD I ALLOWED IT TO BUILD ALL SUMMER LONG. I WAS WRONG TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. HANDLE IT, HANDLE IT NOW, ACCEPT THE DECISION, AND MOVE ON. AS I SAID MANY TIMES, COMMUNICATE, NEGOTIATE, AND COMPROMISE. AND DON'T TAKE FOREVER TO DO IT. ALSO, ONCE A DECISION IS MADE, IF IT IS NOT WHAT I WANTED, DON'T POUT ABOUT IT, ACCEPT AND SUPPORT IT WITH ALL MY ENERGY. "YOU ADDRESS THE ISSUE, THEN YOU CLOSE THE BOOK AND PUT IT AWAY."
"Live today to it's fullest, for tomorrow may never come" "YOUR ATTITUDE OF APPROACH DICTATES WHAT YOU WILL GET BACK" I WAS A "PORCUPINE". I HAD A CHIP ON MY SHOULDER AND WALKED INTO EVERY SITUATION EXPECTING TO BE OFFENDED. I FOUND FAULT WITH EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE AROUND ME. EVERY ACT I PERSONALIZED AS OFFENSIVE TO MY SENSIBILITY. I WAS ALSO A "PERFECTO". I KNEW THERE WERE NO PERFECT PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD, YET I STRIVED TO DO EVERYTHING TO ITS UTMOST PERFECTION. I SQUEEZED EVERY CENT OUT OF EVERY DOLLAR, I WORKED TO MAKE NO MISTAKES AT WORK, I CONTINUALLY ATTEMPTED TO BE THE "PERFECT" HUSBAND. AND BECAUSE I COULD NEVER REACH THE STANDARD I HAD SET FOR MYSELF, I WAS FRUSTRATED. AND EXCECT FOR TIMES WITH TAM, I FELT LITTLE JOY IN LIFE. AND HAVING ALREADY RECOGNIZED THESE THINGS AND HAVING THEM REINFORCED AS I READ DR. PHIL'S BOOK I AM SO MUCH HAPPIER AND AT PEACE IN MY IMPERFECTION. I HAVE BEGUN LET GO OF "NEEDING" TO DO EVERYTHING TO THE VERY BEST IT COULD BE DONE. SOMETIMES GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH. I ALSO WAS A "WHINER". I DID "BITCH IF I HAD BEEN HUNG WITH A NEW ROPE". MY MOTHER HAS BEEN SAYING THAT TO ME FOR YEARS, BECAUSE IT WAS TRUE. "LIFE WAS NOT FAIR TO ME AND I DID NOT DESERVE ALL THAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME", IS HOW I FELT. WELL, I DID DESERVE IT BECAUSE I CREATED MY OWN EXPERIENCE. I CAN NEVER UNDO WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME, ONLY MAKE THE CHANGES THAT ARE NEEDED SO THAT IT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN. AND EVEN THEN IT MIGHT, FOR A MYRIAD OF OTHER REASONS, AND IF IT DOES, OH WELL, JUST PICK UP THE PIECES AND MOVE ON AGAIN. LIFE IS NOT ALWAYS FAIR, AND IT IS NOT PERFECT. BUT IT IS WHAT I MAKE OF IT, AND HOW I REACT TO WHAT HAPPENS TO ME. I CAME TO BE THIS WAY BECAUSE AS A YOUTH I WAS PICKED ON AND MADE FUN OF ALOT. I WAS NOT VERY POPULAR WITH THE GIRLS. MY PARENTS, BLESS THEIR HEARTS, WERE VERY LOVING BUT NOT REAL WISE TO THE WORKINGS OF THE WORLD, OR IF THEY WERE, THEY DID NOT TEACH ME VERY WELL. ONCE I GOT OUT INTO THE WORLD, I WAS LOST WITH NO DIRECTION. I LEARNED AS I WENT. I LISTENED TO MY PARENTS (EVEN THOUGH THEY DON'T THINK I DID!) BUT AS I GAINED SMALL BITS OF WISDOM I FOUND THAT THEIR WAY WAS NOT ALWAYS MY WAY, BUT I WAS PUT DOWN BY THEM WHEN THEY COULD NOT UNDERSTAND WHY I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW THEY DID IT. I WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THEIR APPROVAL IN HOW I DID THINGS, YET WHEN THEY DISAGREED ON MY DECISIONS, I FELT I HAD NO SUPPORT FROM THEM. I FELT I WAS NEVER GOING TO BE TREATED AS AN ADULT BY THEM, THAT I WOULD ALWAYS BE A KID THAT DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING AND I RESENTED IT. I LET MY DESIRE TO BE LIKED BY PEOPLE STAND IN THE WAY OF MY HAPPINESS. I LET THE HIGH SCHOOL BULLIES CONTROL ME UNTIL I DECIDED I HAD ENOUGH. I LOST 3 RELATIONSHIPS IN THE LAST 7 YEARS BECAUSE I LET WHAT OTHERS THINK OF ME CONTROL MY ACTIONS. I DID NOT HOLD MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE FOR MY DECISIONS, RATHER I BLAMED EX-WIVES, BULLIES, PARENTS, CO-WORKERS, AND ANYONY ELSE I CAME INTO CONTACT WITH FOR MY PROBLEMS. I WAS ANGRY WITH THE WORLD AND WHAT THE WORLD HAD DONE TO ME. AND BECAUSE I LOST THE WOMAN I TRULY WANTED TO SPEND MY LIFE WITH, I DECIDED I HAD HAD ENOUGH. WHAT I WAS DOING AND HOW I WAS ACTING WAS NOT WORKING. SHE SAID SHE FELT IT WOULD NEVER CHANGE, BUT BECAUSE IT HAS HURT SO MUCH, I KNEW I HAD TO CHANGE OR I WOULD REPEAT THIS AGAIN AND AGAIN. IT HAD TO STOP. IT HAS STOPPED. "...THAT IF YOU CAN DO DIFFERENT, YOU WILL HAVE DIFFERENT." THIS IS WHAT I AM BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND. I WAS FOLLOWING A CERTAIN PATTERN AND I HAD PREDICTABLE RESULTS, I.E. MY RELATIONSHIPS FAILED. NOT MY FAULT ALONE, BUT NONETHELESS, THEY FAILED. I WANT TO SUCCEED, I WANT TO WIN, SO IF WHAT I WAS DOING WAS NOT WORKING, THEN I HAVE TO "DO DIFFERENT". "WHEN BEHAVIOR BECOMES ALMOST AUTOMATIC, YOU STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO OR EVALUATING THE CAUSE-AND-EFFECT RELATIONSHIPS IN THE CONDUCT." THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED WHEN TAM TOLD ME SHE HAD TO GO ON A 1500 CALORIE DIET A DAY. I STARTED IN ABOUT HOW THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH, BLAH BLAH BLAH, BECAUSE I WAS ON AUTOMATIC AS TO MY BEHAVIOR. EVERYONE IS WRONG, EVERYONE IS AGAINST ME, NO ONE ELSE IS RIGHT IS HOW I RESPONDED TO EVERYTHING. IF THEY HAD TOLD HER SHE NEEDED 3000 CALORIES A DAY I WOULD HAVE SAID THAT IS INCORRECT. IT DIDN'T MATTER WHAT THEY TOLD HER, THEY WERE WRONG AND I WAS RIGHT. MY BEHAVIOR WAS TO RESPOND TO ANYTHING AS BEING WRONG FROM THE GET GO. "IF YOU HOPE TO HAVE A WINNING LIFE STRATEGY, YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST ABOUT WHERE YOUR LIFE IS RIGHT NOW."