Opportunity Doesn’t Just Knock

Sometimes it bangs….

So it’s been a long while since my last posting, pooch and I have been quite busy but in really good ways. We’re both healthy and active and life really isn’t so bad in our little corner of life! Lots of hiking and attempts to herd everything from children to heavy equipment (explaining to a border collie why she shouldn’t attempt to herd excavators is something I never expected to have to do).

I have been presented an opportunity to pack up and spend several months in another state (another world almost) helping a close friend by fixing up a property. It’s a secluded and wooded area which honestly appeals to me and well, I am absolutely certain pupster would be in heaven.While much of my recent absence from writing has been pooch and general life related a lot of it has been simply that all of my free time has been consumed taking inventory of my material possessions and deciding what is actually important enough to keep.

This opportunity was presented a couple of months ago and I have decided after much deliberation to try and make it happen.

Am I nervous? Yes! Am I excited? Yes! Am I afraid? For some reason not at all!

I have taken many steps to ensure some semblance of sanity while disappearing halfway across the country with little guaranteed other than room and board and some hard work. I’ve contacted employers in the area and after months of deliberation I am going to do my best to make this adventure happen.

There are a few dozen reasons to go but very few reasons to not, it’s short term when really examined and as far as sobriety goes it’s a great thing. This friend has been a solid source of support for years, recovery focused and honestly I would be in the middle of nowhere!! Yet close enough to the wonderful temperate waters of the pacific coast!!

See, if you haven’t known me for long you may not know but I have an especially strong attraction to plankton and marine snails! The opportunity to spend my free time directly handling and studying species in real time that I have spent years reading papers about is akin to winning the biological lottery for me.

I have a plankton tattoo, I’ve spent years staring through microscopes in my makeshift home lab, hours and hours taking notes, reading papers that for all purposes no hobbyist really cares about. I’m a geek and the thought of being able to capture and study my favorite subjects live in real time while the pupster can openly run and be herself is amazing.

My girly gurl can run!! And I get to geek out both in the forest and on the coast! I would be an idiot to not take the chance??!! Is this a midlife crisis? Maybe, but I always told myself two things:

  1. I would never leave Colorado
  2. When I do finally snap, I’ll snap good!

Well, number 2 is about to kick number 1 right out on its ass. I have many other things going on, a partner in crime will be going with, someone I’ve known for around 20 ish years, someone I trust.

I know much of this seems very vague and that is on purpose as I have no intention of mentioning things that are not set in stone. Rest assured I will be okay, I’m a tough cookie! I’m also incredibly blessed and always have been, for all purposes I should have never made it past 18 let alone grow old enough to have the opportunity to attempt explaining to a generation several generations from my self denied gen X what a pay phone or laser disc or mix tape is! Hah so this is what my mom and grandparents go through…. I’ve been lucky for all my life, it’s time to take a chance and help my friends!

Time to go run the game trail we will be leaving soon in favor of forest, hills, natural springs, and the unknown. I’ve always cling to the familiar; it’s time I took a chance and jumped into life, I had a close friend tell me years ago while visiting me in rehab not to be afraid of life. Today I’m not afraid.

“Oh, dear beyond our dearest dreams, Fairer than all fairest seems! To feast the rosy hours away, To revel in a roundelay! How blest would be a life so free”

(Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno”

“Don’t be afraid of life Joe”

~J

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Family Time for Introspection

Got home last night after spending two days with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, and Cousin’s friends.  A great time for me as this is part of the support system that I have been blessed with.  I’ve been emotionally and mentally “off” in the past several days and while I hadn’t quite admitted it.  Not to others or probably more importantly not to myself.

I’m currently in a mental world where I have a few decisions to make, decisions I thought would never come to me.  None of these decisions are inherently bad just…  nuanced.  I was able to spend some time with our rag tag group discussing some of such decisions.  I also reached out to a chosen few friends for some advice and worked a couple of my “tools” on the subjects with some good results.  I will continue to work my tools and explore these thoughts until I have reached a comfortable place.

The good in life typically does not come from having balance but rather from returning to balance.

A very wise friend in the above group stated to me last night during a discussion that the good in life typically does not come from having balance but rather from returning to balance.  After discussing I honestly agree with this statement, returning to balance is a welcomed good feeling and often comes with a self examination recounting things that may have gone.

My sleep is still nowhere near where I would like it but after taking action on these items in my life needing decision and change I feel much more serene and prepared to face things in front of me.  Another discussion with a different friend resulted in advice to view myself in each situation I might end up in after a decision in a yes situation for a few days, and then in a no situation for some time, take some notes and compare.

Often while discussing emotions it becomes human nature to respond with “me too” and while a bit of that did happen for the most part I received solid input.  I value these people and the input I receive from them.  If I were to sum things up in a short statement it would read “I opened up and gained introspection”.  I’m not unhappy with the situation at all today and need to make more efforts to ask.

~J

 

The Morning World

So this morning my pillow (four legged, purty eyed) decided to move and leave my head on a flat bed.  My pillow moved!!  My pillow had to pee…

With all that is going on in the world a moving pooch being my largest issue I suppose I shouldn’t complain.  I have the blessing of experiencing someone special by my side, woofing and farting and all.  Tail smacking against me cold nose and kisses while I’m trying to sleep.  My poochesness!  I used to be of the mindset that a dog was a working dog and had a purpose.  My Akita changed that, she was a difference in life that everyone should experience.

I was having a tough time career wise once and my grandfather one night explained this to me.  The dog is always there, she doesn’t care how bad or good your day ways she is just happy to see you.  You can be frustrated and angry to her and yet she will still give her life to be at your feet.  The dog is your rock, the most reliable soul you may ever encounter.  But a horrible pillow….

No real topic this morning, just some thoughts on how good life can be if we let it happen.  Today I’m going to be open to the world and see what happens, worst case I’ll find myself in a field with no snack snacks in my pocket, the weather is cold and I have a heavy coat she has fur and the world is big.  One more cup of coffee and the business section of the paper to go and off we will be to explore.

As a long time friend and mentor once said “Don’t be afraid of life”

~J

What’s This New Thing?

Don’t be afraid of life

A friend and mentor of mine told me this once during a visit while I was at an inpatient rehab.  Such a simple piece of advice to think of at first thought.  Especially for someone who tends to display himself as fearless.

This mornings lesson came courtesy of poochie and mother nature we got to see snow for our first time.  This new soggy chilly ground covering did not stop us from potty!  We found it tasty though, something to snack on!  It’s everywhere!! We played, danced, ate, and rolled in this new thing.  Our once boring yard primarily used as a bathroom has become a new world all because a light dusting of this wet cold white stuff.

This morning I woke to a familiar deal, nightmares and terrors out of nowhere.  Pupster was right there with a nuzzle to remind me I was alright, that things were okay.  Her gentle nuzzle and pushing of her head against me with a soft low whine acted perfectly to remind me where I was and who I was with.  she reminded me that I should not fear life this morning.

Life is rough, topsy turvy, emotional, just a ball of crap for the most part and yet here we are being humans.  This is cold dad, this is fun!!  when do we lose our childhood?  Somewhere along the line we all forget the feelings of “new” and “interesting” we grow old and cold and stupid.  We get stuck in our stupid ways our habits and what we think being adults is.

Today I’m going to play with pooch, in the snow like an idiot because I can!  I will break out the snoopy sno cone maker my loving girl got me years ago and we will snack on snow cones and snow and just be.  Today I am not afraid of life, in fact today life should be afraid of me.

Simplicity Defined

I came home to two of my most favorite things!!  A cup of tea and a pooch that loves me no matter what.

After chomping down some leftover pizza (if your ever in colo springs on the west side I highly recommend fat boys pizza its just great!) I found myself asleep in the dog bed with the dog.  If I were to recommend anything to anyone it’s going to sound stupid.  I’m the one white person attending an all black church, do this I’ve found home!  I hate rap now.

I spent my free time on stupid things, a haircut!!! clipped hair from an actual barber took an hour or such.  I love it, I look great and every hair on my head is perfect go see a barber!  A haircut and a cup of tea.  I’m happy with this, lately things seem to go south as soon as I open my eyes.  No visitors for good now dreams worthwhile nothing if I move somethings gotta hurt.  Pooch is the only reason I keep going now and she’s a good reason!!

So it’s breakfast and a run for me and my gurl, my reminder that even a rough life has it’s choices and reasons to smile!

Smile on friends, your loved

~J

 

No Resort?

So, I see these commercials for resort getaways.  All these wonderful vacations away from life and the only thing I can think is how nice it would be if I could actually find one.  Every one of my sanctuaries is in flux due to either personal differences or new people or whatever.  This is a bad BAD place for someone in my situation to be in.

I find myself so angry I am on the cusp of violently reacting, not so much physical but I do know I am good with words and can argue a point in a very attacking manner.  Hrmm good with words, I refuse to believe it most of the time as I really just speak my mind.  What do you do when you cannot control others?

Hrmm cannot control others, as if I’m some magical genie from a lamp or king in the 14th century.  The reality is we all live as human beings and I must respect that (why is it that being and weird do not obey the I before E law?).  I cannot hold it against a person for having his/her own views, I *Can* however hold them responsive for those views.  We all have our own glasses we wear so who am I to make a judgement call?

Get over your weak opinions for once and thicken your skin.  Just because someone disagrees with you or calls you a bad name does not make that person uniquely bad, it may just be the heat of battle.. Fight fair and fight with tools, if you lack the tools maybe look at the why.

no exit on this one

 

!J

 

Some Thoughts on Relationships

Sleep evades me tonight as my neighbors are arguing, a rarity for them as this is only the second time I’ve heard them argue since I’ve moved here.  They have always had a really good relationship and are a tight knit family so this is slightly unsettling for me when they do fight.  He has been working 70 hours a week for the past two weeks so I can understand the stressors there.

I also know he decided to cut out to a bar this evening and she was trying to convince him to let her get him an Uber.  I haven’t looked to see if his truck is outside honestly.  Both are former addicts and she is an alcoholic in a depression so I can understand the stressors.  And while the lack of sleep is a mild annoyance all I have today is a visit to the vet and a visit from my uncle so it’s not really a huge ordeal.

Is my silence just another self destructive trait?

The interesting part is my thoughts on the whole thing, did I not argue enough in my marriage?  Did I bottle things up to in a manner that was detrimental?  I’ve always had a propensity to be passive aggressive often to extremes.  Is my silence just another self destructive trait?  Is there a connection between this and my alcoholism?  Drinking to *numb* my feelings and shut the world out.  I took a torch to any semblance of success, set fire to all my bridges, self destructing like a true professional.  I’ve read before that arguments within reason are part of healthy relationships, and I failed to communicate in a big way over the years.

Just some thought’s

~J

The Cold is Here

Well, I’ve got to face it winter is coming!  The last two days have been quite chilly and I am now well aware that unlike the pooch I lack a warm fur coat!  I do have several warm jackets though so life is okay.  Oddly enough we did get a light dusting of snow several weeks ago followed by a 70* day.  Colorado has always been interesting for weather and tucked here on the west side along the mountain range definitely makes for unpredictable results.

Tomorrow is supposed to be partly cloudy which I can deal with, I’m excited to get the backpack for pooch and hopefully get a chance to test it out.  Uncle is stopping by too and it will be nice to see him.  I’m not quite sure I’m ready for a cold wet winter (the predictions for the year).  Usually we don’t get snow until Halloween but it’s popped out early.

I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year, I like the fall colors and the crisper air but I’m not so much a fan of the cold and the wind.  I hate daylight savings time, and October has traditionally been a rocky month for me in the past anyhow.  Pup has been a good stabilizing factor for me though, and I’m going generally okay.  I have a healthy appetite and my activity level is good, things could be better but they could also be far far worse.

So now, I suppose it’s time to put on my jacket and take Elsa out to potty before retiring to my warm bed.

Keep it toasty!

~J

Backpacking Pooches!

I can’t wait, according to the tracking our goodies arrive from Amazon tomorrow!  Pooch will soon have her own saddlebag backpack for our hikes!  Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be nice (it’s a chilly 31* currently) and I’m chomping at the bit to get pupster out and on the trails with her diva pink backpack and a training clicker.

So now I get to figure out what to pack for pooch, which of course means I’ve got to go through my own pack as well.  I love to be prepared and I love to have everything organized and at the ready.  Yes, I’m the guy with a first aid kit in every room, a can of spam in the trunk, rehydration salts in the glove box.  Every so often while hiking I come across people in need of first aid.  I’ve once wrapped a gal’s knee after she fell down some stone stairs at the will rogers shrine.  For some reason every time I hike I come across someone hah.

So we wait impatiently for our backpack and other goodies and have big weekend plans to hit the trails!  She and I both need the exercise and some good walking meditation is in order.  I’ve been refreshing myself with some SMART recovery tools and just finished re-working a tool called the lifestyle balance pie, meant to identify areas of my life that need improvement.  This took me several days of self examination and a good amount of self acceptance and a little bit of time on the trails would do me good.

It’s been a long while since I’ve hit the trails in a serious fashion and I definitely need the exercise.  It’ll be nice to get the camera out and get some good photo’s, photos of my pooch and the woods and the turning leaves.  Nice thing about Colorado is our fall season, the crisp air and scenery, the colors, the breeze, I love it here.  Pup loves it here too 🙂  I’m glad.  So today we will hike, tomorrow we will backpack, and Sunday… well, maybe we’ll go for a drive!  Pupster does love her car rides.

Hike on!

~J