Who Woulda Thunk It?

IMG_0029Well, me I guess. I did. More than twenty eight years ago, I met a woman who stole my heart. Almost immediately. I know most of my friends and family have heard the story of how my wife, TJ, and I met and fell in love so I’m not going to go there again.

I simply want to acknowledge that I couldn’t be happier with my choice of life partner. I’m pretty sure she feels the same way. Our life together isn’t perfect – it never has been nor will it ever be – but we love each other and still consider each other our best friends. Even when we’ve had major relationship problems and separated, our love was never in question – only our ability to figure out how to fit together and align our priorities. We’ve separated more than once but we never stopped loving each other or communicating with each other.

One of the things I’m most proud of with regard to our relationship is our ability to talk with each other. Well, really, my ability to initiate conversations and TJ’s willingness to sit, listen, and discuss. She will avoid confrontation like the plague so I had to learn how to approach discussions – which took probably close to twenty years. But I think we’ve got it down now! We raise our voices in anger or frustration less than a handful of times a year now. Which makes me very happy because we have a child who is sensitive to our moods and emotions. It’s a far cry from how either of his moms grew up.

I wonder where we’ll be twenty eight years from now.  I also wonder what some of our old friends would say if they knew where we are now. I know some of them never thought we’d make it. But we did. We have made it and we’re so much stronger as a couple than we were back in the beginning. Back, sometime in the middle of the night on January 13th, 1987, when we declared our love and made the decision to join our lives together. And for those of you who are scratching your head thinking, “wait, you’ve always said your anniversary is the 14th!” I have to admit that it was probably sometime after midnight so I just rounded up. I wanted our one month anniversary to fall on Valentine’s Day. When you’re just barely 18, a month anniversary seems pretty special. And when you’re 46, a twenty eight year anniversary feels incredible.

New Year, New Outlook

spartacus-workoutOk, not really a new outlook but more of a more determined one. I’ve been unhappy with the direction I’ve been heading with my health and fitness choices for many months now and getting on the scale yesterday for the first time in a long while really  hammered home that I need to pull my head out of my backside and get to busy.

A few folks I know have tagged me to create some goals for the next 30 days and share them. So I’m doing that here. I’ll post updates throughout the month. And if you want to give it a shot, please do! If you’re connected with me on social media, tag me so I can cheer you on. If you’re not, either comment here or email me to let me know. If you want. No pressure.

Words

  • Beta work x2 – get caught up and stay caught up
  • Proofreading job
  • Read Justified Malice and begin edits
  • Flash Fiction x8
  • Blog x4
  • Read 4 books

Home

  • Family game/movie nights x5
  • Daily chores – 2 a day
  • Organize desk

Fitness/Food

  • Create weekly menu x5
  • No fast food
  • No alcohol
  • Exercise 5x per week

Anti-Social Networking

facebook-dislike-2-300x200I’m one of those people who are constantly cleaning up and organizing. No matter what my wife says, I do like things orderly. I just don’t like housework… But when it comes to keeping my social networking accounts in order, I’m on that shit almost daily.

Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing to be exposed to varied and diverse opinions and experiences but when it comes to politics, religion, and cultural issues, I refuse to argue or deal with uninformed people or those who seem to only deal in extremes. Because life is too short and so is my fuse, I will unfollow, unfriend, or block folks with little deliberation and very rarely any second thoughts.

I know what you’re thinking. “But diversity of thought is a good thing! We need to learn from each other’s experiences!” For many things, I agree with that. But I’m not ever going to change someone’s mind when that person has no desire to learn about the experiences of those who don’t look or live like they do and I refuse to waste my time and energy trying. There was a time when I would debate and offer fact-based evidence to those folks who were misguided, confused, uninformed, or unaware but I just don’t have the energy for trying to change minds when there’s no desire to understand. I’m happy to listen and try to understand the views and teachings of those who I don’t agree with and have been enlightened many times when I had the wrong understanding. I’m open to conversation but as soon as it becomes clear that someone has no desire to actually discuss and teach and learn from the encounter but is, instead, interested in simply repeating the same talking points over and over, I’m done.

I am done with reading posts that criticize protesters when the authors of those missives have very likely never felt violated or outraged enough to actually participate as one. And I’m done reading posts calling for balanced discussions when it’s clear that the authors are incredibly biased, themselves, but don’t seem to recognize it. Discussions have to include facts on both sides but blanket statements about how not all of one group will act in a certain way don’t say anything of value. All men don’t rape but that doesn’t lessen the effect of the act on the victims of those that do or mean that we don’t need to work toward eliminating it.

I also won’t even finish reading posts that begin with something along the lines of “Cop Haters Should Unfriend Me” because I’m too busy unfriending them. Not because I hate cops but because I don’t know anyone who hates cops as a whole. I know many, many people who are upset with the current system and culture that we live under where people of color are seen to be suspicious and killed or seriously wounded by police at much higher rates than whites. I know people who are frustrated and sad and angry that there are police officers who are quick to pull triggers or don’t follow correct procedures and appear to be subjected to no disciplinary actions. But I don’t know anyone who hates all police and using language that implies that questioning the events and outcomes of the past several months (years?) is tantamount to cop hating seems to beg for posts supporting police and the “not all police are bad” replies. Those posts, to me, are meaningless because no one has ever said that all police are bad and the “they put their lives on the line and we need to be grateful!” replies take away the ability for people to calmly and rationally deal with the reality that, while the vast majority of police are awesome, caring people who want to help others, there are some who shouldn’t have a gun or authority over anyone. Ever.

We need open and honest discussion, not baiting people to complement the police or condemn the protesters without thought of what actually needs to be done to fix our broken system. Without simply acknowledging that people of color, as a whole, ARE seen differently by police – and our society in general – and accepting that White Privilege really is a thing, there will be more beatings and killings of innocent people of color and there will be more violent protests and there will be more division in our communities.

So, if there are posts by people who truly want to engage in a discussion about our broken system and what can be done by us – actual work in our communities to engage with police and local governments to effect real change – I’m there. I’m not wasting my time on the rest anymore. It’s pointless and divisive and doesn’t do a thing to address the real underlying problems with our justice system or American culture in general.

So there.

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

Since we did a quick video at the beginning of the month, we wanted to do another at the end.

Even though both Micah and I experienced quite a bit of stress at the mid-month point and over the past couple of days, we both agree that it was a wonderful event and we’re happy that we were able to do it together. I was surprised by how much I relied on my 10 year old son for support and motivation but without him, I know I would have quit.

No NaNoWriMo Mid-Week

Participant-2014-Facebook-ProfileIt would appear that I’m not a fan of writing on Wednesdays and Thursdays (Fridays are out due to Fuller Family Fun Night). The work week slows me down and I’m just tired. I think part of it – a big part of it, probably – is that I’m up later than usual watching football with TJ Sunday and Monday night and by mid-week, I’m wiped out. But whatever the reason, I think I’ll be playing catch up on the weekends. Micah will be, too.

Ok, I promised myself I’d post a quick update and then get to writing. You can see my daily progress in the little graphic below.

Have a great weekend!