Monday, December 22, 2008

The Dark Side, Tsunami style.

Today I was having one of those stellar days where nothing could go wrong, where you're on top of the world, and then it happened...

We were driving (Sarah, the kids, and I) to Vicksburg so I could get a haircut. I was even going to get highlights done, something I'd never done before and I was so excited! Sarah and I were talking about a dream I had last night wherein an old friend I would have liked to date back in Jr. High school, whom I have recently reconnected with, had just broken up with a friend that Sarah knew from our time in the Air Force. (I knew him too, he just wasn't exactly a friend)

The three of us, Greg, Mena and I, were in some sort of a morph between a classroom and a night club (I think because each of these would have been appropriate to each of the others in the dream, hence the two rooms became one) and in the dream, she and I were now a couple but she was sitting with him (as in on his lap) and having a good time seemingly oblivious to the fact that I was there at all, let alone that I was her new boyfriend. My explanation to Sarah was that this is where my Dark Side thoughts came from, the thought that I was no longer in her life (ie. the disease had taken me) and she had moved on to find another soul mate. I have talked to her about these Dark Side thoughts and how I don't want to think that way because I believe that if that is what I put out to the universe, that is what I'll get back. Therefore, if I allow myself to think like I'm already gone, that is what the universe will interpret as my wish and I will become... gone. That being said, I told her that somehow in the weirdness that happens in my mind (I refer to this as monkey mind), the monkey was reading the story and trying to translate it for me but he didn't know the people involved so he rifled through my memories and inserted his own "weird" mix of people.

Sarah was then answering a question that Molly asked about how many brothers and sisters she (Sarah) had and in the answering of that question we began to talk about how Sarah's mom is married to her step-dad and that is where some of the step-siblings come from. Then we talked about the parallels between Sarah and her mom. Things like Mom had two boys and a girl and now Sarah has two boys and a girl. Then Sarah made a comment about how her mom had married a crazy
man (in a good, funny kinda way) the first time and so had Sarah. Then she made some sort of reference to how her next husband would be different, just like her mom's second husband... Enter the Tsunami.

You know, you can see it rolling in almost in slow motion and you know that total destruction and chaos are close on its heals, but that there is no way in hell that you will ever be able to out run it. I could feel that initial wave of adrenaline hit me like a freight train and I thought for just a second that I might be able to out run the Tsunami, but alas, twas in vain. The emotion hit me and enveloped me fully right there in the van... behind the wheel at 45 mph... on a country road in a beautiful winter wonderland setting amongst the farms and forests... and suddenly I couldn't see a thing through the tears that had come from somewhere in left field. Sarah immediately knew what had happened and felt incredibly guilty but in all honesty, it wasn't her fault any more than it was Molly's or my own. It just kind of happened. Innocently enough, but it did happen. I had found a way to deal with the Dark Side that I had known up until that point but that had been of my own creation, born of simple boredom and a lack of anything better to occupy my mind. How in the bloody blue blazes am I going to combat something like this. Something that comes seemingly out of nowhere, when it is least expected and will even enlist the help of those closest to me?

I tried to turn it into something positive. I used the opportunity to talk to Sarah, explaining that this is exactly what I meant by "The Dark Side" and how I couldn't allow it into my life in any way shape or form. How I needed for her not to think along the lines of "When he is gone I will..." That I needed for her to think about this whole ugly mess as though we are in complete control and would come out of the other side of it just as though it had never happened. Together. Old. With lots of beautiful grandchildren. Alive... but most importantly, I would be THERE and not a fond memory.

That is my intention anyway. And that is what I am putting out to the Universe. I want to LIVE!

I did manage to finish the day not feeling totally depressed and got done all the things I wanted to accomplish so I am calling this one a victory for me. I hope this helps you all to understand a little bit better how I feel about all this and how I would like for everyone to think when they say "I'll keep you in my prayers/thoughts." Not so much that I would dictate how someone would or should pray or send out positive energy or whatever it is that they do when they talk to what they believe God to be. More so that this is how I see things, so far anyway, and that if they could pray and or send their energy to that effect, I believe it would be all the more powerful. At least that's how it works in "my world". Regardless of how someone else does it, I greatly appreciate the fact that they would even think of me at all when they "talk to God". I guess in the end it really doesn't matter how you say it, what's important is that you do say it. If it goes unspoken, how is God/the Universe to know what you desire? (shrugs) Again, my opinion, take it or leave it.

I'll leave you with a saying that has stuck with me for some time and for some reason I am led to put it out to you all now... "Prayer is when you talk to God, meditation is when you listen."
I think both of these types of communication are extremely important and that they should both be practiced equally. It seems to me that someone would be remiss if they only talked and didn't listen. I think that is how relationships fail, with one way communication. And in truth, no matter what you or I believe, that's one relationship we cannot allow to fail...

Light, love and blessings to you all,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Come to the Dark Side... we have cookies!

Well, once again it's been a rough couple of days. I am still trying to change the way I operate on daily basis. Trying to get myself around and get into something just to keep my mind occupied and not let it turn to the Dark Side. That's what I call it when my mind is idle and my thoughts turn to things I'd rather not think about. Things like dying, losing my battle with cancer, seeing Sarah and the kids in a future that I am not a part of... that's the Dark Side. Thing is, it's really easy, too easy to walk right on over there and feel comfortable even though I know it's a place I don't want to be. Sort of like crossing to the wrong side of the tracks and ducking into a seedy bar and cavorting with ladies of ill repute. You know it's not in your best interest to be there but it's so much easier than doing what you know is right and proper. So this begs the question, "Why is the right thing the hardest thing to do sometimes?" If I had an answer to that I wouldn't be writing about the Dark Side now would I... I think it's much more than simple temptation, it goes deeper than that. I'm not tempted to think of my death and focus my energy on visions of a world without me and I don't believe in the Devil or any other variation of Satan trying to lead me astray. I think that is a cop out. I want to be in control of what I do and what I put out to the universe. I want to live! And I want very much to be a part of my families future for a very, very long time. Having said that I think I need to find something to occupy my mind but I also need to teach myself to focus on what I want to put out to the universe. Just keeping myself busy so I don't think of Dark thoughts doesn't seem like enough any more than surviving isn't truly living. I can get up every day and muddle through the day and I would be surviving but I can also get up every day and want to do something, go somewhere, see someone and be living my life.

So, I would endeavor to occupy myself in order to keep the Dark Side at bay and in addition, I would teach myself to put forth the energy that represents what I truly want to the universe.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Until next time, I bid you peace.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Batten down the hatches!

Well, it was a rather long weekend. Not a lot got done and I am kind of disappointed by that. I made such a good start on Friday and then super-slacked for the weekend. I did manage to take the kids sledding at mom's on Saturday and to the Christmas party at the local Elk's Lodge yesterday (my step dad and my uncle are members, not me...) and those were lot's of fun, just not very productive for me here at the house. Yesterday evening I started to feel a little under the weather and that carried over to this morning so as you may have guessed, not a lot got done today as well. I did just get back from the dog pound where I paid for the privelage of dog ownership for the next year. Only $10 though so I guess I can't complain too much. They could charge by the pound and I'd have to auction off some kids just to pay for the dog liscences. I also drove just down the road from there to my Uncle Bills to get more anti-biotics for the "Bad-Ass Cat" as there seems to have been a flurry of territorial disputes in our neighborhood lately.

In other news, the dog formerly known as Magnus has been renamed and shall, until further notice, be known as The Grinch. On two separate occasions he was found to have taken x-mas gifts from under the tree and "unwrapping" them in the back yard, hence he is now the Grinch who stole x-mas. If he behaves until the festivities are officially over, he might get his name back... if...

The title of this post refers to the weather here. Yesterday is was almost 50 degrees and I was in my hammock with a tropical drink lounging by the pool (it's my story... work with me...) and at some point during the night someone robbed us! They took all the ice we were storing outside and our warm weather and left us with temps. in the high teens with a nasty windchill. The only evidence were some bird footprints in a small patch of snow and the chickadees are being sought for questioning. Any information that leads to an arrest in this case, whether prosecutable or not, will be rewarded with cookies and hot chocolate.
So, the order was given to batten down the hatches as it is wicked cold here today and not fit for man nor beast, however nothing should deter women or fishes from venturing out to... say the store to get some brownie mix? What. I didn't come up with the saying, I am simply interpreting it the way it reads, that's all I'm saying.

The more I think about the move to California, dreadful though it may be, the more I have grown to dislike the idea of living here in Michigan. It seems as if all the things that were drawing me back here, whether from Texas or California, are slipping away one by one. My Dad is no longer farming, the verdant lush green of the landscapes here in the spring and early summer are being overtaken in the recesses of my mind by the bitter cold of winter. I used to enjoy plowing snow and now it seems like such a chore. I love all the trees in my yard, until it comes time to mow around them or rake up the millions upon millions of leaves in the fall. I think I will miss it after, but I know there will be enough ties here to keep me coming back to visit. It kind of reminds me of my brothers place in the U.P. It's absolutely gorgeous up there and I could spend a long time there, until it snows 3 or 4 feet. I guess if I knew I had the majority of my life yet ahead of me, I might make considerations to put up with these kinds of things but given things as they are I am inclined to go to somewhere more comfortable. I am also of a mind to do the things that I have been putting off for so long with the thinking that I could always do them tomorrow or next year. I have tried to save enough money for the past several years to finally go on a honeymoon to Ireland, and something has always come up. It'll be 18 years next spring that I have had the pleasure of walking this earth with Sarah and still not taken her on our honeymoon. Is there a statute of limitations on such things? I have heard of second honeymoons but I don't recall anything about this in the handbook.

I thought for a long time during the past year that all my dreams had been stripped away from me, like all the things I had dreamed of doing, longed for, or hoped to accomplish were slipping away because of this... disease. I have been trying really hard to get my old truck on the road because of this, it's one of the few I have left along with going to Ireland. After a good deal of soul searching, I think I can let the others go, but these two, I think I'll hold on to, even if for only a little while longer. I think I've earned at least that much.

Well, I seem to have gone through the entire spectrum from laughing to crying all in one post. I hate to leave you on such a downer but that's the way the thoughts came from my mind and that's what this blog is all about, getting them out before I have time to over analyze them. It is what it is.

Until next time, I bid you peace.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New beginnings part two...

So today was a much better day. I got up, ate, showered, dressed and actually started cleaning the office. I will admit that there was quite a bit of time spent on the PlayStation today with the kids, but Little Big World is a very cool game and they needed a little help. By and large, the bulk of my time was spent in the office cleaning and reorganizing. It looks like, after talking to my sister, that this room may be on the chopping block in the next couple of weeks as she knows someone that is going to be laid off and could use the work to help pay his bills. With the walls finally insulated and more electrical outlets this room would be ship shape and toasty warm. More on that as it develops, but you can be sure I'll take lots of pictures of the progress.

I must also say that in keeping myself busy today, even with menial tasks like cleaning and getting rid of unnecessary clutter, I feel much better tonight. I think that it helped to get some of that stuff off my chest and give it a voice, but also in keeping my mind occupied with other stuff, I didn't have time to think dark or "evil" thoughts. That's not to say I didn't cry, I exchanged a couple of emails that were touching, but by having something to get back to afterward I was able to process them in a timely fashion and move on. Feels good. I look forward to tomorrow, my nephew is spending the night and I am taking them all sledding at Mom's. She is planning on having a bonfire to warm them afterward. With all that and a little hot cocoa, what more could you ask for?

Until then, peace and blessings be with you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New beginings.

I keep telling myself that today is the first day of the rest of my life, but I still find it hard to muster the motivation necessary to get going at any point during the day, to do any of the tasks that need done. It's as if I have no purpose, even though I know I have many. I think that the core of the problem is that I have all day, every day to do whatever... It's as if I am telling myself subconsciously that I can go and work on this or fix that later in the day. Then when later rolls around, I tell myself it can be done tomorrow. It is a vicious cycle that plays out in my head on a daily basis.

A while ago, while dealing with some depression (self diagnosed) I told my wife that it seemed as if all my dreams had been taken from me. I now realize that although some of my dreams may seem unatainable now, they need not be gone from me. Perhaps they have just stepped aside to make room for new dreams. In any case, most of the things I had desired, goals I had hoped to accomplish, they're simply on hold, indefinitely, until I have a handle on this thing that has caused me such grief. LOL, I find it hard even now, almost a year later, to call it by it common name, "cancer". The doctors told me that it is considered a type of blod cancer, maybe that's why. I don't think in my mind or in my heart that I am in any way afraid of it. I would not give it such power over me. Maybe I call it cancer because that's easier to say than Myelofibrosis and requires less explanation when I tell someone what it is that afflicts me. At any rate, I try really hard not to give it any voice, power, or thought other than that which I give to it in fighting it.

I am trying hard to spend as much time as possible in pursuit of the seemingly small insignificant things that I have put off for so long. Things like vacations, artistic pursuits like photography and even blogging, and spending time with my wife and children. I should like very much to get my shop set up again and create things out of wood. Useful things as well as whimsical things. Things that serve no purpose other than to draw one into them, make you want to touch them and ask what they are for. I have even been considering taking classes at a local community college to try to expand on my photography skills which are still in their infancy. I don't necessarily want to pursue a degree or start a career, just to find out who I am and what I am truly capable of.

Thus begin my adventures with... cancer. I hope you enjoy my antics and will join me from time to time. And feel free to leave any comments you care to.

Peace be with you,