Losing Our Imagination

I have lost some imagination and therefore I am having less fun in my life.

I am a creative person in that I can create a spectacle Christmas display (post: The Countdown Is On).  I also have imagination when it comes to seeing the potential in how things can be.  For instance when viewing our current home for the first time, all walls were white and it was bland.  When I first walked into the home, I said “This is the one!”, because my imagination saw the potential of what it could look like.  We bought the home and the painting began; lots of color was added to the walls and the home is now bright, cheery and colorful.

But, I have lost some imagination and therefore I am having less fun in my life.

ideastogo.com article ‘Why You Should Have A Child-Like Imagination (and the Research that Proves It)’ starts with the following:

We all seem to have an instinctive sense that kids are more creative than adults. We don’t question it; we all intuitively just know it’s true and we view it as a natural state for children. And it is. According to Dr. Stephanie Carlson, an expert on childhood brain development at the University of Minnesota, kids spend as much as 2/3 of their time in non-reality—in imaginative play. Other experts have also noted children’s aptitude for creativity. Albert Einstein famously said, “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play.” And even Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

I am a creative person and will continue to be; but, I have lost some imagination and therefore I am having less fun in my life.

quora.com article ‘How much does a lack of imagination limit our adult lives?’ has information about why we as adults limit our lives due to a lack of imagination.  This article includes the following excerpts:

So thus, science has proven that not having an imagination can essentially limit your potential, and leave you trapped in that boring, 9-5 office job (unless you’re satisfied with that, then that’s great!).

The same article also discusses how imagination can make you more empathetic. Empathy is the key to broadening your social interaction, so, in a sense, imagination can help broaden your social horizons and unlock your social potential. Making new friends and connecting with people is great way to stay happy and fulfilled as an adult, so not having an imagination can ultimately limit you from this fulfillment.

I am a creative person and will continue to be; the next chapter in my life that I hope will start next year with a move will be the beginning of regaining my imagination and becoming childlike again to play.

And I end with the last verse of ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory –

There is no

 Life I know

 To compare with

 Pure imagination

 Living there

 You’ll be free

 If you truly

 Wish to be

Planning a Trip

I am a planner and the next trip is planned.

I have written several posts about the intent of my blog; the writing about my past, those past events in my life that hold me back from moving forward.  This blog is a trip (no LSD needed), and another physical trip to a different location, a new destination is planned.

My partner and I have planned another trip to explore another state for our future home, our next chapter in our lives.  I mentioned in my post ‘Road Surface Makings’ on that trip to the same state we drove about 2,500 miles.  This trip we will be driving about 2,800 miles and again we will visit my partner’s family and explore new surroundings for that next location we hope to call ‘home’.  You can read more about the reason for our new location search in my posts ‘Blog Site, Post & Life Transitions’ and ‘The Home Comfort Zone’.

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Image provided by http://www.traverlust.com

Me the OCD person that I am, has to plan, prepare and have every detail of the trip documented.  I start with a word document that includes the future possible locations to live, lodging and family visits and stays.  I also document (via Google maps) the distance between every location of the itinerary.  I then create my itinerary in my favorite app called ‘Tripit’.  This app is accessed from my smartphone throughout our trip and has all the reservation and contact information for lodging and future home locations we will be visiting.  I have used this app for years for all our trips, both here in the US and other countries, and it has never let me down.   It has been a life-saver; ‘don’t leave home without it’ (not my slogan – belongs to American Express).

Because both my partner and I are ‘planners’, we have outlined our whole trip with no details left out.  Our first trip was more about exploring a different way of life that we are unaccustomed to.  We visited several locations and received a better idea of our ultimate desired environment we want.   This next trip is in the same state, different location and same environment.  There is also another trip planned for December to explore another location within the same state.

As we explore these locations and become more informed on the different environment we are unaccustomed to, I feel a sense of excitement in moving forward in my life.  My partner and I are ready to move from our current location, our current life and move forward to the next chapter that is waiting for us.  This move ultimately takes me further away from my family; honestly I need to get out of the current state I have lived in all my life. Not only the physical state, but also the state of mind.

It is time to move on to the next chapter!

Cup of Joe

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Image provided by http://www.fotosearch.com

I need my morning coffee, strong and black and driving long trips I like my coffee, sweet and flavored.

From knowyourphrase.com

Meaning –

A nickname for a cup of coffee. That’s all there is to it!

Origin –

Well, there are two popular theories about the origin of this phrase: One is in regards to Josephus Daniels, who was Secretary of the Navy. On the month of June, 1914, he banned all U.S. Navy ships from serving alcoholic beverages. The sailors weren’t too thrilled with the decision, because they had to resort to the next strongest drink on the list, which was coffee!

Since Josephus Daniels was the one responsible for banning alcohol and “forced” everyone to make the switch to coffee, the sailors nicknamed the drink after him, thus it became “a cup of joe,” Joe being short for Josephus. That’s the theory anyways.

However, a more plausible theory comes from Snopes, where it’s explained how the word “joe” can simply mean the average man. For example, perhaps you’ve heard someone say: “I’m just an average joe.” That means he’s just an everyday, ordinary kind of guy. Therefore, a drink involving the word “joe” would show that the drink is for the common man, or the average person.

In my twenties, married and just graduated high school, I worked fulltime for a bank.  I also had a part time evening job working at the mall.  Yes, I worked at the one mall of our small city.  Because I grew up working in my dad’s business (fast food restaurants), I worked part time in the food court for a fast food restaurant.  The owner’s name was Joe and was a young handsome man (late 30s?), who also was a track coach at a local high school.  He liked me a great deal because he could trust me when I was running the store in the evenings.  I eventually quit my banking job and took over as fulltime manager for this food court mall job for several years.

Joe, the owner having 2 daughters treated me as his son, giving me gifts and allowing me to take a couple of paid weeks off when my son #1 was born.  This was unheard of in the 80s.  His gifts to me were not just typical gifts; we are talking about out of the ordinary gifts.  Each week he would give me a carton of cigarettes; this is back when they were much cheaper.  We would also bring me large beef briskets and diapers for my new baby boy.  What a guy Joe was – he was good to me and I have never forgotten him.  I am not certain what happened to Joe: I think he may still live in the same city.

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Image provided by http://www.clipartsheep.com

I would like to contact him someday, catchup with our lives, let him know what a great friend he was to me and maybe meetup with him again and have a Cup of Joe.

April 1970 – Your Song

April 1970 – a song popular in this month – Your Song by Elton John

This was Elton’s first single to chart.

Interesting facts about Your Song & Elton John –

This was one of the first songs John wrote with Bernie Taupin. They met after a record company gave John some of Taupin’s lyrics to work with.

“The original lyric was written very rapidly on the kitchen table of Elton’s mother’s apartment in Northwood Hills in the suburbs of London, if I recall, on a particularly grubby piece of exercise paper,” said Taupin.

Elton wrote the music in about 20 minutes, as he often did with Taupin’s lyrics in their early days.

This was used in the movie Welcome Home, and also in a commercial for Rimmel Cosmetics.

This played a major role in the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge. It is sung by Ewan McGregor when he presents it as a poem to Nicole Kidman.

This information was provided by Songfacts.com

Hallelujah

Hallelujah – one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.  I did some research and there appears to be 60 versions of this song.  If you have not heard it, please watch the YouTube video and listen; you will be touched.

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A memory from my many years of depression and one very low point of many –

The apartment is sparse, my kids are gone fulltime from my life, I am struggling financially and my mind, my thinking and actions seem to ruin everything and everyone, including myself.

The room is dark, I sit in a corner, crouched, lonely and crying profusely and asking God –

“Why?”

“Why are you putting me through this?  What did I do, that you want to punish me?”

“I can’t do this, I do not have the strength; I have lost everything and everyone that means so much to me.”

“Why, God?”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I grew up as Baptist and my grandmother was a very religious woman and lived her life as we all should.  I remember going to church with her when I was very young – but stopped attending when I became older.  Prior to my ‘depression’ years I did not have a relationship with God and today the relationship is different.

“How could you put me through this?”

“You are not a fair God?”

“They say you are a good God; but you cannot be, I don’t understand, I hate you!”

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I made it through my ‘depression’ years and one day at my job I was discussing my ‘depression’ years with a fellow employee.  I remember telling her “I don’t know how I found the strength to get through all those years of despair, depression, divorce, the loss of my kids, the many nights of crying, the getting up every morning to live another day”  I then experienced a feeling; an epiphany of sorts.   It then came to my mind ‘It was God!’

God was always there, even when I hated him.  I was expecting God to do something – and he did.  Many years later I realized God gave me strength and endurance to keep moving forward: keep fighting the battle.  Today my relationship with God is different and I will expand on that in another post.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Hallelujah – one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.

One of the verse lyrics –

I did my best, it wasn’t much

I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

And even though it all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Thoughts From Years Past.16

Another documented ‘Thoughts From Years Past’ that reflects what was going on in my life at a particular time.  My post ‘I want to write a book’ describes my desire to write a book and several times in the past started this process, without proceeding very far. In my post ‘Thoughts From Years Past.15’, I ended with ‘After several days, mom and baby were doing well and it was time to go home.’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

Thoughts I wrote from September, 2004 – (unedited from original writing)

My second son was born in 1984 on Valentine’s Day.  He was a big baby, weighing in at 9 lbs. & 12 ½ oz.  He was born without incident, coming into the world as the first did, by C-section.  He was a big bundle of joy and was an exciting addition to the family.  His big brother was only 21 months at the time and was so cute with his bleach blond hair.  I remember him holding his younger brother in his arms and wanting to take care of him.  I have two boys now and with them came additional responsibilities and stress.  Two months after he was born, mom got pregnant again.  Wow, not necessarily good timing as the two we had required much attention to take care of.  But within two months a miscarriage took place and we viewed it as a blessing in disguise.  We just were not ready for another baby.

….to be continued….

(more about my sons in this post: My 3 Sons)

Failed to be the father I wanted to be

image1I failed as a father, or did I fail to be the father I wanted to be?

I mentioned in several of my posts I feel I failed as a father.  In previous posts I write about the ‘mistakes’ I have made throughout my life, the struggle in my marriage, my major depression and my absence in my 3 sons lives.  The struggles I have with myself and my mind created a failed marriage when my sons were very young.  Therefore I was not there for them during the important years of growth, learning, understanding and father relations.  I missed many soccer games, school events, protecting them, teaching them; I should have been there but I was absent.  And though the presence in their lives was limited, the relationship with my 3 sons is good, but not what I envisioned when I was younger when I became married and became a parent.

What do I base my failure on?  What father did I want to be?  My idea of me as a father was not being the father my father was to me.  In my post ‘My Dad Taught Me Plenty’, I explain those things I did not want to be when I was a father because my father failed in these areas.  My father did not tell me ‘I Love You’ until well late into life, within the past 10 years.  From a young age, I told my boys ‘I Love You’ and still do today and easily give them a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  This is not a failure, so what is?

It is my belief; the failure is the circumstances and situations that prevented me from being there for them, my 3 sons.  The circumstances of my learning disorders, my OCD, my ADD, my divorce, my mental illness, my depression, my attempted suicides and my separated living location all created a situation where the envisioned father I wanted to be was a failure.

How do I know it was a failure and I am a failure as a father?  My sons do not seem to be interested in me or my life.  My sons rarely call me, even on my birthday and father’s day.

So it may be that I did not fail as a father to them, but I failed to be the father to me.  I had no book to read about being a good father; I tried to be a good father, but I was busy with the troubles of my mind and this took time away from what is important to me – my 3 sons.

Whether I failed as a father to them or failed to be the father I wanted to be – the simple truth is that I had and still have good intentions and love and I aspire to be the best possible father to my 3 sons.

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(This is the first of additional pictures to appear of me – a hand of me, a hand of my son #1 and a hand of my grandson #1)

Really? Really!

When I started writing my blog posts, I really had no idea how to write or what to write about – I just knew I needed to write, really.

So me not being a writer I just started writing.  Along the way, I have had typos, you know the ones; no misspelled words because ‘Spellcheck’ or ‘Proofread Writing’ catches those for me.  But the grammar typos, such as using ‘to’ instead of ‘too’ or after one of my posts I published I used the word ‘medal’ instead of ‘metal’, you get the idea.  Not a good student in school and not wanting to learn about grammar and sentence structure, I just write the way I talk.  And I am okay with that, I feel my blog is telling a story of me not just with the stories themselves, but the way I write them, including the typos – which do drive me crazy when I see them after publish… but let’s move on.

I wrote a past post and used the word ‘really’ and questioned myself if I needed to use the word ‘really’ in my sentence.  I jotted down my question and moved on.  I decided to investigate what the word ‘really’ meant and am I using it correctly in my sentences.

merriam-webster.com has this definition –

1 a :  in reality :  actually <things as they really are> <there was nothing peculiar about her doing this, really — Peter Taylor> 

b :  truly, unquestionably —used as an intensifier <a really beautiful day> 

c :  very 2 <look really close> <he runs really fast>

2 —used to emphasize an assertion <you really should read Yeats> <really, you’re being ridiculous>

urbandictionary.com has this definition –

A statement of disbelief in a sarcastic manner. It`s like “seriously” but more obnoxious.

In response to a question that just shouldn’t be asked.<Slight Pause> Then said while cocking your head to the side a bit.

This word ‘really’ is really used quite a bit in journalism – News Highlights Please – (taken from today’s headlines)

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Okay, I really think the word ‘really’, is most likely really overused and I really think my use of the word ‘really’ is really used correctly.  I really feel better now.  Really? Really!

55 – still crying

I am a sensitive man, a weak individual, a person with feelings, thoughts, dreams, 55 – still crying.

I cry when I watch a sad movie; I cry when I watch an inspirational movie.

I cry when I watch a news story about someone who unconditionally helps others; I cry when I watch a news story about the killing of innocent people, animals and nature.

I cry at weddings; I cry at funerals.

I cry when my sons do not call; I cry when my sons do call.

I cry when I hurt people; I cry when people hurt me.

I cry when I am a failure; I cry when I am a success.

So why do I cry so much?  I am a man and should not be crying because it is a sign of weakness.

webmd.com has the following –

People with a history of trauma have been found to cry more, Sideroff says. That’s especially true, he says, if they dwell on that past. “If you keep referring back to the past of trauma or emotional pain, it will generate more feelings of hurt.”

Is this why I cry more than others?  I still refer to the emotional pain of years past?  Am I a vulnerable person?

howstuffworks.com has the following information –

Overall, it’s important to remember that crying is a critical part of the human emotional makeup, just as laughing is. While you may not want to cry in front of your boss or an ex-boyfriend who’s with his beautiful new girlfriend, it is largely believed to be better both emotionally and physically to “let it out” rather than keeping it all inside.

My crying comes from my emotional makeup, that part of me; that individual me, that special me that makes me different from everyone else in the world.  It may be my emotional makeup was to a certain degree learned at a young age when I decided I was ‘stupid’, ‘worthless’, ‘different’ and these thoughts created a negative attitude toward myself, others and life.  Is this true?

I am over my self-defeating labeling, but I still cry.

A Team Player

images2I so not like to be a team player – I can be a team player – I do not want to be a team player.

The last 20+ years of my working life, I worked in the IT industry in an office with groups of people and always heard the phrase “We are a team.”, “Be a team player.”; “blah”, “blah”, “blah”. I wanted to tell my upper management that this company I am working for is not football and therefor there is no team.  I do not want to be a ‘team player’ because it reminds me of sports and I was never good at sports.

But I guess the companies I worked for were correct to refer to us employees as a team per the wikiipedia.org definition –

A team is a group of people or other animals linked in a common purpose. Human teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

In my post ‘the unsocial me’, I describe myself as a loner, a hermit and reclusive – I did not want to be around people and therefor had no need to be on a team.  I do not see me playing a team sports; I see myself in an individual sport, such as long distance running.  In my last employment before retirement I was a great resource to my company and well respected for my efforts and results.  In my own individual way I accomplished a great deal and provided valuable contributions to this company.  So I guess in a way I was a team player and part of a team.

I think back to my time of struggle with depression and say to myself ‘Those many years of depression, I overcame this on my own.’ But really I did not do it on my own; there were psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, my mom and others that were there to support me, to teach me, to help me move forward to a better me.  I guess these people were my teammates as they accomplished a great deal and provided valuable contributions to me and my life. images1

When it came to the work at my job or the work of getting out of a major depression, I did not consider myself as a team player as I was alone with my mind and its defects.  But reality was there was a team I was a part of and that team help me to win the game over my major depression.