my denarian decade

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Today is the 18th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

Today is November 13, 2016.

I decided to go back to the year I was 18 years old – 1978.

On this day back in 1978, Time magazine Vol. 112 No. 20 was on newsstands.  Viewing it you find fascinating articles related to our Nation, Business, the World, Education and other topics.

As these are interesting topics, I found in this addition the article ‘Television: Once in Love with Mary’ under the Arts and Entertainment topic and it caught my attention.  The article begins with the following –

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Few TV performers are as durable or as justly adored as Mary Tyler Moore. During the past 15 years she has become an unpretentious symbol of sophistication in a medium where that quality is usually considered a punishable offense. As Laura Petrie, the slightly daft heroine of the classic Dick Van Dyke Show, Moore demonstrated that sitcom suburban housewives did not have to be domestic ninnies chained to a kitchen sink. With her easy wit and sturdy intelligence, almost single-handed she brought TV out of the Lucille Ball-Donna Reed era.

Okay, this post is not about Time magazine; though I did write an interesting post related to it – you are welcome to read it by clicking this link ‘Time to read Time‘.

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For those of you my age, you remember Mary Tyler Moore?  In my younger days I watched the Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a popular television series in the 1970s.

Other popular actors in well-known television series of the 1970s included Alan Alda for M*A*S*H, Farrah Fawcett for Charlie’s Angels, Jimmie Walker for Good Times, Telly Savalas for Kojak and Ricardo Montalban for Fantasy Island.

You know here on my blog, I have a dedicated category titled ‘My 70’s Music Collection‘, where I post information about songs of the 1970s.  Many times I refer back to the 1970s in posts; I think because, these were my years of influence.  The 1970s were my years of innocence and puberty; and my teen years.  I spent the 1970s from the age of 10 to the age of 20 – my denarian decade.

yourdictionary.com has the following –

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denarian. Noun. (plural denarians) One who is between the age of 10 and 19, inclusive.

Back in the 1970s, I liked Mary Tyler Moore and many other actors of that day and still do today.  Thinking about them and the shows they starred in bring great memories of a time when life seemed simpler.

Today is the 18th month of my blog!  My anniversary post is something different than the usual posts I write.

A state of mind

I now call myself old.

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They say age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

I now call myself old.

I googled ‘you know you’re old when quotes’, and received many different results.

buzzfeed.com has a list 56 Signs That You’re Definitely Getting Old(er) that includes the following –

You consider going to the post office as a “busy weekend.”

Crowded places easily frustrate you.

You wake up early on days you can sleep in.

You get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies.

You cannot believe people were born in the 2000s.

The celebrities at the Kids’ Choice Awards are complete strangers to you.

You just like to sit down sometimes.

Yes, I now call myself old.  But it is just a state of mind, right?

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My son #3’s birthday is today; he is 30 years old today.  I remember when he and my other ‘boys’ were born, then toddlers and preschoolers; and I remember when they were teenagers.  It does not seem long ago, they were going to school, playing soccer and marching in the high school marching band.  Time continues on, never stopping for any reason and then one day the younger one; son #3 turns 30 years old.  Yes, I now call myself old.

When I turned 30 only 26 years ago, I remember feeling middle aged.  I can remember feeling good about my life, my age and looking forward to what life had to offer.  Fast forward and now all my sons are in their 30s, I wonder how they feel about that?  I have not asked them how they feel about being in their 30s; I would be curious to know.

I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.  But, I now call myself old.

I do consider going anywhere on any day a busy day and crowded places do frustrate me at times.  Every day I can sleep in, but I do not; I always wake early.  I do get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies as well as many other scenes especially the movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Are there people that were really born in the 2000s and since when did kids have their own award show?

Many times I just like to sit and think and reflect.  I often reflect on life, my life, my sons and the current day’s events.

I now call myself old because today all 3 of my sons are in their 30s.

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But, I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

Happy 30th Birthday Son #3.

School of Hard Knocks

I stole the title of this post from a comment left on one of my other posts.

I believe kat from the blog ‘Time No Matter’ will understand.  Thanks kat, I truly appreciate every comment you write to me.

The other day in the afternoon I was sitting in the backyard writing a post and performing some research about a specific topic.  During this time, I read kat’s comment on my post ‘Learning the Hard Way‘.  This is a portion of her comment –

My father always told my mother, Kathy will just have to learn about life from the school of hard knocks!!! I was the most argumentative, stubborn, smart mouth kid around…LOL My mom always said, Don’t worry she will get hers when she starts having kids just like her, there’s always one just like them…LOL they were both right….I am still going to the school of hard knocks, learning from life…I still have a smart mouth…hummmm can’t believe that…LOL and I did have a son, just like myself…hard to raise and it still is at times….even though hes 29….but like me, he is love of a kid and would give up his right arm for the right person

That comment struck me hard!  She wrote something in that comment that I totally relate to.

Last year, in my post ‘Happy Birthday Son #1‘, I wrote the following –

Today is my oldest son’s birthday!

He is now approaching his middle 30s and I am honored to say he is my son.  Since he was a baby, I would always say “He is just like me, he has my personality”. Many times I have regretted saying that because I do not wish upon him or anyone else to be like me!  He is his own man; working, having children of his own and has become a very responsible person. But he does have some of my genes; the genes that cause struggles and challenges.

In today’s post, I write the following –

My son #1, turned 34 last month, you can read the post I wrote here: ‘# 34, my ‘kid’!‘.

I never want to write bad things about anyone, especially my sons.  This blog is about my life; but my sons are part of that life.  Son #1 has and still is experiencing tough times in his life.  We spoke on his birthday for the first time in 6 months.  This time period not speaking was not because I had not tried to contact him.  I try not to make it about me, but I do become angry and hurt when my calls are not returned.  I try to put myself in his shoes because I know he is going through some struggles in his life right now.  Struggles that are very similar to mine when I was his age.

As I continue to write this blog, I research, learn and discover me.  This part of me that causes struggles within me – maybe my son is going through this also.

And what about those calls that are never returned?  Well maybe, just maybe he is busy in the school of hard knocks.

My Rear-View Mirror

The rear view-mirror, you know that thing, part of the windshield of your vehicle that allows you to see behind you.

The rear view-mirror, you know that thing, part of the brain of your body that allows you to see behind you.

Amazon.com has many rear-view mirrors of different shapes, sizes; some for specific functions, but they all allow us to view what is behind us.

So true with our brain’s rear-view mirror, for example –

Amazon.com – #1 Back Seat Mirror – Baby & Mom Rear View Baby Mirror – Easily Watch your Precious Child In-Car – Adjustable, Convex and Shatterproof Glass

Image Provided by: amazon.com

Image Provided by: amazon.com

About this rear-view mirror –

WIDE ANGLE CONVEX MIRROR – Always have full sight of your precious infant and surroundings with the Extra-Large Wide angles this mirror provides.

About my rear-view mirror –

My rear-view mirror allows me to have full sight of my precious infant sons and their surroundings of many years ago.

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Amazon.com – CIPA 99287 UTV Deluxe Rearview Mirror

Image Provided by: amazon.com

Image Provided by: amazon.com

About this rear-view mirror –

Reduces blind spots and increases safety.

About my rear-view mirror –

My rear-view mirror allows me to see those blind spots from the past and helps me stay away from the same obstructions in the present.

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Amazon.com – ATV Tek (UTVMIRCTR) Clearview UTV Center Mirror

Image Provided by: amazon.com

Image Provided by: amazon.com

About this rear-view mirror –

Lightly convex to increase field of view.

About my rear-view mirror –

My rear-view mirror allows me to have an increased field of view for today and tomorrow.

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My posts, this blog is a trip of sorts in that I am moving forward, but at times looking back in my rear-view mirror.  With this trip I am taking you the readers with me and allowing you to see behind me in my rear-view mirror; my past life, my past events and my past experiences.

From a blog post by Chris Hale titled ‘Looking behind us . . . the history of the rear view mirror’, it discusses a couple of possible origins of the rear-view mirror and concludes with the following:

No matter where it gets it’s origin, it is rather amazing that a small peice of reflective glass can allow us to look behind us and know what surrounds us. As simple an idea as it is, I wish I had thought of it.

I am moving forward in life looking in my rear-view mirror and seeing my past surroundings that are moving out of my field of vision on this current day.  The past will never truly go away; some of it will be here posted on this blog for the future and some of it will be filed away in my memory and maybe never retrieved again.

But as I continue on this trip, I will never forget the origins of my rear-view mirror; my roots and my heritage.  These origins and my legacy will someday be in my son’s rear-view mirrors.

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

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)

Thoughts From Years Past.15

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.14’, I ended with ‘This state of mind was the stage setting for a dramatic play, a play that was to unfold with the births of my boys.  ’

The following documentation is a continuation of those pages.

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

My first son was born in 1982, one week after my wife and I celebrated our 4th anniversary.  I knew before that day that a boy would be brought into this world.  Right after we received the news mom was pregnant I saw a falling star one night.  I made a wish that night that all my kids would be boys.  Sounds kind of corny I know, but my wish came true.  Back during those days, dad was present in the operating room when the baby was born by C-section.  I was nervous and excited at the same time; the typical emotions of a new father.  Mom had an epidural and was awake to experience the big event.  With knowing a baby was being brought into this world I had no concerns about what was happening.  Watching as the doctor cut her abdomen and then her uterus had no effect on me.  The water began gushing out and I knew the time had arrived.  As the doctor placed his hands in mom’s womb I could feel the sense of anticipation overtake my body.  Slowing moving his arms upward, his hands begin to appear holding the head of a baby.  I knew immediately by seeing the head it was a boy, there was no need to see the rest of the body.  It was an amazing experience I would be blessed to participate in two more times.  As I carried the first born to the nursery from the operating room I was gleaming.  Waiting on the other side of the nursery window were aunts and uncles and the proud grandparents.  The bundle of joy overall was healthy.  He had an infection that required a spinal tap be performed.  As frightened as his mom and I were, the procedure was completed without incident and he overcame complications.  After several days, mom and baby were doing well and it was time to go home.

….to be continued….

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