Life is Hard

November 11, 2013 10:03pm
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This video has been going around a lot recently, and for good reason – there are a lot of really great thoughts in it. I love the story about the pancakes, but the part that really hit home with me was when she talks about the dangers of ranking my hard against your hard

Sara and I have had a really hard time getting pregnant. I’ve promised myself that once we’ve had the baby and all of it’s behind us, I’m going to write about it in more detail, but for the time being, I’ll just say that it’s taken us years to get where we are today and tens of thousands of dollars to get here, and for now we’ll leave it at that.

It’s been really hard, but quite frankly, a lot of the time what made it even worse was not having the social support that we didn’t know we didn’t have until we were already up to our necks in it.

Comparisons were levied at us from every direction. We had friends try to minimize what we were going through by telling us their own pregnancy horror stories. We had family tell us that it wasn’t fair for us to distance ourselves from gatherings because other people had it hard, too. We also had friends and family who held back the good tidings in their own lives because they felt bad about the things that we were going through.

It was after one of these randomly terrible exchanges that I started analyzing what was going on around us and it really made me start to wonder, “Why does your hard have to be worse than my hard? Or better, for that matter? Why can’t we just sit here and sympathize with each other over the phone and recognize that we’re both going through some really hard times, and support each other instead of one person having to win over the other???”

Because believe you me, I certainly didn’t feel like I had won that conversation. Knowing that I’ve got it harder than somebody else doesn’t help me to get through that situation any better than knowing that it could be worse. If something is hard for me, then it’s hard … it doesn’t make it any lighter because I could have cancer or my loved one could’ve been killed in a plane crash instead of simply having to endure this less hard problem of not being able to make a baby.

Everything is hard, and most everyone goes through hard patches in their lives, but that sentiment should never be used as an argument to “Suck it up!” because “Everybody’s got problems…” 

Everybody’s got problems because life is hard, and we should strive to help each other through those hard times by being there, and being supportive, and listening, and not judging, and not comparing someone else’s struggles to our own as a means to justify how much sympathy they deserve. We could all stand to be a little more neighborly and easy-going on one another instead of always being so quick to throw our own challenges into the mix when the other person is just trying to unload.

What would’ve helped in any of those situations is if someone would’ve spoke up and said, “Hey, it sounds like what you’re going through is really hard. Do you want to talk about it?” Or, “Let’s go get a cup of coffee and try to get your mind off of that stuff for a while.” Or even just, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here for you. Full stop.”

It’s actually pretty simple because my problems may not be about you, but you’re welcome to try and help be part of the solution … as long as you can remember that they’re about me and not about you.

And that’s actually pretty hard, too, but it’s something that we all have to work through together. 😉

More Home Improvement Fun
Been tackling a handful of new projects around the house again, several of which have been on my list for a while now but were deferred due to either bad weather or a lack of the necessary parts. Replacing a handful of broken boards in the fence, resurrecting our sprinkler system that’s had a leak since the week after we moved in, installing the first of so many shelves that are needed to hold all of the crap that  we have around this place … and yet I swear for every one thing that I finally cross off the list, another three miraculously pop up in its place!

Still, it’s definitely fun seeing things start to take shape around this little home of ours – I guess I just wish we had a little more free cash lying around so that it could all happen a lot faster. Seriously, we need so many shelves between the family room, our bedroom closet, bathroom, etc…

Turning a Blind Eye to Politics
So how am I doing so far for February?!

I know I’ve said it about a million times – I find myself drawn to politics because I think there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in this country that needs to change, and at the same time I often times watch myself getting so wrapped up in some of these issues that it feels like it starts to cut into some of my creative efforts … and that’s bad. I honestly don’t write that much about politics as compared to everything else.

If it’s between politics and funny stuff, I’d much rather write jokes than rant about the Tea Party, so being as busy of a season as this is turning out to be, I’m trying my best to avoid the crazy so that I can focus all the more on creating stuff that’s actually enjoyable to read… 🙂

Missing Mickey Mouse
And lastly for this update, 2013 hasn’t seen very much Mouse thus far, though for reasons not to be disclosed February has been “hectic,” to say the very least! At this point our last trip was spending Christmas Eve at the Magic Kingdom … we had talked about maybe trying to spend New Year’s Eve there as well, but being our first holiday in the new house, we weren’t sure about how our new neighbors like to celebrate and Cleo doesn’t do well with fireworks – especially when she’s locked inside her cage… 🙁

If nothing else, we’ve got reservations in March for the brand new Be Our Guest restaurant in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom … it seems like just yesterday it felt silly having to make them so far out in advance! We also really need to find the time (and money) for a slightly longer vacation over there – it’s kinda crazy to think that it’s now been over a year since we’ve spent even a single night on Disney property … not sure how that slipped through the cracks last year, but hopefully 2013 will be a little more kind to us in the necessary departments to make a long weekend more of a reality!

Goodbye, Shorty…

October 20, 2012 3:06pm
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My wife’s grandmother passed away last weekend.

That’s why I haven’t really posted much this week – we flew up to New York to be with family first thing Tuesday morning, and have been here through the week. It’s kinda sad that often times as you get older, you get to a point where you really only see extended family for weddings and funerals, and yet at least in Shorty’s case, something tells me that she would still take comfort in the idea of everyone getting together on her behalf, even at her own final expense.

There was a time several years ago when all she wanted was to make it down to Florida to see Sara and I get married. None of us, including her doctors, thought that it was very realistic given how she’d been in and out of the hospital so much lately, but sure enough she kept on fighting and when we looked out across that beach before saying our nuptials, she was there – just as happy as ever.

That’s how I’m personally going to remember Shorty – so happy, so friendly, so kindhearted from the very moment that I first met her. She shared a kinship with my wife that was cherished like no other, and I’m grateful merely to have gotten to tag along and snag up the tiniest of pieces for myself over the six years that I got to know her…

FINALLY Splurging for SunPass!

July 16, 2012 10:10pm
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So I finally did it – I finally, after living in Florida for 9 years, broke down and ordered one of the transponders for our electronic toll system.

We honestly rarely ever use toll roads – maybe at random if we’re wandering around and want to go the short way to the beach that we like or one of the preferred movie theaters in the area, but on a day to day basis, neither my wife or I ever have to worry about paying tolls … which is probably why we’ve never bothered to actually pick up a SunPass earlier! We’ve talked about it a lot, but just never followed through, or when we would’ve, we didn’t have the cash handy, or whatever…

I suppose that finally changed this week when I found myself doing this not once, but twice!

This morning I had to take my in-laws back to the airport over on the other side of Orlando, and I ended up taking one of the toll roads that loops around the city to avoid rush hour traffic on I-4, and let’s just say that I almost made it back without running out of cash! Good grief, that road is expensive – I probably spent $10 on 45 miles of road from the airport back to the public freeway … I ended up a dollar short at the last toll plaza before I was done, and it was almost comical watching the lady actually write me out a bill for $1 that I would have to mail back in when I got home.

Tongue in cheek, I made the comment that if I could just pay at the booth with my credit card, it’d be a lot easier, to which she replied, “If you could pay at the booth with your credit card, we’d all be out of a job…”

Not sure what “all” she was referring to – she was the only lane that was left open and the rest had all been converted to SunPass or coin-only lanes anyways!

Moral of the story is – as long as I avoid tolls for another few days until that transponder gets here, I shouldn’t have to worry about this little pet peeve anymore… 😉

A New Month, and a New Start…

July 1, 2012 2:00am
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Whew. Well, June was fun!

…not…

(Is it just me or did that line lose a lot of its awesomeness after the whole Borat scene??? Wayne’s World did it first, and they did it best… 🙂 )

Anyways…

I think stress management is going to be the name of the game for July. June problems won’t be going away just yet and I’ve got a veritable ton of creative stuffs to knock out over the next 30 days, so the way I see it, the best I can really do is figure out a way to manage the chaos so that I can make it through the month and actually have a few things to show for it! That was really my problem for June, anyways – the stress just kept on building and building all month, and I really didn’t have a good way to deal with it, so often times it ended up impacting the things that I wanted to do in a negative way – diet & exercise, writing, spending time with Sara – and so going into July, I’d like to find a better way to work through all of that crap so that I don’t lose as many nights to passing out early from sheer exhaustion and so on and so forth!

Above all, I think that sleep is going to be a big one because over the last month, I’ve watched my already erratic sleep schedule just take a nose dive for the worst and it pretty much always ends up screwing me in the long run, so in July I’d like to try to normalize a more reasonable bedtime, with the hopes that over time it’ll make me more productive during the day as well.

I’m also trying to make sure that I spend a little time with my wife each week, as it’s really easy to get lost in everything else and see our time fall to the wayside … which also can hurt in the long run because so much of my creative work really does need down time in order for me to write at my best. It’s just not one of those things where I can push push push and get exponentially better results the more time I put into it – sometimes less time and more breaks really can lead to better results.

I’m kind of just rambling now, so I suppose I’ll wrap it up, but that’s whatever “plan” I’ve been able to develop, anyways – we’ll check in a few weeks from now and see how things are coming!

So much to do!

April 6, 2011 9:05pm
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Sleep is good.

Yesterday was a long day, as noted by my post that went up just after we left around 6:30am! I ache just about everywhere, and yet now that we’re officially here at our new home, there’s just so much to do…

  • Get my fish tank setup so that my fish don’t die in the 5-gallon buckets that they were transported and are now currently living in.
  • Figure out how to get our hot tub working so that we can enjoy a much needed, muscle-relaxing soak!
  • Clear out garage so that I might actually be able to park in it alongside Sara’s car.
  • Get the entertainment system & Wii setup so that I can try to get back into an exercise routine once again.
  • Clear out space around the elliptical so I can make use of that as well.
  • Go grocery shopping because we’ve been eating out way too much throughout this whole ordeal!
  • Decide how I want to design my office this time, and subsequently where to stash whatever doesn’t end up on shelves somewhere.
  • Get spare bed setup and clear out extra bedroom for when my sister-in-law will be here next week.
  • Possibly change locks, dependent on whether we get remaining keys back from old tenant or not.
  • Change of address forms a plenty!

I’m sure there’s much, much more, but in the meantime, I’m hungry and good Chinese is one of the few takeout places that we haven’t hit in the last two weeks yet.

WiiFit is gonna be so mad at me when I finally get it hooked up again…

Car Shopping 101

October 25, 2009 11:40pm
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Well, not exactly car shopping just yet, mind you, but more car looking at this time – that’s what we did for part of this afternoon, anyways. It seemed like a good idea, with Sara finally graduating nursing school and a new car as a well-earned reward in her not-so-distant future – the local auto show coming to town this weekend proved to be a great opportunity to preview her options without the hassle of getting swarmed by pushy salesmen.

And at this point, I think we’re leaning towards the new Honda Insight, a new hybrid in next year’s lineup that promises anywhere between 40 – 43 mpg. Sara liked it because it was a Honda and she’s had good experiences with them in the past, not to mention still having plenty of room and really having that new car feeling – it’s a pretty sleek looking car! I liked it because it’s a hybrid and I think the fuel efficiency is going to be really important in the next couple of years, and even though it’s still a bit pricey, I think it should still be in the running because of this. We’ll see…


Of course, one of the other things that I couldn’t help but notice this afternoon was simply the lack of show by The Big Three automakers from Detroit. Here we looked at eight or ten different manufacturers and after it all, Honda and Toyota still managed to shine above our own domestic automakers who threw such a big stink last year about how they were too big to fail and needed taxpayer assistance to keep their businesses afloat. Millions of dollars worth of loans and yet they still had all of their SUVs and big trucks, their muscle cars, and exactly one hybrid model each to show their desire to keep their businesses afloat. My favorite, I think, was Ford’s new fuel efficient car, which apparently gets better city mileage than highway mileage … all for about $15k more than Honda’s hybrid, even though Honda’s still gets better mileage to boot!

So anyways, all in all I think it was a good way to spend a couple hours of the afternoon. It was nice to be able to look at all of the different options under one roof and in such a short amount of time, so now it’s just a matter of picking a favorite and then going to battle for the price. Good times…

yearning for the Keys

February 1, 2009 3:05pm
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I’ve unofficially decided that Sara and I need to take a trip down to the Florida Keys this summer.

The thought came about earlier this weekend when I was trying to come up with some vacation ideas that we could enjoy without completely crumpling our budget. It’s been extra difficult over the last year because she only gets a week off between semesters, and usually that time is just spent trying to unwind here at home, but at the same time it’s always nice to be able to get away and relax in another locale, too. We’ve already got the plan to go on a cruise this fall when she finally graduates, and obviously we go over to Disney all the time anyways, and then I came up with the idea of possibly hopping down to the Keys for a three or four night getaway.

For us it would actually work out pretty good because given the timing of her summer break from school, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the blackout season for Florida Resident Passholders over at Disney, and between the heat and the crowd levels we wouldn’t really want to go there anyways, but the Keys could be an entirely different scene. With no actual events or activities to fill our schedule, it would leave lots of time for just lying around on the beach relaxing. Throw in maybe a bit of snorkeling, a few umbrella-laden drinks, and it sounds good to me!

I’m trying to think back and it’s all still a bit fuzzy to me, but I think the last time I’ve actually been in the Keys was back in high school when I took a “senior trip,” if you will, down here with a couple of friends. And mind you, that was in 1999, so I do believe that after 9 years have passed, 5 of which I have lived in Florida, thus making the Keys a mere 6-hour drive away as opposed to nearly 30 … as Jimmy would put it, I’ve just got to get back to the islands…

Can anyone recommend a nice, but affordable resort down south?

Tonight I learned that the capacity of our refrigerator is equal to approximately six very heavy garbage bags.

Long story short, Sara and I returned from our honeymoon on Monday to find that our refrigerator had finally decided that refrigerating was no longer the cool thing to do. It hadn’t completely died off at that point, and as we have had various problems with the beast in the past, we decided to try and wait it out to see if the problem would subside before shelling out our hard-earned clams to get somebody to come out for nothing.

Bad News: The problem kept getting worse, to the point where the freezer floated around 17 degrees (should’ve been 0) and the fridge around 42 degrees (should’ve been 37).

Good News: We were able to schedule someone from GE to come out and fix it yesterday afternoon at the landlord’s expense.

Bad News: According to the FDA, the above-mentioned temperatures aren’t exactly what are considered to be “safe” for keeping foodstuffs free of bacteria, so with the exception of some pudding cups and an unopened jar of pickles, the contents of our refrigerator is now sitting out at the curb waiting to be hauled away with the rest of the garbage.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to clean out the fridge, seeing as we’ve lived here for a year and all, and we do need some new food in the house after having company for the last two weeks, but boy, is shopping from scratch (condiments and all…) going to suck! I guess if we wanted to take charge and finally make the lifestyle changes to get our weight loss efforts back on track, this should certainly serve to be a good kickstart… 😛

glasses conundrum

September 14, 2008 10:25am
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So Sara and I both made it a point to get new glasses and contacts last weekend, and I went back to pick them up yesterday. She primarily wears glasses, but wants the contacts for days when she wants to be able to wear sunglasses or just doesn’t want to wear glasses, whereas I’m a contacts guy who just wanted to get a pair of glasses to satisfy those early morning hours when I first get up and don’t feel like either rushing to throw in my contacts or walk around blind in the meantime.

My problem is, I’m not sure if I can wear glasses now.

Keep in mind that I haven’t worn a pair of glasses since I was probably fifteen – possibly even earlier, but I can’t really remember, but regardless, I know that I got my contacts sometime around the 10th grade, meaning that I’ve been used to contacts for over a decade now. Switching back to glasses seems like trying to gargle fire in the middle of a hurricane … I tried them on for a couple of hours last night, but I nearly got a headache just from the differences. It seems like there was a glare just about everywhere, and I’m not entirely sure if that’s a subtle “feature” from the eye doctor to prove that I should’ve paid the extra $39 to get the special “non-glare coating.” Also, I can’t help but notice how bad the fuzziness is around the outside of the lenses, especially in my peripheral vision – I suppose you sort of take for granted the concept of the lens covering your entire cornea when you only wear contact lenses. And don’t even talk to me about how the computer screen seemed to pulse back and forth as I was typing…

And mind you, I did wear my glasses for several years growing up before I made the switch, but maybe it’s a combination of my vision not being as bad back in the day and also having gotten so used to the alternative since then. Right now it’s just weird because I find myself having to actively focus on only things through the lens themselves – if I catch myself looking around the rims, not only is everything obviously blurry, but my eyes start to hurt if I’m looking half through one and half the other at the same time.

Granted, it’s only the first day with them and I certainly won’t be wearing them full-time, but I do hope they get at least better enough so that I can stand to wear them for watching TV in bed and whatnot. Any thoughts from folks that actively wear both? It’s funny that I remember “the switch” from glasses to contacts being toted as “not always easy” by my eye doctor at the time, but that was pretty much just because I wasn’t too fond of the girl jabbing her finger into my eye to “show me” how to put them in…

Who knew that the switch back would be just as bad?!

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