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Thursday, May 12, 2022

The past, and learning to let go...

    Hey guys.  I've been in a very introspective mood lately and thought I should update my blog.

   I want to talk about the past in this post.  Specifically past mistakes that we make in our lives.  Whether it be with friends, family, even strangers.  My whole life I have always personally struggled with forgiving myself.  It's something that I talk about with my therapist often.  I'm my own worst critic.  I tend to dwell on past mistakes whatever they might be and let it eat me alive, robbing myself of inner peace and time.  I recognize that this is toxic behavior, without getting too preachy, God didn't put us on this earth to constantly worry and beat ourselves up about past mistakes.  Learning from our mistakes and moving on is important of course, but continually dwelling on past failures does nothing.  None of us can change the past.

   This past weekend I personally made a mistake.  I don't want to get into the details yet at this time but needless to say it's still bothering me now as I type this.  For whatever reason, moving on is very difficult for me.  I think my Catholic upbringing is part of the reason for my current feelings.  As Catholics, we are taught that we are saved by the mercy and grace of God.  That none of us are worthy of being saved.  My relationship with God has wavered like I'm sure most people have.  Somedays I feel very inline and connected, others I act completely indifferent.  I always feel that I am striving to be perfect in my behavior and interactions with others but ultimately fall short because as humans, none of us are perfect.  I've prayed about it and confessed my sins to God but yet it still gnaws at me because it's something that I cannot change.

   One positive outcome from this has been that I have started looking deeper at myself and my own flaws and trying to improve.  I've also started a small garden in my backyard and that's given me peace.  I know that I will get through this, it's just hard.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

War

 There is war in Europe again.  Something I honestly did not expect to see.  I think it's something that most of the world did not expect to see either.

When Putin started amassing his troops on the border of Ukraine, I just thought it was postering.  Trying to get something out of the European countries and NATO.  Unfortunately, they invaded, and the Ukrainian people are suffering.  The Russians are suffering too with heavy losses.  And the international community is suffering with rising energy costs due to boycotting Russian oil.

Most of Europe has gone the clean energy route, which is great, but in my mind, they went too far.  They have a heavy reliance on Russian imports of Natural Gas and Oil.  Green energy is all well and good and may be the future, but in my opinion, the technology is not quite there for our energy needs currently.  Fossil fuels are still extremely important in the world market.

I still am trying to figure out what Putin's "end-game" is.  The international community has shut him out of the money system or the most part.  The US has installed some tough sanctions against them along with other countries.  The price of the Russian Ruble has dropped a ton, so their economy has to be really suffering.  I kind of understand that he wants to re-unite the countries that broke off after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but this is an old style of thinking.  The world is much closer now with technology then it was during the Cold War.  Countries are able to communicate better and faster and come together quicker to counter a threat.  Plus, the people living in these easter bloc countries like Ukraine seem to HATE Russia because of how brutal socialism was in their countries.  There may be some separatist regions, but the majority of these countries will fight to keep their way of life, no matter the odds.

I really don't have too much to say on all of this, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all.  My heart aches for the death and suffering of the innocent civilians in Ukraine caught up in this.  I also feel bad for the Russian people that didn't sign up for this war, and the Russian soldiers who seem really green and are just now realizing that they have been duped into this war.  There have been many reports of Russian POWs that have talked about the mis information campaign their government has been waging.  Putin is claiming that he is "de-Nazifying" the country and that the Ukraine is run by Fascists and White supremacists.

In general, I along with many other looks for this whole thing to end immediately.  Putin must be stopped but at the same time, we don't want to be drawn into a war.  It's not WW3 yet but it could easily come down to that depending on decisions made by some world leaders.  I hope and pray for an immediate end to hostilities and that the pain and suffering of all the innocents ends.  May God bless them.



Monday, November 8, 2021

Moving

     Let me just first say that I hate moving lol.  I don't think anyone really likes it though so that doesn't make me unique.  It's just a lot of work.  But one aspect of moving I do like is it forces you to take a mental check on your life.  Looking at stuff I have that has honestly just been sitting in boxes since I have been in my apartment makes me question if I really need it.  In a sense I am trying to do a spring cleaning of sorts in November.  I'm not a hoarder by any means but there is definitely stuff that I have that I don't need or even use anymore.

     The house is ready for move in and I have moved a lot of the big stuff already thanks to the help of my parents and friends.  It's definitely going to be a big change for me living in a house again.  I have become very accustomed to apartment life.  Now I will have a yard to take care of and I can't just call maintenance to fix shit lol.

     All in all I am looking forward to it even though it will increase my daily commute by a bit.  I definitely feel more mature having my own house.  I think it is a good step for me.  My plan at this moment is to live there for a few years, continue doing some minor renovations, and then flip that house and use the profit as a down payment to a mortgage on a new house.  Of course no one knows what the future holds but that is my current plan.


Friday, July 23, 2021

Halfway through 2021 update

     Just wanted to post an update on how my year has been going.  Overall, I would say its been a roller coasters.  Good highs, bad lows.  But I am staying strong through it.  I think finally (FINALLY!) I am approaching some sort of self discipline on things.  I also notice that when I write things down (or update my blog) it helps me become more self aware of my many mistakes and allows me to step back and evaluate where to go from here.

    First off, I went to Vegas memorial day weekend.  It was fun but honestly felt weird.  Things were not yet completely open because of the pandemic.  Some spots were open and masks were not required for vaccinated individuals (like myself) but it just didn't have a Vegas vibe.  It was super packed though which was a little shocking.  I think people are just wanting to travel again after being locked up at home in 2020.  I know that I do.

    Without going into detail, I slipped up again on my spending.  I realize now that beating myself up which is what I usually do accomplishes nothing because I don't have a time machine and can't change the past.  I'm looking forward to the future with the thought that I will just have to exercise more caution.  I've also looked at several budgeting software out there.  Right now I am just using an Excel spreadsheet which does the trick.

    Dating has been hit or miss.  Without naming names I've had some good ones and some bad ones.  We will see what the future holds.

    Podcasting has been a great experience.  It has helped me get closer to friends and be more involved in their lives and them in mine.  Discussing a variety of topics and gauging their interest and opinions has been fascinating.

    I've hit a bit of a plateau on my diet.  Still down 25 pounds since last December but I have been stuck hovering around 240 for awhile.  I have finished the Nutrisystem diet and have just tried to shop better and eat better for myself.

    I'm looking forward to the end of the year.  For the first time in awhile, I will be living in a house.  This time my own.  My parents are letting me rent out their old house after we fix it up a bit.  Unfortunately there is a lot to do.  But this will give me good experience in house repairs, remodeling, and maintenance.  I have pretty much no experience in this right now so it will be a learning experience.

    Hope the year is going well for all of you out there. God bless.   

Monday, June 14, 2021

Thoughts on death ... and life

    This may be a dark post but I have some thoughts on the subject.  Recently a friend of mine lost her mom to cancer.  She was relatively young and without getting into too many details, it was a very moving and sad service.  I haven't been to a funeral in awhile, I think the last one was my brothers 7 years ago.  So I went in just wanting to pay my respects to her and her family.  What I walked away with was so much more.


   They prayed the rosary first and then had a minister get up and say some kind words.  The whole thing was in Spanish but I was able to follow along during the rosary somewhat due to the repetition.  I was overwhelmed by how big the family was and how many friends were there.  The chapel was full and people were standing in the halls of the funeral home.  This woman was definitely loved and respected by many people.  There was just so much love in the room.  Many were crying as well but that understandable obviously.  She was loved and she will be greatly missed.  It was very moving, to see the impact that this woman had on others.  If I live a life where I have an impact on even half that many people I will have felt it was a life well lived.


   It got me self reflecting on my life.  I'm currently 39 and have lived about half my life according to life expectancy in the US.  If I was gone tomorrow, would I have felt that I have lived a good life?  Do I have an impact on my family and friends as a good son, cousin, godfather, friend?  I feel like there is a lot more I would like to do in my life.  Travel, get married, start a family, enjoying and learning new hobbies.  None of us know the day or time when God will call us home, will we be ready when that time comes? Needless to say, its spurred my creativity gene to get more active and start working on some personal goals I have.  I have a tendency to procrastinate on things and be a couch potato.  I don't want to look back on my life with regrets about all the times I decided to just lay on my couch and watch TV when I could have been doing other things to better myself.


  With all that said, I have been making a few changes.  This service on Sunday just reinforced that I need to continue going down the path I am on.  Relaxing is OK every now and then, but I just need to fight the urge to do nothing and be lazy sometimes.  Keep self motivating and keep my faith in God and the plan that he has for my life.


Take care friends.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Obligatory political post

    Wanted to vent a few things about our current political climate and the rise of "woke" and "cancel" culture.  So be warned you may not agree with my opinion and that fine.  I value diversity of thought and others opinions on matters.  If we all thought the same we would be robots and life would be dull.  Anyways, onto my soap box.

    The way the media in this country and others are so quick to immediately brand people as racists in this country needs to stop.  Yes Derek Chauvin was a terrible cop and his actions were reprehensible that day he arrested George Floyd.  I think the verdict was correct in the jury finding him guilty.  He will get a chance to appeal just like every citizen has but I believe the charges will stand.  The main question to me here is were his actions overtly racist or just inept?  Would he have acted the same way had George Floyd been another color? Ultimately it doesn't matter.  A life has been lost.  It's a tragedy.  The only person that can answer the racist question is Derek Chauvin himself.  Even then, many will not accept his answer and have already made up their mind that he is a racist.  In my nearly 40 years alive on this planet, I feel that the racial divide in America is as far apart now as I have ever witnessed it.  I wasn't alive in the Jim Crow days in the South and am sure it was much worse then.  But if you just turn on CNN or listen to elected officials in Washington talk, you would think that Jim Crow is alive and well today.

   To be clear, I am not denying the existence of racism today.  There are racist people today just as there were in the past.  I think there will always be people with hate in their heart that discriminate against people who are different than them.  No matter if its race, religion, sexuality, etc.  The difference is our culture has changed such that these people are more demonized now then ever before in our county's history.  This is a good thing.  But to have the media and other leaders automatically assign "racism" as the root cause of everything in society is not helping.

   In fact the very same day of the Chauvin trial verdict, there was an incident in Columbus Ohio where an officer killed a black female.  Many people were quick to jump on the "racism" train again here without bothering to learn about the "facts".  The facts were that she had a knife in her hand and was attacking another black female.  We can discuss police reform and taser use etc.  But to assign "racism" as a cause is ridiculous.  They saved the other girl who was black from being stabbed.  I feel for the girl's family, but cops have to make these types of in the moment decisions frequently.  I'm sure if the cop had just stayed back and did nothing and the other girl died from being stabbed, they would be angry that they had not taken any action.

   I think as a whole, our country needs to just take a deep breath and not be so quick to assign blame and judge others.  This may sound hopelessly idealistic but I do think change may come.  Living in "cancel culture" is not possible.  Its only a matter of time before cancel culture will come for you on some mistake that you make.  None of us are perfect humans.  We must have hearts of forgiveness.  Otherwise our differences will continue to divide us and we all will become more bitter.

   

Monday, March 22, 2021

Good friends and Mental Health

 Friendship is a funny thing at times.  All of us through our lives have met hundreds or more people.  Sometimes they develop into friendships, other times that don't.  I definitely have more people that I have fallen out of touch with who were friends at one period of time of my life and I am sure this is very common.

Some things like social media are there to help you "reconnect" with these people should you ever choose to.  My personal opinion is that social media is toxic but I can't deny there is still some semblance of good about it.

Platonic friendship is defined as a type of love that is not sexual. It is named after the Greek philosopher Plato though he never actually used the word himself.  Platonic love as devised by Plato concerns rising through levels of closeness to wisdom and true beauty from carnal attraction to individual bodies to attraction to souls, and eventually, union with the truth.  (I may or may not have ripped those last sentences from Wikipedia lol)

Anyways, I feel platonic love like sisterhood and brotherhood is becoming more and more rare these days.  Drama usually ensues where 1 or sometimes both parties are at fault and they just cut ties and move on.  I'm very fortunate that I still have close friends that I have kept in contact with for decades.  Even though disagreements arise from time to time over things, the bottom line is that because our friendship has been going on for so long, we both realize that these are just trivial things.  We don't just stop talking to each other. Or if we do, maybe just a day or so.

This isn't meant to be a brag.  I feel extremely fortunate to be in this situation.  In fact, the opposite side of this is by far more common.  I feel like most people maybe have 1 or 2 really close friends that they discuss their life with, excluding family of course.

The crazy thing about all of this is the depression has robbed me of this before for a period of time.  I would isolate myself and by doing so, friends most likely either assume I am busy or they are busy themselves.  At those low moments, I feel like I am too much of a bother to contact them.  Let them live their lives, I'm insignificant.  This is clearly wrong and I recognize this now but there are several times where I did not see so clearly.

A snowball effect would emerge.  I would increasingly become more and more lonely the longer I would isolate.  Honestly if it wasn't for my parents, who knows how bad it would have got because they would be the only contact I would have with anyone other than limited stuff at work with co-workers.

One particular person has greatly helped me see this more clear. Jordan Peterson.  He's been maligned as an alt-right whack job by some but honestly, he is one of the more brilliant minds around today.  Taking out the political side and focusing on the human side of things, he is absolutely amazing.  

I know many people don't read books these days, some listen to them.  But his book the "12 rules for life" and his new sequel "Beyond Order" (Which I still haven't read yet) describe stuff like the human experience and the quest to find self worth.  I highly recommend to anyone out there interested to pick up a copy of either.  

Anyways, that's the gist of the point that I am trying to get across.  Friendship should be cherished. Take care fam.