Tag Archives: Family

Holiday Trip-Up

Happy Monday to you all!  Here in the United States the holiday season has just begun to kick off.  This Thursday brings Thanksgiving and the slightly less than a month wait to Christmas.  As my last post indicated, I was pretty excited about it until last week put my excitement in check.  To make a long story short, my best friend in the whole world drove down from Salt Lake City to here in El Paso with his parents but for a sad reason.  His paternal grandfather passed away.  He knew it was coming, as his grandfather was in hospice care and they gave him just about the amount of time it ended up taking for him to pass away.  It was still good to see him as we ended up having a great heart to heart on Sunday, and I ended up spending time with his family on Monday.

If that wasn’t bad enough, after pretty much feeling like death thanks to the severe lack of sleep all day Tuesday, my day went from bad to extremely bad by the afternoon.  I found out that my grandmother had fallen at home and ended up fracturing her left hip and on the same day, one of my best friends/bandmates drove himself to the hospital and ended up being admitted for what ended up being nearly a weeklong stay.  Tuesday was the worst, however, because there was a lot of despair and confusion when it came to my grandma’s situation.  We, as a family, had to decide how to proceed with first the immediate medical issue, then later on, how to deal with the overall grandparents situation.  I can’t remember if I blogged about this or not last year, but when grandpa went down with his many health issues last year, it was very difficult emotionally for me to handle.  Ever since my last stint with hotel work I’ve had emotional issues, to be honest.  I used to joke about things like that about being emotionally scarred or people not being able to handle something or a job making people crazy, but my experience has proven those jokes wrong.  I’m now left with anxiety and panic attack issues and I cannot handle stress very well.  I avoid it and situations that cause me anxiety or stress like the black plague.  In an odd twist, I’ve found that I cannot handle any sort of family emergency well either as all cool I may have I lose really quickly.  So, with all that said, when my sister told me that my grandma had fallen and fractured her hip, my already fragile emotional state went into a tailspin.  I went straight to the hospital after work and did my best to keep it together when I went up to my grandmother’s room.  Thankfully she wasn’t displaying pain, so that made me feel better, but the “future tripping” of mine started to kick in quickly.  What does that mean with our situation with grandpa?  He isn’t self sufficient anymore and we all work.  Who’s going to take care of him?  And now grandma is down for the count for a while… will she be able to recover?  Will she be well enough to go back to the way things were before the injury?  If not, what do we do?  *insert panic attack here*.  It was bad.  I stayed at the hospital for a couple of hours then I drove home in the steady rain, which did nothing for my desire to race home to my safe zone. We, as an entire family, decided that surgery was the way to go, and her surgery was scheduled for the next day.  I took half the day off to be there for my family, and it was there that I found out that the bit of discomfort my dad had in his neck and shoulder had gotten worse.  He couldn’t really hide it at the hospital as we waited for grandma to get out of surgery so I had yet another thing added to my plate.  Grandma made it out fine, but my mind didn’t.  I lost my cool a lot during that day.  I was very short fused and I did all I could to fight off the anxiety attack that was just under the surface.  After talking to my sister once we all left grandma’s bedside, I felt better as we both apologized for being jerks.  I stopped to visit my friend in the hospital and once I saw he wasn’t bad off, I felt better about him.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the story, but I’ll say that now my anxiety and panic attack levels have kinda decreased a bit.  Speaking of decreasing, my excitement for this holiday season has also done the same as I’m really broke to the point that I won’t be able to get anybody presents this year, my dad is in some sort of crazy chronic pain that medical science can’t pinpoint the cause of so he’s even in an arm sling, grandma is half a week into a couple of weeks of rehab, grandpa is being taken care of by family and friends of our family, and I’m left trying to keep my positive spirts intact through it all.  What a festive time, right?  So, wish me luck and count your blessings this year.  Things could always be worse, my friends.

BFFs

Hi y’all!  We’ve made it to another week.  God only knows how I made it to this week.  I feel like I overextended myself this weekend, but at the same time felt like I needed to reach out to the friends who first reached out to me.  I’ll explain.  Oddly, on Friday, the wave of depression just hit me hard and all I wanted to do was to pick up the film I rented from Redbox, go home, watch said movie, and hibernate.  Well, that didn’t work out as I planned because a good friend of mine sent me a text asking if I would like to go over to hang out.  This is the guy that I usually say yes to going to his house 1 out of every 5 or so invites.  I was sleepy and exhausted (both mentally and physically), but decided to power through and go anyway.  I ended up staying there pretty late, but had an enjoyable time.  That stunt, however, threw off my Saturday because my plan was to tidy up just a bit, do laundry, and relax.  Well, I ended up watching the film I rented first thing, didn’t feel too hungry so I just ended up drinking two cups of coffee, and I ended up relaxing for the rest of the morning to early afternoon until band practice.  That’s another thing that I wasn’t looking forward to, actually, because I still haven’t gotten my rest yet.  Of course, I went to practice anyway, and we ended up staying late after practice just hanging out and talking which caused me to miss Mass yesterday morning as I thought sleeping would help me out to not be totally out of energy for my bi-weekly visit to my dad’s.  I feel bad about that, but this weekend was just too weird for me.

Things took a different turn yesterday morning as well, as my best friend who lives in the greater Salt Lake City area sent me a message telling me that he was 78 miles away and arriving back in El Paso shortly.  This didn’t come as a huge surprise as he had called me last week to tell me that his grandfather was in hospice care and wasn’t expected to last more than 2 weeks.  He asked if he could see me later on in the day, and of course I said yes as I was excited to see him.  After a few hours at my dad’s house, my friend messaged me to see if I was ready to hang out, so I told my dad that I needed to go, and raced home.  My friend was about 10 minutes behind me, but we had such a great conversation.  That’s really what triggered me to write this post.  See, my dude here has been gone from the area for 20 years.  We became acquainted during our sophomore year of high school and really became good friends by our senior year.  His dad got a job with a company that wanted to relocate him to Salt Lake City, so he ended up moving at the end of 1998 and left his wife and 3 kids back in El Paso for the next half year to allow his oldest (my best friend) to finish high school and graduate with his friends, and then the whole family would move up to meet him there.  I got to spend the summer with my friend before he moved out and we stayed in touch via telephone (this was pre-social media) pretty regularly after that.  He came down a few times the next few years and I went up to see him after I graduated college in 2004 and had a blast seeing the Salt Lake valley and some of the new friends he made.  Anyway, I say all this to say that even though our bond was pretty strong, him being up in Salt Lake City, a 14+ hour drive from here, made our friendship a lot stronger.  Out of all my friends, I can say that I feel the closest to him.  We have similar family backgrounds, and have similar interests.  It’s as if we are truly brothers from other mothers.  Our visit last night was no different.  It was kinda funny because one of the things my boy mentioned twice was how crazy it felt that even though I hadn’t seen him since last April, being there with me felt like no time had passed at all.  I have to say that I felt the same way.

Another part of the conversation we had actually made me tear up.  I forgot what we were actually even talking about, but I expressed the fact that he was family to me and I would do anything for him and I loved him deeply.  Just having him around filled my heart with joy, even though the reason that he was here was for a bad one.  Without hesitation, I lent him my air mattress so that he wouldn’t be sleeping on his brother’s couch, and we got to talking about family.  He’s a relatively new dad, so he’s seeing the other side of things when it comes to just pure love for somebody else.  It was a great heart to heart, and we ended the night in a hug with the knowledge that even though we have hundreds of miles and countless hours of distance between us, we’re going to be friends for life.  The viewing and rosary for his grandfather is going to be tomorrow and he’s going to fly back out by himself on Thursday, so there might not be a chance to see him again on this quick trip, but I was glad that I was able to spend at least those couple of hours with him last night.  It’s always good to have heart to heart’s with those who you care about.  I can’t wait to be able to drive up there at some point hopefully in the near future to finally get the chance to meet his kid and tell him that I’m the crazy “uncle” his daddy talks about sometimes.

Until next time!

Happy for the Holidays

Hi y’all!  Can you believe it?  We’re two weeks away from Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and the full swing of the holidays is upon us.  It’s been a very quick last half of the year by all accounts.  It feels like it was just yesterday that it was the beginning of July and now we’re halfway through November.  Where does the time go?  I mean, I’m a believer that time starts to fly by faster the older we get, but holy smokes, this is the fastest time has passed by in my memory.  I can’t complain about it though, I love the holiday season.  I enjoy watching the holiday commercials on TV (yeah, I actually watch over the air TV sometimes.  Well, it’s mainly NFL Network and whatever networks the sports I love are on, but still!), and my favorite morning of the year, Thanksgiving, brings about the excitement of said day coming at us very quickly.  I actually have the majority of the day already planned out yearly.  I get up at around 6:45am, fire up the TV, and tune it to the local NBC affiliate as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 7am.  I either enjoy a cup of eggnog or coffee while watching the parade, and about midway through it I set up my Christmas tree too!  I purposely bought a Peanuts Charlie Brown Christmas Tree that I made extra snazzy with a small set of white string lights that I have wrapped around the branch.  It looks cool!  Once Santa Claus brings up the rear of the parade and the hosts of the show wish us all a happy holiday season, I tune to the football games on and get the kitchen cleaned up and prepped for the traditional thanksgiving meal.  By that time my favorite NFL team, The Dallas Cowboys, game is on, so I make sure to watch all of that.  About halftime or so is when I set the oven to start up so that by about 3-5pm, the turkey and ham are warmed up and ready to go.  Then it’s dinner, more eggnog, and Christmas music.  I love it so much.  It breaks my heart that I see a lot of my friends hate on the holiday season so much and Christmas music even more.  I know at least some of these friends of mine are atheists and I’ve almost been tempted to tell them to stop giving their kids gifts on December 25th because if they don’t believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, what’s the point of taking part in one of the acts of celebrating His birthday?  Then again, I’m super non-confrontational, so I just let bygones be bygones.  I think I will start posting Christmas songs on Facebook, though!  Somebody has to keep the Christmas spirit going, right?!  Oh man, speaking of Christmas!!!  I think I’m going to really try to watch as many Christmas movies as I can this year.  There are so many to choose from on Netflix and now Disney+!  That doesn’t even include my annual Christmas Day personal film festival that I throw myself.  In no particular order, I watch the following films annually on Christmas Day:  Batman Returns, Friday After Next, Gremlins (sometimes), A Christmas Story, Polar Express, and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (the original Rankin & Bass production) while wearing comfy attire and drinking eggnog and coffee.  I don’t really know why, but I really feel to be in the holiday spirit this year.  I’m not going to complain, though.  It feels good to feel good, if that makes any sense.  I must take advantage of the good feelings while I got them, right?

Well, if you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day (which I haven’t even talked about either!), I hope and pray that the holiday spirit has hit you too!  What are some of your traditions for the holiday season?

Talk again soon!

Sadness, Loneliness, Depression, Exhaustion, Burn Out, and Malaise: My Life’s Journey.

Happy November, y’all.  We made it to the end of the year.  Whoa.  Wait a minute.  2019 is almost over?!  I never did get quite used to knowing that we were living in this year.  If that makes any sense the way I put it, I suppose.  I guess it the year still feels like it’s too far in the future when I actually think or say the year to myself.  What can I say, I’m one of those people who think of the 1980’s when people say “remember 10, 15, 20 years ago when…”  Yep, that.  I think “yeah!  Hell yeah I remember 1987!”  To think, 1987 wasn’t 10 to 20 years ago.  Nope.  1987 was 32 years ago.  Whoops!  Hahaha!  So, yeah, 2019 is like flying cars future to my brain, not the present.  Now I’m going to have to get used to 2020 in less than 2 months!  I’m sure my brain is going to explode come January.

Anyway, I’ve been having a rough go at it lately.  I’ve been having a lot of times of sadness, loneliness, depression, exhaustion, burn out, and malaise.  I can’t really pinpoint the source, though, and that is making things a little bit frustrating.  All that is causing me to have a general bitter and angry baseline when it comes to emotional status and I don’t think a lot of my friends out here in the non-digital world are liking it too much.  Can’t say I blame them, though.  Seeing me not be a cheerful, joking dude must be a bit of an adjustment.  If I allow myself to think of it, I think I can put a finger on the cause of my problems.  In no order, I think I just have been overextending myself lately and not giving myself enough time to just rest.  It’s been a band practice here, visiting a friend’ house there, play some stupid gig for an hour (not even a full set) on two different occasions here (no, not worth it for me), family obligations there, all the while try and fit in me time into there somewhere.  I knew it would come to this too.  I would tell myself, “Dude, you’re gonna hit the burn out wall and you’re not going to like it.  It’s coming, dude.”  Sure enough I was cruising along at the speed of sound when out of nowhere came the unmovable wall and I hit it straight on.  All of this is compounded with my financial situation of living check to check, and my love life which is in the landfill section of life, so yeah… all of those negative feelings (and probably others that I can’t quite put a name to but they are there) just came out in large flooding event and I’ve been fighting the waves since then.

In a small moment of happiness, however, I befriended the strayed/probably abandoned cat that had been hanging around my apartment building since about May of this year.  She was God’s small gift to me…  Another living object to show compassion and love to without reservations or questions.  Spoilers, she’s been gone since last Wednesday morning which leads me to believe that somebody took her or the maintenance peeps at the complex called animal control and they picked her up.  In any event, the 3 weeks that we became friends helped me out during some of my dark times.  Her and I got into a routine where I’d let her into the flat in the mornings, she’d have a bit to eat, and she would spend some time with be before meowing to be let back out, then she’d go along the rest of the day while I was at work and she would show back around in the late afternoon/evening where she’d have another snack and we’d hang out some more.  I would like to think I was giving her comfort and compassion and even if she didn’t intend to, she did the same to me.  In the days since she’s been gone, I’ve joked to myself that she’s been a typical woman in my life.  Shows up, everything is cool, but the minute I show love and provide a meal, she bails.  L O L!!!!!!!!  It’s sad but true.

Anyway, this damn black cloud of mine has started to affect my energy levels to the point that I am sure that I scared my grandma and my dad.  Last week, during my weekly Tuesday visit with my grandparents, I told my grandma that I have been just tired every single day lately and no matter how much I sleep I still hit a wall of exhaustion.  My CPAP machine of doom should have fixed that up, but so far it’s had no effect at all when it comes to feeling refreshed.  The thing that came to her mind was the possibility of me having Lupus.  My mom passed away of the disease 11 years ago and it runs in her family, so naturally I could also be stricken with said disease.  I told her that I had gotten tested for it a few years back and came back negative but it was enough of a worry for her to tell my old man about it.  Yesterday was his bi-weekly visit, so one of the first things he asked me was about my health.  He suggested me eating something during the day to keep my energy level up since he knows I don’t eat lunch, and also possibly just resting more and taking a Tuesday off from seeing my grandparents to allow me to rest, but then I told him I couldn’t ever take a Tuesday off from the grandparents because the minute they are gone I know I’m going to have that regret of “hey lazy ass, remember when you chose to stay home instead of seeing them?!  How rested are you now, you jerk?!  You can’t see or talk to your grandparents anymore, so you can have all the time you want!”  I don’t want to live with that on my conscience, so I’m going to spend every chance I can give myself with them to live without that regret.  To hell with being tired.  I’ll deal with it later.  I don’t know when, but later.

Personally, I think I just need like 3-4 days straight of just staying home to recharge with no responsibilities to have to tend to.  Wake up, clean the parts of the CPAP machine that I need to on a daily basis, fire up the TV to watch Good Morning Football if I wake up early enough to watch it, if not some sort of streaming app, make myself an awesome breakfast when the hunger hits, clean the kitchen after said meal, then just relax.  Listen to music if the mood strikes.  Lay in bed, watch movies or shows.  Don’t even open the front door or open the blinds in the living room.  Just be me, alone, for 72-96 hours, and pray that it fixes the thing that’s broken inside of me.  Sadly, I don’t think I can pull this feat off anytime soon, but I can sure as hell try to squeeze in a day or two this long weekend that’s coming up.

And hey!  My favorite time of the year is here.  Thanksgiving is 24 days away; Christmas is next month, as is New Year’s Eve!  Happy times are ahead, God willing.

Keep on keeping on, my friends.

This and That in September

Hi y’all!  Long time no talk.  I know my last 10 or so blog posts have been brief, but that’s due in part to the lack of time I’ve been giving to really formulate my thoughts.  Believe me, there are a lot of thoughts that have been going through my head lately.  Much like most if not all of my blog posts, I’m just going to start typing and see where this one goes.  Bear with me, y’all!

So, where should I start?  I think I’m going to start off with October 5, 2020.  That’s the date that I either get paid $113 or I owe a friend $113.  The reason for that odd number (and yes that triggers my OCD like feelings) is that as of September 9th, that’s rounded up to how many pounds I need to lose to get to my goal weight.  I took the high and the low numbers from an ideal weight calculator website that takes 5 popular formulas, and found the average to be 137.6 pounds.  I know, it sounds insane to some people, especially those who know me in the outside world, but I think I’m going to do it.  Now, I really have no choice, unless my friend tells me to stop because I look sick or something.  I know I’m only 9 days out from the true beginning of this journey, but I’m feeling really good about it all.  I expected a big loss quickly, and sure enough I got it at my first weigh in, but now I’m motivated for the long haul.  I’ve even already gotten to the point of me going a full hour on the arc trainer and elliptical machines to burn off a lot of calories.  I know I can do this and I don’t even need any kind of support system to do it.  I’m doing this out of sheer curiosity and willpower.  I know I’m going to get to my goal weight before next October 5th, but it’s just a matter of when.  If I push myself to lose 3 pounds a week, I might even reach my goal on June 1st of this coming year.  A full 5 months ahead of schedule.  I think I can do that too.  Like I was telling my bandmates/best friends, I really have two goals in mind right now.  First one is to get down to my lowest adult weight that I ended up hitting like 6 years ago.  I decided to celebrate that a little too much and derailed the whole thing.  Secondly, after that, I’m going to keep going and instead of looking too far ahead, I’m going to take things 5 pounds at a time.  Before I know it, I’ll be where I need to be.  That thought actually excites me too, and does not scare me at all.  I’m looking forward to each 5lb checkpoint.  Smaller goals will mean that I’ll get to the ultimate goal in the end.  I’ll be sure to continually check in with my progress here!

As for other things in my life, I seem to have messed up the balance with things yet again.  My love life is a complete disaster which is trying it’s best to really mess with my depression, but otherwise my mental health has taken a turn for the better and has given me the will to succeed at the other aspects of my life.  My spiritual journey as I walk with Christ is good.  I mean, it can always be better, but I feel like I grow and learn more every single day.  My passion for organization and cleanliness has also ramped up.  I know that’s an annoying shock to my friends in the outside world too as they say that I’m already too much of a clean freak and am OCD with my organization.  Little do they know that I’ve only scratched the surface of that quirk of mine!  So, we’ll see how this little journey of mine goes.  I’m really curious to see if my focus on God and keeping things in clean order stay or exceed their current levels.

In a last bit of things that I wanted to mention and talk about was general human interaction and the perceived difference between the two sexes (YES, I said two!).  The reason I bring this up is because in my talks with my female friends, I find that these friends of mine either end up messing around with complete douchebags or get their hopes up and played by complete douchebags, then I get to hear the “well, guys are horrible!” blast.  I, of course, take great offense to that because even though they don’t believe me until they really notice my behavior, they think I’m just standing up for manhood.  No, it’s not that, it’s just that I hate to be lumped in with guys who use women like objects and don’t show them any respect.  I know I think this way, but I’ve actually been told that I think like a woman.  It’s probably because I was primarily raised by my mom as my dad worked his ass off to provide for us.  That’s why I keep such a clean house like I do.  That’s why I know how to cook the dishes I do and love to do that by the way, that’s why I don’t do the typical male things (I don’t know which ones, you pick one!) either.  I’m just wired differently.  I see a lot of things from the female prospective.  Hell, I even love in dating-esque relationships like a woman, so I think that has a lot to do with the fact that I seem to always either get cheated on, or otherwise mistreated in my relationships.  I’ve been told by female friends that they want men to act like men.  Obviously I get confused at that, because what is a man supposed to act like?  Chauvinistic?  Because if that’s it, then to hell with that!  I just don’t understand.  I’m not innocent in the dating life.  I know I make mistakes, but showing respect and treating everybody the way I would want to be treated is always rule number one with me.  I only actually stand up for myself and defend myself when I just get pushed too far.  There’s only so much abuse, disrespect, etc. that I can take before I break.

The thing that got me into this tangent was a co-worker of mine who talks to me about her dating adventures sometimes.  Homegirl was raised very traditionally Mexican and I’m sure has the mentality of men having to do all the work in the relationship (meaning, calling first, inviting out for dates, etc.  that type of thing).  She felt so embarrassed to ask a guy to see a movie with her.  Of course he didn’t respond to her, so she felt even worse and hated the feeling of rejection.  I found it so comical when she told me that she felt embarrassed and rejected because when I said “How do you think I felt all the times that happened?!  That’s why I stopped!” to her response of “but you’re a guy!”  Then I shook my head in shame because in her mind, apparently men have no sense of rejection, embarrassment, or shame.  To her, apparently, men go out to conquer women and get whatever it is that they are looking for then move on.  They are like animals, spreading their seed, unwilling to settle down with one woman.  It’s kinda sad that she has this warped world view.  Maybe it’s the horribly corrupt world we live in now, maybe it’s something else.  God knows what it may be, but I know I can’t be the only male out there who treats their date/girlfriend/wife with just common respect and dignity, right?  Needless to say, I told her that she’s got a lot to learn about the opposite sex, but that my proverbial door is always open if she needed to talk about anything.

So there it is, my friends.  Time to get at this thing we call life!

Talk again soon!