Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A bit of retrospective

At about this time 3 years ago we had been in our new house for about 5 months, and I started to see a lot of old issues my wife and I have re-appearing.  While I did miss the Cleveland area, I did tell my wife before she decided to apply back up here, that it was a mistake, we were moving in a good direction down in Columbus, and my preference would have been to stay there or go elsewhere.

I'm not entirely sure what caused the re-appearance of issues, maybe it's just old habits die hard and the fact that we didn't have those to fall back on in Columbus, allowed us to change a bit.  While most of my frustration was around the ones my wife fell into, I'm sure there are numerous ones she would point out if she was writing that I was doing as well. I tend to view mine as coping with the situations at hand based on hers, but maybe that's just for my own sanity.

It didn't help that although we were moving in a good direction in Columbus, there were still lots of issues I was facing. I had put on a great deal of weight in Columbus, I was on my 2nd job that I disliked since we moved to Columbus, and the likelihood of being laid off was very real.  It didn't help that my wife's job was just part time in wages as a teacher with student loans that were paying for 2 masters degrees. 

It's easy to say I was depressed, although the realization of it was hard to understand.  After all, I had just survived a hospitalization due to staph infection, miraculously got us out from under a house that had lost 75% of it's value, and somehow managed to beg, borrow, and steal and get us into a very nice house in a city that we loved. 

The first part of digging out of some of that depression was getting a new job, I had a lead internally for a position that I had left 4 years before, but for a new organization, a rather big deal organization inside the company I'm with.  If I told you that my organizations crown jewel had kicked Ken Jenning's ass on Jeopardy, you might be able to figure it out. 

I wound up getting that position, which meant some stability, some possible future upward mobility, and at the very least some comfort in doing something I was very good at, and enjoyed doing (for the most part).  The only negative, is I had sort of mastered that role previously and the new organization was going to run those of us doing that work into the ground. I was willing to take the exchange, and for the most part, my mental state in regards to that cleared up.

We decided to take a cruise that summer instead of going to Disney or any of our other family vacation spots.  It was nice and a great getaway, but I hadn't put on a bathing suit in 2 years, and let me tell you, it was not a pretty site looking in the mirror.  Yes, even as a man, I'm a bit vain, considering how many years I had worked to keep the weight off, this was extremely depressing. Of course prior to the cruise I had started getting back on an exercise routine, but by the time we left it wasn't enough and by the time we got back, I was far too depressed to continue with it, which just added to my negative mindset, which continually got worse over the next few months.

So there I was at 41 years old, fat again, a smoker, in a sort of dead end job, and in a relationship that has had it's challenges over the years, that I consider to be beyond 'normal relationship stuff'.  I did try and remedy some of this, by branching out to try and find new friends, find new hobbies to do, come up with things for the family to do, or just come up with an at home hobby that might take my mind off things.  Nothing seemed to be working.  Heck I even built a cabinet (not a very good one, but if you knew how handy I am, you'd be impressed that I at least tried something new).

I was able to branch out some and find new friends (and in some cases older ones from high school) I also started bowling and trying to get out of the house and break my funk.  Little did I know that getting out of the house was more about looking to escape the depression rather then providing any healing.  It continued to get worse as time went on.

You think 3 years is long

While going through some things today, I came back to my dashboard and noticed that it's a little under 3 years since my last blog post (May 23, 2013).  My how much has changed in 3 years and in truth in just the past 6 months. 

I'm contemplating writing about some of it here, but deciding on what to share and how to approach it. 

You see, I've been separated now from my wife for almost 6 months.  I left in the beginning of December of last year (father of the year, let me tell you, Christmas, daughter's birthday, and topped off by our precious dog Edgar (12 years old) passing away. 

There are a number of reasons for the separation, but ultimately the decision is mine.  I wish I could tell you there was some compelling reason like an affair, but alas there is not, just a lot of realizations that accumulated over almost 15 years of marriage and 16+ years of being together.

I know I can use the therapy that writing about it can bring, and I'm sure some good friends that get regular emails from me, detailing way too much, would be happy for the alternative :)

I guess if there is one positive, it's that I won't struggle for topics to write about, I've got enough in my head from the past couple years and enough unknown about what tomorrow brings, that finding things to write about shouldn't be a problem. 

Life and times indeed.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Career Day, or as I like to call it "What the hell did I get myself into?"

My daughter brought home a sign up form a month ago for career day.  I vaguely remember ours in school, where you had to sign up to go to a class and a parent would talk about their careers.  I thought it sounded like a good idea.  Of course my memory was on career day for high schoolers, in this case, I would be dealing with elementary school kids, how hard could it be.

My concerns started brewing when after signing up, they sent home a flyer advising parents to ensure they bring their materials.  Materials?????  What the hell kind of materials am I going to bring.  I sit on a recliner, with my laptop and my phone, that's the extent of my materials. 

I shook it off and decided to carry on with my plans of showing up sans materials.  I managed to even laugh along with the jokes from my daughter and wife in the weeks leading up to it.  They claim they don't understand what I do (although my opinion is they don't particularly care).  My daughter thinks I play video games all day and then go to Las Vegas occasionally, which would truly be a great job if that was the case, I suspect my wife believe the same, but has no interest other then that the bills are paid.

I will admit, that while the specifics of what I do are fairly mundane, there are some interesting things about my job.  I work for a Fortune 50 company at a fairly high level (given the number of years I've been there).  I work with people all around the world on high dollar contracts for cutting edge technology.

There is something cool about that, isn't there?

If that question was posed to elementary school students, the answer would be a resounding "no".  The career fair I arrived at, had us at our own tables in a horseshoe shaped seating arrangement and the students would come in and walk around the tables as the teachers brought their classes in. 

I was lucky enough to be seated by the chef/owner of a local restaurant and the fire chief.  Lucky me!!  Thankfully my table had little traffic allowing the chef to queue up the eager students awaiting to get at his display of gummy bears, dried cherries, and other assorted foods.  Any stragglers that couldn't fit in front of the fire chiefs table were also able to wait by mine, as there was a line forming to view the infrared camera he was showing off (way cooler then I would have expected and the resolution on the new models, wow). 

The poor children that did inquire about what I did, quickly had a glazed look come over their eyes, until they caught sight of the bright, shiny fruits and vegetables at the next table, which snapped them out of their trance.  Towards the later part of the event, I'd start my conversation by telling the kids they really should check out the infrared camera with the fireman.

I shouldn't have been surprised, over the years, I've taken to just saying I'm a project manager when people ask me what I do, it's quick and easy and a professional title that people understand, although I don't necessarily think they understand what a project manager does. 

My brother who has also shared this problem, advised me I should have taken the Barney Stinson approach.  "How I met your Mother" is a show which I've only casually watched, so I wasn't familiar with this running joke, but here's a collection of them.

Going forward there will be no Career days, I'll stick to coaching the daughter's softball team, I will be utilizing the Barney Stinson job reply though for the foreseeable future.