A LOT has changed since my last post. First of all, I’m unemployed for the first time since I was 16 yrs old! Woohoo! Stay At Home Dad (SAHD) Lifestyle Change is now officially in full swing. Yeah!! As for the rest of what’s been going on, my last post was in early September, so there’s a lot to unpack and sort through since then.
My biggest success since we last left was getting my mental health squared away better than it has been in decades. Literally, decades. Here’s a very brief back story. When I was in 6th grade one of my good friends was tragically killed when he hit a powerline while climbing a tree. I felt responsible and went into a fairly heavy depression. It lasted the better part of a year before my parents sought help. The child psychologist recommended me to in-patient treatment if I “didn’t snap out of it soon”. After overhearing that, I started putting on the happy face and pretending everything was fine. I’ve been doing that ever since and have just been going around being whomever I’m supposed to be that day. While I’ve gotten really good at it, I’ve never gotten rid of that inner voice of shame, guilt, negativity, depression, etc… It’s just followed me around like a little devil on my shoulder trying to convince me of all sorts of bananas shit and not let me enjoy my successes. Hell, it hasn’t let me “just be” in over 29 years.
Until these past few months that is. I got proactive and started going to a depression group here in OK, pretty much since we’ve been here. I also went to see a psychiatrist to figure out what’s wrong, because clearly, I’m not fixing it on my own. With the help of my shrink and my group, I’ve had no negative self talk, depressive voice, or any of that the last few months. It’s been freaking amazing!! Why the hell I waited so long to do this, I have no idea. If any of you are struggling with depression or any mental health issue and feel like you’re stuck and can’t figure it out on your own, take that next step. I’d done therapy (talking) for 4 years in LA and it helped with a lot, but not that. If you’re struggling, try kicking it up a notch and seek different help, or any help. It has made a HUGE difference in my life. HUGE.
So Much Free Time?
My remote contract ended on the 2nd, and I was officially “free” from work. To be fair, I hadn’t done any “work” in the last month and a half. I’d made 2 trips to Houston which were all but worthless from a business standpoint. I literally flew to town to sit in a conference room and watch my team present for 30 min and I didn’t say anything, offer anything, nothing.
Then 3 weeks later, I flew back for an all day meeting to watch my team present 1 geology slide in a 9 slide, 10 minute long presentation. Yep. Living the dream, baby!
With all that free time, what have I been doing? Well, trying to get a volunteer gig for most of it. The Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) group at my kids school took applications on family night, the day before school started. Then wouldn’t submit those applications until after their WatchDOGS BBQ late September, and I still haven’t heard anything other than – here’s a link to where you can buy shirts when you’re approved. Maybe it’ll happen before Christmas, who knows… I also submitted an application at CASA and they are meeting with me Nov 16, so we’ll see how that goes.
Amazingly, even with no actual commitments, it’s super easy to see my free time frittered away every day and think, “Holy crap?! It’s 3:20 pm already?!” I’ve done very little music practicing, even less exercise, and not much outdoor anything to be honest. I’ve just been enjoying the fall and getting to wear long sleeve t-shirts and jeans again. Woohoo!! Fall!!!
Set a Schedule?
Beyond that, I’ve been trying to get on a more productive schedule. Mrs. SSC came up with a nice schedule for weekly and monthly cleaning, and I need to get on to better meal planning and having dinner ready at nights. I haven’t adapted to that part of the SAHD lifestyle yet. I’m getting there, but it’s a lot. I did go into gmail and set up some blocked-out times mostly for exercise, playing music, and cleaning. I need to add in writing as I feel like there is loads of blog fodder around me most days/weeks and I just haven’t given a f$*& lately, to be honest. Hell, I didn’t even get out a “Here’s how Fincon 18 Went Down!!” post.
That’s okay, because I’m not being critical of what I didn’t do, I’m just being happy that I’m here now, writing. Yeah, writing! And exercising, and getting into doing what I need to do, not what I should have been doing. You can’t change that anyway, so why beat yourself up over it?
Finally, I spent some of that time revamping the blog! Yeah, a new layout, fresh new look, and hopefully cleaner interface for all of you that are gracious enough to stop by and peruse the blog posts. Thanks for your support and reading. I’m working on being more consistent with writing once again and like I said, there is loads of blog fodder around here.
Fincon 18 Quick-Take
Fincon 18 was pretty awesome! Good setting, if you knew how to play Frogger, great weather for running (if you were used to the Gulf Coast weather), and a great group of attendees this year. I loved getting the soul recharge of seeing old friends that you only run into online. Just as awesome is the new friends you get to make and get to know. There were so many of those it was almost like this was my first Fincon all over again. I was deep in depression that whole week, and it took a lot to get out of my room, but once I did, man, it was an amazing 12 hrs+ of talking each day. The parties were good, but the people are what made it epic. Thanks to everyone that made it a great Fincon for me and I hoped I added as much to your experience as all of you did to mine.
Look for more posts soon on finding my ikigai, adapting to our new budget, still cleaning up the yard (now that it’s cooler, that’s started up again), DIY vs contractors, me finding paid work (whaaaa??!!!) and more. Just kidding, I’m not looking for paid work, just seeing if you’re paying attention.
Anything big going on in your life lately? New changes ahead or just happened? Let me know!