Updates

I haven’t updated in too long.

So what has been happening?

Well, 3 weeks ago, I went and saw one of my favorite bands, They Might be Giants, play in New Haven. It was AWESOME! They played the entirety of their album “Flood”, for the 30th anniversary of it, and then did a whole second set and FOUR encores. They are going to be doing a show for their album “Mink Car” in May, and I am going to that for sure.

2 weeks ago, Christine and I went and filed for divorce. Only took about 2 hours. There is a good chance we won’t need a physical court appearance as we have no assets, kids or anything else to divide. We are taking our bills and debts and just splitting up. Took us 10 minutes to get married, and a ton of hoops and paperwork to get divorced.

I am slowly getting more and more ok with it. We don’t work as a couple. Plain and simple. After 11 years, it is time for me to find myself again, learn to actually love that self, and continue on with life. We may try to be friends after she moves out, and we have some time and space apart. That may work. It may not. Only time will tell.

So now I am just concentrating on getting myself in order. I am still in therapy, and making good progress there. I need to up my income somehow, and pay off my debts. I am tired of wasting my income, and in turn, hours of my life, with credit card minimums. I want to try to find something I can do part-time, after my regular job, and hopefully from home…to make some extra cash. If not, I guess I will have to get a second job at like…a gas station or something (ugh). I prefer not to…but also, it wouldn’t be permanent. Only until my debts are gone, and I have a stash saved up.

Anyway, that is what I have been up to lately.

More updates as they happen.

Remember, there’s more to life than paying bills and dying.

And I love you all.

-Luke

Balance

I have been having a hard time balancing things lately.

Like, deep down I KNOW I am not ready for a new relationship. (I mean, besides the fact that I am not physically divorced yet, or living alone…)

I know I need a lot more work, mentally, physically and emotionally. I want to drop at least 100 lbs, because quite honestly…it is hard to find the kind of woman I am attracted to, who will date a dude my size. It sucks, yes, but it is reality. Physical attraction matters.

I know I DEFINITELY need to work on my finances and control my spending more. I am tired of being constantly broke, which I could solve if I would just stop spending money for a while and concentrate on debt elimination…yet every Friday rolls around and I find something I want or need that gives me that spike of instant gratification that my dopamine starved brain yearns for.

I know these things…and yet…

I miss being someone’s favorite person. I miss the intimacy, both talks and physically. I miss cuddling. I miss being excited to come home and know someone, who wasn’t a cat, was looking forward to seeing me.

I miss all the stuff I know I took for granted.

I went and saw one of my all time favorite bands a few days ago, and while it was fun to adventure alone, I would have had a much better time with someone to share it with, who enjoys it as much as I did. I saw couples there, displaying affection, and it made me so jealous. I don’t want to become that bitter, lonely guy.

And so I try to balance. I think to myself “One day. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Just keep plugging away and working on you.”

But the loneliness can really work it’s way into my head sometimes.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to write at this time.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying,

and I love you all.

-Luke

Spirituality

So I have gotten back into some of the things I cast aside for a long time…when I thought for a while that I was a straight up Atheist.

I’ve gotten back into my spiritual side a bit more. I picked up some tarot decks and oracle cards. A few select decks off Etsy, a few I found on Amazon.

Today I pulled an oracle card from the Viking Oracle deck (link to come if you are interested. Amazon Affiliates is down at the moment. Sigh.)

I asked what message the Gods have for me today. As I was shuffling, the card popped out at me. I always take this as “HERE! THIS ONE!”

I got #28 Fridgeard. (The spelling is butchered because I don’t have Nordic fonts here so…)

Reading the description in the booklet.

“`It is time to find refuge. We all need occasional respite from the chaos and pressure of the world around us. There is profound sanctity in the places that protect us. Silence is valuable, now. Secure both protection of your community and your own peace. Seek the action that will weave peace into the current situation.”

And with it is a little poem type deal.

In the quiet shade of the great tree,

I can lay down my sword,

and I can put down my shield.

As your strong shield arm is about me,

Here under your gaze all is well.

Woven into each stone and ray of sunshine

Is fridgeard,

And I claim peace.

I need to find a place of peace again. I had one for the longest time, but the property was sold. I supposed I could go talk to the new owner and see if he would be ok with me spending time on the property, as it was quite large…but it may just be easier to find a place closer and new. Either way, now more than ever, I need to find a place of peace.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying,

And I love you all.

-Luke

Been a little while

Been riding the roller coaster of life. Processing emotions. Dealing with pain. Coming to realizations. The works.

A particular comedy special, Daniel Sloss’ “Jigsaw” put a lot of the stuff I am dealing with into perspective for me. I keep having ups and downs, but I will be ok.

So today’s topic. Sleep.

Christine and I have had separate beds, and for much of our 11 years, separate rooms…since the start. Why?

Well, she likes it warm and silent. I have a window fan or A/c all year round (I like it cold.) I run a floor fan and play rain sounds while I sleep. I also snore like a chainsaw.

So we never tried sleeping in the same bed, and quite honestly…I felt for a long time that it was ok.

Now that we are done, and headed to divorce…I realize that it was stupid. It is a level of intimacy that we missed out on. Cuddling until we fell asleep. Random night kicks. Waking up next to each other. We missed out on 11 years of that and I think it definitely did not help our bond.

There were not night time frisky adventures. I mean, sure…I could have woken up at night and snuck into her room, but I’d risk scaring the crap out of her and getting kicked/punched etc. Nothing says romance like scaring the shit out of your partner in the middle of the night!

Also, after whatever activities ensued, I’d have to go back to my room to sleep. It made the whole thing feel…temporary, now that I think about it.

So when (if) I end up in another serious relationship, I am not making that mistake again. We will adapt to however the other sleeps and compromise. If it means a couple sleepless nights from being too warm, or getting kicked a few times from a sleep sprawler…whatever. Worth it for that bond that comes along with sharing a bed.

Anyway, that was my thoughts for today.

Remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

And I love you.

-Luke

Lessons

15 or so years ago, an event happened that left me numb. Long story short, someone I cared about deeply hurt me, and the morning after it happened, I came home from work, cried so hard that I literally pulled muscles in my chest, and went to sleep.

After that day, I was numb. I iced over. Shields went up, feelings were repressed and put in little boxes, shoved into the back of the brain attic and left to fester. No joking, I did not cry again until over a decade later, when my cat (Eddie) died in front of me. I didn’t even allow myself to fully feel that, as I plowed through a 6 pack of hard cider to stop it.

Last night, I sat in my darkened bedroom, listening to music, tears streaming down my face. My repressed feelings have filled all the boxes. The attic has overflowed, spilling out into the stairwell and the rest of the house, and a mouse has chewed a wire, causing a spark. The house is in flames, and the boxes are burning away, releasing their contents.

I post little song lyrics. Music videos. Little quotes from movies the resonated with me at that moment, screaming in to the void social media…like a surfer too tired to paddle back to shore, hoping a passing ship will throw him a life saver…

But the void doesn’t respond. The void clicks “like” occasionally, but sits silent and looming.

As I sat crying last night, trying to stifle it because A: I don’t WANT to feel this way. I don’t want to hurt like this and B: my “room mate” (future ex-wife) was in the room on the other side of a door, I pondered how simple it would be to not feel this way. How a 5.7 mm piece of lead, projected from the muzzle of a .22 caliber hand gun, is all it would take to stop feeling this way…the tears streamed silently.

Don’t worry, as bleak as that paragraph was, I would not do it. Ever. I would not rob the people I care about, who care about me, of me. It is not something I would, or could, ever do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ponder it sometimes. Who hasn’t? Hell, today as I watched the sun rise over a frozen pond, the thought of walking out onto the ice that was clearly too thin to support me, crossed my mind. Slipping into the cold, murky depths…into silent oblivion, seemed almost comforting. Obviously I didn’t. I am here, typing this, sharing my darkest feelings, once again, on social media. Casting out the bait, time and time again, hoping for a nibble.

Also, I have therapy again Wednesday, and will be talking about all of this, so…there is that.

But in all this thought, all this feeling and pain…deep down in the quagmire…I realized something. Regardless of all the hurt, pain, fear, etc, and beyond the source of it all…deep in the darkest, dankest regions of my heart and soul…is love. Forgiveness, compassion and love. I am not, at my core…a hateful or spiteful person. It takes so much energy to hate, and to feel angry. It comes to many so easily, and too many pour a vast amount of their inner power and worth into such endeavors…but my tank isn’t even running on fumes. It is running on molecules…and is not designed for hate.

I am a being of love, forgiveness and compassion…and that is okay.

In the end, everything will be okay. I have lived through all my worst days until this point, and I will continue to do so…

Hopefully, in that time, I can make more discoveries like the one I made last night, as I cried myself to sleep…

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying…

And also,

I love you.

-Luke

Hey hey hey

I’m back. I took a little break for a bit because A: Stress and B: Broke. Lol.

Anyway, 2020 is around the corner and my self improvement continues. I have a small list of things I want to do.

  1. Eliminate debt. I have over $600 a month going out between car payment and credit card minimums. If that was not going out every month, I could easily afford a small house (if you consider the fact that my rent is $950/month). The debt needs to go.
  2. Get healthier. I took a break from the gym because of the holidays. Thanksgiving, then all the cookies and candy at work, then Christmas. Back at it next week.
  3. Continuing my therapy.
  4. Reading/listening to more books. I have been listening to a lot of self help books on Audible because I have time to do so while I work. A lot of my job is monotonous, repetitive tasks…so an audiobook in the background is great. I stop and take notes with my pocket notebook as well. It really helps.
  5. More outdoor time. I have a “bug out bag” with gear for camping and bushcraft. I need to USE it. More fishing as well. Leave my phone in the car and detach from society for a bit.

That is a basic list of things I would like to do in 2020. I still want to figure out my current hobbies as well. I don’t want to invest more into them, other than time. I need to stop spending money as soon as I have it. It comes from a scarcity mindset. Money literally burns a hole in my pocket.

We didn’t get our bonus at work BEFORE break like we usually do, and at first I was upset, but then it made me realize that I won’t blow it all on my shutdown time. When we get the bonus, I can spend a little of it (need to get my transmission fluid changed and the cats need a new cat tower) and put the rest away. I won’t buy one small thing here, one small thing there etc…until the bonus is gone, like I usually do.

And to start, I am not buying anything non-essential in January as well. It will allow me to get caught up, and possibly even squirrel some money away.

Anywho, remember,

There is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

New Bed

So I bought myself a new bed.

My old bed was a twin XL mattress and boxspring, on the floor of my bedroom. I slept on it for years.

I have wanted a Purple Mattress since seeing this commercial for it.

I told myself “One day I will get one of these mattresses.”

Then this whole divorce thing started happening…and I realized two things.

  1. I really need to grow up.
  2. If I start dating again once all this goes down, a twin XL is not gonna cut it.

So I applied for financing for a Purple mattress, and I got approved!

Ordered myself the biggest one that would fit in my room, which is only a full size, but that is enough for now. I also ordered a metal frame, that can hold 2000 lbs of weight.

This is more than just a bed. It’s an investment in me. An improvement in comfort and confidence, for ME. This is literally me thinking about me for once.

And in half an hour, I am going to sleep on it for the first time, and I can’t wait. Lol.

I did this for me, I wonder what else I can do for me.

Let’s find out, shall we?

-Luke

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

Dreams

So for the past two days, I haven’t slept well. When I don’t sleep well, my depression kicks my ass.

So last night I had a dream, and it was quite upsetting to me.

I was with some dudes, most of them faceless. My brother and friend Tim were there. We rolled up on a party taking place in a big field, next to a pond.

For some reason, Tim and my brother, who are both happily married in real life, were single in this dream. Whatever. Not the main point.

So we are all sitting around in lawn chairs and this group of girls walks up to us all, and they each start like…picking a dude to pair off with. Eventually they all do this, and I am left there alone.

So I am sitting in my lawn chair now, alone, and I have a blanket. I cover up with the blanket and suddenly these two sisters approach me and they are both…please don’t judge me for saying this, cartoonishly hideous. They both start going on about how handsome I am and kinda fighting over who gets to pair off with me. Then I woke up.

I was just suddenly hit with this feeling like…do I really hate myself that much? I mean, chosen last, and only by these two ogreish women? What is my subconscious really trying to tell me here.

It’s not really a secret that I have never felt attractive. I have always struggled with my weight (been fat), and I have even had exes tell me years after a relationship that they weren’t attracted to me. (Ouch).

A few of my exes have been the “attracted to personality” types, more so than physical…and I know that is better. I know that leads to a deeper connection…but damn it, part of me just wants to feel attractive. Part of me wants a woman to look at me and just find me sexy. Christine would say I was handsome.

That’s what your mother calls you when you get dressed up for prom. “Handsome.”

I want raw animal magnetism.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s petty. Either way, I know I need to work on my self image. A lot.

Done rambling. Time for bed.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Depression

So I have always dealt with depression, probably since I was a teen. Poor self image, lack of self esteem, the works.

This past week though…it has been damn near crippling. I have just wanted to curl up into a ball and die. Nothing has sparked interest. Life has been dull and almost grey.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I have been eating like absolute garbage. Some not-so-great things happened. The works.

But I have to climb out of this funk. I can’t just wallow around.

Today I am going over my friend’s house to change my front brakes. My driveway is sloped and has trap rock (it is so horrible), so I can’t jack my car up on it. It also gives me more hang out time with my best friend, so bonus!

I did something the other day that I am proud of. It seems like a silly thing to most, but for me it was a huge step.

Depression and addiction are the main factors in what killed my marriage. I was depressed, and to medicate, I crawled into a PC game called Ark.

In Ark, you survive and build shelters. You tame dinosaurs. You can even breed them to produce color and stat mutations. To me, it is a fun game.

But I played it too much. At my worst, I would come home from work, fire up Ark and play. I would play until dinner, often leaving the game running because I was taming something, and go back to it after dinner. I would play until it was time to sleep, often staying up too late in doing so. I was not paying needed attention to Christine.

I spent 2200+ hours of my life playing that God damned game. 91+ DAYS. Almost 1/3 of a year spent taming pixels to be my “friends.”

And often, the game brought me more frustration than it did enjoyment!

I fired it up again the other day and started playing single player. At least with single player, when you close the game, that is it. The game stops. On multiplayer servers, the server remains up, so dinos can attack your base, your animals can starve etc.

I popped back onto a server I used to play on to find all my dinos gone. The timer had gone up on them, and other players had claimed them. A large dino had wrecked a big chunk of my base.

So I started rebuilding. I tamed a Pteradon, then an Argentavis (birds).

When I logged out that night…I felt it coming back. I knew if I kept going, I was going to climb back into this game and lose a lot of the progress I have been making.

“Gym or game? Well, I am kinda tired tonight…so game it is.”

“You had a stressful day at work…and it’s cold out. Why go make something in the garage when your room is warm and the game is there?”

So the next morning…when I woke up…I fired up my PC before I headed to work…

AND I DELETED THAT GOD FORSAKEN TIME SYNC WASTE OF MY LIFE!!!!!

2200+ hours…gone. 250 gb of space freed up from my pc.

No more. I can’t keep running from my problems and climbing into fictional universes for comfort.

I can’t keep seeking comfort. The comfort zone is not where change happens. The comfort zone is where progress goes to die.

So yeah, it seems like a silly thing, but deleting that game was a win in my book. Think of it almost like an alcoholic putting down the booze.

Anyway, I just felt the need to write an entry so, there ya go.

Remember,

There is more to life then paying bills and dying.

-Luke

Masculinity

Masculinity. The word has almost become derogatory in society today.

Gillette put out an ad, video below if you haven’t seen it, and people went nuts.

Men came out to either support this ad, as I did, or to crucify Gillette for “attacking masculinity.” So many men, especially on Youtube, took it as a personal attack on manhood. They defended masculinity, saying it is not toxic. Guess what guys.

It isn’t. Nothing is inherently wrong with being a man, or your masculinity for that matter.

Dictionary.com defines Masculinity as:

mas·cu·lin·i·ty/ˌmaskyəˈlinədē/Learn to pronounce noun

  1. qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men.”handsome, muscled, and driven, he’s a prime example of masculinity”
  2. Similar: virility, manliness, maleness, vigor, strength, muscularity, ruggedness, toughness, robustness.

There is nothing wrong with any of the things listed above. No one is attacking you for being a virile, rugged man. No one is shaming you for being strong, tough or manly.

What is toxic, is the flip side of the coin. The things that some men attribute to being masculine, that shouldn’t be part of being considered masculine. That would be sexism, man-splaining, being a bully, attempting to intimidate women, or men for that matter, with said strength and toughness (other than in sporting prowess. Obviously you want to try to scare you opponents in a sporting match. That is just strategy. What I mean is scaring a coworker with your size because he is smaller and meeker than you.) Things of that ilk.

Basically, toxic masculinity is being an asshole. THAT is what is under attack.

It’s fine for boys to wrestle and burn off energy. In that sense, boys will be boys. It is not ok for a larger boy to pin down a smaller boy and beat the snot out of him.

Objectifying women, and making it blatantly obvious that you are doing so. Cat-calling. Not acceptable.

Shaming rape victims.

“What was she wearing?”

“Why was she out at night, alone?”

“I don’t believe she was raped.”

“She shouldn’t have gotten so drunk.”

UNACCEPTABLE!

This is the sort of “masculinity” that Gillette is speaking out against. It’s obvious to see that in the commercial. I honestly have no idea where some men got that idea that being a man was under attack.

And another thing, the pressure for young boys to “be a man” is absolute bullshit. Raising your boy to believe that men don’t cry, and that they can’t have emotions other than anger, is absolute horse shit.

I just felt like ranting a bit. I could go on for more about this topic, and I might later, but I have a delicious smelling stew in the crock pot and I am quite hungry.

Remember, there is more to life than paying bills and dying.

-Luke