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Time to Return to Center

centeringEvery now and then, I get more and more frenetic and am constantly doing things but not really getting anything of substance (read: money, quality time, healthy stuff) done. I become a shell of a man, a shadow of my former usual self. I have to pull it together to get through a day or a call.

For example, just this morning, we both happened to be at our desks like “the old days” earlier this year. Beautiful had limited time to do things and had a hospital bill for me to review and call them on speakerphone so we could both figure out what was owed. One crap thing after another with people on phones sent me into a spiral that ended with my throwing my arms up in the air saying “I can’t deal with this now,” with a moderately raised voice becoming of the toddler running around here lately.

Losing my center

Echoing the beginning, every now and then, we have a little talk one way or another (usually it’s me in the hot seat because I’m so disconnected from my feelings) to figure out what is bothering me. It’s not unheard of for a statement like this to happen: “I don’t think you know what is bothering you right now, but something is,” with the implication that I’d best get to the activity of figuring it out. I can be sulky, frustrated, depressed (not so much since I started on anti-depressants for my appetite), or downright mad at seemingly nothing for hours or even days before the reason comes to the surface.

I express trauma or stress before my consciousness is aware of the mechanism causing the expression. It’s simply how I’m wired. It’s times like this I waffle between wishing this was still an anonymous site to say anything and everything (it’s cheaper than therapy) and glad I have people who know me learning more about me.

Finding my center

Thankfully, in recent months, I think we’ve figured out what I need to have a balanced life. Turns out, I haven’t been doing about 90% of them. That’s a failing grade. I’m going to do better, so the next time you see me, ask me if I’m doing more of my “balance checklist.”

  • treatments – that’s a given, though I miss more evening treatments when I’m off my center than normal. Right now, I’m 100% AM and about 60% evening.
  • walks/runs – just haven’t been happening. While it’s fun for a while, Boy has sucked the fun out of morning walks – more accurately, walks with him are not what I need to find my center, but they are a blast when I am already centered.
  • filling my cup – lots of things fill my cup, but I don’t do them because they all feel selfish. In reality, it’s more selfish to deny myself taking photos, playing an hour or two of computer games, WRITING, READING, and even the occasional man-date.

This morning, we arose early, I got all of my treatments except my Vest done before Boy woke up and then I did my Vest while they ate breakfast. I went for a walk and it felt so good, I ran. My ankle didn’t hurt, so I kept running, and running, and running. I ran nearly twice as far as I’ve run in one stretch since I got off the couch in February (nearly a 1/2 mile) and didn’t trigger a coughing fit. I felt better! I never got really tired or lethargic today, so I’ve got to remember: just do it.

This weekend is Father’s Day and I’m going to go to the gun range for the first time with a long-time friend (another dad of a toddler and a newborn) and I’m really looking forward to that. I should be back to my usual self by Sunday morning!

A Support Network Is Crucial to Success

BarbellI originally intended to write about a CF support network. However, after I named this post, my mind flashed through a dozen different networks that assist people in succeeding.

Businesses need a customer network and a sort of mentor network.

Doctors need a network of specialists to refer to or people referring to them.

Parents need dozens of networks because it takes a village to raise a child.

People who want to get out of debt and change their lifestyle need support to minimize falling back into old patterns.

Most definitely, people attending AA or any of the 12-step programs need a network to have the strength to change.

You need a network

Yesterday, I was reminded of how incredible my friends and family are. Undoubtedly, my greatest cheerleader is Beautiful. She’s always looking out for my (and our) best interests with a perspective that makes me evaluate situations better. When it feels like no one else understands me, if I spend enough time using 3,000 words to dump everything that I feel onto the table, she can sort it out and still loves me when I am a walking mental contradiction of myself from one day to the next.

She was in support of every healthy move I’ve taken in the last 2 years: being compliant, gaining weight, crafting my schedule around taking care of myself, and the list goes on and on. [Read more…]

Jim Fahr – A Few Hours Together

Jim Fahr and Jesse PetersenJim Fahr and his wife, Denise, come to Florida with her parents each year for some time off at a time-share over in Kissimmee. Well, last year, Jim didn’t come because he’d just started back at work 9 months post-transplant and didn’t want to immediately take a vacation, so we only met Denise and her parents.

This year, Jim came! I’d been looking forward to their arrival for a year – ever since I found out he wasn’t coming last year. Beautiful is part of the Facebook group of “CF Wives” and 5 of them meet every month or 6 weeks to have dinner and catch up. When they got the dates Denise would be in the area, they set up their night to work with the Fahrs’ and I set the evening aside to be with Jim and just be with a dude who’s been through a transplant and is living life large again.

The evening couldn’t have gone any better, unless it didn’t end, but it did end around 9:30.

We met the Fahrs at the Barnes & Noble next to the mall before dinner and visited with just the 4 of us for a solid 30-45 minutes. They’ve got 13 years of marriage on us, so it’s neat to see a glimpse of ourselves a decade in the future.

When I sit and think in my rare moments of quiet, I am so glad I “came out” online with my CF in early 2010 and now have such a huge group of friends who deal with the same issues and truly know what you’re going through. It’s all right and all good that friends and family know that I have CF and that we deal with other life issues than most people, but even in that circle, they still don’t deep down know and feel what we feel.

[Read more…]

Our First Valentine’s Day to Today’s

Valentine's 2003Way back in 2003, Beautiful and I had our first Valentine’s Day together. I was only 24 (barely) and she was only 18 (almost 19) and we looked so young, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to hear that the wait staff thought we were young high-schoolers.

I’d pretty much stopped spending all money on myself for a month and wanted to take her to a Mongolian place down in Ybor City called The Dish. You get all of your ingredients in a bowl and your choice of noodles or rice and they throw it on an 8-foot-round hot plate and put your choice of sauce. Basically, if it sucks, it’s your own fault for picking ingredients that don’t go together.

We were there for hours and then walked around to look at the shops and other restaurants, bars, and clubs. Deciding we had seen enough of Ybor, we left.

Look at how short her hair was! It’s never been that short again. I’ve asked – several dozen times – but I will always have that memory of that super-cool cut that knocked me off my feet a decade ago.

Fast forward

Some years, we (or at least I) didn’t have anything to get her on such a special day, so the “special day feel” of Valentine’s has wavered over the years . [Read more…]