Return to Madness

Hello my dear readers. I am glad to give you an update on life, the universe and everything. It has been a crazy couple of months and I owe it to you dear reader, to give a quick account of recent events. I do plan on having posts for most of these events, but I do have my largest convention I work (A-kon 28 in Ft Worth, Texas) this week and I will have to descend into that madness filled rabbit hole. But here is a quick list to expect:

  1. Bedbugs and Apartment roles. Let me tell you that this was a nightmarish 2 months that I will try my hardest to forget.
  2. Packing and moving. With bedbugs it was a “joy”. Under pressure and a time crunch was even worse. Add in fibromyalgia and it was hell.
  3. Buying a house. Now this was an amazing, wonderful, terrifying experience only to be made worse at times with incompetent people. We did get the house in the end.
  4. Having my third daughter. She is a wonderful joy. It was fun doing all of the above and below with either a pregnant wife (who was absolutely amazing) or a new baby. just an added layer of stress.
  5. Wedding. A family member got married and it was great to have family together for it. Babies met baby, grandmothers met babies, babies were EVERYWHERE. Seriously there is something in the water.
  6. A-Kon 28. We end this past 2 month roller coaster ride with the second largest convention of its kind in the USA. Unfortunately, I will not have my personal panel there but I will be with friends at this panel:

“Two Men Walk Into A Bar”

Sheraton Hotel – Thursday 8PM-9:30PM Magnolia rooms III & IV

So there is life updates. I am still here and still being your best pony pal and sharing life with all of you. I hope to see some of you at A-kon this year (click link for more info) May your day be great and,

#hugapony my friends

Self care day 24:Culture

Bacteria is something found in on almost everything in life. We have millions of them in bodies, they are used in science each and every day, and are some the most basic life to study. Growing bacteria is such a simple basic science experiment that we have kits sold to grow these Petri dishes of culture at home.

Though, for this next post you will have to leave home for some culture. *

Finding out about different cultures has been fascinating to me. Seeing the simple differences in thing such as buying milk in a gallon jug or milk in a bag to even more advance thing as another’s language or the fact you never put chopsticks straight up in your fried rice. There is so much to learn about our fellow humans.

Who needs aliens when you have us?

I was homeschooled all my life until college. My mother did a fantastic job teaching us all the basics that myself and my siblings excelled. When it came to history, she let us decide what to study and prepared unit studies to help us along with them. Medieval times? We built castles out of Lego and what was the meaning of why castle stairs are spiraled in a certain way (it is so a defender would be able to swing a sword with their right hand and the center column would not be in their way, and conversely be in the way of an attacker). We did native American studies and learned more about some of my family history and the tribes we had ties. I learned to use chopsticks at a young age of 6 because we learned of China’s great history. So much culture and history to be learned.

So how does this help us.

I look around and see so many flyers and posts about local heritage festivals that go on in our community. I see so much life and passion in them. People celebrating their family ties. Enjoyment and enrichment to be had at every turn. I, myself, attended Oktoberfest with some of my German ancestry coming out. I was out learning more about myself.

Who I was.

Where I came from.

Knowledge is power they say.

Power to help yourself.

Power to take better care of yourself.

#hugapony my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

*This terrible pun/segue is one I could not pass up. The science geek in me is giggling like mad.

Self care day 23:Bubble bath

I remember bath time as a child. It was fun getting soapy water and making towers of bubbles that represented mountains or icebergs as my toys would have grand adventures throwing rings into fiery mountains or crashing ships into icebergs. It was a fantastic time of fun and enjoyment. Now, with my own kids, I get to provide them with the same fun and enjoyment. Barbies are in a gigantic size hair salon or ponies get to dash through mountains of snow on grand adventures throwing rings into fiery mountains (these are MY kids for sure).

There was revels to be had in bath time.

As a guy, baths are not something we often take. Showers, yes but baths are not that common place for us in American society. In this day and age, a full sized bathtub is hard to come by for either sex and is not in your average apartment. Showers remain supreme in the space as the quicker, easier option for getting ourselves clean. While we may enjoy the hot water steaming up the bathroom, I feel that we as a society are missing out on some very important self care.

I was in a lot of body pain a couple months ago and while shopping I saw a sale on Epson Salt. I had remembered that it could be used not only to clean you out internally, but also as a wonderful bath for tired feet or as a full body remedy. I picked some up and commented to my wife that it was something I wanted to try. She eyed me asking, “You? Take a bath?” I replied the affirmative and she eyed me some more but didn’t say out loud the loud judgment call of “girly” at me.

I got home and poured myself a bath in a bathtub half the size of what is necessary for a man my size and measured out the number of cups and I plunged in (so to speak). I was greeted by warm water that soothed aching muscles and sore joints.

Heaven was a bit closer to me in that time.

I implore you, if you have not tried a nice soothing bath since childhood, you should revisit this common luxury that is passed over. Time of peace and quiet would help the mind, the water help the body.

And with both of those together, they could help the soul.

Full body self care.

#hugapony my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 20:Cleansing

One of the things I have learned in traveling a bit is to clean the house before you leave. Coming home to a clean house, where everything is put away and you have a place to relax is amazing after a trip. My mother used to have us clean any time we left so we could come home, sit down and relax. It is some of the best travel advice I have gotten.

That and finding the proper amount to tip the TSA agent for groping me.

I am not a very tidy person. I have been known to be a bit messy. My desk at the moment is covered end to end with books, bills, papers, medications, and toy ponies. My bedside table has several books on it, some I have not read in over 2 weeks. I drive my wife nuts as I am still trying to attempt to take my clothes to the hamper.

I am not proud of it.

Now, There are times when I get in a fit and can’t stand it anymore. I see the clutter and the mess and I have to clean. Everything. Pick things up, straighten up, whatever it takes to bring discord into order.

I have felt it help my mental state so much.

Some days are harder than others at getting around the house. The weather at the moment is turning stormy and I can feel it in my body aches. However, I know that if I take some time and do a deep cleaning of the house, dusting vacuuming, scrubbing my desk down, I know that it will improve my mental state vastly. My wife likes to clean when she is stressed out because it helps her focus. Seeing the mess is a constant reminder of the fact it needs to be picked up and put away. Getting it done is a fantastic way to ease some burdens off the mind.

I have found that after a good house cleaning that taking a long hot shower helps relax you further. Sometimes it isn’t just mental clutter that needs to be picked up. It is a real mess that needs it.

And that is something you can control and fix.

You can control and fix something.

And it can effect you, mentally.

#hugapony my friends.

It is always a pleasure bring you more day to day posts. I will continue to do so until the end of February. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Self care day 9:Writing people

Thank you for joining me on the grand undertaking. There is going to be a lot of work for me and  I hope to be able to keep up. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

I remember being at Disney World as a child and I had just met a kid from England. We had run into his family in the parks all day and everyone ended up leaving at the same time. Right before we left, he and I exchanged addresses and became pen pals. It was so cool for a much younger me to receive a letter from “across the pond”.

Physical mail can be joyous.

There was a time when I was ecstatic to get mail. My mom would send me to our mailbox at the end of the driveway (1/4 mile driveway one way) and I would walk, bike, or even drive to go get the mail. Seeing a letter addressed to me was like Christmas.

Now days, I look at the mail and see bill after bill. Occasionally I will see a birthday card but most of what I receive is negative. What can we do to change that?

As someone once said, “You have to write them to get them.”

When was the last time you wrote a letter (not an email)? When was the last time you used a stamp? Letters have a physical property that digital does not. We see movies like Harry Potter and we all want a quill and an owl to send to others. Why don’t we do it more?

Is all it takes is to get a calligraphy pen or quill?

Imparting yourself on a page is freeing and scary. As someone who writes online and shares my life with many others, it can be terrifying putting yourself out there. It can be difficult. Topics and subjects can be difficult to come up with, it takes time and effort.

But the results can be astounding.

Being able to free up brain space by putting it down on a page is a release. Sharing with others your story is reaffirming. Inspiring others to do the same can make you feel ecstatic.

And if it goes great, they write back.

And then you have a positive reason to check the mail.

Sometimes helping yourself comes from helping others and sometimes you don’t even have to leave your room to do so. It can all come from a letter.

#hugapony my friends.

Self care day 4: Finding your towel.

Thank you for joining me on the grand undertaking. There is going to be a lot of work for me and  I hope to be able to keep up. Please make sure to comment, share and follow along as I share some simple things to better your life!

Taking care of yourself involves so much. Mental and physical well-being should be considered crucial in keeping you healthy as a person. Sometimes, in my opinion, it can all come down to something as simple as one thing.

Do you know were your towel is at?

Towels are amazing. They provide warmth and comfort. They can be associated with going to the beach or swimming. They also make a great reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

One Christmas, my dad decided to do a present to each member of the family. He did not tell anyone, even my mom much to her annoyance, what they were. These large light boxes were stuck under the tree, shaken daily as we tried and tried to guess what they were. Christmas morning arrived and we all dashed to see what these mystery gifts were.

They were very large, soft towels.

We sat around confused at such a gift when my father explained how we have had ragged old towels for awhile now and being something that we use (or should use) daily, why do we keep using them? Why not have a bit of luxury in having nice, big, soft towels.

With this simple message in mind, I bring it to everyone else.

Part of self-care for everyone is cleanliness. I know with some mental and physical disabilities, it can be very hard to get the energy to clean yourself. I wrote a post a few weeks back on a picture on Facebook that I got angry at for the tone of it. One of the items them mentioned was bathing. While I did not agree at all with the tone, I understood the message that cleanliness is an issue.

Why not motivate yourself with a new towel?

Here is an item that is used so often but how often do we think of buying a new one? When the old one rips? When it is so thread bare it takes another towel to finish the job? Do you have that nice towel the whole family fights over because it is so nice? Why not take a time and find a nice luxurious towel for you.

Knowing that you bought yourself a new, soft, warm, beautiful towel can be the thing to motivate you to take care of yourself.

It can all come down to just a towel.

#hugapony my friends

After the Black.

Another Black Friday has come and gone. I was fortunate not to have to work this one. I was able to spend time with my family and enjoy time off. I saw several other friends online who were able to be off for the first time, for some, in 25 years. It was heartening to see people having a good holiday.

For every person that had the day off, I saw two more who had to work. As it stands, I saw a reasonably good day on Friday and it seemed that people mostly behaved themselves. While tired, overworked employees abound, everyone survived. 

I look at this last month of the year with hesitation. I see many hard days coming soon and different problems to face. I look over this past year and the difficulties me and mine have handled. I look at my year in review post for new year’s and I see so much that had happened. I honestly can’t remember a year that has flown by this quickly. 

I have an up and coming doctors appointment at which I have to confront my doctor about my medical condition. I am at the point at which my depression is under control for the most part. My anxiety is managed when I have an attack. However, I see my muscle and nerve pain has increased and my body fatigue and insomnia are through the roof and I know more is going on with me. I need more than just pills. I need some answers. 

I need to be diagnosed. Correctly.

I look at family. I want to do so much more for them and I feel I am being held back by so many things. My body can’t keep up. Job opportunities are not there, much less my current job. I just want to be there more for my family. 

I look at my blog. This diary of good times and bad. I see the people I have helped and the trials that I faced. I look at the joy I have spread and the sorrow I helped people through. I see it all and know in my heart that I could do more. 

I can always do more. 

I can always do more to make the world a better place. 

I just don’t have the energy to keep going sometimes. I feel trapped in this shell of a body. The pain and exhaustion overwhelms me. All I can think of is to press on. 

I do it for my family

I do it for you. 

I do it for me.

H

#hugapony my friends

The weekend in review.

It was a long weekend. It started on Friday with my van and the water pump exploding inside of it. Being that this  our only vehicle we were kind of in a bind because we were not going to be able to make it to work on Monday. This was also our only access to most of the outside world. Now while I am an introvert and I would be content to stay at home, this did not mean that I would be permanently founded in the apartment. 

Things were not looking up. 

I then received a message that my mother was in the hospital. She has had issues with migraines and we had not been able to get a cause of why. Of course, with the added stress of the rest of life, I did not take the news very well. So I did what I do best.

I stopped and prayed for a miracle.

I did not get one.

I got many.

My wife and I went to a local dealership to look at vehicles. We have been rebuilding credit due to a bankruptcy and I knew it was going to be a painful process. I had gone online and found a decent car for the money. When we arrived, the salesman and the car was waiting for us. We were the rushed into the test drive. The car was small, very small back seat so not good with a baby on the way, and was beyond basic. While, we really needed more, we did not have a lot of options. Upon arrival we told the salesman that we would have to think about it. He brought in the manager to close the deal. He came in ready to pander and please and my loving wife put a stop to it. The manager completely rubbed us the wrong way and was not what we needed at the time. We left soon after with a very bad taste in our mouths. 

It was after this that I received the message that mom was in the hospital. Not much information to go on but needless to say, it was a terrible time for everyone. I prayed.

My dear brother in law stepped in and saved us. He and his wife are some of the kindness people I know. They knew our situation and stepped in and called to say they wanted to help. This opened so many avenues for us. I was close to tears. Hope was not dead.

The next day we had been prepared to go look elsewhere when a dear friend suggested we go back to the same dealership, talk to a very specific salesman and only work through him. I was reluctant but I decided we would. 

Upon arrival we asked to see this particular individual and he created warmly. He asked what we needed and we told him flat out our needs with kids and one on the way. He was the only person to congratulate us on that fact the entire time. There was an instant liking. We also told him of our displeasure from the day before and he agreed that it was not right. He then lead us to a path on a much better car that had been a loaner but was still considered new. It had so many fancy features and a back seat that could hold 3 grown adults comfortably. Just upon seeing the car, my wife and I were filled with hope. This was the perfect car.

The next two days were filled with better news. My mother came home and was feeling much better. We got an idea of what was going on with her. Knowledge is power and this help tremendously. 

Miracles happen.

We went in finally on Monday and got the final paperwork ready for the car. We had one last barrage of last minute add-ons that the car that we were being pushed to buy. My darling wife batted the numbers aside and in the end we ended up getting all the add-ons with no extra cost. 

We now have a car. A new car. Something I have never had. It was the first time in many years that I did not have the fear of if the car would start. I had a vehicle that did not have a warning light on the dash for the first time in 5 years or more. Relief flooded over me and mine. 

I cannot thank enough my friend that convinced us to go back and also let us borrow a car to do so.

I cannot thank my brother in-law and his wife enough for help us out in a time of need. 

I cannot thank a competent salesman who took the time to listen and care.

I cannot thank the doctors who helped my mom enough.

I cannot thank my wife for being strong and standing by my side.

I cannot thank my God enough for providing it all.

I am beyond blessed.

I still have hardships and trouble that I deal with daily. In the month of Thanksgiving, however, I recognize the need for praise and thankfulness. I am truely blessed.

What are you thankful for?

#huga pony my friends

As my world turns.

It has been more than an interesting couple of weeks here in my life. Seems the world is turning a closer eye upon me and is creating some interesting drama (both good and bad). I have started working overnights for a big box retailer as you know if you have read the blog so far and my body has slowly been fighting me more and more. Sleep does not come easily and when it finally takes over I end up in bed for 16 straight hours and miss out on my family and friends.

Depression, it seems, has returned to mess with me.

One of the more pressing issues in my life is the fact I am having to cut out my main medication for pain/depression. The side effects have been rough and growing and I was informed of the possible of seizures. Considering I have been taking this medication 3 times a day for 2.5 years makes me a bit concerned. I am slowly cutting back on the doses until I am able to get off of it fully but my body is already rebelling against me. Pain, it seems, has returned and brought friends.

I am just coming off of Nightmare Nights in Dallas, a personal favorite convention of mine. I have been involved in helping train some of the security staff there and the head of security, whom I work for at this convention, showed how much he has grown. I stood back and observed more than I had in many years working a convention and I couldn’t have been prouder of what he has accomplished. He and his team worked their tales off (pun intended) and handled things in such a professional manner. My security Lead thank me for the time and training I had put into him but he more than earned what he did. I know people who have worked for years and not had the poise to handle the stress nor the calming attitude it takes. Pride is not an emotion that comes often to me but in this case I was beaming with it.

I am also beaming with pride at my wonderful daughters. They have been so joyous in the upcoming baby and looking at new things to get when the baby arrives. We have had quite a few times of lost tempers and late nights with them, but they have been open and receptive. They have brought much joy to me and my wife.

My wife has been progressing at her new job and making leaps and bounds in advancing her career. She has jumped in with two feet and is making a difference. She is pushing forward with new training and helping and working all while growing a person inside of her. She is my life and my joy and I cannot imagine life without her.

As I continue on in life, I have decided to expand upon an idea that I have held in my mind for quite a while. I have always had the belief in taking time to personally thank people, send a message of encouragement, or just to be there for them. I have had a few opportunities pop up for these events to occur and I have tried to pounce upon them when they do. One of my faiths biggest commandments is to love one another and I hold fast to that. Loving people.

Simple concept, difficult to execute.

I hope to make a difference in peoples lives and to show them that they matter. Everyone needs love, including myself, and I can only hope for opportunity to bring it to them.

#hugapony my friends.