Hill climbing.

I have had a bad week. I hit chronic pain levels I had not hit in a long time. My body hit a new bottom, ending with me being hit with a case of acid reflux so bad I had fluids coming out of both ends of my body. Not the pretty picture you want to read with your morning coffee I am sure.

But hey, chronic living is not pretty life.

I do want to say that when these dips and valleys in life hit, it becomes hard to post and to replay to people. Real life friends and blog commentators all seem to fall to the wayside. That further deepest the pit of despair that someone like me lives in. My bottom hit with me coming home after a very long day and going to straight to my bed, covering up in a My Little Pony blanket, grabbing my favorite plushie, put on a headset to block out all sound, and played music I know that helps calm me down. It took over 2 hours to get to a point to speak again. I remember clutching the headset to clamp it down over my ears to make sure all I heard was the music. It was my recovery time.

I started to try and pull myself out of the valley the next day when I was hit with the sickness that let me in bathroom for hours. Dehydration was the next thing to hit followed by the severe headache from not have the water in my system. I looked to my promise of making this year the best I have had in a while.

I looked for joy in others.

I saw my good friend just started on the road to starting his own business.

I saw my brother compete in his new sports car in a slalom event and hearing him giggle as he sped his car through the track.

I looked to my roommate who got a new mattress for his room and cleaned out all the old junk and is starting fresh.

I took the joys of others and I pressed forward. It was then that I got news for myself.

A job opportunity.

I found a part time position (10-20 hours a week) that I can work from home on my computer. This will allow me to still homeschool and watch my daughters, let me keep babysitting my friends 2 year old during the week, and I wont have to take up the vehicle so my wife can continue to pursue her dream of being the breadwinner and keep her business going.

Talk about a break.

Now I still have tests to pass and get the little details worked out but I have gotten my foot in the door and am at least going to be given the opportunity to help out the family more. My prayers could be answered in this.

I still have a few major items, like finding a new place to stay in a month, make enough money to pay the bills, and find (also afford) another car, but I have at least gotten a foothold in the hill climb to get me out of a pit I have been in for several years now.

Is the light up there really reachable?

Time will tell. I will keep climbing and grasping for the light.

#stuffedtherapy

#hugapony

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Stealing Joy

I have teased this post enough and I hope it helps others and it has helped me. 

I have had a unique opportunity to enjoy three different events that I would not previously been able. These events have been documented in the last three blog posts, but I will summarize and detail why I would not attend them in the first place.

  1. The Zoo Run: I am not a morning person. I had to wake up myself, and the family at 6:30 am  to attend. I also do not like to run, or in this case walk, any distance.  Combine that with my anxiety in crowds and this was not where I wanted to be.
  2. The theme park: I normally enjoy theme parks when it is not a busy day, but in this case it was “Bring a Friend free” day. The park was PACKED with people. Lines to get food were an hour and a half long. Crowds we know are an issue so that was not fun. This was immediately following the zoo run so I had already walked 5k so what is another 10 for my legs?
  3. Wrestlemania. OK, I have not watched wrestling since I was a kid in the 90’s. This was one that was WAY outside my comfort zone. A friend called me last minute and asked me to go. I am not a last minute guy by any means. Crowds, loud noises, and sweaty men grappling each other are not my cup of tea. I had no vested interest in going.

Why did I do all these events?

For joy.

More specifically, the joy of others.

I made a mental decision to go to all these events not for me but for those around me. My family loves going to the zoo and we had friends who went with us. My daughters love going to the theme park as my youngest was able to ride more rides as she was taller this trip. My friend wanted someone to share the Wrestlemania experience. These were all acts the brought joy to others.

And in doing so gave joy to me.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared in the experiences. I grasped the joy that came off my family and friends and held it close. I used their joy to inject some back to me.

I stole their joy to increase my own happiness.

These are things, as I have said, I would not do under normal circumstances. However, I felt compelled to do them. I was presented with the option of doing or not doing these activities. Instead of my usual “Thank you, but no” response, I decided to take a risk.

And it paid off.

During the Zoo run, I was able to get my exercise, increasing blood flow and help fight off depression. I got to laugh at the crazy costumes with those around me. I got to see my daughters running and chasing their friend while their mother and I gasped for air at running to keep up with them. I got to see the wonderment that came across their faces when we got to the Zoo portion and the joy fill their bodies when they got to see lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). I felt fantastic at the joy around me.

At the Theme park, I was able to again see the excitement on the faces of the children (both mine and their friends) as we got to go on roller coasters and merry-go-rounds and log flumes. The ear piercing screams were a bit much but were almost magical in and of themselves. They laughed at the excitement and cried out in terror. The second to last ride of the day was my eldest daughters “Favorite ride ever daddy!”. More joy to seep myself with.

Wrestlemania was one were I did not have my family, only a good friend. Instead of just one person, I was swept up in the 100,000 people cheering, booing, laughing at the antics in the ring. Seeing everyone hiss and boo as the wrestler with a bad reputation comes strolling into the ring with a unique unification that amazed me. I had one little boy break down crying in front of me as his favorite fighter lost while his sister put her arm around him to comfort him. It didn’t last though, because by the next match the action was back again and the crowd was cheering. While I knew almost nothing about who was who or what was going on, the excitement was infectious. The joy of people enjoying themselves was thick in the air. I drank it in, stealing a part of it for myself.

As a known introvert, it was difficult to say yes to these events. I am more at home with a good book and a nice cup of tea or coffee. I made that decision to break me out of my comfort zone, some of which was with less than 12 hours notice, in order to find the joy I was lacking in myself.

So I ask, dear reader, are you lacking in joy? My pastor defined Joy as something that wells up inside us and is a consistent. Happiness can come from joy, but it will fade and leave emptiness. Words I took to heart when setting this up. I was seeking joy. And I found it.

In places and activities I would never have gone too.

When was the last time you took that plunge? When was the last time you said yes to something that you could do but you really just didn’t feel like it? You can come up with excuses. You can go and be a grouch and ruin not only your joy but others also.

Or.

You can go and look for the joy in places you didn’t expect. Try and seek it out. Judge not o, least ye be judged. Someone is having fun. Share in that fun. Someone is experiencing joy. Steal some of that joy for yourself.

You may be surprised at what you find with an open mind and a willing spirit.

Oh, and bring your plushie. I had several times I needed a moment to fight the anxiety, but the willingness and the strength I got using my talisman helped me through it.

#hugapony my friends. Go find joy.

#stuffedtherapy

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Jumping in the ring.

Teaser #3 for the up coming post Stealing Joy.

I am not a wrestling fan. I haven’t watched wrestling since the 1990’s. I have not been inclined to keep up with it. So when the opportunity came along when a friend asked me to go to the biggest wrestling match of the year, Wrestlemania©,  I was honestly expecting myself to decline.

Instead I said yes.

And what do you know I had fun.

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I will now complete my writing of “Stealing Joy”

#hugapony

#stuffedtherapy