Not Exactly What I Had Imagined

I attempted to get this blog post out yesterday, but it just didn’t happen. I think I was mired in a pity party about getting old, and feeling old. Not my best post ever, so bear with me. Here it is:


 

It’s my birthday, so I’ll whine and bitch and moan if I want to. Kind of a boring day which, come to think about it, probably was what I needed. There are days that it’s easier than others, to be a stay-at-home-parent. I don’t really know what I expect out of life now that I’m in my next decade of life (that sounds better than the alternative), but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t that I would’ve thought of. I remember on my 25th birthday, thinking “well, that’s the last birthday that I’ll actually have had something to look forward to.” Meaning what? What I mean is this: 16th birthday was the driver’s license; 18th was getting to vote and play scratch-off lottery tickets; 21st was obvious(!); 25th was finally getting a huge discount on my car insurance. So that was always the “joke” – after my 25th birthday there isn’t really any other one to look forward to, per se. Obviously this was just me being my typical smart-assed self, however, I have to admit that it’s seeming to ring true on my birthday this year. What I do know is that I am not aging gracefully. At least not in my head I’m not. My physical issues have taken a toll on me. It’s hard to be optimistic a lot of the time, and that’s a relatively new thing for me. I’ve always had a certain zest for life, taking it one challenge at a time. But now I have trouble with whatever the current challenge/stressor is that I’m dealing with because I get worried about the next one(s) at the same time. This compounds the stress. This doubles the fear. This messes with the optimism. During the next year I hope to be able to get a handle on this. Fear of the future is normal, but it shouldn’t be all-emcompassing.

I am a lucky man. I am happily married and helplessly in love! I have great children who I get to spend lots of time with, and be a fundamental part of their formative years. I would like to thank everyone for wishing me a happy birthday! Thank you to my family. And a special thank you and I love you to my sweet wife, Kathy! Here’s hoping that the 41st time I go around the sun will be the best one yet.

Parental Sentimentality, “The Ache” of milestones :: Perceived midlife crisis :: Male “junk” mishap on Fox31 Denver :: Last Day of Winter, 2014 :: Random Ron’ness

70 degrees two days ago with wind of 40-50 mph. 29 degrees yesterday with snow and high winds. 65-ish degrees today and sunny. This is Colorado in the Spring. Gotta love the weather in this state!

Now onto the important news. This is officially {NSFW} as well…so consider yourselves warned. The local Fox News affiliate channel was covering the news yesterday afternoon, reporting on a tragic news helicopter crash in Seattle, WA. For some reason they were showing a Twitter feed from various users that were apparently commenting on the terrible news at hand. During this very brief scrolling of tweets, some strange pictures began airing…the first was a picture of Johnny Depp in the Edward Scissorhands get-up, next was some strange meat-loaf-looking thing. Then…then came the crowning moment: Put bluntly…a FULL male frontal picture flashed on screen, on LIVE television! The word “epic” does not do this justice. Here’s the link, you have been warned! I have dubbed this one of the quintessential moments in Denver television news of all time. ‘Nuff said.

What else? Oh, I think both my body and my brain are officially undergoing a mid-life crisis. No, there’s not going to be a red sports car purchase in the near future (although I certainly would if I could!), but I have definitely come to a place in my life where I’m thinking about, and relating a lot to my father when he was this age. I remember it well, actually. This is a strange time in my life. Watching my boys grow up before my eyes is very difficult for me. On one hand it makes me so incredibly proud to see the young men they’re becoming. On the other hand it’s *the* single most painful, heart wrenching experience I’ve ever gone through. I know I’m not the first parent to feel what I have dubbed “The Ache” – but I’m a pretty emotional guy to begin with, and let me tell you, there’s not a day that goes by that this does not affect me. I feel The Ache in my soul. It’s better some days than others, but it never stops. Every milestone, every birthday, every rite of passage (per se’) as they grow up is something that I cherish. I am sentimental to a fault. Anyone else feel like this – especially any fathers out there? Ugh…anyway.

This blog entry should give everyone a small bit of insight into my mind, and all the tangents therein. My brain never shuts off, this can be a liability more often than not. Feel free to comment or message me, FB me, Twitter me, email, smoke message, text…pretty much anything but faxing me. I draw the line at the facsimile.

I hope my ramblings have been entertaining. Buh bye.

Quick update, etc.

Haven’t updated this blog in a while. I’ve been being anti-social, and only writing in my personal journal on my iPad. There are just some things that shouldn’t be publicly posted in this day and age, right?

The 2013 Christmas “season” went well for us this year. My wonderful wife had to work on Christmas this year, unfortunately. Nurses pull the short straw every third year or so when it comes to working holidays. Some years it’s Thanksgiving, some it’s New Year’s, some – like this last one – it’s Christmas. So we had a pretty mellow 12.25.13, but fully celebrated on the day after, down at Mom’s house. It was a packed house with lots of presents and spoiling of children all around! New Year’s Eve was non-eventful. We managed to stay awake until after midnight, too! That gets harder and harder every year.

More recently we all were on the Superbowl kick due to the Broncos kicking ass all season. Yeah, then we know what happened after that. The big game spanking the Broncos took reminded me of Elway in the mid-80’s. K had to work (of course), but we lucked out, and she got off early that Sunday, so that was nice! There was a HUGE amount of junk food going on, too. We had chicken, dip, chips, cheesy little smokies…all the necessary items for a proper Superbowl party. At halftime the attitude in my house had changed drastically. I had cracked a beer right before kickoff, and that same beer was sitting next to me at halftime…getting flat and warm. I had grand plans to make the traditional queso at the break in the game. This didn’t happen. My appetite was completely gone. The massive amount of food on the coffee table sat there, getting cold (or warm, depending). The obligatory beer was poured down the drain and replaced by a “rally beer” that was nice and cold. I was ready for second half Bronco optimism! Alas, this beer too, was dumped down the drain as we witnessed the stink-fest of a “game.” Me and my boys (one of them specifically, who will remain unnamed) then choked back tears, and pretty much crawled into bed early that night.

Anyway, that was our early February doings. My oldest has been involved in a spelling bee at his school, and made the first cut last week! We are going to the high school tonight for the second round of spelling – a written, then oral bee. If he passes these, he goes to districts!! We’re excited parents, and will be taking lots of pictures and video of the event, so we can remember this moment (aka: embarass him when he’s a teenager!).

That’s the small update that I have for right now. It’s quite far from complete, but it’ll have to do for now. I’m going to try to be diligent, and post more often, I promise! I have a TON of things to say lately – go figure. Maybe in my next blog, I’ll write about the latest Filth Industry concert that we had last Friday. I’ve got a ton of pictures to post from that show, too!

That’s it for now.

Peace.

-R.

Life changes for the better, liberation, and trimming the fat of life

Here’s the nutshell of an update, since I haven’t updated in so long:

This summer was a whirlwind of absolute, extreme joy, tempered with some who have tried (most in vain) to dampen our spirits. Some great, some sad, some pathetic, some long overdue. Certain names and events have been changed in order to preserve anonymity, even though they definitely don’t deserve it. That’s all I’m going to say about this for now. God knows I wouldn’t want to step on anyone’s terribly misplaced senses of pride, unwarranted ego’s, “friendship,” or irrational sense of entitlement. You know who you all are.

In more positive news my little boys are doing great. They have grown so much this past summer! All their clothes are having to be replaced because they no longer fit. They’re eating more, sleeping more, and are just turning into the best little young men, ever! I love them more every single day.

The natural process of life is to live and learn…and, in my humble opinion, to purge those who drag you down and/or make relationships petty and conditional, be it family, friends, co-workers etc., you get the idea. I my 39th year, I have a feeling that this little mantra of mine will be put to the test. So be it. You can please some people some of the time, but some of those people you can please none of the time (that’s my little interpretation of that cliche’). To the latter of those people, good riddance.

Keep in mind, I have used NO names in this blog entry. Therefore, if you have a guilty conscience…you probably deserve one. And if this is the case, then this entry is definitely directed right…at…you.

It’s time to make some changes – and I can’t wait to continue the simplifying of my life. It’s liberating!

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The Summer of 2012

Wow, this summer has passed by SO fast! Weather-wise, I’m not complaining, though. It’s been SO hot in Denver this season. We have had something like 60 days of 90+ degree temperatures so far. That’s just unheard of here in the Rockies. It topped out at around 105 or something near that. So, so hot this year. Long gone are the days of the past, when the temperature would hover around the upper 80’s, then we would get a nice rain shower every single afternoon that would cool everything off, and it would get nice a sunny/cooler for the rest of the afternoon, into the evening. Ahh, those were the days. So, this summer has been quite busy for the Farrell family – all things considered anyway. It started out rather slow, days being filled with video games, playing outside, and asking when lunch will be served. But then after it began to get just too hot to venture out, without risking heat stroke, things had to get a little more creative. Every summer, I sign the boys up for a free bowling club at the local bowling alley. This is cool, because every week I get an email, with vouchers good for the entire week, where they can bowl two free games every day of the week. So we have gone bowling a few times – the boys love it. Once July hit, the boys got to go visit their nanna, poppy, aunt, and uncle in Florida! After they got there, they went to Legoland, a Marlin’s baseball game, countless pools, the Vero Beach timeshare, and the beach. Rough life, eh?! I’m so glad they went, and so glad that the 9 days they were gone went by so quickly (for me anyway). I have to tell the truth, I was very, very stressed over them being gone so long. That was the longest we have ever been apart from each other. But Kathy and I got through it. We filled our time by ourselves by doing lots of romantic things like going to dinner together, drinking wine, and just relishing the deafening silence in the house…for a while anyway. It’s strange – as a parent, you always want peace and quiet when you children are home…but when they are away, you miss that dull roar like you wouldn’t believe!

So, after they returned from Florida, we let them rest for a few days before heading off for a small family vacation within our beautiful state of Colorado. We drove down to Colorado Springs and got a hotel room for three nights. This became our “home base” of sorts, from where we would get up and drive to different locations for our day trips. The first place we went was up and around the back of Pikes Peak – to see where my father was laid to rest some 14 years ago. I had not been there in those 14 years, because I was afraid to feel the emotions that I knew were inevitable. It took a little research to find the place, but once I was pretty certain I knew where it was, off we went. Once on the highway to get there, it was very, VERY strange because I just knew where we needed to go without really looking at the map very much. I knew that we had to make a certain left turn off of the highway, I knew that we had to go on a dirt road, I knew that the place was at the top of a large hill…then once we got to the actual grave yard, I knew by instinct where I needed to go. After about 10 minutes of looking in what I was sure was the correct area, I was able to find my father’s headstone. It is just a small plaque, placed in the ground at the base of three beautiful trees. When I approached the area, it was completely covered and, again, I instinctively began brushing aside the dirt and leaves before revealing the plaque. This took my breath away for a moment. I thought I was prepared to see it, but I couldn’t contain myself once I did. We stayed for a few minutes, took some pictures and I told my boys about their grandpa, and what a wonderful man he was. One of my biggest regrets in life is that he never got to meet his grandsons. He would have been so proud of them, and I hope, of me as well. It was a hard trip/visit, because I don’t handle things like that very well, but I’m definitely glad I did it. I sure do miss my father.

Ok, enough of that. So the day after visiting dad, we decided to drive down to Canon City, CO to visit the Royal Gorge. This is one of the wonders of the world. It’s the highest suspension bridge in the US, and one of the highest in the world. Something like 1,200 to 1,300 feet, straight down. There’s a number of cool little attractions that are in the same spot too, so there’s more than just the bridge to see. The main thing to do, however, is to walk across the bridge itself. Now, if you know me, you know that I have a paralyzing fear of heights. So, by default, this is not exactly a fun time for me, walking across this bridge. Add to that the wind that whips through the canyon causing the bridge to sway, the *wooden* slats that comprise the bridge floor (complete with sometimes large gaps between the boards, so I can see how far down my doom would be), and the fact that it is legal for cars and trucks to actually drive across the bridge while pedestrians are walking on it…well, you can begin to understand my building anxiety. I walked across the bridge and back again…but I can tell you that I was not happy about it! Yes, I’m a wuss, but I’m okay with that. But after back on solid ground, I was definitely glad that my boys and Kathy were able to experience the Gorge. If you’re ever in Colorado, you simply must visit there. It’s something you’ll never forget.

The next day we were still a little tired from all the walking of the previous day, but decided that since we were down in the Springs, we were determined to make the most of our time there! So off we went to the Cave of the Winds. This is a HUGE network of large and then very small caves and tunnels that go way back into the side of the mountain. It’s a neat thing to do, and again, if you’re ever in Colorado Springs, you must go. The tour lasted about an hour, and we saw some of the most beautiful cave formations that exist in the world today.

Each day on our vacation ended with the obligatory trip to the hotel pool/hot tub! My boys LOVE to go swimming. I remember being the same way. We probably could have had a successful vacation in their eyes, by just going to a hotel and letting them swim all day! They are little fish, I swear.

One of the evenings we were down there, we got to meet up with some of our oldest and best friends, Amy and Axel! We went out and had cheap appetizers and beers, while talking about the old days. It was really fun to see them.

So all-in-all, it has been a great summer for my little family! It’s always a challenge to keep the kiddos entertained, especially while attempting to stick to a budget! But, we were able to do just that, and I think they had a great vacation. School starts back up on the 27th of this month, and with it comes early mornings, homework, and more of a regimented schedule.

Fall is coming and I couldn’t be happier about that. I hope we have a long, super-snowy winter this year. We got robbed last year in that department, so we’re definitely due for a good one!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last update on this, but I was having some computer issues that I was finally able to fix (on my own, nonetheless!) – so now I should be able to get on my neat little blog and update you all on the minutia of my life, and all the exciting things I do…or don’t do, as the case may be!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave your comments, and I’ll be updating soon! Peace.