I’m Black and White, 100 or 0, an All or Nothing Guy


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“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions”.- Hafiz

Who are you and what the life you live say about who you are?  More importantly, who do you want to be? As I grow older I’m learning to let go of how I think others think of me and focus a little more on who I am to the people in my life. One thing I am really trying to focus on is the “all or nothing” outlook in my life and the black or white thinking.

I really don’t have many “close” friends and I hold a select few family members dear to my heart, all the others I tend to neglect.  Over the last few years I have really let go of trying to please others, unfortunately with my all or nothing trait and my black or white thinking I let relationships fall apart and focus more on the ones close to me. To be honest I see pros and cons to this and I also know that if I want something different for my life I need to do something different. I guess it’s all reinforced by the fact that I really don’t like help, I like to do things for myself and sometimes feel I don’t need anything or anyone.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be”. – Lao Tzu

Life is not this or that, nothing is for certain, it’s not black or white, and nothing lasts forever. Sometimes we have to step out of what we think we know and try to live with what we do not understand.

I do not understand how I got here, where my life took all the turns, when I became so focused and almost selfish with myself. I know I do not like some of the things I have going on in my life but I have a few that are more amazing than anything I have ever had. I’m learning to give in to the idea that life will be what it is. There is a direction I am heading, I need to open up some areas that I swore I would never open again and see that whatever future I end up with was because of the actions I took. The outcome of our futures are no one’s fault but our own.

“Follow what you are genuinely passionate about and let that guide you to your destination”. – Diane Sawyer

She Will Never Know 


When she is with me all I want of for her to understand I love her more than words can explain. While she sleeps I lay awake wishing it could be different for her. My life changed because of her.

To my daughter’s.. both of them

My heart breaks while trying to explain the road of life is hard; fully knowing how bad it can hurt and how deeply it can cut.

Being a father was never going to be a part time job, however life changes and the balance of discipline and “daddy chats” are now a conversation through email and over the phone when they return to mom’s.

I have grown to become selfish with my baby’s always being with me, until life happened. When they fall I respond with a little message and a phone call, its not daddys week hunny. Its not my time to be the one who you have to work through getting back up with. Yes I’m always here for them, but its not the same having separate lives.

Life is a game of cat and mouse, a hope for well placed words and emotion, it has to be at just the right time with the precise intensity. If any of them are off even a miniscule amount, the mark is missed.

Too soon, wrong intensity, missing emotion, waiting to talk, not waiting long enough. It has to be just right or anger will cloud the emotion and the effort falls to the floor.

I have learned the relationship with my daughters is ever changing, evolving, to make it more difficult add hormones, and one is like me and one is like her mother.

Today my heart hurts and all I want is to protect my baby from the pain that life can bring. Yet here I am walking and writing after a few hours on the phone with them.

How do you tell someone they are your world unless they understand what its like to be blessed with a child themselves. Its days like this that the balance act is exhausting.

My girls, this is only another small bump in the long road of life.

Are You Living Too Small


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“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”.- Anais Nin

Your life will travel in the direction you are looking; the goals and dreams you visualize will guide the steps you take. So why don’t we have the Lamborghini our driveway? Why are we struggling with our health? Why is it that nothing seems to be working out?

Well partly because you haven’t aligned the other areas in your life to reach the goals you set. Your employment may not provide the financial stability to afford such an expensive dream car. Yet you remain in the job due to fear of leaving your comfort zone and looking for a better one. You think about going to the gym and eating healthy but fail to follow through. When nothing seems to be working out, maybe you are focusing on the problems too much and less on the silver lining or what IS working.

“If the desire to reach your dreams is big enough to inspire the courage to change the situation you are facing, your dreams will become possible”. – Scott Jenkins


I personally do not want a Lamborghini, I want a healthy lifestyle, a long happy life with my daughters and as life evolves into the empty-nest stage, a little house on a lake with the woman I love.

Yes there have been some huge roadblocks in my financial stability that will not allow this dream to become reality, at the moment.  However that has not changed the dream, it has not stopped what I want in my heart. My dream has not wavered one bit through divorce, financial destruction and many losses of loved ones. My dream and the vision for my future is much bigger than the external events that life has and will continue to bring.

Did I plan for this?

Absolutely not, I never planned on being in the situation I’m in at the moment, however it hasn’t changed what my heart desires. In fact, do to some of  the changes in my life it has allowed my life to align with my dreams a little better than it may have in the past.

“Believe in yourself; dream big dreams, set important goals, take action on those goals”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Think bigger picture, stop focusing on right now all the time, stop looking back at what you don’t have and set your heart on what you desire. Daydream, drift off  in your mind into driving that Lamborghini, imagine how great it will be to walk out your door and smell the water as the sun rises on the lake. Visualize your dreams, smell it, hear it and feel it in your heat.

I am not where I want to be today, maybe not tomorrow but I will be one day. Believe in the power of the mind and spirit of the heart and your dreams will come true. In my opinion most importantly surround yourself with positive people and those who are also motivated to become more.

An update and Further Separation of Real Life and The War on Sugar


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Hey there again, this is just a little update and maybe a little further separation between the two blogs I have been writing.

As you know I began Real Life about 4 years ago and December of 2016 branched some of my posts into a fitness and lifestyle focused blog named The War on Sugar.

Mostly the War on Sugar was a way for me to focus my fitness and discuss life topics regarding the fitness lifestyle and have a more of the emotional well-being topic on the main Real Life page.

Both are equally important to me in my life and I have been getting questions regarding fitness that at times get lost in the emails from the main Real Life blog so in hopes to help both I have created a new email for the War on Sugar topics. Thank you for the support and I would love to continue my support by sharing my journey both emotionally and physically.

For questions regarding fitness refer to reallifewaronsugar@gmail.com

My Amazing Little Girl


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16 years ago today my life was changed forever by the birth of our first of two daughters.. That is hard to say, 16 years old! From day 1 she has always been a kindred spirit to me yet fiercely independent. Not much has changed over the last 16 years, with a few exceptions. She is becoming an amazing woman full of fire, motivation and determination for life.

There is no doubt that you will do great things as long as you set your mind to it, follow your heart more than your mind and listen what I say once in a while. One day you will see that all the “crazy” things I say just might be close to the truth.

My dad told me something once that I can completely understand now. He said “having children, no matter how old, how much they talk or see one another are little pieces of your heart in the flesh walking around on earth”

He couldn’t be more right, I feel like I have two little pieces of my heart walking around, risking their safety, experimenting with their own lives and growing older every day.

I know there will be times you think I’m crazy or I don’t know what I’m talking about, I remember the exact same thoughts when I was growing up. I’m not saying I’m always right however I’m mostly right and I also understand the thoughts of an artist and having independence. I know you have to experience things for yourself to understand them just like I did. Keep the words I say in the back of your mind as you head out on the journey of life and never forget I’m here for you always.

One day you will be out on your own, making a life for yourself, falling in love, getting married, starting a family for yourself, working all the time, and may not have time for your old dad. The only things I want from you is for you to not make the same mistakes I made and live life to the fullest, don’t settle for second and never forget who had your heart fist.

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be” – Robert Munsch (a book named Love You Forever)

I love you Haylee, happy 16th birthday

Losing Keys


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I can’t describe what an emotional few days it has been in words; the best I can offer is it’s been like a whirlwind in my head. A little over a week ago I received the news that my grandmothers health was rapidly declining and her illness has reached terminal. Not fully understand the reality of the situation I stopped by to visit with the girls. As we walked in she was resting, such a beautiful peaceful rest too. It was so precious I told my grandpa not to wake her, she needed rest.
As we sat there and whispered to one another about the normal topics with grandpa, who has a boyfriend, who is about to drive and get into all kinds of trouble and after about 20 min he ran out of amazing one liners so we decided to wake up the real talker.
As she woke up she looked a little confused as to what was going on and why we were there. After a few minutes she began to come out of the sleep fog and chat a little. Although she was definitely not the normal fiery redhead full of energy she was on a normal day. We carried on for a bit until we were interrupted by some business that needed to be discussed with some of the family, so I gave her a hug and said “see you later grandma” as we walked out; totally thinking I would see her again. That was the last time I would see her…
Later that week I went out of town on business and while on business I received the phone call I really wasn’t ready to receive. “Scotty, Grandma has passed away” I didn’t know if I should cry or smile knowing she was not in pain, she could breathe again and in a much better place. Putting my personal life on hold I informed my team of the news, to hear from one of the other teammates that Chris Cornell has committed suicide. With the passing of my grandmother the news was harder to not feel through team and set the tone for the day.
The family talked here and there about the details of the viewing and funeral arrangements for grandma and they were set to be held on Tuesday. Monday morning I received another phone call from a friend at work that a co-worker has passed away as well on Monday morning. Already full of emotion due to my grandmother passing it hit me hard, but not as hard as what was coming. As I grabbed my car keys later that day I saw this little item on my keychain. Something so insignificant and small yet so full of meaning, there it was, a little key.
I know you may not understand the meaning of this key; let me explain. Remember when you were younger and you bought the yin-yang friendship bracelet or neckless for you and your best friend. This little key was given to me because we worked a lot of overtime and also loved music. My co-worker had brought in a nice Bose speaker and didn’t want anyone to walk off with it so we decided to lock it up. I had one key he had the other. It was a trusting gift between him and I.
This morning I’m sitting here with this key, trying to figure out what to do with it or who to give it to.
Life is like that, something so meaningless as a key can hold so much emotion or something as precious as a hug that may be the last hug you give. Today I’m really struggling, my heart is broken, my friend is gone, my grandmother no longer here to bicker with my grandpa. Today I’m sitting here holding so many keys that others have given me. I’m keeping this key, it was a gift of trust and friendship and I’m holding onto the last hug I gave my grandma. My heart hurts so badly today struggling to find a way to process the losses in my life not only to death some losses are lost due to not living bold enough. R.I.P. Mike (money) Meister I will miss you

IMG_20170523_175025_287.jpg   I love you and will miss you Dorothy E. LaCoss

April 21, 1935 – May 18, 2017

Do you Desire or Fear Connection


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I read a post this morning that hit me harder than most. It was about seeing how much time we waste doing things that do not matter. It really made me think about how much time I spend doing nothing.

It is sad to think of what the internet has done, or I should say, allowed us to do to ourselves. It has destroyed our patience, lowered our value for communication and intimacy, almost completely desensitized us to the evil of the world, now what once was a video you had to be 18+ to see is now a click of a button, the words that couldn’t be said on television are now not even noticed when said.

It’s scary to see what our children see and hear, I sometimes struggle as an adult to hear and see some of the things our children have the opportunity to see and hear every day. It breaks my heart to think back to when life was so simple, when our time was important and when we had to say what needed to be said and not hide behind our phones and use text to communicate.

I feel how important it is to have human connection and am seeing as I get older how priceless our time is. In 2 years my oldest will be 18.. Where has the time gone? What did I miss while I was too busy living my life and working to create more?

I do not fear death, I fear missing out on what is important and having to live with the fact that I had the chance and didn’t take it. People will forget what car you drive, what clothes you own; they will never forget how you made them feel. To me the connection I desire most is the one that changes my heart, the one that feeds my soul and inspires me to give back.

Giving A Little More


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Sometimes the lessons of our past make the best teachers for tomorrow. So why do we continually fall for the same failures over and over and not learn our lesson?

Maybe it’s because the time wasn’t right or the lesson wasn’t understood enough to have an emotional response to it. I have found the best lessons learned where the ones that broke my heart, the ones that caused internal pain and discomfort not the ones that I “thought” I understood but the ones I felt in my heart and soul.

Life is full of lessons, driven by choices and bombarded with decisions; this can be overwhelming at times. That is why downtime, time away or alone time is so important; it gives your mind a break from all the thinking and allows time to process at a deeper level some of the bigger questions that may get pushed aside due to the day to day concerns.

“A little more persistence,
a little more effort, and
what seemed hopeless failure
may turn to glorious success”.
– Elbert Hubbard

The bigger the risk the greater the opportunity for more in your life, if that is what you desire. After my divorce I swore to myself to never let anyone in again. I was 100% sure that was the right thing to do and believing it would just be easier on my heart that way and making my life better. If I never opened myself up I could have missed out on the beautiful relationship I’m in currently and the friendship we have grown. It would have been a huge mistake and one that I may have regretted the rest of my life.

I tried again, I got back up and said “my life will continue” thinking about how I wanted my life to play out and what I wanted for my future I knew down deeply that I didn’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. So I gave a little more effort, a little more persistence and pushed fear aside and now have what looks to be a glorious future.

We are the only limits in our lives (within reason) I mean lets face it I’m not going to be the President of the United States of America one day, although with the current president my odds increased significantly. We set so many limits on our capability and create so many boundaries that are not really there to begin with. I can’t do that, that is not possible, that will never happen… Well your right, you have given up already and set the bar pretty low for success.

I have placed so many limits on myself due to past hurts and experiences and occasionally the losses in our lives aren’t losses at all.

What if the daily choices we make one day bring us to a fork in the road and either direction will guarantee life will never be the same? The bigger you risk the bigger the opportunity, so why would I allow something in the past decide my future; well I’m not anymore and through that I have found opportunity’s that I never knew existed, a love I didn’t know was available and a chance to have a much bigger life than I told myself I could have.

Hold on With Loose Hands


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Maybe this “life thing” isn’t as hard as we make it.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
– Lao Tzu

I remember a time when I was always anxious. From the time I woke up in the morning until the time I tried to sleep at night I felt anxious. What will work be like today, what am I making for dinner, how is my relationship, how are my friends, my family, are my daughters okay, am I a good father, am I a good enough friend, what can I do to help, how is my faith…. on and on

Life changes and seeing that all the worrying in the world cannot stop life from changing I now sleep at night, I care about others however I care for myself first, I focus my energy on now, not tomorrow or yesterday. I had someone tell me recently that they see a huge difference in who I am today as opposed to the past few years.

I think it was a combination of things, a job that was unfulfilling, a relationship that was damaged beyond repair and most of all I was not being honest with myself about any of my life. Lying to myself and trying to make something out of nothing took so much energy from what was real and true that I had no energy to offer my happiness.

Learning to give energy appropriately is so very important to our well-being.  Today I know that I must come first if I ever want to be capable offering anything to others. If I find my center and focus on what makes me happy my energy level is full enough to joyfully be with others.

It is nothing I can tell you, It’s not an instruction I can write or a step by step process that can be followed however it is simple when you can be honest to yourself; here are 5 “rules” I try to follow and live by now.

  • Do what makes you happy – but don’t be selfish and inconsiderate. Find what makes your heart happy and have the courage to change.
  • Follow your heart fearlessly – learn to let the fear of change flow in and out of your mind and understand that change IS a part of life not something to avoid.
  • Always be honest about your situations – How do you feel about what is truly happening in your life? Does it help you? Does it feed or take away from your life?
  • Give energy appropriately – If the energy you give is not reciprocated back you may want to reevaluate how much energy you are giving. (I do not mean keep score; there should be a flow to this, we cant always be 100%) 
  • Have someone or something to look up to – Have faith, find a mentor, someone that has been through what you are going through. There is SO much power in understanding and being with someone that understands. Also realize that with the exception of faith, we are all humans, we all fail and if the one you have chosen as a mentor, partner or friend one day is not in your life that is okay. life will continue, love will happen and change can be more fulfilling than you ever imagined.

 

Don’t cling to anything; change is unavoidable so hold on with loose hands and understand that noting is forever, everything will change at one point or another. Be thankful for the energy others give you because it is a part of who they are. Think of life like a rope, let it glide through your hands, don’t try to grab it you will get burned and don’t let go or you may lose your way.

Listening To Intuition May Have Saved My Life


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I’m learning that what I believe “right or wrong” is far more important than simply following what other people think I should believe. Believing in yourself, one of two things will happen, either the truth will be discovered and you will have the opportunity to change your path or you will continue on a path of success.

“Believe in yourself, and trust your own wisdom rather than being swayed by the opinions of others”. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I have always been better at learning the hard way, sometimes the very hard way and on occasion having to learn more than once; apparently I want to be thorough when I lean something.  I think maybe that is the point, nothing truly important is easily learned and if not experienced it fails to be completely understood.

Lean to trust your gut, learn to listen to that voice that says “better think twice” it is a very powerful tool that often goes un-noticed and ignored; there is a reason we have intuition. Have you ever been in a situation that just didn’t feel right or made you feel uncomfortable but there was no apparent reason why? That is intuition, there is a reason you just may not be aware of it. I have a first-hand account of this, and only found out why after the fact.

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I was 16 and went to a friend’s house party with about 10 other friends from the neighborhood. After a few hours a couple other people we knew showed up, I knew them but not well, however when they got there something was just “off” about  them. I couldn’t pinpoint it, I had no idea what it was at all until the next day. I found out that they came with a gun looking for someone that was seeing one of their girlfriends behind their back. That night I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t know he was seeing her. He was there looking for me and I wasn’t there long enough after they arrived for him to get courageous.

I thank God and my intuition that he never had the opportunity to act. I felt something, I knew something was wrong and I truly believe that by acting on that feeling and leaving may have saved my life or someone that could have been harmed in a confrontation.

Listen to that voice, it may be insignificant or it just may save a life. We are complex beings, equipped with many tools at our disposal. Learning to use them only improves our choice making process.