Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Talk: Part 1

Had to have "the talk" with my son today (Not the whole talk just part 1 of ??). I dread the talks but I know they are needed. He's too young!


So how do you talk to your 10 year old about the birds and bees? Should you really have to? How do you?!?

I remember being VERY young and asking my mom how babies were made. The irony is that I remember asking then I remember her telling me not to tell anyone what she said but I don't remember WHAT she said. lol. Guess she made quite an impression with her talk. I want to say I was like 6 at the time. What could she possibly have said?

My son is 10. I've talked to him about how babies are made. I don't think that is the issue though. Or is it?

Without getting to specific I know that he is curious about "sexy naked girls". Hmmm. Is this normal or OK? Do I be the cool dad and show him some "sexy naked girls"?

THAAAAAT's not going to happen.

Do I tell him that is is normal to be curious? It's a tough call.

I do have a pretty good relationship with his mom so we will work on it together. It's just hard to know exactly what to do. A big problem that I see is that since there is no was for for him to look at "sexy naked girls" within the rules he has to lie about it. THAT disturbs both of us big time.

Anyway, so I had a talk with him this morning. I didn't yell. I didn't get mad. I just told him I know and that it was wrong. In the near future I'm going to have more talks and am going to try to get ahead instead of be behind like I am now.

I only have one reference point and that is of course me. Was I interested in sexy naked girls at his age? Yep. Did I ever have the talk with my dad? Nope.

I need to have the talk....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bring it

I remember the day we moved into our dream house.

It wasn't a dream but a nightmare.

We were fostering two children that were not ours. I had ignored the signs and now my business was going down the drain. A new house, a new life, new kids.... no money and no happiness.

I was living a nightmare and every-time I opened my front door it was highlighted like a light turned on in a dark room.

I thought about my dream house just the other day. I was in my apartment and looking at the wallpaper falling off the wall wondering where I was going to put my bike rack. My tiny batcher pad isn't the 3000 square food top of the line home in a gated community but it is home and it makes me happy.

We always wanted a big nice house. Who doesn't? We thought we were ready. We were not but I least I thought we could be. We walked into the this beautiful brand new home with not a penny to buy furniture. The mortgage became a rope around my neck. As I watched the housing market crumble my business melting into the sands of time. I knew that we couldn't afford to live in this home.

Those were 18 dark, dark months.

I'd walk in the house knowing that it wasn't home. I knew that we would lose the house and our credit. I knew I was losing my marriage. My son didn't get attention because we were working so much just to keep our heads above water.

It was awful.

A combination or bad choices and bad luck led us down this path.

After 18 months of mounting debt just to survive we were done and our dream home experiment was over. Life went back to the way it had been but now we had a few scars that will never heel.

Do I want to get out of my tiny apartment someday and own a house? Sure I do. Will I rush into this because somehow this will make me happy? Ha! Never!

Stuff and big houses don't make you happy! This you bring to the table. Happiness is within. It just needs to be brought out. I am so much happier now broke and living below the poverty line then I ever was when I lived in the house with cherry cabinets and crown molding.

Life is what is so AMAZING; not stuff.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The ex Game

When you are divorced or separated or other wise single in some way shape or form then surely you have ex's. Often times they all live in Texas. If this is true then just avoid the lone-star state and you will be fine.

For the those of us that aren't George Strait our ex's live right around the corner.

Just for fun:

So we have ex's. Some get along with our ex's. Some don't. Some are at odds and some aren't. We have kids with some of our ex's and sometimes we do not. Some people sleep with their ex's! Eek!

We all have different relationships with our ex's.

Mine has been weird. We are at times very displeased with the other. At times we are fine and talk and text like friends. Sometimes we go camping together....

OK, not sometimes but this upcoming weekend. This can create some challenges.

When my ex said that we should do our son's scout camp out together I was all for it. He's still getting adjusted to his parents being divorced so this will give him some mom/dad time. Sounded like a great idea before but now I don't like it.

The reality is this: your parents are divorced. It is now 2 separate families: mom/Colby with a boyfriend and kids (if applicable) OR dad/Colby and girlfriend and kids. This is a sad reality of a broken home. This however is the reality.

After this camp-out I'm not going to do this again. It's creates too much weirdness all around. It's sad but it is the reality of our lives now.

As I progress into a relationship THIS has to be my priority; not my relationship with my ex wife. She and I need to raise a son but we aren't doing it together. I'm OK hanging out at the house or maybe going to the park for an hour.

Spending the weekend camping? That's not going to work for me anymore.

As time goes by I need to figure things out. There is no book for me. It is a daily struggle with decisions that impact a lot of people. Right now I see that my choice was a bad one. It's OK. Today is a new day to make new decisions.

My new found wisdom will guide me...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


When I was in middle school I did chorus to get out of some other class that I didn't want to take. I remember like it was yesterday the afternoon that I tried out for a solo. I sang "Your a Grand Old Flag".

It didn't go well.

I remember one of the kids that could sing came up to me afterwards and said, "Nice try." That make me feel GREAT. Actually it made me fee like crap. I couldn't sing...

Years later I tried to teach myself the piano with little to no success. Same thing with the guitar. I tried and I wanted to but just never really put forth the required effort.

For years I've day dreamed about picking up a guitar and playing for an audience. For years I'd sit in my car with the music loud and sing along like I could. It was always a pipe dream.

Then the moment came.

It was a goal written in a book. I was going to learn to play guitar.

For Christmas last year I got a cheap guitar. I picked up a book and I slowly started to learn. After a while I went and took a few lessons with my son. I discovered fairly quickly that I actually did have an aptitude after-all. I could play guitar.

A while later I found a better guitar at a garage sale.

Then I heard "Highway 20 Ride". I feel in love with the song last winter because it made me think of my dying father. He's two years into a desperate battle for his life. He has cancer and the end is near.

When I was a kid my dad used to do the "every other Friday" ride to get HIS son. The road wasn't hyw 20 but it was route 44. Different numbers but the same meaning.

I wanted to play this song for my dad.

My instructor taught me part of the song and I went on-line to learn the rest.

Then I got divorced and the song took on even more meaning in my life.

I learned to play and sing the song. A month ago with trembling hands I sat down in front of my ailing father. I played the song. He enjoyed it. The moment was touching. I had done it. I could play and sing.

One day this summer I had a moment of inspiration. When I'm inspired I often write. On this day I wrote a song. I wrote a song for the girl that I wanted ti be with. In a period of 90 minutes I had written her a song and composed music for the song on my guitar.

At the time she wasn't even talking to me. To me then it didn't matter. I wrote from my heart hoping and praying that I could play it for her someday. I practiced and practiced. Finally a couple of weeks ago I was able to play her the song. She liked the gesture but I still wasn't sure about the quality.

This weekend I learned a new song: "The Search is Over".

I kept practicing all my songs.

Last evening I stood before my girl and her three kids and I played my three songs. When I was done  the youngest looked at me and said, "Mr. Rick. Can you play "Mom's Song" again?"

Words cannot describe how good that made me feel.

Music. I can play music....

....and play it well.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Negativity is dense

Did you ever get a positive feedback from people? Feels good, right? How about negative feedback? Yeah, not so good. What happens when you get both. Which is more dense?

No question there.

Imagine having someone say "I love you" to you 10 times a day for 100 days. Now that is 1000 "I love you's". Now after day 100 they say "I hate you" 1 time. Which do you remember?

Negative thoughts, feeling, emotions and words are denser than their positive counterparts.

When you start a new relationship with someone there are always going to be the cheerleaders. These are people that simply support you. You are going to get lot's of pats on the back, good luck's, she's right for you...

What happens though when you get a neigh-sayer? The person that puts a "what if" in your mind? Someone that comes along and tells you that you need to be careful? He's not ready? She's not ready? He may hurt you? What about the kids? What about his... What about her...

What if YOU have negative thoughts? What if you find 100 things about your new partner that you love but then you find a reason to doubt? What is stronger?

This is why it is so challenging to start a new relationship when you are divorced. You have people that want to see you succeed yes. You also have ex's. What do they want for you? You have people that are jealous. You have people that want to run your life. You have people that have well intentioned advice without all the facts.

It's a complicated world this whole dating thing.

Add Facebook and blogs to the mix and.... oh boy.

I say keep these thoughts in mind if your friend is entering into a new relationship.

Encouragement is always important.

Your advice can be valuable. You can help! Just be careful. Sometimes the best of intentions can backfire.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Apparently sleep is last on the list

Building a relationship from the ground up is a rewarding process. It doesn't, however, mean that it's easy. Some things need to be sacrificed. For me it is sleep.

We have our own lives my girlfriend and I do. She has kids and I have my son. She has an ex and so do I. We have out hobbies and out jobs. As we start to make each others lives each others we have to carve out time for that. For us it's at night.

Sleep is nice and all but worth the sacrifice to build a relationship.

During the day she works. In the evening it's kid time for her.

During the day I teach or work. Evening are spend teaching, training, or bring my son to scouts and church.

Some weekends we both don't have kids. Then we get to spend time together. This is nice but neither one of use think it is enough.

What hours of the day are left. Well it's the nights. Sure I'd like to be in bed at 10pm to get up at 5am. Losing an hour of sleep to spend with my ladyfriend? That I'll do every night of my life.

Life can be a challenge. Life can be rewarding. Life can be a little of both. I choose to dwell on the rewarding part., I choose to focus on what is right and what is good. My new found relationship is good and it is right. Losing sleep several nights a week is a bad thing but who cares.

Spending an hour building the foundations of a special relationship.... yeah, that's what I choose to do. I am enriched by the process. I am optimistic and happy. Forward I go...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A House Divided

I walk into the house that I build. I picked out where the outlets go. I picked the colors for the walls. I painted the wall. I was there when we picked out the pool. I say the roof go on. I watched the whole being build bit by bit. I made the mortgage payment for 5 years. This is my house. This is a house where I helped to pick the lot, the shingles... everything. This was the first house that I built.

I walked around this morning while my son was getting ready for school. It looked the same. There's the couch that I helped to pick out. We picked out that table and those chairs. I remember the day we picked out the picture on the wall. This is my house.

This was my house.

Some things are different. You have to look but things are different. No more wedding pictures. No family pictures. Picture of the kids but not of me. I have been removed from my house. My house is no longer my house.

It is very strange indeed.

My apartment is down the road. I got the nice TV and the spare bed. I have four bikes in a tiny apartment. There are some pictures that I liked. I got some of the dishes. This place I live is just that. It is a place that I live. I have no home.

My home is where my son and ex wife live.

Don't get me wrong. I am happy to not be living there. I am happy that I am not officially divorced. I am happy with my life.

My home is now a place where I don't sleep. That's not my food in the refrigerator. The bad that I picked out and slept in for years is no longer a place when I am welcome. My home is gone.

I guess it is all part of the process.

I think about this on the day my divorce is final. The day that a new chapter of my life is being written. I have moved on and am content with my place on earth.

It just makes me a little sad that my home.... is gone.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sticks and stones

Sticks and stones….

I wrote in an early blog post that I was made fun of as a kid. OK, that doesn’t make me special. I’m sure a lot of kids got made fun of and had varying degrees of effects from said cruelty. Let me tell you about my effects.

I was a little ugly and awkward as a kid. We didn’t have much money so I guess my clothes were more like rags. My socks would fall down and my shirts were dirty. I didn’t know what to say and when to say it. I was in the dumb kids class. Whatever the ridiculous reason a lot of kids made fun of me.

Kids are cruel sometimes. Whatever.

It hurt… a lot.

I can remember breaking down in 5th grade one time. I was in a classroom with my head in my arms balling my eyes out. I’m sure that just led to more ragging later on.

It was what it was. That was a LONG time ago. It’s over and done with. Or is it…

I’m writing about this today (actually last week) because I had someone hurt my feelings today. Of course it was my ex wife. In our journey from married to “the mother/father of Colby” we are going to have ups and downs. We have had good days/weeks and bad days/weeks. Right now is a bad time and it’s being blamed on me.

Today she called me a “dick”.

It hurt.

I know it is my choice to be hurt. She says I need to get over it. I agree. After all she’s the one lashing out in anger and not me. I’m not calling names. I’m the one being called a name. Was it the name that hurt?

When I was a kid the “cool” kids used to make fun of me and call me “Dick Copley”. Ironically enough that is what my dad went by. It was a name for him but my name was Rick. It was them being cruel to me. “Isn’t your name Richard”. Yeah, whatever.

Maybe it brought back bag memories that I never got over.

Was it’s the fact that “she” said it?

Maybe since I lived with this person for 11 years and now instead of planning a life together she’s calling me names I’m hurt.

Maybe I’m just overly sensitive and need to get over it.

Maybe I’m taking the high road and sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing.

Maybe I’m being a “dick”?

Is it wrong to get upset when someone that I am close to resorts to calling me names? Maybe a little of everything… I do need to get over it don’t I?

There are times in my life when I want to lash out and call people names. That is so wrong in so many ways and I will not do it. I can see now the damage that it does.

There is obviously more to my relationship with my ex than her calling me names. The process is a hard one. My single blogger friends of been talking a lot about time. Guess I’m starting to believe them.

…. will break my bones and names will always hurt me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

On the path to meaning

So today I am happy with the path my life is taking. Contentment and true peace is a distance away but the foundation has been set. Today I feel like I am moving forward like I need to be.

I don't want to be in this spot in a year but this spot is nice for now.

There were some super hard and tough times in the last two weeks.

I hit a bad patch financially that hurt a lot. It's OK now because I have moved past that. Could that have been a low point. I certainly hope so. Doing what I do with the economy the way it is in the place that I live all makes for a tough battle to pay bills. I am blessed to have some skills in my bag of tricks. I'll be OK. No, I am going to thrive in the near future. I have faith!

My relationship with my ex has been very tense lately. I am not expert on this but I think this is normal. She has a lot going on in her life and I certainly aren't helping her feel better about things. While I am trying to keep the peace it is hard because the truth of the matter is that I am trying to move on. We are not married anymore. That reality has hit us both a little here and a lot there. We have both struggled. It is my hope that we can move past the anger and bitterness and get along for the sake of our son. It is a daily struggle. Today is good. Yesterday was OK. Most of the week was bad. I hope that I cam learning from my mistakes.

I went to the chiropractor the other day. He snapped my neck so hard that I yelped in pain. I felt bad that the other patients heard me crying like a school girl. Low and behold though my neck feels 10x better now. I've actually started biking again and may start running soon. My training has been sketchy at best since my Ironman so it is good to be on the right path there as well.

I posted an essay called "Lightning" a while back. While I don't want to talk about the details yet all I can say is that a long term lasting relationship sometimes involves taking steps forward and step backwards. Sometimes you are way behind but SOMETIMES you catch up.

Today is Sunday and the weather here in Florida is finally breaking. It's in the low 80's but the humidity is going down. Finally summer is over.

So even the weather is getting better. I think I'll go for a bike ride...