Recycling your dream

dreams recycled podcast episode 20
Get the episode here on iTunes and on the Web!

 

So I am once again hitting the airwaves. This time I joined Tiffany Ann from Dreams Recycled podcast talking about the male side of divorce. We had a really great conversation, covering how I handled the transition after the divorce, single dads in the workplace, and even my life in the dating world. I really enjoyed sharing a little of my story and how I processed my life after the divorce, hope you guys find it and enjoyable.

Tiffany offers lots of inspiration and tips on revitalizing your life after divorce. I am extremely grateful to be included as one of her incredible guests. Thank you.

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The Signing


Today has been a long time coming, a three and a half year recovery. We first bought as a family back in 2006. It was a condo/townhome and I felt I had made it. We wanted land, but everything at the time was too expensive – so we compromised a bit and took the condo. A new build with plenty of room for our growing family … it was a good buy. For me, I felt like I had arrived. I had the job, the wife, second kid on the way … and now a place of our own.

Eight years later I rolled a moving truck up to the front of that home. I had chosen to take the hit and move out, keeping the boys in the most stable structure I could see at the time. Felt like the man’s responsibility to be the one to go cut the new path. My hope was that I would be able to build a new life. A life I could be proud of. One that would help remove the shame I felt in leaving my family home.

Not any place would do – I had conditions. I would not accept going back to an apartment as that seemed like such a step backwards. After living in a gated community for so long, I was also looking to escape those iron bars and get a yard of my own (or in mind anyways). My first choice seemed great – until I moved in. Unsafe for the children to play outside alone and unsafe for my grandparents to come visit. Dreams of a life built there were crushed before they could really begin.

I left that place more broken than I had arrived. Out several thousand dollars, final divorce papers now in hand, and another failure registered I did not know where life was headed. Yet at that time one of my good friends offered me their rental unit, recently vacated – and I jumped at it.

Once more in a townhouse, built by the same builders that built the family home, it had many of the same character features. Instantly life started to settle. After a fresh coat of paint the place became my home, our home. The boys and I are fond of this place. Yet, it wasn’t ours.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to buy the place which made great sense to everyone but the bank. Yet, it got me thinking, “Could I?” The lenders were ok with it, as long as it did not include an association fee. So I figured I had nothing to lose and explored the opportunities.

Today, I closed.

The place is not perfect. It will require a lot of TLC. There is much cleaning, fixing, and updating required just to make it a livable space for the boys and I. Luckily, I have a couple weeks before we move. Yet, the pressure I have felt to get paperwork done, get the house passed inspection, the anxiety about maintenance now that it is mine has had me strained at the seams. A good friend asked, “Why do you want this place so bad?” to which I replied, “Because it is mine.” – not a good answer, so I thought about it more and clarified both to her and to myself.

Practically, the place has a lot of potential. While it will need a lot of work, that work should see a return. There are options upon options of things to add and update – all of which should be a good investment if done right.

Emotionally, the place represents my life stabilizing. I know have a place once more for my family. And while it is not an emotion I may be proud of, it is and I should not deny it – I feel like I am partially back on equal footing with my ex who still lives in our old family home.

The opportunity is not just mine, it is one for the boys as well. They will spend the next few years learning along side me the “fun” of home renovations and home maintenance. My oldest is actually excited about being responsible for the lawn and both look forward to a tree fort. In a lot of ways, finally I am looking ahead and seeing the childhood I always wanted them to experience.

I can’t wait to get started. At this moment I am both excited and anxious, which I have always viewed as good. Anxious not really knowing what I am getting myself into, and excited about what I will be able to create from it.

Today, I put my finger on the pulse of a dream and I start building the future.

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Interrupt the Flow

It was still dark out as I rolled over this morning, clock read 6:32am. Why? I ask myself. The house was quiet and dark. I grabbed the blankets and rolled over … sleep longer I told myself, you have the chance to.

I was looking forward to this weekend. For the last couple months I have had the boys every weekend, or at least part of it. Work schedules aligned in just such a way and am I no one to argue with the opportunity. It is great getting the extra time with the boys, would not have it any other way. I was suppose to have this this weekend as well, but I guess there was a change in plans. This left me home alone for the weekend … a chance to relax, catchup, get some me time.

I finally rose and made my way downstairs for coffee, thinking to myself, “I should really have gotten up for a run this morning”. I was out of practice, out of the discipline of my morning workouts. I have been lazy of late, if I am honest with myself. Sat down at the computer to get some things done that just ‘need doing’, but focus remained difficult. As I sat there, chatting with a friend they finally said “I will let you get back to your work” … and it hit me. That was my only connection at the moment and I was bothered by it ending … I was lonely. It is not depression, more a desire for company — even if I know having company would only be a distraction from getting my stuff done. Having the boys provides endless amounts of company, and most days without them are so busy I don’t have time to sit alone.

Yet, today the house was empty. I had hours before I had to be anywhere. I had piles of work that needed doing. I have an endless TODO list … so there is no way that I can claim I am bored. But the house was empty, I had no where to be. Yet, I was grasping to conversations for a connection to someone and I knew that staying in my current mindset was not a solution. It was time for that run.

“As the body moves, the mind grooves” – Jim Kwik

Running is not what is important … it was the break, and a break where you are not distracted by external sources. Leaving the phone, the computer, the tv … and life behind for half an hour allowed me to focus on listening to my inner-self. Loneliness is not new, but I thought I had gotten past this point. Where was this coming from? I have solid friendships. I have a new job that has captured a lot of my attention recently. I am not dwelling on my past relationship, actually quite satisfied with where my life sits. As the pavement passed beneath my feet I was able to release my mind, which grasped on moving forward. I needed to do this more. I needed to take care of myself. I needed to once again become comfortable with myself. Life has been so busy for so long … it is time for a break with just me. I just needed to accept that.

With the midday sun beating down I rounded back through the gates of the complex. Sweat was dripping from my forehead and I slowed to a walk. Close to 5k and it felt good. I could feel the blood pumping through my body. I closed my eyes and let the sensation of the light breeze run over my skin. I felt alive. Think it was more, I just needed to get out into the sunshine.

Alone time is important. Allows you to look inside and see some of the things you need to see, and it doesn’t always need to be a long time. Remember your inner-self often can shout loud enough to get through all the noise around you. You have to provide the time and space to listen to yourself.

Now … back to work.

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