Posted By: DnJ A Great Life #9 - 12/15/20 03:20 PM
Previous Threads:

1 - What happened to our great life?

2 - What am I supposed to do now?

3 - This is going to take some time.

4 - This is going to take some time #2.

5 - This is going to take some time #3.

6 - This is going to take some time #4.

7 - This is going to take some time #5.

8 - This is going to take some time #6.

9 - This is going to take some time #7.

10 - This is going to take some time #8.

11 - There is something beyond limbo #1.

12 - There is something beyond limbo #2.

13 - A Great Life #1.

14 - A Great Life #2.

15 - A Great Life #3.

16 - A Great Life #4.

17 - A Great Life #5.

18 - A Great Life #6.

19 - A Great Life #7.

20 - A Great Life #8.
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/15/20 07:11 PM
Well you've been quite the busy Xmas elf, haven't you???

I have the week after Xmas off, and so far my plans all revolve around organizing the house. It's amazing what you notice when you're home more!
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/16/20 02:18 AM

Andrew - Lol. You bet! Gotta keep the smoke inside.

kml - Yes, Iíve been pretty busy. Things are going well. Iíve been organizing too.

I got S22ís car battery swapped out. Took two hours. The battery is easy enough to see - but to get it out: Had to figure out how to open the hatchback with no battery power. That required folding the seats downs, removing the hatchback area floor, removing the under floor storage container, then pulling a wee latch on the mechanism and pushing the hatchback skyward. Then extracting myself from the rear of the car, which was pretty funny since the side door closed while I was contorted in the back end of the car.

With the hatchback opened and floor and storage container removed the battery is clearly visible. As well as the next few items that are in the way of lifting the battery out of the tight space. A module for the breaker system. A bracket that mounts that module to the floor. The protective cover over the positive battery terminal and connections. The vent for the main drive battery bank. The vent for the 12V battery. The hold down clamp for the 12V battery. The positive bus connector. The battery cables. And some other cables.

Removed all that stuff, and hoped Iíd remember where it all fit. smile To lift the battery out there is just no room for two hands or to position myself very well. So I had to reach around with my right hand and just pinch it from above and lift it out. Gave my Vulcan nerve pinch grip a work out. Lol.

The new battery was the right one. Thankfully. Installed it and successfully replaced all the pieces. I was cold and fingers were somewhat raw from the cold and wind.

The car started and ran fine. I even took the old Prius out for a spin.

I returned the keys to thankful son. He did come out at lunch time and chatted a bit (he is working from home). Mom called him and is looking to see what everyone is doing for Christmas. She is trying to figure out how to see the kids or have them visit her. S22 told me she has plans to drop off her gifts to S23 soon, so I think S23 has told her he is not coming over

I asked S22 if he wanted to see his Mom. He said no. He told her he will not be visiting her. He did suggest using video call, like Zoom, Google Meets, etc. But, Mom doesnít want too. She wants to use the phone.

That is kind of funny. For years now XW has been texting and snapping and tweeting and whatever all the kids do nowadays. smile She was even into video texts and calls. But now she wants to use the phone. One to one, voice only. She went all old fashion.

Interestingly Mom brought up (with S22, not with me, she hasnít spoken to me for years, aside from a few very small talk bits at graduation) S22ís inheritance. It matures January 1st. Mom was asking if he wanted it or if he wanted her to invest it. He told her he wants it. She agreed to release the funds in January. Iím pretty sure she will not submit the income tax properly - again. Oh well. Her bill.

I picked up some groceries and returned home for 5:00pm.

At the grocery store I found some bacon flavoured potato chips. Yippee! I do hope they taste good. Iím going to try them tonight while relaxing and watching a movie.

Mmmmmm. Bacon.

Posted By: wooba Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/16/20 02:57 PM
DnJ, it must take a certain amount of dedication to have 20 threads here!!! (and to link all of them lol!)

What movie did you watch? smile
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/17/20 02:46 PM
Good Morning wooba

Looking back at twenty threads is strange. Itís been quite a journey, both brief and long, at the same time.

I started linking my previous threads when I started thread number two. I didnít post that link with title text, just the hyperlink. Of course my life was a big mess. I had trouble just getting out of bed, never mind figuring out HTML syntax. Lol

You did hit the nail on the head - dedication. In all I do, I look forward and to the future. I still live today, and yet plan for tomorrow. Itís repeatability at its core. My strategies and efforts, if correct, need not change through time. They do change due to outside factors, yet the core principles remain and hold true.

For example, the formatting, labelling, organizing, and such, of the pictures on my website was created with the ideals of looking forward. Kidsí girlfriends/boyfriends, deaths, births, weddings, etc, all fit in the structure. Itís the same for finances. Even my divorce was handled easily within my accounting and record keeping practices - handled by me was a different story. smile Although, my emotions, thoughts, and beliefs, were crafted, created, and strengthened with the long view in mind. So maybe not so different.

I suppose I keep linking my previous threads as a realization. My past creates my future. Choices have benefits and consequences. I look upon those twenty thread titles, and all that has happened within them, and realize all the choices. I have very few choices I need to go back on and correct. My headings were crafted with looking forward in mind. Kindness, compassion, forgiveness - and the choices that allowed me to get there.

And there were some difficult choices to make. Letting go - of XW, fear, ego. Embracing my new life. Living it fully. Sword and shield, and the realizations that I am creating my reality.

I ended up watching Serenity. I made it half way through the move, and the bag of bacon chips, and realized I was going to fall asleep on the couch. So, off to bed. I finished the move and the chips last night. Lol.

Iíve got the gifts organized and packed into individual boxes for delivery. This morning I am delivering the presents for D18 & BF, S20, and S22 & GF. After I need to give a blood sample for my periodic testing.

Tomorrow I am planning on taking the presents for S23 & GF out to them. Apparently there a storm is forecast so I may have to postpone that trip a day or two.

Grandma has a graduation picture ornament for D18 - like all the other kids had. As such grandma needs a picture of D18 in her cap and gown to place inside the frame. This required me going through the pictures. Wow. So many memories!

Since I was digging round I decided to look down memory lane for a bit - I did invest a few hours into the endeavour. There is a definite decline or change in W for about 6 months before BD. She had so many selfies and poises of ďherĒ. Not her kids, or family, or dogs, just herself from armís length with the camera tilted so the picture is all slanted. Just like a teenage girl.

Our last vacation pictures have her performing stunts or feats of the daredevil type. Walking out on a horizontal limb from a tree growing at the side of beach. The limb rising upward and W like 15 feet off the ground. I remember her being angry at me for saying ďGet down from there, you;re going break your legĒ. Lol. Itís actually really funny, since I photographic evidence of son performing through same stunt two days later and me giving him the same warning. Of course he was 17 at the time; she was 46 going on 18.

The duality of her existence is pretty apparent when looking back. I reread some rather confusing texts and emails from her - whichever ďherĒ was typing at the time. However, back then I didnít realize all this was going down.

And she was crazy skinny. Well, still is. It was not hard to feel for this poor lost soul. I even wondered and postulated when OM and her ďstartedĒ seeing each other in this time line captured in photos. I was not hurt, nor crying, nor angry. Acceptance - it is what it is. Of course, acceptance is much much deeper than that, and not, both at the same time.

I ran across many of old emails. Advice from here that I wrote to myself. Advice from my friends. Those choices I made, arose from that advice. Looking back fate was smiling upon me; both that I was presented with wise counsel and that I would listen. I pass on one such piece (modified slightly):

10 Rules

1. It's too soon to tell:

It's too soon to tell if this is a good thing or a bad thing. If it's forever over or just a temporary split. You are just at the start of a process. Don't judge it or you or him/her too harshly. Don't analyze and awfulize this every minute of every day. It's too soon to tell what it all means and how it all ends.

2. Be the hero/heroine of your life story, not the victim of it.

That's up to you. No one can make you a victim without your permission. You don't need her/him to be the villain and you the victim. That doesn't help anyone, especially your children.

3. This person will always be the mother/father of your children.

Your children need to hear you speak kindly and lovingly of their mom/dad. If you need to bash her/him and vent, do so when they are not around. They share her/his DNA. They don't want to feel they, too, are the bad guys.

4. Appoint yourself CEO of your joy.

It is no one else's job to make you happy. Period. Maybe she/he did for a while, maybe she/he never did. Doesn't matter. It's up to you to build a life of joy no matter what life hands you. See it through the eyes of gratitude. You can survive without her/him. You can't survive without you.

5. Create a 9-1-1 list of people to help.

Put their names and cell phone numbers on an index card you carry with you at all times. Ask them to be "on-call" to lend you an ear, a shoulder, a tissue, an old plate to break in an empty parking lot, the number for a good attorney. Create your own support Dream Team of the most positive people you know.

6. No playing bad home movies.

It's tempting to drift back in time and replay all the times she/he hurt you or loved you like crazy, which can make you feel crazy now. Stay present. Stay put in this day.

7. Pray for the serenity to accept the things you can't change.

If she/he had an affair, you can't change that. If she/he is in love with someone else, you can't change that. If she/he can't be talked out of the divorce, you can't change that. Acceptance means you align yourself with what is, and start from there.

8. Breathe.

Just pause and breathe. Take a deep breath and count slowly to six. Exhale slowly as you count to six. The slower you breathe, the more you will feel calm. Breathe in the love of God; breathe out the love of God. There is a place of peace inside of you - find it. It is there. It's like the centerpiece in the snow globe. She/he shook your snow globe and all the pieces went flying, except for the core of you. No one - no one - has the power to shake that.

9. Nothing you want is upstream.

I love that line. Stop struggling. Stop swimming against the current. Stop forcing yourself on life and insisting it change. Turn and go with the flow. A God who loves you is in charge of this flow. Trust where the current is taking you. It's somewhere better. Trust me. Better yet, trust you.

10. The best is yet to come.

As good as she/he was, you deserve better. You deserve the best. If this relationship is truly over, then she/he must not have been the best. She/he was a dress rehearsal. Maybe she/he was a great appetizer or the salad course. But she/he wasn't the main dish. And she/he sure wasn't the dessert. The next relationship will be even more life enriching and life affirming. Tell the Universe, "I am ready for my perfect good." Include your children in that perfect good. Keep your heart wide open and be ready for it to fill up with even greater love.

Looking back on twenty threads, Iíve done pretty good.

Have a wonderful day.

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/17/20 05:48 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
I ended up watching Serenity. I made it half way through the move, and the bag of bacon chips, and realized I was going to fall asleep on the couch. So, off to bed. I finished the move and the chips last night. Lol.
That's a fabulous movie. I've watched it several times. I did have a problem when I found out that Joss Whedon was a cheating jerk but my daughter counseled me to separate the creator from the created.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Our last vacation pictures have her performing stunts or feats of the daredevil type.
Funny - mine became more risk averse. I recall on our last anniversary - perhaps just before she and OM started seeing each other "as friends" - she refused to go on a little roller coaster. Normally I'm the one who avoids those but in this case she wouldn't go even though I was game.

Originally Posted by DnJ
6. No playing bad home movies.

It's tempting to drift back in time and replay all the times she/he hurt you or loved you like crazy, which can make you feel crazy now. Stay present. Stay put in this day.
This one is tough. We've talked a few times about the choices we make in our own realities - what we choose to believe and takes a certain mind-set and a lot of time to be able to look back and not have the view be serverely painful.

Originally Posted by DnJ
9. Nothing you want is upstream.

I love that line. Stop struggling. Stop swimming against the current. Stop forcing yourself on life and insisting it change. Turn and go with the flow. A God who loves you is in charge of this flow. Trust where the current is taking you. It's somewhere better. Trust me. Better yet, trust you.
Not sure I agree with this, but you are more of an optimist than I ever will be. And a man of stronger faith.

I do agree that there is no going back - no magical mulligan or do-over which I think quite a few of us came here looking for. The only direction is forward.
Posted By: CanBird Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/17/20 06:11 PM
Hi DnJ. Thank you for sharing. Reading those 10 Rules was much needed. I might even print them out.

Bacon Chips; will you buy again? I'm a Salt N vinegar girl myself, with Sour Cream & onion as a close second. wink
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/17/20 07:07 PM
"I swallowed a bug"
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/17/20 09:19 PM

Back from delivering presents. D18, BF, S20, S22, GF all delivered. Blood taken. (yuck, I hate needles, darn stabbing pokey things, I need all my blood, you canít have any smile still get all queasy when needles are poked in my arm). Tomorrow S23 and GFís presents. Mom and Dad live here in town so thatís an quick trip.

The gal who cleans my house was here today. We had a nice little chat and she appreciated the gift I had set out for her. I came back to a clean house and a gift from her to me.

Itís +1C right now. What a day for the middle of December. Quite remarkable. Iím really enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.

Andrew, yes that is a fabulous movie. I also really like the series - Firefly. It was far too short, only two seasons.

Looking back at our history and memories is natural and perfectly normal. Itís at the start of our paths that we tend to be dragged into the past uncontrollably. We detach and heal, and eventually those memories are not painful anymore.

I still recall how much pain came from even the good and happy memories. Not a place I wanted to exist in. And you are correct, it takes time to find our way.

I am inferring your disagreement regarding swimming upstream pertains to God and following His path. Faith requires a level of letting go, realizing what one can control - themselves, and what is beyond their control.

Whether it is Godís will, a destined fate, or the interactions with those around us, the outcome is beyond our control. There is a flow of events, and when one pushes against that flow it causes strife. Some stress is proper and needed; change is a stressful time. Just got to know what we can change and what we cannot.

Swimming upstream, insisting that oneís life returns back to normal - oh we so got to stop fighting the current. As you well know, the only direction is forward.

ďNothing you want is upstream.Ē

Such a simple and wise statement.

At first, what I wanted was upstream. Absolutely! Funny thing is - I donít want that anymore. I do not want W. That gal, the person she was (or is) needs to change. I donít want the ďher of the pastĒ, that lead her and I to here. You know all that betrayal, lying, cheating, divorce, etc. If, and that is a big if, XW changes, perhaps then.

Nothing I truly want is upstream.

Can, I am glad you find those rules helpful. Are there any particular ones that especially resonate with you?

Will I buy bacon chips again? You know, I was asking myself that very question. Iím not sure. They were pretty good. Mmmmm, salt n vinegar. You and I would get along just fine. I also like ketchup, ripple, dill pickle, sour cream and onion, bbq, ... lol. Ok, there ainít many flavours I donít like.

You know what I got a craving for right now - Hickory sticks. And pretzels.

Originally Posted by kml
"I swallowed a bug"

Great line!

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 12:09 AM
Originally Posted by DnJ
Andrew, yes that is a fabulous movie. I also really like the series - Firefly. It was far too short, only two seasons.
I really liked in S2E5 how Wash's dinosaurs turned out to be alliance spies in disguise whistle

Originally Posted by DnJ
I am inferring your disagreement regarding swimming upstream pertains to God and following His path. Faith requires a level of letting go, realizing what one can control - themselves, and what is beyond their control.
It's more your optimism that if you trust in fate that things turn out well. Something that I wish I had but lack.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 12:48 AM
Hi Andrew

Ha! Dinosaurs. smile

Only one season. 14 episodes.

Originally Posted by AndrewP
It's more your optimism that if you trust in fate that things turn out well. Something that I wish I had but lack.

Thank you for clarifying.

Posted By: CanBird Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 03:42 AM
Hi DnJ,

Originally Posted by DnJ

Can, I am glad you find those rules helpful. Are there any particular ones that especially resonate with you?

2. Be the hero/heroine of your life story, not the victim of it.

*It's so easy to be the victim. And I've really been feeling that lately. BUT I've GOT to be the heroine here. Especially for D4. There's a SUPERHERO in all of us. We are in charge of taking charge.

10. The best is yet to come *The more I say it, the more I believe it. This is the mind set I need to maintain right now.

Originally Posted by DnJ

Will I buy bacon chips again? You know, I was asking myself that very question. Iím not sure. They were pretty good. Mmmmm, salt n vinegar. You and I would get along just fine. I also like ketchup, ripple, dill pickle, sour cream and onion, bbq, ... lol. Ok, there ainít many flavours I donít like.

You know what I got a craving for right now - Hickory sticks. And pretzels.

Hickory Sticks! I can picture the brown and yellow bag now. lol...
Posted By: 97Hope Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 04:04 AM
DnJ - That is a beautiful and profound list.

I think we might be in similar places in life, although you are a bit ahead of me.

I have never thought about the upstream idea, but I see - looking back - that it was exactly what happened. Those things that were such a struggle and fight were not meant for me and I realize that my path was set out for me by a Father who loves me dearly. God has provided what I need, if not always what I "want".

Glad you are here helping others.
Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 04:16 AM
I sent my best friend the stream line. Not the first time I shared some DnJ with her, so you are her friend too. She said --

Ooh. Love that:

Trust where the current is taking you. It's somewhere better.

Gonna share it with a few people who need it right now!

So your reach got even reachier than this board.

Today in fact I had to keep reminding myself about that stream, it was good timing though I can't say I convinced me. I am so so so so tired of court and it just seems never to end. It is a putrid stream. I know it is leading somewhere good but I would really like to get there already. I was just teaching the movie "The Four Hundred Blows." (Do you know it? If not, rent it immediately!) At one point the main character says of the awful adults in his life, "I lie because the truth I tell they donít believe.Ē I was thinking about this today; it is my old old wound. I was never believed since I was a kid. The truths I knew to be true no one else seemed to see or live by. And now I am trapped in this mire where everything I know to be true is not seen to be true -- I mean obviously not by H or his L but also by the court.

Oops, highjack.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 03:18 PM
Good Morning

I slept in until 6:30am. Lol. Hurray. smile What a life! Hahaha

Itís -4C right now and very dark. I canít see what conditions are like; the deck and bit of the yard lit up from the glow of the tee and the kitchen looks good. I suspect some drifts though, it was crazy windy last night. My house is very quiet and it takes significant windy or storm to penetrate the insulation of this fortress. (Thick brick walls. The opposite of me, I just realized.)

Can, becoming the hero/heroine of our story is an interesting journey, with profound shifts in perception along the way.

Yes, you do need to continue being a great Mom to D4. However, the heroine of your story is a bit different. Using myself as example:

Itís more becoming the hero, the main character, rather than being heroic. The mire and brambles I walked through was letting go of victimhood, and then martyrdom. Yes, I saw myself as a victim, as we all do at the start. It takes some effort to shift our perceptions. smile

The drama, the suffering, the moral high ground, is all rather attractive and alluring - and self destructive. Martyrdom appears; willing to die for my beliefs. I suffered in my torment, reinforced by me - not XW to be clear. Itís lighting oneself on fire, trying to get smoke in their eyes. It doesnít work, and one just gets hurt.

Letting go of the idea of a martyr becomes living for your beliefs. I became the hero. The main character of my life. The focus is me. Not XW. Not even my children - although they, along with parent and friends, all have significant roles and parts in my story, it is I who is and needs to be the hero/main character, from my perspective.

In the end one actually performs those heroic feats when they let go and become who they are meant to be.

Letting go of the idea of victim and/or martyr is a battle with oneís ego. Ah, the ego, that need to be right. Remaining the victim/martyr is us demanding we are right, they are wrong, and we suffer for it. Of the two, martyrdom is harder to let go of; it has a righteousness about it. I so use that sword and shield. smile

Can, you are much further along than you probably realize. You are a wonderful Mom and the central character. Your situation has all the tragedy, drama, pain, suffering, dark times, and such, of the great stories. You are the main character. You become the heroine. The person of whom the story is about! (Itís not about XH)

We eventually, and for the most part inexorably, step into the role. Itís a matter of how long we struggle trying to swim upstream.

Realizing the best is yet to come, does not diminish the good and great times of our marriages and past. I am living the best times of my life right now. Without doubt, I had some very excellent times in my marriage and history - without doubt! However, it is the current events that become the best. The current bag of salt n vinegar chips is the best bag - the ones before were good and the oneís yet to come arenít here, but will become the best, in time when they arrive.

We live our best each day.

Hope, thank you for dropping in. I agree we are in similar places in our lives.

It is wonderful to see your faith in the path laid before you. Itís not always what we want; however, it is always what we need.

Originally Posted by 97Hope
My dad said something that really helped:

"those things that you lose or leave behind will not change your life significantly".

Thatís a wise man right there. Youíre a lucky and loved daughter.

Originally Posted by 97Hope
I am still mourning the loss of dream, but it has become profoundly more clear that I don't miss him, I miss who he could have been. I actually have my S19 to thank for that. I was crying one day and he came over unexpectedly. I've been honest with him and my other 2 sons and he asked what was wrong. I said "some days I just miss your dad. it's just part of it" and my son said "What do you miss, though? He didn't treat you right and he was not a good husband".

Big helpful thing for me was being realistic about my X while I was standing. I had to be honest about what I was willing to stand for and what I would accept from him long term.

You obviously have a great relationships with your sons. I am a big proponent of being open and honest (age appropriately of course) with oneís children. They absolutely need guidance and answers; and will find them elsewhere (friends, internet chat, or worse) or make them up if they cannot get them from us.

At nineteen your son displays an advanced empathy. A very good trait and quality which will serve him well throughout his life.

His kindness is within his question. ďWhat do you miss, though?Ē. He understands and feels your viewpoint, and doesnít just blurt out the answer. smile Youíve raised a fine young man there.

Your being realistic and honest about what you were (are) willing to stand for is a good thing. I found it quite amazing just how much I was willing, and able, to accept. Accept is different than stand for. I accept (understand and empathize) all of XWís behaviours, and stand for me.

My boundaries are the tenets that define that which I will not stand for. Regarding XW, none of them are in play or enforced. She and I do not interact - ever. Weird. And not. smile

Kindness and compassion have been very good headings; following the flow of the stream. For me it is far less struggle to be kind and be at peace. It took a bit to get my ego out of the way. Lol.

Gerda, not a highjack. It is wonderful to hear from you this morning.

Reachier. smile

Trust where the current is taking you.

The LBS has suffered a betrayal and trust does become in short supply. Regaining our trust and confidence is a task. My efforts towards that goal started that night when I trusted God and allowed Him to lead me. To help me become who I am supposed to be.

Trust where the current is taking you.

We first trust our faith, and then, once again, trust ourselves. We find our trust and confidence in our abilities to see the truth and know who is trustworthy and who is not. For a time, that clarity is very clouded, and everyone is under suspicion.

Your river does have its share of turns and bends, and even some rapids. (((Gerda))) Trust the current.

It is difficult to be surrounded by those who do not hold similar values or truths that you do. This is obviously the present, and temporary, legal entanglement you are embroiled within. It will not last forever. And you will emerge far stronger for it. (The signs are already there, if you donít actually see them for yourself)

As for life. Live your beliefs, truths, and values. Like you are.

Live in the light my friend.

Well, I am going to pack up Santaís Prius and make the last of my long distance delivery runs. Iíve invited my Mom along for the ride as well. Sheís excited to be out and about. She doesnít have a driving license and therefore doesnít get these excursions very often.

Take care everyone.

Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 04:28 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
(The signs are already there, if you donít actually see them for yourself)

More please. I do sometimes but sometimes I don't.

H refuses to settle and his L keeps working without getting paid, waiting for this pot of gold. There is no way to make them see reason, so I guess I imagine this dragging out forever and ever, like a reverse marriage vow.

I mean, I know it won't be forever, but it could be another year, another two!

I do fairly well in my life considering but I feel all the time like there is a giant catfish with huge sharp teeth and several old hooks stuck in his mouth and now holding fast to my leg -- I am in my stream, but he is pulling me down under a big tangle of logs and leaves and mud and dead things, and I can't shake him off and I am trapped in the tangle and the rain is swelling the stream to flooding and ow ow ow that hook and those teeth!

How do you like my extended metaphor? Very Homer. It doesn't feel like I am moving down the stream.
Posted By: CanBird Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/18/20 09:07 PM

Thank you. I cried happy tears when I read this.

Originally Posted by DnJ

Can, you are much further along than you probably realize. You are a wonderful Mom and the central character. Your situation has all the tragedy, drama, pain, suffering, dark times, and such, of the great stories. You are the main character. You become the heroine. The person of whom the story is about! (Itís not about XH)

We eventually, and for the most part inexorably, step into the role. Itís a matter of how long we struggle trying to swim upstream.

Realizing the best is yet to come, does not diminish the good and great times of our marriages and past. I am living the best times of my life right now. Without doubt, I had some very excellent times in my marriage and history - without doubt! However, it is the current events that become the best. The current bag of salt n vinegar chips is the best bag - the ones before were good and the oneís yet to come arenít here, but will become the best, in time when they arrive.

We live our best each day.

Thank you DnJ for your kind words. I am thankful beautiful D4, and the loving extended family we have.

Hope, what you wrote about your XH really felt like a page from my own story.

Originally Posted by 97Hope
I am still mourning the loss of dream, but it has become profoundly more clear that I don't miss him, I miss who he could have been.

You to S19: "some days I just miss your dad. it's just part of it" and my son said "What do you miss, though? He didn't treat you right and he was not a good husband".

The mourning comes and goes. Sometimes I find it easier to treat his leaving like a death, so I can forget the reasons why XH left. And yes, I miss who I thought I knew. That's the person I miss. That's part of the mourning. I sure don't miss the XH he's becoming. Hopefully he'll figure himself out and be a better man, for D4.
Posted By: Sage4 Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/19/20 07:11 PM
DnJ, we benefit so much from you being on holiday from work! What a beautiful post to Wooba with the 10 Things. All your posts, stories and musings clearly highlight your level of dedication and commitment to those 10 Things. It's like we get to watch how one actually lives them out. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, as usual, I am so grateful.

I can read that list and see that at various points in my journey, one item or the other was a lesson I needed to hear at that moment. They are all valuable, of course, but some are more sticky than others during different stages in our process.

Today, numbers 1 and 10 are what I needed to read and digest. Both are rooted in patience, so I suppose there is something there for me at the moment. Patience is not something I am very practiced at... I tend to know what I want and how to get it, whether using intuition or sheer force.

I hope you have a nice trip to see the children, I bet your mom enjoys getting out and about with you.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/20/20 07:40 PM
Good morning all

Ah, Iíve delivered all the gifts and literally have put my feet up. Iím now on vacation. smile lol.

Todayís plan is to extend the wiring for the joysticks and button on the arcade. Unfortunately, the new button are still in transit. Itís been like three weeks and they are stuck in Chicago according to FedEx. The buttons I have are too small for the holes in the flip up contro panel. And the existing wiring from the game box is too short to allow the panel to completely flip up if I was to install it as it. So a bit of cutting and soldering and I will have added a foot into each wire providing ample for full range of opening the control panel for when the shipment is finally here.

Gerda - Your entended metaphor is very apt of your feelings. Will consider something?

Have you seen the catfish? Is it really as giant as you feel it to be? As you imagine it to be?

You are strong and knowledgeable. You know you feel like you are being pulled under. Feel it all the time you said. Yet, you know that it is a feeling not what is actually happening. Feelings are real, just not the only view of what is real.

How far from shore are you? Is the water warm, tepid, or ice cold?

Are you struggling violently against this fish and pile of logs and dead things surrounding you? Or are you more at peace and looking to find a hand hold of a branch and lift yourself beyond this apparent impasse?

Have you looked beyond and downstream? Or focused more on the current pain and biting fish?

Originally Posted by Gerda
Originally Posted by DnJ
(The signs are already there, if you donít actually see them for yourself)

More please. I do sometimes but sometimes I don't.

A sign: You will consider my metaphorical questions. You are strong enough to reflect. To look to how you are reinforcing your feelings.

The logs and mud and rising water is the untruths of XH and your feelings towards that. See it for what it is. You will not drown. You will get passed the tangle. These only have at most a temporary hold on you.

Look at the beauty of your stream. The trees and green lining the riverbanks. The birds singing and flying about. Look to the sky; the rain, that storm is weakening. The sun has already started to poke out as the clouds are lifting. Without the rain and cloud cover you can see what you are jammed against.

If you consider your stream - you are not alone. You have friends, many here, your best friend IRL. Me. It may surprise you to see me floating beside you encouraging you to a handhold. (((Hugs))) Although, you know me pretty well, so I suspect you shouldnít be too surprised.

Our lives and streams have a path which is unknown. There are times of strife and being stuck. There are times where the current wizzes us far too quickly and other time far too slowly. Mostly, it is our perceptions that shape our river, giving rise to the water and torrent of current or the gentleness of a lazy golden sunshine-filled afternoon on a tree-lined stream peacefully heading, floating, forward.

A sign of your strength and fortitude - you want to get unstuck and see what is beyond the bend.

God never places more on us than we can handle or need. The load one carries, silently builds their strength and resiliency. As one grows and lets go of the emence burden they have bore for so long, they find such a strength available. It is the strength of conviction and belief. It is acceptance and forgiveness. It is faith.

You my dear friend have bore a burden a long time. You are setting it down every now and then, bit by bit. You know the signs I speak of. Youíve felt the strength I speak of. I do believe in you Gerda. Do you believe in you?

Can - You are welcome. I sincerely mean what I said.

Originally Posted by CanBird
The mourning comes and goes. Sometimes I find it easier to treat his leaving like a death, so I can forget the reasons why XH left. And yes, I miss who I thought I knew. That's the person I miss.

Yes, the mourning does rise and fall. And in someways it is like a death. The person we knew is gone, mostly, for the moment, and we donít know for how long.

I propose a minor wording change (your mind is always listening):

The mourning comes and goes. Sometimes I find it easier to treat his leaving like a death, so I can forget accept the reasons why XH left. And yes, I miss who I thought I knew. That's the person I miss.

We do not forget. That is trying to do something which is quite impossible.

We do accept. And remember.

The person we knew exists in our memories. We knew that person. Do not rewrite your history and memories. Do not promote doubt in your self about who you thought you knew. You knew them.

They changed. They hid. They left. They ran.

Yet, you did know them before all that. Believe that.

This is what you are accepting and letting go of - the person you knew.

Doubting and questioning the accuracy and realism of who they were is normal. Consider, if XH hadnít have done this, you would not be questioning. Therefore he was, for a good while, the person you knew.

Iíve found peace, acceptance, and forgiveness for XW - the gal I knew. She was real. There is history, pictures, memories (mine and kids), she was really her, and she changed. Do you have similar? Memories and history regarding H? Grieve and accept.

Sage - Mom and I had a wonderful outing. It was a very good day for car ride. We left at 10:00 am and returned at 5:00 pm. Mom actually packed a lunch for us, so we had a picnic of egg salad sandwiches. smile

I sent her a text telling her I appreciated the sandwiches. And that her egg salad, like the other meals from my youth, are still the best versions - hands down!

Itís too soon to tell and The best is yet to come. Yes, both definitely speak to patience.

I remember reading from someone about her praying for patience and wishing it would just get here already. Her message of the trials of finding patience delivered in humor.

The patience required for both of those rules leads to the long view. It is too soon to tell how your life will turn out. Things do tend to feel final at first, and we have this pressure to make some kind of movement or decision. However, weíve got the gift of time. Truly.

The other end of the list, although it is in no particular order, is the long view of our heart. The best is yet to come - is very true. The next relationship for you will be best. It should be the relationship with yourself. And God if you believe or want to.

Regardless of a reconciliation or not, or another person or not, you will always be in your life. Best love who you are. Become the very best version of yourself.

It took me time to realize my next relationship. I struggled with standing and trying (lol notice - trying) to follow this rule. I kept my heart soft and squishy, and discovered that I am standing for me. No matter what - the best, my best, will happen.

Telling the universe you are ready for your perfect good, needs being really ready for it. In that context, rule ten is well placed, for a bunch of lessons and growth needs to happen first for us to be willing and able to accept our perfect good.

An example, is forgiveness. Willing and able to forgive.

How many walls are built around oneís heart? How open are they to love and goodness?

The best is yet to come.

And yes, sheer force ainít going to make it arrive any quicker. smile

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/22/20 03:57 PM
Good Morning

A couple of nights ago, Sunday, I had my Mom over for supper. (After my text of how her meals are still the best). We had meat and potatoes and gravy. I cut inch thick slices of beef from a roast, and pan seared them. Herís well done, as she likes, and mine medium rare. Everything served directly to plate from the sizzling pan and then smoothed in gravy.

We made plans for Christmas Day. She will be coming over and opening presents with me. The entire group is going to be on video call, so we can be together. She said she will bring over the meal - turkey, stuffing, etc. - and let me cook it since my food always tastes better. Lol. Perception is a funny thing. My Mom is an awesome cook, and I get by; from my point of view.

Earlier in the day I spoke to S20. I waited until 2:00 pm to ensure he was out of bed. smile Saturday was his last exam for this semester - the quantum physics exam. I asked how it was. He and all his classmates said the exam was much harder than they thought it was going to be, so he is unsure. Of course that lead into a Dad joke of quantum uncertainty in that he pass and failed and everything in between at the same time, and once he looks, those possibilities will collapse into the final mark. (Groan. Dad jokes.) S20 did know one of his grades, 4.3 in mechanics. Bright lad.

He told me he was going to call and see about coming home for Christmas. D18 was doing some research and the current Covid rules allow students to return home during periods of no school. I told him of course he was welcome home, and he can stay as long as he wants.

He will gather all his presents, the ones I just delivered, and bring them back here with him. D18 gathered up her gifts and took them to BFís home. S20 told me that D18 took all the kidsí gifts for Mom with her and she was dropping them off on her way to BFís home. She told Mom, she was just dropping off gifts, no visit.

That theme and position is much apparent and common among my children/young adults. All of them are not visiting her. Have stated it plainly, and not blaming Covid either. None of them want their partner to treat them like Mom treated me. None of them want that kind of role model around them or future grandchildren. And of course, their own Mom threw them away. A lot happens in three years and Mom is plenty behind and quite the stranger in their lives.

Still, she is my ex-wife, not the kids ex-Mom. She is, and always will be, their mother. Actual, now that Iíve wrote and read that - No, she is their ex-Mom. True, she is mother, the woman who gave birth to them. The Mom who loved and raise and cared and such... ex-Mom fits the bill.

Anyhow, I told S20 he could come out anytime. I asked if he had a timeframe in mind, like tomorrow. smile He laughed and said no, he just finish exams and wants to relax a bit and play games on his computer. I giggled and agreed, telling him I figured he would want some playtime after such an academic push. He is coming out the afternoon of the 23rd and staying until... well we arenít sure yet. Iím off until January 4th and he starts classes again even later than that. Although his computer isnít here, so I suspect he may leave sometime between Boxing Day and New Years. However, it may be just for a few days and come back, or something else. Weíve left it for now and said we would figure it out once he is here. (If my arcade buttons show up, Iíll probably not get him out of house. Lol)

During supper I let my Mom know the latest news and the upcoming visit. Both her and S20 were willing to bow out and remain alone on Christmas so the other could be with me. I decided that the three of us could and would be together for the gift opening, the meal, and the evening.

I do realize my role as head of the family. It is a funny thing when you pick up that mantle from your own Dad and/or Mom, which was many years ago now. I donít often need to ďdecideĒ for the group, yet when it is required everyone looks my way and no one argues the point. Hmmm, thatís kind of like work - although there I do need to decide more often. smile (Wow, I havenít thought of work for a few days now. It sure is nice.)

Mom and I watched the movie Coach Carter. Sheíd never seen it and itís been awhile since I watched it. An enjoyable retelling of a pretty inspirational story. I had forgotten the ďWhat is your deepest fear?Ē. Something I must admit, I do feel and believe. Iíve written plenty about how light is more powerful than dark. Is stronger, yet feels less, and yes is liberating.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people wonít feel insecure around you.

We were all meant to shine as children do.
Itís not just in some of us, itís in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

- - - -

I took Mom home and returned, deciding to walk the dogs on such a beautiful night. It was +1C and completely calm. All my senses and awareness were at peace.

The sky was completely overcast, with an icy fog hanging in the air. No stars nor moon shone, yet the sky was awash in light. The white lights of the town just north of me reflecting off the ice crystals suspended in the calm still air, turning the clouds overhead a pale pure white. The bright north horizon lighting up the sky.

To the south, the pumping stationís yellow light projected a bulb of golden light spreading 30 degrees into the sky. Not strong enough to reach the white; more like a second nighttime sun.

The west horizon was a band of blackness slowly graduating in brightness to the pure white light above. The east horizon, furthest from the slumbering sun, was a larger band of dark, starless, sky.

The ground was covered in a quarter inch in fresh fallen snow. Pure, white, clean. It reflecting all light that shined. The entire ground was alit from the lights from the town. My dark lane and star-filled sky was gone. The world looked exactly like a planetarium with those side lights beaming up onto the ďskyĒ so we can find our seats. Indeed, the dark band of the horizon and the white light reflecting to, and from, above.

My entire yard, the road, the grass, the fields next to me, all glowed a beautiful purity.

The atmosphere was still. I stood and listened, no sound. The dogs remaining still beside me as we hear nothing. No cattle, no cars from town or on the rushing highway a mile north and east of me. The world was at peace.

I walked down the lane, the dogs steadfast beside, yet wandering. The three of us creating an orchestra of sound. Each of my steps creating a squeak as the snow squished underfoot. The squeak turns to a crushing sound as the pressure of my foot step enters and exits from heal to toe. This sound is constant and never ending, only stopping when I do. While we walk we never leave the ground, one foot is always touching the earth, we are in continual contact with the ground, and always moving and changing our distribution of ourselves upon the earth below us.

This constant rhythmic melody played out as I strolled down the fresh trackless snow covered lane. The dogs paw steps added to the music. Their paws crunching blades of grass in such a seeming noisy way against the still of the calm. Eight paws swishing and scrunching the icy grass. The snow settled in between the blades damping the actual footfall against the earth. Oddly, they did not pant, nor run.

The final instrument was the pinging of the gentle falling icy crystallized snowflakes off my black nylon parka. It is incredible how loud a snowflake can be. Their random off beat accents filling in the orchestrate of nature.

Iíd stop, the dogs would stop, and between the noisy snowflakes the world was still and silent.

Deep breaths I took. Each intake of air crisp, fresh, cleansing, and alive. No exhale was seen, no condensation in the worldís icy stance, an equilibrium between us. An almost understanding.

The air was warm against my exposed face and hands. The falling icy snow pellet-type flake only hitting my face due to my motion forward. Beneath my feet the squeaking snow would squish and squash as I strolled. My contact with the earth transmitted through the sole of my runner into the soul of me.

Trips up and down the lane I made. Stopping several times to marvel at the planetarium I was living in. The large wise cottonwood trees were blackly silhouetted against the bright white sky. Such sky reaching giants punctuating the awe.

I returned the dogs to their large pen. They, as always, happily entered their home. Content. And maybe touched by the world as well.

I went to bed and and slept. Perhaps sugar plums danced - I donít know. I sleep very well. Welcoming the awaking of a new day as much as the saying goodnight to the old one.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/22/20 05:23 PM
Validation and boundaries.

Validation is the act of proving something accurate or valid. It is also the declaration of the acceptability or legality of something. It is also the affirmation and recognition of a person, their feelings, and/or their opinion is worthwhile or valid.

It is the later of those definitions that is the basis of emotional intelligence and empathy. It is being able to validate someoneís feelings that demonstrates your own high emotional quotient (EQ vs IQ).

Validating does not demand you agree with or condone someoneís choices. Validating is simply affirming and acknowledging that personís feelings and choice. Seeing their emotions as real and true, for it is to them.

We validate feelings. We place boundaries on disrespectful behaviours.

A personís emotions are real. Validating someone is listening to them. Invalidating rejects, ignores, and judges them. Invalidating someoneís emotions never ends well. It belittles, and tells them they are worthless; which says much about the person doing the invalidating. And our minds and hearts are always listening.

A personís feelings are true. They are real. And they can and will change. And not by our actions or inactions. A personís feelings change from within themselves, just like they are created.

Our spouses and their betrayal and faithlessness and cheating and so on; yes it is difficult to validate. Why?

The difficulty arises from our own feelings. Consider validation and empathy from a purely intellectual viewpoint. The wisdom of acting from an enlightened empathetic position would be desirable to achieve whatever goals one is after. Especially those goals for ourselves. Those internal noble goals like forgiveness of self and spouse.

Validate and see your spouses emotions as real. For there are. If you choose to try to make their feeling untrue or invalid it fails. That is working towards denial not acceptance.

Yes, our spouses are driven by their emotions. And they usually, by a very high margin, make poor immoral choices and act upon those. Affairs are incredible commonplace for MLCers. As well as becoming poor, dismal, or even an absent parent. They become terrible friends and start displaying rebellious disrespectful behaviour of a spoiled teenager with a large bank account.

Again, their feelings are valid.

There behaviours, the ones that affect or effect you - place a boundary on them.

You need not accept disrespect!

You need accept otherís feelings and the existence of such.

Consider this statement: I am sorry you feel that way, I can see how upset you are regarding this. However, when you yell and swear at me, I feel hurt and disrespected. I am willing to calmly discuss this with you, and will leave the room when you yell at me.

Validating their feelings and placing a boundary upon their disrespectful actions.

Empathy is an interesting path. The ability to ďfeelĒ someone else, to connect, is key to all interactions. Most times it is managed more or less pretty well.

With our spouse, we are embroiled in a high emotional storm, and our own empathy is difficult to find regarding their feelings. Of course, the MLCerís empathy chip is broken and we need to usually pull double duty to find calm. It is therefore even more critical to validate - critical for yourself!

Yes, validation is a good tool for dealing with our spouse. However, like most advice, it is highly counterintuitive at first, and it is for you. Everything we do is for us, first and foremost. If our marriages are saved or rebuilt or reconciled, that is a bonus.

Boundaries are for you. Validating is for you. To heal you. To find your peace. To find your beliefs.

Now, at first we donít believe in validating such ďbadĒ emotions. No. In clarity, we are believing we are validating the ďbadĒ behaviours. We do tie the behaviours and the feelings of our spouses together. One needs to untie that.

To find acceptance and peace, one has to accept someone elseís feelings. It is part of the path. Itís part of the definition of acceptance. When you are unaccepting of their feelings then you donít find acceptance. Some part will always be there inside you - fighting, judging, going against your spouseís or ex-spouseís feelings. Itís a poison to your soul.

My XW has the right to feel whatever she does. Her feelings towards OM are valid and true. She feels for him. Oh sure, Iíd like her not too. However, that doesnít change her feelings.

So back to why is validating so difficult. It is us. Our feelings.

The only thing you control is you. We resist giving credence or truth to our wayward spouseís feelings. It hurts us. We believe different.

In the silence of indifference find your beliefs and convictions. Search your ego and your need to be right. This particular one - the invalidation of our spouseís feelings and choices and life, needs altering or discarding. In my humble opinion.

For me, I did not want to live with such feelings within me. I wanted forgiveness and peace, not vengeance and hatred. I strengthened beliefs that serve me. Altered and discarded beliefs and values that didnít. And no, itís not a walk in the park to get here.

We all have choices and make choices. We live the benefits and the consequences of our choices. I know and believe in empathy, validation, emotional understanding, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and such - I live it. I live the benefits. And so do my children and friends and coworkers and strangers I meet.

I do acknowledge and empathize where you are. I truly do. I also encourage you to consider my suggestions and path.

Validate feelings. Boundary disrespect.

Be clear with yourself about what you are doing.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/23/20 02:10 PM
Good Morning


Well maybe, if I stepped outside. The house the nice and cozy. But it is -24C or -10F right now outside with the rising sun. Not a terrible day, but a far cry from the +2C of yesterday. smile

Two more days.

I have a festive ornament that hangs on my fridge. Well I have many, this particular one is a chalk board with ď<blank> Days ĎTil ChristmasĒ painted upon it. The blank is filled in with the chalk that is hanging on the attached string. For many years the kids would count down - erase and write - the days Ďtil Christmas.

Today is two days. I sent a picture to everyone, kids and parents, of todayís status. Grandpa responded right away, at 6:30 am. Lol.

He asked if I would send some videos of my tree. He has been telling his nurse about it and would like to show it. And, of course, he would like to watch them as well. So I sent a bunch of videos of some of the different patterns and the lighting themes I am using. I also sat down and recorded a few Christmas songs on the piano and sent those as well. All before breakfast or even waking up much. Kind of like Christmas Day!

Itís cold and dark, and yet itís a bright warm day around here.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/24/20 01:51 PM
Good Christmas Eve Morn to You

Lol. Awake at 4:30 am. Got up at 5:30 am.

S20 arrived yesterday and we visited and chatted until midnight. Youíd think Iíd sleep in.

When he arrived at 2 in the afternoon yesterday, right after we hugged and greeted, he told me about Mom. Laughing and shaking his head, he read the texts between him and Mom.

Earlier, XW texts him about bring his Christmas gift out to him in city.

S20 tells Mom that when D18 drops off everyoneís gifts for her that she could just pick up his gift.

D18 goes to BFís on Friday. Stops by OMís house and drops off gifts for Mom. No gifts from Mom. Not for her, not for anyone.


Mom: I have a gift for you. I will be in city in a few days. I can come and drop it off.

S20: Iím coming out to Dadís so I wonít be home.

Mom: Ok.


Mom: I have a gift for you. Iíll be out tomorrow and can drop it off.

S20 considers not responding, but Mom would show up and probably just leave whatever she has outside his door, and no one would be there.

S20: Iím coming out home today to be with Dad. D18 is at BFís home. So no one will be at our place in city.

Mom: Oh. Ok.


Mom: I have a gift for you. Do you want me to drop it off?

S20: No. Iím leaving for Dadís. D18 is coming to Dadís. Iím bring her a gift that arrived in the mail and she can stop by and pick it the gift on her way by.

D18 arrived at my house. No gift. Picks up her packages.


Oh well. S20, D18, BF, and me visit briefly. Daughter and boyfriend return to his place. Find out Mom delivered D18ís gifts to BFís house on Tuesday.

Son and I go sit on the couch and talk about university. (Which he got 4.3 in all his classes. Deanís honour roll. Presidentís society. And probably some scholarships.)

Mom: Iím in city running some errands do you want me to drop by and drop off your gift?


S20: No. Iím at Dad.

Mom: Oh. Ok.

(Slap forehead). Sheesh. If she would read any of the preceding lines in the text conversation sheíd see that he is not in the city, he is here.

S20 realizes the obvious ďnot going according to her planĒ of all this. Mom has an idea and he (and fate) is not playing along. Son tells me it is plain that Mom is trying to force a visit with him.

I agree. And I mention that it is strange that she is texting him, since she will only talk on the phone with S22. No texts or video conversations with him, but for S20 it is no phone and just text. S20 shakes his head as well.

Anyhow, we are invited to grandmaís for supper and have a wonderful meal and a visit. At 9:30 pm, just as we are thinking about leaving, S20 gets a text from mom.

Mom: Do you want to come over and pick up your gift?

We drove over to grandmaís in my car, so I told son that we can stop on the way home if he wants. He laughed and said he doesnít plan on being able to drive for the next week, so we might as well do it tonight.

S20: Weíll be there in ten minutes.

(It was ďIíll be there...Ē, but he changed it to ďweíll...Ē. Lol. That is definitely not going according to her plan.)

We say our goodbyes and leave. Arriving at OMís yard site on time. By the way, this is the first time Iíve ever been there. As described, the house is small. I drive in and turn around, placing the passenger door by the walkway to the door. S20 goes to the door. He has little intention of visiting. I count the seconds after the door opens. I get to eleven. S20 leaves with a box of gifts.

He tells me, he has his gifts from Mom. And a gift for grandma, my Mom, from XW. Huh? Nothing for grandpa. Nothing for me (that is rather obvious). But a gift for her XMIL. Iíve no idea what XWís thinking, she hasnít spoken to my mom since S20ís graduation over two years ago.

We found it rather interesting and odd that Mom had his gift ready to drop off, then it wasnít ready to be picked up, and then it was ready again. D18ís gifts werenít available when she dropped by and Mom had to deliver her gifts to her at BFís place. We suspect XWís errands yesterday would be delivering S22ís gifts. That ďvisitĒ would be short as well, S22 is not interested in visiting with her and he is working from home.

I think Momís being Santa is coming from a different place than my shuttling of presents around. Shrug. Oh well. She is rather transparent to all involved.

Posted By: Taz Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/24/20 03:28 PM

This is such a confusing and sad exchange between XW and your children. Events like this make it easier for the LBS to have compassion for them. They are lost. All we can do is hope they find themselves some day.

Posted By: job Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/24/20 06:01 PM
I really got confused reading the exchange and had to re-read it again. The wiring in her brain is a jumbled mess. I pray that she gets her act together at some point, but she's been at it for quite some time.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! You are a shining light to so many here.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/25/20 02:08 AM
Hello Taz

Yes, XW is a lost soul. Not much for one to do but be compassionate.

Hi job

I agree. XWís wiring is pretty scrambled.

I actual have a break in the movie S20 and I are watching. XW just texted S20. The rest of his present arrived in the mail and she asked if she could bring it over. (Here to my house) Or if he wants to come and get it. He decided to go pick it up. He and I discussed the pros and cons of her coming over - yeah probably not a great thing for her; or maybe it would be. At any rate, he is going over to pick the items up.

S20 returned in about 10 minutes. Mom had his gift ready. And she invited him in for a visit. S20 said no thanks. She then came out into the -25C and around -37C windchill and asked a few questions. How are you? Should we have a get together tomorrow? A video conference of all the kids Christmas Day?. His answers were short. Iím fine type thing. Her desperation is apparent. Imagine trying to arrange a video conference for tomorrow the night before.

In less than a minute XW was too cold and she had to head inside. They said goodbye and S20 came back home. He told me of the visit. I asked him point blank - do you want to see your Mom? He said no.

We talked a bit of compassion and the detachment/indifference that accompanies compassion. He is in a good place.

We finished our movie and I then made supper. We had far too much of a stir fry dish I whipped together. Lol.

I fed the dogs and took them for a walk down the dark driveway. OMG, the wind is blowing so hard. It is cold!!! One trip up and down the lane and back in the pen. My forehead is still cold.

S20 is currently playing on the piano. God, I miss the noises, the sounds, and the music. He plays beautifully, such a soulful touch. I just told him so, by the way. smile

I do miss W. She is so lost. Christmas Eve she realizes that there are no plans on seeing her. I suspect she feels sad and hurt somewhat. Maybe even a lost. It is heartbreaking. A crisis is a terrible thing.

Dear God, please help her find her way.

My friends, may you be blessed. Peace to all.

Merry Christmas.

Posted By: cardinal Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/25/20 03:52 AM
((DnJ)) That music you hear that brings you joy, the music S20 makes and the joy he brings youóall I can think is that XW is missing out on that music. But she ventured out into the bitter cold for a moment with S20. Who is to say where she might venture in the future? I do hope she will be guided.

Merry Christmas, DnJ.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/25/20 03:53 PM
Thank you cardinal.

Yes, XW ventured outward a bit more this Christmas. Reached out to the children, sort of. Iím with you, I hope she can receive some guidance.

Posted By: Grace21 Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/25/20 04:01 PM
Popping by to wish you a very Merry Christmas! I'm reflecting on my year, and the help and wise words and guidance you provided me. Thankful for you!
Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/25/20 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
I do miss W. She is so lost. Christmas Eve she realizes that there are no plans on seeing her. I suspect she feels sad and hurt somewhat. Maybe even a lost. It is heartbreaking. A crisis is a terrible thing.

Dear God, please help her find her way.
Big bro hug D. This time of the year is tough on all split families.

Don't be too surprised at J poking her head up and stirring around - as we know it's fairly typical of I believe all of us to look back on what was and regret the loss of what could have been.

Also keep in mind that the explosive and destructive manner of it in your case has created a rift that at present looks impossible to bridge. And her path may not lead her back towards where she was.

The past few years have changed us all and set us on paths that lead us we know not where.

I do hope that she is eventually able to rebuild a new relationship with the kids. But as we have seen in the stories of others, that doesn't always happen.

Merry Christmas D - and best wishes for a Blessed New Year.
Posted By: scout12 Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/25/20 10:17 PM
Merry Christmas, D and family.

Reading about XWís conversation with S20 made me think about something. It seems that runaway spouses, in particular, lack the ability to properly understand cause and effect. I wonder if this is part of the theory of whole object relationsó the ability to form an integrated, realistic, and relatively stable image of oneself and other people that simultaneously includes both liked and disliked aspects and also strengths and flaws.

If you do not have whole object relations, you can only see yourself and other people in a split and un-nuanced way as either all good or all bad. It is as if you had to sort all your experiences with yourself and other people into only two buckets: the all-good bucket or the all-bad bucket. It is a form of arrested development, a childlike understanding of the world, that is usually caused by attachment failure in childhood.

What makes the lack of whole object relations such a problem?

It distorts reality.
This way of looking at people distorts reality. No person is all good or all bad. We are all a mixture of traits and behave differently with different people at different times.

It leads to unstable relationships.
If you need to see people as all good or all bad, every time someone does something that does not fit into your current bucket, you will either have to deny reality and ignore what is happening or you have to switch them into the other bucket.

This means you could be seeing someone as all-good one moment and tell the person, ďI love youĒ with great sincerity and then two minutes later, when they do something you do not like, now see the person as all-bad and with equal sincerity say, ďI hate you.Ē

There are two separate irreconcilable histories.
When you are in the split state of seeing someone as all good, the entire history of imperfect bad moments in your past together becomes part of the unseen background. You respond to the person as if the person had always been all good. The same is true when you are seeing them as all bad. Now you ignore any evidence that the person has been good to you in the past and you have had many enjoyable moments together.

It is accompanied by a lack of object constancy.
People who lack whole object relations also lack object constancy. Object constancy is the ability to maintain your positive feelings for someone while you are feeling hurt, angry, frustrated, or disappointed with their behavior. Without object constancy, every fight becomes a potential breakup.

The lack of whole object relations and object constancy is characteristic of people who are diagnosed with personality disorders. For example, from an object relations theoretical point of view, the main difference between simply having narcissistic traits versus qualifying for a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder is based on the narcissistic person's lack of whole object relations and object constancy.

Not sure if any of this resonated with you, but I thought it was an interesting angle to explore. Iíve got a little too much time on my hands in the absence of S2. Time to ponder.

Have a wonderful Christmas Day.
Posted By: PLC Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/26/20 06:48 AM
Merry Christmas, Dnj-

Hey at least your XW got your kids something. All our D had was gifts I bought her. He told her he hadínt bought her anything and would get her something ďlaterĒ . He wonít. Heís so disconnected from her, itís sad.

I hope one day, he can see whatís going on, but as of now, heís so far in the tunnel, he canít.

Hope you had a nice day.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/26/20 07:59 PM
Good Morning

Grace - Merry Christmas to you as well. Gosh, thankful for little o me. I am very happy to have met you Grace. And glad of your healthy healing path. For whatever part I played in that - you are most welcome. Know it is reciprocated - I am thankful for you too.

Andrew - I agree and am not too surprised at XWís poking her head out of the ground during Christmas. We all reflect, eventually, upon that which is lost. I believe she has yet to feel her regrets to the full effort that is still to come.

I do feel that perhaps she is starting to reach outward, trying to repair relationships with the kids. I donít yet believe that, though I do feel it. And there is some empirical evidence of such, so I do think it as well. She needs to not try and to do. Not try to repair but do rebuild or forge new better relationships. A tall task. And one I am not part of, it is for them to figure out.

Originally Posted by AndrewP
Also keep in mind that the explosive and destructive manner of it in your case has created a rift that at present looks impossible to bridge. And her path may not lead her back towards where she was.

The past few years have changed us all and set us on paths that lead us we know not where.

Look at you. You are becoming more and more the optimist.

That rift born from such destruction does, at present, look difficult to bridge. Oddly, I see that rift, and the needed requisite tasks and such from both sides as not impossible - Iím a rather hopeful guy, and hope is just believing in possibilities. However, in truth, Iím not sure I would want to rebuild back to where we were. Actually, no I donít want to repair with her, and repair is building to where we were. And that lead us to here.

Forge or rebuild new - perhaps. Yes, that I still would undertake.

I was thinking she was reaching back towards the kids this Christmas. Itís all a matter of perspective. Her reaching back mean she is in front. My perceptive, and maybe herís somewhat - she is reaching out forward. We, me and the kids, are ahead of her - on our paths.

The MLCer thinks, feels, and believes their explosion propels them forward and they have their new wonderful life. And as long as they feel and believe that, they will not change! If their perception is that they are in front they will not go backwards. Well actually no one goes backwards, itís a matter of perspective.

Her reaching out to her kids is important. She left with the words; well many different words, and these ones were not the most significant; ďthat the kids will accept her life. They donít have a choice.Ē I, of course at the time not knowing what the h3ll was going on, said she was just holding her breath demanding her kids see it her way. She agreed! I said that could take years. And XW, didnít care. ďI can wait. They will come around.Ē I responded, just like you and your Mom and Dad. Itís been 28 years, theyíve never even met their grandchildren. That is your future! 3 decades from now, when your great grandchildren are already here, you will have missed so much, you will still be holding your breath!!!

Of course that didnít change her path. She was far too gone. She was out in front, so she felt. (And so did I, at the time, truth be told. Oh how we grow. smile )

I think and hope she realizes she is actual behind and is reaching forward. For it is then that she may effort into catching up.

Merry Christmas Andrew. My best to you and yourís.

scout - Excellent pondering fodder.

Yes, seeing and defining the world, people, events, etc. in only good and bad leads to problematic outcomes. Things are much more gray, than black and white.

We all have the capacity and capability of good and evil. We can all choose and do choose. And we choose to judge or forgive or not.

Even itemizing peopleís actions into good and bad; this one was good, that one was bad. A tally summary still isnít truly gray, we still categorized. No one is wise enough to see all ends. (Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, Iím sure you recognize the partial reference smile )

The MLCer is emotionally stunted and has a similar view of the world. And they will expend enormous energies in maintaining that distorted view or fantasy.

Thanks for sharing such a wise viewpoint. Too much time on your hands. Lol.

PLC - I responded on your post before I read mine. I see you pre-answered my query of gifts. Yes, Hís lack of gift giving is pretty commonplace for an emotionally troubled person.

He will appear disconnected from her and you, for he feels disconnected from himself and everything around him. The running is him trying to find connection. Him not looking within. Him unable too, yet.

It is sad. And he is still within the tunnel. He cannot see nor grasp all that is going on.

Have a wonderful Christmas season my friend.

- - - -

Christmas Day was really good until... well Iím getting ahead myself. Let me retell in order. smile

S20 got up around 10:00am, rather early considering how late he stayed up watching movies.

I went and got my Mom and brought her over to spend Christmas Day with us. We had lunch, visited, and played cards until 3:00 pm.

This was the planned time for our family video group call. All of us connected online. Me, Grandma, and S20 at my house, D18 and BF at his house, S22 and GF at theirís, S23 and GF joining from their home, and Grandpa logging in from his bed at the care home.

My poor slow internet connection with its maximum speed of 5 mbps was the bottleneck. S20 joined his phone on using cellular which then helped. We set my iPad as the speaker and microphone source and muted the other two and everyone was then set.

Presents were opened. All gifts from one person, as how ever that one person wanted them to be opened (as in all at once or one at a time). Stockings were first, and opened all together. Kids, which we all are, unleashed. Our inner kid diving into our stockings. Santa got everyone a bottle of favourite alcohol. All except me - I canít imbibe (although my upcoming appointment has us lowering and possible removing immunity suppressors from my pill cocktail), Grandpa - the care home would freak out, and D18ís BF - he is 17 and pretty sure giving alcohol to a minor not yourís is not proper. The rest were quite pleased with their liquors and fancy scotches and rums.

Santa also got various flavours of chips - bacon, smokey bbq, etc... S23 was eating bacon chips within seconds of unwrapping his gift. Lol.

Presents were opened next. D18/BF/S20ís they all went together to get better gifts from poor students. smile D18 ran things, and well as being the one who actually bought and wrap all the gifts. The joke quickly became us thanking her and then everyone ďremindingĒ to thank S20 and BF as well. Lol. She had the gifts opened one at a time so everyone could watch the action.

They got me a Monopoly game. One of my favourite games is Monopoly. Iíve been gifted many different versions over the years. This version is - Cheaters Monopoly. I havenít opened it yet, but according to the outside of the box - basically you can cheat. Anything. Rob the bank, steal from some else, whatever, if you donít get caught then it is ok. So, like regular Monopoly as kids play it. Lol. Iím pretty sure those games will devolve rather quickly.

S20 and GF went next. They had a lot of neat items for the siblings. Phone accessories, battery pack, thermos, coffee cup warmer for those stuck at home worker at their desk. I got some much need new slippers.

Grandmaís gifts were next. She gave a card and money. Always a hit. It is the right size, and the colour, and the right flavour. Lol

S20 and GF had their gifts opened one at a time as well. She (they smile ), put in some significant thought. From a red wine decanter and glass set, to the aging casks for wine (cool looking wooden mini barrels on stands that one places wine and the favouring/aging wood chips for a certain amount of time. Has a spigot and looks really neat.) I got three Star Wars ornaments that will join the ever-growing collection. The characters are the vintage oneís - from the movies and lore when at its height.

My gifts were then opened. Everyone had some good quality kitchen utensils individual wrapped. So 6-8 individual gifts to all tore into together. Mom got a good quality paring knife, something she has been bemoaning as her current plastic handled one is giving up the ghost. The silicone spatulas and flippers were welcomed.

Their individual presents were then opened, as well as the other Santa gift that I had forgot about. A jug of windshield washer fluid for everyone - a heavy gurgling gift that no one saw coming. A set of cutting boards, slow cooker, and other specific items. And the homemade hot pads. My efforts were most appreciated. Many questions were asked about the time and effort involved in creating them.

S23 later sent pictures of his Christmas dinner, pre and post cooking. A bacon wrap turkey and all the trimmings. What a meal. The final table full had the oak hot pads, the wine goblets and decanter, and the utensils were used in the preparation of the golden brown bird adorning the table. It looked really good.

The call and opening of gifts lasted 90 minutes. Grandpaís supper showed up just as we had finished. D18 and BF had to go do the farm chores. S23ís GF shared the news of her getting a job; the company she was working for was bought out just before Christmas and she was let go. The new company has hired her back on. Yay!

With the call over, XW/Momís gifts were opened. Mom sent some socks, a shirt, shampoo, and a $100 Visa gift card for S20. Grandmaís gift was a set of cross stitch coasters. They looked nice, and we all wondered a bit - why she did that. She hasnít spoken to her XMIL since S20ís graduation, 2 1/2 years. Oh well, the gift was appreciated and accepted as given.

I made supper here. Grandma providing the two turkey breast, the three boxes of stuffing, the 14 potatoes, the bag of corn, and so on. I reminded her there is only three of us. smile No matter she wanted left overs. No problem, there will be leftovers. Three boxes of stuffing, and pre-stuffed turkey breast. We had food for a dozen. Lol.

Anyhow, I cooked it. The turkey smelt great. The stuffing smelt great, the gravy was smelling sooooo good. I had called everyone out to the kitchen as everything was about ready. The table was set, and I was carving the two turkey breasts. The two platters of meat were placed on the table. The corn and gravy served. I was readying the potatoes for mashing as requested by Mom, when I quite suddenly had to go to the bathroom. I asked her to finish mashing the potatoes.

Light a switch being flipped - I felt sick. Went from absolutely great, a wonderful day, a wonderful (if I do say so, and Mom and S20 both said so later) meal, to sick.

I got sick, barely making it to the bathroom. And both ends. Yuck!

Obviously supper was now out for me. It was so strange. So I apologize (which is rather funny, one apologizing for getting infected), and went to the living room. The meal was still eaten and enjoyed, by two.

Over the next hours I kept score - 8 times sick, 22 times the other end. Yeesh, what a time. What a way to miss Christmas supper. So strange to come on just like - snap.

Oh well, supper got eaten. The dishes all washed. The left overs spilt up and packed away. Mom was driven home by S20, who then fed and walked the dogs. All sans me.

I went to bed, and had two more episodes during the night.

This morning I awoke - feeling great. Thankfully whatever it was, was really short lived. My mom called to check on me. She was worried, and quite revealed that I was better.

I am looking forward to my left over turkey dinner. smile

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/26/20 08:22 PM
Ouchie. I would suggest food poisoning except that you were the only one affected.

Glad you're feeling better.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 12/27/20 07:34 PM
Hello Andrew

I agree food poisoning seemed a likely candidate of cause. And I was the only one afflicted with this. Oh well, another of lifeís mysteries that I accept as unsolved.

Yesterday was a lot of fun!

S20 and I had grandma over after lunch. I was busy putting away the dishes so he went and picked her up. The goof didnít feel like going upstairs to get his socks so he ran out to his car, drove, picked up grandma, returned, and ran back in - all in bare feet. Itís cold and there is an inch of snow.

Lol. My Mom chastised him. Giving him the gears.

I poured her the remainder of the champagne and orange juice. S20 dug into his Santa gift, and spice rum, and rye, and a few other things over the course of the day. Lots of laughter and fun as we played cards.

We played three handed hearts. Then six handed where the extra hands were our partners across from us. They dealt and passed cards just like a regular player, but blind. Just playing the top card. OMG, what a game, where half the deck is played blind and not following suit or a strategy.

We then played declining bid whist. The first hand is the entire deck, or as much as you can evenly deal out. In three handed that is 17 cards. The trump suit rotates with each hand spade, hearts, diamonds, clubs, no trump, and then start again. The hands decline by one card each time. So the first hand is 17, the next is 16, and so on. When you get to one, there are as many rounds of one dealt as there are players. Then you go all the way back to the full deck. So in our case 35 hands.

Itís played just like whist. Need to follow suit and highest card wins the trick. The scoring and game play comes from the bidding. The person to the left of the dealer bids first on how many tricks they are going to take. Then the next, and so on around the table. The dealer cannot bid to make the total bids equal to the number of tricks available (cards dealt).

For example: The first round with 17 tricks. Player one bids 7. Player two bids 6. The dealer cannot bid 4. Every round at least one person cannot make their bid, or score points.

The scoring is if you get the amount of tricks you bid, you get 10 points plus one for each trick. If you miss your bid, you get zero points. You have to make your bid to score. You score accumulates, at the end the highest score wins.

Zero is a valid bid and comes in often in the rounds with less cards. There are as many 1 card rounds as people since if biding and playing was perfect the dealer would always lose, so it is fair. Of course perfect canít happen and luck and chance and a good portion of the deck is unknown for most of the games creates quite the scenarios.

We play all day! We had left over Christmas supper at 9:30 pm!

Man that was a fun day.

XWís desperation is showing by the way. She called S20 a few times. And then texted him asking him to call her. He was busy and didnít.

After supper I took my Mom home and S20 and I visited for a bit. Around 11:00 pm, I figured Iíd head off to bed and he was going to stay up and watch a movie. However, a few questions were asked and we ended up talking until 2:30 am.

XW/Mom was part of the discussion. Only a small part. S20 does get angry towards her, and see that lashing out really wouldnít serve much. He said, it would be like lashing out at an mentally unstable person or someone addicted to drugs, it would not have a good affect. And he sees Mom as mentally unstable. He forgives her, somewhat.

I helped him put into words his feelings. That he wants her to suffer consequences, sort of, not from his actions or inactions, from her actions and choices. Not in a mean or vindictive way, from a she needs to grow up view point. And he clearly sees her young teenager behaviour. And yeah, that is pretty strange at first for a child to see their parent like that.

Iím very proud of him. Of all of my kids. They have grown and healed very well.

It was a very good day.

Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/03/21 03:17 AM
Can we add games to our coffee and naimmooannmmaooo bars? You are always having such a good time playing games and I can't get either of my kids to play games since they were younger. The only one I hated was Sorry. It makes everyone turn mean while saying, "SORRY!" in a mocking voice.

Come to think of it, it's kind of MLCish.

You haven't weighed in on my posts in a while. Are you on a Gerda hiatus?
Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/03/21 04:26 AM
ALERT -- I have a house question. Will post it in my thread.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/03/21 07:20 PM
Good Morning

Gerda - No, Iím not on a Gerda hiatus. smile

Itís difficult, maybe even close to impossible, to get anyone to do anything, including playing games, if they donít want too. Be the beacon and let them come to you.

I found card games are a good wholesome and family togetherness time. And, it also highlights and reminds kids of their family brokenness and dynamics. We - me, W, kids, grandparents - all played cards before. So, there is a certain amount of resistance to opening that particular box of emotions. For all of us, not just kids. Be the beacon.

A card game we like is Hand and Foot. Itís a canasta type game where every player has two hands, well a hand and a foot, to play out.

Hearts is another good game. Declining whist. Spades. Circle 20. Are a few others. These are all scalable and make good games for groups from three to ten. Of course I have created a few DnJ versions to make them more challenging and better for when there are more people. Adding more decks of cards where the second or subsequent identical card played takes the trick, and things like that.

Games are fun. The underlying purpose or goal is to win, which means there are losers or non-winners. My view, I embrace that. Play to win the game. And have fun. Thatís why games of more skill based are better than chance based, IMHO. Playing just for fun eventually removes the fun from the game, we grow out of them that way.

Give a person a challenge and they will keep coming back to it. Give them a fun challenge and they will love coming back to it.

If son and daughter know whist-type games, taking tricks, trump suits, and such, declining whist is an excellent game. There is a good deal of luck as more and more cards are removed from play, and skill in figuring out the possibilities when making and winning your bid. It is also surprising how much logic and thinking skills one learns while playing.

If they are not well versed in whist, start with hearts. Three handed hearts does make for a hand of 17 cards, lots to,hold, and it is still a good game. Pretty straightforward rules and scoring.

If I could, Iíd come over and weíd play four handed card games. Iím pretty sure your kids would have a blast.

A fun/funny version for almost any game: Include a dummy, or DnJ hand ( smile ), when dealing. It, I, can play along. The dummy will just play the top card regardless of whatever is lead, all other rules still apply. For bidding games the dummy bids whatever it takes to even out how many tricks are available. And keep the dummyís score too. Adds much randomness and aggravation, which young people seem to enjoy. I think it shifts the ďreasonĒ for losing more to fate. Blaming the dummy is fun. Lol. And yes, Iíve been beaten by the dummy hand. Now, if that isnít something. A purely randomly played hand got a better score. Haha.

- - - -

S20 and D18 went home yesterday. Iíve got today to organize and I go back to work tomorrow.

S20ís stayed the entire time, not return home for a few days before New Years as he was considering. D18 came out after Christmas, after one day being at home by herself. It was nice having them back home for a spell. The house was full of sounds and piano music - once they got out of bed. smile

Movies, games, visiting - a very good time.

I was exposed to quantum physics. Iíd like to say I learned somethingís but I didnít. (Well maybe a wee bit) The ďrealĒ quantum ideas and teachings is not anything like that which we read about. It is purely mathematical. The created visualizations to craft an analogous bridge from quantum physicist to layman are not accurate nor true. There isnít a real macro world way of explaining these things.

The quantum effects are real. And are shown in experiments. S20 has performed and validated some wildly bizarre quantum behaviours, which do change once, and only after, they have been observed. The cat isnít both alive and dead. The multiple dimensional wave functions that defines all the possible energy states of given quanta, and the empty space between them, collapse when detected or observed. As some value become known, others become unknown; it is impossible know all the quantum states at one time - it is a matter of possibilities and probabilities. A staggering matter!

S20 is absolutely brilliant! His GPA is 4.3, is on the Deanís honour role, and a member in the university presidentís society. I think he is the only student. His current scholarships at this half way point of the year already covers all of next yearís tuition as well.

He and I sat up until the wee hours many nights and he talked about quantum physics with such a passion. It is enthralling to listen to him, with 3:00 am quickly and un-observingly arriving. Hours and hours pass by with barely any notice.

I told him, he should go back to the high school and talk a bit to the math class. It is quite inspiring. He has reached back to his calculus teacher and talked with her. She loves math, and saw S20ís potential and passion within him. She was one of his best teachers. She and he, talked about how the second derivatives remove time from the equations, and when utilizing spherical coordinates instead of Cartesian coordinates greatly simplifies things with these multi-dimensional wave function - down to 5 full pages of math from say 20. One of his questions on the final exam was 15 pages of algebraic and calculus work to find the solution. She is quite proud of her student.

D18 did well on her first year in university too. It is unfortunate all the teaching was distance and online. There were and are several glitches and flaws in the technological infrastructure for delivering the lessons and examinations. In subsequent years the class size becomes less and these issues will also become less. Her GPA is still unknown, although she has marks of A in the classes she does know at the moment.

D18 and I had some really good talks regarding Mom, emotions, crisis, crazy, and so on. She has made it! Yay!!!

Without doubt she knows what is going on. Accepts what is going on. Sees and understands the detrimental affect that XWís parents had on XW. And with this realization is actually talking about how it is not going to similarly affect her. Ah, forgiveness, compassion, understanding - thank you God for those blessing, and for helping me pass those along.

Part of D18ís understanding comes fro her BFís Mom. OMG. That women is in a full blown crisis. She is threatening to leave. Wants a divorce. Has the paperwork. Runs out of the house to go see her L, and then calms down and comes back with the papers still unsigned. Over the summer she has gotten way worse.

She openly and unapologetically favours BFís sister. And it is blatant. The daughter, 15 years old, took and opened and ate the gift I gave to D18ís BF. He got upset. His Mom defended his sister and blamed him. She then banished D18 from the house. (This is why D18 was actually at my place for such an extended time. She was supposed to be with BF for New Yearís.)

The Mom also sent D18 a text, blaming her. That is complete crazy! D18 wasnít even there, wasnít even her gift, and wasnít involved in any arguments. The first D18 found out about this was when the Mom texted her. Part of the text was (paraphrasing a bit):

<BF> has been part of this family much longer than you have been around here. I am punishing him by not allowing you to see him. Him breaking up with you will make him a better husband for his next second wife.


BF is 17. He is not married. He is not breaking up with D18 either. She and he have been texting many times every single day. He is telling all, and D18 has been sharing. That home situation is gone completely off the rails. The Mom is, or has, already imagined her son married, divorced, and moving on to his second marriage. Crazy town!

The Mom and Dad are both on their second marriage. The Mom has two previous children and the Dad has four. These six grown adult kids do not speak with the Mom - ever. And Mom gets mad and forbids Dad to speak to his four children. One of her daughters, this summer (see the timeline), gave birth to a daughter, the first grandchild - which the Mom cannot see. Oh, there is so much disfunction.

However, this is fodder for conversation and learnings for D18 and BF. He and I have not directly spoken about this. However, BF has his head screwed on right, and D18 and him do talk. I suspect he isnít going to remain living in that house much after his eighteenth birthday. Pretty sad situation going on over there.

And of course the Mom cannot see this. She is not wrong. D18 realizes this and the futility of trying to reason or make her see the truth. One cannot make someone see that which they are blinding themselves too.

D18 is understandable hurt. She read many more texts from the Mom that were sent to her. D18 is a burden when she is over. She is supposed to do chores and keep the farm running. Blah blah blah. D18 does help out and enjoys it. But she is being told to, and being told it is not enough, and the actual daughter gets to sit in her bedroom and not help out.

The rampant favouritism is amazing. Daughter wanted a horse. She got a horse. BF has to look after it, feed it, water it, etc., along with all the other farm animals. D18 has to as well. Daughter hasnít seen, nor rode her horse in almost a year. And no one else is allowed too, or Mom blows a gasket.

I was speaking of games earlier. D18, BF, and sister were playing a game. Sister had to pay for landing on a square and she exploded, got mad, and stomped off to her room. The Mom made an excuse and blamed BF and D18 for upsetting her. (By the way, that old daughter of the Mom who had the baby; she still svcks her thumb. Almost 30. Pretty hard to grow up when treated like a baby.)

Anyhow, enough of that family and its problems. MLC is pretty widespread it seems.

XW it seems is not too happy with the kids and their lack of visiting. D18ís picking up of Momís gifts wasnít going to XWís plan and could not be on her schedule, so Mom snarkily told her she would not be around and the gift would be in her car. No idea where Mom was without her car, but D18 got the gifts from the car and continued here. D18 didnít visit Mom. S20 didnít visit Mom. S22 didnít visit Mom. And S23ís visit with Mom was very short, like 30 seconds, after her hours long journey as well. There has not been any group video chat with her either.

On my side of the street, visits, calls, video, etc. We actually all played online games together on New Yearís Day. Pretty fun. The street is interesting in the extreme contrast from my side and herís. Keep your side of the street clean.

Originally Posted by Gerda
You are always having such a good time...

I thought Iíd share something. Not like that is anything new, I share quite a bit. And that is what this is about.

At times I do feel, and yes I completely realize the irrational forces upon me smile , I feel my sharing is... well Iím not sure what I feel, maybe too much or something. I share my great life; it is in the very title of my thread. I share my views, values, and beliefs. Iíve shared my journey, my pains, my life. It makes sense to continue sharing the now as well. And I enjoy sharing and am comfortable doing so.

I suppose I want to assure those reading along, especially the newbies, making a great life takes time.

Like today, Iím cleaning up and organizing after having D18 and S20 visit. First thing this morning was laundry. I gathered up the towels and bedding from four floors of the house, and started the load. Then off to breakfast. There was a time, right after bomb drop when things like that 5 minute laundry task was insurmountable. Making the bed was like an hour long chore when in the crater of the explosion from XW.

I share not to show you how great my life is. I share to show you how great your life is.

Well now I feel like a goof. Lol. Being vulnerable. Not sure why thatís on my mind. Oh well, there it is. Shared with friends.

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/03/21 09:02 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
I suppose I want to assure those reading along, especially the newbies, making a great life takes time.
And it also takes mindfulness and the ability to accept those things you cannot control. For some, it takes longer amounts of time than others. Some do never get there.

Which is why it is important I think to not put any specific deadlines or expectations on things. To quote a character from a favourite movie "It will be ready when it's ready".

Originally Posted by DnJ
I told him, he should go back to the high school and talk a bit to the math class. It is quite inspiring. He has reached back to his calculus teacher and talked with her. She loves math, and saw S20ís potential and passion within him.
Ah - fun with math. I never did finish my degree but it now seems that I use at least algebra every day. This morning I was figuring out based on 22 tonnes of product of a particular strength in one container what orders of different 3 different strengths in 4 different container sizes I could fulfil while at the same time setting the stage for filling a special order and accounting for the exothermic reactions involved. It took the better part of a sheet of paper.

Has your son ever used what I would consider a "real" calculator? I've always had one and rely on them. Big buttons, paper tape so you can check your work, you push the "add" and "subtract" buttons in a different order than most others. On one job I used one of those big machines that had the arm you had to pull down each entry - very satisfying. Perhaps a birthday gift - to remind him that for all the ways that you can use numbers to define the universe, it really comes down to just shifting gears and a big lever laugh
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/05/21 02:23 AM
Hello Andrew

I have a couple of those mechanical adding machines. Something captivating about the accuracy and precision of how math can be accomplished using gears. And of course defining the universe through math is rather captivating as well.

ďGearsĒ, itís all just a big calculator. The answer is 42. Lol.

S20 actually has a thing for stuff with gears and also hourglasses. Interesting, the passage of time represented as sand flows. Through math, time appears to be not an intrinsic property of the universe, rather it is an emergent property. Like how mass is not an inherent property of matter, it is dependent upon its speed.

I should gift him an adding machine and a true ďhourĒglass. Iím sure much pondering would be done as the sands flowed and the gears turned. Such are his and my discussions.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/09/21 12:55 AM
Hello All

What a gorgeous night. All day has been an ice fog, with temperature around -4C. I arrived home with last light of the setting sun pushed back by the eager dark.

My nightly feeding and walking of the dogs was wonderful. The trees are cloaked, their limbs and tender tendril branches heavy in white velvet. An impressive figure of white against the absent background.

The air is still. My footfalls, a slow metronome, rhythmical punctuate the silence, almost echoing off the stillness. My sauntering pace is matched by the dogs. The silence looking further than one can see in the hazy world.

There are far too few times when the world becomes still. The rush of modern life pervades into everything and everywhere. These times are rare, and well enjoyed.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/09/21 04:38 PM
Good Morning

During my three weeks off, I stopped setting my alarm, and slept in as long as I pleased. However, my internal alarm had me still getting up before my 5:30am start of the days. Most days were earlier, like 4:30am, probably due to the excitement of Christmas and such. lol. Iím such a kids at heart. smile

By the third week I was sleeping until 7-8, even later, mostly because S20 and I would stay up late talking and watching movies.

So, I go back to work and the normal schedule of alarm set for 5:30am. Things fell off the track on Thursday morning.

Wednesday night I go to bed at the usual time, but forgot to turn on the alarm. Ah, the three week habit of not setting the alarm clock. smile

I wake up on Thursday morning - early - before the alarm (so I think). It is dark, which of course it would be at pre 5:30am. I lay there, considering going back to bed, or shutting my eyes, or resting until the designated time. I slept, and sleep, really well - I must be very content since I sleep so soundly and peacefully. A few minutes go by, I wonder just how early I am and turn to look at the red glowing numbers dimly lighting the room. It reads 7:05.

Oh thatís nice.

Snuggle into the blankets.

Pssst. Hey brain, thatís 7:05.




I should already be on the road! Even if I were to jump into the car as I was and take off, Iíd be late. Lol

I get out of bed and perform the morning ritual, truncating a few places where I can. I still gently close the cupboard doors; equanimity is still who I am. Although that got tested pretty well with my 32 oz travel mug of coffee.

After toast and coffee, and reading whatís going on with folks here, I ready my travel mug. Cream, sugar, coffee, screw down lid, turn end over end three times to stir, pop open sipping valve to release pressure, and off I go. Well, thatís the usual. Thursday, turn end over end - the cap wasnít screwed down properly. Coffee all over the floor, the counter, the fronts of the lower cupboard doors - sigh.

Wash the cupboards, the floor, and clean up the mess. Unscrew my travel mug lid, wash and dry it, and wash off the coffee from the outside of the mug. Ensure the lid is properly installed this time, and continue. Haha. I even said something along the lines that I was been tested.

I finally get out the door and on the way. In route, at 8:00am, I phone my guys and tell them Iíll be an hour late. I then phone my boss and tell him the same. He finds the whole scenario rather humorous. (By the way, my boss was awarded a promotion on December 23rd and his last day was this Friday)

I do find it interesting Iíd call me guys before my boss. And my boss does the same for me. Being a leader is not being in charge. It is caring for those in your charge. They come first.

On route my virtual doctor appointment calls. I need to pull over and discuss things with her for 10 minutes. My eye has been doing well, and no change to the medication. So all is well, and continuing along sans red eye or pain. It appears I will be on the immunity suppressor for life. So still alcohol-free. Which is ok, I rather give up booze than have that eye problem. Although I do miss those caesars. And single malt scotch. And tasty liquors. Lol

I get to work and dig in. It is a busy day and I am an hour behind. It all goes well.

But I made sure the alarm was turned on Thursday night!

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/09/21 04:55 PM
This week, the buttons for the arcade finally arrived. I installed them and unfortunately the existing ends on the control wires were too small for the new micro switches. I figured that would be the case. So, I had to purchase a few dozen new crimp connectors and spend three hours replacing the ends, attaching the control wires, and routing the wiring properly.

With that, the arcade is up and running. And works great!

I was up to midnight last night playing various shootíem up games.

It was a fun project, and now a fun past time. The kids are eager to visit and play it. I best bask the glow of my current high scores, for they wonít endure once my kids play. Darn kids, and their reflexes and speed. Lol.

Posted By: Eagle3 Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/10/21 03:03 PM

I would like to ask you something. Hope I'm not too direct and if you do not want to answer, I fully understand.

In your signature you state, "I may give up, but not today."

If your ex-wife turns up at your door-step one day and realizes what she has done, is your heart still open to give her a 2nd chance? The reason why I ask this is because you haven't been together for 3 years now and I wondered what your feelings are like now towards her.

I'm 2 years post BD and I still love him deeply, even though all the things he has done to our family. From my thread you know that I want to stand, even if we are divorced, I only want to separate myself from his crisis, and financially secure myself.

As you mentioned in my thread:
That paper, that agreement, does not control your heart. You can stand while divorced. And youíre right, one quits standing in a certain way, and stands more for their own values and self.

I wonder if, after a long time, you can still love somebody when you are separated that long, isnít this fading?
Posted By: 97Hope Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/10/21 03:06 PM
Hi ((D)))

Loved reading about your Christmas.

But important question, do you have Frogger?? lol That was one of my faves 'back in the day'.

Felt a lot of peace reading through your sitch.

Mine is different in that their Dad has been hiding the OM. Now the hornets nest revolved around when they began their affair.

I started to go down that rabbit hole, but realized I had already done that. I know. And I have the gift of trusting myself. I had lost that.

I'm wondering how the brain processes these things. Your children and the bomb drop in the middle of Thanksgiving, versus how mine handled the D - rewriting history and there is no one else.

Only time will tell, but I find it interesting that you chose compassion when you knew of an OM. I chose compassion giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I'm glad I didn't know until I knew. I have learned how to have compassion before it was truly put to the test.

Have a nice Sunday! And watch those lids! LOL I've done similar - didn't have it solidly on and the coffee went straight down the front of my outfit as I tried to take a nice big swig in the car!
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/10/21 07:34 PM
Good Morning Eagle

Originally Posted by Eagle3
In your signature you state, "I may give up, but not today."

If your ex-wife turns up at your door-step one day and realizes what she has done, is your heart still open to give her a 2nd chance?

Yes, my heart is open.

My mind is open as well.

I was fortunate on my path. My heart remained soft and squishy; and did not harden towards her or life. The latter being the most important. Find compassion, do not let your heart harden.

Originally Posted by Eagle3
I ask this is because you haven't been together for 3 years now and I wondered what your feelings are like now towards her.

A very good question. I appreciate your inquiry and the directness of it. The topic is important and meaningful. I am honoured you value my views and faith, for one wouldnít ask if they didnít.

Originally Posted by Eagle3
As you mentioned in my thread:
That paper, that agreement, does not control your heart. You can stand while divorced. And youíre right, one quits standing in a certain way, and stands more for their own values and self.

I wonder if, after a long time, you can still love somebody when you are separated that long, isnít this fading?

Let see, itís been three years and three months and three days since bomb drop.

(Lol. Isnít that something. Three threes, Wís favourite number is/was three. Mine is four by the way. That has nothing to do with this, just opening the doors to my heart, to get to the meaty underside of this question. To get to the underlining truth. Oneís core beliefs.)

The idea of a second chance is still alive. My hope is not dead. There is no timeframe upon it. I have no expectations of her coming back.

Read that last part again. I have no expectations of her coming back. This is important twofold. First, no deadline so no death of hope. Second, she probably isnít coming back. Note, probabilities vs possibilities.

I live my life as if she is never to return. Yet, it is possible she may.

The counterintuitive-ness of that is pretty high at first. So much to reconcile with oneís self to find your path. Discovering your beliefs and values. Discarding those that do not serve or you are not proud or happy with. Creating beliefs you want. Strengthening those and living them.

3 years and how do I feel towards her? I still love her.

Love is more than a feeling. It is feelings, thoughts, actions, and beliefs. Love is driven by our spiritual path and affects our physical, intellectual, and emotional paths/ďcarsĒ as well.

Detachment allows one to regain control of their emotions. We are no longer dragged around by our spouseís behaviour or words.

Indifference comes along and hopefully one utilizes it to dig deep within themselves and find their core self - and do their inner work. We find ourself, strengthen ourself, become and love ourself. Hopefully. That is the path I encourage. And there are many paths through this which lead to various outcomes. Compassion and forgiveness are good noble goals and heading, IMHO.

Those headings become paramount since indifference is not forever. Indifference does roll back. Our feelings and thoughts and beliefs do return. Our love does return. A compassionate, detached, full of empathy, understanding, forgiving, love returns. Three years or three decades, love is love. Why would it fade?

The answer to that is beliefs. Our values and beliefs are slow to change. Feelings and thought can and do change quickly. Belief are slow and therefore make good headings for oneís life choices. Ensure your beliefs are noble before heading out - you will be living with them for a while. smile

Love is a belief. It is slow to change. It take effort to alter that. Unlike feelings that are fleeting without reinforcement, beliefs are self-reinforcing. Infatuation is a feeling; love is a belief.

If W (not XW), if W returned to the present and asked for a second chance Iíd offer it. Of course there are many caveats to that simplified statement. A few of them: If she is with OM, she is not with me. The path from OMís bed to mine, is not a direct line. There are a few steps in between. She may show up on my doorstep. And I would talk with her. However, she wouldnít be staying the night for quite some time.

I do forgive her. I have no need nor demand for retribution. This has freed me.

A hypothetical want to return from her would have restitution however. The form of that would be expressed in her willingness to do whatever it takes to demonstrate her commitment, her choice, her convictions. She is untrustworthy. It would take time to trust again.

I admit itís a strange place and path to walk. Forgiving, loving, and accurate. XW and W, I use this denoting as she has demonstrated the various personalities within her, XW and W would need to demonstrate consistent behaviour for a time to gain back that which she lost. She is currently immoral, untrustworthy, disloyal, unfaithful, unkind, and lacks empathy. And a whole lot of other poor traits and qualities. She did display for many years much better! Thatís the gal I married.

A chance at reconciliation would go along the lines of:

W, I am willing to explore the possibility of you and I. To see if any chemistry or spark still exists between us.

That would be a slow difficult path for her methinks. I am willing to explore it - if she choose too. Iíve already chosen, and it takes two.

Divorce, that paperwork, doesnít kill love.

Be accurate. Only we control us. We kill our love, if we choose too.

Loving our hurt and lost ex-spouse isnít being stuck. It isnít a free pass back for them. One can decide not to ever reconcile and still love their ex-spouse. Oneís spouse may never awaken, and we can still love them. Love is timeless and exists beyond all this mess and noise.

Consider your love of a long dead relative. Perhaps a grandmother. I still love my Grandma. I havenít seen her in two decades. I donít think of her everyday. I donít miss her everyday. And I do still love her. Without doubt.

I see that path as a good path for our situations here. My W: I havenít seen her in three years. I havenít talked to her in three years. My heart is mine. A piece of paper doesnít rule my heart.

That brings up ďstand for youĒ.

My values and beliefs are strong. I would die for them. And now, after searching my soul, they are even stronger and I live for them.

Dying for a belief is easy. Living for a belief takes strength, courage, faith, and conviction.

An example: I believe in my word. I take that seriously. Very seriously. My vows still remain after XW has abandoned herís. For better or worse, till death do us part.

I found my way to stand for me. Me keeping my side of the street clean, or upholding my word, has nothing to do with W - it has everything to do with me!

I know where I am. I know who I am. And I am happy with this guy. Proud of who I am. My values, my convictions, my life, my loves.

Did I plan on being single (divorced) at 50? No.

Do I want that? Ah, thatís a trickier question. Yes and no. I do want my life and values and keeping my word. I do stand for me. I also would like to share my life with someone.

The good friendship I have are deep ones. In real life, and more so here, I share my self. My values. My hopes. I live my beliefs. I believe all of us become more intimate; in the very best sense; than we were before. We become open and forgiving. We become.

And that is worth living for!

Originally Posted by Eagle3
I'm 2 years post BD and I still love him deeply, even though all the things he has done to our family. From my thread you know that I want to stand, even if we are divorced, I only want to separate myself from his crisis, and financially secure myself.

Iíve laid out what Iíd encourage you to look towards.

Get free of his crisis. Find financial security for you and your boys.

Stand for you.

Compassion and forgiveness will not steer you astray. Set your course with those in mind and heart; and let the winds of the unknown future take hold in your unfurled sails.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/10/21 08:16 PM
Hello Hope

I just checked. Yes, it has frogger. smile

Oh my goodness. I am sorry, I laughed right out loud, reading about spilling coffee down your outfit in the car. Thank you for sharing that. Those lids! Yeah, we got keep an eye on them. Lol.

I think keeping the OP a secret is the more common approach taken by the MLCer. My Wís approach was rather apocalyptic of a bomb drop. It hurt everyone. She targeted me and the kids.

Part of her exodus was abandoning her children before they could abandon her. She actually stated that. Back then S22 had already move out and into residence at the university. W was distraught. She and I talked the year before when he left. I assured her it was fine and proper. Kids leave the nest and grow. Her and I would grow old together and have many years of visits and time with our kids and eventual grandkids.

Outwardly, she appeared to calm somewhat. Internally she did not. During that Thanksgiving night she said she was willing to risk never seeing her kids again for her chance at happiness. Three days later, during a phone call, she told me how she felt she was going crazy for months and months. Crying all the time. Hiding it from me and others. Until she had the epiphany that a crazy person wouldnít think they are crazy so she must be alright.

She faulted her affair with OM. Shamelessly. Rubbed it in our faces. I wonít lie, that was a difficult time. The suddenness of it all. The flagrant rebellious and immorality of it all. She flew right off the rails.

You are correct. Compassion gets tested. We get tested.

I was blessed, without doubt, with forgiveness very early on. That was a huge component for my traversing through grief as I did. I had next to no anger, and accepting of many things rather quickly.

I even forgave OM. Accepted his emotional driven coveting and lust for W.

He and I have run into each other a few times here and there. He looked like a deer in the headlights when I went into the post office to get my mail as he was exiting. My immediate reaction, and it was a reaction since I hadnít planned on seeing him, was a feeling of compassion for him. The look on his face. The sheepish look of an unfaithfully lived life. He is living, and suffering, a sin. The words in my head were ďsheís all yourísĒ. A bit less charitable in the compassion department Iíd admit. However, it was a reaction, a test, and one I was most happy to discover of me compassionately letting go.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Posted By: 97Hope Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/10/21 09:25 PM
Oh, please! I was in a state that morning but remembering it today made me laugh!

I am not sure I will run into OW any time soon but I imagine it would be more awful for her than me. I can't explain it nicely.

I guess the best way to put it is - I would hate to have me as a first wife coming into my family as the second. I'll leave it at that. lol
Posted By: Eagle3 Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/11/21 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
I was fortunate on my path. My heart remained soft and squishy; and did not harden towards her or life. The latter being the most important. Find compassion, do not let your heart harden.D

I don't think it is in my character to let my heart harden, and I sincerly hope it won't.
I have always been a strong person with a soft and loving heart and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Originally Posted by DnJ
A very good question. I appreciate your inquiry and the directness of it. The topic is important and meaningful. I am honoured you value my views and faith, for one wouldnít ask if they didnít.D

Thank you very much for giving an inside of your feelings. As already said in the past I truly believe that the path you follow is the one I want to follow as well. Therefore your opinion and views on certain things are of huge value to me.
I'm still in the learning process though.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Lol. Isnít that something. Three threes, Wís favourite number is/was three.D

This is soooo strange...there is a reason why my name ends with a 3 (Eagle3). My favourite number is three. My birthday has several three's, I'm the 3d child, I have 3 children, and more things I can't add because too much personal info.

Originally Posted by DnJ
The idea of a second chance is still alive. My hope is not dead. There is no timeframe upon it. I have no expectations of her coming back.D

This is where I still have difficulties. How do you reach the state of still being open of a possible return but without expectations or hope. I find it very difficult to match these two.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Love is more than a feeling. It is feelings, thoughts, actions, and beliefs. Love is driven by our spiritual path and affects our physical, intellectual, and emotional paths/ďcarsĒ as well.D

You explained this very well, I will have to read it many more times to fully understand it but I would love to be in a position like this one day.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Get free of his crisis. Find financial security for you and your boys.D

Will certainly do that!!

This feedback really means the world to me. I'm not visiting a C anymore since for me it doesn't bring much value, but this is exactly what I need. People who have gone through the same period the past years and still are, the best advice there is, so thanks again for your time and effort.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/13/21 02:57 AM
Hello Eagle

I am glad to hear you are following a similar path as I did and am. From my view you are doing really good, and making excellent progress.

I agree with your views regarding counselling. People who have walked this horrible trail have a wealth of knowledge and experience. That kindredness has much benefit.

Originally Posted by Eagle3
This is where I still have difficulties. How do you reach the state of still being open of a possible return but without expectations or hope. I find it very difficult to match these two.

Thatís the razor edge we learn to walk. Accuracy helps quite a bit. Accurate in thought and heart.

A few things from the above statement:

The usage of ďbutĒ does exactly what it is intended for. ďButĒ is used to introduce and separate contradictory thoughts, feelings, ideas, statement, etc. To include both views, stop making them contradictory, stop using the word ďbutĒ. Use inclusive language, and your mind and heart will follow.

of vs to. Use ďstill being open to a possible returnĒ, instead of ďstill being open of a possible returnĒ. The former has a more positive vibe and brings that into your present and future view. The later is more abstract, detached, and less hopeful.

That little word ďtoĒ make a big difference. I am open to a possible return. That is true. It shows my willingness to that idea, and how it is not guaranteed. That language does lead itself to my willingness to uphold my vows and views, and willingness to explore this possible return if it were to happen.

Still being open of a possible return, speaks to just the possibility of the action. There is no future self (hope) in that statement. Open of her possible return says nothing about my view or belief or willingness. It would be more like - yep she might return and Iíve got no intention of taking her back. That is the place ďofĒ would eventually lead oneís self.

How do you reach the state of still being open of to a possible return but and without expectations. or hope.

You probably notice the strikethrough on ďor hopeĒ. I do not go without hope. I do go without expectation.

Hope remains. This is the fuel. Hope is a powerful force, when harnessed and understood correctly. The common death of hope is the timeframe we place upon it, which turns it into an expectation.

The preceding nit-pickiness regarding accuracy is important. One requires accurate data to understand, formulate, and execute changes within themselves. This is the exciting part of the discovery of self and oneís core values and beliefs. The altering, discarding, and strengthening of our values and convictions.

How do you reach a state of remaining open to a possible return? Stand for you. Keep hope alive. For as long as there is love, there is hope.

Stand for you - encompasses a lot of things. Focus upon you, GAL, live and love your life, imagine and create your great life, live for (not die for) your beliefs and values, and so on.

In short, one remains open because they choose to. You decide to. Thatís the big part. After that, you just live it.

Originally Posted by Eagle3
As already said in the past I truly believe that the path you follow is the one I want to follow as well.

You have been upon your new path for a good while. You have strong values and beliefs, well though out ideas, and strong stable emotions. I appreciate being part of your adventure, which we call life.

You so got this Eagle!

Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/13/21 06:09 PM
The key is to LIVE YOUR LIFE! Few WASs come back at this point - some do, but the percentage is small. Some come to their senses 20 years down the line - many do not. You may or may not ant them back at that point if they ever do. The key is to live your life AS IF they are never coming back and make the most of the life that is given to you. You can choose not to date, or you can choose to IF you are fully healed from your marriage. But what you should NOT do is make decisions about your future with them in mind.

Imagine if you were told you only had a year to live. Would you live that year pining and hoping, or would you get out there and live your best life? None of us are guaranteed our future and it's a mistake to let the WAS eat up too much of our present.
Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/13/21 06:23 PM
DnJ, I owe you a response on my thread, will get to it this weekend, have been crazed and obsessively listening to/weeping over the news. But in a moment of hope, I found this song and have it on repeat. It is what you say in another form but I still recommend that you, along with every LBS here, lie on the floor and listen to it with headphones on at the loudest setting your ears will take.

There is a studio version but I like this version -- Joy Oladokun - look up (Live From Hales Marina)
Posted By: Eagle3 Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/14/21 04:24 PM
Kml, fully understand, can't agree more and finallly getting there.

Gerda, just listened to the song in the version you described. Beautiful!!

DnJ, a simple "thanks again" for your support.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/15/21 03:53 AM
kml - You bet! Live your life.

Gerda - Thatís a good song and message. smile I like it. And yeah, the clouds are in our head.

Eagle - My pleasure.

- - - -

Well, will wonders ever cease.

XW called S22 a couple of days ago and asked for the umpteenth time if he wanted her to re-invest his inheritance money until he is 23. Son told her no, he would like his money now as he has debts he could use it on.

XW agreed! So she went right to the bank and transferred the money to his account.

S22 called to tell me, and then paid me back his loan. I thanked him and let him know how proud I am of the man he is - financially responsible, working, university, etc. S22 feels pretty good being debt-free with me, and wanted me to know how much he appreciates me for all Iíve done and do for him and GF.

Pretty good week over here.

Posted By: Vapo Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/15/21 06:51 AM
Awesome stuff Dnj. There is really nothing like a father's pride.

Great job. You raised them well.
Posted By: OwnIt Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/15/21 10:14 PM
Dear friend, following along. Great kids, great dad, mixed up ex, doesn't really ever change does it. Same for us to. Moving along at a snail's pace. Have a countdown widget on my phone for freedom day. Can't come early enough.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/17/21 04:48 PM
Good Morning

Sunday morning, sitting at the kitchen table. Reading and having breakfast.

It snowed again last night. Just a skiff; 1/4Ē now covers the ice from the day of rain we just had. Middle of January and itís +3C in the day and -3C at night. Very abnormal, the temperature is usually around -20C to -30C for this time of year.

Iím not complaining! Thereís not much snow to shovel, and I havenít use the snow blower once, yet.

Hello Vapo. Yes, I do have a lot of pride regarding my kids. They are well adjusted, and doing well in their academic and personal pursuits. Weíve had many open honest conversation about Mom/XW, affairs, adultery, emotions, crisis, morals, vows, etc. I believe, and from what I can see, they are stable strong and not (hopefully) destine to repeat the crisis of their Mom. That chain gets broke with this generation.

OwnIt. Hello my friend. Yes, over three years now and as much as things changed - they didnít. Thatís the great thing of beliefs and convictions - strong stable headings for oneís life. The direction to purposefully move forward.

Iím glad you popped in. Iíve been wondering how youíve been doing. More just confirmation since I knew youíd do great in your life. That slow snail will cross the finish line eventually. Freedom day - itís coming!

- - - -

My kids are growing and getting closer and closer to marriage. Iíve no doubt S23 and S22 will someday pop the question. And as Dad, and someone whoís been around the block, I will pass on my advice. S22 as already ask for some regarding engagement and marriage. I know my suggestions to the kids would be taken with high regard and respect.

The idea of a prenuptial agreement, oddly may not be as proposed from me as one might think I would. With little to no individual assets going into a marriage, the worst case of 50/50 is probably the agreements one would make anyhow. If one has significant pre-marriage assets, then an agreement would protect that.

Utilizing a prenup to somehow strengthen a marriage by if one decides to leave or cheat or whatever, they get nothing; would not work. Fear and financial ruin is not good reason to stay, and turns one (or both) into more slaves than partners.

Still, an agreement, if they were to want one, would be interesting and useful in that they would not be bind-sided as to what they are actually getting into. Iíve consider, what would 27 year married and now divorced DnJ tell his younger self so many years ago. What wisdom would I pass back to myself? That is where Iím coming from regarding passing wisdom forward to my kids.

Iíve passed on plenty of life lessons. Love, emotions, intellect, money, debt management, crisis, grief, responsibility, loyalty, faith, faithfulness, work ethic, personal ethics, beliefs, ego, accountability, and the list goes on.

Marriage. That formal union of two people. The taking of a relationship to the next and highest level. Why get married? That is the question that leads to the wisdom Iíd pass on.

Most people get married for love. They are in love and therefore get married. But why? You already have the love. What does marriage do? Why do you need to get married? You already have the love.

People marry for love. They should and need to marry the person, not the love. Love is the icing on the cake; it is not the cake.

A marriage should be based upon a solid respectful relationship, which both parties want to, and vow to, upon hold and strengthen.

Love is a thing. Marrying for love is no better than marrying for money. Marry the person not the thing. Vow to the person not the feelings you have.

That distinction, I believe, allows people to weather the storms of life. Love ebbs and flow, has its up and down, yet the person remains. Marry the person. (This is some of the reason I am where I am. Have the beliefs I do. Make the choices I do.)

Society is nowadays wired and programmed to expect instant gratification. Everything is promised to be available at the push of a button. Lol. And when it isnít - boom. People have melt downs. Egos are so huge. The sense of entitlement is enormous.

The unrealized programmed expectations and demands of people lead to resentments within their lives. Unrealized resentments. Just look around at society. Are people happy? Full of purpose and joy and contentment and peace? Sadly, the answer is no. True there are individuals and pockets of society that do live that way. However, society is largely wound up pretty tight with most things a sensationalized concern with nary a direct tie to the individual, to themselves. The truly important stuff of their lives they invest the least into. Marriage being near the top of that list. There is a reason divorce is so rampant.

One of my most despised ideas of the current age is ďlife hacksĒ. First itís not a hack - itís cheating! Second, that quick shortcut leads nowhere really. One doesnít learn or acquire the knowledge or skills of said ďhackĒ, and cannot actually perform it. True authentic traits or skills take time and effort. It is within that pursuit, and the personal effort invested, that provide the dividends the hackers are trying to find.

Donít hack your marriage. Itís not love at the push of a button. Itís work. Itís commitment of the highest order. The personal dividends from such a pursuit are incredible. Ensure you realize the correct path to walk. And have the conviction to walk it.

None of my kids or their BF/GF would want their partner to do what Mom/XW did to me. I know this advice/wisdom would be well received, for the foundation has been crafted for many years. Be responsible, reliable, accountable, ethical, honest - do the work, for there are no shortcuts to the true goals you seek.

Donít marry for love. Counterintuitive, until it isnít.

Looking back, I think young DnJ and old DnJ would have a pretty interesting conversation.

I am happy. I live regret-free. I live a great life.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/24/21 10:43 PM
What a glorious day.

The sky is clear and blue. The sun brightly shines upon the white snow. Yes, there is now snow. And winter has found us. I awoke to -28C this morning.

I dressed in a hoody, and my parka, pulled on my insulated snow boots, donned a toque and gloves, and went outside. The air was crisp and cold. My feet toasty warm, my body nicely protected from the biting cold windchill of -38C. The two hoods kept my head warm, but muffled sounds. Oh my legs. smile From the knee up just a single layer of jeans between my skin and the freezing air. Within minutes the cold sensation dimmed, numbed a bit I suppose, and blood flowing from walking.

The dogs and I shovelled the deck. The snow is dry powdery snow. Itís light and easily pushes off the edge to the growing pile on the ground 30 inches below. The task takes around 20 minutes. The dogs patiently watch an wait, eager for a possible treat and walk around the property. They get both.

We saunter down the lane to the road. I saw some discarded beer cans when picking up my Mom for supper last night. I finally got to making Hassleback potatoes. My goodness, those are good! I thinly sliced a roast and pan seared it using the same oil/butter mixture as I used on the potatoes. Mom loved it. Mmmmmm. So good.

The dogs run here and there, sniffing some tracks that come from across the road, through the ditch, under the chain fence, across the grass, and into the bushes. The tracks are not deer, they look more like coyote or fox. The lack of a return trail leads me to think they do not belong to a dog and come from something less domesticated.

I gather the beer cans, the residue inside now frozen. This is sadly a common occurrence. There is a subculture of folk who drink and drive. They donít even hide it. The ugly side of small town mentality. Driving while actually drinking several beers. Littering by throwing the can out the carís window. My property, and ditch, is the last one before entering town, and therefore becomes the landing zone of many a drinkerís trash.

At least these are cans. Bottles are worse. The last batch of bottles landed on my gravel road and smashed into pieces. I was half and hour picking broken glass from the frozen gravel and ice.

Ah, people. It takes all kinds to make a world. There is a segment of the population that feels their entitlement is paramount to law, order, or others rights. In this small town these folks drive on the wrong side of the street, park the wrong way, ride their snow machines or off road vehicles on the road and through town. Behaviour that would be impossible to maintain in a city. Flagrant ignoring of Covid restriction is not a worry for someone who already living such a manner.

The misguided ideology, thatís what makes small town so great - not having to follow all those rules. It makes me shake my head. I watched a volunteer firefighter during a fundraising bbq give the keys of his truck to his son so he could go and get more hamburger buns as they were running out. His son was 14! He hopped in the truck and drove off to the store. Consider what message that instils in that impressionable young lad. Itís sad.

Our wee town has had a deadly car accident. One licensed 16 year old, with thee teens 14 & 15 years of age. Taking turns driving his Momís Jeep. Yes, alcohol was consumed. Yes, they were going far too fast along the gravel road 1/2 mile to the west of me. Yes, the jeep rolled over, ejecting the 15 year old girl, and then crushing her as it tumbled over her.

I know these kids, now adults. And I knew the girl who eventually lost her life after several agonizing minutes in that ditch. The three adults still drink and drive. The driver on that fateful day got away with it. His family rich and one of the founding families from around here.

So much entitlement. So much remembered with the touch of a cold aluminum can.

Iíve confronted people. Reported people. Most are more brawn than brain and utilize their gifts. Over the years Iíve had my power shot out. Property damaged. Vehicles do burn outs in my well kept grass. Had vehicles run through my fence. I donít back down. And I perform the needed repairs. Picking up the beer cans. Sigh.

Such is the truth of life. There is dark and there is light. With beer cans in tow, the dogs and I made our way, winding through the bushes. Tiny branches I miss, slap back and sting my cold face. Over logs and around trees we scamper. The dogs having a wonderful adventure amidst the tracks and smells of the woods.

The tall trees stand against the blue sky. The past few days have been windy and branches litter the yard. Sticks are everywhere! Itís going to be a busy spring. Lol.

The younger dog, brown in colour, takes after the older black dog. She continually entices the other girl to come and run with her. As we were walking the brown dog ran at the older one. She slid on the ice hidden beneath the snow and spayed out and slid across the driveway. She looks so funny, I burst out laughing - her four little legs scrambling to gain purchase with nails scraping across the ice. Continuing walking, I slipped and splayed out on a patch of ice. I swear my dogs were laughing at me too.

I fed the dogs and refill their water. They are happy. Always. Tail wagging greetings and returns to their pen. A few more pets and I close the gate and return to the warmth of my house. Ahhhhh. The 50 degree rise in temperature is so very nice. Glasses immediately fog up. smile I remove them and the pounds of necessary outer clothing.

Itís a beautiful day here. Cold and clear. And full of light.

Posted By: OwnIt Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/25/21 12:21 AM
What a contrasting image of both the blessings and the curses of the life you live in your bucolic town. I'm glad you had a glorious day. I did too. I spent time this weekend doing a puzzle with my sweet son, who chose to do that over spending time with his best friend and girlfriend. Those days with him are are short. Soon I'll be doing the puzzles alone and taking walks, and hopefully lounging by the pool while I read a good book. Quiet pleasures in the post-child rearing stage.
Posted By: scout12 Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/25/21 01:17 AM
Your post on marriage was incredible. Don't marry for love. It sounds wrong, and yet...
Posted By: 97Hope Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/25/21 01:48 AM
I feel like I just gulped in a fresh breath of air. (((DnJ)))

It's good to see beauty from ashes. Thanks for sharing.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/26/21 03:33 AM
Hello All

Another fine day. Cold and clear and snow. Iíve shovelled more this week than all winter so far. Lol.

Own - Very nice to hear about your glorious day. Son choosing to spend time with Mom instead of friends is special indeed. He knows the days are short as well.

Iíve found peace and joy in watching my kids grow up from me. Post-child rearing is pretty nice. Itís the next chapter, doing puzzles by myself. smile Hopefully the restriction will be lifted soon, Iíd like to have an actual visit with them all.

scout - Iím glad my thoughts resonated with you. And I appreciate the kind words.

Hope - The past few days have had plenty of cold fresh clean air. The kind that feels somehow cleansing with its icy bite. So cold it almost makes oneís lungs hurt with deep breaths.

Lol. I planned on posting a bit. However, I may have had to much fresh air. Itís 9:30 pm and Iím dog tired. Oh, those silky soft sheets are going to feel so good.

Take care friends.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/27/21 12:44 PM
Good Morning

I walked down the staircase to the quiet awaiting kitchen with the moon streaming its silvery light through the eastern windows. There was a coldness down the stairs. Across the kitchen and into the entrance room, and the bath where I put in my daily eye drops. The silent auxiliary wall heaters in these two outer rooms were whirling away, a sign that something was up.

I made coffee and toast, got out a plate, knife, glass, and cup. Set the table and checked the outside thermometer; following my well-worn routine. I swear there is probably a path on the floor. smile

Looking out the windows, finding the red liquidís level. Where is it? Downward, lower, lower - OMG! Itís -34C!

I confirm with the online forecast and find the windchill is -45C. Brrrrrrrr. Such a change from my cozy warm bed. Lol

Breakfast is ate. Coffee is drank. A travel mug is packed and I set out towards the city and my hour commute. I need to rework some of todayís plans for the guys. I do hope nothing breaks down. These are dangerous temperatures and outdoor work will be today reserved for only the most urgent of needs. Thereís plenty to do indoors.

Have a great day.

Posted By: bttrfly Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/27/21 12:47 PM
how is that even possible, to be that cold???!!!!!
Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/27/21 01:09 PM
Originally Posted by bttrfly
how is that even possible, to be that cold???!!!!!
Google The Rodeo Song by Garry Lee and The Showdown.

I remember - more than a few years ago on an April evening I believe - flying back to Toronto from a nickel / copper mine I worked at up by James Bay. The guy next to me was flying down from Baffin Island. We killed ourselves laughing when the flight attendant apologized to us for making us get out in "the cold".

I've never been in the "real" North - still always south of 60 and the tree line. But on those gloriously cold days the air is so very crisp and the sky is the most amazing shade of blue.
Originally Posted by DnJ
I need to rework some of todayís plans for the guys. I do hope nothing breaks down. These are dangerous temperatures and outdoor work will be today reserved for only the most urgent of needs. Thereís plenty to do indoors.
Stay safe and make sure your block heater cord is handy. How does the Prius handle the cold? One thing that has put me off going electric or even hybrid is how much power would need to be diverted for cabin heat. On the other hand the old VW Bug my parents had didn't have a heater but relied on 4 kids and 2 adults inside for warmth.
Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/27/21 02:54 PM
Originally Posted by AndrewP

I remember - more than a few years ago on an April evening I believe - flying back to Toronto from a nickel / copper mine I worked at up by James Bay. The guy next to me was flying down from Baffin Island.

A copper mine I worked in up by a frigidly cold bay in the far north?!

Whenever Andrew and DnJ drop these little details about facing the elements, digging trenches, installing electricity across the tundra, ripping off a roof to install some new timberframing, lifting cars off innocent bystanders, hunting for dinner, etc., Gerda's jaw drops. It has been a long time since I knew a manly man. (Turns out H was not one by a long shot.)
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/28/21 02:49 AM
Hello All

Home again. Itís warmed. Only -28C. Lol

Covid restriction have lifted a bit so hair cuts are back on the menu. (LOTR smile ) I called and they are booking into next week, but had a cancellation for 4:45pm. I grabbed that, and within minutes of arriving had a nifty new #4 brush cut.

After losing what seemed like pounds of hair, I tried and failed to purchase a new parka and running shoes while at the mall. It seems that store is not quite up to speed, as the sales guy had next to no knowledge and seemly had better things to do than serve me. Oh well.

Having wasted around 20 minutes in what turned out to be a fruitless endeavour for shoes and a smaller coat, I figured Iíd pick up fast food for supper. Being home late enough. Well, fast food was a misnomer tonight. Burger King took, 25 minutes. There was four cars in the drive thru line when I showed up. Thatís all. 22 minutes to get those four cars ordered and through. Sigh. Iíd have been half way home the time I got my burger.

It was rather tasty. And yummy fries. Of course hungry make food taste better. Lol

Arrived home and left the warm environment that is my car. Put on a hoodie under my parka, replaced my cap with a toque, and found some gloves. Took the dog food out to the tail wagging eager to see me happy dogs. Poured the food into the bucket and we went for our walk.

The -28C seemed a lot colder. The -40C windchill is cold. But thereís something else. Something Iím missing...what is it...oh yeah hair! Lol. Apparently my shaggy locks had pretty reasonable insulating properties when compared to a quarter inch of hair. I snugged up the hood on my parka and continued onward.

Dogs ran around. I chased them a bit down the dark driveway. The air is so cold, it hurts your teeth when gasping it in. Hahaha. I walked to end of the lane and back. Stars shinning beautifully. Itís really a clear night. Perfect for star gazing and hypothermia.

One trip up and down the lane. Dogs happily back in the pen. And me back in my warm house. Pealing off the layers and finding my couch to relax in to.

bttrfly - Yes thatís cold. Colder than a freezer is. It has been an incredibly unseasonable warm winter with this being only the fifth or sixth day of really cold. Usually we have months of this kind of weather. Iím all soft and a wuss, not hardened to the cold. smile lol

Andrew - You bet. Cold brings such a clear atmosphere and the most bluest of skies.

The Prius starts excellent. I actually do not have a block heater. I do believe there is decompression valving that helps the starting. The standard 0W16 engine oil is of high fluidity and allows the engine to turn over with ease in the extreme cold.

In my gas/electric hybrid, cabin heat is provided by engine coolant. There is a thermos-like storage in the coolant system which circulates hot coolant through the heater core while the engine is off, like at a red light. Of course all the coolant pumps and steering pumps and a/c compressors and such are electrically driven and not from the engine belt. The cabin is quite comfortable. Set the temperature on the digital thermostat and let it do itís thing. The heated seats and heated steering wheel are awesome as well. So nice on cold hands and cheeks. Lol.

Gerda - Iím going to pop a bottom puffing out my chest for you. Lol. Who am I kidding, Iím a T-shirt guy. And my work shirts are pull over, not button up. Arc flash clothing has no openings like seams and such; the intense heat from an electrical arc would easily burn whatís under the buttoned portion of a shirt - my belly. Lol

A manly man. smile Oh, there goes my chest again.

The measure of a man.

A man is measured by his unshakeable integrity; the strength of his convictions; his compassion for others; and his ability to admit he is wrong while always striving to do right. A man is measured by his passions, the love in his heart, the depth of his soul, and his joy of life.

Manhood isnít about outgrowing the boy. A man is measured against that very yardstick - the boy inside. Manhood is about finding that boy, reclaiming him, and all his passions, zest, and joy for life. A man is just a boy in a bigger body, with bigger muscles, and a bigger heart. And maybe a little wiser.

Not to be too forward my friend. You may feel free to pass that along to S15 if you wish. He must be close to driving by now, and becoming his own man. Us boys need a heading to look to. Someone and something to aspire too and emulate. I feel for him, his need to know, and to confirm he is on, the good path.

Posted By: Gordie Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/28/21 05:38 AM
"Most people get married for love. They are in love and therefore get married. But why? You already have the love. What does marriage do? Why do you need to get married? You already have the love.

People marry for love. They should and need to marry the person, not the love. Love is the icing on the cake; it is not the cake.

A marriage should be based upon a solid respectful relationship, which both parties want to, and vow to, upon hold and strengthen.

Love is a thing. Marrying for love is no better than marrying for money. Marry the person not the thing. Vow to the person not the feelings you have.

That distinction, I believe, allows people to weather the storms of life. Love ebbs and flow, has its up and down, yet the person remains. Marry the person. (This is some of the reason I am where I am. Have the beliefs I do. Make the choices I do.)"

Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/28/21 03:08 PM
I agree with all this too. But I also believe marriage is a sacrament. That means that engaging in it is a way to stay close to God and to figure out his will for your life, especially when you engaging in the sacrament goes against your will.

If our MLCers kept following the sacrament even when their will said, "It's all your husband's fault. Stand up at Thanksgiving and throw all these people away and run off with the Rotten Egg Man" or when their will said, "Take all the lemonade money out of your daughter's wallet because your wretched wife will not stop controlling money that is rightfully yours," we would not be in this boat. Our MLCers would be struggling with all their might against their own wills but they would be choosing the sacrament. They can't get the best beauty and joy out of the marriage that way, but at least they can be on a path to figure out what God's will is for their lives, and it always starts with surrendering your own.

So I agree with all you are saying and wish I had understood that back when I was 24 and making the bad choice I made, but I also think that if you see marriage as something beyond either of you, that is how it can heal both of you and call you to your highest self. I am sure that standing for our marriages (I am talking about DnJ and Gordie and me at the moment) helped us become our best selves. Even if the outcome is not the restoration of those marriages, trying to follow the sacrament seems to me to have been the required path, at least for me, to become who God wants me to be.

Here is how CS Lewis puts it --

Now, everyone who has been married in a church has made a public, solemn promise to stick to his (or her) partner til death.... As Chesterton pointed out, those who are in love have a natural inclination to bind themselves by promises.... And of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to being true even if I cease to be in love. ....A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions; no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry."

For more on this, check out my favorite -- CS Lewis Doodle, the one called, "On Sexual Morality." It's about vows, not sex, though that obviously comes into it.

I love that I know two men that I can even have this conversation with! You are good salt!
Posted By: bttrfly Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/28/21 05:10 PM
Burger King? Get an impossible burger meal with onion rings and zesty sauce next time. A guilty pleasure. Oh. And a Dr. Pepper. And some jalepeno poppers.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 03:27 AM
Gordie - Thank you. That means a lot.

Gerda - ďrun off with the Rotten Egg ManĒ had me stunned for a moment as I struggled to figure out what the heck Gerda was talking about. Then it hit me. Oh yeah, my situation. I burst out laughing. Egg man, I had forgot. Lol. I was at the time covertly reading my phone at work, which quickly became less covert.

bttrfly - I went back to Burger King today. Decided on the way home to do just as you suggested. Ah, the power of suggestion. I was determined to have something different. But no. Here, in this Canadian city, there is no impossible burger. No jalapeŮo poppers. The poor gal on the drive-thru. smile Two strikes and I panicked and had my normal fast food fare. Double whopper with cheese, fries, and coke. It was fast! My food was already at the window as I rolled up. Total time in the drive-thru, including crazy guy trying to order American food, 57 seconds.
Posted By: bttrfly Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 12:07 PM
should have gotten the onion rings with zesty sauce. surely they have that
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 12:20 PM
Mmmmmmm. Zesty sauce.

Iíd forgot that part. Hmmmmm. Tonight? Third times the charm. Lol.
Posted By: bttrfly Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 12:31 PM
you're gonna cause serious harm to yourself three days in a row. I cannot believe you Canadians do not have impossible whoppers. it's #3 in the drive through.
Posted By: bttrfly Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 12:33 PM
I guess you guys have Morningstar veggie burgers???
try that.
Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 06:30 PM
Originally Posted by bttrfly
I guess you guys have Morningstar veggie burgers???
try that.
We "do" have butter-tarts. Although the raison / no raison debate can be pretty divisive. The filling needs to be just gooey enough that you are in grave danger of having it all over you but thick enough so that it doesn't run out of the shell. And the shell needs to be a flaky pastry that just melts in your mouth.

mmmmm - excuse me - I have to pop out for a moment.
Posted By: scout12 Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/29/21 09:48 PM
Fun fact: Burger King is called Hungry Jackís here and we donít have impossible whoppers either!
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/30/21 04:52 PM
Good Morning

Originally Posted by AndrewP
We "do" have butter-tarts.


Yes we do!!!

Oh, I love those!

Especially butter tart slice. Itís butter tart in an entire pan cut into bite-size squares. Well supposed to be bite-sized. They are great! Much higher filling to pastry ratio. smile

bttrfly - Sadly no. There are many many things that exist in the US which donít reside upon any menu or shelves here. It ranges from tables and furniture, electrical and plumbing widgets, and artificial Christmas trees. I had to purchase mine from Texas. smile And of course snacks. US is the snack capital. So many options! On family vacations our first stop was at the first gas station across the boarder to purchase those wonderfully tasty morsels which we could not purchase at home.

Our foray into the faux meat products is growing.

scout12 - Hungry Jack. It even has a similar logo. Ha, the things I learn.

- - - -

I touched base with all the kids this past week. S23 is getting back into university. He is finding starting up again after Christmas more challenging then at September. His grades for first semester were two Aís and two A+ís. His pretty pumped in that.

He will be 24 this coming month; sharing the same birth day as his grandpa. S23ís GF got him a 24Ē monitor for his laptop for valentines and birthday. I told him some one must love him a lot. And correlated the unintentional purchasing of a 24 inch monitor for his 24th birthday. A coincidence he rather liked.

I spoke with D18. She cannot go back to work yet. The Covid band on restaurants still remains. Perhaps in a month or two she can get out of the house. Her studies are going well. The problem doofus professor from last termís psychology course does not teach second semester and things are going much better for her. Calculus, math, and biology are all relatively easy and straightforward.

S20ís grades from last term are straight A+ís. He is doing fine. There are six in total in his quantum physics class and lab. These six have keys to the closed university so to have access to the labs to perform the necessary experiments which cannot be done online. He says it pretty interesting in such a quiet environment which should be bustling with folks. A big plus is the lack of people. These experiments take space and precise setup and control of environment to minimize error.

While talking with D18, she told me her and S20 just threw out the Christmas tree Mom got for them. The one they had to go to a different city to pick up. Lol. It was used, had bald spots, looked like a green bristled toilet brush, haha. Not quite. Their small basement suite has little storage space and the tree had no sentimental and little monetary value.

S22 has his new computer up and running. He has much status among his computer colleagues. His work is going very well, accomplishing much and enjoying it.

He received a text from Mom - she had a treadmill for him. Huh? Yeah, I donít know either. He didnít ask for one. And doesnít want one. He bought himself a rowing machine and has no space room for a treadmill. Beside, like he said, if he did want one, heíd buy one. S23 hadnít got back to Mom at the time of our talk. Poor girl, I wonder if she is trying to reach out and doesnít know how, or if sheís just doing stuff.

Iíve had an interesting week of reflection and self awareness. I applied for my now vacant bossís position. I tidied up my resume and crafted a sincere cover letter. The few colleagues I sought feedback and critical assessment from were blown away. I put to paper that which I believe. I live it, and lead with it. My role is leader of the work center, and I do a rather inspiring job of it.

Along with this, I was approached by a colleague for an interview regarding my leadership. His email was heartfelt. He respects and admires my style of leadership. He is taking some business courses and has an assignment to interview a leader obtaining insights of the traits and qualities that foster visionary and leadership competencies. The stark differences between a leader and a manager.

This colleague reports to, and works for, my bossís bossís boss. One step from the VP. He could interview his boss, or any of dozens of high up executives, he works directly with them. And he chose me. He wanted a leader not a manager. He wants to lead not manage.

He and I spoke yesterday for three hours. He did like I do, and bought two pens. I actually ran out of ink one time at a meeting. Right there, mid word. Most times pens are lost long before they ever run out. Having experienced actually running out of ink and being unable to record anything was pretty amazing. So much suddenly is going on and there is no way Iím going to recall all the needed details later from barely visible scratches upon blank pages. I had to interrupt and get a new pen; since then I carry two. He had the same experience, does the same.

We had a great chat. He eagerly listened, asked follow up questions, and probed certain areas where he really wanted to understand how I did it. And in true counterintuitive manner I told him. One such area was how does one not take things personally at work?

First off, I acknowledged the direction of the query. He and I have discussed this before. How does one not take it personal when someone is mad at you? I explained and flipped it completely on its head. A leader does take it personally. A manager does not.

The idea one needs to find is that you lead and live with your beliefs and values. You know/believe in the compassionate, empathic, caring, authentic, sincere, moral, ethical, manner in which you lead your work group, fellow colleagues, customers, vendors, everyone. You are consistent and reliable, in word and behaviour. When someone is upset with you, that is about their state not yours. (The whole you control you).

When leading you arenít ďin chargeĒ, you care for those in your charge. You also do not lead from the front, one leads from the back. A team is only a strong and fast as its weakest member, anything quicker and people are left behind. A leader is at the back of the pack, ensuring no one is struggling or gets lost along the way. Something you cannot do out in front.

So, take leading personally. Absolutely! Leading is about your very beliefs. It is personal. And in that, you know that someone mad at you is a cry from them for help. Yes, I feel. I hurt. And I realize the source. Take it personally.

Three hours. Good thing he brought two pens. Lol

Actually he had provided the questions beforehand. Something he had inquired to. I assure him I was comfortable to answer any question cold or have a preview. He choose to send the question, so I gave them the consideration they deserved. I had pages of talking points typed out, of which i gave him a copy. He asked if I was ok giving those to him, while assuring me of their privacy. I told him I am proud of who I am and my beliefs and values. On those papers is both, and I stand behind, and for, everything Iíve stated.

It was a good time. I recalled and told of dozens and dozens of examples of my leadership from over the years. A particular view of his was altered. That being greatest accomplishments and failures (opportunities for improvement smile ). Paradoxically, those are the same events when considering leading with your values. My greatest accomplishments arenít external, like how many widgets we made, it is the internal growth. And growth comes from mistakes and from the deep end of the pool. Accomplishment or failure is just a matter of when you are looking at it. A failure becomes oneís greatest accomplishments if they choose too, a live too.

I had such a good week.

Even the dog were extra happy to see me. Sniffing and licking. Of course, I smelled of hamburgers. Lol

Posted By: CanBird Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/30/21 06:45 PM
Good morning D,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this with my morning coffee. You're already a leader for so many, and soon at work too. Sending you my congratulations in advance. The company you work for is VERY lucky to have.

The way you spoke of the differences in being a manager, and leading with your beliefs speaks volumes and reminds me very much of the Dr (dentist) I work with. He has strong values, and leads with his heart; his faith. Aside from giving me employment, this man (and his wife) have helped me in so many ways emotional during this single mom journey. He is also a child of divorce. Many times he has shared personal stories of how his single mom of 13 children (yes... thirteen) struggled and succeeded. With love and strength to make the best of what we can with what we have & to strive towards our goals. And outside of work he has said whatever he & his wife can do, whatever I need, please don't hesitate to ask. Know that they are there to help. I see that you are just as compassionate in life as well.

Leader you are. The team you lead will be empowered by you, as I know many of us here are.

Cheers D smile

2021 is looking great!
Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 01/31/21 03:36 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
He did like I do, and bought two pens.
Interesting. I pretty much always carry a pen. My ex-wife used to just take it for granted and would reach out her hand or into my pocket for it if she was feeling more frisky wink

Originally Posted by DnJ
That being greatest accomplishments and failures (opportunities for improvement smile ).
I had an interview a couple of years ago when they did the standard question about failures. I talked about an initiative that I promoted that fell flat and never got implemented. When asked about what I did from there, I'm not sure what they thought of my answer that I just shrugged my shoulders and said - you win some, you lose some.

I'm not sure if you are a reading sort D and this is hopefully ok within the terms of service here. We're not normally to suggest other books but there are two books on leadership that have really influenced me.

One is South! by Sir Ernest Shackleton. A couple of bits stand out. One was the scene when a stowaway was found - Sir Ernest ("the Boss" as everyone called him) leaned towards him and told him

"Do you know that on these expeditions we often get very hungry, and if there is a stowaway available he is the first to be eaten?" To which Blackborow replied, "They'd get a lot more meat off you, sir."

The part that really sticks though is the absolute faith that his men had in him. And he was worthy of that faith and delivered.

The other is by my favourite author on leadership (yes I have multiple favourite authors - it's allowed) Admiral James Stavridis - Retired. His recent book "Sailing True North" is a very worthwhile read on leaders and how they deal with the choices put in front of him.
Posted By: Gerda Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/01/21 07:21 AM
DnJ, I didn't see what you wrote before to S and about being a man. Thank you for that! It would be awesome if he knew you, I wish he did. Right now he is not receptive to much so I don't think I could show him what you said as I did a couple years ago when it was very helpful to him for sure! But tonight, shortly after I wrote my worries about him in my thread, I fell asleep with my heating pad on my back and next thing I knew he had come in to see how I was and to tell me he loves me. He didn't mention cancer but asked questions about my back and if I should go to doctor, etc. A guy friend here (the one who was LBS to an MLCer) told me to give him as much space as possible and let him come to me -- I guess that was good advice!

And Andrew's post here on reading about leaders and his explanations of why these leaders were good men, etc., was just a little more icing on the manly cake. You guys are some amazing guys, I am not sure I know any like you but thinking about it now I realize one reason I find it so comforting and true and good -- my grandfather was like this. He worked with his hands, had a steel fabrication biz and built boats and marinas, built his own house and even the road to the house, etc., but in the evenings we'd sit in his library full of books upon books and he'd explain the world and history and all the great characters of history and lit and read poetry to me. I can still see the fire crackling in the beautiful fireplace, and the little flags along the beams of all the places in the world he had visited with my grandmother.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/02/21 12:36 PM
Good Morning

Thank you for the boost Can.

My current role at work is the leader of the work center. I do look at this next step up the rung with some trepidation. It removes me a bit from the very people I desire to lead. I think we become more manager less leader the further removed one becomes. My new direct reports would be the work center leaders; I suppose still me and my values just a different group.

Andrew, I loved the stowaway - ďTheyíd get more meat off you, sirĒ. Faith and loyalty in a leader is an excellent and empowering place to be within. Thank you for the book suggestions, I am going to look those up.

Gerda, son finding out about your past cancer is a lot to absorb for him. As bttrfly said, itís a lot to absorb for someone at 48, never mind 15. Give him and daughter time, they will be alright with it.

It was so nice to see S15 come into your room to check on you, and tell you he loves you.

Beautiful imagery of your grandfatherís library, among books and history, with a fire crackling, listening to his voice tell of wisdom.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Posted By: sjohns6 Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/03/21 07:53 PM
DnJ, I wanted to say hello and thank you for still being around. I always wish I could give you some kind of nugget of advice that might make your day better, but when Iog in and start reading up on my friends here, I take away so much from your words I don't even know what to offer!

You are such an inspiration to all here. The life you live and share serves to lift up those around you, and I am certain you are that way in all aspects of your life as it shines bright for all to see. Since I don't have many words of wisdom to impart, I will say that I work in high level IT, am a great cook, read lots of books, and am a consumer of lots of pop culture (music, movies, plays, tv shows, etc). What are your weak spots in those areas? lol I need to give something back, hahaha

I hope you are doing well my friend.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/05/21 12:22 PM
Good Morning sjohns

Originally Posted by sjohns6
I always wish I could give you some kind of nugget of advice that might make your day better

Your friendship makes my days better and brighter. I was truly uplifted reading what you said. Thank you.

Iím not a great cook. Lol. My Mom, kids, and others all say my food is tasty. I make my gravies from a package; add to a cup of water, bring to a boil, let simmer for 3 minutes. Yummy. I can burn meat over a fire, or in a pan. smile I like my beef medium rare and usually get it just right. Pretty basic I figure.

I do like movies as well. Have you watched Arrival? Iíve floated this suggestion out here before and have never had any comments. I like the flick. Science fiction, and the heroine makes an awesome choice.

I am glad to know you Sam.

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/05/21 02:27 PM
You did inspire me to try hasselback potatoes. Very nice and come out nicely in the toaster oven. The only problem ingredient is patience laugh

Pancake Tuesday is coming up - did I ever share my pancake recipe with you?

Watched the trailer for Arrival - might be on my vacation watch list.
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/05/21 07:48 PM
Yes, I liked Arrival! You might like the new Netflix movie The Midnight Sky.
Posted By: scout12 Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/05/21 10:28 PM
If you enjoy Arrival, check out Contact. Amazing sci-fi film from the 90s with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 01:57 AM
Yes. The Midnight Sky and Contact are excellent movies. I do love those types. As well as thriller, action, horror, comedy, drama, fantasy, lol. Ok, I love movies. Itís like food, there is very little I donít like.

Andrew, yes you did share your pancake recipe. Lonely girl pancakes, if my memory still serves. I could go back and find it among my, oh my goodness 20 threads! (I looked that up, not really keeping track. Anymore. Lol) However, I would appreciate you sharing it again.

You know, Iíve never gone back and read my threads, my story. Shrug. Maybe someday. I just appending on, kind of like life I suppose.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 03:43 AM
Since Iím sitting here typing Iím going to share something weird with you all.

If youíll remember I was sick month ago. My sense of taste and smell was all messed up. Sugar lost the sweetness and became bitter. Smells became putrid. And food all tasted rancid and rotten. Blah. What a icky time that was.

Anyhow, over the past few months my geothermal furnace is making a weird smell. Like ammonia / bleach leaking. I thought it was the Freon leaking from the de-superheater, or perhaps the methyl hydrate loop leaking into the blower compartment. The smell would last a few minutes then go away. Iíve experienced this while sitting in the living room, laying in bed, at the kitchen table.

Iíve gone downstairs, even in the middle of the night, to investigate my furnace and find the source of this smell. However, all is good. No weird noises, and the smell doesnít strengthen or dilute with direct force air flow from a heater duct. Weird.

During Christmas with S20 visiting and our so many hours spent upon the couch talking and watching movies, one of these episodes happened. I asked him if smelled anything like ammonia or bleach. He sniffed a bunch and said no. He was sitting right beside me, and with me many months into this investigation and suspecting it was not the furnace and something else, I leaned over and had him sniff my shirt, hair, and such to see if it was me. I smelled it right then and there. S20 could not. My nose is inches from his nose. Hmmmmm.

This ammonia odour is pungent. That smell literal makes it difficult to breathe. I cannot feel it burning in my lungs, but it is ammonia is all itís breath-stealing glory. It lasts a few minutes and dissipates.

My investigation has yielded surprising, and good, results. Well good in that my geothermal furnace is probably not leaking. Iíve smelled this in my car, at work, at the store, and so on. Even outside walking to the grocery store with mask already on. It causes a sensation that takes ones breath. So, I willpower myself to breath normally, inhaling the imaginary ammonia-filled air until the sensation ceases. Weird huh?

The latest happening was yesterday at work. I put on my coat to go outside to the stores area to gather some information off some equipment that showed up. While walking down the hall, that smell started, and it continued out the door and for about a minute while walking to the equipment storage area.

I guess this is some leftover side-effect from my taste altering sickness. Itís pretty strange.

This highlights something very interesting, which of course Iíve preach a lot. We all define and create our realities. And what is reality? Where does it exist?

My reality exist in my head, just like anyoneís. This smell is absolutely real! I smell it. It steals my very breath. And is completely imaginary (I suspect smile ). No one else can sense it. But that doesnít mean itís not real - to me. As I said, weird.

So chalk it up to yet another of lifeís things I found acceptance too. Although, Iím not sure being unique is as cracked up as I had hoped. smile

Well, since Iím on a roll and feeling rather loquacious. For those of you struggling. Lost in the darkness. Making your way through the mire and bog that is the LBSí path. It gets much much better. For a time, longer than I wanted and shorter than it seemed, I didnít have joy. Happiness and joy does return. Mine returned like two years ago, and is still climbing.

I remember birds. I had forgot them, and when their songs returned it was so beautiful. Colour was also absent, more the emotions that colours elicit than the lost of registering wavelengths of light. I still saw, but didnít see.

I could not watch TV, nor listen to music for so long. Now, I again boogie and shake along to the music. I found myself moving to the beat while walking through the office. Haha. Fearless and inspiring. Folks seem to like a man who doesnít wear mask.

This week has been particularly encouraging. I am humbled and honoured with the posts regarding my story and my values. At work my applying for the vacant supervisor position has spread, like gossip does. So many people have encouraged and wished me well. They see no one as competition for me. Managers, supervisor, clerical, technicians, and so on, from all the departments. Itís a bit overwhelming the support and loyalty Iím experiencing.

For example, today a supervisor who Iíve known for around a decade asked if I had bid on the job. After confirming my bid and interest in it, he assured me Iíd be excellent at it, and my decades of consistent and ethical behaviour precede me.

In my actual job, it has been a very busy week. Lots of work going on. Plus an outage, and a switching error. Opportunities and needs for mentoring some of the staff in my charge.

Also planning and scheduling some annual testing of aerial devices. This directly affects about 90 people. The testing runs for two months and ties in with the maintenance and repair requirements of the vehicles. Itís a huge puzzle to arrange. I do love the logistics of it. In a day and half Iíve got the schedule done, the emails all sent, and already received some confirmations of appointment dates and times. It is interesting to see who is first and who delays; it directly correlates to how good our relationship is.

Some thoughts:

Imagine being able to see the future as well and clear as you can see the past. It brings the question of would you change anything? To answer that, we know our past. If you could go back in time, knowing everything you know, would you live your life again?

For me, yes. My life with J was awesome. Sure it ended in a disaster of adultery, deceit, and abandonment. Still, I would do it again. It was 25 really good married years and 29 really good being together. The one before BD, not so much.

If you knew and could see your future would you live it? Would you love it?

I find my answer exists in my present. Obviously my future will be revealed as it unfolds. My only gauge becomes how I live this moment right now. My present life is my unfolding future. When something happens all one can hang on to is how theyíve lived. Live in the light. Be sincere and kind.

If you knew and could see your future would you live it? Would you love it? If not, alter your present and make it better. Create and strengthen your beliefs and live them.

I know at times the present looks horrible, bitter, and bad. Remember, the ammonia smell is real, and itís not. Keep breathing and let it dissipate. Have faith, the birds do sing again, and the sky is the most incredible shade of blue on a sunny day with the warmth of the sun kissing your face as you look upward.

Have faith. Let go you fears. Find forgiveness.

I live happy, content, authentic, and not ruled by fear. And it allows me to express how much I truly love my friends here.

Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 07:30 AM
Most likely you had Covid, DNJ. When the sense of smell starts to come back, many patients go through a stage of phantom smells, as in things that normally smell good smelling putrid, or smelling cigarette smoke when there is none. Itís because youíre picking up only some isolated notes of the smell. Some complain of food smelling of rotten meat etc. One woman wore a clothespin on her nose when eating because everything smelled so bad.

There are a couple of pre-Covid studies on using theophylline to treat anosmia. I have a compounding pharmacy that makes low dose capsules to be mixed with sterile saline and used as a nasal spray. Oral theophylline can also be used but it has caffeine-like side effects (I speak from experience as I was treated for preterm labor with it).
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 07:37 AM
And for everybody else - if you lose your sense of smell or taste in 2021 itís Covid until proven otherwise. Denial is a crazy powerful thing. If you get sick, donít sit there telling yourself itís just a cold - go get tested. Many treatments are most useful early on. Iíve just had two patients who didnít contact me until they were 6-10 days into their illness, even though they had been instructed to call me promptly if they became ill.
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 07:43 AM
(And one of those patients hasnít answered his phone for two days now, I donít know if heís gone to the hospital or what but Iím very worried about him).
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 08:21 AM
The BBC website has a recent article about parosmia.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 02:19 PM
Good Morning kml

I do suspect I had Covid. I did get tested, once I was able to drive to the testing site in city one hour away. Boy, that was not a fun trip. Sick, shaking, and unable to get help. The local hospital, no hospital actually, would see anyone unless they were tested, had negative results, and were symptom-free. Until then youíre to be isolating and not see anyone, it was impossible to get a ride. Well, not impossible, my kids would have helped I know, but I didnít want to risk them or put them in that position. An odd loop to be caught in. And the results of the loop once one can extract themselves: If you have Covid, isolate. Awaiting results, isolate. Showing symptoms, isolate. Negative results and symptom-free, then you can come to the hospital (at that point in time when you donít need too). Basically, if itís Covid, stay home and get better; if it not Covid, stay home and get better.

I do recall a rather profound sense of dread while literally unable to even dial a phone from shaking so bad. I made peace with a few things over that time. Lol. Youíre right denial is very powerful, as well as acceptance. Make peace with yourself.

My Covid test results were negative. I do think that was a false result, or mixed up one. S20ís and D18ís tests got mixed up and the testing site could not identify which result belonged to who. I think it was S20 who asked them what the results were, if they are both negative then who cares. S20 and D18 live in the same apartment. It just shows mistakes do happen and I may have been one of those who fell through the cracks.

I would like an antibody test or such. To know that I had Covid, or not. I do like accuracy, and being clear when communicating. I cannot just say Iíve had Covid. But my free health care system does not spend money on frivolous things like testing what you might have had when youíre already healed from it. Sigh, we do get what we pay for. Which is rather funny, since it is far from free, its income source is just taxes, not user fees. And Canadianís are taxed rather heavily.

I do like your confirmation and opinion, which of course matches my guesswork. As symptoms go, this is pretty mild, the smell doesnít last long. I am figuring in time, events will become less and less frequent until one day I realize itís been such a long time that I guess Iím over it. Ha, now that sounds familiar doesnít it? Lol.

Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 02:46 PM
I should mention, that at the time of my illness and testing things around here were very new. Processes and policies were unknown and untried. We do have a much better handle on things now.

I finished a nice breakfast of three fried eggs on toast and cheese. Mmmm. Enjoying my coffee in the couch and was planning on shovelling the snow off the deck and such. I just looked outside the kitchen window. The sky is bright blue and clear, a gorgeous day, and it is -32C. What?!? Nope, nope, nope. Staying in for now.

My geothermal furnace is purring away ammonia-free and I am cosy warm. Maybe later Iíll bundle up and venture out.

Lol. I was just about to press post, and the smell returned. Just moments ago. Iím still experimenting and have been meaning to try something, but I cannot control when or where this happens. However, I was sitting here with my coffee beside me, so: Does this smell affect my taste? Well, apparently for coffee - no. Yay! My coffee tasted the same.

The weird smell lasted for less than a minute. Glad Iím just smelling things that arenít there. Imagine seeing things or hearing things that arenít there?

Have a great day.

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 02:56 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
I do recall a rather profound sense of dread while literally unable to even dial a phone from shaking so bad.
I recall being ill with a fever a few months after bomb-day. The feeling of being isolated and helpless was indeed terrifying. Looking back I know that I could have called either of my brothers who live nearby or a number of friends and cousins and help would have come.

Just like when I fell recently, laying sprawled in the driveway. How long before I am missed?

Anyhoo - Pancakes Pancakes - eat 'em with a fork! Pancakes Pancakes - don't be a dork!

Originally Posted by Swah

Lonely Girl Pancakes - A Single Serve Pancake Recipe

Prep time - 2 mins
Cook time - 5 mins
Total time - 7 mins

Serves: 1

Pancake Ingredients:
1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp flavourless oil (I used sunflower)
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Optional extras:
Maple syrup
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1/4 cup of blueberries
Ice cream

Cheats Berry Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup frozen berries
1 tsp icing sugar

Sift dry ingredients into a jug and mix.
In a separate bowl (I just use a mug), whisk together the egg, milk and oil until combined.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well combined. If using additional flavourings, such as berries or coconut, add now and stir gently to combine.
Lightly grease a non-stick fry pan and heat to a medium temperature.
Making this mixture in a jug will make it easier to portion out the batter Ė make this to your preferred size. I made 5 pancakes about 10cm in diameter.
Cook until bubbles form on surface, flip and cook the other side until lightly browned.
Serve either with a garnish of extra berries and coconut and a drizzle of maple syrup, or see below for a Cheats Berry Sauce.

Cheats Berry Sauce Method:
Put frozen berries in a microwave-proof container, cover it with paper towel or a slightly askew lid. Cook on high for 30 seconds until hot and bubbling.
Add in icing sugar and whisk, combining the sugar and breaking down the berries into a sauce.
You can add a teaspoon of water and strain this if you want a smooth sauce, otherwise the whisk will sufficiently break the berries down to a thick and delicious sauce.
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 03:57 PM
Many people report a feeling of dread or feeling like they were going to die, even with flu-like outpatient cases. We know the virus can affect the brain and some of it may be healthy fear of the virus, but some may be due to the virus infecting the brain. Your olfactory nerve is pretty much a direct conduit to your brain.

Some zinc and B12 may help your olfactory nerve recover.

Yes, false negatives can happen - depends on the accuracy of the swab sampling, timing of the test, the type of test that was done. This symptom now pretty much clinches that it was Covid.
Posted By: kml Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/06/21 03:58 PM
You should wait three months from the beginning of your symptoms before having the vaccine.
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/07/21 04:13 AM
Had Mom over for dinner and watched The Midnight Sky with her. Second viewing for me. A really good movie.

Itís chilly outside at -34C. Clear night with stars bright.

Andrew, thanks for the recipe. And the poem. Lol

Pancakes Pancakes - eat 'em with a fork!
Pancakes Pancakes - don't be a dork!

The question of how long until Iíd be missed is one Iíve pondered as well. Work would miss me first and theyíd be calling to ascertain my whereabouts. Thatís all good, for now, until retirement. After that, I best be careful. smile

Thanks for the info kml. I do appreciate it.

Posted By: AndrewP Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/07/21 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
The question of how long until Iíd be missed is one Iíve pondered as well. Work would miss me first and theyíd be calling to ascertain my whereabouts. Thatís all good, for now, until retirement. After that, I best be careful. smile
I did some research a number of years ago on safety options for staff who work alone. An issue with many of our drivers.

I used to use an app called Life360 to stay connected with my kids and so that they would get alerts when I left the house / got to work etc. It's astoundingly like an app I had mused about writing myself. In my case it would have been called "Are You Wearing Pants?" - so that when I left the property the kids would be alerted and text me to ask if I'd remembered to wear pants laugh

My daughter and son-in-law thought it was great for them as it was set so that when my son-in-law left work that his wife would be alerted and be able to get dinner ready etc. Much easier than the late afternoon texts of "so - when do you think you'll be done".

From a safety point of view a lot of the apps will do things like fall alerts too - certainly something useful for staff (and others) who work alone. Basically one of those alert call buttons but more fully featured.

There was an interesting project I saw a few years ago where a grandson wired his grandfather's socks up to the internet. It seems that his grandfather had dementia and a tendency to wander and this allowed his family to be alerted so they could check on him to see if he was ok. It was set so that when he put pressure on them by standing that a text message would be sent.
Posted By: Eagle3 Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/07/21 11:25 PM
Originally Posted by DnJ
The question of how long until Iíd be missed is one Iíve pondered as well. Work would miss me first and theyíd be calling to ascertain my whereabouts. Thatís all good, for now, until retirement. After that, I best be careful. :)D

We would know soon, we would be worried immediately if you stopped coming online to share your whereabouts or good advice... but we would indeed not be able to help you, seen the actual distance and in the anonymity of everything here. crazy
Posted By: DnJ Re: A Great Life #9 - 02/08/21 12:43 AM
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