Sunday, July 30, 2006

Blog As Personal Confessional Continues

I am trying to prepare myself for Wednesday morning. That is when my kids board the plane back to Sweden and my life returns to what it is without them. It has been a wonderful two months, aside from the cellulitis in my right leg that forced cancellation of almost all our early plans. The first three weeks of their visit were spent with me dealing with that. Still, we have made the best of what we had and it has been thoroughly enjoyable, though horribly brief. I have had to say this goodbye every summer now for 10 years, but it never gets any easier. If anything, it becomes ever more difficult. I know the crash that is coming; I find myself fearing its intensity and wondering if I have the strength to make it through yet one more time. Somehow I will, just like always, but I not certain how deep the wounds will go or how long it will take the scars to re-form once again. I grit my teeth and turn into the wind once again.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A Dwindling Flame

Once again, a warning. What follows is intensely personal. Maybe I can look back at this and gain some insight.

Lately I have felt a bit like a torch in a windstorm. At times the wind has been low and my flame has burned fairly bright, but then the wind picks up. I try so hard not to let anyone around me know. I try to keep up appearances, putting up a facade until I am alone and can let the false face fall. It can be exhausting work, and I have often found myself so tired at night that I that sleep became elusive. When sleep finally came, I was plagued by dreams that seemed to rob my sleep of restfulness. I have so much to look forward to this summer. I focus on that and wonder why that has not seemed to be enough. My kids will be here for two months. It is time I look forward to the entire year. It is what I hold on to when there seems to be nothing else. Lately ithas barely been enough. I try to be thankful, try to be positive, but then it all seems so pointless. All I can see is that I am 41 years old, I have a job that doesn't pay me a living wage, my social life is virtually non-existant, and I am quickly coming to the conclusion that I have had my one shot at sharing my life and beyond with someone who loves me as much as I love her. My biggest problem is not that I don't want to change. My problem is I just can't seem to figure out a way to change things. I don't know how and I don't know how to change that. Tonight things are particularly bad and that is probably why I sit here writing this. I hope that by getting this out I can somehow make some sense of this, find some way through the haze. Still the wind continues to blow, stronger and faster. The flame is flickering and I am keep praying for the wind to die down.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lest anyone believe.....

........that I only use this blog to complain, I wanted to share some good news I received. My son IM'ed at work to let me know he has decided to come over after all. He may come later, but he is still going to come over. It was some of the best news. It honestly made my day. We have made some big plans for this summer and I am so glad that he will still be able to share some of them. I was a little concerned that my daughter would feel nervous about coming over on her own, but I sometimes forget just how feisty she is. She told me flat out that it was not a big deal and she would be fine. The summer is starting to look better and better.

PS I had to repost this thanks to some inconsiderate pervert who left a comment soliciting porn. I have now figured out how to moderate my comments, but I had to delete the original post.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Vagaries of Life

On June 6th, I will have been divorced for nine years. That's two more years than I was married. I have learned to live with the situation, even making it through a long-distance relationship that never matured (though I know now that it was definitely for the best). I have been completely single for two years now. I never thought that I would be where I am at this point in my life. As if I really needed it, tonight I have had to deal with the latest in a long string of disadvantages to being a long-distance dad. My son will be 14 in May. We had been making plans for him and my daughter to come here this summer (they live in Sweden with their mom, hence the 'long-distance') and had even gotten to the point of getting the tickets. Tonight my son decided that he would rather stay in Sweden this summer and do some of the things that the youth in church are doing there. It wasn't an easy decision for him and he was genuinely concerned about hurting my feelings. I tried to make sure he knew that I wasn't disappointed in him and that I love him no matter what. I know this is part of him growing up and I totally leave the decision up to him, but I have the disadvantage of having missed most of his childhood so these times are incredibly precious to me. Now I may have to give one of those up. I am beginning to learn not to look forward to things because this is what seems to happen so often lately. Intellectually, I knew this was coming and I want him to do what will make him happy. Emotionally, this is incredibly hard to deal with. I love my kids and I miss them every single day. Not being able to see him for another year will be very hard for me. I haven't been able to be the dad I wanted to be and I am having a very difficult time accepting that he is reaching the age that I have to begin letting go to what little I have had. 2006 sure has sucked so far. On the positive side, I will still have almost two months with my daughter and that will be wonderful. And there is till the chance that it will be too late to change the tickets and my son will have to come too, but I don't want that if it will make him unhappy. All I can do now is try not to build up expectations and trust that what happens will be for the best.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My 'Fours'...with further adjustments

Here's to Geo for such a great list. I loved the visuals and may try to include some of my own when I figure out how. In the meantime, here mine are.

Four instances of gainful employment:
1. Grocery bagger (for tips only)
2. Painter (ended after 1 day and a splitting headache)
3. Customer service rep (for a mental health ironic)
4. Writer/analyst

Four favourite unpaid but far from thankless jobs:
1. Long-distance dad
2. Helping my grandmother with her geneology
3. Yardwork for my parents
4. Writing for the Sanpete Messenger (all four articles and one photo)

More than Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. The Lord of the Rings (OK, OK, I know that's really three, but...)
2. Serendipity
3. Blade Runner-Director's Cut
4. Big Fish
5. Star Wars (I relive the awe I felt when I first saw it as a kid every time I see it)
6. Local Hero
7. Better Off Dead
8. Shadowlands

Four filmmakers I adore:
1. Tim Burton
2. George Lucas
3. Terry Gilliam
4. Nick Park

Four writers I adore:
1. J.R.R. Tolkien
2. Thomas Hardy
3. Mark Helprin
4. Somerset Maugham

A few more:
(Sorry, couldn't keep it to just four)
1. Graham Greene
2. Leslie Norris
3. James Herriot
4. Anita Brookner
5. Willa Cather
6. Jane Austin

Four widely studied writers I could never quite 'get':
1. William Faulkner
2. Henry James
3. Walt Whitman
4. Edgar Allen Poe

Four places I have lived:
1. Sandy, UT
2. Jacksonville/Camp LeJeune. NC
3. Albany, GA
4. Provo, UT

Four places I'd rather be:
1. With my kids
2. Arches National Park
3. In an eternal marriage
4. Alaska

Four places I have vacationed:
1. Sweden
2. London
3. Arches National Park
4. Yellowstone National Park

Four qualities I want in my next home:
1. My soulmate
2. My kids
3. Room for my books and CDs
4. Evenings filled with friends

Four 'highly regarded' TV shows I've never watched a minute of:
1. Desperate Housewives
2. American Idol (don't even get me started)
3. The Sopranos
4. Sex and the City

Four TV shows I love
1. Northern Exposure
2. Mad About You
3. X-files
4. Monty Python's Flying Circus

Four recording artists I am listening to a lot lately:
1. Vienna Teng
2. Collective Soul
3. My Friend The Chocolate Cake
4. Crowded House
(This list changes almost daily)

Four 'obscure' recording artists I'm glad I found:
1. Not Drowning, Waving
2. Frazier Chorus
3. The Blue Nile
4. Angie Aparo

Four recording artists I think are vastly overrated:
1. U2 (Please, no hate mail. You won't change my mind. Many have tried, none have succeeded.)
2. Rolling Stones
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
4. Neil Young

Four of my favourite dishes:
1. Curry
2. Jambalaya
3. Shrimp with garlic, tomatoes, and parmesan over pasta
4. Grilled salmon

Four non-blog Web sites I visit frequently:
1. Mars Rovers (
2. Hubble Space Telescope (
3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (
4. National Parks Service (

Four things I hope to see before I die:
1. The Northern Lights (again...they are hauntingly beautiful and completely unforgettable)
2. Denali National Park
3. The Pyramids in Egypt
4. New Zealand

Four natural wonders I'll never forget:
1. The Northern Lights
2. Thunderstorms in Zion National Park
3. Sunset at the Grand Canyon
4. The sky at Arches on a moonless night

Four people I'm tagging:
Um......nope, drawing a blank unfortunately

OK, I have probably overdone it a bit with the additions, so I'll stop now. I didn't think this would be as easy as it turned out to be. It would be nice to have more people to tag, but I'm afraid the social life is non-existant and the list of friends--let alone blogging friends--is woefully short. Thanks to Geo again for tagging me.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What a year this has far

It seems that the time between posts for me is growing wider with each post. I hope to change that. I actually started a post back in January, but then the bottom fell out for me and I never got back to finish it. Needless to say, what there was of that post was sent into electronic oblivion and I decided to start anew. Just as a warning, this post is more for me than for anyone else. I just feel the need to get some things out and this, unfortunately, seems to be as close to a willing ear as I can come at the moment. Fortunately, I have kept this blog somewhat of a secret, so not many people are likely to read this. I hope that those who do read this will understand.

Back in January, I had high hopes for 2006. The previous year had ended in more chaos and personal trial than I will take the time to describe here. I looked at the New Year as a time to put all that behind me and try to start off fresh just as many people do. Little did I know what this year had in store for me. On January 10th, I contracted a case of cellulitis in my left leg. I was at work, and as the day went on I began feeling worse and worse. When I finally did leave, people tell me I looked like a ghost. I was shivering and I felt cold to the core. I got home and crawled into bed, knowing full well what was happening because it had happened several years before. When I woke up the next morning, my lower leg was swollen, bright red, and extremely painful. I shouldhave gone to the doctor then, but I put it off for over a week. When I finally made it to the doctor, I got an antibiotoics shot and then spent the next 34 days on 875mg of amoxicillin twice a day. Those 34 days are like a blur to me. I was always tired and I am amzaed that I was able to function at work. Somehow I made it through and the leg is now free of infection, but I am still recovering. I am just now feeling more normal. Add that to all the other things that carried over, and 2006 has been a bit of a nightmare.

On top of all that, I have been fighting bouts of rather deep depression. Somehow I have managed to maintain some semblance of functionality, though it has often felt like I walked a very fine line between getting by and hiding from the world. There were a couple of days I was very close to simply giving in to it all, but managed to get through it. The last few days have been better, but it's still something I battle. It feels like ages since I felt truly happy, but at least I am not feeling as hopeless as I have. It all probably sounds a bit maudlin, but that's been my life since January.

I decided that it might help to start writing again. I know the beginning is none too auspicious, and I know that there will be pposts like this in the future, but I hope that the good will outnumber the bad as time progresses. It all begins with this first step. Let's see where the road leads me.