Another month gone, but feeling better

Another month, another post.

I’ve been busy lately…some of which is in a good way, some of which is not. I have been feeling better in general, and I think a couple of factors have played into this.

I have NOT gone to see a therapist yet. The doctor that my regular doc recommended doesn’t take insurance, and frankly I don’t have the money to pay $170 per session. I’ll eventually find someone else, but I’ve had a pretty full schedule, so haven’t really had the time.

The holidays came and went, and I am super-relieved about that. We had Christmas dinner with my wife’s side of the family at our place, which was just a ton of stress…we pretty much didn’t stop moving for 2 days. I had the week of Christmas off, but it didn’t really feel like a vacation. That’s okay though…sometimes these things happen.

After the new year, I decided to quit smoking again. For about 15 years of my life, I would smoke up to a pack a day. I had quit for about 2.5 years before, but had picked it up again over the summer, probably as a byproduct of all the stress that we’ve had. It was always my crutch, and I just ran right back to it. It started as “just a couple” smokes on the golf course, but then spread to other parts of the day. I kept it away from work, mainly because it’s embarrassing. My intake started to really ramp up around the holidays, and I began to see the toll it was taking on me (in case you weren’t aware, cigarettes are bad for you). I think the last straw was when I did an “Insanity” workout in the basement, and I could barely get through the thing. At the same time, I hadn’t done one of those particular workouts in over a month, so that was a factor, but still, one would have to figure that the smoking played a large role.

Quitting is easy, folks. If you’re a smoker now, you probably want to slap me for saying that, but it is. Smoking provides no benefit to you, no benefit whatsoever. It does not relieve stress…it creates it. My 2.5 year run was accomplished by reading Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. I suppose I lost my way a little bit during the summer, forgetting the very important point about the stress. I read it again over the new year holiday, and it has reinforced the knowledge that was already there, and so I feel confident to stop again. I have pasted a link to the book on Amazon at the bottom of this post. It’s about 100 pages, and you can read it in one sitting. You wouldn’t think that reading a book would help more than any other treatment (nicotine gum, Chantix, etc), but it did for me, and it can do the same for you. It’s been over 2 weeks, and I have no withdrawal pangs, no anxiety over not having smokes on me, and no desire for a cig when I pass by someone smoking. And it feels good. Read it.

Other than that, I’ve just been keeping busy. I’ve been hitting the gym more in past weeks…I was a 3 or 4 times per week guy before starting this new job, but dropped off when we moved and when I got busy at work. It really does make things more difficult when you actually DO something at your job. I’m making a conscious effort to get back to that 3-4x/week spot, and so far, so good. It’s about 4 hours of my week. There are 168 hours in a week. Let’s say 5 hours of exercise time, just to include showering time, etc. 5 hours out of 168 is about 3% of the week. 3 friggin’ percent. You know, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. But, it has to be done. It has been well documented that you feel better when you exercise (I don’t even need to link to anything; just google it), and maybe that’s one of the reasons I felt so bad in the past few months, because I haven’t been getting in there.

I have been practicing guitar like a madman. I try to get in at least an hour a day. Usually my wife goes to bed at about 9:30, so I’ll just practice until about 10:30. The Saturday after Christmas, I picked up a nice acoustic-electric from the local music store. It’s a very nice piece, and it was sort of necessary, because pretty much everyone agrees that it is best to learn on an acoustic, because your fingers get stronger, and the frets are slightly bigger, so you have to learn to stretch more. I’ve been doing well with that, and actually, I’m thinking about getting another acoustic (just a cheap $50 job) to keep in our basement. The logic behind that is that it’s a good idea to have one within reach whenever you get a moment to play. We watch tv in the basement, so if Elisa gets a phone call, or has to do something else for a moment, I can grab the cheapy and bust out some chords and scales while she’s busy, which is a lot more productive than just browsing the nets on my phone while she’s up.

With the exercising and the practice, there isn’t much time left in my schedule for video games, and you know…I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t care. Last month, I was upset about not being able to play, but I think that maybe I’m just starting to understand that it’s not a very productive thing to do. I have a once per week set time where I play online with a couple friends for maybe 2 hours, but other than that, I just don’t think it’s a great use of my time. This is just kinda funny, coming from the guy who, last console generation, bought an xbox360, a PS3, a Nintendo Wii, a Nintendo 3DS, a Playstation Vita, and a decent graphics card for his computer. Good lord. I now have a PS4, which I barely use. The thing that is mainly used is the PS3, and that’s because it’s our Netflix/Amazon Prime machine.

I also had my performance review yesterday. It actually went pretty well. I am progressing at a good rate (so they say), and my manager is impressed with my drive to really learn the systems and processes, which is good. I really thought that they were going to escort me out of the building, but it turns out my fears were unfounded. That was a HUGE load off my chest.

And finally, I have decided to lessen my alcohol intake. For a couple years, I have been a “weekend only” drinker, but I think that maybe even though I didn’t normally feel drunk on those days (sometimes, sure), I may still have been taking in too much. Too much booze messes with your nervous system, and can be another cause of depression. I’m not saying that I’m going to be a complete non-drinker…just going to probably stick to 2 drinks or less on weekend nights.  I think I’ll feel better, and maybe my energy levels will improve. The wallet size will improve as well…spending $50/week on booze does not a wealthy man make.

That’s pretty much it. Long story short, I’m feeling much better, and making improvements by being more productive. I probably should still see someone, because I think this thing will always be inside me. Again, I’m just ignoring the fact that it’s there, by keeping busy, so I think it’s important to talk about that with a professional.

Oh, and here’s that link:


This is how I’ve been lately…

It has been a long time since posting. I have recently come to the realization that I am most likely clinically depressed. I mentioned this in my first post, but I think it’s a certainty now. This is me getting everything down in the same place.

At the time of my last writing, we were still stuck in the crappy townhome in the crappier neighborhood. We had the possibility of being able to purchase a very nice house in my hometown, and I was very excited for that. Unfortunately, we were not able to make an offer on the place at the desired price, and we are still having thoughts about moving down to Virginia in a few years, so we didn’t think it was wise to take out another mortgage if we were having these ideas. We are kind of sick of NJ. Most of our family is here, and I am hesitant to leave them for a faraway place, but it’s Jersey. It’s freakin’ cold, and the property taxes are insane, as are the insurance costs. We pay higher taxes because of the “great” school system in NJ, but since we don’t have kids, we don’t really have to care about how good the schools are in the area.

However, we asked the owner of the house if he and his wife would be willing to rent it to us, and he was agreeable to that. This was fantastic news for us; the rate is very reasonable for the space, the neighborhood is great, and we were able to get out of that awful place we were in.

We have been there for almost 3 months now…and I am still sad.

I suppose I have always been this way, at least for most of my teenaged to adult life; I had just forgotten about it. In high school I was depressed, but I assumed that it was because I never had a girlfriend, and was from a family that wasn’t as well off as the other students’ families (I went to private school). In my first year of college it was the same. After that it was a mixture of ups and downs, but I guess I was always busy with school, work, friends, relationships, etc, so I was never very “down.” When we moved into our townhouse, I think that my negative feelings were masked by the fact that the living situation was just bad, so I guess I assumed that I just felt bad as a byproduct of that.

Fast forward to now. I am living in a nice area, I am married to a wonderful woman, and, while I dislike my job greatly (I’m sure that’s part of it), I am employed and making a decent salary. And yet, I am still in this fog. I can’t remember things as well as I used to be able to, which is a symptom of depression. I have grown to dread going out to social functions. I care little for playing video games anymore; something that was a big bright spot for most of my life. I feel that most of my friends think I’m an idiot. This is especially weird for 2 of them in particular, since we did the same graduate program together, and I got better grades than them. Grades aren’t the best indicator of intelligence, of course, but I think it should show that there are at least a few neurons firing somewhere in my cranium. I HAVE recently started putting a lot more time into practicing with my guitar, but I am bogged down with feelings of hopelessness…that I’ll never be very good at it, even though my friend and instructor says that I’m improving every week.

I’ve had a couple of “bad” days in the past month or so. These are days where I feel so down that I could cry…and sometimes I do. I haven’t had one of those days in many years, but now they’re back. Again, I think I’m having them now because we’re out of the shithole, and my mind is telling me that I SHOULD be feeling better, but I am not, and I don’t know what to do. General feelings of hopelessness…hate the new job,  I feel like I’ll never get out of debt between the student loans and the piece of shit house, my friends think I’m stupid, and maybe I am. Since I am having trouble remembering things lately, my feelings of stupidity are amplified. My wife has told me before that she doesn’t have much of a sex drive anymore, and maybe that’s because I’m unattractive to her nowadays. It all kind of came to a head last night, because I was feeling bad, and I guess I was in a bad enough mood that my wife even started crying. I hate myself for making her feel like that.

Depression fits…it’s always been there; I guess it just sort of lied dormant for some years. My mom, I’m pretty sure, is an undiagnosed case, and my sister is on meds, so it certainly seems to make sense. I have more “good” days than “bad” days, which is a good thing, but I would rather there be no bad days at all. I suppose I need to change jobs, to something that will make me happy about having to work, but I have no idea what I can do that WON’T require I go back to school, as I refuse to take on any more student debt (I am still crawling out of that hole…$44K to go). I guess we need new friends, too, since the ones we have don’t seem to respect me or my wife. Not saying that I want to be shown Marlon Brando in The Godfather levels of respect…I would just prefer if they didn’t act as if nothing I say is correct, and that my opinion on pretty much everything is dumb. I don’t think it is, anyway. Maybe I should get a dog. Would cheer me up, but I would dread the housebreaking, and I don’t like the idea of cleaning up poop when there’s an inevitable accident.

I am going to be seeking help, though. I guess just a counselor at first. I don’t want drugs. Sex…pleasuring my wife is one of the few things that make me happy, and I would not want to lose the ability to do that. I used to see a therapist when I was in high school, and a little bit in college. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago. He was a very good psychologist..kinda reminded me of Regis Philbin. I guess I’ll go the psychologist route, because the couple of times I’ve been to a psychiatrist, it seemed like all they want to do is medicate you and hope for the best. I think maybe someone to help put things into perspective would be good.

I made an appointment with my family physician the other week. I wanted him to look at my hand to tell me if I had carpal tunnel, and to refer me to someone to talk to. I have no idea who’s good around here, so I was hoping he would be able to recommend someone good. I JUST got a call from them saying they were cancelling appointments for today, so now I will have to wait until Friday. Bummer.

Well, there it is. I’m a mess…have always been, and I don’t know what to do.

Some potentially very excellent news…

A few months ago, two of our friends moved down to South Carolina. They moved mainly because his parents are down there, they have a young daughter, and it’s simply better for everyone if they live close together.  His parents used to live in Atco, NJ, which is also the town where I grew up.

Rewind about 6 years. It’s 2008. The market just turned to shit. It was at this point that the parents decided to put their house up for sale, because they wanted to move to SC permanently.

Couldn’t sell it.

When that didn’t work out, they decided to rent it out to tenants.

They got sick of it. It’s a single detached, and having tenants in a place like that is more of a pain in the ass than usual, because more stuff can go wrong, and having to fix stuff when you live 12 hours away sucks.

For a few months, our friends lived in this house, because Mike is very handy, and some minor repairs/renovations needed to be made.

Now, the house is empty.  It’s not rented out…it’s not on the market for sale…it’s just fuckin’ sitting there.

Just last week, these friends came up to visit, because they had a wedding to go to. Mike mentioned to me that he remembered how I always said that if the stars had aligned properly, I would have totally bought that house. And it’s true; after we bought our shitty house, and after they listed their place, I thought “goddamnit, if only things worked out a little bit differently.”

I kind of laughed it off and said “yeah, I remember…really was too bad.” But then, he went on to mention that his parents are REALLY looking to get rid of it. Basically, they are tired of dealing with it, and just want to live in SC, and not have to bother anymore. Then, he mentioned the price they’re willing to let it go for.

…Let’s just say that I couldn’t NOT at least consider it. I mentioned to him that the eventual goal was VA, and that I didn’t really want a second mortgage right now. He had no problem with that, because he was just mentioning it, after all. But then, I got to thinking…it might be almost DUMB to not at least think about it.

I told Elisa what the offer was. She also had her mind on VA, but agreed that we should at least take it under consideration. This past Saturday, we drove to the house, and just walked around the front yard, and checked out the backyard (nobody there, of course). We didn’t want to look too shady, so we left. We obviously couldn’t base a decision on that, and Elisa had never seen the entire place, so I asked Mike if they could send us a key so we could go in and look around.

He got back to me fairly quickly, and told me that there was one in a safe place on the premises.  So, the next day, we drove over there again; this time for a deeper dive. We opened the door (there is no deadbolt, by the way… isn’t needed in that neighborhood), took off our shoes, and toured the place. I won’t bore you with the details, but the basic “stats” are:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 1.5 bathrooms
  • Living room
  • Family room
  • Dining room
  • Kitchen with all appliances
  • Washer/dryer
  • Garage
  • Basement; ½ is a finished area, ½ is a utility room
  • BIG backyard with nice wood deck
  • Central Air Conditioning

Walking through this house…I felt at peace…at home. I should hope so, because I’ve been hanging out at this place since 7th grade…playing Street Fighter II in the top left room…watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 in what I call the family room, etc.

After seeing the whole place, Elisa was on board, too. This made me very happy. There isn’t really anything that needs to be done to the place…it is move-in ready.  I might like to install actual fences one day (there is just a chain link there), but it’s not that important. 

And one more thing….people waved to us. While we were driving through the development…people waved. Like 3 of them. Not because they know us (because they don’t), but because they’re just being friendly.  You know….we don’t get that in our neighborhood. Everyone is on guard, there. I’ve waved to plenty of people, and gotten nothing back. No deadbolt…no security system…and people wave. I’m ready to move in yesterday.

We went home and texted Mike the good news…told him to give his dad my cell #, and we’ll talk. I am NOT letting my excitement levels shoot through the roof yet. We still have to confirm that the price mentioned is real, and after that, we would have to secure financing, which I THINK we’ll be okay with. I may end up taking a loan out of my retirement savings, but it should be well worth it.  We have to get our place ready to rent out, but that shouldn’t be a monumental effort at all.

I will be very happy if it all comes out the way we want it to, but either way, we are making moves towards getting out of this place no matter what, which still makes me happy.  Fingers crossed now!

Alone in the woods..or, in the woods with friends over Memorial Day weekend

Usually, my wife and I (let’s call her Elisa, so I don’t have to keep typing “my wife”) don’t really do anything special for Memorial Day weekend. We might go to my grandparents’ house in Ventnor and hang out, but usually we kind of just sit at home. This year was a bit different.

                You see, Elisa JUST graduated with her Master’s in Nursing. It’s been a very tough couple of years, because she’s been stressed about school, I’ve been stressed about our crappy living situation, and her being done is just a huge load off of both our respective sets of shoulders. A week before the holiday weekend, two of our married friends invited us over for a couple of drinks. While we were there, my friend pitched me the idea of going up to the Catskills for the weekend, to a cabin that they were going to reserve. We’d split the cost 50/50, etc, etc.

                For the past couple of years, for something like this, on such short notice, the instinct has always been to just say “thank you, but we can’t,” usually because of some prior obligation, or Elisa having to study. This time, though, I thought about it for more than a couple of seconds. Elisa might get a job right away, and this job might not come with immediate vacation time, so we might not get to do much this summer. When I presented this logic to her, she agreed as well that it would be a good thing to do. Also, we don’t really have many friends left that live in our neck of the woods, so it’s important to get out and do stuff with the ones we still have.

                Well, the big day came, and we were ready! We met up with our friends, and drove up there in separate cars, because things would have been a bit tight for 4 of us plus luggage in just one car. We made it up there in just under 4 hours (standard for our distance), and after some comedy with getting lost looking for the place, including driving up a mountain only to be kicked off by security, we made it to the cabin.

                This place was GREAT!! The nice guy that was looking after the places let us check in 3 hours early, and showed us in. The place had a nice wraparound deck, 2 bedrooms, nice kitchen, 2 full bathrooms, and a propane grill. Oh, and a hot tub that seated 6. No…we were not exactly “roughing it.”

                After a brief hike through Pratt’s Rock, we met up with a few other friends that were coming up. After Joe grilled up some nice steaks and chicken for us, we all proceeded to drink heavily (sort of), and go to sleep, to wake up the next day.

This next day description is kinda long, but I’ll keep it as short and to the point as possible:

                In the morning, we had some coffee and breakfast, and five of us packed up a cooler with lunch and struck out for some adventure. The first place we went to was Kaaterskill Falls, a hiking trail that leads to the tallest waterfall in the state of NY.  There were quite a bit of people there, which I guess makes sense, because it’s something that people would want to see. The hike to the actual waterfall was about a half mile, but it was a bit slow-going, because of all the people, and their kids…and their dogs (lots of dogs).  We eventually get there, and it is just a fantastic sight to behold. Power of nature, people. I very much wanted to jump in, which you’re allowed to do, but I unfortunately didn’t have my suit on me. Next time, Gadget.

                We took some pictures, and then noticed that some people were continuing the hike by going up to the next tier of the waterfall (there were 3 levels to this thing). The sign said “End of Trail,” as in, “it’s your problem if you get hurt doing this thing that you’re not supposed to do.” Of course, we said “screw it,” and started going up. It was really more of a “light climb” than a hike; one or two of the girls we were with got a bit flustered and had to back down. Joe and I decided to press on. There were a couple of rough spots, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. We got up to the next level, looked down, and that’s when we realized exactly how high that climb took us. Pretty damn high.  But then, we looked UP, at the tower of water crashing down in front of us. I can’t really put into words how awesome this thing looked…and the picture I took of it didn’t turn out all that great, so I will just leave it to your imagination. It was great.

                Two things happened here. They’re strange, and probably sound trivial, but they’re worth mentioning. On the way down from that upper tier, there was a guy who was also making his way down, wearing a backpack. This backpack, I saw, had a fairly long looped string hanging down from it, which I saw as a big potential hazard (sticks and branches all over the place). I just let him know that I was going to tuck it into his pack, which I did, and he thanked me, and went on his way.  The next was when we met up with the girls and started hiking back to the beginning.  There was a kid who was quickly making his way back, and he passed us. When he passed, he slipped, and got his foot caught between two rocks.  He started twisting around, and couldn’t get it out. I’m getting worried about him snapping something at this point. So, I calmly kneeled down, told him to be still, and delicately removed his foot. He got up, said “Thank you,” and went on his way.

                I don’t know. It just felt good to help these two people. I work at a job where I seem to have little to no impact on the day to day. I’m a cog in the machine…but more of a “spare part.” Here, I may have made a difference to two people. When I was in grad school, I took the Meyers-Briggs personal inventory test. They scored me as an “ESTJ.” Long and short of that is that the most popular jobs for me would have been a police officer, soldier, fireman, etc. People who are supposed to help people. ….And I look at spreadsheets all day.

                Anyway, back to the trip!  The second (and last) destination we went to was “Plateau Mt. Lookout,” just a bit down the road from where we were. When we got there, we could see that there were not many people there at all. In hindsight, this should have told me something. The sign said that it was 1.2 miles. Sounds good…we’ll get there, take some pictures, and it’ll be great! Well…it was great for me, anyway.   

                As we got further in, we could see that the trail got progressively more difficult. Rocks, roots, and trees to climb over, at just about every step, and always going “up.” About 20 minutes in, we ran into a couple of people on their way down. They told us we only had about 45 minutes to go.  If I recall, my reaction was to genuinely laugh and say “Cool!” Some others in the party groaned. One of them quit about 6 times on the way up, but persevered after a few minutes rest. We basically climbed up a freakin’ mountain, here. JUST before the top, there was about a 7 foot rock formation that you had to scale, in order to get to the top. ..NOT EVERYONE CAN DO THIS!!! I kind of had to do a tricep dip, swing my leg up and over, and hoist myself up that way. We gave boosts to 2 of the ladies, but the other one, impressively, did a Spider-Woman up that thing like it was no problem (this is the one who had quit 6 times, so I was really impressed at this comeback).

                The view was, for lack of a better word, breathtaking, and it is the picture that I have posted here.  We stood up there for awhile, hydrating and admiring the view, and then made our way down. On a sidenote, we checked a travel brochure afterwards. That trail was listed as a “Difficult” hike. I am glad that we did NOT know this beforehand, otherwise it’s possible that we wouldn’t have gone. It was a fantastic sense of accomplishment, and I was very proud of Elisa for being the toughest chick in the group.

                The rest of the trip was pretty standard. We went home from that hike, cleaned up, ate dinner, and checked out the next morning. We did stop at a bird sanctuary, but they were somewhat out of birds. I think I was spoiled by the sights seen the day before, and this was just a light walk through the woods. Still a fun time, though.

Here comes the vent:   

Driving back home, I experienced that familiar sense of dread. This was now Memorial Day. I thought the whole time that we were going to get home, and I was going to hear the neighbor’s music at unreasonable levels.  …I am right most of the time with things like this….I was right on this as well.  This kind of shit just deflates me. I have tried to reason with this woman. When that didn’t work, I have called the cops, which did work. However, since it’s a holiday, I would not resort to that, because they have more important shit to do, like arrest morons who drive drunk. It’s still goddamn annoying, though. This fucking neighborhood….these people just don’t give a shit. I was even more angry and frustrated than usual, because we had JUST come back from such a nice couple of days in the mountains, and I had JUST related to her the other week about me not having as good a time at these events as I could, because I know in the back of my mind that it has to end, and that we have to come back to this stinking hole.

                I talked to Elisa about it. It seems that everywhere we go outside of NJ is better than NJ.NY is better; Catskills are better, New York City is freakin’ awesome.  …VA is better..SC is better…PA is better (except Philly; I can’t stand that place); everywhere is just goddamn better. Rather than mope about it, though, this only helps to motivate us further to get out of our neighborhood (this should be happening in a few months, soon after Elisa gets a job), and then to leave NJ altogether, which should happen hopefully within 4 years or so. My parents (my mom especially) are having a rough time handling this idea, but it is what has to be done. VA is not far away, though…Williamsburg is about 5 hours from their place in NJ, and I plan to come up one weekend per month after we move, and of course for the holidays. In the meantime, we’ll just have to see how it all pans out.

A Brief Introduction

Why did I decide to start this blog, and what is it going to be about? I guess this is really more of a question for me, the writer, just as much as for you, the reader, and it should probably be established in the first entry, so here we go:

A couple of people have told me that I should start writing down my thoughts, for various reasons. Here are a couple of key things about Tom, and these will be recurring themes throughout my time on this site.

I am probably slightly clinically depressed (I will NOT get all whiny on you, because that’s not me…but I may occasionally “vent.” Slight venting coming up). This state of mind is a combination of 2 factors. 

1.  I hate the place where I live. My wonderful wife and I (and I really do mean wonderful) bought a townhouse in April 2007. Just so we don’t miss any important points, I’ll repeat that: April 2007. That’s right about when the market was starting to flop. The place is underwater now, and we will never ever be able to sell it for what we bought it for. The neighborhood is not very great, but not terrible either. One of the main problems is sound. The soundproofing is awful, and bass heavy music penetrates the walls with no problem, especially when it’s being played by the inconsiderate moron lady next door. It’s not as frequent as it used to be, because I called the police about it before, but it still happens from time to time. The bigger problem, I guess, is that the people in that neighborhood just don’t seem to give a shit. They don’t seem to care about keeping the neighborhood nice, or give any thought to the future at all. It’s just not a great place to live. We have been there for 7 years, and I can’t think of a time when I’ve actually called the place “home.”  Maybe I’ve mentioned it in statements like “It’s time to go home,” sure, but I’ve never really thought of it in the traditional sense of the term “home.” 

I related this to my wife recently: I do not enjoy events that we go to as much as I should, because I know in the back of my mind that when the event is over, we have to go back to the house that we bought. I have no control over my environment there. I don’t know what we’re going to walk into when we get back. Will the neighbor’s “music” be at ungodly levels? Will there be children in our yard hitting the power transformer with a stick? Will there be police investigating a domestic disturbance? Will there be a random pitbull tied to a tree outside?  I DON’T KNOW!!!  By the way, all of those things have happened…some on a more frequent basis than others. It’s even worse when we have to go to an event that I don’t want to go to. I then have a crappy time at said event, and it’s even worse than it should be, because again, I know I have to go back to the environment that I have no control over.

We should be out of there soon, though. My wife graduated with her Master’s in Nursing very recently, and passed her boards. When she gets a job, we will be able to put this godforsaken house up for rent, and move to a better place. The silver lining here is that these townhouses are highly rentable, and we should have no problem finding a tenant. This process should ease my mental burden quite a bit.

2. My job is not fulfilling. Most people don’t like their jobs, I get that, but should it HAVE to be that way? The big problem is that I don’t really contribute to anything at all. I’m an analyst, and I sometimes work on spreadsheets, read over statements of work, proofread RFP’s, things of that nature. None of it means a damn thing. I got shifted to these responsibilities a few months ago, where before, I was in a role where I could actually sort of help people now and again, by teaching them how to use a certain system, and compiling useful reports for them. I’m not doing any of that now, and it sucks.  I like to be useful…to help people, and this role just doesn’t allow me to accomplish that. If “the Bobs” from Office Space asked me what I would say I do here, I might not be able to furnish them with an acceptable answer.

Q: Well then, what do we have when you can’t stand the place you live in, and you hate your job because it’s unfulfilling?

A: A big fucking problem, because you don’t like being “home,” and you don’t like being at work, either.

How does this guy get through each day? Well, it’s not as bad as it sounds, I guess. There is light at the end of the tunnel for our living situation, and I have started actively looking for more fulfilling employment. In the meantime, I do a few things that keep me sane, which will probably be most of the focus of this blog.

a. Health and Wellness/Fitness

I am a very active person. I usually will go to the gym at least three times a week, sometimes more. I lift weights, I box, and I run sprints. It gives me something to look forward to, gets me out of the house, and I feel good when I do it. People in the office have even started to come to me for advice sometimes, which is a good feeling, and it relates back to my desire to help people.

b. Golf

Love it. I am really not very good (mid 90’s player), but I am always trying to improve, and have taken lessons. I play as much as I can. “What a dorky choice for someone who sounds like an athletic type.” Opinions, etc. It’s something that I can do by myself, which is good, because I don’t really have many friends that play. I don’t know enough people to organize a weekly basketball or softball game. I can play it with my dad, and we’ll go out usually every week during the summer, and that’s good quality time. I’m finally getting to the point where I can beat the guy sometimes, too. I will be able to play it with my wife. I bought her a set of clubs last year; haven’t really taught her how to swing, because I have no business doing that. I am buying her lessons this summer, though, from someone who won’t mess her up terribly.  We plan on moving down to Virginia in a few years, and she’ll be taking over as my golfing buddy. You will definitely be seeing some posts on this subject…maybe pictures from courses that I go to (I go to 4, basically), and maybe random videos on game improvement that I come across.

c. Video Games

I don’t play as much nowadays as I used to, because I don’t often have the time. I do keep up with the bigger releases, though, and try to keep up on industry news. I am currently playing Battlefield 4 on the Playstation 4, and Mario Golf on the Nintendo 3DS (told you I love it). I may occasionally post some gameplay videos, or reviews of what I’m playing.

That’s kind of about it for now. I may be making a couple of retro posts in the next few days, since I just had a trip up to the Catskills, and I’d like to post a few pictures, but I thought it was important to get the introduction out of the way.

Thanks for reading, and there’s more to come!