I’ve always thought of myself as a writer. My high school English teacher in 9th grade, Ms. Keeny, may disagree, as I didn’t take writing very seriously back then, nor did I always practice what was being taught in the world of grammar, and I had the grades to show for it. But writing about what I liked, versus what I was forced to write about, made a huge difference, and I really do enjoy it now.
However, life gets in the way when we’re trying to do the things we want to do. I’m defining “life” as responsibilities, or the things that take greater priority, such as eating, cleaning, driving, raising a teen, and taking care of one’s health, that can take time away from the “fun” things.
Much of the past six months have been filled doing lots of fun things, actually, but these are more along the lines of living life vicariously through my daughter. She entered high school this year, and the accelerator is pressed to the floor all of the time. She immediately got involved with the band, and she is thriving socially as a result. The only negative is homework, which takes up a significant amount of her free time, but she’s pulling in wonderful grades, so what more can a parent ask for? I wish she didn’t put so much stress on herself, so I try to keep her encouraged, and we do enough things outside of school to keep her from getting too stressed out. Our church, also, helps keep her focused on other things, and she loves the girls in her small group. They encourage and pray for her, and she for them. I’m very happy for her, and thrilled to see her thriving.
Our travel opportunities were also plentiful this past Summer, with a grand vacation in mid-July to Niagara Falls, NY, and Ontario, which was her first trip out of the country, to Canada. We worked our way up to Toronto, and Montreal, Quebec, where my daughter used her French language skills to speak more like a local.
We spent time in Chicago (G-Fest XXV), Cincinnati (Kings Island Amusement Park), Sandusky (Cedar Point Amusement Park), and New England (where we drove up to the Mount Washington summit, among other things). We took several trips to Busch Gardens, in Williamsburg, VA, too. With our collection of season tickets, we could, in theory, go to 30 different amusement parks, and ride almost 300 different roller coasters! That’s a lot of ups and downs!
Band and church camps (her), and business trips to Oklahoma City and Fort Worth (me), rounded out the rest of the Summer, and while I thought things might quiet a little bit this Fall, the aforementioned new high school routine has taken away almost any possible time for relaxation. The fact that it’s almost the end of October is incredible to me, since time seems to be flying fast.
It isn’t all great news, though. Both my mother and my mother-in-law suffered major health issues in the Spring, and between Mom’s back surgery (after falling backwards down a staircase) and my MIL’s knee removal due to infection and still unscheduled knee-replacement surgery, we’ve spent lots of downtime when we’ve visited with each of them. Both are still recovering, though MIL is still in a wheelchair, and she has a long road ahead even after her surgery. Mom has difficulty walking, and still can’t go down stairs without assistance.
And then there’s this: I’ve made no secret here in the past of the fact that I’ve had my battles with depression and stress, however much of the last six months were a continuing struggle for me. I’ve had days where I couldn’t get out of bed, let alone get to work. I pray every night and every morning for God’s help in getting me through each day. I experienced an unwanted change in jobs and responsibilities a few months ago, which is the primary source of stress, and it has me doubting my ability to do… well, just about anything. That’s what depression does to me. It leaves me feeling paranoid, unhappy, distrusting, and doubting myself in a lot of ways. Most days, I feel like I’m in a pit and I can’t climb out of it.
As a result of these struggles, I’ve had difficulty writing. It isn’t that I’m not writing at all; what I’ve written is just not worth posting, as much of it is meandering and personal. With regard to this blog, I’ve put it aside in order to concentrate on getting better. While I’m a long way from that still, there are things I feel like I can share. And, really, the blog is an itch that I need to scratch. I’m unsure of just how much I’ll post, but I hope multiple times a week will suffice to get me back into a routine.
In the near future, you can look forward to hearing stories about my daughter’s high school band adventures; my wonderful wife; our latest roller coaster trips; pizza…oh, so much pizza; and stories about my walk with God.
Have a great day, everyone!