Bringing in 2018

(something glitched and this didn’t post. Good thing I checked before closing it. Originaly from Jan 4)

2018! And it’s already day 4? lol Life goes so fast, it’s mindblowing. But, I’ve approached it totally differently.
I worked through Christmas Eve, and then just chilled. The mother-in-law went into the hospital for pneumonia Christmas Eve, so rather than try to push through everything by working and watching the kiddo, I decided to just read books and hang out with family. I drove Uber a bit on Thursday and Friday, but my wife needed my help as well due to health issues. So I tried not to stress or worry. Lots of people were taking this time off anyway. My intuition didn’t freak out about it either, so it was a good choice. :-) And that choice lead to very interesting results.

I normally read a lot of non-fiction, self development books. But I’ve been feeling a pull to read fiction more to help my wife with her writing. I saw a post that were the 100 lesbian books to read and the very first book in the list grabbed my attention. So I looked it up, read the free preview, and liked it. Then I realized it was on Kindle Unlimited, which has a free 30 day trial. I signed up for that, then realized there was a free audiobook pairing if I signed up for the romance package on audible – again a free trial. And since then I have gone through at least 8 of Bridget Essex’s books which are all lesbian fantasy romances, with knights from other lands, werewolves, vampires and witches. Feel good stories that are amusing and interesting. I also read a cute book called Villians Don’t Date Heroes, which wasn’t nearly as good, but started me on this journey of lesser known books. In one of the last books I read, the main character is a normal witch living in an abnormal place. But what I realized as she would talk about rituals and the connections is that I actually wanted that. Not the details of it, but a spiritual practice that connected me to the larger energies of the moon and earth. So that lead me to my most recent endeavor.

It’s been years since I read anything witchy, so my memory was too hazy to know where to start. So I went online and started asking questions of my various pagan friends. I know I don’t want to do normal ritual. Calling a circle and all that just isn’t my thing. But I know there’s a lot of energy available to amplify my intention. So I received some good information, mostly about trusting my intuition, since I was being pulled in this direction. Tonight I did my first ‘ritual’, even though it’s a few days past the full moon. Here’s what I did.

First, I cleaned my office. I just couldn’t do ritual work in the mess. It’s not super organized, but the floor is cleaned up and well vacuumed, the general clutter is out of sight, and I had room to set up. Then I pulled down my salt lamp, which I turned on. I was told the colors of the full moon are white, blue and orange, so I chose 3 stones that matched from my collection: orange calcite, white quartz, lapis lazuli (egg shaped), and a selenite egg that I held in my hands throughout. I also added a nice big chunk of labradorite. Then I sat before them. First I took a few breaths, clearing my mind. Then I did an MBO for ease in releasing self judgment, which is what I’m focusing on releasing in the waning moon. I believe then that I called upon Luna, the Moon, and Gaia, the Earth, along with my spirit guides, to aid me with their energies with what I was trying to accomplish. I didn’t call upon any gods or goddesses, as that isn’t really my thing either. I had a nice little chat, felt the energy humming, and when I felt complete I did a bow. It felt very good to do something more purposeful than just saying a quick MBO. Then I put my primary stones in the basket of the salt lamp (it’s a basket of chunks of salt) and put it all away. Based on these results I plan to do this daily when possible to reinforce the intention and give me some connection time. I also have the moon phases in my calendar so I can now when to shift focus and pick a new one. I may try to do a longer ritual on those days, but I’m not worrying about it.

Another nudge my intuition gave was to make another lightsaber bracelet, after watching The Last Jedi twice. I felt like I needed the reminder again, given how challenging life has been. These bracelets take me about 4 hours to make. I could do it faster but the quality would suffer. And since I’ll wear this constantly for months I don’t want to sacrifice quality. Now if I can just take the time to make a how-to video I can check that off my list. I have been enjoying having it on.

The energies have been really odd the last few days. I find myself humming a lot. I don’t know what is all happening, but I’m assuming it’s changes that need to happen. It’s causing my appetite to be all weird. And sleep has been a challenge. But I’m trusting that it’s for the best. I mean, just getting nudges to do things for my spiritual life is a welcome change so it seems to be a good thing.

Business is starting to pick up. It’s looking like two projects are moving forward now, with potentially some others soon. I also met a guy who seems very nice and very interested in being an installer. He will be learning from my current installers and then should be a great way to simplify my project schedules. And we’re going to do our best to get into the home and garden show this year. Hopefully that makes for a great year of projects for us! And then with enough projects we have the money to invest in our own personalized lead generation system which keeps us growing quickly.

So right now, life is a challenge, but it’s looking up. Parenthood is quite the challenge with an almost 3 year old. It caused some major conflict between my wife and I last week. I reached out to friends again, and we have a plan of action. First, potty training. That is likely starting this weekend since we started getting Melody excited for it. This solves the biggest battle of the day – poopy diaper changes which are often painful for her. And I’m reading Happiest Toddler on the Block so I can be a better parent. I keep expecting too much from her cognitively. She’s so intelligent that it’s easy to do. There are so many awesome things about almost 3. Her understanding of holidays like Christmas and her upcoming birthday has been a blast. Her increased language, which was already impressive. Her new ways of playing with toys. It’s a lot of fun. What’s not fun is the other normal things about 3 – pushing limits, whining, etc. That’s where the book comes in. And soon we’re going to transition her to her own bed again and start weaning. It’s really time for me to have my body back completely. And it’s time for my wife and I to have our bed back, even though I love our cuddle times. It’s going to be hard for me to get used to not curling up with her. But it’s necessary. I know it’s not a one and done thing, but it’s time to give it a try again. I have two massive bags of m&ms for bribes. And toys. I think we can do it. lol

So that’s where I’m at right now to start the year. My physical is taking a break, though I’m looking forward to Tuesday night medicinal qigong with a little yoga mixed in. That will complement my Thursday morning qigong as well, so hopefully I start to feel better physically. I started doing the inversion table again, which I set to be more steep. And I am trying Moringa which is supposed to work even better than circumin for inflammation. I only just started, so I will see how I feel after working all weekend. We’re also researching kratom (I think that’s it) for my wife and maybe myself. I’d like to not be in pain so I can start exercising again. I know I could exercise at home, it’s just difficult to fit it in. So it’s going to be in there when I really feel the pull for it, like anything else in my life. :-)

Always a work in progress.

Thoughts after reading Strong by Natalie Debrabandere

I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of lesbian fiction, which is wonderful and new for me. It started with a post on twitter about the top 100 lesbian books to read, or something like that. That brought me to Bridge Essex and fun romance novels. That also brought me to this idea of lesbian book bingo – https://jae-fiction.com/lesbian-book-bingo/ It’s a way to explore genres I wouldn’t otherwise explore and keep reading.

Jae posted a list for Women in Uniform, the first square. I chose a book called Strong. It seemed like one that would be interesting and not annoy me with inauthentic military references and I was right. What I didn’t anticipate was all the old memories and emotions it stirred up. I spent so much time lost in thought last night, apparently I need to just let it out. Feel free to ignore this, as it may not make all that much sense.

It’s been almost 20 years since I went off to boot camp. And almost 18 years since I was discharged. During those years, Don’t ask Don’t Tell was in full force, tainting an experience that would have been very different in today’s military. The daily fear of being found out. Of being constantly guarded. It all came back reading this story of two women in Afghanistan. But it wasn’t all the bad either. The massage, which was one of the ‘safe’ ways to have physical contact without getting busted for anything. Granted, the day my short term roommate walked in on Holloway and I giving massages still raised red flags for her, but it wasn’t enough to worry about. Besides, we really needed them. But, it was also part of the feeling out phase, since people couldn’t be all that out. I’m still not sure how that all happened. I just can’t remember. I think it was all a careful dance of feeling things out and then, once we were totally alone, just going for it. It’s odd what I don’t remember…well, normal for me, but I suspect other people remember a lot more of these details. So even once we were together, there wasn’t enough communication about it. It wasn’t dating. More, friends with benefits. The benefits of comfort, not sleeping alone. And that’s another thing I really related to. As the characters just shared a bed, without sex, that’s an experience that I think others will miss the depth behind. When you are constantly on guard, having that private space to just be touching and comforted means the world. Though I still don’t know how we got away with that. Perhaps the Marines on guard duty at the end of the female wing didn’t put it together, or didn’t care. Either way, I’m grateful. It made things more bearable through that time.

Another thing that stood out was including the guitar. There’s usually someone with a guitar at some point. I spent a lot of time in Pensacola learning to play the easier Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge songs. It helped me cope with all the challenges of being hidden. And it turns out, it’s what brought me and Sara, now the godmother to our daughter, together. I never knew at the time, but she would sit outside my door, studying and listening to my awful playing. lol But it made her feel better too. It’s so odd what comforts us. But while she is bi, she was dealing with so many demons of her own, including, I’m sure, flying under the radar. So for both of us, music was that rebellion. My favorite memories of her are hanging out in her room listening to Ani DiFranco, which felt so brazen to me.

It was such a complicated time. It was worse in the fleet, losing my friends, losing a fairly liberal command who didn’t really care what we were doing. Having to be even more closeted and not even knowing if anyone had my back. Then, that one respite, the month of CAX training where I was away from my unit on mess duty. Where again, people didn’t seem to care all that much. They were just cool. Getting to know Susan for far too short a time. Once again, not knowing how that happened. I’m just so oblivious to girls and flirting. So it’s mostly brief moments, always coupled with fear of getting caught, especially as a butch in the Marine Corps. I mean, everyone had to assume, so I was always careful. Unless drinking. And then it was only after I drank a lot. I’m grateful to everyone who didn’t rat me out. I have to remember that. But what was interesting is how less careful the more femme girls were. Susan asking me to walk to the bathroom with her, and taking my arm as we walked. It didn’t seem to occur to her at all, but I could only think how ballsy it was. At the time I thought, only straight girls thinking nothing of this. But a week or so later I realized she wasn’t actually that straight. And god, how different would it all have been if all of us could just be out, without fear of reprisal? To have all the fear and stress be about whether someone liked me, and not whether I would be busted, charged, and discharged. To not fear physical assault. I know it doesn’t matter, because what happened is what happened. But so much of that stress is still in me.

I’ve always been more repressed, more closed down. This didn’t help. I still don’t trust people easily, especially if they served. I don’t know if they’ll totally reject me. It’s stupid, I’m a grown adult with an awesome family. But the fear, it’s there. The fear of the judgment. All of it just pushed away, partially dealt with but never fully. Still shying away from even holding hands with my wife in public. Damn sure never kissing in public. It makes me a worse wife for it.

In my ritual I asked to release judgment. I had no idea it would show up like this. That’s how it works though, doesn’t it? Never how you expect it. Not always very fun. But maybe, just maybe I can open up more now. Can be a more present wife. Can live with less fear.

I know there are younger folks who still face this, growing up in really homophobic families and areas. It seems like far less of a problem though. I hope it is. I hope they can just live and love freely. But maybe they will also, someday, start to understand why the older generations can be so guarded. Can be more cautious. Because having all of your dating life occur under intense scrutiny is challenging. It wears on you. And to a person already so guarded from the world, it’s so much harder to release.

I had no idea until I read this book. And now, maybe all these tears shed and thoughts written out will allow for a new start. I wish Sara was out here to talk about this with. It will require beer. Perhaps a lot of it. I’m not sure I could actually open up still. But I think she could fill in some memory gaps. Maybe she can fly out before my parents arrive for Melody’s birthday. Or I won’t have the need by then. Emotions are complicated. And now, as I listen to my almost 3 year old rage downstairs over who knows what, it’s time to get it back together and take care of her.

What I’m working on

A year has past since I was laid off and thrown into the self-employed world. Wow! In that time I have created ways to make this work that I hadn’t anticipated. I don’t know how I’ll do it going forward either. But one of the things I’m working on is not knowing the how until it happens. Instead I’m working to be the energy of creation. Creating in all aspects of my life, not from how this reality defines it but in the way that I do it. What’s fun is I get better at it all the time. I can feel that magic and ease. And then it shifts and I can’t. Lol 

Thankfully I’m in multiple classes/calls/groups where I can keep getting different perspectives on this and keep growing. I feel so close to a breakthrough in this area!

Our most exciting area of creation right now started about two weeks ago. My wife is a writer. She resists that label but she is. She’s incredibly insightful about people so she creates characters and dialog that is spot on. Well, something shifted in her and this story demanded to be written. Interestingly enough, it started right after I was working on things in a call to not buy her stories anymore (that’s a complicated thing to describe right now, so if you want to know what that means just ask). She’s now made huge breakthrough’s in a story she’s been trying to write for ages. She bounces ideas off me, I give her different perspectives, and she runs with them. She’s literally listening to these two characters in her head all the time. While it’s a novel and fiction, she’s telling the story of these two women who are alive on some level in her mind, and it’s so exciting. 

Right now it’s still getting to know them and how their story plays out. Big plot points for instance, and how they get together in spite of their issues. But it’s awesome. I’m so excited to read the story of two adult lesbians who aren’t questioning their sexuality or pining after straight women. Just normal people figuring out their lives! I can totally see this as a movie as well, since there’s so much need for lesbian movies that aren’t coming out stories or one of them is straight-ish. 

I have no clue how long this process will take, but it’s going to be a lot of fun to get done and published. I love utilizing my superpower of knowing the next step to keep my wife out of the weeds and in productive writing mode. I hope to work with more creative types in the future as a coach. To help something come into the world is so fun! And I’m not nearly talented enough to write fiction, or songs, or create art myself! At least not at this point in my life. 

Side note, I taught Melody to say “mommy’s a badass” thanks to this new direction. It’s so cute!

So that’s where we are at. I’m working to destroy whatever is limiting my creation of business revenue. Shifting the focus to creating in general and seeing where it leads. 

Parenting sick kids

I’m not an awful parent, but I kinda suck at parenting when tired. I am too short with her and too quick to anger when she won’t sit still and keep the mess localized. So when kiddo gets sick at 6am I’m less compassionate than I should be. That’s how yesterday started. She woke up ‘spilling’ (throwing up). She still had some undigested food in her stomach from the previous evening which was fun. Got her cleaned up enough, and the beds to go back to sleep for a bit. She woke up again throwing up. That put her on stomach rest for a while. I diluted some gatorade, since we had that and not pedialyte, and that helped for a bit. But it seemed like an hour was all she could hold things down for. Thankfully we had a sublingual zofran. And then her ass exploded all over the bed. So…fun? However that seemed to be the last thing her body needed. She hasn’t thrown up since. Her poops are not happy but at least her colon has to be cleaned out!

Forgot to mention, I found use for amazon’s prime now service! We couldn’t find our spare mattress cover but found one on prime now for $18 and they could deliver within 2-3 hours! Woohoo! What’s cute is they delivered it in a paper grocery bag. Maybe that’s just amusing for me? In any case, while we could have washed the sheets in that same time, assuming the washer wasn’t already full of gross stuff, we still needed this. Hooray for modern convenience!

Last night when I came home she literally threw herself on my boobs. She had to have been so hungry and thirsty and needing comfort. Breastfeeding may be challenging sometimes, but last night it was nice to know I could still support her body and heart when she needed it most. Though this morning we had to cut her off and bribe her with watching My Little Pony. I just couldn’t take another hour of nursing and we needed to get actual food. 

Today she ate mostly plain noodles at the buffet, and drank strawberry lemonade. I love that she’s so in tune with her body that she didn’t eat anything that was too stressful for her stomach. Hopefully she holds it down today and she’ll be 100% tomorrow. I’d like to not worry about her while I’m working. 

Hopefully soon she’ll learn to predict when she will get sick so we can get her something to be sick into. That’s a cool milestone you don’t think of before you have kids! Haha

Bragging

Parenting is a challenge. Everyone knows that. But some kids make it easier than others. Melody is one of those easy kids. She’s got a good ‘temperment’ for lack of a better word. That has been cultivated, primarily by my wife who set up good habits, manners, and discipline so she actually listens really well for a two year old. She says please and thank you, even if it’s out of context. It’s adorable. She has a good feel for when we are serious with a no, since we don’t say no all the time. We give her space to be two. Though we both struggle with whining and being loud.

Overall, we have a really happy kiddo who is wicked smart. She behaves rather well. She has opinions, which we respect whenever possible. I almost don’t want to send her to school where she can get corrupted!

Every day I am impressed and amazed by her. Today at McDonald’s she fell trying to get into the playland. It hurt her elbow a bit, and even though she was crying pretty hard (which is rare) she was saying she would try again. Talk about a parenting win! Again, the credit goes to my wife who didn’t think she was too young to build these life skills. I love it!

If we can just make it through 2 and even 3 like this I’ll take it!

And on the days that suck more, we’re still doing a pretty good job. Our kid is safe, fed, and loved. She knows this. Even with a year of self employment under my belt my kid does not want for food or even toys. That’s a pretty big accomplishment! Melody is a very vocal kid, but she’s still hard to understand some days. But we both figure it out before too long.

I’m working on acknowledging things in my life, as that’s the biggest gap in my creation of a badass life.

I’m glad for all the videos I get to take. I hope they bring a little joy to other people’s lives as well. I know I enjoy watching other people’s family videos. Kids are so amazing!

2 years old

Time for another summary. The videos show some of Melody’s development, but only some. Melody is now officially 2. For as long as she’s been building, 2 isn’t bad yet. This is entirely due to my wife’s influence as alpha for kids and dogs. There are more ideas about disciplining kids than there are kids I think, so this is what works for us. It may not work for other kids.

  1. Time outs. We just started doing these, but they are done in a specific manner and for use when the activity is dangerous, like jumping on the couch. We make her sit or lay down and then only restrain her enough to keep her from getting back up. She is done within 2 minutes at the most and she stops what she’s doing. If she doesn’t, we repeat and never had to do it more than twice. During that time we explain what she isn’t supposed to do, and why. I think this works because Melody is so aware and interested in knowing things.
  2. Hold hands. This has been happening or a lot longer. Holding her hands to stop her from what she’s doing isn’t a full restraint, and that is a good thing. It just breaks her focus so she can make a different choice.
  3. No hitting. We definitely don’t use any hitting. I’m especially still working on more calm voices but so far so good. I’m grateful for my wife’s lead on this.

Because of this, Melody is actually a good kid. She doesn’t have a lot of tantrums and they rarely last long. The easiest way to piss her off is to take the ipad away, so we hide it or lie about it not having batteries. Ah the parenting lies. As she’s older we’ll explain limits but she doesn’t understand them yet. At this point she gets the ipad in the evenings that I am driving late so everyone can rest. Thanks to the ipad she’s learned her letters and numbers faster than otherwise. She knows all her letters by site, and doesn’t know the alphabet song. She can count almost to 20 (sometimes a number or two is skipped) and she’s learning to recognize the teens. That’s a hard visual concept but she’s getting there.

Her biggest frustration appears to be the inability to write. She has so many things in her head but she can’t make her hands do what she wants. So we’re starting to hold her hand and write letters. I have no idea how long it will take but as long as she’s happy, I’m happy with her progress.

She still loves her books, especially if we don’t leave the ipad out. She’ll read through anything. Magazines, 700 page books, whatever. She just wants to know everything. I’m starting to plan out preschool for her next year, given her thirst for knowledge. If things build well in the business then we can afford it. If not, then we’ll keep doing what we’re doing and re-evaluate.

Melody’s language keeps growing. She’s trying to copy longer sentences and refine her words. It’s so cute. I’m sure I’ll miss this time, but I also look forward to more refined communication.

Physically she’s doing fine. She just graduated from megabloks to duplo because she was frustrated at how the megabloks don’t stick together well. So that’s a good fine motor development. She’s enjoying cars and trains, and balls of all sizes. She’s not the most athletic, but she’s not totally uncoordinated. In many ways she reminds me of me. I’ll support her with anything she’s interested in but I hope getting her in soccer before long will help her with her physical development. I’ve also noticed she seems to be kinda literal in her imaginative play, which is also like me. I’m strangely disappointed with that. Clearly I view this as a negative in myself, so I’ll work on that so I don’t make her wrong for who she is.

The other day we went to the park and she sat on the swings forever! Well, forever in toddler time. It was easily 15 minutes. It was nice to not have to climb all over everything for two hours. We still had plenty of fun on everything else too. We have a great week of weather ahead of us so I need to take her to some more parks. It’s good for both of us. I’m spending too much time inside trying to get business going.

Well that’s all I can think of at the moment. I’ll probably remember something as soon as I walk away from the computer.

Quick update

In the past week I’ve been stressing less about money and not known why. I’m just trusting that it’s my intuition picking up on things. I’m going to talk to Brandon about pulling a reasonable salary for the solar work until we’re getting enough jobs going that commission would be more than that. That would help a lot. So here’s my quick updated. I’m going to focus on the positive, trying to shift my focus and story to create more.

Healing: I subbed for someone at a different BNI group and represented my healing business. I got one person who immediately said they wanted to try it! We had to reschedule so we’ll do it next week but it’s a real client! Hooray! I sub in the morning again, so hopefully I can think of something to say to get someone else interested. 🙂 I also am playing with targeted facebook ads. My first got me a few likes, but this new one is doing a lot better! I can’t even remember who mentioned that a lot of therapists are seeing people for election season related anxiety but that ad is doing better than all my previous. Now to find a way to follow that up with content that engages. i have a few more targeted ads to get going for next week and then I do an ad targeted only at the people who liked my page. Hopefully that results in actual clients.

Books: I went to an amazing training Monday night and bought a bunch of her training material. Now I’m slowly working through it and am confident I can build that business to a good level quickly. I have hope again.

Solar: We just got setup with Home Advisors who reached out to us. I don’t know where he found my info, but who cares? lol In that conversation Brandon mentioned giving me a salary (in reference to our advertising budget) so now I feel confident in discussing it with him. I’m going to work through my list of bills and such and see what is a good amount that allows me to focus and not have to drive lyft and uber much but also isn’t going to make me feel like I’m not meeting expectations.

Jedi: umm… lol I’m working on turning around this sneaky negativity that pops up due to the stress. That’s a full time job in itself! The next step is applying the training I did Monday to power hours so I have time freeing up to do yoga and other movement, along with just having fun with my family. Our friend is visiting and she’s Melody’s absolute favorite toy on the planet. I need to spend more time with them.

Anything else? Hmm…the weather has been crazy but nice. Winter will be here very soon so I’m enjoying being warm and occasionally cold. lol Lots to do in the yard to be prepared but we’re doing our best. I’m incredibly grateful for a small yard now!

Oh yeah, and I’m trying this supplement called EHT from nerium international. So far it seems to help me focus. I’m trying it for 30 days and then will evaluate. I’m hoping a one month boost will allow me to move forward on my own since it isn’t cheap. But, if it’s really helpful it will be worth it.

and with that I need to finish preparing for bed.

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