Out in the open


So last week I finally announced the blog someplace. No, I’m not talking about the NSA knowing my blog exists! In this case it was a stereo/audio forum I frequent (Hello to any AK’ers!). I wasn’t really thinking about what kind of response I would get, I just wanted to do the terrifying act of announcing the blog. I got some compliments and constructive criticism which was great. The criticism that made me think the most was the observation that I spend too much time thinking about how I feel. I wasn’t initially sure what to do with that observation. Was it a criticism of my approach to the blog or more about how I deal with my depression/melancholy? For a bit I was afraid I’d be too self conscious to write any more posts.

I thought about this for a few days and realized that the authors of the blogs dealing with personal development that I follow ( Penelope Trunk and James Altucher ) seem to have a lot of advice to share. I don’t always agree with their conclusions but still appreciate where their experiences(and ability to learn from them) had led them to. I on the other hand am still going through some sort of process (what that is exactly, I’m not sure), and don’t feel qualified to recommend anything. All I feel comfortable doing is sharing my process. As my wife would be the first to say, unfortunately most of the process takes place in my head. I tend to ruminate or worry or just free associate without really getting anywhere with my thoughts. I find that the act of writing down what I am feeling helps me somewhat in sorting through all those thoughts and emotions and gives me a hint of what triggered what. With the idea that this blog could help someone in a similar position as me, I can only hope that someone seeing my thoughts and process could gain some insight into their own situation.

Given all that, I still think I need to get more of the original idea for the blog back into action. Before announcing the blog I went back and re-read it from the beginning. In the very first post, I stated that I wanted to keep track of the positive things in my life and to see if that would help with my depression. So I think going forward I will put more emphasis on the positive events, but still allow myself to explore any feelings, positive or negative, that come up. Luckily for me, I had a great father’s day weekend, so I do have some positive events to focus on.

On Saturday, I attended an informal upholstery class that I am taking and was able to finish fixing up a foam cushion. My wife inherited some mid-century daybeds, along with some other fantastic furniture, from her grandparents. The daybeds used old-school latex foam for the seat cushions which sadly were beginning to get crusty and brittle near the edges. At the class, the teacher walked me through the process of trimming off the bad edges, sacrificing the smaller cushion to get the big one back up to size via gluing. It doesn’t sound like much, but I enjoyed learning something new and having something to show at the end of the morning. Since you can’t get latex foam easily I’ll have to use the modern stuff to replace the small cushion, but I’m not too worried. The eventual goal is to make new covers to replace the cracking vinyl ones but we have not been able to agree on a material with my wife. I’m looking forward to learning how to sew the covers once we get that settled.

That evening my mom watched the kids and my wife and I got to go out for dinner. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but when we get time alone it’s a reminder of how well we generally are together. The kids take so much energy and patience that at the end of the day it feels like we have little left to give each other. Despite the fact that we had some mostly disappointing Spanish food, we still had a good time and were able to appreciate each other and feel connected again.

Father’s day itself started with a morning surf session for my mom and me. Despite being in her early 60s she loves to go boogie boarding. When we go surfing together she usually stays close to shore for the smaller waves and white water and I paddle further out on a surfboard to the normal break. The conditions were a bit junky but we both managed to have a great time. Even though we were not in the same area of the beach, it still felt good to be doing one of my favorite activities with someone important to me and to share my joy of surfing. Later that day my dad and sister joined us for a BBQ at our place. Being with my parents and sister feels very comforting to me since I know I can be myself and I get a chance to relax and feel taken care of a bit. My wife and kids made me very sweet cards, and my wife even got me a vintage leather bag( a “manbag”) in celebration of my blog and the work she sees me doing on myself.

So despite my anxiety and disappointment in regards to the ever NSA revelations that had been with me all week(hence the picture up top), I was able to feel connected and positive because I was able to do some outdoor activities, learn something new and complete a project as well as getting to spend time with people I love and feel extremely comfortable with. The positivity carried over into the week and I even got some more work done on the stereo. I may finish her yet!

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