Posted on January 2, 2017 by

Welcome to 2017 – Updates on me, Family, and Moving Forward.

So, another year gone, just like that. My post made exactly one year ago stated I was going to write more on my blog. 4 posts for the year….. That didn’t work out so much, did it? I really didn’t live up to that expectation at all. It wasn’t really a “resolution”, but I wanted to do that. I knew it would help me more, therapeutically.  I also regret this quote from that post as well:

@2016: Give me your best shot. Give me your worst. I have the strength, beliefs, and support I need to withstand anything. Have at it. 🙂

Boy did it ever. I don’t really mean on a personal level here. Sure, I definitely had my ups and downs and had issues living with some of them, but this year seemed to have it out for many of my personal friends and family, as well as our society in general. I don’t believe that 2016 is “the worst year we’ve ever had” or anything like that, but it surely wasn’t the easiest for a lot of people. Everyone knows the major ones so I have no intention on droning on about them and how tragic they were. That’s not what I’m here for today. You can have your own thoughts and opinions on that, for now. 🙂

Since my last post, the largest thing that I think we have had change is that we lost my old boy, Duke. Duke was a full bred yellow lab. We rescued Duke when he was 3-ish (or so we were told) and he grew to be a humongous part of our lives. I’ve had a lot of dogs and they have all been a blessing to my life, but none were like Duke. Duke was as loyal as they come. He was also quirky which gave him charm that could not be accurately captured with a camera or video. He not only tolerated the kids but loved them. He played with them and put up with a ton of their crap. He would protect them and keep them out of harm’s way. Lastly, he would give his life for any one of us. “The Giving Tree” comes to mind when remembering his legacy. The silver lining here is that he passed suddenly of a stroke and we were with him, petting him when he stopped breathing and his heart stopped. It was bittersweet, but no suffering and no hard decisions needed to be made. In honor of Duke, Here is the first picture I have of him, and his last.

We have been and will continue to miss him. It will not be an easy task for the next dog we have to fill his shoes. We are not in any rush, though. We want to remember Duke and mourn his passing fully. Additionally, we have “fallen” into or rescued every animal we have. That is likely when we will see a dog again.

This Christmas was a little hectic than normal. We didn’t even get all of our typical decorations up because of a mold situation on some of my platform pieces. With so much work on my plate, I didn’t have enough time to rebuild them and rewire them. Definitely tasks for next year, though.  It’s still a little difficult to have things without Aunt Georgia, for that side of the family. She was the glue holding it together, but we are getting there.

Next, let’s talk about me. Ranting a bit here and there (there being Facebook, mostly) has been a big help. Not only does writing this stuff out help in of itself, but it also has connected me with even more people that I can connect with on a personal level like I used to. Many of which are from high school and am glad that I have been able to rekindle those relationships.  I have told these people that as well and I look forward to rebuilding those relationships.  On top of that, we ended the year in the green (which is surprising given Christmas), but the finances have been starting to turn around thanks to working 3 jobs. (One part time, and two consulting gigs). These have made that part of life a little less worrisome. That’s not to say that they don’t have speed bumps because they do. Some of them are rather annoying to deal with, but I’m hopeful that things will become easier as time goes on.

On top of that, I think I realized why I like to pay-it-forward so much.A little bit of an explanation of why I feel that people should do it so strongly and why I do. I’m going to quote the text from the site rather than typing it all up again. I did a giveaway to a gaming community that I belong to and I planned on giving a game to any one person whose name was randomly chosen. I had been saving a bit of money here and there to pay for 200+ dollars in games for myself for Christmas. Instead of doing that, I gave it all away to people that opted into the giveaway. It was a spur of the moment decision. Here is the text about why I did it:

I just love helping people. I don’t care if they know I did it or not. I don’t care if I get recognized (in fact, as a child I HATED adulation and would avoid it at all cost – I didn’t know how to handle it). This is going to sound cheezy, but the response, expression, story, reaction, or outcome of my actions are payment in of itself. When I can make someone smile – victory. When I can make someone’s terrible day “just bad” – victory. When I can be a set of ears for someone to vent to – victory. When I can give someone advice based on my trials and tribulations – victory. As I have been walking this path with anxiety and depression I have found myself wanting to help others even more than I did before. I <think> (I’m not a therapist or a psychiatrist) this is because I just enjoy seeing people happy. Literally, if I do something that makes a kid or adult alike smile, it warms my heart and makes me well up. I just love it so much. This coming from a person that used to show no emotions due to my Alexithymia. I can’t explain it. I wish I could. The joy I get from doing it is greater than anything that could be done for me directly.

Next, we have my office which has been a health concern for us for quite some time. The issue is that my office is in my basement. Before we fixed the drainage outside when we got heavy rain, it would flood the basement. I almost lost a lot of money in electronics the first time this happened. At any rate, now that it has been fixed, the next (and worse) concern is the black mold that we are about 95% sure the walls are covered with on the inside. We haven’t had the money to finish my new office upstairs so that we can rebuild that room from scratch and clean the mold the correct way. Once I get that done, I can spend a little bit more time on my gaming PC and get back into the swing of things. I miss having a little bit of gaming time each week. 🙂

I said that 2015 was the worst year that I ever had. Then I made posts that said that 2016 hated me more. I don’t think that any of these are true when I sit back and reflect on the years overall. The difference in them is how I looked at the year. How I looked at the positives and negatives. In other words, the mental state I had when posting is what controlled that. When in an optimistic mood and a positive headspace, I can make each year a positive and successful year. I will continue to live my life this way, and might even ramp up the pay-it-forward stuff if my finances stay positive.

I hope that everyone can find courage, prosperity, and success in the new year. No matter how bleak things may seem, focus on the positives. Think of the things that could be worse. Think of the things that you have which others would LOVE to have. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here. 🙂 If you want to comment, click on the comment button in the upper right-hand corner (you have to be on the actual post, not the homepage), or just post on facebook.

God bless and Happy New Year!