Tag Archives: life

Ah, Those were the Days, My Friend…

If you have read much of me over the 10 years I have been blogging, you probably know I enjoy watching AGT, BGT, The Voice, and other similar shows.  I watch them on Youtube so I get to watch what I want when I want.  Facebookers know well I stay up late and a link given at 2am is nothing new to me.

My favorites are varied, but one kinda stands out: the female soloists and a few other solos and duets.  I have shared most of them on here, but spread out through many posts.  If you have really paid attention to those posts, you might know I also shed a few tears off and on.  They are, a lot of them, expected tears – the female who is so very shy or very young, scared to death or believing herself to be undeserving of praise or fame who just blows them all away.

But, there are others that hit me and I can’t always figure out, specifically, why.  I got an inkling today.  I am in a somber mood; my heart is open and my emotions are kinda strong while my body is tired and my mind just on slow forward.  I watched a couple and started thinking about my life and me.  When I was in school, I was not a basketball jock or a baseball dream or a wrestling tiger.  I was shy, much more shy than now, and I could think, make friends, do well in school, and … sing.  I was not the best singer in the school, but I was up there.  I never got a first at solo choir contest, but I did get 2 third places and a 2nd place.  My shyness is what held me back.  I did go to Indiana State Choir as an alternate and spent 4 weeks in Europe with a choir/orchestra group singing to over 10 different countries.  But, I was in a group.  I could hold back and hide.

Now, my stroke did change me.  I am no longer shy.  I will speak my mind and if people don’t like it, then they shouldn’t listen.  I write more, not afraid of being seen nor read nor critiqued.

What I thought about today after those couple of auditions on Youtube was if I had been like I am now (minus the balance and vision issues – oh and the memory thing), what would I have done differently?  I believe all things are perfect and it was fine it went as it did, but what if…

Well, I think I might have spoken up, taken a different route, and ended up very differently than now.  I think I might have gone into the public speaking arena, written some good (really good) novels, and succeeded where I didn’t in this timeline.

It’s not regret, just whimsical wondering.  I don’t dislike this life, the one I have, or how it went.  I see how everything, things I liked and didn’t, came together and gave me gifts I would never have had without those failings, mistakes, and directions.  I might never had written a blog post (something to do) as something to allow me to write and have others read it.  I would  not have progressed that blog to now, when I am not afraid to say everything (and I have!).  And, I might not have had my children (whom I adore) or the friendship of everyone on here who knows me so well.

Thanks to you, my friends and blogmates, you have gifted me a part of your lives and allowed me to share, unafraid, a part of mine.

Namaste,

Scott

That Little Moment

There are many big moments in a person’s life:  their birth, their graduation, their marriage, the birth of their child, and so on until their death.  These moments are easy to recognize and to celebrate.  We do it all the time.  Any time you go to a party, there is some reason, even if it is just that it’s Saturday.  A big moment doesn’t so much have to be remembered as to simply recognize as it being on “this date sometime.”

Just as important, perhaps more in some ways, are those little moments that define, not necessarily us as individuals, but that change or affect us in some way(s) that may take time to do so.  Our child says his/her first word, takes first step, goes to school; we remember those days and what was going on in most cases.  However, the first day you ate bread or the first time you successfully opened your high school locker are not moments that you can, probably, recall with much clarity.

I try to remember a lot of those moments.  It may seem rather dumb now that I have so much problem with my memory due to age and stroke; but that is a part of the reason I want to.  Days and weeks slip by me at times. I look back and remember all those evenings I sat in a chair at a nursing home watching baseball with my Dad.  I didn’t and don’t care much for baseball, but he was at home here and I found a new way to connect, not by learning all about baseball, but by listening to him talk about and yell at the game.  I remembered how I use to listen to him get so angry when his team was doing poorly or when a referee didn’t “make a good call.”

I remember my days in high school, though I remember less and less about less and less.  That is a time when I grew up, not always good times, but more than I thought at the time.  I never dreamed I would be 61, sitting at a computer, and have to say that I need to work harder to remember more all the time.

People are not always patient and happy with me.  If you sit and talk with me for a long time or spend time doing things with me, you will, at some moment (I believe), have to shake your head to clear your mind of the things you are tired of with me.  I can have perfectly good conversation with someone, then just mess it up because I will forget something important about them or the thing I was talking about.  Jokes get poor when you forget the punch line or realize you just gave the wrong info for something needed.

Still not a pity party.  I am not, and don’t, look for that in what I say or try to convey.  This is merely my interpretation of the facts as I see them.  I am telling you this because of a 46 minute special I saw on Amazon called “Jacob“.  As a brief summary, Jacob is a young man (I haven’t looked up his age, but 20s or 30s, most likely.  He is a special person; he has 10 degrees, including a BA, MA, Physician’s license, Attorney, Bio Ethics degree, and others.  He has written and published 215 short stories, and well over a dozen books.  He has lectured at Universities, taught in them, worked in an ER, and writes…

What I remember most is:  he writes.

I am a pretty satisfied person.  I have written and published more than 7 short stories in more than 4 collections of books.  I have self-published several books on Amazon.  I have had more than 25 jobs in my life, 2 distinct careers (computers and teaching), survived a major hemorrhagic stroke, and have written over 1200 blog posts.  I have 2 wonderful, successful children, and enjoy my computer games.  In fact, I am, currently, a beta tester for Fallout 76’s new mod/dlc entitled “Wastelanders”.  I am not overly proud, just satisfied.  I have more goals I wish to do, but I have come to grips with the idea of mortality.  I think that is a basic bucket list item we all should have.

This post was to be about Jacob.  I wanted everyone to watch the short documentary.  That’s pretty amazing coming from me, anyway—a documentary?—wow!  But, even more so, were the things it brought up in my head and the things that it didn’t so much.  Jacob made me look at my life and see that everyone’s is so very different and that, in the end, you only have to be satisfied with it yourself…everyone else is, well, just along for the ride.  They can get off anytime they want, and many have in my case.  I have those I miss and those I don’t, but even those who I don’t miss being gone, when I think of them – there are memories, feelings, and other thoughts.

Everyone I have ever met, everyone in my life now, and all I will meet down the road – all have/are/will affect(ed)(ing) me.  And that makes me realize something…they affect me and, while that is happening, I am affecting them.  I say that all things are connected – Now, I know one more way…

Namaste to all who have ever, are, or will ever be any part of my life.

There is love of some type,

Scott

A Week in the Life of…

It has been a long week.  My Sister going through radiation/chemo treatments for brain cancer, having just finished it for colorectal cancer, and knowing she has one more surgery and rad/chemo round to go for the third type of cancer she has Merkle carcinoma (think that’s right) on her leg.  Mom is stressing over this and having some health problems, while I am still recuperating from my hip surgery in April.  There are good things happening:  I am getting my sugar count under control, I am working out 2-4 times a week, Sis is responding to the treatment.  So what didn’t go so well?  My love life. Looking back on it, I should not have even started it, but…we are all human I guess.  I would have advised someone else against it, but you decide…

Last Friday night I was looking through “my matches” on a popular dating site.  This site would allow me to see women from 44 on up.  The site has proclaimed that allowing more age difference than this can lead to problems of things…  I prefer to look at a bit younger, but that’s the policy, so I live with it there.  Anyway, I had selected a group of women to look at.  I was seeing if proximity was a problem, if they smoked too much, too many children, and so on.  Just trying to avoid most of the problems I normally run into.

I finally had it down to 3 or 4 that I would read in depth and decide if letters were going to be sent.  One, in particular, caught my interest.  She was in her early 50s, attractive (the photos were obviously from when she was younger, but fine, deal later- why do men get in so much trouble if WE do that very same thing, but it’s okay for women?).  She lived in nearby Indianapolis.  I answered her letter, stating we should “Talk” (that means talk through the website, normally). I send it and go to the next one.  Within 5 minutes she had responded.  Her response was to say, “You’re right, we should talk” followed by her cell number.  I don’t usually do that, but I was the one who used the word “talk”, my fault, I supposed.  I send her a text and got an answer very quickly.  This conversation started at about 12:30AM and ran into the wee hours, mostly because reception in my area is so poor.  I went to sleep for a short time, waking up to realize that she had already deleted her account and I hadn’t spoken to her at all.  I was tired and upset and tried to call her number…a few beeps, nothing more.  I texted her and got an almost immediate response.  She explained all that she had done, moving most of it away with the idea that she was in the military intelligence and all were “under surveillance”.  She also was not sure what had happened, but she was 32 and stationed in New Jersey.  For the next few days we texted.  I spent some time early on researching dating scams and seeing how she fit into them.  She didn’t, but one article stated that some went on for months or years gaining your trust to get the payout at the end.

She was looking to get serious fast (one of the earmarks of scams) and was furious when she found out I could not give her children.  She then asked about adoption.  I didn’t think this was sounding much like a scam, but I didn’t tell her anything I haven’t said here or on Facebook.  We continued through the weekend. I would like to say we shared information back and forth, and we did, but each time I asked a question she would take sometimes hours to answer.  She said she was at work and couldn’t talk all the time, but this happened off-hours, too.  The worst thing that I saw was she had a temper and moved too fast through everything.  She was talking about marriage and living together and we hadn’t even met. These things finally got to me.  I ended it on Tuesday in a text that she didn’t respond to for over 6 hours.  She texted back and told me that she didn’t know why I was so negative about things, but she didn’t need that in her life. bye.

There was more, of course.  I did Google her and her pics, checked out the NJ Military base, even sending an inquiry to personnel about her existence (word of advice – be careful with that one.  You may have to tell her and that is not fun at all!).

I don’t know if I was being Catfished or if she was legit and just young and angry. Doesn’t matter now; it’s done.  I am glad.  The entire thing wore me out mentally and even physically.  It wasn’t worth it, I don’t think so, anyway…

What do you think?

Namaste, my friends,

Scott

On Hating Yourself…

Let me preface this with another TED talk.  Watch it if you wish, it is rather sad, but informative...The Depressed Comic.

I watched this and what it truly did was to bring back memories.  Memories of my youth, my 20s, my 30s, my 40s, and even some of my 50s.

A lot of the blogging world knows me.  They know Scott, the guy who had the NDE when he stroked out at a restaurant, and who came slowly back to life and health to be who I am now. Yep, a lot of you whom I call friends know that me.  Some of you out there know some about that earlier me.  Some of my friends around me know that me; some of my family even, however, I don’t think anyone knows the early me very well.

I say this because of a discussion/confession I had with my Mom not too awfully long ago.  This was a discussion about my late Dad.  We were talking and I spoke up (finally) about how Dad only gave me two options in college:  Doctor or Minister.  I went to high school with only those two opportunities under my belt.  I dreamed of other things, but those were it.  Dad said either make good money or serve God.  I said this to Mom and her response was, “No, he didn’t.”  My response back was, “You weren’t there.”  This went on just a bit and I told her there were a lot of things Dad told me that she, most likely, didn’t know.  I always assumed she was in agreement with him (why wouldn’t I?).  I told her about how mean Dad often treated me (actually, to him, it was just manly, the way you were supposed to).  She didn’t believe me, at first.  She just kept saying, “You know your father loved you.” It was almost a question.  I told her that I know that now, but then?  I was little and it didn’t feel like love.

I tell you all that so you can understand that I went to college as a young man who knew nothing of sex (it wasn’t talked about), little of life, and studying a subject that I only thought I wanted: religion.

I saw God as “our Father”, mean (for our own good), merciful (to a point), and punishing (if you didn’t follow His ways).  He was my father, and, to be truthful -it scared me- but I didn’t really like Him.  There was a side to me that was wanting to know about sex, about young women, about life, about death, about everything – you know, normal.  And, I had become so scared of what the world might think that I gave it all up to be the “perfect” giver, doing everything for everyone except myself.  Because of this, I didn’t sleep, got sick often, had stomach problems, was nervous, and had a deep complex about myself.  I wanted to go to Heaven, but “knew” I didn’t deserve it.

I got married, raised two wonderful children, got divorced, dated, remarried, took care of two other children, saw mine on scheduled times, tried to please everyone, and was tired, miserable, still sick, and heading toward a reckoning.

That reckoning had begun when my local doctor had prescribed Prozac, the wonder drug, for me.  I felt the difference the very next day.  Life lifted, colors were brighter, I was better, a little happier.  I stayed on Prozac quite awhile, quite a bit during my first marriage. I went off it, without asking my doctor, and, about a month later, had a bad episode.  Now, things get fuzzy in this time, so I will just summarize:

I began to get worse, my marriage was falling apart, I started to see a counselor.  He passed in the last couple of years and I wish I had seen him one more time to tell him all of the good he did me. Anyway, I continued working, went through my second divorce (one that took longer and was harder on me), got to the point that I threw up every day after work and would walk miles until I could handle being home and still.  I was constantly afraid of nearly everything and had high blood pressure (partly handled) and just a mess in general.

Finally the break (not a break, but an episode) where I had to call my parents to come get me and, over dinner at Pizza Hut, talk them into taking me to a Stress Center.  Actually, had to go to emergency ward and tell the doctor that “No, I had considered suicide; I just had times when I wished I weren’t around.”  I checked into a Center and stayed two weeks.  Did me a lot of good, but the doctor who treated me was later found guilty of Medicare Fraud, lost his Indiana license, and I don’t know about jail or fine or whatever.

I went back to work, within a few weeks I went back to the Center for the weekend (I was told this was quite normal), then lived very skittishly at work and home.  Actually, I had moved back home with my parents and made a 45 minute commute daily to work.  My routine was to get up, work, drive home, watch TV till 10, go to bed, and repeat.  On Friday evenings, I immediately began worrying about Monday morning.

I quit my job after about 6 years over stress and all, tried to write a book, then went back to school to teach elementary school and thought my dreams had come true.  I got to teach special education for 6 years, but had never handled my stress, depression, and anxiety very well.

On May 7, 2010, in the evening, I was on a date with my girlfriend.  We were having a discussion/argument over staying together and I had a stroke.  She took me to the hospital and, for the next 15 months.  I went through rehab and counseling before trying to go back to teaching.  I made it 7 months,stopping in Feb of my 7th year, and became disabled.

I have found that, becoming disabled, has been the best thing for my life.  I have also learned that Life works this way, God works this way.

The stroke reset my brain, as is often the case, and I became settled for the first time in my memory.  I have problems: issues with balance, trouble with double vision, a bit of weakness here and there, and short-term memory issues.  However, my OCD disappeared, as did my depression.  My counselor gave me that diagnosis, saying that while I still had a little anxiety, she found no depression!  I take a small anti-depressant/anti-anxiety (always good to cover both, I am told, as anti-anxieties can bring about depression), but am just very happy, positive, and see life as loving.  I am upbeat, outspoken, and unafraid to talk about anything (sometimes a bit too much so, I am told).  I am a new person.

And so, I started my blog after leaving teaching and here I am: whole and happy.

Now, you know a lot more about me.  Do you need to talk?  Do you want to share?  I am here bookman23@comcast.net.  I am not afraid to take that step with you.  Read other posts…you will see.

Namaste,

Scott

OMG!!!

I can’t introduce this woman or her talk other than to say 2 things:

  1. It starts out dealing with her cancer.
  2. That’s the only thing about cancer in the talk.

The Talk!

Wow!!!

Namaste,

Scott

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