Ode to Luke

I’ve never been a fan of small dogs. I found them yappy, somewhat duncey. I grew up with medium to large breeds, Lab, Rottweiler, German Shepard. My thoughts on society being afraid of larger dogs, ones that can protect the family to be skewed and furthers the idea of needing to save people from themselves; instead of people taking responsibility.

Every morning.

I find myself loving this little guy. When I first met him, he had been on Prozac for quite some time. He’d often shake and experience anxiety; he would need to continually be held when he was off his medication.

I’ve worked to build a relationship with him of caretaking, yet I’ve been firm when his behavior has been less than manageable. We don’t jump on people when coming back in from outside. We don’t pull on the leash when going for walks.

And the cats. What a jealous little wiener. He’s made to get off the bed, sometimes ejected from the bedroom when he’s rude and nips at them to chase them off the bed. Affection is important to share with all of our animals, and he’s gotten better at it.

Some of our first experiences together were the days spent while Amanda left for work when I lived in Southport. I treated his anxiety with walks, I spoke to him often and took him on car rides. We quickly bonded.

When I moved the RV to Greenfield, Luke quickly adjusted. He loved the vast open fields.

And then Amanda and I moved in together in July. Luke couldn’t have been happier. His favorite people, all in one place. Luke and I cuddle almost every night, I rub his ears until he goes to sleep, which is funny because I usually touch Amanda’s back until she falls asleep.

He’s been off his medication for a few months now, just as I have for quite some time. I find our growth to be healing. He’s getting better at walking with me off a leash, and he loves our car rides which I take him on often.

I may still dislike small dogs, but you can count on me loving this one.


Bonus Round, a good read:

View at Medium.com

Engagement ring shopping, together

You know, I never thought I’d be comfortable enough to consider marrying someone. Even with my optimism, my thought that anything could be worked out; it just never felt right.

It was never due to failing to find someone who is “perfect,” or was sappy and swept me off my feet. Romanticism can often be an illogical reason to be with someone; emotions can lead one astray and sometimes lead to disaster.

Instead, I think a good relationship comes down to the acceptance that we are all a little bit less perfect, caring, loving, and sane as we’d like to be. It’s about finding someone who feels loved by how you express your love languages, and you, theirs.

It comes down to communication and trust. Maintaining your independence. Love is about action, what you can do for someone, and them, you. Even when the going gets tough, also when you feel a little bit less sweet then you’d like to be.

And, of course, there are a ton of other criteria, some of which cannot be measured or labeled, and some that aren’t fitting to share in the public space.

Did you know that lack of sex accounts for 70% of divorce?

I started looking for rings the other day and found the perfect one within a few minutes. I knew what I was looking for. We communicated how we’d like to handle it, which led to sharing my choice with her. It was perfect.

Ideally, your partner should be able to find a ring that you’d find beautiful on their own, that they know you that well. Still, there is some complexity on what budget to set as societal norms usually push towards the purchase of something financially irresponsible.

We budget together and share a bank account, our income is pooled together, and we allocate funds from our bucket. We award ourselves a modest sum for discretionary spending. It wouldn’t be practical for me to secretly spend a large amount, nor would it be in line with our shared goals, especially when it comes down to paying down debt and buying a home.

Still, I was able to share some choices that were handmade to order with a variety of options of materials and stones in the design I wanted. It’ll be a unique piece that is elegant and feels more meaningful than a mass produced product, yet be fiscally responsible.


We both want an actual wedding ceremony, honeymoon, but it isn’t something that we are rushing, or feel rushed to figure out. Marriage is and has been something that is optional for us. It isn’t something that we need to validate anything.

And it won’t be something that ends up to be a stressful pain for either of us. Proper time will be taken, with the preparations handled as it feels right and we have time. The whole concept of the wedding industry is awful to me. Weddings should never be this dreadful, stressful thing to plan.

And at the end of the day, yeah. It is a little scary. The voluntary commitment to be with someone for the foreseeable future. To entangle yourself with this flawed and imperfect person in vulnerability.

Yet, it feels right for both of us, it’s something that we’ve never considered finding. I’m thankful for every single experience I’ve had up to this point, as it’s led me to this beautiful and complex creature.

Getting married is a hugely significant and solemn step: for centuries, we did it under the guidance of religion, but nowadays, for many of us, faith no longer convinces. At the same time, we want to mark marriage with some kind of ritual and appropriate grandeur. That’s why the School of Life has redesigned the wedding ceremony, to bring it in line with modern ideals and the best insights of psychology.

^ A unique take on the marraige cerenomy, and guidance on successful marraiges.

Cleanup

I love writing and wish to do it daily. However, not all things need to be shared. Writing helps me process, gain introspection.

There is a question of vulnerability and the concept of being vulnerable to those who are close to you. It’s a finite resource, and I’ve yet to find a balance of what I wish to accomplish in private, and the stories that I want to share publicly.

I have plenty of stories and experiences to share; I want the ones I share to be positive or ones of growth.


Fly me to the moon

The local airport had an open house. Airplane rides, Huey, food, and socialization. Lola has never been on an airplane before, it was time to fix that.

Amanda climbed into the copilot seat, mom and Lola climbed in the back of the four-seater Cessna.


A just discovered favorite from the Pacific Coast

No matter where we go, what we do, I find myself in love with life, my partner, our little family.

Time in the country

We packed up and headed to pick up Lola from school then headed to the farm. The trip was mostly uneventful and relaxing, I remember when I was a child and my step-father picked me up from 5th grade with our motorcycles in the back of the truck; it made me feel special.

Lola and Luke

We grilled up vegan “Toasted Cheese” as Jade calls them and enjoyed dinner with my family. Jade and I headed to the video store to pickup some movies for her Guard sleepover. Amanda and I finished out the evening watching Zombieland.

Tomorrow the Fall Party is scheduled. There may not be that that much of a turnout due to some concert this weekend but I’m sure we will enjoy the bonfire, family time, and getting away from the norm all the same.


Family ❤

Life is good.

Salt Lake & Indiana Days 6 & 7 – Anxiety, Nausea, and the feeling of Home

The second the airplane tires hit the ground in Indianapolis we cheered, “We are home!”


Let’s do a recap of the bad first so that I can end on a high note. Turbulence coming into Salt Lake City (SLC) Airport fucking sucked. We were in a holding pattern and looped a few times with 50MPH wind gusts. The wings of the airplane (and our stomachs) were flapping around, some gasps from the other passengers.

I dug in, braced my body and meditated, thought about being on top of a rock. I dug my thigh into the aisle armrest and concentrated on the pain as a grounding point. I could feel my heart trying to jump out of my chest. I continued to hold it together, not vomit or panic (but thought on the edge of such). This went on for what seemed to be forever until we finally hit the ground, controlling my breathing and doing such from my diaphragm.

Amanda (who loves rollercoasters) was rather sick herself from the motion. She comments that we would rent a car and drive 12 hours home if she would have vomited.

Upon boarding the next airplane, I panicked and tried convincing myself,  Amanda to rent a car for the rest of the journey. She was supportive and asked what she could do. Once we passed the threshold and boarded the plane, I relaxed and didn’t give myself a way out. I was doing this, the power to be miserable, or enjoy the flight was my choice, my perception.

Once we were in the air, I returned to my normal flight postures. We watched a movie, I spent some time gazing out the window (dusk 30,000 feet up is beautiful), and the air was perfectly smooth the rest of the way home.


Here’s the self-analysis and takeaways.

  • Driving home would have sucked (and be more dangerous than just flying the last three-hour stretch). It would have been 12 hours overnight. I would have regretted driving.
  • I suffer from motion sickness and would have benefited from medication for such. I had such medicine on me but did not take it as:
    • I’ve never taken it before and don’t like taking medication unless I do so first in a controlled environment (like home).
    • The turbulence started suddenly and ended within 15 minutes. The medication may not have begun working in time.
    • It would be beneficial to try it first at home, then use it as a tool to manage such sensations as a preventive measure next time I fly.
  • The anxiety was centered around the sensation of nausea, and my paranoia of vomiting. The same feelings are duplicated by the “Rocking ship” (everyday fair ride), and the centrifuge (space mountain, Disney).
  • Exposure to further nausea stimulus would help normalize the experience for me, just as being a passenger in a motor vehicle has over the last few years. I’ve known pilots who sit and spin in a chair to reduce dizziness by becoming exposed, and comfortable to it.

I am proud of myself. I managed the anxiety well and used my tools such as deep breathing and meditation to center myself and not allow the physical sensations to become a recursive mechanism to a full-blown panic attack. I recovered quickly and prepared myself for the next flight; then didn’t give myself a way out past the point of no return.

And I think that overall, I’ve concentrated and led myself to believe that these experiences (over the past week) are seeds which will grow within me. That the more I do, the more I can do. That all experiences, all emotions can lead to growth, or at the least, we have the lenses to choose how we perceive them.

I can be better here; I can be more patient there. I can express kindness when feeling like this, or like that. I can show that I need some time alone now, or then. I can rally and push myself out into something unknown or uncomfortable then, or there. I can appreciate this experience, that one; I can be appreciative of all these experiences.

My body is doing this, or that. Here’s a new sensation, here’s one that’s usually scary, here’s one that is generally warm. Can we observe these sensations from a place of non-judgemental curiosity? What’s the root emotion here? Where does this come from?

Wanting nothing, and appreciating everything. Choosing to see the good aspects of humanity around us. Talking to someone in the airport which seems nervous; asking them their name and about their life. Smiling in the airport, while boarding and carrying love in your bones for others. Wishing people good weekends and giving your eye contact. These things are grounding.


I feel the whole experience away from home, across the country seeded much growth in me. Everytime that I’m anxious, I look back at all the things I’ve done in my life, all that I’ve overcome; and now I have this experience as the benchmark until the next one. You never quite know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option, and I keep looking forward to more opportunities.

And the next time someone asks me to fly with them? Certainly, if I can sit next to you and hold your hand.