Keeping The Faith
Greetings true believers!
Hope everyone has had a great week. Sorry it's been a few weeks since my last post, I've been meaning to take the time to sit down and write but honestly things have been super busy even more than usual.
Between working like crazy during the week, then running around on the weekends with kid activities lately the thought of even taking the time to sit and write would make me feel exhausted.
We have been in full cheerleader mode every weekend with football games and yesterday the girls had their first cheer competition which meant getting up at 4:30am, getting the girls ready and in New Haven by 7am, cheer by 9am, then not getting home till after 3pm. Although it was a ton of work the girls did great! Zoey's team placed 3rd and it's incredible to see your daughters excelling and performing in front of like a stadium of people like its nothing. I'm very proud of both of them like I am with anything they do and the thought that I am an active "cheer dad" still gives me a chuckle.
However, the past few weeks have also been rough as far as the HEAL stuff. Not to worry I still have been sticking to my new lifestyle of kale smoothies, salads, yoga and all that but it's been met with a number of roadblocks as well.
First, just as I faced a few months prior I've been stuck on a plateau. I haven't gained an ounce but at the same time I haven't lost any either. It can get to you after awhile when you are doing all of this stuff and when you have a goal in mind (under 200lbs by 2016) to hop on the scale once a week and see no change. October already is half done and with 40 pounds to go for my initial goal I'll admit I was getting bummed.
Then my new habit of vaping instead of smoking kind of came crashing down. The past two weeks I was actually really enjoying it no ashes, no toxic clouds and tasty flavors. Even when I would sneak a "real smoke" it started to taste yucky.
But after a few stressful days at the office, leaky cartridges or ones that didn't fit the case, places not having said cartridges and the fact that I still had to go outside to do it the addict in me just said "eh fuck this" and I went back to Marlboro full swing this week. I still want to persue it though I'm hoping by the end of the year I will find a brand I really like and I will be in the right mind frame to stay on it full time to really kick the habit.
Then came the pain.....
Although I've still been doing yoga at least 2-3 times a week and feeling great with all of the running around and stress of everything else my body started to fall apart. First the lower back started to ache, then my neck felt stiff which lead to headaches then for some reason this week two fingers on my left hand really started to hurt...bad. No amount of Motrin would make it feel better. As I'm typing this it still hurts and I don't know what to do about it.
I got two yoga days in this week but there was one day this week I physically couldn't get up to do it and yesterday after all that running around I laid in bed for most of the afternoon after getting home barely able to move. Most nights for the past 2-3 weeks when I get home from work all I want to do is just go to sleep.
One thing I did do that seemed kind of out of character for me was after my Sunday ritual of cleaning the house for the week I came across something in my drawer just sitting there and for some reason after all of the stress and pain from the past few weeks I put it on and thought "hey I can use all the help I can get at his point".
I even got into the habit of when I would turn the car off in the parking lot of work in the morning, before I walk in I would ramble off an Our Father and maybe a Hail Mary if it was a particularly stressful morning, then talk to God and thank him for watching over me and to ask for strength and help to get through the day
Now for anyone who knows me to any capacity knows that I have always had a struggle in my life with organized religion and just religion in general. I was raised a Catholic and when people ask I would call myself a "recovering Catholic".
Sure I've read The Bible, went to CCD, got confirmed/babtized and all that but through the years I've also studied and have been interested in all sorts of religion.
I've attended Kabala rituals/meditations, visited the Buddist temple here in Carmel, seen The Book of Kels in Ireland, dated Pagans (I dunno does that count as being inside a religion? Cue rim shot) read about Shintoism and even for a very brief period of my life I read all the works of Anton Lavey, including The Satanic Bible and considered myself a Satanist wearing a pentagram ring.
Believe it or not when you get past all of the "fire and brimstone" silliness all it teaches at the core is do what makes you happy as long as you don't harm anyone else. Not bad right?
However, once I was engaged I ended up tossing that ring in the garbage because it reminded me of a person I knew I wasn't but all of those things (yes even the satanism stuff) made me feel something and was very interesting.
I even went so far as to write a song during my days with The Dalliance called "I Need A Religion" which of you read the lyrics it basically outlines my feelings on the subject.
Now don't expect me to go running to church and praising JC all over the place. I don't even truly know if I 100% believe in it myself. I'll be honest, I know lots of people who believe in God, are practicing and are "born again" but the minute I start reading and hearing all about it either online or from the source it just gives me the creeps I don't know what it is.
I also have a problem with a religion that tells me things like self pleasuring or the family members and friends that are in same sex relationships are evil and wrong. Personally I think that's not how all of Catholics feel and If you are into it and it makes you a better person because of it I'm all for it no matter what you practice.
But for the last few weeks when going through all of this stuff just wearing the cross and saying a little prayer every morning felt good. When I would get stressed out I would rub it on my chest or hold it and saying a little something in the car before I walked into the octagon of work gave me a bit of a warmth that helped a little.
Last time I felt that was when my father died I remember being completely in pain and sad sitting in church during his service and all of a sudden I felt this wash of warmth come over me like a blanket that to this day I can't explain. Something about being in a church or any house of worship gives me that feeling sometimes, but it has never given me the urge enough to go back every week. It is just nice every once in awhile to feel on the times I feel like I need it like funerals, weddings, baptisms stuff like that.
Even now my children are not baptized and I don't plan on it. Zoey has had questions about religion and she has gone to "bible camp" with her friend every summer for a week for the day. I've always said if they had questions and were interested I would encourage it and let them make their own decisions.
I've had arguments with certain family members about it from time to time telling me "you have to decide for them" but honestly, no fault to my own upbringing my feeling is even though they are very young I want it for them to be a decision and not a burden like it was for me.
Give a child, any child a book and say "you have to read this" they are never going to enjoy and absorb it as much as if they picked it up themselves.
So what I am getting at with this long entry is a quote from one of my favorite Kevin Smith movies Dogma:
When are you people going to learn? It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up.
That quote has always stuck with me. Through all of the stuff that has happened to me this year and in my life in general, I've always had faith. Not in any specific religion but just faith in general and the biggest one I follow is to try and have faith in myself.
Not only do I refuse to think that life on his rock is all that we get, that we all just shut off like a television and just become part of the earth I refuse to give up on myself .
Do what you want to do in order to make life on this earth a good one before you become part of it. That includes chasing dreams, being creative and keep whatever faith you can carry in your back pocket or on your chest cause that's just yours.
As always onward and upward.