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WolfDreamer

WolfDreamer Returns to the People

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2 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

So my grades are in for sure: two A's. Not a bad way to start a master's degree. Next semester I'll be taking Human Relations Skills for Leaders and Educational Technology for Administrators. But for now, I'm going to enjoy a much-needed break from schoolwork.

 

Rock on, dude! Congrats!

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Big thank you to everyone who wished me well for my academic achievement this semester. I'm sorry I haven't been as active this week. It's not because I don't have time. It's because I've been feeling hesitant to post anything anywhere because my brain is overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings about a lot of things all at once. I met my goals last week, so what I'll do is just post some highlights from last week under each category:

 

Connect With Environment:

  • spent a lot of time barefoot last week in the morning and after work
  • took my daughters outside to splash and wade in grassy puddles in the field after a storm
  • went for a couple of trail runs Friday evening after a heavy storm; 2.6 miles total. These trails are incredible, and I swear they are like a drug. I can't stop thinking about them, and even after I just finish a run I want to go again. They were even more beautiful after the storm because they crossed a few mountain streams with water falling down the mountain.
  • Friday the university hosted an Agricultural conference, and there was a goat and some chickens, so I spent some time sitting with the goat; now I want one as a pet. 
  • while walking across the field, I spotted a turtle and watched him trying his best to climb the hillside; I also watched a few squirrels skitter up a tree, listened to a red-shoulder hawk, watched a woodpecker shimmy up and peck at a large oak tree, hung our with my mentor's chickens, guineas, and ducks (he has four new ones).
  • I completed several Joulebug challenges, but I get bored of the app. I don't care about earning points or topping the ranks. I just want to make more conscious decisions for the environment, and I can do that without an app.
  • picked up some trash in the field near my house

Connect With Food:

  • Monday was meatless
  • tried and fell in love with a garden vegetable soup that was filled with plenty of wholesome ingredients (celery, carrots, parsley, diced tomatoes, onions, zucchini, squash, green beans, and peas) along with some spices and other flavors.
  • picked and munched on some wood sorrel 
  • wife roasted a chicken this week, and I saved the leftovers to pack for lunch.
  • ordered moo goo gai pan from a local Chinese restaurant

Connect With Body:

  • slacked off a bit on this goal, but I wasn't sedentary; found opportunities each day to move in both creative and practical ways
  • two trail runs (as mentioned above)
  • cold showers daily (2 mins. warm, 3 mins. cold)
  • worked for my mentor: climbed a ladder to clean out his gutters, carried a bail of straw to the chickens, slogged through mud in the chicken coop to spread the straw
  • played and splashed in grassy puddles with my littlest two daughters; I also ran barefoot sprints across the field, splashing through the puddles.
  • carried full bags of trash across the field to the dumpsters (about 130 yards) while barefoot.

Connect With Tribe:

  • played with my daughters in the rain and in puddles in the field
  • relaxed on the couch with my wife and watched Big Bang Theory, Amazing Race, and Grey's Anatomy; at bedtime we talked until we couldn't keep our eyes opened.
  • hugs and kisses for everyone before leaving for work
  • visited my mother a few times last week, both at her work and at home.

Connect With Self:

  • lost my temper with my teenage daughter this weekend and flipped out; my anger was justifiable, but my overreaction was not. I stomped off, knocked some things over, punched the wall of my storage shed, and wouldn't answer the phone when my wife tried to call. I finally calmed down and apologized to everyone.
  • still reading THIS by Michael Gungor; also started listening to the audiobook version of Searching for Sunday in honor of the recently departed Rachel Held Evans. If you don't know Rachel or what happened to her, just Google her name. I genuinely won't be able to write about it without getting emotional.
  • I am grateful for forgiveness, grace, simple beauty, thunderstorms, winding trails, the color green, water, friends, intellectual ability, coffee

Connect With Eywa:

  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer each day
  • listened to the Pray As You Go daily prayer
  • greeted a few people on campus and held the door for several people; they all returned my greeting or smiled and said "Thank you."
  • inspired by Rachel Held Evans, I have posted these two things to Facebook: "Everyone is loved by God. Everyone. There are no exceptions." "I just cannot fathom people who are kind and loving and helpful to those they deem worthy of that kindness, love, and help and yet are so hateful to the "others." Jesus said, 'If you love only those who love you, what reward is there in that?'"
  • with God's help, I'm going to be a bit more outspoken about how minorities, LGBTQ+, women, and many others have been ostracized, left out, kicked out, denied entry, mocked, scorned, and even violently attacked by people who claim to serve God. It's also hard to not get stirred up over stories like 22-year-old Tyrique Hudson, who was denied a protective order after fearing his neighbor would kill him, but then was shot to death by that same neighbor two months later. These next facts shouldn't matter, but they do: Tyrique was black, and his neighbor is white.
  • I'm probably just getting worked up because since RHE's death, I have questioned deeply what I stand for, not just as a Christian but as a person, as a human.
     

 

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1 hour ago, WolfDreamer said:

 

 

I totally understand. A lot of the issues I have with people I know boils down to their treatment of the LGBTQ and other marginalized groups. Silence supports the oppressors and makes the marginalized feel alone. I felt a lot of guilt over the years for probably coming off as someone unsafe or judgmental or otherwise unsupportive of the marginalized, especially when I was in high school. I regret that. 

 

My sister and brother-in-law recently decided to work in that ministry with those goals. 

 

I’ve often pondered the net impact of Christianity (and other religions and philosophies) and this is one of the biggest hurdles I come up against, especially since it seems so easy for someone who has done tremendous, intentional damage to be accepted back into positions of leadership and influence. 

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Been sick for about three days. My throat felt scratchy Tuesday night, but I didn't think much of it because I've had to talk a lot at work. Wednesday I woke up feeling kind of "off," weaker than usual and just kind of drained. Thursday morning I knew for sure I was sick: coughing, runny nose, sneezing, and feeling even weaker. I left work early and came home to get some rest. Last night was the worst; I woke up around 1 AM and it hurt to cough, my chest and throat burning. So, I took the day off. I don't like taking sick days, and I hate being stuck inside all day. But I need to get better. Our oldest daughter is coming home from college tomorrow, and we have to help her move out of her dorm.

 

So for now, I'm relaxing on the couch and watching Tron: Legacy.

 

giphy.gif

 

I'll post my usual weekly update Sunday. This week hasn't been all bad.

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Still not feeling great; it comes in waves, like I'll have some energy and feel okay for a little while, but then the coughing starts again and I'm down again. I felt well enough to help get my daughter moved out of her dorm and back home. Our house is a mess right now because of her stuff, but we're happy she's here for a few months. I'm hoping to be up more than down tomorrow. Arabella (my 6-year-old) has a cheer clinic she wants us all to come to tomorrow.

 

I've watched the first three episodes of Warrior, the new Cinemax series based on a script written by Bruce Lee. It's definitely a Cinemax show with a lot of f-bombs, nudity, and gratuitous violence. But it's also stylish enough to be compelling.

 

Here's to hoping I feel better tomorrow.

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On 5/11/2019 at 9:55 PM, Snarkyfishguts said:

I hope you feel aces soon! Sounds like a nasty bug!

 

Thank you @Snarkyfishguts. I'm feeling quite a bit better today.

 

Update (Week 3):

 

Connect With Environment:

  • plenty of time outdoors this week: went for a trail run, took the little ones outside to play in the field after a rain (which we have been getting a healthy amount of lately), took the dogs out every morning while barefoot and shirtless
  • walked around campus during my free time while at work
  • spent time with my mentor and his ducks and chickens
  • haven't been able to do any wild swims this challenge because the rain has kept the river at an unsafe level, but I did wade in a stream

Connect With Food:

  • I did well this week until I got sick; then I was looking for comfort food, anything to keep my appetite up. But I still tried to be mindful, either eating small portions or making sure the ingredients were wholesome and not just junk.
  • The highlight meal was a nice lunch with my wife and daughters after we picked our oldest daughter up from college to bring her home for the summer. I had sushi with crab, avocado, cucumber, and tuna.

Connect With Body:

  • no push-ups this week
  • went for a 2 mile trail run Tuesday morning; I managed to find a trail that I can run in less than 30 minutes, so it's perfect for quick runs. It's also addictive. The more I think about it the more I want to do it again.
  • morning stretches while taking the dogs out, even when I was sick
  • balanced on a few curbs during my walks around campus
  • did not deep squat every day but maybe 4/7 days this week
  • tried to drink plenty of water, especially while I was sick
  • no dead-hangs or planks this week
  • took Princess Arabella on a short bike ride Monday

Connect With Tribe:

  • spent time with my little ones; we especially enjoyed splashing in puddles in the field after a rain
  • relaxed on the couch with my queen and watched a few of our favorite shows together
  • hugs and kisses for everyone before leaving for work
  • drove to Huntington to pick my oldest princess up from college to bring her home for the summer
  • called my mom yesterday to tell her Happy Mother's Day; I would have visited her, but I was still worried about being contagious, and if I uncle or stepfather get sick it could be really bad for them. Mom is healthy enough to handle it, but they're not.
  • visited my mentor a few times, but I stayed away from him while I was sick, as well.
  • went to the movies with my wife for Mother's Day; we saw The Hustle (pass) and Poms (not gonna lie, I cried a little).
  • as a Mother's Day gift for my wife, I cleaned up the yard and cleaned off our porch; she had been complaining about the mess our daughters made outside, so I decided to take initiative and clean it myself.

Connect With Self:

  • had one moment of anger this weekend after another argument with Princess Bianca (15 year old); she's one of those teenagers who knows the right buttons to push. She tries to intervene when my wife is disciplining the little ones, and you can't win. If you discipline them, she yells, "Stop being mean to them, they're just little kids!" But minutes later she'll complain that they're getting on her nerves and "You're the parents, do something!" <_<
  • still reading THIS; also finishing up Searching for Sunday, and I returned to The Passage.
  • been listening to the Billy Yang podcast; I also watched a Youtube video about ultra-runner Courtney Dauwalter.
  • one of my best friends called me Saturday night just to vent about some things going on in his life; I was mindful of giving advice and mostly listened to him and affirmed his choices where needed.
  • I am grateful for: coffee pots, colorful book covers, sensory overload, breath, shopping trips with my wife, the kindness of strangers, gray skies, wet grass, deep forests

Connect With Eywa:

  • said the Lord's Prayer, as well as a more personal prayer every morning
  • missed a few days of the Pray As You Go app because I slept in when I was sick and just didn't get around to it.
  • sat in silence in the library for at least 10 minutes three times this week.
  • smiled at and greeted a few people on campus; also held the door open for a few people

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, WolfDreamer said:

had one moment of anger this weekend after another argument with Princess Bianca (15 year old); she's one of those teenagers who knows the right buttons to push. She tries to intervene when my wife is disciplining the little ones, and you can't win. If you discipline them, she yells, "Stop being mean to them, they're just little kids!" But minutes later she'll complain that they're getting on her nerves and "You're the parents, do something!" <_<

 

Oh man, I feel this so hard. My girls always get mad because my step-son gets babied. And I literally sit there going, "You girls are the ones who baby him, not the parents". It is so annoying! 

 

So while anger probably isn't the answer you are looking for with this, you have my solidarity. 

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19 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

So while anger probably isn't the answer you are looking for with this, you have my solidarity.

 

Thank you. I'm trying so hard to learn that anger doesn't solve the problem. As I get older, though, I feel myself growing closer to becoming the dad who shouts to stop the arguing because it's so much easier than conflict resolution. I don't want to be the dad who shouts. It's emotionally exhausting.

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3 minutes ago, WolfDreamer said:

 

Thank you. I'm trying so hard to learn that anger doesn't solve the problem. As I get older, though, I feel myself growing closer to becoming the dad who shouts to stop the arguing because it's so much easier than conflict resolution. I don't want to be the dad who shouts. It's emotionally exhausting.

 

True story that has made my mother laugh for years: once, my daughter was giving me lip and I told her, "I'm going to give you a gift - go to your room." Of course, being a kid, she didn't understand how that was a gift, but my mother totally got it. I've continued to try to keep this in mind, sometimes more successfully than others. 

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Tim Conway passed away yesterday. It's sad, but he had been suffering with dementia for a little while, so at least now he's at peace. I'm posting my two favorite skits of his from the Carol Burnett Show:

 

 

 

 

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Something really big is happening. My 15-year old, princess Bianca, asked me through tears if she could contact my father, whom we have not been in contact with for almost a decade. She pleaded with me because he is getting older, and she is worried the next time she sees him will be in a coffin. I was hesitant, but I agreed. Then she pleaded with me to talk to him, as well, insisting that I try to see him again. I don't think I'm ready for that, I told her, but I agreed to think about it and to maybe reach out to him and talk to him some before deciding if I'm ready to see him.

 

If I'm honest, I miss my father. And I have thought about reconciliation for a while. A few years ago I read Donald Miller's excellent book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and he talked about contacting his estranged father and reconnecting with him. It pinged my heart, but I put it off because the feelings were still raw. I've had family members plead with me to reconnect "before it's too late," but only a few of them fully understood why I had cut contact with my father. I think it's time. The thought of talking to him again both hurts and feels... somewhat freeing.

 

Well wishes and prayers would be appreciated.

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8 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Only you know when, or even if,  it's time talk to him again.

 

Came here to say the same thing. 

 

14 minutes ago, WolfDreamer said:

Well wishes and prayers would be appreciated.

 

Of course we will be here to support you in what ever way you need. 

 

Adding in that if you haven't already, it might be a good idea to determine what your expectations are with reaching out and make sure they are reasonable. I don't know your backstory, nor is it my business, but I know my children struggle with this in regards to their dad. He doesn't have the ability to reconcile the way they would like and it makes the whole situation much harder on them in the long run.

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6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Only you know when, or even if,  it's time talk to him again.

 

Thank you. I decided this evening that it was time. I told her to message him and give him my number. He called this evening, and we talked for about thirty minutes. The only real mention of the past was when he said, "I'm so glad I'm talking to you. It's been so long," and I replied, "I just needed time." He said, "I know you did, son. I think everybody did. I was in a really bad place then, but I'm really happy we're talking now."

 

6 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

it might be a good idea to determine what your expectations are with reaching out and make sure they are reasonable.

 

I really just wanted to talk to him again. He mentioned getting together someday soon, and I know I'm not ready for that yet. I just said, "Well, we can talk about that later. But for now it is good to talk to you." He talked about his current wife, whom he's been with for close to ten years, and about his farm (he has chickens, guineas, turkeys, and quail), about how beautiful it is where he lives (somewhere in KY). Likewise, my father has never been good with reconciliation because he struggles to take responsibility for his own mistakes and often makes excuses (which were usually either exaggerations or flat-out lies). But I need to forgive him, and I need to give him the chance to prove he has changed. Although a part of me remains on guard, that child inside of me who remembers sitting on the front porch, waiting for him to pick me up, and waiting, and waiting, and even the 17-year-old me who looked for him in the audience during my graduation but never found him. But it's not fair to him for me to assume he's the same man he was when I was a kid, just as I'm not the same as I was then.

 

5 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

Well wishes and prayers on your way. And I’m always here if you need an ear. 

 

Thanks, buddy. Likewise, feel free to message me anytime.

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I'm sure you know this, but forgiveness and reconciliation are independent variables.

 

Forgiveness is for you, to help you let go of what was done to you.

 

Reconciliation is for both of you, to get back a relationship that was lost.

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Many well wishes on your way, that this ends in some aspect of a positive result. I have a really difficult relationship with my mother, and from what you've mentioned of him in the past, I have a lot of empathy for what you're going through right now. *hugs*

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2 hours ago, Ann of Vries said:

Many well wishes on your way, that this ends in some aspect of a positive result. I have a really difficult relationship with my mother, and from what you've mentioned of him in the past, I have a lot of empathy for what you're going through right now. *hugs*

 

giphy.gif

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Another note: it’s perfectly reasonable and ok to forgive someone of their past transgressions while still remembering those actions and keeping yourself guarded. Not hating someone and treating them politely or even kindly is a far cry from trusting them. 

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I think what you’re doing takes courage and kindness. I hope when the time comes and your dad has passed, that you can feel reassured that you did what you needed to and while you may have all the feelings, that regret wont be one of them. It sounds like this is good for you and your daughter too. She clearly cares about you.  And it sounds like he may have shown some real change and I sincerely hope you have a better relationship for this part of life. 

 

That being said, you are an adult and you get to set the boundaries in this relationship now, not him. You are not responsible for his actions and you cant control what he does , but you get to walk away when he’s being a jerk, and you get to choose when to let him back in. You owe him nothing and you have every right to protect your well-being and your family’s from any hurtful actions. 

 

All the well-wishes and prayers. You are not alone in this journey.

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Just dropping in quickly to say I've taken kind of a break from online stuff to focus on starting my summer. I'll post a bulleted list of highlights from last week soon. Sorry I haven't been very active on here, but a lot has been going on (mostly good stuff), and also sometimes I'm just lazy. :D

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