Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Reflections

Hey! It's Christmas Time, a year ending with a New Year about to begin. Yep, it's just around the corner. This time of year is a time of reflection. Looking back over the course of the last year and looking forward to, hopefully, a bright future.

Don't Laugh at me! I know, with a blog I tend to 'reflect' on things all year long right? I don't know if this blog will be any more or any less than the multitude of blogs I have written over the course of the last year. I do know that, like always, I've got some things to say. :)

I've been thinking about a lot of things lately, I suppose I should say 'reflecting' so that I can maintain a sense of continuity in my text, but then again I'm not exactly writing a novel here. Though it is shaping up to be quite a memoir, its amazing to think that I've chronicled my divorce, in a very personal way. Who I was, what I went through, and how it all changed me.

As much as it felt like my life ended in March of 2006 when my wife left, taking my children 2000 miles away from me, it felt like just two years later my life began anew. The two year custody battle/divorce took a lot out of me, physically and emotionally and it all paid off in the end.

Sure, I am rehashing a few things that I've been talking about for what? Years now? Well, I am reflecting on 2008 right now, and this is the year that all ended. This is the year that I finalized my divorce, this is the year I maintained primary custody of my kids in a very permanent way, this is the year I moved back out on my own, the year I really dated for the first time, in a very strong sense, in 2008, I took my life back.

Wow, that was a crazy ton of commas.

I've said this before, but I must restate it. I do not regret anything, and I would not change anything about my life. Sure, having tons of money would be great, a college degree at this point perhaps? As hard as it is at times, and as much as I don't appreciate some of the things that have happened in my life, I love who I am, I love who my kids are and I love the potential we have.

One thing in particular has been on the edge of my thoughts this year. My Dad. It feels really weird to say that, even in conversation when chatting with my brother online, I say 'your sister' before I correct myself and say 'our', or 'your dad', before I say 'our dad'. My Dad.

I'm not sure what the future holds, and if we do get back in touch, I'm not sure where it will go, if anywhere. Having only met him twice so far in my life, and the last time being 14-15 years ago, I’m going to say it’s not looking too good.

Just recently I heard a story that reinforced my desire to develop communication between my Dad, Brother and Sister. This happened to my Friend, or more specifically his wife, and I obtained permission to retell the story in my blog.

Let me start by saying this is mostly 2nd hand information, having heard most of it from Russ and not directly from Yvonne, so if someone who knows better than what I've said, forgive any errors. I am mostly retelling it because A) Its a very interesting story and B) reminds me how important it is to not let time slip away.

A little background, Yvonne's parents are crazy, as is her sister. By parents I mean her Mom and Step-Dad. From what I garnered while we were in high school together, they sounded ridiculously unbalanced and it only seems to have gotten worse over time. Well it seems like Yvonne really liked her real dad, but her mom didn't let him be in her life. Recently, having moved back into the area, she looked him up in the phone book and sent off a Christmas card to someone she thought 'might' be him.

Ok, that’s some background information, it was approximated that Yvonne hasn't seen her real dad in 20 years.

Well, Russ works at FedEx Kinko's in Moscow. A Woman came in the other day that wanted copies made of her husband's scrapbook that was used at his wake. He passed away in 2005, of cancer.

While they were copying this, they were looking at some of the things this guy had done and he had started the local board gaming club (which still goes on every Friday nights) and he helped start a local Renaissance fair of some kind. He seemed pretty cool.

Well, as they were finishing it Russ gets a call from the woman that brought in the work. She indicates that she is at Russ's house talking to his wife and wants him to just bring the stuff home with him.

Yep, I think the rest is obvious. This man, coincidentally, was Yvonne's real dad. While she was getting these copies made she went to meet Yvonne for the first time, because she had gotten Yvonne's Christmas card in the mail. This was Yvonne’s first time meeting her step-mother that she probably never knew existed.

Now, I think this is a pretty amazing story. But the inherent tragedy in it is unfortunate. Yvonne's dad passed away three years ago. On a lighter note, considering her dad's achievements and interests I think we can all understand how Yvonne fell for a huge gamer geek like Russ!

So like I said at the beginning of that story, its important to not let time slip away. Sad that it can slip by you so easily.

My brother just got his drivers license, my sister graduated from high school, I believe she is pregnant now. I can't picture my dad's face, and when I see pictures of him I am looking at a stranger. I saw a picture of, who I can only imagine is my dad's mother, my Grandmother. A woman I have never met. Like I said above, I don't regret anything and I would go back and change anything in my life. But imagine how much more I'm going to miss, just how much more can slip away, if I don't do something about it? And if I don't step up and do something about it now, will I finally have a regret, will this time next year, or five years from now, will I be wallowing in self pity because of my own inaction, saying I would take my procrastination back for anything in the world?

This is getting kind of long and it’s getting kind of late. Its officially been Christmas Eve for 2 hours and 10 minutes (at the moment I wrote this paragraph anyway). I just finished wrapping the presents.

I am holding everything hiding from friends, family and Santa, and late tonight when my kids fall asleep I’m going to move it all down under the empty tree and perform some Christmas magic while they still believe.

We started making sugar cookies tonight; we will bake them tomorrow and make red and green frosting to frost them with. I bought a collection of cookies cutters to help us out too. Aside form measuring the ingredients they did all the work, from pouring stuff in to using the mixer. It was a lot of fun. I can't wait until the messy part when we do the frosting!

Santa's got to have his cookies YO HO HO (Pirate Santa Claus?)

I've done something crazy to mark our first Christmas in this new phase of our life. Instead of spending Christmas Eve with my grandparents we are doing our own Christmas Eve here in our own place, doing Christmas morning here as well and then going down to my grandparents if the weather permits.

I planned out Steaks for our Christmas Eve Dinner; they are in the refrigerator marinating as I type this. A very basic breakfast on Christmas morning, something easy to cook, yet delicious (thank you Jimmy Dean). Then hopefully dinner at my Grandparents, but if not, then we will have some stir fry because that’s what I've got lol.

I love my children very much, and I love all my friends and family as well. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.

Jason, Lord of the Dance

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

For Better or Worse

For Better or Worse. I guess I never really thought about those words much, but if you don't then you have no business getting married. You can't just like the better parts of someone, you have to be able to be there in their darkest hours and weather the storm with them. That's love, part of it anyway.

I can't really say I've ever been 'in love' in that way. I did love Nicole, and I consider her family, but I was never 'In Love' with her. I would have stuck it out with her until the bitter end more from my own stubbornness than anything. But I never understood her, I never felt like I could be there for her in the way that she needed.

Not that I didn't try, ofcourse I tried, and vice-versa. But it just wasn't there. Look at how it turned out, at my lowest instead of sticking by me she bailed, taking our kids with her. Found a boyfriend that made more than her and I combined and then sent the kids back up to me.

It sounds bad when I say it like that, everything is a matter of perspective. My divorce is an excellent example. The man Nicole left and the man writing this blog are two entirely different people. Sure, he and I share a lot of the same annoying quirks and habits, but our perspectives are so entirely different. The first man was left at the bottom of the deepest ocean, as described in my most recent blogs, while the latest and greatest stands on the peak of a mountain top.

I loved being married, and I've said many times how much I want to be married again. But this time I want to do it right, I want to be 'In Love'. I know that sounds sappy coming from a guy, but lets face it, I was raised by 3 generations of first born women, I go back and forth between a 'dominant male type' or a 'slave of the queen' all at the whim and fancy of whichever woman I happen to be speaking with at the time.

I hope that I deserve that much at least. I feel like I am too selfish for love. I expect so very much from everyone around me, but do I give enough in return? I don't think I do, and if that's true, then I don't think I know how.

My kids had a really hard time when their mom left on Sunday. I guess I should go into the visit a bit.

It went pretty well, not as well as I had expected honestly. She and I have been getting along so well on the phone I just assumed it would translate into 'real life' the same way. I think half of the awkwardness stemmed from the fact that her 'non-jealous' boyfriend turned out to be massively jealous as hell. She isn't allowed to 'be my friend' apparently and we are not supposed to talk about anything we have in Common.

You know how f'ing hard it is to find someone who likes horror movies as much as she and I do? That's like one of my first questions when I meet someone new is if they like horror movies. Im not a freak about them, I enjoy movies of all shapes and sizes, but I always feel horror movie deprived because nobody watches them with me.

As a note, I did meet a beautiful girl who is into vampires ;) and thats a definite start. But we'll talk about that after I get through the topic at hand.

So she flew in late late wednesday night, we picked the boys up at my mom's house and got back to my apartment at about 1am thursday morning. She slept in the boy's bedroom and they all slept on the floor together with like 30 blankets both beneath them and on top of them.

I set it up beforehand for Nicole to spend a bit of time helping the teachers in each of the boys classes on thursday, both because I wanted Nicole to meet their teachers and because I didnt' want to give them both thursday and friday off from school.

I did let them take friday off, thursday went pretty well, Tristan pratcally ignored her Thursday morning and during class I guess but I think he was just out of his normal comfort zone with his mom there.

They all went to see a couple movies together and I took them out to see the christmas lights in colton. It went pretty well over all.

Based on a few comments Nicole made (like "you know, Eric goes to bed with me EVERY night" taking a shot at the fact that I stayed up on the computer after she went to bed a lot at the end of our marriage, well maybe if you gave me space to breath for myself while we were BOTH awake I wouldnt have had to INVENT free time after you finally got off my back, which wasnt the case with you getting up every 15 min. to cry about the fact that I didnt love you anymore if I didn't got to bed at the exact bullshit moment you wanted. Question, did you ever stay up with me so that we could go to bed together? didnt think so).

Ok so I just lost my train of thought. I'm over it, the only reason I bring it all up is because I've paid my lawyer several thousand dollars and still owe her 14k more for my divorce, but Nicole still NAGS ME ALL THE TIME, this whole weekend was rampant with her NAGGING AND NAGGING, when does it end, when does this soul get some freakin peace.

Anyway, like I said, the boys had a hard night sunday. Nicole left early that day and the boys did fine. We went to a starbuck in spokane and I bought them some wierd berry drink that they both really liked and I just sat there. They talked to me the entire time, neither one of them ever stopped talking, we were there like an hour and they both yapped the entire time.

Thats happened in the past, and I was prepared for it, they get very lovey dovey and chat like their life depends on it so we found a nice spot to sit down and I just let them yap it up. It was a nice afternoon.

When it came time for bed though, things got loud. First, Jadon was upset and very sad and wanted lots of hugs, which her got. Tristan was fine. I seperated them so that they could get some rest but once Jadon hit the bed he was crying pretty loud. Soon after Tristan followed even louder, crying that he wanted his mommy there. I felt really bad for them, they kept getting up and getting hugs and kisses from me and telling me how sad they were.

Well, finally after about an hour Jadon came down and very sadly told me that Tristan wouldnt stop crying for thier mom and because he kept hearing it he was getting more upset. lol, it sounded like it was going back and forth like that, making each other upset inadvertantly. So had them both come downstairs and I asked them if they could keep it down a bit because they were upsetting each other, and they seemed to understand. I gave them each one last big hug and kiss and I had them give each other a big hug and they went off to bed and fell right to sleep.

Well, I think I better call it quits on this blog for the night. Thanks for Reading!

As a last note, there's a special lady in the audience that I've been thinking about and I hope to talk with very soon. ;)

g'nite all

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Im Dreading This

I have a lot I want to blog about, but I am short on time. Let me first say that I just finished the latest episode of Fringe and I am glad I stuck with the show because it just got hella good.

In just about 5 hours I will be picking up my Ex-Wife from the airport in Spokane. I'm dreading it. I think the weekend will go ok, and I think the boys will have a lot of fun, but as the time draws nearer, I am feeling more and more like a dark cloud is moving overhead.

I've been doing alright sleeping in my bed again, about every other night or so. One of my friends thinks it is mostly because of Nicole's impending visit, which could be possible.

This will be the first time we've seen each other since everything was finalized. That will be kind of weird.

Most people I talk with seem to be of the mind that I am going well above and beyond with Nicole. Maybe, but then I think that, if I haven't been who I have been in this situation, would I be where I am? That sounded kind of vague, but I am sure you get my meaning.

I think I've been amazing accepting and accommodating considering the circumstances. Putting aside urges to hate her and wish bad things upon her. But you can't say I've been walked all over either, I haven't given an inch. I have never and will never, because I don't need to.

It is because I am right. Not all the time, but in the situation with Nicole, I am right beyond any shadow of a doubt. Things have ended up as they should. There is no reason for me to be angry, there is no reason for me to be spiteful. Things are better off now that we are separate, so why would I not be nice, why would I not encourage a friendship and working together as parents and doing everything I can to ensure we remain a good parenting team.

I think my anxiety comes from the fact that I am of this mind on my own, everything in the way I think seems to be an uphill battle because others don't think the same. Not with my experience anyway.

As brought up in my divorce, I am a control freak. Sometimes are worse than others. I try to over manage everything in my life. But is it a flaw? Or is it part of what makes me the parent that I am, part of what drives me to think and act the way I do.

I'll blog more soon. Happy Holidays Everyone!