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wookieshark88

My Journal - Joe

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Today was a good day.  It was my last day of break, and I spent it the right way.  We all had fun together as a family, got everything in order for the week, and took it easy.  Dinner was fun too.  I made Gordon Ramsay's pork chops.  They were really good for pork chops.  Usually I think that they're a pretty boring meat, but these were different.

I've been really happy not going to my job.  Hopefully I can finish school sooner rather than later and find work that I am passionate about.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Finishing my time off the right way.
  2. Getting a third of the way through my class.
  3. Having a good talk with my wife today.  It's important to communicate.
  4. Getting to have fun with cooking all break long.
  5. My baby's allergies seeming like they're under control.
  6. Being nice and relaxed heading into work tomorrow.
  7. Ballroom dancing with my baby in the living room.  She loves it.
  8. Not feeling any anxiety right now.
  9. Having a happy home.
  10. Going to bed with a new comforter.

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Things have been going good for me even though I've been away from my online journal.  I've done some writing on actual paper for a while.  I found it to be more meditative just just put a pen to paper.  Also, this winter semester class has been pretty intense with big readings and assignments (sometimes multiple) every day of the week.  After doing my desk job, reading a textbook, watching online videos for the class, and typing up assignment, I just find it torturous to be on a computer more than I absolutely have to.  That said, I want to be more consistent in my journal because I love this site and want to be an active part of it.  This place changed my life and I'll never forget it.  I'm game free and loving it!

These last few days have just been all about the grind.  I've been doing the right things, working towards the right goals, and laughing with the right people.  I've been happy even though there are times I've been a little frustrated or tired.  No matter what, I feel great to be chasing my dream of getting my degree.  I'm also doing pretty well in the father and husband area.  Self improvement has been going well too.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting close to the finish line with my class.
  2. Hanging in there at work even if it's been boring.
  3. Getting a ton of smiles from my baby today.
  4. Having a sense of fulfillment with life.
  5. Getting my to do list under control.  It was awful for a while.
  6. Learning a lot of interesting things about moral theory the last few weeks.  It's really expanded how I think about things.
  7. My wife for making me a sandwich to bring to lunch tomorrow.
  8. Cleaning up the house pretty good last weekend.
  9. Being able to conquer depression when it tries to set in.
  10. Being content with myself.

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I remember when you first posted about how important going back to school was for you, so it's exciting to follow along your journey. Post when you can, we all have different schedules sometimes. :)

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Today was awesome!  I wrapped up my ethics class this morning!  I was able to cook breakfast for the family, and we all went to the aquarium for a few hours.  It's nice to have a few days free time before next week when the spring semester starts up.  It'll be back to long days again, but I have some good momentum going!  I can't wait until I graduate and am able to pursue a new career.

Finishing school has always seemed like an impossibly long and difficult journey for me.  I left school at the age of 19 after three semesters because I had to leave home.  It just wasn't an realistic option for me to stay there any longer.  I always knew that I wanted to finish school, but it wasn't the right time for me back then.  I was fighting anxiety, depression, loneliness, insecurity, an identity crisis, video game addiction...all sorts of things.  I started my career in the company that I still work at today so I could support myself and build some sort life.  There was a lot of lessons I learned over the next few years as I started to solve many of my problems.  I finally started getting back into school at 24 years old.  I had been through a marriage, a divorce, moving from coast to coast a couple of time in the years in between.  Then at 25 years old, I had a nervous breakdown.  I was having panics attacks about every hour, I couldn't speak, and I required assistance to do most tasks.  At that point I started dealing with some of my many issues.  There was no other way for me to work around them anymore.  I would solve some problems, start to do well, and start to decline as issues that I hadn't solved yet began to surface.  I've spent the years since I was 25 working to support myself, chipping away at my education, and dealing with myself.  I've been trending in the right direction since then.  I got my own little house, advanced in my career, got myself a lovely wife and child.  When I got my associate's degree I was probably the proudest person to cross the stage.  I had to learn to overcome my insecurities and how to love the process of school itself.  Early this year another problem of mine came to the surface and I crashed again.  This time it was video game addiction that came to the forefront in the ugliest way.  That's when this journal started.  Things are back on track while I keep up my quest to finish my education.  At 32 years old now, I'm working on a solid plan and managing the responsibilities of home ownership, having a family, and paying the bills.

Sometimes I just need to reflect on the journey I'm on.  It's easy to get lost in the day to day struggles and forget why I do what I do.  It's really tiring to balance all of the my goals and responsibilities.  It's also worth it.  I know myself well enough to know that I cannot live happily unless I have a sense of progress in my life.  I also need to be able to learn how to enjoy the process if I have any chance of continuing to chase my dreams.  If I don't enjoy it, I'll either burn out of have to escape it from time to time.  Video games were that escape for me.  For me, quitting video games has been all about removing my need to escape from my own life.  I've had to learn to enjoy life for what it is.  This doesn't involve any sort of mental gymnastics to deny that it's difficult or hard work.  It's been all about being right in the thick of life and loving what's all around me.  This means that every day is a process of making my life something that I love to see.  This is why exercise and healthy eating help.  Cultivating my relationship with my wife and child is a huge part of that as well.  Reading good books is vital because it opens my mind to strategies and perspectives that I never had.  Journaling and meditation keep my mind healthy by regularly taking inventory of what's going on in there and keeping it in order.  I still get scared, overwhelmed, and exhausted.  That's okay.  Those feelings happen to all of us, but these days I have so many tools at my disposal to rise above them.

I really didn't expect to get super introspective in my journal.  I just wanted to write and let the words flow.  It's always helpful to see what appears in writing when I do this.  I usually just do it on paper because it's usually too private for me to put out there.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting three credits for three weeks of intense studying.  It was crazy, but I did it!
  2. The journey of my life.  It's been quite the ride.
  3. Studying ethics.  It really was interesting to learn about the philosophy behind it all.
  4. Feeling so alive.  I've experienced the depths of anxiety and depression and have come back to find happiness.
  5. Having fun with my family after finishing my class!
  6. Relaxing with my wife now that my baby is sleeping.
  7. Having another day off to have fun tomorrow.
  8. Getting ready to jump into my next class.
  9. Having a great place to journal.
  10. Being happy.

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Today was a pretty decent day.  Work was just another day of the same.  I was bored and unstimulated there, but I was able to listen to some Tim Ferriss which is always nice.  I'm starting class tomorrow which is great.  It means more long days and long drives, but I already got though the last semester like that and did mostly well.  I also learned some practical non academic lessons too which I will make sure to never forget.  I'm feeling confident that I will do very well.  I'll have a reason to draw just about every day.  I had a hard time drawing between semester because I either had house work, home repairs, my winter class, or my other habits.

My wife had the day off which is awesome for her.  She got to have a mother and daughter day.  I know that my father daughter days are so special to me.  They went out and bought some shoes and had a fun day together.  Knowing they had a blast together more than makes up for any work bordem.

I'm thankful for:

  1. My wife and baby having a blast together today.
  2. Being ready to take on the next semester.
  3. Having a delicious chicken and rice soup my wife and I made for dinner.
  4. Making progress towards my goals.
  5. Getting to put my baby to sleep.
  6. Having a great meditation session this morning.
  7. Being able to relax now.
  8. Having everything I need.
  9. My good habits that changed my life.
  10. Being over 200 days game free now.

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Really enjoyed reading your Saturday's journal, very insightful thoughts you are having, I will have to look at your journal more regularly! I also really like how you list off things you are grateful for every day, I might have to borrow that into my own journal I'm hoping to try to keep up on a daily basis. Thank you for your sincerity / vulnerability.

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Really enjoyed reading your Saturday's journal, very insightful thoughts you are having, I will have to look at your journal more regularly! I also really like how you list off things you are grateful for every day, I might have to borrow that into my own journal I'm hoping to try to keep up on a daily basis. Thank you for your sincerity / vulnerability.

Thank you for your kind words!  I spent most of my life trying to hide my vulnerabilities, but I've learned that my personal growth depends on acknowledging and working with my vulnerabilities.  It's a sign of strength to expose weakness in an appropriate way.  If you haven't read "Daring Greatly" by Brenee Brown or "Mindset" by Carol Dweck yet, I would highly suggest them to learn more about this stuff.  They have made a big difference in how I approach life.

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Today was a good day.  Work was better than usual.  I made some progress on some jobs that have been idle for a while.  I also got my school advisor to finally reply to me after like two months of silence.  It's hard when you need somebody's help, they're not helpful, and they're in such a position of authority over you.  The good news is that I've been getting some chances to practice some of the things I've learned from "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.  I've actually been having some small successes with that stuff so I just need to keep practicing.

I've been having trouble with eating too much crap lately.  I don't want to lost all my progress that I worked so hard to earn.  Since the last thing I wrote about it in my journal talks about working with my vulnerabilities, I have to put it out there.  That's the power of doing this journal where people can read it.  Also, thanks to Watermelon who helped me to get it out there.  I can't give advice that I don't follow.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Doing really well at work today.
  2. Applying knowledge gained from the good books I read.
  3. Starting to get my eating habits under control starting today.
  4. Feeling better about work than I have been.
  5. Enjoying the evening with my wife.
  6. My baby started walking using her walker!
  7. Learning more history of architecture.  It's really cool stuff.
  8. Having a good meditation this morning.
  9. Having a purpose in life.
  10. Getting a little better every day.

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I don't know if you are into cooking at all, but I've been really enjoying the recipes on this site recently: http://www.carlyswellnesskitchen.com/recipes/

I would describe their author (I worked with her brother once) as a genius of flavor proportions...I wouldn't exactly call them the easiest to make (sometimes there are several steps but each of the steps is quite easy) but all the directions and measurements are pretty clear and whenever I make them I am amazed at how good they come out...the couple of people I cooked them for all gave me a lot of praise too, which felt good even though the credit secretly belonged to the recipe :); reminds me of that Einstein quote about creativity, teehee. The ones I've tried so far are lentil salad with radicchio, dal makhani lentil stew, and tofu and vegetable stir-fry with peanut ginger sauce. All superb and healthy, can't recommend them enough!!

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The ones I've tried so far are lentil salad with radicchio, dal makhani lentil stew, and tofu and vegetable stir-fry with peanut ginger sauce. All superb and healthy, can't recommend them enough!!

Hey @kortheo, looks like @MmmWatermelon's spot is where all the good food is. We might need to stop by. ;)

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I don't know if you are into cooking at all, but I've been really enjoying the recipes on this site recently: http://www.carlyswellnesskitchen.com/recipes/

I would describe their author (I worked with her brother once) as a genius of flavor proportions...I wouldn't exactly call them the easiest to make (sometimes there are several steps but each of the steps is quite easy) but all the directions and measurements are pretty clear and whenever I make them I am amazed at how good they come out...the couple of people I cooked them for all gave me a lot of praise too, which felt good even though the credit secretly belonged to the recipe :); reminds me of that Einstein quote about creativity, teehee. The ones I've tried so far are lentil salad with radicchio, dal makhani lentil stew, and tofu and vegetable stir-fry with peanut ginger sauce. All superb and healthy, can't recommend them enough!!

I love cooking and will definitely check this site out soon!  I'm definitely beyond beginner level of cooking at this point in my life and not too many recipes intimidate me at this point.  I'm always on the lookout for fun new things to cook as well.

This weekend was great!  We spent yesterday snowed in which is just fine by me.  It was nice to have an excuse to not go anywhere and just hang out with my family.  We cleaned, organized, played, and just enjoyed each other's company.  By the time the weekend was up, the house was in tip top shape, tons of fun was had, lots of tasty recipes were cooked, and my baby enjoyed sledding for the first time in the snow.  She really had a good time in the snow and even put her face in it at one point.  I thought that a face full of snow would really upset her, but she laughed!  It was also a really good workout to run around pulling the sled.  I'm usually not a fan of the snow, but it's a lot more tolerable with a baby who loves it.  It was also easy to get in some serious study time too.

My video game craving still pop up from time to time, but they're really minor at this point.  My environment really doesn't remind me of video games nearly as much as it used to either.  My nicotine cravings are much more intense, but I've been successful in not breaking down.  I'm still loving my freedom from games.  As I've said more than a few times, the best part of quitting has been being able to just enjoy all the parts of my day without feeling like I'm just getting things out of the way to play a game.  When I was pulling the sled, I was in that moment with no desire to be anywhere else, and that's something that I could have never had until I got away from games.  I never stop appreciating it.  So many times I just revel in the present and smile.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Snow.  I'm usually never thankful for the snow, haha.
  2. The beef soup that is simmering on the stove top.
  3. Seeing my baby smile while she was being pulled around on the sled.
  4. This very clean and organized house.
  5. Studying the history of architecture.  It's so fascinating to me to see the principles that transcend time, place, and culture.
  6. The back rub my wife gave me today.
  7. My dad calling me today.  I usually have to call him.
  8. Getting older.  Working had at improving all aspects of my life for years has been paying off as I'm happier than ever.
  9. The light off the full moon reflecting on freshly fallen snow.  It's a surreal beauty.
  10. My to do list being tiny.  Last November I had 20+ things on it at any given time.  I have two things on it right now.

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Today was a good day.  I had class which went well.  We're studying Chinese and Japanese architecture right  now which is really cool.  I never knew that these styles heavily influenced modern and global architecture style so it was fun to learn a bit about that.  The drive there and back was safe too.

I started getting immunotherapy shots today for my allergies.  Because it was my first day to get them, I wans't used to the routine.  I went into the office, got my shots, then went into the waiting room to sit there for 30 minutes.  After getting these shots, you have to wait there for 30 minutes before leaving because some people can have severe reactions.  Seeking to make the most of that time, I decided that I would meditate in the waiting room.  I didn't want to look out of place or weird so I just sat back in the chair in a really relaxed position and pretended to just be napping.  As I was sitting there focusing on my breath, I hear the nurse yell my name from across the room.  I figured that they needed to work out some details with my insurance so I went over to the reception desk.  The nurse was freaking out because she thought I went into anaphylactic shock in the waiting room.  I just told her that I have a baby who hasn't been sleeping well so I wanted to nap.  She gave me a semi stern lecture about how I need to wait with my eyes open so they can tell if I'm alive or not.  I assured her that I meant no harm and was very much alive.  This made everybody in the waiting room laugh.  I have a knack for making random groups of people laugh.  This kind of thing seems to happen to me on a regular basis, haha.

Work was it's normal, unstimulating experience.  I just get through it in the most dignified manner possible and remind myself that I am working on finishing my degree so I can move on.

Since I've mentioned that I haven't been eating too well in an earlier journal entry, things have improved.  Sometimes the best thing to do is just put those shameful little things out there for people to see.  My natural reaction is always to hide whatever I'm not proud of, but that doesn't do anything but increase the feelings of shame.  People aren't going to think I'm some awful cretin because I'm not perfect.  Also, when people do judge you harshly for being open and honest with struggles, it's a great indicator that they're not the kind of person that is worth being around.  It's also helps to make yourself a little bit braver in the future.  The only thing to be wary of is not oversharing in a way that makes others needlessly uncomfortable and being sure that you don't create any problems in the workplace.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Modern society.  It has it's disadvantages, but it has many more opportunities.
  2. Getting the chance to try to eliminate my allergies.
  3. Having the time to sit back and write in my journal.
  4. Not settling for a mundane career.  I would be so depressed if I didn't have a career goal.
  5. This forum.  It's the best forum I've ever been on.
  6. Having a good time with my baby before I put her to bed.
  7. A much warmer day that we have been having.
  8. Talking to my parents today.
  9. Eating a bit better today.
  10. Not having any depression or anxiety today.

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Also, when people do judge you harshly for being open and honest with struggles, it's a great indicator that they're not the kind of person that is worth being around.  It's also helps to make yourself a little bit braver in the future. 

100%.

Happy to hear you had a good day today man. 

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Also, when people do judge you harshly for being open and honest with struggles, it's a great indicator that they're not the kind of person that is worth being around.  It's also helps to make yourself a little bit braver in the future. 

100%.

Happy to hear you had a good day today man. 

Thanks!  I have a bit of free time to check out all of these wonderful new journals around here which is always so uplifting!

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Today was a good day after a nice and recharging weekend.  Last week was tiring and unfocused for me.  I was contemplating taking tomorrow off because I was starting to feel a little bit burned out.  Thankfully, this weekend was much more rejuvenating than I thought it would be.  I kept my focus on my wife, baby, and chores because they give me a sense of satisfaction that is hard for me to find elsewhere.  This weekend we went swimming, cooked awesome meals together, and played around a bunch.  I also did as many of the chores as I could and let my wife go out for a while.  She is so supportive of me that I wanted to just let her pamper herself a bit.  Taking care of a bunch of stuff around the house also gives me a sense of accomplishment that I don't find at work at all.  I really need to get that feeling as much as possible because I have 40 hours a week at work that feel meaningless to me.

Homework was left to small 45 minute bursts here and there between doing more enjoyable things.  I did not let myself feel guilty or feel pressure to do it at all.  The resolution to just fit in short bursts was good enough for me.  It turned out to be a pretty effective way to get it done.  I did almost no homework during the week because I didn't have the mental energy to do it.  It turned out fine because I got caught up on Saturday and Sunday.

Through it all, I've been able to keep my sense of happiness.  I'm happy to make progress towards my goals, continue good habits, and enjoy my family.  Sometimes I fantasize about a game, but I never actually come close to playing any games.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Having a good rest this weekend.
  2. Seeing my baby stand unsupported for a few seconds at a time!
  3. Getting a ton of things done around the house.
  4. Staying caught up in my studies.
  5. Continuing to happily stay away from games.
  6. Having my good habits.
  7. Getting through January.  The days are getting longer now!
  8. Being happy.
  9. Learning to take things as they come.
  10. Having goals.

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This weekend was awesome!  We had a really nasty blizzard on Friday so I stayed home from work.  We stayed inside all day because going outside was pointless.  This let us get a head start on the chores and fun!  I made my fancy eggs for breakfast and a hearty beef stew for dinner.  Cooking is such an uplifting activity for me since I quit games.  My wife got all of the laundry done and did some other cleaning too.

Because we got ahead on everything on Friday, Saturday was great!  We invited my inlaws over for a fancy dinner to thank them for everything they do for us.  We cooked a roast chicken, chorizo stuffing, roasted veggies, and bought a Boston cream pie for desert!  We all got to just hang out and relax together without feeling like there was some urgent task to be done.  I've been wanting to make an awesome meal for them since last year, but between wrecking my car, traveling for a funeral, taking a winter class, and having a baby, there just wasn't any time.  Having a snow day finally gave us the opportunity to pull it off.

Today was all about doing all our out of the house chores.  We may get stuck inside tomorrow with more snow so we had to take advantage.  We also took our baby out for some sledding.  At first she was really excited about going out there.  After a while, she was just really relaxed to be pulled along in her sled.  The next thing we knew, we were pulling a sleeping baby in a sled in the snow.  It was pretty funny to see her passed out going up and down the little hills.  We dragged our unconscious child back to the house and put her in her play pen, haha.

I also was able to get a lot of schoolwork done in my three days off.  It really helps because I don't have to squeeze in study sessions during lunch at work.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Snow days.
  2. Baby sleds.
  3. So much good food.
  4. Doing something good for people who always do good things for me.
  5. Getting three days (maybe four) to get rested and caught up.
  6. Getting my taxes 95% done.  Gotta get the last few documents so I can get my refund!
  7. Laughing and smiling plenty.
  8. My accountability partner.  I'm really glad that we started that.
  9. My baby riding in the grocery cart for the first time.
  10. Buying my baby her valentine's day present!  I can't wait to play with it give it to her!

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The last few days have been good!  I've been enjoying doing the accountability partner thing and have gotten back into a good workout routine!  I took my first test of the semester, and I think it did well.  My baby keeps getting funner as she likes to play fun little games with me.  Work has been going fairly well even if it feels a bit pointless.  Meditation this morning was really refreshing too.

I'm thankful for:

  1. Getting through my first test.
  2. Almost being done with my taxes.
  3. Having some good talks with my accountability partner.
  4. My neck feeling a bit better.
  5. Working on my wife's Valentine's Day gift.
  6. The weekend coming up.
  7. Having tasty leftovers for dinner.
  8. Driving safely today.
  9. Starting to pay more attention to my budget.
  10. Having a great family.

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Hi Joe, what's been going on? We haven't heard from you in a long time, it'd be great to hear how you're doing. :) The community has grown a lot since you last posted, thank you for your support in building up the community to what it is now.

I hope you and your baby are healthy and happy, have a great day! :D

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I don't know what you are doing but your journal to date has been incredibly inspiring as balancing parenting and growth.  I like how you have bad days/times and overcome them and mainly just live in the moment in a joyous way.  I don't know if you will ever read this post but may all the best come to you and yours. 

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I don't know what you are doing but your journal to date has been incredibly inspiring as balancing parenting and growth.  I like how you have bad days/times and overcome them and mainly just live in the moment in a joyous way.  I don't know if you will ever read this post but may all the best come to you and yours. 

Joe is doing great! I spoke with him recently :)

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I don't know what you are doing but your journal to date has been incredibly inspiring as balancing parenting and growth.  I like how you have bad days/times and overcome them and mainly just live in the moment in a joyous way.  I don't know if you will ever read this post but may all the best come to you and yours. 

I certainly will read it!  I'm honored that you find my words helpful!

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