Posts Tagged ‘family’

The Great Divide

Friday, June 15th, 2018

This morning I woke early and had some extra time to kill before going off to work, so I opened Facebook to see if anything interesting was posted. Maybe I should have looked at Instagram instead!

A long time friend of mine posted what I have copied below:

“I think I have figured out this whole #DH Thing*. Seriously he simply tapped into the less intelligent among us and has held their attention through sheer ignorance.” * (I believe DH means D@#k Head)

Well, being that I did not vote for Hillary, I am led to assume that I am one off the “less intelligent” among you all. I have to say that I thought about this all day as it played out in my mind and just needed to address how I feel about his comment.

The first thing I felt was “is this how he thinks about me?” We have been friends for some 30 years and although I rarely agree with his political views I have never crossed that line where my opinion made me think of him as less a person than myself. I can understand now, how you can lose friends over political views and why many avoid talking about the subject in mixed company let alone on a public platform like Facebook.

The second thing that crossed my mind was how divided we have all become over our beliefs as to what kind of country we should be living in. Or more so, who runs our country. I have learned one valuable lesson if any, that nothing, absolutely nothing, that our past Presidents from Carter to Trump has done, has affected my life enough that I now need to attack others because of their position. I have in the past and still do today, wake up everyday in the greatest country on Earth, in a home with people I love, with hard earned money in my bank account and at least one nice car in my driveway. My family and friends can say the same thing if they just take the time to think about life since they were old enough to vote.

I am however, not naive enough to think that some families weren’t affected by the loss of a child due to unnecessary wars that were because of things beyond the normal persons control. Yes some Presidents have made horrible decisions and we really have no way to undo what was done , but we can try by voting them out the next chance we get. But honestly, I spent  eight years living under the Presidency of Obama and I was so stressed out about how I felt the country was changing. But when I sat back, took a breath and really thought about my life, nothing had changed except I chose to stress over something I had little control over.

I am what I believe to be a conservative, constitutional minded,  independent voter. I no longer consider myself a Republican, as I did in the past. What I do know is both parties are useless and if Trump was right about just one thing, our government needs to change. The “swamp” needs to be drained as he said many times. I have come to realize that it isn’t which party will do the most for the country because they could all care less about us. What has Congress done for our country that works. Social Security? Medicare? Vet benefits? Have they balanced the budget? What about healthcare? That’s the best example yet.  They shove something down our throats and they don’t have to be part of it. They continue to enjoy their “Cadillac Plan” on us while we all worry over how we are going to afford our insurance this year.

I guess the point of all this is that when I read what my friend wrote I wonder how he doesn’t see the corruption that I see. How he doesn’t believe its both parties using our tax dollars to grow our government larger than ever to keep them in their cushy jobs. Does he not see how they all have career jobs and they don’t have to solve one problem? They aren’t accountable to anyone anymore. How is he not as angry at them as he is towards me and those who voted differently than he did.

I really don’t see how anyone, democrat or republican, can honestly think their party is better enabled to fix this mess. They all created it. And that is what take me to my last point.

I voted for Trump. Unfortunately I voted for the idea and got Trump. Do I believe he is the be all and end all? No, absolutely not. In fact I wrote a letter to him prior to the election expressing my feelings about how he speaks to others and carries himself. No I am not proud of how our President presents himself. But I didn’t vote for Trump as much as I voted to end the bullshit that goes on in Washington. I voted for a person who did not spend his entire life living off tax payer dollars. I voted for a man who like it or not grew a business and through that business gave others the opportunity to earn a living. I voted for the Constitution. I voted for what America was supposed to be and what our forefathers meant for it to be. You see, I can talk politics with anyone who respects my right to an opinion and doesn’t call me names because of it. I don’t have to agree with you but I do have to respect how you feel, that is if I expect to be your friend.

My friend says hes a proud Liberal. What exactly is that? I am guessing that Robert Deniro is a proud Liberal too! How does anyone in this country respect that man after what he said about the President of his country? If this was done to Obama it would have been on every network and Deniro would be blackballed from Hollywood. Just check out Roseanne if you don’t believe it. Is this what we have come to. When I speak to Liberals about Obama’s vision of America and why I didn’t agree with it, I am called a racist. When I vote for Trump I am called ” less intelligent”. So to be a Liberal I guess I would need to turn cheek to others who don’t agree with my views then insult them as I walk away. I sure hope Liberals enjoy each others company because soon enough they will be the only ones that will hang with them.

This Great divide isn’t just because of its people, its because of its politicians. They are dividing us and the great many of us are like sheep just following along. This is what they feed on. They divide us, keep us off balance with crap that doesn’t matter while all the time the deceive and lie to us. When will the people of this country wake up and stop being angry with each other and turn their focus to all the people who have been playing us for decades. To hold them accountable and jail the ones deserving of such. The Ryan’s, Pelosi’s, Shummer’s and like all need to go because each time one loses their seat, our great divide gets that much smaller.

Just One Man’s Opinion

The Regular Guy.

What do you “cherish” most?

Sunday, April 8th, 2012


In times like these I get to thinking. I wonder what it is that people cherish most in life. Is it their car or jewelry?  Maybe it’s their spouse or children? How about that beach front house you built? What exactly is it that people cherish most in life?

Happy Easter! To most of us, Easter is about family, especially children. Setting out the plastic eggs filled with money and candy for our children to find while we sit and watch in joy as they find those little jewels of happiness. For adults it’s about getting together and celebrating. Big meals, wine, fancy desserts and sports on television.  But for most of us, we forget the true meaning of Easter and why we really should be celebrating this day.

Today, as I stood by myself in church, I noticed that most of the people in attendance were of the gray haired variety. I thought to myself how sad it is that we need to reach our golden years before we give religion a place in our lives. How we as adults are so busy with life that we can’t find the time to give thanks for what we have accomplished.

I am ashamed to admit that I don’t find enough time in my life to give thanks to God for all I have and for the people in my life that make it so special. I am too caught up in just trying to make it through each day, pay the bills and try to get enough sleep to start all over again tomorrow.  The only difference, I think, that separates me from most of my peers, is that I recognize how sad it has become that we are all forgetting we were put here for a greater reason than earning a living.

Money, as you might not realize, has become our God of worship. We scurry around all our lives trying to find ways to earn enough money to garner the things we “cherish”. While this is happening we are allowing time to slip by and our life to fade to almost a blip on the screen. Not only do we forget God and religion, but we don’t even see the everyday beauty in life itself that surrounds us everywhere we are.

I thought about what I cherish most and I first thought of my wife, but then I took a minute to think about it. What I thought of was how lucky I was to be alive today. How seeing all these people in church made me think about our greater reason for being here and that I wished I could find a way to help make the people around me stop and rethink why they are alive. How I wished I could take stage like our President and instead of spewing garbage, tell everyone to take back their lives and focus on peace and understanding, not fighting and gluttony. Yes gluttony. We are all guilty of it. The bigger televisions, the fancier phones that we hardly use to call people from, the cars that cost more than homes.

I have always felt that I would have been better served to be born in the forties or fifties if only for its simpler times. Today with all our technology that’s supposed to do us a world of good, we have become slaves to it. Even when we spend time together socially we allow our phones to interrupt us and become what is more important than the people we are with. It is sickening what we have become.

Life is fleeting, life is also very scary, life is fragile, and life is short. Now that I am on the back side of my expected life span, I can see that more clearly. What scares me though is that I cannot find a way to change it without upsetting the balance of family and self in my life.

So as I conclude this post I think that I have taken one good thing from this day. I woke up this morning, kissed my wife and went to church to thank God for all I have. To tell him, I know you are there and I think of you often. To apologize for not being the best person I could be and to promise to try harder to spread his word. I prayed that we as a people would wake up collectively and realize how precious life is and find a way to “fix” this world before it was too late.  I know, what I “cherish “most. I cherish my life and the God that gave it to me.

Peace be with you all

The Regular Guy

Say What?

Monday, October 11th, 2010

(The following post is from my new contributing columnist. Her posts will be under the title “She Says” and will be one woman’s opinion, thoughts and perspective on men and life as she see’s it).

Does anyone really listen anymore? Have you ever been so excited about something you experienced during the day that you burst into an exuberant explanation with the first person who would spare you five minutes, only to discover that when you pause to take a breath, the person immediately interjects their own personal story?… Like they didn’t hear a word you said, they were simply waiting for you to stop talking.

I like to think of myself as a trained listener; salespeople learn the skill as part of their toolbox. To connect with customers and earn their trust, we have to listen attentively for clues about what drives them…about their passions and interests. So when a “customer” pauses, I ask questions or repeat something they said to show that I was paying attention. It’s the polite thing to do.

Why is it so hard for people to reciprocate? Sometimes I’ve even wondered if it’s me. Maybe my conversation is boring or I’m just not funny enough. Yet, even when the so-called listener skips the art of listening and immediately becomes the talker, I find myself trying to show an interest again. Occasionally I get hung up on the fact that my whole conversation just went by the wayside. My mind starts drifting and I’ve suddenly committed the same offense- I’m no longer paying attention.

I think I’ve got the edge though. The talker doesn’t even know it because he’s still listening…to himself.

Last rites on the institution of marriage…..

Friday, October 8th, 2010

It’s probably a good idea for you to first read the article linked to this post before reading my thoughts on it below.

As much as I hate to think that this person is correct in his opinion, I believe he could have hit the bulls-eye!

Marriage really doesn’t work, at least not like it used to. We have become a society of me rather than we people. Marriage after all, is just too hard for most people to become adept at, mainly because there is very little incentive for them to do so. People used to marry for love but if you ask couples today why they are marrying, most place love at the back of the list, and some never even mention it. It’s usually “we’ve been together for years and it was time”. How can anyone expect a marriage to last if that’s a reason to get married. Time together should never be a reason to marry.

Marriage works if both people want it to. Period, end of story! If you aren’t fully commited to making your marriage the single most important thing in your life, it’s probably doomed. I always beleived that if a person put their spouse’s feelings before their own, it would increase a marriages chance of survival. Too often I am around friends that talk bad about their spouse openly. I also witness couples that curse at each other. I have never in my life,heard my parents curse at each other. You need to respect your spouse and treat her that way. Never talk bad to people about her or curse at her like you curse at friends or others, especially when in a disagreement.

I am one of the unlucky ones who married then divorced. I am also one of the luckier ones who found the right girl the second time around. When I married the second time, my mom told us both, just one thing. “Be kind to each other”. That’s all..just be kind. Sounds corny huh? I sure as hell thought so. But after thinking it over  I conscientiously tried it. It makes sense too. It can only make your wife love and appreciate you more if you treat her kindly. Kind words, hold hands, little notes in everyday places, open doors for her (ALL THE TIME) and treat her like a woman used to be treated when our dads were young.

Yes, maybe the institution of marriage as we know it is doomed. And maybe its because we have forgotten what is truly important in our lives because we have all gotten caught up in computers, long hours at work, reality television  and what makes me happy. We allow our lives to become so complicated that we often don’t think about how to make our marriage better but just let days turn into years without thought of how it is actually falling apart. We allow our childrens’ interests to rule our marriage and forget that at one time, when they weren’t around, we were both what was important. Now, many husbands that started at number one in their wife’s eyes may very well be three or four, depending on how much she loves her parents and pets…

The formula for a good marriage isn’t that complicated. It just takes two people to be committed to making each others happiness the most important thing in their lives…Pretty simple huh?

Just one mans opinion…from a friend

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
( the following was contributed by a friend..thanks)

I went to PNC to see John Mayer last night. Sound was OK but loud. I couldn’t really hear vocals clearly yet the crowd knew every word and they were ready to party. Now to my point. It was like eye candy. Young high school and college girls all tan, wearing short shorts, tank tops or sundresses, laced with coconut tan lotion and smelling great. As men, we are so turned on by that and the girls just strut their stuff without thought. They hang in groups, laugh, giggle and boy watch. So my question is” does anyone wonder why young girls so often get pregnant or date raped?”  Don’t the parents of these young women check out what their daughter is wearing and educate them on what message they are sending to men of ALL ages, prior to them going out in public? As fathers, we know what men think when they see this, and we should insist that our daughters don’t make this mistake, even if  innocent, by dressing in this manner. Temptation is always present and most men know their limitations, both morally and legally, but unfortunately some don’t, and these are the ones who young girls need to be aware of. It’s as if the girls play this head game, but they know exactly what they are doing. It was like a boob-fest. Hang them out but if a man looks he’s a jerk or pervert. There was a time when this was inappropriate behavior and society, let alone parents, would not accept this from young ladies. Add alcohol to this equation and now you have the perfect setting for trouble. Parents seem to have forgotten just how naive we were at this age and how important, especially in today’s world it is to be aware of the message our young people are putting out there. My feeling is this is just one more example of how liberal and accepting our nation has become.

a High School senior on her way to the prom( See The Dress That Got A High-School Senior Arrested

What gift do you buy the Regular guy?

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Some one tell me why in Gods name would ANYONE, man or woman buy a candle for a man? Does a person stand in the middle of a chachki store with scented candle in hand with a smile on their face and say” Wow, Joe is going to love this!”

Men don’t do well with gifts. I can understand now what my dad went through all those years for birthdays and Christmas. How hard it must have been for him to smile when inside he was probably thinking” What the hell am I going to do with this singing fish?”

Men don’t do well with gifts especially when women buy them. Not always but most often true, women don’t get us in life, so picking gifts for us is just nuts. Most of us have everything we want, unless its too expensive to buy, which means we aren’t going to get that as a gift from someone else!

So what do you buy for the Regular guy? Probably nothing. Unless you pay attention to what he does in life and especially in his spare time, then nothing works better that a gift card.

In closing, perhaps an example of such a tragic gift story would be fitting. This is what happens when, not one, but two women engage in what they believe is the perfect gift for yours truly.

At some time in my past I mentioned that I always wanted a small pair of binoculars. One that I could easily carry, you know, like to the beach to check out bikini clad women ( What? Were you thinking I was going to say for a sporting event!). So armed with this information, my wife sets out to buy me the gift I always wanted!  UNFORTUNATELY, she shopped at a store that a woman she knows owns and this woman proceeded to talk her out of the small pair of binoculars. She instead, thought that a singular monocular would be much better for me. So, that Christmas, I got half the gift I always wanted!!

To be honest, in the end I did get my binoculars about two years and three gift occasions later but I figure you get the point. This past year I started a list with details like brand names, model numbers, colors, and even a contact person from which to buy these gifts. Not bad huh? Get to it guys……Merry Christmas!

Just one man’s opinion…

The Regular Guy

Mild Hogs

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Hey, that's just not a safe riding style....

For those of you who never saw the movie “Wild Hogs”, you should if you want a good start to understanding why men ride motorcycles.

I can remember being a child and what my first impressions of motorcycling were. The thing I most remember is my moms cousins and their “motorcycle garage” behind their house. Back in the sixties cut up choppers were the thing to have and at any given time you would see a large variety of them at their garage.

As a child, you can not help to feel awe at the sight of tattooed men with all that iron and noise around them.  Even at this age I still find myself in awe, at times, when I am surrounded by motorcycles. It’s like being in the wild west without the guns.

But even though I have always had a love of motorcycles, it wasn’t until I reached forty or so that I truly appreciated what it does to enhance my life.

Having a motorcycle in itself doesn’t necessarily bring excitement and adventure. It is with whom and what you do with it, that makes motorcycling a great thing. Nothing else exemplifies this more than owning and riding a Harley Davidson. It is like belonging to a club with out walls and rules. It’s a fraternity with out the hazing.

The absolute best reason for riding is the people you meet and become friends with. Someone tagged it “male bonding” but I think that’s a load of commercial crap. Yeah we all get along, but I always think of bonding like a bunch of men sitting around singing Kum Ba Yah. That just isn’t happening. What happens is that the motorcycle becomes the common denominator that brings together men of all backgrounds. Doctors, lawyers, chefs, Realtors, electricians and so on, just wanting to do one thing. Experience life through simple transportation and being able to share that with someone else who can understand it.

A lot of people always ask me why we get together to take a trip and ride for hundreds of miles a day.  They think its boring because you have no one to talk to, like you would in a car. They can’t understand what reason we would have to go to Ohio, for instance. What could possibly be a reason to ride there. This is the one thing people don’t really understand about motorcycling unless they ride one. The trips aren’t about the ride itself but the friendships that come from them. The best part of the ride is always at night when you pull into a new town, and go out for a steak, some drinks, and laugh your ass off about the events that took place that day. There aren’t any phone calls from work, no bills to pay today, no kids to drive to soccer, nothing but you and that bike and your friends.

I just spent the better part of four days on a ride that rolled up 1200 miles. On that trip I got to spend time with my uncle, that I probably would never have done with out our motorcycles. We were all drenched in rain that was so heavy, we had to dry our boots on the heaters in the hotel rooms. I smelled the aroma of at least 12 different things that I would have missed if I were in a car. I got to act like a college kid again, when we all did shots of Vodka in a small cafe in State College Pa. I experienced roller coaster excitement on rte 322, where roads were cut out of the sides of mountains that were so steep that trucks had to ride their brakes just not to crash.

There’s a saying bikers have, “Ride to Live, Live to Ride.” which just about sums it all up. At no point in my life have I ever felt as alive or as free as I do when I ride.

So here’s to my friends “The Mild Hogs” and to another safe and successful trip…

The Regular Guy

Do you hear me????

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

I don’t talk much. Some people think I am aloof. Most people think I am in a bad mood. Alot of people think I don’t like them. Truth is, I don’t say much unless I feel it nescessary and quite frankly, no one usually cares enough to listen anyway!!!!

I have learned in my life that it is better to be a good listerner than it is to be a good talker. I have learned more listening than I ever will from talking. The problem is most people today don’t find anyone interesting enough to listen to before they talk.

We have become a society of people who care more about what they have to say than what the the other person does. I find it not only rude but frustrating.

The very worse case I have witnessed recently came at a training seminar I attended for Mediation. A woman therapist spoke for approximately 30 minutes and then gave the floor to the next speaker. During the time that the gentleman was speaking, no less than five times did she interrupt him to give her opinion. At one point she stole the floor from him. This woman had her own agenda and she was going to push it all day no matter whose turn it was to speak.

I come from a family of what Seinfeld would probably call “over-talkers”. You know them as the friend who never lets you finish a sentence. Or the employee who always finishes your sentence for you and doesn’t come close to what you were trying to say.

When did this happen. As a kid I would be scolded for such rude behavior and now it is commonly accepted. It is a standing joke between two friends of mine and myself, how they never let me finish a sentence. Worse yet is when they ask me a question and don’t bother to listen to the answer but turn away in the middle of it. My wife and I now continue talking to people who look away but we change the subject to something tragic like ” and then I cut my finger to the bone and had to have it stitched and blah blah”. At some point the person usually turns their attention back to us  without a clue as to what we are talking about. Pretty funny stuff.

So what is it with people that can’t shut their pie hole long enough for someone to answer their question? What makes people talk over someone in conversation? I think the reason is two fold. First, most people tell me that they think they will forget what they are going to say next so they blurt it out. Second, they lost their ability to listen. Everyone is in such a rush today that taking time to listen to someone slows their day down. They already know what you are going to say so why not move on. Or better yet, they have a similar story that they can’t wait to tell you. Another Seinfeld moment. “the one upper”. Oh yeah everyone knows one of these people. Always found the blouse cheaper, or their kid gets better grades, or they have a different model television that is better than yours.Anything you say they have a story just like it but better.At least they think its better.

So everyone just chill! Believe it or not, if you take the time to listen to what someone else has  to say you might find what you think you wanted to say might change.And maybe you just may learn something about that person you didn’t know.

I love to listen. I love to listen because no one else is and I hear everything. Being a Mediator, I do however have an unfair advantage,. Yes, being a Mediator I am trained to listen to what people have to say. That is how I have become so quiet and such a good listener. I am grateful for that training because people say very interesting things if you let them. And, if you really listen to people they will notice and pay more attention to what you have to say when it’s your turn to speak.

The best thing about not talking so much is that people notice. As I said in my opening paragraph, they form all sorts of ideas about me because I don’t talk as much as they think I should. Maybe they get some bad ideas about me but when I do talk, most of them listen very carefully. Probably because they are in shock when I do. Plus not talking so much keeps them guessing about what I am really like. It sort of gives me the upper hand in a weird way.  This way I figure that when I do say something maybe, just maybe,they will listen……Can you hear me now????


Thursday, August 13th, 2009

What is love and can it exist today?

Everyone seems to be in search of love. From the time we are young we are told that if we do the right things, we will find a girl who loves us and we will marry her, have a family and live a happy life. This is how a happy life is portrayed to most men and women from the time they are able to understand the birds and the bees.

Why is it then that we live in a society of people who have made divorce law a career choice for a vast amount of attorneys? Everything points to marriage as a bad option for a happy life. After all, over fifty percent of first marriages end in divorce. And if you think those odds are bad, second marriage divorces are over seventy five percent.

So why does love, if we finally find it, end so badly? Why do people lose the love they once had? Keeping it simple, I say it is because generally, we are selfish people. Most young people who get married now don’t know how to not be selfish. Today people are all about garnering material things. So much so that we have created a nation in debt, just so we can drive a nicer car than we can afford and feel good for the moment. Going into a marriage after living a life about “me” is a hard thing to change. Marriage is supposed to be about “us,” not “me”. The hard part about love is putting the other person first, not once in awhile but all the time. Being selfish, that’s just not something you can do and expect a long loving relationship. Just think about it for a minute. If each person considered their spouses feelings and needs before acting on something, it would make for a much better marriage. Just that one thing can change the whole marriage. And this is something that you have to be conscience of from the beginning and never let it slip away. It sounds crazy but take the selfishness out of the marriage and it removes most problems.

People lose the love they had because they stopped thinking about how to keep it. Again, this is something that has to be worked on. I once heard a saying that went like this. “If you want a happy marriage, you need to have a happy wife”. In other words fellas, do whatever it takes to make your wife happy and you will find happiness yourself. If you do all the little things like open doors, pull out chairs, save the last cookie for her, remember things she thinks you will forget, kiss her goodnight, walk next to her not in front of her, sit next to her in restaurants instead of across from her and hold her hand when she is near, she will “feel” how much you love her and return that love a hundred fold . You get what you give in life and no more so then in a marriage.

Too many of my friends have lost that love they once had with their wives and once lost it is extremely hard to rekindle. It takes double the effort because both people have forgotten what got them there. If you have children, that effort is even harder to maintain. Always the excuse that the kids come first. It wasn’t always that way when you first married but now it’s the way it is, or so everyone says. If you give into that, then your marriage is doomed. So many men have taken the back seat to their kids when they once were number one in the wife’s world. This just might be the reason so many men cheat. You can’t expect a man to come second to his kids for too long before he starts reaching out for what is missing at home. This is why it’s so important for couples to maintain the things they did when they met, when they were both the most important thing to each other.

Love doesn’t come easy and when it does, its harder to maintain. Love hits you like a brick but the mark won’t last long without a few stone throws to remind you how good it is. Love, like anything else in life that’s worth something, takes effort. That effort should be embraced and cherished because when you have love it makes it easier to deal with the terrible things we  face everyday. There isn’t a secret to what makes love last, its just how bad you want it to.

There are too many people, especially women,  who think they are in love. Everyone knows  someone like that. They tell you that they stay in a bad relationship because they love that person. They stay and think that their love can change that person, make them see the light. Wake up, people don’t change unless they want to. “A zebra can’t change his stripes”. I made that mistake once and my marriage ended in divorce. I saw the signs before getting married, but chose to ignore them. I believed that she would change after she saw how great our life could be. I was wrong and I wouldn’t listen to anyone who tried to tell me so. Get over it and move on. You deserve better. If a man loves a woman, he will tear down walls to get to her, and he will never take advantage of her love. Never. Be honest to yourself and find someone who is right for you.

On another note, you changing might be the difference in finding love. Love doesn’t always find you on your doorstep. Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone and go out and find it. I know two women about thirty seven years old who have been searching for love since I met them some three years ago. It is constantly on their minds that they can not find Mr. Right. My advice to them has always been to move away to a new life. The person they are looking for isn’t in their neighborhood. My wife, changed her life and found me. She got tired of her life the way it was and figured she would never find the right guy while doing the same old things. She picked up, left her job, and moved out of state to start a new life. Less than two years later she met me and we married with in six months. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to meet the right Regular Guy!!!

Love is a strange thing. People who don’t have it, constantly search it out while people who found it don’t know how to keep it. If your a Regular Guy and want love to last, make an effort to keep it alive. Don’t give up so fast on love, because when love is right, it is your greatest chance for a healthy and long life.

How I lost my smile…

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I wake up most days thinking that I will relive the last day over again. Just like in Ground Hog day, the movie, where Bill Murray awakes each day to the same thing over and over again. There’s a moral there somewhere but I haven’t found it yet.

I used to be a very happy guy. Not that I am not basically happy but I am just not the same guy I used to be. Somewhere during the last five years I lost my smile. I know this because I am constantly reminded of it by people who say ” smile, you never smile” One time while eating breakfast alone in a restaurant, the waitress asked me if I was okay because I looked sad. That was a bad day for me because it was then that I knew I lost my smile.

How did I lose it? I believe that my job has taken it from me. I can’t find much to be happy about at work anymore. This is terrible because I once loved my job.I began in 1983 when I was just 22 years old and I thought I had the world by the balls. How many 22 year olds had a chance at their own business? I was so lucky or so I thought back then. Young and dumb, is what I was.

Today after years of just waiting for things to get better,  I have given up. It took me a long time to realize that I was different from the people that worked for me. Its like I am from a different planet. I am just so far ahead of everyone that it frustrates me that they can’t grasp what I want them to do. There are three kinds of people in this world. People who can, people who can’t and people who won’t. In my place, there are the latter two, and then there is me. I am the only person who can do. This puts me in a very stressful position where as I am the only one I can depend on. It turns out that after all these years I have never had anyone who I can turn to for help, advice, opinions or answers. Having no one to learn from or share my problems with has lead me to the depressed state that I now reside in.

I know that I am depressed. I can tell because everything has now become a problem. Little things that are so trivial just set me off. I wake up just waiting for the first disappointing thing to happen to me. I have had some help in getting here. I walk into work and I am hit with problems before anyone says good morning to me. Almost on a regular basis.That can wear you out very fast.

Depression, once in it, is hard to shake. I have my moments where I feel really good, and it is very rarely while at work. I can still find my smile when I am with my wife, on my motorcycle or with my friends. And thank God I can still get a solid nights sleep. A lot of my depression stems from me being the one that so many people rely on to take care of them. Whether it be at work, or that my parents rely on me to keep the business going, or at home where I do everything to make sure we are safe and secure for our future. It has become too overwhelming to handle on my own but everyone who asks” what can I do to help:” never listens to my response or cares enough to follow through on my requests. The part that they ask but never help is worse than the fact that I have all the responsibility.

So where does this leave me. I am sad most days. I am tired and I can’t stop thinking about how I feel. I can understand how many men run away.  I sometimes picture myself on my motorcycle riding away from here never to return. Not telling anyone because no one really cares or they would be listening to me now, while I have been crying out for help.

My friend is in a bad place right now. It’s almost funny in a sense because as we talked about how he is feeling I was able to relate to him. I think I finally found someone who feels the same way I do although we have demons of a different sort. Listening to him, is like hearing the voices in my head. Things that I thought were only happening to me are happening to him too. The scary part is I am worried about him. He doesn’t sound well and I am concerned that no one is listening to him enough to realize he is in trouble. I hope you are reading this and know that I am there for you, anytime you need me. I can understand your frustration with not being able to fix “this”. I have suffered that feeling for too many years now. Being a man we are used to fixing things and not being able to fix ourselves is a hard pill to swallow. Thinking about it all the time only makes it harder to ” fix”. You told me I need to live in the moment and I understand that this is important but as you know its not an easy state to attain.

Luckily, in the past , I have been able to “snap out of it” but these days it seems to get harder to do. I know what ails me but I can not reach for the fix right now. At some point though, I believe I will.

My smile is a good one. I have seen it and when it shows itself, it works fine. I like to smile so I know that its still in me to do so. I am tired of feeling so sad and depressed. It takes a lot out of me and it sucks. Even though everyday seems like  “Ground Hog’s day”, I am happy to awake and to have the chance that this day might be the one when things change. I won’t give up. I know that I will find a way out of this into a better place. I know my smile and it’s out there waiting for me on a beach at the foot of the waves, grinning ear to ear……….

The Regular Guy