I’m grateful, are you?

So I’ve been thinking more about how to be positive in my daily life.  I’ve heard of different things but the one thing that seems to strike a cord is a gratitude journal.  Simply acknowledging the good things in your life in which you’re grateful. Simple enough, right?

What am I grateful for?

  1. I’m grateful for my cousin Scott, a wonderful friend.
  2. I’m grateful for Karen, a great boss.
  3. I’m grateful for my workout partner Rick, without whom I wouldn’t be going to the gym.
  4. I’m grateful for an empty BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) car on the trip home.
  5. I’m grateful for my very good friend Susan who’s always there for me.

Today I ask my boss if she grew up in a home where she was encouraged as a child.  I don’t really remember that about my childhood.  I remember the majority of my childhood being humiliated and bullied.  It was hard growing up different in a small backwater area of central Ohio.  I think that was the first time that I really ever spoke about my childhood and what it was like unemotionally.  Normally it’s a conversation filled with sadness or anger.  It wasn’t until I went to college that I found my people you might say.

When I went to college at Otterbein University (College) it was the first time that I met other people like me.  Funny thing is some of you might be thinking I’m talking about gay people.  That’s not it at all.  This was the first time I met other people my age who sought to further themselves with education.  Men and women from small towns around Ohio who came to college to better themselves.

As a member of the marching band we arrived at Otterbein a week before school started for band camp.  My first day I walked into my room and there sat my roommate, a football player.  I was a little shocked but made the best of it.  His name was Mike and come to find out his sister was a violinist with the Dayton Jr Philharmonic.  So he was OK with the band geek thing.  To this day I still have friends from Otterbein that I met in the band program 20+ years ago.

In today’s discussion I was able to say and feel that I’ve really accomplished something in my life.  In terms of education I went to Otterbein University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.  I went to Ohio State University for the better part of a year and did their Masters of Education program.  Last but not least I went to DeVry University and received a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology.  Which may I add I maintained a 4.0 GPA while working a full-time job.

Image That’s pretty freaking impressive for a kid who came from a family who doesn’t value education, grew up in a house where you could see the wind blow the curtains (the window was not open), where the blanket I slept with froze to the outside wall one winter, and a whole list of other stuff if I really thought about it.  Yes we lived in poverty and we were poor.  I never really thought about it though because my parents made the best of it.

So today I say I’m grateful that I’ve had enough ambition to move forward and do what some may call impossible in my life.  I’ve received education.  I’ve traveled domestically and internationally.  I’ve worked for major companies.  I started a company.  I’ve bought a home.  I’ve lived in New Orleans and San Francisco. I’ve made friends from so many countries I couldn’t even begin to count.  Man, that’s something!

Today I posted on Facebook the following message. “I stumble along through life. I haven’t really sought out as much as I dream of.”  Well my stumbling has allowed me to do far more than I’ve ever acknowledged.  In my stumbling I’ve met so many WONDERFUL people.  I’ve played tuba in places that are amazing and beautiful.  I’ve sang songs that have made people cry (not because it was painful).

“I stumble along through life. I haven’t really sought out as much as I dream of.”

For a kid from Knox County Ohio I’ve done pretty darn good!  That’s the truth, my truth!  I’ve come a long way baby and I’ve still got further to go!  So I’m grateful for somehow, someway finding my way to where I am today.

Blue Sky May Be On The Way

So today I’m feeling better and I have to say that it makes a huge difference in life.  I keep trying to focus on the positive and that helps.  I read an article By Jae Song & Tina Su talking about Jae’s experience with a problem just like I had mentioned.  She talks about how she moved on and 13 steps that helped her get to a better place.  I’ve done a couple of the steps and I have to say I see how it helps.  If you’re in a gray place or feel like a black cloud is following you’re not alone.  Check out 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

The one that I like the most I think is, Start Small.  Small task that you can complete are huge benefits to our psyche.  You feel like you can do more and it helps push out doubt and negative thoughts.  This last week I’ve been pulling back and keeping focus on the small and close things.  It’s helped and I stopped beating myself up.  That’s hard to do but it’s almost a mantra.  You just keep saying it till you believe it.

Yesterday I cleaned my apartment.  I especially focused on my bedroom which is a source of embarrassment for me.  I’m not a person who lives in their bedroom.  I don’t have a TV in their nor do sit I read.  I sleep in my bedroom.  That’s it.  My desk is in my bedroom though.  I am sitting there now.  So the desk is the center of a LOT of clutter.  I”m not a neat freak by any means of the imagination but it seems like a disaster and I equated that to my life in general.  Do you have a space like your desk that is about productivity and you can’t keep it under control?  Well that was causing some doubt for me because I couldn’t get it under control.  So I took EVERYTHING off the desk and gave it a proper cleaning.  I threw things away or put them away.  I still have a lot on it but I can see the majority of the desk top which makes me feel good.  Oh and here’s no layer of desk now either.

So the next step is to Create a Compelling Vision.  That’s going to be a little more difficult for me.  It almost ranks up there with “What do you want to be when you Grow up?”  Create an image of the person you want to be.  I’ve always been a fan of superheroes   I think my imagination gets the better of me sometimes.  So now the challenge is to find a realistic image of the person I want to be.  I’m thinking that the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method is the best.  So now to make the goal reasonable and attainable.

So as an example of my movement forward is writing this blog.  I know it’s small and I can do it.  There may be misspelled words or bad grammar but I did it.  I wrote this and I’m going to publish it.  That’s part of my goal actually.  To write here on my blog expelling doubt and negative feelings will be a way for me to not hold all this in and feed on it.  I welcome any comments and feedback.  It’s nice to know that others out there deal with the same feelings.

I’ll boil down the 13 points but you should go read, 13 Tips to Building Self Esteem.

  1. Start Small
  2. Create a Compelling Vision
  3. Socialize
  4. Do Something that Scares You
  5. Do Something You Are Good At
  6. Set Goals
  7. Help Others Feel Good About Themselves
  8. Get Clarity on Life Areas
  9. Create a Plan
  10. Get Motivated
  11. Get External Compliments
  12. Affirmations & Introspection
  13. No More Comparisons

Have a good Sunday and get out in the sun if you can.  I’m here in San Francisco and the weather is nice.  The point is, get out and do something that makes you happy or content.  It doesn’t matter what that is, it’s just important that you DO IT.

 

Mondays … Why thou must be so difficult

Why is it that I’m never ready Monday for to come around?  Sunday evening comes and I can never believe the weekend has gone and work starts the next day.

For the last two weeks I’ve tried to watch what I’ve eaten and really eat smaller meals or in more moderation.  I hadn’t been paying attention much and I was eating lunch out everyday.  So now I’ve brought my lunch to work and I’ve eaten 5 or 6 smaller meals a day.

So I starting out another week and I had a little good news this morning. This morning when I got on the scales and in just two weeks I’m down seven pounds.  I’m not being strict with my diet but rather just focusing on eating healthier and eating appropriate portion sizes.  I’ve pushed myself for a while with the philosophy of shopping on the outer edge of the grocery store.  So cutting pack on processed food.

The next big focus will be increasing my physical activity.  I’m not much for going to the gym.  People ask “don’t you feel great after you go?”  The response is “No!” I never get pleasure out of going to the gym.  I don’t find it social most of the time and I don’t get any euphoric high from going to the gym.  Now in the past I did lose a little weight but the reason I don’t loose more weight is that I don’t push myself physically.  Growing up I never got that introduction to physical activity.  Even growing up on a farm physical activity was work.  Well what kid wants to work?  Yeah we would sometimes go  walk the farm but that wasn’t a frequent occurrence.

Every year (for the last several years) I’ve said I’m going to get healthy and try to lose the weight.  Well I’m trying to do it this year and I’m just doing it one step at a time.  So if you have any suggestions please feel free to pass them on through the comment box.  I’ll try to keep you updated and who knows maybe I’ll even try to post some pictures as I got through the process.  I’m not much for taking pictures of myself so don’t hold your breath but I’ll try.

Unemployment, the new form of torture

English: 1923 unemployment insurance stamp.
1923 Unemployment Insurance Stamp

So it’s been two weeks since my contract ended.  I’ve been looking for a job and I’ve had a couple interviews.  One of the interviews is promising and the company would be great to work.  I met 5 people from the company and I liked everyone I met.  From what I hear they all liked me.  The waiting to find out if they  offer me the job is torture.  One can only hope that everything works out.

So over the weekend I’ve been keeping myself busy.  Friday night I went to go see TAO: The Art of the Drum and it was amazing show.  The presentation was great.  The music was amazing.  Saturday I went to the Chinese New Year parade.  Today (Sunday) I went to the Russian Festival to add a little more culture to my weekend.

Tomorrow, we’ll see what I can get involved in during the day.  My ultimate hope is that I’ll hear from this company.  Maybe I’ll take myself out for a nice lunch.  I would say I might buy myself something pretty but I know I won’t do that.  I don’t have any plans this next weekend.  I might take a little road trip next weekend.  Just  to get myself out of town and clear my head.

Three months after my move

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...
Image via Wikipedia

I’ve now been here in San Francisco a little more than 3 months. Everything is going OK and I have to say I’m getting attention when I send out my résumé. That is one thing that helps me keep my chin up and not be blue about being unemployed.  Today I had a 2nd interview and those kinds of things help keep me sane.

I’m at a point where I’ve had four interviews and everybody says that they love me as a candidate and they want to bring me back in.  Sounds great, right? I kind of figure I’ll have multiple offers all at the same time.  I’m just one of those guys who doesn’t want to lead people on but you never know if someone is going to make you an offer.  Of course I’ll have four offers all at once and it will not be an easy choice.

The other part is that it is major companies that I’m interviewing with for positions I’ve found mostly on Monster.com.  So in a city of start-up companies, it’s the established companies that are contacting me for interviews.  Recruiters are calling of course but those aren’t always very productive.  Recruiting companies have a place in the employment market but there are so many of theme that they are like piano players, a dime a dozen.  The IT job market here in San Francisco is good.  There are always job posted.

I’ve also started doing work for TaskRabbit.com.  TaskRabbit.com is a web site where people can post task/odd jobs and people (like me) can bid on the work.  It’s funny some of the stuff I’ve seen posted but there are always people posting jobs/task that they need done.  If you’re in San Francisco check it out and see if it’s something you can use.

Well I should go search those job boards and see what I find.  Peace and Love to everyone out there.

1 Week of living in San Francisco

A light rail vehicle on the T Third Street lin...
Image via Wikipedia

Well what do I say? The weather has been good. The sky has been a beautiful shade of blue and the temps are above freezing.  I’ve not done a tremendous amount as I’m living on a limited budget.  I did go out and saw some friends at Edge on Sunday.  That was a lot of fun. I thought it would just a casual stop at the bar kind of Sunday but it turned out that there was an event going on.  The Duchess from the Grand Ducal Council herself was there and some of her helpers.  So the bar was rocking and there were several fabulous ladies there in festive easter ware.

I have spoke to some temp offices to get some work so I have some income.  To some degree that’s been a challenge because people say “Well we don’t want to waste your time and talents.”  Well don’t you think I know that I’m going to a temp agency and that the work is going to be the most fulfilling or career oriented.  Anyhow I think I’ve got that under control and hopefully get some work soon.  At least I won’t be sitting at on the couch as much.

Something a little new for me is riding public transportation.  BART and MUNI are good public transportation systems.  The thing I have to get used to is their schedules and where they stop.  This morning I took MUNI to a doctor’s appointment.  The appointment was at 8 AM but the ride there was going to take almost 50 minutes.  So that meant I needed to leave the house before 7 to make my appointment on time.

So that’s a little about my first week in San Francisco.  Hopefully soon I’ll have some pictures I can post here and show you some of the things going on around town.