Friday, August 25, 2017

...Still with the friends...

   So a few years ago I posted about making friends as an adult Here.  I re-read it after reading this piece from the Boston Globe about loneliness at the age of 40.  I posted the previous post three years ago.  I was a dad, married, nearly 34 and had only one child who was almost 2.  We were getting into routines in terms of daycare, and work and what not.  That year we decided to expand our family and the following year we added a second child and a little chaos.  I wouldn't give up my family for anything. I love my family, like my job and have a fairly good routine, but life is OKAY. Which stinks.  I sometimes wonder in envy of those that have an office to go to, or a school to go to where they see coworkers on a daily basis.  I had it at one point but gave it up for the glamorous work at home situation *noted sarcasm.* While it was great at the start, traveling around the area, always something new, meeting new people, conquering my fear of public speaking, etc; I miss the enjoyment of seeing some people everyday, catching up, venting, going out for drinks after work, playing on the softball team, things like that.  While I have made "friends" with my coworkers, it's hard to get together with them when we live so far from each other. With work and family taking up about 90% of my time I get very little time to find friends and I pose the question again.  How does an adult make friends?  We aren't part of a church, I'm not going to make friends at a bar, and my current friends (WHICH I LOVE) also have family and busy jobs so making time is one of those impossible things.  I do have a fairly regular wednesday night trivia night with friends which is fun, although our regular trivia spot closed...I MEAN COME ON. So we will have to find a new trivia spot, but once a week doesn't seem like enough time.
    Sometimes I wonder if it was the move that did it to me.  We left Maine for a few reasons but a big one was I kept seeing the same people over and over again. I would run into the same people at work that I went to high school with.  I knew I needed to get out, I was the country kid who needed to see the city.  I wanted to start over, start a new city life.  I realized NYC wasn't for me.  It was too much.  Too stimulating.  Then we moved to CT, the burbs, I mean I am sitting in Whole Foods, working and writing this blog and contemplating when I am going to be moving back to Maine where I will see the same people I work with and I went to High school with, but I will have routine. I will know people, I can get involved and immediately KNOW people.  I think that is what I need.  Well maybe soon...

I had a few drinks...

So I had 5 weeks of not drinking and then went on vacation.  I was going back and forth whether or not I was going to have drinks while on vacation in Provincetown.  I decided to have some drinks and see where I went.  See if I struggled, if I could stop myself, if I could in fact "reserve" having a drink for a special occasion and not go crazy when I did have some drinks.  See if I stayed under control and finally see how I felt during and after I was drinking.  We were on vacation for just four days.  I had drinks each night and felt fine.  I kept myself relatively under control (no excessive drinking) and I stuck with vodka and soda, one punch, some spiked seltzer and no beer (which I love).  I didn't feel great.  It was a self-serving experiment. Do I want to drink while I am away from my kids only?  Do I want to reserve drinking for holidays? Family events? parties?  I've done this before and then it just turned into I'll have drinks Wednesdays and Fridays and Saturdays...and Sundays. Sometimes a Monday here and there. It didn't turn out the way I wanted it.  Can I do it this time? I told myself the next time I would have a drink would be Christmas or Thanksgiving.  We will see.

We had a party at our house with the usual crowd of family and friends.  It is fun and I enjoy being around these people. The usual order of events is this we provide food and some sort of drink (I'll make a big Alcoholic Punch) and everyone will bring some other food and their drinks.  The party is usually around 4 or 5 and by 6 or 7 people are "happy."  This time I made pink lemonade.  We had vodka to add if you wanted to and folks brought their own booze. I am ready to make that part of our party, BYOB.  I am ready to not be responsible for other peoples drinking.  If they want to drink something other then water, seltzer, or juice, they can do that. I have friends who insist on having their friends favorite alcohol available. They think a good host always has their friends favorite alcohol available. Well I'm ready to not do that anymore. If you want something special you can bring it to a party.  My house is not your personal bar. If I offer you something you can say yes or no. As a guest of someone you can bring a bottle of wine, a six pack of beer, a bottle of vodka. Maybe you don't agree with me. That is fine, but just know when you come to my house I will now offer you seltzer, juice, water, milk, and whatever we happen to have in our cabinet.  I won't be going out of my way to get liquor.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"I'm not a social drinker I'd say most of my drinking is work related"

This picture was included in a work related email. A work related email about wellness.  I know it's meant to be funny.  I understand the humor, but also for me the personal irony connected to it made it come at a perfect time in my reflections.  I am a social drinker, I drink when I'm at home with my family.  I drink when I'm at friend's houses. I drink camping, I drink at work (after hours when I'm "in-house" with my co-worker.) I drink with a large group of people when I am at a brewery. I enjoy the social aspect of drinking alcohol. That is starting to look like a downfall.  Why do I need to drink when I am with a large group of people.  I understand the social and historic reasons but why do I, ME, need to drink. This is what I have been reflecting on the past twoish weeks or so. I am examing my drinking daily.  I am doing that thing where you hold something that you haven't used in a while in your hand and say "does this give me pleasure"?  I have been doing that and I have been watching everyone else.  Waiting for the questions. Waiting for the "why aren't you drinking" questions. They are bound to come up but they are difficult questions to ask and to discuss.  I tried to have a conversation with someone about it and it just didn't go anywhere.  I am trying. 

"All is well. All is well indeed"

I emailed someone today to share with them what I am going through. I did it because they are someone who is also going through their own spiritual journey. They are doing their own searching and looking for their own path forward.  He responded with a small anecdote about a chat with his sister talking about how their mother was with them at that moment and "all is well."  

I know this ending my drinking is something I have to do and for some reason I have to do at THIS moment in my life. Something at THIS moment is trying to make everything well.  It could be many things, it could be MY father telling me "all is well." I sat with him this past weekend and meditated for a few min.  It was what was needed and gave me a good sense of being. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Keeping my drinking habit in check...or can I?

I noticed a while back that I wrote about sobriety and tried it. I think it lasted a month, maybe less.  I think it was one of those "I have a time goal and I am so looking forward to that FIRST drink."  So it has been two weeks since my last drink. It was a yummy double IPA, I love a good craft beer, but sometimes I love it too much. I hold out for good beer and turn into a beer snob.  One beer turns into two, turns into three, turns into "one more" and it doesn't end until I'm running for a train, or getting a text asking when I'm coming home. Those Sunday Bloody Mary's are one and another and another and so forth.  I'm admitting I am having trouble with that whole "everything is good in moderation" thing.  I don't think I can do it for drinking and I am learning the hard way. While away for the week for work I didn't have to drive, I was pretty much told where I had to be during the day and some evenings but other than that it's "on your own." So on your own can mean "awesome where's my drink!"  Well those days turned from one yummy easy to drink 6 pack to 2 yummy easy to drink high alcohol content 6 packs. I just read that one IPA can contain up to 200 calories.  So let's say one six pack is 1200 calories, and add a second one.  2400 freaking extra calories in a day where I have been snacking, eating not wonderful food and having maybe a 30- 40 min walking workout.  That can't be good right?  NO! So I came home with a new sense of self, I need to detox this chunky temple. I need to stop drinking, I set a date for a little over a month from my last drink. This time though was different.  I felt like I need to do more, I may have to stop completely. Let me tell you, I have seen people close to me go into detox, I have seen people go through rehab for drinking, it wasn't fun at the time watching that. Now it's my turn. These two weeks have honestly been hard and eye opening to say the least. I survived fourth of July and all the booze that is a part of that. I survived camping without having a drink. I went to P-Town where alcohol is almost part of every event, people drinking in cafes, beer gardens and while not legally, on the beach. Even Tea Dance which is a booze fueled dance party which has its own super sweet high alcohol punch (although I didn't go to that THIS time because I had the kids.) There are more and more events with drinks and I am ready to go, ready to have a good time with out the drinks. I can do this, for me, for my body, for my family. A few things I've noticed since my last drink: better sleep and easier time getting up early (while I still enjoy staying in bed I don't feel that YUCK that you feel after drinking), more energy for exercise (and I have done some too,) less hungry all the time.  I have changed my eating habits as well, for the better.  I know I need to eat more veggies, so I am trying to trick myself into that.  I don't "hurt" as much.  I was given a painful body I think and I know part of it is my extra weight I am trying to lose, but I think not drinking is helping.

I have also been more aware of other people's drinking habits which has helped me with my decision. I noticed when people were drunk before or drinking too much, but know its even more so. I'm not ready to say something, but soon. When I heard my father-in-law was told to stop drinking because of his heart that also became a wake up call. While my heart is healthy, one day it won't be so until then I am sticking to this.

A friend of mine has a little blog he talks about going all in on something for it to work and that is what one of our mutual friend's did. He went all in on being a vegan.  While it surprised me his reasons seem similar to mine, our fathers dies too young. Mine was an alcoholic and hid his drinking from us although not that well. While I don't hide my drinking I have drunk to excess and I am sure have hurt people, yelled, said nasty things and was probably a super obnoxious person. I want to be around for my kids and grand kids one day. I don't want the thing that killed my father to kill me so I need to check myself.  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cooking my way through Fatherhood

New idea for 2015:
Put together this nice cookbook I got for my birthday last year.

I have been typing up recipes on my other computer, iPad and occasionally iPhone for a little while now.  I just have to put some semblance to them and make something that looks good.  Also I need about 50 more recipes. I have a new idea though.  There are so many books out there that I have read and enjoyed but one of them that I enjoyed was a cookbook memoir.  Wouldn't that be neat?  I don't think I could put it together for another 10 years or so but if I start collecting stories and recipes now then I will have enough for something.  I thought of this title too Cooking my way through Fatherhood, but it really sounds more like a subtitle then anything.SO I have to think of a good title, and I am sure that will change.  In the meantime I will keep cooking for me and this near Threenager that has taken over my house and life.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cookbooks my new love.

Could I be the next Julie and Julia?  Probably not.  Will I try maybe.  Will I blog about my experiences cooking everything from my new favorite cookbook? No, but I will write up this blog and say really great things about the recipes I have cooked so far!

   I bought this cookbook Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans for a few people thinking they would really like it.  Both of these people wanted to start eating healthier and also wanted a good sense of some GOOD if not GREAT and easy Paleo recipes.  So being a follower  FANatic of this Michelle Tam's Website by the same name (Nom Nom Paleo) where they is a wealth of recipes I have used over and over again.  She also has an i-Pad app which is filled with wonderful recipes as well.  The i-Pad has been my go to cookbook since I have only found a few that I really like.  Mostly I have been taking recipes from older cookbooks my mom had when I was growing up and modifying the recipes to my specifics.  That is another thing I just want to tangent on: Cookbooks.  I love to be able to just open up to a recipe and follow it.  Michelle's coobook allows me to do that, the ingredients are for the most part easy to find (I had to search for a few things, but I know where to look, plus she tells you where ONLINE you get buy them!)  I have used other cookbooks in the past and the America's test Kitchen Family recipes and Quick recipes have both been a life saver.  As a child I cooked out my mom's Betty Crocker cookbook and also a few "potluck" cookbooks.  You know the kind for a fundraiser or something like that, potluck stuff really.  Point is I am slowly collecting recipes to put into my own cookbook of recipes that I can give to my children.  I am not sure if they will be original or "borrowed" or a mix of both, but I think mostly a mixture of modified from a cookbook.

From this book I have been able to make recipes I would not have even thought of cooking.  The one below is a recipe which is so simple, but so good, eggs and asparagus.  Luckily the first asparagus is up and fresh and we were able to get some semi-local asparagus (NJ vs Peru).  We were missing one ingredient, but I found it so the NEXT time I make it it will come out yum-tastic! The nice thing about this cookbook is HOW SUPER EASY the recipes are, really for some of them its the temp of the oven or the pan that I need.  Everything else is just throw it in the pan easy.  Literally, pan-heat-asparagus-eggs-seasoning-oven-eat.  These are the types of recipes I love because I come home sometime at 5 and know what I am going to cook, just don't always want to cook it.  These recipes make it easy and healthy to boot!

I have made her Khalua pig recipe MANY times and that is so easy it's a crockpot recipe so I turn it on at night, go to work and it is DONE!  Then we have shredded pork for different recipes!  I haven't counted the recipes I have cooked in just the three or so weeks I have borrowed the book BUT I can say I am close to a quarter of the recipes.  That includes the one I have cooked previously.  Some are on her website or the i-Pad app.  One of the "classiest" meals I have cooked felt so "sunday dinner" or made brunch.  It happened to be on a day that was drizzly and yucky and I needed some homestyle and that made me feel homey.  Something pasta like but NOT pasta. (I think that last BOWL of pasta I had was when I ran the marathon, whenever that was, 2011 maybe?)  Anyways, I digress.  I wanted something yummy.  I will be the first to admit I could eat "breakfast foods" for any meal. I could eat eggs, bacon, sausage those types of foods anytime anywhere!  I love those foods, they fill me up they god with anything and they are just yummy.  This recipe calls for eggs and sausage.  I made it OF COURSE!  It felt some homey and yummy and made me feel happy.  It reminded me a little of sausage and peppers, but with an egg!  I may have to serve it to some guest because it looks classy too!

I must say sometimes my cooking doesn't always come out great and I will admit it.  Sometimes it's the recipe (if I miss something or a step) sometimes its just me.  Anyways in the case of the crispy smashed chicken, something was not right, I followed the recipe and I did not get crispy chicken...I got kind of soggy chicken.  Oh well, we ate it, Jeremy said it was fine.  I will be making these magic wings for a party coming up so that should be fun!

I just really wanted to say how EASY Paleo can be.  I think a lot of people think BOOHOO I can't have bread or rice or corn or blah blah blah.  Really once you stop eating them for a length of time, you stop craving them.  I have eaten foods that I use to CRAVE and cave in to my Cravings and then I would eat them and realize it was gross, or it didn't do anything for me.  BUY THE BOOK, its worth it and follow her on the Book of Face, and all that jazz!  She always posts some great recipes from else where as well.


Friday, February 7, 2014

How do you make a friend as an adult?

How does one make a friend?
I feel like in the past I was told you would loose most of the people you were friends with in High School during college and then you loose those college friends after you graduate. So what happens when you didn't have many friends in high school and you commuted to college after spending a year at away at a different college? Then attend a grad program where you commute? Then take a job that is a work at home job? What if you live in an area that after four years is still foreign?  What then? How does an adult make friends?

Bars? no
Online? no
The Gym? no
Maybe join a social group or a church? tried a few times and was crushed each time.
Meet up groups? no

What if you don't want to meet friends? What if over the years you have spent time trying not to make friends for no reason?

What if as I get on with life I am starting to realize how my father felt. As a teenager I don't remember him having any friends.  He had one friend who happened to be our neighbor, but he passed away suddenly and my father was heart broken because he lost his friend.   Maybe he had sporadic friends who he saw every other year.  They went hunting and fishing together.  That is what I remember. I remember him coming home and watching TV and then falling asleep down stairs.  I don't remember him going out much.  Am I turning into him? I feel like I don't have those close friends who I can go hunting with (if I wanted) or fishing with.  How does a grownup man make friends?