Monday, December 20, 2010

Advent 4

since the last vid didn't work out i'll have to find a replacement. in the meantime ...

the magic begins about 2:20

Saturday, December 18, 2010

dreams ... be careful what you watch on tv

rough night. i made the mistake of watching a show online that involved a crew in a submarine trapped 2000 feet down and consequently i had trapped and alone dreams all night. not at all what i needed.

i called a friend at 1230 am just because i felt like i was losing it. i love that my community has volunteered to help me through this. he prayed with me and i returned to fitful sleep. the dreams were still dark and unreasonable. they made no sense and yet i was terrified to wake unless that caused me or someone else to be lost forever. i woke with a start more than once.

rough night. now i have to figure how to fill my day.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Wendy's Words of Wisdom

"Ian, I love your crinkles" (those would be my laugh lines and wrinkles that show up around my eyes when i smile)

God i love that woman.

how am i?

i felt better today. my naturopath expects that i'll go back to work on Monday but part of me isn't so sure. the hardest part of my day has been the last 2 hours since i'm all alone and my anxiety of late is centered around the idea that i don't want to be alone. i keep thinking, "you just have to make to 9 am tomorrow when you pick up Wendy". i'm hoping buddy Bob gives me a call when he's done work. one problem there is the fact that i have not been sleeping well all week long. i was given a naturopathic med to help me sleep and it's like my brain is fully awake but i've thrown a veil over my head so that i look at everything through a cloud.

i've had medical appts galore this week. i feel like i've processed so very much and yet i find myself back in some of the same fearful spots that i've been in all week long. that's what happens when i "what if" too much. i am competent, i am courageous, i am capable ... and yet i doubt those things at every turn.

i don't like to hear "how are you?" lately. it's because i don't really want to lie and i have to figure out if you really want to hear how i am. sometimes i've just said, "i've been better" or "not so good" and kept walking but that's not all that good of an approach to people you like and respect.

Wendy is still in the hospital and it has been very difficult for her. i have been a bit of a basketcase (actually more than a bit) and that certainly hasn't helped Wendy in her situation. i'm trying to be active, to do more, because that is what i believe is the path for me to get out of the funk. it certainly wouldn't hurt if Wendy doesnt have to worry about such things and that's more reason for me to be doing them.

this has helped me a little to write this down.

blessings on my love. give her peace, hope and strength.
blessings on the S's as they travel to their holiday destination.
blessings on family who are trying hard to be supportive.
blessings on my church community who have been very willing to help me out of my dark hole.
blessings on me because i need it.
blessings on you dear friend.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i have an anxiety disorder and it has been absolutely ablaze for the last 36 hours. i haven't had such dark thoughts as to scare me this much in many years. last night i had to have my friend Roger stay at our house so that i wasnt alone (Wendy's still getting treatment in the hospital). seriously dark thoughts about my own death and the meaningless of my life right now. my life does have meaning, i just can't see it now.
this is not a suicide note. i just need to get some of this dark out.
i'm asking all sorts of questions, of God, of me. i have a message left for my counselor through work and i very much need to go see him today. i plan on trying to contact my doctor and i already have an appt with the naturopath today.
i'm thankful for friends who care, a wife who tells me she loves me and for ways to express myself.
i slept fitfully the last 2 nights, my dreams are disturbed and i've thought more than once that i'm on the verge of a complete breakdown.
it seems to help somewhat to be doing something but there's also a severe motivation problem right now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent 3

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

quite possibly my favourite carol done up by Annie Lennox in a quirky and thoroughly interesting way. love it.

via Jesus needs new PR

Friday, December 10, 2010

Relationship trumps rule

**** I submitted this article to my football official's newsletter that came out in December 2010. Some of it may go right over your head since it can be a little specific in terms of football rules but there's a principle here that I wanted to get across.

Hey rookies, let me tell you a story (some of the facts have changed to protect the participants from their own douchbag-arie). It was my first year in the MFOA and although it’s true that I’ve always been a wonderful thing to behold in general, I had a difficult time on the field. I was terrible. Really terrible. You may be thinking, “you’re still terrible Ian” but in truth I’m just less terrible now. Seriously, I haven’t seen ANYONE in the seasons since who struggled so very much with the learning curve that is the first season in the MFOA, at least I’ve seen nobody who struggled and then stuck it out since that time. I got an award after my second season for being so improved but that’s only because of how bad my first season was. Are you getting a picture for just how bad I was? I don’t think you are but out of self preservation I’m moving on.
I was the Line Judge at a High School playoff game. I think it was a quarter-final but I only say that because I can’t imagine that I got assigned to any big game whatsoever that season. I was on the wide side on a punt, so of course I had to hold the LS. It made me feel a bit less nervous because I didn’t have to worry about the no yards cushion (5 yrds up and 8 out), the no yards call, or the block ... or so I thought. The punt was shanked and landed 3 yards beyond the LS and 8 yards in front of me, soon thereafter it had a Team A player lying on top of the ball. I don’t know why I didn’t think about the No Yards call, but I didn’t. The whistle blew and all I remember is my white hat coming running out and screaming “THERE HAS TO BE A FLAG ON THAT BALL!” Was he right? Absolutely he was right. Was I pissed at the situation? You bet I was. I was pissed that I had completely screwed the pooch but also because I had just been torn a new one in front of hundreds of fans and both teams.
I’ve thought about that moment a lot over the seasons since. I’ve thought about it because I’ve seen guys decide to walk away from the association rather than deal with the grief and embarrassment of those sorts of moments. I’ve had to bite my tongue a couple times this season because I’ve been the white hat. I don’t want to be the guy who loses it on someone else and I certainly don’t want to be on the other end of that “conversation” ever again. When I’m the white hat I think about the fact that I’m going to need that rook for the rest of this game, the rest of this season and for many seasons to come so I can’t rip him a new one, even if I believe that he’s just made the worst call in the world. I find it’s much better to ask myself first: Was he out of position? Did he report to me properly what it was that he saw? Are there any unanswered questions? Do I trust this guy to do a competent job? As I review those questions in my mind I realize, yes he was in position, he saw what he saw, we can deal with any application together and I definitely need to be in his corner here. If you have a memory of me this season doing otherwise then I want to sincerely apologize for any offense.
I’m a social worker, in fact I’m a welfare worker. I know a little bit about trying to motivate people, even the unmotivated. I also believe in community, in belonging, in a certain fraternity that our association needs to be. It is my belief that those who are encouraged to learn, sometimes the hard way, really do become part of a fraternity as they receive the support they need to receive on the field. The difference between a special interest group and a community is found in the depth of relationship. I have found that community develops when we relate to one another. If we are to be a true association we need to worry about issues of support, issues of relationship. If we are to work together we need to learn to be cohesive. For me, matters of relationship trump matters of rule. I’m not saying that you ignore a rule on the field so that you preserve a relationship with a fellow zebra. I’m saying you have to trust that the guy across from you can and will do his job so that the entire crew is effective. You have to trust that you’re not going to see everything and your crew can add as much to a game as they do their jobs in a competent way. When the mistakes happen, and they will happen, then you have to find a way to be respectful and learn together at the same time. That’s going to mean that we need to carry the new guys, especially the terrible ones. It means we have to carry the slow guys, even the good ones. It means we need to respectfully discuss what we see and sometimes disagree with one another so that at the end of the day we can raise a glass without raising a voice against each other.
Let me rewind. In my story I think I would’ve appreciated if my white hat had remembered that I was a rook who had shown over the course of a season that he was just plain terrible. I would’ve liked for my white hat to come running up stating (or perhaps forcefully saying) “Ian, throw your flag”. It turns out the Team A player on the ball was the punter, so he was onside, but how could my white hat declare him onside if I didn’t flag the No Yards?
Over the years since that incident the two of us have chatted and I’m pleased to say that he has noted that I’ve improved considerably and I no longer think he’s a complete asshat. I’ve gone for beers with this guy since, we’re ok, honest. The relationship is cool and we have an understanding. We’ll be respectful of each other and if he ever makes a mistake I’ll just laugh and call him a greenhorn or something. Some people are just terrible that way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

one of my favourite things

today is my 44th birthday. i've been stressed of late and not sleeping well. my wife is in the hospital and i wander around an empty house when i'm not spending time with her. i woke this morning and i had to very literally drag myself out of bed so that i could get off to work today.

as i went through my day at work one of my favourite things happened. it was unexpected although i don't know why it was unexpected because it happens on this day every year.

my wife called my phone at work and sang Happy Birthday to me. she made me weep as i sat and listened to her. i archived the message so that i could hear it again whenever i wished to. i wept again as i wrote this blog post.

she truly is one of my favourite things. the things she does for me every day truly are my favourite things. this one thing that she does for me every year truly is one of my favourite things.

she blessed my day just by being who she is.

i love you Wendy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

more Advent 1

gotta love Sufjan and if you don't then take a listen. this version does take a little getting used to.