The thrill is gone

Amy_&_Jez-113I was watching the movie Up. At the beginning of the movie there’s a little tiny movie about a boy and a girl that meet each other and get married. Together they have all these great plans. However, she ends up dying before any of the plans are able to be done and by that time they’re way too old to even consider doing any of them. This movie is emotional for anybody who’s married because it’s very  telling of how things can be with your spouse. You have grand plans, dreams and so many things that you want to go do. But the reality is is that all you really want to do is be with that person no matter where life might take you. This, in so many ways, is what makes being married so incredibly wonderful.

Being married isn’t easy, it’s not always fun, and, in all fairness it can be downright difficult. There are many times when you just want to yell at your spouse and go, “why don’t you get this?” It can be very tough when you have a long day at the office because bad or good, you are just tired. You come home and the house may not be as clean as you wanted, the kids are running around screaming and your wife is asking to do something that you really don’t want to do. Over time this can take its toll on any marriage. But the reality is that this is just a part of being married.

You first meet this person that you’re going to marry and you fall head over heels in love with this person. You finally end up getting married and settling down, just living your life. The day-to-day things start happening, such as going to the grocery store, having children and driving around in a car. But all of these things come together and start building up your relationship. Many times it’s the late-night conversations, the amount of driving that you do together, going through sickness and health together and even through the more difficult challenges. These are what makes a marriage as strong as it can be.

Unfortunately, in our modern era of instant information, instant gratification, instant just about anything, marriage can seem kind of boring. After years of being together, the thrill of staying up till midnight together, that’s gone. The first time you kiss, that thrill is gone. The sneaking around your parents back and whatever else can be so thrilling about a relationship goes away. All these things are replaced with pretty boring things, pretty mundane things. But in any relationship regardless of whether it’s married, best friend, parents, brothers and sisters and so on there will always be a sense of boredom, a sense of no thrill. But it’s the totality of the experience the makes relationship stronger, it is what makes you understand the other person better, it is what makes you love the person even more. Then longer you are together makes you realize that there’s absolutely no other  person that you would rather be with than with your spouse, because they’re the one that makes you happy.

This was done in response to a friends website: http://polyamorydiaries.com/

By John Hope from Leeds, UK (Amy & Jez-113) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What are parents good for

Fotothek_df_roe-neg_0006284_020_Mann_und_Frau_mit_KinderwagenWhat are parents good for. It was one of those issues that comes up and talking with many people.’ They didn’t do this for me, they didn’t do that for me, they didn’t buy me a new car, they let my younger brother and sisters do anything they want, I could have done so much more but my parents never really pushed me and so on and so forth.’ When people complain like this, there is generally some valid criticism. However once one a becomes a parent, one quickly realizes that your parents are just people trying to make the best of the situation.

In a recent conversation with my wife, where I said something about my parents. My wife said to me why to focus on the positive sides of what your parents did? It, shook me up a little bit. It made me realize that, “parents are just people trying to make the best of situation.” All parents have their flaws. This doesn’t mean that they’ve somehow ruined you, are made you an even worse person then maybe you think you are. Unless they pulled you out of school, physically handicapped you in some way or seriously deprived you of something, the reality is the parent probably did as much as they could for you.

While it is easy to blame your parents for your shortcomings. At the end of the day you’re responsible for who you are. They may not have had all the money that they needed to put into you, give you the best education they possibly could, or you made the best decisions about your life. This doesn’t mean that they’ve ruined you or that somehow you are less than what you really could be. In fact what you can learn from them is one of the most important things that they can give you, which is you can improve upon what your parents gave you. You can be a better parent than your parents. So instead of criticizing what your parents did focus on the positives, which are that they loved you, they took care of you, they didn’t break you permanently and they probably did the best that they could with you. So taking all that and applying that to your being a parent or an adult, you can make this world for yourself and for your children a better place.

“Fotothek df roe-neg 0006284 020 Mann und Frau mit Kinderwagen” by Deutsche Fotothek‎. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fotothek_df_roe-neg_0006284_020_Mann_und_Frau_mit_Kinderwagen.jpg#/media/File:Fotothek_df_roe-neg_0006284_020_Mann_und_Frau_mit_Kinderwagen.jpg

F is for fear

Scared_GirlIn 2015 there are many scary things all around us. There are diseases, terrorists, famine, scary movies and so on and so forth. The news tells us day after day that something’s coming to get us. The music and short soundbites enhances this. It seems as though the whole world is literally starting to come apart. Every morning when I turn the news or look at the Internet I’m bombarded with images of people being shot, people dying of illness, not having enough money and so on and so forth. Yes this is scary. However I’m here to tell you that this is totally planned to boost ratings and viewership.

I am an optimist. I view the  future with a great delight and expectation that things will just get better. Diseases are down. Violence across the world is way down. Crime in the United States is at record lows. In general the life style of people around the world is getting better. Since the 1980s and the 1990s, India, China, Brazil and so on have seen their standard of living dramatically rise. Even though in some ways the United States has deftly seen poverty increase if you compare the average lifestyle of an American is way ahead of any of the other countries listed. It is predicted that by 2020, obesity will be a greater problem for humanity then starvation.

This is not to somehow imply that things are perfect and we live in some kind of utopia. However when you look at disease prevention, technology, medical advancements, prosperity, peace and so on. The world is becoming a better place. The news which is heavily paid for by advertisements, would want you to think that things are getting worse the things are getting out of hand and the reality is that they are not things are actually getting better. Now we can sit here and lament that things are getting worse at least the perception there of, but as a whole the world is becoming a better place to live with more food, peace, prosperity, better technology, and more happiness as a whole.

This image was originally posted to Flickr by Victor Bezrukov at http://flickr.com/photos/21745851@N00/382031318. It was reviewed on 28 May 2010 by theFlickreviewR robot and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0.

Sometimes you have to explain why

Question_in_a_question_in_a_question_in_a_questionSome times you really need to explain why things are the way they are. As a parent you are going to impart your point of view to your kid on just about every thing. Everything from the food they will like to what kind of cars they will drive. So whether you are cognizant of this or not, how you approach politics will forever shape their world view. To me the key is to have your child be critical in their thinking of the world. You (as a person) seem like an intelligent person who questioned the status quo. There for it is very likely that you will pass that on to your kids.

Also discussing issues and being open about them will help them figure things out. The amazing thing about children is that they are very consistent in their view of the world. They don’t play the mental gymnastics that adults do. I have been challenged a number of times by my 6 year old on why things are the way they are. He asked me about why someone would burn down a house, cause according to him that was wrong. He also asked me why men can’t marry men. It really makes you think about these things and have to boil them down to concepts that they can follow.

As I said earlier, you don’t really teach them that much. They follow what you say and they will take on your world view largely by osmosis. But don’t take that for granted because if your world outlook doesn’t make sense and with all of the information around them they may reject what you say. They also have friends and will encounter the world and they will challenge their views and perceptions. This is where your strong parenting and being open will hopefully pay off and they will be critical of what information they accept and not accept.

I got gadgets and gizmos aplenty (How Ariel is a hoarder)

The_Little_MermaidAfter watching The Little Mermaid, I realized something. Ariel is a hoarder. I say this because I have watched the show hoarders in so many ways she resembles some of the people that are on that show. She has an obsession with collecting things, she’s obsessed with somebody who’s from that world and her obsession has completely taken over her life. When threatened by her father, who destroys the things that are within her cavern, she runs off and makes agreement was Ursula in order to get to the world were all that stuff actually is.

Now I’m not saying that she’s crazy. But she is completely and utterly obsessed with human stuff. She abandons her family and ditches their performance to be with her stuff. Also, Ariel doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends. In fact she places herself and her friends in a lot of danger when she goes hunting for human things. Just look at the scene where she goes to the shipwreck and the shark goes after, flounder always gets eaten alive. This has likely happened before and there for people (merfolk) don’t want to be around her any more.

Comikaze_Expo_2011_-_Ariel_and_Flounder_from_the_Little_Mermaid_(6324629917)Now I know most people probably don’t see it this way and it wasn’t until I watched it as a grown up that I realized that there was just something really really off about this movie. This doesn’t mean that I don’t recommend the movie, it just means that there is a lot more there and there are much deeper issues than just some girl trying to find a boy to get married to. Ariel abandons her entire family in order to be with a guy. A human trinket that she’s looking for. She does this at her own peril when she visits Ursula. Ariel even sees what happens to the people that do not fulfill their contract with Ursula. Yet she still continues on and goes ahead and does it anyways. This shows a complete and utter disregard and a massive selfishness, which ends up with her father being turned into one of those little critters on the ground. Yes, everything turns out okay, but still. As I said already this is still a good movie, but the last time you watched it you likely were a kid.

Picture sources:

Original source: Stories From Hans Anderson. E.S. Hardy, illustrator. Boston: DeWolfe, Fiske & Co. (1890)

This image was originally posted to Flickr by Doug Kline at http://flickr.com/photos/26728047@N05/6324629917. It was reviewed on 15 June 2014 by theFlickreviewR robot and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-2.0. The photographer does not endorse any of my articles or views.

Financial Independence: The Introduction

One of my long term goals is to be completely financially independent. Basically I want to be able to quit my job and not have to look back. In the following weeks I am uploading videos on how you and I can achieve these goals. Here is the introduction.

The follow up is what counts

Father_and_Son_Toronto_May_2012Your oldest one is running around. Your second child throws something across the room. The third child is crying because they just got hit in the head with whatever was thrown by the second child. You look around the room you literally have no idea where to start. Do you go for the first one the second child or the third child. You can stop each one and talk to them individually and attempt to make a corrective action, the primary key in all of this is consistency. Regardless of whatever you do, the same actions have to be done again and again and again.

One of the toughest things that I dealt with as a parent was being consistent. Letting things slide letting things go or looking the other way led to a moment where the kids think they can get away with just what anything. This is a situation that has to be afforded at all costs. Children do have to understand that there are rules and their consequences for their actions. Just as much as a human grown up steal something from a store just because they can get away with it doesn’t mean that there should be any consequences for the. Grown-ups understand there’s consequences for actions. While children may not be as sophisticated as adults and may not necessarily always understand this. It is very important to remind them that there are consequences and especially if they do the same thing again and again. There needs to be follow up with this.

Consistency for me has meant that I would either talk to my kids or punish them in some way according to the action. I’ve kept this up for several months and I have been very consistent with it and eventually the children realize that yeah they could do this, but their would be actions against held against them. This would keep coming and keep coming keep coming. Eventually they understood that as long as they were doing bad there would be consequences for their actions, we’ve now come to the place where my kids understand this and they obey and don’t try to even tempt me. It has led to a much more peaceful house in a much more peaceful environment. So for people who struggle with their kids causing issues and being naughty this is what has very much work for me and has led me to being much happier with my children.

Additional parenting resources:

futurementhe family

for the children

“Father and Son Toronto May 2012” by marc falardeau from toronto – FATHER AND SON REUNIONUploaded by Skeezix1000. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Father_and_Son_Toronto_May_2012.jpg#/media/File:Father_and_Son_Toronto_May_2012.jpg