Saying Goodbye

Sunday was the last day of our Convention. I had to say goodbye to all of my friends. It was the last day of Calgary Expo, but also a bitter end to many years of shows. We won’t be returning.

I’m severely saddened by this. But many factors have come into play over the past little while. Last year I toted about My Fandom Family and how great everyone is. I love these people. Even back in 2016 we were hoping to Expand our small business- it just won’t be happening.

Since 2016, sales at Conventions have dropped. To be honest- the sales more like nosedived. What used to be lucrative and profitable, suddenly became, “Are we going to just recoup costs?” We gave it a couple of years, but sadly no increase.

Besides our declining sales, a few other factors have also come into the decision to not return. First, my wife has started a new job. She will be working for a company full time and can’t create stock or take off time for out of town shows. So her Business will be scaled back to just online sales- no more travel to conventions. We can now use vacation time to vacation!

Secondly, our children are getting older. We do not want to take them out of school as their workload is heavier than it was when they were younger. Our oldest has entered adulthood by getting (and loving) her first job, so time off for her means she makes less money. She is now saving up for her next big purchase.

Lastly, after doing Conventions for nearly a decade, we’re a bit burnt out. So many stresses lead up to a show as well as when we are there. We also haven’t done a decent cosplay in a couple of years. There was just too much going on in life. I am hoping to take on a new hobby and just make replica movie props for myself.

Yes, I’m saddened by the fact that I put down in words the finale of our traveling business. And just like that, our convention circuit is pretty much all done. We went out with hardly a whimper. No big fanfare saying it’s over. It’s just over.

Just some hugs and handshakes to say farewell to our friends- with many a promise to stay in contact. All of the conventions were a blast, but now it is time to move on. Let the next stage of life begin.

Likes

I enjoy writing in my blog. Some people enjoy reading it. I like getting “Likes” from complete strangers as well. It makes me feel good. Like as if what I am sharing is worthwhile.

Sometimes what I write is beneficial to other people. Perhaps they can draw on my experiences. Or perhaps they come to laugh at my stupidity (like the time I Broke my cellphone). I like to think that they read my blogs because I make people feel good.

So if you like my musings, like my blog. That’s it. I like it when you like me. I don’t earn any money from the likes. Just a little ego boost.

I like that.

She’s Got The Look

My wife began her new job on Monday.

Yay!

She made it through the first eight hours getting everything setup for working from home. The entire family left her alone in order for her to get settled in. It helped that the kids were at school and I was sleeping 💤. So I didn’t even get to see her after her first day, as I was on my way to work. But we talked afterwards.

She had kind of a rough start. As with anything computer related- there was a few hiccups. My wife was most unimpressed with that. About seven hours into her day and she was ready to shut it down and give up. All of the issues were out of her control.

She did not give up. She’s ready to take on day two with more gumption.

“What in the world can make a brown-eyed girl turn blue

When everything I’ll ever do I’ll do for you”

You go girl!

You got this!

You’ve got the look!

Maybe I should’ve chosen a different Roxette song to quote:

“Hold on tight, you know she’s a little bit dangerous

She’s got what it takes to make ends meet.”

In the end I think my wife feels more like this:

“She says: Hello, you fool, I love you.”

Job!

A couple of days ago I mentioned my wife applied for a job: She Works Hard. She found out this afternoon that she got it!

She now works at Shopify starting as soon as we return from our trip to Tokyo. Tonight we are going out to celebrate. That’s my quick update. Gotta go and share the joy with my wife.

This is Not Today’s Topic

I’m pretty sure I had this great idea for today’s blog post. Then I went to bed without writing it down or starting it. Now I have completely forgotten what I wanted to write about. All day- no idea…

Was it my children?

Perhaps my dog?

Was it involving our home?

Did something happen at work?

What stupid thing did I do as a child?

Did I want to mention cooking?

My father?

Travel?

Music?

Star Wars?

???

I really do not remember. So this is it. My blog post about nothing. Which is totally okay. Not everything or everyday will be inspired.

On the bright side- I got the heat working in my home again.

Two Years of Daily Musings

January 18, 2016 I began this blog. I’ve written one post every single day. It’s my baby and I’m proud of myself. Last year I wrote about My One Year Blogaversary. I thought that was special. But today is doubly as good.

Another year of stories with more positive thoughts than negative ones written. More shares, likes and follows from old friends and new ones. A couple of days ago, I surpassed 100 followers on WordPress. (Yay!) The majority of whom are folks I’ve never met in person. None of them trying to trade “A like for a like” which is respectable. If someone new follows me, I will read a few of their stories. Many times I end up following them. I’ve enjoyed the conversation and feedback through these interactions with complete strangers as well.

Twenty years ago, a friend of mine once said “Constant observation of myself has made me what I am today.” That phrase stuck with me as I moved forward in life. I often forgot to look back. Over the past two years of reflection and memories, I have re-discovered who I am:

I’m just a guy Making It Up As I Go.

Resolution Success Story

Yesterday morning I spent about an hour reading many of my old blog posts. I’ve completed nearly two years of daily blog posts. I am now going to reflect on my reflections as I reflected on life. Let’s step out of this inception spiral for a moment…

My writing has changed. Some of my older posts were really well written. Others were not. Some were far too long and wordy for no reason. Most never stayed on topic. I’ve even repeated my memoirs- which was bound to happen. However, the biggest constant is that I have been writing continuously and enjoying it.

These musings are a way for me to work out what’s going on in my mind and life. I love that people have read these posts. I am also happy that some have been shared. Somehow, I have inspired some friends along the way. Go Joe!

While I reviewed some of my previous posts, I wanted badly to edit them. I wanted to alter the information I shared. But that would be a lie to myself. As well, I don’t overly think anyone would re-read or notice the changes. So in the ether of the interwebs lay my mistakes and my past.

I’m ok with that. I’m not perfect. Even though I strive for perfection, I need to have a place to grow from. Looking back is great as long as I don’t get stuck on it.

Making It Up As I Go has been a wonderful personal experience. The experience has been larger than life for me. I have met some fantastic bloggers online that have encouraged me and also inspired me. My thoughts and musings have been read and shared worldwide. Crazy.

What started as a resolution two years ago to write more has become a daily routine. I shall continue to write and share about my life: Humor, heartache, health, happiness, Havelka…

Make Your Own Inspiration (or share mine if you wish)

Over the past year, I have made my own inspirational images. All of which I have shared with friends and family. Because they are meant to enlighten folks- I have no issue with them being shared by others.

This was my first one. I was floating on a lake where the beauty and tranquility just amazed me. This photo is all sorts of edited, but it pops with a feeling of peace.

This photo was originally shared on my Instagram account (without the quote). I was driving home one morning when I crossed over a set of tracks. Being a railroader has always caused me to double check before crossing over train tracks and thus I saw a beautiful view of leading lines. Afterwards, I added the text because I realize that my job brings me joy.

This is today’s image. I was driving home from having my car serviced as the sun was rising. As I drove down the road, I was admiring the ice on the trees when I noticed the “one way” sign with icicles. After pulling over to take a photo, I noticed the contrast of warm and cool colours. Before I shared this photo, I decided to add some simple text without taking much away from the picture.

I’ve always loved photography. I’m happy my children do as well. Since starting this blog, I’ve also done my best to remain positive. I share positive and inspirational quotes and images I find online. I became compelled to add my own spice into the interwebs. My hope is to share not just my photos, but my thoughts as well.

Moving forward, I am going to continue to perfect my photo editing skills. If you like what you see, by all means share an image or blog post. I’m not making royalties of my work at this time, nor do I expect to.

Please just share a kind message or thought. You never know who may need it. I’m in a good place right now, but one day I may need a smile- so it’s always nice to see things like this shared.

Becoming an Everyday Hero

There’s a famous Canadian that has said some things and done some things. Then there’s me.

I’ve also said some things and done some things. What surprises me is the impact of my words and actions vs someone famous. I don’t have the same size audience. Mine is much smaller, a bit closer to me, perhaps even a bit more intimate.

My audience is my children and my wife. My audience is my friends and coworkers. My audience is complete strangers.

Somehow I have made an impact on each life I touch. I have received handshakes and thank you cards for just being me. I have been acknowledged for my actions or my patience- through emails and phone calls. It surprises me each and every time it happens.

All I ever want to do is make the world a better place. I want to watch others succeed. I want people to realize that happiness comes from within.

That’s just who I am. A regular Joe. An everyday hero to no one in particular.

X Mas Day 2017

Today my family filled their free time with video games and making a turkey for dinner. Lots of time available since we opened our gifts a couple of days ago: Early Christmas 2017

We bought a PS4 for Christmas and my wife is obsessed with Dig Dug. She has made it her goal to beat everyone- at a game from the 1980’s on a brand new Playstation. We have also been playing “Knowledge Is Power” as a family. It’s been surprisingly fun! And knowledgeable. Gaming has always been a big part of our family fun. But the video game system wasn’t our big gift for the family.

After all of the gifts were opened, we gave our kids Christmas cards from “Mom & Dad”. Inside each card was 10,000¥ and some custom made “Boarding Passes” for them to head to Tokyo this spring.

That’s right!

We are taking the family to Tokyo in 2018. After much discussion between my wife and I, we bought round trip tickets for the family back in September. We have even paid for a hotel in downtown Tokyo for our stay. Now that we finally told the kids, we can really start to plan what to do on our journey.

Tokyo has been on my “Travel Bucket List” for decades. So this trip is a bit more for me than I will admit to my family. However, they are equally as excited now that they have found out that we are going. A gazillion ideas have come forward for what we should do while in Japan. Later this week, we will sit down and do some more research for some family/teen activities or sights.

With our children growing up, travel seems like a better choice to fulfill life experiences. Video Games are fun, but memories of travel lasts a lifetime. I’m happy that they are excited about the trip. Now they all want to learn Japanese in the next two months!

Game on!