2500 Daily Blog Posts

I have been writing a daily blog for myself for a long time now. In fact I just realized that I have been sharing my thoughts and stories for 2500 Days in a row!

Somehow I still manage to make the time for writing something out. The funny thing was, today I had no clue what to write about. So I was curious as to how long it had been since I started blogging. I made a goal to write every single day. Every single day. No matter what. I wrote out a story of some sort.

I’d like to think that I’m sharing a personal part of myself with all of you. I hope that it has brought you closer to understanding who I am as a person. Seeing what makes me tick. Enjoying my excursions and travels. Laughing at my ridiculous misfortunes. Perhaps even a quick tug on the heartstrings as I shared a sorrowful event from my past. Whatever the story may have been, I have enjoyed writing it out.

Will I stop writing these blogs? I am unsure. Doing these have become such an integral part of my mental processing that I wonder if I can stop. Writing clears my head. Sharing makes me feel like a part of society. Having feedback makes me a better person.

Thank you for joining me on this journey for nearly 7 years! You are the best!

Love, Josef.

Foggy Autumn Vacation

This is one of those rare vacations where I didn’t have much planned. Setting up the Christmas lights was really about it. Everything else I am doing is just the routine of our lives. Grocery shopping, speed skating practice, meeting up with friends… that sort of thing.

During my downtime I am watching some tv and playing video games. No big household projects or crafting this time around. I just want to relax. And I’m getting to do exactly that.

Last night I soaked in the tub, read a book and enjoyed a glass of wine. This morning I have been staring out the window amazed that the fog is so thick and just doesn’t want to lift or burn off. Yet somehow our view is still just as stunning without being able to see much. As if we are floating in the clouds.

That’s kind of how I feel about my week of vacation. I’m enjoying it, yet not much is happening that is exciting. This staycation is precisely what I needed. No hustle, just floating through. A chance to watch the world and appreciate the beauty it holds.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Last weekend I experienced déjà vu. Not just a small moment. Everything about the weekend had a sense of me doing it once before. From work, to being at home, even at the bunkhouse in Boston Bar and traveling by train. The crews I worked with had a sense of familiarity and a redo of something once done.

I have had senses like this in the past. I’m not quite sure what to make of the sensation. Could it have been because I had a head cold? Perhaps because my equilibrium was off. Or maybe everything had shifted two inches to the right.

I also thought that I had written a previous blog title déjà vu. But I was wrong. Even though this feels eerily familiar. I’m a bit suspect about this simulation we are in. I’m not sure when it will end. But a software update is necessary. Not ready for a reboot yet. I don’t really want to turn my life off and on.

Am I the only one who experienced this sensation last weekend? Maybe the planets or the moon had something to do with it. Or else I’m just going crazy.

Autumn Walks For Health

Over the last couple of days, I have been enjoying a nice autumn walk with my wife. Yesterday was a 5km walk and today was about 3km. What’s different this time, is I’m the one asking to go on these walks.

I’ve been asking my wife to go on these walks because she stopped doing them. Summer was busy and her routine got disrupted as she went from one job to another. Getting her out again has been helping her in processing and clearing her thoughts. I have been doing my best to be a sounding board for her while we get some exercise. she has been noticeably happier these past few days as well.

Admittedly, even though it’s been cool outside- the views and sunshine have made it worthwhile to get out. The crisp air has helped with breathing and getting the heart rate going. Our pace has been quick and steady, really making the heart and lungs work.

I have also wanted to get a bit more mobile as work has had me fairly stagnant. Either sitting in a desk or driving a vehicle around. I have not been as active as I once was when I first hired on 15 years ago. As I get older, I really should be more active, eat healthier, and cut back on alcohol. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

I hope the weather stays nice- even if it’s just for a bit each day. We can squeeze in a walk during those times. I like holding her hand and discussing our lives.

Life Cycling Loop

Sometimes I don’t want to be at work. And at the same time, I don’t want to be at home. It’s not that I am having issues in either place- I just don’t feel like I am moving forward. Except towards my days off. Which is filled with tasks and chores. And during those days off, I am thinking about my next set of days at work.

It’s mentally exhausting and a vicious cycle. I know I’m not the only one who falls into this trap. Many of you out there also feel trapped and in an endless loop. I don’t have a solution to it, so I’m looking to you for advice. In all seriousness- how do you break the cycle of feeling this way?

Hang In There

The past few days have been rather difficult. Mentally and emotionally very challenging for me. Some of it is from work. Some from family. But the majority of my hardship is coming from within.

At the beginning of October I decided I needed an escape that wasn’t harmful to my well being. So I began to watch bad “B” Horror films. So far I am ten days and ten films in. Each day I am astonished at the ridiculousness of the plots and the idea that somehow these films were financially backed.

These films have brought me a few giggles. I am also able to really let myself be taken in by the ideals of movie magic and special effects. My wife is astonished that I discovered Tubi and how many films of this caliber is out there. She chose tonight’s film- “Attack of the Killer Donuts”. Spectacular in all aspects and well worth shutting off your brain.

Each of the films I have watched are shorter than most major motion pictures nowadays. Long enough to make it longer than a tv series, but short enough to keep me alert. With all of these bombs, it is taking me away from my life. A well deserved mental break from the challenges I face.

I just have to keep telling myself: Hang in there. It gets worse…. And so do the movies.

My Time Is Precious

The one thing in this world that people will try and take from you is your time. That’s one of the few things I have a difficulty giving away. I’m particularly fond of my time off from work or time to myself. That is time I will not give up too easily. However, my immediate family takes priority when time is required of me.

Oh look- we have a cat now.

I had a few days to myself last week after our road trip to Disneyland. I took the time to be creative, carefree and calm during this time. No commitments beyond a couple of hours with friends on one evening. That was some time I gave willingly to them. I was able to benefit from the recharge of hanging out.

Cold drink on a hot evening.

When I’m by myself, I like to keep busy. I have difficulty just lazing about. I don’t watch a lot of tv to pass the time anymore. I used to do that in my youth and have since decided that television is not really my thing. Of course there are a few shows that I do enjoy. I prefer to sit around with a drink to watch the clouds roll by and the sun set.

How do you allot your time? Are you willing to give it up easily, or do you keep track of your time like I do?

Vacation Anticipation

Relatable post time. Here come the memes.

I have only one more shift to go before vacation. Yes, there is a countdown within the family of how many hours remain as well!

There’s always the moments when your brain is already focused on the future and not the day at hand. Nothing is going to get me down. I’m preparing myself to be checked out.

Getting thru that last couple of days of work are always difficult before a vacation. It’s even harder to return to work after some time off.

But a break is always healthy. Leaving work behind and just focusing on some mental relaxation is paramount to good health. We all go through this. I hope you all have good vacations as well when you go on them!

A Day Of Rain

The rain came in yesterday and was gone by this afternoon. Working in the rain sucks, so I have sympathy to those who endured the downpour. But it was a nice refreshing cool down that we needed. Plants seem to be a bit happier in our garden as they also needed the refreshment.

I enjoy sitting out on our deck and watching the clouds afterwards. I snapped a quick picture, then put my phone away and just enjoyed the fresh air. The world can be filled with dark clouds periodically, but when those pass- it’s just calm with a gentle breeze that makes you breathe easier.

Do you like when the rain passes by quickly?

B E – A G G – R E S S – I V E

My wife pointed out that behind the wheel, I am an aggressive driver. She’s not wrong. I hate driving. Especially if other cars are on the road.

Commuting to and from work is irritating to say the least. Far too often there are drivers in the passing lane- not passing. They just casually drive right next to the other car- many times trying to “police” the people behind them. Stop that. You are pissing off drivers like myself.

If you get in the passing lane, you better be passing, not crawling. If I have a driver coming up behind me in the passing lane, I do my best to move over when possible, or I keep passing the line up of other cars so that our lane keeps moving. It’s the right thing to do.

Driving sucks. I hate it. Perhaps I should just give up and stay in the slow lane and just get where I’m going and accept whatever time I get there.

Life is too short to get angry.

But it’s also too short to go under the speed limit! Move already!

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Staycationing Time 2022

I finished my last day of work before my first summer vacation. I am onto 11 days of freedom. Freedom to just enjoy time with my wife doing nothing but enjoying life.

Of course it’s not really going to be a vacation of nothingness. We will be in the backyard floating in the pool most of the time. Other days will be early morning kayaking. I have a feeling we will be out exploring more of Cloverdale and Surrey than we did last year- perhaps to find some farmers markets and such.

But nothing is planned per se. No weekend getaway. No booked travels. Just whatever we decide to do will be planned the day before. I’m not used to having no plans. This may be a first for me.

I hope I can keep up.

Swing And Soul Searching

Two years ago I built a swing for the front porch of our previous home. (Read about it: Front Deck). I couldn’t leave it behind, so I brought it to our new home. At first, we were going to put it up near the basement entry. But I wanted to utilize more space that was otherwise non-functional.

Many people know we have a pool with a large deck on the back. But underneath the wooden deck was just a bunch of space. There were a few boards left behind under the deck, so I made a small platform and chained up the swing. It’s a great place to just go and hide for a bit and stare out into the fields.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have had groups of friends over to hang out poolside and enjoy life. As the evenings progressed we became tipsy and talkative. I have found myself hanging out with a friend on more than one occasion sitting on this swing and just airing out concerns.

It’s a wonderful surprise that this swing has become a place to soul search and share. Staring out into the tall grass as the night sky looms on forever, is a good way to open one’s heart and thoughts. I have heard of my friends’ dreams, passions and even problems as we sat side by side swaying gently.

I hope that the effect of this swing continues for years to come. I also really hope that it helped my friends become emotionally stronger as well as them being able to take charge of their dreams. So if you find yourself at my place again, know that there is always going to be a spot beside me on the swing. My ear will always be ready to listen.

Keeping Positive Vibes

I hear the phrase, “It is what it is.” Whenever there is something bad happening in life that you can’t control. It’s not a favorite phrase of mine, so I try not to use it- but I know I have from time to time. The other phrase that gets me is “At the end of the day…” The end of the day comes, well, daily. But I want to counter it with a new one.

“Oh well. Whatever happens, happens.” No matter what each day brings us, we are just should just chill out and breathe deep. Let the world continue on its merry way, and not get bothered by it. Here’s how I let that happen: I know what I’m working towards and enjoy why I do what I do.

Last night I was at work and my wife sent me a beautiful view of the sky from our home. The thought that our home is a mere thirty five minutes away from work keeps me going. Having views like this are some of the reasons why I go to work. Not bringing the stress home is also important. “Let it be.” As the Beatles sang.

What do you work towards? Do you try your best to let “whatever happens, happen?” Or do you try and gain control over things that are out of your control? Lastly, what are you working towards? Does it make you happy?

Being Awesome

I have started back with my egotistical self esteem. Years ago, when Facebook was in its infancy, I would write statuses about how awesome I am. I shared daily with my friend group about what a great person I was and how amazing I am.

I realized recently that I haven’t been feeling so proud of myself. I was undermining my own ego. I had moved away from saying nice things about myself. Of course, I wasn’t saying anything negative about myself out loud mind you. More like I just wasn’t saying anything at all about myself.

I have been sharing positive pictures and stories. Yet none of it was truly about me. It was of things I do and places I was at. Not the inner feelings. Those I generally keep bottled up. And I was feeling really low. It’s time for a change.

So instead of being sad, I’m going to be awesome instead.

True story.

I’m Blue Da Ba Dee…

This afternoon I decided that I wanted to do a painting. It had been a couple of years since I last did a special one for myself. I was feeling energized and didn’t want my ambition to wane. So I jumped right in.

Shelley by Josef 2020

A little over two years ago, I did a small version of a painting inspired by an artist named Shelley. The original painting was huge. I believe it was four feet by four feet in size. The one I made that mimicked the original was on one foot by one foot. Today, I decided to double the size. I also chose to change the color palette.

Blue Shelley by Josef 2022

I love this new color concept that I did. It made me think that perhaps I could do one or two other ones that could be similar. Perhaps a green one. Or a red/pink one. “Blue Shelley” is double the size of the one I did two years ago. But still half the size of the original piece that inspired me.

I know it’s not an exact replica in the shapes. But that’s what makes it unique. It’s not a printed image, but rather an inspired one that was inspired by another that was created by my memory.

I think I’d like to do more paintings again. I enjoyed listening to music and doing today’s piece. It was relaxing and pleasant.

Do you paint any art pieces? Let me know in the comments. Or perhaps share with me a picture or link to your art.

Everything Matters/ Nothing’s Important

I’m not sure why it happens… but it does…

My brain oftentimes brings up a memory that happened a few years prior on a day that is generally really close to the date of the original occurrence. I’m not talking about those Facebook Memories either. My brain just finds something and says- hey what about this thing?

Since I began blogging about my thoughts and experiences, I finally have a way to look it up once more and see what I originally wrote about. For example, Unfinished Work was a piece I wrote on May 18, 2017. Reading it now, I see that I really did put a lot more thought and length into what I wrote. Not that a lengthy blog is good… but it was one of the images that I was searching that my brain had decided to think about.

EVERYTHING MATTERS NOTHING’S IMPORTANT. This was a mural that was nearby my place of work when I was in downtown Vancouver. I’m not sure why it resonates with me periodically, yet it does. It’s a what life feels like some days. It’s not important, yet somehow it matters. Those intrusive thoughts and feelings that you should just leave behind. But there you are, letting it bug you.

So stop letting it get to you. It’s not important in the long run. Simple advice that even I wish I would take. Yet sometimes I can’t, but I should. I have to stop letting things bother me. I need to focus on the positive more. Even though that can be hard to do.

As I said though, my brain somehow cycles through thoughts and memories roughly the same time and date. Hopefully my next set of memories is more positive and I can get out of my rut.

That would be nice.

After Work Alone Time

I came home the past couple of days and headed straight to my bedroom… I just needed to be alone. I also wanted to enjoy the sunshine, but not sit outside. I genuinely can’t tell if I want to be alone right now lost in thoughts.

Laying down in a sunbeam warms me up. I don’t want to close the blinds- I want to feel the sun. It makes me feel alive. In fact, I wish for more sun these days. I need it.

Staring out the window at the clouds has me daydreaming of a life I once lived. The moments where I could enjoy myself and not care. These days I care too much. And I hurt too much from thinking too much. The hurt just sits there. Like a pit that I can’t swallow.

So I go to my phone. Facebook shares memories from the past decade or so. Mostly good times and follies of silliness. Again, the life I once lived. That energy is diminishing. The charisma is fading. Just making it through each day is the current sensation.

Not all days will be good. Not all experiences will be memorable. That’s not a bad thing. Just not a good thing. So I sit in my room. Watching the beauty in the world from my window. Not sure how to feel.

Our Little “Therapy” Dog

Having a pet is genuinely nice. In the past we have had fish and Guinea pigs as well as dogs. To be perfectly honest, we have always had a dog in our lives.

Our latest dog we have had as a family member for about a year and a half. We named her Maki once we adopted her. As goofy as she is, and as crazy as she gets around other dogs, we love her immensely.

She is our little “Therapy” dog. She makes each of us feel happy when we need it most. If you are upset, she knows instinctively and comes to you for rubs and kisses. Maki has been specifically good for our middle teenager’s mental health. That’s the room she sleeps in six nights a week. The other night is with our youngest.

As much as I push Maki away sometimes (dog breath galore!) I do enjoy having her nearby. She comes to snuggle me when I want to nap and really invades my space when she wants to. Maki is a happy dog and she makes us happy as well.

Sunsets In Bed

Life is what you make of it. You can dwell on the negativity and it can bring you down. Or you can learn and grow and change those aspects of your life.

I’ve had my share of downs. I’ve tackled challenges. I’ve endured difficult times. After it all, I am able to see the beauty that the world still has in store. I appreciate that I can feel the sun on my face and watch the clouds roll off as I lay in bed.

I appreciate these moments. This world has so much more to offer. Getting past those negative emotions and thoughts; the light shines through. Another day to love and live.

Happy Easter Friends.

Seeing Yourself Through Someone Else’s Eyes

I always try and be a positive thinker. I do my best to be supportive of family and friends. It appears that is not always the case. As great a job as I think I am doing, in someone else’s eyes, I failed them.

Our oldest recently moved out a few months ago. I received an email from them yesterday outlining and unloading a lot of thoughts. Turns out they felt I was not a supportive parent. They told me they were afraid to talk to me about pretty much anything. They also said I destroyed their childhood because in their eyes I did the bare minimum of parenting. The hardest part about hearing this is the fact that they have run off to live with the one person who I felt was ruining their life back in high school. I was vocal then about him, and I’m still of the same opinion.

I always had a tough time communicating with our oldest as they hit the teenage years. My expectations of who I thought they could be were always high. Probably unrealistically so, hence why I may have appeared to be a terrible father in their eyes when I became angry with their shortcomings and inactions. Specifically in school when they willingly chose to fail classes and lie to my wife and I about it. Again, the friend they are currently living with is the one who constantly brought down their grades.

October 2017- Silent Treatment

As an individual, my kid is entitled to have these feelings towards me. A part of me is not surprised by how they feel- as I could sense that there was a division happening in our relationship over the years. I even took counseling on how to improve communication with your kids. That worked periodically, but our oldest always had a way of derailing conversations and becoming silent.

Needless to say, the relationship with my oldest is at an impasse. I will leave the ball in their court and hope that one day they can see more of the positive aspects of our relationship. I also hope the secrecy and destructiveness their friend is creating in their life will end. Looking back at my youth, I know I made some poor friend choices and ignored my parent’s well wishes.

Parenting is tough and it hurts to be viewed as a villain. Unloading this today in my blog is not my normal and joyous thoughts. It’s the gritty hard truths that build up into something to overcome and create a positive action from.

Burnt Out

Something’s got to give.

I’m really starting to feel burnt out at home lately. Everything is becoming a chore. Even working on my daily blog is getting difficult.

Mostly because I’m not relaxing the way I want to without judgement. My wife is my partner- whom I appreciate and love, yet I can’t be left alone to gather my thoughts or unwind. If I try and get away to take some time for myself, it seems as though she makes me feel guilty for doing what I do.

Sitting on the couch, or in the yard, having a beer is not acceptable in her eyes. She approaches me with more complaints about pretty much everything, and I can’t clear my own thoughts. I also need to process my emotions and difficulties away outside of the household. But it seems like it’s not in the cards.

As much as I want to run away, I cannot. I stay, the problems keep coming. I’m falling into a slump. I’m not looking for advice at this time, more just venting out into the ether.

Thank you.

Just Plain Ol’ Tired

Another tiring day at the office and came home to more tiring activities. The action of making dinner and putting away laundry was more mentally exhausting than it needed to be.

I went through the motions and did what I had to do. I almost forgot to write this blog. So please forgive me if it’s meh. Which I know it is. I don’t have the mental capacity to put a lot of thought or string words together eloquently right now.

I’m just throwing in the towel for the day and heading to sleep. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day. Stay strong Josef. The week is almost at the halfway point. It’s been a tough climb up the first half of the week- then it’s all down hill.

Dang, that wasn’t as motivating as I had hoped.

Walk To Clear My Head

Today was emotional for me at one point. I started to just wallow and was unsure what to do with myself. So my wife suggested to go for a walk. As blasé as I was, I went out expecting to just wander our neighborhood.

We headed down the road and wandered behind our home. My wife asked if we could walk on the other side of the dyke. So we did. It was brisk and cool outside which made for a strong cleansing of the mind. We walked until the end of the dyke and turned around.

That was when I realized where we were. Beauty stretched out towards the mountains. The berry fields were raw with a natural color to the vines. The grass was green and growing. And the skies went on forever. As we walked back home, my head was clearing.

It was a much needed walk. Something I used to do when I was younger. I forgot how satisfying a walk can be and how helpful it can be mentally.

Fog In Fog Out

This morning the fog rolled in quickly. It also rolled out just as fast. I awoke at around 7:30 this morning to look out my back window.

Within an hour it was heavy fog. And fifteen minutes later it was all but gone. I watched as the fog slowly pushed its way westward, revealing the colours of the fields that lay behind our home.

I do enjoy getting up early when the weather is nice. The sun over the last few days has helped with my mental state. The fog internally is also beginning to roll away as spring and summer quietly approach. This is the first time in decades that I feel at one with the changing seasons. The warm and cold, the dreary and uplifting… I’ve begun to feel better mentally as the chaos of life isn’t as busy. A couple years of this pandemic has made me reevaluate what is important.

Does the weather affect your moods? Does the sunshine help you feel better? Have you had a chance to understand your emotions and values better over these last few years? Let me know in the comments.