Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sixth post……Things I miss

I’ve been contemplating many things recently, but most of them have one thing in common.  They are things that I have been missing from my past.  I miss the solitude of a home without a mother in law, I miss the energy and hope of youth, I miss being able to sleep without the assistance of a CPAP machine, I miss having less responsibility, but most of all I miss being able to hold my children.

My kids are teenagers now, and while I certainly appreciate the help around the house they offer when they’re forced to come out of their rooms, recently I’ve been missing just being able to scoop them up, give them lots of hugs and kisses, and all the laughter that we used to have in the house. 

Lately we are just so busy with schedules and rehearsals and homework and sick days and make up work from those sick days and dealing with Grandma Pie’s continuing bullshit and Mrs. Pie’s worthless sister….the list never seems to end.

Mrs. Pie has actually been thinking about moving to Canada. If Grandma Pie is still alive by the time our youngest graduates high school, then we’ll put her in a home and move up to Canada to get away from the rest of her family. This idea is actually interesting to me.

If Grandma Pie has passed by then, the situation may change, but I like this contingency plan. I will have to revisit this at a later date.

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Fifth Post ……..confronting fears

In my never-ending quest to become a better pie, I have identified one of my bigger fears. Once I figured this out, I went to talk with Mrs. Pie about it and she just gave me an exasperated look and said “You didn’t know this already? I’ve tried to get you to face this for years. How did you finally get yourself to realize it?” “Oddly enough, watching a football game,” I replied.

I was watching college football and the announcers were extolling the improvements of one of the schools after decades mired in mediocrity. However, the trigger for said improvements was very clear. A Billionaire alumnus of the school in question made an unprecedentedly HUGE donation to the football team, which provided them with the ability to get State-of-the-art facilities, Stadium upgrades, and other items that allowed them to start recruiting with the other top schools in the country. Piles and piles of money made a college football team better. The irony was amusing. The NCAA works diligently to keep money out of the player’s hands, but turns a blind eye to the billions of dollars that Universities beg, borrow, and steal in the name of athletic progress.

So I did what I’m assuming most people would start doing – I thought about what I would do with billions of dollars in my bank account. Then something happened that always happens when I think about having a lot of money, but I always thought it was excitement at the prospect of being rich. For the first time I realized that it wasn’t excitement I was feeling. It was anxiety. I was getting tense and nervous. I discovered that i’m scared of money.

Not physical money, per se. I’m not scared of coins and bills themselves, but of the power and responsibility that comes with having money. I’ve seen what the power of money can do to people. It is not pretty. There are members of my family and Mrs. Pie’s side of the family who would run over me and my children with their car for next month’s rent. I don’t want to be that kind of person, but I want to have enough money to live comfortably. I give to charity and we donate all of our old clothes and household items to Goodwill – the ones that are in good enough quality to be donated – the items that are trash go into the trash. But in the past, I’ve felt guilty for not donating more. To avoid that guilt, I’ve tried to stay away from the money decisions in my life. If there’s not enough money to pay the bills, then I can avoid the shame of mismanaging and put the blame on Mrs. Pie who is responsible for the bills. This is unfair, but it’s what I’ve taught myself to do because I’m scared of dealing with the problems that come from money.

How do I overcome this fear? I don’t want to completely take over the family’s finances, but I obviously need to take some of the responsibility. Mrs. Pie has shouldered that responsibility for far too long. This is going to require a change of focus from me. I’m going to have to spend more time looking over money issues and solutions and less time on other things. What I’m scared of also, is going obsessive in the opposite direction. I don’t want to get so caught up with money issues that I ignore anything else. This kind of money first thinking runs in may family and I am terrified of becoming that kind of person. I am afraid of the kind of person that having plenty of money would make me.

This fear explains why I’ve been historically bad with money. I just don’t want to deal with it at all. I don’t want to think about it, and I absolutely HATE people who put money before anything or anyone else. These type of people should be executed, not exalted. Just because capitalism beat communism in the Cold War doesn’t mean that it’s the end-all-be-all of philosophical thought. Unchecked capitalism in our country has led to a corrupt government, the widest disparity of income in the history of the United States, and a system that rewards white collar crime. If you’re involved with drugs, you deserve to go to jail forever. If you’re caught stealing millions from pension accounts or defrauding an entire industry and single-handedly crushing the nation’s economy, you’re just trying to get ahead in life.

There is a name for someone that will do anything for money. They’re called a whore. I have whores in my family and I don’t want to be one. Therefore, I’m scared of money. I have to confront this fear without going to the opposite extreme. I need to find a middle ground. A compromise. This should come with experience and maturity from taking a little more responsibility for the finances each day, week, month, and year. There is a nagging voice in the back of my head that is telling me “You shouldn’t have to worry about this. It’s already too late, so why bother. Things aren’t that bad, just ignore it and it will all work out.” Things aren’t that bad, no. But they could be a lot better still. And it’s not too late to change things. As the saying goes “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” The second best time for me to start dealing with my fears is now.

Fourth Post…..the impossible sports change

All my life I’ve liked sports. I have my favorite teams that I’ve followed all my life. Even though I haven’t lived in my hometown of Pieville in a long time, I still follow the Pieville Pies. I also still follow my college the University of Pieville. The problem is that the Pieville Pies and Pie U. haven’t been good in a very long time. They are a source of constant frustration and pain for me and fellow fans. Each game, I foolishly follow and hope that it will change. Every game, more of the same thing. I’ve tried to cut back. I’ve tried not watching and only following the box scores, but the pain of each loss still hurts the same, even if I’m only following by box scores and highlights.

So I need to give it up. I know this. I don’t know why I can’t. I hate that I can’t give it up. Sports is a worthless diversion. I used to be worse. I used to also play fantasy sports, but I’ve been able to give that up. Now I just need to give up watching and following sports entirely. I don’t think I’ll miss it. I have plenty of things that I need to do and plenty of things that I want to do.

But I remember when the Piesville Pies and Pie U. used to be good. There was no pain back then. Only joy. It was fun to watch them when they were good and I desperately want to feel that again.

But what do you do when your teams aren’t good, haven’t been good in a long time, and have no hope of being good in the future?

I know that I have no control over whether or not the teams succeed, but I have control over whether or not I continue watching. I know I should stop watching. If God exists, then he must laugh at sports fans. Sports analysts too.

Sports analysts are a joke and should not get paid for doing what they do. They also should not have the dignity of being called “Analysts”. They should be called Athletic Hindsight Experts and should have to pay us to listen to them and read their bullshit articles.

Just thinking about them makes me an Angrier Pie, and I don’t want that. I better quit this post before I lose my filling. I’m trying not to be an Angry Pie anymore. The few moments of joy that I had when I was younger should not be holding my current and future happiness hostage. I will not be ruled by nostalgia. Remembering the past is one thing, but letting the hope of repeating the past hinder my future is something that I just cannot do.

Third Post…..Another impossible change

While Grandma Pie has been emotionally poisoning the family for the past 6 years, there has been another persistently negative issue that has been plaguing the Pie family for the past two and a half years. My daughter, Pielette, has been suffering from a chronic stomach illness that causes her to vomit multiple time and almost every day. She has missed so many days of school that I lost count a long time ago. It has been a source of endless frustration and heartache for almost the entire family. Grandma Pie is of course the lone dissenter. She believes that Pielette isn’t sick at all and is faking it to get out of school.

We’ve been through three doctors and a specialist and the only diagnosis that has helped was the specialist who said she has “chronic dispepsia”. He described it as the combined negative effects of an ulcer and irritable bowel syndrome, but the medicine for one or the other won’t help. Combining the medicines for both wasn’t an option either because they don’t work well together and have side effects that could be worse than what she’d been dealing with. The gastroenterologist prescribed a medicine that he said treats stomach issues and anxiety and should work for her. She started taking it in April 2013 and for 6 months it worked well. Her stomach issues became managable. Her nausea lessened and her life became closer to normal than it had for the previous two years.

But about three weeks ago she had a relapse. She is still taking the medicine, but the vomiting has come back. Her constant nausea has returned. She’s been to school three days in the last three weeks and we’re heading back to where we were. It tears me up inside to see her having all these problems and know that there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t imagine how difficult it is for her to go through all this.

The hardest part of this whole process for me is that I have no impact on the situation at all. I can’t influence my daughter’s stomach when I have no idea what will or will not set off a reaction. I have tried to reduce the stress in her life, but it’s easier said than done. I don’t want to be a complete pushover and I’m trying to make her go to school when her stomach is only slightly irritated, but the school isn’t helping us out either. We arranged a big meeting with her teachers, her counselor, and her principal. After all was said and done they told us that they didn’t believe that her illness was real. Of course they didn’t say that overtly, but they offered no alternate solutions, no help, no advice, no modifications, nothing. The only advocate we have for her at school is the nurse, who has seen her more often than some of her teachers. She has been a huge help. She told all of her teachers, her counselor, and her principal that there is no possible way that she is faking her illness. The nurse has seen my daughter come into her office and empty her stomach so many times that she can’t believe the teachers would think she was faking it.

This is another constant source of frustration and another impossible change that needs to be made. One that I have no control over. We try to manage it, but there are no answers. This makes the Angry Pie even Angrier. I don’t want to be Angry.