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Boone

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So... times are different these days. Whether you have lost your job, been furloughed, relegated to working from home, or still going to/from, the pandemic has really altered daily lives. For me, it's been a very strange time, given that I've been alone for going on 3 months with only a couple of weekend visits from my wife (and an aborted friend get together last weekend). One can only binge watch Netflix so much and then...

On top of this being maybe one of the most 'introspective' times of my adult life, right up there with pre-Gulf War for me, I've grown tired of social media and the general public and the general anxiety and political grandstanding that seems to preoccupy most right now.

I'm sure I'm not the only one, either due to tons of vacant time and space, or by necessity, who has spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what I want to do with the next 20 years (probably my LAST 20 years if I'm keeping it real), and also thought a lot about things I love a lot and are meaningful for me, but from which I have drifted.

Without making this all about me, just a few things I've thought about are getting back down to an ideal weight (I've dropped close to 20 lbs so far during this COVID period), becoming more fit and physically active, becoming a good golfer (something I have never been and which remains elusive), and getting back to playing music (specifically, making the guitar, piano, and sax a consistent part of every week). And in a less selfish vein, being separated from my wife so much during this tough period, not only has made me appreciate and love her more than ever, it has re-educated me on just how much I have allowed her to take on the workload of daily living over the years. I had truly forgotten what a pain in the ass level of tedium simple ongoing tasks such as shopping, cleaning, doing the dishes and clothes, and (jesus!) even emptying the cat litter box really are. I will be a better husband when she is finally home again.

What kind of mental and spiritual journeys have you guys been on during your time in bizarro world?
 

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After coming out of a 2 1/2 year nightmare injury, it appears the achilles is strong enough and the pain has been minimized enough that I can actually perform certain movements I once took for granted...like walking more than 1/4 mile without tremendous pain, standing on my toes. The 2nd surgery I had 6 months ago seems to have held, and I am getting more active.

Just as I was healing from the surgery and I saw the potential of hiking with my son, again...the lockdown began. We live near a state park with one of the best hiking trail systems on the east coast. They closed it down completely. I was flabbergasted! They still haven't "opened" but people are using those trails, so it's time to really test things. I miss that time with my son, dearly!

Now comes the fun part...taking off the 50 or so pounds I gained from the inactivity over the course of 2 years. OK, the poor eating habits didn't help, always justifying the cheeseburger because I broiled it at home and did not get a triple with cheese from Wendys. It finally came down to the discomfort of carrying around about 75 more pounds than I should. My goal is to lose 80 pounds. This week, I started. One of my behaviors is to not tell anyone about my weight loss plans, but that gave me no one to hold me accountable. My wife recently lost 40 pounds she'd been carrying around since the first baby was born. Telling her my plans gives us a chance to work together and have her hold me accountable.

For anyone serious about weight loss, Chris is a treasure trove of knowledge on proper diet and exercise, thanks Chris for all your guidance over the last couple of years as I've dealt with the weight. I will continue to lean on you for guidance. If those pictures are actually you, then I hope I can achieve my goals to be in the best condition I can for my children when I reach my 60's. ;)

So my journey begins now...I've been working through this pandemic so I haven't been effected nearly as negatively as most. Work has always been my way to escape, so I have thrown myself into it to get through this disaster because these 3 kids are driving me crazy! Haha! Work isn't working anymore, and it's no way for a man to raise his spirit.

Spiritually...I need to grow. I have been absent from my 12 step support for entirely too long and have been making strides to reconnect. As I approach 20 years of sobriety, the calling to return to meetings is getting stronger. I am being reminded of exactly where I was 20 years ago at this time and am faced with the realization that I am not doing enough. The answer to all my life's problems are outlined in those 12 steps, and that is where I must remain...living that program of action. An alcoholic like me can only achieve true spiritual success by following those principles to the best of my ability, and that is where I must direct myself if I ever truly want to be the husband my wife deserves, the father my children deserve, the friend my friends deserve, and a valued member of certain social media groups I call home for an hour or more a day.
 
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Boone

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That's awesome Brian. Hopefully we are entering the phase in most states where parks begin to open up again. I cannot agree more on Chris - he has given me great advice over the years as well. One of my biggest motivators for trimming down is that I have a partially paralyzed diaphragm which has really impacted my ability to manage anything aerobic over the years. Hauling around 30 extra lbs that doesn't contribute to my ability to be active just makes no sense. I didn't mention it, but I have been (more or less) alcohol-free for the entire pandemic period, mainly because I don't see a lot of positive impact in sitting around alone pounding beers by myself. The two times I have imbibed I noted that I felt like shit afterwards. I will likely never be a tee-totaller, but I do think I've gotten into a bad habit of drinking all weekend most weekends. That's something I think I needed to adjust and have. Good luck with achieving those goals Brian :cheers:
 

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...but I have been (more or less) alcohol-free for the entire pandemic period, mainly because I don't see a lot of positive impact in sitting around alone pounding beers by myself.
It is such a simple concept, so foreign to me...reasoned thought regarding alcohol. I was with some life-long friends this weekend. To be honest, we had a blast, but was I reminded why I can only take them in small doses. DO NOT TALK POLITICS WITH DRUNK FRIENDS. :laugh:

Anyway, I drove one of my friends home who was in a stupor. I just thought to myself...how could anyone want to drink to that point? But it reminds me...toward the end of my drinking the blackouts became days long mysteries.
 

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we bought a nordic track free stride and I have been doing it almost daily. we have the iFit with it so you get the trainers...I have been running around Bosnia and Croatia this past week and getting about 5-6 miles per day.

I bought a flat bench to work out with and have been flat benching 3 sets of 135 daily except on Mondays when I go heavier

I knocked down a wall in my basement bar that I am in the process of turning in to a wrestling/gym room for me and the boys. Stephen is a wrestler and needs it in his life. but, we have no safe spot for it or any mat to do it on. so, i am making one.

then I have the garden. We just planted last weekend with starter plants, but they have really taken off.

I've also had to just start....stopping. Work is ALWAYS there. literally. it is now in my office and I tended to spend too much time there instead of with my kids. So, I now stop and just spend time with them. whether it is just sitting between them while they are snuggled up to me watching TV, playing video games, goofing around outside. whatever they want. they've suffered the most here because they dont get what is happening.
 

Chris

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For myself, this situation has given me the opportunity to take on a challenge that I always wanted to try but never executed. Five weeks ago I bought a guitar (actually three) and through the wonders of the internet I am learning to play.
 

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MikefromOH

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also, this:

I have a "smart TV" so I have downloaded YouTube and Facebook Watch on it. Bands that I love are putting on free shows constantly.

Whiskey Myers
Cody Jinks
The Steel Woods
Norah Jones almost daily

you just need to tune in, search, and there is a concert you'd normally pay $40 for free on your television. I can't tell you how much music has helped me just relax more and enjoy what I have.
 

Elephant

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also, this:

I have a "smart TV" so I have downloaded YouTube and Facebook Watch on it. Bands that I love are putting on free shows constantly.

Whiskey Myers
Cody Jinks
The Steel Woods
Norah Jones almost daily

you just need to tune in, search, and there is a concert you'd normally pay $40 for free on your television. I can't tell you how much music has helped me just relax more and enjoy what I have.
Then have FB ready to go tomorrow night. Megan will be putting on a concert.
 

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This quarantine has been hard for me. I never thought of myself as a socialite or someone who is out a lot. But having to stay at home all the time, I used to get out a lot more than I used to. This time of year, I play softball Mon, Tues, and Wed night. Thursday or Friday, I normally would go hit softballs with a friend and then on 1 or 2 Saturdays a month, I would play in a tournament. On top of that, my wife and I would go out to eat on Friday and Saturday nights. On Sundays, we volunteer at our church working with kids. All of that has been cancelled for the past 2 months and who knows when it will return. Even now that restaurants are somewhat open, we've noticed a lot are still doing take out only. Maybe after this weekend more will open up, but even if they do, it's going to take them and the public a bit of time to figure it all out. It may not be worth it for a while. On top of all that, work has been extremely stressful and not due to COVID-19. That has just added to the stress. Plus having to work from home, and it makes it harder to separate work from life. I don't get that change of scenery I would get that would help me leave work at work. My wife is not enjoying me being at home as she says it prevents her from doing what she needs to do because I'm always on calls.

So with all of that, what am I trying to do to keep my sanity? Apparently not enough. But I have been doing a few different things. I started walking a lot more. I was walking at work before the quarantine. Now I've been trying to go to the park and walk. I normally walk for about 90 minutes. The park I walk at has lots of hills as well, so it's a really good work out. I was hitting softballs with some friends. There were normally 3 - 5 of us, so we couldn't be accused of breaking any rules. A few of the fields have closed though which is odd since they were open for the first month then closed the 2nd half. Even as things are starting to open, they are still closed. We found one that is still open though and have gone there. It's different though without playing as I'm definitely not as active as I was.
 

SkinsOrlando

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I make my living providing inventory lines of credit for small businesses, anywhere from 30k to 10 million (my largest account). I've unfortunately had 5 businesses through no fault of their own close and had to pull the plug, heart wrenching, as a former small business owner who lost his ass..ets.. in 09 and had to file BK and know the pain. I think my prior experience and the fact my now 94 business partners know my experience has produced a calming effect since I've been there, I used to visit them at least once a month and now it's only via phone and being "counselor" is draining. My lady has never seen me so mentally exhausted, the full of life among others things part of my personality and demeanor is all gone when I get home. I was never quarantined as financial services are considered essential but I went from a staff of 4 full time team members to 1 full time and 1 part time. Since I'm grounded from travel via company policy this has forced me to take on more admin work and let me tell you, I already appreciated the effort my team gave but after digging into the trenches which I haven't done in years, can't say how blessed I am for how much they give. It's also put some things in perspective, still being around people, not much, no hand shakes but still in contact I visit my folks but still distance from my mother, my father does not care and quite frankly if I'm in his shape and health and his age later in life I'd be the same way but all of sudden I've noticed their age and well my own now as well. I have picked up the sticks more lately, odd how drumming used to be my release from everything for years but over the past several my entire music room has been dormant and let me tell you, a couple of heavy metal tunes in and I'm way out of shape. Going hard for 30 minutes used to be a warm up, now its a beating, but I'll get back to where I was eventually. I also re-connected with a childhood friend I hadn't spoke to in 27 years via FB, conversations had like we never went on a journey of life without the other in it, I don't think without this I'd ever even thought of looking him up.
 

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hmmmmm. Live on a golf course. The course(s) have never closed. Seeing/playing with plenty folks - just one to a cart. My game has improved a lot since I can work on the little things rather than just catching up in one/two rounds a week. We get out when we need something and trek into VaBch.

Having long postponed home repairs done: repainting, new wood floors, spring cleaning.

Had purchased, about 20 years ago, the 100 greatest works of Occidental literature in anticipation of retirement many years down the road. Very nice leather bound collection. Jumping ahead of the plan and reading a couple while still working. Also read a great book on "the calculus". It takes the reader through all the seminal thinkers and the fundamental concepts leading into the calculus. The funny thing is that it really isn't a math book - but it makes the math conmpletely clear.

Digging deeper into the evolving political shenanigans that have unfolded since at least 2015. Takes a lotta sleuthing - but eye opening just the same. All I'll say.

Grilling a lot more. Family spending a lot more time together.

Took a quick trip to FL for retirement home hunting in some golf communities. Interesting deep dive into the mechanics of the housing market.

Restructuring the list of what I thought I wanted to do when retired.

Can't watch TV news any longer. Putrid stuff.
 

Miles Monroe

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Man oh man..... Things were going well. Took a voluntary 6 week furlough, and at the end of 5 weeks was let go for good. While I wasn't thrilled with the company, I still loved what I did. So I spent 5 weeks taking photos of owl chicks, and working on photos while I could have been looking for a job. The pas two + weeks have been a hell of sorts. Moving my tools is never fun, and the lack of space in the garage made it that much worse. I've spent my time cleaning out the garage, which included the destruction of an antique piano I had been trying to give away for about 4 years. Once finished for the most part, I've done a few smaller projects... repaired a rotted door frame, ran a network cable through the attic so I can have dependable internet in the garage, hanging some blinds for mama, and a few other little jobs. I'm hardly eating... I actually forget some days LOL. The work out in the garage is the closest thing to exercise I'm getting. I tried doing walks, but the knees and back are making it very tough.
The job search is depressing. I'm trying to avoid going into another shop, as I really can't handle it physically. While I have years of management under my belt, everybody wants me in he shop. Had 4 shops interested. The only lead for a non shop job would be a dream, but would require relocating to north Georgia. Never going to talk Cindy into that one... I'd go in a heart beat. Stressed is an understatement. To add to all this joy, my daughter lost her job the same day as me, and her boyfriend hasn't been working either.... like I didn't have enough to worry about. Have a few side jobs lined up, as many of my customers have no issue paying less then the dealer rate, and getting the same quality work on their bikes. I'll likely take a big cut in pay not going into a shop, and I may have no choice. I don't drink often, and still don't. Been able to get out of the house here and there. Blast around on the bike once in a while, and have been out to eat a few times. The biggest issue in it all was the company stringing me along for 5 weeks. With all the injuries catching up with me, and keeping me from getting any real sleep, I started smoking grass at night a few years ago. It gets me 4 or 5 hours of good sleep, which is actually enough for me to run on. Problem is, it takes me about 5 or 6 weeks to detox. I could have gone on the wagon 8 weeks ago had they just let me go instead of the 5 week jack off. I'm a little lost, and I don't like the feeling. My poor wife hasn't had any time to enjoy her retirement which started 2 days before the furlough at the beginning of April. Mom is in an assisted living group home, so I can only talk to her... still no visits. No worries folks, I'm hanging in...
 

fansince62

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Hang in there Miles. I was unemployed for about three months back in 2014. It is stressful. Network with friends is best advice I have at this point. Mine swung me a gov't job - which I left five years later but better connected to do what I wanted.

Will be thinking of you and your family. Doesn't pay the bills, I know.
 

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I feel bad admitting this, but I'm enjoying working from home. We got a great Dane puppy the Saturday before the shutdown - not intentionally, it just worked out that way, so I get to cuddle up with her while I code. I hate socializing, so other than not being able to fly out and visit family for a few days, nothing has changed too much. Only disappointment was I got one of my paintings into a pretty large local juried exhibit, which likely would have improved my chances of getting into a local gallery, but it was cancelled. Having given up playing and building guitars when I moved south 5 years ago, I want to make this the year I practice my art enough that it takes a big leap forward.

Chris, what's up with 2 lefties and one right-handed guitar? I play left-handed, but often wish I had learned to play right handed.
 

Boone

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Don't feel bad. If I had the choice, I would continue working from home when all this is over. There's really no reason I couldn't other than organizational preferences. Best part for me is that, without a nearly hourly commute each way, I have more free time every day.
 

MikefromOH

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I'd work from home, too. My only issue is having 2 kids home while I try to do so.
 

Oldguyfromchester

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Kudos to all you dudes(and women) for hanging in during a most trying time. I know this is going to sound sappy and a little Dr. Phil, but I honestly believe we come out of this stronger than ever. If nothing else, it should give us pause to think about what we have, and be thankful for it. I don't think anyone foresaw all this happening--I know I didnt.

On a much lighter note, what does everyone think of a proposal made by few owners to play in empty stadiums, but to cgi the stands with people and pump in crowd noise.
 

Boone

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I wondered if they would try to do something like that. I personally hate the idea. I understand how weird it will be not to have the crowd interaction. But that's the reality. If they are going to play without fans, I'd strongly prefer they just show the game without any artificiality.

Given the hype and over production the league is obsessed with, I won't be at all surprised if they go all in on the gimmickry and try to create some kind of simulated fan presence.
 

MikefromOH

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I think 1 or 2 games would be cool for nostalgia in around 20 years. we can tell our grandkids "I was around when that happened" like they do to us. but, for long term..no way. Crowd noise, etc HAS to be generated.
 

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