Sunday, July 18, 2021

Chucking the Yuck

 This week the X-Games returned after a year off due to the pandemic which we are still in. 

I watched nearly all of the events and while it wasn't a typical X-Games it was decent and a welcome break of things going on. I was happy to watch Skateboard Vert and Vert Best Trick. There were two announcers which is the norm. The one announcer was a familiar voice and I was fine with him but then there was another announcer who I didn't really know. I had to go look him up. 

While he was enthusiastic, it was a bit much for me. I wanted more explanation of the tricks and what I was seeing.  Saying "That was gnarly!" is good but I want to know what the actual trick the person did.  I can see what the person did obviously but I'm not a skateboarder. I want information. I can appreciate the trick, I can tell when its a hard trick but then again I get lost in skateboarding, I get swept up when watching vert.

Things were okay for the Vert competition but then things went wild for the Vert Best Trick when Tony Hawk jumped into the mix last minute.  It was so cool for him to be there. I was happy to see him skating. I was happy to see Bucky Lasek and Elliot Sloan too. A part of me wished that Andy Macdonald and Bob Burnquist had been around. 

The event gets under way and the one announce rubs me the wrong way. Excitement is great but not when it's borderline annoying. I felt the jokes about how old Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek were out of place. I know that they were talking about the age difference between Tony and the youngest competitor, which is fine but it seemed like they fixated on that too much.  Couldn't they have just appreciated the fact that Tony was there?  It all left a sour taste in my mouth and felt that it needed to be replaced with something good. I decided to chuck the yuck. 

I will be honest here, I have a hard time meditating so the best I can do it light a candle and sit for awhile. Sometimes I can quiet my mind but its hard for me and whatever is on my mind becomes focus.  I lit a candle, sat for a bit and focused on sending thoughts of appreciation to Tony and Bucky. Bucky seemed to have a rough day as his board just did not want to stay under his feet. I felt bad and sent him good thoughts. It seemed only right to do that. Tony and Bucky have provided with me endless hours of kickass skateboarding over the years so why not?

I have to admit after sitting with the candle and sending my thoughts of appreciation that I felt better afterwards. I've noticed when I take time to sit with a candle and focus that I tend to feel better and if I do it before bed, I sleep better.  This may be something new that I put into my toolbox to help me manage my dysthymia.

If you have time, whether it's 5 minutes or a hour, find a quiet place, place some soft music, sit with a candle or just sit in nature. Think of all the things you are grateful for and give thanks and send good energy out into the world. It's a small thing to do but it'll put a smile on your face.

I leave you with the song "Remedy" from Adele which I discovered the other day. Enjoy!

Rock on!

~Maynard





Thursday, July 1, 2021

When Something Moves You

 Last night, I was visiting my usual group of websites catching up on news, watching funny videos and then checking Tony Hawk's Twitter account. I don't have an account but both he and Bucky Lasek post things of interest to me so I look now and then.

Tony Hawk had posted a video about the Olympics and skateboarding. I've watched the video 20 times by now, maybe more and the song, which I am not familiar with struck something deep down in me. Today, I had to know the name of the song. I learned the song is by an artist named Darondo.  I love finding new music.

I don't know who at the IOC decided this song had the right vibe for a skateboarding video. I'm digging and then throw on top of it Tony Hawk's voice and it's one of the best things!!

Yesterday was a tough day but the video turned things around for me.  "It all starts with a push. A push that starts from nothing but leads to everything."  That opening line hit me.

Here is a link to the full video:

I can't really explain why this video is speaking to me so deeply. I am not a skateboarder but yet there is a relatability to it. It's resonating deeply and if I were to guess it may have to do with the fact that skateboarding brings me joy.  Everything does start with a push in some form or fashion and it leads to bigger things.  When I have ideas for a story, it might be a sentence or two and then it grows, it becomes something bigger, it comes to life. 

All I know, listening and watching this video made me feel good.  The stress from my workday melted away.  For a moment, my dysthymia disappeared for a bit. It disappeared long enough for me to enjoy something good.  To feel an inner peace, to enjoy something so small and yet so meaningful. Kind of like when the power goes out and you are forced to go outside and look up at the sky and take in the stars. It's something small and yet wonderful. 

I hope all of you have that moment. That small moment that is larger than life and moves you deeply.

Be well and enjoy the little stuff.

Rock on!

~Maynard


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Take Care of Yourself

This week I am on a much needed break from work. I can tell that it's not enough. Work has been extra stressful and the mental tiredness, the burnout was too much. I have been burned out for months and taking extra days here or there to get me through until I could take a week off.  I'd really like to take a month off but I suspect they might not allow me to do that even though I have enough vacation days to cover it.  

This of course is the cycle of which I want to break but never seem to pull the trigger.  I work full-time but I've been wondering how much of an impact it would be if I went part-time or remained full time but lessened my hours. I don't know if working 35 hours would have a significant impact over the 40 I currently work.

For sometime I have been feeling tired, exhausted and that goes all the way back to around 2014. My mom had been diagnosed with ALS and now I was responsible for making meals for my dad and doing his laundry and other chores around the house. 

My mom died in 2016 from her disease, my dad a year later in 2017 from cardiac arrest and a perforated intestine. I was taking care of both of them, living in the same house. After my dad died, I then had to deal with taking care of the house, eventually selling the house I had lived in for 43 years at the time and moving a block away.  I sold some items that belonged to both of my parents, watching items belonging to my dad go was the hardest.  Saying goodbye to the house was the worst. It was the only home I knew. 

I have to say I did not feel like me for a while. Mind you my parents never knew that I had made seven suicide attempts in my life or that I was dealing with dysthymia.  They never knew.  Here I was mourning for my dad pretty hard.  My mom was easier only because I knew it was coming and plus, we didn't get along that well so saying goodbye to her was more of a relief. My dad was unexpected.

I lived in a haze for awhile and all the things I used to do I didn't feel like doing. As someone who journal writes everyday, I suddenly found myself unable to pick up a pen and write.  I made attempts to but nothing came out. Journal writing comes pretty easily for me and to then find myself in a position where I couldn't was new territory. I had closed down. I was this way for a long time.  It wasn't until my dad's estate was officially closed that I felt I could then focus on me again. I still couldn't write for another few months and then it started to come back.  Just as I was starting to put my life back together the pandemic hit just as I was making some strides.

The pandemic caused a locked down and it's fairly safe to say that a good part of the population hated it.  I hated it because I had just starting getting my life together and the pandemic pushed me back down. I was by myself, disconnected from the world in a lot of ways. The pandemic as we have seen in the news took a toll on all of us mentally.

Little by little, day by day I felt I was drowning, sinking down into a very bad place.  A place I did not want to visit. I have managed to not drown too much. I did have a couple of mental breaks but managed to find a way to cope, to be resilient.

Everyone's journey is different. The symptoms of depression, dysthymia are something we all share but the journey of living with it is different for all of us.  The best we can do is to be kind to ourselves. I know it's hard to keep the inner saboteur quiet and not doubt yourself but it can be done.  We all struggle but we do make the effort to stick around for one more day.  

In taking care of yourself, do something for you. Take a walk, sit in the sun, watch people, pick up something from the grocery store you've always wanted to try and try it. Write a letter to a friend and mail it, send cards to your friends to let them know you are thinking of them. Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. Do anything, no matter how small that speaks to you internally. Give yourself permission to acknowledge your darkness, know that it's there and know it doesn't have to consume you completely. Give yourself a moment, whether it's 10 seconds, 5 minutes, 1 hour, 1 day, no matter the amount of time to be in the light. You deserve it. We all do.

I'm not sure why my brain triggered this song in my head but please enjoy this hit from Neil Sedaka.

Rock on!

~Maynard




Saturday, June 12, 2021

Potluck Saturday - Queijadinha

Today, I was a little adventurous and went with a friend and co-worker to a co-workers house for an outdoor party.  I was able to see people I work with that I hadn't seen in ages. It was nice to see them. It was a potluck party with a Latin American theme.

I brought a Brazilian dessert treat called 'Queijadinha' which are essentially little custard type tarts/little cakes.  The traditional version has butter and cheese but I found another recipe without those elements. I had never made them before and they turned our pretty well.

I had thought of making Brigadeiros or Pé de Moleque (Peanut Brittle) as the recipes weren't too complex.  I did make an attempt last weekend to make something called Paçoca but that did not come out well at all.  It was a simple recipe but I had issues from the get go.  Someone asked me why I made a Brazilian dessert and my response was that my favorite skateboarder - Bob Burnquist - happens to be from Brazil. 

It was interesting to watch the facial expression because it was clear they did not know who Bob was. Given the crowd I was pretty sure no one had any interest in skateboarding or cared and I was fine was that. I never go to parties as I don't have a good time typically and I hate crowds.  This wasn't bad at all. I managed to last 3 hours before pulling the plug.

I can't say I was happy to see people but it was nice to chat with people and catch up a little. I'm just not one to socialize this way.  Being around people is kind of draining for me and I'm very much the type of person to go somewhere by myself.  I can be around people for a while and then I need to go away to recharge myself. 

The past few weeks have been a bit hard because I hit a patch of a few days where I questioned why I was even here.  I have no reason to stay here.  I'm just wasting space and don't feel I have anything more to contribute.  I did get a bit of a knock on the head when my brain decided it would be funny throwing suicide into one of my dreams.

Here is the thing...during my years when things were very dark for me, I'd have frequent dreams of killing myself by jumping of a building. I'd always wake up the next day feeling better.  A psychologist I once saw suggested that I was killing off parts of myself that I did not need in my dreams as a way to find myself. I haven't had these type of dreams in for a looonnnnnnggggg time.  When I had this most recent dream I did not freak out about it as I didn't jump off a building.  I was talking to another person but I knew in dream land it was just a representation of a part of myself.  I was explaining that I didn't want to kill myself but that I had no reason to really be here and for them to understand that.  It was a moment to internally vent to another part of myself how hard it is to deal with this dysthymia crap all the time. 

Oddly enough, this internal dialogue must have needed to happen because the next few days I felt good. I don't want to say happy but I was in decent spirits. It was like something was resolved and I could enjoy things around me no matter how small. 

When I explained this all to a friend, they said I never fail to amaze them in my abilities to look at the situation and understand what is going on.  He said I could have easily freaked about the dream but the fact I was able to recognize it was not like my previous dreams was very telling.  I was definitely proud of myself for looking at the situation.  When it comes to my dysthymia and my past of multiple suicide attempts, I have continually over the years tried to understand it and not be ashamed of it. I have tried to look at the ugly side of it all which a lot of people don't want to do. Let's be honest, does anyone? 

Okay. That's it for today folks.  A little adventure and a little learning about myself.

Today's musical treat is an acoustic version of "Here Comes The Rain Again" by the Eurythmics. Enjoy!

Rock on!

~Maynard



Sunday, May 16, 2021

Can't Remember What It Feels Like Not to Be Depressed

 I cannot tell you when I last remember being happy. I cannot tell you what it feels like not to be depressed. This is one of the lovely parts of having dysthymia (aka persistent depressive disorder (PDD).  While dysthymia is not as severe as major depression, it is a chronic condition. With major depression you can remember a time when you were happy, there is a baseline, you can be diagnosed with major depression if you have symptoms for a least two weeks.  With dysthymia it's two years. 

What sucks is to have dysthymia and then throw depression on top of it and have what is called double depression. Been there done that. Being in that mental state is horrible. I know all too well to what it's like to swim in the muck. When I was a teenager there was a time period where I was in such a dark place that I tried to take my own life. 

I didn't try once or twice. I tried seven times in a four year time period. I was never institutionalized because no one ever knew. It was a journey I walked all alone. It was dark, isolating and painful. I did not understand what was happening to me or that I even had a mental illness. Back then, you didn't talk about mental health like you do now.  To even mention that you tried suicide was taboo.  I have to say even now, there is a still a kind of distance.

I get it. What do you even say to someone who has made an attempt? I don't have the answers for that. I wish I did but I know it's hard for both parties. I often felt misunderstood and the worst part I didn't know how to explain how I felt.  I didn't have anyone to confide in either. It was a very solitary journey and then for a moment in time it wasn't.

It's hard to ask for help when you don't know what kind of help you need.  I remember in college when the school counselor told me that no one could help me until I helped myself.  It never made sense to me and kind of irritating since I was in her office every week. The whole point of me being there was for her to help. Insert the eye roll here folks.

I have mentioned my friend Sean on here from time to time. He left a lasting impression on my life and being friends with him was not easy. Sean helped me get my life back, or at least helped me reach a better place in the world. Sean was the first person that I opened up to about my suicide attempts and how I felt.  He did not run away but stood with me. The reason why my darkness did not scare him as it did to so many others was because he had been there too.

Sean was my brother in darkness. He understood the world, the path, the journey. It felt nice to know I wasn't so alone in that world. I can't remember a time in my life when I was not depressed but I can remember a time in my life where I had someone who understood the darkness, understood the pain, the negative thoughts, the inner saboteur, the struggle of trying to make it to the next day. Sean gave me hope that I could have a life that while dark, didn't have to be as dark as it once was.  

I hope all of you out there who may be struggling find your own Sean.  May you find someone that helps lessen the darkness for you. 

Rock On!

~Maynard




Friday, May 14, 2021

If You Don't Have the Right Tool - Improvise!

I'm starting to think the world is incapable of problem-solving. I run in to it a lot at work with those younger than myself. I have encountered some around my age or older but what is it with people in general not being able to problem-solve? They don't take the time to look at the issue and figure a way to solve it. They rely on people like me who have the answers to their problems.  From a work perspective sure, tap the person who has been there 22 years but seriously, I shouldn't have to serve up answers on a platter.  No one bothers to read the training guides or videos, they just want you to give them the answer. 

When something breaks there is usually a tool to fix it but sometimes that tool might not be available. You have to get creative and think about the issue and come up with an alternate plan. You have to improvise, get a little crafty!  

As a viewer of Bucky Lasek's Buck Yeah channel this came up when he had to do an adjustment to the fenders on the car he was driving as part of One Lap of America. He mentioned in his video that the tires were rubbing against the fenders a bit and needed to fix it.  There is a tool for that but given Bucky's location he had to improvise. So many people gave him grief for it, so much so he had to pin a comment to the video. 

I understood what Bucky was doing and it was pretty ingenious if you ask me. If people hadn't been so singularly focused on him not using the right tool, they would have realized Bucky had just taught them an alternate way to bend fenders so they don't rub your tires.  Bucky improvised.  He took his knowledge and experience of building cars, racing them, etc. and came up with a way to fix the issue.

If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, I'm fairly certain all the people who were butt hurt over what Bucky did will die first. If you can't problem-solve and improvise then you're screwed. 

My dad was able to create anything out of junk. He was able to fix just about anything and was good at working out a solution to a problem.  Sometimes, I'd ask him what he was working on and together we'd work it out or I'd come home from work with potential solutions. 

I hope once people settle down from their mild butt hurt from Bucky's video that they'll come to understand what he did, why he did it the way he did and realize that they just learned something new. 

I hope my co-workers will take the time to figure stuff out instead of constantly just emailing me or calling me because it's easier. I'm happy to help people but I'm not a help desk. Let's be honest, it will probably never happen. One can hope though, right?

Even with my dysthymia, there are coping strategies that over time quit working and I have to adjust and adapt.  I have to find new ways to keep going. I have to improvise but whatever is going on I find a way to move forward.  I can't fix my dysthymia but I can learn more about it, about myself and give myself the chance to be better than the day before. I may not always have the right tools but I know I simply can improvise.

Today's music treat is Within Temptation's - 'Whole World Is Watching' featuring Piotr Rogucki.  I'm more familiar with the album version of this song featuring Dave Pirner but a little change is a good.

Rock on!
~Maynard




Saturday, May 1, 2021

One Lap of America and Legends League Game of Bike

I learned something new last night. There is a motor race called "One Lap of America" where people team up in their cars and race across America.  If you're familiar with those old 'Cannonball Run' movies with Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Farrah Fawcett, etc. it's the same idea as "One Lap of America".

I learned about this from Bucky Lasek.  I follow his YouTube channel but Bucky hadn't mentioned it until I took a peek at his Twitter account. I was curious and decided to check out was the race was about.  If you're into this type of stuff you might want to check out the One Lap of America website.

You can follow Bucky Lasek on:  InstagramYouTube - Buck YeahTwitter

When I checked this morning, Bucky and Texas Dave his partner in crime in the car were in third place for their division but 20th overall in the standing out the 73 cars in the field. I have yet to find an interactive map to show where cars are as that would be fun but I imagine that would be hard to do.  It looks like there are checkpoints and it would be cool to see live footage of cars coming through.

Update 5/1 1:21 EST: You can catch live feeds when they do time checks at certain points on Facebook: Tire Rack One Lap of America - Home | Facebook

Speaking of competitions, I turned into the live stream of the Legends League Game of Bike Cory Berglar vs. Morgan Wade press conference that Scotty Cranmer put on yesterday.  Today's the big competition day. Check it out here: Game of Bike  The press conference was pretty funny and the most amazing surprise happened - MAT HOFFMAN!  He is a legend in the BMX community and to find out he'll be the referee is pretty exciting. 

I like watching BMX, sometimes, depends on if it's a contest or something else.  I tend to lean more to watching skateboarding. I've never watch a rally race but I like Bucky and he was one of fave skateboarders growing up.  Happy to lend to support one way or another. 

Today is one of my better days in dealing with my dysthymia although I wish the pounding headache would go away but that's due to weather and the rain we've been having. I'll be happy when we have sunshine and warmer weather here in Vermont.

I wish you all the best and go explore!  If you like expeditions of our oceans then check out NOAA's Ocean Expedition feed.  They have two live feeds right now as they are on an expedition mapping the ocean floor.  They do underwater dives with an ROV from time to time but not sure if their current trek has it planned. I watched some live feeds a couple of years ago and it was pretty cool to see all the different type of fish and other sea animals they discover. I have to say there are some pretty ugly fish in our oceans but some really beautiful ones too. Scientists and the operators talk to help identify what you are seeing so that adds to it. It's really calming to watch. Seriously, if you need stress relief, this will do it. 

I'm out of here! Go enjoy yourselves folks. Do something fun today.

Rock On!
~Maynard




Wednesday, April 28, 2021

When the Universe Smacks You Upside the Head

I'm in one of my moods although I'm always in a mood. I have dysthymia after all.  Subtle humor there, folks. Turns out I can make fun of myself after all.

From time to time, I dig through the internet to learn more about dysthymia and all the crap that goes with it our surround it.  As of the late, the feeling of being lost has been present. Understandably so given that I’m burnt out from work, it’s been raining for nearly a week and I feel tired and unmotivated. Even though I feel all that and then some, I function. I’m robotic at this point but I have my moments where I work on a craft project and feel good.  What I wouldn’t give to go wander the aisles of a craft store right now.

In my digging, I found this quote:

“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.” - Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

The funny thing is, the book this quote is from is sitting in a pile in my office waiting to be read.  I guess the universe decided to smack me upside the head.  Sometimes it has to do that.

I have to admit that being in the “darkened forest" is a familiar place.  It's okay to visit but not a place to stay too long.  To give more context.  I see myself sitting on a fence.  On one side, the darkened forest where my depression, past suicide attempts and all the dark things live. The other side of the fence, is a beautiful meadow with a little cottage near cliffs by the ocean. The majority of days I sit on the fence and from time to time I'm either in the meadow or the forest.

As much as I want to be in the meadow feeling happy and good, it's uncomfortable at times. Like I don't deserve to be there.  When I visit the forest, I feel at home. I recognize it and know what to expect. It's messed up but it's me and I know how to navigate this world. 

I leave you with a Chris Joslin compilation of two runs he did in SLS. Enjoy!

Rock on!

~Maynard




Saturday, April 10, 2021

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I hate this mindset. I hate the feelings that go with it. I do not want to be here. Seriously, why am I here? I have no reason to stay. I have no purpose and whatever purpose I can think of, someone else can probably do it better than me.

It’s tiring to be here. I occupy my time doing little projects to combat my “I give up” voice. I’m tired. I’m tired of COVID, I’m tired of the news, I’m tired of people being jackasses, I’m tried of the world. It’s exhausting to be in it. I'm tired of the daily battle I have with my dysthymia. 

What happened? Is it me or has the world truly turned to crap? I don’t remember things being this bad when I was in high school and college and that includes 7 suicide attempts in there. Seriously, that sucked but what’s going on now in the world makes my suicide attempts seem like the best party to ever go to.

I try to counteract the doom and gloom but it’s hard. I try and find a way. I have been told I am resilient. I find a way to keep going even though I have some resistance. My motivation to do things is a struggle and yet I get up out of bed every morning and go to work. I do things but so often I think staying in bed and watching TV for an entire day would be more rewarding. I wish I had the disposition of skateboarder.  They seem so chill, life is good, they all seem to be in a good headspace or maybe people in California are naturally that way due to all the sunshine. I have no idea.

In the past few months, I’ve tried to find the ‘chill zone’ and be better, be happy, feed my inner self, but I’m failing miserably. I have my moments, but it’s a struggle. Trying to find balance quite frankly is a real pain in the ass! This is my life, and frankly, it’s normal and I’m trying to rise above the standard.

Why can’t I be like Tony Hawk or Bucky Lasek? Seriously, they seem so chill and life seems pretty put together for them.  Bucky especially seems to be in a zen like place a lot of the time in his videos. Life is good. I’m sure he has his moments where things suck but he takes it in stride.  I want that!  I want to be in a good place. I want to be in a place where my headspace is light and cheerful instead of dark and dreary all the damn time.  I deserve that, right? 

I would like to experience an hour or a day where everything is good. 

Should I stay or should I go? For now, I will stay and take care of myself. I will continue to be resilient and find new ways to cope with things. I will find things that make me smile and laugh.

Let's end this on a high note. Kelvin Hoefler has become a new fave of mine to watch in skateboarding so enjoy a couple of tricks of his from SLS a few years ago.

Rock on!

~Maynard




Saturday, March 20, 2021

Name a Woman Who Inspires You

 Every week at work, we have a team meeting in my department and start off the meeting with an icebreaker. The most recent icebreaker was to name a woman who inspired us.

When it came to be my turn, I answered, "I don't have one."

There was silence. The question had been provided to us 15 minutes before the meeting but even leading up to the meeting and while in it, I drew a blank. I continued on and told the group I couldn't think of any one. I did throw out Betty White's name just to throw out a name.  Who doesn't like Betty White? Admittedly, I threw out her name just to get the spotlight off of me. I reiterated to the group that I didn't have an answer.  I went silent as that was my answer but it was clear they were waiting on me to say something.  

My boss jumped in and told the group that I had the day off tomorrow and my mind was probably already there.  I was thankful for my boss to move the session along.  Even after the meeting, I still couldn't come up with anyone.  Hours later, days later, I had no answer to the question to name a woman who inspires me.

I mentioned this to a friend who knows me well and they asked, if the question were to name a man who inspired me, would I be able to name someone? The answer - yes!  If the question was to name a man who inspires me I could list at least 10 men. It got me wondering if something is wrong with me that I could not name a woman at all. 

I racked my brain and throughout my life no woman has made a significant impact on me, enough for me to call up their name.  In speaking with my friend, they said what they know of me it made sense that men have had a more significant impact.  Only a small number of friends know about Sean and he made a huge impact on me.  His impact has lasted with me all these years but there is no female equivalent.

My influences or the people who inspire me are reflections of the things I like. I have musical influences, skateboard influences, influences all over the place. I draw from each one a bit of something that gets filed away in the deepest parts of me. I call upon these wonderful beings when I'm struggling, tapping into their magic to help me keep going but they find their way into my everyday life too.

It got me thinking that maybe I have a code for who inspires me much in the same way I have a code for generosity. People do inspire or influence me in different ways. I think the label of what they mean to me is a little gray.  I will admit that some of the people who inspire me, disappear with time. I suppose that makes sense as we grow and change through the years.  Someone who inspired me in my teenage years, may have no significance in my life now.

It's been a couple of weeks since the question to name a woman who inspired me landed in my lap and I still have no answer.  I have no answer. I don't know if I'll ever have one and perhaps, I don't need to have one. There is the possibility that I haven't met them yet and one day I will. Time will tell.

If you need some inspiration though, enjoy this clip from Tony Hawk doing a 540.


Rock on!

~Maynard




Sunday, March 14, 2021

Getting Back Up Again

 The days continue on in my little world of isolation. The motivation to get up out of bed every morning and keep going has been a struggle. Every day is a struggle, a battle for which I participate in. My life was like that prior to COVID coming along. Through COVID I rediscovered skateboarding, started watching it and have finished two books - one on Tony Hawk, the other on Rodney Mullen.  Both books resonated with me but in different ways.  

I had planned to write about the latest adventures at work and our latest ice breaker activity but I'll save it for another post. My mind, my fingers hit the internet and found this little gem of a video from Rodney Mullen.  It's true that skateboarders fall more often then they land when doing a trick especially if it's a new one.  They fall repeatedly and get back up, scraping their skin, broken bones, twisting an ankle but they continue to get back up.  

I think that mentality lives in my brain but it's not as dominate like it would be in a skateboarder. It might be due to not knowing the linguistics of skateboarding. I don't speak their language but I can get the gist.  

Over the years, I suppose I have tried to pull survival skills from skateboarding. I think I've attempted to fill the void left by Sean. I look to lots of things to help me hold on, to keep walking forward, another day arrives and I'm still alive.  Finding happiness, knowing joy comes in brief moments. 

If watching Tony Hawk land a 900 or Bob Burnquist scoring a 98 or Shane O'Neill doing a Switch 360 Double Flip doesn't move you in some way, you are a robot. I often feel like one but those moments in skateboarding are ones that will make you smile, cry, bring you joy, have you cheer and put you in a good mindset.  They are moments worth holding onto. The only way these inspiring moments happen is due to the endless hours of falling and getting back up again. Trying and trying and then making it.  I may fall multiple times, but if skateboarding has taught me anything, it's that I need to get back up and try again.

Rock On!

~Maynard




Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Urge to Help

 I have been trying to figure out my need to help people. It comes in waves where I feel I need to do something and sometimes do something like knitting scarves and donate them. Then the motivation goes away only to come back again.

 I want to support organizations or people but often the way I would like to help is not an option.  For instance, I want to help a podcast that has provided me entertainment. You can help them by getting a membership to their YouTube channel or donating in their chat when they do a live feed.  I don’t want to do either of those things. I don’t want a membership as I know myself all too well. I get into something for a good six months and then walk away for a bit and then come back around. I don’t want to donate in the chat because everyone can see how much you donate. Neither of those options appeal to me so I bought a shirt. Not exactly how I wanted to show my support but it's better than nothing. 

 I run into this all the time. I want help but in my own way.  I honestly have a code by which I follow, but I have never sat down to write it all out. I want to help but sometimes don’t know how or even why. I think the creative part of me is itching to do something and because of the pandemic, that has been shut down a bit. I want to help the skateboard community even though I don’t skate. It’s something I’m into right now and know a few months from now my focus will be elsewhere. I did donate to The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation) and they surprised me by reaching out. Mind you I had sent a letter about why I felt moved to donate.  If I’m going to donate money, it might be nice for them to know why.  I didn’t expect a response from them but surprisingly I got one.  

There are lots of things I want to do but feel lost, stuck, unsure, defeated…at least I’m thinking about helping so that’s better than nothing.  Part of what drives me is Sean. That friendship, that connection fuels the desire to help too.  He’s not here anymore and doing good things like donating is a way that I can keep honoring him and our friendship.  He gave me back my life and the least I could do is acknowledge it by honoring him in small ways. He's not around to help other people so maybe I can on his behalf…on our behalf.

 Sean showed me kindness and compassion when many others wouldn’t. In my own way I guess I’m trying to pass it forward. For much of my younger years, I thought I was worthless and didn’t want to live. Depression and suicide had a firm grip on me, and I didn’t see the point in living.  It wasn’t until I met Sean that I learned I had something to offer the world.  Sean helped me find a reason to stay.  He helped steer me in a direction that gave me a new beginning, a new life.

Sean was in my life for about a year and he most definitely left a mark.  A mark that has been burning bright since he died 22 years ago. No one has had an impact on my life like Sean. It was certainly life changing and one I’m glad I went through with him.

I'm sure I'll find a project or group to help out. It stands to reason that part of my code is whether or not the cause is something Sean would have approved of if he was still here. A cause that speaks to both of us.

I hope all of you find a cause of your own and that it brings you joy.  Today's video is one I found by accident and it's pretty cool.

Rock On!

~Maynard

If you are interested in homemade scarves, a friend of mine has opened on online store: Handmade scarves by DeeListed on Etsy



Saturday, January 23, 2021

You're The Expert

Recently, I asked myself a question that I have asked myself several times over the years - Am I really depressed? 

Throughout my life I have read articles, watched videos and even talked to someone about my Dysthymia. There is a part of me that questions what is happening to me and at the same time seeks to understand the situation for which I'm in. There is a massive amount of conflicting information out there. It's easy to understand the confusion about what it means to have Dysthymia.

I think most people never want to look at themselves, understand the way they are. I do. I want to understand why my brain makes me think random things, I want to understand what is happening to me and as painful as it is, admit and face my own feelings, my life. A lot of people just don't want to know. I don't blame them as it's a scary place.  Admitting something is wrong is not a great feeling but it can be liberating.

During my recent adventure of asking a question that I have asked many times, I came to the conclusion that a lot of people online who "claim" to be specialists/doctors don't know a thing. Too many others think they are experts and it's clear that none of them know what it's like to live with something like Dysthymia. They just regurgitate stuff over and over, not once thinking maybe some damn list they're reciting from the 1980's may no longer apply.

I had a discussion with someone, a professional, who talks to plenty of people like me. Even he said himself that there are too many people who claim they know but actually known nothing. This person has known me for sometime. They commended me for continuing to understand Dysthymia. Some people don't want to know about the darkness they are forced to co-habitat with but I want to know. I want to understand myself and how I manage to continue to go to work, do craft projects, read books, etc. all the while living with a cloud over my head.  I am resilient as I find ways to keep going. If a previous coping mechanism that used to work no longer does, I am able to find a new one and put it in my survival tool kit.

I read that calling someone like me "high functioning' was incorrect. I have depression and go to work. I'm functioning. I'm able to walk out into the world and do things. My mind is creative and imaginative. I knit and bake, do other creative endeavors and my mind does chew on solving problems especially at work when I'm doing a round of software testing. How is that not high functioning? 

On the spectrum of depression you could say I'm on the low end but I have experienced the other end as well. It's well in my past but I know what depression is like when you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. Been there, done that, don't want to go through it again.  Seven attempts in four years is nothing to be proud of but it goes to show that even though I wanted to give up, on a deeper level I was fighting to stay. That was four year battle that I'm thankful to be 29 years away from and yet my last attempt remains forever fresh in my mind. 

I know that I'm rambling with this post and that's due to my mind rambling.  I'm scattered today and I'm okay with that. I'm not working so my brain is enjoying the weekend in it's own weird way. It's on vacation. 

There are experts who know their fields no doubt, but when it comes to you, you are an expert. Remember that!

Rock on!
~Maynard










Sunday, January 3, 2021

Thankful!

I love to journal write but admittedly, my journal writing has been nearly non-existent in recent months. Dealing with dysthymia sucks but in order to combat the struggle I thought I’d share the things from 2020 that I’m thankful to have experienced or rediscovered. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means but I thought doing a review would put me in a better mindset and maybe it will inspire you to do the same. 

1)      Rediscovering skateboarding and my appreciation for Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek, Tony Hawk, Andy Macdonald and so many other skaters I wasn’t familiar with like Elliot Sloan, Kelly Hart, Chris Roberts and many others.

2)      Designing a sacred cabinet, having a friend help me design it with the purpose to have a quiet place to decompress and connect with myself. Some people would call it a home altar, meditation cabinet or a blessing cabinet.

3)      Having spent time with my friend Cathy when possible and being an outlet for her. Listening to her talk about her achievements and struggles with her new business, knowing she is happy and doing something she loves.

4)      That I had the ability to write a 50,000-word novel for NaNoWriMo even when I didn’t have a story outline, no character names and only a potential idea three days before the event started.

5)      That I am resourceful in finding a new way to change my mood and mental state when things went incredibly dark and I was hurting bad.

6)      For The Nine Club, Bucky Lasek’s YouTube channel, and Tony Hawk’s Twitter account to provide me a chuckle when I need it and educational too!

7)      For being a music junkie and rediscovering my music collection and having the ability to listen to all of my 1000+ CDs.

8)      Ability to bake and try new recipes in my slow cooker and discover new favorites. Pork Loin in the slow cooker – YUM!

9)      Having the time to knit 18 scarves and donating them in time for Christmas for kids.

10)   Having great conversations with the sales clerk at the grocery store, exchanging meal ideas and talking about how to deal with seasonal allergies.

11)   Although I’m not a gamer, the ability to play Skyrim when I need to in order to get my frustrations out and kick some ass.

There are many other things but it would take me a while to list them all. It’s a start and like I said I’m thankful for a lot of things. The items above bring a smile to my face and maybe that’s the key to it all in making it through the rough days.  While compiling this list my brain did it’s usual thing and pulled something deeply buried to the forefront.

Enjoy the music selection today folks – the theme song from The Partridge Family TV show. I loved this show growing up and let’s be honest, the song is pretty darn catchy.

 


 

Rock On!

~Maynard

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year, New Day

 I'm glad 2020 is over and 2021 has arrived. One can only hope this year is better than the last. I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays as best as possible. Mine holidays were quiet. Extremely quiet as I was by myself.  Not one single person in my extended family - aunts, uncles, etc. called me on Christmas. I'm typically the one who calls people but this year I wanted to see if anyone would call me.

I have spent time my week and half off from work trying some new recipes, making food in my slow cooker and then freezing so I have meals ready to go. I'm still working on perfecting making homemade croutons but haven't quite found the right bread to do it with. I thought a baguette would do the trick but not quite.  I did make a nice pork loin in the slow cooker with potatoes. 

For 2021, I'm hoping to find more happy moments. That has always been a struggle for me. Find joy in simple things. I'm not making it a New Year's resolution because those always fail. It is something to do for myself and most definitely find ways to laugh more.

Although this was posted yesterday, I think it's a good way to start the year with a chuckle from Professional Skateboarder, Tony Hawk:



Rock on!
~Maynard