Death & Appreciation

I don’t ask this often but please share this.  Death & Appreciation.  Both extremely difficult topics for me to write about.  Death, because I’m not very good at dealing with it.  Appreciation, because I feel like most people don’t have any appreciation in life and it makes me feel bitter about it.

I woke up this morning knowing it was going to be a long day ahead of me.  I wanted to keep sleeping, to not deal with today.  Yesterday brought 12 hours of work, followed by laundry, dishes and dinner, taking the garbage out, and than more work.  I stayed up till almost 2am, and finished watching the last episode of Season 1 of Revenge (great show by the way).  Back to today, waking up, I woke up feeling mentally and physically, and in a way, unappreciated.  So why was I not looking forward to today?  I had a full day of work (busy time for quarter close at my job), I wanted to make sure to get home on time for the family Bears time, and I had a funeral to attend during the day.  Unfortunately, I felt as though there wasn’t enough time in the day to get everything done, especially on 5 hours of sleep.  As I looked ahead to the day, I couldn’t help but feel down.  Than something happened… something great.

My wife, Mrs. Z, text me a picture of all the things she appreciates about me.  It’s like she read my mind and knew exactly what I needed.  All the things I read made my heart feel happy.  I felt appreciated.  I felt loved.  I felt as though I could take on the world at this point.  To get a note, email, text of all the things you love and/or appreciate about your significant other when you least expect it, is amazing!  It really turned my day upside down.  However, I still had a funeral to attend to.  This person was like a grandpa to me (he was my grandfather’s sister husband), who actually invited my mom, me, and my grandparents (my immediate family) to the states from Kiev, Ukraine.  I knew him well and respect him and found out the other night, he passed away at the age of 85.  Now, my opinion is that if you live until 85, you should be grateful.  Now I know that you should be appreciative as well.

Attending this funeral this afternoon was difficult.  I cried as I hugged his daughter (my aunt), I cried as I hugged his son (who I don’t see often but know him well enough), I cried as his granddaughter gave a speech about him, and I cried as the casket was lowered.  And as I looked over at my grandfather, I thought to myself how impossible it will be to deal with his death, and tears just began rolling down my face uncontrollably.

As I made it through that, I made my way back to work and have continued grinding it out until just now.  I’m waiting for a report to get done, and will pack it up to make it just in time for the Bears game.  After all of today, here is what you all need to know.  Things I’m learning that I never thought I would.

I learned today one reason to get married is to have a support system 24-7.  My wife comforted me, she was loving, and that means everything to me.  Death comes so fast, yet it seems that day may never come.  Everyday here on Earth needs to be appreciated because tomorrow, death may come get you.  So don’t waste your time with bullshit (sorry for the language), instead of complaining, being unhappy, criticizing, judging, being lazy – go do something with yourself.  Go serve some sort of purpose in this world.  Each of us are born so insignificant and die insignificant.  We are remembered by some and soon forgotten through generations.  But we have an option to make a difference, to enjoy life, to appreciate things.  I consider myself a positive, energetic person but I feel like I have more and I’m wasting it.  It’s time to make a difference.

I want to spend more time writing.  I want to spread my word.  I want to provide advice.  I want to help people.  I want to give people energy, positivity, love.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do this yet, but I believe this is what I’m meant for and with the support of Mrs. Z now, knowing she got my back no matter what, I will get there.  I will make a difference.  I will appreciate and when death comes for me, I will be ready and know that I did all I can here.

I don’t ask this often but as I mentioned at the top, please share this.  This post is for Alexander… I love you and respect you.  Your memory lives on with me forever.

Max 10.10.2013

My Wife Wants a House

My wife told me yesterday that she wanted a house.  After being married for a day over a month, she is ready to move.  After living together for five years in our condo with our two daughters, she wants out.

Can I blame her?  Well, we have a two bedroom, one bathroom condo which is definitely feeling a bit crowded, especially with our daughters growing up.  We are making mortgage payments, association fees, real estate taxes for a place that is worth half of what we bought it for.  In addition to that, our oldest daughter will be five next year.  She is getting closer to her 1st day of 1st grade and she needs to be in a better school district than we are at right now.  Our neighborhood seems like it may be getting worse and worse with people moving in that just don’t seem as friendly.

So here is my problem.  I obviously want to move, but I wasn’t ready for her to be so antsy like this so soon.  She sprang on me, when I least expected it, and automatically began sending me pictures of houses and neighborhoods she is interested in.  After having the stress of planning a wedding behind me, and putting this bachelor party behind me, I felt semi stress free Monday morning until I began receiving text messages.  We got into a text message war about getting a new place.  I just began my first week of quarter close for my company and now in the back of my head, I have the added stress of needing to buy a house.  In addition to all of this, I need to start cutting an additional couple of hundred dollar check for a business I tried starting up that just hasn’t worked out (which I can write about in another post).

So why can’t I buy a house or why can’t we move?  I purchased our condo five years ago for about 135k.  There are now multiple units being sold as short sales between 45k and 55k.  Our mortgage is completely upside down and we can’t sell the place.  An option we may have is to rent our place and purchase a second home to use as our principal residence, great plan, right?  Well unfortunately, I would need 20% of a down payment to be able to afford a place.  Since the 1st place is an FHA loan, I can’t have a second home be the same.

So where do I find additional money?  I am already working 60 hours a week at my current job.  Mrs. Z works part time because she needs to watch the kiddos.  Perhaps I can get a second job, a night job and try to save up.  Who knows, all I know is this is one of those couple of days where… just when you thought you were out of the tunnel, it seems I’m pulling right back into another one.

Perhaps I’ll buy a lottery ticket…. all I need is about 100k to be able to figure myself out of the mess I’m in right now.  Maybe my big break is coming soon…  What I do know, is no matter what, I will do whatever it takes to make sure my kiddos are going to a good school and my wife is happy.  Till Blog Do Us Part.

Max 10.08.2013

I hate when kids are sick.

As a father of two, I believe one of the worst feelings I get is when my kids are sick.  I feel awful about it because I can’t do anything to make them feel much better.  My girls are 4 and almost 2 and I believe I need to figure out a way to cope with them being sick because naturally as part of life, I have a lifetime of illnesses that I will be dealing with.

The reason this came to mind is because my oldest one is currently sick and spent all day yesterday just laying there.  Mrs. Z took good care of her, but at work, I  was thinking about her all day.  It definitely stresses me out and distracts me from other items I’m trying to accomplish.

So as an experienced Dad of 4.5 years… what are the techniques you won’t be able to find anywhere else to make a sick child feel better?  Feeding them ice cream and letting them watch movies all day.  My philosophy of being sick, is medicine doesn’t do much of anything.  The real healer is time.  Unfortunately, when my kids are sick, I get impatient.  I think I am older, I can tolerate the grogginess, fever, cold, runny nose, sore throat.  I know kids are tougher than you think, maybe tougher than adults, but as a parent, natural instinct is to protect them.  When they are sick, I feel like I haven’t done my job as a parent from protecting them from germs.  I know this is all crazy talk, but I tend to be a bit of worry wort when it comes to certain things.

So how can I, as a parent, feel less guilty about kids being sick?  How can I go about my day doing the daily functions without having a dark cloud over my head?  Since I believe I understand life pretty well, I have come to the following conclusion to try to make me feel less anxious about this particular situation.

Kids being sick is out of our control most of the time.  And my personal philosophy is that anything that is out of out control, you can’t worry about.  It’s tough not to worry, I get it.

For instance, I begin to think about the ramifications of the oldest one being sick, than the younger one will probably be sick, daycare solutions can be a problem because we don’t want others to get sick, appetites are not the same, deciding what medicine to provide to them, should we send them to a doctor.  The worries and decisions seem to be endless when you constantly think about it.

But, if I take a step back and try to think about it again.  You can’t control your kid being sick.  It takes time to get better.  If you spend time worrying, will this make your child feel better?  No, and I understand this.  You do your best as a parent, provide everything you can.  There is no magic wand I can wave to make her feel better instantly and not be sick.  I will do what every parent has the ability to do which is love her.

Max 10.01.2013

Follow Follow Follow

This will be my 3rd post of the day.  I have so many topics to write about and so many stories to tell but as I’ve mentioned previously, it’s difficult to find the time.  I have noticed that as “we” get more followers, it motivates me to post more, to write more, to share “our” story more.

Although, Mrs. Z hasn’t posted anywhere near as much as me, I know she will get on this sooner than later.  For instance, since I am away this weekend, I can almost bet that she will spend some time to post something good.

I realized the joy I get when I get a notification saying “User XYZ is now following you.”  I know the reason I get this great sense of accomplishment is because someone read one of the posts and wants to know more about what I’m going to write, what advice I may provide, and interested in hearing more of the story.

Writing has never really been a passion of mine.  Reading has never been a passion of mine.  However, I am now 29 years old.  I am a Father.  I am a husband.  I am son.  I am a grandson.  I am an uncle.  I am a friend.  Looking back, I have definitely grown up because now I believe writing is helping me express the way I feel and think at times.  Reading now makes me think of things I may have not thought about before.

I want you to follow this blog because I literally have hundreds of topics I want to write about and provide advice on – parenting advice, how to play the role of husband, how to make relationship lasts, better health advice, life tips and just a Guy POV.  I believe the more you read, the more you will understand.  I do not care about making money at all.  I wouldn’t even know how to make money off a blog.  What I do want to do is get enough followers to make a difference and be able to make a difference in people’s lives.

Follow Follow Follow…

Max 10.01.2013

A bachelor party that isn’t mine.

My busy time at work is starting.  It’s the end of the Quarter.  My position at financial analyst is to gather all financial statements, review them, consolidate the divisions, , provide our external auditors all needed documentation for their audit, and help prepare the 10Q report to file with the SEC.  This is not a good time to be taking time off but I do not have a choice.

One of my great friends is getting married in December and I am standing up at the wedding.  His brother is throwing a bachelor party this upcoming weekend and it’s in Nashville, TN.  It’s going to be a 4 day bash of celebrating the last single days of bachelor hood.  I can’t miss this.  My initial plan was to fly and I realized plane tickets were much too expensive from Chicago.  My next plan of driving failed with several other groups.  I already took the Friday off but I wasn’t able to take Thursday off as well.  I emailed the brother and told him I couldn’t make it.  His response, there is someone else that is leaving later and I bet you could hitch a ride with him.  He was right.  I was going.

I am leaving late Thursday afternoon and not coming back until Sunday night.  Next week will be a 70+ hour work week.  As previous experience has taught me, and I think most will agree, I usually feel more exhausted and tired after extended weekends.  For instance, Memorial Day Weekend is a 3 day weekend leading into summer.  All the family gatherings and busyness of trying to fit in all the activities makes me come back more tired than a normal 2 day weekend.  So I know that spending 2 nights with 20+ dudes of “celebrating” is not something I am particularly looking forward to.  Although, this should be a “fun” weekend, there are many things that are making me think otherwise.

I will be in car for almost 20 hours.  I will not see my girls for 3 nights.  I have a ton of work to be done at work and come back to one of the busiest times of the year.  I will be away from my wife on our one month wedding anniversary (smirk) – seems funny to me since we have been together for so long.

However, with all of this said, I need to be more positive and take this weekend as an opportunity.  It’s not very often a close friend gets to celebrate this.  This needs to be a special time and he needs to have a great time celebrating.  I hope that it is everything he hopes it will be.  I will begin preparing myself mentally for this trip right now…

Max 10.01.2013

Riding a one wheeler.

As I have been writing a post, I found a note from myself regarding my oldest daughter who will be 5 next year.  Eeeek!!!  Time sure does fly.  Anyways, she learned to ride a bike this past spring.  I basically put her on a two-wheeler and she told me she already knew how to do it.  I responded with, there is no training wheels.  Apparently, it didn’t matter to her and she just went.  I remember the initial proud feeling I got when I saw her riding.

So I found a note today about a funny thing she said I thought was so cute and decided to post it.  It was around Memorial Day weekend and A (my daughter) was riding around the neighborhood with me.  She was doing great.  I told her how proud I was of her.

Me: “I’m so proud of you for riding a two-wheeler.”

A: “I know Dad.  Soon I’ll be riding a one-wheeler.”

I love being a Dad.

Max 10.01.2013