My Name is Matthew, and I am a soldier. I have an interesting view that I share from time to time with the folks I encounter as I walk the road. Some of those people have encouraged me to seek out ways to help others or simply share my views or ideas with more people. I will blog on many subjects, from things that piss me off on a daily basis to more important issues such as dealing with chronic depression and the struggles that ensue as a result. I will be taking bits and pieces from emails and rants that I have verbalized as well, so if you see something we have talked about please, smile and nod...Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Morning

I set out today as I did yesterday, I woke up and took my time getting ready to move and do things. I didn't have any sort of plan yesterday things just fell into place and MAN did they ever fall into place. I had an amazing day with the people I love and I played, laughed, and I learned. I even went out on a date last night with a very special woman.

Today it doesn't seem like things will be so simple. There is nothing falling into place like yesterday. I am achy and sore from playing with a six year old boy ( S.O's Son ) and running around trying to keep up with him. Amazing how much energy a little boy could have.

I thought about going out to wash the car or go to a movie or go to the river and walk like my intent was yesterday and, it's already noon and I'm still on my first cup of coffee, just had my first cigarette. The day is passing by and I'm still wondering what to do with myself.

Its days like today that a person who is prone to depression needs to be wary of. I know that if I don't force myself to get out of the house I will stay on this couch and feel sorry  for myself. I will stay here and obsess about the future and how bleak things COULD turn out. I won't see the good that the day can offer and no amount of prompting can fix that once I'm there. I understand the problem, the issue is compensating and doing something about it. The issue is knowing and then putting into action all the things that I have learned sense December when I went to the hospital.

I could say for instance that I've already ran the dish washer and the laundry for the day. So I am making things happen, even if they are small. I could say that my S.O has work to do and therefor I can't go and hang out with her and her Son. I could say that the car is filthy and needs a wash, why not go out in the sun and wash the car. I could say that its a great day for a walk in the woods and go out to a local spot for a hike. One foot in front of the other, day by day. One issue at a time. You have to hand it to yourself for the little victories because they prod and push you on to the bigger ones. You have to acknowledge your forward progress, even if it is just a small step at a time. That will help and give you confidence for the bigger steps. I may call a friend and ask if he wants to go shoot a game of pool.

I love my S.O very much but I was showing off last night when we were playing pool. She doesn't know how to play very well and I always play up or down to the person I'm playing with. I can't fake a good shot, but I can blow one when I'm playing with someone who isn't as good as I am. A real game, with real competition is a rare beauty. It's something we all look forward to, some kind of conquest, challenge. Something where, when we win, we feel like we did something outstanding. Yes, it's the hard fight that you win and are proud of. No reason to be proud of the trivial victories right?

How completely contradictory I've become. One minute I'm telling you to appreciate and accept your small victories and focus on them so you can have the motivation for the big ones. The next minute I'm saying that the hard victory is worth the fight and THAT is what you should be happy about. How can it work both ways?

When you are trying to better yourself and every single step is a hard one to take, those "little" victories are just as important as the big ones. For me, for instance, I could have left the dishes and the laundry. I know, it sounds trivial and I even said it was a minute ago. However, Just because it didn't take all the strength I have to put the laundry into the wash, I didn't have to do it. It was a choice that I made, and a healthy one. Eating oats and fruit for breakfast was another one. Doing the dishes was another. Now I'm writing these thoughts out to share with the world, and this is yet another step.

The point I'm trying to make is, just because something is trivial to YOU doesn't mean that you shouldn't appreciate the effect it has on you. I added up those little victories and now I'm ready to walk out my front door and go on into the sun for the day. Who knows what adventures await? Maybe none, maybe I will meet a new friend. Maybe I will do the things I set out to, come home, make dinner and relax knowing nothing bad happened today. Whatever the case may be, without the little steps, I wouldn't have the desire or confidence to walk out of the front door.

Best of luck to you all, thanks for reading.
- Matthew

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Morning

Every now and then I get a wild hair and decide to do something... unusually crazy. Anyone who knows me knows that if it's unusually crazy for me it's pretty out there. I have been going to therapy for weeks now and taking on one little thing at a time and trying to get over this rough patch in my life and yesterday I felt as though things were starting to go in the right direction in more than one area. Life has it's ups AND downs. There is no entitlement. You are not OWED a good day. You don't DESERVE to be happy. YOU make YOU happy or you don't. No one can GIVE you happy. You either decide to be happy and do healthy things or you decide to be miserable and do unhealthy things. There is plenty of grey out there, don't take me wrong. However, discussing the grey would take away from the point I'm trying to make. How you feel, ultimately, is a choice you make. Now, I suffer from depression and TRUST ME, if someone was to tell me "You are depressed because you WANT to be that way". I might do something .... a little......violent.

However, if we understand what is going on it can lessen the impact of things around us. There are people out there who suffer from hyper mania. These are the people who are ALWAYS excited, happy, bubbly, bouncy, and all those other words used to describe these completely annoying and confusing people. We get annoyed because we don't understand. FINE, I get it. However, such a thing does exist! I couldn't believe it. I thought those people were just suffering from a mild form of mental retardation. No, seriously, I thought that there must be something wrong with someone who is ALWAYS up. Yes, apparently it's a mental condition. How SICK and twisted is our society that when someone is TOO HAPPY we call it a "mental condition??".

So, occasionally I get this hair up my back side. Yes I'm returning to the point now, you can stop wondering WHEN the heck I will get back to it. This morning I woke up alone in bed and decided to MAKE today a good day. It's Saturday and I don't have to get out of bed until I'm darn good and ready to. So I slept in an hour or two. Stretching out like a cat before leaving my bed, making it, then going to the living room. I pulled out a Yoga DVD and my Yoga Mat and did a 30 minute "rejuvenating" exercise. To me it was a bunch of stretching and breathing. Nothing complex. Yoga isn't rocket science. You don't even have to be flexible, there are DVDs out there like mine that show how someone stiff as a board can still start to do the movements. After doing Yoga, I took a nice, long, HOT shower and woke up again for the third time this morning.  

Then I decided to make myself something healthy for breakfast and as I bit into my banana and smelled the aroma of my coffee brewing, I woke up again. I'm REFUSING to rush myself today. It's Saturday, I don't have any deadlines, and I don't have any work that needs to get done. What a lucky SOB I am today. I have this white board on my fridge where I sometimes write a "Note to self". I think that if I write myself motivational and happy things to read eventually the thoughts will sink in, even if I'm not sure I believe the false optimism at the moment I write it. Sometimes I write a note to my S.O. Significant Other so that when she comes over she might see it and laugh at me for leaving her a note on my fridge. Today, however, I wrote something different. This is the quote I wrote on my fridge this morning and the only reason I'm posting today, was to share this with you.

"Enjoy every single moment, each may be your last. Love, live, learn, repeat. Realize how lucky you are, and be thankful." -Matt

Simple, profound words. I'm sure that someone else may  have wrote them somewhere. Maybe I read them on a Facebook post some time ago and some how it stuck in the back of my mind. I'm not claiming to be the first person on earth to put these words together in this order. I would never plagiarize intentionally. The thoughts just struck me as odd. That I had to remind myself these simple truths. I have been in some pretty nasty environments and KNEW every day might be my last. Here at home however, I take for granted that at any time God may say "your done".

 I love the people in my life that mean the most to me. I can't help it. Love isn't a conditional thing for me... It is a profound, complex emotion that has no beginning middle or end. I survive every single day, but do I truly LIVE every day? I don't think any one out there can say they do unless they are suffering a terminal illness. How dare we wait until our lives are almost over to appreciate the value. Every day I would like to say that I learn something new. Even if it's just something about myself or someone close to me that I didn't know.

Finally, I think that if we spent more time saying "Thank you" and less time pining over the things we want that we DON'T HAVE we might be much happier. Each day, each breath is a gift. If you have a roof over your head, food in your belly, shoes on your feet, clothing on your back, A JOB a car.... we take SO MUCH for granted. We never appreciate what we have until it's taken away.

Today, I'm refusing to be this way. Today, I am going to live. After I post this, I'm going to go out and go for a walk in the sun. Maybe in the woods, maybe by the river, but I'm going for a walk in the sun. Because I can, because I'm not working myself crazy today. Because I don't have obligations that take me away from my ability to do so.

Thanks for Reading and good Luck !

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I would like to thank everyone who has been following and commenting on my blog. THANK YOU SINCERELY. I am not trying to ignore or disrespect anyone by not returning the favor of viewing and commenting on your blog sites. I truly believe that everyone has something to say and most people should be heard. Especially if they find it important enough to show the world in an online forum or blog. I applaud and salute you.

I have been going though some tough times at work and haven't had much time to myself lately. I get home and I eat, then go to sleep. I get up the next day and do it again. So, I'm sorry for not thanking you all and responding to your comments and viewing your blogs. I hope you would accept this sincere apology and understand that I have been just incredibly swamped lately.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love and other four letter words

       People do some crazy things when they are in love. People will go out of their way for one another, they will lie cheat and steal for love. Men will kill for love. Love is the biggest cause of heartache in the world I do believe. That and Women. Women can screw a man up so bad he doesn't know which way he's going. Movies like House of Flying Daggers has taught us that. If your own life experience hasn't.

       Life is another four letter word. So is kill. It's no small wonder why people see four letter words as being such harsh things. Not simply for their explitive value, but because words like life and kill are also four letter words. Like is another four letter word, but like it's not like got ANYTHING to do with love or kill or life right? Word is another four letter word. Human language is as old as we are, and we have developed some pretty amazing things. Food for thought here. In the Czech republic, there are two different words for Love. One means "I love this food" and the other means "I love my Wife". I found this out from a freind of mine. Amazing little tid bit eh? Food is another four letter word we all enjoy. I mean who doesn't enjoy eating a taco? Taco ? WOW.. how about that!? Another four letter word.

         We assume because someone said "I was talking to her and I told her about her FOUR LETTER WORD children". Well now, lets ask ourselves what particular four letter word you were going to use? Nice is a four letter word, maybe they were COOL kids? Why does the term "four letter words" mean something negative? There are plenty of explilives that don't have four  letters. The word for a female dog doesn't have four letters. The noble donkey doesn't have a four letter word for a nickname. Hell does have four letters, but if I say "You won't go to hell for smiling today" is that an obscene comment?

       Oddly enough there are more common words that have four letters than explitives. Think about that for a minute... WHY do we say four letter words are bad? The "F" word is one, sure.. The word for excrament is another. We talked about hell a little bit ago didn't we? So tell me, if only two words off the top of my head that are four letters long are explitives, why does the term "for letter words" mean something so heinous?

Ideas? Thoughts? please??

Good Luck, God Bless, and Thank you for reading.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Guilt, Debt, Regret, and un paid bills

           There are a few things I don't deal with. I have decided to be mindful. I don't do guilt, debt, regret, and un paid bills. Not as easy as it sounds.

          If you offend me or hurt me, I will tell you. If you are any kind of human being, you will appologise and I will forgive you. I may not allow you to harm me again, but I will forgive you. I don't do guilt. If you feel guilty, that's on you. I refuse to make someone feel guilty. I myself feel guilty all the time, but that's my issue. I don't want to make it yours. If I feel guilty, it's probably because I did something wrong and I will do my best to make it right. I may never earn the forgiveness of the person I've offended, but that won't stop me from trying.

        If you borrow money from me, I won't hold that against you forever. I don't do debt, it's not something I cling to. I won't loan something I can't do without. If you are someone who has owed me something in the past and you feel that this statment isn't true, ask yourself, has he said anything to me about it? If not, it's probably because I don't care anymore, like Phil Collins said.

      If something happens and I miss an opportunity, I missed an opportunity. Why should I have a regret? Why should I carry around with me some sort of misconception about things I should have or could have done? I refuse to do that to myself. So I don't do regret.

      Un paid bills, if I owe you money, or if I owe your company money, I will pay you what I owe you. I am not psychic though, I don't know your intent. Don't give me something freely and then demand I pay you back long after we have parted ways. I don't do un paid bills. My credit score could always use a lift, so I try not to borrow from people unless I have to.

     Ohh and while we are at it... I don't do grudges either. Screw that. If you upset me or hurt me, I'm too forgetful to remember. So I won't hold it above your head for ages. Once it's over, it's over. I have enough stress in my life.

Good Luck, God Bless, THANK YOU FOR READING !

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sad ? or Depressed

        Yes, another hard topic. Everyone gets down, everyone feels sad and everyone has days where they don't want to get up out of bed. Where the act of getting up and getting ready for work is a chore. We all have days where, we get home from work and want to fall into bed and sleep... for the next week. Some people cope, do whatever they need to in order to get up and move forward again. For some of us it isn't so simple.

       If you ask what the average person thinks the word "Depressed" means you may hear some of the following. When you are down and you don't feel like doing much for a day or two. Or, when you feel like crap and the whole world sucks and nothing is going right and you don't want to go anywhere. For someone who is truly depressed however, it means something a little different. Being depressed for us means that we don't have the energy, or desire, to feed ourselves. We don't have the energy or desire to fold and put away the laundry or bathe. We don't have the energy or desire to do the things that we would normally do to feel better. We withdrawal into ourselves and isolate, cutting the rest of the world off. Sometimes we give away our favorite things to people we care about. Sometimes we have only one thought in our head and that is the desire to shut out the rest of the world and bury ourselves under a pile of covers.

        For people who suffer with depression, it becomes a physical thing. Acid reflux disease, heart attacks or high blood pressure. Heart arrhythmia and other such problems can occur as well. Eating disorders can happen. Sometimes we can have sudden issues with obsessive compulsive disorder. People who are depressed feel that their current predicament is going to last forever because there is no way to fix things. We shut out the world and we pull ourselves into ourselves. We "tune out" everything we used to enjoy because it doesn't make us feel better anymore. We cry, for sometimes no reason that we can understand. We get angry for sometimes no reason that we can understand. We have moments of extreme fear, for sometimes no reason we can understand. Depression is real, and it sucks for those of us who have it.

        Okay, ready for the good news? People suffer from depression all the time, and if you admit you have a problem and you go get help, the odds are highly in your favor that you will make it through. Studies show the vast majority of people who treat their depression recover and get on with their lives. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Yes, if you say "I've got a problem" and you go get help, you can move on with your life and not feel lousy anymore. It is a ton of work, and it's hard to listen to people tell you coping skill after coping skill. It's not fun sometimes to sit in a group therapy session and hear everyone talk about the things that are wrong with their lives. Sometimes, a person in that group will have some of the same issues you are going through and they are at a different point in the healing process. Sometimes, by being in therapy you can help someone who is worse off than you.

         Bottom line? Now you know a little bit more about depression, and you now know that if you suffer, there is hope. It's not a sham, it's not a gimmick, and it’s real. So, PLEASE, if you are feeling down and it's making your life harder to live, GET HELP. You don't have to live hating that food on the plate, the dishes, the laundry, the bathroom that won't clean itself. You can get help and get back on your feet. If someone wants to judge you for getting help, they aren't worth having around you anymore. Besides, you got help, you feel better, who cares what anyone else thinks of you? You certainly won't if you are back on your feet.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Zen and the art of finger food

          I know I put up some crazy topics. I know that sometimes my stuff is deep. This isn't one of those topics.

          I love to cook, anyone in my family that knows me knows I love to cook. So, here it is, my all time favorite finger foods and how to make them easy like.

Stuffed Jalepenos: You will need the following
12 or so Jalepenos                    1 or 2 chicken breasts               1 brick of creme cheese
Sriacha hot sauce                      shredded cheddar cheese          1 rack of baccon, cut in half

Start by cutting and pulling the seeds out of the jalepeno peppers. You may want to wear a glove if your hands are sensitive, and especially if you wear a ring, the skin under your ring can be very sensitive and the juices from the peppers WILL BURN YOU THERE.

Boil the chicken breasts till thuroughly cooked and then put into a food processor or shred with forks. Then let the meat cool. Mix the shredded chicken with the Sriacha, shredded cheddar, and creme cheese. You may want to add some other hot sauce, that's cool, there are no rules here. Just make sure that the mix is pasty and sticky.

Cut the baccon in half if you haven't already and stuff your pepper halfs with the cheese mix then wrap a piece of baccon around each pepper half. Bake those bad boys in the oven at 350 until the baccon is as crisp as you like it and enjoy ! They go great with a cool brew, I like an amber ale myself.

Chicken WINGS

There are hundreds of wing recipies out there, this is my fav and it's a snap!

Take a gallon sized zipper bag and put about 4 or 5 cups of flour into that thing. Add curry and poultry seasoning until the mix smells like folded pieces of heaven. Thaw out your wings and get two cookie sheets hot in the oven. Melt some butter in the bottom of each sheet. You want a thin layer of butter going. Mix some hot sauce into the butter, use the little red stuff we all know off the top of our head. Be careful, even if you don't set a fire, your fire alarm may go off if you put too much hot sauce into the butter. Fumes, that's all it takes to set those alarms off. Bread your wings and put them into the oven at 350 for half an hour. Then flip them and bake another half hour. Once your done, pull those suckers out and plate them. You may want to put some fresh parmasean cheese or some garlic butter on them at this point. You can even baste them with whatever sauce you want to now. Or just eat them crispy and crunchy like they are. ENJOY!

Rib bits
You know those little short ribs that come in racks 12 to 14 inches long ? They sell in the grocery for 3 or 4 bucks for a package with about 15 or 20 ribs? Yeah those little suckers.
Get a large stock pot and boil some beer. You should use what you drink. Boil those rib bits in the beer for a good 20 min or so. I know, it smells devine! Once the meat starts to peel off the bone take them out and shake off the excess beer. Toss them in a bowl filled with whatever sauce you want to sauce them with. Then throw the ribs onto a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for about 20 min more. Trust me, TASTY !!

MORE ?! Okay check this one out.
Mix some egg in a bowl and cut some chicke into strips. In another bowl mix flour, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and curry.
In a big thick pan render the fat out of some particularly fatty baccon. You should have 1/8 in or so on the bottom of the pan. Egg, Flour, Fry. Simple right ? Rack them afterword or you will have soggy chicken fries.

Finger food + Beer = GREAT HOCKEY GAME EATS.
Root for your favorite team, as I will mine. GOOD LUCK, Thanks for reading,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Trivial or Catastrophic?

         I have often marveled at how poeple trivialize the problems other people face. I knew a teenage girl who was the daughter of a friend of mine. She was going through a break up with her boyfriend. She was so distraught that she would lock herself in her room and cry for hours on end. I remember him telling me "I don't see what the big deal is". I knew a young woman who was going through a break up, and she was in her twenties. She couldn't go to work for a day or two because it hurt her so bad that her significant other was now gone and moved away. Poeple were confused as to how something so small could disable someone. I myself have had problems in the past and gone to therapy for my issues. When someone trivializes the trauma others face, they demoralize the person they are talking to. I understand the urge to tell someone "it's not all that bad". I understand the logic of saying "other people have been through worse than this, and you will make it out". That's encouraging, but only if you say that part at the end "you will make it out". To a teenage girl, a break up was her whole life falling down around her ears. To put things into perspective, at the age of 17 going through a break up would be the equivalent of going through a divorce. To a teenager, graduating high school is the equivalent of graduating college or getting a huge promotion at work.

          We should learn not to trivialize the pains of other people and not make them feel so small when they are going through hard times. Often when someone is depressed they just need someone to shut up and listen. Don't offer an opinion, don't offer feedback, don't offer words of encouragement unless you truly mean them and they come from the heart. No one needs to hear the crap out of a greeting card when they are feeling like the world is falling down around their ears. No one needs a kick in the ass when they are down. When a friend is going through some stuff, just being there is enough sometimes.

           When someone is going through a hard time, they may not realize that there are those around them who care. Often times people who are depressed fail to see the people who care. They don't reach out for help because they don't believe it is there. Even if you have told someone over and over again to call if they need help, they may think you were just being nice. The advice here, is to be agressive if you see someone acting withdrawln or strangely out of it. Know the signs and symptoms. Be a friend, if you notice your friend is acting weird, ask them direct questions. "Are you thinking about hurting yourself?" I know, it sounds like that would be the wrong thing to say. It's not, when I was in that position myself, someone asked me that question and I broke down. I got the help I needed and I am much better off now because of it. Try to stay away from words like "No, don't, won't or cant" when you talk to someone you think is depressed or hurting.

        The bottom line is that sometimes we are all we have. If you are a friend or you are someone who has been touched by something tragic in your life, you know how that feels. Don't let your friends and family experience the pain that comes with a loss like that. Reach out to those who you feel may be acting strange. Sometimes that's all it takes.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The hidden power of gratitude

            Have you ever been thanked by a random stranger? Had someone say "thank you" for doing something polite that you just did because you are a nice person? Have you ever said "Thanks!" to someone as they held  a door open for you? Today in society we seem to be forgetting this amazing word. I had someone say "Thanks!" to me for holding the door open. An elderly couple was going into a restoraunt that I was heading into. They were hand in hand walking ahead of me, so I rushed ahead and held the door open for them. They showered me with gratitude, as though no one had ever done something nice for them before. I felt sad, that they were so blown away by it. I was warmed by the smiles and the sight of an old couple holding hands like teenagers on a date. The whole situation made me smile and put a warm fuzzy right in the pit of my heart.

           I would like to personally, thank everyone who comments and reads my posts! Thank you very much for reading this! Please, pay it forward to the next person. See how many times you can say "thank you" today. Thank family and friends for being there for you through some tough times. Thank a co worker for covering for you when you were sick. Thank the guy who delivers your pizza and actually tip him for running out in the rain to deliver you a pie. Thank God for the air in your lungs and the food in your belly.

Thank you all and good luck out there!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


         Okay, here I go again. I'm writing this post because I have some advice to share that helped me out in a HUGE way. I had problems with nightmares for a long time. If I wasn't having one just about every night it was almost cause for celebration. I would have nightmares from Iraq, or Afghanistan. I would have nightmares brought on by stress. I would have nightmares about being out of control or being chased. I got to the point where I was taking prescription sleep aids to help me fall and stay asleep. My work schedule doesn't help much because every so often I pull a 24 hour shift and end up sleeping all the next day. Then after that I would go back to working a normal schedule. This was really disrupting my sleep.

          I was advised by my therapist to put a pad of paper and a pen by my bed and start tracking my sleep patterns. Then my therapist gave me a note pad to do it with. I think for me, actually putting the note pad by the bed with the pen, knowing that if I woke up in the middle of the night I would have to write the nightmare out, actually helped me realize how trivial it was. For me, I quickly realized that the nightmares were ruining what could otherwise be very good restful sleep. Ever since the day I put that pad of paper by the bed, I haven't had a nightmare. I've woken up a time or two since then, a little sweaty and not sure why, but the nightmares have stopped for the most part.

         Now, I have tried many things and at one point I prayed the rosary every night as I was falling asleep. Being from a Catholic family, I learned how at a young age. It didn't take long before I was saying it again from memory. I was in Afghanistan when I started this again. At one point I was frustrated because I was having trouble remembering which prayers go at what day and what time of year. The anxiety of not remembering how to pray the rosary right was eating at me. Yes I know how silly that sounds. I asked my ex Wife who asked a priest for clarification and I was told that I can just pray "Hail Mary" and "Our Father" prayers on the beads and if that helped me to sleep that would be just fine.

          I think that if you have some method for counting sheep or saying prayers or taking a mental walk down the beach as you are falling asleep, it will help. Keeping your room free of TVs and Computers and music producing boxes will help as well. My room is dark, and simply furnished. Everything in there is made for quiet and comfort. There is a bedside table with my note pad and a pen and a lamp. On the other side of the bed is my spare reading glasses and some novels that I read at night, although never in bed. I read in the living room on my couch. I put the book by the bed so I don't lose it. Glasses stay with the book. There are dozens of ways to help you sleep, so please, don't give up hope if you suffer from nightmares. There is always something new out there that can help.

Good Luck and thanks for reading!

Monday, February 10, 2014


       This post is something I have shared with some co workers. They seemed to appreciate the advice, and the people I know whom I've told this to seem to really like it. A while ago a co worker came to me and said that he was having trouble with his spouse. He would get home from work all upset from the day and being lower on the totem pole at work he took a ton of orders and never gave any out. He would get home from work all stressed and the first person he would see would be his Wife. Now, he loved his Wife and he didn't mean to be so angry when he got home from work, but it was stressing him out.

       I have been there myself. Someone told me once to take a self time out. The advice I took and later passed on was to get home first. Then sit in the car, and shut the car off. Look at the dash board clock and give yourself five minutes. In that time, think about what your day was like, and how it made you feel and acknowledge it. Then realize that the person in the house, your spouse is someone you love. Someone you are good friends with is in there. The person inside isn't someone who is out to get you or subjugate you. That person inside is someone you want to spend the rest of your life loving. So, think on all that and take a deep breath. Then walk inside and leave the crap from work in the car behind you.

        The co worker I told this to said the next day and the day after that, how happy he was that he tried it, and it worked. His connection to his Wife improved. I was very happy for him and her. I think that if we take time out of our day, and let the crap from work stay at work, our families will benefit. I think that we need to be mindful of how we carry our frustrations and how we let them interfere with our families. I think that if we take the time to let our families know what they mean to us the dividends will be huge.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

Sunday, February 9, 2014


         I would like to take a moment to say some words about friends. Friends are people in your life whom you chose to spend time around. Family are the ones you were forced to spend time around. Friends are the people you tell your secrets to because they have earned that trust. Friends are people who will have your back, not just talk about it. There have been many songs written about friends. There was even a TV show titled "FRIENDS". We in society have lost the meaning of the word though. Social media has virtually disintegrated the word. Friends are not people who know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who you went to school with when you were five years old. Friends are not the guy who is friends with your uncle on your Father's side. Friends are people who you hang out with, socialize with, and trust.

      As in the post about Vitality, the English language is on the chopping block with this one. I'm sorry to beat that dead horse but I promise this time, the whip is short. If I have met you, shook your hand, looked you in the eye and called you Brother, or "friend". If I have spent so much time hanging out with you that I have come up with a nick name for you and asked to be sure it was okay that I call you by it you can be sure that we are friends. If not, don't pretend that you are some long lost pal from high school so your social media site can offer you virtual farm equipment. Simple enough isn't it? Those of you out there who are Family, some of you are friends. Some of you fill many roles. Some people in my life are like my Brother, my Father, my friend and my mentor all in one. Some people out there take for granted what it means to be friends. They don't appreciate what it means when someone trusts you enough to call you friend. In today's day and age, it's a crying shame that we call people "friend" whom we have no intention of ever meeting again. I am all for networking, don't get that twisted up. We need to say what we mean and mean what we say.

        I don't mind making new friends either. I'm okay with that. Some of you bloggers out there are really cool people. Please don't let this post piss you off to the point where you don't want to read my blog anymore. I like to be heard and to be truthful, I love responding to comments. I enjoy reading the feedback. I am always open to new ideas. So, thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


       I know that we live in a day and age where words are flippantly used. I accept this, and do my best to use words properly but even I screw up sometimes. People swear, and that doesn't help the problem. When I say I'm having a *explicit four letter word* day, what I probably SHOULD say is "My day isn't going the way I want it to and I'm feeling a little lousy about it". That would take too much time though, so like everyone out there I swear sometimes. That isn't the point of this post but it does supply ammunition for my point.

        How many times a day do you hear people using the word "Love"? I overheard someone the other day say "I LOVE my cell phone!” Now I'm not knocking the tech, that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm not saying that the man doesn't appreciate his equipment. That's not what I'm doing either. What I am saying is that when I look my significant other in the eyes and profess my love for her that I am describing an emotion that I could NEVER feel for a cell phone. I am attempting to describe a deeper connection than the one that the local cell tower offers my phone. I am trying to say to her that she means more to me than my $65 dollar a month bill.

          I heard a talk recently on I don't remember exactly the man's name but he was describing depression. He said that the opposite of depression is Vitality. That word means a huge concept. Vitality is the power of something to be lively. I have felt vitality after expressing love for my significant other. I have felt vitality after having a particularly satisfying exercise routine. I have felt revitalized after waking up from a long night's rest and my alarm clock was NOT the thing that woke me up but a kiss, from my Woman. So I'm in the bathroom after hearing this speech on depression and how it's vitality that is the opposite of depression and what do I see? In my shower, like most men I'd wager, I have a shower gel that I bathe with. In clear print on the bottle it says "Revitalizing shower gel". My heart sank. I have been to the field for weeks at a time where, upon returning home I needed a hot shower and indeed I felt revitalized after taking one. HOWEVER, I have never thought that my shower gel was the thing that revitalized me. I have had sore bones and muscles and felt revitalized after a massage. Though, I can't say I ever felt revitalized by a bathroom product.

        Agonizing how I get to my point I know, sorry, I think that we abuse the language day in and day out and it is our responsibility as people to ensure that if we know better, we should do something about it. I was in the store one day and I dropped my change. Instead of cursing, as I was normally inclined to do, there were children present. I said "Four letter words" out loud. The woman in line behind me with the children started to laugh. "WOW, I haven't heard someone say THAT before". I was in a goofy mood so I responded "Ma'am I'm sorry but I don't think its right to swear in front of children and I sometimes say 'four letter words' instead of swearing". This is an example of how we as adults can change the perception and the language that is being abused day in and day out. Many of you out there are writers. We have the vocabulary! The words aren't hiding; we know how to express ourselves.

        I just know that my opinion is that we use words too flippantly. We say "love" when we mean "Gosh I like how my cell phone meets my needs". We say "love" to our significant other when what we mean is "Woman, you make my heart skip a beat when I see you smile, you know that?" We say "love" when we mean "Mom, you are an amazing woman and I appreciate what you have done for me and what you do every day". We say "revitalized" when we mean "this stuff smells good and takes the funk off my skin too? AWESOME!”

         If you read this post and you have said something to yourself like "Gosh, he has a point". Please say so. If not you can say "Matthew, shut up!" Either way, I'm going to keep posting because to me... THIS isn't a blog or a chance to be heard. To ME this is therapy. Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 7, 2014


               I have an issue with people judging. I love my family and I care for them and their opinions. I respect everyone, regardless of where they come from, whatever race, creed, color or religion. I respect someone until they give me reason not to. I do my best not to judge anyone. I am not perfect and there are times when my culture or past has created a schema that I put people into and I do my best to ignore those precepts and ideas and treat each encounter with a person as a blank slate. I screw up sometimes and allow grudges and the past to get in the way though. I’m not perfect and I’m not claiming to be.

            Given an example. Someone cuts me off without using their turn signal in traffic. I can be angry as heck that I was nearly in an accident because some fool decided to cut me off because he is in a hurry. My expectations would be causing me to feel that way. We went there already, this is judgment Matthew. Okay, my judgment of that person’s actions is that they were wrong for cutting me off and they didn’t use their turn signal so a police officer should be along shortly to pull them over and get them off the road and out of my way! What right do I have to demand justice? What is justice in this situation? What if that person didn’t see me because they are rushing home to handle an emergency? How would I feel if that person was on the way home to help out a family member who needed a ride to the hospital? I cannot judge that person, or their actions, because I am not in complete control or knowledge of the facts, all of them. God is the only one who knows all the variables and can truly judge anyone or anything in my opinion. Notice, I am not leaving that statement with a period. I said “In my Opinion”. I’m not even going to judge YOU if you read this and go “what a fool!” You are entitled to your own opinion, and I am entitled to mine. How should I tell you that I believe it is wrong to judge and then get offended when you judge me? If I was offended, it would be because I am judging you, for judging me…Wait, judgment is wrong? Yes, Matthew, judgment is wrong… try to keep up…

                So what if I’m SURE that the person is guilty and they did wrong and we all know it? Society blames this person and a judge and jury said that they are guilty as charged and they have been judged by society for their actions and found guilty! What then? Can you say that the person was wrong? Me? No, I can’t, but I can say that in a court of law they were found guilty. I don’t know what is in a person’s heart and mind at any given point in time, let alone during an act of committing a “sin” or “transgression” or breaking the law. We have systems in place to hold people accountable for their actions. When I die, I believe that I will go to GOD and answer for my sins, transgressions, and if the law gets a hold of me and judges me in a court for breaking the law, there too will I be judged. However, I believe that it is wrong for anyone to judge me without knowing the full extent of what was going on in every aspect at the time I act. Until then, I reserve the right to ignore the judgment others attempt to impose upon me. However, if someone should judge me or my actions, I won’t let my expectations get in the way and allow their narrow minded approach to hurt me or offend me. I won’t judge them for judging me.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014


             I would like to address expectations. People seem to get caught up in what they believe others should say or do in a given situation and then end up frustrated, mad, hurt, or angry. This is simple. We take a situation where we think that someone should respond a certain way and when they don't we FREAK OUT! I like to pretend that everyone I'm talking to is in the middle of the worst day of their life. Seriously, it works, try it some time. If you pretend that the guy who just ran into you in the hallway is on his way to the hospital where his Wife is in labor, you won't be offended. If you are offended, it's because you expected that person to behave in a "normal" way.

            What the hell is "normal" ?? Have you looked in the mirror ? Chances are pretty good that YOU aren't "normal". Again, lets take for example the black Honda. I was going somewhere recently and in the parking lot sat a Honda, straddling the line in the middle of a crowded parking lot. This person meant NOTHING by parking in the middle of two spots. It's not this person's intent to slight everyone trying to park there. They had no idea that it would cause a fuss. However, unbeknownst to them, a whole host of people came through the door, each person saying derogatory remarks about the "person" who parked in the middle of two spots.

             If we as people had no expectations of those around us we wouldn't be upset or put out when they don't adhere to our ideals or morals. We in America want it our way right away and we don't give a damn who we offend in the process. We expect this, and we are upset when we don't get our way. Try going through life just hoping that people don't get mad and yell at you. Imagine for a moment that everyone you encounter hates your guts and would rather face a zombie than look at you face to face. The next person you see who smiles at you just made your day. You didn't have any expectations! You didn't expect people to be friendly to you. Why should you ?

            You think you are the only person who got up on the wrong side of the bed or had a bad hair day? The point is that if we can get rid of our ideas about how others should treat us or behave in a given setting we might find ourselves feeling a little less frustrated when the guy in front of us is doing 10 under the speed limit. Have YOU ever gone into an unfamiliar neighborhood looking for a friend's house for his child's fifth birthday? I bet you drove ten under and were offended when the *expletive* behind you flipped you the bird and cussed as he sped off after you turned into the drive of your friend's house. Just something to consider... Thanks for reading.

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