Happiness, what is it, where does it come from and where can it be found. I turn 49 years old in 2017. As I look back there have been various times when I was happy. I can look back at the 1990s and think of times when I was happy, and a lot of times when I was not happy.
There have been times when I was very happy with a job. Such as when I worked at various welding shops in Southeast Texas. Some of them were good to work for, some were terrible.
The worst kind of happiness is that which depends upon others.
My fiancée (Samantha) and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival Saturday, November 19th and we had a great time. The weather was perfect. A cold front had blown through on Friday, which dropped daytime highs to the mid 60s. Skies were clear and beautiful.
Samantha and I woke up around 6:00 am. I got my shower, got dressed, and we headed out around 7:00. On the way out we stopped at the Donut Palace on Hwy 190 in Jasper Texas. When I was working on a tugboat, this was the same donut shop I would stop at on the way to work. The Donut Palace is ran by a friendly Asian couple. I got a sausage, egg and cheese croissant, blue monster and chocolate glazed donut. Samantha got a bag of donut holes.
We headed west on Hwy 190, which took us through Woodville Texas and into Livingston Texas. At Livingston, we turn south on Hwy 59 south until we reached Cleveland. At Cleveland we turned west on Hwy 105. Hwy 105 took us through Cut-n-Shoot, Conroe, Montgomery, and finally to the Plantersville exit, which is 1774.
I want to do a video blog (vblog) about the elections, life and millennials. There has been a lot of stuff going on in the United States and worldwide, that will be felt for generations. If Trump holds true to even part of his promises the United States poses to be a world leader. And not only a world leader, but to work with other world leaders to create a bright future for everyone.
The liberal agenda of open borders and free trade has to end. The liberal agenda of safe haven cities for illegal immigrants has to end. It will be interesting to see what happens when safe haven cities defy President Trump.
The democrat party platform, as they have always been, is built on fear.
I am 48 years old, getting close to turning 49. Life has not gone anywhere near like what I wanted. A large part of that is my own fault. When I graduated high school I went into the work force rather than joining the military or going to college. The older I get the more I regret those decisions.
At 17 and 18 years old I wanted to join the army and try out for special forces. Some may call that a pipe dream, while others call it silly. I call it having a dream. Par of life should be following your dreams. Rather than joining the army I got married and had children.
The other things I wanted to do, and have wanted to do all of my life is archeology and anthropology.
July 3rd of 2016 I quit my job on a tugboat. I got tired of working 100 hours a week, and I got tired of hearing grown men whine and complain. Working on a tugboat is like working around a bunch of high school teenage girls. Backstabbing, gossiping, always worried about what other people think,,, life on a tugboat was downright bad.
Time for some random thoughts on life from a bored survivalist.
Lets start with happiness. What is happiness? Happiness is defined as a “mental or emotional state of well-being.” Whos responsibility is it for you to be happy? Is it your spouses responsibility for you to be happy? Is it your employers responsibility for you to be happy?
Your happiness is your responsibility.
Outside stimuli can affect your happiness. However, the key to happiness is controlling your thoughts; change your thoughts and you change your reality.
The most important issue with being happy is thinking happy thoughts. So what if bad things happen. We do not have to dwell on those bad memories. Life is full of bad things. We lose a job, lose a loved one, get our feelings hurt,,, but that is life.
Something happened that I would never in a million years thought could come true, my beloved Kristy and I divorced.
We met in 2000 while I was working at Lake Conroe between Conroe and Montgomery. After a whirlwind romance we got married and swore our love to each other.
On July 17 2015 Kristy and I got into an argument. I asked if she wanted a divorce. She said yes and left. A few days later she filed for divorce.
The love of my life that I hoped to live the rest of my days with is no longer by my side.
I feel so empty inside as if my heart and soul were ripped out, shredded, and burned. My hopes of ever finding someone to grown old with has been destroyed.
Kristy and I built a life together and had so many plans. Plans that seemed to vanish in a split second when she drove away.
Now I have to start a new phase of life of being single at 47 years old. Just when life was getting good for Kristy and I she left and we are divorced. I finished paying child support in 2014. We both found good paying jobs with good benefits. Then all of a sudden the rug is pulled out.
Going on 3 months after she left and I am numb and still in denial. Everyday I hope she contacts me to say she is coming home. I know my hopes are in vain.
My next relationships will be filled with mistrust. How can I love someone else when the love of my life walked out? This feels like a bad dream I wish so badly to awake from.
I just want to wake up to find Kristy sleeping next to me.
I feel like I am starting a new phase in life. Here I am at 46 years old (almost 47), finished paying my child support almost a year ago and starting a new career. Is this how life is supposed to work?
When I finished high school in 1986 my fiance’s grandfather helped me get a job at a welding shop in southeast Texas. The pay was pretty bad, but at least I was learning something. From 1986 – 1999 I bounced around various welding shops hoping the pay and benefits would get better, but they never did.
1995 I went to Lamar College in Port Arthur for a degree in computer information systems. Working a full time job, being a parent, being a husband and going to college takes dedication.
1999 – 2000 my life fell apart. I lost my job due to the company making poor decisions. It sure is funny how the CEO make make terrible decisions and everyone else has to pay the price. Then in 2000 my wife of 14 years filed for divorce. In all honesty I was tired of her screaming, fit-throwing and refusing to control her spending. In the long run divorcing her was probably the best thing that happened to me. But it would take years to make progress in my life.
A few months ago a buddy of mine and I were talking about life, jobs, careers when I mentioned I was tired of the 8 – 5 grind. I expressed how tired I was of doing the same thing day after day. My buddy suggested a look into getting a job in the tugboat industry. You live on the boat, have chances for upward mobility, experience opens some rewarding career paths.
I got my TWIC card and physical then sent off for my Merchant Mariner Credential.
Then came the bad news, jobs in the tugboat industry are highly sought after. Being entry level makes things that much worse. Like all other industries tug companies want to high people with experience.
After 6 months of looking I was lucky to find an outfit willing to give me a chance.
I am 46 years old. I have at least another 20 years before I retire. This gives me enough time for another career and enough time to make some money before retirement.
This is a random video of a tugboat. What tands out is at around 3 minutes into the video the sun goes down, then you see the lights of the tug against the city lights, with the American flag flying high.
At 46 years old I consider myself a little past middle age. That is unless I live to be at least 92 years old. So who knows, I might not even be at middle age yet.
Even at such a young age I look back and realize how much water has gone under the bridge. I wonder how I will feel when I am in my 60s or even 70s, that is if I live that long.
I often wonder how my mom and dad feel about how much things have changed in their lifetime? My dad did not get electricity and running water until he was somewhere around 6 years old. What is it like going from kerosene lamps and an outhouse to computers and the internet?
The past 19 years, from 1995 – 2014, humanity has made leaps and bounds with technology. We went from dial-up internet to smart phones in less than a generation. I look forward to what scientist will develop in the next 20 years.
I took a long look in the mirror and did not like what I saw. What bothers me the most is how I have let myself go physically. Being overweight was never in my life plan. I never thought I would be out of shape and sitting at a desk job.
The sedentary lifestyle is one of the main reasons why I am looking for a new job. I am tired of sitting here.
In a way I am disgusted with myself. I put on so much weight and I feel like a pig.
Another reason I put on so much weight is I have a couple of beers before bedtime. The empty calories goes to the waistline.
Drinking was never in my life plan. I never drank when I was a teenager. I did not even drink in my early-20s. I did not start drinking until I was in my mid-20s. Why did I start drinking? I honestly do not know. What I do know is I regret the decision to start.
Drinking and weight gain was never in my life plans. When I was in my teenage years I wanted to live a clean lifestyle. My goal was to be smoking, tobacco, drinking and drug free. The only thing I stumbled on was the drinking. For about 2 weeks in high school I dipped, but I stopped when I realized I was getting addicted. I never smoked, not even once.
Kristy and I knew it was just a matter of time, but we held out hope. We hoped that somehow Mr Man, Kristys Buff Orpington rooster would recover from his stroke. We held out hope that one day he would be back on his feet protecting his girls.
That day will never come.
It started the morning of Sunday, July 27th. Kristy and I walked out to the chicken yard to check on the flock. We found Mr. Man laying on his side unable to walk. We thought that he was suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. He was brought inside to cool off. By Monday morning he had not improved.
He was not eating or drinking on his own. So Kristy and I started giving him pedialyte, gerber baby food and water with a syringe, but with no needle.
After a few days of force feeding Mr Man seemed to regain some of his strength. He was kept in the bathtub so his poop was easy to clean up. By the end of the first week he started growing, however so weak he was.
I am feeling really down. It seems like take 1 step forward, and then take 10 steps backwards.
For the past 4 – 5 months I have been looking for a new job. Only landed 1 interview. Went for a job interview, did not get the position. I have a proven employment history, skills, but yet nobody is calling.
One of the dogs I rescued killed one of my chickens last weekend, then mauled another one yesterday. My wife and I got the chicken, separated her from the flock, sprayed her wounds down with antibiotic spray and have her in a cage in the house. She will probably be ok. I have seen wounds like this before. There is a good chance she will recover. Chickens have a wonderful immune system.
Over the past few months I built a new 200 feet long x 100 feet wide chicken yard. The stupid chicken did not want to stay in its nice new yard, it got out, and the dog had its way with her. Just stay in your yard and you will be safe. But chickens do not understand that. Why did I put so much time and money into a new yard if the chickens are not going to stay in it?
To be honest, the two chickens that were getting out are Rhode Island Reds. The Buffs, Barred Rocks, Australorps and my only single remaining Black Jersey Giant are staying in the yard just fine. Barred Rocks love to free range, but they are not jumping over the fence. The Buff Orpingtons and Australorps are some of the easiest going chickens in my flock. They love to fee range, but will also stay in their yard.
It seems like no matter what I do something goes wrong.
For the past 9 years I have been stuck at an office job working on computer related stuff. Just the typical stuff like unlocking users accounts, maintaining the company website, trouble shooting VPNs, just your usual tech related stuff.
When I was going to college I would have never guessed tech related stuff would suck so bad.
From 1986 to 1999 and again in 2003 – 2005 I worked in welding shops across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. The pay and benefits were pretty bad. But at least at the end of the day I had something to show for my hard work. Whether it was fitting a 2:1 elliptical head on a pressure vessel or heat exchanger, building some nozzles, fitting a pass plate, building a shell cover or floating head,,,, there was something at the end of the day to see. Being able to see your work at the end of the day creates a sense of accomplishment.
With tech related work there is nothing to see at the end of the day. Not being able to see your completed work decreases job satisfaction. Job satisfaction finally reaches a point were you ask yourself, what am I doing here? What am I doing with my life? When I retire what kind of stories am I going to tell my grandkids?
For the past 3 months I have been applying for a tugboat deckhand position. I want to get outside and do something besides sit at a desk all day long.
When my kid were growing up I wanted a job where I was home everyday. I just could not imagine leaving my family for a week or more at a time. Now that my kids are grown it is time to do something for myself. It is time for something new, something where I get some kind of job satisfaction again.
I got my TWIC and Merchant Mariner Credential. Now it is just a matter of applying until I land a job.
Feels like I am slipping underwater, lips barely breaking the surface to gasp for air.
I do not understand why I am feeling this way. Last summer my wife and I got moved to a rural area. We can finally live the lifestyle we want – have a garden, plant fruit trees, have chickens, live in peace and quiet, and for some reason I am feeling down.
There is so much I need to do, but so little time.
Need to build a rain water catch system to irrigate the garden, plant peas, beans, squash, melons, want to go fishing, build a larger chicken yard,,, feel overwhelmed.
The puppies are doing better and we have been going for walks in the evening.
We have a day of nice weather, then cloudy and overcast for a week. I feel that the cloudy weather has been affecting my mood.
I just want to enjoy life. But I feel that I have some kind of massive weight pulling me down. Why do I feel so down?
My wife and I are not in debt, child support will be over in a couple of months, everything is going good.
One of the big questions in the prepping / survivalist community is when did you start prepping? My great grandparents lived on a small farm, my dad was raised on this same small farm, my mom was raised in a rural area and had chickens and a garden.
I was exposed to gardening, farming and raising your own food from the time I was born.
Prepping covers such a wide range of topics. Ask ten people what is means to be a prepper or survivalist, and you will probably get ten different answers. Ask a hundred people the same question, and you will probably get a hundred different answers.
Some preppers stockpile canned food, some stockpile #10 cans of freeze dried food, some stockpile superpails of dried food.