Saturday, April 4, 2015

"Come in," she said, "I'll give you, shelter from the storm"

'twas in another lifetime, one of toil and blood

It's hard to believe that five years ago I sat in front of a TV and watched an interview and heard about her.  The next morning I pulled up the internet at work and searched and found her.  She was inviting.  She promised much and what she promised was a sin and yet with smiling enabling faces, concerned with my plight, it did not seem so bad.  After all, if you are both married and don't want to change anyone's life is it really all that bad?  In a given state it is, of course, so easy to say no.

The fact was that while life at the time was tranquil I had come through toil.  Five years earlier I had failed miserably at work and my career seemingly had come to a screeching halt.  An opportunity back East fell on my lap at the exact moment I was about to go over the cliff and in a moment I escaped.  But I couldn't escape the wrath of a fallen marriage.  As we moved East Shannon's interests stayed in the Mid-West with her new found affair.  The first years here were more a rebirth and then a slow "awakening" into what I would say was a very family-centric part of my life.  Of course family-centric had nothing to do with marriage.  Marriage at this point had come to be a convenient "parenting-partnership."  She went her way, I went mine.  I delighted in being a part of my daughter's upbringing.  Ballet lessons and family night at Chick-fil-A were what filled my life with meaning.  The odd paradox is that the missing part was Shannon when she was on the road and rarely did I miss her.  For it was those times when I was at peace and life was no longer toil and blood.  And there I stayed treading water and feeling happy that I had found shelter from the storm.

I came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

Years move on though and one day family night at Chic-fil-A with daddy is not the high point of the week for a little girl.  As I began to look at myself I saw that I was "a creature void of form."  I was ******'s-dad and not much more.  Sure work was great.  But the peacefulness of five years before was now becoming a bit boring.  I had accomplished much.  I could stay here forever and peddle at a comfortable speed.  But unfortunately I was never made of that stuff.  I'm not one to tread water and be satisfied.  I started to seek more.

At first it was just the gym.  Soon something that I didn't realize was empty I found joy in refilling, myself.  I took it slow but in those early months at the gym that "creature void of form" started to feel like it wanted to be wanted not as the home-room dad but as a man.  I knew what it was like to be out in the storm and didn't want to go back and yet I wondered if there were other shelters from the storm.

She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns

Shannon would smile with scorn at the line above, she always chastises me for playing the victim and martyr.  And yet on the that morning staring at the computer screen she did walk up to me so gracefully and in that moment I did feel as if I needed to be more than ******'s-dad, more than the home-room dad.  Maybe wanting something for myself was not such an awful thing.  Maybe I had paid the price.  Maybe now it should be my time.  Maybe it was not so much the shelter from the storm I sought as much as it was a voice simply and sweetly stating "come in (she said), I'll give you...."

Just to think that it all began on a long-forgotten morn

Now its five year later and there are so many messages I can't nearly remember them all.  She's introduced me to several ladies and in the oddest paradox allowed me to meet perhaps the most special person I've ever known.  I have written before that I enjoy a good paradox.  A favorite line in one of my favorite movies, the Shawshank Redemption, is when Andy Dufresne states "it took coming to prison for me to learn how to be a crook."  It is certainly true that it took coming to her for me to learn how to be a cheater.  But more than that it took coming to her to learn that I am monogamous.  Sure I enjoy looking and I love to feel appreciated.  But honestly if I could just be happy and connected to one person I'd call it quits.  She has driven me to try even harder with Shannon and she has also allowed me to be at peace with that continued failure.  I suspect she will help me live with that failure or be at peace if and when I walk out the door.  Yes, there have been many storms over the past decade but in the past five she has very much been a "shelter from the storm."

And if I pass this way again, you can rest assured; I'll always do my best for her, on that I give my word.

This has been a great learning experience.  In meeting women, winning them over, losing them, sometimes meeting them again I truly believe I've become a better person.  I'm better at work, I'm a better father, I'm happier, I'm more outgoing, I'm more joyful, I've got more to say and yet I say it with more brevity and humility.  The last five years have been big for me, a lot of accomplishment.  Now I sit in front of my work computer in a new office and with a new title I would never have dared to dream I would possess five year before the day I met her.

A lot has been said of her good and bad.  I don't spend much time with her anymore and one day soon I'm sure I'll see her for the last time.  But I have no qualms with her, she has done right by me, giving  me that temporary shelter from the storms of my life.

"if I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born.."

I have never been a turn back the clock type of person.  As our therapist (with Shannon) said of me I am comfortable in my skin.  So if you are reading this and are thinking about walking along the same path I have just know this:  she is shelter from the storm but in all of her beauty that is all she is.  You can come out of the rain a bit and find warmth, get dry, and regain your strength.  But in time you must leave her.  Let's hope that her "shelter from the storm" will have reinvigorated you to embrace and persevere through the next storm and onto the tranquil shore we all hope to find some day.

"do I understand your question man is it hopeless and forlorn?"

The answer is no, it is not hopeless but just understand that while she can be good to you in the end she is in fact just and only "shelter from the storm."

"And the one eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn..."

Well that just doesn't mean anything!  You know Dylan admitted long ago his lyrics really just don't make any sense, they are just words that made lyrical beauty on some type of audio impressionistic tapestry .  So really I guess you can make any sense you want out of them and certainly you can make any sense you want out of Ashley Madison.

But if you are interested it all did in fact start on a Saturday morning just 5 years ago.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

All Your Little Kids Go 'round Like You Hear their Stomachs Growlin'

Ryan's Generation Next Lifestyle Solution Services -

"Your Generation NeXt so Expect the #BesXt!"

TV Commercial voice speaking......
"You are the next generation, the generation that grew up Post 9/11 and who is coming of age in the "Great Recession."  You have a lot of challenges but one challenge you don't need to fret about is life.  This is what makes Ryan the best solution for YOU!"

No Time for Breakfast?
*  You have a busy day of school, after school prom meetings, dance class, and maybe even some homework.  You need fuel for the day and a quick Pop Tart won't do it.  Here at Ryan's solutions we will provide daily breakfast services such as warm creamy whole grain Oatmeal textured with Maple Syrup and Vanilla, peeled Fuji Apples (because God forbid you have to tolerate simple Red Delicious), and Shannon's special libation - blended Berry Smoothie.  Some days of the week you will even enjoy fresh cracked scrambled eggs, Turkey Bacon, and toast with local berried jams and preservatives.  And per Shannon's audits all will be Organic, cage and hormone free, cleaned and washed, and prepared observing all state and local sanitation guidelines.

We'll do the heavy lifting!  :)
Oops, forgot lunch and homework?
*  We understand you are now in puberty, you will forget a lot of "stuff!"  That is why we have partnered with Grammy's Errand Services to provide quick and easy delivery of forgotten homework and lunches on a moments notice.  Grammy's Errands will even drop off clothes for those embarrassing moments when "stuff" happens to you!  No matter what the emergency Grammy's Errands is here for YOU!

*  Oh and btw, what's in that lunch from home?  Well that would be a Nutella Sandwich on whole wheat, Soft Yellow Banana, Yogurt, and a fresh baked muffin; all freshly packed in that Swaggy new age cold storage system Shannon picked up from last month's conference in LA.

Trouble Getting to School, Dance, or Tennis Lessons?
*  Uber has nothing on us!  At Ryan's Lifestyle Solutions we are proud to offer our fine fleet of Kia Sedona's for all your transportational needs and with a full assortment of XM radio stations but locked into Disney Channel for your enjoyment.  Our fleet of Sedona's offers flexible seating for up to 7 in case you want to drag a friend along.  We have more than ample storage for all your needs.  Don't want to drag that Cotton Candy Frappacino in from Starbucks?  Of course not, just shove it into our convenient chair back pouches along with last week's McDonald's Kids Meal prize and half a serving of fries.  Spilled your drink!  No worries.  Ryan's Lifestyle Solutions Research Subsidiary is exploring new adhesive polymer technologies.  We are close to finding the stickiest solution on Earth by combining Chick-fil-A lemonade spillage, melted Milky Way bars, Gummy Bears, and Milk Duds.  You can help us break down the barriers to adhesive technology!

Need Clean Laundry?
*  Shannon has trained Ryan to be the best laundry service in town, we even include fabric softener in all of our loads and Shannon loves to iron.  We will provide weekly changes of bed linen and will provide wool sheets in winter.  We only ask that you make up your bed sometimes.  Well, if you complain enough and Ryan has to get to work early you may get away with that as well; but let's try to work on that.  A turn down service at day's end with Sleepy Time tea is available when desired!

Need Cash Fast?
*  Ryan's Banking sector loves to provide that needed cash flow.  Need a no money down, no-interest loan with flexible payment options for that eye-brow tweese at Ulta?  Look to us, we've forgotten about more loans than we have probably spent on ourselves ten times over.

*  Need help with that really big expense like that ritzy equestrian camp!?  Ryan's Lifestyle Solutions has also partnered with famed Venture Capitalist - Grandpa Beaumont.  Back in the day Grandpa Beaumont barely had enough money to provide bread and water for little Ryan and Ryan was expected to earn enough money if he wanted to buy a polo shirt.  But now, thanks to social security, double dipping into two retirement plans, and a ritzy side consulting job Grampa Beaumont's Venture Capital Services has all the cash flow Generation Next needs to evolve towards Social Actualization!

Need Relationship Advice?
*  Yes, that certain boy didn't ask you out and ick that other certain boy did.  Sara didn't talk to you today but texted everyone else and shared a photo on Instagram with Teagan even though Teagan was so hateful to you yesterday because you didn't include her on Snap Chat even though you just forgot and she isn't remembering the time that you included her as a "best bff" on Pinterest and OMG little sis was hogging the ipad last night so you weren't able to Face Time Dylan so he ended up Snap Chatting with Alexia and now they are going out to the dance next Friday....... YESH!

Ooops...., better talk to Shannon, she operates the IT/Psychoanalysis branch of Beaumont Services.  Ryan still struggles with Facebook and becomes Aspergers'esque when it comes to talking BOYS!

But I'll make it all up for you honey by grilling my famous Peri Peri Chicken, popping popcorn, and fixing some awesome pancakes tomorrow morning for your sleepover pals!

It's all in a days work for Ryan....

But anyhoo.....

Happy April Fools Day!  :)