The World We Live In

earthSo I sit here just pondering random thougths of nothing. Wondering where did I go wrong in life? Who did I piss off to have the year I’ve had? Other than meeting the most amazing woman ever 2009 has been a hellacious year for me. Let’s recap since the year is coming to a close in a few weeks. First off I get divorced back in April (seperation started Jan 1, 2009). Ok fine I’ll deal with it. Best thing that ever happened to me actually though. I find a roommate fairly fast. Cool guy who was down on his luck, hurting for money, etc. Same situation I was in a few years back when I lived in Chicago. I let him live here and he paid me some rent but not that much. I’ve decided to let it slide because of the fact that I was in the same boat not that long ago and someone lent a hand and let me catch a break. This was my chance to return the favor to someone else in need. Still consider him a great friend. He was a godsend really. He helped get me through the roughest times by helping me forget there were rough times to begin with.

I met the most wonderful woman back in March of 2009 (like I said earlier this was the ONLY good thing to happen in 2009). We’d crossed paths unknowingly a year ago and here we are now dating. Who would have known? She’s been my rock throughout everything. I really don’t think I’d still be here (no I don’t mean dead just not living here) if it wasn’t for her. She’s been my strength when I had none. She makes waking up every morning worth it. She’ll be my wife someday.

So we fast forward to September 9, 2009. I lose my job. Worst time for that to happen. Luckily I’ve gotten on unemployment but it’s not making the bills get paid. It’s less than 50% of what I was making before at my job. Mortgage is hard to pay. So far I’ve not gotten foreclosed on….yet. So it’s just been a struggle to get the bills I have paid, etc.

So yeah 2009 has been a hell of  a year. To believe that I’m still here standing is a feat in itself. Again without the support of my AWESOME girlfriend and my great and amazing family I know I wouldn’t be here like I am right now. So anyways there’s a little taste of what I’ve gone through this past year. I hope 2010 turns out better for me.

Ten Ways to Survive a Divorce: Part 2

600xpopupgallerySo as promised here are the remaining five ways to survive a divorce. Again these are not fact or based on any scientific research. Rather than are my own ideas and some are things I’ve done myself to get through my recent divorce. As always feel free to share your own ways to survive a divorce in the comments section.

6. Turn to Religion – If you are or were religious what better place to go to get your mind off your divorce than Church/Synagogue/Mosque/etc. Sometimes you have to give up control and turn it over to a higher power. You may be pleasantly surprised of the results when you do this. It’s also a great place to make some new friends that you can turn to when you are down and need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to your problems.

7. Go Shopping – Now most guys reading this are probably going “Harold are you crazy? You want me to go shopping?” Ok I know that typically most guys are the first species to want to hit the mall and buy stuff, but trust me. Go out and get some new clothes. Same applies to women so I’m not just saying this to the men. Buying a new outfit or outfits can help boost your self-esteem. Maybe get those outfits your ex never would let you get or said always made you look stupid, etc. Treat yourself to something fancy. You deserve it.

8. Make New Friends – Ok so how can you accomplish this you may ask? There are various ways. The easiest and most comfortable way is the Internet. Sign up on some friend sites like MySpace,  Facebook or Twitter (see my How To: Twitter article if you need help getting started). You’ll be surprised how many people you may know that are on here. Or you may find some new friends that live near you. Reconnect with old high school classmates that you haven’t spoken too or seen in years. Another place is dating websites. I won’t specifically endorse any here but there are alot of great ones out there and believe it or not they can be very beneficial.

9. Take Some Trips – If your bank account allows it go on a trip. Take a cruise or take that long road trip somewhere you’ve been wanting to go, but never could because your ex didn’t want to go there. Or go visit family. Anything to get you out of your house/apartment and get away from all of the stress that you are going through.

10. Learn to Play an Instrument – Why not take the extra free time you may have now as a divorcee and learn to play an instrument. Learn to play the guitar or the piano or the drums. Whatever floats your boat. This step has two advantages. First off you’ll learn a new talent and get your creative juices flowing. Secondly you can use your new talent to impress that new guy or gal you’ve been hanging out with. Note: Women LOVE guitar players or so I’m told.

Well there you have it. Ten ways to survive a divorce. Nothing too difficult and some fun thigns to do to try and take your mind off your divorce. Again none of these are facts, etc. but I personally have done some of these steps when I was getting divorced and after my divorce was final and I can honestly say that they helped me out tremendously. I hope they can help you in your journey through divorce.

Ten Ways to Survive a Divorce: Part 1

divorce-main_fullSo it’s happened. you’ve gotten divorced. How are you going to make it? You’ve been living on two incomes (in most cases) and sharing the living costs, bills, etc. Now you have to pay for stuff all by yourself. If you kept the house you’ve got a mortgage payment to pay for and maybe a car payment.  Add to that the fact that you’re now alone all the time. All of these things can add up to a lot of stress and can cause you a lot of unwanted suffering. Here are ten ways to survive a divorce (whether male or female) and make the best of your new life.

1. Start Writing – Whether it be a blog or an old fashioned diary/journal. Get your thoughts down on paper or on the Internet. I personally have taken to reviving my blog to express my feelings, etc. I’ve found that it’s helped me  a lot.

2. Get a Pet – Get a dog or a cat or any kind of pet that you can play with and hold or that will be around you and lay next to you. Build a bond with that animal. Animal shelters are a great place because the animals there have, just like you, lost someone and feel abandoned. Both you and the animal will understand how each other feels.

3. Work Out – Working out is a great way to release a lot of the stress you’re going to inevitably run into being divorced. It’s also a good way to keep in shape and get your exercise. On top of that you can meet some new friends this way and even another potential mate.

4. Volunteer – You’ve probably got more free time now that you’re divorced. Why not spend some of that time volunteering in your community. Help out at the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. Help with the homeless shelters if there are any, etc. Not only are you spending your new free time efficiently you’re providing a service that helps out others.

5. Get a Roommate – So you kept the house. Or you moved into a big apartment. It’s empty and lonely. Why not get a roommate? Not only will you get someone to talk to, hang out with, etc. you’ll be getting help with those bills you are having to pay all by yourself. Just make sure you get a roommate that you can trust. That’s the hardest part.

So there are  the first 5 steps to surviving a divorce. I’ll come back with the remaining 5 in a few days so check back for the second half of this post. Also if you have advice of your own feel free to leave them in the comments. This isn’t a definitive list that is set in stone but rather just my own thoughts and some are things I did to help myself survive my recent divorce.

It’s Over

Well it’s official. I am legally divorced from my ex-wife. Took a whole 5 minutes I think.

People ask if I’m happy. I can’t say I’m happy. I mean it wasn’t all bad the whole time. I’m not happy but rather glad that it’s over. I’m glad to we can both move on and do what we want. She’s happy with the “situation” she’s in now and so be it. Myself, along with quite a few others don’t think it will last. I give it a year tops. But that’s just my personal opinion. If it lasts great but I just have a gut feeling. I won’t go into details because it’s not my place to give ALL of the details here. And plus apparently her mom still reads my site, which is perfectly fine. I am not hiding anything and have no issues with that. But yeah so we’ll see how long her new relationship lasts.

divorceWhere did it all go wrong? Who knows. I just know that it went wrong. I personally feel it started to go south when we moved to Newton. For some reason it just seemed the timing was right when things went sour. We were great at first. Granted the biggest downfall was that we started out as FWB (look that up if you don’t know the meaning) and never got to be good friends. That was our first and biggest mistake. I’ll regret that decision. Not getting with her, but the not becoming good friends part. Maybe it would have saved the marriage and made it better. Maybe not. We’ll never know.

That’s why I have said to myself that the next person I get serious with MUST be my best friend first and foremost.

That’s why I’m taking my time and just being friends with Nikki. I want to get to know her. We may never date. Who knows. I’m not LOOKING to get serious and she knows that. She knows to give me time to get my own life in order and that’s one thing that makes her such a great person.

We just failed. Plain and simple. It was both of our faults and I blame her no more than I blame myself. It was a 50/50 deal and I’m pretty sure she agrees with that.  If I could go back in time and do it differently would I? Knowing what I know now? Probably not. I mean I wouldn’t have gotten serious with her. I let her have my heart way too early and that was my own fault and something I just have to work at not doing again. My heart is worn on my sleeve and I have to remember to tuck it inside more often so it doesn’t get trashed again. Live and learn right?

Misc. Thoughts

random4So I’m just sitting here with stuff running through my head. “Technically” I’m not officially divorced as it’s been a full 90 days. But thanks to the wonderful people in Jasper County (the decision makers) judges are not in the court house except for Mondays. So I have to waste a whole day off work sitting in a courthouse, waiting for them to “squeeze” me in to see a judge who is just going to verify the paperwork, verify we agree on it, sign them, and send us back downstairs to the Clerk’s office. Boy oh Boy just how I want to spend my day. UGH! So now that I’m divorced what’s new? What’s different? Nothing. I feel the same almost as I did when I was married. Just officially single.

I’ve been reading this book called “A Lifetime of Secrets” by Frank Warren. It’s just a compilation of all these postcards people have sent to him through this “art” project he has been doing called “Post Secrets.” I think he’s got like four books out now. Basically people just write their deepest, darkest, etc. secrets on postcards and mail them to Frank. Some of this stuff is great. He’s got a website so go check him out (http://postsecret.blogspot.com/). Pretty good stuff. The books are great too. These are funny, sad, mind boggling (always wanted to use that word in a post LOL!), depressing, etc.

So what else is new? Not much. Heading up to my mom’s place to see my step-dad get baptized. Pretty cool pretty cool. Haven’t seen my mom since this past Summer when she was down watching  my step-kids while my wife and I went to Branson. Had fun there though and I can say I’ve been. Probably go again someday who knows.

Was planning to head to North Carolina to see my dad and step-mom (who made it through surgery ok yesterday and the mass was benign so no Cancer praise God). Not going to be going there now due to A) me not having enough vacation to spend a whole week there and B) my step-mom will be burning most of her vacation now to recover so she’d be working most of the time I was visiting. So instead I’m gonna head there during Christmas it looks like. Fine with me. 🙂 Gonna instead spend a few days in Chicago visiting my long time friend Tim that I lived with before I moved to Iowa. Haven’t seen him in almost 7 years. Gonna just spend like 3 or 4 days up there crashing on his couch. Can’t wait. Havent’ been back that way since I moved to Iowa in
November 2002.

So that’s just about it. Nothing spectacular to read I know. Maybe one of these days my brain will realize it’s gotta be more creative and give you all something good to read. 🙂 Take care.


What is TDHU you ask? Stands for “The Daily Harold Update(s)” which is just a bunch of updates to my life. 🙂

So what’s new with me? Well not a heck of a whole lot to be honest. My soon to be ex-wife asked me the other week if I’d still want to hang out with her son (my soon to be former step-son). I asked why and she said that he had told his counselor that he missed me and still wanted to hang out with me. This was a shock to his mom because he’d never mentioned it once to her. So that’s what prompted her to ask me. I of course said yes. Why wouldn’t I? I’ve been more of a father figure to that boy in 4 years than his dad has been his entire life or ever will be. If he needs a positive male role model in his life I’ll gladly fill that position. So this past Friday we hung out at my house. Played some Nintendo Wii on the big screen and took him out to eat. He had a good time he said to me and his mom. Once the weather gets nice I am gonna take him to the drive in movie theater we have here in Newton. He’ll love that.

So what else is new? Well new tattoo is getting closer and closer to getting started. If all goes as planned it gets started next Saturday the 18th. w00h00!

So I’ve been hanginng out with this girl Nikki that I met online. She lives in Marshalltown (about 30 minutes north of me). She’s great. She is totally laid back and chill. Just what I need at my age. She’s 25 by the way. She totally is cool with taking our time and being friends and hanging out and getting to know each other. Something my ex and I never fully did (hence the divorce). We usually hang out two or three times during the week and then on the weekends. She just makes me laugh and smile and we have fun together. Taking my time so don’t worry everyone. I’m not gonna be dumb and jump into something majorly serious right away. Heck my divorce isn’t final for a few more days (more on that below). It’s just nice to have someone to hang out with and relax with instead of being alone all the time. 🙂

About the divorce. It takes 90 days from the time they stamp the papers we filed. That means it would be final Thursday, April 9, 2009. ANd while that is the case we can’t get the papers signed and finalized by the judge until the following Monday, April 13th. Why? Because of Jasper County budget cuts, judges that we have to see are only in the courthouse on Mondays now. So it’s getting dragged out a few more days. Oh well. So be it. Just want it done and final.

So that’s about it for updates right now. Just enjoying life and taking my time. Oh and pray for my step-mom is going in for surgery tomorrow (4/8/09) to remove a cyst. They don’t think it’s cancerous but they never know until it’s out. So yeah keep her in your thoughts and prayers everyone. Take care.

Random Thoughts

I wrote this back on December 10, 2008. Before I knew the truth about my soon to be ex-wife, etc. I’ll admit I got pretty mad at God when everything that went down went down. I’ll admit I’ve fallen to the wayside ever since and haven’t returned to church since December. I tell myself I’m gonna go and then I don’t. I know that I will in due time. I just have to go when I know it’s right and not force it. I figured I’d repost this here though because it’s still the truth. Enjoy

So here I sit reflecting on the past few days. I’ve become closer to God and I’m praying almost everyday. I’m wondering why this couldn’t have happened sooner in my life before my world had started to fall apart. I guess God wanted me to get on my knees when I truly needed him and that time has come. I won’t go into details but those of you out there that need to know the details already know them. Just keep my family and me in your prayers daily.

I find myself still struggling with my words. I’ve has a foul mouth for years. I know when to control it but for the most part the words fly out of my mouth that are vulgar and wrong to use. I pray daily for God to help me with this problem and I feel he’s doing it. Allbeit slowly but it’s still happening. The first thing I noticed is that I was becoming aware when I said a cuss word. Something I don’t think I ever did. Before they’d just fly out and I’d think nothing of it. Now I catch myself in my head when one slips out. I have been asking God’s forgiveness when this happens. Again something I’ve never done before. I just have to have faith that he will continue to help me stop this.

I’m also continuing to ask him for help with my mouth in regards to not arguing. It’s hard to stop doing something that’s been a part of your personality pretty much your entire life. I just have to have faith he will help me.

I’m still going to counseling and I honestly feel it’s helping. I just wish the bills would disappear. It’s not cheap that’s for sure. Granted four sessions cost me $104 but still right now that’s $104 we don’t have extra of.