Hot Pepper Parenting

Hot Pepper Parenting

This is by no means an article on how to use hot peppers to discipline your children. I am not advocating that at all!  Hot sauce and hot peppers are great,  I enjoy the heat, the challenges and just the whole “augmented” experience that adding peppers brings to my meals.Heat

So now that there is an ALS http://twitter.com/hashtag/ALSPepperChallenge?s=09 (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis )challenge going on involving hot peppers, this has inspired me to write about how I feel eating hot peppers and parenting are similar. I am sure this will open the flood gates of opinions in both the parenting and hot pepper corners. Both parenting and eating hot peppers presents their own unique challenges and situational dilemmas. Lets slam into this fun comparison and see where we end up!!

When drawing the lines between the two respected corners I started to notice that there were some very distinct parallels that just could not be ignored. In an effort to be concise, I will highlight my top 5, and if there are any additional point be sure to let me know for a follow up post!!

Top 5 Hot Pepper and Parenting comparisons

  • Uncertainty
  • Taking a Bite
  • Looking for the Challenges
  • Feeling the Burn
  • Its OK to Cry

Uncertainty

Uncertain
Not sure which way to go?

When you first start off as a new parent your are riddled with uncertainty. What do I do and what don’t I do? What can I expect? What if I mess up ! Who do I talk to?
The right path to parenting seems daunting and unclear. There are so many choices! You just have to go with your gut feelings and listen to the advice from trusted experts. Time and experience will become your most trusted tools. Combine that with determination and a clear mind and that will help you to figure out how to navigate through the new multitude of choices in front of you.

Same goes with eating hot peppers

Your approach to eating that new hot pepper in front of you should be JUST like parenting. You are uncertain. You are not quite sure what to expect. What if I have messed up and made a bad decision? Who should I talk to??
I know these are all questions I have asked myself before eating any new hot sauce or pepper? Just as with parenting Time and Experience are your best friends here(next to a glass of milk)
If you are wondering who to talk to about what you just ate. I’m pretty sure its not your friends, who are laughing at you as you sweat your face off.

Take a Bite

Take a Bite
Hot Pepper Parenting, Take a bite

In Parenting you have to measure the challenges ahead of you. You need to tackle them by taking one bite at a time. The surest way to get through many of life’s challenges is to just start. Don’t become overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.  Just One bite at a time.

Similarly, with eating peppers.

The fact is the task of eating that hot pepper in front of you can feel like an enormous undertaking. Your fear and anticipation make this little hot pepper feel like you are about to eat an exploding volcano. You got yourself here, so just take the first bite and work yourself through it!

Look for the Challenges

You don’t have to be a parent to know that there is a multitude of challenges in store for those that are in that phase of their lives. Everything from changing diapers, feeding, cleaning, sleeping, getting along, learning or just going to sleep. Early on in parenting there isn’t so much looking for the challenge, as they tend to smash you in the face and crash around you. Later on you tend to look and anticipate the challenges that may come your way. For example, will my son hide something under my pillow, or will my daughter sneak attack me in the middle of the night??! Surprises are nice but tend to get exhausting as the years go on. Anticipation is the key.

Again Hot Peppers are strangely similar!

Pepper Challenge
Hot Pepper

The Challenges are everywhere.  Everyone has their go to hot pepper challenges!  But as with most things in life there is always  a bigger, greater challenge down the road. A new hot pepper knocking on your door, picked and ready to surprise and destroy your taste buds. These hot pepper challenges are great because they are self imposed, and you can only blame the sweaty reflection of yourself in the mirror.

Feel The Burn

Muscle and mental fatigue is very common when parenting. I still can’t  feel my lower back due to the long hours of teaching my kids how to skate. My chiropractor loves this, but me, not so much!! The burn comes from the long hours spent trying to lift, move and just getting the kids to keep up with the daily grind of life. The mental burn is exhausting as well.  Its an exercise to  just  figure out what in the F!#!#! they are thinking about and why the do the things that they do. My head always hurts-I am still looking for a mental-practor.

Feeling the Burn while eating Hot Peppers is basically a two step process as well, just as parenting has a mental and a physical duality, eating Hot Peppers

Hot pepper parenting
Feel the Burn

also has a double edge sword  to it. I think it goes with out saying that if you eat Hot Peppers, you will Feel the Burn. If I need to spell it out to you, perhaps you should try some and get back to me.

Its OK to CRY

Crying out of frustration, or crying because you are so proud is OK . Crying in the morning, crying at night. Its all OK! Parenting, children,and crying all seem to go hand in hand, they form a sacrid trifecta. There is so much emotion, and pressure instilled on the shoulders of parents, that it’s a wonder there isn’t more sobbing parents. Parenting today is one hell of a challenge. Between the over extended time lines from school, extra curricular activities, managing appropriate bed times, healthy dinner plans, and just being available to listen is a large task to accept. That’s why everyone knows that its OK to just let it all out and have a good cry.

Hot Peppers again..

Fire
Ouch

Its OK to Cry. People know that the struggle is real. Whether you are crying because that Hot Pepper just kicked your ass, or you are crying because you can no longer feel your face, or the burn in your mouth is just too great. We get it!!
Just let it out!! and try again another time. Just bring your own box of Kleenex!

The similarities are staggering! Eating peppers and parenting share many common responses.  So if you are on the sidelines about whether or not you should be a parent or have another child, perhaps you should sit down with a bowl of hot peppers.

Slowly eat and enjoy.

This is the perfect time to just sit and contemplate .  Then  Boom,  the wave of inexplicable heat washes  over your body,  you become flush, and your life flashes before your eyes.

Finally, you can breathe a cool sigh of relief, and wipe the sweat from your brow.  This was all just a parenting trial run.  The wave of insanity was only fueled by hot peppers and not children. You can still walk away and enjoy the life you still have.  You can thank the world of hot peppers for saving you from decades of long uncertain challenges.   You can thank the  process of Hot Pepper Parenting.

Adjustment Period

Conversating

What a whirl wind adventure this has been. Going from 0 to 100 in 3 months. Learning the platforms, getting comfortable writing, and even just finding a form of expression that suits my personality has been an  exciting process!! The three month trial period is almost up and I feel there needs to be an adjustment.

ad·just·ment
[əˈjəstmənt]

NOUN
a small alteration or movement made to achieve a desired fit, appearance, or result:
“I’ve made a few adjustments to my diet” · [more]
synonyms: adaptation · accommodation · acclimatization · acclimation · habituation · acculturation · naturalization · assimilation · modification · alteration · regulation · adaptation · [more]
the process of adapting or becoming used to a new situation:
“for many couples there may need to be a period of adjustment”

 

Reading over my posts my other writings, I am amazed at what has been captured and posted. Theses initial  writings reflect only a small part of  my personality.  I suppose it must of been a  part that needed to be expressed.  I mean there is very little humour AND/OR  sarcasm, and even fewer thought provoking questions! That needs to change..

I have a  tendency to review, review and over think my thoughts and writings. So much so that the end product comes out completely different than I would speak in normal, uncensored life.

I feel like an English singer that steps up to the mic and instantly looses their accent whenever they sing. WTF. Where did it go.? It was there a minute ago. They spoke, they had the accent. BOOM. GONE

“The people”, the experts all say that blogging should be like you are having conversation over a cup of coffee. Thank god they didn’t say beer or this could be one messy blog!

I definitely have lots of thoughts that I would like to write about. My challenge will be finding that right tone . The tone needs to mimics how I speak , and how I get that tone to resonate within a  group. So with that, I guess I am trying to say that my blog will be trying to capture the essence of who I am.  This blog  was started to be my vehicle to record all the kick ass things I like doing and dabbling in.

And there is a lot !!

I love challenges. The feeling of breaking down and  solving  problems to  a positive and successful result is second to none.
As I started this journey my first two months worth of posts were experiments in writing and learning. The posts were an attempt at journaling, capturing images, and adjusting approaches in the crafting of a better blogging product.
The analytics of blogging I find to be super addictive. I love seeing that people all over the world are reading my stuff.. I still need someone from Greenland, South America, Russia and Europe to check in. Its kind of dark on my map in those regions. PS I know its Italy!

Pass it on.

I love seeing that there is some organic traffic and a consistent 5-10 views a day and growing. To me this is great…
But I know there is more to come!! More views, more strategies and more social networking. This process seems like the more you move forward, and learn the less you really  know.
That is the fun part.. There is so much to learn, so much to take in. I am excited about this journey ahead.
I am excited about changing the narrative to something that is more in line with my conversational-sarcastic and lite hearted outlook. By smiling in the face of sadness,  joking in the face of seriousness, and  writing closer to my true self,  I hope to establish that as my true Voice.
So with that I would like to say thanks to everyone who has tuned in for the first few months. The comments have started to  flood in and I appreciate it, hopefully the likes will follow.  I will continue to work on new and fun content. The next few months should be exciting and I can only guess as to how this experiment will turn out. Good or bad there will always be another round of Adjustments so that I can continually mold this blog to something that I can be proud of.

Besides, I’m sure you’ll let me know, either way!!

Psy-Clone

Stormy days

Psy-clone: Imperfections and All

This is a nice new little term that I coined to help describe the mental shit storm that wages in my mind. The psy-clones are the little disruptive whirl winds that drive through my thoughts, and create havoc in my daily life. They setup the perfect storm system of self doubt and insecurity.

They form very similarly to that of a cyclone, you know, the ones that utterly destroy tropical islands. The psy-clones take nice, warm thoughts, and mix them with cool negative thoughts and swirl them together to form a perfect whirlwind of mental chaos.
Like most storms these behemoths take a while to form. They brew and they swirl and they gurgle. They strengthen to the point where they just cannot be contained. Their momentous fury is launched and unleashed onto the unsuspecting public. I have become pretty adept at predicting when they will strike, but there is still a lot of damage prevention that needs to be done. It is time to  batten down the olde hatches and board up the walls, lock away the kids and the pets..just kidding. I don’t have any pets.

The warning signs are everywhere and my sirens go on high alert.

If only there was a meteorological app that I could buy , much like the weather network, that could help me predict when this type of mental storm will hit. I would know exactly what to do, and when to prepare. Unfortunately, this does not exist, and all I have to rely on is my internal triggers and my psychological histories.

I still wouldn’t buy the app though,   I am too cheap.

My psy-clone storms form when different areas of stress present themselves in my life. The overwhelming need to deal with all of it head on, or passively ignore it all comes swirling around my mind. The stresses could be.. something major like an accident to something minor like just leaving the house.

The day to day stresses around Work, Money , Personal-Relationships have caused me a great deal of anguish.

When I had my own company I would constantly have internal battles with my self as how much to charge for my services. I would continually downplay the value of my services so that the customer would always receive the best deals. It was always was a mental battle that left me exhausted and depressed.I knew I was completely screwing myself but I just had it in my mind that charging a premium wasn’t what you did. It was a massive road block in my mind, and try as I might,  I could never successfully deal with this particular hurdle. I lost a lot of money that way, so much so that I eventually had to close the doors and walk away from a business that I loved. For one reason or another I couldn’t break free from that psy-clonic thought pattern, and the results were disastrous..

“Are you out of your mind”

“Why do you keep making the same mistakes?”

These were the obvious questions that were asked continually.

I didn’t have the answers!!

Rationally, I knew the answers,  I knew them like the back of my hand. It was easy to tell others how to fix those same problems. I just couldn’t make my advise work for me. It was too personal and  too close.

I don’t know if this has happened to anyone else, I’m sure I’m not the only one? Right?

What mental conflicts have you faced in your work place?

In my personal life, my over thinking and self doubt has made me an interesting person to live with. My relationships have been strained by my unorthodox thinking. My relationships have been harder and definitely more stressful than I thought they ever really need to be.

“Why do you…?”

This is how alot of our conversations would begin..

“What were you thinking…”

That was another good one that I truly never get tired of ..
I never had an answer. It would leave me in a panicked state where I would  stare like a deer in headlights maybe like a Koala bear, for my friends in Australia.  I mean I wanted to change,  I talked to a lot of people about how to change. But at the end of the day I had my ruts. They were too deeply etched in my mind for me to get out of.
Looking back I still don’t have the answers as to how these ruts developed or how I became so easily stuck..
It could of been a deadly mix of self doubt, lack of confidence, parents divorce..blah blah blah.
Either way it sucks for the people around me..

It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to hear,

“Are you nuts, what’s the matter with you?”

I know it is said with a dash of jokes and a poke of seriousness. But at the end of the day I know my idiosyncrasies drives people(wife) nuts. It drives me nuts.

Even in my everyday life I just have to laugh. 

Before I leave the house I am a tapping, searching nervous wreck. I always employ the three tap point system before I walk out the door. I tap my pockets hopefully feeling for my wallet, hearing my keys and outlining my phone. If one of those crucial three ingredients are missing then all hell breaks loose.

Where could they be?

What was I wearing last?

Car, Upstairs drawer, Jacket.. utter comical chaos.

My everyday life.. as with the previous examples, gets this very special looping attention.

Entering traffic, job interviews, grocery shopping all endure my bouts of over thinking and genuine neurosis.

As with most things in my life I just laugh it off.
I know that this is a part of who I am. I always figured that I am my own worst enemy. If you were to see me on the street I am overtly happy and confident. I enjoy  talking to people (In small doses) and socializing. Sometimes though I just let myself become overwhelmed. But when the lights go off and no one is around I internalise the days and hours that have passed. I tend to think a lot, I Talk myself ( Only one sided) a lot…I’m a great one sided conversationalist.. I also tend to think and think and think some more about my problems of the day.

But I really don’t think I am unlike many of the people on this planet. I am a complete mish mash of random thoughts, routines, and patterns that are guided towards the unified goals of 

a) Enjoying my time while I AM alive
b) Making this planet better
c) Not screwing up my kids with the same crap that screwed me up.

Sure my friends and family know I am different. Sure they know my intentions are genuine, but above it all they know that I gave them the best that I had to offer!

I gave them the best of myself.

Father, husband, dad, brother, son and friend.

I gave them myself:

Psy-clonic Imperfections and all..

I can Achieve.. When I want to

The holidays were great, but it is time to get back to reality. I still have to go to a job, but  at the end of the day I  would love to be doing something else… I would like to feel like I can achieve something great..

a·chieve·ment

 

noun

  1. a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill.

  2. the process or fact of achieving something.

Don’t get me wrong, I earn a nice wage with fairly decent benefits, and the hours are great for our family schedule. To most people this would be a great work/life package, and overall it is “great-ish”  I do feel lucky to have a job, and to have the security it provides,  but at the end of the day I am almost always left feeling empty. There is always a part of me that knows I can achieve more than what I am currently doing.

I have an internal goal and achievement checklist which my current job is not hitting on at all . Unbeknownst to many, I am pretty hard on myself in regards to achieving, or not achieving,  my lifestyle goals.  When I say lifestyle goals, I don’t mean just Money. I am looking at the whole picture. I am gauging how I  do in sports, health, reading and creating.

I have an income goals, achievement goals, learning  and artistic goals that I would like to… smash. This makes me sound like I am going smash alot of stuff in 2018. I can literally visualise these parts of my future changing, I just have to want to..

Hammer time
Literally smashing my boundries

All I have to do is get these thoughts out of my head and into this reality.  As I write and edit this post, I feel that these goals are definetly attainable. I just need to focus and not loose track. I have a track record of becoming easily derailed and getting sent off onto another fruitless journey. As I mentioned in my last post, these are goals and not resolutions. They are being written down, published!! and broken down again  into smaller achievable chunks.

I  have committed myself to a taking a course on WordPress through Fanshawe college.  This educational step will hopefully give me some confidence to actively pursue this choice as a quality earning opportunity.

Learning is fun
Stay in school…Achieve

I will be committing myself to register in a Tough Mudder race in August. This aspect of my journey will help with my physical and mental conditioning.

Give it a try
Doin It

All of these choices reflect positive lifestyle choices  and symbolise change for the future. It is so easy to say I will do this and that later on, but I am not getting any younger and I need to start today.  Today… even if it is just the baby steps, it is a start.

Cart before the horse
Slow road to Achievement

Sometimes though it is easy to put the cart before the horse…  Its great to have all these goals, and dreams. But there are many parts to this dream that need to happen before this can become  a successful reality.

 

Vision, Pacing,  Patience and Follow through

Fore
The glory of Achievement

Vision

Like an Olympic athlete preparing for the race of their life  , or a golfer preparing for a difficult shot. I too must begin to prepare for this upcoming challenge, in my own way.

Being able to picture and envision the challenges ahead enables me to actively prepare for the upcoming road blocks. The challenges, pitfalls, and possible set backs can all be solved and dealt with mentally before any physical effort is ever used up. This is a great first step forward in an effort to adapt and embrace the new strategies for success. I find that even just planting the seeds of the challenge in my mind helps. I think about it even when I’m not actively thinking about it. The subconscious mind is a powerful tool and all to often the solutions are there and available to you. I just give it time, revisit it from time to time and the answers will come.

Pacing and Patience

I approach a lot of things like a buffet. I grab a plate and attack.   This is my tim

e to fill up on the meat and potatoes of life and still find room for all of the good desserts.  You can always go back later for the “other” stuff. I always miss things while I am in the excitement  of the moment and instantly regret the spontaneity of my choices. If only I had paced myself, and looked at all of my options.  A well thought out approach can reduce the regret and pain of spontaneous thinking. Sometimes slowing yourself down can allow your mind to weigh all the options without having the constraints of time and pressure.

Slow Down
Slow down to Achieve more

The struggle with patience in my everyday life is real. I want projects to be wrapped up, I want the  solutions and the answers now.  There is a quality in having patience. This quality helps me weigh the pros and cons of any scenario. Having patience helps me to avoid many  troubling situations and more times than not it saves me time from having to redo the effects of a  bad decision.  All  my life  I have had to  struggle with patience. It has been a battle to exercise  restraint and show that I can pace myself towards a positive outcome. My future is worth it, the positive outcomes that can be achieved just from slowing down my train of thought, pacing myself, and having some patience would be immense.

Follow Through

The follow through in this process is just as, if not more important than any of the other steps combined. Here is where many goals come to die. It is easy to dream, plan, and begin your journey towards accomplishing your dreams.  But if you can’t follow through to the finish line, then that’s as far as your aspirations will ever go. Conversely, if you do not have a clear image of your achievements that matches your vision you will surely fail.

Follow through
Follow through towards your Achievements

Everything needs to work in unison, just like the cogs of a wheel. The follow through needs to be on point and in line with what you would like to accomplish.  Like a highly trained athlete., their shots all rely on their follow through to guide them to their ultimate goals and achievements.

This will be the year I take aim at my dreams and goals. Using the method of Visualisation, Patience, Pacing and Follow Through ,   2018 will be the year I achieve… I just have to want to

 

 

Today was not my day to write

This is my first post of the year, and I have many more in the works. 

I totally intended this to be a little different but mother nature has had her way with me today. It has snowed here for many days and the unrelenting hours of digging and warming up have worn me out.

Be miserable, be happy. I choose happy
There is fun to be had, you just have to reframe how you look at it.

 I wish everyone a happy and safe New Years. I hope that people everywhere are enjoying this time to find what makes them happy while I am shovelling and watching hockey on this chilly January weekend.

So keep your head up in the corners and I’ll see you in future blog posts.