Saturday, July 26, 2014

Curtis' continual conundrums

conundrum according to wikipedia ( June, 2015): ":A logical postulation that evades resolution, an intricate and difficult problem."AKA dead-ends, "struggles"

Unfortunately my list is long:
All or nothing thinking: extreme polarization of problemsolving reasoning, or the lack thereof
((As an example, look at my following common conundrums)
"Don't Forget" written on the inside of my wedding ring. This reminds me of a talk I heard at EFY that made connections from the LION KING and the Gospel, Simba being us and Mufasa our Heavenly Father, Pumba the Relief Society Pres. Rafiki the Holy Ghost, and the idea of us needing to remember who we really are, as it has to do with our search for meaning in this life.
Isolation: thinking that I am the only one who has ever felt this way or has to deal with my specific problems. Alone
Avoidance: not wanting to really deal with life and escaping in this cycle.
Self-pity:"Woe is me" party
"Compensating curt" is what some of my therapists at Neuroworx call me because I gave a Knack of getting things done, the right or wrong way,  I still get it done.
Futility of my endless search for a panacea
Habitual exhaustion, a side effect of getting older + a TBI
Uneasy disatisfaction with myself, i am not yet a reovered perfectionist.  I've got a long way to go. A work in progress. Wanting patience,  but right now
hindsight's learning curve for example I think I proof read before ii post here, only to reread them here in embarassment, in hope to not have exposed my haste to my vunerability and need to connect with others, but on the other side my self-preservation and CHAMPION facade
living life in reverse, post-accident
"I'm a grenade" taken from 'A Fault in our Stars" the feeling that I will eventually and inevitably let others & myself down.
My tendency of painting myself into a corner, in my attempt to see both sides of a problem.
TMI: I over share as a DW, writing diva but feel that words are inadequate
boredom: that's when I get into trouble
exhibition & TMI: wanting everyone to learn from my experience, but refusing to learn  and become what I need to. I keep telling Lex that I didn't choose to come back, just to make the same mistakes again and yet I still struggle. I want to be a CHAMPION,  but there are days I feel more like a chunpion.

update:Summer reading, Shrek the musical, & moving fun

Lexy doesn't get the summer off, but instead gets to spend it prepping for the next school year by reading books like, 'Man's search for meaning' and 'As aMan Thinketh' as well as 'Peter Pan,' just to name three. As if moving wasn't enough fun, she and Abby are also in Murray City's production of SHREK the musical with rehearsals almost every week night and all day Saturdays. their performance will be :July 31, Aug 1-2. I am trying to stay cool, our A/C keeps our home at about 82 but won't go any cooler and am making our new place a "wheelchair-free"space by only walking while at home! I am exhausted, but CHAMPION, I even took the one step down into our living room  without the use of a person or a wall, it was only with the coaxing and then cheering from Lex.
I feel that things are coming together, we are slowly, but surely transitioning out of"the" living out of boxes and where does this go?" stage of moving.I still check my email and do online blogging here at my in-laws, because our computer is MIA as a casualty of moving. It is exciting to have a place that I know will be ours for the rest of our life. It is feeling more and more like home. It is a very nostalgic feeling.
I have been bombarded with the message in my life's therapy that things will work out. I love having a sure foundation of a caring, loving family, that are so close now. We miss our old neighborhood, but having family close and with knowing and experiencing the truth that good people are everywhere. One day at a time . . .

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I was going to make a post with the title, Underwhelmed, but, it is not my intent to come across as uppity or superior in anyway to anyone else. I find that I if I am not challenged or get bored,as well as unable to relate with others, I find/make trouble. I've been joking with my Pa and twin brother that we should take the MCAT just to see what we would get. They look at me as if I was as crazy as I really am.Maybe I'll take the LSAT with my brother-in-law, or teach my kids Spanish, while attempting to keep them alive as well, challenging enough.
Lex and I were able to visit with our new home teachers,Jake Chalmers and Mike Roach, both teachers by profession. They were eager to get to know us better and asked about how my progress as well as my overall diagnosis/potential is. I was happy to tell them about Neuroworx and the amazing hope that I continue to find there, adding that if I could survive the winters with the 'cabin fever' that I get, I just might make it. 
I recently went to a guys get together at Matt's home and enjoyed the company of good high school friends. We played Lord of the Rings RISK, and I am happy to report that we are all still friends.
I have been focusing on getting through some of the 6 books that I was reading, in the 'God Who Weeps,"Holiness is found in how we treat others, not in how we contemplate the cosmos." the authors continue on, emphasizing the need for relationships,"As our experiences in marriages, families, and friendships teach us, it takes relationships to provide the friction that wears down our rough edges and sanctify us. And then, and only then, those relationships become the environment in which those virtues are best enjoyed."
In moving back to the ward that I grew up in, it feels like I'm coming home. It is touching to have ward members and neighbors come up to me with the biggest grin on their faces, telling me that they're excited to have us.
I, as Coleman put it so sasinctly, "You're just a slow dad." That I am, but I'm happy to be here, especially knowing how close I was to dyeing,  I cannot believe that it has been 5 years on August 1st. Anywho, I finally googled "living with a TBI" and came across this website,  here I learn that I am not as alone as I thought I was. I appologize that I went into a isolation funk, it happens to everyone, but as I teach my kiddos, "if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?" Maxwell's come back to picking his nose is, "all boys do it." So, in my effort to not be a hypocrate, I'm admitting my fault and becoming vulnerable,  in my new read of The Gifts Of Imperfection, the author writes that sharing our imperfections really endear us to eachother. Since we all struggle with something, the common thtead in humanity is our striving to overcome them.I'm glad that I am in CHAMPION company.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Let it go" to "Everything is Awesome"

-from Frozen and the LEGO movie, yes I'm branching out from PBS Kids territory. I wake up singing Svien and Christoph's duet and love it when I get my kids to join in and even correct me. I still need a bunch of help with Olof's song too.I keep blaming the fact that Abby's life is a musical on Lex, maybe I should rethink that.
Lex has to remind me on a daily basis to calm down about something, to just, "Let it go."
On a LEGO movie note, I woke up the day after we had moved into our home and couldn't find where I had packed my jeans and did not want to wear PJs all day and so I found myself saying, "Honey, where are my Pants?" I got a chuckle out of Max and Coleman. It was worth it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Face it

I started a new book, Tuesdays with Morrie, and besides being surprised that I haven't heard of this book before now am equally surprised at how much I am enjoying it and all the life lessons that it parallels in my own life. I am not dying and grateful for that fact. I did choose to come back to this life, a fact that I remind myself continually as I face life's daily challenges. Morrie talks about the need to fully immerse yourself in your feelings so that you can own them and then detach yourself if that is what you choose to do. Confusing? Let's review, You feel something, like fear. You do not want to be afraid, so your instinct is to fight it or avoid it, but Morrie's approach is to feel it completely so that you first know what it is, being self-aware in Candeo/psych terms. and then you are able to 'replace it' - another Candeo term, or as Morrie calls it detach yourself and choose something else.
I face the fact that there are consequences to my TBI;
  • My reality is not real, confusing again- I get that a lot- I cannot see everything and have a prism sticker on my glasses to help me not run into walls, something I struggle with although they have already been patched once by Lex and her parents.I want to be able to drive again, so to make lex's life easier, but feel mad that I am not there yet, because of this vision cut and not compensating enough, as well as still getting sick to my stomach to even think of the possibility
  • I am off balance, my center of gravity is over my right side as my brain does not recognize my left side. This makes life safer to be in a wheelchair. I long to be free of this restraint, but am also afraid of the comfort that the safety of not falling offers to me. Morrie would call this a "tension of opposites.".Life is full of them.
  • I want to fulfill the role of provider and am mad that I am not in that role right now in my life.I get anxious and am afraid of losing my sense of masculinity, never mind that Lex owns and uses all our power tools at home and at work. Not saying that she isn't feminine.She is just a problem solver and power tools help you solve more problems.

Friday, July 4, 2014

I NEED to change.

I don't want to, but that's part of life."This is for you Curtis, he is speaking directly to you."" I was texted by my Bishop during the Priesthood session of LDS General Conference this past April during Elder Halstrom's talk titled "What Manner of Men." When he stated,"Several decades ago I was serving as a bishop. Over an extended period I met with a man in our ward who was many years my senior. This brother had a troubled relationship with his wife and was estranged from their children. He struggled to keep employment, had no close friends, and found interaction with ward members so difficult he finally was unwilling to serve in the Church. During one intense discussion about the challenges in his life, he leaned toward me—as his conclusion to our numerous talks—and said, “Bishop, I have a bad temper, and that’s just the way I am!”
That statement stunned me that night and has haunted me ever since. Once this man decided—once any of us conclude—“That’s just the way I am,” we give up our ability to change. We might as well raise the white flag, put down our weapons, concede the battle, and just surrender—any prospect of winning is lost. While some of us may think that does not describe us, perhaps every one of us demonstrates by at least one or two bad habits, “That’s just the way I am.”
Well, we meet in this priesthood meeting because who we are is not who we can become. We meet here tonight in the name of Jesus Christ. We meet with the confidence that His Atonement gives every one of us—no matter our weaknesses, our frailties, our addictions—the ability to change. We meet with the hope that our future, no matter our history, can be better.
When we participate in this meeting with the “real intent” to change (Moroni 10:4), the Spirit has full access to our hearts and minds. As the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “And it shall come to pass, that inasmuch as they … exercise faith in me”—remember, faith is a principle of power and of action—“I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together” (D&C 44:2). That means tonight!" I am grateful for a Bishop that loves me as a friend and continues to aide me to reach my potential.I will miss him.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Poor young rich boy . . . "

-'Ragtime' I asked my twin brother, if I was alone in thinking that I was just a spoiled rich kid, he confirmed that he had felt that way, "Only all the time." I wonder what the use is of demeaning myself all the time? Life is hard enough without me trying to beat myself up, a funny mental picture, of me laying on the ground trying to do just that, provides some much needed comic relief. especially with this self-pity post that I've been sitting on and revising for over 6 months now.

This is an intimacy post or as I have learned first from Dr. Jeff Robinson and the from Candeo is more accurately written as "in to me see."If I want to be intimate with others, they need to know who I am.
I am the prodigal son, finally and continually "Coming to myself" and making my way back. I know that true repentance is not found in only the steps, but in the turning towards our Heavenly Father. Having a change of heart, takes "changing it one fiber at a time," another life lesson from my Pa.I also heard a friend in my ward Ryan VanOrden say that, "repentance is really just homesickness for our Heavenly Home." I like that and think that I often give repentance a bad rep, when in reality it is the only way that we are able to progress.
"Where much is given, much is required.(D&C 82:3)" I best get my act together and get giving.
The pink elephant in the room is that I was excommunicated and now am on the road back. Rebaptized a few years ago and working on full restoration of blessings. Not that anyone needed to know, but my life continues to teach me that it is not about what you have, but what you give. In the words of Jack Rushton in his book, It's great to be Alive, "Life is for giving."
I was able to sit and chat with my grandma Baugh the other day, she made it seem like I was doing her a favor by listening to her stories, but it was her doing me the favor in taking the time to share and teach me. She spoke of what a wonderful wife I have and how she was impressed by Lexy's blog writing around the time of the accident because of how she was able to gratefully accept help from others. She told me a story that was shared in her ward of a boy that was born crippled, both mentally as well as physically that wanted to play baseball, his parents signed him up and he played, never hitting a ball or running to a base. It was the championship game and his team was down one, with a runner on second when he got up to bat. The coach of the other team went out to the pitchers mound to tell his pitcher that this was a done deal, an easy out. The boy pitcher took a long look at the ball, and another. He tossed it underhanded as this boy at bat swung, but did not hit the ball.The pitcher got the ball again and studied it longer this time before he tossed it again, this time the boy hit the ball only a few inches from where he stood. The catcher picked up the baseball and studied it as well before throwing it well out of the first baseman's reach.
Tieing this back to the title, With our visit with Kirin, we touched on parenting our kids and the fine line between giving them the best opportunities that we are able to and not getting them trapped into feelings of entitlement, something about raising parents. It's annoying when people quote themself, eh?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2 thing you need to survive

according to a therapy session my sister in law Emily had with her son Austin.
#1.Positive Attitude, she talked about how the therapist said that a ratio of 1 to 1, negative to positive  daily comments in a marriage will lead it to end. Our school-aged kids are getting 18 to 1 on average!
I mentioned this to my Pa during one of our Thursday Therapy sessions and he added that if one were to get enough of these two things, you could not only survive, but thrive. I concur.

Return with Honor: Mission Memoirs#9

I am not doing a CHAMPION job of keeping track, but I wanted to tell of my meeting one of my best friends at the end of my mission, Elder Christopherson was in my zone and he and his companion lived with me and Elder Torriani. For some reason this man loved me and could read my anxieties that I had about life. I opened up to him and he did so to me in return. I found out that someone could know you and all your insecurities and still love you and befriend you. Thanks Chris for your love and example of what it means to be a CHAMPION  friend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oasis time with Kirin

Kirin is a friend of Lexy's and mine from high school. She was in Lexy's girl group of friends who were "cupcake princesses" and she would get me to become a "life-size" Curtis by snapping her fingers and I would go down to my knees next to her.
She was in town and has kids the same age as ours. It was great to let them play while Lex and I caught up with her. She is amazing and we are blessed to have her as our friend. I love to see the world through her eyes as faithful Muslim mom.
Where to start on conversation? Let's start with the idea of oasis. Kirin was only planning to stay for an hour or so, but got lost talking with us since the kids were playing so well together. When she realized that it was dinner time she apologize over and over again, as I tried to explain to her that we were as lost in the oasis of having catch up time with her as she was.Since the kiddos were entertaining themselves, this was a lot easier to do.
We chatted about a myrid of things, including how funny it was that Lexy's high school students didn't know how to address an envelope and the fine line we have as parents to give our kids the best, yet not to do everything for them so as to not set them up for unrealistic expectations about life.To how great it was for her to be living back east with this southern states feeling of hospitality and yet in a place where there are many others of her faith, she laughed when she made light of getting together with other Muslim moms who had picked up a southern drawl.