Gays in the Life

building our white picket fence.

Category: GITL

Not It!

I open my eyes slightly to see if Reynold has clocked my being awake. “I’m in the clear,” I think to myself as he stirs at the foot of the bed. “If I’m lucky, S will be on early morning potty duty.” Puppy dog already knows this is a fight he’ll always win, it’s just a matter of who will be accompanying him.

S and I brought Reynold home when he was only eight weeks old and from that moment on it was game over for me. Because I was the one doing most of the crate training and taking him out at all hours of the night, I immediately became the hey-dad-I-have-to-poop dad.

image1 (4)

I remain in my statue state. “Make eye contact, and you’re done.” I remind myself as I strengthen my act. When Reynold catches your eye it’s like facing Medusa, but instead of turning into stone, you end up taking him out or fetching the ball that’s stuck under the couch. The dude has an iron stare, for sure.

I make the mistake of twitching a bit, but S begins to move more than I in this moment. “YES.” You see, S messed up here because now Reynold begins to climb all over us and barrel roll his way between us; basically telling us to get our asses up so he can go on his morning stroll.

 

S slowly swings his legs over the side of the bed and I know I’ve won. Reynold is going on and on at this point. He does this weird mix of a growl and snort – it’s odd and hilarious – when he’s talking to us. I’m almost positive that these sounds paired with his raspy bark translates to “Hurry the EFF up, dad! I’ve got to go!”

FullSizeRender (6)

S makes his way towards our closet and Reynold begins to bounce uncontrollably all over the room. He knows he’s minutes away from getting to patrol the perimeter for birds and chipmunks. NOW I can open my eyes and play with him right before S takes him out.

“I Win. No morning poop duty for me today.” I revel in my small victory and enjoy the 15-pound monster that’s darting all over my bedroom. I love my dog, but this dad needs a break sometimes. So under these sheets is where I will stay until he and S are out the door 🙂

Reflect, Recharge, Repeat.

Work is just something we all have to do, and we’ve stopped fighting that fact. No one has to settle by any means, but it doesn’t have to feel like a death sentence. I’ve realized this recently whilst dealing with a mess of a scheduling issues and curveballs at the 9-to-5.

Before last week, I would come home in a drained state of mind. No activity sounded interesting and my drive to work on side projects suffered. S has always been better at managing this kind of energy. I’m so used to being upbeat that when any hint of darkness presents itself, it flourishes in no time at all. 

FullSizeRender (5)

I’ve been letting work consume my spirit. Good days fly by and the bad ones linger; why is that? Because in my mind there is always another version of the way a scenario could have played out. At the end of the day, if some customer is pissed or you aren’t seeing eye to eye with the boss, don’t bring that home. Who wants that under their roof? Keep the clouds outside.

I’ve been really into the following quote from RuPaul lately:

“Don’t take life too seriously and have fun. Don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.”

Over the past handful of weeks I’ve dug deep into myself to work through this uncertainty. Uncertainty about whether to stay or go. Uncertainty about the person I’m morphing into in this role. Uncertainty about if I can do this and chase my dreams. Queen Uncertainty seemed to be stirring the pot and mixing a fierce trouble stew.

 

You’ve all heard me go on about work life and balancing life outside of the office. It’s taken some time – even after those previous posts – and self-reflection to really get to the bottom of that. When I come home now, I’m only focused on the positive. My focus and energy after 4:30 PM go toward my goals that need a little more nurturing, S, and our pup.

image1 (3)

It’s been nice not worrying about mediocre days at the office or dwelling on nonsense that I can’t truly impact in the moment. I’m in control and in the end, I know what’s next for me and that’s exciting. Banking this focus and energy has provided me the ability to laugh at a not-so-stellar day at work or elsewhere. Did I mention S thinks my moods at home have improved greatly? (laughs out loud)

So, everyone, “don’t waste your time on things that your ego will try and convince you are important.” Because wasted energy is wasted life. I know I do a great job at work, so I’m not going to sweat the little things. Passion haunts anything I’m a part of, including work, but I finally see how I need to manage that moving forward. This was a long one! Thanks for reading.

J.

Zen Managed.

Every now and then I need to step away from a project to let the creativity breathe. A couple of things happened during my little WordPress hiatus: (1) Work became a bit busy for S and I – duh –  and (2) we decided not to let that bog us down.

In older GITL posts, I’ve discussed how work had a huge tendency to impact our spirits and motivation. Maybe it’s the effects of our vacation just now catching up to us, but we are completely unbothered these days and I think it feels pretty damned awesome.

We spent Memorial Day weekend with friends and family in Southern Indiana. The Flecks showed us around Evansville and introduced us to a couple breweries and a new restaurant. Carson’s Brewery had this amazing banana beer and The Dapper Pig’s crab cakes were SO good.

 

Beer is the one item I miss being a low-carber, but like I’ve said in past, “If I want some? I’ll have some.” The trick was ordering flights – each flight being four, 5 oz servings –  instead of multiple 16 oz glasses of IPAs. The 5 oz flight-size remained an option to consume more, so we stuck to this and didn’t feel like absolute trash the next day for dipping in the carb pool.

image2

The campsite on the family farm is where we spend most of our time together during a long weekend like Memorial Day. S’s parents have the area set up so two campers can park and be used comfortably, along with any tents or big toys for the kids. The edge of the camp is rounded out by wire fence, giving the horses access to the occasional snack from the family and to say hello.

Time spent with the family down south is always a good time and a great way for us to calm down. The strong sense of calm that lingers after coming home to Indy is undeniable and gives us a good boost for the days ahead. The forecast is showing clear skies and being unbothered for a good while. Now! Back to side hustles and creativity.

 

Cheers,

3 Years A Husband.

Anniversaries happen every year, yet I’m still unsure where the time goes so quickly. “So, does being married feel any different?” I’ll ask good friends after receiving a save-the-date magnet – I know they aren’t technically married yet, but come on – or during their wedding receptions.  It’s a question we got from family and friends after our courthouse ceremony.

Being married feels no different to us and I never expected it would. We’re the same two schmoes that met in a wild and crazy bar during our college years, but sure, we’ve calmed way down in the party category. While we now have a legal title, everything feels as it did when we first became boyfriends in Fall 2011; fun and mostly light (lol).

10277395_10104168545692879_7426146033520723077_n

Remember, not all relationships are the same. Having each other and keeping up with our joint goals is enough to drive our relationship and keep us flourishing. Nine times out of ten we are on the same page when it comes to any topic within our marriage. And if we aren’t? We take some time to discuss and get to the bottom of it.

A big factor that’s been adding to our relationship recently is encouragement. We’ve always pushed each other to do our best in all aspects of life, but it became extremely important this past year and a half when we ran into challenges in the corporate world. Wishing anything for an opportunity to run away from angst and frustration, we were able to keep each other focused and sane. I’m not sure how I would make some of the decisions that come my way without S.

10320546_10104168557299619_1034764304686785408_n

We truly take each day at a time. If there were some super secret to share, believe me, I would. I can count on one hand how many fights we’ve had in our almost six years together and we won’t be adding to that number anytime soon. I will say this: Keep each other level. It’s amazing what happens when balance is present in a relationship.

We’ll see what new lesson I’ve learned when year four is upon us.

Will You Go Out With Me?

Dating. It’s so important once you’re married. Any person that’s been in a long-term relationship knows this to be true. Long days (and nights) at the job start to eat away at you mentally and physically. Weekends seem to be the only time you can hang out, but somehow you’ve overbooked yourselves. You begin to question whether you’re slipping away from yourself and/or the relationship because there’s not enough time or energy for “us” time. That is when insecurity and doubt surface.

 

The great thing about S and I is that we can discuss these insecurities and doubts and figure out how to work through the fog. Just today we’ve identified that we’ve become too comfortable relaxing and hanging out on the couch together; binge watching old seasons of America’s Next Top Model. The mental fatigue that comes with working in the corporate world can’t rule every ounce of energy we have left in our free time together. It’s time to fight the lazy and rediscover who we are as a couple.

So what do we do? That’s the question. We’re both almost too easy to please and can never seem to decide what sounds fun; I know how that sounds. Thank goodness summer is near because at least we’ll be able to get back to our regular evening walks. Whatever it is we decide to do, it’ll be together. Our third wedding anniversary is next week – CRAZY – so we’re taking that as our cue to get regular date nights scheduled. In the past, I didn’t like the idea of scheduling time together. I see now that it’s a necessary pleasure.

Hello, There! Why is Vacation Over?

 

FullSizeRender (4)

 

Big thanks and WELCOME to all the new followers that joined us over the past couple weeks. I can’t express how much your interest and curiosity means to us as I grow the Gays in the Life platform.

 

We had some family visiting this past week from Alaska and Florida, so forgive the lack of content. Sometimes you just need to disconnect and enjoy the moment. Here are some things you can look forward to on Gays in the Life in the coming days:

 

  • More relationship and marriage discussion.
  • Interviews and topic reviews with S (and other couples)!
  • More vlog (video blog) content to highlight past, present, and upcoming topics.

Thanks again for all your support! Don’t forget to share Gays in the Life with friends and family, and to reach out on all social media @GaysintheLife. We look forward to getting to know all of you in the comments and the GITL inbox – gaysinthelife@gmail.com.

Let us know how we’re doing!

Stay zen,

A Deck of a Mess

Home ownership is the most frustrating thing at times. Our only goal today was to pressure wash our deck and clear it of old paint the weather had already begun to peel up. The plan was simple: Get to Home Depot right when the tool rental counter opened, pressure wash the deck, and return the washer with plenty of time to spare within our 4-hour rental window.

I don’t like housework that involves anything on the outside of the house. When it comes to the inside of the house and decor, it’ll always be on and poppin’, clean and sparklin’. Both our moods shifted when we realized this was going to take longer than we’d planned.

The plan never goes like it should, though. S and I of all people should know this with all the adventure we’ve had with our condo already. The tip we needed, for the spray nozzle,  to make the most progress removing the paint was broken. Not wanting to waste too much time, we immediately packed the washer up and returned to the store.

image1 (2)

We didn’t know the tip was the issue before the customer service rep tested our machine and the replacement in the store. Deep down we were thankful, because on the car ride over, we both thought “If something is wrong with our water pressure and this house, we will rage.” We ended returning home with our original rental and a new tip.

Sadly, the new tip made no difference in the rate at which the paint was coming off the deck. We imagined the paint would just fly off as the water made contact, but this was far from the case. S and I spent a good amount of time switching roles on the project. Scraping and spraying, we longed for larger pieces of paint to come up, but found we were barely making any progress. Our good friend, Google, ended up informing us that the machine we’d rented from Home Depot was only half the power required to execute a project like ours.

image2 (2)

This made sense. Why in the hell were we spending ten or more minutes spraying one spot, only to see a speck of paint chip off at a time? This couldn’t be right. We confirmed gas pressure washers were stronger, but were also instructed not to go that route because there’d be a high risk of damaging our deck. S called his dad and we’ll be borrowing his pressure washer next weekend. It’s the right amount of power, and our deck isn’t huge, so we should be able to get the work done in a decent amount of time.

Sigh… maybe we can hire some eye-candy to do this for us. Probably not, but a dude can wish, can’t he?

All Work. Hopefully Some Play.

I’m frustrated. Frustrated because most of my family lives outside of Indiana. Frustrated because my brother is coming to visit the first week of May, and I’m not sure if S will be able to get any time off. As a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) at a corporate establishment, it’s hard for S to get off during their month-end-close weeks – the last week of the month were all deadlines and balances are due. This visit was originally planned as a surprise and falls during the week of my brother’s birthday. Unfortunately, the first week of May happens to be one of these ridiculous weeks where S will probably be working late and won’t have much free time.

 

That’s the business I suppose. My corporate gig is much more lax and doesn’t run on any tight deadlines; making it much easier to say “Hey, I’m going to be out for a week. Cool? Thanks.” I know this isn’t anything S can control. He’s an extremely hard worker, and by the sounds of most post-work download moments at home, he’s always helping team members with their tasks and keeping productivity stay at a decent level.  

 

Sure, some notice before flights were purchased would have been nice, but it was a surprise. My brother had no idea until after the flights were scheduled. Blame is not what I’m looking to place. I’m more just hoping that S’s job can find a way to survive without him for a couple to a few days that week, or at least let him leave at a decent time since his brother-in-law is coming to visit from 3,800 miles away.

 

As soon as we found out my brother would be visiting, I thought “let your job know, if that’s your busy week, so they can plan for your absence, be flexible, or plan to step it up that week.” From what I understand about the accounting world, you can only plan so much and a lot of how smoothly the gig is executed depends on your team. Currently I’m a supervisor in corporate customer service, so sacrifice and hard work is something I know a thing or two about… Accounting versus Customer Service – they both have their pros and cons as they relate to each other. From a leadership point of view, I’m thinking “Why aren’t your other team members as good a S? Can no one dig as deep as he does, Monday through Friday, and get the job done?”

 

That’s the gift and curse of leadership – having to carry others, even when you don’t really want to at times, but then you’re reminded why you’re a leader – you know deep down why you’re a leader – with that amazing feeling of accomplishment.

 

In the end I’m more aggravated because S always deserves a break and rarely takes one for himself. If there was any way he could get at least two days off the week of the visit, I’d be happy, but we’ll have a great time no matter what ends up happening with his work schedule. I’m annoyed at the timing of things, BUT I’m beyond stoked to spend my brother’s twenty-eighth birthday with him. The last time my siblings and I were all together was Summer 2014. With sis now living just down the road in Bloomington, we’ll be sure to have a great week together.

 

Last night I received a text from one of our great family friends, asking/letting me know that he’d be joining my brother on this trip – he’s basically a brother to us. He’s coming up from Florida, so we’ll have visitors from opposite corners of the country! Schweeeeet.

 

End vent/ramble/whatever-this-post-was…

Adventures in La La Land

I had no idea that uploading and processing would take close to three hours today! What the #^&%, but whatever. Thank you for your patience.

There were a ton of things I wished had worked out better with filming, but I’m beyond pumped about the final product.  We didn’t get to go hiking, see the Hollywood sign, or do a handful of other touristy California things, but we were so happy to be outside of Indiana for a bit that it didn’t even matter.

The video you’ll see is a collection of moments spent in Los Angeles with Queen Ebeth Warren herself. We spent a lot of time in West Hollywood – duh – checked out an awesome ketogenic coffee bar, I bumped into some random cute guy I follow on Instagram in a bar called Trunks – a mess, I know – checked out Venice Beach, ate Kardashian salads, and caught some cool views on the Go Pro while driving around town.

(We tried to see the Chinese Theatre, but the road was blocked off by Oscars setup crews. That was kind of neat to see – the setup for a crazy huge red carpet event.)

There was this amazing moment in the Frolic Room in Hollywood. An older gentleman came over to the three of us and shared a story of how he met a sultry Doris Day as a young delivery boy in LA. I began recording only a couple short minutes after he’d come over to us. I knew he’d share some Hollywood gold with us. His energy was so warm and you could tell this man had lived. The only reason the clip didn’t make the video was because of music in the background. Damned licensing and copyright laws…

I hope you enjoy the following bits of our trip! Thanks for watching and stay tuned for the Seattle video – I’m pumped to get to work on that one.

It’s Feeling Like Home Again.

Today wrapped the last day of the SECOND floodgate restoration. For those of you who haven’t been following along, this is the second year in a row that we’ve had to have our floors replaced.

Our floors had only been down for nine months before the second leak occurred – a couple weeks away from Christmas. Here we are at the middle of March and we finally have our zen space back.


The crew this time around was better than we could have hoped. It really only took a few months because of scheduling – waiting for the crew to wrap up prior commitments. Everything came together pretty quickly once they got started.

We’re taking the past two years in remodel mayhem as a sign to change things up. We’re in the process of rearranging the living room and I WILL have arts n’ things on the walls before my brother and his girlfriend come to visit in early May.

✌🏾