Gays in the Life

building our white picket fence.

The Key

Gays in the Life

Communication is the key to life. Communication is the key to love. Communication is the key to us… Will you communicate with me? – TLC & Dallas Austin. “Communicate-Interlude.” Fanmail 1999.

Communication will make or break any relationship. What do people fear when they’re finally in their own relationships, or marriage? One thing I knew I would have to respect – maybe “fear” is the wrong word – within my relationship was the communication aspect.  This stems mostly from growing up in a two parent home, up to the age of sixteen, just to watch it all fall apart because my parents did not communicate properly within their situation. Do I think my parents would have stayed together if they did communicate effectively? No, probably not, but I think they would have gotten to a better place as peers – raising their three children together – faster than…

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Loser

I’m such a bad loser. Most of the time I can feel myself getting angrier if I’m not doing as well as I’d like to be.

Back in high school I was on the varsity bowling team and I would be so annoyed if I scored anything lower than 175; my highest game bowled is 257.

 

I can remember every sour note and terrible solo performance from my high school band days and still haven’t revisited those recordings since then; I graduated in 2005.

Flash forward to today. The people playing Mario Kart online today are ruthless and I’ve been stuck at the back of the pack.

As mentioned above, I could feel myself growing angrier with each shell that met my cart; with each explosion I run into. My subtle bitching turned into silence. Still doing my best, I could see it just wasn’t happening for me today and I’d lost way too many points.

 

I could feel S looking out the corner of his eyes to gauge how agitated I’d become. I suppose it was my turn to be full of rage because of a video game today – usually it’s him!

Oh well. We like to have a couple drinks and play video games to decompress when we’re hanging out at the house. Maybe I’ll do better later.

He’s still playing at the moment. I had to step away.

The Little Things Interlude

It’s the little things.

Like watching him get ready and realizing

How handsome he is right before a night on the town.

Damn.

Can’t we just stay home?

He never wants to skip anything productive with me.

That says more about me than it does him, ha.

But, come on…

Who is this monster?

Crispy button-up shirt and fitted jeans,

Appropriate accessories and casual Vans.

I did that.

And don’t forget the coffee.

(A queen’s gotta survive the night and keep the Zs away.)

Homie didn’t drink coffee OR eat spicy food before me.

(Enter dramatic sigh here)

It’s the little things.

But seriously…

Netflix and chill?

 

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.

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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!”

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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,

7 minutes

I make it a point to meditate for seven (silent) minutes after a morning yoga session. It’s a great way to workout any lingering cloudiness before you head into the office. I must say, then zen is here today. I’m completely unbothered and calm, but I’m still a work in progress; Only a couple of emails have received a slight side-eye today. If any of you are familiar with corpse pose in yoga, that’s a great position to meditate and process in as well. 

Be zen, 

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).

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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.

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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?

 

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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,