Daughter with Depression by Divorced Dad Does

I write this blog because my daughter is depressed. Actually she is a 15-year-old diagnosed with high anxiety, and depression and is also on the low part of the autism scale. She is a 15-year-old teen that who is scared of Covid-19, scared to learn to drive, scared of having friends, scared of messing up, scared of being scared…..I think you get the point.

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I myself have depression too. Growing up ADHD I usually just pushed through anything in my way. The day that put pushed me to the other side was the middle of my freshman year in college. As we all know that can be a “weed out” year for many. I flunked English and did not do much better in anything else. I was in a fraternity that voted me President of the Pledges which meant anytime someone messed up I was involved in being hazed. (p.s. — frats are really pretty dumb in general…I wished I would have taken a different path). I had no idea how to properly study etc. I cracked, was put on Prozac back in the early nineties and proceeded to sleep my life away because that is basically what Prozac did back then. Load you up, make you sleep and guess what….you can’t be depressed because you are asleep at two in the afternoon. What I am basically saying is I know how my daughter feels and it’s almost like I am experiencing her depression.

Now that I am in my late 40’s I also know how to handle my depression. I have the correct meds that keep me even and stable. I also know how to keep my depression at bay by running, biking, walking. Exercise for me is a big key to keeping my spirits and body on the positive. I also can feel when things could be a little overwhelming and communicate that to my girlfriend so that she understands that the next day or two my motivation will be way lower. And last I understand sometimes simple things can keep my depression from descending like eating a roll of cookie dough! Yep….cookie dough, I prefer Pillsbury, that sweet sugary “Prozac in a package!” Basically, over the years I have figured out how to deal with these symptoms and live life.

So how does that all relate to my daughter? First as stated earlier, when she has pain I have pain. I try to talk to her about the issues and I continue to give her ideas about how to deal with depression over and over. For her music, meditation and writing seem to be something that works for her. As I was talking to her last night before bed she stated that she “feels heavy like a weight is on top of her.” “I know that feeling”, I said! I then jump into all these things about making yourself feel better and then I expect her to do them. Guess what? She is a teen, a stubborn depressive teen that does not really want to hear advice from her father. I actually understand this from her viewpoint because I was the exact same way. “You don’t know how I feel” “My depression is not like yours”, she tells me over and over. And believe it or not last night it kind of hit me. She is going to have to figure this out a little bit on her own. That does not mean I am going to ignore her or anything……hell no! But I will keep suggesting things that can work for her because it works for lots of others. My hope is that over time something or anything will catch on for her to do on her own.

So do you have a daughter dealing with depression? I honestly write for myself with hopes that maybe someone can take one little thing from my blogs. We love our kids and will do anything for them. I use to hear people say that but once you have a child, you really really mean it. You don’t want them to suffer….I mean sure they do something dumb they need to deal with the consequences. But with depression, it is an uncontrollable deep hole that can suck you down quickly. Its a weight on your back making you not want to get up or move. Its a feeling of despair and helplessness that you CANNOT just snap out of as most people think. And yes, at times, you consider if it’s really worth living with it. Because one thing people with depression feel is they do not want to be a burden to anyone else. And when you feel like a burden, no matter how people say your not, you feel like your the anchor in everyone else’s sail.

The thing that as to be learned though is it will get better. Weather the storm, do what works and you will come out the other side.

CarterW.

Divorced Dad Does – What Makes a Good Leader?

I have been fortunate to learn so much over the years of working in a business that started from the ground up. Since retirement back in 2008, I have continued my good fortune of raising my kids, doing non-profit work and having some adventure. Like everyone, I am are sitting at home trying to keep busy. While coming back from my walk I realized these last couple of weeks have been a really good example of what makes a good leader? This can pertain to any type of work…..from management to VP to CEO and yes President. I am not going to get political…but man the examples have been flung all over lately.

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After making mistakes as I grew up in the working world, I learned failure happens. But, failure is a great time to learn, recognize and create a new way of doing things in the future. NO ONE IS PERFECT. Again….NO ONE IS PERFECT! We all make mistakes and we all fail. Now I have always lived with a motto of “Failure is Not an Option.” Most people think I mean if you fail you lose, but that is incorrect. You will fail but learning from that failure and then succeeding is the purpose of that quote.

Now let’s just look around the world today. Our President, as I think we can all agree, believes that he is the smartest person in the room. You can see that via his current live updates on TV. Now he has and is making mistakes. Again, no one is perfect……all Presidents have made mistakes. Today, Senator Rand Paul stated he has Covid 19. Rand Paul took a test several days back with the thinking he might have been infected. But he did not listen or follow the basic rules that our Government (he is a part of) told us to do? Nope, instead he continued his day to day which is now resulting in spreading the infection to others. Now more personal to my surroundings, I had to make the badly needed trip to a Walmart Super Center. This is not my normal shopping place but I was in need of some things. First, I am the ONLY person in the store wearing a protective mask along with taking extra precautions. etc. People are looking at me like I am crazy. I enter the store, reach for the hand sanitizer towel that you see next for the carts and it was filled with paper towels? After checking out, all of the store workers have no protection from anyone or anything. They are just working a normal day as far as Walmart is concerned. What kind of management is that?

So, you are thinking this guy “hates Republicans and Walmart.” That is not the point, just the current stuff that has come into my focus recently. Now, are you ready for the answer to What Makes a Good Leader and something I personally follow to this day??? A good leader Hires People Smarter than Themselves. They listen, they discuss and they get out of the way letting those smarter then you assist in making whatever you are doing successful. Be it the President, the manager at a Walmart, salesperson, electrician, VP, Director, CEO, etc. To be successful you have to take risks and there are a lot of people that do not or cannot take those risks. That is totally fine for those that do what they want and like what they do for a living. But as a person that takes risks, you are the one that is moving things forward to reaching a final goal or target. To do this you need smart people. In my life, engineers, accountants, warehouse managers were good at what they did and we hired them and trusted them. In my life today, financial people, handyman, accountants, realtors are all people that provide me all the needed assistance and work that makes my life successful today. No one is beneath me and you will know the good people from the incompetent. Hire the good and build a lon-lasting relationship. They are the ones that will help you take that risk that hopefully makes you the money you want or need to be successful.

So there you go, it’s that easy. Hire people smarter than you then get out of the way. Don’t worry there will be plenty of big decisions that of course, you will make in the end, but let people work WITH you not FOR you.

CarterW.

Divorced Dad Does – Lego with your Kids

You are never to old to build Lego. Let me say that again – you are NEVER to old to build Lego with your kids! Dad’s (and Mom’s) this is your time to connect with your kids while everyone is at home. Lego (not Lego’s) are a creative, fun, thoughtful follow the instructions or else engineering toy for everyone.

As a child I had no clue about Lego. My parents never bought them and since we were pretty middle class poor, it might have been to expensive anyways. But just one Lego in my life and I think I would have thought differently growing up. The ability to follow instructions, piece by piece, making you work towards the goal of your Lego coming out to look like the front of the box is everything! With my kids when things are not working, we came up with the phrase “Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.” Basically start taking it apart to where you might have not correctly connected something and then rebuild. That skill alone can be valuable for a child but think about having that in your everyday life as an adult? Have you ever gotten lost but you still keep driving forwards? Make a statement that ended up not being received property and sticking to your guns instead of admitting ignorance? Lego will not work unless you sometimes go backwards and fix what you messed up….kind of like life.

With the current situation of sitting at home NOW is the time to spend those quality hours with your kids. You can find Lego about anywhere and they don’t have to be expensive.

*Amazon.com, of course, is a great place to order online and receive it quickly.

*Lego.com sells direct and sometimes will have sales and discounts.

*eBay.com sells new and used sets that people have put together, torn apart and put all the pieces back in the box with the directions.

*Craigslist.com is another way of maybe picking up a cheaper Lego nearby your area without much driving.

*Nextdoor.com is a local neighborhood app. that you can post to your neighbors. You never know if there is someone that might be selling or just wanting to get rid of Lego for free.

Now we have talked about following instructions and building cool things, but you can also go Lego MasterBuilder style and build whatever you want! This is a great way to use your imagination to build whatever! Flying unicorns, a flying car with 8 wheels and rocket, home with all glass walls….I think you get the point. Whatever you and/or your child builds will be cool because YOU built it! If you are needing inspiration also watch The Lego Movie, The Lego Movie II or The Batman Lego Movie. All are great family movies that will inspire everyone to build and spend time together.

Now Lego do this!

CarterW.

Divorced Dad Does – For an Introvert Social Distancing Rocks

Holy cats! What a great couple of weeks for us Introverts out there in the World. We officially have a reason not avoid people, no small talk, no sitting next to anyone, no nada! Just a couple “cough, coughs” and people will head the other way. This is even better then wearing a Make America Great hat that Larry David came up with a month back on his show! Yes I am taking the humorous route with everything going on right now….but I might as well embrace the space.

I am a selective Introvert. What does that mean? I can talk in front of large crowds, I can sell an idea, I can make money with confidence and personality. BUT….at heart I am an Introvert. I hate small talk, small groups of strangers that force themselves to talk to each other, networking, conferences etc… I like my space and I have no issue being alone. In fact I love the solitude sometimes, so much I will go camping by myself or spend time in my house alone. You get to avoid all the stuff that frankly is a waste of time to us Introverts. “How are you today”, “Looks like its going to rain”, “What do you do for a living”, on and on and on and on. You hear me Introverts, we just don’t care to have those conversations.

But why are we so against small talk, small gatherings with strangers? Its because WE DON’T CARE. See its nothing personal its just that you are a stranger and I have no plans to make friends with you. As Introvert’s we do not have a lot of friends. What we do have is a small group of close friends that revolved selectively over time. We are not looking for new friends or relationships. We like our social circle small and we like being in somewhat control. Basically we know what we are getting from our friends. Strangers….you have no idea what they are going to do or say. Ever been on a plane and say one thing to the person next to you, and the next thing you are in an hour conversation that you could care less about? Introvert’s are the people with the noise canceling headphones on before the plane even finishes boarding. We hunker down, create our small little space (World) and make it our own.

Any Introverts with kids? If you have kids that are Extroverts this can be very hard for us Introverts. Kids can be outgoing, loud, asking questions to others and basically having no fear. It can make me cringe at times, not because of my daughter, but because of the social interaction she is creating. We feel it deep down, an uncomfortable feeling of not wanting to be present in the situation. Introverts with Extrovert kids will sit in the back of the auditorium if they are in a play or concert. We hope nothing makes our kids standout from others because it could be an embarrassing moment. But you know what, over time I have learned to accept and feel positive for these moments. Even if deep down I feel differently, we (I) have to change sometimes to work with the ones you love. So if you are an Introvert, welcome to our group, there are a lot of us out here. But do know if you have kids, you will have to push yourself outside the boundaries to show them your love and appreciation.

CarterW.

Divorced Dad Does – Sales 101 – You Don't have to Reinvent the Wheel

I have been extremely fortunate to be able to retire when I was in my late 30’s. I starting working when I was 14 years old and was always a hard worker. No matter what I was doing, I was money motivated. And to make money you had to work hard and think outside the box.

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Now mind you I was a C student from public schools and a University of the Midwest. I was a terrible also test taker that usually resulted in a decent sized portion of your grade in college classes. But to say I was not smart, which I always thought I was, is actually incorrect. Over time I could not figure out why a lot of my friends were Honor Roll / Scholarship students. Here I am with my 2.0 grade point and a horrific ACT score. The only reason I got into college was because my parents check cashed (thank goodness) back in the day. They would basically take anyone in the early 90’s if you could afford tuition. But my friends were smart and why would they hangout with this loser?

So why was it that at age 14 I was practically running a fast food restaurant. At age 17 I was selling suits on commission and beating out the adults that did it for a living. Throughout college I had the keys to open and close Rec centers, coach 150 kids at a time and work maintenance for a large apartment complex without any maintenance skills! After college I started to figure out, and it took sometime, that I was smarter then I thought. I ran a warehouse, did marketing and in the end sales all for a new and growing company. And that is when I realized I was good at thinking outside the box, taking risks and overall I was good at sales.

When I say sales, I am sure you are thinking the car salesman dude that could push out a lot of cars. Not that I always wanted that challenge for a week to do something like that!! But I was good at not only selling goods and services, I was good at selling myself and selling others on themselves. I can motivate, public speak and overall get people excited about just about anything. BUT….I also learned that honesty and being straightforward was the only way to sell and succeed. Because if people don’t trust you they don’t really want to buy from you either.

Now let’s get to the title of this blog. What I have learned over time and have taught those around me is that You Do Not Have to Re-Invent the Wheel to be successful. What you need to do is just Be A Better Wheel. No matter what you are doing….working fast food, delivery boxes, driving for Uber, selling software, V.P. of sales…whatever that might be in your life, you just have to be better then everyone else. Amazon did not create a bookstore, they just made it better. Then they decided they were not just a Walmart, they made it better. Tesla did not invent the car, they just made it better. Same goes for In & Out who did not invent the hamburger, they made it better then McDonald’s. They also train better, pay better and source their own fresh meat and vegetables.

With whatever job you have currently. Step back and take a look around you. Look at your co-workers. Study who is successful and who is not. Don’t worry about taking someone else’s ideas that are working. If there is a salesperson that is killing it in your company, find out what they are doing and adapt to make it work for you. It’s okay, you need to be successful too. Also, maybe you are really good at what you do, think about sharing with others that ask for assistance. The more open, responsible and adult you are about working with others will only make you a better and more promotable person in the future. Over the years that I was successful selling and then running a sales team, you have to share you knowledge and you have to be competitive. Yes competitive, but in a good and positive way. If you are the person shoving it in people’s faces when you get a big sale, then you are the jerk no one wants to be around. But if you share your success then others will look up to you with the possibility of others being successful around you. The more successful everyone is the more successful you will be overall.

Again, don’t invent the wheel, just make it better.

CarterW.

Divorced Dad Does – Sharing the Dog

I love my dog! My dog is actually my birthday dog we got when I turned 40 years old. She is a small 15lb terrier that can trail run with me all day long. She hops in the car when heading to Tahoe and loves to be outside chasing whatever she can find. But sadly when you get divorced, who gets the dog?

I decided to write this today because I am alone in my house without my favorite companion. My daughter requested that I drop her off at Mom’s house the other day and I could not refuse. But man…not to be a jerk but I was trying to figure out a way to “forget” to drop her off. Am I being selfish….probably. Today I have this feeling of loneliness because she is at the Ex’s house and not mine.

For over 6 years since being divorced our “my” dog has gone back and forth between homes. There is no real schedule like the kids have but I probably get her 65% of the time. But lately my Ex stopped working and now the requests are happening more and more. The kids love the dog too….and of course they are one of the main reasons she goes back and forth between houses. But in the end….she is mine and I hate not having her around as I work from home. She gets me out of the house for walks, takes naps with me, barks every day at the mailman and its nice having another living thing in my home when by myself. Its not like I talk to my dog or anything….but I kind of talk to my dog.

When we first started out we were going to share the dog 50/50. But over time the Ex, who has a somewhat busy social life along with changing jobs a couple of times, the dog was mine. Somehow when her life changes, my time with my dog changes. I am not one to create drama and I just go with the flow, but there might be a breaking point in the future if this keeps going. When getting divorced, you have to share/split a lot of things. In California its 50/50 and we used a mediation lawyer to write up the paperwork. I was fortunate in my career to retire early and YES half of that went a way. The funny thing is its not losing a small fortune or even material things that I cared about. But the dog….come on…cut me some slack. Let me have one thing that’s mine. Its funny the things that bubble up over the years after a divorce. You would think there is resentment, bad feelings or whatever down the road but its actually the small things that you truly care over time. Beside having my kids with me as much as possible, and I am lucky I get them a lot! Man’s best friend seems to be the other biggest concern post divorce.

If you are in the process of divorcing take note that the family pets have to be considered just like the kids. At first you may not really care or vice versa but I almost wonder if there should have been some type of actually notation about who/what/where the family pet(s) will go and stay. There is a lot to deal with when divorcing. Money, Kids, House, Wills, Furniture etc… But make sure to include your dog (or cat) or you might be sitting alone typing about missing your dog in a blog someday too.

CarterW.

Divorced Dad Does – Its Common Sense People!

Common Sense – What is it exactly? Well the dictionary states Common Sense is sound practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge that is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people. My description is a little different….. Common Sense is people acting dumb which then disturbs others for no stupid reason.

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I am here today to speak to all people that may lack a little common sense. I know we are not perfect and have done things that did not make sense, but most of the time we should be trying to do the little things to make humanity a little bit easier for us all. I am going to make a small list of things that tick me off to all get out! I am sure you might have your own common sense list but here is mine to share with you.

  • Drive Right! Pass Left. I just don’t get how someone can drive 60mph in the left lane with a 65mph highway! First that outside lane is anything but 65mph….its usually around 80mph out here in California. But the bigger question is why do you think its ok to drive slower in the left lane then the slower right lane? Did they not teach this in the driving handbook? Do you feel you might be passing another car so you are to lazy to go back into the right lane? Maybe you are just clueless of the 8 cars lined up tailgating you? Whatever your issue… move over so we can all get going where we want faster!
  • Wash Your Hands….Seriously. Let me state that this is not because of the recent Coronavirus developments. The flu kills appox. 56,000 people a year….yes the flu! I use to travel a lot and was always disgusted when I watched people walk out of the airport restrooms without washing their hands. Think Atlanta airport and under half the people wash? It is the easiest, simplest thing you can do to not get sick or others sick. Only about 66% of Americans wash their hands and that is probably not done correctly. Why the Govt. doesn’t make a big campaign out of this I have no idea! We should embarrass anyone walking out of a restroom that had not washed their hands!
  • Check Writers. I can go into any grocery store, buy food and Apple Pay in seconds. But what happens is I get behind someone that writes a check. Then the manager has to be called to verify the check along with checking ID. Then…that person usually is recording that check into their checkbook. The process is ridiculous and its time to get a credit card! This is kinda like driving in the left lane above. Please get out of our way!
  • Throwing Trash out your Car. It is so friggin simple people!! You have trash, your driving and instead of just throwing it out the window why not just hold onto it when you park or get gas or get home. There is a trash can somewhere close I promise! I loose my shit when someone throws trash out their car window. I honk, flash lights anything to embarrass the crap out of them. Why trash our city, state, country? Do you like looking at trash? Do you like almost hitting highway workers that block a lane of traffic so they can pick up trash? How about paying more in taxes to clean up everything? When you get where you are going….my bet is there is a trash can close by to use.
  • Throwing Cigarettes out your Car. Just like above….except when you throw your cigarette out the car window in California, there is a very real possibility it might start a fire. No really…it happens all the time and the fire departments try and put them out before they get out of control. I love smokers because here they have this nasty habit that literally intrudes on everybody. But yet they don’t want cigarette butts or smoke in their car. You are sucking these things into your lungs….but you can’t use an ashtray in the car?? If you smoke….deal with the responsibility of proper disposal.
  • Voicemail. I am somewhat of an introvert and I hate talking on the phone. My kids, I will talk to of course, but anyone else……nah. I let my calls usually go to voicemail. On my voicemail I give strict instructions…..“for a quicker response please text.” How many people hangup and call again….then hang up and call AGAIN! I said text people, I don’t want to talk on the phone.
  • Dogs off Leash. I am a runner and sometimes I even run with my dog (on a leash). There is nothing worse then having a dog charge at you, friendly or not, as you are mid 6-8 miles on trail run. Most people laugh it off or ignore the it completely. But here I am sweating, climbing, traversing single track and some large dogs comes charging at me…. even if you yell “he’s friendly” that does nothing for stopping me in my track. You know if your dog is lame and slow or charges toward every friendly face. If it charges….put it on a leash. If it doesn’t…no worries I run right past and the dog could care less. I had this happen to me last week…..single track, climbing with a ledge. Dog comes at me, I nudge my knee to the left and off the ledge he goes! He was fine….but somehow its my fault. The woman is screaming at me for her dog coming at me. No matter how many times I said “leash your dog” she was not having it. So over the side your dog goes!
  • Public Restrooms. This one pains me so much! We live in the United States of America and trying to find a public restroom to use is almost impossible. Now if you do find one they are usually so disgusting you try not to use it! I think of public restrooms as a job creator. There are thousands of people that could be paid to work at public restrooms keeping them clean and free from graffiti. Also cities could build public restrooms and charge a small fee along with having someone attend the location. There is nothing worse then being in a public space and not being able to find a public restroom. As I tell my kids when we are near a restroom…use it now because you never know when/where the next one will come up.

So there you go….just a few of Divorced Dad Does grumpy old man rants. Get off my lawn!! But if you are one of these people, consider others, please!

CarterW.