Easy Looking Back, Difficulty Looking Forward

RobFather (31AUG2019)-1rzWelcome to the year 2020!
In retrospect, the year 2019 is, at the moment, remarkably easy for me to look back on. As with other past years, each of us (some more than others) have experienced various degrees of “highs and lows” or, as some may call it, various aspects of positives and negatives in our respective lives. Trumpism, crazy-ass U.S. congressional antics (which, in my view would include all political parties, lobbyists, and interests), and 2020 presidential campaign nonsense aside, in 2019 I got to enjoy some things and endure and/or suffer through a host of other things (such as a short rollercoaster ride of ill health issues).

One of the worst things I endured in 2019 was facing my first year of not having my mom, Helen Mae Tucker around on this plane of existence for me to call to talk and joke with and wish “Happy Mother’s Day”. Mother’s Day 2019 without my mom was both unhappy and unusually weird for me. That special day came the day after my birthday. I remember being bummed out for that entire weekend. Helen… or “Mom”, as I always respectfully called her, had been my fourth and last foster mother. She was a very good and loving person who was deeply loved and highly respected not only by her family, friends, and neighbors, but by countless others in the immediate community in which she lived, in the church in which she served, and throughout many areas in the city of Philadelphia. Mom and me (August 28, 2012)-rzHelen Tucker… Mom, when she lived, was a widowed mother with three biological kids of her own: two sons – who both had served in Vietnam, and one daughter who was two years older than me when my younger brother Steven (now long since deceased) and I came to live in her peaceful home in mid-summer 1974. Mom had also raised one foster daughter who, at the time when Steven and I arrived, was already grown and about to be married, and several other foster boys between the early 1960s through 1974. Steven and I would be the last two boys she kindly took into her care.

I must note that every foster child Mom raised was a child who was loved, respected, and treated equally as a genuine member of the Tucker Family. In the Tucker home, throughout the large Tucker family of relatives nationwide, by the community, by fellow church members, and certainly by our teachers in the West Philadelphia schools that we kids attended, Mom was well known and respected for raising and having raised a family of sons and daughters (and we kids considered each other siblings of each other) – not a family of foster children. And oh how I dearly felt and treasured that love and respect! In fact, I’m quite certain that I never once heard spoken nor saw the words “foster” or “foster child” used by anyone either in or out of Mom’s house.

When what would have been Mom’s ninety-ninth (99th) birthday this past September 18th, I forced myself to let slide the fact it was her birthday. I did that because I was still in mourning over her passing and knew that very soon after her birthday, the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as the first anniversary of her transition (December 27, 2019), would soon follow and I’d have to again painfully deal with missing my mom during those periods. If you’ve lost a loving parent – particularly one or both whom you loved deeply and dearly in return, then you completely understand what I was mentally and emotionally going through.

Anyway, moving on ….

The year 2019 was yet another full period of me failing to meet and befriend new people with whom I could become friends and also failing to meet someone special for me. By “someone special for me”, I’m talking about meeting a person who I could see first as a potential friend and, as the weeks and months passed, would get to know and perhaps come to like (with the hope that she or he would come to like me in return), eventually date and perhaps the two of us become emotionally and intimately involved. It’s been twelve years since my divorce and each year – hell, each month, I feel lonelier than the year and the immediate month before. *sigh*

While I’m on the subject of dating, it’s often suggested to me that the “best way” to find people to potentially befriend and date is via some of those online dating apps or dating websites. Ha! Yeah, right. When I consider the number of fickle, fake, and/or superficial people I often encounter on electronic social media, I’m not inclined to chance wasting not only my money but my energy and valuable time too, as I visually rake through the virtual identity profiles of people featured on those dating apps/websites who I happened to find attractive and think interesting. I’m simply concerned that I may find and select someone on a dating app/website whose personal criteria are found to be to my liking but then, upon our first face-to-face meeting, learn that person’s profile is proven to be exaggerated or worse, unreal or untrue.

You see, at my age, having the experience of more than fifty years of pre-internet and pre-electronic social media human-to-human interaction, I’m quite “old school” and particular about meeting people who might become my friends and/or someone to date (and/or have sex) in the immediate so-called “real world” – not in cyberspace. It’s in the so-called real world where that person and me – upon our immediate shared-airspace meeting, can and will develop our respective perceptions and assessments of each other. That’s something that can’t be done easily by one merely looking at a photo or video nor by reading a brief (?) social media dating app/website bio or profile description. And so, as of this writing (because I want to be flexible since my attitude may later change about the matter), I’m not [yet] mentally ready nor am I willing to try online dating apps. I simply cannot see myself using them. I also don’t know anyone who is or who has actually used a dating app or dating website; someone I trust who could help guide me through such things. I also do not know anyone who could share with me their own good and/or bad experiences with dating apps/websites. However, if and when my attitude changes about using dating apps/websites and I decide to “put myself out there” in cyberspace in that sort of way, then perhaps I’ll talk about my experience on this blog. Stay tuned!

Aging for a male adult can be a peculiar thing; at least that’s been my experience during the ten years I’ve spent in my fifties. Perhaps I feel the way I do because I live alone, am single (and have been for twelve years) and I feel… alone. Since passing the age of fifty-five several years ago I’ve noticed how I’ve been becoming increasingly aware of my mortality. Sometimes I actually do indeed feel as if I have – as the expression goes, one foot in the grave, so to speak. RFX-1 (28MAR2019) rzI won’t deny how thoughts of getting deathly ill or dying sometimes depress me. The good thing is that I know that I need to change my attitude about turning sixty in the next five months. I also take some comfort in knowing that many men – particularly those who manage well their health and stress levels, happen to live to be well into their sixties, seventies, and eighties. A number of healthy elder men are also living well into their nineties! I’ve often said that if my health stays as well as it is today (meaning, that it remains reasonably well for a middle-aged Black man who doesn’t smoke, rarely drinks, manages well his health, diet, stress levels, sexual proclivities, et al), then I could hope to live to see my nineties too.

I suppose the reason why I fear entering my sixties – and getting older from that point, is because I don’t want to suddenly get terribly ill and/or die alone and unhappy. At the moment and for the past several years, all I’ve felt is mere contentment; I don’t have a sense of full or complete happiness. I haven’t felt fully and truly happy about much of anything in more than twelve years. Sure; there have been and there are certain things which make me happy to some small extent, and there are and have been things or situations which cause me to smile and laugh. Over the years of my middle-aged adult life, I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself (as I used to be during and between my teen years and late forties). I’ve also: learned how to either ignore or reject certain things which I can do nothing about, have gotten much better at saying no to those things I’ve been asked to do but really don’t want to do much less have any involvement with, and saying no to and/or denying things to people who, in my perception or previous experience with them, don’t have my best interest at heart. To this day, I continue having moments when I laugh at myself for saying or doing silly things. I also still often talk out loud to myself when I’m alone. I talk to myself because hearing my thoughts in spoken form rather than keeping them silent in my head is, in its own strange and perhaps crazy way, quite therapeutic for me. (Perhaps a few readers can relate to this.)

Sometimes at the end of a day, when I’m alone in my thoughts, either while driving in my car or am sitting in my quiet humble home, I remember that I am not happy with my life at this point. I simply am not feeling happy the way I used to be and used to feel during my youth. I’m not feeling happy the way I did during the early and mid-years of my then-marriage which lasted only eighteen years. And I’m not feeling happy the way I did during the entire twenty years I spent serving in the U.S. Navy. Anyway, I spent much of the past year (2019) doing certain things and planning how to change my attitude for the better. I have been slowly working on finding ways and doing only those things which will either make me very happy or bring me some permanent degree of happiness and satisfaction. I need happiness and I want to be happy and want to feel happy so badly! I’ve learned that in this life, no matter what anyone says or does for you, no one can actually make you happy per se. Each of us has to seek out or work on that particular aspect of life all on our own; and so, I am.
Let me close this blog article with a statement I posted recently on both Facebook and Twitter: RobFather Tweet (26DEC2019)

Mind you, I neither wish to be nor seem negative. I’m simply expressing my truth and being real (as usual on this blog) about how I feel about a possible personal future. I’d say that the word melancholy best describes how I’ve been feeling.

I’m hoping that this year… 2020 – assuming that I live to see all of it, will bring me good health (being the most important), financial prosperity (which is so greatly needed!), and fortune in finding, making, and mutual nurturing new friendships – especially a friendship on the emotionally intimate level; someone for and with whom I can develop, nurture, and have a healthy and strong degree of respect, love, trust, and commitment. I don’t think that’s asking or expecting too much of Fate.

I hope everyone reading this article will have a very safe, prosperous, happy and enjoyable 2020!

– RobFather X

Appreciating Smaller Things

 

robfather-x-sofa-thinking-2Today, Sunday, December 25, 2016 is the first Sunday I didn’t have to work this year… and in a number of years. That’s only because Xmas – a holiday I normally get off anyway, fell on a Sunday.
#appreciatingthesmallerthings

– RobFather X

KIR: Writing and Depression

Note: This article was written July 31, 2014. It partly explains my then month-long absence from writing to this blog. It’s now been three months and some days since. In addition to what you read here, I want readers to know that I simply got interested and busy with doing other things – including directing some much-needed attention towards developing my seven-month old not-safe-for-work (NSFW) Tumblr blog featuring male erotica. This article is the first posted on Keepin’ It Real since June 26th, 2014.  With its publishing I suppose it’s safe to assume that…I’m back.
Now on to what I was feeling three months ago.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I looked at my blog drafts folder a few minutes ago. I found that there were more than 200 drafts of unfinished documents I created this year alone; all work where I’d start writing about certain things but for some reason at the last-minute, simply lost interest in finishing – or if an article was finished, I decided not to publish on my blogs.While I have told myself that I’m writing mainly for my benefit, a huge part of that simply is not true. I do indeed write blog articles, Facebook and Twitter post to inform and educate others who may not know RobFather-Xcertain things and/or to bring awareness to or about certain things. Still, it does not hide the feeling I so often get that few to almost no one really cares to read whatever it was or is I have to say; to say nothing of the fact that a number of those unfinished and unpublished documents were what some would call (and often complained) as being “too long” or “too lengthy” to read. My two-part blog article, “The Freedom of Nudity” for example, took months for me to decide to publish after I’d written and edited it. Today, according to my blog service, that article – written in mid-year 2012 but published in March 2013, is one of many of my blog articles that continues to receive a lot of hits at this blog.

Sometimes I’m encouraged to write and publish to the world. Other times I’d write a nice piece about something then just say to myself, “Fuck it”. Who the fuck is gonna read all of this – let alone bother to appreciate it?” It’s often that attitude for why I don’t blog as often as a blogger “should” or is “expected” to blog. It’s also why sometimes I post “lengthy” things on my Facebook page, although I fully realize that many people on Facebook do not like reading anything which has more than three to four sentences. I call those people “lazy and discriminatory readers”. For example, on Facebook I’ve found that if certain things related to something sexual does not stand out or if I don’t post a picture to help attract the attention of a particular audience then some people will see my article or post but won’t bother to read it, read all of it or at the very least, give it a “like”. A “like” can say or mean that they at least agree right make the post, if not with my courage and willingness to express whatever is on my mind, even if they disagree with point of view. Whether I have a Facebook or blog published article, often the evidence of people not reading my work is determined by the type of follow-up questions someone asks or comments they give about topic I wrote about. Sofa-thinking-2 (rz)One can always tell if a person was paying attention to what they were reading or listening to by the response they give to certain things. As such, I can’t be easily fooled when someone tells me they’ve read my work then that same person asks me some silly question about that which was clearly discussed in the article. I also don’t appreciate when someone makes some disparaging remark about the subject matter of my article, as if perhaps expecting me to either recant my opinions or change my point of view to suit their own. Those things irritate me and it’s why I’m happy to have full control over whether to allow comments to be published on anything I write on my blogs.Much of what I write ends up becoming an exercise in writing. I’m often afraid that expressing myself in written form can be a waste of time and effort. Writing is therapeutic for my depression issues and helps offset those bad feelings when I sense a depression bout might be coming. To everyone who has read this far, thanks for reading. I’m good…at least for now. I’ll review what I have saved in that folder. I’ve got a shitload of started and unfinished/unpublished work in a folder from years 2013 and 2012 too but I’ll look at those later.

Depression Mood –
Right now [July 31] I am in one of my depression moods. Succinctly put, depression is a non-discriminatory mental illness disability. It comes in many forms and affects a number of people in various ways for various reasons. People should never assume that someone is imagining things when they say they are depressed. That person just might be! You also should never tell someone who admits to being depressed or whom you know is a sufferer of depression and going through a bout, that “things will get better” or “it” will get better”. BM Thinking-1No matter how good your intentions, you would sound ignorant and appear to be less helpful and insensitive to that person’s situation. For some depression sufferers, a little alone time and/or quiet is very helpful; I know that sort of thing often works for me. Patience, understanding and offers of support to do certain things are also helpful to some depression sufferers, as are conversations sprinkled with humor that bring about laughter or some memory of a pleasant and fun moment. Remember: these are just a few suggestions that can help someone suffering from some form of depression; they are not mentioned here as workable guarantees for every person in every situation.

I happen to be one of the so-called “fortunate” persons who suffers from a certain form of  depression. As healthy and strong as I so often appear and sound, I too have weaknesses. More Black men need to talk about their mental, emotional and physical weaknesses because odd as it may seem, talking about such weakness is or can also be therapeutic; it can help make that man a mentally and emotionally stronger person. I wish women understood that. Fuck…I wish more men understood it! I have suffered with intermittent depression issues since childhood. Fuck it...not feeling it day (2)For years after first being diagnosed – up until about six years ago, I lied about it and had kept it well-hidden from nearly everyone who wasn’t my doctor: family members, my spouse at the time – before, during and after our marriage, my son and a number of others whom I considered to have a genuine care for me.Today’s [July 31] bout will pass away from me soon, because you see, there are certain things I’ve since learn to do to combat my form of depression. It keeps me from always taking medication. In fact, over the last 12 or so months, I’ve intentionally avoided taking meds for depression because sometimes, strange as it sounds to you non-depression sufferers, I want to ride this out. I don’t want to become dependent on medication. It’s hard to explain and it would take much longer than this article to break it down for you. Just trust me; I got a handle on this monster; I know what I need to do to help myself. Writing is one of the therapeutic things I do…and stated earlier, I do a lot of that! Talking to myself is another. Listening to music and doing certain humorous things that make me or others laugh has also been highly effective. I’ve told people that I’m not always a serious fuck; I maintain a healthy balance of humor and seriousness. Too bad many don’t believe me for if they did I think I’d be emotionally closer to relatives, have a lot more friends – and perhaps a few more lovers, too.

Thanks for listening.

Keepin’ It…REAL!

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