Realigning Priorities

With society being on various forms of quarantine, those who stay home have mentioned things about learning a new skill, or finishing some sort of project that has been worked on, but never finished. I’m realizing that I need to start working on some of those things as well. I still have to work, and being on the night shift doesn’t make my motivation for the waking hours any easier.

I realize that I need to work on stuff that I’ve been working on, and I need to practice skills that I’m still in the early stages of getting better at. On the plus side, I’ve low-keyed gotten a few things done here and there, so I’ll take that as a win. The fact that I’m putting out blogs one to two times a week seems to align with the things I tried to do the last time I was on the night shift. I know that there were a few months that I didn’t seem to have much going on besides staying awake, but I’m going to do my best to keep providing the content. This is both for the purpose of being a creative person, and my mental sanity.

It feels like I don’t have enough time to do anything, except the physical activity that I do throughout the day.  Truth is, I have all these things that I have on the back burner, and I don’t want that to be an excuse, however sometimes I think that I try to take on too much and that’s why I tend to get stagnant when actually getting something out. Man, I also have this plethora of ideas being churned around in my head about this whole Coronavirus ordeal. In fact I think I have come up with a few story ideas, that I think I’ll start notes on here in the next few days.

This situation has also made me realize that I want to start keeping in better contact with those who I actually want in my life. I’ve been reaching out too those that I actually find to be important to me, and hope that I can keep the solid bases for the relationships I have. Doesn’t it bother anyone to want to do more with friends, and find that life has gotten too busy, or that we’ve become too distracted for communications? I know that I’d like to blame it on the fact that I’m too busy doing things all the time, but the truth is, I’m easily distracted.  What is the distraction, you might ask? Video games, movies, social media.

That last one kind of skirts the edge of a complicated relationship, not for just me, but I’m sure there are plenty of others who might relate. I know people like to keep up to date with what’s going on with who. Have we just gotten to the point where we want to know everyone’s business? Has it always been that way? So, there comes the other question: What about you, Chris? Why does social media distract you so much? I know that my view of social media changed after I started going to film school. I also know that my reason’s behind why I do social media has changed quite a bit.

I used to feel that I wanted to share every problem, opinion with everyone. Yes, it’s still true, but I do things a bit differently. I mean I would complain online about work, relationships, etc.. I would also celebrate the triumph and happy stuff too. How is that different than what I’m doing now? Social media is about promoting my brands. That’s what it’s about for me. Part of what it is, using my experiences to show people that there’s a better way, that the thoughts of depression and suicide aren’t always the final answer.

I’m about uplifting, encouraging, seeing others succeed. Watching others succeed in something I wish I was successful at isn’t always the easiest thing too endure. I’d love to be making the incredible content that I see some of my friend’s doing. I’d love to have that job that pays me to do what I actually love. Don’t get me wrong, I love my health and wellness brand, that’s where I find the most success as it is, with the most response. I’d just like my film company to be making something all the time, and I’m sure we’ll get there at some point in the future, it’s just hard to see others take that train to glory town sooner than expected.

I knew that I would end up running into a stump along my path, as I have a few times. It’s not uncommon or unexpected. I knew that putting this burden on myself, would be an undertaking, but I also knew that it would help keep my mind busy, which is a good thing.

One of the bright and consistent things, while I haven’t completely been motivated to workout, I haven’t done too bad otherwise. I’m still getting in workouts, even if they’re not always as intense as I usually do when I workout with Sam. I’m not feeling a shrinkage of any of my clothing that I wear day-to-day.

That’s one of those weird things about my  weight loss journey so far, that I’m in-between  sizes for somethings. I wear an extra-large to a two-x in shirts. I was up to a five-x for the longest time. Now I can wear large shorts, sometimes an extra-large in shorts depending on the make.

I didn’t ever consider that would be in anything under a three-x. So, I’m happy about the work that I’ve put into myself. I’ve also started working on getting to the point where I can do a hand stand, while I’m not there, I think that’s one of the next goals that I’m looking to achieve. This might take sometime, but I know that it’ll be worth it. I think I want to get into parkour at some point in the future. That’s one of those things that Assassin’s Creed(2007) had gotten me interested in.

I can’t believe that I’ve been living this new life for almost two-and-a-half-years now. I have no regrets, and I do think that I wish that I would have made that decision earlier to have the surgery, but I think that I had been in a kind of limbo from the end of 2013 and I was just actually understanding how to come back from it in 2015. It took the instance of actually coming to the realization that I could meet my maker in 2017, that gave me the view of needing to be reborn.

That is exactly what I’ve done, and I have the cognitive view to see how I’m changing. It’s something that I still see, and the realizations coming with that. I’m in the process of dealing with my past and self abuse. I’ve still got a long way to go, and I hope that I can figure it out.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, as it does deal with me as a whole, coming from focusing on my weight loss journey, and my mental health. Things are going well,  considering everything going on in this world. Remember to subscribe, and leave comments to help make this whole thing better and help me to keep improving my content. That’s the director, and that’s a wrap.

Easter 2020

Wow, what a year this is turning out to be, and this being the first real holiday during the Coronavirus epidemic is just adding to the fact that has put strains on our first world lives. On a holiday that I would be spending it with my parents, and my kids, I find that this year isn’t going to be like many others. In fact, I should have been at Wonder Con this weekend, just like I have been for the last few years.

It’s funny to think that a convention would be something that I miss the most. Usually, we’d only spend half a day there since Sunday’s the closing day. I remember last year that we got to watch a Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a cross over movie, four months before it was to come out. I think we would still end up doing a little something for the holiday on the way home as it was.

This year was going to be exciting because I would get to share the experience of Wonder Con with one of my best friends. Her experience with conventions was always Clexicon which is in Las Vegas, and I think it would be fun to check out. Especially since it’s a LGBTQA+ centric convention in the entertainment industry. It helps to broaden one’s horizons.

The important part is that I did get to spend it with the family that I do live with, and that we’re all relatively healthy, considering everything. That’s something that has been an important highlight thorough out this epidemic, how important family is. How important  human connection is. I never gave too much stock in the ideas of energies until probably the last few years, but I’m starting to get it.

I think the fact that putting positive energy out, instead of the negative energy was something that I started doing to help myself feel better. It’s difficult when all you hear is negative stuff being spoken at work, and that was really starting to wear on me mentally. I wanted to be positive and would only speak positive because I wanted to feel better, and it seems to work. Though I know that it might sound ridiculous, just like the whole practice of positive affirmations, it does work.

Working out with Sam has taught me many things. One of those things is about the energies that connect us, and the energies we use when doing workouts. I’ve also learned that my body isn’t as functional as I thought it would be. I apparently don’t trust my body enough to do things that makes me feel unsafe. I guess that’s what being so heavy did to me, I can’t stand losing control of my body. So now I’m learning to trust being in different positions.

One of those things that I’ve been doing is trying to do assisted hand stands, and I’m getting more comfortable with my body upside down. I’ve actually done it a few days in a row, trying to stay upside-down for around twenty-seconds. This is the start of getting a full on handstand by myself and to be able to walk on my hands.

It feels like as I’m always starting over when I’m getting motivated to workout. At least I haven’t given up, and I am trying to stay mindful of everything that’s going on. I need this focus to help me stay more mentally healthy. I need this focus so that I don’t get back into the shape that I used to be. I think that I might have a slight case of body dysmorphia because of my experiences in life.

As this social distancing thing continues, it feels that life is dragging on. My workday’s are ten-hour days, but most days feel like they could be twenty. Plus everyday seems to feel the same, it’s almost like an eternal Monday going on here. It’s draining because it makes me feel that I’m always tired all the time. I feel like I want to sleep all the time.

I guess that I didn’t  realize that staying active and busy all the time helps keep me energized. I always looked at staying busy as a way to keep me distracted from having depressive thoughts. I know that anxiety, and overthinking are my enemy if I sit alone for too long and then I start questioning everything.

That actually doesn’t seem so uncommon, it makes me wonder why people have that go through their heads as well? It makes me wonder if I share more in common with my fellow person than I may realize? I know that I had a conversation with some female who I thought was popular in school, and a source of one of my crushes in school, and her sharing her story had made me realize that if those who seemed to be untouchably popular(in my mind) have those same struggles to deal with as well.

Going back to the fact that Easter was a different kind of holiday this year, reminds me of something that I’ve been saying for awhile now, this world is forever changed by the COVID-19  pandemic. Which leads to the thoughts of how are they going to stay different? Is the world going to be in a massive paranoia for the next several generations?

Even bigger questions: How are relationships going to change? Are we going to be closer because of this? Are we going to be more selective on who we choose to share our lives with? Seeing a rise in domestic violence, has been an eye opener. I know that I realized that when I would talk to people who would do so much over time, that it wasn’t always about the money, but about the fact that they could get away from the house, and get a break from their families.

I’m a hugger; when I great my friends, I like to hug. It’s always been a sign of affection that I’ve adhered too. Will things be the same afterward, or are we doomed to be slightly apprehensive about it, because of this disease? I personally hope that we can go back and get that connection, the exchanging of positive energies, as I think it is.

I still have those questions about how business is going to be conducted in the future? Are we as a consumer based society, going to go back to buying just for self satisfaction, or are we going to be more mindful where we put our hard earned investment?

Even better: how is this epidemic going to change the face of technology? Where will the advancements go from here? Is communications going to get a better look at? Will we take the lessons from the way Earth has responded and look at a better way to energize our businesses? Communications, business, and the definition of what truly is essential, what a crazy time to start wondering how these will be affected.

I do think that we have a better chance to survive something of this magnitude than when people were around for the Spanish Flu. I’m thankful that we’re all able to stay better connected, even through virtual means. FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, these are just some of the ways we can check in on friends and family and see that they’re doing alright. UPS, FEDeX, and other means from online sources, means that we can have things delivered in record time. This is where technology shines the best. I’m usually one to talk about how technology is going to be the downfall of mankind, however, it can also be used to keep us connected, safe, and I like that idea.

Before I call this a wrap, I would ask a favor of those who actually take the time to read and support my stuff. I’ve got a podcast, and I do these blogs, but I really want to get more interactive with my audience. Please, leave a comment, leave a question. Let’s get a dialogue going. I want to know what you would like me to discuss on one of the many ways I bring content out. I want my readers to feel like I’m writing to their needs or wants. Anyway, like, subscribe, and share so that we can expand the reach of what the message is. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

 

A Walk In the Moonlight

So, I went out for a walk on Saturday night, and it was clear out. I was surprised by how clear the sky was that night. There was a cloud that cascaded across the sky and was lit up by the moon. It reminded me of looking out across icy dark water, when I was in South Dakota. Looking at the dark, clear sky gave me a feeling that I haven’t had in a long time, peace.

I’ve tried to remain calm through all of this, and I’ve done pretty well so far. I know that I have to keep myself together for the sake of my family, especially since they have the compromised immune systems. That’s been my biggest fear is my family. I mean if it was just me, I wouldn’t be worried as much. However, because of my family, my anxiety has been a bit high.

It has been so much so that I’ve been burying myself in Animal Crossings: New Horizon, just so that I can keep from over thinking things. Yet, thinking about going to work, and the possibility has taken me to thinking about things that I don’t need to think about.

Back to the feeling of peace though, it was a welcomed feeling as these events have affected my sleeping as well. The positive here is that I’m not dealing with insomnia. That usually comes when I’m in a highly stressful situation, or if I’m dealing with my depression.

The world is in a crazy state at this time. I watched a video of someone jumping out of a window in a skyscraper, and landing hard on the ground. This is a dangerous time, not just physically, but mentally too. I think that people who deal with depression and anxiety need to be careful and mindful of their mental health at this time. This is the time that we need to be stronger than ever.

I had a guy come up to me today, and read my shirt, which stated that I was a member of the National Sarcasm Society, and he said that he had the virus and aids. Then he proceeded to cough on me. In my thoughts was that this older gentleman was kind of an asshole. Then I realized that it’s sad because he might be denying what’s happening, because it’s a real situation. I think it’s something that we do to protect our own mental sanity. He didn’t have a mask on, and honestly, might be one of those people who’ll get it. Hell, anyone of us can get it, and that’s a sobering fact.

As I keep getting away from that Saturday night sky, I really wanted to focus on that brief moment in time. As I was feeling at peace, I also had a feeling of clarity, and with that, I knew that everything was going to be alright. I couldn’t even begin to tell anybody how that feeling came about, but I knew it right then. I know that we’re going to have some hard times for a while, but we’ll get through this.

I think that the resiliency of our people are coming from some unexpected places. We’re seeing people coming together to help solve our problems. Yes, our medical staff still needs to supplies and things to take care of themselves.

I’ve heard that some of those places are being asked to take care of Coronavirus patients without protection. This is unacceptable, and the people in charge need to wake up, and realize that all that does is make the problem worse for all involved.

Note: This was last weekend, and I had a week of work between then and now.

While I have an optimistic feeling about things getting better, I’m not going to lie; work has been really long lately. The pace is different and we’re seeing people come through at different times, so it’s kind of feeling like we’ve been doing the eight week of Monday’s in a row.

I mean the situation at work has improved by the fact that we got masks to cover our mouths and noses with while working, but it just seems so long, and I’m having a hard time being motivated to get my extra projects done. I know that it will pass, it’s just a struggle, and I have to get through this.

Now is the time to check on those you know who deal with depression issues. Something like this isn’t good for those who suffer anxiety and over thinking things. I think that overall while I’ve had a few issues, I think that I’m staying fairly sane.

Part of my motivation went out the window this week because it had been raining a good majority of the week. It happened while I was on duty, and while I was off duty. I don’t have any really good rain wear so walking in the rain, just gets me soaked. I did adapt fairly well this week, that is until yesterday(Friday). I think that my tiredness might have something to do with it. Hell, it might just be an excuse, and I shouldn’t let the fact that I don’t have the space I normally would at Flawless Victory be a deterrent for working out. It’s part of that thing that keeps my mental sanity. Sam once told me that the chemical release from the workouts make for the best anti-depressant out there. I’ve discovered how true that is.

Coming back to the subject at hand though: I feel that everything will be alright, it’s just going to take time to get there. Unfortunately if you are to believe the media, there has been a rise in domestic violence since this quarantine has started. I guess that just goest to show that some people aren’t really meant to be together. Work is an escape from the family life-spouse, kids. That’s also why I think parent’s prefer to have their kids in school. It’s not that they don’t love them, it’s just sometimes people feel they need a break.

I guess that I got lucky, because while she drive me crazy at times, I like being around Sarah, I mean we spent so much time together that she’s easy to be around. Plus, I love my kids. I mean Autumn is an adult and stays with her grandparents, which is totally good, because of the fact that we’re so much alike, but I do love my kids.

Little Chris and I share the bond of superheroes and video games. Now I’m also working on educated the little ones in film. Since they both help me on movie sets. Then the fact that they were already doing online schooling makes them being home more normal.

The only thing is that the last time I was on the night shift, they were in regular school and I could get uninterrupted sleep. I find myself waking up when Chris starts to stem. That’s one of the bad things about his autism, otherwise everything else is fine. Getting woken up with just four hours of sleep isn’t fun though.

With that being said, we are living in some strange times, and this is going to test all of us. If not in faith, maybe in fortitude, and we need to be sure that we’re prepared for whatever is thrown our way. I’ll do my best to help keep trying to be that positive light that people need, and that’s why I do what I do. We’re all connected and this whole ordeal has made me realize that I want to be closer to those that I want to have in my life. I want people to actually know that I care and not be someone that just says that.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

If I’m Stuck, What Do I Do?

What a crazy time we’re in. I find myself struggling with motivation. It’s not because I don’t have my training time with Sam, and it’s not that I don’t have access to a gym. While both are true, neither are a good excuse for slacking off. I’ve been struggling since my time in the Emergency Room from a couple of weeks ago. It drove me crazy to have to sit at home and relax. I then found it hard to get the steps, that I would normally get. It’s been something that I’ve been dealing with for a few weeks, and I’m now trying to get to the point where I’m back in the flow of things.

The good point is that it was a bad reaction to something I ate and not the Coronavirus, and yet here I am, feeling a bit defeated by it. I know that all my progress won’t be undone over night, and to be honest, I’m still eating better than I used too. However, I’m in the process of getting that motivation back and working out.

This week was the week that I decided that I was going to be determined to get everything back on the right track. This world is in a bad place now, and I don’t think that I should let it bring me down to mental levels that I had been before. I want to live, and not just that, but I want to keep my family safe. Being someone who’s considered essential personal, and that would be on a normal basis as well, I have to brave being out in the public dealing with people.

As scary as that is, there have been reports made publicly that we’ve had a case of the virus from the area of where I work. My job is taking what precautions that they can to keep us safe, however, nothing’s ever 100-percent safe. This is the time that I’m glad to be working nights, which limits my exposure to the public.

Surprisingly enough, as much as  I wish normalcy would be back in our everyday lives, I find myself wondering if we will rise up as a people, and come out better because of it. My curiosity is wondering how money is invested, and which technologies are going to be the next big thing. Is this going to change the way people interact on an everyday basis? There’s just the concern that not everyone is taking things serious. With that mentality, we could prolong the time for this to die out. People are already complaining that it’s going on too long as it is.

The sad part is that we’re just now seeing how this epidemic is effecting us, and not just from the health point of view. Businesses that people have gone too for years are shutting their doors, never to reopen. This makes me sad because I know that these places provided income and livelihoods to people in our communities. This was someone’s life, who wanted to own their own restaurants, their own books stores. It’s about people’s life savings being used as investments, just to be obliterated into nothingness.

I actually had a conversation about seeing a news report saying that due to inactivity of businesses and people going out, our environment has improved a bit. While that’s a silver lining, does this mean that we, as a people, will take into serious consideration, renewable energy, green energy. If there was ever a convincing example, this is the time to listen. Alas, people will probably go back to the way things were, as money is the driving factor in this world, and that’s been proven time and time again.

There have been some wonderful examples that have been displayed during this time as well. Celebrities pitching in to donate for medical supplies. Big corporations like Disney, stepping up and continuing to pay their employees, even if they’re not working. It shows that we can be a better society than we normally show to be.

Just a side note: As of this moment, it’s been a few days since I’ve started writing this blog, and I’ve noticed a few things that I will talk about in the upcoming paragraphs.

While I was working last night, I noticed something that I hadn’t really thought about since I ended up having those weeks of taking it easy. The fact was that I finally gave myself enough time to finally get my ankle to be completely healed. It took forever since I was still trying to workout, without losing the momentum I had built up over the last couple of years.

I guess that was the way life was saying the I needed to take that time to allow my body to recover fully. I had never thought of that until I was doing my steps last night. I had finally noticed that the strain was gone from my leg. Hell, even my foot was feeling better than it had been for the last couple of months as well. I’ll take all the struggles that I’ve bee going through as a way of saying that I needed to slow down.

Isn’t it funny how divine intervention happens? Some people want to say that it’s God speaking to them, some want to put it all into fate, or the universe talking to them. It just means that I can get back into training harder again. While this quarantine is going on, I know that when I go out shopping for the necessities that I might see if I can pick up some extra weights while I’m out. I never thought that I would actually want to get something for the house just so that I can do home workouts a bit more effectively.

Speaking of divine intervention, isn’t it a strange thought to know that while this is happening to us with the Coronavirus, that we’re more equipped to stay connected while keeping up with social distancing? I mean look at where our technology is? Amazon, Facebook, FaceTime: just a few of the ways we can reach out and get things done, while staying in the comfort of our homes. I find that video chatting is such a better way to communicate than just through texting or a phone call. It feels like more of a connection to that other person.

It’s easier to shop from home and get things delivered to your house. This makes me wonder what’s going to happen when we get through this pandemic. Where are we going to invest in technology? What businesses are going to survive this recession? How is this going to change the way business is done? These are the things that I’ve been thinking about for some time now.

I was watching a news report on Youtube, it was talking about how the air quality has improved noticeably since the world has been on a quarantine status. It felt like it was one of those silver linings that can be seen during such times of trouble. If anything, it might be a good advertisement for investing in green, renewable energy. I want to be optimistic and hope that the world looks at this as a chance to do better with the way we treat our planet and the people around us.

This was a point that I had made with someone I was dealing with at work, and while they had the point of saying that people will go back to being the way they had been before any of this happened. I know that’s probably the most likely factor as unto what is going to happen, I just wish that it wasn’t the case. Money is what drives society, and I am morose at that idea.

We can do better. We should do better. I’m not ready to resign to people accepting the fate of our own destruction. I think that we can, and should do better. If not for ourselves, then for our children, and our grandchildren. This is the opportunity for the world to take the steps forward and make things better for the future. Non of us should accept the fact that our planet is going to be fodder and have a limited time for people to live here. I don’t want to actually live in a world that’s become like Judge Dredd, or Mad Max. While the stories are entertaining, it’s not the kind of world I would really like to be a part of.

Some final thoughts: I found myself having a bit more motivation in doing the things that I need to do for my health. I’m not totally lost in this craziness, and things are getting easier to complete. I’m going to remain hopeful because if I don’t, I might find myself getting depressed about the subject. I struggle right now because I’m considered Essential Personnel, and not in any “temporary” type status. My job has always been considered essential. It worries me, because I deal with so many people in the public. However, being on nightshift, and talking to people who work at different sections at the compound that I work, they are doing their best to limit exposure as well. So, maybe I won’t be exposed to this mess, and in turn, keep my immune deficient family members safe. This has been where all my stress and focus has been as of late. This is part of the reason that I’ve been playing Animal Crossings: New Horizons as a distraction. It’s some of the most pure and wholesome entertainment that I partake with.

Take care of yourselves. Take this situation serious. If not for yourself, then for those around you, because we’ve had deaths, and some of them have been healthy and in consideration, young. We already now that older and youth, are high risk, as well as those who have compromised immune systems. Do your best to stay out of the exposure area. I personally know four people who’ve been dealing with it, and so far their stories have seemed a bit different, and some of the facts about it have been shocking and frustrating, for these individuals. With that, I’m the director, and that’s a wrap.

Rekindling That Fire

As I was sick last week, I ended up being motivated to do an off-shoot project. I decided that  I wanted to get some camera work going, and since Unexpected Side Trip hasn’t gotten everything ready to start funding, I decided to do something else. Ed, myself, and a few other creatives had meetings a couple years ago, and were thinking of doing shorts for our next thing, and we couldn’t completely agree with the way we were going to take it. In fact that’s how The Reunion(2019) ended up being that next project.

Since I wanted to start doing something, because filming and any aspect of being creative is something that I need in my life. I had been thinking about a full story, but had a character that I really wanted to start to develop.(I feel like I’m rambling a bit) So, this idea came into my head about just introducing a character in a very short, no budget video, just to work on something. Now with the Coronavirus out break, our poor little thriller is being halted until further notice. Unexpected Side Trip will still get made, just has to stop for the moment.

This is important because while I’ve been enjoying writing, I miss working with my crew. It gives me a high that keeps my spirits up. Being on the nightshift at work has had me in some weird places mentally. I’m not saying that it’s bad, just that I need to find something to give a bit more focus too. Now that I’m back at work, I’ve had to start dealing with what effects the Coronavirus is having on the general public. Again, my mental health needs that distraction.

I was just going to talk about getting the fire back, however I feel that the current event of the Coronavirus outbreak has a need to be discussed, and I will give my opinion about what’s going on. I work with the public so this is a particular hot subject for me right now.

I’m going to start out by saying “shame on you, media, for letting fear mongering get in the way of solid, state of the fact news. Yes, there is a reason to be concerned, but if the advice is followed, we should make it through just fine. For us who have healthy immune systems, this isn’t a concern that we won’t survive it, however our precaution is for the one’s we love: parent’s, spouses, children, friends.

I’ve read how rapid it can spread, and it’s much like any other virus, but again we should be vigilant. This is always, because who really likes to be sick. Sure a normal flu could kill us too. It just pays to be careful. I do it for the sake of my family, because that’s what’s important. As with every decision we make in life, we should remember what’s important to us in life.

The worse part of this epidemic, in my opinion, isn’t the actual virus, but it’s what’s showing how our society is acting towards it. The hoarding of toliet paper, the robbing people of groceries, and the biggest one of all, the blatant racism that has come out towards the people of Chinese decent.

I understand discrimination, being a person who was over weight for so long. Having friends of minority races, I’m baffled by the concept of disliking someone of a different color. Studying the Civil Rights Movement, and Slavery, again, the mindset boggles my mind. I can’t believe that we, as a society, still have this mindset. I figured that we would have been more conscious of the ugliness of our past. Let’s put out more positive, and love. The world can be capable of such wondrous things.

I’m done with my soapbox rant, and actually did start filming the short when I started this blog, so I’ll get back to that regular scheduled topic at hand.

It was exciting, the energy that comes out of filming is always great. The crew had fun all around, and it was exactly what was needed. It reminded me of why I love doing what I do. There was something different about this project though as I was actually in front of the camera, and not really worrying about the behind the camera work. Sarah was assistant director, as Little Chris was camera, and assisting with sound. Bringing in my sound guy Chris Matthews was great because he’s such an asset to the team. It’s good to build a good team, and there isn’t too many people better to have on my crew than Alisa Wiggin, because she’s been involved with everything since, my school projects. She’s proven that loyalty is an important quality

It was fun to take Sarah’s cousin and give him a role to act out. The character is a bit out of place for him, and this is his first time acting, but I’ve never shied away from actors with no experience. I’ve built my acting stable with a good variety of both, just the non-actors are the majority of who I’ve worked with. This was fun to take something and just turn around and do it without much time to prep. It was a way to challenge ourselves as a team, and it kept me on my toes with the variety of jobs we each do.

I find the challenge in coming out with some content, and keep it brief. This project was going well, but our batteries where failing us, and then the weather got crappy, so we decided to push the rest of filming until the next weekend. This does a few things for us. It gives me a bit more time to polish the script, some extra time to get it to flow better, and we should be more organized for the shoot, and get it done in a quicker amount of time, while also having a better weather.

So, I’m going to give you a preview of what The Driver is all about. Marcus Ballinger is a driver for a crime lord. He’s been working for the organization for fifteen years. One night things seems to go bad for a younger member of the group and Marcus is to meet with this kid and find out where things went wrong.

So, this character had been nagging at the back of my head, ever since my friends got their house, which seems like it could be a Columbian drug lords place. Plus, I’ve been wanting to get away from just tragic stories, because I’m growing as a storyteller and want to challenge myself.

With that being said, keep following the brands at: https://www.facebook.com/Luckeybomfilms/ https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKeelingProject/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/211929539208755/

During this quarantine we’re going to be adding content to all three. That’s between when I do have to work still. You can also find all three brands on: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr. We also bring out podcasts frequently, so keep a look out for that. Remember when you see new content from us, give us a like and subscribe. It feels rewarding to know when people are paying attention to what we’re doing. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

The Birthday Gift

So, I had another checkup with West Medical, out of town on January eleventh.  I went to my appointment with my longtime friend and former co-worker Chris Bennett. He also had a consultation about starting the weight loss process for the gastric sleeve. I’m glad that I could be there for him, and I’m excited to be there for every step of the way.

Not only was it the day I went in for a checkup, but it also was my forty-first birthday, and I was glad that I could spend the day with my extended family. While it had been a while since we did anything like that, it reminded me that these people are some of my favorites to be around for a full day. I’ve been through  so much with this family that I am grateful that we can just get together and have fun.

To get back to the story at hand, I went in for a checkup, and I was hoping that I would have finally made way with my weight loss. Well, I was surprised to find out that I did lose about four pounds. The scale came out to showing 258.8. The last time I weighed in a the doctor’s office I was still sitting at 262.4. This was about the weight I had been since May of 2019. The good part is that my BMI(body mass index) had still been going down during that time period.

Progress is the key, and my friend, Aj Jackson, who’s also a personal trainer keeps mentioning consistency is key on Twitter. He’s right, and with working with Sam Basco on my training, I hadn’t been getting as frustrated as I could have. I just had to shake-up the workout, and honestly, I feel that the food journal is helping me become a bit more responsible about what I do actually put into my mouth. I think that it’s something that will help as I evolve my knowledge about nutrition.

I’ll admit that the way yesterday went, being my birthday, being out of town, and enjoying myself, I did use it as a cheat day. I also forgot to log my food into the journal, but I’ve gotten back on it today. So, I’m not gonna talk about how horrible I may have eaten, but it really wasn’t that bad. I did enjoy seeing Star Wars: The rise of Skywalker(2019) for the second time. What a great way to end a series of movies.

As I share the experience of my weight loss journey, and I’ve inspired people, one of the bonuses that I’ve gotten was the fact that I can join some of them on their own journey’s as well. I would be there for anyone who feels they need that cheerleader in their corner. I know what it’s like to feel like doing things on my own. Though this journey has been sponsored by the most amazing support system of family and friends. I know not everybody else is quite as fortunate as I am, so I’m gonna put out the fact that I’ll be their cheerleader. I’m providing it to my friend Chris, and I’ve also provided it to others through Facebook, Twitter and various other social media sites. I’ve also voiced my support to people that I actually know in the real world.

Let’s make this a year where we can all kick ass together and make life better both physically and mentally. I know that it’s not always easy to maintain. I find that keeping myself going is constant work, and there are days that I really don’t feel like keeping up with the steps, and the miles. I’m trying to change that this year, and actually get my steps in. That was something I almost didn’t get yesterday, but, by the support of the people around me, they indulged me and helped me complete my steps. It wasn’t necessarily the 700 calorie goal that I try to reach, but I figured that if I can at least get my 10,000 steps, then I’m still doing well enough as it is.

Keep in mind that I’ve been pushing myself even with a slightly sprained ankle. It’s not been easy for me to get in the body weight work, but I had gone back to doing some of my weight training. I’ve been working on my form for squats, and getting into my basket, or putting my “ass to the grass” hasn’t been the easiest part of the workout. Getting lower has really worked my muscles and I find that doing this squat with the bar overhead actually keeps me straighter then if I had just had it on my shoulders.

The amazing part of these exercises is that I’m now learning more about my body and it functions. Yes, I know that it might sound weird, but do you ever realize how much the slightest movement in a different direction can change the way you use a particular muscle? Back Squats use more of your lower back, then say a Front Squat which uses more of your Quads. An Overhead Squat uses more of your legs and gluts. I’ve been told that the overhead is actually Olympic style lifting, compared to a back, which is for power lifters.

So, let’s bring this blog around to what today entailed. I was going in to workout with Sam Basco today, which doing weekend workout, isn’t uncommon. I like working out with Sam. The weekend workouts are different than the weekdays, because it becomes a bit more relaxed, and yet the workout is just as good. Strength training can have a slower pace, and I know that my muscles will feel it for hours. I did start today with trying to do my body/ grappling training, but my ankle still wasn’t having it completely. I think that I may still need a week to completely recover.

While I have that bum ankle, Sam was able to work on it a bit today before we called it a day. While it is feeling better and less tight, when he initially works on it, well it hurts. At least I’m okay to tolerate the pain. It’s a wonderful thing to have him as a trainer, because he seems to provide me with more than just a personal trainer. He’s a friend, philosopher, spiritual coach, and nutritionalist.

That’s one of the things we ended up doing today. I took him and his son out for lunch, where we discussed a bit of nutrition. I actually learned somethings today. One being about how to be more mindful about going out to eat a meal. I know that I have plenty more to learn, but this whole thing is going to make me more well rounded in my weight loss journey, and will help me when I start down the path to get my personal trainer cert. I think I’ll go for nutrition as well.

I can’t thank the people who’ve supported me enough. It’s helped keep me going. I want to thank those who actually have the hands on for my success, they help me get through this journey, and make it look easier. You all are part of this journey, and have been amazing. I see those who I’ve inspired to take up the reigns of their own weight loss journey. This particular group I want to give the biggest shout out too. I see what you’re doing, and that’s amazing, keep it up, because I’m in your corner too.

This is the director and this year has already shown me where it’s going, and all I can say is FUCK YES! Let’s keep this momentum up and show everyone how amazing life is and how much better it still has to go to be even more amazing. So, with that being said, that’s a wrap.

Twelve Days of Silence

So, it’s been about twelve days since I wrote a blog. Twelve days since I let my thoughts and feelings give voice unto what life has been like. I’ll be the first to admit that things haven’t been too out of the norm for me, but I should never let that length of time go without giving something to help guide people unto clarity.

That’s not to say that I haven’t bee writing. After all, I did finish the second draft of the project after I Unexpected Side Trip. I have page ten typed up of fifty-nine hand written pages done. Plus I also got into re-writing Appreciate What You Got, which was the first sort I ever filmed. I’m also re-editing that film because I botched up the editing job when it came out. I figured that I could get it a bit better editing, and add a bit for something to present, while I’m working on the other projects.

Outside of that, I’ve gotten sick with a bug a few times in the last couple of weeks, and it kind of has me feeling bummed out by it. This killed my workout, and my ten-thousand steps a day. It’s crazy that I start feeling guilty about getting sick.

I hope things go well because I have my twenty-three month check-up coming up on Saturday. It’s time to get the discussion of skin removal, and I feel that it’s seriously something I want to do. I’ve been feeling itchy around my belly button for the last several weeks, and I’m not sure why.

I feel that I need to work harder to get past this plateau, it seems that my habits are coming back and I still need to become more mindful and nip them in the bud. I know that this is something I’ve mentioned before and I still continue to struggle with, however on the plus side, it’s something that I’m aware of. So, it is something that I will get through.

In my training sessions, I’ve increased the weight in which I lift, and it’s giving me the workout that I need, and taking me to another level. Part of me feels like I’m dying, while the other part is glad that I made it through without dying. I know that going with heavier weights, I have to be more mindful of my form because any slight misstep and I can hurt myself. Sam, is always telling me to unlock that inner rage to push heavier, and I’m slowly getting there, it’s just been hard to do. After all, I used to be angry all the time.

As I watch videos of myself lifting, I was told that it’s good to let out grunts, but honestly I find myself a bit on the obnoxious side when hearing the nosies that come out of my mouth. That was always something that bothered me about gyms. Now, I get why it’s done, but like I said, it’s a bit obnoxious.

I’ve been trying to be more conscious about my carb intake, and fast food, really is bad for you. I never really thought about the calorie and carb intake of a breakfast burrito, but seeing that the combo can run up to over 1,000 calories is depressing. That’s even more true for those who are on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. That’s like half of the amount you can have in one day. One freaking meal, that just blows my mind.

So, I’ve been on this journey for almost two-years and I can’t believe that it’s been that amount of time. It gets easier as you go, that’s the plus side of things, but at the same time, it’s not hard into falling into bad habits. Like I said, I see where some of mine have come back and I’m learning to deal with them accordingly. Doesn’t it suck when you feel the doubt, and feel that failure is at hand? I have my bad days, but I try and keep going. Maybe that’s the reason that I’ve been going between those five-pounds?

The secret to success is to keep going. Yes, you’re gonna have good days, and you’re gonna have bad days, but don’t let the bad days define your efforts. As long as you realize that you can keep on the right path the next day, there’s always hope for success. Failure is inevitable, but the only true sense of failure is when you decide to quit. Otherwise, it’s a teacher to help get you to the point of success. I find this encouraging, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

If I’ve benefited from anything during my weight loss journey, besides the weight loss, it’s that I’m in better touch with my fellow humans. I’ve always been personable and friendly, but I kept so much to myself and never really connected with too many people. Now days, I’m more receptive of reaching out and touching other people’s souls. It’s beautiful on how much more I care for my fellow traveler.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

 

The Words That Never Got Left Behind

In observation of Bully Prevention Month, I’d like to address the elephant in the room; you’re not aloud to continue to live in my head rent free. As a kid, hearing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was supposed to be a way of making ourselves feel better about the cruel words that get thrown our way. It’s supposed to show that we won’t be hurt unless it’s by some thing physical.

The sad reality is, that’s the farthest from the truth. While I would like to admit that physical pain is worse, the verbal bullying is the thing that continued to haunt me for so many years. I find that it had become more of a motivator to do better, but is that really the best thing for motivation? Shouldn’t we be motivated more by the positive things than, the things that bring us down? This is why we have so many broken people in the various sectors of society.

Body dysmorphia is something that I’ve seen to run rampant among young ladies especially. The society standards for what is the perfect look for a woman has been plastered across all forms of advertisement. It’s in your face that unhealthy skinny is the standard for women and anorexia is a problem that isn’t talked about enough.

Men aren’t any less targeted either. The underwear models with the chiseled physics and washboard abs are also shown in many places. The one difference is that men with dad bods, are more socially accepted, but are no less pressured to be perfect. Men talking about having self-image issues is considered a bit more taboo. Men are supposed to be viewed as strong both physically and mentally.

The thing that I will personally say about this is that dealing with being obese most of my life, I’ve dealt with the pressures and comments to look more appealing. I joke with my wife that if it wasn’t for chubby chasers, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with the ladies, her especially. Though, I do wish that I could have, the muscles and strong looking body, it’s taking work to get there. This is something that I personally want, but I’m not killing myself to get there.

Key reasons, while I workout and try to keep eating well, I still indulge, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to hate myself for slipping a bit here and there. I know once I have the talk about skin removal surgery, that it’s going to take a bit of time to process. I found myself in that similar situation when I decided to get the gastric sleeve almost two-years ago.

Acceptance has been something that I’ve had to battle to come to terms with. I had those bullies running through my head with the words of how ugly, and fat I was. I hated myself because people had put those words into my head. I wasn’t good enough, and yet there was something that I did alright growing up. I did have friends and lovers. I was liked, but even with those realizations, I still had the negative words sticking in my head. I’ve had to learn to over come that.

I’ve embraced positivity, despite the way I’ve been treated during my life. I find that it helps me, because it puts something in the world that not everyone seems to be able to produce themselves. With that I’ve made many connections with some great people. I get more out of being positive, then having that negative mindset.

Unfortunately, not everyone is that way. Some people who get bullied, carry that chip on their shoulders for the rest of their lives. Hell, at one time, I did as well. I hurt some very good people and I’ve regretted it ever since. Those who carry that chip, bring the misery with them in most aspects of life. This isn’t something that’s uncommon in my professional life. I see it everyday, and the effects that it causes. I see it in some friends as they deal with people who bully them.

Now, I’m going to change this up a little, because I know a few of my followers are going to be reading this. I know that things don’t look very good for your current circumstances right now. You’re afraid to lose that, which is valuable to you. Keeping a focused mind is the only way that you will have to succeed. I get that the parties that are bullying you shouldn’t be that way, they are your family after all. Just remember to do your best, and that’s all anybody can ask of you. I’m a text, or a phone call away, and you have shown me the appreciation through our many conversations. You got this, and however things fall, you will grow as a person, and should be able to be better for all of it.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

Hard Work For Better Gains

As with anything else in life, you get what you put in. Eating right can some times be hard, especially since there are so many temptations being marketed out there. I find that it can be hard also because most “healthy options” are costly. Yet, this is an essential part of the weight loss journey.

Exercise is the second part that is essential for the weight loss journey, and is just as important as eating right. The harder the workout, the better the progress for shape and strength. This is something I struggle with because I find it hard to push through at times. I want that brief second of rest so that I can power through the rest of my sets. It’s usually right as I’m getting to my fourth round of my circuit training. Every time I do push, I feel like I want to die after my workout, which is a good sign.

Then it comes the really hard push, that will give me the momentous gains. That’s my brands. Working on one brand is a full-time job as it is, but I’m taking it even farther by having three brands that I work on. This is where I feel most of my success comes from, it gives me the focus that I need to carry out all my plans.

I have filled my life with all these positive things that keep me going in the right direction. I’ve had times where I was lost and I wasn’t sure where I needed to go, or where I wanted to go. With depression, there is many times that I would doubt myself. I would feel unworthy, I would feel like a failure. I felt that the world would be a better place without me.

With this mental level, I felt that my family would carry-on and eventually find better life if I no longer existed. At this time, I also felt that I was the worst person ever and undeserved of love. This is what depression feels like. Yet, if you would ask if I was okay, then I would say yes, because I didn’t want to burden anybody. I felt that I needed to deal with it on my own.

This is why I evolved the CK Project. It started out as a weight loss thing, to hold myself accountable, but after my period in the darkness, I had to make it something more. After watching people be affected by seven suicides, I knew that I needed to do something else. I felt guilty for having those feelings, I felt even more guilty that I wasn’t able to reach out to these people and try to let them know that they weren’t alone in this struggle.

I took my experience, and decided to use my story as an example that there are other ways then suicide, there are better options. At this time, I didn’t consider myself a survivor. All I wanted to do was help someone else. This was at a time that I still didn’t see the “value” in my own life.

Once I found purpose with going to school, things started to change. I found my direction, and the accomplishments that I was doing started to add value to myself. Investing in myself, was the right choice, and once I got to be a director, I found the thing that was going to keep me going.

By this time, I was getting used to putting in the hard work, but I needed to gain more. See what I did there? So, I was in the last leg of my schooling, and I started to realize that I wanted to change more because I didn’t like the way I was physically feeling. I felt that I wasn’t in the body I was supposed to have, and I was ready to change that too.

So, I started to look into having the gastric sleeve surgery. I had heard that it was the safest option, and I’ve known people who had it done, with no regrets. At that time, I decided that I hadn’t heard anything about the negative side, and one of my best friend’s had also considered the surgery, so I decided that I would blog about it, both the good, and bad. I wasn’t going to hold anything back.

So, using my CK Project platform, I decided that my experience could be used as a tool for others to learn from. I realized that it went full circle from weight loss to mental health, back to weight loss, but I didn’t fully realize the connection between the two.

This is why I keep so busy, because everything I do, outside of work is just another way in attempt to have an outlet. It was a struggle when I felt that I didn’t have that release from the stressful situations, and it just brought me down. I find things that could serve more than one purpose for me.

This blog is the perfect example, as it started out as something for a class, I did a bit of research after and discovered that this was a good place to start out as a blogging site. I decided that this would be a better platform than Facebook to talk about my issues, and it would make it easier to distribute on other social medias. So, where does this serve more than one purpose? Well, I figured that blogging would help me sort out my thoughts, and it has in so many ways. It also helped me as a writer, that was the other thing that I wanted, to be a better writer.

So, I’ve gained a therapeutic way to sort my feelings and experiences while using my struggles and examples to help others, and it has helped me with the written word, and to think as a writer. I’ve gone from writing an average of 412 words per blog, up to over 830 words a blog. My scripts have gotten better and longer as well.

So, my suggestion for everyone is to put in the hard work. The reason is because you’ll benefit and grow in way that would be unexpected. How do you find the motivation? Do the things you love, damn what others might say, unless you’re a serial killer or something, that’s not a good thing. Too many people seem to lose passion from their lives, and passion is a strong guide and motivator. Self-improvement is the best investment any person can have, because it isn’t something that can be taken away.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

Turning Up The Motivation

I have so much going on in life. I have many things that could knock me down and keep me from moving forward, yet I choose to keep my head up. I’ve got so much else going on in my head that keeps me going forward. Recent events have reminded me that it’s all in how you respond to the situation at hand.

One of the things that has come up with the change of shifts is that now I’ve been reminded of what the heat is like. I choose to continue to get my steps in, and I’ve had to pay attention to how my body feel so that I don’t over exert myself. I had to take some time and cool off so that I wouldn’t get sick while working. It’s something that I have to be more mindful of as other’s including myself have suffered from heat stress at work.

The scale hasn’t been my friend lately as I’ve not been consistent on when I weight myself and what I’m wearing. My numbers have been jumping around from about two-sixty to about two-six-eight. Those numbers feel a bit deceiving as I’ve weighed on different scales. It’s strange because my clothes still feel like they’re getting bigger on me.

I’ve been having a strange feeling of being uncomfortable in my skin lately. It makes it feel itchy, and sticky. I know that I wear protective wear at work, but it really doesn’t help me being conscious of how much extra skin I have. This has been a new sensation for me, and I feel at odds with it. I find myself battling with wanting to rip my skin off, and wanting to continue to push myself past this to lose more weight.

Something that we ended up doing last weekend was visiting Disneyland. It was something that we had been planning for awhile and we took Sarah’s cousin with us. It was good to watch someone experience their first time, and watching the reactions of my kids are always the best. I laughed at the shouts of joy and fear. I smiled watching everyone get excited for the drops and turns. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was the whole reason we decided to go, so we could check it out finally.

The exciting part of the trip was that I got to stand under the Millennium Falcon, my twelve-year-old-self got to experience something that I never thought that I’d be able to do. The land was exciting,  yet crowded. Seeing the droids, and the different collectables were very nice. We even had breakfast there. This experience really made me realize a few things about The CK Project.

The CK Project is more than about mental health awareness, and my weight loss journey. It’s about living life to the fullest, while bettering one’s own personal self. I think next summer we’ll start going on more adventures. One of the things I want to do is white water rafting. I also want to go cliff diving, and more challenging hikes. Experiences are better than any thing that can be bought in a store. Shared experiences and adventures are what I love to do with my family and friends. I feel that it brings us together and strengthens the bonds we share.

Now more than ever, I think it’s important to remind those we love that we do love them. Hold them, embrace them, remind them that they are important. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve lost people that I’ve known for years, and it reminds me  of the important things in life. That is one of the unfortunate things about getting older; the fact of mortality reminds us more often than not, that life is often too short, and there are times that we take for granted the things we have.

I guess that’s where my motivation has been lately: thinking about the important things. Keeping the outlet going for me to find a level-headedness. Life tends to throw things at us, and it can build up to an unmanageable pile, if we let it get there. I’m doing my best, and that’s all anyone can expect of anyone else.

Well, for a bit of cross promotion, I’m getting ready to do the final parts of the pre-production process to film my next short. Now’s the time to break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. The next process is breaking down the script into a list of characters, props, and scene pieces that are needed.

On top of that, The CK Project is getting ready to march in it’s second parade, and I’m finding things that I will need for a later time to represent the brand better. I feel like a banner will be something that I need to obtain for future things that I’ll be involved with, i.e. videos, marches. What a time to feel like things are really starting to pick up.

This is the director and that’s a wrap.