Strange night, was pretty tired to begin with but then starting thinking about my family. Its been a common thought of late. Living as far away as we do, we don’t get to see them but twice a year it seems. Their health has certainly declined since we moved to Texas. We’ve discussed moving back to be closer to them, but I struggle with those thoughts. Not wanting to give up our life here, going down the complicated path of ┬áreturning to Oklahoma. Those thoughts are countered by my parents declining health and the unknown duration of time they may have.

I feel for my mother greatly, knowing the strain she is going through. My sister who has her own complex life, it seems I may be the only one on a steady rock. An illusion I have mastered over the years. I’ve looked at jobs in Oklahoma, and while I’m sure I can find something the market is so small compared to where we are in Texas. I’ve been struggling with this and other life issues this year, with no resolution in site.

Financial Revelations

My wife was layed off a month or two ago so we have been eyeing out finances a bit more then normal, seeking ways to cut now so when her unemployment ends we are able to survive.

Its made me evaluate how I’ve paid things in the past and make a few changes to better reflect our financial cash flow. At first I was a bit scared and worried that my income would not cover our expenses. However, I did get a new job and pay raise during this same time. Not enough of a raise to offset the loose of her income, but the added income does help.

Now two months into closer monitoring and seeing where some minor cuts are helping, it does not look even close to dire like I was thinking it could be. We’ve cut back on eating out to only once a week. I’m bringing my lunch to work 4 times if not 5 times a week now. We cut some small expenses as well, and I can see additional areas to cut if needed.

As long as we have each other, as well as our cats, we will be good.

Finding Passion

Since I moved to Texas I’ve grown quite a bit, and left behind many of the passions I had grown as a child. These were left behind due to a number of reason, most notable cost of the hobby and just dwindling interest. For the longest time I would consider myself a man-child, and still am in some regards. I collected comic books, action figures, played video games, watched anime, read manga and much more. I think anime and manga was the first thing to go due to lack of interest. While I still occasionally watch something on Netflix, I certainly don’t keep on top of things and race after the newest series.

Comic books was the first major passion I gave up. After we moved to Austin, funds were a little more tighter and the cost of comics was going up as well as the sheer amount of related series. I started first by giving up Marvel and just reading the DC Universe. Batman has always been my favorite, but even that franchise got out of control. About 8 months after we moved to Austin, I decided to give it up. I stopped buying them outright. I would occasional get a graphic novel, and even that has dwindled. Though I did get the Walked Dead compendium this past Christmas, which I have yet to finish. I still have allot of comics, that I would like to get rid of, but their current value is not worth the effort to sell them. Its sad that you spend $3 on a comic book that you can’t even get $1 for on ebay.

My departure from comic books was quickly followed by my departure from action figure. The two are so closely related. I would often purchase Batman and video game related figure. I was able to sell most of the action figure I had, some where in original packaging, and I even made a profit on some items. This passion was easier to give up. I still have a few things. Most notable some Everquest action figures and a few Batman bobble heads I was unable to sell.

It took my a while to fill the void these passions filled, but the next big passion I have has been slowly dwindling since. Video games, are often associated with fans of comic books. At one point I was a huge Call of Duty fan, and I still yearn for classic 8-Bit Nintendo classics, but my free time has shrunk over the time, and games have gotten longer. I still play my Xbox on occasion, but often I find myself bored and disinterested in a game that looked so good. There have been countless times I’ve started playing a game, and was having a blast, to find myself loosing interest long before I get close to beating it. Time changes you as well. Borderlands a game I played endlessly, released a sequel that could barely keep my interest. I finally completed it, but it was not with the awe I had for the original. For the first time in my history, the dawn of a new console era is quickly approaching and I’m not sure if I’m interested enough to warrant the cost of a new console.

I have found a few new minor passions, but none of these match the passion I once had for comics and games. I am still a big Star Trek and Doctor Who fan, but aside from watching the current iterations, I don’t really collect anything from those universe’s. Which brings me to the conclusion that most of passions was all about having and collecting. A few years ago I started to try and live a more minimal life. Getting rid of things that just gathered dust, but at the cost of the only passion I’ve known.

I have picked up new habits during this time. I certainly drink more beer then before, and I do enjoy playing Dance games on the Kinect. I still watch quite a bit of television. And I’ve never been able to give up Everquest for too long, but even that world is a roller coaster.

I want to be more creative, to find a passion that doesn’t involve collecting things. I’ve thought about painting and plan to take a class at some point. I’ve tried to get back into doing more Photography. Writing, acting, brewing, anything to get me out of my shell and have some sort of creative output. I just need to take the first step, I just don’t know what step it should be.