And Today is Why I Worry…

Have Had Better Days…

So if there’s one thing you should know about me by this point it is that I have a son that works for a tree service company and i find myself worrying about him far too much. Unfortunately, today did not help me at all with this little problem I have been having.

My son knows that I worry about him, sure. What father wouldn’t? But I don’t think he knows the extent of my worry and how much he means to me. If he had any clue about how much these thoughts come into my head every day, he wouldn’t tell me the horror stories like the one he told me today.

One of His Guys Got Hurt, Bad

I try to call my son every day, but I know how busy he is and at his age it’s hard so I at least make sure to talk to him every other day. So today during our phone call he casually mentioned to me that one of the guys in his crew broke a bone in his arm so bad that it was actually showing through the skin. No you did not read that wrong. Someone that my son is in charge of and knows very well, actually had a bone in his arm sticking out of his skin at a job site today. Thinking about seeing something that gruesome and horrific makes me feel light headed, let alone what I would be going through if it actually happened to me.

Want to know the worst part?

Apparently they were doing a pretty routine tree removal that they go through pretty much every day at their business. It wasn’t some huge job that they weren’t used to or anything which would have made me feel a little bit better but the fact that they have done this a million times and it just randomly happened terrifies me.

I don’t know all of the details but apparently the guy was just being careless. For anyone out there who has never seen these tree guys do a removal job, there’s a lot more that goes into it than you might think. You can’t just walk up and chop it down and call it a day. For bigger trees, like the one they were doing today, you have to climb up in harnesses and cut down individual bigger limbs first and then start from the top and make your way down. This is primarily so you don’t damage homes or other pieces of property if you were to just cut a tree down and let it fall. So apparently his friend was up in one of these harnesses and didn’t secure a branch that he was cutting strong enough and when the thing fell, it landed right below his elbow on his forearm and had enough pressure to power right through the bone.

What Can I Do?

Realistically, there is nothing that I can do to ease my mind. My son chose this profession and he is an adult so I have to respect it. Anyone out there reading this have any suggestions or little meditation exercises I can start doing to help me out? I feel like I am aging twice as fast as I should be because of all of this worrying I find myself doing…

No Danger For Me

I am kind of going all over the place with my whole blog, but as a whole I think it is kind of starting to paint a picture of who I am and where I am coming from and why I worry so much about my son. So I’m going to change direction again and talk a little bit about my career and how I ended up here.

Restaurants My Whole Life

If you read by now, you know that I am a general manager for a small local bar in my town and have worked in the restaurant industry my whole life. I started off as a dishwasher when I was a young teenager then eventually started bussing, then to serving, to bartending, to managing, and finally made it to the general management position. Over my life I have worked in every single kind of restaurant/bar that you could imagine. I have worked corporate places, small mom and pop joints, and 5 star fine dining. They all have their perks and all have their flaws. I have found that the smaller owned places are the best to work at and corporate (especially fine dining) are the absolute worst.

The bar I work at now is owned by an older couple in their 60’s and they have owned the place for over 30 years. It’s become very successful and is the best known local pub in our town. We have tons of regulars and I have become friends with a lot of them. It always makes the job easier and go by quicker when you can be yourself with guests and not have to put on that fake corporate smile to everyone. The more a manager in a restaurant smiles, the more miserable they generally are. Trust me on this.

What Exactly Do I Do?

The general manager basically oversees the operations of the entire restaurant, for those of you who don’t know. From the kitchen staff, to the bar and servers, to our love dishwashers; I am the boss of them all and the owners are the only 2 people above me.

We have one other manager who is basically in charge of the FOH (front of house) staff and inventory, but I have to oversee her and everyone else to keep things running smooth.

I never really thought I would stay in the restaurant industry as long as I have and to be totally honest, before I found this place I hated it. There is something so fake about working in a restaurant that I really can’t stand sometimes. Depending on the type of place you work in but for the most part, if a customer is being a total ass and simply complains about anything that went wrong with their dining experience you pretty much have no choice but to smile and pathetically apologize to the jackass while comping his whole meal. This was one thing I always had to bit my tongue with and faked my way through a lot of jobs by doing this. The place I am at now isn’t like this and I very rarely have to deal with ass holes but it definitely still happens.

Since I have always worked in restaurants, I never had to work any real dangerous manual labor jobs like my son does now (see here). I think this is why I worry so much but I am really working on getting better and actually typing it out on this thing is really helping. Thanks for anyone out there reading this, it really means a lot to me.

Happy Thoughts…

After reading my past couple posts I found myself getting kind of depressed and realized that this whole thing is coming off very gloomy and I am sounding like a lost hopeless old man just waiting to die. I promise I am not on suicide watch and I don’t spend all my days in a dark room drinking whiskey and listening to old records pondering what could have been.

I really am generally a very happy guy and although I have gone through some dark times in my life, I have gotten past a lot of it and really am thankful for the things I have. I just kind of wanted an open forum for myself with this whole blog and wanted to be totally up front and honest with a lot of what I am feeling (I am starting to sound too much like my therapist, maybe I do need help) and maybe up-lift anyone out there reading this by showing them they are not alone.

I want to change the vibe a little bit with this post and talk about things that I am so grateful for in my life because of the events that have happened in my life.

New Appreciation For People

The divorce I went through with my wife was pretty ugly. I ended up getting full custody of our son and we were on absolute zero contact terms for over 5 years but eventually, and very gradually, reached a point where we could be civil with one another.

The destruction of my marriage really destroyed me and my life for a while and could not have gotten through it if it wasn’t for my son, but I really did learn to have a new appreciate for a lot of things and life in general after I had enough time to heal.

Years after the divorce (and therapy) I began to realize that there is virtually no point in having negative emotions or feelings toward other people and just how much it can have an effect on your life by holding on to these feelings. In response to that, I have learned just how much of an impact surrounding yourself with positive people can have on your mood and every day outlook on life.

A little example of what I mean. So as you have probably guessed, I live alone so any human interaction goes a long way for me. My neighbor is kind of in a similar situation just recently actually. She is a 37 year old single mom who is living with her 3 kids, all under the age of 15. So needless to say we have a lot in common and can really relate to each other. I am always the one she calls when she ever needs any work done around her house and to be honest, I love being that guy.

And before you ask, no we do not, and will not, have any kind of romantic relationship going on here as perfect as this whole situation is for a guy in my situation. Neither of us wants a relationship and who’s kidding who, I’m old now and I don’t try to hide it.

So anyways, today she called me over because one of her sons got a little too wild with one of his friends and they tore open a hole in their pools fence. I know what you are thinking but no, the kid isn’t some young body builder strong enough to rip through steel. It was one of those fiber looking fences that are really only there to stop little kids from falling in. It looks like one of the fences here at www.orlandopoolfenceco.com. The thing still is super strong though and I was actually impressed that he was able to do so much damage to it. So long story short I had to come and install a new section for her which only took about an hour and like I said, I really do love helping out.

Guess what my lovely single neighbor had ready for me when I was done fixing her fence. My absolute favorite dinner in the world, Filet mignon, medium rare of course, steamed asparagus, and twice baked potatoes. My stomach still hurts from eating so much.

It’s the little things like this that give me light in my life and make me look forward to the next day. I don’t think she knows how much little things like that to me mean to me at this point in my life

Little Bit Unconventional

For any of you out there that happened to have found my little page, you have seen that my family doesn’t quite fir the picture for the “typical” family structure and it is a little bit unconventional so to speak. I have worked in the restaurant industry since I was 17, my son works for a tree service company, and my wife and I got divorced many years ago. We still keep in touch and are civil with one another at this point, but there is absolutely no hope of us ever recovering from what we went through or anything like that. So I decided I might as well open up a little bit on this one and give you guys a little bit more background of my story so you can get a better understanding of where I am coming from on here. I am going to get pretty honest here and try to be as open as my hands will allow me to be.

So What Happened With The Marriage?

I’m sure a lot of you are curious as to what went so terribly wrong in my marriage and for any of you out there who have ever gone through a divorce, my heart goes out to you. That period of my life was some of the darkest emotions I have ever gone through and still carry it with me to this day.

I don’t want to talk ill of my ex-wife on the internet and won’t go into too much detail with her and her role in he whole thing, but I will be completely open with my role in the divorce and my issues. That being said, we both played an equal role in our failed relationship and she would say the exact same thing.

My parents got divorced when I was 7 years old and I think that really did scar me in ways that I wasn’t even aware of until I was well into my 40’s. I have discovered (after years of therapy) that I have a tendency to bottle in my emotions in a very unhealthy way. Throughout my entire life and my previous relationships before my son’s mother, I really struggled with expressing my feelings to my significant other. If something was bothering me, I ignored it and just waiting for the feelings to fade away and be replaced with another without really dealing with the core of the issues.

Eventually, these little bottled up individual issues and emotions would catch up to me after a small incident and all explode out of me at once, being too much for both my wife, and I to bear. We never had casual healthy arguments or discussions when we were married, we would act totally fine with each other for weeks and then have a catastrophic argument over something petty and would cause resentment to each other.

There were a million other issues that we had going on that equally contributed to the failed marriage but if I had to pick one thing on my end that had the biggest impact, it would be my failure to express my true feelings and emotions.

Not Exactly Typical Careers

I never went to college and neither did my parents. Times are a little bit different now though and a bachelor’s degree is becoming the new high school diploma in a way which I think is terrible. School really isn’t for everyone and I don’t think you should have to take tens of thousands of dollars out in loans just to have a fighting chance in this economy.

That’s why I never really pushed my son to go to college if he didn’t feel that it was right and sure enough, he chose the workers trade route and went into the tree service business, skipping the whole debt and school nonsense. I can’t say I blame him but something I wish he would have gone to school and found a safer job. But that didn’t happen so until then, I will use this as a form of therapy for me.

Thanks for listening, it really helps to get this out and on paper… Well, electronic paper.

 

Does it get better?

Aren’t parents supposed to feel less worried as they and their children get older? Because this just isn’t the case for this old man. I really am trying to get better, I really am. But it just seems to be getting worse and worse for me every day.

He’s All I Got

Not to get all gloomy and sad on you poor readers but when it comes down to it, my son is really the only thing I have left in this world anymore that I truly care about. My parents passed away many years ago and if you read my “greetings page” you would know that my wife and I got a divorce 14 years ago and I am not trying to go down that road again. For any of you young ones out there reading this that might be considering getting married and you’re not 110% sure you found the one, DO NOT DO IT. That was just a nightmare that I would not wish upon my worst enemy; but I will save that mess of a story for another day.

Of course I have a few very close friends, but at my age everyone is pretty pre-occupied with careers and families of their own so I don’t get to see them very often. And of course I am an only child so I have no siblings to care for and be there for either so my son is really all I have. He is my entire world and I truly could not go on with life without him.

His Work

So again, if you have read my first post you would know that my son works as a project manager for a tree service company. He isn’t quite “the boss” yet but he oversees his crew of guys over every project they get called out to. From cutting down massive 50 foot trees to grinding stumps, my boy is in charge of the group of guys that go out and do the jobs.

A lot of people don’t realize or know it, but the tree service industry is actually one of the most dangerous careers that you can have in the United States right now. I didn’t believe it either but after a little research I found that sure enough, it really is a hazardous career choice. I really wish I hadn’t done that research but it was like a train wreck. No matter how badly you want to look away, your body just won’t let you.

I think that tree removals are what worry me the most about my son’s job. Take a look at some of the pictures and information from this site www.treecarefortwayne.com if you’ve never seen any before to get a look at what I am talking about. My son’s business place has these things called bucket trucks that take them up to 65 feet in the air to do some of these removals. Thank God that I have never heard of anyone falling out of these or anything and I know that my son takes all the precautions in the world (at least he tells me so) when he’s ever doing these dangerous jobs but my fatherly instinct always kicks in and my mind goes to worst case scenario immediately.

As the project manager, my son doesn’t have to do as much as the actual hands-on labor that he used to, but he isn’t lazy and I know he helps out his guys as much as he can. I couldn’t be more proud of him but I hope he gets bumped up to manager of the whole place so he can sit in an office all day and I can stop worrying before I give myself an ulcer.

 

Am I worrying too much?

You’ll Understand When You Have Your Own

For all of you non-children having readers out there, have you ever heard someone say something along the lines of “oh, you’ll understand when you have kids?”

Well I am now guilty of being one of those people. I like to consider myself still “middle aged” at the ripe age of 51 as a single father for an amazing 26 year old son. Yeah, yeah I know the term “single father” may have been a little misleading. No, my son does not still live with me and he is doing very well for himself working in the tree service industry for a local company in our town. He’s been working with the same company for years now and is currently the assistant project manager. He’s hoping to eventually become the manager for the whole joint and seeing how far he has come at his age, I know he will do it.

I, becoming the worrisome old man that I am, hope that this happens sooner rather than later. Even now as an assistant manager his role as far as actual labor goes has gone way down, but he is still out there every day helping out and putting in his work.

For those of you who don’t know anyone who works in tree care, it is actually one of the most dangerous jobs in the country right now which brings me back to where I was going with this whole thing.

I know some of these clips might be a little funny but all jokes aside, I worry about him.

I Respect His Choices

I know he’s adult and he is old and mature enough to make his own decisions and take care of himself, but like I said before you can’t imagine what it’s like to worry about your children until you have them yourself. I am a general manager for a local bar in our town and have never really worked in any real hard manual labor jobs so his physical abilities must have came from his mother. He really is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I can’t help but worry however, that all of this blue collar work is going to really hurt him down the road and will eventually lead him to years of body aches and pains when he gets to my age.

I don’t know how many of you out there are over the age of 40 out there, but for those of you who aren’t let me tell you that it is all down-hill from there. Not trying to sound gloomy but the truth hurts sometimes. I have pretty much worked in the restaurant industry my entire life and have worked every position there is and am feeling the effects of it today, let alone if I had been cutting down and dragging trees around all day every day.

This is his choice though and I totally respect and support him but I can’t help but find myself worrying about him every day. God forbid anything real serious happens, the every day pounding and work that his body is taking is definitely going to come back to him in the future.

Childfree?

I was actually curious about how many people are deciding to have kids these days and found a little movement that I didn’t know existed here on wikipidia. These “childfree” advocates choose not to have kids and are proud of it. I myself support them 100% and totally respect that decision. I couldn’t imagine going through a single day without my son but can’t help but envy the lack of worrying these people must have.