Is COVID-19 Affecting You Too?

No funny story this time.

Let’s talk real for a minute. No politics. No mask debate. No Trump talk. No ‘he said, she said’; none of that.

This is a post that has been a long time coming; and quite frankly I had to get this off my chest because I’m certain I’m not alone in this. Actually, statistics say that I’m not. I’m going to try and keep this short, but we all know how that goes…

June 12, 2020: exactly 3 months of working from home and feeling ‘off’ most of the time, I went to the doctor and got diagnosed with ‘severe’ anxiety. Pretty cool, right? I’m not sure that “severe” needed to be the adjective used, but I’m not the Doctor. I’ve always joked about having anxiety, I know that I’ve dealt with it for most of my life-but I was able to, for the most part, overcome it. I got bullied a bunch as a kid–I think that’s what started it, but that’s a post for another time!

This time seemed different; I could’t ‘laugh my way out of this one’. When I sat in the Doctor’s office, he said this: “I certainly don’t mean to make light of this situation, but you are another float in the long parade of people that have been in here in the past couple weeks for anxiety”. He also had another analogy that was really good as well; he said “picture a big lake with a couple stumps sticking out of the water: those are the people with anxiety right before this started. This pandemic has significantly lowered the water level so that more stumps start to show up”. Pretty deep, right?

When I got home and stared at my newly dispensed bottle of anti-anxiety pills and tried to figure out what to do. I felt like Neo in the Matrix; except my decision was a white pill or no pill at all. I needed to figure out how to get this under control somehow. I just wasn’t sure which way to go.

I finally chose no pill. The bottle still sits on top of my microwave and I haven’t touched it yet. Although-there have been plenty of times that I’ve thought about it! With the help of my wife, we worked to figure out what caused my anxiety: we basically came up with “the world”. So good news, that’s only everywhere. I think the negativity of everything finally got to me. If you turn on the news: negativity, drive down main street and see businesses shut down: negativity; open up your 401(k): negativity; and finally:

Social Media. The all-powerful demigod ruler of all things negative.

I understand “Free Speech”, it literally is what allows me to have a blog. Even better: you’re allowed to absolutely hate it, and if you do, cool – I hope you have a great day and move on with your life. Obviously, its rare for exchanges like that to happen on social media. It seems like everyone has to bash everyone else’s opinion now days. Go on Facebook or Twitter, even LinkedIn (quickly becoming Facebook with better profile pictures), right now and just do a search for “mask”, “COVID”, “Trump”, “Walz” (MN) and start reading the “conversations” people are having with one another. The comments under news station posts are the best. It really makes you wonder how we function as a society doesn’t it? We have this “I have to be right” and/or “I need to make sure I get the last word in” (I’m guilty of this one sometimes) mentality that turns everyone into a keyboard warrior to get their point across. We can’t just say “hey, I disagree with your opinion, but that’s fine”. It’s OK to keep scrolling if someone’s opinion is different than your own, I promise. I usually try to keep scrolling because I don’t like confrontation. :D

I wanted to get my mind under control, so I hit ‘reset’ in a way. I muted certain words on Twitter and un-followed SEVERAL people on Facebook. I still wanted to be friends with them but I didn’t want their views to somehow affect what I thought of them–because it really shouldn’t matter. I also limited the time that I spent on Social Media in general. I actually downloaded an app that blocks any type of social media/websites/phrases for a certain amount of time each day. That has definitely helped (I’m also more productive)! I exercise more, I even bought a Panda Planner and have tried to write in it every day to get some sort of structure into my life. There is also a spot where I can write what I’m grateful for each day as well as a personal affirmation section. This is something I’ve never done in my entire life-quite honestly, I thought it was silly. But, it really does make you think. If you are able to write down just two things each day that you’re grateful for; you’re probably doing better than you think you are. I also have a WAM (Weekly Accountability Meeting) every Monday morning with one of my buddies to set goals for the upcoming week and review the past week/weekend. These things have helped me get some sense of normalcy back into my life.

We’re living in an unprecedented time. I’d love to be living in “precedented” times, but we’re not. This shit is wild, let’s just face it. People miss the personal interaction with their friends and co-workers; they miss going to a full bar on the weekend, they miss “normal”. Now, whether you want to wear a mask, or you don’t. Whether you agree with President Trump or you don’t; whether you think this is all being controlled by the government or you don’t; whether you think kids should be in school or you don’t. You can at least try to respect other people and be respectful of someone’s differing opinion. You don’t know how they might be affected by this or something else going on in the world. The ‘new normal’ has taken it’s toll on me upstairs lately-and probably some of you reading this as well. Initially I struggled to keep it under control, but I’m managing and I do think it’s slowly getting better.

I grew up thinking that anxiety was something that could just be “fixed”, or just part of life, or “not manly”, or whatever. It is very real and it actually affects about 40 million Americans every year and and only 36.9% of those people seek out treatment. It’s getting better, but there’s a stigma around mental health-especially for men for some reason. Maybe it’s perceived as ‘weak’?

Call me ‘weak’ if you want; but then I guess you didn’t get the point of this post.

If you want to chat about what I’m doing to work on my brain; let me know. I’ll do what I can.

Funny one next time-I promise.


Disclaimer: If you use medication to treat anxiety and/or depression, good for you. I’m proud of you for tackling it in your own way. Also, I know that other people have been affected in potentially worse ways by losing their jobs or loved ones due to COVID-19. I’ve been very fortunate through everything thus far.

The Mattress Story


It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, so I wanted to make sure that I got one or two more written before the end of 2018.

I was trying to think of a story to write that I thought everyone would enjoy and my wife suggested “The Mattress Story”. So here it goes…

Continue reading “The Mattress Story”

Why I don’t talk to my friends from school anymore

I bet that got your attention! That’s called “click bait”, sorry about that. But keep reading since you’re here..

This is the subject that has caused me the most anxiety over writing about-might as well get it out of the way! This is a subject that I’ve had on my mind LONG before I ever started a blog-years even. Keeping in touch with high school classmates is something that I’ve never been very good at since I graduated. Actually, I’m downright terrible at it.

I grew up on a farm in a small town in southwestern Minnesota of about 900 people, the phrase “everybody knows everybody” is incredibly true. To this day, my dad still says “nobody uses their blinker because everybody else knows where you’re going!” You obviously can see where I get my wit.

Growing up in a town of that size, you do know everyone-especially the other kids your own age. I remember so many summers riding my Huffy bike about a half mile into town every single day (kids can’t do that anymore unfortunately…) to hang out with my friends, play T-Ball/Baseball, go swimming, or just ride our bikes around town; usually begging one of our parents to let someone stay over night. Man, summers were the best!!

Now, summers are just a reminder that I didn’t choose “teacher” as a career.

I grew up with those kids, from daycare to graduation. You get to know them, you know their families, where they live, etc. I distinctly remember being a freshman in high school and watching the seniors walking through the hallway. I felt like a kitten walking around in the lion’s den. THEY WERE SO BIG!! Some even had facial hair. When I got to be a senior and we were “Soooo big” as my 10 month old ‘says’, my classmates were the same size in my eyes that they had been since 5th grade. We didn’t change, we even added a bunch of great friends.

After graduation day; everyone kind of goes their own separate direction. There are some who go to college, some who don’t, some who move far away for personal reasons, and some who stick around. During high school, your friends might not be your “best friends” anymore, “cliques” form, and people change. But, you still play sports with them, you party with them, and you grow up with them.

Regardless, in the end the T-ball team full of 5 year old kids is still the Class of 2004.

Facebook came out in 2004 and not to be left out of a growing trend, I joined during college in 2005. I thought “this is great!, I’m going to stay in contact with so many of my old friends”. I did that by “liking” things that they might have posted; or experiences that they were sharing.

Almost two decades of friendship, stories, and experiences has been reduced to a blue and white thumb. Don’t forget that at least 50 other people clicked that thumb as well; so it probably got lost in the shuffle anyways. I remember feeling anxious the first time I clicked “like” on a post of one of my high school classmates that I hadn’t talked to in, I don’t know-one freaking year. Now I pop thumbs like I’m poppin’ tags.

Now, I think there have been 2 class reunions since I graduated. I have not been able to attend either one; I’m sure they were awesome-we had such a great class! So, maybe had I been able to make one of them I wouldn’t feel so damn weird reaching out to some of them!

I’ll be at the 15 year reunion. That’s a promise.

I can count on about 3 fingers the amount of classmates that I genuinely keep in touch with; and 2 of those-I’m pretty poor at. If you’re reading this (I really hope someone reads this) and we went to high school together and we’re Facebook friends. I can almost guarantee that I have kept up with your life in some capacity through Facebook. I notice it when you get married, have a new baby, made a lifestyle change, got a new job, a first or new house, a new car, started a blog/podcast, started a business, or you had an amazing trip to Europe. Granted, these are all the “positives” that make the Facebook timeline anyways. But, unfortunately it’s not very difficult to spot the negative things as well, perhaps a divorce, death, ilness, job loss; etc.

Jesus H. Christ, that made me sound like a stalker…I hope people get what I’m trying to say.

I CARE, OK?! DAMMIT, I CARE!! There, I said it. With all the crap going on in schools and on social media now days, I’m not sure that phrase is said enough.

I feel weird reaching out to old classmates, and I know its because I feel guilty that I haven’t reached out. I guarantee there are people out there feeling the same way. I have this anxiety where I feel like I’m bugging someone by reaching out (yet-oddly enough, I’m a very good cold-caller), so I don’t reach out-I watch their lives on Facebook like the rest of the world. Do people still call each other? Whenever someone that I haven’t talked to in a while calls me, I’m always like “Do you need help? Say ‘Kangaroo’ if you’re in trouble”. Its almost weird, right? Everyone lives in a world of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and text messages. Myself included. I think they’ve even started teaching kids how to have actual conversations in school. That’s sad. I can promise that both of my kids (and any future kids—calm down Mom; just saying) WILL be able to hold a conversation with another human being. I hate when you ask a kid a question and the parent answers. HATE IT! If the kid is able to, let the kid talk answer…if they embarrass you-so what. It’ll be more embarrassing when they’re 16 and don’t know how to answer questions in a job interview without you doing it for them. Sorry-I’m off topic…


Let me put this out there, if you’ve been doing the same thing as me and watching your classmates that you haven’t talked to for a long time on Facebook or otherwise. Reach out to them! Maybe it’s me? Maybe you think your kids would like to play with my kids, maybe you want to grab coffee or better yet, a beer and just catch up. I’m 100% in. This is something that I would love to get better at, but I’m also not sure that I will-but I’ll try. Let’s figure something out and reconnect! It’ll no doubt be awkward, but who cares. If not, I hope you’re all doing very well for yourselves!

Well, …that was kinda mushy. Sorry about that.