I just had the pleasure of enjoying a heart-felt article written by Alister Kennedy of 42 Level One and Star Wars RebelsCast UK. It is so authentic and moving that I felt I really needed to open up more myself as we celebrate the holidays. I hope I get a chance to share Ali’s words but, for now, I hope I can at least find the courage to share what my heart and soul feels I should.
For starters, this year has been the hardest year for me and my family, though I try to shelter them from my pain and struggles as much as possible. It all started with when two folks, Patty Vollherbst and Lauri Flaquer, stole all the credit for the hard work I put into a web site I was developing. I was willing to do tons of work for free and on the cheap (and I did end up unpaid for most of the work).. But apparently the fact that I asked for money for the tons of work I put in didn’t make me a team player. I think it’s fair to ask for less than a fourth of what would have otherwise been a $15,000 job just for starters by other standards (I know because I check what the competition charges).
If you want to know just how much I hate thieves and stealing of credit for work, read my content/creative work theft article on Y3B. I am a very forgiving and understanding guy, more than most, but theft is something that really makes me a sad panda, whether you steal someone’s work or you refuse to pay for it.
Usually, I don’t like to call people out but I need to release this burden and, since addressing it calmly with the offending parties did not work, I will share with ears that will listen and hearts that care. This event set off a chain reaction. Rumors were spread that I was over-charging or trying to milk customers. Of course, these rumors did not include the fact that our Project Manager was MIA for over two weeks and the lines of communication / chain of command were vastly unclear. I lost other clients in the process because, you know, negativity is more pervasive than anything good.
Then there were deaths in the family, betrayals by loved ones, fighting off sickness, endless car problems, and much, much more. It all seemed to come together in spikes. Just when we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, things went pitch black all over again. Needless to say, it’s been rough. Losing Robin Williams didn’t help either. Sure, I didn’t know him but it felt like the end of a great era, perhaps a portent of things to come. I’m not saying suicide is the right choice but I can relate. Depression really does hurt.
In spite of all that darkness, I still feel a glimmer of hope and joy. It’s hard not to during this time. I look back, even at recent years, and recall better days… I know better days will return, too.
So here I am contemplating, musing even, and remembering the merriment and goodness of this holiday season. I hope you’ll allow me to share these emotions and unadulterated thoughts with you today…
What Christmas Means To Me
Christmas has always been a special time to me. It’s not because I can expect some neat gifts and maybe extra spending money, though that is nice, but rather the love and spirit that the season usually brings. This is a time of reflection, family, compassion, and countless memories.
As a parent, I get to enjoy the merriment and laughter of young ones running about and opening presents frantically. Truth be told, this year won’t be big for gifts at all and we’ll be happy to at least enjoy one big meal. The key is that we’re together as a family. Hopefully, we can put our worries aside and enjoy some board games, reminiscing, and much needed laughs.
Friends and family. That’s what Christmas means to me. When I say “friends”, I mean the few that actually give a damn and stick around. Those are the rare treasures that the holidays bring us.
As a Christian, I do believe we should bring back Christ into the holiday but I do not force that upon others. As long as we all exercise a spirit of giving, compassion, and gratitude, we can all get along. With the weather getting colder and the days getting darker, it’s easy to fall into depression and angst. This is when we need hope and love more than ever.
Christmas now also marks the one-year anniversary of HorsePLAY! LIVE and the Geeky Antics network (well, almost).
HorsePLAY! EP53 – Christmas 2014 Special PART 1
After some crazy tech issues with HorsePLAY! LIVE Episode 52, we decided to keep the one-year anniversary celebrations going. With Christmas right around the corner as well, we were feeling particularly nostalgic. Most of the memories took us to happy places but there were some anger-inducing memories too. We try to keep the salt to a minimum as we share Christmas memories, favorite HorsePLAY! moments, and rants.
We play quite a few voicemail messages and enjoy many laughs with our live chat. One of my favorites was the drunken karaoke game review with DekardC. Of course, to kick off the episode, we have a hilarious (and pretty catchy) dubstep Christmas intro theme.