It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and it will be a while longer before I post another update, but I felt it was time I shared a little of what is going on in my world. So, I’ll share a few thoughts with you in JOE’S CORNER, which — as you may now — is only published here, on the TMD blog page. It will not be posted anywhere else on any of the other TMD social media pages. This is only for those who are interested enough to follow the TMD Blog page.
Physically, I am doing well enough. I have been fighting chronic bronchitis, but, if I loose some weight, I can do a lot to make things better. I’m also doing well financially. Thanks to you guys, the orders have been coming in and I have been happy to fill and ship them, which means the bills are being paid. But my emotional state is a different subject. I’m not doing so well on that front.
Ever since this COVID insanity started, I have been going through a tough time. I haven’t been dealing with things as well as I used to, and I know I am not alone. Many of us have been suffering from some form of depression or another, brought on by all the changes to our world. If this includes you, then you have my sympathies and understanding. For the first time in my life, I can empathize with others who suffer from various forms of depression, and I’m actually grateful for that. Until now, I never really understood. So, to all of you out there who are struggling like I am, I pray you will find your way out of the darkness and back into the Light very, very soon.
As for me, I suspect a good deal of my bad mood is because I knew this was coming. No, I don’t mean I knew COVID was coming, but I knew it would be something like COVID. ‘They’ have just been waiting for their crisis. I also know a great deal about what is still in store for us. I’ve told you before: there is another side to my life that I have largely hid from the modeling world because of my business. Well, it is because of what I have learned in this other side of my life that I know (in general terms) what is soon to come. It is causing me to feel anger at what is and is going to happen, because it is wrong. It is causing me to feel grief because it is senseless and unnecessary. And it is causing me to feel depressed because there is little I can do about any of it. Add it all up and I have been feeling angry, sad and depressed — all at the same time.
This has affected TMD largely because I am an emotional builder. I simply cannot build or master when I feel like this. Instead, I eat (yes, I have put on weight, and yes, it is affecting my health). I also loose whatever self-discipline I may have left in this aging body. The whole thing has left me feeling… Well, it’s difficult to explain. I guess, if I were to put it in military terms, it’s like getting involuntarily extended two days before you were supposed to leave country. It leaves you in a depressed rage where you feel compelled to do something about the injustice of it all, but you’re absolutely helpless. There’s nothing you can do except embrace the suck.
Whenever I encounter this combination of anger and malaise — especially when it is accompanied by a loss of self-discipline — I usually react by going to war with myself (which is not a good thing, because I am still a Marine at heart, and I wage total war). When you wage total war with yourself, all sides loose. For me, I tend to get into a self-destructive death-spiral where I know I need to snap-out of it but can’t, so I get angry at myself and tell myself to snap-out of it, where I can’t, and so on and so forth. Well, guess where I’ve been for the last nine months or so? Yup, circling the drain in that emotional death-spiral, yelling at myself to snap-out of it, yet unable to snap-out of it. I might as well be yelling at my plane to pull up when it’s in a hard stall at low altitude. I’d get the same result.
Now, as I said, I know I am not alone in any of this. Others are having it even worse than I do, and knowing this has helped me resist falling into a self-pity party, as well. I just felt I owed those of you who follow the blog a bit of an explanation. You’ve always been friends in my mind, and you still are. Still, I really do need to snap-out of it. I have not put out anything new for months — longer, even. In a new product driven industry, that is a formula for ruin. Luckily, I am blessed beyond anything I deserve. The Lord has given me a very loyal customer base, and you all have kept me alive — so far. It’s just that I can’t keep testing the Lord’s patience. I know He has limits, and I do not want to find them because, when you reach the end of His rope, He tends to jerk it tight all at once — and hard!
So, rather than worry about worldly things over which I have no control, I am going to try to focus on my faith. It’s worked for me in the past, and I trust it will work again this time. This means picking back up my duties as a steward over that with which He has entrusted me. One of those duties is to pay attention to TMD. I still see TMD as serving God by serving each of you, and I cannot serve you if I am not doing my job. I have kept up with filling and shipping orders, and with customer service issues. But you guys also expect me to keep meeting your modeling needs by growing the product line. I hope, if I focus on serving God by serving you guys, I will be able to find my way out of this darkness that has surrounded me these past many months. Who knows? Maybe, if I do my part, I might even make something that will help someone out there find an old spark that will start them on their path back to the Light, as well. At least, this is the way I am going to try to look at things for now. We’ll have to see how it goes.
I do have projects on my desk, and lots of things I’d like to do for you guys. I just have to find the discipline to focus on one thing, stay on it until I finish it, then look for the next project. The mastering version of one foot in front of the next. I’m going to try it starting today. Wish me luck, and I’ll be keeping all of you in my prayers, as well.
Until next time, please, stay safe (and God bless),