Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A brief look behind the mask of Janus Torrell

I got some big news the other day, that I wish I could trumpet to the whole world, but I can't until more details are in.
Yet I feel like I can't be quiet either...which makes it worse.
At my wedding people had seen me smile and happy, many have not seen me do that for years. People whispered it to my wife and my family, and of course my parents had to let me know that.
I was not aware that I was obvious when I am...well lost in my thoughts.
The news I received has hit me in several ways. Happy that I have some hope for a past that went out of my control but can change now and for the best, sadness of how things were and how hard they are going to be even if things work out, and fear that this is not true or it won't work out the way my heart wants it to and that I will be hurt again.
I have a good life and I thank God for how far things have come. I want to give him all the glory and the credit, but I have to let him share it just a little.
My wife has given me support and helped to bring me where I am today. Before we went back to God, she was there for me. God has helped me find an absolute beautiful woman not just on the outside but in the inside. Before we both turned to him, God turned to us without us knowing it. When I was far from him he brought me to a wonderful woman and a great family, without my knowledge, without my approval, and without me deserving a damn bit of anything good.
My family has been behind me and have been with me and suffered with me in this in silence. I have hurt and shut out many who have bore this cross with me. Family that when I told them the news have thrown themselves into me not just in prayer but assistance to help me bring this to a glorious conclusion.
I know that with God and with my great wife and wonderful family that things will work out.
I still fear though, I fear my heart can't handle this alone. I need him and those around me to help hold me together. I can't do it without them.
I know all but very few of you that read my blog know me very well. I wish I could be truly honest and open with all my life, but even with aliases and the world of the web, I have to hold back. I hope you can continue to learn more about me and the skeletons that I still have to hide in closet.
Think of me, pray for me.
My past is coming back in a big way soon. Hopefully all of it for the best, but some old bones I will have to face. They have kept me awake for over five years now, and God willing soon I will be getting resolution. Peace.
God willing all this will work out and I will be able to share my joy with the world. Not just for one night as I dance with my wife, but I will feel it everyday again even when I am alone and without those that bring the light into my life.
To take out the old bones, and to bring the to life to me again. Fully and Completely.
To sleep again, and dream deep and well.
Five years is a long time to live in fear and hide from the past , from those around me, and from my heart.
I might have to leave this blog for a while unexpectedly for a while in a little bit, but please keep coming back. I promise you I will explain more when I can. If I leave, I will return.
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers if you don't know me very well, I am hoping that someday I will be able to take off my mask and proclaim it to the world soon enough.
If you know who I am, you can email me and ask if it will help you understand and pray. I am willing to share with those I know and can trust.
Regardless of who you are, if you read this... regardless if you believe like I do. I challenge you to pray for me and for the skeleton in my closet that I have in my life that I cannot ignore anymore.
Pray for what has caused me so much internal pain that all but my closest intimates have known about and have had to help me struggle in silence. That it will no longer be hidden but a part of my life that I can love and enjoy what caused me such turmoil before.
Five years of internal hell may be coming to an end...God willing. Don't forget me and please keep in your thoughts in prayers. It has been too has been too long.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

And then another few days...

Don't worry I am not dead, this last week I have been slacking pretty bad even for me I must admit.

I got a stomach bug (again...sigh) so the last few days when I was not doing an appointment of some sort, I was in bed. I stayed home yesterday and got some rest (so my regulars that tell me to go to bed can rest assured, I did well even without some loving nagging.)

This does great for making me feel better, but not so great for blog readers.

Tonight when I get home I need to go back to bed after having a little bite to eat for tomorrow morning, so I feel very lazy even if this is what I am supposed to do. Other than my stomach feeling sour I feel pretty good, except I am always cold.

Ever been around one of those people that are always cold? My grandmother was like that. She could be sitting by a campfire built on the ledge of rock in a volcano and she would be looking for this huge knitted sweater to put on.

"It's just a little chilly in here."

Good thing for me when I take a nap I got my prehistoric electric blanket. That is the dog sleeping on my feet.

So bear with me, I will try to keep up a bit better this week when I am not sleeping.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

A great few days

Well I did not keep up with my blogging and my writing as much as I would like, but it has been a good few days despite that. For those wondering why I am not online so much, don't worry I am not having trouble, I just am busy with offline stuff this week, despite having time off from Alpha.
Tuesday is still full with work in the morning, and then a busy night with a few activitys, and I already told you all about Thursday. Wednesday was Bella's day off and mine for that matter. So I didn't go online since we both were home for a bit. So that makes about 3 days of waiting if you do the math.
I am also going to bed earlier twice a week since I have to get up the next day at 6:00, and while I still am young and able to do a night on 5 hours of sleep, I have lost the ability to do all nighters and still keep my brain working. That is one thing I miss about my early 20's. I used to be able to stay awake for 2-3 days in a row and still be able to function. Now I have to stay healthy so that just doesn't fly.
So why was this week so good?
Well I got my paycheck finally worked out. That was a big plus. I am not going to be able to retire at the age of 40 with my check of course, but I at least know how much I am going to make now. So that's half the battle, still checking into tax related stuff to make sure I am doing everything right. (I wish the IRS webpage didn't require a lawyer to understand.)
Bella got her name changed so now I have an official Mrs. Torrell with the feds. That required us waiting in the social security office for a couple of hours to get it. The waiting room always has about 50 people in it at least, and you never know if one guy with 7 kids is going to get his card all at once or if you will have to wait while they take care of 50 people. They had a cute baby in there though, so at least I was amused.
I got 900 dollars taken off that bill from the hospital a few months back, due to my insurance. That was really good as well.
Things are looking up with the bank and that is finally clearing up. I am going to open my new account in about a week. (That is more exciting for me than it sounds.)
And I am going to the doctor in a week or two since I am insured again finally for the first time in about 7 years. Since it's been 5 years since I had a total check up I am going to do that.

Now you can see why it took so long to blog, this is all very good for me, but not so exciting to read.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

True Value

The last week we given a 30 day challenge to serve and contribute whenever we could. For those that thought that was too difficult we were also told we can take the 30 day "Have the world serve me" challenge and try to live entirely for ourselves. Either way we were to see at the end of the time period if we were closer to God or if we felt worse.
I am not an expert really, but I will say that I have tried the "Be Served" route for a long time prior to this and I will be the first to tell don't work.
What do you think of when you hear the word Contribute?
I'll admit the word sends off a lot of alarms and red lights when I hear it. Usually that means "Someone wants me to give more money to something or other." So I didn't know quite what to expect when I went to the service, but I kept waiting for it to turn to money. It never really did.
Contributing isn't just about money really.
No really.
It is about serving and giving of your time and energy for something that is valuable to you. In my case God, my family, my friends, and my community. You may notice that I am not on that list. It isn't out of modesty I assure you.
When I contribute and get involved with the things I care about, then I am also recieving from doing that.
Sounds hokey? Yeah it probably does, but that doesn't make it any less true.
A few years ago I worked for the woman that would be my Mother-in-law. When I started out she was having me work for her while I went to find a real job and got myself started. When she got more ill and wasn't able to keep going I stayed working for her and started helping take care of her. When she passed away last July I had been with her for over 2 years.
She paid me to work for her, but I didn't make enough to retire off of course. The last few months I spent working with her, I kept her calm and made her smile and happy, even though she knew that she was dying. People called me kind things that they never called me before...a blessing, an angel, and the like. I have worked several jobs, but nothing satisfied me more than when I served another person.
It gave me meaning, to be meaningful to them.
Now I have Telly to take care of, and I can't imagine just having a "job" ever again. I never feel like I am going to "work" because I love what I do.
The opposite side of the coin is my brother Ed.
My brother Ed has strived his entire life to be a rich man so he can do what he wants. Now at nearly 40, he is a millionare. He has two houses, a great car, and can do whatever he wants. He is also the most miserable guy I know.
He is never satisified, and the more he gets the less he loves it. He wanted to be the master of money years ago, but nothing ever makes him feel good enough. So who is really the master after all?
He tells me that I should get a better job a lot, and tells me that with what I can do I should be making more money. He also wishes he could be satisifed with what he has, and doesn't understand how I can.
When you serve, you are served by your own satisfaction, if you want to be served you never will enjoy what you have. This is what they mean when they say for you to be the greatest you must first become the least.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Janus is caught up at last.

I have probably started at least three posts this week, but I am just not getting anything too exciting. Besides the Bears are going to the Superbowl, how in the world can I beat that.
Things have been going well, though I am not home very much this week.
Occasionally one of my friends will say "So married guy...staying out of trouble?"
The answer is yes, I don't have time for trouble this week.
Just letting you all know I am around, though I got to turn in and go back in the morning.
I am now officially caught up with all but the work related blogs. Yay me. Now I got to do those next...

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

The week after report, Janus fields your questions.

Today will be a week since I got home from my honeymoon, and life is almost back to normal. For those wondering why I haven't dropped by and said commented on blogs yet, I am still working on that. I just finally got caught up with a weeks worth of email and been posting as best as I can, when I am not at work...and taking account of one day with me playing with my "I made it through the wedding" gift (Yes, Civilization 3 again is to blame.)
I get asked the same two questions a lot, so I figured I would answer them here for the benefit of my blog readers.

How was the honeymoon? The honeymoon was great! My brother Ed has a nice Arizona location, and I love the view. From our bedroom window we could see red rock formations. The house was great too, and beats the crap out of having to go to a hotel. I like visiting in the winter when the Rattlesnakes and Scorpions are still taking a nap. The Coyotes were pretty polite and only howled once.
We saw the Grand Canyon and some Indian rock art and ruins (Native American if you wish me to be technical, but even the park service usually says Indian for ease.) We did a lot of sight seeing and dining out. That sums up the honeymoon pretty much that I am willing to share. Though I might talk about specifics with the Canyon later.
Flight was late getting out there, but we got back an hour before planned. I got some books and the suitcase was too heavy. (The guy let us slide.) So Thanks to my parents for the tickets and the ride to and from the airport and kudos to my brother Ed for use of the house.
We had a great time, but we are glad to be home before we went broke.

How is married life treating you? I realize that a lot of people ask this as a "How are you?" question. Since it has only been a week I can pretty much only give a generic reply. "It is well, thanks."
Bella is having all her paperwork done to get her name changed, and that keeps her pretty busy at the moment. I get to keep my name, so I don't have that much trouble.
I am used to having a wedding band on, which is the only piece of jewelry that I have ever really owned or care to own. So I will usually show that to someone that hasn't seen that before since I am so proud to have my band. Normally I find jewelry stupid or vain, but I am proud of this band and what it represents.
I have to take it off when I do various tasks at work so I keep it safely in my locked pocket and then I put it on immediatly afterwards before I lose it. Since I have worn it almost entirely for a week I have developed "Phantom Ring Syndrome." I still feel like I am wearing something even when it is in my pocket.
Occasionally I realize that it's not on, and I panic and find it in the pocket exactly where I left it. Now I know how Frodo feels (The hobbit, not the blog visitor.) I like my band very much and it means a lot to me, so I am more nervous about it being misplaced than I normally would be about anything else. My Preciousssss.
The other night I was trying to pull my finger off, because I was giving Telly his shower and I thought I had my ring on. It of course wasn't on but was in my pocket. So I was pulling on my phantom ring and couldn't get it to move. Finally Telly looked at me, and asked me why in the world I was pulling on my finger.
"Trying to get my ring off before handle the soap."
"You're not wearing your ring, it's in your pocket."
I looked down finally and realized that he was right. "Oh yeah, it's not on."
"I thought I was the forgetful 91 year old," he said and gave me a toothy grin.
Touche' Telly, Touche'.

Talk to you later my precious

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Sharpening Iron and other sorta metaphors

Well another Alpha season is over until April, which means that Rob and I will resume the two man small group as best as we can until then.
I met the other half of my small group (That's Rob of course) last Summer when I decided to take a class at church to make friends.
Let me rephrase that.
I met Rob at a class that Bella signed me up for so that we could meet friends. If Bella didn't say "Hey, Why don't we go to this class." I still would probably be sitting around wondering who people were. So let me give credit were credit is due.
I didn't do anything really other than say "Alright, why not."
I am going to risk sounding like your pastor or mother, but it is true. I think small groups a great thing, and mind you I am talking mainly to the person that is interested in getting stronger in their faith, but I believe this is an important thing for anyone that wants to expand themself.
The Bible uses expressions like "Iron sharpening Iron" (Wondered where the title came from eh?) and the Apostle Paul talks about training, races, and building yourself up so much that parts of the New Testament sound like parts of a Rocky screenplay.
So, let me make a long ramble even shorter. (So I can go to work.)
You grow better when you grow with other people. Whether you are talking about your faith or lifting weights it is good and important to have someone to be there with you.
In weight lifting you need a "spotter" to help you when the weights get to heavy and you can't lift them off of yourself.
When the road gets difficult you will have the same trouble in anything you do if you don't have a good spotter. It's easy to do things when they are easy for you, but when the road gets rocky it is better to have another to lift you up when you fall, and encourage you by walking the road with you. If you try to do it alone, you will be certain to lose sight of your goal if you have no one to help you with it.
If you don't believe me on that, consider how many people try to lose weight after New Years. If you vow to do it yourself, and you have no one else to keep you at that goal about how long do you think you would stay with it? The average person makes it til January 5th. Pretty sad testimony about will power.
You learn more with other people. Baseball teams train together for a reason. How do you learn to catch a ball if no one throws or hits one to you? How do you learn how to pitch if someone doesn't try to hit the ball. The truth is, if you work with other people, you will learn more faster and effectively.
I learned more in 1 year of being in groups about my faith, than I did in 12 years of studying on your own. Feedback, Discussion, and group activity is important for anything you wish to learn to do well.
and finally People to support and pray for you. Yes I mentioned this partly when I said you grow better with other people. I can't stress how important it is to have people around when the road gets harder. The road always gets harder at some point or other.
When Bella's mother was getting more and more ill, it took us sticking together and lifting each other up to help us get through this time. It is not weak to share burdens and help each other, and the person you lean on this time will probably need someone to lean on soon enough.
So if you are looking for a way to get more out of life than just playing Civilization 3 all day, I would suggest finding a good group or a good friend and build yourself and them up.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Civilization is bad for productivity

Well I am doing something today I normally would never allow myself to do.

I am giving a quick update before I go to work in the morning. I write before going to work in the afternoon or evening all the time, but never in the morning and for a good reason. I don't want to lose track of time. I am not a morning person, and with that I better move on before I lose track of time.

Last night was the last evening of the Alpha course session, but I will be going back to it in April. Hopefully with perfect attendance this time. I missed three sessions last time, once because I was sick, once because I was working, and once because I was on my honeymoon. So I will have to keep those numbers up.

I wish that was the reason why I didn't blog yesterday, but the truth is I was playing a game and took a nap. I decided to reward myself for getting a lot of work done by getting myself a game that will make sure I never get anything done again...well not that bad hopefully. So I got Civilization 3 from the bargain section of Target and of course I played it way too much yesterday. Then I realized I was tired so I took a nap and then woke up in a panic to get to Alpha.

Not a good day for responsibility yesterday.

Bella got her new drivers license with my last name on it also, I don't have much more to add to that, but it was worth mentioning.

Well my car should be warmed up now, so I better take out the dog and get myself to work.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Early Mondays and the End of Thursday as we know it

My apology to people that are asking me for lots of exciting wedding details, none are forthcoming for this evening.

With the New Year some new changes are coming.

Of course I am newly married, that's a good thing.

I have to do my new goals for the season.

Things slow down this time of year usually so I can concentrate on working instead of having "Holiday Chaos"(should I put a TM after that or what??) and now that I am married I don't have to plan weddings anymore, just budgets that's good news too.

Now for the bad news.

With the new year I have new work hours. I am still around quite a bit but I have a early bedtime on Monday now. (in fact in about a half hour I am going to hit the hay, at least in theory.) I also no longer will have a Thursday when I am home much. I start work at 6 in the morning, do things throughout the day then go back to work and will get home around 9:30 at night.
Even if I am home at 9:30 or so the only thing that I will be able to do for a while is drool on myself and babble on worse than usual.

Trust me, it's not pretty. So don't worry, the "Janus Pointless Ramblingathon" shall continue, I just might be gone a little in between here and there.

See you all later.

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Janus Returns to Return of the Janus

I decided to write a title today that would make my old English teacher cringe.
Yep I got in safe and sound to Chicago Saturday night. Yesterday we took a breather, and spent time with the kids (That is the dog and cat if you were wondering if I was leaving out exciting details.) A week's worth of honeymoon laundry, some thank you cards, and putting away some of our wedding gifts.
Today is the first day back to work. Bella and I both didn't really want to go back of course, but that is normal. Just like when I was a kid and I would always hate Sunday evenings because it meant back to school the next day. It doesn't matter if you are gone for a day or gone for 15 years, you always feel a bit sad going back to work. This is from a guy that loves his job too.
Today I tried to get some work done at the bank, but I forgot today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day. That's another thing about school, I remembered when holidays were. Tomorrow I will have to go back, or maybe Wednesday.
As for details about my wedding and my honeymoon, well that will have to wait. I have to go to work. I just wanted to let you know I am back safe and sound.

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Friday, January 05, 2007

a temporary tearful farewell

Well I have wanted to type this for a few days but I keep getting busy so I will have to just hammer it out now.
My blog will officially be closed from now until about the 15th of January, due to technical reasons.
I am technically getting married this weekend and I am going to be going on my honeymoon the following week. From this afternoon on, I will hardly be at home, and if I am... I am getting ready for something else to happen.
You know how it goes.
So the good news is you are not going to get a weekend of frantic updates about my wedding, and after I get back you won't have to hear the term Groomsman, Usher, or Rehearsal for quite a while. I will be glad about that too. Soon I can be talking about normal things like...well I dunno but it will come to me.
So sorry I won't be talking during the honeymoon, I am sure you all understand.
See you after the 15th!

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Janus going out for the night

Pssst. I can't talk. I am going on a date tonight with my fiance. We are going to the resteraunt and the theater where we went out on a date almost four years ago.

So don't wait up kids.

This is my last date as a single guy I have, so it's off for Naperville.

See ya tomorrowish


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Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Years

Happy 2007 to all of you!
It will take me til about May before I stop writing 2006 on everything probably, but while I am concentrating on it happy 2007.
I had a wild New Years Party last night...well no I didn't. I had a fun night anyway though. I went over to my brother's house, even though he wasn't home. Spent the evening with my parents, my nieces and my nephew. Didn't drink anything but water, since I didn't want to drink and drive, and I was around children.
I got greeted at the door by three very excited children who yelled "Uncle Jay...Uncle Jay." So I still have the distinction of being the "fun uncle." My brother is the "Be quiet and just play over there uncle" and my brother-in-law Tony is the "I'm tired, go away" Uncle.
So when I called my mom and told her I was running a bit late because of phone calls and stuff, she said "Hurry up, the kids are antsy." It's nice to have people looking forward to seeing you.
We played an exciting game of Bingo, which the kids thought was great. I won such prestigious prizes like bubble bath, a coloring book, and some other dollar store specials. My nephew is five years old and doesn't know his numbers yet, so he keeps asking me if he has the number on his card.
"Do I have that Uncle Jay?"
"Do I have that one?"
Well Bingo really isn't that exciting, but the kids like it, and I do got a spiffy bag of little stuff.
They also made me Sushi. (That's licorice, gummy worms, and jelly lifesavers mixed together and tossed in a ziplock bag, I have no idea why they call it sushi, maybe because Lee my nephew has seen his dad eat Japanese food since he was a baby and just thought it looked like it.)
We then played a few games of Clue the board game, after I explained to everyone how to play. My mom helped Lee since he can't read but wanted to play too. The kids really enjoy playing an old boardgame when we get all of us involved, and Clue is a shorter and less cutthroat game than Monopoly. (Besides, if you think its awkward teaching kids how to play Clue, try explaining Mortgages to a five year old boy who's dad owns a mortgage company.)
My youngest niece apparently is a serial killer, since no matter what character she picked she ended up being the murderer in clue. Talk about unlucky. Got to love Clue, you can be a murderer and not even know it. That kind of sounds like the plot of a bad soap opera.
We all gathered around the television to welcome in the New Year, screamed Happy New Year and hugged each other. Then we tried to get them settled for bed, which just doesn't work when I am there. After Lee came down for a drink of water for the third time, and the kids kept trying to sneak out of bed, I decided to head home.
Good start of a good year.
I don't believe in doing resolutions, so I won't ask you what yours are. I do daily resolutions and try to keep things up.
This year I am hoping to be more of a good hubby, a better role model, a good uncle, and son. Also want to be a better friend and keep finances in control. Be a better man for God and my faith be a better person in general...not just nice, but a good guy.
Hope you have a great New Year, and talk to you later. Time for bed.

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