Tag: hearts

The Holidays – Then and Now

While I was in prison, the holidays were sad days. I couldn’t help but feel alone and sad and think of my family and friends more than usual. I think it’s safe to say that was something almost all of us in prison dealt with, although some tried to act like they didn’t care. Maybe they didn’t, who knows. We did try to make the best of it. We were given a better meal than usual, with baked chicken and turkey. Baked chicken is one of the few things that prison cooking can’t screw up, since it’s relatively simple and doesn’t require much in the way of seasoning. We also would make our own spread, pooling all of our items from commissary on one of the tables in the common area. Might not sound like it, but a buffet of ramen noodles, tuna fish, peanut butter and crackers can be downright festive if that is all you’ve got. We tried to have some laughs and have a little holiday spirit but I will be honest, it was a stretch. At night, when it was time to go to sleep, my last thoughts of the day were spent imagining the smiling faces of my family and dreaming of a future I wasn’t sure could ever be mine. I never want to be that lonely again.

This year my Christmas was like the exact polar opposite of those darker days. I had my wife and my son, who is 1 month old now, beside me. We took a couple nice drives to look at Christmas lights around town, and we listened to Christmas music quite a bit. Money is tight but we got lucky. We got a Christmas tree from my grandfather which added a lot of Christmas spirit to our place. Then I got a little Christmas bonus at work so we went shopping for ourselves and got a few necessities like some new work clothes for me, and things for my wife and son, and we wrapped them up and put them under the tree. That might sound a little goofy but it was fun.

If you are spending the holidays away from your loved ones, if they are incarcerated or living the life of addiction somewhere, hold on to hope. Things change. People change. What I learned is life is good when you let it be.

Imagine me, a father and husband, celebrating the holidays with my family, surrounded with so much love and happiness. This is the dream I had and now it is true. I have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot to look forward to in 2014. Peace to y’all ~ Texas Magnum

I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get, but I’m better than I used to be

I am about to write a post to update everyone on what’s been going on the past 2 months that I’ve been home. But first, I am posting this song by Tim McGraw, it has some good lyrics about bettering yourself. I hope all the mothers had a good Mothers Day yesterday.

“Better Than I Used To Be” by Tim McGraw

I know how to hold a grudge
I can send a bridge up in smoke
And I can’t count the people I’ve let down, the hearts I’ve broke
You ain’t gotta dig too deep
If you wanna find some dirt on me
I’m learning who you’ve been
Ain’t who you’ve got to be
It’s gonna be an uphill climb
Aww honey I won’t lie

I ain’t no angel
I still got a few more dances with the devil
I’m cleaning up my act little by little
I’m getting there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

I’ve pinned a lot of demons to the ground
I’ve got a few old habits left
But there’s still one or two I might need you to help me get
Standing in the rain so long has left me with a little rust
But put some faith in me
And someday you’ll see
There’s a diamond under all this dust

I ain’t no angel
I still got a few more dances with the devil
I’m cleaning up my act little by little
I’m getting there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

I ain’t no angel
I still got a few more dances with the devil
But I’m cleaning up my act little by little
I’m getting there
I can finally stand the man in the mirror I see
I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get
But I’m better than I used to be

Resolutions for the new year

As the new year comes, so do new beginnings. For many people goals are made, and promises sworn to be kept to a spouse or to one’s self. “This year it will be different. I will lose that weight”, or “I’ll cut down on the booze” or “I’ll never cheat on my wife again.” All these dreams and desires to renew and improve ourselves rush through our dreams and our hearts each year.

This is the type of thing that amazes me about humans, we have the capacity to want something with our entire heart and soul, until it hurts our very bones. Yet, we might pursue our goal to an extent, practice our new choices or newly found principals for a few weeks, maybe even months. And yes, some of us do stay on a forward path and complete what we say we will do. But many others, myself included, find ourselves let down once again, our dreams blown away by the reality of life trampled on by our own lack of self will.

Time and time again I have proven to myself that my own will isn’t sufficient enough to follow through with my well laid plans and best intentions for the future. At times, when the law is on my ass, and I have no choice but to change, I will… but as soon as the heat is off, I have returned to my own selfish ways. This is the phenomenom that amazes me. Members of AA and other 12-step groups believe that one must put his will in the hands of a higher power to overcome old habits and addictive behaviors. Not until then, will things begin to change.

I have never been able to fully give myself to the thought that I have so little power in my life. Although, like I said, I have let myself down, time and time again. With that being said, I do question my honesty when I have decided to change certain aspects of my life.

So, this year, I myself have a resolution for the new year. This year my resolution is honesty. To be honest with myself in my intentions to change. To say to myself, “I will change my ways completely” would be a lie. Instead, I will try to live up to one small, attainable goal at a time. I will become self sufficient. I will put my duties and responsibilities before my pleasures. I will make sure the refrigerator is stocked with food. Or, I will just tell myself “I love you” when looking in the mirror, and mean it.

So, to all of you who have embarked on the new year with new resolutions, goals, or desires to change – my conclusion in reflecting on this and my message to you is to be aware is to be prepared. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead, choose a goal and set a plan in place that is within reach. And, stick with it.

Peace ~ Magnum