About That…

Song: N/A

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

Argh… not only did I not write about yesterday, I lost track of the time and am going to head to bed. Fingers crossed I get my stuff together tomorrow.

Not a great day today, but it could be worse.

Stay safe.

Today Was Alright, But It’s Late

Song: N/A

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Once again, I’m starting this post far too late. I need to get to bed half an hour ago so I will post about today tomorrow.

The short version is that today was a decent day and I’m doing alright.

Stay safe.

A Quiet Weekend

Song: “Amanda” by Don Williams

Mood: 6


I got out on Friday morning for my walk when it was still nice and cool. Unfortunately, by mid-afternoon, the temperature had come up enough that I finally had to give in and shut the windows and turn on the air conditioning. It was nice having the fresh air inside for the better part of a week!

There was a weird, very loud BOOM-BOOM outside on Friday afternoon. I was sitting on the couch in the living room at the time and it scared the crap out of me. I thought it was thunder, so I opened the blind but couldn’t see any clouds. I went outside and tried to figure it out, but didn’t have any luck. I was on edge for the rest of the afternoon, but it didn’t happen again. J didn’t hear anything about it on the radio or see anything in the news, so I have no clue what it was. Hopefully nobody got hurt.

I had a couple of good text conversations on Friday, and I dug around on the Internet for some more candidates for amusing/cute little videos to send around. I hope that everybody that I text with knows that they’re not under any obligation to text back – my intent is definitely not to stress anybody out about replying!

I’m still quite tired. I don’t seem to be dropping my phone when I close my eyes anymore, but I’m still bumping into things and I’m having trouble with words. It’s annoying.

J went to visit her cousin on Friday evening. Unfortunately, her cousin is having a rough time right now – lots of anxiety and trouble sleeping – but she’s getting help and hopefully she’ll feel better soon.

Tomorrow, J has the final exam for a course she’s been taking. She spent a lot of the weekend studying and I did my best to be quiet and stay out of the way. I’m not writing this from the garage, so I think I did okay. J is going to be very happy when she’s done this course (and I will be happy for her).

This weekend went pretty well. I hung out with J when she wasn’t studying, and we had lots of time to talk and watch some Community over the weekend. We’ve switched back to Community until we figure out where we’re going next.

I also played a fair bit of Star Trek Online. I got a couple of messages from someone who was amused by me standing in the fountain, and then got invited to his fleet. I gave it some thought and then joined up. Man, every time I think I’ve got good equipment or have discovered all of the mini-games and duties and areas to explore, I find out just how little I know. The good news is that some of it plays like a Star Trek episode (exciting stuff like piloting the USS Gungalosis through a hailstorm of angry aliens and cyborgs). The bad news is that some of it plays like a Star Trek episode (not-so-exciting stuff like selling equipment on the Exchange for money, or trying to figure out why one of my duty officers DIED while planning a shipboard concert (I’m not actually joking – that actually happened)).

This evening I ran the dishwasher and did a load of laundry. I think I’m going to do the same thing again tomorrow and see if I can catch up on stuff.

It’s supposed to be warmer this week so I think getting into the habit of doing my walks earlier is going to pay off.

I am going to accomplish something this week. I’m not sure what, but I will accomplish SOMETHING.

Stay safe.

I Need To Start These Earlier

Song: “I’m Walkin’” by Fats Domino

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

I should know better than this. I take my evening medication at 8PM so I’m ready to go to bed at 10. So why am I starting this post at 10:48?

Because I’m not smart and seem to be incapable of learning things.

I’m very tired again today, I’m still waking up too much and taking too long to get back to sleep. I’m still not able to get back to sleep if I wake up any later than around 5:00-5:30AM or so. I dropped my phone a couple of times today (fortunately just into my lap or onto the table) because I closed my eyes while I was texting and started falling asleep almost immediately. In a way, I am very glad I’m not driving right now.

I went for my walk early again this morning and it was nice and chilly out – just the kind of weather to chase a light sweat away. I still didn’t want to do it, but it’s a lot easier to do it when it’s not -38C and windy or +38C and humid. Plus, I just want to get it over with so I can get back home.

Oddly enough, I still haven’t seen more than a few mosquitoes so far this summer. With luck, the city won’t need to spray. I have no particular problem with spraying for mosquitoes, but I just wish it didn’t kill the dragonflies or bees. Oh, and I do like it if it kills some wasps, but I expect that in the middle of the night they’re all back at their nest. Figures…

Same problem again with my exercises today. I’m too tired to hold my concentration on anything and my mind wanders pretty badly. I gave up and just closed my eyes and leaned back, hoping to catch a nap, but no luck. I kept getting closer and closer to falling asleep… closer and closer, and then BAMP – I’d be awake again. It’s annoying.

Sent out texts again and the video I attached today seemed to have gone over well. Had a very good text chat with J’s aunt. She retired quite recently and we have lots of conversations about all kinds of stuff some days. I hope I don’t bore her…

My mom called this morning and we had a short but good chat. She’s doing well but wishes it was a little warmer out. It sounds like my uncle with ALS has lost a lot of the use of his fingers, hands, and arms, but he’s still in good spirits. I can’t imagine what he’s going through.

I spent some time today looking for more pictures and videos to stock up on for texts. Found enough for a couple of weeks’ worth, converted them from GIF files to MP4 and they all look good. A couple of them make me laugh, so hopefully they’re good.

J is going to be heading out of town in August for a business trip. She’ll be gone most of the week so I’ll be batchin’ it for a while. The good news is that I have proven that I can go to the local grocery store, so I can pick up supplies if needed. They always seem to have a sale on hams – maybe I’ll go pick up seven or eight little hams, a large bottle of maraschino cherries, and a can or two of that spray whipped cream. That should last me the better part of the week. Oh, and a bottle of diet Pepsi. You can’t eat ham with a glass of water.

Stay safe.

Just A Quick Note Before I Head To Bed

Song: “I’m Walkin’” by Fats Domino

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

Very quick post. I’m very tired and can barely keep my eyes open right now.

Didn’t sleep great last night again. I’m very tempted to set up a camera to see if I’m getting up or moving around a lot more than I think I am. Very tired today – every time I close or blink my eyes, it takes conscious effort to open them again.

It was about 16C when I went out for my walk this morning, so perfect weather for me. I left the windows open again to keep the fresh air do its thing.

Exercises didn’t go well – I couldn’t keep my mind focused because of how tired I was. I gave up after about a half hour and went and did some stuff.

Had a very good phone call with my sister today. She’s doing well and the kids are signing up for all kinds of neat courses and activities over the summer.

Sent out my texts again today; unfortunately, I didn’t convert the GIF to a video file and it got kind of mangled. I’ll convert it and throw it back in the queue for another day.

There were some other points I really wanted to mention but I can’t remember and I didn’t write them down. You’d think I’d learn by now.

Stay safe.

A Great Afternoon With FA

Song: “Little Arrows” by Leapy Lee

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

This is going to be a short post. I’m having trouble focusing my eyes and I need to get to bed.

I didn’t get a great sleep again last night. I got to bed around 1AM (entirely my fault), woke up worrying at least four times, and then woke up for good at 5:45.

After J left for work I went downstairs to do my exercises. I wanted to get everything done early because yesterday evening, FA had texted and asked if I wanted to get together for burritos and some Carcassonne. I always like hanging out with FA, so I said yes. So that’s why I started in on my exercises early – so I’d be done with plenty of time to tidy up the house and pretty myself up (or at least not stink too badly). My exercises were going alright, but I felt that as I went on it was getting more and more difficult to focus.

A little irritated that I couldn’t keep my mind from wandering, I opened my eyes. I took a look around the room and happened to see the clock in the corner. Turns out I’d been sleeping for the last hour and a half. I think that’s both really good and not so good at the same time. It’s great that my body and brain finally cooperated and I got some extra sleep, but I don’t like finding out about it after it happens. I also don’t like knowing that I’m at the point where I am falling asleep during my exercises.

Anyway, so the nap messed up my schedule so I was still running around a bit (showered and clothed, thankfully) tidying some things up when she pulled into the driveway, but it was all good.

The burritos were once again fantastic. I am enamoured with that store. SO GOOD.

We had planned to play Carcassonne (and I was even thinking about dragging out the microscope stuff again) but we started to talk. And talk. And talk some more.

It was a great conversation. We talked about everything from useless coworkers to selflessness to various types of DB software to housing to the price of a breakfast at a particular restaurant… pretty much everything. FA knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff so conversations with her are always interesting.

Four hours of talking later, she had to head home. I thanked her for coming over, and after she left I spent a little while going over parts of our conversation in my head. We talked a lot about the stuff that I’ve been working on, like selflessness and gratitude, and she had a fresh and interesting perspective on it. I will ponder some of the stuff she said – the more samples I have, the better!

I had a great time with FA today, she’s fun to be around, and a hoot to boot. I consider myself very lucky to have a friend like her!

In other news, J did her first round of performance reviews since she became a boss. They all went well – better than she expected – and I’m very proud of her. Since she got her promotion she’s been coming home more tired than before, but a lot less frustrated, which is great!

One of J’s aunts has several debilitating abdominal diseases, and today she started a new treatment. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that it does the trick for her and she won’t have to live with as much pain anymore!

Well, this went on far longer than I’d initially planned. Off to bed.

Stay safe.

Starting Off Another Week

Song: N/A

Mood: 5

Nightmares: 0

I don’t feel like writing today but it usually helps me feel a little better about my day so here we go. I have a feeling that this post will probably be short.

I woke up worried quite a few times last night, and finally woke up for good at about 5:40AM. I heard J’s alarm when it sounded and listened to her as she shuffled around and got ready for the day. After she left I moved around a bit to get comfortable, then closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, and tried to get some more sleep. I had no luck so I sat up, put my feet on the floor and held my face in my hands. I sat there for quite a while, until I was finally able to summon the will and motivation to get up off the bed and get my day started.

I fed Lloyd and talked to him for a little while. I really need to add some more water to his tank, the poor guy. In fact, I should really give his tank a good cleaning.

Breakfast was cinnamon raisin bagels dipped in vanilla yogurt. Quick and tasty.

My walk was difficult today but the somewhat milder temperatures and breeze made it physically comfortable, at least. Almost halfway done I started to feel like I needed to go to home so I did. That’s one of the nice things about doing a big trail around the neighbourhood – I’m never too far from home. That’s also one of the bad things about doing a big trail around the neighbourhood – if I want to head home, I’m usually just minutes away so it’s pretty tempting.

Once I got home, I did my exercises. I had a lot of trouble focusing on what I was doing, but at least I wasn’t bothered by every car that drove by or every squeak, tick, and hiss that the house makes. Something to be said about that.

After that, I didn’t do very much. I sat on the couch for a while, stared at the picture hanging in the rec room, and tried to think through some of the stuff that’s been really bothering me lately to see if I could break it down into more manageable chunks. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of luck with it and was just winding myself up into a tizzy. Fortunately, I stopped before things got too bad.

I went back upstairs, sent off my texts today, and chatted a bit with a couple of people. I don’t like doing this, but I sent a pretty generic “good morning” message with a little bit of customization. I’d much rather actually talk about something, but if I didn’t do the form letters this morning, the texts weren’t going to get done.

After I was done going through my text history, I sat down at my computer and puttered around with the articles I’ve been writing but quit after a short while because I wasn’t getting anywhere (like usual).

Mom called this afternoon and we talked for a couple of minutes. She was just getting ready to make some blueberry jam and thought she’d give me a call. It was good to hear from her.

I got a return text later this afternoon from a friend I used to work with. She was talking about WG and the good old days, which reminded me that despite considering him one of my best friends, I haven’t spoken to him in months. That ties into the ACT virtues I’ve been working on, the “loyalty” one in particular. It seems I’m not a particularly good friend.

I just sat around until J came home. We had supper (I actually made it today), talked for a while, and then she cut my hair. She has become quite proficient with the trimmer and it went quickly and well. After that, we cleaned up and then J went and did her stuff and I played some Star Trek.

Speaking of friends, I just got a text from my friend who I went on a motorcycle trip with. He lives on the other side of the country but we still keep in touch every once in a while. Turns out he is a proud new grandpa, and everybody is safe and healthy. That’s really great news!

Speaking of friends again, I just got a text from FA, it seems she is going to come over tomorrow afternoon. It will be good to see her again.

It is now time for me to go to bed.

Stay safe.

So… About The Last Few Days

This week hasn’t been one of my greatest. Wednesday and Thursday in particular.

To start with, I haven’t been sleeping very well and I’m pretty sure it’s caught up with me. I’m clumsy, walk into things or knock stuff over, and I’ve been fishing for words a lot lately. Even when I have the word, I often don’t trust myself enough to use it without consulting a dictionary. You know when you stare at a word long enough and it doesn’t right anymore? Like the spelling is wrong, or even that the letters aren’t letters, but a bunch of weird symbols? That’s been happening a lot, and it’s very frustrating when I’m trying to write something. It’s frustrating AND embarrassing when I’m standing in front of J, trying to tell her something and I’m waving my arms, trying to will the word I want to say into my head. It’s the same thing that happens when I’m on the phone with someone like my parents or my sister. I feel dumb, I feel unsure, and it really bothers me.

If I’m having a thought and want to mention it later, I need to write it down or it gets lost. J and I were having a conversation the other day and I couldn’t keep two thoughts in my head at the same time. That’s not an exaggeration, either – I couldn’t keep track of two thoughts without writing it down, and in the time it took me to write one down, I’d forgotten the other. That is also very frustrating and embarrassing.

Just in case you’re wondering – no, I haven’t had a stroke. Nor have I been drinking or making “adjustments” to my medication. I’m pretty sure I’m just overtired.

My weight is also really bothering me. I used to think I was fat before I put on 60lbs after I got sick. Now, I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror when I’m brushing my teeth. None of my old clothes fit. J had to buy me a new winter parka because I couldn’t do up the zipper on my old one. Frankly, I don’t really care about the health aspect of me being fat; what bothers me the most is how I look and how inconvenient being fat is. I’m embarrassed around my family and friends, who all try not to say anything but are worried I’ll drop dead from a heart attack or diabetes or any of the three billion different diseases and syndromes related to being overweight.

For the last while, I’ve been working on ACT with Dr P. More specifically, the personal values aspect of it. One of the hardest exercises I’ve had to do was work with him to come up with a list of what I value, give them a value out of ten that says how important I think those values are, and then think about each of them and come up with another value out of ten that reflects how those values are ranked in my real life – in what I say and do.

There are a couple of them that really bother me. Selflessness and loyalty, for example. Believe it or not (and if you are someone who knows me, you may not), I want to help people out and make them safe and happy. I was always the designated driver. I despise moving my own stuff, but don’t mind helping others move. If someone’s upset, I don’t mind lending an ear or a shoulder and trying to help them out with whatever’s going on. I don’t like the heat and I don’t like bugs, but I’ll happily stand in the middle of a patch of poison ivy, getting swarmed by ants and ticks, to help somebody set something up at their cabin. If I see someone stuck in the snow, I’ll stop and help get them moving, even if I have no idea who they are.

Selflessness is very important to me. I want to be able to help J out with anything she’s having difficulty with. I want to make her life easier, to give her more time to enjoy her day. Same thing with my family. I was speaking with my dad the other day and he said that he’d really like to get together for a BBQ or take a road trip. I would really like to be able to do that. I don’t have many friends, but the ones I do have I treasure. I want to be the person that they can call on if they need anything. I want to be available and helpful, to make their lives easier. Even with strangers, I want to be helpful. I’d really like to volunteer at the hospital, reading to or talking with people, playing cards… something to get their minds off of their predicament, if only for a moment. I’d like to be able to give back to the mental health resources and programs around here, too.

But here’s the thing about me nowadays: I do nothing. I accomplish nothing. I produce nothing.

The other day, J asked me to pre-order the groceries so she could stop in at the store and it would all be ready, taking her five minutes instead of an hour to do the shopping. I happily spent half an hour browsing 800 different kinds of pasta and beans, and then, once I’d clicked “submit”, I sat back, happy that I’d done something to make J’s life easier.

But then I thought about it, then thought about it some more. And then it hit me – that was kind of pathetic. J does all the shopping, all the driving, all the running-around-town-to-get-stuff-done, and I spend a half hour every couple of weeks clicking on a website to order groceries. She does everything.

This problem of me doing nothing affects my friends and family, too. If anybody wants to see me, they have to come over. If I want to see someone, they have to come over. I only see my sister and nephews if they get on a plane and come here. I like being an uncle, and I would really like to know the kids better before they’re grown up and out on their own.

I want to be selfless, but if I want to do anything with anybody, that person is the one who has to expend the time, effort, and resources to meet up. That’s not selfless – that’s… pretty much the opposite of selfless.

I talked with Dr P about this kind of stuff and he turned my questions around and asked me what I could do to help people from home. I thought I could write some more articles about my experiences with mental health. I also thought it would be a good idea to donate to some charities or projects that I feel are worthwhile.

But doing that feels utterly insignificant. In the grand scheme of things, will me donating $50 to the local food bank make any kind of difference? Does anybody other than Russian web bots and a couple of my friends and family even know that my website exists? In both cases, probably not.

Thinking about this stuff has got me grinding my teeth and getting headaches like I used to get every day when I was at my job.

I texted with one of J’s aunts and she said something that has stuck with me. We were talking about her volunteering work and she said this:

“I can’t do huge things so I decided I’m going to be the rock that causes ripples.”

I think that’s a really good way of looking at things. I do.

But again, I do nothing. I accomplish nothing. I produce nothing. No ripples.

I haven’t even been able to hammer out that little blurb about cells that I want to send to my nephews. I keep looking at it and there’s always something wrong. There’s a wrong word, or a sentence that doesn’t have to be as long as it is, or something reads awkwardly. I’m not trying to write a thesis here, I’m pretty much just trying to take some microscope pictures and write a description. JUST FINISH IT, I tell myself. But I can’t.

I’m not looking to have my birthday named as a civic holiday. I just want to be useful. Cause some ripples. Make someone’s life a little better. Because right now, I feel that as far as the Universe goes, I’m a net negative.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be over here, alarmed at the creaking noises the chair makes when I sit down, grinding my teeth and trying to remember the word for that thing that I should’ve written down when I thought about that other thing I also can’t remember when I was grabbing a Tylenol.

Stay safe.

I Can’t Do This Tonight

I’m really sorry but I can’t do this today. I’ve been trying for the last hour and a half and I’m getting nowhere. I will try again tomorrow, maybe earlier in the day for the catch-up posts.

I really, really need some sleep.

Stay safe.

Not The Greatest Day

Didn’t have the best day today. I think I’m going to head to bed now and maybe write about today tomorrow.

Not sure why I thought I should write even this, but here it is. Yep.

Stay safe.