I am awake again at 0300 Saturday morning. Being awake in the middle of the night is nothing unusual for me. I know insomnia very well after so many years. One thing might be changing regarding insomnia: more on that later.

     An advantage of being awake in the middle of the night is that I can appreciate the peace and quiet so much more. It snowed yesterday evening, and the world looks so serene and wonderful right now when I glance out the window. We didn’t get a lot of snow, so things are perfect right now. If I were adventurous, I would bundle up, take my iPhone outside, and make a short video, but I am not that adventurous.

     I went to the doctor yesterday, and she finally recommended that I take an overnight sleep test since it is apparent that I have sleep apnea. I must wait to hear back from the hospital about when to take that test. Due to COVID, I know that it might be a long time before it happens, but there is some progress.

     That is all for now. I will try to focus and put together a better blog post soon.

Another Trip Around the Sun

     Another trip around the sun is complete, and a new one begins. I’m officially 58 years old now. I don’t feel any different, at least not yet. 

     The first day of my new year begins early. Yesterday was great. Hal made things wonderful for me. The day started with the calendar entry about self-doubt

     The day was cold and rainy, so we stayed home until the afternoon when we went to the grocery store to get a few items. Hal excused himself to do his shopping and got me a cake. He asked for a birthday message on the cake, and this is what he got

“Jhon”?

     We had to laugh when we saw this. I joked that I must have been spelling my name wrong for 58 years without knowing it.

     The last surprise of the day came when I got a phone call from my insurance agent. His secretary called to wish me a Happy Birthday. I have never had something like that happen to me.

     I got a call from one of my old coworkers, and we talked for almost two hours. Many of the topics were work-related, but she knows that I have no plans to return to work if I choose, and my doctor concurs.

     Hal and I ordered pizza and spent the evening here with The Stooges. Yesterday was one of the best birthdays I have ever had without any fanfare. I heard from a few friends, no family called me (no surprise), so I consider yesterday a huge success.

How Appropriate

My Birthday

Serendipity l, like her sister Karma, is a real bitch. Just look at the message I get from my desktop calendar as I start my birthday.

Self-doubt is an old friend of mine. Every time I think I’ve seen the last of self-doubt in the rearview mirror of my life, he is right there in front of me again.

You would think that since I’m now 58 years old, I would be comfortable in my skin, but that isn’t the case. I’m constantly finding fault with myself, whether I mean to or not. I have a lot of good things in my life, but I always feel like I missed something along the way.

I can’t explain why I feel like this. People tell me I have one of the healthiest egos people have ever met. I don’t consciously try to be a certain way; I am who I am. Yet, I’m two very different people co-existing in the same body. Is this normal?

I’m not going to find the answers right now. I probably never will. I’ll do my best to enjoy this latest trip around the sun and let things work themselves out as they will.

More Insomniac Ramblings

     Hello again, everyone. Once again, I am awake at 0300 and writing to help keep my sanity intact. I was awake last night and finally gave up and napped from 0830 until 1030. After that, I stayed awake until 2100 and slept until 0100 this morning. Here I am, wide awake again.

     Since I woke up, I have recorded another test podcase entry. I can create a five-minute entry without too much difficulty, and I am glad about that. I will try extending the test to ten minutes the next time. My wrecked sleep makes me look much uglier than usual, so I have a face for podcasting. 

I am still researching cameras for vlogging, although probably not much for showing my ugly face at first. I am seriously looking at the DJI Osmo Pocket 2 Content Creator Kit because it has everything needed to get started. The kit is also cheaper than other options I looked at, which is always a good thing. I checked, and our local Best Buy has the equipment in stock, so I might drop by there and have a look later today when the rest of the world wakes up.

I hope that my creative juices keep flowing. I missed writing while taking a break, but I knew that I needed that break as well. I burned out, and writing wasn’t much fun. I feel refreshed now, and I dream of podcasting and vlogging to serve as inspiration. Now all I need is to get back to a regular sleeping cycle.

Right now, the subject of a podcast is a big decision for me. The timed exercises are teaching me to focus on what I say and how I communicate, but I need to subject that I can talk about regularly to make a podcast that is interesting to people.

My goal is to increase my exercises until I reach the thirty-minute mark. Then I will take that next step and focus on a name and platform for the podcast. I want to rush in, but that will result in disappointment and give up altogether. Discipline is the key to success.

Have a great day.

MLK Day 2022 – I’m Back

     This blog post is the first one I have put any effort into for 2022. I have enjoyed my downtime away from blogging, and I look forward to resuming my writing activities. I also am thinking about creating a podcast this year.

If I am creating a podcast, I need to practice. I started using iMovie to record myself. I use this tool to talk about a random topic for a designated period while remaining on topic. If I can master this skill, I will be more likely to create a podcast after all. I started these exercises by talking for 5 minutes.

I listen to it later to see how I sound. Did I stay on topic and keep the audio clear and concise? Are there any background distractions?

     As I improve my skills, I can focus on other things, like the title of my podcast and how to find the right hosting site for me. These are significant decisions, but they don’t have to be made all at once. I am in no rush. I have as much time as I need.

     I invested in a microphone for podcasting or video chat. I purchased a Blue Yeti microphone from Best Buy.

     I immediately realized the connection between blogging and podcasting. I need a roadmap for a podcast, just like for this blog. I need the focused roadmap to keep me on topic, especially when talking. I need a script or a good outline of talking points to keep me honest.

     All of these things are on my mind since I cannot sleep due to insomnia. It’s good to be back.

Anniversary

     Twenty-two years ago, I met Hal for the first time on this date. I was at a rough point in my life, just out of a bad relationship and unsure of what to do next. I chatted with people online, back when AOL was a thing, about life and relationships. 

     On January 6, 2000, I started chatting with someone I thought I knew. That person often changed their screen name, so I thought it was just a new one they created. After a few tests back and forth, I realized that I was talking with someone new. Their use of words was different than the person I thought they were.

     I apologized to the new person, and they thought it was funny. I began talking to him anew, and things started to click between us. We found enough in common to agree to a date that evening for dinner and a movie. We ate at a local restaurant and then saw “Galaxy Quest.” A romantic evening ensued, and I secretly hoped that he felt the same way I did. By the time we parted late in the evening, the sparks were there. We spoke again and saw each other the next day and the day after. It wasn’t long until we discussed making things permanent. 

     We’ve been together almost every day since then. We have gone through family crises and deaths, career changes, more moves than we can count, but we always emerge stronger. I drank like a sailor when I met Hal, but I stopped almost entirely without him saying a word, and now I only socially drink once or twice a year. Friends have come and gone; we have made a home for cats throughout our time together. The important thing is that Hal and I love each other more now than ever before.

     We promised each other that we would never go to bed angry. We would always talk out any problems that arose. We each compromised to preserve our union. Jealousy was never allowed.

     In 2020 I was hospitalized. Hal was there with me. Even though he lacked legal standing, he made the medically necessary decision to put me into a coma to save my life. The doctors transferred me to another hospital 50 miles away, and Hal made the trip as often as possible because Hal could no longer drive. He took Uber for those trips, but he made them, which helped my recovery.

     I came home from the hospital on 17 DEC 2020. Hal helped me because I was invalid, barely able to walk. I wasn’t strong enough to shower, so he bathed me. I was never out of his sight for the first two months. As I gained my strength, he gradually eased up but never left me alone for long. I’ve been on disability ever since, but Hal demands that I don’t return to my job because I am not strong enough to deal with the stress. Of course, he is right, although I wanted to man up and try working again. Hal told me that we would get through this just like we’ve made it through every other difficult time we’ve faced together.

     Twenty-two years ago, my life got better. It gets better every day because of Hal. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here today without Hal.

First post of 2022

     As 2021 winds down, I wanted to try and sum it up from my perspective. I’ve managed to stay out of the hospital for the entire year, and that is a massive accomplishment for me. My recovery started well, but by September, I felt like I had reached my plateau, and progress slowed almost to a halt.

     2021 taught me to live on a tight budget due to being disabled and the never-ending COVID situation. Hal and I moved to a new apartment that we love. The Stooges are happy; although we did lose Stevie Nicks this year to illness, we adopted Willow, who has adapted to life with Jax and Hal The Cat. Our new family arrangement is working out well.

     I don’t have any grand expectations for 2022, I just want to stay as healthy as possible and out of the hospital.

     January 3, 2022 will be a day we’ll remember. In addition to a snowstorm, we lost power around 1000 that morning and it wasn’t restored until 1600 Tuesday. We sat here in a gradually cooling apartment, waiting and hoping for the power to come back on. As darkness settled in, we were lucky to have emergency radios with flashlights to give us limited light.

     Tuesday afternoon is here. More than 24 hours without power and no word on when it will be restored. We’ve taken perishable food from the refrigerator and put it outside to stay cold. Sone freezer items have been thrown out. Once the ice is gone in the freezer, everything else there will be thrown out as well. The worst part of this is not knowing when it will end.

Our power came back at 1600 on Tuesday.