August ends with me laying here in  a hospital bed facing days worth of tests to determine why I’m suffering from oxygen deprivation. I’ve been short of breath for a few days and knew that something had to be done to correct the problem. 

     I woke up Monday morning after another night of mediocre sleep and immediately called work and let them know that I was not showing up today. I spoke with Hal and then I visited the local emergency clinic. Nothing was determined there except that my lungs were clear, my EKG was normal, but I was definitely  referred me to the emergency suffering from oxygen deprivation. The clinic referred me to the emergency room at the local hospital. 

     I drove to the hospital and checked myself in after another round of tests revealed exactly the same symptoms as the clinic had. The ER nurse and Doctor told me that I woul probably be in the hospital for at least Tuesday and Wednesday as well. 

I called Hal to give him the news, and then called a coworker to let the company know what was going on. Hal eventually made it to the hospital to visit me via Uber since he can’t drive any longer due to his vision.

At least the hospital food has improved remarkably. I really enjoyed my dinner of Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry, with a small salad and a bowl of tomato soup.

     Now I’m struggling to sleep in a strange place surrounded by noises and distractions. I’m giving in to the temptation and ordered a pain pill to help me relax since it’s after 2300 and I really want some sleep. 

     For those of you who might wonder, I have no family to inform regarding my condition. Those relatives I do know are hundreds of miles and millions of years of evolution apart from me. Hal and The Stooges are my family, they are all that I need and care about. I know that they will never let me down. 

And so, August ends with me laying here, typing on my iPhone to keep my sanity awake and alive for the rest of the night. Tomorrow will be September, and perhaps the secrets about why I’m here will start to be revealed.

Some Days

Some days are better than others. This concept has been real for me over the last several weeks. Unfortunately, most of them have fallen into the “not so good” category. The job I have loved for so many years has been changing, and my passion is officially gone. Now I just want to put in my hours and leave. 

Things that I had control over have somehow become someone else’s responsibilities. However, I am still doing the same, if not more, work than before. Presentations morphed from information sessions into formal productions, complete  with outlandish choreography, bells, and whistles, which to me, are meaningless.

I have run right up to the edge of being officially let go over the changes. I am tired of caring, and therefore I no longer have any passion for putting into the product anymore. My boss knows how I feel, and we have at least agreed to disagree for the time being. I don’t see things getting any better. The die is cast.

    And so, I just make my way through the days now. I hope for quiet instead of chaos, consent rather than conflict. I will count each day without conflict as a victory because fighting for what I believed proved to be a disaster. For the first time, I find myself thinking seriously about retirement.

At least I still have my writing to keep me sane and interested in each day that comes along. I can focus on Hal and the Stooges more, and leave the job behind me each afternoon and get back to life itself.

Making a Change

I recently made a list of priorities for my life, and ranked those things bars on my ability to influence and control them. First thing on my final list was to get more sleep.

As this weekend approached, I resolved to put my change into action. Starting on Friday night, I made sure that there was nothing pressing that had to be done on Saturday morning. Although I failed to get to bed as early as I’d planned, I still slept for 10 hours.

Saturday evening went a bit better, and once again I managed 10 hours of sleep. Sunday night will be the first real test. I have an alarm for 0600 during the week, so I want to be in bed no later than 2100 the night before. If I can make this change permanent, I know that I’ll feel better each following day.

No Joy Anymore

I’m in a dark place right now. The job has deteriorated to the point of no return, there’s simply no way my passion or motivation will ever return. I’ve been reduced to simply being a cog in the machine.

I fought as hard as I could, but at my age, resigning and looking for another job is not a tempting prospect. My goal is to become what I’d always tried to avoid, and that’s someone who just goes through the motions while just waiting to retire.

Full Stop

    There are times when things get so hectic that I almost lose myself in the struggle to stay ahead of the game. I have been going through one of those times recently, and I have forgotten the most important rule when things seem to be out of control—FULL STOP.

    Full Stop means simply what it says. I am stopping everything that is contributing to my sense of being overwhelmed. I need to re-prioritize things, and that is impossible when I am juggling cats and chainsaws at the same time. Job issues, exhaustion, worry about the ongoing pandemic, concerns about Hal and The Stooges, making sure that there is food on the table, basically everything that has been on my mind needs to be thrown onto the floor so I can examine each one and then decide which one to tackle first, then second, etc. This is the only way that I can get a grip on things after they reach the crisis point.

    Job issues are important, but not at the expense of my personal sanity. It is so easy to just say that this priority must come first. Closer examination and experience has shown me that this is seldom the case. If I am not comfortable and secure at home, that makes any job issues even worse. Learning how to correctly put things in order is key to finding inner peace at times like this.

    Getting more rest is the easy solution to the exhaustion problem. Now, if someone has a formula to add another 8 hours to each day that I can devote solely to rest and relaxation, I would be eternally grateful. Sadly, this also has to be built into the plan that will emerge from the full stop period. If I am not rested, nothing else will be easy. Therefore this priority moves to the top of my list.

    The pandemic is something that worries all of us at times. Since there is only so much that I can do, I just take care of that and then deliberately move this to the bottom of the priority list for the time being. It is one of those things that is out of my control, so there is no use putting extra effort into worrying about it.

    Hal and The Stooges will always be at or near the top of my list. I have to be rested to make sure that I can devote my best to them, therefore this moves to second place, behind rest, but ahead of the job and the pandemic.

    Putting food on the table is directly related to the job. Therefore it must be placed behind the job priority.

    At this point, I have the following list in order:

  1. Rest
  2. Hal and The Stooges
  3. Job
  4. Putting food on the table
  5. Pandemic

    This gives me something to plan around that I can live with. In order to get more rest and have more quality time with Hal and The Stooges, I can arrange my own routine to put these two things first. The job and the putting food on the table issues are also directly related and come after that. The difference is that those two things will not be allowed into my personal time with the top two priorities. The pandemic is something that I will remain aware of, we will do what we can to protect ourselves, but that is the extent of the effort for now.

    This is the FULL STOP exercise. It is the easy part. Putting this into practice will be the tough part. I have to stand my ground and defend my plan against outside influences. Not doing so is what got me into this mess in the first place.

    I hope that this helps someone out there. Willingly offered for free. Do what you can first to protect your own personal sanity. Then deal with the job, and put the things you cannot control at the bottom of your list.

Unsettled On The Job

    Right now, I am extremely tired and disenchanted with my job. I have been dealing with anonymous complaints about some of the presentations I conduct for some time. I have my suspicions about who the person is, and suffice it to say that they are high up in the company. So high up in fact that I wonder why they have the time to bitch and moan about my job.
    Since it does no good for me to complain to the person, I am left with the option of responding to whatever complaints they choose to mention each week. Of course, it would be absolutely awesome if they would give specifics about what they think is wrong, but that never happens. I am just left to try and piece together what someone means when they say something is “wrong” without clarification.

I find that I am more tired more often than I have ever been. This has to be connected to the job issues. Where I once loved my job, today it is nothing more than something that I have to do. The joy and passion are gone, and I cannot see them coming back. It is amazing how much feeling good about my job can be missed. I find myself counting the minutes and seconds until quitting time now.