Changing Times

Most of the time, I deal with my diabetes without too much trouble. I’ve learned through the years how to manage my condition without interrupting my daily life properly.

However, there are times when my diabetes gets the best of me. Earlier today, I forgot my morning dose of medicine, and I felt the impact of that mistake. My neck and shoulders really sore, almost burning sensation, and nothing helps until I take some insulin. The blood sugar was high, and I am waiting for it to come down. The pain and burning have gone away, and even my breathing is better.

Now I have to resist the temptation to do anything except getting my blood sugar level down. This is something that I can not rush, it has to happen after taking the insulin. Until then I must force myself to relax and unwind.

This whole scenario occurs occasionally and that is how I have learned to handle it without difficulty. Just another part of my ever-changing life.

Making a Break vs Taking a Break

The title says it all. I am going to make a break from posting polity items on this blog. When I say “make a break” I mean a permanent reduction, if not total elimination, of political items on this blog.

“Taking a Break” implies a temporary halt. I want to do more than that. I have used this blog to post political items, and I’ve just lost interest in pursuing it further.

I’m not planning to stop writing; I need to focus on other things. My life is changing, and I need to adapt to the changes with my writing. This whole self-evaluation began when I was in the hospital late last year. I nearly died, and that was a wake-up call that I should focus my life on different areas.

I’ve always been interested in, and passionate about politics. The trouble is that I was so consumed with hatred of what our country was becoming that I lost touch with myself. I became a shell of a person, blindly parroting things I believed in at the expense of everything else in my life. I was miserable without realizing it. I transferred my unhappiness with politics into my personal life, and that was poisoning me.

Therefore, I am taking a break from the old habits and routines. The number of blog posts will diminish at first, but I hope to become more proficient as time goes by.

Headspace 24 JANUARY 2021

I need to get some more Headspace in my life. Starting my day with a short inspirational story and some meditative music is right for me. It lets my mind clear out the clutter and prepare for the new day ahead. The challenge is setting aside the time for Headspace because it is a time-consuming app; there’s no getting around that point.

I can write more freely after watching the daily short story and then starting one of the music playlists. While the music plays, I can write as my mind relaxes and clears. It is a beautiful feeling to embrace the calm and shut out the chaos for a while. Right now, I am listening to a music list called “Kindness.” What a great name to give.

We could all do with more kindness in our lives. We always seem to be focusing on things through anger rather than kindness and love. I am guilty of this mistake, and I have written about overcoming it. It will take time and effort, and concentration, but the inner peace is worth it.

My challenge is to carry through with this effort and not give up. The reward is worth the effort because this affects my sanity and my health. I feel better just listening to the music and letting the words flow out of me. I feel more relaxed than I expected would in the morning. My mood is changing, and I know that it will be a struggle, but I want to make this change in my life.

When I was in the hospital, the nurses and doctors told me that meditation and writing were excellent therapy forms. I can see what they are talking about right now, and I am enjoying myself.

A theme throughout the “Kindness” playlist is water. The sounds of rain or running water are always present. I believe this represents a cleansing or purification of the mind. Letting the unimportant things wash away to leave a clean, pure surface to build the day on is a beautiful image that comes to mind. As I focus on the music, the words come pouring out so effortlessly. It feels incredible and relaxing and refreshing at the same time.

The simple melodies that occur repeat, but not in an annoying way, the pieces keep my mind focused, and then as the songs build and become more complex, it helps my mind open and relaxes me even more.

I just fell into such a wonderful sense of calm. I actually began purging my reading list of some topics that only upset me. I believe this is that proverbial first step on a journey that I am starting this morning, one that I hope will bring me joy, peace, and happiness.

The Day Before

The Day Before

Today is January 19th. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’ll turn 57 years young. I feel old since my health took a turn for the worse about six months ago, but mentally I feel almost like a teenager. It doesn’t seem possible that I have been here for 57 years. That still seems old to me.

I wonder where I would be, or if I would still be alive, if not for Hal. We have been together for 21 years; over one-third of my life has been with him. We have known and loved one another longer than any relationship I have had, including family.

I am fortunate when I met Hal. I was on my way to becoming an alcoholic. I could throw down with the most hard-core drinkers imaginable. Within six months of meeting Hal, I almost stopped drinking altogether. I will still have a drink or two occasionally, but in 21 years, I’ve never been drunk since I met Hal. I quit smoking five years ago, as well. Hal did bother me about smoking, but he never said those first few months about drinking. I suppose he didn’t want to seem too overbearing.

Anyway, tomorrow is my birthday. There aren’t any big surprises after all these years. I don’t need a thing besides a nice birthday dinner. With the pandemic, and since Hal can’t drive anymore, I already told Hal what I want for my dinner. We’ll go to Bonefish Grill and pick up a salmon dinner and some shrimp to bring back home for my birthday meal. There’s no way in hell we are going to eat in a restaurant during the pandemic.

My birthday is also Inauguration Day, just like it is every fourth year. Getting rid of DumbShit Orange Nazi is a gift all by itself. I hope that the terrorists have been arrested and that there is no violence on my birthday. I never want my birthday to be marred by violence or terrorism.

So, Happy Birthday to me tomorrow.

Writing At Night

For some strange reason, probably insomnia, I find myself writing late at night when most of the world is asleep. I certainly wish that I operated on the same schedule as everyone else, but I seem powerless to control it. So, I write this blog post at 0400 on a Saturday morning after being awake for more than two hours already.

Now I start to make the necessary mental preparations for the rest of the day. I recognize that I will have to stop whatever I am doing at some point in the day and surrender to what amounts to unwelcome sleep at that time because my body will be exhausted.

This is not an enjoyable life. Seemingly, there is nothing I can do at this time to correct the problem, so I just feed my desire to write and to read what others have written. I know that at some point in the future that the insomnia will pass and sleep will come naturally, until them, I write.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Later today I’m meeting someone to possibly purchase a portable oxygen concentrator called an Inogen One G3. I have been checking about acquiring one of these machines through my insurance, but the insane rules and excessive cost make that very unlikely right now. Instead, I will check this machine out for myself. 

The person selling it recently lost a loved one who used the machine and now they want to sell it to someone who can use it. I could certainly use it if it’s in working condition. The person is selling it for a decent price compared to other retailers and private sellers, so it’s worth taking a look. 

I hate lugging an oxygen canister with me when I’m out. The comfort of knowing I have O2 is balanced against the realization that when the O2 runs out, I can be in serious trouble.  I would prefer to have the portable oxygen concentrator to provide oxygen as long as the battery is charged. A place to charge a battery is much easier to find when one is out than a refill station for an O2 canister. 

This is what I have now. You can see the limitations it has. It is bulky and limits mobility when I’m out. It takes up most of a large shopping cart at the grocery store and then the tube limits how far I can move away from that cart. 

The Inogen One G3 has a carrying bag and is much smaller. It makes its own O2 from the surrounding air. I hope that this machine is in working order and worth the asking price. If do, I’m buying it and taking back a degree of freedom that I lost late last year.

07 JANUARY 2021

This week is certainly interesting. An attempted coup, our anniversary, my recovery all happening at the same time. My goal as Thursday starts to save as much money as I can and to make sure that my recovery continues without interruption. Achieving these goals sounds easy, but let me assure you that it takes effort and control to keep things on track. 

I have to prioritize my goals each day. First is my recovery because, without a successful recovery, my other efforts will fail. Hal remains in charge, and my progress is per his overall plan. I had several vertigo bouts yesterday caused by trying to move too rapidly after sitting for a long time. 

My second goal is to walk for at least 3000 steps today. Walking each day is directly tied to my primary goal of recovery. Hal approves of this, and I don’t want to let him down. Getting into better physical shape is never a bad thing. 

My third goal is writing. My mental health is essential, and writing helps me cope with the world around me. The concentration required to write is a vital mental exercise that keeps my mind sharp. 

I’ve given a list of things that I need to focus on each day. Acknowledging my limits and listening to Hal keeps me sane.

First Real Post of 2021

We made it through 2020! I’ve never had a year that was as completely fucked up as 2020 was. I hope that 2021 will at least offer some slight improvement for us all.

My sense of optimism has returned with this New Year, at least for the first few hours. I must admit that I went to bed immediately after midnight and a few kisses from Hal because the need to start the association from 2020 was so strong.

Now, at 0500, I’m awake, and I’ll soon be taking a shower to greet 2021 properly. I’m thankful to report that I’m feeling good, with no shortness of breath. Of course, I want 2021 to be a much better year in terms of my physical health and well-being. I want to avoid any trips to the hospital in the New Year.

I hope that everyone, except for republiKKKans and Nazis, will have a great year. Those two groups can all leave the planet and die as far as I care. They tried to destroy this country, and we must remain on guard against them in the future.

I have to pull out one of the laptops or Chromebooks to continue writing this post so I won’t be guilty of breaking the one pseudo resolution I made myself for 2021. Just as soon as I resolve to get out of this ultra-comfy bed this morning, I’ll get right on that.

I am glad to report that my creative and writing juices are flowing without interruption right now, and it is a welcome change because my love of writing never went away. It suffered at times as the overall awfulness of 2020 just sapped the strength out of me. I don’t miss that feeling at all.

Overall, I am delighted to welcome you in 2021. Let’s hope it lives up to the promise of being better than 2020, which, after all, is a very low expectation of meeting.

Journaling (from Evernote)

As I start a new Evernote notebook, it only makes sense to record my observations about how well Evernote works as a Journaling tool for my life. This is not the first time I’ve tried this approach, but I hope to draw some useful lessons this time.

One advantage for Evernote is that it is compatible with all of the platforms I use. This is especially important to me at times like this, when I’m in the hospital and attempting to connect to less than reliable networks. Waiting for my Surface Pro to configure its network settings takes forever, or do it seems, but I can still make updates to my notebook via my iPhone without difficulty.

The Surface Pro is certainly taking its own sweet time to update. There’s nothing I can do except to wait for it to complete all of its updates before attempting to use Evernote on there. Even though the Surface Pro says “do not turn off”, I’m thinking that something is hung up and it needs a reboot. Sadly, it won’t shutdown at this time. I might have to wait for the battery to drain completely before I can try a restart.

Eventually, I had to restart theSurface Pro. It had locked itself up and was not responding. Once it completed its reboot, it cam back on without incident. The next adventure was turning on thehot spot from my iPhone to connect to the internet. Now that is done, I am up and running and ready to test this thing out.

Destination Journey -My Job -11 NOV 2020

The daily prompt is about my career.

For the last fifteen years, I’ve worked as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) for a software company with a major government client. I utilize my education and my background experience to demonstrate to the client how our products can improve their own data management processes, written procedures, and their overall data quality.

The job sounds both exciting and boring, and yes, there seems to be equal measures of both most of the time. I am constantly learning new systems and how we can integrate them into the infrastructure we have already constructed. This proves challenging because I can’t control how any external system creates and maintains its own data. The external company is solely responsible for those processes unless we can negotiate a written agreement on how to share data in formats which each separate system can process correctly.

There are times when I wish that I could try to market our products to other data producers, but that job is not in my career path. I exist in that nebulous world between client and software developers. I normally receive high praise from the client who sees what I can show with their data, while at the same time, the software developers in the same company i work for seem to view my inputs less favorably. I attribute this to the software developers mindset that they think they know best what everyone wants. They also seem to have forgotten to approach any data management system from a client point of view.

So, my job is interesting and often full of surprises. I wouldn’t still be doing it after fifteen years if I hated it, but there are some days that are worse than others, as with any job.