Moving is always an adventure. No matter how many times we’ve moved (and it has been a lot), we always find new things to mess up or new ways to improve the experience. As we slowly but steadily get everything organized in the new place, we see the ad-lib placement of items to get them out of the way often turn out brilliant ideas.
The top of the curio cabinet is an excellent example of this principle. Without realizing what we were doing, we created this subtle work of beauty.
I went to my primary care doctor Wednesday morning for a scheduled checkup visit.
I am working with the Long Term Disability people to get the payments rolling. I am going to be in Ling-Term Disability through the end of May. I’ll meet with the doctor before then to see what the next step will be.
Things move in their own time, I have to keep working on my recovery and try to be patient. Rushing a process like this will just lead to trouble.
I had a follow-up visit with one of my doctors this morning, but for the first time, it was a virtual visit. One of the staff at the doctor’s office contracted COVID-19, and so all appointments were shifted to virtual if possible. It was a new experience talking to the doctor without being in the same room. This is the new normal.
Another change is this afternoon when I take Hal to his doctor for a check-up. Usually, I’m the one who has to go to the doctor. At least the weather is nice today, although it is rather cold.
I feel ok. I’m still avoiding politics because the subject makes me feel like a relapse to the shit that hospitalized me last year. The stupid fuckers can’t get their act together to help people; they’re only interested in helping themselves. I don’t have the energy to care anymore.
Avoiding politics is the goal I set for myself, and I want to stick to it. My postings are fewer, but that’s because I’m not just reporting every article I find interesting. I need to take time for myself and healing my body and mind.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As I prepare to start Tuesday here at home, there are several things that I want to take care of. First of all, I want to walk this morning for exercise. I’m going to try and get back into shape as safely as possible. I’m going to browse for some new comfortable walking shoes later today. I don’t have a lot to spend, but I do want to take care of my feet.
I am not working today because I’m fighting the system to get approval for short-term disability. If I go back to work now, I’ll look be surrendering my chances to qualify for short-term disability unless I am hospitalized again. I definitely don’t want that. Therefore, I’m not returning to work this week as I go through o all of my follow-up medical appointments. I’ll submit all the paperwork after those visits and hope for the best.
I don’t miss work yet. I’m not sure when I will, honestly. I just know that I do need time to recover from all that I’ve gone through recently. I also know that work stress doesn’t help at all.
I decided against shopping for shoes today because that would violate my deliberate plan to avoid crowds of people. I can always order some shoes online and return them if they don’t work out for me. I just want some comfortable hiking shoes so I can start exercising again.
One last thing that is sort of related involves our new method for getting groceries. Placing an order and then picking things up curbside at the store is working out better than planned because it makes us plan more deliberately for what we need rather than just run into the store without a clue. Definitely a win for us.
The second danger that we are facing now is Racism. I have been with my partner Hal, who is black, for more than 20 years, and in that time, I have learned a lot about how he sees the world as a black man. The things that he has seen in his life are frightening to think about for me. As a white man, I grew up with privilege that I never realized I had. To me, the local police were people I could put my trust in, especially in a small townh. I never thought that the black children I grew up with could have such a completely different view of the world, but after being with Hal, and then talking to some of the people I grew up with, I now know that the feelings of fear and distrust did exist even when I was a child. Those fears and feelings were never shared with me growing up because those feelings are deeply held in the black community. The common perception is that no white outsider can ever appreciate those feelings, that they would be called irrational or ridiculous. I never knowingly felt that way towards my friends, but I never realized that those feelings were being hidden from me either. My parents taught me as best they could to respect everyone, and to never look down on anyone. I am glad that those friends I had growing up never associated me personally with any of the problems that they encountered, but I wish that I had known about those problems so I could have helped to overcome them. As the number of murders committed by the police continue to grow, it becomes apparent that the real problem is ignorance. Pretending that this is a recent phenomenon completely proves the very point that my childhood friends, and Hal, have taught me. The problem has been around for over 400 years and is deeply rooted in our society. Slavery might have been outlawed, but the repercussions remain to this very day. White society has the remarkable ability to filter out unpleasant things and pretend that things are completely fine, unless the problems affect white society. This willful choice to be ignorant is a huge part of the problem. I am proud to be part of the #BLM movement, but I can never speak for those directly affected. I can only speak from the perspective of a white man who is woke and proud of it. I choose to not be ignorant, because ignorance is killing us, all of us. To be silent is to be complicit.