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.

Tuesday update

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.

Ignorance is Killing Us – Part 2 – Racism

    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.

A Much-Needed Break

Life has gotten out of control here over the last two weeks, and I have been struggling to find a way to get things back under control. Thankfully, these problems aren’t related to the COVID-19 pandemic, both Hal (person) and I are well. OK, not completely true for Hal since he is undergoing some extensive dental work, but that wasn’t totally unexpected.

Hal has been understandably cranky at times as he waits for new dentures to be fitted because he isn’t able to eat solid food and I’m making anything and everything that he thinks he can comfortably eat with extracted teeth and a sore mouth. Hopefully this will all be over with in a week, two weeks at the most. This must be awful for him, and I want everything else to be as perfect as possible for him.

This whole situation has worn me out. My yoga has lapsed, and I feel terrible about that. I am working several projects on the job, so I’m busier than normal there, but there aren’t enough hours in the day right now to get everything done and still have enough time to rest. The holiday weekend couldn’t have come at a better time for me, I have tried to deliberately detach myself from the distractions, my success rate is almost 50% I suppose.

We did get an air fryer this weekend, something we’ve wanted for awhile and now we have the room in our kitchen for it.

Because the air fryer made by the Instant Pot company, it should be very high quality and last for a long time.

Monday is dreary and cool. Exactly the type of day that matches staying at home. Only a trip to the grocery store will get me out today. My sinuses are giving me fits again today, with a severe headache. Hal (person) is resting and still recovering from dental surgery last Friday. I want to rest as much as possible today and try to start a productive short week tomorrow.

DDP Yoga Days 26-29

    I got so busy and tired that I neglected to make my daily entries about DDP Yoga. I have not stopped working out, but I have decided that I need to focus on getting more rest. Another factor is that because Phase 2 of the program is much longer per session so far, I don’t have time to work out in the morning and have to make time after work in the early evening. This is also the time when I am the most tired.
     Last night I finally forced myself to go to bed at around 2030. This is extremely early, but I know that I need to make this change to my routine so I can sleep better and longer each night. This change will also give me more energy and that in turn will make my workouts even better.

Ignoring The Noise

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If there is a better way to turn off the world for awhile than music, I don’t want to know what that is. Music is always with me and I consider music to be almost the best thing in the world. I honestly don’t know what I would do some days without a world of music to close out the noise of the actual world around me.

I was going through the motions at work this afternoon, desperate for the workday top just end, and my motivation was really dropping. I asked my Google Home speaker to play Dvorak. Immediately, I was transported to places I only dreamed about on the wings of his music. 

Music can get me through anything. Work, social distancing, anything. Let music take you away on an adventure sometime soon.

DDP Yoga Day 20

Honestly, I was glad that Saturday was a scheduled day off from my routine. I think I slightly sprained one of the muscles in my foot, although it isn’t really painful, I can feel it when I walk and the muscle along the inside of the sole of my foot feels like it is stretched. I’ve never felt this sensation before so I’m monitoring it closely.

I am not stopping my routine. I’m looking forward to next week because it is the last week of my introductory session.

My Own Private Idaho

It sounds strange, but in the midst of all the chaos and turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic, I seem to be closer than ever to my own Private Idaho of Inner Peace. For whatever reason, things are falling into place with my life. There are still struggles, there always will be, but they no longer seem as insurmountable as they used to.

We moved on the first of April and have settled into our new place. As quiet as the last apartment was, this one puts it to shame. We are basically in the country in a medium size apartment complex, but without a major airport within 10 miles like the last place. Planes flew over all day and into the evening until 2300 or so each night. I don’t remember seeing vapor trails here in the sky since we arrived.

My sinuses acted up immediately after we arrived here. There were several days when I began to think that we must have moved to the worst place in the world for my sinus problems. But after starting Yoga on a daily basis, I have gotten better rather quickly, and I am sleeping better at night as well. I cannot describe how much better I feel.

Hal and I have not had any problems with the new neighbors. Everyone here is in the same situation as us with regards to the world situation, and that gives us all common ground to stand on.

We will save money by living here. I am relaxing with the knowledge that I can pay things off without as much stress every pay period. Things got too damned expensive at the last apartment, we just couldn’t stay there.

So there you have it. My personal story although a brief one, about how I have found my own Private Idaho and Inner Peace.

Be Kind to One Another

DDP Yoga Day 19

Friday is here, and I wanted to sleep in this morning. I firmly believe that DDP Yoga has helped me to sleep better at night. Sleeping has been a major problem for me for a long time. I suffer from frequent bouts of insomnia, which is never nice.
In the last 3 weeks, I have started sleeping better. I am extremely happy about this and I am attributing it ti DDP Yoga. Anyway, I chose to get a few more minutes of precious sleep this morning, but I will get my workout in this evening so I don’t miss a day of working out.
Looking forward to the weekend here.