Another night of insomnia. I can’t complain because I slept for several hours earlier. Doing that always messes up my fragile sleep cycle.
I slept earlier because I was so relieved to hear about the verdict in the Chauvin murder trial. I had feared yet another tragic miscarriage of justice, as we have seen far too often in this country. As Hal (person) and I sat watching the verdict being read, I wept. I’ve never fully comprehended what black Americans have to endure simply because I was born with white skin.
I’ve learned through the years that my privilege was built on the exploitation of others and that I have to do something to help change the structural racism and injustice that we see every day. That’s a tall order, but a necessary one. We are all responsible for exposing injustice whenever and wherever we find it. Only then will we see actual progress in this country.
A Warm Spring Day
It is 80 degrees this afternoon, and it feels awesome. I’m sitting on the balcony and soaking up some sun as the afternoon passes by. Hal is waiting for maintenance personnel to show up to work on some items around the apartment. If we had known the weather would be like this, he could have delayed the maintenance request until Monday.
I finally went back inside, but it felt good while I was out. The pollen is simply too much for me right now. I’m going to wait for Hal to finish whatever he needs to before going out. In the meantime, I’m making spaghetti in the InstaPot, so there will be more to eat here. I used the last box of spaghetti, well, angel hair pasta, actually, but there’s no sense getting more spaghetti pasta until after we move next Friday. In fact, I want to empty out the refrigerator and freezer as much as possible before the move.
In one week, the rivers will still be bringing things into the new apartment. I know to take things easy and to avoid any heavy lifting or exertion. The last thing I need is another hospital stay.
I’ll try to write more later this evening.
It had to happen eventually. Loneliness has set in, and I feel it keenly this morning. I attended a Virtual Happy Hour yesterday afternoon with people from my job I haven’t seen in months. It was a good time, but I know that the meeting sowed the seeds for the loneliness I feel now.
I’m sitting here typing and listening to Led Zeppelin while Hal watches TV and The Stooges take care of whatever they want to. I placed a grocery order that should be here within two hours. Once that arrives, I can start cooking in the kitchen. I have chicken marinating in the refrigerator and veggies to steam in the new large stovetop steamer that arrived yesterday.
I doubt that we’ll go out today because Hal’s back is sore. I might take a short drive later and gill the Fiesta with gas. If there is anything else we need, I’ll pick that up as well.
I started cooking the chicken while waiting for the grocery delivery because I got bored. I’ve got my Led Zeppelin playlist on in the kitchen so that it won’t disturb Hal. I need to stay busy right now to fight off loneliness and boredom because both feelings can be dangerous. Staying active also helps me focus as I write, so I stay on-topic.
A picture of the new steamer with corn cobs in the top section and fresh green beans underneath. I’m happy to cook/steam more things at once. I know that everything will be delicious.
I’ll finish cooking and then have a late lunch before a shower and decide about going anywhere.
Another Sleepless Night
Insomnia is back again like an uninvited and unwanted guest that I cannot get rid of, hereto torrent me once again. Rather than fight futility and try to sleep, I’ll just write to occupy my time.
The week is almost over, and I hope that the nasty weather will be as well. I was right again this year about Presidents Day weekend when we would have the worst weather.
I want to go to the grocery store later today if the temperature goes above freezing. My cooking has steadily increased, and I’m happy with the results. We’ve saved a lot of money by cooking meals here at home and plan to continue the practice. I am waiting on the new steamer to arrive so I can steam green beans and corb on the cob using just one steamer. I’m also planning to steam crab legs soon.
My sinuses have given me trouble recently and affected my breathing. To avoid risk, I am not doing anything strenuous because I don’t want to end up in the hospital again. The most valuable lesson I have learned is to stay calm and not panic even when I start to feel short of breath. The deep breathing exercises and meditation have helped to master my emotions and reduce any sense of panic.
Regardless of what happens, I’m still the luckiest man in the world because of Hal. If not for him, I know I would be dead now. He saved my life, and that makes me love him, even more every day. The Stooges keep me happy as well with their antics and love, so no matter what other people might think, I am grateful for what I have, rather than envious of what I don’t.
Insomnia can try to beat me down, but I know it will pass. Hal The Cat has arrived to keep me company as I write, and his presence relaxes me. I think I will sleep soon, so I’ll sign off for the night and look forward to Friday.
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.
A Change To The Routine
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.
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.
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.
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.