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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

DDP Yoga Day 18

Mission accomplished, at least for this morning. Even though today was a scheduled off day, I wanted to continue with my workouts so I did the session immediately after waking up this morning. Unless something happens to stop me, I plan to do the workout again immediately after work. I feel awesome and I slept better last night. My sinuses are also clearing up, and that helps tremendously.
I am going to work out twice a day for a while because I think that I am up to the task. I have one more week with the basic course before moving on to the next set of exercises. I am glad that I started at the beginning so I was able to get my mind in the right place to keep moving forward. Mental attitude is very important with something like a workout routine, and DDP Yoga is no different.