Time off means time out

So, I’ve got this long weekend, which feels like such a luxury, compared to how things have been in the past. One of the things that makes it feel even more luxurious, is that I’m not completely wiped out from my day-to-day life.

Work has been demanding, but it hasn’t been exhausting like it was at my last job. I actually have “more to work with” on my days off. And that makes a huge difference.

I have been hoping to spend some time on some of my personal projects, this weekend, and I have been, a bit. At the same time, having the space to really unwind and loosen up… to surf the web, reading things just for the fun of it… and to keep my own quiet counsel, catching up on my reading about Samurai legends and travel and meditation… well, that’s pretty cool, too.

And having time to just juggle, without feeling like I’m racing the clock, all my different interests competing between and amongst each other.

I went out for a walk this morning. I juggled a bit (and will do a bit more, momentarily). I read. I write just a little bit. And I repotted a plant that’s completely and totally root-bound. It had almost no soil left in it, the roots had gotten so big. I don’t know how it’s even survived as long as it has.

I took some notes on some of my thoughts. And I wandered around aimlessly in the back of my head, just letting things go as they will. I got some good inspiration for one of my projects… some pretty cool insights I can use.

Tomorrow (Monday) is another day, and I might do some more work, or I might just go out for long walks and accomplish nothing at all.

It’s all good. And it feels great. It feels… normal.

Interesting, how that works.

Day out – and about

A lovely day to be out and about

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I was up early — couldn’t sleep past 4:45 a.m., and it was the first day of the long weekend, so I thought, “Screw it”, and got up to just get into my day. I had a really good morning — juggled a bit, had my breakfast, did some research for a project I’m working on, ran a bunch of important errands, took a nap, and then went to a nearby vacation area with my spouse.

I hadn’t expected the place to be crowded, since we were getting there late and the day had been gorgeous, giving people lots of reasons to be out in it, from early morning till late afternoon. The traffic was heavy, getting to the middle of the town and down to the beach, but when we arriving, people were already leaving the area in droves, heading out to dinner with tired kids.

We found a spot to park, pulled out our lawn chairs, and then I went for a walk down to the water. Got my feet wet. Splashed around a bit. Ran with the waves. And just chilled.

We spent a few hours by the water, my spouse getting some sun, and I getting some exercise. We brought snacks, and I ate too much. Then we went and got some dinner, and I ate too much again. There was a lot of fatty fried foods, and my stomach started to hurt. Gall bladder. Not too bad, but noticeable.

After that, it was getting late. We decided to go exploring a bit, so we took the long way home and took a side road back to an overlook that was marked as “scenic”. We wound around through dark stretches of backwoods, and eventually came out to a vista overlooking a wide valley with towns far off in the distance. Overhead we could see the milky way and more stars that we’d seen in a long, long time.

It was beautiful, and a lot of other people thought so, too. There were lots of cars parked in the lot, without a lot of people in sight. Every now and then, we’d see people emerge from a trail with a flashlight. There must be trails down below that give you an even better view.

We took note of where we were, and we resolved to come back again in the future – during the day, so we can explore the trails and see what everything looks like broad daylight.

Then we found a place that sold coffee, got a couple of cups and a blueberry muffin, then hit the road and got home around midnight. Not bad for a day trip. And on this trip, there was no yelling, no fussing, no arguing. Just me and my spouse making an effort to really have a good time.

I went straight to bed, when we got home. I was bushed, and I fell asleep with my bedside lamp on. Around 2:30 in the morning, I woke up with a terrible stomach ache, feeling like I was going to throw up. Gall bladder.

I got up and went downstairs to find the Pepto Bismol, which is the only stuff that ever truly works for me. There was only a little bit left, and I drained the bottle. I went back to bed, my gut still aching, feeling like I was going to throw up. I did some acupressure points I found that let you stimulate your gall bladder, so it can do its job better. Thankfully, after a few minutes it worked. My gall bladder gurgled, and I felt a little whoosh of gall bladder emptying, and my stomach ache started to ease up.

I got back to sleep and slept till 8:00, which puts me at nearly 8 hours of sleep, last night.

I’ll take it.

My gall bladder is still bothering me a bit, but I did the points on my hand, foot, and belly, and I’m starting to feel better. I need to be careful of my gall bladder, because I’m drinking my butter coffee “rocket fuel” on a daily basis, and the fats don’t always sit well with me. Yesterday, I had several servings of “rocket fuel” at two different times in the day, I ate a bunch of potato chips, and I had fried fish and french fries for dinner. And I finished up the evening with some dark chocolate and part of a blueberry that was really rich — delicious, but still more fat. Yeah, not so great.

So, I’m taking it easy today with the food. I’m eating light, because I’ve been really eating a lot, lately. More than usual. And the wrong kinds of foods. I sorta kinda went off my routine, over the past week, eating McDonalds once for lunch, and snacking on more junk. I also started eating grains again, which is not good for me. I’m sensitive to the gluten, and it messes up my stomach.

So, no wonder I was in rough shape last night. I was afraid I’d gotten food poisoning. But once my gall bladder kicked into action, I was good. So, obviously the food was not bad — just not the right kind for me.

I’ve really got to watch my eating, these days. I’ve got a lot going on at work, so I’ve been eating more for “energy”, when what I really need is more sleep. And exercise. I haven’t been getting out as much as I should, and it’s showing. I’m not gaining a ton of weight, but I’m still feeling like pretty much of a lard, which doesn’t do much for my attitude and energy levels… so I eat, to pick myself up… which is even more problematic.

So, rather than sitting here feeling bad about everything, I’m going out for a walk. I’ve got another couple of days off work, so I’m going to make the most of them.


Slow day… last push…

The long weekend is soon upon me, and it’s about time. It’s been a very busy week. Hectic. Emotional. Dramatic. On top of that, my internet connection is painfully slow, which isn’t helping me on the morning when I owe people four major status reports, and I need to access the company servers over the remote network.

I’m working from home today and going to a doctor’s appointment with my spouse this afternoon. This doctor is pretty much of an ass, but because of where we live, and the slim pickings in doctors of this type, we’re kind of stuck with them.

Oh, well. We do our official duty to show up and check in, get the necessary prescriptions, and then get on with our lives. On the bright side, we’re going to pick up some dinners from one of our favorite take-out places and just relax tonight.

And I’ll have three full days to just chill. Do what I please. Not sweat much of the small stuff at all. It’s all good, and if the weather holds, so much the better. Even if it doesn’t, so what? I have plenty to occupy myself inside, as well.

Including sleeping.

In fact, I look forward to plenty of naps, this weekend. I’ve been really busy — and really tired. Yawning at 11 a.m. Really battling to stay awake during the day. When we change offices, I’ll be able to duck out for long lunches and scoot home to nap, which will be good. Probably not every day, but as often as I need to.

Well, anyway, speaking of work, it’s time for me to get rolling with my day. I’ve got plenty to do in the next few hours, and I look forward to actually getting it done, so I can ease into the weekend…

Yeah… onward.

Almost there… almost there…

So, things have been going really well at work. My new job is shaping up. It’s been rough, in spots, but mostly because my head gets all turned around, and I feel incredibly deficient, some days.

Of course I do. I’ve been exhausted at the end of each day, and that’s a good thing. It means I’m earning a living, and I’m putting everything I have into what I’m doing.

I’ve had a bunch of times where I could not figure out how to put two words together coherently. And I’ve felt like everyone in the room was sitting there staring at me, wondering… WTF dude? But I pulled it together and just kept going.

And just the other day, I noticed that someone else who has been training me also got incredibly tongue-tied, and they could not put two coherent words together, either.

So, it isn’t just me.

We’re all under a lot of pressure. There are four BIG deadlines looming — each 2 weeks after the prior one. It will all be over and done with by mid-October, and then the office is moving to another location that is just down the road from where I live.

That means that if I get exhausted and need to rest, I can go home for lunch and get a quick nap, and no one will be the wiser. It also means I can invite friends from work home for lunch, and we can hang out if we like. Heck, we can work at my place, if we can’t find any conference rooms available.

That would be a hoot. Or maybe not. It all depends on the context, I suppose.

Long story short, in a few months, the hell that has been my life will be behind me, and I’ll have a life that I can really be happy with. I mean, seriously. It’s so awesome, and I have been hankerin’ for this kind of a change for so very long. I really like the group I’m working with, my boss said they “love” me and my work today — in a totally professional way, of course. And I’m not far from home. Plus, in the season when the weather turns bad, I’ll be 12 minutes from my house, which is never a bad thing.

I’ve dreamed of this chance for so many years, and I’ve taken a shot at it many, many times. Now it’s happening, and it’s for real, and it is very, very good.

Of course, there’s political crap that goes on. What else is new? But the bottom line is, I have the time and the strength to deal with it all, I’m figuring out how to keep myself safe and healthy, and I actually have time for hobbies.

Imagine that.

And now, for the crowning glory of my day, I’m going to eat my big old burrito for dinner, follow it with some ice cream, and call it an early night.


Been quiet, been busy

I’ve been working on a personal project which is going to be done soon. I have not been on this blog much, lately, which is partly a good thing.

I hope to write more this weekend, because things have been shaping up well, and I don’t just want to write when things are really bad.

So, stay tuned… more to come.

Recovering well

I’ve been a little under the weather, so I took myself offline completely all weekend. It was very cool. I got some reading done, I hung out with a new friend for a bit, and I went for a few short walks.

I’ve been extremely lightheaded and dizzy for the past few days — increasingly so. I think it is my inner ears getting congested. I put some drops in, but that just made them sting, so I’m not sure that was a good idea.

I’ve got a lot going on at work, these days. More than before, that’s for certain. It’s ironic — I had hoped that this change would lighten my workload, but now it’s getting to be more. Oh well. At least I like the people I’m working with, and I do have more time to rest and do things I’ve been wanting to do, so it’s fine.

Gotta get myself motivated. I’ve been having a hell of a time getting motivated, lately, but the work isn’t going to do itself. So, I focus on my own wellness, I do what I can to take care of myself, and I take it easy… not being too hard on myself. In another 8 weeks, all the deadlines will be here and gone, and then we have the rest of the year to just do our work and get things done at a more civilized pace.

I’m looking forward to that — as well as having a solid foundation in the work that I’m doing.

So that being said… onward.

Facebook fast is working :)

No thank you. My life is so much better without it

I’ve been off Facebook for a couple of weeks now, and I feel pretty excellent. The more time I spend away from it, the more I realize how it’s just a bad influence in my life — and the more I realize how much better I feel, when I am not dragged into everyone else’s life dramas.

I feel badly that people have to go through the things they do, but in so many instances, their drama is self-created — and they turn to Facebook for justification for their dramas, for people to validate their pain. It’s pain they’ve caused to themselves. It’s pain they keep breathing life into, by talking about it and justifying their poor choices.

If people spent half the time working to fix things in their lives, that they spend complaining about those things, they might not have nearly as much to complain about.

But people would rather complain.

You know… thinking about people at work in their drama, I can tell who spends the most time on Facebook. They’re the ones who get worked up over every little thing, who marinate in their unhappiness, and who run off in little groups to bitch and complain about things.

And then there are the folks at work who just stick to their projects, do their work, and don’t get into a lot of interpersonal drama. That’s the type I want to be — while at the same time keeping on decent terms with the “Facebook folks”. We’re all on the same team, and it helps me more when I’m on good terms with everyone I work with.

Anyway, for my purposes, steering clear of Facebook is the way to go. If people want to contact me, they can contact me directly. It will weed out the curiosity seekers from the folks who are genuinely interested in relating to me. A lot of my old coworkers are on FB, and the more I think about it, the ones who are most miserable in their jobs and the most conflicted, are the ones who are most active on FB. There seems to be a correspondence between people’s unhappiness in life and feeling of being trapped, and the time they spend on FB and other social media.

It’s like their consolation prize for a sh*tty life.

And being away from all that, really feels much better. As much as I used to think that FB kept me social and connected with people, I realize now that the people it kept me connected with, are actually not the types of folks I want to have anything to do with. They’re nice and all, but I can’t live the way they live, and I don’t want to get dragged down by them.

Which is exactly what was happening before.

So, anyway, people can do what they like, so long as it doesn’t harm me. I’m going to do what I please, and leave it at that.

Give myself a jump on the day

Just gotta jump into it

I had a really crappy day, yesterday. There’s been tension at work (which is going to be how things are, for the next couple-three months), and people are not happy. We have a bunch of high-stakes deadlines coming up in September and October (and beyond), which are working on folks’ nerves and patience.

There’s a lot going on, and people are starting to show signs of wear. It’s particularly irritating to me, because I feel like I’ve been through all this, over and over and over again, regularly for the past 20 years, and watching people go through their gyrations over pressures at work is just the same-old-same-old fluff and drama that — frankly — is so boring to me.

Plus, there’s one individual at work who’s decided they don’t like me. I have nothing against them. I actually like them as a person, but they’re behaving very strangely towards me, which is just awkward. It also makes me a little uncertain, because I wonder if maybe there’s something I’m doing wrong that I don’t know about… it’s just the old TBI-induced neurosis, I guess. That old feeling like there’s something wrong with me, and I’ve gone and screwed something up without knowing about it. That’s happened to me so many times, it’s a reflex with me, to look for the things I’ve screwed up. ‘Cause that’s what I’ve done so many times.

It’s really a pain in my ass, and it doesn’t do my self-confidence any good, quite frankly.

One of the additional underlying dramas for some folks at work, is that we are moving offices in another 2 months, and once that happens, there are a lot of people who are suddenly going to have a really crappy commute. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have that hanging over your head. When we move, I’ll be even closer to home, so it’s actually not an issue for me. It’s actually going to make my life that much better.

But I still feel for the folks who have to move. I know what that’s like.

Basically, I’m just keeping my head down and staying on target… trying to use my head and not get all worked up over what other people are thinking and doing and feeling. What they are thinking and feeling is none of my business… and it probably has nothing to do with me, anyway. It’s important that I not think too much about things, not try to analyze them too much, and that I keep my “mental cycles” for things I actually can control — like my projects, and my own side hobbies.

I’ve been reading some pretty interesting things, lately, which has got me thinking along some creative new lines. So, that’s good. It’s got me changing my world view… which is always good.

More than anything, I just need to keep my head on straight and not let it wander off and do all sorts of “recreational stress” type things. I can go there pretty quickly, especially when the pressure’s on, because the stress sharpens the parts of my thinking that are useful in a crisis. And things start to seem like a real crisis at times. But that just makes me more edgy and antsy, and it really knocks the feet out from under my ability to think creatively and inventively, and to integrate what I have learned from the past day(s).

I also need to give myself ample time to ramp up in the morning. I’ve been getting in late, over the past several weeks, and it’s that old bad habit that I need to not fall into. My boss has cleared me for overtime, so if I want to work more hours (because, after all, I literally have two more useful hours in the day than I used to), I can.

Having that flexibility will also let me just work when I need to, instead of watching the clock. It’s one less thing to think about.

Anyway, I’m up early today, because I couldn’t sleep. I just woke up. And now I have a little time to do some things I feel like doing, before I go in – early, this time, instead of late. I’m sure everything will work out, I just need to not shoot myself in the foot, jump the gun, or do any other number of things that have more to do with my anxiety, than reality.

Give myself a head-start on the day, to settle in and get clear about my day before it starts… and then just get on with doing what it is I do. Giving myself some extra time in the morning to get there and settle in, is about the best thing I can do for myself. If I’m up early, I’ll go in early. And I’ll have some time to plan and think through my day — before I’m up against a wall.

It’s all good.


My compliments to the chef – that would be me

This isn’t exactly what I cooked… but it’s close

I just made myself the most incredible dinner. It was so good, I ate a little too fast, and now I need to rest… while I digest.

I’m flying solo tonight, which means I can make myself meals my spouse doesn’t much care for. I like spicy foods and strong tastes, but my spouse prefers bland foods without much seasoning.

Since I’m on my own tonight, I went out and bought myself some food I almost never eat — and have never cooked for myself. I got myself a really nice swordfish steak (probably previously frozen, but still looking good), some tart dark greens, and some long-grain wild rice. I sauteed up some onion and mushroom and red pepper in olive oil, then I laid the swordfish steak in the pan and arranged some of the cooked rice around it. I covered the lot with the tart greens, covered the pan, and I let it cook for about 20 minutes.

I turned the steak once, about 10 minutes in, and it looked great. It smelled great, too, which was encouraging. I’ve had some bad experiences with buying fish around here, but this time it was just right.

So, I had my dinner. It was delicious. I had to really hold back and not cram it down my gullet… especially with the side of sweet pepper relish I added. Pretty awesome, if I say so myself.

The great thing about this cooking, is that it’s something I can do myself, when I’m on my own, and it’s really, really good for me. It does wonders for my timing, my coordination, and my sense of time flow. It keeps me on my toes, and it keeps me fully engaged. It’s good for me in every conceivable way. I can make what I like, I can experiment, and I get to enjoy the results. Even if things don’t turn out perfect, I still eat it. I’m not a picky eater, actually. But I sure as heck do enjoy a really good meal.

And that’s exactly what I had tonight.

I’m going to digest a while, then have some ice cream in a little bit. Not too much — just enough to reward myself for a day well-spent… and get ready for the week to come.

Quiet is good

Long walk, down a country road…

I’ve had a very quiet few days… when I’ve been at home, that is.

This past week has been crAYzy, and I’ve spent my time at home relaxing and just enjoying the quiet.

Interestingly, these days, I don’t have much interest in going online, when I’m not at work. I think it’s about just being all maxed-out with the computer — all day, every day — and really enjoying not having to type anything…. or be in front of a humming electronic box, when I don’t have to.

So, I’ve been spending time reading and thinking… sketching out some ideas I’ve been having, and just working through a lot of logical problems in my head.

That’s my new thing — exercising my brain on “problems” I invent, and then try to solve. Some of the problems are very practical and everyday — like, how best to organize people at work to get all the jobs done, without completely frying their systems. Some of the problems are very abstract — like, what do we really experience, and how do we know what we know?

It’s good practice for me. And it gets me thinking in all new ways.

It keeps me honest and it keeps me humble. And it also keeps me on my toes and reminds me to take care of myself and my brain. I tend to wear myself out a bit, when I think too much about things.

That’s another thing I’m working on — patterns of thinking that move me forward, instead of wearing me out. What’s the best “cadence” for me? How do I best function? When is the best time of day for me to “do thinking”, and how can I organize my day, so that I can put my brain to work on different problems, and still have a life?

I think I have some good ideas around this. I pace myself. I also think up to a certain point, then step away and do something completely different. Like today — I read about a new type of computing, and then I cleaned the bathrooms. My spouse has mobility issues and cannot get down to floor level, or lean over to clean under the commode basins, so that was my “quest” for this morning. I promised myself I wouldn’t spend more than 30 minutes on the task, because I have really bad recollections of being forced to clean toilets when I was a kid, and I am also sensitive to the cleaning supplies. So, I worked as quickly and as efficiently as I could, and I was done.

And then my mind was clear again to go back to what I was reading before, and come at it from a new angle.

Now I’ve been reading and researching and thinking for another half hour and it’s time to go for my long walk again. I walked for 2 hours yesterday, and I got some great ideas, along the way.

Time to walk again — this time in a different direction. Who knows what will come to me then?

And this afternoon, while I have the house to myself, I’ll take a nap, then get up and do some chores… make some supper… and get a good night’s sleep.

I’ve got a good cadence going. Last night I actually got in bed before 11:00 p.m., and I got over 8 hours of sleep.

It’s amazing what a little balance will do for you. That, and exercise.