Or… I could have fun with it

roller-coasterWhat a roller coaster. One day, we’re up. The next we’re down.

Sigh.

I started out yesterday feeling pretty great. Then came the speed bump.

My employer announced its quarterly numbers about a week ago, and they just missed their projected numbers by a smidge. But they still missed.

So, yesterday we found out that our bonuses will be affected by the shortfall, and there are a lot of unhappy campers walking around. The holidays are coming, and there’s going to be a little less Christmas cheer for some.

The crazy thing is, I’d bet good money that none of the people actually responsible for running the company will have their personal financial situation affected. A lot of them have a ton of money, already, so even if they do share in the bonus payout reduction, they won’t feel even a 10% drop — whereas the rest of us “on the ground” have a very different story to tell.

I think it would be much more fair for the people in charge of the big decisions to take the hit, rather than passing it along to us. It just feels like a sort of punishment. And that on top of the ongoing negotiations about the company being acquired… It’s all very exciting.

And my back and hips are killing me, because the chair they gave me is for sh*t… and I have been sitting too much. I used to have a self-constructed standup desk at my old office.  Four cases of seltzer water with a shelf on top. I think I’ll reconstruct that. I have the room in my new cubicle, and it’s the exact right height for me. We’ll see. I do have a shelf that’s the right height, as well, so maybe I don’t need to reconstruct it.  Bottom line is, I need to be standing, not sitting. Sitting is bringing the pain.

So, my bonus is messed up, I have no idea if I’ll have this job in another 6-8 months, and people around me are getting tweaked… emotionally needy… upset… And it’s just the beginning. The acquisition/merger won’t be done for some months, yet, so we’ve got a ways to go. There are a number of acquisitions and mergers going on in the tech world, right now. Some of them have epic proportions. All these people being moved around and nudged/pushed out of their comfort zones…. It’s like the whole world is in flux.

But at least I’m not in the dire straits that people in the Middle East and Africa are. All those people being displaced… Holy crap, it’s just crazy.

In the midst of it all, I can count my blessings, which is fortunate. And I am actually in a really good space. I have a line of work that I love so much, I do it in my spare time. I just love it, and it really is a natural progression of my skills, abilities, and interests. Compared to where I was, just a year ago, my situation is much more stable — and this, in spite of being on the verge of possible displacement.

The thing that’s more stable is my prospects of employment. I have a killer skillset, with the right kind of experience at the right kinds of companies (home-grown global corporate success stories that everybody in the region knows about and respects). And my skills are portable across a number of different industries, so that bodes well for my ongoing employment. I’m less concerned about working for only one company for the long term. That’s never actually been my ideal. I’m much more concerned about staying viable — especially as I’m getting older in a field where employers favor people who are 20 years younger than myself. And the happy fact is that my skills and abilities are still very much in-demand, and they meet a lot of needs very neatly.

No need to “shoehorn” myself into a position – I’m flexible enough to fit in a lot of places, which has really been my goal all along. While I do love the work I do for a living, and I do it on my own time as well, I still have a lot of other interests that I need to pursue without financial pressure. I have research to do and writing to do. I have blog posts to write. And I need to do that all without having to worry about where my next meal is coming from. That kind of stress is a killer.

So, I’m looking on the bright side and just having fun with things. I had a dark time on Sunday, when all the excitement of the past week caught up with me, and I started to sink into that dismal place where I didn’t feel like going on. At all. Of course, I had to, because I had things I needed to take care of, but I just didn’t feel like it. And that, after feeling so strong and clear for many days…. depressing.

But I took it easy, got some rest, and yesterday looked very different to me. Today looks different, as well. I’m getting back on track, having fun with things, and really digging into my work. I have no idea what they will be doing with me or anyone else on my team, in the future, so I’m just “doing my thing” and doing the work that’s meaningful to me — and also valuable in the market. I’m doing my research via online job boards, to see who’s paying the most — and for what types of work/skills/interests.

I know I’m supposed to follow my bliss, but it’s a lot easier to be blissful, if you have a roof over your head and a belly full of nutritious food and a healthy body… not to mention hope for the future.

I do have all of the above, and I plan to keep it that way. It hasn’t been easy, and if I didn’t work at it, I could easily be in very different straits. But I don’t feel like struggling and hassling with basic survival things, so I’m laser-focused on finding where I can improve… and doing just that. It’s all trial-and-error-and-success. And some days I have huge setbacks.

Today, I can see how all my setbacks can set me up for a better future.

Every piece of info I get about how I screwed up is valuable. It gives me more info about how to move forward in a different way. Story of my life. My mistakes are my own — and they can be the most valuable possessions I have. When I realize that, it frees me up to do more things.

And have fun with it all, as best I can.

Onward.

Live more, labor less, work better

OK, birds are good

A funny thing has happened, since I switched over to a standing desk at home and at work. All of a sudden, I’m thinking a whole lot better. AND I don’t get caught up in perseverating quite the way I used to. I’m not getting stuck in a particular train of thought… unable to change my direction.

I’m also feeling less rigid, less stuck. And I’m letting go of stuff that I used to cling to so intently, just because…

Old projects that used to seem so important… new ideas to work on. Inventions. Websites. Passive income. MAKING IT HAPPEN. All those ideas in my head, all of them competing for space and time. When all I really wanted to do, was focus on one or two of them, and let the rest go. I couldn’t seem to let things go when they no longer mattered deeply to me.

Habit, maybe? I dunno. I was just stuck.  Stuck in the hustle. Stuck in the constant campaign for productivity and effectiveness. How tiresome it all got.

Oddly, I don’t have that old hunger to pile up all sorts of projects on myself, anymore. It’s like, with this last round of layoffs and all the drama at work, the absolute futility of getting attached to any particular outcome is pointless and vain, so why not just focus on doing what you do, for the love of doing it,rather than achieving any specific desired effect from it. Just getting into the doing for the sake of doing, and letting everything else just sort itself out.

Now I am more focused on just doing things because I enjoy them and they bring me some sense of fulfillment. In addition to hitting that old futility wall at work, I also think it has to do with the energy I am getting from standing. It really keeps me on my toes, literally and figuratively, and just moving around is doing wonders for my pain and stiffness.

Pretty amazing, really.

I think that I used to hang onto all those old projects I had going, in part because the stress of overload kept me alert. The adrenaline and excitement were palpable, they fed me. No more. All that whoop-de-do doesn’t feed me, it drains me. Now I’m keeping alert by standing up, and I don’t actually need the environmental stress to keep me sharp.

It’s all about the energy.

And it’s good energy, too. I find myself having to work less hard, to make progress in the one or two things I have going on, these days. I can actually think on the fly, instead of needing to sit down at my desk.  I’ve had some good breakthroughs, lately. They just come.

And they come, because I’ve stopped funnelling so much time and energy and attention towards things that don’t actually matter to me, anymore. There was a lot that I was really doing for the money… pushing and pushing to “realize the potential” of ideas. Please. I’ve managed to let that go (for now, anyway), and I’ve stopped working so hard at absolutely everything. I’m just doing my thing. No pressure.

Whatever. {shrug}

It’s a lot more fun, this way.

And I could really use more fun.

Onward…

Getting better – patching up

Ah, the weekend.

It’s about time. I had a very long week, and I’m ready for some unstructured time. I’m also ready to just kick back and do some reading and cleaning around the house. The spring cleaning/reorganization bug has bitten me, and everywhere I look, I see an opportunity to change something for the better.

I’m really enjoying being off the clock, off-topic, off-schedule. My weeks are so schedule-driven that there’s not much time to just chill out and let things sink in. A perpetual state of mental indigestion pervades my weeks – there’s just not enough time to let it all sink in.

And

Just

Be.

I’m looking forward, today, to just doing what I like without trying to manage the long-term results. I get pretty sick and tired of that whole “results-oriented” mindset, where everything you do has to directly point to a specific goal and desired outcome. Yeah, whatever. It’s all a chimera, anyway, where everybody’s fooling themselves into thinking they’re going to control their environment and “make it happen”. And getting everyone around them “on board” with it, as well.

If you don’t go along with the group hypnosis, you’re not a team player.

Guess that makes me not a team player.

The ironic (and pretty funny) thing is, by not signing up with everyone else’s idea of how things should go, I actually get closer to the ultimate desired result. Pretty funny, actually. You get there by giving up trying to get there.

Ha.

Anyway, it’s all fun and games for me, for the next 48 hours. 51 weeks left in my current contract. Thinking about the future. Playing with ideas. Having some fun with it. And really enjoying my time… whatever it is I’m doing.

Onward.

 

 

Dealing with TBI Burnout – Part I

It can be a real pain in the ass, to constantly adjust to a mis-behaving brain. All that adjustment can burn you out. And that’s pretty much what’s happening to me. I’m doing a lot, and I’m making great progress. But I’m also wearing myself down, and the more tired I get, the harder everything becomes, and the worse my brain mis-behaves.

And the more I have to adjust and adapt.

Which takes more time and energy.

Man, oh, man… there is so much I want to do. And it’s all good.It’s not only for me- it’s for others, as well. But I’m pushing myself too hard and too long, and it’s burning me out. To the point where I just want to walk away from it all. Take the $700 I have in the bank and just split. Forget about everything I am planning, all the things I want to do and experience, and just say “screw it all”. Just leave. And never look back.

Part of me feels like it should be enough for me to just be functional. To just get through the day and  find some enjoyment in my life. Who cares about making a difference in the world?  It’s never going to work, anyway.

That’s what the tired-out voice in my head is saying, these days.

You know, it’s funny… Now that I look at things, I realize that I may be getting sucked into someone else’s idea of what “awesome” is. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time thinking about and planning launching a formal business for all my various undertakings… really becoming independent in whole new ways. The thing of it is, that’s probably not the way I should go. I should probably not aim for total independence, because I know as well as anyone that if I go solo and have the chance to withdraw from the world, I will. I’ll isolate. I’ll stop interacting with anyone outside my immediate circle. I will stop being social, and I will hide myself away like a hermit.

Is that really the best thing for me? Or my business?

No.

I need to be out and about. I need to be social. It forces me to improve, to be better, to interact. And it’s good for me and my brain.

My tired-out brain…. That gets fixated on a Single Idea — in this case, becoming independent in every sense — and telling the rest of the world to go screw. That gets worn out and desperate and frustrated and starts fantasizing about some pretty much impossible/implausible goal off in the future, which takes me away from my present.

Good grief. All along, I’ve been convinced that I was working towards a cohesive goal… when I’ve actually been burned out and pushing myself harder and harder to Get There, just to keep the pain and frustration and anxiety at bay.

I don’t want to be 100% independent and blocked off from the rest of the world. I want the freedom to experiment and try things and relax… and not have to work 18 hours a day, every single day.  I want to be able to kick back and enjoy the progress I’ve made… enjoy the process of doing all the things I love to do. I can’t keep putting all that pressure on myself to “execute my plans”, day after day.

I need to stop doing this to myself. I need a break.

From myself.

So I can quit burning myself out.

That’s a bad habit.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have fun, every now and then?

Funny again

It’s good to be back

I haven’t been funny in a long time. It’s been nearly ten years, in fact.

I used to be funny – cracking jokes and keeping the mood light, when things got too heavy. I brought that to every social situation, helping people see the humor in impossible situations, and helping everyone keep things in perspective.

Every since high school, when I started connecting with people around me, I could make people laugh. And they loved that. I was welcome in so many circles, precisely because I could make them laugh. And in many ways, how much I could get people laughing was a measure of how well I was connecting with the people around me. If I was on the “outs”, I couldn’t convey my unique sense of humor to others. But if I was connected with the people I was with, I could make them laugh.

It’s how I coped, it’s how I got through tough times. And I shared it with everyone. It was good.

After my fall in 2004, however, nothing was funny anymore. It was the strangest thing. All of a sudden, I couldn’t see the humor in anything, and I certainly had no interest in making anyone around me laugh. If someone tried to make me laugh, it was a toss-up if they’d succeed. A lot of times, they just infuriated me.

Over the past few years, I’ve been getting funnier again. At my last job, people laughed when I was around, but a lot of the time, they were laughing AT me, because we weren’t on the same wavelength, and they really truly thought I was weird. That was a result of differences in experience and orientation, I’m convinced. We had such different outlooks and life experiences, they just couldn’t relate to me, or believe half the things I said and did. So they laughed at me.

Fortunately, I didn’t take it all that seriously. After the first few months, I got used to it and was just glad that at least they weren’t total assholes to me.

But in this job, I’m actually making other people laugh. On my terms. Over things we all see and experience in common. That tells me that not only am I in synch with folks there, but I’m really, truly getting better — in my life and my brain. I’m actually funny. I’m cracking jokes that people “get”. I’m making sour-faced individuals laugh out loud — both in person and via email and IM. And over the phone.

It’s good to be able to do this again. It’s such a relief — it makes everything easier. And it’s not only something I do. It’s also something I AM. My sense of self has long been associated with my sense of humor. If I could make people laugh, I knew I was going to be okay. I knew the situations I was in were going to be okay. And like being able to read as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted, it was a marker about how “okay” I was — if I was the person I really, truly meant to be… if I was the person I wanted to be.

It’s been pretty grueling, going without so much of what used to make my life worth living. But gradually, it’s been coming back. Holy crap. It’s coming back. I’ve been testing it out over the past months, and yeah. It’s back.

One of the really good results of all this win-loss-win process, is that now that “gone” things are coming back, I appreciate them all the more. And I have a better understanding of their place in my life. Not being able to read before, makes me extra appreciative of being able to do it now. And being able to create and enjoy humor again, makes me realize just how valuable it was to me before — and it also makes me appreciate just how connected I actually had been to my peers, when I was younger. I always thought of myself as an outsider who wasn’t welcome, but in fact, I was someone who literally fit in with every crowd, in one way or another, and humor made that possible.

For decades, I thought of myself as an outsider who never fit in anywhere, but that was actually in accurate. I did fit in. I just didn’t realize it. And I missed out on the chance to have that experience for so many, many years. Why and how that happened, is another story — and it’s a mix of both the way I was brought up and the injuries that messed up my thinking and experience for so much of my life. But whatever the source, I really did miss out on so much…

Oh… I’m starting to get a little teary-eyed. I’m tired, and when I’m as worn out as I am, I’m more emotional. That will never do. I’ve got a long day ahead of me, and I don’t want to start out by getting emotionally overwrought. Or start out crying. That gives me a splitting headache and throws me off. I’m just not 100% after I cry, for some reason. So, I’m going to stop thinking about this right now and get my mind off it.

Bottom line is, things that I thought were gone for good… aren’t. It’s taken a long time for some of them to get back, and I still have a ways to go to restore some of the others. Maybe those things will come back, maybe they won’t.

But whatever does come back, I can appreciate it all the more.

That’s for sure.

Onward.

Aaaannnnddd… Problem solved.

Like mine, but in better condition

I’m glad I didn’t get rid of my old bike — “Old Ironsides” I call it, because it’s an ancient three-speed similar to the one my dad used to ride to work each day. I guess I hung onto it, because it reminds me of those days when my dad was still young and vigorous and had the energy to bike to and from work — and come home for lunch in the summers so we kids could spend time with him.

Anyway, I picked up Old Ironsides one day when I was out doing errands. Where I live, when people don’t have use for things that haven’t yet worn out, they put them out on their curb with a ‘free’ sign, so people will help themselves. I threw Old Ironsides in the back of the van, and it’s been in my basement for the past 11 years or so.

I’ve pulled it out, now and then, to ride around, but it’s an old rattle-trap, with a slightly bent wheel in the front, and a bit of of bumpiness when you ride along. But the brakes work, and the gears still shift. It’s still a solid bike, and I’m glad I hung onto it.

I have been really challenged with my physical fitness, lately. I am lifting weights more deliberately now, and I also spend time each day juggling, which is good for my coordination — and my frustration tolerance. I have an exercise bike, and I ride it sometimes. I also take long walks on the country roads around my home, as well as hike in the woods. But sometimes I need more.

I used to have a really awesome bike — a Specialized Roubaix road bike, which was so light, and so good on bumpy surfaces. It was easy to ride, easy to handle, easy to put in the back of my little car and take wherever I wanted. The thing was, when I had it, I was struggling with balance issues, and I was not doing well with being out and about on my own. Riding my bike on back roads really concerned me, because of traffic and distractions and the potential of falling.

So, I sold the bike to someone who would love and care for it very well. It was a wise choice. But I have missed that bike ever since.

In the past years since I sold it, I have gradually gotten better about my balance and my ability to stay focused on what’s happening in front of me. I am still uncomfortable with the idea of ranging far and wide beyond my home on a bike, because I can’t afford to get hurt and not be able to get home. There are also lots of hills around my house, so it’s a killer workout to ride bikes around here.

But within two miles of my house, there are enough gently rolling hills and enough untraveled back roads that I can ride Old Ironsides on. It really gives me a workout, just pedaling up gentle inclines — let alone the 45-degree slopes not far from my front door. I have enough road to ride, just within a 2 mile radius, to get some exercise, get my blood pumping, and feel the wind rushing past me. Also, my bike is not good enough to go that fast, so the issue of velocity is… negligible.

So, this afternoon, I dragged Old Ironsides out of the garage, hauled it down to the gas station, filled up the tires, found my good bike helmet, threw on a fluorescent orange t-shirt, and took the bike out for a spin. I didn’t have to go far, to tucker myself out — but I also had a good time pedaling and covering some ground. I know it’s not the most advanced piece of machinery, but it got me exactly where I wanted to go, and back, so that’s good.

I’m feeling really positive about this. Another fall is not something I care to experience, and that chance was always in the back of my mind with the other bike. This one is literally incapable of moving at the kind of speed that’s a danger to me. It’s sturdy, solid, and it does the job it’s meant to do — move a person from one place to the next quicker than they could go on foot.

So, I’ve had my exercise for the day, and I’m looking forward to doing it again, when I get some time. Safety first. And then plenty of fun.

Well, it’s time to get some supper.

Onward.

On living – and living well

                                  Soon…

I woke up early this morning, at around 5:30. I had been hoping to “sleep in” this morning and get at least 8 hours of sleep, but 5-1/2 hours after I went to bed, there I was – awake.

I stayed under the covers for a little bit, trying to relax. Then I realized I was actually cold. Summer has now officially passed, although it’s got another couple of weeks before the autumn equinox, and last night I thought about putting another blanket on the bed. But I decided not to. And at 5:30, there I was – awake. And cold.

So, I got up and pulled the comforter out of the closet, laid it atop my other blankets, and went back to bed. It felt so good to be warm, I went back to sleep. And slept till after 8. So, I almost got my 8 hours.

Almost.

But it’s close enough. Because now I am awake, and now I can feel myself coming back. I have been in such a churn for the past weeks, that I haven’t had much time or energy to really enjoy much around me. This past weekend was a wash, with all that beautiful weather happening outside my house, and only work taking place inside for me. I did manage to get out for a little bit on Saturday and Sunday, but it was all for a purpose. It wasn’t just to be.

It wasn’t just to live.

Well, it had to be done. There it is. I took care of what I needed to take care of, and because of that, I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 again today and drive in to the office in the midst of heavy rush hour traffic. Because I took care of those things over the weekend, I can take a few minutes to stop and really breathe… to have my cup of coffee and look out my back window at the woods behind my house. I can watch the sun rising over the hill in the back and feel the nip of that chill in the air. I can look around at the books and papers lying on my desk and sense what each of them means to me. I can clear my head, before the day starts full-speed.

There are some changes happening at work. The boss’es boss’es boss has given notice and will be leaving in a few weeks. They’ve had enough and they’re moving on. It’s always interesting to watch how these things play out. This changes things. The Big Bully is leaving. They set a tone that’s really unprofessional and pushy, and they rely on browbeating their direct reports to get what they want. They have been a big reason I wanted to leave — the name-calling and ridicule and yelling and joking around in ways that get some folks sued in larger organizations, has been tough to handle each day. Now they’re leaving, and that tone may change — dramatically.

Part of me wants to jump in the fray and see if I can move up in the organization, but I am not sure I want to take that on. I’m having enough of a challenge keeping balance in my life at this point, let alone with more responsibility. Changes always get me fired up, and that’s an occupational hazard with me — I seek out stress to keep me pumped, to keep me alert… when what I really need in my life is balance, rest, the ability to regroup after times of intensity and stress, and have more to life than just my job. There’s part of me that wants to push — and push hard — but I’m just now learning how to relax and enjoy my days. I’m actually getting my life back, even in the midst of the crazy fray. Why wreck that, just as it’s beginning?

Indeed. I mean, look outside… Just look at this weather — clear and bright and cool. Perfect weather – just the kind I like. The birds are singing, chipmunks are chirping at each other, warning about a nearby predator. There’s the whoosh of cars passing on their way to work… and the day ahead of me is getting me ever closer to my deadlines and my goals.

And in another two days — 48 hours and counting — I will be packing for my vacation. I’ll be out of the office and out of the loop for eleven days — seven work days, four weekend days. It’s pretty incredible. I have a lot of hopes for this time, most of which include just sitting and looking in wonder at the world around me. I’ll be near a beach that I love. I’ll be near hiking trails. I’ll be near the woods. And I’ll be staying in a small town with everything a short drive or a walk away. Friends are going to visit us. We’re going to party like a bunch of giddy squares — our wild times will probably involve sitting on a deck playing Trivial Pursuit or somesuch. It’s going to be good — really good. Even if it rains the whole time, I have some books I plan to read, and I will have my computer so I can hone my technical skills and get online. And I will be out of the mad dash flow for nearly two weeks.

It’s all good. It’s life. And it just keeps getting better.

I sure hope it rains today

Rain… rain… rain… come on…

Like countless people in the Great Plains of the United States, I am praying for rain. ‘Cause I’ve gotten myself into a situation I really want to get out of, but can’t – unless it rains. I agreed to go out with some friends after work to an outdoor event, but I am bushed. I’m just wiped out from this week, and I sorely need some downtime, starting after work. My spouse is going to be out of town for the weekend, so I have the house to myself and I have only one obligation on my plate — and that takes all of an hour to dispatch.

But I promised my friends I’d go out with them, and I’m on the hook.

Now, some might say, “Take care of yourself, put yourself first – don’t worry about what they think or say.” But these are my friends, and they’ve been there for me, so I really feel obligated to the relationship(s) to go out. I’m sure I’ll feel great when things get going, but then there’s the risk of me staying out too late — which usually happens when I do stuff with this crowd.

The annoying thing is, these are not my “Tier 1” friends — the ones who know about my TBIs, the deaths in my family, my marriage issues, my money issues. They are my “Tier 2” friends, whom I turn to for logistics help — like covering for me when I run short on cash, or helping me out with errands I need to run, or giving me a lift to the gas station when my car is being serviced. One or two of them might actually morph into “Tier 1” friends over time… but that won’t happen if I don’t spend time with them.

So, I have to spend some time — and tonight is the one night that everything has come together perfectly to spend a few hours. My spouse will be out of town, so there’s no pressure to be home for dinner… it’s Friday, so whatever sleep I miss tonight I can make up for on Saturday and Sunday… and this event is free and in a part of the nearest city that I love to visit. So, it’s not all bad. It’s not bad at all.

But I really hope it rains.

Because I’m behind on my sleep. I got about 6-1/2 hours last night, and I need to make up the balance. I also need to buckle down and study this weekend. I need to get into my own groove and just chill — starting tonight. I need to not do anything — just repair the damage of the past three weeks. I’m still not over my meltdown from a couple of weeks ago. I’m still foggy and out of whack. I need some convalescence time.

But then the voice in my head says, I can rest some other time. The time to live is now! And here’s the perfect chance.

Yeah, but I want it to rain. I want to go to bed at 9:30 and go to sleep with the sound of the rain on the roof. I want to empty the dehumidifier a bunch of times and clean out my garage. I want to put my home office in order and make room for myself in the midst of all the paperwork. I want to make a list of things I’m going to do, and then just do them.

These friends of mine are “good timers” — that is, they’re all about living for today, having as much fun as possible right here, right now. They foray into relationships with people they know socially, they have messy, awkward affairs, they refuse to commit, and then they move on… wondering why they have bad reputations amongst the pool of potential dates. They have nice cars, nice condos, nice jobs. They have nice clothes, they go to the right clubs, they are seen in the right places. But their lives are hollow and desperately seeking, and each time they tell me about how they want to settle down and have kids someday, they sound a little less sure that it will ever happen. Because they’re not making the effort to help it to happen.

They’re too busy having fun.

Maybe that’s why I really don’t want to go out with them tonight. Because my life and my priorities are so very different from theirs. To my knowledge, they’ve never lost everything or come within a hair’s breadth of total disaster. They’ve had their hardships, as we all have, but in their adult lives most of them have never had to completely rebuild from scratch — and the ones that have… well, they don’t seem to give much serious thought to the real reason for their difficulties, so they keep doing the same things over and over again. They seem so serious about the trivial stuff, and they treat the important stuff like it’s trivial.

I guess that’s the real reason I hope it rains. Yes, we need the rain. The reservoirs are down, there are water bans in effect in towns all around the city. And the farm-picked produce has been small and sparse. Corn is intermittent and miniature. Peppers are smallish and intense. Everything growing is smallish and intense. But my reasons for wanting to not hang out with people tonight are purely selfish. I just want to take care of myself, and not be bothered with people who make a career out of getting all riled over stupid sh*t and holding grudges. Big whoop. Who cares? You’re alive and you have all your senses about you. You aren’t sensitive to light and sound and crowds don’t disorient you. You can understand what people say to you the first time without cupping your ear and saying “Pardon?” like a friggin’ 85-year-old (no offense to 85-year-olds). You don’t jump like you’ve been shot when someone makes contact with your shoulder, and you can remember what someone said to you 2 minutes ago. Life is good. You have no idea. But instead, you sit around feeling sorry for yourself and going off over the most trivial things imaginable and flirting with everyone in sight like it’s the best use of your time and energy. Please.

Well, enough of the rant. I’m just feeling tired and sorta raw today.

I just want to get some rest and take care of myself and not have people give me sh*t about it, like I’m just ducking out ’cause I’m a party pooper or I don’t like them. My life is not about making your life seem okay. My energy is not 100% at your oblivious disposal. Please. Give me a break.

But then again, these are my go-to folks, when things get rough and I need some help. So, yeah, if it doesn’t rain, I’ll go out with them for a while. I’ll hang out. I’ll probably stay out too late, too. I’ll spend a lot of energy, but it’s an investment, really — not a waste. Lest I forget, this is how some relationships are sustained. You go out of your way for each other, even when it doesn’t “suit”. So, I’ll do that tonight.

Unless it rains.

Either way, really, it’s good.