Three days of freedom. Absolute freedom.

Time to just chill with the reading list

I’m OFF this weekend. That is to say, I have an extra day off work, which I will value and use to the best of my ability:

  • I’ll read whatever I like, wandering the internet (especially the free text sites — the Internet Archive, and Project Gutenberg)
  • I’ll write whatever I like, typing up the handwritten notes and thoughts I’ve collected over the past week
  • I’ll sleep whenever I want, taking plenty of naps and resting up from the past week
  • I’ll eat whatever I want, whenever I want — and I’ll fast, too. For the record, eating whatever I want means I’ll make healthy choices of the foods I have in my refrigerator and cupboards. At work they have a good salad bar, but that’s about all I can really eat in their establishment. Everything else is “standard fare” that doesn’t do me (or the other overweight people around me) much good.
  • I’ll exercise however I want. I had extra time this morning to lift heavier weights and get my blood pumping. It feels really good, right now, after that workout. And I know I’m on the right path.

The great thing about having an extra day off — especially with it being the holiday — is that all my noisy neighbors are gone. They’ve all gone off to their families’ lake or beach cottages to gather with their own friends and family. That means the neighborhood is

.  .  .  q   u   i   e   t  .  .  .

Deliciously, restoratively quiet.

There isn’t all sorts of random racket from my over-achieving Type-A uber-adult peers who can’t seem to leave the power tools alone on the weekends. There isn’t all sorts of activity, with cars and pickups and minivans pulling in and out of their driveways. And there isn’t a lot of yelling and screaming and banging and clunking coming from kids who are just doing what kids do, and have every right to do it… but who drive me nuts with all their noisy activity.

It’s good for everyone. Everybody else gets to do what they want to do, and I get to do what I need to do — rest, relax, take plenty of time to unwind and let my mind off its leash… And nobody has to be held back or put down by what anyone else is doing.

That’s all I really want — the ability to be free to be myself and pursue my own interests without having to waste time on interacting with other people who seem mainly interested in proving what fine citizens they are. I don’t need to prove that. Before I fell and hit my head in 2004, I needed to do that more than anything. I was in competition with the rest of the world to show that I was worth something, that I could do anything I set my mind to, that I was worth noticing and taking seriously.

After I fell — and my world fell apart — I learned the hard way, how important it is to not let that drive me. Now my life and my priorities are very, very different.

One thing about TBI, is that it teaches you to stand on your own, regardless of what others think. It teaches you to stand up for yourself and not take things for granted. It teaches you to keep a level head and just be who you are and how you are, regardless.  And it teaches you to value the simple things in life — a quiet long weekend, when the neighbors are all gone, the area is quiet, and you don’t have a million people clamoring for your attention and energy.

Now… what shall I look up on line…?

I have done almost nothing “useful” for the past 2 days

This too shall pass

… except recover from the past week and invest a bunch of time in just feeling good.

Feeling… Good about myself. Good about my life. Good about the fantastic weather we are having here. Good about the choices I’m making. Good about having time to myself to just recoup and relax. Chill. Feel better. Get better.

I tend to really overestimate my tolerance for bullsh*t. And I tend to drastically underestimate the level of BS that takes place in the world around me. It has occurred to me more than once, that the issues I have are not entirely with me — yes, certainly there are shortcomings in my brain processes. But the stresses of living in the midst of so much fluff and dust storms, and everyone picking fights for the sake of fighting, and the perpetual cognitive dissonance that marks our days in this Western World…

How could a person NOT go mad, after a while?

And how could a person with TBI, be it mild, moderate, or severe, NOT struggle with recovery, when recovering is so very dependent on our brains being able to rewire themselves, and the rewiring is so very dependent on having the right resources, the rest and nutrition and oxygen and stimulation and opportunity to rest and recover… none of which seem to be in abundance, these days?

I tend to overestimate the amount of stress my brain and my body can take. And I tend to underestimate the amount of downtime I (and my brain and my body) need to just be functional in the midst of the lonely, lonely stupidity.

Taking a break and not doing anything… not tending to my house and yard and garden… not running around doing errands… it’s all sacrilege in the town where I live. My neighbors gloat about how much more they have accomplished than I. So, I raked a bunch of leaves and then left them in a pile… but they would never, ever do such a thing. So, I admitted openly to being glad for bad weather, so I don’t have to work in my yard, but they relish the opportunity to get out their and tend their minor estates like lesser royalty.

Good for them. Woo hoo.

At the same time, they are certifiably nuts — the couple across the street are visibly miserable, for all their finery and accomplishments, with their three lovely children, and two modern cars in the garage. And last weekend, my spouse and I heard the howls of a sorely wounded soul echoing from inside the house of another set of neighbors, who have been the target of a number of town/police investigations, and who have threatened to hunt down and sue everyone in the neighborhood who speaks out against them.

Crazy. But I felt bad for the person who was howling in pain last weekend — shrieking “NO! NOOOO! GET AWAAAAY FROM MEEEEE!!!!” at the top of their lungs, wailing and crying, wailing and crying… till someone shut them up.

Probably with an under-their-breath warning “The neighbors can hear you…”

Yes, my fine neighbors. All impressive on the outside, all wounded and suffering on the inside.

These are the people I’m worried about?

Hm. Maybe not so much, anymore…

After the past several days of doing everything except what I’m “supposed” to be doing, I feel like I’m finally becoming human again. And it’s good. The weather is phenomenal, I’m getting my strength back, and I’ve cleaned my office… which is becoming my lab. I’m feeling like more of myself, nowadays, having gotten free of so much debt, and now getting free of the horrible job and working conditions.

I’m also thinking about what I’m going to say for my exit interview, as well as what I’m going to say to the uber-boss when we sit down to talk.

Main thing is, I remain calm and remember — this is going to pass. The expiration date on this BS is just around the corner.

Week after this next one… none of it is my problem.

Any. More.

ONward.