Jocularity!

It’s Saturday night once again, and I am sitting down to write and I am . . . blank! I had an idea but I forgot what it was and so here I am. Saturday night confessions that I have nothing. Then I thought to myself, “Hey Self! Why don’t you post some funny things just for fluff and fun!” For some reason that made me think of the scene from the TV show M*A*S*H back in the 70s. There was a scene where they were trying to pass the time, and they decided to do Father Mulcahy impressions.

So thank you to YouTube we have all these amazing clips that bring back (mostly) fond memories. My son was a baby when they played the Series Finale, and I think I bawled for days.

Anyway, how about some jocularity, hmmm?

Here is one of the funniest scenes from my all-time favorite movies, “Blazing Saddles.”

And this one…it’s subtle, but funny!!

Okay last one! Mongo, played by Alex Karras, is hilarious!!

And my all-time favorite dumb joke:

Okay I know this is silly. I have a silly sense of humor. I like parodies, slapstick humor, all that stuff that is so dumb it’s funny. Faves are Mel Brooks movies, the original Pink Panther movies, and Monty Python.

Speaking of Monty Python, here’s one of my favorite scenes from the Holy Grail:

Well that’s it for tonight. I hope everyone is having a great weekend and enjoyed the fun!

Cheers!

Family Dynamics and ASD

First of all an update on me. I am feeling much better than I was a few days ago. I’ve done almost nothing but sleep the last couple of days. I still feel like I’m carrying around a heavy weight, but each day it gets a little better. It is difficult to get past Apathy, and then there is Anxiety, who is egging on Apathy. Sometimes it seems like my whole life has sucked and it keeps on sucking. There are good parts in my life, and I am trying to focus on what I do have, rather than what I don’t have. Which is a lot. But. Onward and upward. My ever-positive mother said “Maybe something good will come of this.” I’m like, “What, Mom? What could possibly ever come out of this that I would consider good?” Unless someone came into the office and handed me a check for a million dollars and I could quit and retire. Or they would decide to close the local office and I could work from home 100% of the time again. Otherwise, no.

Anyway. A few days ago I blogged about my brother who has Asperger’s. If you missed it the post is here: Asperger’s Syndrome. Quick recap: Asperger’s is a form of high-functioning autism. Back in the 60s and 70s when we grew up, there was not much, if any, knowledge of autism or autistic behaviors. The kids just thought my brother was weird and teased him unmercifully. His inability to read social cues caused him almost constant stress. Teachers and my parents would get exasperated with him, because they thought it was being stubborn and doing the behaviors on purpose. We were bewildered. He always got good grades, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

One thing that isn’t talked a lot about are the siblings of people with a disability, and how that disability changes the dynamics of the family unit. I’m not speaking from any expertise at all, just simply anecdotally from my own experience, and the experiences of family members, as my cousin has a developmental disability. This also applies when a family has a child with a serious illness, such as cancer.

When a family has a child with special needs, either long-term or short-term, the parents and other adults in the extended family should be aware of the needs of the other children in that family. It’s easy to become hyperaware of the child that needs extra attention and forget that the other children in the family are essentially being ignored or marginalized. Obviously this is not being done on purpose. Parents are human, too, and when one child requires so much daily care and attention, there often aren’t the emotional and physical resources for others, including spouses.

I was always the “good girl” and people pleaser in my family. Growing up, my brother was so difficult (not knowing, of course, of his autism spectrum disorder) that my mother frequently said to me, “I’m so glad you are so good.” What she meant, of course, was that I didn’t have a difficult personality and require a lot of attention.

But I did. I sat quietly in the background, wishing that I could get some attention, too. Once when I was around eight or nine years old, I purchased my first Barbie with bendable legs with my birthday money. I was so excited! I couldn’t wait to open the box and play with her. When we got home from the store, I excitedly opened the packaging and took her out to play with her. My little brother, who was probably five at the time, wanted to see the doll. I’d had her out of the box for maybe 30 seconds, and I didn’t want to show her to him yet. My brother got mad that I wouldn’t let him see her, and grabbed the doll by the legs and yanked. Naturally, I didn’t let go and the doll’s bendable legs broke at the knee. I was heartbroken. I started to cry, and my mother came in to see what was wrong. I explained, tearfully, what my brother had done. Instead of getting mad at my brother, she scolded me, “You shouldn’t have pulled back! You are older and should have known better!” My brother smirked at me.

I never had the money to replace the doll, and so I had a broken doll instead of the fun bendable one I had wanted. My mother does not remember that, and was appalled at herself for having said that. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that was a frequent theme. “You’re older; you should know better.”

Oy! Siblings.

Even as adults, especially after he was diagnosed with ASD, I was expected to cater to his “diagnosis.” During my first marriage, when I was pregnant with my first child, my husband told me he wasn’t happy and wanted out of the marriage (hindsight: I should have just let him. lol). He moved out. I was devastated and frantically called my mother, trying to get some comfort. This was before cell phones, so I kept trying to call their home phone, kept leaving messages. The next day, I was surprised to see my mother walking up the sidewalk to our apartment. They lived three hours out of town, so I didn’t know why she was there but it explained why they weren’t answering their phone. Turns out, my brother had attempted suicide, and they were there to help him. I could see in my mother’s face that she didn’t have the emotional resources to help with my own crisis, and so I just sucked it up and dealt with it the best I could. I am not faulting my mother. I get it, I totally get it. I raised two kids on my own and some days it could be overwhelming.

Various things like this happened over the years, and unfortunately my own life was a series of muddled messes that I just had to suck up and deal with mostly on my own because my brother’s own life was more of a mess and he didn’t have the emotional resources to deal with it because of his ASD. My parents frequently rearranged and adjusted things around my brother’s inability to accept change and his rigid need to follow rules. I grew increasingly resentful of this, because I had needs too, but since he had a “diagnosis,” we all had to cater to him.

I once had a conversation with my mother about this. I told her, “If Brother was in a wheelchair, and couldn’t go on a hike, does that mean the rest of us would never hike again when he was around? We would all just stay home and not make him feel bad because he ‘just can’t help it?’ ” Inside I was screaming, “But I have needs too!!”

My brother isolated himself from family gatherings for over 20 years. He didn’t attend things like Christmas and Thanksgiving. He had a hard time dealing with large groups of people (I totally relate to this!) so he stayed away. I’m sure this broke my mother’s heart, but secretly I was glad. First of all, these events were much happier without my brother there to “Eeyore” and make things awkward. He could definitely be a “Donny Downer.”

Meanwhile, I had children, and as they grew up, and without my brother there, we moved opening gifts to Christmas morning. For whatever reason, growing up, we always opened gifts Christmas eve. Since my kids father (my first husband) always opened them on Christmas morning, I asked if we could start opening gifts on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad had no problem with this.

Then my brother got married in the early 2000s and wanted to start attending Christmas and Thanksgiving again. When Mom told him before they arrived, that we were now opening gifts on Christmas morning instead of Christmas eve, he was very upset. If you know anyone with an ASD you know how difficult and nearly impossible change is, especially a tradition like this one. Mom called me back and said we were going to open gifts on Christmas Eve as an accommodation to his condition.

I lost it. The prodigal son was returning home, and we were turning everything upside down just for him. Again. I told my mother that for the past 20 years we had been opening gifts on Christmas morning, and that Brother was just going to have to get used to it. My mother argued that he doesn’t do this on purpose. I told her I didn’t care, that I was sick and tired of always having to do things so it doesn’t upset Brother. I told her this upset ME and that it mattered to ME. I was tired of always having to take a back seat to Brother and his needs and his condition. I told her that they were all welcome to open gifts on Christmas eve but me and my teenage sons were going to open ours on Christmas morning. I told her that for once in my life I wanted things MY way, or I wasn’t going to even be coming on Christmas Eve anymore, that I would only arrive on Christmas morning. Emotional blackmail? Ummm not really. This is just a sibling who has reached a breaking point with my brother getting everything the way he wants to accommodate his condition, and absolutely never getting to have things my way because I don’t have a condition. I know now that I have severe anxiety, so I did have a “condition.” I just didn’t know it at the time.

As a result of putting my foot down, my parents agreed to open gifts Christmas morning and that’s what we continued to do even today. I don’t know how they got my brother to agree, but they did. Since that Christmas was the first one he was going to attend in 20 years, I think my mother was afraid that he wouldn’t come if he couldn’t open gifts on Christmas Eve like we “always” did.

So from broken dolls to broken Christmases, being the sibling of someone with special needs is challenging at best, and emotionally shattering at worst. My point to all this is that if someone in your family has a special need, be it a developmental disability, an ASD diagnosis, or long or short-term illness, please understand that the siblings are expected to be strong and mature beyond their years, so one way to help these devastated and overwhelmed parents is to pay some attention to the siblings. Take them out for an ice cream or a meal to give the overwhelmed parents some relief and to give the siblings the attention they are craving.

Believe me, I am not being critical of parents caring for a child like this, because it is nearly impossible to make sure everyone is taken care of emotionally while dealing with a child that takes up most of your time. Ask the parents, obviously, if it’s ok if you come by to help out, help with homework, some respite. Give the siblings an ear, allow them to discuss their feelings, because likely they are feeling broken because their parents are so tied up with the child who has special needs.

Parents, at least be aware that the other children in the family may be feeling neglected. You are not superhuman, you are just human and it’s okay to ask for help.

Thank you for reading. Hope you all have a great Friday!

Cheers!

Apathy

I’m done, y’all.

What Is Apathy?

 Webmd says: “Apathy is when you lack motivation to do anything or just don’t care about what’s going on around you. Apathy can be a symptom of mental health problems, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s disease. It often lasts a long time. You may lack the desire to do anything that involves thinking or your emotions. The term comes from the Greek word “pathos,” which means passion or emotion. Apathy is a lack of those feelings.

“But it isn’t the same thing as depression, although it can be hard to tell the two conditions apart. Feeling “blah” about life is common in both conditions. It isn’t sadness or anger, either. Rather than feeling these emotions, you don’t feel much of anything. Things that used to make you happy don’t excite you anymore. You no longer feel motivated to achieve your goals.

“Everyone loses interest in things at one time or another, but when it happens a lot, it can affect your relationships, your job, and your ability to enjoy life. Treatment can make a big difference, so talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to get the help you need.” Quoted from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-apathy

This is me right now. I struggle with anxiety, but now it seems apathy has come to visit. It”s unpacked it’s bags and doesn’t show any signs of leaving. I don’t want to let it get comfortable, and need to find a way to get it to leave before it takes up permanent residency. Anxiety and depression are on the back porch, where they hang out and encourage Apathy.

I hit a wall, y’all. It was a small thing that triggered it, as often happens. The straw and the proverbial camel’s back. I found out that I am going to have to start going into the office three days a week. I didn’t realize that they were in the process of establishing a brick-and-mortar office in my town, but apparently they did. They said to me, “Hey you get to go into the office now! Three days a week! Oh, and you get to greet visitors and answer the phone, too!”

Me:

My face: What’chu talkin’ about, Willis?!?!?

Y’all, this is not happy news. I haven’t worn a bra in a year, and the thought of getting in real clothes instead of t-shirts and lounge pants makes me want to hurl! AND, and . . . I am currently in a temperature controlled environment. One that is controlled to my liking, and it’s COLD. Eskimos would be cold. I am 1) post-menopausal and 2) overweight. My ideal temperature range is 68 to 70 degrees fahrenheit. Summer and winter. I will be sharing the office space with a co-worker, a lovely woman with whom I get along. She is delightful.

But she is skinny. She is older than I, but very thin. Very thin people generally get cold easier. I can’t stand to be hot. I will take my desk fan but likely I will be a sweaty mess by afternoon, especially in the summertime. The office windows face west, which means afternoon temps are likely to be sweltering, even with AC.

I am verklempt.

THIS!!!!!

What does this have to do with Apathy? you ask. I’m so glad you asked! I have three years to retirement, and I was told that this job would be fully remote, even after COVID. I was so excited because that’s always been my dream. To work in HR and to work from home. I thought I had it made. I was going to skate into retirement exactly the way I wanted to do it.

And then bam! That rug was yanked out from under me, and now I have to go into the office 24 hours a week. I don’t like it, y’all. Before you offer to call the whaaaambulance, I really do love working from home.

Call whine-1-1 !

I thought I had it made. I thought everything was gonna be great until I retired and now this. It just made me hit a wall. I just can’t take it anymore! Yet again, something I loved was taken away from me. I’ve gotten to where I no longer trust happiness, because every time, it gets taken away. I had the perfect little house that I’ve always dreamed of, and it burned to the ground after I only lived there three years. I raised two children by myself because their dad’s new wife didn’t want him to spend time with them and he let her. I had cancer in 2015. There are too many things to list here that have happened and I just feel like I can’t catch a break. As each of these things happened, I pulled myself up, stepped up and kept a positive attitude and kept marching forward.

Then yesterday in a virtual meeting, the owner of the company blasted the Leadership Team and yelled and said the “f-word.” He went from zero to 100 because he didn’t like that something hadn’t been done. I don’t know why bosses and company owners feel the need to blast their team and make them feel like shit. I don’t think he thought about how demoralizing and demeaning it feels to have the boss go off on us like that. He does this on the regular, too. He fusses about all the “red tape” we have to go through to get things done. He doesn’t understand that he went from a small 20 person company to a 75 person company and that there are rules we have to follow, especially in California and that’s why I was hired. But he doesn’t like it, and he often bypasses rules and regulations to hire someone he wants. And we can’t say no. He is the owner of the company.

I was furious when I found out I have to stop working from home three days a week. Then the boss went off on everyone in the meeting. I can’t anymore. I just can’t. I have a letter of resignation all made up but I need this job so I haven’t sent it. It felt good to write it, though.

I am now apathetic. I am completely out of f*cks to give. I feel like I’ve got a 100 lb weight on my shoulders. I don’t care about pretty much anything. Work asks me, “Are these forms fine?” I answer, “yep.” Didn’t even look at them. It would serve them right to get sued for non-compliance because they don’t like the answers I give. Right now, I don’t care about anything and I have absolutely nothing left to give. I’ve pounded my head on the wall so long I’m numb.

This will pass. Meanwhile, I’m just sort of numb.

Thanks for reading. If this has or is happening to you, you are not alone.

Cheers!

Another Saturday Night, and I ain’t got nobody . . . (but I’m okay with that!)

Anyone remember Cat Stevens? He was hugely popular musician in the 70s. Then he got religion, became Islamic (the non-violent kind) and changed his name to Yusuf Islam. He no longer makes music, which is sad. Well, he doesn’t cut secular music, anyway. He had songs like “Father and Son,” and “Morning Has Broken,” and “Another Saturday Night,” among many others.

This was recorded in 1976

This was an era with music that shaped my teenage years and young adulthood: America, Bread, Cat Stevens, Moody Blues, Seals and Croft, Three Dog Night, Jim Croce, Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Diamond, James Taylor . . . so many good ones. Too many to mention here. But these musicians were my jam. Now, I hear them in grocery stores!!

Anyway. I had a great Saturday, although my introvert emotional tank is dry. My mother’s 91st birthday was yesterday, and my brother and sister-in-law, my son and girlfriend, and Mom and I all went out eat today. It is so wonderful that she can get out and about now that the restrictions are being lifted. Restaurants here are able to have seating at 50 percent capacity, so we went to a local restaurant and had a great time! Yummy food, great company, and it was so nice to feel “normal” again!

I spent six hours around these wonderful people, and I wouldn’t trade the time for anything in the world. But by the time they left, I was SO ready to just be by myself. It was all I could do to say, “Here’s your hat; what’s your hurry? Don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out!” It’s just. too. much.

I have been doing some research, and I believe I am an Ambivert. Here’s a meme that describes it so well and is so me!

This, also, is how I feel about the ocean. It is my happy place, my Zen place, my peace and quiet. I actually feel my heart rate slow down and my blood pressure drop when I’m at the ocean. It is my peaceful place, my solitude, where I meet Jesus and walk with Him on the beach. Where I sit and read for hours as the ocean’s rhythm soothes my soul.

That’s all I’ve got, folks. This girl is tired. Happy, but tired, and just wrung out. I hope you are all having a great weekend.

Cheers!

Asperger’s Syndrome

Not that I’m counting or anything, but it’s Thursday late afternoon which means tomorrow is FRIDAY! Thus, tonight is Friday Eve! I really enjoy my job (mostly) but Saturdays and Sundays are a way to really recharge my batteries!

Although, this weekend, it’s going to be a little more hectic. My mother’s 91st birthday is tomorrow, so my son and his girlfriend, and my brother and his wife, are all going to be coming here on Saturday to celebrate! We are in the Orange Tier in California, so indoor dining is slowly opening up. I believe that means that restaurants can have 50% capacity but still have to maintain social distancing. Outdoor dining is also allowed, again with social distancing. We are going to try to go out to lunch somewhere. My fear is that everyone else and their brother will also try. But, we will see. Push comes to shove, we can always just get food to go and eat at my apartment.

My brother is on the spectrum. The autism spectrum. But, he is what they call a high-functioning autistic. They used to call it Asperger’s Syndrome, but now they lump it all into one category called ASD, or Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My brother is extremely smart. He does not have an intellectual disability, nor does he have a physical one. His disability lies in the fact that he has no social skills. Zero. Nada. Bupkis. He is very literal (and I mean VERY). He doesn’t get jokes because they are often a play on words. He obsesses over minor things that no one else cares about. He follows the rules to a fault. He gets mad and upset when others break them. Now, I am a rule follower and I color inside the lines. But my brother takes this to the extreme.

“Why are they speeding???”

When he drives and someone speeds, he gets upset and wants to know why they speed! Don’t they know the speed limit is 65? He drives exactly the speed limit. When people pass him or get angry, he gets very upset because he is doing the speed limit!! Why are they mad? He also cannot read facial expressions or emotions. He has had difficulty holding a job because he can be unintentionally infuriating. He does well with a job that does not involve time pressure (because he just freaks out) and he can work at his own pace and can work alone most of the time.

Here is an example of his literalness: About 20 years ago my parents purchased an expensive car with all the bells and whistles. It was Christmastime, and my brother and I were both visiting. We went out to admire the new car, and appropriately ooooh’d and ahhhh’d over all the fancy electronics. I said, “Oh my goodness, this car has everything except the kitchen sink!” My brother, absolutely deadpan, and absolutely serious, said, “Why would it have a kitchen sink??” Oy.

JUST STOP!!!

Our dad passed away last year, and after the service, my mother sat my brother and his wife and me down to talk about the paperwork that we will need when she dies. She gave us all the pertinent information about their bank accounts, the trust, etc. My mother discussed how the IRAs needed to be handled when the time comes, and my brother went down a rabbit hole about his retirement. He went on for 20 minutes about when he was supposed to file for social security, and what if he doesn’t have enough in there, and on and on and on. All I wanted to do was get home, get changed into my pajamas and mourn my Dad. It was in the middle of summer, it was hot, and my mom’s place is very warm. She doesn’t run the AC much because she is always cold. I was emotional, I was sad, and I was sweating. Finally, I snapped at my brother and told him to stop! This wasn’t the time, we’re not talking about his retirement, we need to get down to business with my dad’s affairs so we could go! My mother hates when I do that, but if I hadn’t, he likely would STILL be talking about it. Later on, my mother very gently reminded me that there is a better way to handle him when he gets like that and snapping at him just makes him upset. I get it; I really do. He can’t help it. But I DO NOT have patience like that. But neither my Mom nor his wife were guiding him, gently or otherwise, and I couldn’t take it anymore.

And don’t get me started on opening presents. I finally told our family that we are to use gift bags for my brother. No more wrapping paper, tape and ribbons. He would literally take 10 minutes or more to open a gift. It was excruciating. In our family, we take turns opening gifts so that we can see what each person got, and the giver can enjoy the reaction of the receiver.

When it was my brother’s turn, he would examine the gift, turn it all around. Then he would set it on the table, and pull out his pocket knife. He would painstakingly cut the ribbon, fold his knife and put it in his pocket, and then make sure he put the ribbon in the trash.

This!!!

Then, he would go back to his gift, sit down and examine the sides that had the tape. He couldn’t stand to rip any of the paper. He would get out his knife again (which he had already put away; don’t ask me why). He would painstakingly cut the tape on the sides and on the bottom, then close the knife and put it away. Then he would carefully take the paper off the box, fold it, and set it aside. Meanwhile the rest of us have grown grey beards and I’m rolling my eyes so far back in my head that I’m afraid they won’t come back!

If it’s a plain box, it is often taped down. He gets his knife back out, cuts the tape, folds his knife and puts it away. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to bang my head on the table next to me. I’m doing everything I can not to go over and rip the paper or throw his knife away. Lordy!

. . . Not this!!!

Finally, he opens the box, sloooowly opens the issue paper, then proceeds to very carefully examine the gift. If there is some sort of plastic thing on the shirt (he usually gets shirts) that he doesn’t know what it is for, he will spend another 10 minutes (you think I’m exaggerating, don’t you?? I’m not. Trust me.) talking about the plastic thing, what it is for and why it is there. You can’t just redirect him. He is like a freaking dog with a bone. He will. not. let. it. go. Meanwhile, I’m contemplating Hari Kari. We still always give gifts to him in gift bags. I told my parents that if they gave him wrapped gifts rather than gift bags, I wasn’t going to come to Christmas. I didn’t want to go to prison for murder, even if it would be justifiable homicide!

My brother is younger than I. He turned 60 last year, and I will turn 63 this year. His wife is amazing. She is endlessly patient with my often-frustrating brother. She loves him unconditionally, and it is absolutely amazing. She has transformed my brother. I used to call him Eeyore (not to his face of course) because he constantly walked around with a cloud over his head. She is 20 years younger than he is, and bless her heart, they really are simpatico. My brother is the happiest I’ve ever seen him. No more Eeyore, most of the time. He cooperates more, he is starting to get jokes, and you can even (gasp) joke around with him!! They’ve been married about 4 years, and it is such a relief to see my brother be much easier to be around. He still has his issues, but somehow she is incredibly patient.

I’m excited to celebrate my mom’s birthday that isnt through a window and that she can actually go out! But after a few hours, I will be ready for people to go home. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m an introvert who can be sociable when needed, but only for a little while. And having rarely been around any people for the past year, I’m even more overwhelmed by socializing and small talk.

I have 16 followers now — Woot! I’m very excited that you are all here and I hope you enjoy my prattling. Love to have comments if you feel so moved. 🙂

Cheers!

Spring Has Sprung!

My favorite season is spring. I love the sense of coming out of hibernation, both myself and the earth. The trees have beautiful new leaves that are sprouting. The air smells fresher, somehow. I can open my windows and get a nice breeze that makes my whole apartment smell fresh. I love the refreshing rain (if we get rain!) and the smell of wet earth. The whole earth is waking up!

On the other hand, I know that summer follows spring, and here in northern California, it can get incredibly hot in the summertime. 100 degrees are not uncommon. My summertime electric bill makes my checking account cry, because I absolutely cannot stand to be hot. I have to run the AC night and day because if I’m hot and sweaty I just can’t sleep. Driving anywhere is miserable, because even though I have AC in my car, unless I have a long trip, the AC barely kicks in by the time I drive across town. I am not looking forward to that.

It’s Sunday afternoon, but I honestly don’t dread Mondays the way I used to. Since I work from home, it barely feels like “work.” I do love what I do, but not having to go into an office doubles the pleasure! So much yes!

This afternoon as I was driving to my Mom’s place to deliver her laundry, I drove by a boutique furniture and decor store (boutique = expen$ive!), they had a chalkboard sign out front that made me laugh out loud! It says “We’re Sofa King having a sale!” (Read it outloud quickly…. 😀 😀 :D)

I’ve started taking a year-long weekly course with a local woman who is a psychic medium. (Don’t judge!) I have always felt that I am an empath, and the need to learn how to “turn off” the cacophony of feelings and emotions I get from others when I am out and about led me to take this course. I’m learning a lot of meditation techniques to help get rid of the “noise” in my head and how to release negative thoughts and feelings using meditative techniques. I’ve only had three lessons but it is very very interesting. There is a group of six other women who are also taking this course, and I love it that we get to do it over Zoom. I am also looking forward to developing my psychic abilities. I’ve always known that I do have some, but always pooh-pooh’d it. We shall see. It is already helping me deal with the negative self-talk that I’ve had all my life. I’ll keep you posted!

I wanted to thank everyone who has been visiting my blog and liking posts! I have 10 followers now, which is fantastic considering I’ve only had this blog about a month. Thank you to you all! ❤

Well I hope you have a great week ahead and a tolerable Monday!

Cheers!

To Vaccinate, or Not To Vaccinate. That Is The Question!

Today, I received my first of two COVID-19 vaccinations. I had the Maderna vaccine, and will have my second one a month from now. It was an easy process. It was a clinic put on by our local hospital and was held at the Fairgrounds. They have a large building and their set up is efficient and fast. I barely felt the shot as he gave it to me and then I had to go and sit for 15 minutes before they would release us. They want to make sure that we don’t have a bad reaction to it, I’m sure.

Now. About the vaccine. I really don’t want to get political on this blog, because the hate that spews from both sides is ugly. Just ugly. Regardless of presidents, in my opinion they pushed through the vaccine too quickly. No, I don’t believe it’s made out of aborted babies, nor will it alter your DNA, nor does it contain a microchip. I do not believe that there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll in the Kennedy assassination in 1963. I do believe they had a man on the moon and it wasn’t a Hollywood fake out. Conspiracy theories make me roll my eyes and wonder if our country is filled with paranoid, delusional people who believe anything they’re told. But I’m judging. So let me rephrase. For ME, I think these conspiracy theories are ridiculous and a waste of most people’s time. But, as a friend once told me, just because you are paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t after you!! 😛

What I didn’t realize is that the vaccine isn’t approved by the FDA yet! I didn’t know that until I read the pamphlet they gave me. After I had the vaccine! But it appears to be having a great deal of success, and it seems to me there are two risks — stay unvaccinated and risk getting COVID, which can 1) kill you or 2) leave you with lingering lifelong symptoms. Or, you can have the vaccine, and risk minor side effects, and roll the dice that it won’t cause some sort of long-term health problems, like some sort of auto-immune disease. Comme ci, comme ça.

I have medical issues that make me high risk for death if I get COVID. I have diabetes and I’m overweight, I have had cancer in the past, etc. etc. It made more sense to me to get the vaccine than risk getting COVID. I expect to have a good outcome.

But I digress. I have a very sore arm and feel a little weird. I had the vaccine this morning about 11am and now it’s nearly 10pm and I just feel weird. My 90 year old mother had zero side effects other than feeling tired. I feel dizzy, my ears are ringing, and I have a monster headache. But I have to wonder if that’s psychosomatic, because I’ve been on the alert all day for changes and symptoms that perhaps I’m just making myself feel them. I can see the little guy on the control panel in my brain, throwing up his hands in disgust saying, “Fine! You want symptoms? You got symptoms!”

At any rate, I will keep an eye on things, try not to think about it, take some ibuprofen and go to bed, curl up with my cat and a good book, and try to rest.

WARNING: The opinions on this blog are the opinions of the author only, and in no way imply that you need to believe the same way. Honestly. Hate comments will be deleted.

Thanks for reading! I’ll keep you posted.

Cheers!

Sunday Evening Musings

It’s 12:30am on a Sunday night (well, technically it’s early Monday morning, but I am not ready to let go of Sunday yet). Weekends are often a combination of relaxation and busy-ness. Between helping my 90 year old Mom, and my own errands, laundry, grocery shopping, etc., time just seems to fly by.

I am a night owl by nature, and while I try to go to bed by midnight, I just didn’t make it this time. When I was unemployed in 2019 for several months, my body automatically reverted to it’s natural circadian rhythm, which is go to bed around 2am and wake up around 10am. Eight hours of sleep, and that is normal for me on weekends, too. However, “they” say that you are supposed to keep your same sleep/wake cycle on the weekends so you don’t get messed up for the work week. One of the joys of working from home is that I can wake up at 7:30 am for a 8:00 am start time.

I love working from home. I believe that so many people who currently work from home are not going to want to change that. Just like there are individuals who can’t wait to get back to the office so they can be around people. One of the things that this pandemic has done for me as an introvert is it has allowed me to stay in my “safe space” while still earning a living. The thought of going back to the office is not something that thrills me. I am hoping that I will still continue to be able to work from home most of the time and then only go into the office for an occasional meeting.

Right now, I wear lounge pants and a t-shirt with no bra most of the time. I only wear a bra when absolutely necessary, and the thought of having to go back to wearing a bra eight hours a day just makes me stressed out. One of the things I’ve discovered is that I am not looking forward to having to go back to socializing, either. And not having to do it for over a year has made the thought of doing it even more dreadful.

My mother is very excited that perhaps by summer we can start having get-togethers with my brother and his wife, and with my aunt and uncle and cousin. That just makes me anxious thinking about it. I’ve lost whatever social muscle I had, which was flabby to begin with (I’d honestly rather be home reading). If you’re not an introvert, you may not understand at all.

It’s like this: All people have an emotional “tank.” Extroverts’ tanks empty the more they are by themselves, and only start to replenish when they’re around other people. Introverts are the complete opposite. It’s draining and exhausting to socialize. After a couple of hours at a party, I am done. I have a hard time making myself go to parties. It always sounds like fun, but then when it’s time to go I just can’t make myself go. The minute I get there I just want to go home. Small talk about nothing, the cacophony — music, people talking, laughing — it’s too much! I just can’t.

I am an Empath, which means that I feel the energy and feelings of the people around me. I absorb it all and if I don’t work on blocking it, I just can’t go places with a lot of people. All I ever want to do is go home and have peace and quiet. That’s when my emotional tank begins to fill.

I am tired, and need to go to bed. At this point, I’m just rambling.

G’night all! Cheers!

Clean My House!

Awhile back, I heard a joke that went like this:

A woman is sitting at a bar enjoying a drink with her girlfriends when an exceptionally tall, handsome man enters.

He is so striking that the woman can not take her eyes off him. The man notices her overly attentive stares and walks directly toward her.

Before she can offer her apologies for rudely staring he leans over and whispers, “I’ll do anything, absolutely anything that you want me to do for $20. But only on one condition.”

Flabbergasted, the woman asks what the condition is.

“You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words.”

The woman considers his proposition for a moment and then removes a $20 bill from her purse, which she presses into the man’s hand along with her address.

She then looks deeply into his eyes, and slowly, and meaningfully says, “Clean my house!

Now. I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to this lady!! Part of my anxiety comes from the fact that I am physically and emotionally unable to keep my house clean by myself. I’ve lived in my apartment for two years, and never really deep cleaned it. My roommate is much neater and cleaner than I am, but he doesn’t do much housework as far as sweeping and vacuuming floors, etc. I believe that he thinks it’s “women’s work” but that’s just a guess. He’s a nice guy, 42 years old and a friend of mine. But it’s difficult to communicate things like this because English is a second language and sometimes we have a difficult time communicating very meaningfully.

However, we agreed to split the cost of having a cleaning service come and deep clean the apartment. This meant the living room, dining room, kitchen and hallway. I paid extra to have them clean my bedroom and bathroom. My roomie did not want that, so that was fine.

They came three weeks ago (I think I mentioned this before in a previous post) they came and spent four hours making this place sparkle! It felt SOOO good! They were able to get into places that I physically can’t. They scrubbed the oven and stove top inside and out (it was gross!!). They cleaned the countertops, swept and mopped the floor, the area rugs, wiped down the cabinet faces, wiped down the outside of the refrigerator, cleaned the baseboards everywhere, wiped down the washer and dryer, and scrubbed my bathroom from top to bottom and it looks like new.

I was so happy!! It looked amazing and I noticed that my anxiety had eased. I didn’t realize how much my guilt over not having a clean house caused so much anxiety that I couldn’t make myself clean up even the dishes! I have pretty much kept up with everything, but the last week I’ve been slipping, and I feel my anxiety rising again. I still have anxiety over other things, even things that don’t exist (it’s the “waiting for the other shoe to drop because no way I can be this happy and if I am, then something bad will happen” anxiety. The generalized anxiety disorder. When things in my life are going well, I get nervous and anxious and unable to enjoy it much. Anyone else have this? It’s very annoying.

Btw, there is a comment box on my posts, if you are so inclined to comment. All you have to do is click on the Comment button at the top of each post! 🙂

Since that cleaning gave me so much relief, I am going to see about having the service come out once a month a nd clean. That way it can be maintained. By “maintained” I mean both the cleanliness of my house and the reduction of my anxiety. Goodness knows if I can keep even one part of my anxiety at bay, it’s a win. Unless I stress about paying for it…. There’s always something to worry about. It’s a wonder my adrenal glands aren’t fatigued, since I live in “fight or flight” mode most of the time.

Thank you for reading, and comment if you would like!

Cheers!