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!

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!