Mindfalls

Over the last couple years I have learned a bunch of things about my personality, genetics, habits, and traits that have given me new insights on how I need to move forward with my life. Like many, I really just want to curl up in bed with an infinite supply of hot coco but I have to try and look at this realistically.

Most recently I have seen the light on my family relationships and friendship alignments change in such a way that I now see more clearly the problems that I was clinging onto for so long.  Most markedly was when I visited my father’s workplace and saw that he was hanging onto one of the televisions we used to have when I was a small kid. He told me that he couldn’t bear to let it go, a problem that I deal with daily, because of emotional ties to memories surrounding it.  It gave me some resolve to make more of an effort to get rid of things that I have hung onto but provide no actual purpose in my life.

But the whole process has to got in small steps. The more I try to do everything at once, the worse it is for me to push on. The pain of elimination is very real even with minor items but by taking it in smaller chunks, I’m able to make more progress.

For today, I managed to clear out a couple boxes of “things” and put them into either garbage or recycling and didn’t need to resort to drinking at all. Actually the stress of it just makes me want to hide more than anything. One thing that has helped is to have little distractions that are still productive in their own ways. Typing a letter to a friend, working on a blog posting, watching a video, and taking time to breathe are all used to keep me going with the main cleanup task. Just keeping myself a little distracted but still focused at the same time by using my natural way of sorting information.

I know it is going to take me a while to get down to where I want to be but at least now I can see the path towards that goal. Some of it isn’t really an issue with getting rid of items but rather having a space to store them in. The house that I have has limited space and even less shelving. My efforts to improve and remodel the house will lead me towards a tidier place as well. There are other goals in regards to how that construction will go as well. The plans are in place, I just need to stick to executing them.

For today though I’ve made it one step further and as long as I don’t bring in anything more, there is hope for this sliver of my strange existence.

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Rot and Caulk

The house has once again surprised me with the subtle manner in which it was constructed. The back of the house where the bathroom and kitchen are were not part of the original frame and was added sometime later. You can see this mostly when you get up into the attic and see where the roof of one section is over the other and a hole cut to allow access to the insulation. In this case however, it has to do with the continuing process of replacing the windows.

The back window had a storm window overlay on it that was broken from a bird trying to use it as a tunnel. I had taken another one of these storm windows off another part of the house and thought I would just use it’s glass as a replacement. Once I got the two of them together, I could see then that they were not the same. The one on the back of the house is ever so slightly smaller than the windows on the rest of the house and that made me glad that I had not ordered a replacement ahead of time using the other window dimensions.

Eventually the window in the kitchen will get replaced with something smaller to account for the addition of some new cabinetry but in the meantime I came up with a nice workaround. I removed the old storm window completely and replaced it with the one from the other part of the house. The difference was that the old one was within the window frame whereas this new one is on the outside.

Still, it wasn’t just that easy as the sill was completely rotted and that had to be replaced and things needed to be painted and sealed if only for the temporary time that the storm window was going to be in place. Fortunately I has the materials around to make the necessary repair and was able to get it all together despite the rainy weather we are having today. The only major problem was that I had to paint the window and the high humidity prevents the paint from drying as fast as I would have wanted it to.

In the end I got the sill replaced and sealed as well as the storm window and sealed that up as well. Just a couple more windows upstairs to attend to and then on to another project.

It’s good to be back working on the house because this last week or so has been a bit hard on my mentality. Part of that comes from the improper regulation of my medications that help me with my emotions and thinking ability. Also, some of it is just not handling social situations like I envisioned them to be and of course leading me into a conflict I did not want to be in.

Mostly I find that the people I know I don’t really “know” and they in turn don’t really “know” me. My parents don’t even really have a good understand me and I know for sure my mother doesn’t get me at all. Heck, I don’t really even “know” me but I keep learning and discover new and even more disturbing issues that I have to deal with. My latest discovery helps explain why I react, or rather don’t react the same to events that other people react to. Part of the little bit of BPD I have makes me mostly stoic throughout situations that people find greatly exciting or funny. I just don’t react to things and I can see why people get unnerved by that.

So it is better most of the time that I just not be around people as much. Granted, I can carry on a great conversation with people but my dark humor will take me around curves that people don’t want to follow and then we sit for a moment in awkwardness. It is the little issues like this that makes me see that working on projects by myself I can work out issues in my mind and not have to worry about people questioning my methods. It is less stressful and just better for me all around.

So basically I am taking life in small doses in order to get where I need to be. In this case less is more and much like the house, it brings interesting surprises.

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Cat Perms

I keep trying to write something up but I keep erasing it. I have a bunch of things to say but they are all disjointed in my mind. A scattering of thoughts with no real solid narrative.

For those that are annoyed by my constant promotion of Lakota or Native American issues regarding political issues or the pipelines, just note that it isn’t going to stop. My Lakota family is important to me and I have a unique perspective on the history that they have had to endure since the Manifest Destiny and I hate what has been done to them. The people that have taught me a history that wasn’t taught to me in school are usually not surprised that non-natives don’t get this. I will never feel the pain but I support them with their dreams.

Much like I support the beliefs and orientations of friends and people that do not follow the mainstream religious and political leaders. This idea that humans have to follow a certain belief or certain political ideal is strange and unjust to me. People come in many flavors and to try and say that only one style is acceptable is ludicrous. Another invention by people that have been given money and power to control those that they do not understand.

But the cycle cannot be broken because of the time and effort that has been put in place to keep people from stepping out of line. In a different time it would have been easier to remove the elitists from history but now there are too many negative consequences against ones freedoms for making such an, adjustment. It isn’t anything I could do anyway as it goes against my moral principles and I don’t have the drive to be a pain in their sides.

This country needs more education, science, and history lessons given to the population so that people have a greater understanding of their rights, the rights of others, and how to stand up for people instead of dragging them down. We need less push to incorporate religion into school and keep it in the churches or the homes. That separation is what keeps people from alienating each other. School teaches how you should interact with the world and religion teaches you how to interact with your gods. When you die, you are going to need what you learned in your religion more than what you learned in school.

My system of belief is mine and mine alone. It isn’t something that can be taught and it isn’t something that I am going to impose on others. It makes me aware of the other people in the world and their blend of beliefs, the energies of life, and the angles of how things all fit together. It works for me and I have no need for anything else.

There has been a disorganized effort to make repairs to my home and down the road I would like to incorporate some new technology in an effort to disconnect from at least one service. I want to construct my own power storage unit, much like a Tesla Power Wall, to bank electricity and use it in the home. The storage unit won’t be that difficult really as opposed to acquiring and installing the solar array I would need to charge it. And then again I don’t think I would completely disconnect from the power grid just because it makes a good backup but I think with the right components, it could be possible to completely be free of that dependence.

This morning I had one of the windows out and I was watching the whirligig hanging from the porch. For a few moments a hummingbird stopped to check it out. It was hovering around the red portion of the rainbow colors on it and then it flew off to another adventure. I’ve never seen a hummingbird outside of TV or YouTube and it was a different experience. The bird moved like you would expect but the sound of it in the air as its wings beat was not what I had expected. It had a low fluttering noise that changed as the bird went from flying to hovering and then to flying again. It was a an otherworldly experience for me.

What isn’t so profound is that I’ve been neglecting my goals of losing some more weight. I got back to eating a lot of sugar and some carbs once again while I was dealing with the pain before surgery and never really quit it. Even though I haven’t really gained any weight lately I haven’t lost any either. So, back to the protein, fruit, and veggie meal routine and get some more walking time in. Just another 50 pounds or so and I think I will be fine.

This is for me though and not because I’m trying to impress anyone. The life of a permanent bachelor with a small social circle gives me no reason to impress anyone other than myself. Besides, I’m socially awkward so there is no prospect of branching out to another relationship.

Right now I’m binge watching Twin Peaks Season Three in a prelude to the final episodes tonight. I might have to celebrate Labor Day with coffee and cherry pie just to take it all in and reflect upon the crazy summer it has been.

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The New Old Me

On June 28th I had spent the night at a friend’s home and then got up early to take a shower before being driven over to the hospital. Once there I checked in and a short time later I was directed into a small room to undress and put on the hospital garments.

My parents weren’t going to be there after getting into an argument with my mother. She thinks I’m a lazy, self-centered, lying, man and won’t talk to me anymore. I was trying to reach out to her and form some kind of communication with her because it has been strained but she just made it worse. I’m not seeing any viable way to repair it now and I let her know not to come down, it wasn’t worth it.

All my other family and friends were kept in the loop about what was going on mostly with some people knowing more than others just because some of my family members have medical backgrounds and they knew what they needed to know when chatting with me.

I looked out the window from my room in that early hour and saw my chance to rebel. I could press my gross nakedness up against the glass and let the public all gasp in horror, but it was so early no one would have seen it and I let the thought pass. Soon I was seated in my chair waiting for the staff to get me ready and wondering when I was going to start freaking out.

The nurses came in first to set the IV but as always I had to warn them that even with extra liquids, I’m difficult to get a surface vein that works. Usually people try a few different places until they find one that works but these people were on a schedule and if it caused me pain but it worked then that is the one they were going to use. So, with a little injection to numb the back of my hand, they were able to effortlessly get a good stab on a working vein. Soon I was connected to a bag of something and kept comfortable until it was time to head to surgery.

I’ve never had an experience such as this other than having my wisdom teeth removed and that setting was completely different. I don’t think I even took off my shoes when they pulled the teeth and the room where they did it reminded me of an old 70’s doctor’s office. Not this though, this was in the new surgical center and not a single strip of wood paneling was in sight. They had me get up and walk down the hall to the operating room and then my mind went somewhere else.

The room was really big with a bunch of equipment set around a central table with separate arms that swung out from the sides. The room was rather chilly but not as bright as one would expect. There were two arms mounted to the ceiling for devices that I cannot remember looking directly at because I was more fascinated with the ceiling in the middle. There was a different set of tiles where the equipment was mounted to the ceiling and I was trying to figure that out and now that I think back on it, I wonder if there wasn’t something in my IV that made me disconnect from reality a little.

Soon I was laid down and made as comfortable as possible on the narrow bed. They covered my legs with warmers and put a blanket on me, then rested my arms on the little side arms. And then, well, that is where things get a little off for a moment.

I have this memory that I cannot place because I have no sense of time for it. The event could be before they started or after they finished but I’m not really sure. There was a brief moment where they had a respirator mask on my face and it was not seated just right and I saw it being pulled away a bit from my face and then set back down in the right position and then I was out again.

The next time I woke up I was in some darkly lit room and I could not discern what my surroundings were except for there was possibly a nurse either beside me or near the foot of the bed. I think was really got me to wake up was the kid screaming constantly across the room. I was trying to say something myself but the words would not come out and that was a little worrisome but then I was out again.

Then I was back where I started and no idea how I got there. Sitting in the chair in the little room with my friend just coming in and me responding with some semblance of a joke. I would drift in and out of consciousness for awhile and get a couple shots of pain reliever until I could finally sit up. Almost immediately after that the staff came in and wanted me to go for a walk and that was not happening. Although I was able to eat and drink, I hadn’t had any real food for over a day and I was really weak to the point were movement was making me feel sick to my stomach. Eventually though I was able to stand and then a little while longer I walk walking down the hall.

What came out of this all was a gallbladder with many stones in it including one about the size of a golf ball. After the recovery pain, healing of the scars, being able to move around, and getting back to my regular life, I can say that it was definitely worth it. I can eat dairy and fats without having to be curled up in pain waiting for it to go away. I no longer have to fear that something I am going to eat is going to trigger the pain and leave me incapacitated for hours at a time. This has given me back my old life.

Still, there are some differences in that I still don’t trust food completely yet. I have had some cheese from different foods but I’m wary of having ice cream yet. I have been doing good with my low fat, low carb diet and I don’t think I’m going to give it up just yet. Right now my weight has leveled off because I haven’t been walking as much so maybe when I get more active and lose another 50 pounds I can have a small cup of ice cream. Maybe.

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Subtle

Lately I have been feeling a little reserved because of something new in my life. The pain I had been having for such a long time, off and on again, turned out to be my gallbladder being obstructed by a large gallstone and down further it contains several other smaller ones. Because of this discovery I will need to have my gallbladder removed through which I will need to be sedated and lose track of myself for a short period of time.

I can’t tell if I’m worried, lost in thought, or aloof about the whole idea but I do know that the chance of having that pain from the gallstone again definitely scares me more than the surgery. I just don’t know how to feel about it all combined with the busy weekend schedule I have been having and the Sentra being parked for awhile until I can get the engine looked at. Plus, I’m looking at another MRI to look at the tumor in my head to see where we are at with that treatment so there is another item to think about.

It helps to keep my mind off of the issues and what helps with that is by being at work to keep me more or less distracted from my life. Right now I have to pry myself away from my desk to go home because I would rather be there, working on an Excel project I have, than to come home and sit in the silence wondering how all of this will play out.

There are things to do here at the house that I surmise could provide me with some distraction but more and more I end up sitting on the bed thinking about everything that I need to address before that date. So much I have to clean up and organize, paperwork I have to prepare, maintenance, everything, and letters I need to write that will lead me back and around to the issue once again. Now I remember what it was like when they found the tumor in my head but that was scarier on some levels whereas this issue has similar risks despite it being a relatively common procedure.

In about a month this will happen so I have time to process it and get myself from this melancholy state and back into the strange world where I am accustomed to more dark and twisted views so once again I can laugh it all away. Yet for now I’m trying to search out my feelings and figure out what I should be doing right now.

There are friends and family helping out with the logistics for getting me to and from this future task and I’m not particularly worried about that. I’m not even worried about the procedure itself or the post surgery recovery. What has me in a funk is that period of time that my mind will be shut off and time passes in a blink. I’ve gone through the process once before and it was terribly confusing coming out of it.

The chemical they use to sedate you does something different than put you to sleep, it causes the brain to drop into a different consciousness level where it is not aware of any outside stimulus and although you are not awake, you are not asleep either but more or less mentally paralyzed. Granted, it’s for the better that one be unaware of people cutting into your body and removing defunct organs and I’m glad we have that technology to perform that switch but it still bugs me.

For me, I’m always actively talking to myself and working on ideas, visualizations, planning, creating, feeling, and sorting and the mere thought that all of that will be switched off is like being trapped in a box with no lights and no air. Mental Claustrophobia if you will.

I will be fine though. I will get through it. Especially if it means I can have some ice cream once again without the worry of excruciating pain. That will be nice.

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Angular Implementation

I’ve been travelling around the wilds of South Dakota, looking at the small towns that most people never see, and one item has stood out for me so much that now I’m looking at everything for this one feature. Pretty much every building that is not used exclusively to store grain is rectangular or contains sharp corners.

Almost every home, garage, barn, office, etcetera, has a rectangular floor plan including my home, my workplace, and any place I have ever lived. There are some exceptions but very few buildings contain curves or round floor plans and now that I see this, I find it really odd.

Granted, I understand that it is simpler to build with square corners and older construction was fast by doing this but as we reach into these modern times of new construction methods and new understandings of energy conservation I wonder why we still cling to such an inorganic design.

So far, I’ve only seen a few types of residences that have either a curved portion or a rounded corner but it is usually excluded to one corner of the building and most of the time it was on houses that were in the more opulent neighborhoods. Some of this has to do with how you put a window into a curved wall and not many could get curved glass windows. Otherwise the vast majority of homes are variations of squares and rectangles stitched together to give dimension but always standing out from nature, never blending in with it.

And yet as I look at pictures of round homes online I still see a sharp contrast that makes me painfully aware that our homes don’t belong. Maybe it is the contrasting color or still having sharp roof lines that bothers me so much. But in reality it is going to be “each to their own” when it comes to what works or not.

In my ideal setting, I would like to have a place that was set into a hillside where most of the house was underground and the roof extended the drop in the slope. It would need to face southeast to gain the warmth and light of the sun with a small courtyard to spend time outside when it was nice. The main structure would need to be like a crescent that was visible but only when you were right up to it, hidden from the side where vehicles would travel. A place where it looked out over the valley where very little human activity is visible so that it could be open and private at the same time.

But for now I will have to accept the square corners of my home on the rectangular section of land that it sits upon. Maybe one day I can upgrade with a turret style living room, or make a curved garage space. Either way, I will still explore and look for something that feels right.

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The Me Variable

I haven’t written anything in a while because of one thing or another but there has been constant inner dialogue about what I should be saying. Some of my thoughts have been about the people I have lost and others have been about the day to day activities with a few scattered thoughts about new ideas I have wanted to explore.

Right now I’m recovering from a cold that has been keeping me mostly in bed or doing less active activities while my body goes through the motions of attacking the invader and flushing the dead from the system. Mostly I’m drinking fluids and eating pain pills to deal with the coughing I have to do to get this cleared up. I’ve been sick enough to know that despite all of the annoyances there is with coughing, it has a good purpose besides spreading the contagion around for others.

In a related type of pain, someone noted that they didn’t realize that I was still so affected by losing Angela. It’s been four years now since I lost her and after spending nearly fifteen years together and due to the way I found her I really don’t expect myself to fully get over it. I have PTSD from the whole experience and certain thoughts and ideas will still take me down into that pain where I found her so that is something I contend with every single day by being aware of those triggers and adjusting to make sure I don’t fall into that well of pain. Plus, on top of that, a big portion of the things that I own were either hers or given as presents to me so again I am fully aware of my position but I know how to deal with it and I don’t let it take me over. I get a couple days every year to be super mindful but most of the time I’m a functioning individual and it doesn’t prevent me from living my life.

I have two primary views about life that I look at every day and they are what determines how much I need to be social or retreat into my introvert cave and hide away.

The first view is that the universe is going to destroy everyone and everything around me the longer I go on, with the eventual snuffing of my own flame. It is my grand view that life exists in a certain way and despite the little ups and downs of the human civilization, we are less that a thought in the universe. All of us are going to come and go just as everyone before has come and gone. The planet was born from dust and fire and will die in dust and fire, taking all of the successes we have created and wiping them out completely. The only relics of our existence will be the probes that are still flying out past the solar system until they too encounter something that destroys them. It is all just so big an ominous that there is no reason to be worried about the strife we experience here.

The second view is that while we are here, try to find the thing that makes you happy and roll with it. Try to accumulate the resources you can to get you to that next stepping stone and see what you can do with it. You will still experience pain, loss, fear, and many other things that make life appear to be hopeless but the way to escape that is to find that happiness. It’s not going to be easy and it might make some other people angry or confused but it is that special thing for you that is going to make this life important to you.

In my case I see where my universe is trying to collapse upon me and I take steps to adjust and work around those problems. Sometimes I have to take some less-than-honest approaches to this survival but it works. With all of the pain and hurt I have discovered a ton of things about myself and the world around me. I see my problems and my faults then use some creativity to keep them from tearing me down and work towards that perceived happiness. As I have said before like many others, I am my own worst enemy. And yet, I am able to come up with some really neat ideas for others and myself and that inspiration keeps me going and looking for that next stepping stone.

Right now I’m working on rebuilding some of my finances so I can pay off some more debts but I’m not letting the debts control my life. I have the ability to forego certain bills without having to worry about the negative consequences of financial ruin. This way I can still take care of my monthly bills, make car repairs, work on the house, and treat myself and others from time to time without worrying about making it to the next paycheck. Mind you, my methods are not for everyone and I don’t think I will be writing a book about it to sell on TV. Money is always one of those things that is nice to have but also it can be the ruin of someone that gets in over their head with it.

Just like finances, material objects have a way of overwhelming a person and that is the other thing that has been eating away at my life over the years. So every day I take more and more steps to try and clear away more of the things that I own and get them to people that can be burdened with them instead. My plight is that I hate just throwing stuff away and want to resell or recycle as much as I can so sometimes the process of cleaning up can be daunting. Not a hoarder mind you but I know I need to clean up more. The bigger problem is that I have inherited things from people over the years and those items carry with them a lot of emotional memories and those then are the hardest for me to let go of.

A little bit of pain and the world coming apart mixed with a little bit of finding happiness in things and this is my life. And as I type this I can feel my mind start to grind to a halt. I’ve dumped as much as I can think of, as broken as it appears to be. Maybe a little more strangeness on another date.

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