Anxiety Dreams

Third night in a row that I had a “too real” dream revolving around COVID-19, isolation, distancing, etc. ๐Ÿ˜’ And it’s getting old. ๐Ÿ˜  Plus last night I only got about four hours sleep again, although that’s partially my fault since I’m taking half-hour naps during the day. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But man, this “stay at home” crap is actually starting to get to me, even though “stay at home” is basically what I did anyway before all of this.

I usually pick a video on YouTube (on the TV) and then let the auto-recommend / auto-play take over as I’m falling asleep, and I know for a fact that what I’m hearing (in my sleep) from those videos ends up leaking into my dreams and influencing them. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ So I’m gonna have to start avoiding the news once it’s a little later in the evening, and probably switch over to playing music instead of “random TV” as I fall asleep. ๐Ÿค”

I wish I was one of those folks who can sleep in complete silence, but this house just makes too many weird noises that would wake me up. ๐Ÿ˜ Clunky compressor on the fridge when it shuts off, pinging water heater… which, by the way, stopped leaking and acting like it was going to die. (I’m still gonna have it replaced, but I’m not in a rush about it at the moment.) But yeah, I need at least sound, if not light and sound. ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ“บ Ooh… I think I’ll break out that sound machine that I got from Amazon last year. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ƒ It’s supposed to be pretty good, and it never fully made it into my routine after I bought it.

Welp, that’s all I’ve got for the past 24 hours or so… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ ย stay safe, all.

Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

I’ve Got Too Much *clap clap* Time On My Hay-unds

I’ll do this and that on any given day, but overall, my life feels like it has been on pause for a long time now. ๐Ÿ˜” Three big things are much of the reason behind it. Getting diagnosed with thyroid cancer two years back and then surgery to have that removed, my workers comp situation that’s been going on for well over a decade, and then waiting while my lawyers try to hammer out an agreement for the medical portion of my WC claim. ๐Ÿ˜ So, technically, it’s guess it’s just two “big” things that have me on pause. ๐Ÿค”

I mean, like everyone else, I’ve got a billion other little bitty tiny things that will pop up and add to the stress or anxiety whenever they feel like it, but it’s those things mentioned above that feel like they’ve put the brakes on “who I was” the most. ๐Ÿ˜• This entry isn’t about getting into the finer details of how or why… even though it’s relatively obvious, at least on the face value things, how it would make life different for anybody if they had to deal with them as well.

I’ve got a “checkup” ultrasound scan that I’m supposed to schedule sometime around the end of spring / beginning of summer, and I’m not super excited for that. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ My yearly check up last fall, which included a second dose of radiation and a gamma scan, went fine… in so far that there wasn’t anything to be immediately worried about. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But of course with something like this it’ll take a few return trips before anyone’s gonna be so bold as to declare me cancer free… and it’s hard not to be anxious about your future with that just floating out there. (It is a good sign that I’m only getting an ultrasound vs the whole other shpeal.)

And then the workers comp stuff, which (considering the above) should feel smaller than it does… but it’s another thing that’s been hanging over my head for what feels like forever, and as some of you may know – it has a way of being a thorn in my side almost every month, so it’s something that once it’s “solved” that month – I immediately start thinking about next month and what dumb shit I’ll have to deal with then. It’s just another “always there” thing. ๐Ÿ˜  It’s a shame what a pain in the ass it all is, considering how great my doctor is. And it’s been the same d00d for all this time… ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m lucky, there.

Even though I probably won’t, I could say that I’m gonna start tomorrow… trying to change whatever it is that needs to be changed in order for me to feel like I’m restarting things. ๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Granted, not the best time, given the stay-at-home stuff goin’ on… but still, I’m gonna at least give it a little more of a shot. Tomorrow, the next day, the day after that… while allowing myself to have days where it’s just not working, but without letting those days totally sink the idea of getting myself headed in the right direction. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป๐Ÿ™‚

I gotta get out of this trap, where just because I know that some big shit is gonna go down soon regarding my WC settlement talks, it ends up causing me to waste most of my days as I sit there just waiting and wondering when “the next thing” is gonna happen. ๐Ÿ˜’ I miss so much of each day because my brain is looking too far ahead, fearing the worst. I suppose that applies to both of the examples that I mentioned in the first paragraph.

It’s not that I’m feeling sorry for myself or anything like that. I look around, I watch the news, I read the articles, and I know that I’m extremely lucky compared to a whole bunch of people. That’s all the more reason that I need to figure out how to stop being so affected by my stuff in the way that I am. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜” Meh… so yeah, this has been bouncing around in my head all day… figured I better put it in print so someone can remind me about this post and rightfully wag their finger at me if it seems I’m not doing what I said. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Spring Birds

I noticed yesterday evening that my “spring birds” are starting to return to the big pine tree again. I’d say that it’s been five years in a row now that they’ve chosen that tree as the place where they spend their nights. ๐Ÿ˜Š They haven’t reached their full numbers yet, but I think that I still might try to do a time-lapse of them all landing tonight. Not sure if it’ll be that good, but it will at least serve as a test in case I wanna do another / better one once the tree fills up. It makes a person wonder how and why they chose this tree, and how they know or remember to return to it in the spring. ๐Ÿค”

Had a really hard time falling to sleep last night. It was after 2am, and my anxiety levels were at their lowest point for the day… so I kinda hated to “give that up” by going to sleep. ๐Ÿ˜• Days are more anxious than usual, for obvious reasons, so once you’ve reached those early morning hours it just feels nice that you “made it” through the day, everything feels like it has calmed down, and the chance for any unexpected BS popping up feels a whole lot less.

Meh… that’s all I’ve really got at the moment… ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ So, no rambling… unusual, eh?

THIS.

Another Person’s Dream. Yay.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve got a decades-old blog, somewhere, where I used to regularly keep track of my weird ass dreams. But sometimes they’re interesting enough to merit a spot in the regular blog. Last night’s dream was a single, long, awful, hyper-realistic “action” nightmare. ๐Ÿ˜ณ (And when it comes to what I may have seen, heard, or done during the prior day to cause any of it… who knows.) The cast, for whatever reason, was mostly people that I went to high school with. ๐Ÿค” Not necessarily even the “closer” of my friends.

It started off with Chris Woolard and Rich Nagel showing me their raptor pen, where yes… they had a real baby raptor, probably the size of a human toddler. They said I could go in and play with it, but that they didn’t advise it. ๐Ÿ˜ง I did anyway, though. It immediately knocked me down to my hands and knees and then proceeded to bite and attack my right shoulder. (Why my right? My left one is the one that’s damaged. Maybe fear of losing use of my remaining good arm?)

It chomped into me several times, finally just locking its teeth deep into my shoulder. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ซ I fell even closer to the ground, blood pouring into a puddle on the floor around me. I stayed as still as I could, which caused it to finally stop biting into me – and I was then face down on the floor, unintentionally blowing bubbles in my own blood as I tried to keep my breathing shallow enough that it would leave me alone. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Brian White then pulled me up from the floor and helped me out of the pen, and had someone bandage up my shoulder. ๐Ÿค• As soon as that was done, I started looking for my phone so that I could leave… but it wasn’t in my pocket, wasn’t on my desk, wasn’t anywhere that it should have been. ๐Ÿ˜ณ So I began to frantically look for it, with the panic of knowing that whoever had it would have access to my entire life…

As I walked up and down this dark auditorium, looking all around the chairs, desks, and people – eventually Matt McKinster motioned me towards a huge “home improvement store” area just outside the room we were currently in. ๐Ÿค” As soon as I got out there, I saw Jamie Faught carrying light posts for a customer… but he was about 20 feet tall, and they were like street light light posts. ๐Ÿ˜ง He nodded and smiled at me, but as I drew his attention away from what he was doing – the posts he was carrying smashed into dozens of giant ceiling fans that were above us all.

(If you’re still here and reading… well done. Other people’s dreams are so not-interesting… heh)

Everyone in the store, who were all regular sized like me… we all started running and screaming, because Jamie was falling, the posts were falling, and the smashed ceiling fans were falling – all in our direction. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ซ Some of the fans were still spinning like airplane propellers, which resulted in several violent “glass tornados” from which we all had to escape. โ˜น๏ธ Luckily I spotted a big metal glove on the floor near me… ๐Ÿคจ

I put the glove on and shielded some people behind me as the glass shards began hitting us. The glove was able to deflect most of the debris, but we were still getting sliced and gashed by the stray pieces of glass as they flew by. ๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿค• I was able to save five or six people before a different glass tornado attacked us from above, rather than straight on like the others had done. ๐Ÿ‘†๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜ณ It rained down on us so hard that it broke through the floor underneath us, sending us all falling into a darkened pit below.

At that point the wind stopped, the glass stopped flying around, the screaming people stopped screaming… and those of us that survived falling into the pit realized that we needed to climb our way out, over piles of busted glass and even more busted people. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿโ˜น๏ธ When I made it to the edge at the top, thankfully my friend Desiree was there to take my hand and successfully pull me to safety. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

She was crying and acting so sorry that she wasn’t there to protect me when it all started, but told me that even though she was late – that I can always rely on her to be there for me eventually, when it really counts. ๐Ÿ˜Š There was other little stuff after that, which I can’t really remember, and then I woke up. And I was friggin’ tired, man. ๐Ÿ˜ž I mean, I know all of this shit just comes off as bizarre – but imagine experiencing it all as vividly as you’re experiencing things in the room around you right now as you read this blog entry. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

Crazy shit. I’ll definitely take a pass on any dreams tonight if they’re gonna be anything like that again. ๐Ÿ˜“

Turning Point

Last night was kind of a “trifecta” of things that were needed to finally get the majority of Americans to pay attention to what’s going on, and possibly take appropriate precautions. The speech that Donald Trump gave from the Oval Office… oy… I mean, say what you will about that performance, but that was the first thing that perked up people’s ears to the situation.

Then the news that Tom Hanks and his wife are confirmed to have COVID-19… because some people see it as more “real” if someone famous gets it, I guess. And then all of the sports stuff. Games being played in front of empty arenas, a few players being diagnosed with the virus, and then the big shebang when entire seasons started getting cancelled. I really feel like those things combined have effectively opened up a lot of eyes a little more than they were.

And while I already had a decent amount of food in the house… at least enough where I could “get by” for a couple of weeks if I had to really stretch it out – I decided that it was probably a good idea to make one last trip out to the grocery store today, mostly to top off on some non-perishable items. Just in case things get bad… just in case things go for a week, or a couple weeks, or who knows…

Shopping gives me anxiety even on the good days, so I was surprised that today’s trip wasn’t that bad. Nobody was interacting with each other, or even really getting close in proximity. What we were doing was watching everyone else. Heh… all of us, watching everyone else, cautiously looking for any signs of illness that we thought we’d be able to see. Even in the checkout lines, people kept a good amount of space between each other’s carts. Oh, and the toilet paper situation? The aisle was probably 85% empty… but there was still name brand stuff available, and I was able to grab a six-pack of Angel Soft without anyone tackling me for it or even hurriedly grabbing a pack before or after I did.

Maybe I should have already done this. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to go into a store for this stuff… I dunno… these are unprecedented times for my generation. Hard to say how careful or concerned we should really be, but I know I’m gonna do my best to avoid the virus – and to especially make sure that I don’t hand it off to anyone else if I happen to get it.