Unfortunate Opportunity

In the same way that it can be awkward to discuss “after death” financial topics with someone from whom you might be getting an inheritance, talking publicly about investment possibilities that are coming on the back of a stock market that’s plummeting due to fear of a COVID-19 pandemic… it does feel a little bit wrong, but the opportunities of a down market also cannot be ignored. 😐

The Dow Jones has lost more than 12% of its value over the past seven days of trading. Unfortunately, the cause isn’t solely due to “scary thoughts” around the spread of the virus. 😟 With China being ground zero, the precautions that need to be taken and the effects that are already being experienced by the industries and workforce there… it was inevitable that markets around the world would reflect the disruption. 😳 Global economies, global trade, global investing… it’s all great stuff, until it isn’t.

Before COVID-19 was even a thing, I had already started researching different types of investing that my family (historically speaking) never really took advantage of. πŸ€” I’ve tended to use methods that I’ve seen work for my dad and my aunt, and they probably used methods that they saw work for their parents. 🧐 It makes investing feel comfortable, but the returns are usually modest in comparison.

The volatility in the markets isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll have plenty of time to continue reading, learning, and eventually planning… even if “the plan” ends up being that I don’t change much of anything. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ And while loads of people have been cashing out, to “protect” their gains from the past year or longer, the farther the markets fall – the better it is for folks who are only just now wanting to get in. 🀨

I suppose I should mention that I’m not thinking about individual stocks when I’m talking about all of this. I don’t know enough yet to speculate on individual companies and their ability to bounce back. I’m thinking mostly about ETFs with holdings that are properly weighted to match gains / losses of the Dow. πŸ˜πŸ€“

Historically, you’re on pretty solid ground if that’s what you’re invested in… but just as there have been extremely good years, there have been some really bad ones as well. More often than not though, the gains for each year have been remarkably good. (Which doesn’t mean a heck of a lot if you didn’t buy your shares on (and only on) January 1st of each year… heh) Meh… just kinda thinkin’ here… πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚

Out Of The Loop Too Long

A while back I used to go to auctions a lot, but it’s been years now since I’ve been. But there was one older fella that was always at the local one that I’d go to with my girlfriend at the time, Kayla. We both liked buying the random boxes of junk that would go for only a few dollars, and he would always dig out any shampoo, makeup, or random girly stuff from the boxes that he’d win and give it to me and Kayla. 😏

I actually ended up running into him again somewhere after the local auction house closed… I wish I could remember where it was. πŸ€” But he invited me to come out some time to see all the stuff that he had for sale at his house, which was also a Christmas tree farm. He and his wife had an entire extra building outside their house, where he had the better of his auction winnings on display and for sale for anyone who came out for a tree. And obviously any time he invited someone out.

But watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special just now, and seeing them hunting for a tree, it made me think of him… and sadly it looks like he passed away a couple of years ago. I’d say it’s been about six years since I was last out to his place, and he had stowed away a bunch of Atari and Nintendo stuff for me, which he sold to me cheap, because he knew that was the kinda stuff I was usually looking for at the auctions. 😌 He was a great guy, just soft spoken and nice… it’s a shame I didn’t get to interact with him any more than I did. I didn’t even realize that he was formerly a local fireman… he just never spoke of it. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ But yeah, he was one of those people that you were glad to have met.

johnJohn BeckΒ  |Β  1943 – 2017

I think I’ll tell Mom to tell him that I said “Hi.” πŸ˜‡

Bubble Doesn’t Always Work

It’s been a rough, rough week… but I’m not even gonna talk about all of it. I don’t want to take the chance of spreading more negative emotions just because it helps me to get things off my chest. Going to bed early tonight. Hoping for a reset of my body and mind. Glad I made it through the week… sadly, the same can’t be said for one of my old friends from school. He was a couple grades ahead of me, so I was actually closer to his little brother. Definitely one of those things where nobody even saw it coming. But yeah, I’m tired of this week… so the sooner I get to sleep, the sooner it will be over and I can try to start fresh.

Happy (late) birthday, Dad…Β  trying to get good enough where I can visit soon. Sorry… that’s all I can say. 😞

I’m The Right Wrong Person

Being a critter person is awesome, but man can it also be really rough at times. 😟 Maven’s fine… in fact, she’s hogging my recliner right now, zonked out and oblivious to the activities of my day. Unfortunately though, one of my friends has a cat that had a litter of kittens… and well, sometimes everything doesn’t go like you want it to, like youΒ thinkΒ it will, or how you know that it should. πŸ˜₯Β I hate even thinking about it, let alone typing it out and making it feel even more real, but the sad fact is that two of them didn’t make it.

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She lives in an apartment complex, so she doesn’t have anywhere that she could bury them (which she obviously wanted to do) so I guess I was the first person that popped into her mind, when it came to somewhere that the two little ones could rest peacefully and undisturbed. 😞 She’s devastated about it… just like I would be if I was in her shoes… so despite the miserable heat and already feeling run down – I got dressed, went ahead and picked them up, and brought them back here with me.

It’s the least I could do… I mean, there’s no way to make someone feel better when something like that happens… so helping make it a little easier for them and sharing in their pain, those are about the only things a person can do. πŸ₯Ί The older I get though, the less I’m able to absorb this kind of sadness. The curse of being a critter person… you can’t just turn it off and on, and with each critter that you lose (or experience losing with someone else) you end up feeling it that much more each time it happens. πŸ˜₯

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With the tone of this entry, I’m sure you’re looking at the pictures of the double rainbows and wondering what the hell they have to do with anything. 🧐 Well, that’s what I got to see during the last ten minutes of the ride back home. I know that they’re “just rainbows” but in that moment it made me smile, thinking that maybe Mom, God, and all of the other “critter people” were up there recognizing this sad moment, giving me something so brilliant and peaceful to literally follow home, where the little guys will be staying. 😊😒

Usually Goes Unnoticed

Was listening to the police scanner last night, after Amy sent me a message saying that she was in town and was seeing a lot more police activity than normal. 😯 I imagine these will both be things that are at least mentioned on the news today, but with the way the LEOs in town use their in-car terminals as much as they use their radios, it was hard to really tell what was going on at the time.

One of the incidents apparently involved an older man… from what I’ve heard, he used to be a doctor or dentist or something… but I guess he’s kinda older and frail now, and is allegedly suffering from some mental issues and possibly some dementia. 😟 But from a short video I’ve seen of the police responding, it sounds like he had a gun and actually fired a shot at the ground as the cops were responding. 😳 People are assuming he was wanting the LEOs to shoot him… but you have to be careful with assumptions. But the video does then show him coming down off his porch, surrounded by cops, getting down on his knees and putting his hands behind his back… and then one of the responding officers comes from behind and kicks him in the back to put him face down on the sidewalk. 😧

It’s a hard thing to watch, because you can put yourself in each person’s shoes. If someone was depressed, so much so that he wanted to die but couldn’t do it himself, that’s sad in itself. Then putting the police, people who are just trying to put in their hours and go home safe each night, in the position where they were probably this close to firing on this guy… you hate to see something that looks like excessive force, especially on someone who may be mentally unstable, but when that unstable person has already fired at least one shot, and could have another weapon in his waistband, you do understand why they may have felt that force was needed. πŸ˜” Sure would have been better to push him to the ground rather than kicking him in the middle of the back like he was a door that was being kicked open though.

The second big incident was an accident on Sheridan involving a motorcycle and two vehicles. The guy on the bike apparently went left of center for some reason, and ran head-on into a vehicle coming in the opposite direction… and then that vehicle went off the road and hit someone in a car in their driveway. πŸ™ The guy on the motorcycle wasn’t wearing a helmet, and unfortunately didn’t make it. But it was even more crappy because Amy told me about it, I was listening on the scanner, she was reading stuff on Facebook… all without knowing who was involved, and it actually turned out to be a friend of Amy’s husband. πŸ˜ͺ

When you listen to “this and that” going down on the scanner, it lacks that teeny bit of “real” since you aren’t hearing everything, you don’t know exactly what’s going on, so you usually end up listening to it as just “stuff going on” in town… but it sure takes on a whole different feeling, especially after the fact, when you were previously somewhat casually listening to everything – only to discover that it involved someone that you actually knew.

But yeah, I didn’t sleep for shit last night, so I slept in until around noon… and grabbing my phone, those were the first things I saw being talked about when I opened my news feed. πŸ₯Ί I was already starting the day without much wind in my sails, but that sad stuff – on a day where everyone else was just having a normal “meh” day or complaining about this or that, while even sadder things like that were happening – it just definitely puts a pin in theΒ “It could always be worse.”Β thought, when I might be feeling a little too sorry for myself about my aches and pains and depression and whatever.

It’s easy to forget that when I’m having a crappy day, that the same day was actually a life-changing day for people that I’ll likely never even know about. I guess the life-changing could be in good ways just as easily as in bad ways like I described above… but yeah, sometimes you unexpectedly get pushed out of your bubble and can’t avoid noticing and feeling it. πŸ˜’

A Tale of Two Mother’s Days

It’s been a rough week, with today being a lot harder than I expected. Talk about different groups of people having vastly different experiences on a holiday. 😟 I haven’t been on Facebook much anyway, but today, the contrast of the posts from the people who were spending the day with their moms, to the posts of those of us who no longer can… ugh… I should have known better than to even open the app.

But by the end of the evening, I had kinda changed my mind about that. Just as everyone wants to share their happy events from today, I realized that there are a whole lot of people who need to share their memories… to not let their moms be forgotten among all of the ongoing activities of the day, just because their moms don’t happen to be around any longer. πŸ˜ͺ And I ended up being one of those people. How could I not post something about Mom? And how could I not be there to click off an emotion or offer some words to friends of mine who are feeling the same way about the day as I was?

So I posted one of the recently scanned slides of Mom from when she was young, playing with “baby me” on a swing in the park. 😊 And I can’t even remember how I worded it, but basically I just tried to show that I wanted to recognize everyone else who has lost their mom (especially since last Mother’s Day) and saying something about how I know that everyone thinks that their mom was the best, and that everyone was absolutely right about that. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I dunno… trying to be a little lighthearted I guess, but honestly – what can you say? So many happy memories, but such a sucky feeling…

And I thought I was feeling basically useless over the past few days? Today, the only thing I was able to do was pick up Brianna as planned, so we could go to the nursery and get some flowers to plant in Mom and Christina’s memory. πŸ˜• I’m glad that Genesee got me that little tin planter box for Easter and suggested the flower idea… but man was it hard to get up and actually do that today. Normally Bri and I function as a distraction from each others “bleh” but there was no avoiding it today. But she picked the same type of flowers that Brantley got her for Mother’s Day last year, we got them planted in the tin, and they’re now decorating the doorstep to her new apartment. πŸ™‚ So many positive things have happened for her in the past few months, stuff that she desperately wishes her mom was still around to see… meh… I don’t think I need to explain further. You either know how it feels, or you’re gonna eventually.

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But I came back home and turned into a physical, mental, and social potato… and I think Bri took a page out of my playbook and just called it a night in the early evening, trying to just go to sleep and make the day go away. πŸ˜” I feel shitty because I haven’t e-mailed Dad in about a week now, and I thought today might be the day… but then, yeah… 😣 I’ve just gotta focus on all the good things about Mom that I can remember tonight as I try to fall asleep, and hope that tomorrow I can wake up and somehow turn this shitty state of mind around and start functioning like a semi-normal person again. 😐 Being twitchy like this in itself isn’t what really bothers me… what bothers me is when it affects the people I care about and the people that care about me. And it’s definitely doing that right now.

*repeating to myself until I get it*“Mom wouldn’t want me sitting here feeling shitty that she’s gone.”

(What is it with me, and not being able to process the type of shit that millions of people process every day? πŸ˜”)

Delayed Reaction

It’s been an up and down week. I had those two or three pretty good days right after being sick for a day and a half… but like I said, probably not so much that I felt any better than normal – but the relief of not puking every few hours for an entire day and night just makes you appreciate a normal “bleh” mood a bit more. 😏 But then right after that, it was the strangest thing…

Mom has been gone for more than a month… and of course the first week or two after she passed was filled with well-wishes, company, and general “fuss” (I don’t mean that in a bad way at all) that one expects after such a thing. Then I took some time to really isolate myself so I could just feel it… adjust to it… I dunno… I just wanted nobody around so I could react however I needed to. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈΒ And my dumb ass assumed that after all of the above, my brain had processed and handled it. Heh… nope. 😟

I don’t even know what triggered it, but man… a couple of days ago – it finally really hit me. 😒 Or finally hit me for the first time, because Genesee said that she completely understood what I was trying to explain to her, and she says it was by no means a one-time deal for her after her daddy passed away several years ago. I think what happened was I crossed the line where I was just happy and relieved for Mom, that she was no longer struggling with a mind and body that were fighting against her… and I hit the point where it really sank in that she was gone gone – and then I was worthless for the better part of three days, feeling indescribably sad about everything that her being gone made me think and feel. πŸ˜” Gawd this is such a difficult thing to explain…

It’s probably all selfish, but understandable emotion… but the thing that wouldn’t leave my mind is that from this point on, any “new” person that I meet or that comes into my life… they won’t get to know her, and I can’t explain how unfair that is for all of those people. 😠 For those few days I just lost the ability to be happy about all of the happy memories and experiences, and it was all sad, mad, bitter, etc. Then I finally decided to talk out loud to her… the first time that I had done that since she passed.

I’m sure some people might think it’s strange, but with all of my grandparents gone, a couple uncles, an aunt, some friends… at one point or another, I’ve spoken out loud to them as I sat in the recliner, did my laundry, walked around outside, fed the cat… whatever the case may have been that made me want to say something to them. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ But I hadn’t been able to do that with Mom until just the other day, and I was actually feeling guilty about it. That I had so easily done it with the others, but for some reason wasn’t able yet to do that with her. But I’m glad that I finally did, because that’s what started pulling me out of that awful mood.

I reminded myself that she’s now up there with her mom and dad, among so many other relatives and friends that I may not even remember myself – but who were all waiting to greet her when she got there. 😊 And then I told her that I knew she wouldn’t want me to just sit in the house and feel how I was feeling, and I told her that I was going to try as hard as I could to get out of that funk and focus on the happy rather than the negative feelings. I don’t want her checking in on me, only to find that I’m a useless, crying, angry mess. I can’t let it mess me up like it was messing me up for those few days.

I talked for probably fifteen minutes or so… heh… and again, I know, it does sound a little weird… but with every thing that I’d say, I could feel the weight being lifted off of me… at least to when it comes how I was feeling about Mom being gone. (More of the “other stuff” in the next entry, coming fairly soon.) It’s weird though… not only did I feel guilty for not talking to her sooner, but also a little bit guilty for that horrible feeling not hitting me this hard way before this point. 😟 But again, Genesee helped… saying it was roughly a month for her as well, before she got the real “gut punch” feeling that you almost expect to feel the day of, or day after it happens. Of course I missΒ Mom… but I really do think I was just getting past my feelings of relief and happiness for her, and on to feeling sorry for myselfΒ – and everyone else that no longer gets to have her as an ongoing part of their life.

I’m sorry if this comes off as gloomy… but what I’m actually trying to say is that yeah, it hurt… then it really really hurt… but then you find a way back from it. 😌 I’m not looking forward to this becoming a recurring “surprise” thing, but I do know now that that’s just the way it works. πŸ₯Ί But I think each time that it happens, it’s gonna be easier for me to talk to her, remember all of the good – and there was a lot of good – and not let that awful feeling consume me like it was during these past few days.