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

Nothing New

Still haven’t completely bounced back from the weekend, but I have a feeling that the stress of waiting for all of the workers comp stuff to play out is adding to that problem. ๐Ÿคจ Unfortunately there’s no getting around the fact that emotional stress causes a physical reaction, especially when my injury is in my neck and shoulder… because that’s where stress tension often tends to land. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• Even in folks without other physical defects there, most people definitely feel stress in those areas.

But this was “Day One” of two pretty decent looking days when it comes to the weather forecast. Sun’s out (mostly), I’ve got the windows open, breeze blowing through the house, and was hoping that would help motivate me to do some laundry and whatever… ๐Ÿค” but rather than pushing myself I just took the day off and enjoyed it the best that I could through my picture window. No hurry on the laundry, so why not.

I hate “not doing anything” but I’d also like to make it in town to visit with Dad tomorrow, so I didn’t wanna push my luck. At some point we’re supposed to go on a sight-seeing ride to check out some of the places from our family history, to see what everything is looking like these days compared to back then… so part of me is kinda thinking about that for tomorrow, but if not – a regular visit would still be a success. ๐Ÿ™‚ Waking up each day with different levels of brokenness makes it so it’s better to not necessarily “plan” some things… but rather just “let them happen” if they’re meant to happen.

I never hold my breath on these things, but so far the “take it easy” approach to today seems to have helped with the aches and pains. Now if I can only manage to not “sleep funny” I should be in decent shape for getting out of the house tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜ I’ve been really stressed out the past few days, so I’ve been in hermit mode but still texting back and forth with Dad and Genesee which helps me escape my thoughts throughout the day. Fingers crossed for the continued bounce back to something close to normal…

(I don’t know why I still feel “guilty” or “bad” if I take a day and do absolutely nothing with it. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜• )

Pretty Good Evening

Forced myself out of the house for the second half of the day. Had a bit of normal running (grocery/bank/etc) to do, but for a change I also hit some thrift stores while I was out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Helped to calm my nerves as I was out among the humans, as well as keep my thoughts free of any of the “bleh” I’ve been dealing with lately.

Found an OSU shirt for me, along with a couple of big bowls for salads or cereal or whatever, and then saw a white poofy coat with a fur-lined hood and “sparkle” along the seams / pockets – so I grabbed that for Cassi, since I knew she’d have liked it if she was there. ๐Ÿ˜Š I also found something for Genesee. With her being a Snoopy fan / collector, I went ahead and grabbed this giant Pez dispenser with a Snoopy head. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Figured it would make good decoration for a shelf somewhere if nothin’ else. ๐Ÿ˜

Stopped by and saw Dad on the way home, and ended up staying there longer than I thought I would. He had the Roku fired up so I was able to introduce him to Daily Dose of Internet and the benefits of the YouTube app. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I only recently discovered that channel myself, but we ended up watching an hour-long compilation followed by the better part of an hour-and-a-half one that followed. ๐Ÿ˜… It was nice though… and like I said to him, there’s all kinds of awful stuff we could have been watching or talking about, but these little videos just kinda “take you away” from everything in the real world while you’re watching. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Œ

It’s funny… as I was getting up to leave, Dad mentioned something about the WC stuff, and I had actually totally forgotten about it at the time. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜„ But I did wanna update him on everything that was going on, so I’m glad he reminded me. It’s a lot to take in all at one, but I think I got him up to speed, and he’s on the same page as me when it comes to what seems fair and what doesn’t. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜ It worked out good though, being able to get all the info across without accidentally having spent the entire visit talking about it.

Balance It Out

There’s only so much that I can do to prepare for the various things coming up in my near future, but I still end up feeling like I “didn’t do enough” work on it – if at the end of the day I don’t feel like it has eaten some of my soul. ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜… I’m being dramatic, but it is pretty damn stressful when I get to over-thinking it.

So today I took a few hours in the morning before I even started thinking about it, although my cousin then texted me about help with troubleshooting her laptop that had just died. ๐Ÿ˜ I told her that I’m currently booked up, but that I had just spent several days bringing my own laptop back from the dead, so I might be able to help when I get some free time. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

During the middle of the day I did focus on some things that I definitely needed to research further, but in order to flush it from my brain for the evening (other than talking about it here) I just got in the car, rolled the windows down, and took a cruise as I listened to some of the older and / or more obscure songs on my Spotify playlist. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ It actually helped, since right now my living room is littered with letters, hearing notices, research, rescheduling, insurance paperwork, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ Just getting away from that made a difference.

(I suppose I just shouldn’t ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป leave ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป that ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป stuff ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป out ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป once I’m done with it for the day. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜)

But for the time being I’ll just have to play it by ear like today, making sure that I don’t dwell on this stuff for longer than I should… although I know that I can’t “run away” in my car each time it feels too heavy, so we’ll see what I figure out. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Today wasn’t bad though. And I was joking at first, but I think I really will pick all this stuff up in an orderly fashion and put it on the desk for the night. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of sight, out of mind.

Taste of Spring (and optimism?)

The mild weather continued yesterday, so that made it a lot easier to go in town for the bit of running that I needed to do. Mid-60s and mostly sunny at the beginning of February, so I rolled down the windows and took a meandering path into the city. Stopped at Tim’s for some dark roast, dropped off some mail that needed to go out, made a quick stop at a thrift store, and then before heading over to Dad’s I went out to Meijer to continue my grocery shopping from the other day.

It sure triggered my spring fever, as well as a hint of the photography bug… so, I dunno, maybe I’m slowly finding that missing motivation (and eventual ability) that I’ve been waiting for. Just gotta try to keep my gimpy bits moving enough so that when spring does actually get here, I might be worth a shit.

After messaging with Genesee last night about her art projects and my photography stuff, that’ll probably be what I do this afternoon… finding where I stashed my good cameras, and getting them out to make sure they’ll be ready to go, should I ever be. She got me a View Master as a gift a couple years, and there is a site that will create “reels / disks” from 2D or 3D digital images – and that’s something that I’ve yet to really try.

I’m still apprehensive or anxious when I start feeling more optimistic about things than usual, because of course any number of things could pop up between now and then. Things that might make it difficult for me to find the time (or energy) to spend on “frivolous” hobbies. But now more than ever, I think it’s important that I don’t allow those ideas to be written off completely. I should at least have some of these fun things waiting in the wings, just in case the stars align.

This is just my typical “overthinking it” way of saying I’m still feelin’ pretty alright today. ๐Ÿ˜

Lengthy Grumpy Ramble

I’m glad that I don’t have anything on the agenda for the rest of the week, since that allows me to take the things that I wanted to do today and move them to tomorrow. I must have slept funny or rough last night, because man did I wake up feeling beat up today. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ It looks like I’m going to have to actually go in to the pharmacy to deal with two of my WC prescriptions, since I’m gonna have to get some printouts proving that they’re unwilling to pay this month. ๐Ÿ˜’ But with my knees and neck acting up today – tomorrow just seems like the better option. (Stress can add to my physical pain, so I don’t need the BS at the pharmacy to pile on today…)

The insurance crap that I was gonna work on… that didn’t go anywhere today, since they needed all kinds of specific info that I didn’t have handy when I made the call. I figured since a bunch of paperwork had already been sent in, giving them the account number along with my name would have been enough. But nope, gotta get into my files and dig out the little notebook with a few dates and some other specifics that I need.

So I dunno… I guess the little bits that I accomplished today will serve as the “getting ready” for tomorrow, when I’ll hopefully conclude things with both of those situations. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ˜•๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป My mood is shit today anyway, so waiting until tomorrow will probably help me when it comes to not barking at the people who are trying to help me, since they aren’t the folks who are making things difficult. ๐Ÿ˜ Those call center / customer service jobs must be awful, since most folks aren’t as considerate to their lack of power or responsibility when it comes to any given account or situation. ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ“ž๐Ÿ™‡๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Oh, speaking of crappy jobs… I guess Jim felt like he wasn’t gonna be able to cut it at the Whirlpool factory where he recently started working. ๐Ÿ˜• He’s worked in stocking type positions most of his life, sometimes also driving a forklift – sometimes not, so when he’s basically worked one type of job for most of his adult life – you could imagine how his first taste of assembly line work would feel intimidating. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

The difference between his job and my former job… the line at Whirlpool is controlled by the machines, where my line was controlled by the people. Plus, even though we worked at a ridiculous pace (that did end up eventually damaging me) we didn’t have parts that weighed upwards of 40 pounds to deal with. ๐Ÿ˜ฃ It’s also concerning when he tells me that he hurt his neck, and that it also caused his shoulder and arm to hurt… ‘cuz that sounds way too familiar. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿค•

It just sucks that after years of being able to switch stores and jobs if he wanted to, and having an excellent employee / work record, he’s hit a phase where nobody wants him for those positions now. I mean, he didn’t “job hop” a lot, so I don’t think it’s that… so I’m wondering if it comes down to employers seeing his age on the applications. Glowing work histories don’t help if you can’t get past the HR people who see “47” and throw his application on the “nope” pile.

I was trying to think of what to say to him to keep his optimism up and his twichy-ness down, but it’s difficult when life seems to constantly bag tag a person. ๐Ÿ˜ It sucks that he lives so far north of Columbus now, because I have a friend that could probably get him into Jiffy Lube almost immediately. But after I described the job to Jim, pointing out the ways it would be so much easier than a factory, he just replied that he doesn’t know how to work on cars, so the job wouldn’t be for him. ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿค”

It’s frustrating, because he’s almost always good at whatever job he’s working at… and you don’t have to know how to “work on cars” to work at a Jiffy Lube. Not to mention the fact that they’ll obviously train you before letting you loose on customer cars. ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿš˜ For example, if he started off working in the pit, under the floor, he wouldn’t have to do much more than locate the oil plug, drain the oil, plug it back up, and perhaps change some oil filters on the cars that have them more easily accessed from the bottom.

I hate to see him not working and struggling, but I think the anxiety from all of the things that have happened… it’s got him to a point where he’s questioning his own abilities, and thinking that he’s not good enough for even basic “some skill required” type jobs. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ And I get not being a “car guy” but employee training will give a person the skillz required for any given position. ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Meh… he’s a good d00d, and he’s done a lot of good things for other people who were struggling at various points in his life, so it just sucks watching life doing its best to chew up yet another friend who doesn’t deserve it.

It’s Nice When They Go Well

I was anxious as I drove to my appointment today. ๐Ÿ˜ Even after I had checked in and was walking down the hallway to his office, I still wasn’t sure if I was going to decide to stop seeing him or not. But once I got to sit down and talk with him, it made my decision to continue going there an easy one. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚ I explained how the IME doctor’s report made it seem like my treatment there should be something that demands great concern, with all of the “scary” things that were implied, and (even though we obviously continued our conversation) his reaction told me all that I needed to know. ๐Ÿ˜ In a good way.

One of the first things he said, was that it was absolutelyย fine if I decided to no longer continue my appointments with him. Not only because my primary care doctor could prescribe the same relatively run-of-the-mill meds that he currently does, but also because he wouldn’t want it to cause me any unnecessary problems with my WC case, as ridiculous as the questioning of my mental health may be. ๐Ÿ˜Ž See, that’s how a doctor should be… giving me his blessing to stop going there, even though he’d be losing a paying client, because he wants to do what is best for me.

That in itself made me decide to schedule at least one more appointment with him, about two months from now… not only so he could follow up on me, but so I could also follow up with him and let him know how the (yet to be scheduled) hearing went. He also said that he’d be happy to write a rebuttal report as well, setting the record straight when it comes to my treatment, as well as correcting other facts that the report got undeniably wrong. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€โš•๏ธ๐Ÿค“ Because, as you’d expect, having another doctor doing things that serve to further the stigma of mental health care…ย ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ I don’t think he appreciated it. ๐Ÿ˜

So I felt much better leavingย that appointment than I did when I arrived, and to let my thoughts stay on that positive path – I took most of the rest of the day off when it came to checking messages, watching the news, or doing anything else that could possibly subject me to negative stuff. ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Š๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ And now that I have started catching up on the news tonight… ๐Ÿ˜ฏย Goodness. I think I made the right choice in avoiding it for the better part of the day. Our government is a mess, man…