I Saw Stars

Good morning world. I’m looking forward to a new week that ends better than the last.

Why? Let me tell you.

Reflective in the title of this post, last Friday, I literally saw stars. No, they weren’t a bunch of five-star reviews of my books. One can hope. No, I didn’t see the stars of the night, sweeping across the sky. I wish it was just this.

Nope, I saw stars when I banged my head against a very large, low hanging pipe designed to carry conditioned air. I was straightening a set of small boxes that I was stacking, knowing that there four hundred similar boxes arriving in moments. Yup! I was at work, doing my job. Mind you, I knew the pipe was there. However, in that moment, bent over focused on my goal, I had forgotten it was there.

21193608 - starry sky in the village and orange sunset
Source: 123rf.com

Then I stood up and saw a galaxy of stars.

I wacked my head hard. The room around me went dark and I saw untold stars flashing behind my eyes. Think of a lot of mass against an immovable object. In that split second, as pain walloped my head, my brain bounced around inside my head. Expletives galore rang out as I fell to the ground, supported on all fours.

It was several minutes before I could stand up again. Bent over, recovering, I could only think, “Stupid, I knew it was there. Why the fuck didn’t I move first. ‘Stunad!’ (Italian slang for moron)”

Eventually, I seemed to recover and finished stacking the boxes. An hour later, sitting at my desk, my headache grew, despite the overdose of Tylenol I took to combat what I knew was coming. An hour after that, my thoughts stopped focusing and I knew I was in trouble. I went home early and called my doctor.

A short time after that, I’m in the Emergency Department at the local hospital being treated for a concussion. Oh, how can athletes play their sport with a concussion? It must be the millions they make doing it.

Me, I’ve been suffering everyday since. The headache hasn’t gone away, and I get nauseous getting driven to the pharmacy for meds. I’ve been planted in my recliner, getting up to use the bathroom or getting a bite to eat.

The treatment? Seven to ten days of rest and I can return to work when I am no longer symptomatic. Three days later, and I still am. It’s hard to concentrate just writing this post. Imagine what it would be like at work where my job is to sit at a computer and write code, et. all. Before I lose it, I’ll sign off and find my favorite chair and rest, doing mindless, brainless stuff.

All I can say is thank you to all my fans for reading this. I appreciate you.

Whirlwind nearly over, part 8

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Don't Worry, Be HappyThings seem to be settling down since the shock of the change in employment status by my girlfriend and committed partner. The last 48 hours have been less stressful, we’re sleeping normally again, and I am not as worried about her as I was. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still worried about her but I’ve got it under control. Fortunately, she recognizes my paranoia. It’s there, no doubt. It’s an issue I will deal with. I worry but it’s my job to worry about her.

Does that mean I’ve gotten over my worrying for her emotional state? No, but I’ve learned that I can keep that to myself. She has enough on her plate. Speaking of, she dropped the line on me that shook me. She told me “I might just take the entire summer off.” I had not expected that but upon reflection it makes sense. What she was insistent on was that I had better “not tell her what to do”. Even better, never … ever say “we lost thousands of dollars this summer by you not working”.

No problem. If she even wants to take the fall off, by all means, go for it. If she wants to completely retire, then I’m okay with that as well. It’ll be a few years earlier than we had originally planned but so what. If it makes her happy, then I’m happy.

What does concern me were all of the future plans we had set up, which assumed her continuing to work full-time for the next couple of years. We had planned on buying a second home to winter at. Is that plan now in jeopardy? I really don’t know but I really want to spend my winters in the warm sun, drinking beers on the beach and write my books.

So, it is apparent to me that I will need to reevaluate the plan and adjust accordingly.

Don’t worry honey. I have your back.

Whirlwind nearly over, part 7

Climbing the Broken Ladder

Well, I knew it was too good to be true. Nearly over? Not quite.

7653712_sSure enough, Murphy’s Law kicked in. Mid-afternoon yesterday, our household was kicked in the gut. The love of my life, my girlfriend and partner in the house we purchased together, lost her job.

Granted, we knew it was a possibility. Under new management, the home health care agency she worked for was going through a transition. Not only is her entire department being retired, so are many of the community programs they maintained. By years end, hundreds of citizens who depend upon their services will have to find a new agency to get the needs they need and their respective doctors prescribe.Climbing the Broken Ladder

I was well aware of the transitioning but I never fathomed the scope it would take on. My GF knew that she needed to justify her job and she worked hard at making her immediate supervisor look good. Her efforts were for naught.

The first indication came yesterday when she received a text from her supervisor that she had been canned. Minutes later, the managers under the supervisor received an email to attend a mandatory meeting within the hour. Within minutes, it was announced that due to budgetary reasons, she was being let go and she was immediately walked out of the office, unable to collect her personal effects. Not that she did anything wrong, that’s just their policy.

Now, I know what it’s like to be involuntarily terminated. It’s happened twice in my career. She has never had the pleasure. I feel for her. She’s maintaining a great front, already networking etc. I know different.

She laid awake much of the night, staring at the ceiling. Normally, when up in the middle of the night, she’ll pull out her tablet and browse the web and social sites. Not last night. I could feel the turmoil boiling in her brain.

The crappy thing is that I know from personal experience, there is nothing I can do to help except be there when she needs me. When she does, I’ll hold her, hug her, let her cry on my shoulder, whatever she needs. I will help her as she has done for me. There is no advice in the world that will help her deal with her feelings. Together, we will get through this.

One thing I know, she’ll process the feelings, transition from stage to stage and come out on the other side a stronger woman. She’ll put it behind her and look forward to the next chapter in her life. Opportunities for her abound and she’ll make the best of them. Word is spreading fast and she has already received a suggestion to come work for another agency. She is holding off and taking the time to figure out just what she wants to do.

She’ll grow from the experience and be a better person for it.

Sorry hun and have a margarita. I love you.

Whirlwind nearly over, part 4

My Home is My Castle

One's Home is their CastleThey say one’s home is their castle. I can’t help wonder about the truth in the statement.

The home I used to live in, the one I recently sold and moved from, used to be my castle. I loved my home. I did not envision leaving it any time soon. In fact, I was sure I would still be living there at least six more years. Instead, it’s now sold to new owners. Someone else is living with all of the upgrades I did along the way as well as with its issues that all homes have. It’s their castle now.

What I don’t understand is why I have moved on as I have. I have no interest in driving by to see what the new owners are doing. I heard from my moving company that the very same crew I used to move out was contract to move the new owners in. Small world? No, I don’t think so. I suspect how that happened and I don’t think it was a coincidence. It’s a local firm, not a national chain with a very good reputation in the area. Moving with a peace of mind http://sheridanbrothersmoving.com/ If you are moving, local or not and live in my area, check them out.

My new home is my castle now. It’s a nice home and I’m sure one day, I’ll come to love it as I did the old one. Sure, I love this home but as in all relationships, its different. I still don’t understand all its subtleties, all the things that make it unique and different from another house. Like a lover. You love your current partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever. You love them deeply and would do anything for them. They are the best part of your life and complete you in ways that you want and desire. Yet, that does mean you didn’t love your previous lover any less. Just differently. Regardless of how or why you have a new lover, your love for them was just as deep. It was just different. At least, this is how I see the world. Perhaps you do to.

ghost in the haunted castleSo, I have a new home. It’s my castle. I love it now and as time goes by, I’m confident that I will love it more. For better or worse, it’s my castle and I’ve pleased to be sharing it with my lover, partner and best friend. Love you maggical.

Now, for those of you that know my perversion for Halloween, whatever am I going to do to celebrate Halloween?

Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down

Stream of consciousness eye

Lately, I’ve not been sleeping through the night. Try as I might, I wake up for good between 4 and 4:30 a.m. Over the past year, I’ve been doing okay, but this last week, not so good, and I’m at a loss. I have no significant stress in my life. Life is good. I have no worries to deal with or other such crap. In fact, up until this past weekend, I’ve been writing, reading, doing well at work and performing my annual winter cleaning of the house. As I wrote above, life is good.

So, why this week, can I only get four to five hours sleep? Beats me.

How is this effecting me?

I wake up, lie in bed trying to fall back. No good. I get up, shower and dress, go to work. I’m doing my job, albeit, I’m not firing on all cylinders. That is, I’m not up to my usual efficiency.

I get home and I can’t get my mindset in a creative mode. I can’t write, I can’t draw, I can’t even plan dinner. And oh, I have the munchies. This is new for me. I don’t understand it. I know that my stomach if fine, but my brain keeps telling my mouth to eat. What’s that all about anyway?

I did some more research on sleep deprivation. After reading about all of the usual stuff, I stumbled on this page from WebMD. #2 on the list refers to ‘Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down’.

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/10-results-sleep-loss

"Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention <check>, alertness <√>, concentration <√>, reasoning <√>, and problem solving <√>. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently. During the night, various sleep cycles play a role in 'consolidating' memories in the mind. If you don't get enough sleep, you won't be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day <√>."

Everyone of these points is how I feel right now. The trick is, what to do about it.

Number 4 on the list is the worst. “Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive”. I don’t need to read that blurb to know exactly what they are about to report. I’m feeling it and for a writer and painter that dabbles in erotica, this is awful. How can I capture on paper or canvas a sex scene if I can ‘t feel it myself.

The rest of the article goes on with the other effects of lack of sleep. So, that to do about it?

  • Block out adequate nighttime sleep period? <√>
  • Keep distractions out of bed? (Reserve your bed for sleep and sex.) <√> (Hard but doable.)
  • Set a consistent wake-up time? <√>
  • Gradually move to an earlier bedtime? <√>
  • Set consistent, healthy mealtimes? <√>
  • Exercise? (ok, I need to work more on this despite the fact that I was sleeping better before this week.)
  • De-clutter your schedule? <√>
  • Don’t go to bed until you’re sleepy? <√> (Trouble is, I’m sleepy even now, first thing in the morning.)
  • Don’t nap late in the day? <√>
  • Create a relaxing bedtime ritual? <√>
  • Avoid “nightcaps”? <√> (Well, in desperation, I tried a glass of red wine to see if it would help. Not so much.)

Am I depressed? No. Sleep apnea? Yes but it’s been successfully treated for three years now. PTSD and Anxiety? No, at last I don’t believe so.

Maybe I need more than a single glass of wine. I’m also thinking about a new mattress. As nice as the one I have is, it is getting on in years and I’ve slept on hotel ones that are much better. What I will not do is use a pill.

If any one has any ideas, I would love to hear about them. Write me, comment on this post, whatever. I need to get back to creative writing. If I don’t, I’ll go nuts anyway.