Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Feeling a little better

I went to my counseling session yesterday evening, and I feel much better and have some ideas for reducing my stress levels, taking care of the things that I can take care of, and trying to let go of the things I can't. The hoarding issue can wait a little; I've got to get a handle on how I feel, the panic I've been under lately. Meanwhile, my friend YKWIA and I have had several discussions, and he's right, I let things build up over and over again, only to blow up emotionally and melt down. There's actually an analogy he mentioned, taken from Transactional Analysis and entered into popular psychology, where you 'save up stamps' like people used to do when they went to the grocery store. Unlike the prizes that you could get through the stores, this allows you to save up until you're ready to blow, and all the little issues justify the blow up. Of course, if the person does so around someone else, that's really not fair to the other person, and that's what happened the other day. I've been so busy keeping things together in other arenas, like work, that I let go around someone I felt comfortable with, and caused an issue.

So, I obviously need to work on my emotions and on taking a proactive, not reactive role in meeting problems head on rather than letting things pile up. It's like emotionally I'm doing the same thing as my house--pushing the stuff around, at best, not dealing with it, and then it piles up and causes me problems.

My mom, who had been back in the hospital, seems to be on the mend, so that's one stressor down for now. Work is going well in general, although the end of that run is quickly approaching, and I'm having a lot of anxiety over that. My counselor made some suggestions for the running to appointments issue as well, some alternate means of transportation that we need to find since when I find another job, I will 1) not have PTO to burn at all and 2) most places will not be as understanding about my taking someone I'm technically not related to around to various appointments. So we need to find a good alternative. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Our local partnership between the local bus system and the Red Cross, Wheels, is apparently meant to be a transient service when a person is getting used to being disabled. I'm going to check out a service called ITN, which my counselor suggested, as it is more of a subscription-to-ride sort of service, and can take him anywhere in town, not just doctors and grocery stores. But it's meant for seniors and those with certain disabilities, so he may not qualify. Oh, and Uber and Lyft are not tenable, as you need a smartphone for that, and he doesn't even have a cell phone. Cabs are prohibitively expensive and, in our town, rather unreliable.

So there's that. In the meantime, I'm doing some things to try to get things back on an even keel. I'm trying to get more rest (although I only got about three hours' sleep last night because I made the mistake of taking a cold medicine with pseudoephedrine in it, and couldn't sleep after 2 am). I'm reading or at least listening to an audiobook for at least 30 minutes a day, possibly longer. I'm still making my way through The Cave and the Light: Plato versus Aristotle and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Tradition by Arthur Herman. I just finished chapter 18 out of 31. They are long chapters, and of course the material is rather dense, although not exceedingly so. But each chapter lasts about 50 minutes of recording. So I'm doing half a chapter to a chapter a day.

I've also exercised a little. Last week I spent some time on the exercise bike in our fitness room at the apartment complex, then walked on the treadmill--not for long, but enough to get a start. Tonight I'm doing laundry in the same building, and they have Wi-Fi, so I'm writing this from the laundry room, but before sat down to the computer I put my laundry in the washers (three loads!) and then went over and biked for a few minutes and then tried the elliptical, which I do not know if I am coordinated enough for that. I lasted three minutes total on the elliptical. 1) I have a tendency to go backwards, and 2) it's not supposed to hurt my knees, but does, mainly, I suspect, because I don't use my knees correctly enough. I bend at the back rather than my knees (yes, I know that's bad) because I have hard problems with my knees since I was a teenager. I also have to be careful if I stop with the elliptical because it practically throws me off. I'm glad no one was in there. But I'll keep trying, anyway. I'm also using Habitica, which I've mentioned before, to help with the stress-reduction, reading, and de-cluttering. I reached level 121 as a mage and have used the Orb of Rebirth so that I have been 'reborn', so I'm a level 9 warrior at the moment. I think I'll stay a warrior this time; you can work your way through all the classes, including rogue and healer. It really is helping, though, and I'm questing with others, which keeps us accountable and more likely to take care of our daily tasks. In other words, it's helping with my resolutions to de-stress and de-clutter my life.

Okay, I promised a friend who doesn't have a computer that I'd upload his résumé and help him apply for a job listing. Time to be productive. Have a good night.

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