Well, it’s the last day of the year. I’ve had plenty of time to look back, and reflect, and… mostly I can only think of the problems I’m facing today. The whole year has gone by too fast. Progress is slow, and I’ve been sick lately. Thankfully, it’s not CovID.
Things moved faster when aunt J visited.
Decent restaurants were involved.
But that visit was only because things needed to be moved out of my mother’s storage unit. (My mother and J. are okay by the way.)
It’s harder to get a grip on things when it seems like everything is decaying too quickly, and you can’t catch up. One of my teeth is really in bad shape, so I’m definitely going to have to move faster, and work harder next year.
And then I hear we all lost Betty White. The legend. Just 18 days shy of 100. It takes the wind out of your sails, at least for a moment, when you see stars fall, lose role models, and hear about your friends losing loved ones. There have been a lot of funerals this year. My friend in Kentucky lost two… an awful year.
Addendum: It wasn’t just deaths either. I all but lost my mother to mental illness and/or mold-dementia earlier in the year. She’s alive but not at all the same person she was months prior—fragile, skin and bones, and can barely function or recall events. She may have lost her sense of taste or smell from CovID but doesn’t remember.
This pandemic isn’t endemic yet.
But to do nothing isn’t an option. Living in denial is not living at all. You must exercise or you start losing function. Continue reading A look back→
Well. Summer is here. Almost. Okay, so it’s Maine, and 80 F feels hot to me and others used to shoveling snow. And someone like me is also used to wearing a knit hat. Now my exposed, balding head (with early-Fraiser hair, kind of) can’t take the direct sun without risk of sunburn.
Likewise, this very tree has gone a bit… “bald.” Or maybe it’s just me. …Okay, so this tree is not the one at the top, so it very well was just me lol. The cherry blossom trees have all gone green too.
The sun can be intense at times, but— like rain— the plants and overall life on Earth need the sun. And the COVID mask will only prevent sunburn on the lower parts of my face.
At night, people can appreciate the cooler side… and hopefully not sleep in sweat. But it is also the season where kids can be heard in the streets on skateboards… even at midnight.
It’s past mud season… and so it appears to be a season of road construction.
Oh, the places you’ll go after moving to a city with so many stores within walking distance. And so many firsts. And not just the Firsts of the day program I attended, such as visiting a fire department and a police department, or the Firsts of the new residence, such as the first snowstorm, or first long power outage.
Or first frozen hard-boiled egg because I put a salad too far back in the fridge; or other more trivial things like first nosebleed, or first ant; it was no April Fools joke to see that a-hole ant in my room the first of this month.
But firsts like restaurants I’ve never visited before, from greasy burger joints (sometimes those hit the spot), to a Chinese buffet of many types of food, to a native-Spanish-speaking Mexican restaurant. My mother and I had gone out less and less over time until it was rare that we ever did, but ever since I moved out, we’ve gone out twice a week, for lunch or a movie. I’ve now had more pizza and lasagna in months than I had in years. And on one part of my desk sits a pile of tickets. 🙂
Often, we’d walk thru the Mall, and eat at the food court, even if the food we got didn’t come from the court.
And… then the economic struggles hit home. Across the country, stores and whole malls have been struggling for years.
Well. I’ve been gone long enough that you may be wondering what happened to me. What can I say? I’ve been busy and distracted. I’ve settled in the group home, and for months it’s been one change after the next, in staff, and loud laughter, and spontaneous clapping by a roommate who revolves around the living room TV, most often channel surfing music videos. (It didn’t take long for him to wear out the batteries in the Roku remote.)
And then you count the chores we’re all used to—e.g., doing dishes… but then cleaning up others’ messes, which is not something I signed up for. And that includes staff leaving plates and utensils in the sink. Sometimes people don’t learn to not put utensils in the garbage disposal sink; they fall in. To top it off, some areas are never cleaned despite the obvious warning of mold and ants come summer unless I bother. Can you sense my frustration?
Oh, and now the staff knock on my bedroom door to “check up on me” at times, even if it means waking me. And on program days, I’m awake anyway for the unpredictable Logisticare service that’s so awful one of its drivers, who was already late, pushed his hybrid car so hard it broke down on the highway, Friday, with fumes entering the car. Other out-of-the-ordinary things have been happening in the last few days; I lost a receipt as if it disappeared out of thin air.
So I’ve been pushed and pulled around in many little different ways that add up, and it becomes not only frustrating but time-consuming on top of that day program I’ve been too timid to end. (Still, what do I do if I end it? Always out of the loop, I don’t have ideas.)
One plus: I’ve learned to cook pasta pretty well.
Nevertheless, peace and quiet is harder to find. And without good ideas and new ideas, or fulfilling relationships, I’m not satisfied enough to rest. So after a share of social media and informative videos, I don’t get enough sleep and can’t find my voice or be bothered to write a string of words longer than a tweet or two. But surely I could have posted here, right?
I blame Twitter. Again.
It’s addictive or seemingly welcoming but to the point of being oversaturated, and in a way apathetic towards thoughtful blogging, even though the platform was intended for micro-blogging. Today, you can find endless retweeting of one-offs that serve the warning that quality is not appreciated nearly as much as retweeting among tribes. Like any social media, the more you stand out in the “wrong” way, the less you will be heard. And it all happens in real-time, further manipulated by Twitter’s popularity algorithm.
But I digress.
The rush of the holiday seasons was rather pronounced at the Goodwill in Biddeford. Christmas trees and decorations were on sale over a week before Thanksgiving.
Well, it’s one of those weekends. I got up early Saturday, and walked in the morning. My body said, maybe it’s best you go back to sleep. But I didn’t. I offered my support as someone to talk to… on twitter… and then the day went by, and I became the one who needed social engagement. I’m thinking about signing up on Reddit, but can’t think of a new screen name. There really isn’t anything I can do locally.
So. I might as well get into what happened Tuesday.
The day’s notes and events included fallen branches in the driveway… and the Senate’s first day trying to “skinny-repeal” the Affordable Care Act. (I’ll note that the law, what many on the right call “socialism” is the conservative version of legislation that has been taken to the floor for decades to finally pass. The proposed healthcare reforms under Nixon was more “liberal.” But I digress.)
Tuesday was a day scheduled to see the counselor. We went over the report aimed at enabling access to services regarding my disabilities, and the fun paperwork that entails. However, I didn’t tell him how I felt that morning. He knows about my sleeplessness, my isolation, but he doesn’t quite know how I’ve changed.
The day began with a bit of a breakdown. There’s a big difference between “this sucks, I need to do something” (where I tend to fall back into complacency), and… “I am broken.” Crying entered the conversation this week with N., my practitioner friend; she said she cries almost every day, to cleanse the heart and reset the emotional state. I did, briefly. I got only one more hour of sleep before departing.
About half of 3 p.m., my mother pulled into the parking lot for Crescent Beach. Troubles of the day aside, before me was the opportunity to get some summer photos.
Every now and then, we see the world catching up with itself in little ways, in turbulence and neglect, overwhelm and falling behind— a cycle of too fast and not fast enough until things meet up, in resolution or not. Because the world doesn’t live as one, and in my mind it’s not supposed to. (Sorry, John.)
Life will find a way. …Even if placed or seeded in a completely artificial environment.
So it’s now February. My brain, which won’t stop playing Beatles tunes, has turned to mush. It’s been a while since I’ve written, despite raising expectations of doing so. And it’s all because of denial.
That word, denial. There has never been a time without it in the world. There are always patches of darkness. The dark circles under our eyes show how tired we are in this modern age. The world population continues to grow, raising our need to raise each other. And the cost of growing too fast is taking its toll. The U.S. national debt is hovering around a hair below $20 trillion. (And I didn’t even notice that the debt-to-GDP had surpassed 100% in 2012.) And after a Presidential administration known for growing bureaucratic red tape, we find ourselves with one that has a habit of growing executive red tape, barring even those with dual citizenship from entering the country.
“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.” —David Russell
Yeah, okay, so that quote doesn’t quite apply here, lol. I’m not known for burning bridges, literal or otherwise. I don’t forget people. My memory may not be 100%, but I still remember faces, even if the names escape me. Every once and a while a regret may pop up in my head over broken connections and bad impressions… but those things are a part of life.
On the literal side of things, a new bridge was recently built to replace an old one and make way for new power lines, here in Nowhere, Maine. (Buxton, to be precise.) It was the Bar Mills Bridge, built in 1936, that had to go. The green bridge, which closed July 11, is still being dismantled…
Large trucks (above a certain weight) were not permitted to use the old bridge, for obvious reasons. (Eighty years old.)
The new one was completed in November— a contract of 120 days.
On the metaphorical side, I have a real problem at building my own bridges. An Aspie who fell out of love with life, connecting with people has always been hard. But I must build. No man is an island. We must grow to live. At least professionally, we need relationships. Of course, there’s always some pain in the process, some kind of labor. And when a bridge fails, it can take part(s) of you down with it… But we need to exercise the right muscles; we need to try to repair and move on. Sometimes we can manage without a bridge somewhere, but every so often we must rebuild.
All of us come and go in our own time, and none of us are the same. What was sweet is bound to turn sour, so we must accept facts and learn to move on— forgive when it is time. Easier said than done sometimes. But if we can, in fact, never forget someone who no longer needs us… then why try to hold on if we’ll always remember?
Soon after crossing that new literal bridge over Saco River, and for the first time, my mother spotted some sheep. Or, at least they appear to be sheep…
She pulled over. It was quite sudden, but there was no traffic. And so I took the opportunity; I crossed the road, and approached the fence. And they, the sheep, were excited. They may have expected food (from strangers), considering they rose to see me. Needless to say, there was no intellectual conversation to be had. I said “hello,” and one of them immediately pooed. They all gradually turned their heads away. …Again, I’m not known for connecting very well with others. Noticing the dropping of “malted milk balls,” I said “okay,” and moved on to the other side of the barn. …And I’m sorry if I’ve caused you to never eat Whoppers® again.
On the other side of the barn, I got some baas. Click here for a video.
I could go into the metaphors of being a “sheep” and “don’t be like a sheep to the slaughter,” and stuff like that, but… nah. (Or na’ah’ah…) We’re all on our way to some place, and it’s not really my place to tell you, dear reader, what to think. I can, however, ask you to be honest with yourself, in good reason and good health.
Well, I got a lot of backlog of reading and writing to tend to. Until next time…