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Monday, July 10, 2017

Odds and Ends on an (Almost) Rainy Day

I was writing a grocery list and thought about needing small note pads as I'm a "scribbler" and need something to scribble on working or playing.  All of a sudden I was "hit" with the smell and feel of opening that three-ring binder filled with new notebook paper on the first day of school.  Elementary school as we did not have Middle Schools and it assuredly was not the way I felt in High School.

I know aromas can trigger dormant memories but this was not an aroma.  It was just a random thought.  I suppose it is quite normal but that mental "smell" made me think of how badly I wasted my childhood.

My childhood was not what anyone would call ideal and my fondest dream was getting to be old enough to get away from my parents.  I expect that is pretty common among kids and, mostly they outgrow it.  I never did.  I never got away from them then and, I suspect, I have not completely gotten away from them now.  Their hands reach out to my mind, my memories, my sanity from beyond the grave.

It is wonderful how sights, sounds and smells can bring back vivid memories of the past.  Seems even idle thoughts can do the same.

Those kind of moments take one back to some distant place and time as though it were yesterday.  Plants "what if" seeds in ground which has lain fallow for many years.  I know there is no going back but I cannot help longing at times for what might have been.

But that is neither here not there as the past is only real in our memories and, sometimes, not even then.

But, this just brings me to the thoughts I am having today.  I go to a psychiatrist every 30 - 60 days.  One of the questions she always ask is if I have thoughts of "hurting" myself or others.  I always laugh at her and tell her, "If I were to kill myself you can be sure I'd do it in the least painful possible".  Sometimes I hate euphemisms.

While having no thoughts or plans to do away (another euphemism) with myself I find a growing indifference to whether I wake up the next morning when I go to sleep at night.  I told her a couple of visits ago that while I had no thoughts of suicide, should I go to bed knowing I would not wake up the next morning, I would still get a good night's sleep.  Well, as long as it lasted.

Kind of like Dr. Timothy Leary I am finding I'm curious about what lies ahead.  Is it "something" or is it "nothing"? Only one way I know to find out.

Although, it reminds me of an old song, "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die".  Seems to me there are an awful lot of people who don't really believe in Heaven though they would never admit it.  If Heaven is a real place and completely wonderful, why does everyone cling to life like a drowning man clutching at straws?

On the other hand, if one ever expects humanity to make sense, one is in for a sure disappointment.  We humans are strange creatures.  If I were god I'd send another flood to cleanse the planet and would not provide any Noah.    But, that is just me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Listening to Watermelon Wine

A song by Tom T. Hall who came from a place in Kentucky
where I came from.  As you might guess it includes watermelon wine.

I've always enjoyed listening to this song.  But, recently, I've been listening to it in a different state of mind.  Used to be it was just a good song to listen to.  I'm now at an age where the whole song has changed for me.

They called Tom T. the "Story Teller".  He was definitely not the typical country singer/songwriter.  His songs are really just stories put to music.  I highly recommend going back through the years of his music.  Or just keep listening to the link as it goes through a play list.

I don't know if I can explain the change.  It is assuredly not the song which has changed so it must be me.   Seems to me it must be age and health.

My body and mind are going south at an ever increasing pace.  I've already stopped driving except when I absolutely have to.  I have a growing inability to focus on anything.

That includes work.  I've made more serious and dumb mistakes in the past year than in the 26 which preceded it.  I have been trying to work until I am 66.  That is a little under three years.  I don't think I'm going to make it.

Truthfully, I don't understand why they haven't gotten rid of me before now.  The way things are going I think it is now a race between retirement and dismissal.

I'm always exhausted even after a long night's sleep.  Been this way for about two years with occasional stretches of lucidity.

I don't show it much before around 2:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon.  I owe a lot to my team lead who is also a real friend.  I think she has be somewhat protecting me.  But, even she admitted to me she had noticed the changes.  Letting things slip, forgetting things.  Not complicated things, just normal every day things I've done for years.

Maybe that is why the meaning of this old song's change was due to age an infirmity.  I more and more relate to that "old, gray, black gentleman" and less and less to the song writer.

My wife has noticed a lot of changes as well.  She would as she spends the most time with me.  Does not matter when it is, work, games, reading the news I tend to just spend a lot of time just sitting here in my home office chair rocking.  No idea about anything.  Mind mostly in a semi unaware state.

I do know about 18 months ago I had a massive amount of work hit me at once and I was the only one who could do it.  Multiple 70+ hour weeks.  Weekends were just markings on the calendar.  My MD suggested I retire if I could or at least cut back my hours.

No way I could do either.  Just the nature of my job and the expensives of living.  I really don't think I ever fully recovered from that state of exhaustion.

I don't know it that is even possible.  I do know for months and months I have been getting out of bed in the mornings just as tired (or more) as I was when I went to sleep.

I really can't do anything which requires physical effort.  Not because I'm particularly weak or anything.  I just get over heated so easily and when that happens I get completely nauseated.  And, it doesn't take much  to get me overheated.  I have a difficult time just walking through the grocery store for normal weekly shopping.  And to even survive it I have to take nausea medication before I go.

And, even with the nausea it will just hit out of the blue.  A couple of weeks ago I was taking the garbage container to the road, not a very long trip.  I had just finished a bottle of cold water and I was vomiting it back up at about every step.

Truthfully, I expect to be in a "home" withing just a few years.  Whether it is a "nursing" home or one  of the "funeral" types remains to be seen.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Just Some Random Thoughts on Reaching Sixty-Three

I reached age 63 back in early December of 2016.  I don't really do birthdays.  Guess that is something which lingers from my childhood.  Never had any holidays.  Never had Christmas or Birthday anything at all.  Really, that is neither her nor there.  Holidays mean nothing at all to me.  Neither do birthday.  To me, holidays are just one day I don't have to work.   That is present enough.

But what got me to thinking in was which resulted in this post is a very dear friend of mine whom I went to school with at Mayo.  Her mother is on dialysis and lat time they discovered a blood clot in her leg which was not operable due to infection.  Her Mom had her leg amputated up to the hip.

Reminds me of both my wife and my aunt.  My aunt was a diabetic many years ago when the disease was much less understood.  I can't recall how old I was when she had to have her foot amputate and then passed away less than a month later.  But, I can still see in my mind those dark, scaled legs she walked on.  I have hopes for a better result for my friend's Mom.

It has gotten me to remember those older than me, the same age and even those younger than me who have died.

There is a photo on Face Book of a class in the old Richardson, Ky school.  Back in the days when there were still one room schools.It popped  up as history in my Face Book feed.  I sat looking at them to see how  many I recognized then started counting all of them who were dead.  Not the most uplifting exercise I suppose.

So many in my own age group, older and even younger are gone now.  Tends to make one wonder about the chances we are born into.  Those chances will influence our lives from beginning to end.  That along with peer pressure and many other factors.  Still, it occurs to me, every time you have a child you have just created a human being doomed to die.  From a child's first breath it is just a downhill roller coaster to the great darkness beyond.

Way too many at such a "young" age.  But, our family has some seriously bad genetics.   While I do love my children and grandchildren I can't help from feeling guilty in passing genes so prone to both physical and mental problems along to another generation or two.  Guess when we are young and still think we are immortal we just don't think about such things.

My psychiatrist always asks me if I have feelings of wanting to hurt myself or others.  I always laugh at her and tell her if I intend to kill myself it will be in the least painful manner possible.  I can't see why anyone would want to hurt themselves.  After all, the great source of suicidal thoughts is pain.  Mental, emotional or physical people who don't have a great degree of pain don't want to exit this world before they have to.

Suicide is such a permanent solution to problems which are more then likely temporary.  However, I can see when things are permanent with no possibility of getting better how one would do anything to stop the pain.  Cancer which cannot be helped leaving one in such pain their life is constant agony.  I can definitely see suicide for them as, not a tragedy (the disease was the tragedy) but a relief from hell on earth.

Oh well, so much for today's morbid thoughts.  Just so sad so many people who played so large a part in my life have passed on and I'm still here.  Roll of the dice or some purpose?  Interesting thing to think about.