Family Time for Introspection

Got home last night after spending two days with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, and Cousin’s friends.  A great time for me as this is part of the support system that I have been blessed with.  I’ve been emotionally and mentally “off” in the past several days and while I hadn’t quite admitted it.  Not to others or probably more importantly not to myself.

I’m currently in a mental world where I have a few decisions to make, decisions I thought would never come to me.  None of these decisions are inherently bad just…  nuanced.  I was able to spend some time with our rag tag group discussing some of such decisions.  I also reached out to a chosen few friends for some advice and worked a couple of my “tools” on the subjects with some good results.  I will continue to work my tools and explore these thoughts until I have reached a comfortable place.

The good in life typically does not come from having balance but rather from returning to balance.

A very wise friend in the above group stated to me last night during a discussion that the good in life typically does not come from having balance but rather from returning to balance.  After discussing I honestly agree with this statement, returning to balance is a welcomed good feeling and often comes with a self examination recounting things that may have gone.

My sleep is still nowhere near where I would like it but after taking action on these items in my life needing decision and change I feel much more serene and prepared to face things in front of me.  Another discussion with a different friend resulted in advice to view myself in each situation I might end up in after a decision in a yes situation for a few days, and then in a no situation for some time, take some notes and compare.

Often while discussing emotions it becomes human nature to respond with “me too” and while a bit of that did happen for the most part I received solid input.  I value these people and the input I receive from them.  If I were to sum things up in a short statement it would read “I opened up and gained introspection”.  I’m not unhappy with the situation at all today and need to make more efforts to ask.

~J

 

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A Thought on Change

Sometimes change is scary but still a necessity…

It’s early morning and I find myself awake suddenly, sleep has been fairly elusive for me for as long as I can remember so it’s not a new sensation.  I found myself journaling on paper for the first time in a long time and decided to move some thoughts here as I wind down to go back to my bed and my snuggle pooch.

Uncomfortable Territory

Last night I went to an online community which I used to spend a lot of time with for a meeting (yes recovery related).  It has been a while since I’ve been to one of these meetings and I am incredibly well versed in this particular program thus I was hoping to work through one of the tools that I have been somewhat stuck on the last few days.  I found myself in uncomfortable territory as I knew absolutely nobody in a place where I used to be a fixture, part of me was happy to see so many new people seeking help but another part of me was somewhat depressed to see so many new people needing help.

In any case, I brought up what I was hoping to work on to little effect (my tool was much more advanced and most meetings at this particular site are geared towards early tools).  I sat through a good majority of the meeting but removed myself when I felt things were going south for me, the meeting started to tilt towards other methods used by other programs.  I thought it best to leave the meeting and let them do what they need to do as it was non productive for myself and possibly dangerous to others for me to stay.  I entered the public chat instead to see what other strange changes have happened.

I must bring up that years ago this particular community suffered a problem with a technology provider going south and a large number of us “fixtures” moved on to another platform as a stop-gap measure until things got figured out.  The organization that maintained this online community hit us with a lot of push back over the change taking it as a threat and as such a large rift was formed.  I will say that our stop-gap has become fairly permanent and while small our community is incredibly tight knit.  We have genuine concern for each other and it’s not uncommon for one of us to reach out to another when we suspect they need help.

In the public chat system of the old community I saw very few familiar faces, one of which I was very happy to see as I had not spoken with this person in a very very long time.  We had some very good conversation and we also managed to help guide two newcomers to help within that community.  I didn’t dare bring up our little side group for fear of the push back (banning, etc.) from the old community, I played it fairly straight forward.  While I never did accomplish getting past my “stuck” point in the tool that I am working I felt more emotionally calm and sound having possibly helped others.

I suppose the point of all this is that I was a part of a relatively strong and large community that simply changed, I felt incredibly uncomfortable last night as the old familiar feel of the community was gone.  Perhaps had I gone back sooner when they rebuilt the chat and meeting systems and let myself stay there I might have felt more comfortable with the change as it would have been more gradual.  Fact is, during the flux time of that community I myself was in a horrible flux time.  Fact is, I’m still experiencing a flux time though nowhere near as horrible.

Change, and seeing the results of change can often be incredibly scary.  I take comfort in the thought that both communities are still around at present and that both communities have no quam reaching out to those needing help.  I take pride in my knowledge of the tools and while my lack of using the tools in the past is depressing the thought that I am using the tools actively on a consistent basis currently gives me hope.  Will I once again haunt the pages and meetings of this older community that I was once a fixture in?  I cannot say for sure, at worst I will return now and then I suppose even if it’s just to refresh myself with a more dynamic group as our members are fairly fixed.

 I can take responsibility and utilize my own agency~~

I cannot say I like the changes I see, and in the case of the meetings being geared to early tools I am not a fan of the fact that some changes I feel are necessary have not happened.  The fact is communities like these exist for just that purpose to serve a community not to serve just me.  I can take responsibility and utilize my own agency to reach out to someone directly to help me with my more advanced tools.  I have to remember my goals and my responsibilities, it’s no longer a time to hide regardless of how uncomfortable with change I am.

The world is not going to stop for me, nor should it.  And I should not stop for any discomfort whether incredible or otherwise.  I have been blessed with a very large support system, many times many people have genuine concern for my well being and to ignore this fact any longer is a disservice to those that are there for me, as well as myself.  With that thought I will close and wander back to my bed and my pooch.

Tomorrow we should face whatever changes we need to with strength and understanding.

~J

First Morning and a Good Life

Life is good this morning, I woke at my normal 4:30 body clock time refreshed and ready for a good day.  Something was different though. Something good!

She heard me stir and came out front under the bed!  Still shy and timid but there she was with her amazing blue eyes and velvet ears waiting to go out.  I found a pooch after so much time.  I know it’s going to take a few days for her to adjust and understand that she now owns the place she’s no longer in a kennel where she’s spent most of her life.  She’s home, she’s where daily walks and hikes and cookies and cuddles are normal routine not just some thing a kid with a job needs to do.

My neighbors love her already, I can’t blame them she’s so sweet natured.  Aside from a propensity to explore my kitchen trash can she’s shown no signs of the destructiveness in her notes.  I purposely picked a pooch that needed work because it means I need to focus on something on someone.

She seems content so far to sleep under my bed, I suppose having been surrounded by crates all her life it gives a security.  Last night I too slept under my bed lol felt great on the back and my pillow didn’t move much she did lick now and then.

I have a very late shift today and thus more time with pooch, yesterday we did a short walk along the trails today maybe a longer run I want to again off leash her but I might have to wait.

For now as I cook my breakfast with Elise at my leg I have no complaints!!  In fact I’ve only felt this comfortable with my Akita my darling soja a man needs a pup.

A man needs a pup…..

~J

The Morning “Me”

I’ve found over the past few years that I have in fact become a “morning person”, often awake around 4:30-5AM shuffling to the kitchen to start coffee and checking the doorstep for my paper (which sadly has been showing up a bit later the last two days).  I’ve begun to love these times as a chance to practice some self care through a healthy breakfast (often two breakfasts over a few hours) and while I do live alone and in theory have plenty of “me” time to think and self reflect for some reason the mornings are the times that I seem to naturally do this.

Of course seeing Pikes Peak change colors from a dark ominous mountain to an amazing purple then slowly hues of oranges, reds, and yellows through my kitchen window as the sun rises provides an amazing sense of awe and a sense of peace as well.  I start up one of my many favorite podcasts or streams for background noise and pick through my paper as I wait for breakfast to cook sipping ample amounts of coffee and water, I do the dishes and return to my paper which is at least “skimmed” cover to cover and sometimes journal in my notebook or as is the case this morning I’ll blog some random thoughts.

This mornings thought is kind of funny and perhaps I’ll do some research on the subject.  Here in Colorado Springs our garbage services are privatized and all of them charge for recycling services.  I know people living in many other states get encouraged to recycle and are provided free recycling services and I wonder one big thing:

If Colorado is supposed to be so “green” why is it like this?

Now, I don’t drink much anything from a can or a plastic bottle (I use my water bottle, my camel back, or my coffee cup) so I do not really have much in the way of aluminum but with the paper and my cooking I generate plenty of tin cans and paper waste.  Our complex has a nifty dumpster right there but nothing in the way of recycling sadly and I’ve begun bagging my cans and papers with the intention of either plopping them in my aunts recycle container when I visit next or just taking it all to a recycling center about 3 miles away.

I begin to ask myself this morning what I am going to do when due to work schedule these bags of recyclables start piling up?  Do I stop recycling temporarily or get tired of tripping over the stuff and inevitably trash it?  And then there is the thought of whether or not recycling glass has much purpose sometimes?  An interesting factoid is that there are not too many uses for recycled glass, the primary being asphalt.  When road construction is on a down turn centers end up with surplus glass somewhat defeating the purpose.

Yesterday I wrote about a fertilizer made from food waste, the primary subject was more along the lines of simply cleaning my fridge and using the fertilizer to hopefully grow a garlic that was sprouting but now I wonder what ideas might be out there for glass recycling?  I often re-use my sauce jars for other things but on a larger scale I’m curious if anyone else out there has ideas and uses for these harder to recycle items?

Let me know your thoughts

~J

The Colorado Classic

Today the west side was buzzing as was downtown but many people simply could not get anywhere.  The Colorado classic is a crazy bike race with 93.5 miles done in Colorado Springs.  Roads on the west side were closed and luckily I was able to get out of my neighborhood without too much trouble.  Apparently the day was filled with live music, food, games, the whole bit and of course a peloton!

I wish I didn’t have to work actually as Death Cab for Cutie was here but such is life.  There was much to do earlier in the week as they had to axe Lance Armstrong as a face for the event as it would violate his restrictions.  Not that I care I suppose in fact I find it incredibly hilarious that his former coach Chris Carmichael has his business based out of Colorado Springs, it’s just up the road and I’ve actually done work for them in the past.

I’m not big on cycling so I suppose it really doesn’t make much difference to me but I’m always glad to see city wide events happen here.  Call it pride for my city?  I mean where else can one have such an amazing view, fairly mild weather most the time, and 360 days of sunshine?  I love my home.

~J

The Elusion (Illusion?) of Sleep

So here I lie in bed after tossing and turning for the last few hours wondering if sleep will come at any decent amount tonight.  I’m sure it will and luckily I have no commitments tomorrow morning so I can attempt to sleep in.  The last two nights have been good to me in regards to more than 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep even though last night was a late one tossing and turning to actually get to sleep.  Looks like tonight might well be a repeat with me falling asleep in the early morning and waking up at my usual “sleep in” time of 7:30-8:30.

Typically my body clock wakes me up around 4:30 regardless of what time I fall asleep or what I have on my plate.  I have my routine:

  • Start coffee
  • Use Restroom
  • Smoke and enjoy the early morning air
  • Drink coffee and start breakfast (usually homemade hash browns, eggs, whatever)
  • Eat breakfast while checking email, job boards, whatever
  • Start day…..

That third one…. I need to avoid that third one now.  The good news is that it will get better I know this, the better news is I have a perfect view of the Rockies and Pikes Peak in particular from my kitchen window.  This is going to be my driver for no longer devastating my lungs in an attempt to sedate my nerves and satisfy whatever oral fixation I have.  I want to summit that fourteener this time next year and despite my love of hiking and outdoors I wouldn’t even attempt it in the piss poor shape I am in.

So despite my lack of sleep, and my low frustration tolerance (LFT is an interesting part of rational emotive behavioral therapy or REBT that I should probably revisit while I munch breakfast) I feel quite at peace right now.  Might be a real timely refresher to help me avoid the urge to asphyxiate my edginess with tobacco smoke.

A follower (and one of my favorite bloggers that I follow) DawnSeeker left a link for me in a comment on my last posting that was quite an amazing story about not just a noodle house but also human strength and I’ll be honest I had tears as I neared the end of it.  Maybe I’m just overly emotional lately well, okay I am but still it was quite an inspiring read and I think this lent a hand to my peaceful attitude.

I’ve been thinking about my recent online activities and habits lately and figure maybe I’ll plop some thoughts out in a post (more for me than you dear reader it helps me process, sorry) so away we go!

I used to spend a lot of time reading news, keeping tabs on several online forums and chats, and oh that Facebook thing… I never thought I would be pumping out random blog posts let alone following other bloggers as I do now.  While the blogs I read are small in number and honestly I don’t exactly have a massive amount of followers I find that the blogs I do read are relevant and thought provoking for me.  I rarely check the news and the only chat I do now is my support group which is also small (also by design) I no longer Facebook, and anything I do online is through my phone directly or using it as a hotspot.  I’ve no other connectivity here not even television.

Thinking about this right now makes me chuckle, in a world where everyone is incredibly connected here I am an ex IT specialist with no high speed cable modem tucked into the corner of his apartment.  I seek content based on quality and no longer immerse myself with information overload.  I cannot say that life is better or worse as a direct result as I’ve created plenty of my own problems that I am working to repair but I can say that at this moment I find myself thinking slightly clearer despite the lack of sleep.  I find that the things I do choose to read are much more inspiring and much less depressing and I’m glad for that.

So I think it’s time for some specific goal setting don’t you??  Ready for another list?

  • Get a page up with links to some of my favorite blogs
  • DONT SMOKE!
  • Keep working towards a more fitting career
  • DONT DRINK!
  • Continue eating healthy

Oh… and fall asleep soon, that’s a biggie!

And in case anybody is wondering Echo, the pooch I blogged about the other day…. was the featured dog on the Pikes Peak Humane Society website today and is no longer available for adoption.  Bittersweet for me as I really liked that pooch but I’m glad someone else did too and I hope she found a forever home that is good to her.

Sweet Dreams

~J

P.S. you can learn more about REBT at the Albert Ellis site and Smart Recovery and I’d love to share one of my favorite blog posts from Dawn about welcoming failure that I’ve read a few times (I should probably click like one of these days).

The Miracle (and Curse) of Modern Technology

Poking around today looking for the next career I found myself getting incredibly frustrated.  It seems more and more every application is done online and many of them have accompanying “personality” tests.  Whatever happened to a handshake and an application directly to an employer.  How does one prove his or herself to a prospective company without the capacity for face time?

While it’s somewhat of a boon that we can fire off resume’s and applications like a scattergun from the comfort of our living rooms, there’s just no more heart in it.  I find it quite sad that through technology many of us have lost the personal touch.  People lock themselves indoors on computers or sit at the dinner table with a face buried in a phone.  No longer do we make conversation or value community connection and while we seem to possess more communications capabilities than ever before in history we rarely actually communicate.

Just  some thoughts to ponder today and maybe reflect on how we can improve our communities simply through paying just a little more attention to those around us.

~J