12 December 2017

Dreamer’s World December 11, 2017 – Getting Some Help At Work

    Working from home means that I get to enjoy a lot of little things that I would miss out on if I was at an office. This morning, I was visited by one of my supervisors, also known as The Stooges, and I took the time to get a picture of how Stevie Nicks inspects me while I am working.
    Stevie Nicks arrived in the bedroom, slowly walked around and observed everything, and then perched herself on the edge of the bed to review my performance. Fortunately, she agreed to have her picture made to show everyone out there how an elegant supervisor checks on her employees. Unlike some supervisors, Stevie Nicks is always ready for a photograph. She is always elegant and graceful and carries herself with a certain charm that is so rare.
    I am glad to report that Stevie Nicks found no problems with my work. She exited the room with casual grace. I found myself thinking about how lucky I am to work from home and have a supervisor like Stevie Nicks.

Dreamer’s World December 11, 2017 – Happiness Is Unexpected Laughter

    Laughter has been described as the best medicine for life and its struggles. I find that this is a very true statement, especially at this time of the year. With everyone stressing out over the holidays, laughter seems to be in short supply. We seem to be far too busy with things to ever observe life and find the things that will make us laugh. Personally, I know people who find the idea of taking time to enjoy life as something that they cannot do. They are too focused on their own priorities and deadlines to enjoy the time that they have. There will always be enough work and pressure to go around, I find that taking some time to laugh and enjoy life makes everything else go much more smoothly.

    Each day I try to find something pleasant to take my mind off of the routine things that always demand my attention. The Stooges often make me laugh. I envy them their carefree lives, where the only stress is the imagined fear that they will not be fed on time. I wish that my own life was as relaxed as theirs.

Dreamer’s World December 11, 2017 - Courtesy

    I read an article this weekend about how we interact with technology. One part really struck me because it described something that I do all of the time. Since we have a Google Home Mini here in the apartment, I find myself saying “Please” and “Thank You” whenever some task that I randomly ask for is accomplished. Does this make me crazy? I don’t think so, it just makes me courteous.
    I try to be courteous to everyone I meet. It is a sign of respect that I give, and I expect it in return. Courtesy is a nice thing to have, but it also indicates what type of person we are. If courtesy happens without prompting, it gives a positive impression. If courtesy is absent or forced, a more negative perception is given.
    Courtesy is a gateway to communication. It relaxes an interaction and usually promotes a feeling of relaxation when it is used. I am not referring to any “enforced” courtesy that some people have to provide as a part of their job. In fact, the “enforced” courtesy usually comes across as fake and is very easy to detect. Genuine courtesy is a pleasure to give and receive, although it is not always reciprocated.
    When I use courtesy to my Google Home Mini, I know that it will not respond in the same way towards me. I thank that this is something that AI will correct in the future. As our lives become more dependent on technology, it is vital that we do not become accustomed to just barking out orders and treating everyone and everything around us as nothing more than tools for our own benefit.

    A little more courtesy would make this world a better place.

08 December 2017

Dreamer’s World December 07, 2017 - Perceptions

    Perception is a funny thing. We often base our opinion on something visual due to our initial impression of what we think we see. This was made very clear after I took a picture of Hal The Cat yesterday. I caught him as he was waking up on the couch. He was stretching and trying to yawn and meow at the same time.
    When I saw the picture, I was stunned at what I saw. In the picture, Hal looks completely evil, as if he was posing for a Halloween picture. In fact, Hal The Cat was actually in a great mood and only this photo snapped at this one moment in time would give the impression of the CAT FROM HELL!
    How often do we catch something at precisely the wrong moment when we are forming an opinion? The perception we form will determine how we will choose to interact with the person or object going forward. Hal The Cat is a creampuff, but someone seeing this image of him without the proper context would think that he is evil, and nothing could be further from the truth.

07 December 2017

Dreamer’s World December 07, 2017 – Hectic Week Returns To Normal

    This week has been extremely busy up until now. Monday was almost normal, but I had to make sure that everything was up to date because I was taking the day off on Tuesday for a medical appointment as well as taking Hal to one of his own. We now have the same physician, and that makes things easier since Hal can no longer drive.
    We made the best of the day together after the morning appointments. I had to fast before my appointment, and that always puts me in a very foul mood. Luckily, both of our appointments were early, and we were finished by 0800. After a late breakfast, we decided to take a trip to IKEA since we could avoid the traffic. I am surprised that we didn’t by more stuff than we did. We walked out with only a few items that were inexpensive. Afterwards, we stopped for a late lunch and returned home for a quiet night.
    Wednesday was the day for the company holiday party. This meant that I had to commute to the weekly meeting with the client and then travel to the party in the afternoon rather than coming back home for work. I didn’t mind the time at the party, but it did make getting home in the late afternoon an adventure. Luckily, one of the employees from the other company groups lives reasonably close, so he let me ride with him to get back to my car since it allowed him to use HOV for the trip. I made it home around 1800 and spent the rest of the evening with Hal And The Stooges.
    Today I have been making sure that everything is all set for my morning meeting. Once that is over with, I have the regular round of afternoon meetings to sit through before finishing the day. I don’t think that we will be going anywhere or doing anything after work, but I am prepared just in case.
    Tomorrow I will take Hal to his eye doctor appointment in the morning. I will be working remotely with my laptop during that time, so there should be no problem with staying productive. Thankfully, Friday is also my early day at work, and I will be finished at 1430, so I can then start my weekend. Of course, that involves taking Hal to and from work both Saturday and Sunday, but I am used to that routine.

    There are times when I wish that things would happen to break up the routine. When they do occur, I find myself scrambling to accommodate those changes. I guess this proves that I am never satisfied, even when things are going well. Perhaps I should be more grateful for the life that I have, rather than wishing for something else with no guarantees of happiness.

04 December 2017

Dreamer’s World December 04, 2017 - Deadlines

    “I guess Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.” This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie “Airplane 2, ” and it instantly sprang to mind this morning when I combined the start of work with the daily picture of Snoopy And The Gang. I found myself with an unexpected deadline looming over me. This was the result of decisions made at the company offices in California on Friday afternoon their time, long after I had completed my own work week here on the East Coast.
    I made up my mind that the topic for today would be Deadlines. Then I walked into the other room to arrange Snoopy And The Gang for their picture, and when I turned over the daily notecard, I was presented with “Happiness Is A New Day” staring back at me. I found myself smiling at the irony of the situation where someone could institute a deadline for Friday that I would not see until Monday.
    How they will deal with my alleged tardiness in completing the assignment is not my concern. This is far from the first time that something like this has happened to me. I am not a person who normally stresses over a deadline, and today was no exception. I wonder how people live when they constantly put pressure on themselves and others with arbitrary deadlines?
    I am a Type B personality, but I do like to stay ahead of things to avoid the daily stress of having deadlines imposed on me. It gives me time to be more creative if I am not continually responding to these deadlines. I get more done each day by taking things at my own pace and staying ahead of things.

    Deadlines might prove useful to some people, but I am not one of them.

02 December 2017

Dreamer’s World December 01, 2017 – Happiness Is Being Yourself

    December has arrived at last. I am amazed at how quickly this year has passed. With all of the turmoil in the world, we seemed to jump from one crisis to another without a break. The RWNJ lunatics have attempted to destroy the world by following the marching orders of Der RumpenFuhrer, and that will not change in 2018. We can only hope to continue resisting until the elections and then throw them out of Congress. I hope that will be the case, but I learned a long time ago that stupid people are hard to reason with. The combination of religion, fear and hatred is very potent and too many people would rather swallow that toxic mixture than think for themselves and see what is really going on around them.
    On a personal level, my decision to boycott the news has paid off for me. I still have my opinions and beliefs, but I am not constantly being thrown into emotional chaos by the media. I just told Hal that I will NOT listen to Der RumpenFuhrer just because he is speaking. Giving him attention just makes him worse. I cannot change things by myself, but I know that millions of Americans agree with me. Preserving my personal sanity is the first objective of surviving these difficult times.
    Since today is Friday, I am looking forward to the weekend. While there are no big plans since Hal will be working, I am probably going to contact a guitar teacher about taking lessons starting next year. While I am not 100% certain that I will do this, it is on my list of things to consider. I will keep practicing on my own for the time being and see how well it goes and how much progress I can make between now and 2018.
    The day at work has been a slow one. This comes as no surprise since it is Friday, I just hope that it stays slow for the rest of the day. I got everything done that I had scheduled, and unless something comes up after people arrive on the West Coast, I should be able to get through to quitting time without any trouble.

    After work, I hope to get out with Hal and do some grocery shopping and perhaps look at some tech toys at Best Buy. I am still waiting for word on the release date for the Google Home Max. I read an article yesterday that it will be available on December 11, but that is not confirmed. I can afford to wait since that doesn’t cost me any money.

01 December 2017

Dreamer’s World November 30, 2017 – Caring

    We live in such an insulated world. We can create our own realities and shut out those around us with all of our technology, but does that really matter when it comes to those people and pets that are closest to us?
    After I started work this morning, I heard one of the Stooges, Spartacus, meowing from the other room. Hal (person) heard the same thing, and we both instantly detached ourselves from our own little worlds and arrived at the same time to find that Spartacus had been sick. He had vomited on the carpet and the other Stooges, Stevie Nicks and Hal The Cat, were already near his side. Thankfully, Spartacus was okay after his accident, but the quick response from all of us made me realize how much we all care about each other. All of us had dropped whatever we were doing to come and check on the one who was in trouble, and that is what caring is all about.
    This is a microcosm of the world, of course, but it does show that we still have empathy for those around us if we respond to our instincts. Sadly, we too often try to diagnose and rationalize things, so we don’t have to react or care. This is a particular trait of people rather than animals.
    Think about the response we have when we see someone who is homeless. We react not with our basic human instinct to see if we can help, we will rationalize to find ways not to get involved. We ignore our instincts and create the world that we now inhabit. This is a world where we attempt to control and compartmentalize everything around us. We have created our new “normal” and centered everything around ourselves rather than the world we actually live in.
    If you have ever been in public and witnessed an accident or someone in distress, you see the struggle take place. Some people will respond instinctively and try to help while others will stand by and observe because they cannot shake themselves back to reality. The aftermath of these incidents is when you notice how everyone eventually talks to each other about what they witnessed, how they tried to help or failed to, and how it has affected them.
    It is this fundamental human communication and interaction that we all crave. It is a tragedy that in our modern world that something out of the ordinary is required to make us act as we should. The emotional release is visible as people respond to each other. Sadly, the veils soon drop down to cover our faces once again, and we return to our own little worlds.

    Caring for each other is not a political issue. It does not require some type of external judgment. Caring for each other is merely the right thing to do at all times because it allows us to be who we are intended to be.

30 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 29 2017 – Happiness Is Being Well-Liked


    Snoopy And The Gang presented me with a real question when I took the daily picture. Is it okay to be well-liked? This is a tough question for me. I have never sought acceptance from large numbers of people. I prefer to have a few really close friends who like me in the most genuine way rather than being well-liked by a large number of people who really don’t know me that well.
    I realize that I feel differently than many people, but I suppose it comes from my own background. As a child, I was taught to be self-sufficient and not to compromise myself for someone else's benefit. When I took part in activities in school, it was because it was something that I wanted to do, not because I felt that I had to do it to be or to remain, popular. Whenever I see a movie about high school, I can quickly identify with the cliques that form among people. I was always on the outside, but I was not struggling to gain admittance to those cliques. I was happy with myself and the choices I made. I have remained that way throughout my life. I am grateful that my parents instilled a healthy sense of ego in me. It has served me well ever since.
    I have always maintained a small number of friends. They come and go as life dictates, and I accept it and keep on moving. It is never easy to lose a friend, but I accept it for what it is, and I don’t look back. I know that there will be new friends who I have not met yet and that I will be “well-liked” as I feel the same towards them.

    As for Snoopy And The Gang, it is important to be “well-liked”, but it is not the quantity of friends that we have, it is the quality of those friends. That is what helps to define “Happiness”.

29 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 28, 2017 – Happiness Is Hearing A Favorite Tune

    Once again, Snoopy And The Gang have come to my inspirational rescue this morning. I saw the card about hearing a favorite tune and realized that there is no way I can select less than 100 “favorite” tunes. My musical taste is too varied, and I find myself switching genres multiple times a day.
    I varied my morning routine today. Instead of waking up and then sitting down at the computer, I forced myself out into the chilly air for a nice walk and covered just over a mile. I feel better as a result. I knew that I would, I have just neglected to do this because I had gotten lazy.The people I usually interact with are all late arrivers at work, so the time taken for the walk has no impact on things.
    Back to the topic of tunes. I had several flying through my mind as I walked. I didn’t take my headphones with me, that is something I will try to remember the next time I venture out. When I got back home, the first thing I did was to hit my Google Music on random play, and I am now enjoying an eclectic mix of everything except C&W. I have to admit that I just don’t like C&W at all. Each song that I hear takes me to a different unique time and place in my life. The circumstances are too personal and far too complex to retell here, but I am sure that you know what I mean.
    One of my favorite artists has to be The Cure. I always have such vivid memories when I hear their songs. There are days when I can just put The Cure on random play and the hours just melt away. I love their lyrics and melodies, many of which have a haunting quality to them. Listen to “I Will Always Love You,” and you will know what I mean.

    One of the best purchases I made recently was the Google Home Mini because it allows me to control what I am listening to with my voice rather than having yet another remote control here on my desktop.
    I have had so much fun with the Google Home Mini that Hal ended up getting one for himself, and he loves it as well. I am eagerly waiting for the Google Home Max to arrive in December.
Image result for google home max

    I am willing to incur this expense because I love my tunes and want to have the best experience with them when I am home working and relaxing. The Google Home Max will just allow me to get a better system on which to listen to my tunes.

28 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 27, 2017 – Holiday Recovery Syndrome

    I was so excited to have Hal home on Friday that I neglected this blog. No earth-shattering tragedy, to be sure, but I was actually happy to not write due to pleasant circumstances for a change. In the past, I would let the blog slip for multiple reasons, most of which were neutral when it comes to how they affected my life. Exhaustion was the most common reason for skipping a day or two. In hindsight, that sounds more like an excuse than a real reason, but what is done is done, and I can only move forward from here.
    Hal had a great time in Philadelphia, and I was glad to hear all about the stories he brought back. I paid attention to each and every word until he saw me looking at him and asked: “What is the matter with you?”. I told him that I was just overjoyed to have him home again. He smiled, and that was all that I needed.
    I am glad that Thanksgiving is behind us. Now the xmas holiday rushes towards us at full speed. I honestly don’t need anything, but I know that Hal will get me something and so I will get him something as well. Right now, there are no plans for Hal to travel again, but I know that can change rapidly, and so I must always prepare for another holiday on my own.

    Today, the standard work week returns. There is a slight change since I have an appointment this afternoon and will shift 1 hour from today to tomorrow. Other than that, this will be a full work week once again. I have enough to keep me busy at work.

21 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 21, 2017 – Randomness

    I woke up this morning as usual. I measured my BG and then went to the kitchen and found that Snoopy And The Gang had received a visit from at least one of The Stooges last night. The little cards that Snoopy works so hard on at his typewriter were all over the counter and the floor. As I thought about the card, I used for my post yesterday I knew that there was no way that I could ever get them back into whatever order they had been in before, so I just randomly picked them up and placed them back at the typewriter.
    As I did this, I was struck by the inspiration that Snoopy And The Gang so often provide me. As much as we try to organize our lives, there will always be a necessary amount of random chance that we have to deal with. When I looked at the cards I had placed back at the typewriter, the first one talked about Happiness Is Wherever You Call Home. This was the perfect thing to get my imagination up and running for the day.
    I channeled the morning events into my day. I talked with Hal after he woke up about what we will do once work is over with this afternoon since he will be leaving for Philadelphia tomorrow morning. By this means that I once again face Thanksgiving here on my own. Some randomness is a good thing because it makes us realize what it means to be alive. I know that there are instances when this is unwelcome, and I don’t welcome sad or unpleasant interruptions to my life. I refer to times when we have to adjust our lives to things that upset the daily routine.

    I am taking the message from Snoopy And The Gang and embracing whatever happens today. It feels good to be alive.

20 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 20, 2017 – Trying To Get Things Back To Normal

    One of the most terrible things about being diabetic is the day-to-day struggle to keep my blood glucose under control. Every day can be a challenge, and I have to face them without flinching. There are times when I have noticed that the change in seasons drastically affects me. I will have my BG under control, and then it will go berserk on me.
    This fall has been tough for me. As I adjusted to a new doctor after a search that produced several disasters, I noticed that my readings were going high longer than they normally would this time of year. Around this time, I also had to deal with my insurance changing from one company to another. This necessitated a change in my medications, and that certainly didn’t help matters.
    The new doctor prescribed a different medication than the one I had been on. Also, the time to take it changed from bedtime to first thing in the morning. The resulting readings really depressed me. I followed the instructions to increase the dosage until things were back under control. I am almost there, but there is still some tinkering to do with the dosage to finalize things. At least I am making progress. The last adjustment really seemed to help me out, so one more change should do it for me.

    The biggest thing is that as I get back to normal BG readings, I have to remind myself that how I feel now is how I am supposed to feel. It is hard to explain. I hope that things calm down and things do get back to the way they should be.

Dreamer’s World November 20, 2017 – Focusing On A Slow Week

    Snoopy And The Gang aren’t that helpful today. I always have a good hair day since I shave my head, and so I am forced to find another topic to write about. There is some news this morning about Hal (person). He is going to visit family in Philadelphia this week for Thanksgiving. I will be taking him to Metro on Wednesday morning, and he will be returning sometime Friday evening. I was not completely surprised by this, although I had hoped that he would be here so we could spend the holiday together. As Hal gets older, so do his relatives. I cannot blame him for wanting to see them and spend time with them.
    On the other hand, I will never be spending time with my own extended family because we are just not close at all, either physically or emotionally. I will revert to my standby plan and spend Thanksgiving with The Stooges. I will work through Wednesday and then again on Friday since I won't be traveling anywhere. That allows me to save my vacation time for better weather. Since I work from home, it isn't a real inconvenience to me at all. The team that I am part of is already dissolving with people starting their own holiday plans. By Wednesday, things will be very quiet at work, and I won't be subjected to all of the normal emails and phone calls.
    Learning to roll with the punches like this is part of being in a relationship and making it last. Hal and I will both be thinking of Nicola and her kids this week because we went to visit them almost every Thanksgiving from 2002-2016 as well as xmas gatherings. Nicola is back in Scotland now along with Connor. Brianna is a beautiful young woman away at college and busy creating her own life. I will reach out to Nicola via text or email this week to let her know that we are thinking of her.

    As for today, I am attending the conference calls and making my way through the day. I will get to the grocery store at some point today and stock up on things before the last minute Thanksgiving rush hits. I have to take Hal to work this evening and then pick him up, and after that, it will be time for what I hope will be a good night of sleep.

Dreamer’s World November 19, 2017 – Happiness Is Writing Your Own Story Each Day

    Once again, Snoopy And The Gang have come to my rescue. Every day is a story to tell if we only take the time and effort to recognize and appreciate it. I have often struggled with ideas for my blog, and I have fallen off the daily posting habit that I was in for a long time. I felt like I was simply repeating myself, but that is just part of the story of my life. I needed to focus on the things that happen to me each and every day and let those things write themselves.
 After a busy day yesterday that included dealing with a terribly painful charlie horse cramp, I made it an early evening and didn’t stay up late. This made Hal question me because I normally stay up late on Saturday night. I told him that the Charlie horse cramp felt much better after he massaged it for 15 minutes (and it truly did), but that I just wanted to go to bed and get some rest. I took him to work and picked him up yesterday, and I will be doing the same again today. That is the weekend routine that I have, minus the cramp, and I am adjusted to it, but that doesn’t mean that I cannot make a slight change every now and then.
    The only new thing is that I have a new blood glucose meter to try out this morning. I will see how the readings are compared to the old one and then make up my mind about which one to keep. I do believe that technology keeps improving, and I do want the most accurate readings that I can get.
    I took Hal to work, and then I toyed with the idea of going somewhere for brunch. I decided against it and just came back home to write and spend time with The Stooges. Some people might find this routine rather boring, but I know from experience that there are far worse ways to occupy my time. I am no longer lonely. I spent far too many years alone, and that took its toll on me. When I met Hal, it took a while for me to open up entirely and to settle down into a real relationship. Now, nearly 18 years later, I can honestly say that I have never been happier.
    Even the time with The Stooges is a joy. Although they are all asleep, I find being around them very comforting. I would not change my life for anything. I can relax and have this time to appreciate things rather than being caught up in some endless and futile chase of something that I think I want.
    After I picked Hal up from work, we came home and relaxed. We ended the evening watching movies together on the couch along with The Stooges. A great weekend finally came to an end.

    

18 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 17, 2017 – Happiness Is Being A Little Quirky

    Once again, Snoopy And The Gang have inspired me for today's blog post. I find it refreshing to be a little quirky from time to time. OK, probably more like being always quirky, but that is part of the adventure we call life. Life is too short to be spent conforming every single minute we all need the spontaneity and the serendipity to spice things up and make things more interesting.
    Last night, I went with Hal to look for a new suit. I found one that was conformative enough, but of course, I had to find something that will make the suit stand out. I decided to purchase a pair of bright red suspenders to go with the gray suit. The sales lady at Macy's looked rather surprised when I emerged from the fitting room with the new ensemble. With a smile, she said that she liked the look. It was bold and unique, and that was something that she seldom saw when men came in to try on and purchase new suits. I knew at that point that I had made the right decision.
    I felt thrilled with my new suit and suspenders, and I am looking forward to seeing the reactions when I visit the client on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving. It won't be to everyone’s taste, but I didn’t buy it for everyone, I bought it for me. I remember advice from my parents and also from Hal that it is always best to give people something to talk about instead of them finding something on their own. Being a little quirky has its advantages.
    Conformity is something that I consciously try to avoid. I had my time in the Navy, and that convinced me that I had to be more expressive. In fact, it is one of the reasons that I started this blog, and today I feel that it is truly fulfilling its purpose in my life. I want to make my life as much of an adventure as I possibly can and to have a great time doing so.

    I learned years ago that the opinion of others is important, but it is more important that those opinions be of me and my individuality rather than how well I conform.

14 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 14, 2017 – Producing A Monster Like Roy Moore

    The news has been full of the story about Roy Moore. I believe the accusations against him because I was taught in my own childhood that someone who claims to be “Holier Than Thou,” is usually just full of shit, and far worse than those he persecutes. I am saddened by the stories of the women that this man has molested and abused. I believe that there are more stories to come shortly, and they need to be told.
    Some people have wondered how such a monster can exist without being punished. I grew up in a small town in Kentucky, and I can attest to the power of denial. The only solution is to get out. Eventually, the outside world will find out about the local secrets when someone like Moore embraces the spotlight. When a monster like Roy Moore lives the double life of a pedophile and respectable citizen, it is amazing how many people will ignore the monster. Add in the public embrace of the religious dogma and Roy Moore manages to get away with his crimes and no one speaks up.
    It comes as no surprise that it took outside investigators to find out the sordid details about Moore. The culture of silence is strong when someone well-known is involved. The first thing that many will think is that outsiders are trying to destroy a local person who has embraced something like religion, regardless of their own ugly behavior. The more loudly Moore proclaims his religion, the less likely local people are to challenge him because doing so will present them as non-believers.
    I believe that all religion is nothing more than a giant Mind-Fuck to those it affects. When enough people suffer from it, they begin to attempt to impose their own beliefs on everyone else. Wrapping himself in a flag and carrying a Bible and a gun, Moore presented himself as a protector of the local values, and I am confident that more people knew his secret than not. This is the hypocrisy of the entire damned situation.

    Roy Moore will remain a hero to those who wish to see nothing more than the sham of his religion. Those people are allergic to facts that contradict their own beliefs. Unfortunately, these people are in charge in so many places like Alabama. I find it interesting that those places so often fall behind the rest of the nation regarding progress, yet they feel persecuted when the truth is that no one with a real progressive view of the world wants to live in places like that. Those places are left to stew in their own juices and the resentment simmer and boil until it cannot be contained. They see their backwardness as a badge of honor, yet they wonder why so many people just pass them by and want nothing to do with them. These are the places that produce monsters like Roy Moore.

Dreamer’s World November 13, 2017 - Tired

      I really wish I could figure out why I am so tired. I am sure that part of this has to do with the change of the clocks just over a week ago. Since it gets dark so early now, I find myself wanting to go to bed earlier and earlier, but there are always things that have to be done before that can happen. I also know that I have to exercise more to feel better, that is the hardest part of things.
    The approaching holiday also must have something to do with how I feel. Try as I might, it seems that I always struggle with my personal demons at this time of the year. I still do not know if Hal will go to Florida next week. I suppose that the longer we go without an announcement, the higher the chances that he will be staying here. That decision is out of my control, and I will not attempt to sway Hal one way or the other. I respect his decision and his desire to be with his family.
    I am also just feeling completely exhausted today. Perhaps it was the extra sleep last night that reminded my body of how much more sleep it truly needs. I can’t do much about that tonight since I have to take Hal to and from work this evening and won't be able to get to bed before 2300. I will do my best and make it through the day.
    The worst part of the day was the conference calls. I find myself struggling to find other things to keep myself busy during those times. My presence in the meetings is pointless, but I have to dial in or risk getting nasty emails regarding my absence. I have talked with my team lead about this, but she doesn’t want to push the issue. I am not blaming her because she has to deal with all of the other people face to face and that would get really old.
    I think that another issue that affects me being tired is eating. I have put on some extra weight, and I need to get rid of it. The first thing I can do is to restrict when I eat. I notice that I am eating more time during the day. Perhaps this is because of the exhaustion, or because of the upcoming holiday, I am not sure. I have to learn to fight off the nagging hunger pains when I really don’t need the food at that time. Eating has become a means to pass the time, and that is not going to do me any good at all.
    I am starting today. I will eat at predetermined times that I know will not cause any trouble with my BG readings. Now all I have to do is follow through with this plan. Since the only trip I have is to take Hal to work and pick him up, I will measure my BG before leaving with him and then again when I get home before I have anything to eat. Afterwards, I can have dinner at an early hour and then monitor BG before bedtime. I am sure that it will be closer to normal without the extra snacks that I have been eating recently.

    All of these things are factors in my exhaustion, I am sure of that. It is up to me to rearrange my life to get things back to normal and to feel more alive and have more energy.

09 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 08, 2017 – A Change In The Weather

    Wednesday is the day when I travel to meet with the client. This means driving to the commuter parking lot early in the morning when it is still dark. Add to that the weather change and this morning was cold as I waited for the bus to take me to the train that would get me to the neighborhood where the client's offices are located. I dressed for the weather, but the cold still managed to seep through and chill me to the bone. It has me considering purchasing a new coat for this winter since it will only get colder on the Wednesday mornings when I have to make the trip.
    The trip back always presents another set of problems because I have to try to time my return trip to the Metro station so I won’t have to wait around outside for an hour. The bus only runs every 60 minutes through the middle of the day, and I have been unfortunate enough to get there right after the bus leaves and had to wait around for the next one. Obviously, I am trying to avoid this situation with the colder weather, so I will get off the train if necessary at an underground station and wait for a later train that will get me to my stop closer to the time that the bus will leave. This will be an inconvenience, but I can deal with it since there is no other reasonable option. This is the first time I have faced this particular obstacle because we have always lived closer to Metro and had better ways to get back and forth. Things changed when we moved out here, so a solution has to be found to deal with the colder weather. It took a while to get warm after I returned home in the middle of the day. I am not sure that I want to go back out, but if Hal needs something, I will take him. At least I will be able to dress better without the suit and tie that restricted my options this morning.
    I am grateful that I don’t have to endure that commute every day. I doubt that we would have moved out here if I had to make that trip every day. Since I work from home, I will endure the discomfort of traveling one day per week during the cold weather.

    We did stay home after work and I was glad of that. Tomorrow will be a short day with the holiday on Friday and I don’t want to feel bad from being out in the cold.

06 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 06, 2017 – Starting Over Again

    As I look out of the window this morning at 0700, the tree outside the window is clearly visible with all of its leaves turning brown. I suppose that this is the only benefit of the time change this weekend because I hate losing the daylight after work. On the other hand, I know that as it gets darker once again early in the morning with the shorter days that it actually indicates that Spring will be the next season to look forward to. I leave Winter out for now because we have no idea what that has in store for us here in the DMV.
    And so, the week begins. At least it will be a short one since Friday will be a holiday, giving me a three day weekend. I am looking forward to that because it will provide Hal and I some time together for a change. Hal still doesn’t know his exact schedule for Thanksgiving, but he is supposed to be going to visit family in Florida that week. Since one of his relatives is in charge of things, he probably doesn’t know all the details yet. The logistics here will involve getting Hal to the airport, so I hope that he will know something a few days in advance.
    I am expecting a quiet week at work with the holiday on Friday. There are no pressing issues right now, I completed my tasking about a week early, so I am left with the more mundane everyday jobs to occupy my time this week. I am glad because I needed some slow time. I still have not managed to arrange for a mental health day because there is so much planning going on for the next company reporting period, and that means endless rounds of conference calls that I must participate in.

    I don’t want to write about the news of the world. Suffice it to say that I sm just sick and tired the same tragedies followed by the same lack of action even to try to prevent the next one. I want my focus to remain on life here at home, on Hal and The Stooges, and on doing our best to be happy.

02 November 2017

Dreamer’s World November 02, 2017 – Recognizing The Value Of Each Day

    As I start the day, I am thinking about the subject for today’s blog. After a few minutes of contemplation, it finally came to me. Three weeks from today will be Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. This is supposed to be a day when we take some time to give thanks for what we have. Sadly, this is immediately followed by Black Friday, where people fight each other for items that are on sale because they all want something new for themselves or someone else. The irony is not lost.
    I decided that I should take the time today to begin being thankful for what I already have, and not worry about the things that I don’t because there are far too many people who are in worse shape than I am. I wish that I could help each and every one of them, but that is impossible.
    First of all, Snoopy And The Gang gave me a bit of inspiration with the message that “Happiness Is Making Your Mark On The World.” This is a hopeful message to me on a day when motivation was hard to find. Sometimes we don’t need to look that far to realize that each of us makes a small difference every day. It might not seem like much, but I know from reading the blogs published by friends that there are times when they say exactly the thing that I needed to hear. I hope that I fulfill that need to others because it is a way of giving back.
    Second, I think about life here at home. I write about it quite a bit, but that is because I have been through far tougher times in my life. This allows me to realize just how fortunate I have been over the last few years. Although Hal and I have been together for almost 18 years, I had some tough times in the beginning. Looking back I see that most of those problems were because I didn’t honestly know how to be happy. I had been so conditioned to being depressed that I no longer recognized it. I was defensive and very insecure. I could not trust and to love based on being hurt in the past. Hal brought me out of that phase, and if he had not, I am not certain I would be here today.
    Third, I am able to put my thoughts down in a mostly coherent manner in this blog. I find that writing helps me whether things are going well or not at any given time. This blog is therapeutic in so many small ways. The bad times don’t seem so bad when I write about them and the good times are even better when I write about them.
    Fourth, I am grateful for the friends that I have. I have never been one to accumulate vast numbers of friends, but those I have are incredibly close to me. I have learned that they come and go as part of life, but I always recognize that they have their own lives to live and that sometimes the gradual ending of friendship is a good thing because it has served its purpose at the right time in both of our lives. I have learned to look forward to the friends that I have not met yet.
    Fifth, I am grateful for the place that we live. Hal and I have managed to make a comfortable, but not excessive, life for ourselves in the nearly 18 years that we have been together. We have moved multiple times, but it always feels like home when we are together. The material possessions are not important to us, we are both more ethereal than that.
    Sixth, I am grateful for The Stooges. The lineup has changed over the years, but they have always been here for Hal and me. Each time we have to part with one of them, it is losing a member of the family, but we learn to find a new member to give them a loving and caring home. We always manage to pick the right cat for the group.
    These things are the highlights of my life. There are more, but I could never stop writing if I truly wanted to list all of the things that I am grateful for. But there is one more that I have to mention.

    I am thankful for those people who take the time to read this blog. I haven't prioritized this one because it is invaluable. Take some time to think about what you are grateful for, it will make you feel better.

Dreamer’s World November 01, 2017 – A New Beginning

    Today is November the 1st, and along with the beginning of a new month, it also marks the beginning of a new diabetes regimen for me. I woke up this morning somewhat cranky because the main med will now be taken in the morning rather than the evening before. The new routine will require some adjustment to my morning schedule, but I will manage it. I set a timer to remind me when to check my BG for the new routine after a breakfast of turkey bacon and oatmeal, which was delicious.
    Due to the rundown and cranky feeling this morning I did not travel to the clients’ office. I notified them via email that I wasn’t feeling well, and since I am there almost every week, I never have any problems with them if I cannot make it once in a while. Staying home to work in the morning also gives me more time to get other things done without feeling rushed. With the cold weather, I didn’t feel like hanging around waiting on the bus today. I am sure that next Wednesday I will be making the weekly trip once again.
    I was happy to receive several emails from the client about my absence, wishing me well. It is nice to know that I am appreciated by those with whom I work. I always give my best effort for the company and client, and that knowledge makes me content because I  love my job. Hearing from those people makes me feel that I am still part of the team although I do work remotely.
    A new month means a new beginning in other ways as well. I wrote yesterday about the power of words. I will try to take my own advice and not use words lightly because of the power that they possess. It takes only a moment to say something wrong, followed by a lifetime of regret for saying it. Writing makes this even more important because it is impossible to deny what I have written for everyone to see. I think that this is a lesson for everyone who writes. I don’t want to feel regret over something that I know should not be written down or said. I know that I have erred in the past, but that is no reason not to want to be a better person now and in the future. That is the beauty of a new beginning.

    The workday turned into an adventure as the reaction to the new medicine kicked in. I was constantly on the verge of falling asleep throughout the day. Eventually, I took a nap after work and felt better. Hal decided that we weren’t going anywhere and that was fine with me. I didn’t feel like cooking and decided to order Chinese food to be delivered. I wonder if the new medicine will allow me to sleep better tonight? Since this is the first day, the dosage is low, and I will adjust it in a few days after the adjustment.

31 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 31, 2017 – The Power Of Words, Handle With Care

    Words can be incredibly powerful. They can inspire us, or they can cause us to weep. It is a gift to find the right words for an occasion without misinterpreting things and making an ass of ourselves. The digital age has magnified this tremendously.
    I was sitting here listening to a conference call and scrolling through my social media when I saw that Wendy Williams, the talk show hostess, had collapsed on live TV. My first thought was to hope that she was going to be OK. Thankfully that was the case, she had gotten too hot wearing a ridiculous costume for her Halloween show. A terribly frightening moment, but not as serious as first feared.
    Honestly, I don’t like talk shows. With that statement out of the way, my first thought was about the person and their well-being. Sadly this event prompted a stream of ill-informed comments and terribly tasteless jokes. You can imagine some of the things that were said, it would be pointless to repeat them here. I am sure that some of these comments were intended as jokes, or to be humorous, but they failed miserably.
    This brings me back to the issue of words and how to use them. I believe that the first rule is not to use words carelessly. It is worth the time to think about what we say or type before hitting the send button or move our lips.
    A second rule would be to think about why you want to say the things you are about to say. Is it a cry for attention for yourself? Or is it intended to help or hurt the person you are speaking about? If Wendy had indeed been seriously ill, would you have felt any regret about what you had so hurriedly said?
    Third, does it take putting someone else down to make you feel better about yourself? If so, you need to talk to someone. If not, then why did you say those things?
    I don’t care for Wendy's show. That does not mean that I like human compassion for the person. If you said something awful, I hope that you realize how lucky you are that the situation was not critical. You have a chance to think before you say something like that again. I hope that you realize that had Wendy been hurt, at some point you would have looked back at what you said, or have someone point it out to you, and realized that you had to face the consequences.

    Why is it so hard to be kind to one another? Why is it so hard to care about one another?

Dreamer’s World October 31, 2017 – Trick Or Treat

    Today is Halloween, the day when we all should take the time to act like little kids. We should dress up and go out and do all the things we secretly want to do without life interfering. Sadly, most of us have to work and then find a little time afterward to do any of those things. I remember the Charlie Brown TV special where he always gets rocks while the other kids get candy. The concept of trick or treat is usually an idle threat, with everyone getting a treat rather than getting tricked. Halloween also marks the end of October and signals the approach of November. Regardless of the calendar, it always seems like Winter rather than Fall at this time of the year.
    I slept right through my alarm this morning, but I still feel like garbage. If I didn’t work from home, this would be a day that I would call in sick. I just have a totally worn-out feeling that is probably a result of insomnia I suffered through recently. I will make sure that I take Hal anywhere he needs to go immediately after work and then get back here to try and rest this evening. It is entirely possible that I will let the client know that I won't be traveling to meet with them tomorrow if I don’t feel better. That decision will be made in the morning.

    For the day at work, I will get everything done that I possibly can. I feel this Halloween I got the rocks like Charlie Brown, but the key to life is to persevere and move forward regardless what happens. Halloween is just a day at random, after all. I hope that my readers will get nothing but treats all day long.

27 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 26, 2017 – Happiness Is Knowing You Are Capable Of Love And That Someone Loved You In Return

    Thursday is here, and I was at a loss for a topic until I in with Snoopy and The Gang again this morning. The answer is right in front of me, and that is the quote “Happiness Is.”
    While the card for today isn't quite what I had in mind because Hal and I don’t really play games that often, the basic premise of finding happiness is really important. I have discovered that “Happiness Is” the key to life and making it worth living. It is the little things like talking with each other that make life special. Sitting together and watching The Stooges is priceless, even if we don’t say a word. The comfort and familiarity that Hal and I share are noticeable when people see us together. We have received compliments from total strangers who see us.
    This blissful situation didn’t magically appear overnight. We have always put effort into our relationship, especially in the beginning, to make it as healthy as possible. We both understood that things change over time and that we had to make something that would endure. We each have gone through family crises and financial turmoil. We have each changed careers, and we have moved numerous times, but we have always dealt with those issues together. We keep the focus on how these issues will affect us.
    We have stayed happy by removing people from our life who made us uncomfortable or tried to involve us in their own petty drama. This has earned us a reputation of being aloof and arrogant from people who remain unhappy, bitter and alone to this day. Our life is better off without them in it. I suppose that, in a way, this has been a game that we played together, but removing toxic people from our life wasn’t done maliciously, it was by necessity.

    And so, I say that “Happiness Is” finding that special someone for whom you would do anything, and knowing that they would do anything for you.

26 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 25, 2017 – Happiness Is Having Someone To Lean On

    I was struck by serendipity earlier today when I took the daily photo of Snoopy And The Gang. The statement on the card reads “Happiness Is Having Someone To Lean On.” I thought about that comment for just a minute and let it sink in. With all due respect to Bill Withers, the sentiment is universal. I cannot imagine my life without Hal and The Stooges around. I don’t even like considering that possibility because I don’t know if I could cope without them.
    No matter how strong we are as individuals, we all need someone special in our lives. Because I have been a solitary person at times in my life due to circumstances, I know this to be true. I always felt the absence of someone to lean on the most when I was happy and then realized that there was no one else to share that feeling with. Sometimes we find a fake person who doesn’t really care about us, and when that becomes obvious, the pain is unbearable.
    Solitude is something that we all need from time to time, but there is a vast difference between loneliness and solitude. Solitude can be entered and then left much more easily than loneliness. Loneliness is a toxic quicksand that will swallow us if we don’t get out. Having someone to lean on means that we are never alone even when we desire a little quiet time to ourselves.
    It can be the smallest thing that reminds us of the treasure of companionship. Last night I suggested to Hal that we get some pizza at a local place we had never tried. It advertised “New York” pizza, which isn’t my favorite, but we went and what had initially seemed like a bad idea to Hal turned into a great time. We sat and talked for an hour as we ate, about things that we usually don’t talk about at home. It was like we were on a date all over again. The change in routine did us both a world of good, and we will be going back there again sometime soon for dinner.

    That little example proves to me that I am very fortunate to have Hal in my life, and I know that he is someone I can lean on.

24 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 24, 2017 – Jazz On A Rainy Morning

    I love music, I always have. There is something so beautiful about listening to smooth Jazz on a rainy morning at work. My agenda is full, but not overburdened, so I can let myself drift away on the sounds as I do what I have to this morning. I am grateful that the rain fell overnight because my allergies get some relief, and through that, my blood glucose also has stabilized. Through the years I have learned that when my allergies act up that my BG also reacts. Every year during the fall I experience times when the BG is tough to control. When the rain comes, everything gets better because it washes the crap out of the air.
    Jazz is one of my favorite genres of music because I can almost feel what the artist is trying to say through their music. I always get a chuckle when I watch “The Simpsons,” and they rip on Lisa for liking Jazz so much because I understand where she is coming from. Music was intended to stir our emotions, and Jazz does that for me in such a relaxing way.
    I am very fortunate to be able to relax like this. For a long time, I was always on edge because of a myriad of issues in my life. There was always money and loneliness to deal with, but those things are under control now. I was probably depressed without being diagnosed. Then I found my way to happiness in small steps.
    First of all, I met Hal, and we are still together nearly 18 years later. As my life calmed down with him, the other issues such as money began to subside. The Stooges came along in their various incarnations when one of them passed away, we always found another cat with their own unique personality. We have them as an anchor in our relationship, and that helps both Hal (person) and myself to cope with whatever life has in store for us.

    We all need some stability in our lives. It allows us to relax and find happiness when we need it the most. It probably sounds weird to some, but when I listen to Jazz on a rainy morning, I always feel happy.

21 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 21, 2017 – Hal And His Car

    What was supposed to be a typical Saturday around here has suddenly become complicated. I took Hal to work this morning, and on the way, he told me that the woman who wants to buy his car wants to shift the purchase and transfer to today. Initially, things had been scheduled to start tomorrow with her looking at the car and taking custody, but now things have changed, and since Hal is at work, I am left to find all the items needed to get things moving.
    The first thing I had to do was to locate Hal’s spare set of keys so I can drive his car to pick him up this afternoon. The woman who will be buying the car works with Hal, so I suppose that the arrangement will consist of picking them both up and then letting her and Hal work out all of the details. This puts me at the mercy of their timeline this afternoon and evening, and I don’t really like that.
Back in August of this year, Hal was notified in writing by the Commonwealth of Virginia that his driver's license was being revoked. The reason behind this decision was never really clear. Hal has glaucoma, and his vision necessitated that he only drive during daylight hours. He had his annual vision check, and nothing had changed. That made the decision to revoke his license somewhat unsettling, but it was something that we had been preparing for, just not for it to happen so soon. Ever since then, I have been the driver for Hal as well as myself, and we have not had any difficulty.
This situation also presented Hal with the question of what to do with his car. He decided that he would sell it. First, he contacted members of his family, but none of them showed sufficient interest. He thought about putting a listing for the car online but decided that he didn’t want to be bothered with too many people calling and then not following through. Eventually, Hal found a coworker that wanted to buy his car, and that is where things stand right now.
I will drive Hal’s car to pick him up after work this afternoon. Whatever happens at that time will be out of my control, but I will make the strong suggestion that I drive back home so Hal and his coworker can then take care of their business without me hanging around since I have nothing to do with the transaction. I hope that this will be something that Hal and his coworker can agree to because I honestly don’t want to be hanging around for hours and nothing to do in the meantime.


20 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 20, 2017 – It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

    Last night, I relived part of my childhood. My mind took me back to a simpler time of crisp fall afternoons jumping into freshly raked piles of leaves, playing football with friends, parties that were great fun, and of course, Halloween candy. I am talking about taking 30+ minutes to watch “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on TV.
    It is hard to believe that the show is 51 years old. I was too young to remember when it first aired in 1966. Honestly, it was probably around 1970 or 1971 when I first remember watching it with my parents. In those days, we only had one TV in the house, and my Dad usually determined what we would watch. I cannot recall if it were him or Mom that decided we would watch the show I am sure that they had seen it each year from 1966 until that year.
    A story about the program tells how children from around the country would send some of their own Halloween candy to CBS and Charles Schulz to give to Charlie Brown. There is something wonderfully innocent about this. It involved quite a bit of effort to actually package up and mail something to someone back then, as opposed to emailing a link today. In fact, the grammar program prompted me to change the word “mail” in the previous sentence to “email.” Good Grief!
    Every adult reaches a point where they find themselves reminiscing about their childhood, and I am no exception. When I think back to my childhood years, I think of a simpler time without all of the technological gadgets that run our lives. I believe that Charles Schulz captures that time perfectly. We had no cell phones or computers. Snoopy taught us to open our imaginations and become the WWI flying ace in his Sopwith Camel using whatever we had available to us. We didn’t have to have the newest gadget to spark our imaginations and have a great time. It almost seems as if a child who uses their imagination rather than technology today is considered a freak who needs attention, rather than a perfectly healthy child learning about the world around them.
    Playing football with friends was another memory. Rules were seldom enforced because we played for the fun of it. This made the games exciting and memorable because we weren’t concerned with anything other than having a good time. The same logic applied to jumping into freshly raked piles of leaves and sending them flying everywhere. There was no purpose other than being alive and enjoying ourselves in the crisp fall air.
    Now, football is a business. Now, everyone has leaf blowers rather than using rakes to clean their yards. Now, children don’t play outside nearly as much. Sad.
    The world of Charlie Brown is devoid of adults. While this wasn’t the case with us in our youths, we were much more free to get away and find things to amuse ourselves until the nightly ritual of parents calling out names began, signaling us that it was time to go home for dinner and a bath and homework and bed. I am not a parent, but I cannot recall the last time I heard that ritual repeated while living in neighborhoods with families today. The term “helicopter parent” seems very appropriate for today's society.
    Even the notion of children trick or treating together without adult supervision seems alien today, yet it was the norm growing up. A Halloween party was the highlight of the evening where we would all brag about the tricks we got, and we would play the games like bobbing for apples without a care in the world. The thought of spending the night in a pumpkin patch is a bit far-fetched because parents would eventually come looking for us, but the idea evokes a long-lost time.
    Eventually, the memories faded again, and I found myself on the couch here in 2017. At least I got to relive a part of my childhood thanks to “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

    

13 October 2017

Dreamer’s World October 13, 2017 – No Time For Superstition

    The weekend is nearly here. The calendar says it is Friday the 13th, but I don’t care at all. I am not superstitious if anything wrong happens today it doesn’t mean that there are supernatural powers at work around sometime after work. The day is cool and cloudy, but that won't stop me from enjoying the day and especially the time to spend with Hal and The Stooges after work.

    Right now, the only plans that we have are to stop by Hal’s work and pick up something that he accidentally left there earlier in the week. After that, we will probably get some groceries and then head back home. I know, lots of excitement around here, but it suits us. We enjoy being with each other, and nothing beats having time together no matter what the calendar says or what the weather is like.

12 October 2017

Dreamer's World October 12, 2017 - Seriously Thinking About Taking A Day Off Soon

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As the day starts here at work, I find myself thinking about how glad I am that this short week is almost over with. I am tired from all of the extra crap that I knew was going to happen with other people attempting to cram 5 days worth of work into 4 days because they cannot accept a holiday when it occurs.
I checked my timesheet and see that I have some extra time that I can use to take a day here and there. The temptation is overwhelming to do so, but I already submitted the timesheet to cover this week and I hate going through the hassle to change it. I think that I will schedule a day off (or two) in the near future because I feel the need for a mental health day building up.
I will have to check the calendar for the next few weeks and see what time will work best for me. I don’t have any preference other than to get away for a little while and allow myself to relax.
Hal The Cat decided that he wanted to get his new box back after I had stored it in a corner. He managed to pull the box out of the corner and was making all sorts of noise about opening it.
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Finally, in order to stop the noise and meowing, I put the box onto the bed and opened it. Now Hal The Cat is happy, and that makes me happy as well.
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Keeping Hal The Cat happy is very important to me since he spends most of the day here watching me as I write and work. I don't mind at all because he is a great companion. Occasionally he will voice his opinion during a conference call, and by now most people I talk with regularly know his voice when they hear it. This usually prompts people to ask him how he is doing so they can hear him talk even more. Hal The Cat always has something important to say.

Obviously, Hal The Cat has taken me away from my original topic and that is taking some time away from work to relax. Purrrhaps Hal The Cat is simply showing me how relaxing should be done because he probably understands everything that I am writing.