Archive for the ‘mental health’ Tag

09-24-2013   Leave a comment

What better way to start my day.  I’ve been awake for no more than ten minutes just lying here trying to motivate myself into facing the day.  Since my better-half has two days off we decided to sleep in an extra few minutes and relax a little, or at least I did.  What’s the first thing I hear? Is it "Good morning honey" or "Wake up sunshine", of course not.  She calmly rolls over, looks me square in the eye and says "I think I’ll help you with the compost pile tomorrow."  I’m lying in bed looking out the window at the sunshine and thinking about how I’ll miss the warm weather and she’s thinking of a huge pile of compost.  There has to be some sort of message there but I haven’t a clue as to what it might be.

Days off.  When I was one of the working drones eking out a living I relished my days off.  I waited patiently for them to arrive so I could just kick back and enjoy myself.  They were crucial to my mental health and well being and I honestly forced myself not to think about work and the stresses involved there.

My better-half has yet to figure out how to enjoy a day or two without stress.  She just can’t seem to grasp the concept of relaxation.  Even on her days off she’s driven by her list of things to do.  She spends all day accomplishing tasks and if at the end of the day they all haven’t been accomplished, she’s disappointed and upset.  She has a work, work, work attitude and I’ve been trying to convince her to develop the ability to turn off the work mindset as soon as she arrives home.  She’s improved a great deal over the last few years but there’s still a lot room for improvement.

I normally set aside about twenty minutes after she arrives from work for her to vent her frustrations, have a beer, and talk it out.  Once that’s been taken care of she can then move on to her real life and possibly enjoy herself.  I guess I was lucky.  I was always able to turn off the work as soon as I entered my car to go home each night.  I gave almost no thought to it until the next morning when I had no choice but to deal with it again.  My jobs were always stressful and if I took all of that baggage home with me every night I would have lost my mind.

Well, she’s wandered off to get us some coffee but I refuse to leave the bed just yet.  She’s already scurrying around the house to begin her To Do list for the day. I’ll try to coerce her into coming back to bed with my magnetic personality and huge amounts of sex appeal and charm. Don’t you dare grin or laugh, it’s all true.  I hear the washing machine being turned on so maybe I’ve already waited too long to make my move.  I guess that’s the real story of my life.

Oh no, here she comes now, my own little energize bunny sweeping through the bedroom, dumping out the hamper, and then gone in a swirl of dirty clothes and the smell of laundry detergent.  Too late again.  I’ll try one more time to slow her down but it could get ugly.  I can see an extended middle finger in my future.

04-28-2013   Leave a comment

I think I’ve survived my bout with the flu and it appears the worst is over. My ribs are still killing me from all the coughing but that will pass in a few days. What I need most right now is to get up and out of the house to enjoy the beautiful weather that’s expected for the next few days. The good weather and a little yard work will be just the thing to get me moving again in the right direction.  It’s time to change clothes and begin my Spring in a proper fashion.

My better-half is already out and about and doing her gardening thing and she’s awaiting my arrival.  The herb garden is in grim shape so that’s where I’ll start.  It appears that due to the heavy snow cover this winter most of the plants survived and are beginning to poke through the ground already.  I’ll just need to replant the basil and parsley which are annuals and a couple of thymes that didn’t make it.  That to me is a good winter result. In almost every winter since moving to Maine I’ve found it necessary to replace on average of eight to ten plants.

The neighbor’s outdoor cat should be really happy too. The catnip is already two inches high and there are a bunch of tiny little footprints already in the area from his nightly visits.  That dumb cat loves getting stoned on that catnip.

I’ve just about given up on growing thyme and I’m really tired of replanting and replanting with nothing to show for it.  We use a lot of herbs in our cooking which requires harvesting and drying them each Fall for storage.  I try to harvest only thirty percent of any plant because any more than that will kill them. The  thyme seems to be so delicate that if I harvest any of the plant at all it doesn’t  survive the winter.  I could try a large number of plants and take just a little from each but we don’t use enough thyme in our dishes to justify that.

It’s noon already and I’ve cleaned at least eight bushels of dead plant material from the garden.  Things are looking good here but we have a few more things that require our attention as well.  My better-half loves lilac plants so last year I purchased her two as a birthday gift and we planted them along the side of the house.  They made it through the winter and appear very healthy.  Unfortunately the amount of sun they get in that location could be better.  After some discussion yesterday we’ve decided they need to be transplanted elsewhere.

My better-half spent her morning creating a new flower bed in front of the house that receives more than eight hours of full sun each day.  We just finished transplanting the lilacs to their new home and I expect them to easily double in size by the end of the summer.  Once they start blooming that wonderful scent will make sitting on the deck a lot more enjoyable.

We just finished cleaning up the remainder of the debris from the backyard. It’s surrounded on three sides by woods and believe it or not trees make one hell of a mess.  More goodies for the compost pile which is beginning to look more like a compost mountain.  Thank God I use a lot of it each Fall to re-energize the gardens but it really does pile up quickly.

It’s early in the year but all of my better-half’s efforts from last summer are beginning to pay off.  She has daffodils, tulips, and many others flowers already in bloom and the front of the house looks fantastic.  It’s time for us both to put the tools away and call it a day.  These kind of days are always hard work but it’s well worth it.  It’s always been a great way for us both to clear our heads, forget about all of the everyday nonsense, and just dig in the dirt for a while.  It’s a great stress reliever and way cheaper than therapy.

O2-04-2013   2 comments

I’ve arrived at this point in my life where TV is becoming more of an irritant than entertainment.  Between the endless commercials, drug ads, biased politicians, and government propaganda, I’m reading to scream.  Recently I listened to three of those infamous talking heads on the tube telling me that video gaming is responsible for all the ills of the world.  As Don Imus would say, “that’s a pant load”.

In past years I’ve posted long lists of things I love and things I hate. They’re always fun to do and also a great mental exercise. I find that as I’ve aged my mind is slowly folding in on itself and beginning to stagnate.  Old memories can easily take over and consume my thoughts which while fun at times is ultimately destructive.  Keeping mentally alert and mentally active is the secret to living a longer life that is actually worth living.

These last few years convinced me of those facts as I watched my mother and aunt slowly fade away and die.  My mother lasted a bit longer mentally than her sister but died sooner.  My aunt was suffering from an affliction which may have been Alzheimer’s where she mentally faded away quickly but her body just kept on going.  I realize that there are some things we can’t combat and I am realistic enough to accept that and move on.  I also believe there are things we can do to fight off the effects of mental aging with a regimen of mental and physical exercises. It will help greatly to keep you mentally in the present for a much longer period of time.

I’ve been a game player, both computer and other types, for all of my life.  With the advent of video games and HD I was in heaven. I know there are a lot of people in this country and elsewhere who would like nothing better than to control gaming and through the games control us.  I’ve never believed that violent games lead to violent behavior.  It’s easy to do the math and realize that millions of people play these games everyday but aren’t the least bit violent.  Unfortunately there are unstable people in this world who choose to do violence to others.  It’s not the games or guns that are the problem but mental instability.  Take all of the guns away then they’ll try and kill people with whatever else is at hand.

I’m getting off message here a bit and ranting about gun control is not what I’m posting about. Video games provide me with improved hand-eye coordination, problem solving capabilities, and the ability to focus that if not maintained can fade with age.

I get strange looks from people my own age when I excitedly tell them of a new video game I’m involved with.  I get those looks that say, “grow up, that stuff is for kids not someone your age”.  It’s that kind of backward thinking that tends to piss me off and makes me a little crazy.  Maintaining a full physical program in a gym is fine for some people but not to everyone.  As you age your body isn’t always able to perform like it did when you were twenty, no matter how hard you try to push it.  I’ve resigned myself to doing as much physical training as I’m able but even more important to me is exercising my mind.

To those folks out there who insist they have all the answers I can only say this.  You don’t!  We each grow up, age, and die at our own pace so just stay out of my life and let me handle it.  I never thought I would get to be this age and would have so many know-it-all politicians and religious groups interested in baby-sitting me and second guessing my every move.  I guess it will finally stop when someone slams my coffin lid shut.  Here are my words of wisdom for today and I’m sure they would certainly help our country return to it’s former greatness.


Forgive the profanity but there are times when something this important can only be expressed bluntly.

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