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What POSITIVE CHANGES are you making in your life?
So I have initiated talks with a friendly acquaintance who is a crazy cat lady. She lives out in the sticks and hosts a menagerie of several dogs and maybe two dozen cats, ranging from civilized indoor cats to semi-feral barn cats. She has a two-year old female shorthair who is spayed and trained to use the litterbox. So maybe? She lives an hour away, and my weekend is booked solid, but maybe next weekend I can meet the cat.
I’ve made halfhearted attempts before, but then I saw a Netflix documentary on an autistic kid who got really into speedcubing and made friends and learned how to deal with loss and relationships, and it got to me. So I got a cube and watched a YouTube video on the overall strategy, breaking it down into individual steps, and providing the algorithms for each step.
It is not very hard, but it looks impressive to people who don’t know anything about it. Don’t tell.
Definitely get a good cube, it makes tons of difference whether you're trying to solve faster or even just for fun. I like the shape mods and cuboids a lot, mostly because they're all just about the same stuff but with little quirks to each one.
The megaminx (12-sided) is one of the best things to take on next, because it's very similar to standard cube, but in slightly different ways.
It's a long rabbit hole, though. Have fun.
Im like “what the fuck” and for a week I’m certain I broke my damned arm. Hurts like hell but I have shit to do, so I do a plumbing side job, fix my eldest’s closet by installing some overhead shelving. I have the ex over every Wednesday for dinner so she’s not eating sandwiches and cereal for dinner every night, and so I clean the house.
Arm is not getting better, and sleeping is becoming even more of a pain in the ass.
So, I grab my shop vac loaded with maybe 20 pounds of tools, arm outstretched in front of me at 90°, from my car. I lift the shop vac and feel my arm snap again. I curse and switch hands.
I wake up the next day (yesterday) pain free. And it was at this point I realized I had gone a week doing chores, doing light workouts, and doing construction work…with a dislocated shoulder.
A friend of mine had something wrong with his ankle - he slipped and tweaked it, and it hurt continuously, for months. I was getting reports every so often, "Went to the doctor today, x-rayed my ankle, saw nothing, still hurts." Then he tweaked it again and the pain went away. He finally found a doctor who had stayed awake in class who told him, "Ligaments and tendons ride on top of each other in channels, and it's easy to 'dislocate' one. You just popped it back in place by accident."
SuperflyPete wrote: I wake up the next day (yesterday) pain free. And it was at this point I realized I had gone a week doing chores, doing light workouts, and doing construction work…with a dislocated shoulder.
A year later, I lost my job. I worked the job search hard, but I also happened to have a dozen personal trainer appointments that I paid for a couple of years earlier but never got around to using. The trainer helped me understand that my knee kept dislocating because I was spending too much time sitting at a computer (from the job, and then the job search). He showed me how to do proper squats, and also showed me several other leg exercises. I haven't had any problems with my knees since 2013.
Painted my house again this year. I'm a decade older now, so this time I paid pros to do the whole job, except that I took down the shutters and painted those myself. Somehow the whole paint job was less expensive than the partial paint job last time around. This was a better crew of painters, too. They did a flawless job, though they did ruthlessly trample my flower gardens. Good thing I waited until autumn.
It's been a time, lots of ups and downs. Not having someone shooting bullets into your head regularly is nice and gives you a sense of relief, but you still have all those bullet wounds to deal with.
For a long time I spent my evenings just sitting on the sofa playing videogames. Just to kill time and my brain. I finally continued the "fake it till you make it" plan and that has changed. In the past couple weeks I:
* returned to programming, something I rediscovered last year that I really enjoy. I am learning Wolfram Language and working on a bunch of things to gather data from BGG and use it to answer questions about a specific group of users.
* read a book! A slim book of poetry, but a book nonetheless. This is something I haven't done and was not really able to do for some time.
* got back to my chronological Hellboy project! Earlier this year I started to read through all the Hellboy-and-adjacent comics in chronological order. I stopped at 2003. Last night I picked it back up again. I love this series.
* started exercising. I bought an elliptical and have been doing 15 mins of walking in the evenings while watching Green Acres. I'll eventually increase that time. In addition I've been enjoying getting out into the woods and walking around for additional mental exercise.
* seeing a lady friend. I was briefly on dating apps with not much success (I wasn't really trying very hard tbh) but I met someone who I became good friends with and we've been spending a lot of time together. I don't know what I want or am even capable of doing at this point, but it's been very nice. The other nice thing is, she's not into board games or video games. So we do other things that are taking me out of my ruts and bringing something different in.
* quit BGG forums. Seems like a dumb thing, but the dumb thing was regularly getting hot about a bunch of clowns I don't actually care about who don't otherwise impact my life.
* prepping to restart my video game project. I had started to learn Game Maker Studio in order to create my own old-school Ultima style RPG. I still want to do that. I recovered the files I had lost in a crash (was thankfully also learning how to use github) and am trying to figure out how I want to approach. I've got a few different ideas on how I want to start back up and just need to weigh them.
* I've been trying to watch more movies, TV, do crosswords, make music mixes, and in general do the things I enjoyed doing and stopped when the divorce and move interrupted me. And yeah, also playing video games, but actually to enjoy them, not just burn hours.
I've been thinking of the Churchill quote: it's not the end, it's not the beginning of the end, but it may be the end of the beginning. That's how I feel. I feel like I can finally see the path out of this. It's a long, rough road, and I won't always move forward, but I can at least see it and I think I can do it.
During the pandemic, I looked for something else, and landed on a skateboard. I picked up an old school cruiser from Landyacthz and use it to bomb hills and carve alleys in my neighborhood. From time to time, I go out to the skatepark where I'm easily the oldest (47 now) and also the only one fully padded and helmeted. I have too many responsibilities at this age to take a brain injury, so don't care what anyone thinks. Anyway, I stick to transitional skating and the bowls. I don't do ollies or anything where me or the board are leaving the ground. I'm not out here trying to showboat and break anything.
Anyway, it's been a lot of fun and has really helped re-energize me to get out and sweat. I'm not gonna lie that it also feels a little mid-life crisis-ish... trying to shred bowls while listening to punk rock in airpods while I near 50. I'm not great at it, nor trying to impress anyone, but it's my life. F it.
I think you have to be dead inside to decide to stop learning and checking out new interests, or rediscovering old ones that you thought you left behind.
More importantly, I'm plugging back in. I'm doing a home fellowship with a some friends. I'm doing some music 2 or 3 times a month. I'm doing useful things, that are meaningful to me, that are others centered activities. It's hard to feel bad, when you are doing good for someone. Most of my late depression was centered around being depressed about being depressed - Not being my "best"self, and that eventually just overlayed everything with imposter syndrome, feeling I was a hindrance to others.