Why Walking Into Traffic Isn’t a Good Practice

I braved the din again today, marched along the highway against the onslaught of rushing traffic.  I guess you could say I was walking into traffic, as opposed to walking into the path of oncoming traffic, a distinct difference.

Unfortunately it was like most other walk days, there is a section of my stroll where I cannot avoid the main street, where my walk parallels the road and I’m constantly inundated with the sounds associated with large volumes of traffic. Inundated is maybe not the right word, perhaps accosted is, or assaulted. The bottom line is that I can only minimize it, I cannot remove or prevent it.

I occasionally wear earphones and listen to music on my iPhone but often that just adds to the overall experience of overwhelmededness (catchy new word) and that’s precisely what I’m trying to avoid.  Consequently I walk down backstreets as long as possible until I have no choice and I must then re-connect with the main road.

I enjoy the walk nonetheless. The fresh air (apart from air pollution of course) is invigorating. The exercise is necessary and is critical to my longevity and anticipated weight loss.  I’ve lost a few pounds already and hopefully the trend will continue over the winter.  I want to be optimistic but I’m also a realist and know that winter brings the yuck that de-inpires me (another new word) to get out and about.

A meandering path through the trees

On a portion of my morning walk I can hike down a dirt path that parallels the train tracks.  The well used route meanders through the trees and shrubbery and on mornings like today the sun was just beginning to filter through the trees.  There is no canopy so the sun reflects of any greenery or plants still with colour.  It caught my eye again this morning and made me appreciate life.  I’m grateful for my capacity to see the beauty around me and I must acknowledge my gratitude more often.

At any rate there was no traffic here, aside from a couple other pedestrians and the odd dog.  I was concerned about running into a bear though, they have been seen here and there was lots of sign.  Multiple piles of scat were visible but I’m hoping they’ve all gone to bed by now, or are searching somewhere other than near this path.  I know “hope is not a plan”, and my wife would certainly appreciate my not getting mauled, but it’s got to be better than walking into traffic.

Have a great day.

I Think I’m Feelin’ Better

I think I’m over the mood hump, I hope so, pretty sure I’m feeling better.

The days have cooled down a touch to the mid 30’s, that Celsius folks, and while it is still pretty hot outside we have gained control over the temperature inside the house.  At least somewhat anyway.  Most of this is accomplished by the judicious use of window blinds (outside of the windows preferably), and the opening and closing of doors and windows at the optimum times (temperature and direction dependent).  Doing that we can keep the inside of the house at the mid to high 20’s.  Still not “cool” but certainly cooler than outside.

We’ve never had an air conditioner and I’m beginning to think one would be a good investment.  It would be one of those things you wouldn’t use often but when you want it you REALLY want it.  Still something we are pondering.

Whether the weather (cool play on words huh) was the key to my slump or just one of many factors I don’t know but realizing my past experiences (read that as moody bastard) I would suspect it wasn’t the only one.  Why I seem to experience this swing of moods might be something a team of doctors could look into but my team isn’t available right now and they aren’t returning calls.

I shouldn’t have to look far for the answer to this quandary as the more I think about it, the more I go back in time to the earlier stages of my diagnosis, the more clear the answer to the question becomes.  Could it really be…….just the depression?

If I look back in my handwritten journal, even perhaps some of my earlier posts, I would clearly see one of the benefits I noticed after beginning the meds was the “even-ness” of my moods, a more level experience of life without the ups and downs of good days and bad.  In short I felt better.  It’s just that I don’t want to be on ANY meds, the taking of drugs itself or the having to take drugs is what I think I rally against.  Dumb perhaps, but it’s how I feel.  I think nothing of medicating myself with a drink or two, that is somehow ok, but having to be on medication to be normal?  That hurts me.  What fickle beings we are.

As I sit here in the shade on my deck, the cool breeze wafting through and tickling the wind chimes, I become sad.  This is one of my happy places and yet I feel low, depressed in mood and energy, lacking the full enjoyment of my place or lot in life.  An unfortunate state of affairs.

But I can do something about it, and I will.  If nothing else I will get up and go for a walk.  Exercise is something that’s been lacking in my routine lately.  I’ll do it, here I go, I’m feelin’ better already.

Dollars and Scents

In my ongoing efforts to get better, both emotionally and physically, I’ve taken to walking more.  I’ve also purchased a mountain bike, but that may be another story.

So on my walks I’ve tried to keep my eyes open for various unique objects or situations, something that is of interest to me and may be to someone else as well.  I don’t really want it to interrupt my walk to stop and snap but hey, if the opportunity presents itself then take advantage of it.  Because I don’t carry a camera, other than my iPhone, I’ve come to the conclusion that any photos should be taken with it.  It has the upside of then being somewhat unique as well.  Now the iPhone camera is not too bad, I have the 4S so the camera is an 8 mpixel and it does a decent job.  In addition there are a bunch apps out there for editing, and many are free.  I chose to buy one of the more popular ones and have used it to “tweak” some of the photos into a more distinctive form (I think). Some of them come out quite cool actually.

The photo attached is taken of a Silver Dollar bush, probably also known under other names as well, and using the iPhone app was easily manipulated to achieve the desired results.  Easy peasy.  I won’t go into detail here other than to say it went pretty slick, I’m sure using Google to search similar tasks will garner lots of results.

The added benefit of the walk is also the exercise of course, which I’m sure has helped my mood generally and is just plain good for you.  I plan to do more walking, and ride my new bike as the weather improves.  I enjoy being out, seeing the sights and experiencing the fresh air and fragrances as Spring develops.  Maybe there will be more Dollars and Scents in my future.

Hard to be motivated, I hate my job!

For as good as I feel at home, generally speaking, I feel just about as crappy at work.  Really hard to be motivated and want to do a good job.  Whine, whine, whine.  I should be glad to have a job right?

I just learned yesterday that the person that was hired to replace me in my old position is now leaving himself.  I haven’t talked to him about this but I predicted this event months ago.  The organization is not able to fix whatever fundamental problems it has, and in this case they thought that by replacing me they would fix the problem.  Unfortunately I was not the problem.  One of the biggest problems that they have is that they don’t realize, or don’t understand the severity of, the problem(s) they do have.  One example is their employ of me, I’m a fairly sharp guy but they a) either don’t realize it, or b) they know and don’t care, or c) they know and care but don’t know what to do with me.  Any one of these options has a fix.  The single biggest issue we have as a company is our ineffective usage of our largest resource, human capital.

Anyway……I wrote in my paper journal this morning how my hand-writing had improved and I chalk it up to practicing, by writing more and more (by hand).  The same goes for physical exercise, the more you do the more you can do.  Even my Dad commented on that yesterday, how he finds it hard to walk but if he actually got out and did it more then it would be easier when he did.  Makes sense, no?  Anyway it also applies to our brains, the more we use/exercise them the easier it becomes TO use them and the stronger it gets.  This is not rocket science here. I am working on that part and I think improving.

This applies to my blogging also, rather than entering drivel put something down that can exercise our brains.  Hmmm, what to write.

I hope we can go out and get a campsite after work tonight, even though I’ll have to commute to work from there it will still be like camping part of the time, and that’s better than not camping at all.  It allows me to disconnect mentally somehow, to pretend I have another life, one where work doesn’t intrude.  Alas, retirement seems so far away.

What to Do?

Morning has come and the sun is shining.  The weather is warm but there is a cool breeze drifting through the open patio door, teasing my feet and legs.  As I blog I try to think of what I may do today, perhaps go a get a new bike for Ma, I’d like us to ride together and we can’t now as she has no bike.  I could sit and read, and I shall for a while, but later I must go out and do something.  Some exercise or outdoor activity that will stimulate my body as well as my brain.

I also want to be lazy, a trait I would really like to get by.  It feels so good at the time though, I think that’s why I like camping, lots of relaxing and little guilt because, after all, what can you do but?

So breakfast is complete now, through it I as reading some articles on a website called “SENG – Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted”  An article on Introversion/Extroversion and the Gifted caught my eye, probably because I’m an introvert.  In fact I’m such an introvert that when i took the Myers/Briggs test again this year I was at the furthest end of the spectrum.  So many of these characteristics, both for giftedness and introversion ring true.  I wish I knew more about them years ago.  I’ll post a link in the Interesting Sites area on my blog.

Feelin’ pretty good

I feel pretty upbeat this morning, better than many mornings lately.  Not that I have felt poorly just not as “up” as today.  The trick now will be to determine why, if there’s an external reason or if it’s strictly a function of meds operating on my body.  Gloria (my therapist) has said many times that I will have good days and some not so good and one of the benefits of journaling is that I can refer back and see progress, comparing with those days when things were not as good and I was less “up”.  It seems to me that there is a subtle distinction between most good and not as good days.

Doing a little armchair psychoanalysis would lead me to believe that part of the reason is that I was active yesterday, mowing the lawns and otherwise puttering around outside.  The “outside” part may be significant as well, getting more sun will elevate many peoples moods, I believe an increase in the uptake of vitamin D is one factor.  I have been suffering (another word I dislike) from SAD for a number of years that I’m aware, who knows how long before that.  I had been extremely lethargic during our winters, craving sweets and just generally blah feeling.  I purchased a SAD light and that has helped immensely.  During summer hours and/or if I get lots of sunlight my mood improves and the symptoms go away for all intents and purposes.

Another possible reason for the mood lift is my reading, perhaps even the types of books I’ve been reading.  Currently I’m reading a book on Procrastination, How and Why, and How to Fix.  That’s not the exact title and I’ll post it separately.  Essentially I think there’s a coorelation with (and it just struck me as possible) between exercise, both body and mind, and my mood.  Things that make you go Hmmm…..

I know that when I read non-fiction, self help books or motivational books etc. that I wish to post more, to get my thoughts down on paper as it were, but the posting also interferes with my train of thought and my focus on whatever book I’m reading.  I’ve tried to post from my phone, which is marginally more convenient, but I’ve yet to come up with the best combination of reading and note taking. (as an aside, note taking for the purposes of blogging is a bit easier on the phone in that the autocorrect and auto punctuation can speed things up)

Anyway bottom line is keep fit, physically and mentally.  And Dwayne, by the way, Don’t Procrastinate.