01 January 2021

2021 is here

 


And not a minute too soon.  

2020 was a year for the books. It showed how good humans can really be. Unfortunately, it showed how bad and stupid humans can be also. So many people made wearing a darn mask political - it's not, it's common human decency. So many people believed in the crazy ass conspiracy theories floating around. That's what really killed me. People that I thought were intelligent, well-read, and clear thinkers, bought into this nonsense. There were so many, and some were so freaking complicated, but here are a few: 

  • Covid-19 itself: 
    • 5G spread the Corona virus (people who don't understand viruses) 
    • It was created in a lab (people who don't understand evolution)
    • Bill Gates created the virus so he could make money off a vaccine
      • and that vaccine was going to put a microchip in us all so the government could track us (hello!! Do you know what that phone in your hand does? )
  • Then there was the pedophile stuff: 
    • Covid-19 was a cover so that 250,000 pedophiles could be arrested without incident (still waiting on that)
    • Wayfair was trafficking children in their furniture
    • If a famous person said they had Covid-19 it was code for having been arrested for child trafficking 
  • Then the election came around: 
    • Trump lost so it was rigged
    • Dead people were voting (that comes up every election)
    • Peoples votes weren't being counted 
    • Counting machines were changing votes to Biden
And the scary thing is that people I know and used to trust believed these things. Whole-heartedly. It made me realize how gullible people can be and how easy it is to manipulate some people into believing whatever you want the too. 

But it wasn't all doom and gloom. I actually had a really good year. I did spend a lot of time teaching from home and while I wasn't thrilled with it, I did learn that I don't want to do that. I had it in the back of my mind that I might like to do that. Nope. 2020 taught me that I am not cut out for that. And that's okay. 

Because I was home so much, I did pick up an online job with Johns Hopkins University "teaching" AP Chemistry. Turns out it's really just a grading position with a little tutoring thrown in here and there. But it's fine and it brings in a little extra money. 

The dogs have loved it. Mavy and I have walked the canal almost every day this year. There were some days that we didn't for various reasons (see below) but mostly we walked. We ended up covering 1,066 miles in 2020. We are going for it again next year, but aiming higher. 

I did get Covid-19. In mid-November I came down with it and it was miserable. I was sick for 2 weeks straight. I lost my taste, I went almost a week without eating. I have never been that tired in my life. A bone crushing fatigue that kept me in bed or on the couch for hours and hours. Yeah, it was rough but I am lucky and came through it unscathed. Other were not so lucky. Thankfully the vaccine is out and I am just waiting until it's my turn to get it. Sure don't want to get that again, and a lot of people are getting it a second time. 

I did take 2 chemistry courses over the summer, I did that so that I would be qualified to teach dual enrollment at my school. That was actually kind of fun. I thought because I worked in chemistry for 10 years and have taught it for 10 years, that I would actually be good at this. Haha!! I was wrong. I had to work to figure things out. But it was good, I really enjoyed it. 

That kind of sums up 2020. While it was a crazy year, I hope it taught people to appreciate the small things, not take anything for granted, and to slow down and enjoy this life. We only get one and we should make the most of it. 

Happy New Year. 

28 December 2020

Improving the mind

 One of the things that happened this year is that we elected a new president. Tr*mp has been president for 4 years and it has literally been a nightmare. I have not been able to understand or reason out why people that I know, intelligent, caring people, like this guy. He is a liar. He is a misogynist. He is a sexist. And that is just to name a few. He has manipulated people to believe what he wants them to believe and I don't understand at all. 

One of the things I have been working on this year, and for a while now, is to improve my mind. To not just accept things but to question and evaluate them. No only what I read and hear, but also what I think. I have spent a long time working on seeing my thoughts and not just letting them control me. Towards that end, I have watched a few things recently that has really exposed some things I kind of knew about but also highlighted that I was correct in a lot of my thinking. 

First, I watched The Reagans. It was a 4-part series on Ronald Reagan. Wow!!! I remember voting for him and how popular he was with most of the country. Now, looking back through the lens of 40ish years and the moron in the White House now, I see how bad he truly was. I can see the damage he did to this country and it makes me sad. 

Next up was the Social Dilemma. I knew that social media was manipulating us. I knew that they targeted ads and what we see based on clicks we made, but I guess I didn't realize the extent of it and how much they were controlling me. 

For me, knowledge is power. Once I know something is happening and why, I can work to change it. So I'm going to stay off FB today. I'm going to see just how hard it is for me to stay away from it. I started to go through my friends list and unfollow everyone, but that became far too tedious. I'm going to have to unfriend them as they come up. Staying off FB should literally free up hours of my day. I turned the notifications off months ago and that was a good move. This should be an even better move.    

I'm also going to allow time for reading each day. I haven't been reading much in the past few years and I think a large part of that is due to social media and the computer. I'm going to spent some time each day reading. I love reading. I love books. I love getting lost in a good story. Time to get back to that. 

Okay, that's all I have. I must say, I really enjoy blogging/journaling/whatever you want to call it. I love it. It feels good to be back. 

27 December 2020

The Countdown to 2021 has begun

 





Only 5 more days of 2020 left, thank god!!!  What a dumpster fire of a year this has been. But, in spite of all the nonsense that went on, I have actually had a pretty darn good year. 

First, I was lucky enough to have a job where I could work from home for most of the year. I kept getting paid and that really was a blessing. 

Second, this time at home really allowed me time to focus on the inner me. I have had time to kind of think things through, work on my thoughts, and understand how I want to be. It is kind of complicated, and I'll leave that for another post, but I have made my self smaller and less important. And that has made my life so much better. 

Finally, I learned that things can turn to sh*t in a heartbeat, which means they can become awesome in a heartbeat too. And most of deciding whether it is sh*t or awesome is in my head and I control. 

Seriously, I find myself generally pretty happy 99.9% of the time. I'm loving life. Living to the best of my ability and trying to make the best of it. I think I'm doing pretty well and want to continue living this way. That means focusing on my thoughts and not letting things get to me. Making my self as small as possible and just enjoying every moment. We don't know how many moments we get in this life, so you better make the most of all of them. 

Okay, not where I thought I was going with this post, but that's okay. I'm off to enjoy my life. 

25 December 2020

Christmas 2020

 



Well, it's been a year. Thankfully that year is quickly coming to an end. I rarely say this, but it will be nice to have 2020 in the rearview mirror. Let's look at some of the things that happened in 2020: 

  • Australian wildfires - this is how we started the year, with the southern hemisphere on fire
  • Then Trump was impeached. That was a giant clusterf*ck and really just gave his rabid base more to cheer about. 
  • Kobe Bryant was killed in a plane crash. I'm not a basketball fan but he was young and seemed like a pretty decent guy overall. Also, his young daughter was killed with him. 
  • The Iowa Caucus debacle. Apparently they tried something new and it blew up in their faces and so that became the big story. 
  • Harvey Weinstein was convicted. What a scumbag. 
  • Covid-19, a worldwide pandemic started, and the US showed how truly idiotic our people can be. Businesses and schools shut down to try and contain it but the stupid people won and it has spread like wildfire through the country. 
  • George Floyd was killed and that started riots and calls for change in a system that is inherently unfair to people of color
  • The election was won by Biden but as of today, Trump has refused to concede. Trump has brought multiple lawsuits in multiple states trying to get the election overturned. His own party is starting to turn on him because he is an embarrassment. 
You get the idea. It was definitely a year to be done with. Well, here we are at the end of it and while the world and the country may have gone nuts, this blog is about me after all. 

It's actually been a pretty good year for me. Because schools shut down and I was 'teaching' from home, I had the time to take some classes that allow me to now teach dual enrollment. So that was good. I started working on my national board certification, which is something I've wanted since I started teaching. And we've spent a lot of time at home together. It's actually been pretty good I think. The dogs love having us around so much and honestly, I'd rather work with them than anyone else. So in a nutshell that was my year. 

One thing that happened is that I stopped posting in here. Over the past few years the posts have gotten fewer and farther in between. There are a lot of reasons for that, primarily that I've been working on changing myself and this blog had become a whiny place about what held me back. I would write about the same things over and over and nothing really changed. So I'd like to try and change that up this year. I really enjoy writing in here and I really enjoy going back and reading old stuff. I have much of the move here to Arizona documented in this blog. I have most of our move last summer here, but there is a lot missing. Anyway, I would like to start documenting things here again. It not only serves as a record of what happened, when I was getting the restraining order against the idiot neighbors in Hawaii, I used this blog as a record of when things happened. But it also is a great way for me to process things. I read some posts that have a lot of what we work on in SCI in them. I was way ahead of the game. So one of my goals for 2021 is to blog here 2x a month. Now to come up with some other reachable goals. 

11 July 2020

The best laid plans

Well my plans to post here more often generally didn't pan out as planned. It's been almost a month since I posted. Covid-19 is still here and still bad. Arizona is one of the worst places in the nation for it. Our cases are rising at exponential rates and it's just crazy. Thankfully we are able to stay home and stay safe. Now with summer really kicking in, it's supposed to be 115F today, going out and dashing is not something we enjoy anymore either. So it's a lot of at home time and pool time. I'm still battling the apathy but it is getting better and better so I'm good with that. It is very easy to fall into the whole 'why does it matter' mindset with all that is going on though. That is something that I have to battle every day. 

I'm taking 2 classes at GCU online so that I will be qualified to teach dual enrollment next year. The first class just finished and I'm waiting to see the grade I get in that. The second class is in it's 3rd week and it is hard. It's biochemistry and boy am I struggling.  But I'm actually learning things so that's good. 

Exercise has been nonexistent for the past month. I workout 1 day and then don't for 2 weeks. I can't seem to get the habit going. There is too much time spent hanging in the pool in this heat. I need to get it started. 

School will be starting online this year. The governor has pushed the opening date of school back until August 17th - that's the tentative date to return to the classrooms - so school will begin online on August 5th and then if things go well transition to in person on the 17th. I don't think that will happen myself. I have a feeling we will end up online for the entire semester. At least that's what I'm trying to convince myself of because then it will be easier to take when it happens. 

Okay, as usual I feel better just 'talking' this out. I do need to work on some things, but I have an idea for keeping on track.  I have a planner that is honestly not being used a whole lot because we aren't doing much, but it does have an hourly tracker. I've been color coding the tracker with what I plan to do and that has been working pretty well. Once I kind of set a plan in my head I tend to stick to it. So I'm going to start including in there exercise and the other things I want to do. I will put them in after I've been working for a while which generally means sitting at my computer. Yup, I'll do that. That will work. 

Okay, enough. I've got things to do today. 

15 June 2020

Thoughts

2 days in a row, something must be up. 

I have a lot of thoughts today. In SCI we focus each week on something that is not good for us. Social comparison - that never helps or is true. Perfectionism - that can paralyze me if I'm not careful. Discomfort - this can be good if you are aware and deal with it. Stress - need I say more? General mindfulness - so important to mental health. Things like that. So each week we focus on one topic and try to find it as much as possible. Which is great initially but I've reached the point where things are starting to overlap and become much more complicated. Let me explain

One thing I've learned that I do is that I develop apathy. Apathy can come when things are okay and I'm just not inspired or motivated to make them better. I now realize that apathy can lead me into a depressive state, so I'm extremely thankful I can spot apathy before it grows into depression. Well, when I am in the apathetic state, I fall into all kinds of old habits. Social comparison - I start looking at other bodies and my own body far too often. When I'm not apathetic I don't do that. Perfectionism - this comes up when I'm apathetic because I don't want to do something if I don't think I can do it well. Stress? Oh yes!! I have stress when apathetic because of the things I'm not doing because I'm dealing with perfectionism. OMG!!! As you can see they all tie together and I believe that the further you get into this journey of self-awareness the greater the tangle becomes. So I find that I have to pry the pieces apart to get to the problem. The real problem. So that is what I was doing this morning on my walk with Mavy. I know I'm in an apathetic state and I was trying to get to the bottom of why. I reality the apathy isn't caused by the other things I am doing. The other things are caused by the apathy. But I struggle with how to break the apathy. 

Just went off and listened to some stuff on apathy and the general opinion is that you need to be excited about the things you do. How do I get that excitement? How do I get fired up to do the work and be excited about improving myself? I was in a battle with myself and I've worked on that and stopped the battle. Now how do I move forward and make myself the best I can be? How do I get excited about being the best? What do I need to do to reach that state of non-apathy? Is acceptance the same as apathy? Is happiness equivalent to apathy? Because I am happy. I love my life and I love the way things are right now. So does that equate to apathy? 

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong way. I am happy. Could I be happier? Of course. How? Working on making myself better would make me happy. Better in what way? Define better. Maybe improving myself would be a better way to put it. Better is nebulous. I am currently better at Spanish than I was 5 weeks ago because I've started working with Duolingo. So I am better at it. I'm better at writing because I've been practicing. But am I good? No. Not at either of them. Could I be good at them? Of course I could. So what would success in Spanish and in writing look like for me? To be able to hold a rudimentary conversation in Spanish would be a success. To be able to letter something in the way I want to would be a success. So instead of saying I want to get better, I need to quantify what would be a success for me and then go after it. So thinking this through and writing it all out has made my mind feel a little clearer. I think I may be on to something here. I think I need goals as far as my self care goes too. I need to know what I'm working towards, why it's important, and how I will measure success. Definitely some things to think on. 

14 June 2020

Breaking Apathy

Things have been going okay in my life for quite a while now. I'm doing okay. I'm walking most mornings. I swim. I'm working on a class I'm taking online. I'm slowly preparing for next school year. Things are definitely okay. The only real problem I have is that I don't want them to be okay. I want them to be as good as they can possibly be. And in order to get there I'm going to have to break through this apathy that I seem to be wallowing in. 

I'm not depressed, definitely not that. But I do have a serious case of apathy. Everything is okay and I don't have the drive to make it better. I mean if it's not broke don't fix it, right? The problem with that is that I'm not completely happy with the way things are. I'm just not unhappy with the way things are either. So let's take a deeper dive into this apathy. 

Let's look at the individual aspects of life:

Money:  we have money. Not lots but enough. We do some dashing here and there to fund our eating out habit. There is money in the bank and all the bills are paid. So no real problems there. 

Health: we are both healthy. Neither of us has caught the corona virus. We don't have any major medical issues. We are sleeping well and eating well. I have energy though not tons. Hubby quite smoking. I am overweight and not really happy with that. I would like to work out more but just can't seem to find the motivation or desire to do that. 

Happiness: this is definitely just okay. It's not that I'm unhappy, I'm just meh.  I have things I enjoy doing but I don't make time for them enough. I would love to work on my hobbies every day but due to the apathy I just don't. 

So I see a couple of issues. There are things I want to do but I don't have the motivation to do them. I'm okay where I am so there are no huge driving forces to change things. But I'm only okay. I want to be more than okay. So what do I really want? 

I want to lose some fat. I have this roll of fat around my belly/hip area that I would love to get rid of. 
Why? Because my back hurts a lot. I can't walk 10 minutes without my back getting all tightened up. I know this is partially due to the extra fat I'm carrying and partially do to my sitting so much. But standing makes my back hurt, so I sit, and round and round I go. So losing some of this fat would make it easier to stand which would them make it easier to be more active and lose some fat and round and round. I also feel that if I worked out more and had more energy I would be able to do the things that I really want to do like my hobbies. 

I want to work on my hobbies and do the things I love doing. Sewing. Painting. Diamond painting. Writing. Why don't you?  Because of apathy. When I do them I feel really good but getting started is extremely difficult due to the apathy. 

So what do I need to do to have these things happen? I know that I just need to start doing them. If I do them I will feel better and if I feel better I will do them more. And round and round. So these things are all tied together by apathy. If I didn't have apathy I would be doing these things and I would be feeling better. So I'm thinking I need to fight off the apathy initially. I think once I get to doing this stuff the apathy will go away. I'll want to do them because they make me feel good and feeling good will make me want to do them more. 

Okay, that's it. Today I'm going to fight apathy. I'm going to push myself out of my comfort zone and do the things that I know are good for me and that will make me feel good. I'm going to do it for One Day. Just one day. 
One Day | Netflix

Time for some catch up

So it's been a hot minute since I've been here. I haven't posted anything since Feb. 23rd and the world has literally changed since then. The. Entire. World. Let's recap: 

March 5th: Last day of school before spring break. Woo Hoo....

March 13th: The governor issues a stay at home order for the next 2 weeks. 

March 14th: We get word that school will not resume on Monday but that teachers have to report to school. 

March 15th: Governor issues school closure order and we get notified that teachers will not be coming to school. 

March 16th: We are told to create Google classrooms and everything will move online. At this point we are still only looking at 2 weeks. 

March 23rd: Online 'schooling' begins and should only be for one week. 

March 25th: (not positive of this date) governor says that schools will remain closed for the rest of the year. We are given a stay at home order until May 31st. 

Everything closed. Schools, parks, gyms, restaurants, stores, everything. We then spent almost 4 weeks in lockdown. There was no place to go and nothing to do for weeks and weeks. On May 30th things were given the green light to start reopening slowly. Social distancing had to be maintained and wearing masks was highly encouraged. 

So things slowly started to return to normal. You could go out to a restaurant again. Stores were beginning to open. It was great. 

Then some idiot cops in Minneapolis killed a black man. Apparently on purpose by kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. People were yelling to help him and the cop stayed there. So apparently he was out to murder this guy. That was like the straw that broke the camel's back and there was rioting and looting all over the country. Many, many cities instituted a curfew. Here in Phoenix the curfew was from 8 pm to 5 am. But the protests continued although now they are peaceful. 

During this rioting/looting/protesting period which I think has been going on for 16 days now (the protesting, the rioting/looting are over), people were not following guidelines to stay safe from the corona virus. There was no social distancing. Little mask wearing. So now we are having a spike in cases. Where I used to see most people wearing masks, now it is very few. 

So yeah, it's been an exciting few months. We are now on summer break. We had a drive through graduation which was actually quite fun and something we need to consider for the future. We have no idea what will happen in the fall, which is only 6 weeks away.  But so much can happen in that time. 

Okay, so that's the reader's digest version of the last 3.5 months. I going to end this here because I felt I needed to create a catch up post before I went into why I'm really here. So there you go. 

2021 is here

  And not a minute too soon.   2020 was a year for the books. It showed how good humans can really be. Unfortunately, it showed how bad and ...