Today has been a hard day for me. And while I would like to say that I have made the healthy choice to “bend” rather than break under the weight of a bunch of things, the truth is that it feels more like a break.
I have ongoing sinus headaches that are kicking my ass. They’re not severe, they’re not debilitating migraines, they’re not life-crushing. But they are persistent. Some of it is allergies, some of it is being in the basement, some of it is probably just poor health in general. But they’ve been sapping my energy this week. We watched the World’s Toughest Race this week, with Bear Grylls hosting, and that type of show normally inspires me to see what people can do. This week it was more like, “They can do THAT and I feel like I can barely get through the f***ing day without crying.” I’m coping with Tylenol, but I really would like it to stop for a few days and let me sleep better. Or just make it through to evening before it hits. 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. is kind of deadly right now. I’m ending up having to sleep through it instead. This weekend, my head was pounding 2-3 times a day but I managed to keep trucking along. Lots to do, not enough time to do it.
And on the health front, I did something really f***ing stupid about 5 or 6w ago that is going to continue to bite me in the ass for some time. I was at the cottage, Andrea, Jacob and her parents were in the lake, and I was joining them. The lake is pretty shallow, but I jumped off the dock anyway. Nothing REALLY stupid like a dive, I am too heavy to control that well enough to not seriously injure myself, but I thought a simple semi-cannonball would be fine. Nope. I landed fine, but my weight basically took me straight down into a power squat, with the backs of my thighs smacking the backs of my calves.
I didn’t think I was going to be able to get out of the water, it hurt so bad. I thought at first I had torn something big. But it was okay after about 10 minutes, and while tender for the next few days, I thought I had escaped with minor outcomes. However, over the last two weeks or so, it has been tightening up at the back of the calf, about two inches below the knee. Oddly enough, my knee is fine — it normally hurts regularly, but somehow I didn’t damage it, it is just the muscles behind the calf. I’ll give it another week or two, and if it’s not healing or if it’s getting worse, I’ll have to look into it more thoroughly than simply consulting my SIL physio. My two hours in the garage were fine until I went to leave the garage and stepped up into the house. Simple step, but I tend to lead with my right foot and push off with my left, and the left REALLY doesn’t like pushing off when my leg is tired. It lets me know REAL fast. Not anywhere as severe as just after the stupid injury, but just enough to remind me that I’m 52 and fat, I shouldn’t be jumping off anything except the couch to get active. But it is frustrating too.
I’ve been expending a lot of energy to get the house functional again, with the move to the basement, and I’m trying to psych myself into this being a good thing, but my brain is too fast to not see through what I’m doing. I know I’m lying to myself. I don’t want to spend the whole day in the basement with a heater running because it’s cold. I don’t want to spend the next 2-3 months organizing sh**. I’ve been telling myself I’ll be done by October 1st to keep the momentum going and a light on at the end of the tunnel, but if I’m realistic, and today I don’t have much choice, it’s more likely to be January 1st. And that is busting my ass with frustration. I just want to do be done. I’m focusing as much as I can on the great new space for my desks etc., but I know it’s just trying to avoid sour grapes.
The isolation is getting to me too. We managed to go to our sister-in-law’s today, which was nice to visit, but it’s not enough. Maybe I need more random social interaction. Something fun with someone other than Andrea and Jacob. I managed a long conversation by messenger with an old friend on the weekend, and it was reassuring I guess (?) to see others feeling like they are a bit tired of the same housemates being their main social interaction too as well as their dining companions at every meal. If variety is the spice of life, I’m definitely living in a white bread world. Without the white bread. Another bit of frustration on the sandwich.
One way to cope with some things like this is to go for something “big and different”. If you read my blog back in April, you saw me spiral realizing that I couldn’t build an observatory in the backyard while keeping enough room for other functions. It also doesn’t help that Andrea doesn’t really understand that spiral or know how to talk about anything like that, just not her jam. April f***ing sucked, to be honest, and I spiralled hard with no one to really talk to about what I was experiencing and no social outlet to distract myself. I mention my disappointment on not being able to do an observatory because we’re now considering a pool.
I’ve always wanted a pool, but Andrea feels they are too much work, take up too much of the backyard, we wouldn’t likely use it enough, we like going to the cottage in the summer, etc. But we were considering getting a trampoline that would tie up the backyard anyway for fewer usages than a pool, so we asked J what he was more interested in, and I’m not surprised it was a pool. So Andrea is doing research to see how she feels about the options. But I know I can’t get excited about it, we are WAY far away from anything resembling a decision that it is even feasible in our small yard let alone desirable from Andrea’s perspective. And TBH, if I get excited about it, and we can’t do it? I literally can’t go through that roller coaster again, not after the observatory. So I’ll let Andrea lean in on this one and see what we end up with for next year. There’s a consultant that a friend of a friend used to see what was possible, so maybe we’ll have them come over and give us some options. After our conversation with the inlaws today, I suspect it won’t be feasible in our yard, at least not without seriously ripping up part of our existing deck.
Between the observatory, pool, moving my office, the cold basement, all the disorganized chaos right now, I feel like I’m starting to hate our house. I have no desire to move really either, and with the constraints that we have for where we live so that Andrea and Jacob have good transit options, this is probably the best it gets. Andrea would like to maybe downsize when she retires and move closer to the river, and the prices in those areas while staying close to transit are going to seriously f**k with our financial plans. I did some basic research tonight, and we can do it, but only likely through a condo option which pretty much means giving up astronomy (no place to safely store the gear) or having a pretty tiny house for the outrageous prices in those areas. I’ve been planning to retire in 5 years, but if that is the longer-term goal for our living, there’s no way I’ll be able to do that then. I’ll likely have to stay until the 35-year mark to maximize the pension. Another giant box of uncertainty there to file away somewhere.
My normal coping mechanism, an outlet for a combination of creativity, expression and organization is my website. And today it is really pissing me off. Certain things that should work are running really slowly, and I have no idea why. With my frustrations already running high, and being really tired due to bad sleep and staying up too late, I am not thinking straight at all today.
Hell, I even tried to get a pair of headphones working today that don’t seem to work for the microphone part, and I spent almost 45 minutes to get the damn drivers downloaded only to find out it doesn’t recognize the headphones at all. I’m seriously considering some nuclear options on the website tonight, with no guarantees they’ll actually do ANYTHING to solve the speed problem I’m experiencing. I changed something in the settings to compensate and looking at the way the site is loading now? I hate it. Looks like a DOS version for about a second before the real content loads. I don’t even know which change did it so I can undo it. And too many other changes in the last day to simply do a rollback to an earlier backup. I think. At this point, I am too frustrated and tired to be sure of anything.
If I was making the right choices, I would have found ways to bend today. Instead, I let it break me. Which is a choice too. Not a good one, but a choice.
Today I choose to break instead of bend.
What choices are you making today?