Got my second arm stick

I went this past Friday to get my second COVID-19 vaccination shot from the local clinic. My thoughts on this are varied and are definitely not politically motivated so anyone who has arrived to this post expecting something political can just keep going. I’m aware this subject has unfortunately become politically charged but at the end of the day its always going to be a personal decision because its only you that goes into the room to get the your vaccination.

My reasons are more personal as I’ve seen what this virus is capable of doing to people. If you know enough people with underlying conditions or people in hazardous professions you’re going to have a high percentage potential of seeing more than “just a cold” as some will say. I know people who have gone onto machines and come out the other side and I’ve known people who never woke up again and didn’t have proper funerals. There are no words for someone when in the back of your mind you have the questions “would a mask have prevented this?” or “would stricter quarantines have prevented this?” My wife reluctantly has gone for the vaccine she claims so she doesn’t have to worry about being around her parents who themselves have received their vaccine as well. Asking her about the reluctance the response was a regurgitation of empty and unsubstantiated talking points from Facebook, or some other social media site. She got the vaccine, so that’s what matters, its unfortunate that the circumstances are negative for her since future vaccinations might not cross the finish line.

I’ve always and remain a firm believer in science and the methods that are used to provide answers to questions and solve problems. Science was able to identify coronavirus as a global threat very early in 2020 and private companies immediately started working on a breakthrough mRNA vaccine. This fact has made it possible for me to have had my second dose 15 months after the global pandemic was declared. We have been using vaccines for more than half a century with a relatively safe track record. The anti-vaxxer movement is depressing in that its putting children that don’t have a choice at serious risk to diseases and viruses that were once considered on the verge of being eradicated. Adults are joining this movement as they now have the opportunity to refuse a vaccine themselves.

Getting the vaccine is just the right thing to do. It protects you from others that aren’t being considerate or compassionate of those around them for whatever reason they have. It also protects others you come into contact with as you can’t pass the virus onto others. For me, vaccination has brought a renewed sense of patriotism and pride by contributing to the greater good. It has also lifted a huge amount of fear off my shoulders as I know that my chances of contracting covid-19 is significantly decreased. My path back to the “new normal” has become shortened while being protected from those that are being selfish. Just get the damn vaccine already.

Stimulating

A lot has changed since January 2020 for basically the entire world and everyone has written about it all over the Internet. I’m not doing that because I don’t need to, well, sort of. Having these large gaps between writing is a regular thing for me and it’s something I’ve done a lot of over the last decade or so. The difference is that there just hasn’t been proof of it as I’ve never stayed with a single location for it to manifest itself so clearly. Putting some thought into it the last several weeks I am no closer to a conclusion now than I was when I first started thinking about it. I get all into what I’m doing because it’s something new, something that’s different from the regular pattern, just to have it soon become part of the regular patter and the urge just slowly goes away. I envy those that have the passion and drive to take what’s in their heads and let if flow out onto their screens for others to read every day or multiple times per day.

One of the few posts I made a while back was getting laid off from my job in late 2018 and not finding something new for over 4 months. That job served me well, for just under two years, but it was time for me to move on despite a raging pandemic in the country. I was fed up with being belittled and condescended for work wasn’t done in a timely manner because of people completely outside of my control. So F them and I said “I’m out.” I had been working remotely since March 2020 and there was talk as we rolled into 2021 that we were potentially going back into the office in some capacity, which I opposed completely. I had demonstrated fully for almost twelve months that I did not need to be in person to do my job effectively and in fact, did my job better being remote than being in the office as I had two extra hours to work without impact to my work-life balance. I started looking casually for a new position a few weeks into 2021. That proved to be a quick process as I found a permanently remote position for a company based in Texas doing pretty much what I was already doing for a better rate and a more mature management structure and team. I gave my two weeks and that was that.

As the old job wound down and the new job ramped up, the news of the third stimulus check broke and people were happy. More money from the government most thought. Those of us that actually put some logic into these sort of things, like me, are a bit more concerned about how this is going to play out over the next 5-10 years when all of this “printed” money is going to have to be paid back. Most don’t remember (I was too young, but I asked my parents) this perfect storm of too much money and that pesky thing called inflation happened in the mid to late 70’s and something had to be done. The Fed has two choices: 1) raise interest rates or 2) slowly remove money from circulation. The country screamed “hell no” in unison on the raising of interest rates because, that would cost people more money to borrow money they didn’t have previously. The Fed started taking money out of circulation which didn’t require any approvals. That had the SAME effect on the economy, but indirectly, as interest rates naturally went up anyway because less supply means more demand. Ask a boomer how much their mortgage interest rate was in the 1980’s and most of them would probably say 15% or higher. That’s insane to say now, but it was considered acceptable as it was a means to an end and of course kicked off the Reagonomics, a concept of trickle down that never really trickled down where richer get richer and everyone else gets screwed.

I’ve since received my stimulus from the government. It’s safely tucked away in a savings account, doing nothing, except stimulating my eyeballs every time I open my bank app or log on to pay my monthly bills. See, I didn’t need the money, but I’m going to hold onto it anyway because I’ve been paying taxes my entire working life and part of that stimulus was supported by my hard work. It’s supported by a lot of people’s hard work actually. Yes, there are people who will be taking advantage of the system, its a given and inevitable in any society but the overall majority of people are inherently good. I’ll eventually use the money though more than likely to remodel a bathroom that I’ve been piece parting for the last few years as things slowly break on me. It needs an overhaul and I’ve not had a large enough lump of money to just get it all done in one shot. I’ll be stimulating the handy man down the street as he rebuilds my bathroom after I tear the hell out of it.

Originally most of the content I had written was a tie raid on all the nasty crap that’s been going on the last few weeks now that people are getting vaccinated and getting back into the world. I deleted all of that after writing as it was just too depressing and I felt less heavy after unloading it even if it wasn’t ever published. Some people are just ugly to the ones around them for no good reason, its just that simple and needs no further explanation. For all of our sakes I’m hoping we all get back to some sort of “normal” sooner rather than later. I get my second shot on April 9th and 2 weeks after that I’m getting back to the gym knowing I’ll have some protection. I’ll still be wearing a mask. I’m not going to be “that” guy.

Newest USA Archery Level 1 Instructor

I just got the last email from USA Archery that all my pre-requisite checks were now complete.  I’m officially a Level 1 Archery Instructor!  I’m now qualified to teach beginning archery skills to 8-13 year old children.  While not a difficult process in general, it was actually more time-consuming that I had originally thought and of course, more expensive.  As with any organized sport, the organizations will charge more money than anyone thinks is proper, but you don’t have a choice.  That is all behind me now and I’m already looking forward to actually running a weekly practice session at our local range.

My daughter has taken archery lessons now for just over a year and it’s the longest activity she’s managed to stick with in her 10 years on this planet.  It’s a big deal people!  We even were confident enough to go out and buy her first bow with all the trimmings that go with that to the tune of more than $400.  She’s actually become quite good and has achieved most of the pins for indoor and outdoor re-curve bow.  Her skill with shooting has quickly matched mine and in some respects, surpassed me.  I don’t have my own bow but am planning on purchasing one with my next work bonus next month.

She’s tried soccer, softball, basketball, tennis, swimming and field hockey and wanted to quit all of them before the first season was over.  We did force her to finish out the season because we did pay for them up front.  Archery was one of those things both the wife and I thought she would quit.  Well, it turned out to be something that she looks forward to going to each week and actually gets mad when we have a conflict and can’t go.  I was there so much that when the went around asking for people to volunteer as instructors, I naturally volunteered given that I’d been shooting off and on since college (more than 20 years ago!).

Now I can help teach other kids while spending time to and from archery every week with the daughter.  We play this game where she tries to explain to me what anime and manga are and I obviously act like a Dad and just make it harder for her.  It’s all in good fun and I never make it feel like I am making fun of anime and manga, even though I think it’s absolutely ridiculous.

Let’s hope I don’t hurt myself!!

Family ties to technology

I didn’t have a good weekend. It rained all day Saturday and we were running around all day Sunday because it was Mother’s Day. Of course the daughter decided that Sunday would be a day she would grind against the grain of everyone else and, as much as I love her, single-handedly ruined an otherwise good day with family. I’m starting to notice a pattern though and will be putting in some strict restrictions on the use of anything that contains a screen and run on electricity. She lost her iPhone for 4 weeks because of her last quarter grades. We both noticed a marked improvement in her attitude and behavior that regressed literally an hour or two after she got it back. The girl is hopelessly addicted to all things screen and her typical “I’m not stopping until I want to” attitude always gets in the way. My wife doesn’t help matters either as she is just as addicted to her mobile as well and it’s been a struggle to hold a conversation with her that wasn’t disconnected and unintelligible. I’ve since refused to talk with her when her attention is on the phone screen as I already know, you can’t multi-task with an electronic device, it just isn’t possible. Anyone out there who thinks they can multi-task; verbal conversation and use their phone, they’re just fooling themselves and doing two things barely mediocre.

My level of frustration the last few weeks has unfortunately gone up. My wife tells the daughter to stop yelling at her, yet my wife yells at her to stop yelling. It really is counter-productive in my opinion. I, on the other hand, have manged to keep my tone and outward display of anger to a minimum (for the most part) as it tends to get better results. Our daughter is old enough to know and understand the impact of what she says and how she says certain things, so there really is no excuse for downright disrespect for the sake of exercising control despite her losing the privileged of what she’s trying to control. The whole thing is just counter-productive and doesn’t really make any sense to me. The daughter refuses to do anything when she’s on her phone, playing what I consider real stupid time-suck games, and only listens to either of us once we’ve taken the phone away. Then of course its a fight to get her to do what we’re asking because now she’s angry she lost her phone as a result of her own actions; but it’s our fault, always.

The evaluation of technology in my life is taking a very dark and negative turn, to the point where I get frustrated with anyone using a device near me when I’m trying to say or do something. I’ve respected them by putting my phone, laptop, etc. down but rarely get that in return. The old adage “lead by example” just doesn’t seem to fit when technology is involved. I’m not even going to the “do unto others” space right now. My wife has conveniently forgotten, consistently, that I deleted Facebook and has conversations with me based on Facebook information. When I say I’m not on Facebook anymore, she’s reminded that I abandoned the platform and just stops talking; the subject doesn’t change, she just stops and returns to the screen. I just don’t get it. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, at least that’s what we’ve been told for years, but all I ever see is the negative side of it. People who can’t hold a conversation unless it’s in text form. Social gatherings consist of an entire table of people on their phones. Parents hold up iPads at recitals to “record” their children without a seconds thought of the 9.4″ of blocking capability the iPad produces for the people behind them. Having a conversation with someone under the age of 30 consists of “so”, “like” and “uhm” being practically every fourth word. Call me crazy, but I don’t say any of those words when holding conversation with people. Hearing them tossed at me just derails my train of thought and makes it difficult to actually listen.

There are days that I wish someone would set off an electro-magnetic pulse bomb rendering anything electronic essentially a brick. Our civilization would literally fall apart in the span of a few days though, so it’s not a wish rooted in logic. It’s a wish rooted in frustration, as in “See, technology doesn’t make anything better, none of you can actually hold a conversation to literally save your lives.” Our futures in this world are in jeopardy if we can’t learn to ride the fine line between technology assistance and technology addiction. The Internet was commercially available around 1992, anyone born after that date has never lived without it. What ever happened to learning the hard way first in order to appreciate the easy way second?

Derailed by the Norovirus

It’s a bad day (and weekend) when the only person to get the virus in the house was ME.  No one else got it, no one else shared in my pain and all too well-known symptoms of this nasty and pointless virus that is living upon this Earth.  Really, what’s it’s purpose anyway?

Norovirus

MyNotFriendNorovirus

Got way too comfortable in my gut for my comfort!

I’m glad it’s gone now, still don’t have an appetite though.  Nothing got done this past weekend, was barely moving on Friday.  Sorry for the disconnect this weekend, however I’m better now and almost recovered.  Fingers crossed that no one yet has shown any symptoms that they caught what I suffered through.

I’m ready for a vacation

The last few months I’ve become painfully aware of one truth that I had, for years, denied myself from believing. It’s the truth that unless something drastically changes in the lives of my family, we’re going to forever be owing money to other people. Mortgage loan servicers, credit card companies, auto financiers, utility companies, insurance companies, etc.. The list goes on and on and anyone living the “American Dream” is painfully aware of how difficult and out of reach that dream really is. I’m far from being uncomfortable right now, in fact, I think we’re living just inside our means as I’ve consistently said “No” more than I’ve said “Yes” for the last year since moving into our current home. The problem is that we’re in a home where we aren’t certain what has and has not been properly maintained and it seems we find out when its the most inconvenient. Murphy’s Law in full effect for our household. In the last year, we’ve repaired or replaced:

  • Main water line (inside the house)
  • Water softener
  • Hot water heater
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Front door
  • Garage doors and openers

We’ve also had the back yard fenced in with post & rail with green goat fence stapled to the inside. We really didn’t need a fence, but the dog was getting bolder in going after rabbits and would make it much farther into the field before deciding to listen to our screams to come back. She’s a good dog, but damn, that girl is determined to get a rabbit in her mouth. We paid cash for the fence, cash that I had saved up rather painfully for several months to establish a cushion. One bank statement a few months back that the wife looked at saw the money and was like “we have money, we’re getting a fence.” Who am I to argue. My back thanked me for not having to sleep on the sofa if I said anything other than “Yes.” I’ve since converted our statements to paperless and they’re emailed to my account now 🙂

The wife isn’t working through the summer, it’s school break time. We have very little cushion at this point and it’s started to irritate my normally pragmatic approach to finances. I should have held my ground firmer and explained what the savings were for, like the hidden problem that will cost a few hundred or more that we’re not aware of yet for example. I know the air conditioner is too small for the house and it’s only a matter of time before the thing overloads and burns out. Internet and air conditioning are two necessities that I rank higher than anything else in the household; only the mortgage is higher priority. She doesn’t get it and is rather impatient with the whole waiting to replace things aspect of having a house that wasn’t built to our specifications. I have sometimes questioned why we moved in the first place when a few changes could have made our previous house workable. Hindsight is a bitch.

I’ve made so many changes and cuts to our monthly budget with very little difference to show for it. Every time I think we’re backing away from the edge some unforseen repair or payment pushes me back to the edge again. The most depressing part about all of this is that I’m nursing pants, shirts, shoes and other items to their bitter end before breaking down and buying some new stuff. Not because I want to, but more because I know that the daughter needs them more than I do. That girl grew almost 2″ from November to now and she is in the same size shoe as my wife……the daughter is 10 by the way. I’m not growing that much and can handle a few stitch repairs to extend the life of a shirt, but she literally is growing out of her stuff every 6-9 months.

What to do, what to do. The summer is going to be really tight and with me doing all the finances, I’m the one that worries and bears the burden of making sure there’s a roof with utilities for us to live in. I may just have to swallow my disgust and start letting people know I’m doing computer work on the side again to bring in some extra cash. I can only take so many “I don’t know how that malware got there” excuses before I get cranky with people’s attitudes towards security, or lack thereof. I need a vacation.

Swamped!

To say that last few weeks has been busy is an understatement.  I’ve been off my routine and my schedule is suffering because of it.  Nothing for the month of March has been “normal” and for someone like me that relies on routine it’s been that much more difficult.  There has been no opportunity for down time, the time that I take to sit down and write, and it’s starting to make me tired all the time.  I’ve attempted to compensate by trying to go to bed earlier and usually end up being futile in the end.  Adding to the strain is my anti-technology streak that is still continuing despite me knowing it would probably help out to a certain extent.  Something has to change as the pace I’ve kept up just isn’t sustainable over a long period of time.

The wife volunteers at the local fire house and they had their annual banquet over this past weekend.  Our house is no longer the headquarters for the basket raffle items that were all won and I have my Dining Room (soon to be home office) back.  The banquet, which I helped out at on Saturday, went well and made some money.  We’re not sure if this year was better than previous years as no one kept records of the financials.  My wife, the organized person she is, has detailed reports on everything and will preset it at their wrap-up meeting.  She’s made an impression with the fire house and is working on getting a part-time gig approved to do their book-keeping and light accounting work.  It will get her out of her current job, which she hates.

After realizing that I hit my maximum paid-time-off hours after my last paycheck, it was time for me to start taking some days off.  The wife had several that I needed to take because of random half-days and days-off my daughter has with her school.  The American school year really is horrible, but that’s a topic for another day.  We identified several days through June that I submitted for time off.  I added a few of my own, at random, that I’ll figure out what to do when they get closer.  I’ve been itching to get down to Ocean City, NJ for a day and one of those random days before the season starts might be a good time to head down there.  I always liked being down there when it didn’t have hordes of people around.  Some much-needed time off is in my future thankfully.

One more random subject to talk about is my daughter needing to get braces.  She’s counting down the days and it boggles my mind why.  I never had braces and to be honest, never wanted them even if I did need them.  It’s almost like she’s seeing them as a status symbol or a right of passage.  She asked me if they would hurt when she got them on and being blunt, I said of course they would hurt.  Every time she goes in to have them adjusted and tightened, her teeth will ache for a few days until the pressure lets up.  Not being phased about this, she is still excited none the less.  I believe she thinks she will get some special treatment or leniency on the consumption of screen time, but that won’t be the case.  The limits are there for reasons she’s not aware of and that doesn’t change regardless of the situation.

I’m hoping for more time to write in the near future.  See you all Thursday.

Man-Cold and The Shack

ManWithACold

98.7F!  I’m dying!

I missed last Monday’s post.  I was sick with a man-cold and didn’t feel like writing let alone doing anything to be honest.  My wife doesn’t get it, when I’m sick, just leave me alone.  I’m content being miserable by myself and don’t need to be checked or waited on.  For the most part she does just let me be, unless there are things that need to be done and she isn’t able to do them.  Reluctantly I forced myself to push through things when all I wanted to do was just go to bed.  Two nights last week I did just that, in bed by 8pm, in a row.  I was asleep by the time she came up and laid down; not even an explosion next to my head could have gotten me up from my sleep.

Now, more than a week after feeling the start of the man-cold, I’m finally starting to feel better but still not quite 100%.  My back teeth are floating though with all the water I’ve been drinking.  My nose is still blocked at times and things that I can normally dismiss in the office are making me nuts.  When I can hear things around me even with headphones on, either I need new batteries in my noise cancelling headphones or I’m way to focused on the noises around me to care about the music in my ears.  Anyway, I wish it was still the weekend, but my area is getting 14″ of snow according to the last forecast Tuesday into Wednesday so at least I’ll be working from home at least the next two days away from all the people who don’t understand how annoying they actually are to me.

The_Shack

Sad is an understatement

The wife and I got some time to go see a movie yesterday, dropped the daughter off at the grandparents house and then came back to have dinner.  We decided to see The Shack instead of Logan because it was my pick, and I’m not terribly interested in seeing Logan to begin with and can wait until it shows up on Netflix/Hulu.  The movie was profoundly sad and depressing with a very strong emphasis on God without being overtly religious.  In fact, there was one line in the movie that said religion was too much work and all he (character portraying Jesus I assumed) wanted was friends.  A father was saving his son from drowning and while in the water his daughter was taken by a pedophile.  The movie was about his journey from blind hatred to forgiveness to faithful acceptance.  Overall I enjoyed the movie and its message as it didn’t focus on any one religion; it focused on the faith.  Lets just say that the last 45 minutes, the theatre was “dusty” and the “dust” kept getting in my “eyes.”

It’s been a long time since a movie had that kind of impact with me.  The last movie with such impact was Passion of the Christ, which was brutally in your face.  No dust in the air with that one, but I wouldn’t want to see it again.  I’m actually surprised with myself for having seen two movies in as many weeks when for years I’ve said movies are a ripoff and not worth the money.  We used a gift certificate two weeks ago and had free “birthday” coupons for Sunday’s movie outing, so we only paid for food.  Not too bad considering the food is decent and relatively enjoyable.  My movie going, unless we get more gift certificates, won’t be continuing.  A $3k fence installation to start in April is sure to make sure of that.

Have a good week, for those in the northeast, stay safe and don’t get buried in the snow.  As long as you have plenty of bread, milk and eggs, you can make snow day French Toast.  I’ll be working and snow-blowing tomorrow.

As we head into Christmas…

This isn’t my time of year, various posts in my archives all around this time show a common theme. While I generally don’t get excited or drunk on the Christmas spirit, that doesn’t mean I Scrooge on others that do. My approach is to establish clear boundaries with people so they know that I don’t share in their enthusiasm and that, if I were to be forced to get involved, the consequences aren’t pretty. For the most part, everyone in the family knows this and isn’t too bent out of shape anymore (there are still moments). They know I get “that look” at a certain point and it’s a signal to just leave me alone for a while. Counterproductive to a non-introvert, almost frustratingly so, but a necessary moment of time for me.

 

thislook

This is sort of how I look when I get “that look”.  Best to steer clear.

Although I’m Scrooge to most outside observers, I do value the fact that it’s a time set aside every year to be around family that you normally wouldn’t see otherwise. I have my issues with family, we all do, and I do my best to accommodate as best as possible so as not to make my Scrooginess contagious. I focus on Christmas as a time my daughter can enjoy and we have never made it about gifts. Our family uses a modified version of Santa, where my wife and I get the bulk of gifts to help him out and he delivers one special gift to her. We have, the three of us, made Christmas about volunteering at the local department store to wrap gifts for families in need (department store donates gift cards, we wrap what they pick out). As this is the first year we’ve been involved with the local volunteer fire company, we rode around with them to hand out candy canes to the children in the neighborhoods Santa on the fire engine visited. We’ve also made it a family affair to one weekend go nuts with baking cookies that we hand out to family, friends, neighbors, etc. I put my foot down that the Snickerdoodles were NOT to be shared, they’re way too good a batch this year 🙂

 

leglamp

May Santa bless you with many sexy leg lamps to put in the front window, LOL

It’s going to be a rough weekend coming up. Christmas Eve (Saturday) dinner with my family, brother included. Christmas morning (Sunday) just the three of us, then breakfast with my wifes and my parents. Then Christmas Day dinner at my wifes families house, usually chaotic and stressful, but strangely enjoyable. I have consistently taken the day before Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas Day off so that I can prepare (before) and recover (after) that has typically worked quite well. If I don’t get time at the house to myself for at least a few hours, I just head out somewhere that I can. I’m anticipating this year to be a little rough with my parents and brother as they’ve picked up on the distance I’ve created. I can only hope that they respect that Christmas Eve isn’t the appropriate moment to have “that” conversation and it’s left until after the New Year.

 

It’s my wish that everyone who reads this has a wonderful Christmas holiday (or quiet weekend if you don’t celebrate) and that we all take a few moments to review the year behind us and hope for the best for the coming year. I’m heading into the final weeks of 2016 with an optimism that 2017 is going to be a good year and my life will continue improving as I increase the understanding of myself and learn about our political, financial, and governmental systems.

See you on the other side of Christmas (next Monday basically).

Holiday season relief for an introvert

It’s no secret, yup, I’m an introvert. I prefer long stretches of time where it appears to an uninformed person that I may in fact be catatonic and unresponsive to external stimuli. I’ve never drooled on myself and why should I, I’m actually rather quite busy inside my own head. I’m a calm lake, windless night, snowfall silence on the outside. I’m Grand Central Station at rush hour, a mosh pit at an Avenged Sevenfold concert, an erupting volcano on the inside. For someone who isn’t an introvert, it is hard to understand just how busy it is inside our heads and how a common affliction like Misophonia can rattle our thought process like a California earthquake (noise cancelling headphones for the win!). This will be my 40th holiday season on this great planet, 22 of which have been spent as a bonified “adult” in the eyes of the law. I can’t say with honesty that all 22 years I would have described myself as an adult, but I digress. I’m going to share some of my tried and tested methods of relief, ranked in order of effectiveness (at least for me).

Solitude

This is often hard to find during the holiday season as its typically a time when you see family that you normally would never want to see under normal circumstances. I love my family, but taken in all at once, in the same house, with kids added into the mix; its pure torture and a Hoover Dam spill way in terms of an energy drain. Anyway, solitude is the most effective, yet most time-consuming method for me to get back to a comatose exterior and a New York interior. While its first on my list, during the month of December it’s shocking to everyone that you’d rather spend time alone over spending time with that Aunt that makes that one dish you mentioned as “good” 10 years ago and she continues to make because she thinks it your favorite….. A man can only have so many Spinach Parmesan squares before it’s “No sir, I don’t like it.”

Passenger Staring

This is by far the easiest thing to find especially when family is 1-2 hours away from your home. My wife already knows that either I drive TO our destination or FROM our destination, but not both, so she decides upon leaving which it will be. As a passenger, I can slip into a self-imposed hypnotic trance where it feels like I’m looking outside windows that really are my own eyes. The trance doesn’t need to last long to be highly effective, but can be troubling to someone witnessing it as it sometimes appears I don’t blink (but I do.) I’ll get the tap on the leg paired with “Are you okay?” even though I’ve been like this for many years. Making sure I’m alive and dashing the hopes of an insurance payout, LOL. Depending on the time of day, this can be a highly effective recharge.

Toilet Time

I struggled with a title for this section, cut me some slack. Finding a bathroom, whether you have a requirement or not, is always a good way to get in a quick reset. In a house with only one bathroom, this is obviously harder as it almost certainly means you will be interrupted. However, in a house with more than one bathroom, the chances you can get 10-15 minutes of decompression is much more likely. While this isn’t ideal, and similar to plugging in your phone for 30 minutes, it can give you an hour or two more of energy to deal with the holiday party or family get together. The success or failure of this method will be determined by how practiced you are at micro-meditation.

Alcohol

My least favorite and often least effective, it does have an almost guaranteed benefit of making time go faster when it really hasn’t. A mildly intoxicated brain isn’t as sharp or aware of its fatigue (energy drain) and of course it’s called “liquid courage” for a reason. I’m not a drinker, so when I do partake in some bourbon or beer, I make sure to carefully monitor my intake in relation to absorbing foods to ensure that I don’t go too far down the road to drunk. This might not work for others, but for me, it does help when there are a lot of people and things going on around me that demand my observation and sometimes, my interactions. I had a few at my parents house over Thanksgiving before dinner, I’ll most likely have a few at my parents house for Christmas Eve dinner, and I’ll definitely have a few at the family get together planned for after New Years. Other than these few times in the year, I rarely have more than one drink per month, if any.

Last Resort

Throw an angry tantrum and demand that it’s time to go. While this works in 100% of the cases, the residual effects can linger for hours and even days afterward. This method is to be used as a last resort, hence the title, so use at your own risk. There is always the tried and true “I’m not going” demand that, if accepted, could potentially leave you at home with an empty house for several hours, see Solitude.

What works for you to help keep your sanity during the holiday season?