It’s been a quiet and calm week for me. I can tell the weather is starting to cool and that autumn is only a few weeks away. School has already started in my hometown. I was at the Wal Mart on 10pm on a Friday night and the place was packed with high school and college students doing last minute back to school shopping. Years ago when I was in school, it seemed like the place to be on the weekend before school started was parties that amounted to the last fling of summer. Maybe the younger people today have better priorities than what previous generations had. It was also the first time I used a self check out machine. Just scanned my items, swiped my debit card, and bagged my purchases and left. Sure this may put some cashiers out of work but who dreams about being a cashier working for minimum wage when they are kids?
From about early July to the first week of September has traditionally been rugged times for me. Both times I checked myself into a mental health hospital were in early September. Many of my major flare ups and breakdowns have come in July and August. The first time my parents saw me break down was around Independence Day back in 2000. I didn’t have the serious breakdown last summer besides yelling out a store clerk in early July (which I immediately apologized for). Originally I thought I didn’t have the breakdown last summer because I had extra resiliency because of my grandmother’s death. Besides yelling at one friend over the phone for a couple minutes and writing a nasty email to a second friend last month, I really haven’t had many problems this summer.
I still don’t go out as much as I had previously. Anymore I’m somewhat content to just stay home, read books, write blogs, play computer games, and Facebook with friends. I call friends and family on the phone almost daily. I am having more frequent and longer conversations with my best friend from college. We usually call each other every Sunday night and chat. For the first several months after he got married I kind of backed off and just gave him and his wife their space. He’s a huge history and sports geek (just like I am) so it’s not uncommon for us to be discussing baseball statistics, the ancient Greeks, 19th century German philosophy, and American foreign policy within the same phone conversation. I love people like that. Tragically I don’t find many people with those kinds of interest. My old friend Pastor Verne was one of those types. He was fluent in both ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek from his days in seminary. He was a brilliant man. I’m glad I got to know him. I hope to be that interesting and sharp if I ever make it to that age.
I got my insurance settlement this weekend. I wasn’t planning on anything extra from the accident besides getting my car fixed and coverage of my medical bills. But I am now sitting on top of a wind fall I wasn’t really expecting. I imagine most of it is going into the emergency fund. One of the positives of being debt free is I don’t have the pressure of having to make payments every month. It feels good to not have debts, to have an emergency fund, and a few options. Those are the best stress busters I have ever found.
As this is a lazy Saturday afternoon in late August I currently have a college football game on in the background as I’m writing this Football is one of my guilty pleasures. I’m not obsessed over it but I do like to have a game going on in the background on idle fall weekend afternoons. I do kind of feel bad about watching young men maim themselves for my enjoyment. But at least it’s not as violent as Roman gladiators fighting. I can tell that summer is all but over now that I’m watching a football game. From the Summer Olympics to fall football within a few days of each other.