Quarantine Journal: July 13 2020

Today is the four month anniversary of when I started my volunteer quarantine for this coronavirus pandemic.  I haven’t gone out much these last four months except to pick up deliveries and check my mail.  Been fortunate that I had a couple neighbors help with my laundry and apartment cleaning.  I am starting to get more mobile again as I have fewer aches and pains.  Even the mornings aren’t too bad if I just give myself a couple minutes to loosen my muscles after sleeping.

Haven’t had any symptoms of the virus yet.  There have been dozens of people in my town who have been sick.  Mentally I am sometimes stressed.  Glad I don’t have much for paranoia these days.  Summers can be tough for me to begin with, especially August and early September.  I think it’s helped that I limit my time on social media and limit my exposure to regular news.  I get most of my news online instead of regular cable channels.  I do occasionally watch Bloomberg online via youtube.  But that is more business and tech news than anything.

I keep in contact with friends and family on a daily basis.  Talked to my nephews and niece this afternoon.  They are visiting the grandparents right now.  I sometimes envy my parents being so close to the rest of the family and living in a larger area with more options for medical care, entertainment, etc.  But I probably couldn’t enjoy much of this as I no longer have a car.  I still have my drivers’ license but I haven’t driven in almost a year.  I just got too much sensory overload and I didn’t feel like I was safe operating a car.  Besides, I’ve rediscovered the joy of staying at home, eating home cooked meals, and hosting guests in my own home as a result.

Haven’t watched much new for tv.  Did finish Upload on Amazon a few weeks ago.  Been listening to audiobooks quite a bit.  Started a new video game, well new to me anyway.  Been working on Final Fantasy 15 for the last few days.  I like games like that and Skyrim.  They are a good change up from the Civilization, Total War, and Sim City games that are my usual fare.

My best friend from college and his wife are expecting their second child in less than two weeks.  They have a two year old daughter.  And my oldest nephew will be taking his drivers’ license test in a few days.  It’s fun watching these kids grow up and develop traits and personalities of their own.  Yet I am thankful I didn’t have children of my own, at least with my mental illness.  Maybe I could have made a decent father and husband had I never become schizophrenic.  I’ll never know.  I rarely dwell on the ‘what could have been’, certainly not like I did ten years ago.  The only times I do the what if game is when I am in a mental breakdown.  Glad those don’t happen very often, usually only a few times per year.  As it is, if I can’t be a father and husband, I can do the next best thing and be a great friend, a great uncle, and a great son to my parents.  Even as a middle aged man getting a few gray hairs in my beard, I will always be my mom and dad’s son.

 

Arm Chair Philosophy During Thanksgiving

Spending Thanksgiving week by myself.  I had my celebration a week ago as kind of a going away party for my parents.  I guess I don’t mind spending the week alone as I’ve spent much of my adult life alone.  I haven’t had a roommate since 2004 when I graduated college.  I would actually feel kind of strange having to share a roof and four walls with someone, especially if that someone and I got on each others nerves.

This isn’t the first major holiday I spent alone.  Several years ago I stayed home when my parents were hosting it because I felt a major breakdown coming on.  I wasn’t going to have a break in front of my niece and nephews, especially when they were still too young to go to school.  It was a sad deal in that it was also my grandfather’s last Thanksgiving.  He was diagnosed with cancer a few days later and died a couple months after.  I was fortunate to been able to host the last couple Christmas celebrations with my parents at my apartment.  Not sure what I’m doing this year as all my family is now living out of state.  But I have a few weeks to figure that out.  It could be I get snowed in and not able to go anywhere.  This time a year the weather is always a factor where I live.

Starting to sleep less again.  But I’m not staying up all night either.  I usually go to sleep around 10pm and am up usually around 2 am.  I prattle around for a couple hours and then go back to sleep for another couple hours.  I’m usually awake for good by 8:30 am.  I have been feeling quite stable lately too.  I’ve now gone a full year without a major breakdown.  First time I can claim that ever since I was in high school.

In spite feeling better overall, I really have no desire to go anywhere or socialize much.  I’m content to pretty much stay at home much of the time.  Home is where I feel comfortable and accepted, even if I am alone.  I don’t like socializing in person much anymore.  I’m almost scared of other people now, especially people I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a new aspect of my mental illness.  I don’t have the volatile mood swings but just have no motivation to see anyone or try anything new.

Perhaps I really am depressed and not wanting to go anywhere or see anyone is the way it’s being manifest.  I don’t feel an overwhelming sense of despondency or sadness, but I probably do have both.  I feel no need to socialize because, in my diseased mind, I already know the outcome of said socializing: We will talk about dumb and mundane things and not much will be accomplished from the meeting.  I guess I’m used to not much being accomplished.  I’m used to people outside of family not coming through on what they say they’ll deliver.  It’s like I expect things to not work anymore.  I’m probably suffering from apathy too.  I’m just too tired to fight against it anymore.  I’m used to things not working like they should. I’ve seen it my entire life I guess.  That’s one of the reasons I don’t understand the average person’s obsession with politics or working; people talk all the time yet nothing really changes and certainly not for the better.

I would almost swear that people are intentionally screwing up and doing what they know won’t work.  I can’t believe that people are so stupid as to do what they know won’t work over and over and yet be duped by every charlatan and con artist who comes along offering the same tripe with different packaging and names.  I guess that’s why I don’t socialize anymore.  I’ve seen it all before and I’ve heard it all before.  But nothing changes for the better.  The only real positive changes I’ve seen, at least in my life time, have come via science, technology advances, and humanitarian efforts.  Yet no one wants to talk about these.  But it is science, tech, and humanitarians that are making up for the gridlock in politics and the loss of trust in education, law, and religion.  I guess that people don’t pay attention to what really makes a positive difference.

For generations we have heard old men on their death beds lamenting how they spent too much time at work and not enough time with their spouses and children or grandchildren.  Maybe it’s finally starting to get through to the younger workers who seek a work life balance more than my generation or my parents and grandparents did.  I think I’ll say something like “Too bad I didn’t get the corner office or the company car when I was working” or “Why did I take the day off to take my nephews to the museum?  There was money to be made, dang it” just to break up the somber mood and my way of saying kiss off the old style Puritan work ethic that seems to believe that those who don’t work themselves into an early grave are going to hell.

I don’t regret not having a regular job anymore.  Most people I know who got rich didn’t do so by working forty hours a week for someone else.  They got that way by working for themselves and starting their own businesses.  But even as rich as some people I knew were, I still didn’t see them take with them to the afterlife.  Even the Pharaohs had their graves robbed over the centuries.  Get a large pile of gold and jewels only to have marauders run off with it or have it collect dust in some museum half a world away thousands of years later.  Hard work may have never killed anyone, but neither did enjoying the small things of life that money, power, and prestige can’t acquire.