I Want To Shake Things Up and Get More Active Again

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My back has healed up.  I’m back to essentially a more normal routine.  Because of the colder weather and being housebound for two weeks, I got to do some thinking about changing things in my life.  I have essentially been in a rut for the last couple years where it’s pretty much the same old every day, day in and day out.  I haven’t done any real traveling for almost three years, spending much of my time self educating via youtube and Khan Academy and reading books.  I gained back the weight I lost within two years of my car accident back in 2015.  Now I’m getting more serious about my health again.  I don’t eat fast food anymore.  I’m starting to get out of my apartment more and walk a little every day.  I do arm weights three times a week.  And about the only things I drink anymore are water and coffee.  I feel like I’m beginning to see some results.  I started this new routine shortly after New Year’s.  Because my back slowed me down for two weeks, I just cut back on what I ate.  I’m to where I now eat meat only once a day, usually for breakfast.  The rest of the meals I eat things like spinach leaf salads, soups, peanut butter, and meatless pasta.  I think my routines are starting to work.  I feel like I have more energy.  I feel more mobile.  I’m starting to have fewer aches and pains.  And I am sleeping better too.

I’m also thinking that after I have lost some weight, I’m going to have to get out and about more.  I am in desperate need of shaking up my routines and adding more spice to my life.  A few years ago I said that I would like to do some traveling eventually.  I still have my savings that I built up a few years ago.  I’m thinking I’m going to have to see my old college friends again.  I don’t have a definite time line set just yet as this is still in the dreaming before making plans phase.  I have always wanted to get my passport and travel through Europe and see places like Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, London, etc.  Part of me would, if I get back to the same weight I was in college, love to travel on some of the old Silk Road from eastern Europe to China or vice versa.  When I was in high school I spent a couple weeks in Mexico with my Spanish class.  It was the most enjoyable vacation I had in my entire life.  Now that I am an adult, debt free, committed to getting back into good physical health, and have a little bit of a savings, I’m going to have to do this traveling before I get too old to enjoy it.  Since I am single, have a safety net in my disability pension, and I can do my blog from anywhere that has WiFi internet, I’m starting to hear the faint beckoning call of the open road again.

When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I did a little traveling every year.  My senior year of college, my parents and I went to San Antonio for Christmas.  I got to see The Riverwalk lit up for Christmas, visited the Alamo, got to see one of the Air Force bases my dad was stationed at during the Vietnam War, and got to see my Nebraska Huskers play a post season bowl game.  And an old college friend and I used to go to Denver to see Colorado Rockies baseball games, one of those games being a World Series game.  Spent all winter paying off the cost of that quick weekend trip, and even though the Rockies lost the Series, it was worth the trip.  I visited an old college friend in Minnesota for a week several summers ago.  I was amazed at how beautiful Minnesota is (I wouldn’t care to fight their winters). My friends and I used to go to minor league baseball games every summer.  We were able to get front row seats, a couple hot dogs, and a couple soda pops for less than $25 a person.  Just thinking about these old times while I was house bound for the last two weeks got me to realize just how much I missed travel and seeing different places.

I know that before I can fulfill these dreams of traveling, I have to lose some weight.  I have done it before.  And by God I can do it again.  I know it’s going to take at least a few years before I can get to doing the travel overseas like I dream of doing.  But I have pretty much gotten to where I have played all the computer games and done most of the self study I care to do.  I took a couple years doing that and I have gotten it out of my system.  Now it is time for a different chapter in my life.  It’s time to lose some weight and prepare to hit the road again.

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Road Trip

Went on a road trip to see my parents at their place over the weekend.  It was the first time in months I had been outside of my hometown.  It was good to have a change of pace and get away for a couple days.  My parents are clearing out some of their old clutter as they are preparing to move.  It’s looking more like we’re going to move to be near my brother’s family all the time.  Mom and Dad are looking at different places online almost everyday.  So it looks like if they get their house and the acreage sold, then we’ll be moving probably in late summer.

Mentally I’m looking forward to possibly be living in a larger area.  I have lived in small towns my entire life.  But I have always wanted to live in or near a major city at least once in my life.  Now it looks like it might happen.  I definitely feel like I’m missing out on my brother’s family as I see his kids only a few times a year.  And I regret that my brother and I aren’t close.  We weren’t close as kids and unfortunately that carried over into adulthood.  I don’t dislike him or anything like that, it’s just that we don’t have much in common.  I guess we never have.

In other news, things have been kind of quiet for the last several days.  I may be sleeping less than I did during the winter, but that is fine by me.  Mentally I’m feeling quite stable.  Haven’t been having problems with hallucinations or delusional thoughts for weeks.  I also don’t have problems with depression or anxiety.  Things have become quite stable.

So Long Winter

Winter is all but over now.  The weather has been warming up and the days have gotten longer.  It will be staying light longer since time change is this weekend in my country.  As a result I’ve been feeling better mentally and been more physically active.  I had forgotten what is was to be able to go outside all the time and not worry about the cold and snow.  These last couple months have been the longest stretch of mental stability I have had in months.  Between the increased physical activity, the better mental health, and the better weather, these last two weeks have gone remarkably well.

Made a couple road trips in the last two weeks.  Went to the family acreage for the day yesterday.  Got to relax, catch some sunshine, see some wildlife, and spend time with the family.  I rarely go to my hometown anymore except for holidays and family gatherings.  There just isn’t much holding me there anymore.  I can get and do pretty much anything I need and want in my current town.  I have a few more road trips planned for the spring.

The stabilized mental health has made it much easier to enjoy this spring.  Didn’t enjoy last fall as much as I normally enjoy fall because a few flare ups of the mental illness.  But that seems to be in the past now.  Been an enjoyable last two weeks and I’m anxiously looking forward to the rest of spring.

 

Plans For Spring

 

Looking at my calendar I see that there’s less than one month until the start of Spring.  Looking out my window, I see that almost all the snow we had three weeks ago is gone and the trees are showing buds.  I also heard several flocks of Canadian Geese overhead during the last few days.  We’ve had nicer than usual weather the last several days, giving us a teaser for the spring.  Even preseason baseball practice has started.  I’m thinking it’s going to be another long year for my Colorado Rockies but since the Kansas City Royals put together some excellent teams the last couple years, it has me thinking it’s possible.  But hope springs with all the possibilities of the upcoming Spring.

Now that I’ve stabilized after the problems of the fall and the holiday season, I think that getting out of the apartment complex more is in order.  There is a cool museum in one of the nearby towns that I haven’t been to for a few years.  It’s called Pioneer Village.  Pretty cool place with a lot of antique cars, toys, nick nacks, and a full scale 1880s frontier town in the complex.  I think almost every school kid in Nebraska has made a field trip to this place.  Pioneer Village is definitely a must for any visitor to Nebraska.

Another must is the bird migrations that go on in late February and March.  Every spring thousands of Canadian Geese, Sandhills Cranes, and other migrating birds come.  The fields along the Platte River, particularly along Interstate 80, are so covered with birds the fields are white with them.  They are especially thick the first two weeks of March.  Some places along the Platte River offer guided tours that draw bird watchers from all over the country.  I probably won’t be paying for any tours. I’ll just go a few miles outside of town and check out any field near the river.  Last year I was lucky enough to see several large flocks of geese take off.  Mornings are usually best for viewing the migrating birds, but evenings are pretty good too.

I’m also planning on being at the family acreage this spring.  I haven’t been there since late October.  From what I heard the place wintered well.  A mother cat had several kittens they made it through the winter.  Dad is talking about building solar panels for the cabin.  Since I’ve helped him build a couple cabins and renovate his rental house over the last several years, I’ll help him on this project.  I got pretty decent at using power tools, saws, and wood working.  But I never got very good with electrical work.  This may be a chance to pick that skill up.

I’m going to exercise outdoors as the weather warms.  I’ve been limited to walking indoors and arm weights three times a week since late November. Haven’t gained any weight in the last month, so I’ve stopped the weight gain.  Now the weather is going to warm soon I’ll start losing again.  I should have known that losing weight last winter wasn’t normal unless you have good exercise equipment at home.  Yesterday was the first time I exercised outdoors for any real length in a month.  That large blizzard we had at the beginning of the month is mostly melted.  I’m looking forward to the start of spring.  I won’t be sorry when the winter ends.

 

 

My Buddy’s Wedding

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My college buddy Matt got married over the last weekend.  It was an outdoors wedding but wasn’t terribly hot as July in South Dakota can be.  While I was standing up with Matt I had to keep reminding myself not to lock up my knees so I wouldn’t pass out.  Matt was really nervous the morning of the wedding.  But I made it a point to not ask him if he was.  I must have heard at least ten people ask him about nervousness.  The wedding and reception went off well and there weren’t any true mess ups.  I posted a pic of myself in a suit even if I do look like Tony Soprano.

Mentally I held up better than expected.  Summers have always been a tough time for me so I was concerned going in.  But I just allowed myself to enjoy the few days away from the grind.  Got to catch up with old friends and made a few new ones.  Played multiple games of Jeopardy (I won a couple of those) and had a poker tournament the night before the wedding.  I lasted a couple hours before losing my $20 buy in but good luck getting out of a night club or concert with spending that little.  I think a night at the movies costs almost that much for one person.  Matt ended up making the most money of anyone in our eight person game.  Have fun with our money on the honeymoon Matt 🙂

It was a great few days out of my routine.  The weather was perfect for early July, the Black Hills were as green and beautiful as I’ve seen in years, and we had some great times.