Been snowing on and off the last few days. So I have just stayed home and admired the snow while watching football or listening to music. Haven’t read much the last few days, not even articles. I have found that I actually remember what I hear in audiobooks more than what I read in regular books. I don’t read very fast anymore. And when I do, I find myself stopping every half hour or so just to think over what I’ve read. It’s a terrible way to try to read novels, but it’s perfect for heavy reading like philosophy and science books.
I guess winter is here. Not that it bothers me any. Spring is usually my favorite time of year, followed by winter. I love the chilly weather, long nights, and not feeling pressured to go out all the time. I enjoy the holidays more as I don’t venture out into the stores and fight the crowds anymore. What Christmas shopping I do is all online now. I got too much sensory overload from going to stores. Too many bright lights, too many people, and too much noise.
I haven’t had much for flare ups for a few weeks now. I think it helps that I am spending more time with my neighbors. I usually see them once a day, sometimes twice. Last weekend they spent an entire afternoon at my place. I think it’s helping ease some of my stress and anxiety about people. I have become quite fearful of crowds the last several months. And the fact that most of the time when people wanted to talk to me, they were angry or I was in trouble. For awhile, this made me very paranoid. Sometimes I would have panic attacks when I heard people talking in the hallway. Sometimes I wouldn’t answer my phone even if it was a friend or family member. I have gotten over that recently. I still answer even if it’s an obvious telemarketer. But rather than get upset, I just hang up after a few seconds. It’s not the most polite thing to do, but it’s not as bad as yelling at the person or machine on the other end. About the only time I don’t answer my phone is when I’m taking a bath or a nap.
I’m also having fewer aches and pains. The worst are always when I first wake up in the morning. And when I sit down for more than a couple hours, I can be kind of sore for the first minute I’m standing up. Anymore I almost always make a point to stand up at least once every hour, even while I’m on serious projects. I still lift weights three times a week. I think I’ve lost weight. I don’t know if I really have, but my clothes fit better, I recover from being out of breath faster, I recover from anxiety and irritability quicker, I sleep better, and my back doesn’t hurt as often. I still stay seated most of time when I have guests or my cleaning lady is doing her work, but it’s just so I don’t get in the way now. Even the shirts I bought a few months ago are now kind of baggy. I still wear a lot of sweat pants and cargo shorts, but it’s mainly because they are so comfortable and I do most of my work and shopping from home.
I sold my car a few weeks ago. I sold it to a friend of my parents who was needing more reliable transport. And I wasn’t driving much as I have found I can do almost everything from home now. I was also getting kind of unnerved about driving too. It’s just too much going on all at once. I admit to getting distracted and sensory overload easily. It’s just best that I don’t be out on the road anymore. And if I desperately really need to go anywhere, my town does have a few taxi cabs and a few Uber drivers now. My brother and his wife live in Oklahoma City and they usually hire Uber drivers when they need to go to and from the airport to avoid paying for a parking space. I have an account, but haven’t actually used it yet. I don’t miss driving that much. It was just becoming more of a hassle than it was worth. I enjoyed going on road trips all the time when I was in my twenties and early thirties. But as I have gotten a few years older, I pretty much enjoy spending most of my time at home in the company of family or friends. I’m glad I travelled when I was young and in more stable health.
I don’t regret any of the travels I did. Actually, there really isn’t much I regret about my life so far. Sure I regret getting schizophrenia, but it’s not like I had any say in that. But I’ve made my peace and adapted accordingly. I know it’s popular right now to be nostalgic about the past and be convinced that the world is going to hell. Yet, for me, there isn’t any time in history I would want to be at other than the here and now. If I had been born in my grandparents’ generation, I wouldn’t have had decent medications and would have been lifelong institutionalized if I was lucky. As it is, I can live more or less independent and on poverty level wages because of medications, social safety nets like disability insurance and Medicaid. Thanks to computers and internet, I have easy access to almost any kind of information I want within reason. That alone would make the scholars of any previous era jealous. And I get access to this treasure trove of information for the cost of one dollar per day. I find myself looking up things all the time, even useless information like when I’m talking football statistics with my friends or family. I couldn’t have done this twenty five years ago. And now that slightly over 50 percent of the world’s population now has internet access, it is starting to no longer be considered a luxury. For me, it’s an absolute necessity for my current lifestyle. I’ll take easy internet access over flying cars and meals in pill form any time.