Beginnings of Spring and New Routines

Even though it’s been a little more winter like the last few days, I can tell that spring is on the way.  I’m starting to sleep less and even wake up earlier.  I haven’t pulled an all nighter in over a week.  I’m starting to do grocery shopping at night like I did in the past instead of at like 3 am.  I’m chatting with friends more and starting to sort out my apartment.  I had gotten lazy about cleaning since Christmas, so that was needing to change.

Mentally I’m as stable as I have been in a long time.  I still don’t socialize much in person even if I make it a point to leave my apartment several times a day.  Sometimes I leave for something as simple as getting soda pop at the convenience store just to get out of my apartment.  I haven’t had any real bad flare ups for weeks.  I don’t know if it’s because I don’t socialize that much or if I’m settling into a calm period.  Late winters and springs are usually the most stable times of year for me.  Late summers and early falls are always tough.

In other news, my niece and three nephews are coming to Nebraska for a few days over spring break.  I haven’t seen those kids since last summer.  It’ll be fun to touch base with them.  I don’t get to see them very often.  I do wish I lived closer to my brother and his family.  Even though my brother and I weren’t close when we were growing up, I still think it’s important to keep touch with family members.  Besides my parents are in their late 60s and they aren’t getting any younger.  After a friend of mine told me her mom had cancer, it made me realize that easily could be my parents struggling with their health.  And it got me thinking about my own health.  Working against a chronic mental illness for twenty years has taken a toll on my physical health.  I don’t get sick with viruses or infections very often, but I can tell I don’t have the physical strength I had even ten years ago.  And people with schizophrenia tend to have shorter life spans to begin with.  I can tell the stress of the mental illness is starting to wear me down.  There is a connection between mental health and physical health I am convinced.

The winter is essentially over.  We will probably have a couple more snows but they won’t be the type that stay around for weeks.  I’m already starting to make plans for spring.  And I’ll probably start spring cleaning and maintenance next week.  I have a couple projects I need to get done that I’ve been putting off for weeks.  It’s time to come out of my hibernation and winter exile.

End of Winter

The weather is starting to warm up and the days are getting longer.  Spring will be in full effect within a few weeks.  I am enjoying the warmer weather.  I’m getting out of my apartment a few times a day to enjoy the warmer weather.  During the course of the winter I have gotten lazy about cleaning my apartment.  So a few days worth of spring cleaning is in order.  Unfortunately I let my house kind of slide for the colder winter months.

Baseball will also be starting in a few weeks.  I still have several days to do some research before I have to pick my fantasy league baseball team.  Been watching a few pre season games the last few days.  First time I really watched regular tv since the Super Bowl.  February has always been a slow time of year for me.

Been feeling pretty stable mentally overall.  I have started to wake up earlier as I no longer sleep until noon every day.  I don’t sleep as much and I think my body and mind are starting to reenter spring mode again.  I’m not staying up as late either.  Seems to me that my overnight mentality is strongest in the darker days of winter.

I can tell that spring is almost here and winter is all but done.  The weather is warming up, the nights aren’t as long, daylight saving time will begin next weekend in my country, the trees are starting to bud, the grass is a little greener, and it seems that the people around me are getting in better moods as the weather warms and the days get longer.  I had dealt with so many foul moods over the last few months I pretty much isolated for most of the winter.  I just didn’t want to deal with angry people anymore.  But even the people in my life are starting to act more cheerful and optimistic.

Even though I have been making a point to leave my apartment several times every day I still haven’t worked up to taking an extended road trip.  I haven’t been outside of my town since last fall.  I actually made it through the winter with having to fill my gas tank only once I drove so little this winter.  But I think since the weather is starting to warm I may have to make a few trips.  It has gotten old spending most of my time at home and having the bulk of my social interactions taking place over phone and internet.

I am looking forward to spring.  I am glad that winter is all but over.  Won’t be long now.

Taking A Short Vacation

At the beginning of this week I decided to take two days out of town and retreat to my family’s acreage in the country.  It’s about forty acres with a stream fed fishing pond on it.  I caught a small bass (I do catch and release), went for a couple walks around the acreage, did some star gazing (I have never seen Mars so big and bright), and took care of a couple barn cats my parents keep out there.  I spent a lot of time outdoors and got a little sun on my shoulders.  I had forgotten that my medications make me more prone to easy sun burns.  I’m glad I wasn’t outside much longer.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous the two days I was out of town.  It has been a cooler and wetter spring than usual.  But we had a wetter than normal winter and a hotter than usual autumn.  I was out at the acreage by myself for two days with no internet.  I found out I like being around people more than I thought.  I just don’t like being around them for long periods of time.  It’s probably why I do well in an apartment complex while living alone.  Most people at my complex are understanding about my mental illness as we have many people here with disabilities.  Being in the country made me realize just how much goes on even in my small town.  The only people I saw in my two days in the country were a couple farmers on the back gravel roads.  I had forgotten how quiet the country really is.

Our acreage, in addition to the fishing pond, has a main cabin, a small bunk house, a metal storage barn, and a windmill.  It’s not as rustic as it sounds as my father put a satellite tv receiver, a ham radio tower, and a solar panel to run a heater on the main cabin.  The cabin is also wired so we could run it off a gas generator in case the power ever went out.  We’re even entertaining the idea of putting up a second solar panel to back up even the generator.  My family doesn’t believe in leaving things to chance.  My mother and I helped him build that cabin several years ago.  The acreage is one of my father’s retirement projects.  I’ve helped him build two cabins, a fishing dock, a windmill, make fences, and clear out tree branches from our small apple orchard.  I found out I’m pretty decent with an electric screw driver and saw.  I’m glad I got those chances to work with wood and basic construction.  It’s therapeutic and you have something to look out when you’re done and can say ‘we did this.’  They also have a garden there but they don’t grow much besides tomatoes.  It’s a late summer tradition for our family once the tomatoes are ripe that we’ll eat bacon and tomato sandwiches with sweet corn for supper probably three nights a week.  You can always tell when it’s August at our house and you smell bacon frying almost every night.

It was a good time to be out of town for a couple days.  The weather is finally starting to warm up and the sun is shining again.  It was a good way to start my summer.