Too Much Sleep

A while back I wrote about how my sleep pattern was off after a trip and how much I needed sleep. I’m now having the exact opposite problem.

Now that I’m not staying up too late watching baseball, I tend to go up to my bedroom earlier than normal. I generally try to read for a bit before I go to sleep. If there is a football game on I will have that on while I read. Sometimes I will watch a show I watch alone while my wife continues her rewatch of the 80s TV show Hunter.

I’m starting to have more nights like last night. I went upstairs at 9 after barely staying awake for the show we were watching. I thought about turning on the football game, but didn’t. I just got comfortable and went to sleep early. Unlike in the earlier post this did. It mean I woke up early. I still stayed in bed until my alarm. That means I was in bed and sleeping(for the most part) for over 9 hours. That is not normal for me and tends to make me more tired.

I work in branch for 5 hours today. That will increase my weariness. My couple of hours after if working from home will not help. I then will have at least an hour alone after work before my wife is done with work. It will be a struggle to stay awake past 9 again tonight. The cycle will continue.

I know depression is a big part of it. As long as my days are spent the way they are this is unlikely to change. Maybe when my regular TV shows come back next month I will stay awake more to watch.

For now, I’m just really tired.

Click here to buy me a coffee that will likely disrupt my sleep patter even more.

One of Those Mornings

It’s a beautiful morning, but all I want to do is go back to bed. I got plenty of sleep last night. It’s not a physical tired thing. it’s a “I really can’t face the real world today” thing.

I won’t go back to bed. Instead, I am up and dressed and heading off to work in 20 minutes.

I will instead have an afternoon in a Zoom staff meeting.

I will probably get stressful phone calls that will make the day even worse.

I’m still working on a plan that will convince others that quitting and taking a sabbatical is a good idea.

It’s one of those mornings where the thought of real life makes me physically ill.

Sigh.

I promise more fun posts will eventually return.

Monday Again

Here I am again. Monday morning with an overwhelming sense of melancholy about having to leave the house.

Another Monday morning with no blog post ideas.

I saw on Twitter a discussion of how far in advance people schedule blog posts. There are people out there who have weeks worth of blog posts done and scheduled. I rarely have a blog post scheduled. If I do, it is usually the Wordless Wednesday post where all I am doing is picking pictures to share. I typically get my laptop or iPad and then write what comes to mind. I vomit out my words and hit publish. I’m sure no one is surprised by this.

Scheduled posts would help my Mondays. It’s hard to get in the mood to do much at all before work on Monday morning.

Sigh.

Taking a Step

Readers of this space will know that I have struggled recently with coping with life in general. I’ve always had periods where I struggled with anxiety and worry. I’ve had down moods, but I always just coped with it, powered through and moved on. The last few years, I’ve found it harder and harder to do this. A series of life events, I think, lead to this.

I lost my mom to cancer.

I changed jobs soon after that.

My youngest went away to college and I had to learn to deal with an empty nest.

I learned soon enough that the job change was a mistake.

The toxic environment became more and more toxic.

Then came the pandemic and I lost pretty much everything I still lked about work.

The toxicity increased.

I reached a breaking point. My first hope was that I would convince my wife that I should quit my job and that would help. It became clear that would not happen, but something needed to change. I still think things would improve exponentially if I removed myself from that environment, but at the very least I need help coping with it. So, I decided I would finally take the step of seeking therapy.

It was hard to make the call. It was even harder when I kept being told that they had no openings. but I could be on a waiting list. I gave up and told my wife I was giving up on it and I would just cope on my own. She did not give up and texted me a practice to call. They did have an opening and I have my first appointment Wednesday.

Don’t be like me. You might be able to power through and cope, but it isn’t healthy. If I had talked to someone when my anxiety and depression started to get bad I would be in a much better place right now. It shouldn’t take a pandemic to admit you need help. If you need to talk to someone, make the call. I did.

Running or Walking Away

As a bonus post today a share of two posts that reflect how I’m feeling right now. It is a particularly bad mental health day for me today and I still have 45 minutes before I clock into work. This has been a long week and it’s only Wednesday.

Dreams of Running Away https://theycallmetater.com/2018/01/05/dreams-of-running-away/

In which I talk about how I’ve always had thoughts of running away and going somewhere where no one knows me and I can start over. Not happening now that I have a family.

An Insane Thing I’ve Always Wanted To Do theycallmetater.com/2020/05/30/an-insane-thing-ive-always-wanted-to-do/

In which I talk about a similar thing except in this one I walk across the country. It would have the bonus of removing me from real life and giving me time to reflect and think about my next step in life.

The two things they have in common is basically running away from real life and my problems. At this point I would just take quitting my job and taking a sabbatical.

Ready to Rip Van Winkle

I recently watched 28 Days Later. At the beginning of the movie the main character wakes from a coma to discover he missed the zombie apocalypse. After that, on Twitter, I saw a conversation where someone mentioned they would like to be like Rip Van Winkle and sleep until all of this is over. I get how they feel. I don’t want to be like the 28 Days Later guy and wake up to the end of the world. I don’t really want to be in an accident that causes a coma, but waking up to this being over is a pleasant idea. A pandemic, a bad work situation, the realization that you have no circle besides your immediate family. It’s a really tough time. Why wouldn’t I want to Rip Van Winkle my way past it?

This isn’t the first time this idea has popped in my head. Various times over the years when I have struggled I’ve thought about how I wish I could fast forward to better times. Sometimes that thought involved some sort of sleeping until it was over thought. Why don’t we have the technology we see in sci-fi where we can go into some sort f cryo sleep and be revived years later without aging? It’s probably not healthy to want to sleep through your problems, but I think 2020 is something I would gladly miss.

Of course, it is less of a desire now that I have a family. With a family, I would miss more than the pandemic. I would miss time with my kids. Maybe they could cryo sleep with me.

Am I the only one? Anyone else wish they could Rip Van Winkle their way past all of this?

What Now?

Labor Day weekend is over.

My kids are both living about 40 minutes away from my house now.

The days are getting shorter.

I have no work holidays until November.

I assume there will be no handing out candy on Halloween.

I have no idea what Christmas will look like.

I’ve given up on my thought of taking a sabbatical and making a career change.

Looking forward I see:

Going to a job that makes me sad.

Coming home to a few hours alone while my wife works.

Watching tv for an hour or two after work.

Going to bed early.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

It’s Hard to Be a Blogger When You’re Boring

I have been thinking about this post this morning. I wrote a few years ago about how hard it is to be a blogger when you are boring. It’s even harder now when you are not only boring, but you also don’t even do the few things you used to do. My kids are both gone now. I have work and then nothing. Hours of home time, most of it alone while my wife is working. Nothing to look forward to. No attending Ravens games this fall. No conferences. Who knows what Christmas will look like. It is hard to be a blogger when you are even more boring than before. It’s even harder to be a blogger when you are boring and depressed.

I recently posted that I have trouble coming up with blogging ideas and asked for ideas. I was having trouble with a topic for my post this morning and thought I might use one of the ideas my friend Sara Leigh suggested. I started thinking about the things I would do when I retire(or quit my job now). I had ideas of what those things would be and I still might do that post soon, but I will warn you that it was pretty boring. I might become the world’s most boring retiree. It fits, though, since I am a very boring person.

Being a boring person makes it hard to not be a boring blogger. I read other blogs and a lot of them can find an anecdote from an ordinary day and make it in to an interesting post. Jenny Lawson is the best at this. I’m not trying to be Jenny Lawson, but it would be nice to be able to take more from every day life and make it an interesting post. This is hard for me as the following is my typical day and why they wouldn’t make a good post:

Wake up, read the paper, watch the news, write a boring blog post – I’m already in the process of boring you with a post about writing boring blog posts.

Go to work – I try not to talk about work online for a variety of reasons. Coworkers read this blog. I don’t people to think this blog is in any way associated with my place of work. It isn’t. This blog is representative of the common tater from Tater World Headquarters.

Come home, eat dinner, read/watch TV – Boring, boring, boring. I do get a Friday post out of what I watch and read, so I guess that counts as something I do that generates a blog post.

Weekends I do yard work, laundry, cleaning, attend church. Nothing that generally gives me a good story for the blog.

I used to do more commentary on current events and things I see on the Today Show. Maybe I can do more of that moving forward.

Maybe I can try to do more interesting things. Maybe I can use my upcoming time alone to craft better posts that would make the mundane seem interesting.

Blogging is hard for a common tater.

Optimism

I am not an optimistic person. I always assume the worst. I feel like that is the better bet. It’s easier to assume the worst and be surprised when it doesn’t happen than to be sad when you expect good things and they don’t happen. It’s probably not a healthy way to live, but that’s me.

I’m at a point now, though, that I need optimism. I need optimism because everything pretty much sucks. The news is all terrible. We are still social distancing and kids can’t go back to school in person. There’s a good chance we won’t have college football this fall. My job still depresses me. My daughter moves into her apartment near college this week where she will live even if school is all virtual this year. This means my life will be going to a job that is slowly killing me and then clocking out to hours at home alone while my wife is still working coupled with worry about my kids who don’t live with us. I need optimism.

So many other people seem determined to dash any optimism. I still look at the coronavirus numbers every day. There is some reason for optimism there. Maryland’s numbers are looking better every day. Yesterday, the national numbers were at the lowest they’ve been in a while. I look at the Twitter threads because people post more detailed numbers in the threads that I find interesting. Unfortunately, the threads are also full of people determined to end any optimism. They point out any reason they can find to discredit any positive trends. There are always the “just wait two weeks” people. News about football gets posted and people jump on to be the first to opine that the season won’t happen. It’s all doom and gloom and nothing will ever be normal again. We will see headlines about how UNC failed at in person college, but any success stories will either be buried or ignore completely. We are addicted to bad news porn.

I need optimism and positivity. I just don’t know where to find it.

Lazy Saturday

I had a big post planned. It was going to be of about TV shows I’ve watched that really established a sense of belonging and now watching them made me realize I don’t have that here. I had it in my head all day yesterday. Instead, I slept a little later than usual. I read the newspaper and drank some coffee. I’m working on a crossword puzzle. I’m trying to avoid doing much of anything today. Next Saturday will be my first one since March without my daughter living here. I’m sad and don’t want to do anything but sulk.

So, instead of a post that might have been decent, please enjoy this video of me as an expert axe thrower.

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