Routine 3/31/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Of late, my goal has been to formulate some kind of routine. Without one, I sleep too much, and accomplish too little which contributes to my burgeoning depression. After the problems at the college, my depression tanked me. I mean I really hit rock bottom, but, interestingly enough, I already seem to be back on the upswing.

Working at the college really accomplished a couple of things. First, it gave me at least some structure to the week. I only taught twice a week in this most recent semester, but still, that defined the regular work week and created a segregation of sorts for the weekend. Now I don’t see a significant difference between the weekends and weekdays. The second thing it did was use my skills as a chemist and educator, skills that will no doubt atrophy now that I’ve made the decision to retire from teaching.

I’m trying very hard to take advantage of the depressional uptick. I’ve started a few new projects, and I’m working on trying to get into new habits. As for habits, I’ve been picking up my dumbbells again. They are adjustable weight, which is good because I didn’t realize just how much my muscle mass has disappeared. Although you’re supposed to work out only every other day, I’m doing it a little bit differently. In an effort to make it an easier habit to get into, I’m trying to exercise every day but separate the muscle groups. I alternate between working on my chest and arms on one day and legs the next. I have this set up so I can have a dumb movie playing while I exercise, but I have to admit that my cat Star is always wondering why I’m laying on the floor and not giving my attention to her.

I’ve started a couple of new things. I’ve contacted my friend for lessons on how to write music, and I’ve signed up for an online therapy program. I’m trying to alternate days on those as well. The music has had a few lessons now, and I have the synthesizer for when we get to that part which is the same brand and model as my instructor uses so that’s good. One of the difficult things about teaching is when I was doing math problems in class using powers or logarithms and students would ask me how to do it on their calculator. In a class of a hundred students, this doesn’t work because different models require that you do it differently, and I don’t know how each model works. So, this should be easier for her. I hope. As for the therapy, it’s based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Apparently the idea is to become more aware of your own thoughts and interpretations and convert them from negative to positive. Instead of saying “I’ll never find anybody to love me,” I need to start saying something positive like “I’m positive I’ll be lonely for the rest of my life.”

I may have some work on that part yet.

And I’ve had a couple of side-project successes. I ate a bunch of oranges. Okay, that in and of itself is not much to boast, but I did extract the essential oils out of the peels, gathering about 2 mL of the oil and analyzed it for density and the UV/Vis spectrum. That was pretty cool. And, I took the class for the concealed handgun permit (I know my regular readers have read a lot of all of this already; I’m just putting it together here). Today (as of the writing of this post) I submitted the paperwork to the sheriff’s office. Apparently, they are very behind in these permits, so I should get it by mail in three or four months. Yes, months. I actually don’t plan to carry my gun (it felt uncomfortable when I tried previously; it’s just not my style), but with this I don’t have to worry about inadvertently breaking any laws when I bring my gun to and from the gun range. More importantly, in this state it bypasses a lot of red tape (nearly all of it) when purchasing a handgun. I’m in the market for what I consider to be a novelty gun (a .50 caliber magnum handgun), so if I find it I can buy it and bring it home immediately.

There are more things I need to do. I need to get back into working on the house, building my workbench and other projects, but if I can find this routine I should be far more successful.

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