You know what day it is

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for another “Wednesday Update.” I’ve been really focused on my goals this week, but I’m doing my goal-oriented, “check-in” posts on Mondays. Whereas these “Wednesday Updates” are a completely different thing.

I mean, they go up on Wednesdays, for one thing. And they’re called “updates” and not “check-ins.” So see, totally different, and not at all a desperate attempt to maintain an optimal, three-post-per-week schedule so you’ll keep coming back.

My neck is slightly less haunted.

The disconcerting pain in my neck/brain stem is getting better. It mostly just feels Kinda Sorta Stiff, though yesterday it dialed itself back up to Really Super Painful and gave me a headache which lasted all afternoon.

Still, it seems to be improving. So, I’m sticking with my strategy of ignoring it and hoping it goes away.

Appointment season has begun.

Most of mine and my daughter’s annual physicals, dental visits, and assorted stabbings with small needles all come at the end of the year. That means every week one of us has to undergo some form of poking and prodding. And that means our already-taxed-due-to-the-holidays daily routine is thrown completely out of whack.

This year, though, I’ve somehow managed to keep all of my daughter’s appointments outside of the normal school day. That’s made things a bit easier, but…yeah. Can’t say I’m happy with having to do all this stuff along with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas-related activities.

Some fava beans and a nice chianti.

I’ve started watching a movie a week with Alex, both as a way to spend time together, and also to broaden her exposure to mature fiction. This week’s feature was Silence of the Lambs, which she liked quite a lot.

But me? I was blow away.

I’ve seen the movie half-a-dozen times, but not since I’ve started to learn about photography. There’s an obvious overlap between photography and cinematography, so studying one gives you a bare-bones, intuitive feel for the other.

And wow. This movie is shot unlike any other film I can remember. It’s most noticeable in the dialog, but the composition and framing throughout the movie is so unique that I want to grab the screenplay, watch the movie again, and do a methodical, shot-by-shot breakdown of it.

Of course, when I started rambling on about all this, the other members of my household got all glassy-eyed and just started nodding and saying “uh-huh,” in the hope that I’d wrap it up quickly, but whatever. I appreciate my insights, even if they don’t.

Anyway, that’s how my week’s been going. What are you up to?

It’s not meningitis (probably)

It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means. Time for another barely passable, list-ish “Wednesday Update” so I can maximize my weekly post count.

Because I’m all about value.

My neck is a poltergeist and my brain is the furniture.

I’ve had a nagging and vaguely disconcerting pain in my neck/shoulders/brainstem for a couple of weeks, now, and it doesn’t seem to want to stop. I’ve bought a new pillow, changed a bunch of posture-related habits, and performed a whole cheesy 80s workout video’s worth of stretches–nothing’s helped but what I’m guessing is a staggeringly unhealthy amount of store-brand Aleve. And even that hasn’t helped much.

So, I’m at the point where I should probably see a doctor about this, but also? Kinda don’t wanna.

I’ve been down the musculo-skeletal pain road so many times that I’m more than 80 percent sure the doctor’s going to tell me one or more of the following…

  1. Lose weight.
  2. Exercise more.
  3. Stop looking down at your phone so much.
  4. Here’s some Vicodin.

And I’m going to be like…

  1. Working on it.
  2. Working on it, too.
  3. Shut your filthy mouth, Luddite swine!
  4. No thanks. If we’re down to just masking the pain, I’ll choose cheap whiskey. It’s like homeopathy that works!

So, yeah. Probably just going to keep ignoring it, and hope I don’t end up like terrifying woman from Pet Sematary.

Winter might not suck so bad.

I talked with one of my mental health people about my winter fears, and got a mixture of advice and sympathy which quelled most of them. Among other things, though, she suggested I look into some sort of special table lamp you’re supposed to shine into your eyes, and that scares off the demons or something.

I’m paraphrasing.

Seriously, though, the light somehow resets your internal clock, or makes your brain think the weather’s awesome, or whatever. It sounds like it’s just a crystal shy of straight-up, whackadoodle pseudo-science, but if it’s cheap enough and being recommended to me by someone with an actual medical degree, who am I to argue? So, I looked it up, and saw that the cheapest one she recommended is $250.

I’m pretty sure it would be cheaper for me to just fly to a place where winter wasn’t a thing.

Serenity now!

Only partly-related to my winter suspicions, I’ve resumed some meditation and concentration practices I was doing earlier this year. At this stage, it’s mainly just taking fifteen minutes a day to mellow the hell out, as well as making a conscious effort throughout the day to focus on my real priorities.

I’m still vague-posting a bit, here, because I’m not sure I want to get into anything that the general population typically considers “spiritual” or “religious” in nature. This blog’s focus is hazy enough as it is.

Suffice it to say, I’m doing reasonably well mentally.

I just wish my body felt the same way.

Wednesday Wupdate

It’s Wednesday again, so let’s continue the tradition of me hurling a bunch of gibberish at you about how my week’s been going. Think of these Wednesday updates like the “merchandising” restaurants do, where instead of throwing out their old, gamy food and taking a loss, they turn it into the “Chef’s Surprise” special.

Only instead of suspicious seafood, it’s my life.

That Instagram thing is going well.

“Broken and Beautiful.” I took this photo last week while walking through a local park.

I’ve somehow made it to three thousand followers on Instagram. That’s…really awesome. People seem to like my stuff, I’m often one of the “Top Posts” for my town and many of the hashtags I toss my stuff in–it’s cool. And to be honest, I kinda needed something like this to happen.

I hear a lot of artists rattle off the line “create art for yourself, don’t worry about what other people think,” but I’ve yet to personally meet any artist who isn’t secretly a needy little victim of impostor syndrome who desperately craves the approval of others. Myself included. I don’t need much, but I do need a little love from people who aren’t related to me before I can mentally say: “Okay, I am actually kinda good at this.”

Alex is a teenager today.

I foreshadowed this on Monday, but my daughter turns thirteen today.

It’s kind of freaking me out.

Changing priorities.

Despite the sleep and family health issues last month, things have generally been going well. There is the looming threat of winter and how that’s going to affect my mental health (I have a post about this sitting in my Drafts folder that I’m hoping to get out soon), but overall? I think I’m in a better place today than I’ve been in quite some time.

Which means that I’m starting to re-evaluate some of my priorities. Projects I’ve had kicking around, things I’ve been “meaning to do,” habits I’ve wanted to change–now that I no longer need to just live day to day, I’m taking some time to organize and plan.

If this smells a little like vague-posting, it’s because it is. Even I’m not sure what “organize and plan” means here, or which “priorities” I’m really talking about. I just know that I’m staring down the barrel of some hard choices as to what I’m going to focus on, versus what I’m going to kick to the curb once and for all.

Once I figure out which is which, I’ll let you know.