Day 325, Getting My Focus Back
“We’ll get some rest, re-energize and get that focus back. It’s all about the mental edge.”
The last few days I have started slowly to get my focus back.
Focus on My Health: Chiropractor
My chiropractor said I am making great progress. I walked to the chiropractor’s office this morning, stopping at the library to drop off the book I read over the weekend and picking up two new books. It was more like a hike; I walked up and down a hill. I had a mid-term evaluation at the chiropractor’s. The chiropractor asked me about any additional goals. I told him I wanted to create more pleasure in life and build positive memories.
Focus on a Balanced Future Time Perspective
To gain my focus, I also want to continue my future time perspective, which has helped me to be successful in the past. This afternoon I even searched local jobs to determine if there might be work here for me in the future. There is a lot of opportunity in Denver, but less close to home. However, I found a listing that could be of interest to me 8.4 miles away–maybe a bit far to be practical getting to work via Lyft, but let me not rule out the possibility. Lyft rewards frequent riders with discounts.
What time perspective am I in during the time I blog? I think I flow around from past to present to the future. Let me think of the future, today’s future. This afternoon my husband will return home, and I will go to the front of the building to await his Lyft ride. Circulation, the company that organizes his Lyft rides, will text me when his ride has been dispatched, and I will know if he is waiting for his ride to pick him up or if he is already in transit on his way home. The times texted are accurate to within a few minutes, making planning much more efficient than was possible in the past without these conveniences.
Focus on Getting Enough Rest
Right now, I am feeling sleepy. Last night’s sleep was not as restful as I hoped. My husband slept close to my side of the bed, on top of the covers, which prevented me from drawing the covers over me. I put a bathrobe over myself, which helped, but I still got a bit chilled from the air-conditioner. I could have pulled some blankets over myself, but I was too exhausted to get out of bed, so I spent the night in less than ideal conditions. There is my experience in my past-negative tone of voice. What can I do turn turn my experience into something positive?
Perhaps I can acknowledge that I can take a nap now and luxuriate in the fact that I do not have to go anywhere today, now that my chiropractor appointment is complete. I can rest. How lucky am I? How many people get to do this? I also have a nice, comfortable bed to sleep on.
Outing With a Neighbor
This morning, after getting my husband on the Lyft, I drove to the retirement complex where my husband and I used to live and spent time with my former neighbor Jacque. Again, she gave me some clothing and took me out to lunch. I drove her around, which she sincerely appreciated. We had a wonderful time.
I returned, exhausted from the driving and the heat, even though the temperatures were fairly mild today. My husband came home and I brought him back in the condo in his wheelchair. I rested a while, set up Internet access to his health care data, then resumed this blog.
I started reading the library books I checked out yesterday but neither seemed like just the right reading material for me right now. I will take the books back and maybe get something else.
Focus on Living Here in Colorado
I am feeling a bit burned out after getting my possessions moved here from Utah. It feels like I have finally committed myself to living in Colorado. I could still go back to Utah, but the cost of doing so would be high.
This morning as I left the building with my husband in his transport chair, the air was cool, fresh, and clean. In Utah, I used an air filter in my apartment. That is not necessary here. The difference is especially noticeable in the winter. The Wasatch Front in Utah has prolonged temperature inversions throughout the winter, sometimes for weeks at a time, during which time the air becomes very dirty.
I want to stay here in Colorado, probably for the rest of my life. However, it is more expensive to live here. How can I work out a situation for myself long-term? I believe I will need my husband’s help. I pray that he will address my needs. I pray that I can communicate them. My step-son is drawing up a trust last weekend and next. The process may go on for a while. How can I protect myself without coming off as greedy?
Focus On Beauty and Learning
This morning, it was beautifully cool and breezy again. I helped my husband get in his Lyft car. Then I walked to the library, taking back the two books that I did not care to read and getting three more.
After returning, I got a shower and some lunch, interspersed with reading.
Focus on Moving in the Right Direction
If I really want focus, perhaps I need to know my direction. What is my best course of action right now? My motivation is not really high. My weight is wavering up and down, mostly up. Many people have asked me about my work. That rarely happened in Utah. I wonder if I should pursue a job. My husband would not encourage it. I may want to prepare myself for work in the event of his passing, in case I need it.
I will continue with that possibility for now. In the meantime I want to do something meaningful with this blog. Just a while ago, my husband called from where he is getting his therapy, asking for his medical insurance numbers. He may be eligible for a program that can carry on the work already started. I am excited that he wants to continue his sobriety.
Focus on Having More Joy: Why Not More Joy?
Things are going well for me right now. Let me take joy in them. Why do I feel a little under the eight ball? Could it be all the money I spent moving my stuff to Colorado? It will take a while to recoup that loss. Could it be the difficulty I would likely experience if I were to try going back to work? What if I had a manic episode every year like I used to when I was under stress? However, have I not learned from Drs. Edward Podvoll and David Burns how to block mania before it even gets started?
Is it the uncertainty I am experiencing about my husband’s sobriety? He is trying so hard, but what he is doing is difficult. Could it be my consternation over not obtaining the ideal level of thyroid hormone? Too much caused serious problems, but now I seem to be getting too little. Unfortunately, the industry does not make pills my size.
Could it be that I have not slept that well lately? Could it be my gum disease, which seems to be made worse by the dry mouth lithium carbonate causes? Could it be dizziness, which seems better than it was, but has not completely cleared up? I did not score any better in my balance test at the chiropractor’s than I did when I started. However, I have only had 12 adjustments so far. Could it be the patch of eczema I found on my hand? Coconut oil treatments have softened it but have not made it disappear. Again, it could be the dry air.
Focus on Living Zestfully
What can I do to get the zest for living I have had in the past? Yesterday, I spent time with my 87-year-old friend Jacque. Being a pastor’s widow, she wants me to read the Bible more and memorize parts of it. She gave me a daily-minder devotional book, which has dated pages, and a spiral book of index cards. I could write my affirmations in them and go over them every day–like I used to years ago. Can I talk myself into a more joyous, vibrant life? Would that give me more focus?
Focus on Music
I turned on some music. I miss my piano. However, it was often painful to play it with my ear injury. My ears have gotten better, but they have never completely healed, especially the left ear. I keep pink noise going on my iPod in the bedroom night and day. Doing that helped for several years, but since I came to Colorado, it does not appear that my ears are making any further improvement. Jacque wants me to go to church with her, but doing so is so painful to my ears.
Transforming a Negative Past Into A Positive One
Maybe that is enough venting for now. How can I transform this painful past into something beautiful? The only positive I have found in my ear injury is that I have a good excuse not to go to church. Oh yeah, I also have more empathy for my husband who also has hyperacusis. He was the one who talked me into leaving my baby grand piano in Utah and getting it sold. It has not sold yet, but if I can sell it, that will be a few more thousand dollars. That is a positive too.
Maybe I can check some music out of the library and get my own copies of what I really like. My husband may not like me playing music though. I think his hyperacusis is worse than mine. However, let me not mind read that situation until I have tested it out. Maybe I can even find my own music in my storage unit. Then of course, there is a ton of music on YouTube. I can listen to that with earphones and not even disturb my husband.
I am listening to Michael Card, a Christian composer and performer I like. He sings, “It’s hard to imagine the freedom we find from the things we leave behind.” Maybe that includes my piano. “Freedom’s not found in the things that we own.” I do not have to give up music, just because my piano was left behind.
Focus on Studying for the Future
One of my plans for the future is to complete more lynda.com courses. I completed 30 of them in 2017 when I subscribed to lynda before. Now that lynda.com is included with my library card, I have yet to take advantage of it. To get more focus, perhaps the first thing to do is to determine what course of study I want to follow.
One of the library books I checked out this morning is called Focus by Daniel Goleman. Not long after reading his earlier work, Emotional Intelligence, I wrote my own book, Emotional Wisdom. At the time of its writing, I still thought emotions were intelligent in themselves rather than just following the pattern of our thoughts.
Now I am eager to see what Daniel has to say about focus. One of the books I took back to the library this morning was about focus. However, as I read parts of it, it did not seem to improve my focus. I wonder if Goleman’s book will do better.
Just now I jumped up, dressed, and straightened the house, getting ready for my husband’s return home this afternoon.
Focus on My Weight Loss Goal
As I suspected, I have gained weight (up to 54.8 kg), probably from eating out for lunch on Tuesday. Not breaking my childhood conditioning, I ate everything on my plate–I did not want it to go to waste. I could focus on my New Years resolution weight loss goal. However, I do not want that to be the only thing in my purview.
Focus on My Progress Routine
My husband has two days of therapy left. He has some aftercare lined up as well. This time, he seems to be enjoying the therapy he is getting. He says less and less about drinking. Though he is getting stronger, he still needs his wheelchair. He is not talking about driving again either. My own drivers license came in the mail yesterday. Rejoice!
My Cronometer goal is at 67%. Since June 22, 2019, I have kept a complete food log 67% of the time. I want to start increasing that percentage again. This past week has been stressful, making it hard to focus on my food log. I have only completed one day in the last seven days–yesterday.
Keeping a complete Cronometer log will help me, so that is one thing I want to focus on.
I am still scoring JV Life Tracker. Some days I have scored for two days at a time. My average daily score since January 14, 2019 is 27.16. I have tracked 137 activities over 183 days. Though I would like to see more consistency in my top goals, I am still working on them. My husband said today that I am a “powerhouse.” [He said later that I am a “lifeline”.]
Focusing on My Health with Head Weights
After getting my husband on his Lyft car this morning, I walked to the chiropractor’s. They started me on head weights. They have a black velcro-fastened cap which has places to insert up to four one-pound weights. I started with two one-pound weights, one on each side of the cap. You put on the cap and stand on a vibrator for two minutes. This strengthens the neck muscles so the newly adjusted vertebrae will stay in place. It did not seem too bad.
Focus on Getting Things Done with To-Do Notebooks
Afterwards I walked over to Target and got four black, hard-bound notebooks I will use for my to-do’s and planning. At Starbucks in Target, I ate a few cashews I had brought along, sipped on the water bottle I brought, and read while waiting for my dental appointment. Then I got a cleaning. It was raining when I returned home on foot. However, it was not raining hard. The coolness of the light raindrops felt good on a summer day.
Focus on Becoming a Linchpin
Today, I started reading Linchpin by Seth Godin. Linchpin is an eye opener. He says there are fewer and fewer good jobs any more, and no good jobs where you can just do as you are told. Machines have already replaced so many jobs, it has changed the economy. I took a class called Computers and Society in college back in 1982. We did not anticipate our current economy. Maybe some people did, but I was naive.
Seth proposes a solution however. You can choose to work at becoming indispensable. Right now, I am indispensable to my husband. He will not even use a phone or computer on his own. Perhaps it is best to make him happy, not by doing everything he says to do, but by making things happen by doing the right things for him, things that will make him even happier than if I was strictly obedient. I can use my creativity and ingenuity and be an artist. Let me focus on making a job out of my current situation.
AFTERNOON & Morning Prayer
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.