Content Warning!

This blog on occasion addresses depression, death, suicide and other sensitive themes. Continue at your own discretion in reading the content.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

A New Year is Here

 We are seven days into the new year and after a 10-day break from work, I was ready to disappear after two hours of sitting at my desk. I hate to call my co-workers stupid, but every time I go on vacation they suddenly can't function, and my inbox is filled with emails asking for help for the stupidest things. Things these people know how to do.

The work week was okay and then I got a little surprise on Friday.  I was asked, not by my supervisor, but by a manager in a different department if I wanted to join their team. They said they needed my skillset for huge upcoming project and with my institutional memory of systems and all the software testing I've done; I'd be a vital part of this team. I told them I was open to discussion. I've been in my current position for 24 years so, a change would be nice.  My current supervisor is going to flip her lid though once she finds out. Not my problem!!

The chance to do things that are of more interest to me sounds very inviting.  Also, I get to come up with my job title so after 8 years of asking to be recognized as a software tester and being turned down, the door is open for me to finally have it. I think a change would be good for me.

I am editing the NaNoWriMo story I wrote back in November. It will take some time to re-write it and whether or not I publish it, too early to tell. I have been going through YouTube videos, catching up on a backlog of favorites. I can always depend on a skateboarder to brighten day.  Jonny Giger released a video about how beautiful skateboarding can be, and it truly is. Jonny is so lucky to have such an amazing mountain background.  There are two places in Jonny's video that would make fantastic artwork to hang on the wall.  Check out Jonny's video to enjoy beautiful skateboarding and equally beautiful views.  I love the trick and view starting at the 4:18 mark.

Per usual, I've been exploring to find some new music or new versions of songs I already know. Today, I leave you with a rehearsal version of the U2 song "One" performed by Corey Hart, Kim Richardson and Jonathan Roy.

Rock On!

~Maynard



Saturday, October 22, 2022

Unexpected Flood

 I apologize for my silence. I have been busy with an unexpected rush of Christmas gifts to send out and in recent weeks, was hit with an unexpected flood of emotions.

I was in my storage cage in my building, shuffling things around when I noticed part of a box had somehow gotten wet.  It was in one spot and so I opened the box which contained items that had belonged to my mom and dad.  Items that were returned to me by the funeral home after then had been cremated. One of the items in the box was a hat that my dad always wore.  Somehow it had gotten wet, I have no clue how. The hat had turned moldy, and I needed to throw it away.  

I walked to the trash house and felt the tears coming but I pushed them back as I stood in front of the trash bin. I knew I couldn't keep the hat, but it hurt to throw it away. The moment I made it back inside my apartment, the tears came hard.  What happened was unexpected. I didn't expect throwing his hat away would trigger me like that.  They say time heals, but it would seem five years isn't enough to heal this kind of loss. 

On October 14th is my death day. A day where I honor myself but this year, I didn't honor myself in a way I thought I would. This year marked the 30th anniversary of my last suicide attempt.  No small feat considering not everyone gets a second chance or in my case seven. 

I had planned to donate to a non-profit which I always do every year to honor myself and Sean. For some reason, when I sat down to write a letter, it didn't flow. Something was off and I set the letter aside, never to touch it again as I threw it away a few days later.

I don't know what's going on with me as I can't even find excitement for NaNoWriMo which starts in a few days. I love to write but the thought of writing seems daunting. More than anything, I'd like to go to a mountain top and just scream over and over.  Scream out the anger, scream out the frustration, scream out the pain, just scream until I have screamed everything out of me. 

All I can do is take care of myself. It is something I want for all of you too. The permission to do what is needed to be in a good place. Something that makes you feel okay.

Today's musical treat is one I discovered by going down the YouTube rabbit hole. I have no idea how I found this cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" by Linkin Park. Enjoy.

Rock on!

~Maynard



Saturday, September 17, 2022

With September Comes Change

 NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and typically I would have a solid idea and outline now. This year I'm way behind in my planning. I finally have an idea. I have been flushing it out and can approach my idea from two different viewpoints. Which viewpoint I pick I don't know at this time but will figure it out in the coming weeks as I have to do some research for the story I wish to weave.

Autumn marks a time in my life when I retreat in reflection, mourn my past self and mourn Sean. Some years are better than others regarding my overall mood. I am hoping that this year, things won't be so bad on the emotional front but if it isn't, I know how to take care of myself to weather the storm so to speak.

Earlier this week I started walking every other morning because I realized I wasn't walking enough.  They say that walking is supposed to help you if you are depressed.  I used to walk every day to and from work and I don't know if walking every really made me feel better.

Writing in a journal, listening to music, meditating, and volunteering are some of things one can do to allegedly feel better. I listen to music all the time, I used to journal write every day for years and I honestly don't think it made any real difference to my mood. I started some of the above back up again, only time will tell if it does make a difference.

In the world of skateboarding, nothing is going on. HA! Just kidding. Plenty is always going on. Jonny Giger is doing some cool flip tricks; I discovered MTB Hardline which I had no idea about along with something called the Red Bull District Ride. I like BMX when I see it at X-Games, so this stuff was something different.  I missed a large portion of it but what I did watch was pretty darn cool.

Enjoy today's musical treat of 'September' Earth, Wind & Fire.

Rock on!

~Maynard



Monday, August 29, 2022

We Could All Use a Little Mr. Rogers

 "If we can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health" - Fred Rogers

YouTube works in strange ways as a video popped up of people reviewing snippets from episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. The people viewing the video lived outside the US and did not know who Mr. Rogers was. I watched the video and then another video popped up that I had seen before.

The world is in such chaos, but we could all use a bit of Mr. Rogers in our lives. I watched Mr. Rogers all the time as a kid. One cannot forget him changing into his red sweater and changing his shoes. Indeed, the world could use Mr. Rogers, he is sorely missed. This is a link to a May 1969 video where Mr. Rogers appears before the U.S. Commerce Committee to get funding for public television. I cannot explain why it made me cry but it did.

I am currently on vacation this week as work has been super exhausting. I am glad to be away from it. I can focus on me this week and other things such as prepping for NaNoWriMo. I have no idea what to write this year. I have a couple of ideas but not sure. I think this will be my last year of doing it as I will hit the 1-million-word mark. That's a lot of writing!

Mentally I am tired, beaten down by an invisible opponent who is really good at trash-talking me. I have been chipping away at the book I am reading on depression. It has gotten me thinking. We say that depression is "not normal" but what if it is normal? If everyone allegedly has at least one depressive episode in their life, then would we consider that normal?

And what is normal exactly? Are the people who define normal qualified to dictate what's normal? I know, this is one of those mind burners. I don't have an answer. I don't know if I will think of one either. It's okay if I don't.

Okay folks. I'm out of here. For some reason I'm on a Huey Lewis & The New kick so enjoy "Hip to Be Square" as your music treat.

Rock on!

~Maynard



Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Pulling Back from the Brink

Days filled with frustrations, sorrow and tears; these are days that I should fear because the pain that I carry rises to the surface. It consumes me. The darkness swarms wildly, the world out of control as I try to find something to make it stop. No matter how much I want the mental storm to stop, it stops when it wants to, not because I beg it to.

When the thoughts in my brain turn into a wrathful thunderstorm, I struggle to find comfort, to find safety and to find a good memory to hold onto to keep me from going over the edge. The pain of depression pushes people to a place they don't want to go.  How much we can endure is different from person to person. We all have a tolerance level. 

I have had more days than I like where the darkness pushes me hard to a place I don't want to go. I resist if I can but some days, I have no choice but to submit and let it steamroll me. I am burnt-out from work and have been feeling exhausted for some time, it's not a good combination when you need to battle a dark invisible force. Yes, it turns out one needs to pick their battles.  

Scouring YouTube has been a bit helpful and finding things to watch that make me laugh.  Even things I've watched a thousand times before has helped me keep going. I cannot lie though. I am tired, exhausted and struggle some days more than others in finding comfort. When it comes to parenting myself, I could use improvement.

Fall fast approaches. It signals a time of year for which I mourn and reminisce, I retreat into myself and am more vulnerable. If I am vulnerable now, how much more will I be in a few weeks? I have vacation coming up in two weeks which will allow me a chance to catch my breath.

For now, I will battle on and I know all of you will too. We will find our ways to carry on.

Today's musical treat is 'Calling All Angels' from Train. It blows my mind that this song came out in 2013. Seems like it was more recent.  Funny how time plays with you.

Rock on!

~Maynard