Overstimulation – It’s a real thing
A few days ago I attended the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with my girlfriend and son here in Irvine.
(Did I mention I moved to Southern California? Well, I did. Another post on that soon.)
The excitement of seeing the film was rapidly juxtaposed by the anxiety I started feeling after we selected our seats. Knowing that I’d become overstimulated at some point, I chose a seat on the aisle with Karen seated between me and Jay.
That we’re all rabid Star Wars fans notwithstanding, I was prohibited from enjoying the film because the anxiety the overstimulation evoked. The sensation of needing to do a total body stretch really hit me and about two hours into the film and I had to get up and walk into the entry/exit to the theater (picture me rolling out a yoga mat and executing cobra pose, child pose, and warrior pose – not at all distracting, right?).
No, I didn’t actually do that.
It’s a bummer that I can no longer enjoy going to the movies. I can also be overstimulated in restaurants, gatherings and parties, and at conferences and meetings. I’ve learned that this is how I’m wired and although there are ways to counteract or at least decrease the severity of the responses, it’s often easier to avoid the situations that I know will trigger my response.
Perhaps a subscription to HBO is in order. 🙄
That’s a good segue into the topic of the holidays…
Oh God…the Holidays are here again
I’ve never been a big fan of the winter holidays. I abhor the non-stop marketing we experience beginning in October across all media spectra, and I refuse to be co-opted into going into debt to satisfy traditional expectations. I used to do that and I learned some hard lessons about managing debt in my younger years.
As a rule, I don’t decorate my home, I don’t buy a tree, and I rarely wrap any gifts that I give to those I care for. However, via my Karen’s influence, I can see that this latter choice needs to be revisited.
So before you think I’m a Scrooge-like character, I love the spirit of the holidays, just not the hoopla that we often feel obligated to go through. My grandchildren have enough toys, my kids are grown adults, and I’d rather focus on sending them all gifts and tokens of my love throughout the year. I often do this for the grandkids just because I love doing so.
For me, the holidays are a time of reflection; the weather gets cooler (not really cold in SoCal) and the year’s accomplishments come into focus. I like taking this time to think about such things.
In fact, this morning on the way into work, while I was stopped at a traffic light, I was suddenly moved to tears thinking about how this year evolved, beginning with my dad’s death in February, meeting Karen and falling in love like never before in March, and then having a very humbling job offer that involved a relocation from the San Francisco region of California to Orange County.
My tears weren’t those of sadness, but rather of overwhelming gratitude. It was a whirlwind year of events both personally and professionally brought good fortune in many ways, along with sadness and loss.
But this is what life often looks like; the good, the bad, and the ugly is often overshadowed by an overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility. Such was the emotional moment at the stoplight this morning.
And while emotions have been continually flowing, words haven’t.
Writing can be a desert
Wikipedia defines a desert as…
a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation.”
One of the fallouts from 2017 has been a complete cessation of my writing. Until this post, I can count on one hand the number of posts I’ve written and published anywhere in quite some time. That I’m writing this post in one sitting and pushing it out to the world via my blog is quite an accomplishment.
To put this in perspective, I’ve written approximately 25 ebooks, published three books, and hundreds of blog posts over the years. But since death and loss has a way of blowing things up, my ability, desire, and willingness to write became like the barren landscape described earlier.
It’s been a very hostile creative environment and one that exposed my unprotected creative surfaces to point of feeling denuded.
I’m hoping that will change in 2018. This post is a start. I will soon begin my own annual planning that I wrote about in this post, and I hope to include at least one Area of Focus on writing.
2018 will bring more change
I know more change is approaching. I’ve begun working out again at the gym a few times a week and my health care plan is much more comprehensive than it has been over the past few years.
I see myself leaving my personal Facebook feed, and focusing on Twitter as my social media outlet. Now that the 140 character limit has been doubled, it feels more open to me. I still like the finite feeling of Twitter; it feels more minimal and that’s still an important facet of my lifestyle.
OK, that’s it for today. Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!
As always, thanks for reading.