Crickets

I just wanted to pop in here in the spirit of the way I used to write and post a little update on my mental health. Things have been hard. But haven’t they been hard for everyone? I think we are all suffering PTSD from 2020 and worried 2021 is going to serve up another regular daily diet of fear. I’m not going to check myself into a mental hospital or anything and I’m still eating and sleeping and taking care of my kids like a normal functioning human being, but it’s just been a little hard.

Something that has helped me: crickets.

We have new neighbors. They are renters. They are here on a tennis scholarship. They are from Belgium, Germany, Spain and a few other places I don’t remember. There’s five of them I think. They are also full-on ravers. If I wasn’t trying to sleep I would actually really dig the music the deejay of the group spins nightly. He’s really good. Like Avicii good. Even though I can only hear the base and a few other rhythms, I catch my mind listening interested. Unfortunately, they are hot-blooded males driven by their animal instincts and not the fear of covid that I am and their nightly raves involve lots of people (girls) coming over to party. Thankfully the raves are reserved for Friday nights, I think… we’ll see if it kicks up again tonight. So when they open the door for a smoke break or for someone to puke, it’s super loud and difficult to sleep through.

I don’t hate them though. Payam has talked with them and asked them nicely to turn down the music and they do. Sometimes they only turn it down from a ten to and eight but they do listen. We have their cell numbers and they always apologize the next day. So we don’t hate them. They are just kids.

But what I’ve learned to do to help this situation is to use a white noise app on my phone. I’ve used white noise lots of times but recently I’ve really enjoyed the sound of crickets. It’s so weird and cool. I turn them on and I’m immediately transported back to my trailer-living days in the sticks. It’s night, the air is warm and dry. It’s dark outside but I can see my tomato garden in the moonlight. I’m laying in bed with Bug snuggled next to me and Holly, the dog is sleeping at my feet. Her tail thumps when I say her name.

Even though the days that I lived in the sticks were super scary and stressful (you remember them, you read them. Hello, meth head neighbors…) I have a lot of fond memories. Even the cockroaches that scurried in all directions when I lifted an old rotted piece of plywood in the backyard brings back good memories. Yes, it was terrible at the time but I survived and I found strength in my desperate situation. I know I will find strength in my new desperate situation. I rest in that thought and gently fall asleep.

Isn’t that cool? Who knew crickets could bring that out in me? I love the sound of crickets. I bet everyone has a sound like that, that transports them to another time. It’s kind of like how smell transports us back to our Grandma’s cooking. Nostalgia. We love nostalgia. All the trauma of the past is hidden and we remember the good times with a warm happy glow.

I’m curious. Does anyone else find funny memories flooding back when they listen to different sounds on a white noise generating app? Please share. I think I might listen to them all and record my memories. If I don’t fall asleep first!

403 Permission Denied. I’ve Been to Crazy Town and Back.

january-2021-stressed

It’s been a few of those days. I’m sure you are there with me. The wide-eyed, dizzy, confused overwhelmed days where you find yourself washing the walls with bleach because you can’t think of anything else more soothing. Wait, is that just me?

Currently I have spa music playing  in my office and one of those volcano candles burning that makes me feel like I’m shopping in Anthropologie. The heater under my desk is blowing warm air at my feet and my coffee is beside me at the ready, sans sugar. I know everyone is feeling stressed. I was on the phone with my bookkeeper this morning (I have a bookkeeper now, can you believe it! I’m almost 50 and I have finally grown up enough to hire someone to do the things I’m really bad at.) and I started telling her about the hives I had last week and how I haven’t been able to sleep because apparently Prednisone can cause insomnia and she interrupted me to say something like what Mr. Chow would say in Hangover 2,  “But did you die?”  (Mom, DO NOT click on that link. You either, Dad.)

I love my bookkeeper. She has a wicked-dry sense of humor and gives me guilt trips about my spending habits regularly. No, I am not dead. It’s a good wake up call. Things could be so much worse and they are so much worse for so many people. I feel like I’ve been through the ringer so I can only imagine what everyone else feels like. I still have a job and a roof over my head. But have I told you about crawling out of my skin and trying to manage my calories by quitting drinking AND feeling like every baseboard in my house needs to be scrubbed with bleach and a magic eraser  AND all my cuticles need to stop bugging me this very instant?!!!

I have been to crazy town.

I think I am on my way back to normal but it’s a little sketchy. I’m trying to be nice to myself. Eat healthy, take walks, paint with my favorite water colors, drink lots of water, attempt to sleep-in even though it is against my grain.  I’m not there yet though. About five more naps with Kady, the cuddling cat, maybe. Have you seen my cat, Kady? She has the softest rabbit fur and she loves to be smushed up against you as tight as she can be. I think God sent her to be my therapy cat. Sometimes she is the only thing that can soothe me.

I also find this funny soft scarf I bought for Bug a long time ago super soothing. Bug had a Christmas dance recital when she was little and she had to dance with a scarf to the song, “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.” It was super cute. Anyway, we forgot to bring a scarf (we had driven into town 1.5 hours away) so I found myself rushing through Urban Outfitters looking for the cheapest scarf I could find. There weren’t any cheap scarves. I ended up with this whispery purple and blue water-color butterfly wing printed scarf that was way over-priced but we were desperate and there was nothing else I could do. I sucked it up and bought it. And guess what, that scarf after all these years is my favorite scarf. It’s super soft, the colors are muted and blend with everything…I keep it stashed in my purse at all times and it unfolds into a giant size that can envelope you like a shawl. It’s a magical scarf.

Lately when I’m cold in the morning I wrap it around and around my neck until it covers half of my face. It doubles to keep me warm and to act as a mask if I happen to come upon anyone on my early morning walk. I rarely do but I like it. I feel anonymous and safe.

But back to life. I know my site is acting up. Even I tried to comment without being logged in and it kicked me out with some 403 permissions error. I’m not sure what is wrong. Everything looks alright on the backend of WordPress but I’m due for a redesign. While I ponder how much money I want to spend on a re-haul it will probably be broken. I’m so sorry to anyone who tried to comment and couldn’t. I did get your emails though and thank you very much!