New Computer

New computer! So nice to have a screen this big, My old 24” Visio TV is wide enough to see two pages with at one time and still be able to read it! I have a second monitor for the hell of it, an old Dell salvaged out of a dumpster. I’ll have to figure out how to pipe in sound. The spare monitor at least has speakers with a headphone connector in addition to the RGB connector. I’ll need to retrieve the splitter

Supposedly we have a blizzard coming this way. NWS currently predicts 2 to 5 inches of snow for this area with 40 mph winds. Unfortunately, I have to work the weekend or I’d look forward to staying in and writing.

Anyway, I wish I could do some novel writing. However, I can’t hook this machine to the internet to download my files from Google Drive which has served as my repository of work since last year when my Acer hit the end of its utilitarian existence. The wifi antenna should be here on Tuesday. Sadly, I won’t get another day off until Sunday. Sunday also follows a night shift. So, depending on how that shift goes, I might end up spending the whole day sleeping.

Speaking of sleeping, folks are probably wondering if that’s what I’ve been doing these past months. I assure you, I’ve been doing anything but sleeping though my state of mind was nearly the equivalent. Winter is always a tough part of the year for me. Cold ceased to be my friend right around my freshman year of college. Day after day of overcast skies joined it about the same time. That was the last year I spent in Minnesota. I moved to Montana the year after that, and though winter continued to be my least favorite season, it at least beat out a water pump and radiator swap with no idea what to do and no YouTube to look it up. For the record, that went pretty well. At least I didn’t blow up the engine.

But then, I moved back to the upper Midwest where the winters are ceaselessly cold, windy and dim. Last year was my first time spending an entire winter under those conditions in nearly 15 years. For those who don’t feel the effects of lack of sunlight, you are truly lucky! After the real cold set in sometime in January, my overall functioning slipped steadily downhill until all I could manage was just getting through one day to the next. A chaotic work schedule didn’t help, but that’s not the most changeable thing. After all, I do like to eat more than saltines and canned tuna. Ultimately, my creative side suffered total devastation. Sadly, the summer here was a little too short and cold for a full recovery, but at least it was enough for me to realize some changes were necessary.

One thing was a new computer. I love my tablet, and it serves a good purpose, but good, free-flow writing for me requires a full-size keyboard and no interruptions. Trying to write at work is a no-go for me since interruptions are constant and irregular. Some people might see that as an excuse, but whatever. They’re not me. As far as I can tell, this is how I function.

Another thing, and this is a new thing for me, is I’m trying light therapy. Not that I would confess this to too many people in my real life, since anything like that is seen as a crutch of sorts, but only a weak person refuses to admit their weaknesses to anybody, including themselves, resulting in a complete lack of change. After a week of using the lamp, I am feeling better, but an adjustment to my sleep cycle might also be a good idea though it’s difficult to accomplish when bouncing back and forth between day and night shifts at work.

I also intend to do my best to read more, even if that includes audio books. It also may mean that I won’t finish every book I start, because not every book keeps my attention anymore. The older I get, the less I’m able to force myself to focus on stuff that I couldn’t care less about. One of my work places has a policy and procedure manual written 25 years ago when that facility saw a lot more and wider variety of business. After a couple pages of raw, justified text, each line looking and sounding the same as the previous one with all of it progressively blurring into every other P&P manual I’ve previously read in my life, my eyes glaze, my brain shuts down and naptime is just around the corner. Back in the day, I would’ve toughed it out because that was what’s expected of me. Now, I put the thing away unless I feel like making a copy and editing it. I’m surprised the thing hasn’t been made into a Word Document yet! I would volunteer my services, but the last time that happened, someone else got promoted to secretary and gave up after a month of not understanding out how to use a computer. How did this person get a job as a secretary in this day in age not knowing how to run a computer? I’ll just say this person is good at sales, and it’s rural America where associations and relations are often more important than skill.

But oh well! I promised myself when I moved out here that I wouldn’t define myself by work anymore. That’s a thankless goal with no returns beyond a paycheck that disappears as fast as the bills get paid. It’s time for me to focus on personal relationships and projects worth more of my time than small mind drama.

Ultimately, I hope to get my creative self back out of the dungeon of anger it crawled into last winter and start making some good stories again. After all, those who are able to escape the winter months up here for a while do so. Those who can’t travel escape other ways. Stories are my drug of choice.

 

P.S.

The wifi antenna came a day early despite the storm! Thanks to the people at UPS for a great job! Stay safe out there!