Review: 4 out of 5 Stars*

This morning, as I do on most mornings, I was standing in my local coffee shop waiting for my order to be prepared and chatting with the staff. The owner came in staring at their mobile phone with a bit of a perplexed look on their face. When they noticed us looking at them, they told us that someone had left a review of the cafe online yesterday which included the line “…the AC was just way too cold for me! almost got frostbite”.

Let me note that, like many parts of the world, here in BC we’ve been having a late Summer heatwave and yesterday, in particular, had been one of the hottest days. People were purposefully seeking out places with AC to bask in the chill!

All day though this review was at the back of my mind.

The thing that nagged at me about the review was, despite thinking the cafe was great 4 out of 5 stars (I guess only body temperature cafes get full marks), it seemed like the most ridiculous thing to take time out of your day to post online! A person took time out of their, I am guessing not-so-busy, day to ensure this remark was forever linked to the cafe via the interwebs. Why?

I even made the comment to the owner that this was why some people don’t deserve the internet.

I realize that is a slightly odd thing for me to say, as I am posting on the internet myself, but there is a big difference between me typing words into the void that barely anyone will read and going to a company’s website to make a backhanded remark that the company has no ability to remove or really comment on (because what is there to say to that?).

Admittedly, I am a venter by nature, when something bothers me I will heatedly and loudly exclaim my displeasure to my friends/co-workers…in the privacy of…the real world.

I actively think about what I am putting out into forever – because the internet is forever. I mentally determine and measure potential outcomes before I decide to post anything be it photos or writing, asking myself questions like would I be embarrassed, now or in the future, by someone finding this? Will it be injurious to someone if I post this? It isn’t that I want to put bland content into the world, but I don’t want to drag down the IQ of the entire universe with useless nonsense (some nonsense is entertaining and I’m not talking about that).

No, this innocuous little comment by a random coffee drinker (if I am being extra judgemental, they probably don’t even drink coffee. 😒) doesn’t really hurt anyone. It is just one example of how often people don’t think through their actions when they have easy access to a worldwide audience (or a few hundred in this case).

Yes, I am an overthinker of the highest order, but more and more frequently I will see or read or hear something and my immediate response is, why? Did that need to be shared with the world? Couldn’t you have just thought it through and come to the conclusion that the only reason you are doing it is so more people can “see” you? A little more thinking and less instantaneous (and permanent) reaction will do the entire world good.

Did I need to write this? Nope. Am I doing it anyway? Yup, because this is my little piece of the Forever Digital and I can.

But hey, if I knew the person that wrote that review I would have told them it was pointless too – consistency IRL and online!

*The temperature in my home is perfect, but I have no coffee so…

July Is Over

I was dreading July this year. It would mark a year since my step-father’s death. I wasn’t sure how anyone would handle it. I knew there wouldn’t be a big fuss made but sometimes anniversaries can hit harder than you expect.

Maybe it was because there always seemed to be some minor issue happening but July passed, not with ease, but quickly for the most part.

I had hoped, by now, things would have fallen more into place. That a system or rhythm would be worked out but that hasn’t happened.

Yes, I mostly hoped this would happen for my benefit. Selfishly I wanted my life to get back to what it was before. Was that naive? Overly optimistic? Just plain stupid? All of the above?

I’ve lost my balance and instead of righting itself that imbalance is pushing into all facets of my life. It is feeling difficult to make it through basic life. Making me eat too much and do too little. Making me depressed.

Dealing with my own day to day when everyone else needs something from me too; dealing with work so I don’t go broke. I don’t think I can deal with much of anything much longer.

I just need a break. I need some things to start going my way. I need everything to not involve a problem.

I need…I don’t know what I need.

Dear Diary,

Er, Internet?

Tomorrow is June 30th. Another six months of another year gone. <Insert comment on time having no meaning>. It has been so long since I’ve written. (Isn’t that just how the diary entries go, bizarrely conversational as if writing inane letters to your future self about the mundanity of your current life.)

I’ve been thinking about this site, actually, that isn’t true, the idea of this site has been floating around in the periphery of my thoughts. The other day my URL was renewed, and I wondered to myself, why do I keep paying to have this thing that I rarely use?

Sure every once in a while I go through a phase of putting my thoughts out there for the world, not that anyone asked for them. It isn’t necessary, sometimes it can be cathartic, yelling into an eternal void (because yes, even if I deleted this entire website tomorrow you know there is an archived version somewhere – the internet is eternal (this is your reminder, in case you forgot)). Is there a point though?

A comic once called blogging ‘a conversation no one asked to have’, or something along those lines, the premise I suppose being that the entire world doesn’t really need to hear people whinge about <fill in the blank>. Though isn’t that what we have turned the internet into? No one is forced to come to this site and read my ramblings though (my view counts prove that), so if few to no people are reading this, then why bother?

Why not just pick up a journal and a pen to write pedantic ramblings in, to one day look back on and think ‘wow, I am good at complaining about nothing’ or ‘that wasn’t really that dramatic’? Don’t worry, I have one of those too, where I keep my most embarrassing/idiotic thoughts (please make sure someone burns those WITHOUT reading them, once I die).

Back to the point at hand, why bother having this site if I am not going to, at the very least, post occasional drivel? Since I have now paid for a whole year longer owning the domain, I guess I should get the most out of that money, which these days could have bought me at least two coffees.

So dear Internet, what should I fill these infinite pages with?

Since there isn’t really anyone to answer that, I guess I’ll just keep writing whatever randomness pops into my head. Though nothing too divisive, I wouldn’t want to start a pointless debate, that isn’t what the internet is for!

Good Night,
Likalia

How To Have A Nervous Breakdown

Step one: take your entire life and just throw it into a blender.

Step two: pretend like everything is totally fine while moving closer and closer to the edge.

Step three: …

Actually, I don’t know – how do you have a nervous breakdown?

Is there a guide? Am I supposed to do certain things to accomplish this task? Is it a task, or is that the problem right there, that I just tried to figure out how to schedule my nervous breakdown?

That first step up there is how mine started though. Life + Blender = 🤯

Up until 2021, I think things had been going pretty well. Sure the whole global pandemic added a new element of ick to the world, but for the most part that was manageable – there were specific things I could do to protect myself (masks, vaccinations, extreme introverted isolation). Then 2021 rolled up with an industrial-strength blender.

When the only things you need to worry about taking care of are yourself, your job and a couple of house plants; life is pretty straightforward. Then suddenly the responsible adult, who has been sheltering you from all the family drama, passes away leaving you as the responsible adult and there is massive upheaval.

Work stresses that had been growing quietly suddenly become insurmountable, but you push on, white-knuckling through, trying to put all the family drama in little boxes and organize them so you can focus back on your own life. It is difficult though.

I can be judgemental, not because I want to be, but because sometimes I don’t understand why people can’t be pragmatic and do things…well…how I think they should be done. It isn’t that I think my way is best, it is more that no one can provide an alternative and if you can’t offer that, then what is wrong with my plan? It is frustrating dealing with people who are immovable. Unwilling to make changes, despite the fact that huge changes have already occurred and they need to adapt.

I take on too much because I have trust and control issues. I don’t know how people can just abandon family and go off and do their own things. That being said, I am getting very close to just selling everything I own, buying a camper and running away.

Back to the blender, 2021 came to a close, and I did run away for a little while, visited some friends and tried to turn off. It went okay, but in the back of my mind, I was still making lists of things I needed to do.

Then 2022 rolled up and took my blender beaten life and decided to see how much more damage it could do.

The least responsible person in my life died, leaving disaster in his wake. I wanted to go running to the farthest point I could find, knowing it was not going to go well. I didn’t. It didn’t.

I tried to focus on working and organizing the other people in my life as best I could with them being fairly adamant about nothing changing. I did not manage to do so.

For a long time, there has been a growing…rage? frustration? dread? in my life. It is hard to explain, other than to say that before I was content. Things weren’t perfect, show me someone whose life is and I will show you someone who is likely lying or in denial, but I was content.

During this tax season, my boss asked me how I was doing – if I was feeling too overwhelmed by work? We’d already reduced our client base by half and work was less stressful but at the same time, I had so many personal stressors that everything was bleeding together. I think a phone call came in and we didn’t have a chance to discuss it further, which was good because I didn’t know what I would say. There was a chance I would have just said, it’s fine and gone back to my office. Would it have been the truth? No, but what else can you say?

In the past, the way I could get through stress at work was by knowing that I had my personal life organized.

The last year and a half have taken that organization, which took years to achieve and destroyed it. I feel like I am constantly failing, that at any minute the entire thing, my life, is going to explode.

Is it too much? Probably. Have I been expecting too much of myself? Absolutely. Am I sitting here typing this on the verge of tears? Yup.

My body is in pain, and my mind is screaming. I want to disappear and not have to deal with this. I want to abandon everyone and if they fail, that is fine.

Except I can’t. And it isn’t.

There is no one to take my workload on.

There is no one who will step up and deal with the family members who are struggling.

There is no one to take care of me.

I hope I can find the balance but it is seeming impossible.

So I’m asking, how do you have a nervous breakdown?

How does the responsible person lose their mind?

How do I ensure that I don’t find myself surrounded by a rubble heap made up of my mind and my life?

Even typing this I don’t know if I want to publish it? Does everyone need to know that I’m not okay? Does that help? No. Will I publish anyway? If you are reading this, then yes, but not because I want you to help me. I don’t think anyone can help me (unless someone has a couple of million dollars they want to throw my way so I can run away).

You can probably commiserate with me though because we all have problems. Big – small – real – invented; sometimes the best way to deal with them is to just scream into the void and then go back to work.

That’s how I have a nervous breakdown. This time anyway.

The Bunny

Don’t trust the Bunny, look at that face! Clearly Bunny is hiding something. Those flowers are not organic & Bunny may try to stab you with a carrot when you aren’t looking!*

*yeah, I am crazy and it’s only Wednesday

Green

Envy is a strange emotion. Like any emotion it can get you into trouble if you aren’t careful.

Some people live in the land of envy, I’m sure you’ve met one or two of these people before. They see everyone around them as a source of their deficiencies, almost as if they think everyone else’s existence is directed at them as an example of everything they are missing. Our culture seems to be pushing more people towards this type of thinking, consumerism and social media creating a feeling of lacking.

Most people only visit envy though, knowing that it isn’t healthy to dwell on things you don’t have. Either go out and get them or move on.

I’m often envious not of people’s material things but of their willpower or resilience. I can figure out a way to buy nice things, I can not figure out a way to convince myself I like exercising or eating tomatoes. Or those people that are happy regardless of the hundreds of ways you could explain to them why they shouldn’t because… everything!

Basically my envy is due to my laziness and pragmatism, but as I said it’s important to know when to move on. I’m never going to enjoy tomatoes or exercise, and no matter how much distance I put between myself and the news I’ll always know the world is a little too scary for me to be ignorantly happy.

Oddities

We all have strange little habits, ones that we don’t always notice but then when we do, have us asking: Am I the only person who does this?

For instance I am conditioned to be polite. I’ll be alone in a room and burp/sneeze/whatever, then excuse myself, to no one (or maybe just to the ghost that lives in my house). It is automatic.

Sometimes it’s as if I’m apologizing for inconveniencing, myself? Was I bothered by it in the first place? Nope, but it doesn’t stop me, even when I realize, I’ll do it again.

I bump into walls then find myself saying ‘ow!’, despite it not actually being painful. Annoying sure, but for some reason my brain thinks bumping into anything might cause pain so it decides we better say it just in case.

Obviously there are worse things than conditioned politeness or pointless exclamations, but it is a reminder how easily our brains can be conditioned. How we can train our brains to ignore things they shouldn’t. Yet it is important to notice our oddities so they can maybe help us notice other things that are detrimental to our wellbeing.

That being said I still can’t train my brain to crave salad over chips, so I will probably go on chatting with the ghost or multidimensional beings I interrupt with a sneezing fit while eating a bag of chips. Personal growth takes time, maybe in my next life I’ll figure it out.

Buzzing Brain

My head is noisy at the best of times. Work noise, life noise, worry noise, pointless noise.

If I’m lucky I can quiet it down for a bit. Distract it with music, TV, a book, even an interesting file at work.

If I’m not so lucky my brain starts swirling about from thought to thought. One thing will remind me of another and off it goes until I’ve forgotten what I was trying to determine in the first place.

That was the case today when I was supposed to be relaxing, as needles placed by the acupuncturist to “calm my mind” were not expecting my buzzing brain.

From reno projects, to work deadlines, to questions/worry about the state of the world, today brain was having none of the calm.

Now that it is time for bed I am hoping that it got most of its chaotic thoughts out, maybe then the needles placed to encourage better sleep will not have been a wasted effort.

Maybe I can go to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed (odd concept, rarely happens) because a refreshed brain is much better at handling a buzzing brain that is worrying about the state of…well, everything.

Current Questions – Part II

  1. February? Already?
  2. Is tax season going to kill me this year?
  3. How long is my arm going to hurt? (Worth it, being vaccinated & boosted is cool! But still ow. 😕)
  4. Did I drink enough water today?
  5. Is this headache going to go away?
  6. Can I magically find the time & energy to accomplish my to-do list?
  7. Did you answer me before when I asked if you liked the number seven?
  8. Do you prefer alternating or direct?
  9. Did you get that last question?
  10. Follow up to 9: did you audibly groan? 🤣

My Repeating Annoyances

I am sure we all have a list like this, the things that no matter how many times they happen, we never learn our lesson or seem to be able to avoid falling prey to their irritation.

  • Laundry will be done and in need of folding exactly when I want to just crawl into bed.
  • Related: Forgetting to make the bed with the clean linens until I’m wanting to crawl into said linens and go to sleep.
  • Putting an item I need to take somewhere beside the door, then leaving without said item.
  • Related: Needing to bring something home from work that I don’t remember until I’m pulling into the driveway.
  • Finding the energy to do some thing around the yard, that I’ve been procrastinating about, at the exact time it starts raining/snowing/whatever so I have to put it off again.
  • Trying over and over to buy back ups of my favourite clothes when they’re on sale but not managing to do it before they get a hole in them or completely wear out, forcing me to go without said favourite clothes or buy them at full price.
  • Grabbing an extra piece of paper towel, every time, until the entire roll is basically in piles of folded napkins on my coffee table/desk.
  • Meaning to call, text or email someone before they contact me and 99% failing by minutes.
  • Being exhausted beyond words right up until the moment my head hits the pillow when my brain starts thinking ALL THE THINGS.
  • Related: Thinking about people no longer in my life when my brain bounces randomly around from thought to thought then hits one tangentially connected to said people but this time gets stuck instead of bouncing off to the next thought.
  • Realizing I have to replace/recharge the batteries in something just as I need to use it.

Obviously these are just as the title says, annoyances, in their existence and their recurrence. Are they signs of a distracted mind? Probably. A busy one too.

We all have so much on our plates these days little annoyances are bound to pop up. Some toxic optimist would say you can’t have pleasing things without these types of experience for perspective.

Well I say I should be old enough now to not require examples in order to form obvious conclusions.

Knowing and writing this will not help. I’ll absolutely do at least one of these things within the next week.

I guess I should get used to them, but what fun is there for a stubborn, argumentative soul if they don’t have insignificant problems to complain about?

Time to go curl up in bed on a pile of clean linens while thinking about people I don’t want to and trying to fall asleep. 😉