September 2018 Overview and Assessments

September’s come and gone, so it’s time to take a look back at where the journey took me this month.

Before I get going on this, I’d like to welcome new friends and followers to the blog.  Thank you for reading!  

Book reviews.  In addition to the continuing Sherlock Holmes and Tolkien buddy reads, the month began with Homer’s The Odyssey.  From there, I returned to another old favorite, H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, and discovered a sequel, Baxter’s The Massacre of Mankind.  This didn’t work out quite as well as I’d hoped.  To cleanse the palette, I listened a Jeremy Irons performance of The Poems of T. S. Eliot, which was fantastic.  Keeping in the line of audio performance, I tried out a couple of Audible Originals — Sharon Washington’s Feeding the Dragon and Dennis Kelly’s Girls & Boys — which could not have been more polar opposite.  Yet, both were incredibly good listens.  My plan was to listen to the audiobook for Imogen Hermes Gowar’s The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, but despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I ended up passing on it when I learned the unfortunate truth that there’s no mermaid in it.  A quality mermaid story is so very difficult to find.  Hopes dashed.  I may come back to it sometime down the road, but that disappointment is going to linger.  Bob Woodward’s book Fear: Trump in the White House restored my faith in the field of actual journalism, while Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new book with Avis Lang on the alliance between the military and astrophysics offered an eye-opening look at not only the present, but the history of science and war as strange bedfellows.  And despite swearing off Christianity for a while, I found myself challenged by and engrossed with Uta Ranke-Heinemann’s Putting Away Childish Things.  The month ended with a little movie magic as I visited the original novels for Planet of the Apes, King Kong, and Jurassic Park.

On the whole, it’s been a rather successful month for books.  With Halloween now looming, I feel the need to continue more monster stories and such, but if I’m being honest, I’m also feeling a longing to return to the Medieval and Renaissance eras.  It’s starting to feel like I’ve ignored them!  Related to that, I’m craving a bit of Arthurian legend.  Will any of this happen?  Who can say?  I hope so.  But right now my mind is turning in a completely different direction from any of this.  More on that later.

In the movies… I didn’t blog about this, but I’ve filled a desperate hole in my Disney fandom.  I’ve finally seen the original Mary Poppins.  I know, I know…  I’m embarrassed that it’s taken me this long.  I’ve seen most of the scenes in it, but out of order and without context.  I have the expanded Legacy Collection soundtrack, so I know all the music.  But this was the first time I’ve seen the film as Walt intended, from start to finish.  I think I’d have gotten far more out of the story itself had I grown up on it, but as a technical achievement, I most certainly appreciate it for what it is.  Of course, I know quite a bit of what it took, and I know what a heavy hand Walt had in its production.  I suspect that, like most classics, further appreciation will grow with repeat viewings.  I’ll have to read the original novel at some point, seeing as how I know some of the uneasy backstory there between the author and Walt.  I’m curious now.

Aside from that, I’ve not watched a lot of movies this month.  I finally acquired the original Planet of the Apes films on Blu-ray (replacing my well-worn VHS) as well as the newly-released Solo: A Star Wars Story, but mostly all I’ve watched are second-tier documentaries on first-tier monster films.  No regrets.  I learned quite a bit, and it’s primed the pump for Halloween.  Mostly, I’ve just watched a lot of Star Trek.  I’ve made it from mid-season two to nearly mid-season three.

The biggest contributions to my site this month are two-fold.  I followed through my desire to add a transgender resource page on this site, designed for both my trans sisters and brothers as well as potential allies who would seek to better understand and relate to us.  And I published a post on my 50 favorite books.  As a counterpoint, I’m thinking of maybe publishing a similar post in the near future on my favorite historical figures / subjects.  Would this be of interest to anyone?

Also, and this is just complete happenstance… I’ve apparently got a daily blogging streak going.  Today is day 42.  The longer this goes, the more compelled I am to keep it going, which I suspect is the point.  There’s also a part of me that says I should drop this ball on purpose so I don’t feel like that’s the reason I’m blogging.  After all, I blog for me, because I have something to say (or think I do, at any rate), not because an algorithm compels me to do so.

In my personal life, things are starting to turn around a bit.  Tired of insomnia, I decided after much hesitation to finally give melatonin a try for a month.  I’m still in the midst of that trial period, but I’m happy to say that it’s been a vast improvement thus far.  Sleep is not only a reality now, but with it comes those wonderful side effects of increased memory and focus, more energy, and a better disposition.  What a concept!  As I move into October, my intent is to keep this ball rolling and to build upon my newly-reinstated meditation practices.  None of this changes the fact that I’m in the wrong body, but at least now I don’t feel like the body I have is actively attacking me.  It’s a start.

To reinforce this, I have another new weapon in the personal arsenal as of Saturday: the iHome Zenergy.

I wish I could post all kinds of videos of this thing in action (they’re probably out there already, but I’ve not looked), but suffice to say, I’m very pleased.  10 minutes before the alarm tunes the radio to my local classical channel, it starts in with soft and distant birdsong and wind chimes, along with a programmed light to simulate dawn and sunrise, which also fades in, so it’s about as close to electronically simulating nature as possible without a full holographic experience.  Wonderful thing, for purposes of programming your mind, your brain doesn’t know the difference, as evidenced by the effects of brain chemistry.  The purpose is to help reset the Circadian rhythms.  Going to sleep, I set the timer to whatever I want, and it plays Dream music that slows the brainwaves through Delta wave sounds, and the programmed light setting does a sunset that fades from yellow to red to black while the music fades out.  And there are all manner of other various sound, music, and light settings for meditation purposes.  I can Bluetooth it with my phone or with Amazon Echo if I so desire, but I’m not really seeing the need there.  And what’s really nice, the light setup is covered in a thin cloth, so the lights are soft, including the orange glow of the alarm clock display.  It can be dimmed, so it doesn’t light up the entire room like most clock displays do.

Keep in mind, this is in addition to my Amazon Echo, which loudly plays a background loop of airplane cabin noise all night, a high speed air filter fan, and my ceiling fan, all of which in conjunction provide white noise of different frequencies to help produce a sound barrier designed to block out things like engine noise and gun fire, because these things are obnoxious even without sensory issues.  So I’m told.  And on those holiday weekends when things get truly stupid, I’ve also got earplugs.  Basically, all of this makes my life tolerable.  The new iHome Zenergy makes it enjoyable too, at least in regards to sleep.  Hey, it’s a start.  But this is where my head’s been lately, looking to completely reprogram the mind-body responses that have been killing me for 20+ years.  Undo the emotional memory that’s stored in the body, and it has an amazing capacity to heal itself from virtually anything you can name.

My first thought after I got it all set up was that if it had a means to project star constellations all over the room, it’d be perfect.  Now I’m considering doing that too.  I really miss the stars.  That was one of the great perks of growing up in the country.

In other news, I’ve made a pretty good start of thinning out the collectibles and selling them.  Sadly, the profits so far have just gone into helping to pay the bills, but it’s money I didn’t have before, and it’s energy that’s freed up for whatever comes next.  I’m building momentum.  I call that a win.  What’s more important is that the very act of this, along with seeing a few shelves being emptied in the process, has a reflective effect on my soul.  There’s something about a blank canvas in whatever form it comes.  It calls us to create something, to fill it.  I’m going to be extremely selective about what I fill that with.  I don’t know what it will be yet.  For now, I’m going to let the emptiness unfold.  I’ll see where it leads from there.  The mental shift is palpable.

And that leads me to the final bit of this.  Heading into October, and into the cooler months beyond that, spiritually speaking, this is a time for personal reflection, for considering what seeds to sow for the next cycle.  I’ve spent too many years in a dead end cycle of turmoil and frustration.  Instead of creating my world with intent, my world has created me into someone I don’t like.  I react instead of act.  The harder I push back, the worse it gets.  Now I’m finally in a position, mentally and emotionally, to disrupt that cycle and build anew.  This year, I feel better about planting something better, but I want to be deliberate about what it is I invite into my life this time around.  That is where my focus is right now.  Traditionally, I tend to do better when the weather turns colder.  I’m looking forward to it.

Welcome to autumn, everyone (or to spring, for those of you in the southern hemisphere).  May you find happiness in your journey.

41 thoughts on “September 2018 Overview and Assessments

  1. There are NINE Mary Poppins books, but I’d stop with Mary Poppins in the Park – things start t get grubby after that. There’s also some brilliant stuff that bring Travers’ personal beliefs to light (and that’s all I’m saying!)

    What?? Airplane cabin noise? Not the Enterprise D background noise? I’m sooo sad. 😜 Fans, background noise, ear plugs – all part of the parcel of making sleep happen. I’m so thankful the melatonon helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nine? Wow.

      It’s a case of I had the 10 minutes of cabin noise sound that I could loop into 10 hours, and then I uploaded it to my Amazon account back when you could still do that. As much as i would love Enterprise-D, I can’t sleep to that. It pulses too much. Great for waking relaxation, terrible for sleep purposes. The aircraft cabin is steady, so it acts as a kind of sound wall against the engine noise next door.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now, if I’m looking to annoy the neighbors, I do have the Original Series sound effects album. :P

      I’m mostly curious about the first one, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve got my mind on other things for the immediate future.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post Emily, the problem with sleeping pills is there addictive and after a while you’re body gets us to them and they don’t work for sleeping anymore, I’ve been there and done that before never again.

    ❤️✌️
    BY FOR NOW

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, that’s why I’m taking only melatonin. They’re not addictive and safe to take up to a year. My plan is to go a month and wean myself off once everything resets. After a lifetime of insomnia, I figure that’s more than ok.

      Liked by 1 person

        • So far, so good. Anger and stress over a lifetime forced me to find new options. My tools are being used in conjunction now. Took some creative thinking to put them all together. I hope you find something that works for you as well.

          Liked by 1 person

              • Well I tried meds and sounds in my late teens early twenties and that worked for a little while then it became a nightmare in it’s self, by body just don’t want to sleep at night, I’m like a bloody vampire that sleeps during the day then up all night. 🙄

                ❤️✌️
                BY FOR NOW

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                    • I’ve had night jobs as well and it worked great for me but I had little time to get other stuff done and right now I really need to be on a day schedule to get things fixed but it’s not working very well.

                      ❤️✌️
                      BY FOR NOW

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                    • I never said it was easy. We all have to find a personal balance. Sometimes that takes riding through hell and deciding what’s truly worth it and what’s not. Believe me, I get it. That’s where I’ve been for years. My blog is going to reflect some personal shifts this week.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Just take a look at my blog and you will see most of the hell I’ve been throw already, trying to build a new life at 44 year’s old and being disabled and mental problems is a different kind of hell all in it’s self on top of being trans and that mess.

                      ❤️✌️
                      BY FOR NOW

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                    • As I say, I get it. We get stuck, and we have to find our way through somehow. It’s all the same and all very different for each of us. Ultimately the choice comes down to being compassionate with ourselves. I’m almost 45. I’m fighting similar battles. I’m learning new ways to fight, and new ways not to fight.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And this is temporary. You will get all the compassion from me, but I’m not going to tell you you’re right to wallow in misery. That’s not where your power lies. All of is share a power to change our lives for the better. We can choose to believe it or we can choose not to. I chose not to for far too long. I’m making a new choice and following my path. I’d encourage you to do the same. Draw inspiration where you can, and draw strength from the acknowledgement that you’re strong enough to have made it this far. You’re stronger than you know.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thank you Emily, ya I know it’s just a bitch dealing with the same old song and dance of hearing ” sorry we can’t help you “, I go throw this up and down spurts but it’s time to try and get out of this mess again even with my depression and anxiety kicking my ass again.

                      ❤️✌️
                      BY FOR NOW

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                    • Anytime. This is what they do. It just means you have to show them your heart in return. It’s a never-ending fight, but it’s one we can win simply by showing up. That’s what no one seems to ever say, but it’s true.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It’s been 6 year’s now seens my awakening, I’ve worked dame hard at trying to get rid of my depression and anxiety for it to just keep popping up and F” with me over and over again, I know how to deal with it for the most part, I just need to do it again, it hasn’t draged my back into that pit of hell again and I’m not gonna let it.

                      ❤️✌️
                      BY FOR NOW

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That the real trick. It’s as hard as we make it. And it’s just as easy if we let it be. The hardest part if all is seeing through what we’re told is there to what really is. But nobody will ever understand that until they’re ready. You can’t force it. It’s a lesson we all have to learn.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I learned the vertu of pashents a long time ago along with many other things, I am a basic person with basic needs ( for the most part ) you shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail with life for every little thing ( well I have to ).

                      ❤️✌️
                      BY FOR NOW

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    • Then you need to change your approach. Nothing is one size fits all in this world. Passive works. Active works. There are many ways of doing either one. Just because something hasn’t worked, doesn’t mean something else won’t either. We can go in circles on this all night, but in the end, you still control the power. You still make the choices. Start with your mindset. It will take work and practice. It’s as difficult or as easy as you make it. You have to move out of your own way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ya I’ve been told that before but how do you charge your tactics when everything is online applications now days, it’s not like the old days anymore of gone into a store and talking to the manager.

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    BY FOR NOW

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