Monday, October 31, 2011

Annoying Obsession

If you've read my previous post, you know about my color/shopping issues.  My next problem is kind of hard to describe. 

For years I've wanted to be a REGULAR Bible reader.  That means a "quiet time" every morning with Bible, notebook and various (colored) writing utensils.

But every morning during the work week I get up at 6AM and I can't keep my eyes open.  On the BEST days, I actually pull out the Bible and get set up.  And then my cat jumps in my lap and knocks things down and my head is lolling backwards as my eyes close inadvertently.  And that was before I had to be at work at 7AM.  I used to doze from 6AM to 7AM in the good old days and then wake up, get dressed and be at work by 8AM.

Those days of missed opportunity are gone.  Forget it now.  As soon as I get up at 6AM I have to GO GO GO to be at work on time.  Unless I suddenly begin to have tons more energy at a much earlier hour, this is not going to the morning anyway.  I'm 55 and I don't think I'm going to suddenly have more energy any time soon.    Also - I can go to bed early and STILL be sleepy in the morning.  It doesn't appear to be a lack of sleep issue.

In the afternoon - I get home at about 3:45 - I'm beat.  I used to have energy when I got home, and sometimes I still do - but if I sit in my chair it is GUARANTEED that I will fall asleep, even while reading a scintillating book.  I sometimes come home and work in the yard or do laundry or cook a great meal (few and far between) and those are the days with lots of energy.  On those same days, if I sat down to read, I'd be asleep in no time. 

So here I am.......not a regular Bible reader and it's about TIME for me to make a change!!  Afternoons are going to have to be the time for now - and I have to make it happen. 

Oh - one more thing.  If the house is a mess, I cannot sit down long or concentrate on what I'm doing (like Bible study) because a voice in my head keeps making me look up and I can barely restrain myself from picking up or straightening this and that - and why bother just doing two small things when the whole house needs to be done.  I think, "I'll just do the dishes." Then I think - "I can sit down and enjoy my reading, study, etc. when I'm finished cleaning."  And then, of course, I give in and clean. Of course, the older I get, when I'm finished cleaning, I'm in physical pain and very tired, with Biofreeze on my achy parts and a heating pad.  Ain't no solid mental work going to be accomplished after physical labor.

This, I think, is the Martha syndrome.  If I could only KEEP it clean - but with 4 cats, 2 birds and a husband, including my own bad habits, it's not been possible so far.

I think maybe I have to tone down my expectations.  I want to do an in depth study, not just read.  I have a tendency to do nothing if I can't do it "right" (by my definition), and that is why I don't just read one chapter.  If I don't prepare and have a plan, I just skim the page and I'm not concentrating.  I'm thinking about the day ahead and I've finished reading and don't remember a thing I read.  Sometimes I'm aware this is happening and I start reading the chapter over, but after 2 sentences, my brain has gone down a rabbit trail again.  Maybe I have a bit of ADD?  Maybe I'm just nuts, but this inability to stick to my resolution to read every day and KNOW what I'm reading is driving me even more nuts. 

Impulse Shopping

I have what I think to be a unique "problem".   This problem has to do with color, specifically several colors in "color order" like a color wheel.

I was the child who, when receiving a box of 64 Crayola crayons, rearranged them in "color order" before using them.  And then, I would just look at them because the array of tints made my eyes happy.

I have not changed.  If I am in the Office Supply store and some clever salesperson has arranged printer paper in waves of ascending color against one large wall, I am transfixed and just want to BUY.  Worse, if there are reams of paper that have several shades available in that one package.....I cannot resist.  I have to remind myself that I have more paper than I will ever use, thanks to years of this same issue.  Next, there is the pen and pencil aisle, filled with even more danger. There is always a new company coming out with the ultimate gel pen or felt tip pen or artist's pen, and the packages are arrayed in blankets of surging color that literally call out to me, "Buy Me."  I also have to restrain myself because I have a collection of colored gel, ballpoint and felt tip pens that fills my desk, having given into this urge many times in the past. I've taken to storing them by color, no matter what type or brand they are.  All the greens together, all the blues together - and it makes my eyes dance with joy to look at them.  Write with them?  I'll probably never use them all. 

That's only one store and only one genre of purchase.  As you can imagine, every year at "back to school" time I can't resist buying some of the notebooks with beautiful colored covers when I see them displayed like this:

Then there are clothing stores.....

And stores that sell bath and bedroom supplies:

And sewing and craft stores:

I'm doomed.  So....I also have a bin with all different colors of yarn to make a granny afghan in the old fashioned style, with black edging.  I've gotten maybe 12 squares done in the past 2 years.

And finally, the piece de resistance.....multi colored lights.  Things of bright color that light up too?  It's almost too much.  A few years ago, my mother got me several light up pens for Christmas - their barrels, when a button was pressed, were clear and went through several light color changes.  The decorative solar balls in our back yard glow different colors.  So you can imagine that Christmas is a dangerous time.  There are always some colored lights in our home somewhere, and I don't mean packed up.  For the past 5 years, we have a set of tiny colored lights hung around the top of our living room walls and we put them on every night. 

I'm sure everyone thinks Christmas lights are beautiful, but I think I have some sort of disorder.  Whatever it is, color, especially in "color order" like a rainbow, makes my eyes delerious.  If I'm in any kind of store that displays colors as shown in this blog entry, I'm instantly distracted and I have to stare.  I have a light up keyboard on my computer that glows in 7 different colors - I usually pick purple.  I'm just curious if there is anyone out there with the same level of color insanity???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decision Headaches and The Rule of Electronics

I logged in today to upload pictures that have been sitting on my desktop cluttering it up for weeks now.  Now I can put those photos in their regular storage place and get them off the desktop.  

However, when I logged in, I discovered that Blogger had lots of updated features, which is great if you have tons of time.  I work in an IT department and am constantly faced with updates both soft and hard.  When using Microsoft Word, for example, I have to remember not to click in the place I used to for a specific command - no, Microsoft has moved it around, changed the look, redistributed pretty much the same features in an "updated" package which must be repurchased.   We duly repurchase and prepare to retrain our poor employees on the changes to the software they just got used to using.  Hey - I guess it's job security, but when I come home and want to have a little leisure time on my own home computer, I find the same thing.  

Blogger changed the look of the "dashboard" - it was fine before, but someone wanted to change the look.  Ad Sense has been updated - the old one won't work as well.  Then there's Google Analytics, which instructions, for the life of me, I can't figure out.  I need software that is intuitive, i.e., it can be figured out by "playing around" for a little while.  So I said to heck with Google Analytics until I can devote the brain power to understanding their directions - which will probably be never, and by then, it will be called something else and work differently, anyway.

It's getting to the point where I have to prioritize my online choices.  Do I want to spend 2 hours trying to get some add on to work on my blog.....or do I just want to blog?

I'm a sucker for bells and whistles, that's the problem.  The bigger, faster, better, brighter, more colorful, more choices available, the more I usually like it.  But this growth phenomenon has morphed into a monster that I don't have the energy to combat.  If I had my druthers, I'd have every feature available on my blog and I'd become rich, of course, from the ad revenue.  But I need a secretary to do that and I haven't got one.  I also don't have a maid to clean my house or care for my four cats and two birds and one husband.  Time is at a premium and it flies even if you're not having fun.

I think I'll just blog.  If someone reads me, great.  If they don't, great too.  I'm going to forget about ads and linking to ads and BlogHer and other fancy dan things - and just Keep It Simple Stupid.

I've gotten to the point with a lot of many-choice items where I can eliminate the extraneous quickly.  A selection of 22 styles of drinking glasses in 14 designer colors?  Within about 30 seconds I can narrow it down to what I like and if there is more than one, another 30 seconds will decide the final winner.  But the world of computers is just too varied, changing and complicated for me to make really educated choices.

The hardware is changing all the time.  What was a fabulous processor two years ago is now totally passe.  Computers usually have a practical and useful life of about five years before it's "too slow", "too outdated", etc. 

There are new hardware inventions constantly.  Every year there is a new iteration of IPhone, then there are competitors who up the ante.  Then there is the IPad and all it's siblings fighting for first place.

How about the social sites?  There is Facebook, Twitter and a whole host of other similar sites for people to report their latest activity, like burping.

Has anyone figured out Google +???  It is an only-by-invitation Facebook competitor which makes heady claims.  Limiting access to only those "invited" is a come-on for those computer users who want to be first on the bandwagon.  I finally was able to get an "invite" and signed up.  I haven't been back.  I find it off putting that this is "invitation only", and it's no better than Facebook, which I (mostly) know how to use.  I watch younger people than myself whip through all the possibilities like posting pictures, "tagging" someone, accessing Facebook and all it's features through their phones, etc. and I just want to scream!!  There's too much to learn and I'll never have the proficiency that so many users have.

My mother always bragged about how smart I was, what a high IQ I had, etc. and now I often feel dumb as a stump, outshone by computer users who have a very shaky command of correct grammar or historical facts, but can whip through HTML and scripts and setup options like Einstein on speed.


Some Pictures from October in the Backyard

I'm going to throw a bunch of pictures up taken from my backyard during the month of October.  I've been so crazy busy at work that when I come home, my brain is fried and all I want to do is shut my eyes.  Blogging is the last thing I feel capable of doing, although I'd love to devote much more time to it.  This business of having to go outside the home to make money to survive is just not my dream, but it's a necessity.  I have SO many projects I'll never get to because all the hours of the day when I'm at my best are spent for someone else's benefit, not my own.  Crab crab crab - that's what I feel like......a big, fat CRAB.  So enjoy the pictures - they were from quiet moments when I was resting from the incredibly exhausting stimuli of this insane world.