Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Wikipedia diagnosis


They're so often great.  And then they diagnosis your mental health using Wikipedia.

Good news:
There very well may be a reason why I'm so mental about noisy things.

Bad news:
The prognosis seems to be classical conditioning, which seems to be what I've been doing for 10 years now with this social experiment called "marriage."

The boy heard about this issue called misophonia on the radio the other day and promptly found out more about it on this snazzy little site (you may have heard of it?) called Wikipedia.  In my line of work, this is something we call "not a valid source."  However, we're functioning outside of the boundaries of my classroom here, so I guess all is fair in love and mental health. 

Proof for diagnosis:
*I hate the sound of chewing and drinking, especially when I'm sitting there minding my own business and someone dares to join me at the kitchen table and chews
*I hate the sound of breathing.  This doesn't work well when you're married and have to endure sleeping in one bed.  I cannot stress this enough.  Sometimes, the is too much.  And then you feel like quite the horrible person asking the other person to stop breathing, thank you very much because good grief, you just want to go to sleep.
*Ticking clocks are horrid.  If you put me in a strange room with a ticking clock and ask me to sleep, you are asking to see what insanity looks like up close.
*Twitching is enough to send me over the edge.  The boy has this particular downfall when he is in a car.  I'll take my car and you can twitch in yours.  Please and thank you.
*Sniffing makes me want my own house, permanently.  Colds are wretched, wretched, wretched.  I'd rather be the only one who is sick rather than endure all of the sniffing, throat clearing and general hackiness of those who live with me.  It's hard to muster up any sympathy when all you feel is loathing.
*Whistling and tapping drive me batty.  And the boy is a whistler.  He's so patient when I maybe snap at him to STOP THAT INFERNAL WHISTLING/TAPPING BEFORE I TEAR MY HAIR OUT AND I MEAN IT, and I realize now that he's far to generous with putting up with me.

So.  Wikipedia - you may have something here.  Noises are right at the top of my I-can't-stand-it list.  As perfectly odd as this may sound, it's actually kinda nice to at least tangentially know that there's a reason why I feel downright nutso about inconsequential things.  However, there's doesn't really seem to be a cure.  Curses.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I need more Mondays

Well I've been stuck in something of a perfect storm with lousy timing on assignments due and new classes starting.  It's gotten to the point that once I can turn the computer off, I don't even want to doodle around.  It's hard to blog when the computer is off, it seems.

It also turns out that it's downright difficult to turn in assignments for some people.  The adult kind of people, that is.

(Yes, I know that my students have things like jobs and kids to distract them from school.)

(Yes, I wished my class took precedence over everything.)

(Yes, I'll give the extension.  I'm not totally inhuman.  I just think grumpy thoughts as I cheerfully smile when you tell me that you couldn't find even one minute in your week to turn in one assignment.)

So it turns out that my 30s have been quite the enlightening decade for me thus far.  I've had some AHA moments.

1.  It was just within the past couple of years as I was waxing poetic (ba-dum-ching) about Sylvia Plath that I realized that "Sticking your head in the oven" is not a gruesome burn-your-face-off kind of suicide as I guess I always thought but a turn-on-the-gas-and-go-to-sleep kind of suicide.  I grew up with an electric oven in the house.  This never occurred to me before.

2.  I don't like weekends all that much.

3.  I don't like Halloween at all.

4.  I'm not even a fan of Christmas.

5.  I'm obviously a cyborg.

That's right, folks.  I'm not normal.

We were over at ye-olde-in-laws' house to celebrate my father-in-law's 60th birthday when my mother-in-law kind of sighed and said something to the effect of "I wish the weekend would just last longer."  Being the dutiful little conversationalist, I quickly agreed before realizing I'm a downright LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE (gas stove, style, naturally).

I've known for a couple of years now that there's a reason the words "Saturday," "Sunday" and "weekend" don't do a single thing for me.  But I've never up and admitted my apparent flaw to anyone else (except the boy, and he's, you know...the he knows everything already).  It's hard to make such scandalous claims aloud in public for one and all to hear and react to.

It's those darn reactions that I just don't want to have to deal with.

MIL:  I wish the weekend would just last longer.
ME:  Oh, goodness, I don't.  Bring on Monday!
MIL:  [crickets]  I don't understand you, but you're obviously wrong.  Or a cyborg.
ME:  Well, the truth had to come out some time, didn't it?

It's just like when I have the audacity to make such shocking claims as "I don't want any more children" while holding a snuggly little drooler.  Do you know what the reaction is to that little stink-like-a-dirty-diaper bomb?  "Oh, yes you do."

Really.  Do tell.

Every time, folks.

So you just learn to keep little bits to yourself.  But this here blog thing is mostly a one-sided conversation between me and my one and only reader the Internet.  So I'll state it here once more, loud and clear: I don't really like weekends.  I despise Halloween.  I don't really get all that excited about any holiday.  And, I dread Christmas.

This is my truth, such as it is.  Welcome back, Monday (I missed you).


Friday, October 9, 2015

The one with the dreams

This is when I'm finally going to admit that when I have a hard time falling asleep at night (which for me is about 5 minutes after turning the light out...if it's not instantaneous, then I get all irritated and irrational), I do this thing where I start writing a blog post in my head.  Sometimes that helps me fall asleep.  Let's all just chew on that for a hot minute.  My "writing" puts me to sleep.  Well.

This is also when I'm going to talk about a couple of dreams that I keep coming back to this week.


I went through all of this with the boy the other night, and he then paused and said "You're really bothered by this."  I am.

You see, school shootings (yes, friends, there was another one after the one in Oregon already) bother me quite a bit.  The boy is in a school.  My daughters are in school settings.  I work in a couple of schools.  And, while this frequently occurring spate of school violence is not relative to just this very moment, I've also never dreamed about it before.  I personally feel as if the pendulum of extreme violence in schools shifting to the collegiate landscape. The random classroom where the Oregon violence began was a college writing class.  The first person shot was a college instructor.  It was at a community college.  Check...check...check. 

In my dream, I was back in a high school setting, but not in any school that I have taught in before, nor with anyone whom I knew.  The vivid aspect of the dream comes from the face-to-face encounter between those of us inside the school and the shooter, separated by a wall of glass.  I don't know why he didn't try to come inside.  I don't know why we were at that location in the school (and entrance/exit point).
I have never felt fearful that this situation would actually happen in any of our schools, but oh, my heart is increasingly heavy that this happens and often.  In any context.


The other night, the boy and I were chatting about a colleague/former colleague whose wife quit her job due to mounting frustration.  The colleague then found himself awake somewhere in the realm of 4 a.m. and happened upon a temporary position, which he then applied for on behalf of his wife.  She was hired within a day or two and is much happier for her new situation.

My stars.  Sometimes, you have faith that is seemingly validated immediately.  Sometimes, your faith seems to be nothing more than spitting in the wind.

That night, I dreamed that my spitting turned into validation.  And it felt SO good in that fuzzy half-dream/half-wakefulness. 

And then it was nothing, no more concrete than finding myself caged with a dozen students.  There has been some melancholy hangover associated with both of these dreamscapes, but that (mercifully) is all.      

I don't know how to finish this thought process, really.  It's not a finished and done kind of a thing, no more than a scab indicates that a cut is fully healed.  So, I'll just end with this: I so very much hope that you feel your purpose and are living it out, come what may.  And if you need to act on faith, I hope that you have a hand to hold, too.  That helps immensely, it turns out.