OK, so I've always been someone with a lot on my mind.
Mainly because I don't like being mentally idle, and because I'm one of those people who likes to have more than just a passing acquaintance with knowledge and issues. So while I generally prefer to leave people to their own devices, issues and lives, I still take notice of a lot of what surrounds me. Some of it bothers me, but much of it just amazes me or simply stuns me into thinking, "How could that happen?".
Hence, my current bout of insomnia.
I'm the person many spouses hate; the half of a married couple who can fall asleep within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow. And for most of my life, it's been a blissful night of 6-8 hours of continuous sleep. No so anymore. I still fall asleep at the drop of a hat, but now my sleep comes in 2-3 hour increments, followed by another 3-4 hours of being awake, and back to another extended nap. It's a good thing I work retail where the hours are all over the place between opening and closing shifts, because if I had to do a 9-5 job right now, I'd be a walking zombie.
So what's keeping me from 7-8 hours of continuous bliss right now? Lot's of things; some trivial when looking at the big picture, and some of major importance to my future. Some are clearly a side effect of being bothered by something else, and some of them are far higher on the concern scale than I'd like them to be. This next section will read much like some of my earlier columns entitled "Random Thoughts", because they are - so deal with it.
We'll start with one of the more trivial, but one of the most annoying things that has morphed into something that keeps me up at night - The Song In My Head.
- When Barbara and I got our Mini Cooper convertible last year, it came with Sirius XM radio, and don't get me wrong; it's a wonderful thing to have, especially when you're driving in remote areas where traditional radio reception is weak or nonexistent. But their selection of songs on their '60's and '70's channels is - limited - and songs you may not have heard in years on traditional radio (and are welcome when you first hear them again) are repeated very often on Sirius.
And they stick in my head. Since they are some lesser-known songs, I only know the repetitive chorus. Not the whole song. So the chorus sticks in my head. And is repeated over, and over, and over. I'm not going to tell you the names of some of these songs, because I don't want to visit this musical Hell on anyone else, but it's irritating right now.
But it's not just songs on the radio. TV themes are now repeating in my head. During an internet search one night when I couldn't sleep, I inadvertently came upon an old episode of 'The Danny Thomas Show' (also known as 'Make Room For Daddy'). Now, the orchestrated theme song for that show, "Danny Boy", has been rolling around in my head for days!
- I used to like watching my Red Sox and Patriots play games when they were available on the rare occasion down here in Georgia. Not any more. I find myself getting too invested in the outcome, much more so than I used to be, and as a result, I get way too anxious when things don't play out well for my "home team". I guess my suspense meter has been reset as I've gotten older, but my heart rate simply goes way too high to enjoy the viewing experience, even when things are going well in their games. All I can do now is wait for the games to end and look at the final score. The outcomes of the recent World Series win by the Sox and the last two Super Bowl appearances by the Patriots were all taken in during the early morning view of the world via my computer.
- One obvious concern is the countdown to our retirement. Don't get me wrong; I am thoroughly looking forward to a life without employment, but because of the nature of our retirement towards full-time RVing, it holds a LOT more anticipation (which in itself is like a kid finding out they're going to Disney World) and trepidation, because it's all going to be new to us. No settling down in an existing home which we are used to. The challenges of life on the road. The excitement of new destinations on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. What to bring and what has to go. No wonder it wakes me up at night.
- I worry about the world my grandson, Jace, is inheriting. He's too good a kid to be saddled with a country where our election process can be hijacked by people and parties unwilling to give up power. Where their adherents are unwilling to accept defeat, and throw hissy fits and violent demonstrations because they didn't get what they wanted. Where politicians and their supporters are willing to deliberately destroy another person's reputation with known lies and false accusations because they think he or she might - possibly - maybe - make a decision which requires them to take on some personal responsibility. Where a news media decides to shape and make the news, and not simply report it. Where a government education system is wholly inadequate to teach Jace how to THINK.
- I worry about a generation of voters who fervently believe that they are owed something of mine; not because they earned it, but because they want it. Kids who, because Mommy and Daddy decided to be their pal and not their parent, gave them everything they wanted growing up. And now they've set their sights on the rest of us because they never learned to respect anyone else's property.
- I lose sleep at night worrying about how I'm going to get rid of all this crap in our apartment and in storage during the next 9 months.
- I lie awake at night worrying about whether my two remaining Subaru Foresters will survive long enough to get some resale value out of them.
- And I worry about my two daughters being able to cope with life without a local parental safety valve when things go awry. Because that's what a father does. But I'm not sure they fully realize we're no longer going to be just a phone call away like we always have been. This whole RV thing is hard for some people to internalize.
The fact that it's nearly 2:00 in the morning and I'm writing this should solidify why this stuff is important enough for me to lose sleep over. Especially since I don't have this urgent need to head back to bed for my next extended nap.
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.