I’ve thought a lot recently about meditation, about just sitting and being. With my cell phone constantly at my side, it’s complicated. The way my anxious mind works, I need to be by my phone. I don’t want to miss anything. A call about work, a call about a loved one, a call from a friend: I don’t know, my brain makes up many different reasons why I’ll get a call. The truth is, I get very few calls or messages that need to be dealt with right away. I know that part of my nervous system is shot; like that woman at the homeopathic pharmacy told me, I don’t ever let myself rest.

My husband goes to church on Sundays, and I often say that I use that time for spiritual reasons, reading a book, writing, etc. The truth is, I usually use that time on Tik Tok, Facebook, or Twitter. I’m addicted to my phone. So, today I decided that I’d try something new. I love to read, but I don’t have the concentration to do it these days. Since my husband is at church, and I know he doesn’t have his phone on, I hate to imagine the shame his reverend would make him feel if his phone rang during service. I knew I could turn my phone off for an hour, and it would be okay. I told myself, ‘self, you are going to turn your phone off for an hour, read your kindle and not look at your Fitbit until Alexa goes off and tells you the hour is up.’ I circled up with a brand new book by Matt Haig called ‘The Comfort Book,’ it’s a book about life; it’s self-described as messy, and I read sixty percent of it in the hour.

I loved reading when I was a child; I could get lost in a used book store for hours. Books are the gateway to the world, I believe, and every year I say I’m going to read more than I have ever read before, but I rarely do it. The hour went by, I did get up once to use the restroom and make another cup of coffee, but I was amazed how much time an uninterrupted hour is. I want to do it once a day; I need to find the time where I turn everything off but my kindle or an actual book and just read. As much as reading isn’t pure silence, there is something meditative about it, I found myself taking many deep breaths while I was reading, and once I let myself chill, I enjoyed it.

So, turn your phone off, the world will go on!

One of our friends told us that they have free coffee in the clubhouse and we should check it out. At 9:30 A.M., stumbling and blurry-eyed, we walked out of our apartment, masked up, of course, and walked to the clubhouse. First, I know it sounds very bougie that we live in a place that has a clubhouse, but I don’t consider myself that bougie. I’m a bougie wannabe. I’m a bougie without the wallet to back it up. I’m a fake bougie. We got to the clubhouse, and the door was locked, someone let us in, and we asked if there was coffee. They pointed us to the coffee machine, ‘over there’, they said, and then walked away. It felt like we were a nuisance. I put my coffee yeti on the bottom and read the instructions. Then I saw that it said that the trashbin needed to be emptied. A maintenance guy walked in at the same time. We said, ‘sir’ about three times before he would answer us. Finally, as he walked up the stairs, he responded by saying ‘it doesn’t work’ and walked away.

On the way home, my husband and I said good morning to two of the cleaning crew, and neither acknowledged us. I haven’t just noticed it here though, I see it everywhere. I feel like people are just tired and don’t care anymore, and it’s very frustrating.

It doesn’t take much to be kind, to say hello to someone when you walk by them. To nod your head, open the door, be friendly. Listen, here is the thing that irks me the most, you are at work; any job that where you come in contact with people is a customer service job. It should be part of your job to be friendly to people. It should be the number one thing that you teach your staff—a pre-requisite. Like before you get promoted to being around a customer, you have to take a friendly test.

Maybe I’m overreacting. I’ve been in customer service my whole life, and I get it. There are days when I’m not happy, and I don’t want to be friendly to people, but we are all put here on this planet, and we should do the best we can to make it as pleasant of an experience as possible.

Thank you for coming to my Saturday morning Ted Talk. Now go out in the world and be friendly, damnit!

I’ve discovered that going on a walk during lunchtime is the best thing for me. It makes me do it; it also gives me more pool time later in the day. I need to schedule it from now on, which I’m going to do. It’s easier now that my husband is out of the house during the week right now. So, I eat lunch at my desk around 11 am and then go for an hour’s walk with my friend Karen at noon.

Now I need my blood sugar to step up and do the right thing. I’ve been careful about my eating, so I’m not sure why it’s been bad this week. Now, when I say bad, I mean not under 120. My average for the day today was 160, which is not great. But, I will get there. I have faith.

I didn’t want to turn this blog into me talking every day about much blood sugar and health, but there are days that it will happen. I need to spend this year learning to take care of myself, including this kind of venting. As long as I get myself into a routine, I’ll be good.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night again; I think I will test my blood sugar tonight if that happens and see what it is like. Maybe that will help me figure this out.

Okay, till tomorrow!

You need to get a partner who will rub your feet at the end of the day. It’s those simple things that make life special. No matter the lack of sleep, moody or exhausted I get, I always have that at the end of the day; for that, I am grateful.

Also, push yourself. My Fitbit said that I had like five and a half hours of sleep last night. I was miserable this morning, but I forced myself to walk during lunch, and it rejuvenated me. My sugar was high this morning, over two hundred again, but I got it down to one hundred and fifteen this afternoon.

We got this.

I was listening to a podcast with Tim Ferriss and Anne Lamott this morning, and she said, ‘when I was a child, I held my breath.’ It triggered me. She was talking about how her generation, and maybe mine, were raised. We held our breaths. Maybe it is why we have anxious adults?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better at breathing, or at least I think I have. When a moment of stress happens, if I take a deep breath, it alleviates things. I know when I’m lying in bed, my mind racing about the monster underneath the bed or what I have to do tomorrow, if I take a deep breath, it will subside. You are taught when you meditate, which I don’t do enough, to focus on the breath. But, in my world, silence is difficult. Silence brings in self-doubt, disappointment, and pain. My brain is rarely silent. I am working on it.

This morning I wrote down, ‘being afraid of being a disappointment made me a disappointment to myself.’ Isn’t that one of the most depressing things you’ve ever heard? If you don’t have yourself, who the hell do you have? If you’re a disappointment to yourself, how are you not to other people?

Today Simone Biles, the greatest of all time, backed out of the team Olympics competition in gymnastics to take care of herself. All-day, I’ve heard this news without actually watching and seeing what was going on. I’m not going to lie; I was chatting with my husband, making jokes about it. How could someone whose ultimate dream was to be at the Olympics make that decision? It did not make sense to me. When I was a kid, I held my breath. Then I saw her do the vault. I saw her lose herself in it and realized how dangerous it could have been having she gone on. I realized that she was fighting for her breath. Things are changing. We are allowed to breathe now. We are now allowed to say we are not okay. We are allowed to breathe.

I guess what I’m saying is, don’t hold your fucking breath anymore. Allow yourself to breathe. Allow yourself to take care of yourself. Thank god things are different now.

Tylenol PM is by my side, poised and ready to assist in a sleep unlike I was able to obtain last night. I have struggle days, and today was one of them. I woke every two hours or so to use the restroom last night; I think I may have given too much trust to the homeopathic pharmacy I visited in Santa Monica last Friday. I have not had a good night’s sleep in many nights. I woke this morning to a blood sugar reading higher than it has been in weeks, surprising because, while I did eat two big keto waffles yesterday, I still stayed within my boundaries. There is no reason I can think of that my sugar should have read higher than two hundred. I was able to get it down one hundred points by the time I ate lunch today.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher.

My Monday mood swings have not been fun. I woke up panicked, sweating, exhausted. I pushed the couch pillows aside at noon, ignored my phone, and took a 20-minute nap before making tuna salad stuffed inside of green pepper. By the time the afternoon came, I had missed my husband something fierce and was ready to board a plane to anywhere because he’s stuck on jury duty for another month or so. It’s hard to all of a sudden lose your lunch partner, who also happens to be your life partner.

I’m trying something new tonight; I made dinner early, we ate at the blue plate special hour, five-thirty. I’m cutting off the drinking water, except for the little bit I’ll put in my mouth to take the Tylenol PM, with hopes that I’m counting cute Olympic divers in my head by 9 pm. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve said ‘the way my back is set up’ while watching the Olympics this year. I don’t know how these athletes do it. Most days, tying my shoes is difficult. Thanks to the pandemic, though, I haven’t had to put on socks and shoes very often.

If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through the day. We are courageous because we did it. Until tomorrow, my friends!

I should start by saying that I’m hoping to create a new writing habit, where I write every day. I should also say that I usually fail one thousand percent at them when I state goals like that. I thought about just writing and not even talking about writing, but here I am. And, if you want to be the next David Sedaris, well, you can’t do that by sitting on the couch watching ’90 Day Fiance’ and the million iterations that are of it. You have to write, right?

Yesterday, my husband, our niece, and my sisters-in-law went to Temecula. If you’re not from the LA area, you probably don’t even know what that is; I sure didn’t before I moved here. It’s like Napa but without the drive, and probably without the amazing wine. I’ve never been to Napa, so I can’t honestly say. Since I spoke about anxiety yesterday, let me tell you, this trip has made me anxious all week. The truth is, I think I may have been the person that initiated it. It’s always a good idea in my head, and then when I start thinking about it, I think about the sugar count in grapes, how I’m going to want to stop off and get the sourdough brie bowl that is pure heaven but also would put me in heaven, if you catch my drift.

The night before our trip, my sister-in-law sent out a menu to our Facebook messenger group for an Italian restaurant. I almost lost it, although I hopefully didn’t let on too much. But, at that moment I wanted to cancel the trip. I took a deep breath and wrote that the menu didn’t work for me. They were respectful, and we kept searching. We finally did land on a place that I thought could work. The truth is I can make any restaurant work with a keto diet, but it’s the fact that pasta is so close that gives me a panic attack.

Our niece lives in the building next to ours, at least for the next month, she just turned 21, and although her Aunties had experienced Temecula with her, her G’uncles had not. I love the term G’uncles. Everyone needs a G’uncle in their lives, don’t they?

A few things happen when you get closer to Temecula, the traffic backs up on the highway, and you see people parachuting; I imagine out of planes, but I’m not sure where they came from. All I know is that we looked up, and there twenty or so parachutes. I have a few reactions when I see people parachuting. The first is, why do they want to die? Second, is there a weight limit? Cause I’m not sure I’d pass it, and I’d have to have someone steer it for me. I am the guy that tried one of those Bird things out and immediately hit a car. I’m not trusting myself with a parachute. Knowing my luck, I’d steer right into oncoming traffic, and that would be the end of, well, me. This reminds me of when I was a child, we went skiing, and I let go of the tow rope and proceeded to get battered by the people behind me. I never skied again. At least I’m wiser now and know that I should never start parachuting.

We stopped to eat at a place called ‘The Broken Yolk Cafe.’ It’s always reliable, and when you get older, you realize the importance of reliability. I got an omelet with bacon, tomato, mushroom, cheese, and a side of fruit. Phew, one meal down.

We went to the wineries, drank, and then drank some more. The wine was delicious, the weather hot. Then we went to a new winery called Akash. I should say new to us. It had a young, hip vibe, like someplace that you want to be seen. Let’s be clear; I always want to be seen but not spoken to. My husband was at the bar, and this woman, whose sexual preferences were clear, looked over at him and said, ‘are you all a couple?’ They talked and learned that she was engaged to her fiance, and they were getting married in 2024 in Italy. And, well, as I said before, I wouldn’t say I like to talk too much; we did decide to go over to them and chat. I’ve never been to Italy, and I wanted an invite. Quickly, we learned that the lesbian couple next to them, whom they’d been friends with for years, was not even invited to their wedding. We did get their phone number, so I still have hope of an invite, and we have three years to work on it.

The night ended with our dinner reservations at a place called ‘Blackbird.’ Their menu was decent, and at this point, I’d imbibed too much, so I was starving, even after buying the tiny thirty-dollar cheese tray from Akash. We ordered the Brussel sprouts, Korean potstickers, and short rib fries. The sprouts took the prize with the appetizers. And, even though I let myself go, I ordered a burger with a side salad and wrapped in lettuce. I wish I had taken a picture of this disaster. No attempt was made to wrap the burger, they served fries with my burger, and I had to ask for a side salad. I distributed my fries to my other table mates. The salad dressing was bitter, and I was frustrated by the time the night was done. Here is the thing, I don’t ask for a side salad because I actually would prefer to eat a side salad. I ask for it because I shouldn’t eat the fries. When you bring it out with the fries on the plate, you may not think it’s a big deal, but I do.

We sobered up, drove home, and I took my blood sugar, and it was one hundred and sixty-five. On other trips to Temecula, where I’ve indulged, it’s been over two hundred, so I consider this a win.

On Monday or Tuesday this week, my friend, Karen (let’s not hold that against her), asked me if I would go with her to a homeopathic store in Santa Monica. I told her I would because why not? We were mainly going for her ailments and not mine.

We arrived, and Karen went first. She doesn’t even know I’m writing this, so I’m not going to tell you what was wrong with her. But, man, she is messed up. I’m kidding, but I want her to read this and laugh, so I’m keeping it. Although we are all messed up, so there is some bit of truth.

I stepped up to the counter, and I got this sense of quiet come over me. Listen, I think there is a lot wrong with me; I imagine a lot of us feel this way, but after seeing Karen go, I felt like this woman was peering into my soul, and who the hell wants that? I told her that I have diabetes and that I have a hard time sleeping. I’ve had a hard time sleeping since I was a kid. I’ve always been afraid of noises at night; it was so bad when I was a kid that my twin brother had to sleep with a bat underneath his bed to feel like I was protected. I honestly think that I’ve been effed up since before I was even born, but we don’t have time for that right now.

What was striking about this woman was that she got quiet and analyzed you, as a medium would. She said to me, ‘Your problem isn’t your adrenals. It’s your nervous system. You are a 4 out of 10; your nervous system is shot.’ She asked me my last A1C, and I told her it’s high, but the time before that, I got it down to 6.7, and I told her that my goal was to do the same again.

She said that she would like to see my lab work, and I started to open it up on my phone, and she was like, ‘I don’t have enough time for this today but let’s do it again when you come back in.’ She gave me two medications that I’m supposed to drop over my tongue multiple times a day. One was for blood sugar, and one was for anxiety.

Karen and I walked out of the place, and I looked at her, and I said, ‘That woman had me almost in tears; I felt like she saw me.’

If you didn’t know this before, my name is Ron, and I’m a very anxious person. I hope this works, but the truth is, I took the medication last night, and I had a horrible sleep, plus my sugar was a little higher this morning than it has been the last week or so.

Lost and scared.
You’re young, queer, with unsupportive parents and not the best bunch of friends.
You have trouble knowing your self worth. You are worth only as much as you think you are. So, you need to focus on you. Maybe write down five things about you that you love? If you think you can’t find them search. Look in the mirror at yourself and say things like ‘I have nice eye lashes, eyes, and I love myself.’ You are not going to believe it at first. That’s okay, but keep going. With every day you will get better. You will realize how special you are.
Surround yourself with positivity. Work hard to take the negative words out of your life.
I need you to know that I’ve been there before. I know how it feels. You are me, and my heart breaks knowing what you are going through.
Here is the thing, you are not lost. You are where you need to be and you are going to be so damn strong when you come out of this. The world is yours and you will grab it. I love you. You got this!

@yourbestieron

Advice for my besties, lost and scared. You’ve got this. Positivity. You are amazing!

♬ Always Remember Us This Way (from A Star is Born) – Piano Version – Chris Margaritis
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