What strange dreams about New York, Janet Jackson and my friend T

I dreamt I was in New York for work and it was taking the typically strange twists and turns, such as New York looked an awful lot like the U District in Seattle and I didn’t recognize any of my co-workers. At one point, I was napping on a cot in a Safeway and saw a coworker who was embarrassed to see me in that situation. I went to leave and the detectors went off because I’d forgotten that I put a pair of socks in my pocket, so was detained while they got a manager to approve my release. A short time later I was on the bus with Janet Jackson, who I’d gone to high school with and who appreciated my friendship since it wasn’t based on her fame. I got off the bus with my friend Tony, we went to his house and he was showing me his light show on his computer. It was dark and foreboding outside and I kept thinking I caught glimpses of his deceased mom (who is still alive in real life) since he was living in their old house. But just as I was leaving his brother and his brothers kids came home from selling church cookies, and I was amazed that it was 4:45am so made my exit. Unfortunately, Tony’s dog ( a large German Shephard – BTW he does not have a dog in real life) ) was threatening me on the way out when my dream ended.

What strange dreams about New York, Janet Jackson and my friend T

Strange dream about an American Airlines crash

Strange and vivid dream last night.  We were at our home when a low flying American Airlines jet passed over head.  Moments later we heard a crash, and I raced over there while calling 911.  It had crashed into St. Al’s near our house, and afew other people were there and I has having a hard time connecting with 911 so just hung up.  But miraculously, people were already getting treated, including the pilots, and despite the large plane there were no fires and no one seemed killed.  I looked around, and noticed the peoplel. Laying around, and started talking to the pilot, who was sitting up and getting treatment inside the plane.  He was telling me that the crash had been caused as a window washer had left the plane window cracked open; he said normally window washers alert the pilot when they are washing the windows, and the pilot draws with their finger on the window that a washer is on the outside of the plane, but the washer had forgotten to notify him (or he just hadn’t marked it) and the plane took off with some of the doors or windows open so the plane lost pressure and crashed. The only fatality had been the windows washer (who’d been swept off the plane) and I remember feeling sad for the poor window washer.  The dream ended there…  I am no longer afraid of flying but do think sometimes how one of these small planes or jetliners could crash into houses, since they are always flying overhead.  The jetliners are less worrisome (and annoying) than the small planes.  Anyway, I think the dream tapped into that fear a bit – why, I don’t know.  Or possibly it has to do with the helplessness of Irma slamming into the innocient people of the Carribean…  With all the talk of Hurricane Irma (and rightfully so), it will be a lot less destructive to that region than the Conquistadors were!!!!

Strange dream about an American Airlines crash

Strange Dream about staying with the Trumps last night – a vivid and not pleasant dream about walking on eggshells around him :)

What a strange dream.  We were traveling from our house to LA, but did so in a circuitous route and along the way made a pre-planned stop at the Trumps house in New Jersey.  It was a small home, like a suburban condo, and honestly I was a little initimidated in my dream by Trump in the sense he was moody and I didn’t want to deal with him in a bad/ranting mood, so was interacting with kid gloves.  He liked football, as did his son, and was showing me highlights of his favorite game which was the Dolphins vs. the Jets in the 1960s with a shocking drop-kick ending that gave the Jets the victory as time expired.  Trump was mumbling a little as he showed this, and I wasn’t sure why it was his favorite game and didn’t want to offend him by asking him to repeat it.  Then it was time to leave, we got a car to the airport, we boarded a plane and flew out for Napa where were going to meet our now grown kids’ former nanny (wth?) who was joining us for the final leg of the trip, and we were glad to not be around Trump and his delicate mood anymore.  We very specifically did not talk politics with him, and I didn’t mention the presidency.  It was a vivid dream.  As I said at the top – very strange.

Strange Dream about staying with the Trumps last night – a vivid and not pleasant dream about walking on eggshells around him :)

Strange dream about Disneyland and hotel last night

I wa with my family (especially parents) and we were at a skyscraper hotel near Disneyland that required many elevators and a ladder to get up to.  I was scared, of course, by the height of it, but also worried about the possibility of a quake in California while we were so high.  That was the overriding theme of the dream.

Strange dream about Disneyland and hotel last night

Norwegian Day Is Not My Favorite Day

**My personal opinion only, and I live and let live*** Today is Norwegian Day, or something like that, and here in Ballard we have some big Norwegian Day parade that has been in existence as far back as I remember (1970s).  I am half Norwegian, so you’d think I’d like this day, but in all honesty I don’t.  When I think of Italians, I think of shouting and hugging and good food and family, when I think of Irish I think pubs and stories and green, but when I think of Norway I remember all the depressed, cranky, sarcastic Norwegians in my childhood and the cranky Norwegians I encountered on my one day trip to Oslo.  Maybe it was the neighborhood, or maybe it was just the Norwegians I knew, but the Norwegian Day Parade does not conjure fond memories for me — I am much more proud of my Scottish and Irish blood (albiet it is a very small percentage of my heritage). 

Norwegian Day Is Not My Favorite Day

In my entire life, I don’t remember a “steamy” morning like this in Seattle

It is literally steamy outside.  The air is reasonably heavy but the air is so filled with humidity it is hazy and almost smoky.  We’ve had humidity before, but I don’t ever recall it being visible like this.  Very cool.  Luckily it is not too warm (70s).

In my entire life, I don’t remember a “steamy” morning like this in Seattle

How does 31 years pass since I was a senior in high school

Everyone says this, but you never truly believe you’ll ever be in your 40s.  And you certainly never believe you will look at 31 years since your senior year in high school.  It feels like yesterday, although I havent seen most of my class since graduation (I’ve skipped the reunions, although I enjoyed high school – waht is the point?).  Some day soon I will (hopefully) say, I can’t believe I am in my 80s.  The sad part is, when I was a teen I *never* thought I’d be as old as 40 (that was an eternity away) but now at 49 I can definitely see 80 on the horizon.

How does 31 years pass since I was a senior in high school

It is Daughter L’s Senior Skip Day :)

I was worried Daughter L was oversleeping today but it turns out it is senior skip day at her school :). I remember my senior skip day, 31 years ago (:() — I played golf.  THat was just a few weeks after Jack Nicklaus had surprised the golf world by winning the Masters in his 40s.  That was the year I loved golf so much I golfed 3 times a week (walked on as a single on Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and I was starting to play well enough that the golf coach asked if I’d consider playing golf, not realizing I was a senior.  Funny how much I loved it then – I don’t feel that way at all now.  I don’t know how you can have soo much passion for something then none at all.  

It is Daughter L’s Senior Skip Day :)

Learning how to “better” manage brain fog

For me, there are many crummy things about chronic illness, but the second worst of them all — after fatigue — is brain fog, i.e. the much harder challenge of keeping a clear thought.

Time was before my illness that my brain would whir to life and I could quickly motor off anything I needed to.  Ask me the strategy to something, and I’d leap up on the whiteboard and starting jotting ideas down.  But now, keeping clear thoughts is difficult. Answering any question that requires me to go into the memory bank is a challenge, and anything with some uncertainty or complexity is a challenge unless I have time to process.  Spelling?  I used to be great, because I would literally picture the word in my head and recite what I saw, but now I don’t see the word and am kind of stabbing in the dark.

Needless to say, this has made my job as an analytical sales person in a cutthroat industry hell.  But I think I’ve developed a list over the past few years that has helped. I’m not 100%, or even 90%, but I’m getting better and I’v adapted.

Checklist in OneNote.  OneNote is good because it’s free and I can access it from my computer, iPad or iPhone.  What I do is make a checklist of each item at the office I have to get down, then I break it down to how much time to spend on it.  For example: Answer emails – respond during morning coffee.  Send out follow up reports from yesterday – 30 minutes.  Send out status check note to 500 customers – 20 customers a day…  I’ve noticed this is important – I’ll lose paper lists, or I start moving things around until it gets messy (I can cut and paste); also, I can keep a template that I copy and paste into a new Tab every day so every day I am starting with a fresh checklist.  Plus, my razor sharp memory no where I was on a task has evaporated, so now I can search in OneNote to find out what I’ve done on something.

Stick with the Checklist.  It is tempting that if I come to complexity in my checklist to pass it off until later.  For example, if “Respond to email” includes an email that involves research, my temptation is to push it aside until later the day.  But I’ve learned I need to take a short break, grab another cup of coffee, return and take the steps needed to complete that email.  If I push it off, I start to get overwhelmed and fight the urge to shut down.  So even it means taking a pause while I gather my energy, I do nothing else until complete that next task.

One Thing At A Time.  My days of answering email while on a conference call, or making a phone call while waiting for my computer to re-boot, are over.  So I have to focus on one thing at a time.

Take Breaks.  The days of crazy 12 hour days are over.  I have to take several breaks during the day to make sure I maintain the energy needed to keep brain fog at bay.

Accept the Inevitable.  I will never be as crisp, sharp and productive as I once was.  I can’t compare myself to the old me, which thankfully was 200% of most people (honestly).  Instead, I have to focus on doing the best I can with what I have now.  I this were a five-card poker me, the old me had six cards to choose from, the new me has 4 cards to work with (versus everyone else’s 5).  I can’t worry that I used to have 6 or that some have 5, I just have to do the best I can with 4 and realize that I won’t win as much as I used to. That takes some pressure off.

Lots and lots of coffee.  There is no way of getting around the fact that coffee is the new normal for me at the workplace.  If there are side effects so be it, but I have to have the energy needed to keep my job and pay my bills.  On the days where I need an extra burst of energy, I take a caffeine pill and pray for a “good” day.

My two cents.  Since life gave me lemons, I’m doing the best i can to make a decent lemonade.  (I’ve had to relearn how to do my to do list – I used to do it mostly by memory and prioritization, but that’s not possible anymore, and too long of a checklist is overwhelming 🙂 ).

 

 

Learning how to “better” manage brain fog

Confessions of an “always late” person

I am always late. Usually 10 minutes, almost to the minute.  When something is very very important and a special event (e.g. Interview) I am on time, but otherwise I am late.  I think one of the reasons why is because I am results focused.  That is, when I sit down to do something, I hate leaving it just to move on to an appointment.  For example, if I am composing an email and it is 10:50 and I need to leave for an 11 o’clock meeting, I hate leaving that chore for later, since inevitably more emails pop up and I’m worried about losing my focus and train of thought. So usually I finish the email, then I am late to the meeting and people complain (usually as a passive aggressive tease or behind my back later 🙂 ).  But no one mentions when I am late how I also tend to be a *lot* more productive than 99% of the people.

I don’t like being in a society where we judge literally by the minute versus completing a task.  But it is the way of the world.  So the world will just have to wait for me sometimes :). And I’ll just have to tolerate the criticism.  After all, lets’s be honest, I am 48 and I’ve been like this my whole life – if I haven’t changed by now I’m not going to.

On a side note, I am rarely sick or call in sick or miss things – but I am late to them.    

Confessions of an “always late” person