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August 20, 2003 - Wednesday, 9:27 p.m.

Road Trip Reviewed

Don't know why I am feeling overwhelmed and distracted. It has been a hard week for trying to focus on work. I imagine that my finances are part of it, as I worry about that often (though can mostly keep it below the surface). Additionally I am a little bit antsy from my road trip. So much stuff is running through my mind that I can't keep track of it moment to moment. Most of the pieces are disjointed and not in my mind long enough to truly ponder on. Sometimes I seem to be caught up in a redecorating mind set, my mind flitting off in 10 or 12 directions, what to do, how to do it, when to do it, what color? What style? When? How much? Why? When? Argh!! Thoughts of the boys run through my head, concerns about school for them, the future, and their jobs, what will happen? Will they be happy? How will school go? Will they complete school? Will they be happy with their career choices? Will they have good marriages? How about their wives (to be) and their kids (to be)? ::pulls her hair out:: Pieces of information float amidst all the motherly worries... how will I do in school? Was this the way to go? What does my boss think? Will it take a difference? Will work pay for it? Will I finish? Will it be too hard or take up too much time? Will I fail to prioritize correctly? Will I find a job ever that will pay me well? Is everything okay with my sisters? How is CamiSue doing? How about my kids, my nephews...? ::screams very, very quietly:: It seems as though there is far too much information flying through my brain at warp speed. I can't even tell you all the stuff that is flying through there, so of it is distorted, some of it so fleeting... For the most part, almost anything that you could worry about from bill paying to the development of the soul; is screaming through my brain this week...

Gah!! I am sure I have the brain that makes for a wonderful alcoholic or drug addict. The fact that I don't use either of these outlets at all makes me wonder how anyone with a brain like this can stand it most days.... a dulling of the voices... even a momentary discontinuousness of the thought would be most pleasurable. Neither of these options being available leaves me to wonder how I am going to handle it.

Perhaps it is that my house is in such disarray at the moment... my mind needs a restful environment to unwind in... and currently my house is too cluttered for my mind to work.

10:49 am

While picking up some items at the grocery store on Sunday, I wandered by the blood pressure station. Taking a moment I sat down and did a blood pressure check... 179/107. Not good... not good at all. My blood pressure is definitely up. Amazingly enough I am now nearly 90% sure that my high blood pressure is almost entirely a function of what I eat, as much as it is hereditary. It would seem that when I was eating almost nothing, my bp was down. But now I can consume enough salt in a day to keep my bp up. I must do something about this. Should most likely see the doctor and go back on bp meds.

My vacation wasn't a vacation as much as it was a duty call. Ack! I hate to say that but that is what it was. I am so glad CamiSue went with me. I'd have been a basket case when I got home otherwise. I had lots of time to think in my brain while we traveled, as CamiSue slept some and was quiet, probably lost in her own thoughts.

Of course, though perhaps you don't know, the upper peninsula of Michigan was almost entirely a LAB (the guy I dated in college) trip. It was a place that he loved and was drawn to. Was hard not to think about him and wonder. It wasn't a sad trip, but it wasn't a happy one either. Melancholy is perhaps at better worord. It is also a place my parents drove through on their way to Boston after they got married. It was definitely a place I wanted to see. Most of the Michigan drive after we left Rose Island was along Lake Huron (a coast type road) and then across the Mackinac Bridge, which crosses the Mackinac Straits. Then we drove along Lake Michigan and then Lake Superior, the drive along the lake was more poignant then anything else. We must have passed a thousand lake cabins. It's a vacationland, but the lakes are sad. The fish are gone, so no fishing industry, not terribly good farmland, so very little farming. Part of what made it sad was the knowledge that the wind, coming off the lake, must be just awful in the winter. There are lighthouses all along the shores at various locations. And each location you know is there because ships had gone down there, some even after the lighthouses were there. The trees were beautiful, but the drive felt sad. In Mackinaw City we stopped at a park and could see the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island… (You know, the hotel where "Somewhere in Time" was filmed). The bridge was most impressive. Mackinaw City is a place that LAB went when he was there. I knew I was seeing places he'd see. We got within about 20 miles of where his family’s cabin is… though the actual cabin is on an island in Lake Huron, only accessible by boat. We didn't go there... seemed such a silly thing to do. I contemplated going, but realized that I didn't need to. I know what the area looks like now. It's a real place in my mind now.

As we went west through the Upper Peninsula is became more and more desolate. I think I thought because it was between the lakes that it would be wonderful farmland, with plenty of water. But it wasn't. It was terrible farmland, we saw perhaps a couple of dairy farms, but mostly it was unpopulated, and many places were for sale. Upon going through a visitor’s center on Lake Superior the following day, I listen to a display in the 'museum' there and found that the areas close around the lakes (especially the north parts of the lakes) makes for poor farmland as it was mostly only ores that were left behind the receding ice sheets of the last ice age. It is a great mining area for iron ore... but little else. As we moved west away from the lake we returned to farmland, nice farmland with lots of trees. The thoughts of the Michigan leg of the trip remained in my mind until we got close to Minot.

There in Minot, visiting my grandma, created another set of thoughts all their own. Of the ending of an era, the eventual loss of the homestead house (as it will fall into ruin once Grandma is gone), the thoughts of mortality. Granted my grandmother is 99 years old, but she is hardly the person I remember. All I could think is, I won't hold on to life nearly as hard as she does. Then the realization that before I know it, my mother will be there... and then me, the pieces of our life slipping from our grasp. I know my mother won't hold on to life as hard as grandma does either. My mother believes in life beyond this corporeal existence. She doesn't fear death or what is beyond, nor do I. I think perhaps the here and now is more real to my grandma then what is beyond.

Visiting with my cousins was nice. It was so good to see them. They are doing well. The last leg of the trip was very quiet. CamiSue slept and read most of the day and I hunkered down into my thoughts. CamiSue has said something early on in our trip (between Chicago and Rose Island), that made me very sad and made me think a lot. She was concerned that she'd hurt my feelings, and I said no, through very well contained tears. I am not mad or sad that she said what she did, but it really made me think and think and think. Basically what she said was that she didn't think that someone with strong opinions, or technically minded(like engineers) would be a good choice for marriage for me. That I don't really listen, but speak to my own agenda, and that it would make them crazy to deal with me. That someone that is philosophical, but not well educated would probably be able to deal with me better. It hurt to think that I don't listen, and I self analyzed myself for the rest of the trip. My problem, I believe is that when entering into a conversation (if it is thought provoking at all) I begin to go off mentally chewing on the first provoking thought and fail to hear much of the remaining commentary. I don't know that I can help but think of something that is said, but often I think the commentary will come around to a complete thought (and perhaps is the very same vein that my mind has gone), but I am back speaking to the first comment. Gah! It was awful. I don't listen. And imagine that a well educated person is going to be put off by how my mind works. And yet I know I need a match for my mind to some extent or I will whither and die. Mostly all I could think was that I truly am never going to find someone. My mind is far too fragmented for most anyone to handle on the long term.

I know that I think far, far too much. I analyze even what I have already analyzed. Can't imagine running into anyone that is going to be intrigued by this mind. Grrr! It's good that a large part of the time I am content to be lost in my own mind.

As I sit here I realize I need to find a place in my mind where I can unwind. I was thinking about my short pieces I wrote on 'The Lake', 'The Ocean', and 'The Cabin' a first person day dream. Similar to this…

I am lying in the grass looking up at the white-blue sky. The wheat in the near by field is whispering softly in the wind. In a distant grove of trees comes the soft melody of birds sitting high up on the branches. The sun warms my skin as I drift off into a sleeplike state...

12:48 pm

If I was just looking for love, I'd really not have to look at all. My life is surrounded in love. My family, my kids, my friends... it's everywhere. I am looking for partnership. Someone to hold my hand when thing are rough in life. I want someone to help calm my fractured mind, so I can find peace. I’d like someone to do nothing with but sit there quietly watching TV, reading a book, or napping. Someone to do things with someone that is as invested in my everyday life and I am in theirs. It's that daily investment that I miss. Someone helping to figure out what to make for dinner, what movie to watch, take a walk with, weed the yard, fold clothes... no one in my life is at that investment level. That's what a spouse brings to your life that friends never can. Someone to go through thick and thin with, who is part of the rhythm of your everyday life, is that really important in the scope of everything? Probably not, but I'd like to have that. I am going to be fine without it, I know I am strong enough to weather the storms of life on my own with my family and friends nearby. Just some days... I'll tell you... the thought of snuggling up against someone and watching TV and napping is almost overwhelming.

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