I love to be cozy in bed when it raining and am extra delighted by the wind. It’s just a feeling of cozy safety to be inside and warm in such weather. It touches on that deepest hindbrain feeling that comes from ancestors who had to deal with weather directly, living out in it. To know I am not out in it, but safe inside is lovely.
I have a tin roof over my balcony area. Rain on tin roofs is also a lovely sound. It seems to hit a note in my head that resonates nicely. Happily the place I work also has a metal roof and so I get that lovely noise quite often.
I had a lot of anxiety dreams last night. And woke up to one that kept it’s hand on my chest even after waking. In those moments, finding a thing I can deliberately delight in, is a path away from from the anxiety. I usually have to look for it. Because my mindset was already in anxiety, a significant portion of my brain wanted to consign the noise of this rain into the anxiety. But I know that I have always enjoyed that noise while in bed. So I recalled and considered that past delight until it arrived in the present.
This post is part of the process. Sometimes the delight does not come spontaneously. Sometimes it needs to be pulled out of the ground like a paleontologist pulls out a dinosaur bone. Much digging into my memory, much slow and deliberate brushing off of that remembered feeling, much consideration of where the delight belongs in the moment I’m living right now.
It doesn’t always work. But it seems to have done today. The pressure is off my chest.
So I don’t use Instagram much, but I do have an account. I just clicked on it out of boredom and began scrolling. Almost immediately I was presented with ads that were decidedly well aimed. Very well aimed. I clicked on 3 ads in a 40 minute scroll through my instagram feed.
I think I’ve intentionally clicked on 3 ads in the previous 3 years before that. Maybe longer. I just don’t click. In fact I mostly don’t see them because I have an addblocker extension in Chrome. Sometimes I unblock on creator’s website and see their ads. Google ads are nearly always reminder ads of places where I shopped. It’s super easy to resist because that decision was already made and I’ve already seen the things.
But Instagram is an app on my phone, so no ad block. It’s a Facebook company, and their ad targeting is much more insidious. They know who I am. They put things in front of me that I’ve never seen before. Things that intrigued me and made me go look at the product. A portable microscope camera that you can attach to your phone and look at stuff in microcosmos – like right out in the real world! A clean key that can be used to press buttons on credit card machines and ATMs and also has a hook that will let you use it to grab some door handles. – a practical and useful thing in this day and age. A tablet that is geared toward writing rather than typing made an appeal to the old person inside me.
On the one hand, I guess it’s nice to see something new that fascinates me. On the other hand, it just knew me way too well. That portable microscope – so niche. But I was within an ace of spending money on it despite it being an utterly useless thing in my life and me being short of money due to a cut in hours. I bought the clean key though. It was expensive but I have to use a keypad to get into my apartment building. I’m constantly aware of how many surfaces I touch when I’m out in the world. I think it’s going be necessary to find ways to mitigate this in the next year. This feels like a good option.
The truth is I’m more pleased to be seen by the computer overlords than upset that algorithms snoop so much. I’m not even on Facebook. I only have instagram. But the people I follow on instagram are apparently a big clue as to who I am. Sigh. I’m pretty sure I should be outraged. That’s what everyone else says. But, hell. It wasn’t a bad experience. It was kind of good.
There is something transformative about music when you listen to it in headphones. I suppose it’s because there is no other noise that can come in. But it seems to make the music so much richer and deeper. If you didn’t want to dance to an upbeat song, put on your headphones – it will slip inside your brain and you will be nearly unable to stop the movement your body wants to make.
I love how headphones just wall off the world. When I’m experiencing anxiety I feel like I am clawing out of my skin. But I can put on headphones and my brain will recalibrate. It doesn’t have to be music, but music is best. A podcast or novel will also work though. I think a great deal of my anxiety is triggered by sounds. Happily, it can also be silenced by sounds.
I recall reading an article about how you can see the rhythms of music in someone’s brain MRI (or perhaps it was a different sort of scan) But they could see the brains activity sync up with music. It’s an actual thing that’s happening in my brain when I retreat into the headphones.
I think when anxiety is crawling around inside me – it’s like my brain is experiencing the static that used to be seen on TVs back in the day of antennas and 4 or 5 local channels. When you turned the dial to a channel that didn’t exist locally – the screen would be this garbled and skewed grey scale chaos and the noise was a harsh static.
But when I tune into music through the headphones my brain is adjusts itself to that and the static disappears. And that uneasy crawling of unreasonable aprehension ceases.
I decided to make a meatloaf. Not my mother’s meatloaf, which is officially the best meatloaf on the planet, but a made up one, because I can’t remember my mom’s recipe.
It was fine. It was saved by the gravy, which honestly, what isn’t?
I’m considering how to fry it up for a nice meatloaf sandwich tomorrow. I sort of recall my friend’s mom used to slice hers up cold and then do a breading on it and fry it. Which…. hmm. Maybe? Anyone have leftover meatloaf ideas?
My mom’s meatloaf was not conducive to that sort of thing. It was juicy and crumbly and while it generally hung together it wasn’t committed to it. But this mess I made is probably going to meld itself into hard pieces when cold. And so I think it should do fine in a bit of a fry up.
Still. I’m glad I made it. There is a good sort of satisfaction to making a true and full meal. I rarely ever do it. The closest I come is curries or casseroles. Usually I just have my potato and veg. Or a burger. Or a sandwich. But meat, veg and starch is not common for me. It always feels like too much bother for just me.
So I guess, despite it being a fairly meh meatloaf, I’m rather pleased with the meal.