Being Alone…

2018-08-27_08-16-02Even after 32 years of marriage being alone is something I still relish. It seems I must have my alone time. That seems to be especially true now that I am in my senior years.  But, I have always been pretty much a loner. I just never have seemed to know what to do in a group.

I suspect a big part of this is probably due to my self-proclaimed Asperberger’s Syndrome. Interactions with others have always been difficult for me.  It takes a special person to accept my nuances and call me a friend. I have had a few in my life.

Being alone is self-empowering to me. It is when I have my most creative thoughts. My daily routine includes several “alone” times.

After my daily shower, I am alone to digest the latest news via my Internet feeds. I admit that that particular alone time is shrinking by self-choice as I just can’t seem to stomach what is going on in America today.

Another serious alone time is my man-cave otherwise known as the barn. I am fortunate enough to have a 24 x48 ft pole barn where I do all my physical type things.  It is where I spend quite a bit of time working on uRV ( my micro RV). This weeks project is to rubberize the roof to keep out all those pesky leaks during downpours.

Another alone time is “going up to the mountain”. That is the highest point on my property where I have a six-foot glider.  I spend many warm weather hours up there swinging and reading and just plain looking at the sky and thinking.

Being alone is something I can very much handle…

Autism and Meltdown

canstockphoto13659526.jpgBeing a person with some strong Aspie traits, I just don’t handle stressful situations well.  Fortunately, I don’t totally lose it as the word meltdown infers but I quit acting like an adult and instead am a panicked kid. In autism studies, these episodes are called meltdowns so I will call them that for the purposes of this post.

One of my most prominent stressors is criticism. I am plainly oversensitive. I often perceive my wife’s criticism as calling me a complete idiot. When those situations occur I frequently go into at least some level of meltdown. I start shouting back about how she doesn’t think I can flush a toilet without screwing it up!  Usually, when the episode is over I can evaluate what happened with a more adult view but that doesn’t ameliorate the damage done to both of us by these episodes.

From the studies I have read I know that over time, these types of situations alienate friends and peers. They have also caused marriage problems and even divorce.

My meltdowns for sensory episodes are less frequent as I just don’t allow myself to get caught up in them. Instead, I either avoid the causes or quickly flee the situation.  I don’t like crowds and especially people standing behind me. For that reason, I often shop in the off-hours. My photography helps with crowds.  I tell myself I am there to document the event and therefore manage to control my uneasiness more easily.

I know the severity of my personal meltdowns is much less than others on the spectrum. I am grateful for that and sympathetic to others who are worse than I.

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Autism & Sensory Sensitivity

2016-07-18_17-26-54.pngIt has been a while since I put out a post about Autism concentrating primarily on Aspbergers’ Syndrome. This post will be about sensory sensitivity.  Of course, that means being sensitive to sight, touch, taste, sound, and smell and is often a symptom of Autism.

I continue to discover new traits in my life that point me to Aspbergers. This one came from a billboard that I saw several times a month while traveling back and forth from my small town to a larger one with more services and medical options.

Let’s go through the list with my stories:

Sight –  I am a late riser in the winter months and an early riser the rest of the year.  The reason for that is two-fold. One is that I have too much to do around this 3-acre homestead to spend extra cool hours in the morning in bed. 😉 The other one, more relative to this post, is that I can’t sleep in a room filled with any significant amount of light. My eyelids just don’t filter out much light it seems. I am very sensitive to bright and flashing lights. Even TV flashes cause me to wake up from a nap.

Touch – Creases in my bed sheets are a cause of my frequent sleep interruptions.  I am an Apple watch guy now, and it tells me I am an extremely restless sleeper. Another touch sensitivity is that after about six months of use, I have to replace my bath towels as they just get too scratchy.  I could add a few more to the list but I think you get the idea.

Taste & Smell – These are two biggies for me. There are things that just make me wacky in the taste and smell area. I just can’t understand how anyone can put mouthwashes like Listerine in their mouth. The taste and smell are utterly intolerable to me. But something that is even worse is the smell of mint in any form! Whenever I get even a whiff of mint I pretty quickly abandon the area.

It seems that all the oral hygiene manufacturers think that adding mint to their products is a bare necessity! For that reason, I have to special order many toiletry items so they are mint free. If I had a choice between sitting next to a cigarette or even a cigar smoker, or a gum chewer, I would without a doubt chose the smoker. Mint just drives me up a wall.

Sound is usually included in sensory sensitivity but since I am totally deaf I am at least free from that one. 🙂

I recognize that for many on the Autism spectrum these types of things cause a panic meltdown. I am thankful that for me my reaction is not quite as severe.

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Good Judgment

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment Will Rogers

canstockphoto29834965.jpgIt’s time I put out a post on the new quote in the header above.  I think experience and wisdom often go hand in hand and as Will says learning from mistakes is a big part of it.  I personally think I can remember more details of the things I got wrong than the things I got right.

Due to my Aspie characteristics, I made a lot of social mistakes. Looking back I can see where opportunities were presented to me that I just wasn’t aware of at the time. People giving me hints that they wanted to have a relationship with me if I would only agree. I was a wimpy kid who simply couldn’t believe that anyone would be interested in me as a person.

Not standing up for myself was another place where I learned from my mistakes. I simply let too many people take advantage of my naivete.  Looking back I can see where I was a pretty gifted guy and quite a few people took credit for things I did. I just didn’t realize at the time it was happening.

My mistakes in the past have taught me the good judgment I now have.  It is not that I can go back and relive those times, but at least I try to use my current good judgment on today’s circumstances.  Maybe this is another example of  “Wisdom is wasted on the elderly”. I don’t know.

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The Perfect Picture

I have about 20,000 pictures in my personal portfolio. Probably one-third of them could be deleted and not really missed but that is beyond the purpose of this post.  I have a list of about a hundred or so that are 5stars. One of the top ten in that category is shown below.  I entitle it  “Box of Eggs”.  I think my attraction to this picture is because of its symmetry. My Aspie traits are particularly honed to order and symmetry. I found the picture in a Des Moines museum some years ago.

So, for this artsy Saturday, I give you a “Box of Eggs” yet again…

Box of Eggs.jpg

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Patterns

All my life I have been inexplicably attracted to patterns. I  never understood why until one day in the last year or so I discovered that a strong attraction to patterns is one of the characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome.  At that time I discovered that I have many others. Now that I have a name for so many of the things I was troubled about in my youth, it gives me a peace that I have been searching for all my life.

Walls, such as this one in Galena Illinois are simply beautiful as far as I am concerned. They, like the lines on my face, show my life’s experiences.  So, for this artsy Saturday, I give you another fascinating facade.

Patterns.jpg

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