ceaseless troubling thoughts
Tuesday, March 1 2022
I still have some professional connections to two of the guys I used to work with in the Red Hook office. One of those people is Jason and today he reminded me that one of the head guys in his "vertical," (that is, the tax vertical) would be coming to the Red Hook office today to meet with the tax team (in which I now serve as an adjunct member). Jason had told me some weeks ago that we'd all be going out to dinner tonight, which sounded like fun at the time. So late this morning I drove over to Red Hook with thoughts of working the rest of the day in the semi-picked-over office. Much of the stuff is gone, but I still have a chair and a desk with two monitors on it. I couldn't find an HDMI cable to attach any of those monitors to my laptop, but I did find an HDMI-to-VGA adapter and a VGA cable, so I managed to get a monitor working. What I couldn't get working was the WiFi, even knowing the password. I don't know how there can be WiFi with a known password and a laptop is unable to connect to it, but I remember this happening before on our cruise of the Baltic Sea. In any case, I ended up having to leave about a half hour after I got there because there was no way I could work without internet access. Also, Jason had gotten the day wrong: the day the guy from the tax vertical would be coming was tomorrow, not today. Interestingly, Jason seemed oblivious to all the window panels I'd removed from the office, perhaps because I'd left the ones closest to his desk. And since he's the only one except me who actually has been to the office since most of the team went off to work for another company, it looks like my panel harvesting will go completely unnoticed.
Back at the house, I suffered from yet more anxiety related to the Russian war on Ukraine. It wasn't just the looming threat of nuclear war, something that could start at any moment without warning (though that was a big part of it). It was also the knowledge that so much unnecessary human (and non-human) horror was taking place, and there was nothing I or anyone else could do to stop it. Usually I'm pretty good about not obsessing over bad news or grim futures I have no control over (my aging and death, the deaths of those I love, the horrors of climate change, or the fact that one day the Sun will boil away the Earth's oceans). But this war was really getting to me. Perhaps this was because it was a completely unanticipated horror on top of all the ones I've had many years to gradually acclimate myself to.
At 5:00pm I had to take another walk up the Farm Road and back. I used to scoff at Gretchen when she'd talk about the importance of even small exercise efforts. But a walk definitely helps when one is plagued by ceaseless troubling thoughts.
Later I took a xanax, which definitely took the edge off my anxiety. It even allowed me to get through some workplace work. That work hadn't gone especially well today, which was definitely playing a role in my negative mental state.
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