Agent of Change

A Blog by Cory!! Strode, who really should write something interesting here.

Archive for the month “December, 2017”

Fight me. Fight everyone!

Trump has been quoted recently as telling people working in the White House to think of the Presidency as a TV show where they vanquish their enemies. Support him or not, you have to admit that he’s at least honest about that.  The things he has done since taking office have all been about taking things away from people.

That is why, when my right wing friends say “Is there anything Trump could do to win you over,” I think of that quote. I have come to realize that there are people I just have a fundamental disagreement with and will never EVER see the world their way.  I used to be friends with someone who said on a routine and regular basis “If we can’t be friends, we must be enemies, and I destroy my enemies.”  In my observations, as time has gone on, the number of friends diminishes and the number of enemies will constantly increase, and the only person who gets destroyed is the person sowing enemies

The people in power, in my opinion, are put there to help us, not to fight us. They are to work toward making lives better, both for the people they govern as well as the lives they can assist around the world.  It can be through making it easier for people to learn the skills needed for the jobs of the future, finding ways to assist those who can’t function in the modern society as easily as others or simply by showing kindness as a possible and preferred solution.

When you wake up every day looking for a fight, you’re going to find one. When you wake up every day looking for a way to help people, you’ll find that as well.  The world is what it is.  You can’t change it very much, so you have to change how you interact with it.

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Today’s thought

Peace of mind that transcends any and all objectification of accumulated creature comforts or the opinions of others who confuse wealth and public recognition with character and self-respect. Peace of mind is available to anyone willing to pay the wages of disillusionment. To let go of the child’s concept of a world that never has or ever will exist is the cost, but the reward is tranquility.

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2017 Year in Review

In the spirit of the year in review, I like to go over how the years has gone and give myself an honest assessment of things went. So, here’s what I thought of 2017.

As we finish up the year, I am generally pleased with how things have gone. After the nightmarish dumpster fire of 2016, this year was busy, with the group home throwing me tons of hours that went into my savings account, a retirement account and finally, into a new car. I have already moved up two spots at the full time job, and am working on becoming HR certified (1st of 3 tests on the 29th). Like most Gen Xers, the job market has been pulled out from under me repeatedly through my “career”, but thankfully, I keep landing on my feet.

Podcast wise, I didn’t ALL of my marks for the year, but we have our 300th episode of Kray Z, started “Series in Review” and “Bad Advice”, and with my crew, we will have produced over 150 hours of content.  The show moved into 2017 better than it had been for about a year and a half and I am proud of how we’ve grown in our skills, topics and entertainment value.  If you quit listening in 2016, come on back, as we’re better than ever.  It’s not just ME saying that, but the listeners have been giving us solid feedback about how we stepped up our game.

I had some amazing guests on the shows, lots of good comic talk and growth in listenership to where we routinely get 1000 downloads of a podcast the first week, so thank you for listening, telling people and I am glad we entertain you. We’re about to start year 8, and baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Writing wise, I finished up a novel and got 50k words into a new one, and will be buying myself ISBN numbers so that when they are ready, they will be all professional like. Dan still has copies of the first World Wide News collection, and it makes a great Festivus gift!  Buy two, they’re small!  And, for those of you who prefer digital, we will be releasing that book in that format soon on Amazon!

In my personal life, my anxiety issues are being helped with medication, meditation, and awareness. After the nightmarish year that was 2016, I have made huge gains in dealing with that.  I also removed the things that were exacerbating the issues and haven’t looked back. Retiring from conventions and removing toxic people from my environment has done wonders for my outlook and returned my life to doing things I enjoy with good people.  I traveled more, read more, and have done more socially conscious stuff that I am proud of.

I took a trip down the Mississippi River road, taking my time and exploring the small towns and stopping anywhere that looked interesting which revived my love of road trip with no destination. Now that I have a new car and no worries about breakdowns, I look to spend more time doing that.  I have many fond memories of getting in my car with a notebook, spare time and no destination, and there will be a lot more of that in my future.

Where I stumbled this year was that I wasn’t able to move forward on turning to Novelcast novels in eBooks, mostly because I got bogged down in final edits and keep finding new things to rewrite or fix. I also didn’t record as many episodes of Novelcast as I should and had long gaps between episodes mostly due to the intensive time commitment is requires.

I didn’t do as many solo podcasts as I would have hoped, again due to the time commitment needed. I did spend time with friends and family, but not as much as I would have hoped I would have.  I also didn’t do very well in my commitment to fitness, gained some weight back and didn’t exercise nearly enough.

As with any reassessment, I am working on making changes to that and hope to do better in the near term.

So, overall, as the year comes to a close, I am happy with how things have gone and feel this year was a marked improvement over the last two. I was looking for 2017 to be a year where I got back on course, since 2016 was a year where I was finally able to find a full-time job, completed an assessment that let me know how anxiety was driving me and where I worked on a lot of different ideas for harnessing my creative stuff.  2017 was about bringing it all together.  2018 will be a year of growth, surprises, and exploration.

Much love to friends old and new. How about you?  How did you do this year?  Did you move forward?  Did you have fun?  Remember, we’re only here for a short time, so try to have as much fun as you possibly can while helping people along the way.

 

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State of the Internal Nation

So, I have been talking about my anxiety and such for the past year or so, and I want to give an update. Partly because I don’t get to talk to people as much as I’d like and partly because when someone gets diagnosed with a mental health issue, a lot of people don’t know how someone gets “better”.

Before I got help, I had always dealt with the anxiety, even though I wasn’t quite sure what it was.; I know that I had racing thoughts, that when I was over stressed I would feel completely overwhelmed, and there were times when I HAD TO FIND SOMETHING, and even when I found it, I wasn’t calmer, so IT MUST BE SOMETHING ELSE I NEED TO FIND.

I had serious issues with it before. In college, my Junior year, I had a long-term relationship end and for the first time in my life, school wasn’t so easy that I could do well by just paying attention.  I had massive back pain, and through therapy learned relaxation and meditation techniques.

When I had a horrific job in 2011, I was hospitalized for stomach issues, and eventually had to quit the job due to cascading panic attacks. I could also tell I was overstressed by forgetting little things, where my wallet or keys were, what day of the week it was, if I had completed small tasks because my brane was racing on other issues.  I can remember times I would be driving to work and realize I was driving to the wrong job (in one case, I was driving to a job I hadn’t work at in a couple of years).

So, in 2016 (worst year for me since 1999-2000) I again started having cascading panic attacks. I knew the external cause and got rid of it with help from my Tribe, but I kept having the issue, so I decided to get some help.  I completed a therapeutic class, got on some anti-anxiety medicine, worked harder on the meditation, and set up some mechanisms so that I wouldn’t completely overwhelm myself with Stuff To Do.

It’s been about a year, and I have only had a couple of nights where I have had full on panic attacks, whereas by July of 2016, I was having them daily. I have a relaxation routine, make sure to give myself days off, don’t force myself to do too much, and, most importantly, I take time off.  From the internet, from writing, from working, all of it.  I feed my brain, I enjoy what I have and I do what make me content.  Not Happy, content.

The anxiety is still there, but it’s maintainable and I can once again use it to help me complete things rather than giving in to it.

For those who have never gone through it, I explain that if you take how much you worry about things on a scale of 1 to 10, what normal people feel at a 3, I feel at a 10 and what normal people feel at a 5 makes me mentally shut down and go through the motions of what I have to do each day to survive. But now, it’s manageable.

Things I still do:

  • If someone doesn’t get back to me, I feel that they have obviously not longer like me and I should just leave them alone
  • Believe the worst case scenario will happen
  • That horrible thing someone said to me when they were mad? That’s obviously the real truth about me.
  • Overschedule myself so that I feel that I am needed somewhere
  • Really want to go do things, but as it gets closer to the time to do them, want to get out of it and just stay home

So. Last year in August, that list would have been about 20 items.  I’m getting better, but it’s a slow process, and to be honest, some of the things will NOT get any better, so I am learning how to deal with that.  This doesn’t mean I’m not happy.  I had a lovely Thanksgiving of doing things that I enjoy, this week I set aside an hour or two each night to have pure fun and writing this year’s November Novel made me giddy as I was doing it.

But it does mean that I feel bad if I haven’t gotten in touch with you, that it can get lonely from time to time, and I am still working on getting better.

Much love to friends old and new and thank you for your care and understanding.

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