Good day dear readers! Heavens, it has been a good long while since I wrote a blog. I have missed my fans and their comments. One of the reasons I haven’t blogged much is that I have been working for an online magazine called “The News Station” I invite you all to google it, then search within the page under my name (Leif Gregersen) and read some of the work I have been doing. Recently, I also was interviewed by the Writer’s Guild of Alberta about my latest book (the same one that is available for free by clicking on the photo of London’s Tower Bridge to the right of these words) which can be found on Youtube at: https://youtu.be/StE2mgmBRVc
I hate to say it, but I am at a bit of a loss for words. I have been battling insomnia quite a bit lately. I think one of the worst things I do that don’t help the problem have to do with napping and sleeping in. I have gotten myself in a difficult situation because sometimes I need over the counter sleep aids just to fall asleep and not only are they habit forming, they can be expensive. I have had some respite lately, thanks to some advice from an old friend. I have been taking small amounts of cannabinoids (with very low amounts of THC in them) and my sleep and general mood has improved. Again, look for more on this at “The News Station” as I just completed an article for them on the topic.
I want to try and explain a bit more why I haven’t been blogging. One of the reasons is that I have taken a recent interest in spending long hours of the day reading. It feels so rewarding to pick up a book and to learn from it and follow the characters, lose myself in the descriptions, and to try and figure out where the plot is going. Some days I have been reading for 6+ hours. On top of that, I have had the great fortune to get some part-time work doing online presentations. One of the best of these was a talk through Zoom for a nursing class that not only paid me well but also bought a number of my books from me that I mailed out to them.
And then there is what has caught my interest a little too well. I have been investing in the stock market. The funny thing is I seem to be able to pick stocks that will go up, I just get skittish and sell them before that happens. Something that has been a part of my recovery for some time now is keeping up with the news and such in the world outside my door. A few years ago I remember thinking about how ridiculous the price of gas was, but then realizing that I could save some money, invest in stocks that produce oil and gas and benefit from this situation. Another thing I really like about investing in stocks is that it encourages you to keep a close eye on the media, and your particular stock or stocks. It isn’t an easy road to save up enough money to get involved in the markets, and one of the biggest problems is that money you put in gives you no guarantee of coming back. There are ways around some of these problems though, one of them is to trade on paper only and be brutally honest about the returns you get from pretending to buy and sell stocks. Another thing that is very important is to gain as much knowledge as you can about the markets, and try and get someone in your corner who can recommend safe bets. In time, you should be able to save a little money that you can afford to risk. Once you do this, it is hard not to get hooked.
There is another thing that I should talk about, since many of my readers know me well. At one time earlier in my adult life I had a problem with gambling. That problem kind of went away but I fear the underlying reasons for my addiction remain. I am not 100% sure they won’t, but I am hoping that I can manage my risk/gain/loss in a way that doesn’t let my decisions rely on emotion. What I have been doing lately is taking a small chunk of my savings to one side. Then I search the Internet for information about stocks in the sectors that I feel are going to make moves, then try and find an inexpensive stock and start small. I did find a stock like this and bought it but then after looking at the numbers for the company, it didn’t seem like I made a great decision. What looked bad was that it was a smaller company, and also it didn’t trade a whole lot of shares at a time. I am hopeful though, because it is a stock that mines for Lithium (yes, the very same stuff your Psychiatrist gives people for Bipolar Disorder) which is used in batteries for electric cars and cell phones and such. I would mention the stock here, but I don’t want to give anyone advice as I don’t have qualifications, but if any of my readers out there would like to talk investments, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, that was a long digression. Life has been full and rewarding was what I basically wanted to say. I do worry though about the reality that a full life with lots of stuff to do can be stressful, and anyone who has a mental illness should avoid stress. One of the ways I deal with the stress of being so busy is to walk a lot. And I mean a lot. I work Mondays at a psychiatric hospital out of town and if I get up early and can’t go back to sleep I will sometimes walk the 5 or 6 miles to the end of the train line where I just get one bus to take me to the hospital. I often walk to a grocery store 2 miles away and return with a backpack and two reusable shopping bags full of items. Today I put in about 4 miles. I know it is much better to swim, but our pools are now closed due to covid. Just to get outside, feel a little sun on your neck, get breathing with a quick pace, and above all to have that time to think really saves me from wanting to give up on all of my endeavours and hide from the world.
So much more to say, but I know with the length of today’s blog many of you won’t read this far. I just wanted to say that I think I have gone through a major shift in priorities since I stopped blogging. When I was young, and for a lot of my adult life, I sought out easy ways to strike it rich. I had the hope that if I could lay my hands on a few measly million I could coast on through the rest of my life. Now, I have stopped caring about looking the best or having the most. I just want to write, to enjoy my life and my friends and family. If I end up broke, I will find more teaching work or freelance work. I really don’t care about becoming rich and I think that is progress. Thanks for reading!