Musing Moments 122: LFTIO – Conscious Wake-Up Call

DSS Leadership – Assignment 1
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”.

What is really important to me?

Making a difference in people’s lives is important to me. I need there to be a reason for me to be alive. I need there to be a reason for me to wake up in the morning otherwise what’s the point in doing it? What’s the point of struggling to understand and breathe through my grief and the pain and loneliness of mom being dead if everything is meaningless? What’s the point in doing anything if what I do doesn’t matter?

I realize this might be a coping mechanism and a dependency, but this is where I am currently at in life and in my grieving process. I need my life, my energy, my effort to matter and to legitimately make a difference so I have legitimate, almost tangible reason to keep living.

Not regretting my choices and wasting life is also important to me. My decision-making process is very different than what it was three years ago. I do more for myself. I am less of a work-o-halic. I am less of a perfectionist. I evaluate my choices through a lens of “If I were to die tomorrow, would I regret doing or not doing this action. I would regret saying or not saying these words?”

I try to ensure I am living the life I want to be living. I try to ensure I have a clear understanding of my values and priorities. I try to ensure that the ripples I make within my sphere of influence are positive and that I make amends when feelings are hurt. I try to resolve conflict as quickly and as mutually beneficial as possible. No one knows when their time will come and I do not want to leave things unspoken or undone, so I suppose in that regard closure is important to me as well. It’s important to me to go to sleep at night with a sense that I lived life the fullest I was able to that day. It’s important to me that nothing in regards to my relationships or personal wants feels like it was withheld, ignored or avoided because I might not have the chance to change or fix things later.

Is this the life I want to live?

Yes… and as much as I wish I could say otherwise, at the same time, no.

I want my mom to be alive. I don’t think those feelings or thoughts will ever change or go away. If I’m completely honest with myself and the Universe, I’m still just a little girl from a divorced family on the inside who wants to make mommy proud and now that mom isn’t here I’m having to adjust to living for myself. I struggle with feelings of not having a safety net; of not having a home to go back to. I most likely struggle more often than I admit to myself, let alone the outside world and there is a strain and weariness that comes with the feeling of having to be strong all the time for everyone always.

I can say, that though life is different than what I had wanted or expected it to be, I am content with where I am. I’m glad I moved to Nebraska even though several important people in my life did not agree with my choice. I am proud of the person I am turning into and I believe my mom would be, and is proud, of me as well. I, for the first time in three years, actually feel excited about different future events in my life and I wake up looking forward to things and with a sense of purpose more often than not.

I cannot and will not deny that there is a part of me who will always wish that things were just a little bit different than what they are, however, I believe I am living life to the best of my ability in this moment. I recognize that I am still emotionally and spiritually injured. I am still in the process of healing and figuring myself out. I understand it may still be years before I fully reconcile all of these new emotions and insecurities within myself. Maybe my best will improve as time goes on. Maybe I’ll eventually stop looking at life with such an acute awareness of death. All I can do is continue living and see where my journey takes me. I have no ultimate destination in mind and I think for the moment that’s ok. I am learning to live again and right now it feels like I’m where I’m meant to be going in the direction I am meant to go.

What gives passion, meaning, and purpose to my life?

Helping others realize that even when it’s dark and scary and they don’t know how they’re going to make it to the other side or if there is even an “other side” to get to, that they’ll be ok and they’re not alone. I suppose that could be summed up as supporting others; connecting with others. Much like when I played World of Warcraft as a Discipline Priest. I wasn’t the main healer. I wasn’t the main DPS or the tank. I didn’t need the spotlight. More accurately, I didn’t want the spotlight. I wanted to work in the background, supporting the rest of the group and knowing that I helped all of us reach the goal we were working for. I was part of something rather than “being” something. Most of my previous projects in the Computer Animation field and as an instructor were completed in the same mindset. I was part of a group. I was part of an event. I was part of something, which meant I was connected to something larger than myself.

How can I better serve, to make even more of a difference?

I don’t know. I guess that begs the question of do I want to make more of a difference? Maybe I don’t like this question because it makes it feel like what I’m already doing isn’t enough. Or maybe it’s because this question disregards everything I am currently doing.

I know that I want to become a preceptor so I can help train new techs Through training new techs, I would be indirectly helping the patients they interact with, thus increasing my sphere of influence.

I want to be an LPN to broaden my scope within the clinic, allowing me to increase the portion of the workload I am able to take for my team. I want to become an RN for the same reason. I would be better able to “serve” if I were allowed to do more things within the clinic.

Much further into the future, there’s the possibility of becoming an RN instructor; teaching others how to care for and be empathetic to patients. This would be another instance of both directly and indirectly affecting others.

There are so many possibilities and ways that I could do more. Maybe if there had been a question before this one of “What do you currently do to make a difference?” or something along those lines I wouldn’t have such abrasive feelings towards this one.

I do a lot. I want to do more. That doesn’t mean what I do isn’t enough.

How can I live connected to these inner values?

Again, this question is mildly frustrating. It makes it feel as if I’m not currently living connected to these inner values, even though I feel I am. It makes me question if what I am doing is good enough which makes me feel defensive because internally I feel I am doing good enough and I don’t want that inner truth to be questioned or attacked.

In regards to the inner value of purpose: I changed career fields so that every morning I wake up and go to work, I directly affect peoples lives. Without the dialysis treatment I help provide, people’s health and quality of life would be directly impacted. My team will suffer if I don’t show up to work. My patients will suffer if I don’t show up to work. My existence matters. Though I know my existence mattered while I was an instructor, sitting in front of a computer feeling like I was for the most part babysitting, did not give my life the sense of meaning I needed to keep struggling through my own internal battle of “Why? Why wake up? Why show up? The lab could be covered if I wasn’t here.”

On a personal level, I needed things to change and be different because I had changed. I was different. Life was different and could never go back to being the same. I needed my career to reflect that internal change so I changed it. I feel as long as I wake up and continue doing the work I am doing that I am living life in alignment to my value of purpose. My life has meaning and value because I give life, meaning, and value to others.

I’m not sure how to live life more inline to my value of closure more than I already do. I tell the people I love that I love them. I say sorry when I feel I am wrong, or when it is brought to my attention that something I said or did had a negative impact. I try to express my feelings rather than letting things fester under the surface, hidden by my silence. This is something I still need to work on, especially in my personal relationships, but I have come a long way in that regard and I will not be dismissive of my improvement. I try to make sure that things are “right” between me and the people I interact with. I am getting better about asking people the question, “Are we ok?” because I want to take the time and energy to fix it if we’re not.

The last value I feel I wrote about was my sense of purpose in supporting and connecting with others. I feel I do that through my work. I feel I do that at the dojo when I train with the other members. I help them improve and through helping them I help myself. I teach them to try and that their effort is not unnoticed. I teach myself to be patient and to think of something other than myself or my personal gain. I teach myself to care and see the world, the whole world, not just my narrow perspective.

By helping this eight-year-old girl not be timid and shy, I am showing her that it’s ok to be self-confident, to trust herself and that if she does something wrong it’s ok. There is honor in learning. There is honor in trying. I am teaching her that swinging and missing is ok as long as you take the time to regain your stance and try again. I’m teaching her the things I wish I had learned when I was her age because where would I be now if I had? Where would I be, what conflicts could I have avoided or navigated better if I hadn’t struggled so much with self-worth and self-confidence or the fear of failure?

I feel I do a fairly good job of living in accordance to my values. There is always room for improvement, but the defensiveness I felt at the beginning of this question I think stems from being made to question if what I do isn’t enough which may be my own Shadow Beliefs coming to the surface.


Daily Post 147: Recap of the Weekend


I think Thursday was the last day I wrote. Nothing much really happened I think. It’s hard to remember. My dojo gear didn’t show up, but I was expecting it not to since it was delayed by the weather. I think I cross stitched a bit. I’m pretty sure I finished watching Future Diary.

Oh. I made an OkCupid account since that’s something Ox and I have talked about. I spent a fair amount of time plucking away, answering their questions. I’ve had an account with that particular site before and have invested way more time than should be humanly appropriate answering their questions. I can’t help it. There’s always another question to answer… -_-;

But yeah, overall I think Thursday was relatively uneventful. I made the chicken taco soup recipe I found a while back for the family. It was approved for future dinners. Woo.

I admit that I’m always terrified when I make something new for the family. What if they don’t like it? Then all of that food (read money) is wasted and everyone is still left hungry and faith in my cooking ability comes into question and all of these other horribily horrific consequences that are made up inside of my head.

So far that hasn’t been the case. Most of what I have cooked has either been liked or tolerable enough to make it through at least the one meal.

Friday was a smooth day at work. Four of our patients didn’t show up. I worked with my FA, so that in addition to being short so many treatments meant I was able to do a lot of the more admin-y things like updating the checklists I’ve created and finishing off some online training I had been assigned.

I tried to mix acid… Note the word tried because of course something had to go wrong…

On Monday I opted not to do it since the morning started with a patient crashing due to low blood sugar. Wednesday I couldn’t get the filter container to unscrew so I could replace the filter. Our Biomed said not to worry about it when I text him. He would be there on Thursday and replace it for me since it could be finicky.

So cue the smooth day of Friday. The filter was replaced. Everyone was stable. Got the tank rinsed and ready to go. Added in all the granules. Went to test the specific gravity of the acid only to open up the hydrometer to see it shattered…

Right Brain: What the actual fuck, Universe? Could you just not? Like, for once could you calm your tits and just let me do this without some sort of challenge or hurtle or unexplainable bullshit thing going wrong? ;-;

Since acid can stay in the mixing tank for up to two weeks before transferring my FA and I came up with a game plan. Since I had to go into Lincoln anyway during the weekend, I would swing by our sister clinic and pick up their hydrometer to use on Monday to test our acid. They had just mixed a batch so they wouldn’t need it during the beginning of the week. We will test our acid on Monday. It WILL test ok, or else… >.> OR ELSE, Universe!

I’ll be able to transfer the batch from the mixing tank and everything will be right in the world. My FA will take the hydrometer home with her and take it back to our sister clinic on Tuesday morning before continuing on her way to teach a nursing class in Omaha. A replacement meter for our clinic has already been ordered, so the next time I go to mix a batch of acid I should have the new meter and not have to worry about borrowing one again.

Right Brain: There. Problem solved. Suck it, Universe. /victory dance

I didn’t go to the dojo Friday, but I did get a message from UPS saying my box had been delivered. Ox was fighting off a migraine when I got home so I didn’t have the warm hello I had been anticipating. It put me in a bit of a funk. I didn’t have the joy of opening up my box and sharing the experience with someone.

Instead, I started dinner so he could sleep for a bit. By the time dinner was done Ox was feeling better and the night recovered. He helped me put my headgear on for the first time. I feel like the gloves are too big on my hands, but I want to get the input of my sensei before deciding to return them or not. I also got to mess around with my new gym bag. It’s smaller than my current one. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I might also return it and go to a sports store to see what they have. That’s one of the things I dislike about ordering online. You don’t get to actually see or interact with the item you’re buying. If I had seen the gym bag in person I most likely would have decided against it from the get-go. : /

Anywho, dinner was alright. I’m not a huge fan of pork chops but everyone else seemed to like the meal well enough.

Saturday started fairly well. I went into town early to stop by the clinic. While I was there I camped out in the conference room and figured out the two recipes I wanted to do for dinner over the weekend and the shopping list I needed to go with those meals. I stopped at Walmart on the way home. That was more expensive than I had anticipated, but Mama Ox gave me $60 to cover what I bought. I’m grateful for the financial help.

After eating breakfast with everyone I put my gym bag and the hydrometer in the car and drove the new Trax down to Beatrice so I could go to the dojo for at least one class, maybe two.

Well… that would have worked had it not been for me forgetting that there was a competition going on this weekend and that dojo was actually closed both Friday and Saturday… Yeah… good thing I needed to stop by the clinic to drop off the hydrometer anyway so it wasn’t a wasted trip. Sort of took the wind out of my sails, though. Here I thought I was going to be able to see everyone and get feedback about my new gear, and work up a good sweat.

Oh, well. Hopefully, this coming week works out better in that regard.

I dropped the hydrometer off and sent a text message to my FA, letting her know it was there for us to use on Monday. She thanked me and said I was the best. I hardly feel like the best but I do appreciate her words.

When I got home I headed back to the kitchen. I took time to prep the veggies that were going to be needed dinner later that night and for the meal on Sunday. Mama Ox, Papa Ox, and Lil’ Ox went into town to visit family shortly after I got home. That left Ox, Ornery Ox, and my self at home by ourselves. We played a few games of Munchkin before Ornery Ox parted ways to go back to the computer room. I used the quiet time to listen to the first chapter of my leadership book. I cross stitched while I did so.

Once the chapter was done I set up my Chromebook at the kitchen table and began working through the reflection sections in the chapter. Since those are written and because I feel they are important, I plan to post them here on my blog. I’ll also be printing them out and taking them with me to my first class in March.

I made a spaghetti zoodle dinner Saturday night. I thought it turned out amazing and I was totally ok with there being leftover zoodles for me to have later in the week. I made regular noodles for the kids and they seemed to like it well enough. Not sure how Mama Ox or Papa Ox felt about the zoodles. Ox said they were alright. Not bad, just different from regular noodles.

Sunday, today, started out rough. I didn’t sleep very well last night which might be part of it. A nic-fit might have added to the morning being pretty doom and gloom for me. Ox and I are still working on the whole quitting thing. Luckily the day turned around. Ox and I made breakfast for everyone. I got my roast cooked along with starting a load of laundry. I continued in the kitchen after breakfast by meal prepping my lunches for the coming week.

After I was done in the kitchen, I cleaned up my computer desk and continued working on the reflection sections for chapter 1. That led to all sorts of emotional discord. Ox was supportive through it. I still have a section and a half to go, but I’m done for today and tomorrow. I think taking a step back at the moment is a smart move. The section I had been working on asked me to recall situations that were stressful for me and how I felt during those situations. Bringing up and experiencing all of those emotions all over again was rough.

Ox and I talked about it for a while. I felt better after explaining why it bothered me. I felt better enough to make a nest in my corner of the bed and cross stitch while starting to watch Ergo Proxy. After a couple of episodes I got up to start dinner; a cheesy taco skillet. Papa Ox said it was a Grade-A fantastic dinner. Score. Zero fucks given about what anyone else thought. Papa Ox liked it. I can die happy.

And so far that’s where I’m at. Plucking away at my leadership thing and questioning what I’m doing with my life because of what it’s making me think about and answer all while striving to make sure I don’t screw up dinner bad enough to result in my kitchen rights being revoked.

I’m content with this weekend, failed dojo attempt and all.

Daily Post 146: Tags, Taxes, and Trips


Lots of stuff to write about.

Firstly, I’ve started taking vitamin D gummies in the morning. They’re not bad tasting which is a plus. I do think they have been helping. I’ve only been taking them for roughly a week so I know I don’t have an extended time frame to go off of. Everything I’ve been able to find online says it can take up to a month for blood levels to even out, but I have noticed a significant difference in my energy level and overall mood. I’m not as depressed on my days off. I don’t feel as overwhelmed at work and can react to all of the daily craziness in better stride.

In general, I think the vitamin is helping and even if it’s not, I’m glad for whatever change has occurred to improve my mental state.

Another change on the home front is Papa Ox switching to a mostly keto diet which means, by proxy, Mama Ox is switching to one as well. I’ve taken over a lot of the cooking since I am the one with the most experience in that area. While that means my food budget has increased since I’m buying meals for more people, Mama Ox has offered to help with the grocery bill. It also means that after I work a 12 hour day I have to come home and cook, which sort of sucked yesterday. A large part of that had to do with not having anything planned ahead of time. I had to plan, grocery shop, prep, and cook all in one evening.

I’ll have a better handle on dinners in the coming weeks. I’m glad for this change even if it means a bit more work on my end. It will be easier to stick to my own diet goals because I’m not the only one trying to do something anymore while everyone else eats whatever they want and pressures me into conforming to them.

There’s still a lot of stuff in the kitchen and freezer which should be gotten rid of, but we’re on the right track to everyone having a healthier lifestyle. Ox has been supportive. He ate the stir fry I made last night with zoodles rather than regular noodles and while he said it wasn’t as good as normal noodles, the zoodles themselves weren’t bad and he still enjoyed the meal. He’s open to the idea of trying pizza with cauliflower crust and other recipes which he normally wouldn’t go for. He even had leftovers one night which is something he’s usually against.

Having all of the support I’ve been shown so far in all of the various ways it’s been given has helped motivate me. Being healthy no longer feels like a pointless endeavor that I’m the only one who cares about or wants to do.

In other news, Ox has a new car. It’s a 2018 Chevy Trax. While he says it’s “our” car, everything is in his name and he is / will be the primary driver. There’s a lot of backstory which goes into our decision to get the vehicle. We spent a lot of time researching the car itself and going over both of our finances. We’re keeping his old car in addition to the new one. Eventually, in a few years, when Ornery Ox is old enough to need a car, he’ll be given the Dodge Dart, the old car.

We can afford both car payments and their insurance while still meeting all of our other financial obligations. We both recognize the only reason we’re able to do this is that Ox and I live with his parents rent-free; thus why I’m ok with taking on the added responsibility of providing food for everyone. Ox will continue to be the handyman around the house. It’s reassuring to know that if something were to happen to any one of the cars in the household, there’s a backup. We all work too far away in different directions in the middle of nowhere to not be able to get to work. Having transportation is vital and though this adds additional financial responsibility to the equation, I think it was a smart move.

I also feel like it’s the first really big decision Ox and I have made together aside from the choice to have me move to Nebraska. It wasn’t as scary to talk about finances and budgets and payments as it would have been a year ago. I felt secure and safe through all of the conversations we had. I still feel secure and safe through all of the new conversations we’ve had today since he’s been home. I still stand behind my choices; our choices. I still think we got an amazing deal on an extremely good car. No regrets.

With the additional expense comes the decision for both of use to quit smoking. We haven’t stopped 100% yet, but we’ve cut back significantly which I think is still a win. I’m smoking roughly six a day again, which is under half of what I was doing only a week ago. Small steps. Not perfect, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made toward our goal and I’m not going to give myself shit for not going cold turkey. I would rather be supportive of my efforts than bash myself. If I can cut my intake in half and be ok, then I can cut out the breaks at work and still be ok. If I can cut out the breaks at work then I don’t really need anything while I’m at home either. My personal goal is to stop completely by the end of March because…

I booked my plane ticket and rental car for my trip to Orlando.

Yep. That’s right.

I’m going to be visiting my younger brother and seeing my dad. I’m looking forward to the trip. I haven’t ironed out anything else out about the trip yet, but that’s because I was still waiting to get family time figured out. It seems like we’ll be meeting up for lunch on Saturday before I fly back to Nebraska. This weekend and the coming week I will be reaching out to people and setting up my social itinerary for the trip. I won’t be there for many days so I’m assuming they’ll be pretty busy.

I was able to plan the trip because I was a diligent adult and filed my taxes. I’m getting a pretty penny back. Ox is too, especially with the amendment he made to last year’s taxes where he gets to claim Ornery Ox as a dependant. Nebraska does sales taxes on cars differently than Florida, so there’s a slight expense to getting plates and tags for the Trax that we need to plan for. The dealership is paying for over half of it, though, so that’s part of what made the deal good. I also will be using part of my tax return to pay off the trip once it comes in. I used the credit card to buy the tickets and arrange everything, but the charge won’t be on there for an extended period of time, so I was ok with using it.

Ox has a few other expenses he wants to get caught up on. They fell behind due to working construction and the weather sucking. It was one of the biggest factors for him switching to his new job where his hours are guaranteed. Even with those expenses taken into account and setting aside a chunk of the money as a buffer for himself, he’s still able to pay me back everything that he currently owes me and then some.

I had wanted to use all of the extra money to go towards my car loan, cutting in it half, but with all of the expenses taken out, the amount of “extra” isn’t as much as my unrealistic brain was hoping for. Damn you logic for making sure everything was accounted for. >.<;

Currently, Ox is making an Excel sheet to go along with our updated budget so we can see which debt should be tackled first. There are three things I could pay off in full and still have money remaining as my own personal buffer. But would paying those debts off be as beneficial as putting the extra money towards the credit card?

With all of the different amounts and interest rates and blah blah blah blah blah numbers and logic and insert unknown factor here… My brain was shutting down and getting frustrated rather than continuing to tackle the question of “What’s the best financial debt to go after first?”

That’s where Ox stepped in to rescue me. He offered to figure it out so that’s what he’s working on while I finish typing about my life. It’s amazing how much more do-able today has been because he was a part of it. He figured out and looked up a lot of the numbers I needed. He helped me keep going as long as I did and was patient with me when I started getting frustrated and is now giving me a break from all of it for a little while. It’s awesome. I’m not the only one working on this project. I’m not the only one trying to figure out life and what the best choice would be. I can tap someone else in when I need to take a step back and vice-versa.

Aside from figuring out a debt battle plan, there’s not a whole lot else going on. I have to get gas for my car before tomorrow. I’m cooking chicken taco soup for dinner tonight. The gear I ordered from Venum won’t be here until tomorrow. It was supposed to be delivered today, but with the snow storms, it got delayed. So much lame. : /

That’s something else that gives me warm fuzzy feelings, though. Ox made sure I ordered my gear before things get tighter budget wise. He didn’t want me to keep putting it off and then not be able to get it later when the new car payment is due. I still had some extra from the overtime I worked during the holidays and after fixing up the car. So those are my Christmas / birthday gifts to myself; new 16-ounce Muah Thai gloves, headgear so I can spare, and a new duffle bag to put everything in since the zipper to my current bag got messed up during my trip to Denver. I was really hoping to be able to take everything with me to work to show one of my patients, but I guess I won’t be able to do that until Monday. It also means I won’t have my new stuff for the dojo tomorrow night, though, with how icky the weather has been I might just come home. I’m not sure yet.

We had a meeting for work on Tuesday. It got pretty heated at a few points. At the end of it, I spoke up and said that all of the issues seemed to stem from a breakdown in communication. The people who needed to hear everything that was being said weren’t there and the information most likely wouldn’t be communicated to them. What the clinic needed was a serious “sit down and come to Jesus” meeting.

When I had a chance to talk to my FA yesterday I apologized if I had stepped out of line with my comment. She sort of snickered and said that I hadn’t and that my mentality was one of the reasons she wanted me to do the leadership class. She said that the other FA for our sister clinic was grateful that I had spoken up and said what I did because no one had seemed to be “getting it.” She said they value my opinion and want me there in the future meeting that will be scheduled as a follow up to the one we just had. Hopefully, in the follow-up, things will get figured out and positive, meaningful steps forward begin to happen.

All in all, I can’t complain about anything in my Life other than it’s freaking freezing outside still and I can’t feel my toes even though I have two sets of socks on. ;-;

Guess that means I have to curl up in bed with my electric blanket and cross stitch so I can get warm. Oh, darn.

Daily Post 145: An Uncomfortable Truth

Written Tuesday. Posted today.

Today started out like most of my recent days off have; with no motivation, an overcast sky, cold weather, and the pervasive feelings of depression and pointlessness.

It stayed that way for most of the morning. I had a bowl of cereal knowing it was full of carbs and not caring because what’s the point in my hallow crusade to lose weight. It’s not that I’ve given up on being healthy, or that I feel the 60 pounds I’ve already lost is enough. It’s more that I keep losing touch with myself. The candle flame of drive that I find periodically keeps getting snuffed out when held up against the storm that’s still going within my inner world; a storm which I know is happening but have yet to understand why or how to whether it properly.

Do I bash myself about eating? Do I make myself feel like crap for putting in the effort to actually have something instead of staying in bed like most of me wanted to do? Do I say fuck it and have my single serving sized bowl of cereal with milk that reminds me of childhood and warmer, happier days and keep going or do I give up this early in the day and hope that tomorrow I do better since for whatever reason what I’m doing doesn’t feel good enough?

Most likely because it contained a curse word I went with the fuck it option.

Papa Ox wasn’t awake yet. Mama Ox had already left. It was the perfect time to finish up Jon’s cross stitch. I could have used the kitchen table to spread out my craft supplies and cut the fabric down to size. I could have used the Exacto-knife to carve out the piece of mounting board I need. But no. I went back to bed, the task of eating accomplished. A single task of necessity off my list with all other tasks lurking in my head gathering dust, waiting for a moment where they felt worthwhile.

When I woke up again Papa Ox was in the living room. The thought of walking past him to go outside for a cigarette was enough to keep me in the room. I knew I was getting worse. I could feel it and yet I didn’t know what “it” was. Just that it was building and eventually there would be a revelation where everything clicked into place and I finally gained clarity and understanding and I would know what to do to fix what I felt was internally broken.

Well… I guess that day was today.

Work went well yesterday; Monday. It was just me and my FA. We got everyone on the machines on time. I had to have my yearly TB test done, so that was one needle stick. I had to have lab work done as well. My FA tried to draw the labs on me but my veins didn’t want to play nice. After two attempts she said we would try again later. I said I would work on drinking my container of water since dehydration might have been part of the issue.

Fast forward to the end of the day where we to try to draw the labs again only for me to end up with a busted vein on my other arm and still no tubes of my blood to send to the lab. I have a pretty impressive bruise on my left forearm. She felt awful for not being able to get the labs and for having to stick me so many times. I felt ill for most of the drive home from work because of the swelling pressure under my skin. I was also covered in band-aids from all of my needle sticks. Once I got home and was able to ice my arm things got better. Eventually, I was able to take a shower since I could move my arm without feeling nauseous.

Workwise, It was a good day even with all of the evil spikes of death being shoved into my arms. That’s sort of where it ended, though.

The kids weren’t here and that’s always hard for Ox. He played on the computer for most of the night. When it was bedtime he fell asleep instantly like normal. I envy his ability to fall asleep. My brothers can do it, too. They just… sleep whereas my brain stays on. It can take me hours to fall asleep and all the while I’m ticking down the time.

Brain: If I fall asleep know I can get this many hours of sleep… If I fall asleep now, I can get this many hours… If I fall asleep now, I’ll get this many hours…

I felt alone Tuesday night. I don’t know why sometimes it bothers me and other times it doesn’t. I don’t know what I needed that I didn’t vocalize to feel so… unimportant, but listening to Ox’s steady even breathing made me want to cry.

Sometimes it feels like the game is more interesting than me. The game is better than reality and there’s nowhere for me to go to get away from it. No room where I can be by myself, away from the screen that is better than me.

I know all of that sounds horrible. It’s petty. It’s whinny. It’s needy and insecure and self-absorbed. It’s completely untrue that he likes the game more than me, and logically I know that, but when it’s dark inside of my head, those are the types of thoughts that my brain whispers to me and when I’m awake, alone after only a few cigarette breaks to facilitate interaction between Ox and me, it’s hard not to listen to it and think it’s right.

Ox has his own emotions he has to contend with. I should be understanding and supportive and strong enough to allow him to have what he needs to be ok and instead, here I am being emo. It only adds fuel to the self-destructive thoughts that I know I shouldn’t be having, but that doesn’t change that fact that I am having them and that I don’t know how to stop them or fight them.

The only thing I know how to do is to be alone to try to deal with my Evil Voice. Alone I can think through those whisperings. I can try to understand why those thoughts aren’t true. I can try to figure out where they’re stemming from. What’s the root cause? Listening to another person breathing a peaceful sleep while I mentally struggle isn’t being alone. It just emphasizes the feeling of, “I don’t have anyone to help me through this.” I ended up sleeping on the couch last night because being alone was easier than feeling lonely.

We still had our shared cigarette this morning, but the feelings of isolation and unimportance were still there. I hadn’t been victorious against my Evil Voice. I still knew what it was telling me wasn’t true, so I hadn’t lost ground, but I hadn’t gained any either. I was still where I had been and that was sort of a shitty feeling.

I was still in that place later when Ox called me and said he was off work. He had texted me earlier asking how I was. I had been honest and said that I was cold and sad and that I missed the sun and warmth. He said I had seemed sad this morning. I said I was sorry; that I didn’t mean to be sad. I didn’t mean to always be this way.

He asked if I wanted him to come home. He was supposed to stop and get more nails for the nail gun. We were supposed to work on the addition. There was a part of me who disliked myself for answering yes; I did want him to come home. I didn’t hate myself for it, but I should have been ok. I should have been fine and doing stuff and productive instead of on the verge of tears and wanting a hug more than wanting to make progress on a project that’s important to both of us. But, no, even if I didn’t like it I was honest both with Ox and myself.I wanted it to be warm outside and not winter and cloudy. I wanted to feel more important than a video game.
I wanted him home.

Ox came home. We cuddled. We talked. There was sexy time and not good feelings afterward because sex wasn’t what I had wanted. I had wanted to feel connected and now it was over and we would go back to playing video games and cross stitching and ignoring each other and it would be like nothing had ever happened. The feelings of aloneness were more intense then they had been and yet I still didn’t know how to vocalize that or explain why they were worse or even why there were there in the first place.

It sucked.

I did realize one thing in that particular moment, though. The issue always seems to be the same. Feeling alone.

I’m surrounded by people at work. I get touchy about being home because there are always people around who want to talk to me. I have so many people in my life who love and care about me and yet I feel alone.

Score. One small step towards understanding. I now have a place where I can start on my quest to untangle all of this confusion. Why is there always this feeling of being alone?

Ox and I ended up having what I feel was our first true BDSM scene together. It wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t about cute fluffy handcuffs and roleplaying out some make-believe slutty scenario.

It was about having a safe environment and letting me cry. It was about trust and safety and brutal honesty with myself inside my head. And while he held me against his chest, my face buried in the darkness he had created for me I heard the words my inner self had been screaming at me for months now but that I’ve been too busy and occupied to listen to or hear. I heard why I always feel so alone.

Mom left me.

When mom died she left me alone without a safety net and I’ve faced all of these challenges and trials without her. She’s not here to help me or listen to me or encourage me. She’s not here to answer the phone or have lunch or visit. She can’t send or receive cards in the mail. She can’t tell me about her coupon stories.

I’m alone.

Realizing those words were inside my head… that was my revelation today.

I know my mom didn’t leave me. I know she tried as hard as she could to not die. I know her death wasn’t her fault. I know her death wasn’t my fault. It was no one’s fault. I also know she’s still with me as much as universal energy can be. She’s still here and a presence within my life. But inside, in my heart chakra where I still hurt and ache and constantly count how many days before or after the 4th of the month it is, I feel alone because she left. She died and she didn’t take me with her. She died and I couldn’t follow her. I know she couldn’t take me and I know couldn’t follow, but inside none of that logic matters. Knowing all of that information doesn’t change what the emotions feel like. It doesn’t change that those words have been what the storm within myself has been feeding off of and using to build and build in its intensity since before my move to Nebraska.

I haven’t cried as hard as I did on Tuesday in a very long time.

I’m not sure if I was really ignoring this part of my grief. I always feel like I have to choose between anger and sadness and I opt with sadness more often than not because there’s no one to be angry at. But there is anger and heartbreak and abandonment with the words, “She left me.” Whether I want anger to be there or not, it’s there and it’s something that I needed to realize and make peace with and it’s something that until Tuesday I hadn’t acknowledged or really even truly knew about or understood.

I think it was healthy that I had this realization; that I finally realized these words are within me. Knowing they’re there means they no longer have the power to eat away at me. I still feel tired and raw from the outpouring of earlier but I also feel cleaner. I know there is more there, on the inside. I know my grief is something that I haven’t been paying enough attention to and so there’s most likely emotional infection that I need to tend to. I’m sure this new phrase is only one of many that I need to sort out.

Mom didn’t leave me. Not by choice. And I’m not alone. She’s still here and I have my brothers and Ox and my friends who support me and keep me struggling forward even when it feels hopeless and pointless.

It’s not pointless. Winter has an end. This weekend it’s supposed to be warm; in the 50s. Grief doesn’t have an end, but it’s not all sadness and loneliness and hopelessness, either. My grief doesn’t define my life. It doesn’t define me. I still have good days. I still have good thoughts.

Sometimes my brain is a terrorist. And sometimes it shows me what I need to work on. Tuesday was a little bit of both.

I don’t know what else to really say or type. I haven’t had any other breakthroughs. All I know is my inner-eight year old thinks my mom left me and that I know she didn’t.

My name is Jennifer Conley and my mom didn’t leave me. That is one of my truths.

Daily Post 144: A Weekend of Puzzle Pieces


The past two days have been pretty good.

Friday the RN was late getting to work. She called me as I was driving to the clinic. Of course, that was the morning I decided to wear a jacket over my scrubs in addition to my winter coat. So when my phone started ringing I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t find the pocket of my scrubs to get my phone out.

Right Brain: I know my phone is in there. I can feel it. Why I’m I struggling so hard to get my hand into my freaking pocket?!?! The pocket will not win! I will be victorious! Cower before my might pewny pocket!!!!….. Oh yeah… The jacket… Glad no one was here to see that…

It made for a cute story at work.

Work itself wasn’t bad. The nurse practitioner rounded. Change over didn’t go all that smooth and we ran behind. I would have hated to see what it would have been like with just me and the float RN. It was the last day of training for our new tech. Next week I have the clinic to myself. The week after, she’ll be back and on her own. We’ll see how it goes I suppose.

After work, I actually went to the dojo. Well… first I went to Arby’s and had their smokehouse brisket sandwich; just the sandwich. That’s part of my routine for the dojo. Eat something protein-heavy beforehand with enough time to digest what I ate and drink more water so it has time to get into my system. It seems to work well for me and it gives me a bit of time to let go of the stress from work.

It was… nice going back. And maybe nice isn’t the right word. Comforting. Like putting on a well-worn sweater that has a lot of memories associated with it. There was a feeling of comfort in taking in my gym bag and changing in the restroom. There was a feeling of comfort in walking through the door and bowing to my sensei as he finished teaching the kid’s class. There was comfort in sitting in the seat furthest in the back and wrapping my hands and taking my hair clip out so I could use my hair ties and taking mom’s ring and necklace off and putting my shin guards on. There was comfort in getting ready.

It was all familiar. It was all ritual and I know that word gives it a sort of “other-worldly” feel. But it’s how I think of all of the things I have to do before training. I’m about to honor myself; body, mind, and spirit. I’m about to have my me time. Performing all of the actions leading up to it is part of the process. It puts me in the mindset of, “I’m about to train. Work doesn’t matter. Relationships don’t matter. What other people are doing or how hard they are pushing themselves doesn’t matter. What matters is me. My inner voice. My feelings. My sensations. My internal struggles and battles and worries and concerns. What matters for the next hour is me.”

I didn’t push super hard on Friday. I did most of the warm-up. I did the drills on the bag and got to do some drills with the guys. I was ok with not pushing myself to the point of failure. The main goal on Friday was to simply go. I didn’t even promise myself to stay for a whole class. I hadn’t been in three months, the last of which I had been sick for most of. If the best I could do was 30 minutes then so be it. There would be other days, other classes, where I could and would do better. My accomplishment was showing up and walking through the door. Everything else was bonus points.

It felt good to have a full body sweat. It felt good to throw punches and kicks again. It felt good to do them right even if I wasn’t doing them as hard as I knew I had in the past.

As I bowed to my sensei while I was leaving I said I would see him tomorrow; Saturday.

Left Brain: There. Now I’m honor bound to show up. I have to be here. No chickening out or whining about it and making excuses when we wake up with a sore body in the morning.

I called Ox to let him know I was on my way home. The drive was nice. It gave me more time to myself and to listen to music. I cruised along about 5 miles under the speed limit and didn’t care. I wasn’t in a rush. I wanted to enjoy the drive instead.

The kids were home by the time I got here. I showered. I cooked a dinner of burger patties with onion and mushrooms. I actually drank all of my water and then some last night. Before much longer I went to sleep.

I woke up super sore Saturday morning. My shoulders felt like they wanted to fall off from their own weight let alone the effort it took to actually lift or move things like cooking pans. I knew that doing nothing would be the worst thing for me, but the thought of the dojo class was intimidating. If I’m already this sore, what am I possibly going to be able to do in the class? I had already obligated myself to go, though, and I needed to stop at work anyway, so it was going to happen regardless of how much my body protested.

I needed to type up some notes for my FA. I started to at home but with everyone being awake and what not, it was hard to focus on getting it done. I decided to finish typing the notes at my clinic since I had to be there anyway to sent the email. I had breakfast with everyone. I had a moment of overwhelm that Ox helped me through. I was tired and sore and everything felt so loud and there was nowhere to go to get away from it until I left… I felt, I don’t know, defeated I guess?

While we were cuddling in bed and talking about it he told me to close my eyes, which I did. He got up and rummaged around in one of his drawers. When he came back he slipped something over my wrist. When I looked at it I saw it was a bracelet with a Sagittarius bow and arrow. It’s purple and blue and all stary and nebulous looking. I like it. The band is two braided leather cords framing a solid leather band.

I like it but I don’t think it’s going to be something I can wear often. Not at work at least, and not while I’m at the dojo. I’m glad that it wasn’t an expensive gift because I would feel worse about not being able to wear it if it was. He said it was supposed to be my one-year anniversary gift from him but it seemed like I needed it that morning and more things were on the way so he wanted to give it to me.

I can’t lie. It did help me feel more grounded and connected. Maybe that’s the submissive side of me feeling owned since he put something on me. It’s pretty and I like it and I’m wearing it now.

I drove down to the dojo, stopping in Cortland for gas and cigarettes for the coming week. I still got to the dojo early. There were more people in Saturday’s class than the one Friday night. We started with running and jump rope. Since there were so many people, I didn’t get the rope that I like. I’m thinking about putting mine into my gym bag so I can use it while I’m there rather than struggling to get one I want. I stretched a lot during the warmup phase of the class. My goal, again, wasn’t to push myself. Two days in a row would be a lot; maybe boarder lining not smart, but I was going to do it.

I listened to my body. I got through the whole class. I didn’t spar; only conditioned and stretched. My shoulders felt better after the class. Looser. Less angry. I was super tired, though, and I knew not a lot of physical stuff wouldn’t be able to happen for the rest of the day.

I called Ox when I got out to my car and we talked about the rest of the plans I had. They changed slightly. The weather was actually pretty nice. The sun was out. It was around 40 degrees with a light wind that wasn’t too cold. It was a good day for a car wash. Instead of going to the clinic then to the Walmart in Beatrice, the game plan changed to going to the clinic then driving into Lincoln for my free car wash, then going to the Walmart closer to home.

It worked out well. I spent about an hour finishing up my note typing, then sent an email to my two FAs offering help with the new project requirements if they wanted it. From there I drove to the car wash and waited in line for a while.

When I had gotten my car repaired, one of the things they tossed into the deal was a free car wash code to the facility next to the dealership. I had to spend $4 to upgrade the car wash from uber basic to the “deluxe” where it would wash the underside of the car, but that’s better than spending $14 so I didn’t complain.

After the car wash, I stopped at the Target across the street since there was a Starbucks inside the store. I still had a little bit of money left on the gift card Ox had gotten from his work. I decided since I had been doing fairly well not only for that day but for the past week, that I would treat myself to a small drink.

They had a triple mocha chocolate frappuccino. OMG. It was amazing. I still have half of it to indulge in this morning. Totally looking forward to that part of breakfast.

After getting my coffee drink, I drove to the Walmart where I took care of the small amount of shopping Mama Ox wanted me to do and the few items I needed to replace in my stash. I had used the last of the 57 sauce and Worcestershire sauce the night before when I made the onion and mushroom mix for my burgers. I also wanted to get cauliflower potatoes for my lunches rather than using regular potatoes because carbs are a thing and healthy blah blah blah nonsense.

Once that was done I came home. I ended up talking to Jon for a while. He’s thinking about taking out a student loan since working full time and going to school full time is hard. He has a lot of feelings over that and there’s still some people he wants to talk to but I believe 100% that he’ll figure it out.

I cooked and ate burger patties again, resisting the pizza and pizza rolls everyone else was having. Go me!

I cooked my lunch meal while I was in the kitchen. Chicken with broccoli and no-tatoes. I washed my clothes and got them in the dryer. Again, I didn’t stitch. Instead, I worked on a puzzle with Mama Ox for most of the evening.

There were a lot of emotions associated with that. Puzzles were something my mom and I did. I enjoyed my time with Mama Ox but I felt guilty as I put the last piece into place.

Did this mean I was betraying mom? Were puzzles supposed to be a me and her thing that I didn’t do with anyone else? Was I now a horrible daughter? Would mom have been mad at me if I could have called her and told her about that part of my night?

I don’t think she would have. I think she would have understood that she wasn’t there and that she wasn’t being replaced. I hope she would know that no one could ever replace her. It didn’t stop the tears before bed where I told Ox how I felt. How I was tired of my only options in relation to my grief were anger, sadness, and acceptance. Why can’t being happy and having my mom alive be an option?

I don’t think I’ve made peace with the emotions of last nights puzzle pieces and I don’t think I will until I get some actual alone time to think through it, but at least I’m not in a rut of depression over it. Just sort of solemn and achy around my heart chakra. It was nice to spend time with Mama Ox where she wasn’t critiquing me on buying bananas that were too ripe or throwing away something that was expired but “still perfectly fine and usable”.

So far today hasn’t been bad. Most everyone has still been asleep though, so I don’t have a lot of info to base good or bad on. I woke up at 3:30 and had a piece of toast with almond butter, dark chocolate chips, and a banana sliced on top. I went back to sleep for a while. I woke up with Ox around 6:30. I’ve already cooked my venison roasts and had breakfast. And now I’ve written.

We’re supposed to play some tabletop games with the kids. I would like to stitch since I haven’t been able to much this week. I would like to get to sleep early as well since I want to get to the clinic around 4:15. And a bit of time at the gym rowing or lifting weights might be nice. I’m not nearly as sore as I thought I would be.

It’s been a good weekend so far. Puzzle pieces and tears included.

Daily Post 143: Not A Productive Thursday

Written Thursday.
Posted today because I’m a slacker and Life happens.

I wasn’t as productive as I had hoped to be today, so I don’t feel like there’s a lot to report.

I felt good last night; Wednesday night. I felt like I had found motivation and purpose and drive again. So it was pretty frustrating when I didn’t really wake up with those feelings. I slept really well. I felt rested. I had written a little to-do list last night. A small, manageable amount of things to work on while Ox was at work. There shouldn’t have been so much friction inside of my head towards actually getting any of it accomplished.

By the time Ox got home from work around 1, the only things I had managed to convince myself to do were having breakfast and lunch and taking a shower. I spent the rest of the time in bed.

We talked about it and for the moment I’ll leave it at that. We didn’t fight or anything. Just talked about personal stuff that I’m going to keep personal until I’m done thinking on it.

Eventually, I did sit down in front of my computer and update my calendar. I organized my tax papers and put them away where I could find them easily for when I get around to actually filing them. I bought and downloaded the first book for my leadership class since Audible had it on their site. They have all of the books I’ll need for my class so now my only worry is the narrator being crummy.

I went through the rest of my “in” pile, which included a piece of mail from the community college I took my CNA course at. I guess that’s tax deductible, too, or something tax-related. There was another tax form in the letter so I filed that with all of the other ones. We’ll see what becomes of it. I didn’t even know it was something I should have been expecting. Hooray for going through stuff I suppose.

I called the car dealership around 2 pm to see what the status of my car was. It still needed the alignment but all of the other work was done. It would be finished later in the afternoon and they would call to let me know when it was ready for pick up.

I started cooking the bourbon chicken so it would be ready at a decent hour, and from there I curled up in bed with Ox to stitch for a bit and start listening to my book.

Eventually, my car was ready so we drove into Lincoln to pick it up. I had set aside $1500 for the repairs. It came out to $1075. That means I have more than enough to still buy the headgear and new gloves I want for the dojo. It would be really nice to actually go to at least one class at the dojo tomorrow. I haven’t committed to it yet. I guess I could always toss my gym bag into my car and have it with me. I won’t know until the end of the day what my mental status is anyway. I guess it doesn’t do me any real good to make a decision now when I don’t know what the day will be like.

Oh, and the car drives way smoother now. I hadn’t realized how not smooth it was until I was driving back home 1k poorer. The car is much quieter. There’s definitely less road noise and it doesn’t pull to the right anymore now that the struts aren’t busted. I even have a code to get a free car wash. Too bad the temperatures aren’t going to be above freezing for a while.

The bourbon chicken didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Ox said dinner was good, but I had expectations on what it should have been like and it didn’t turn out tasting anything like what it “should” have so I’m thoroughly not impressed.

Positive note: the cauliflower rice I tried wasn’t bad. I plan to make green curry soon and use that instead of the black rice like normal. I haven’t made curry since before I moved to Nebraska.

I think that’s about it for today. There’s work tomorrow. Not sure how that will go. There’s the possibility of the dojo before coming home. The kids will be here this weekend. The dragon’s den is still pretty unusable so I don’t know how well I’ll fair.

At least I have a normal week to look forward to next week. No training another person. Just me on my own doing my own thing. That will be nice.

Daily Post 142: Tax Forms and Other Things

Written yesterday. Posted today.

So… I feel like I have a lot to write about.

Yesterday ended up being a decent day even though it started with a rant about how horrible socializing is and how my day was falling apart around me. I felt mildly better after writing. Ox and I made plans to still go into town. I made my shopping list. Mama Ox spent a majority of the rest of the morning in her room so the immediate interaction I had with her when I woke up was pretty much the extent of it. Not having someone in the kitchen talking me to while I planned out the grocery trip helped ease the friction in my brain.

Ox came home to pick me up. As we drove into Lincoln it began snowing. We had a really nice lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. I haven’t been there in a while since I liked my sports bar in Orlando so much more, but it’s an ok substitute. I got to have wings and a side salad since we were there early enough for the lunch menu.

After we ate we went across the street to do the shopping at Walmart. I got a small stockpile of seasoning packets since I’ve gone through all of the ones I had. I’ve been enjoying the GrillMates marinate packets for when I cook chicken. I also picked up rice to go with the bourbon chicken recipe I’m going to be making tomorrow.

Originally, the game plan was to cook the bourbon chicken for dinner last night, but since it’s a slow cooker recipe and we didn’t get home until close to 3 pm, we opted to save that for Thursday instead of waiting to eat dinner until 7ish.

Ox and I moved the insulation out of my dragon’s den together. Though no other work got done I was ok with the small progress we made. We also discussed the setup of the room more. We talked about building a custom bed frame so we can have drawers for our clothes. We also discussed furniture and have a better idea for dimensions and the spacing of things. We talked more about what will be going in the dragon den, which included my own twin sized mattress. I’m very much looking forward to having my own little corner of solitude.

I ended up cooking a dinner of BBQ chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and a side salad. It wasn’t a very complex meal but it was satisfying and filling and it seemed to go over well with everyone but Ox who isn’t a huge fan of chicken. He had a bowl of cereal for dinner instead but was content with it. At least he said that he liked it.

I got to cross stitch a bit last night, too. That, too, wasn’t a lot of progress, but some progress is better than none. I feel like I’ll get more done tomorrow while I’m sitting around waiting to pick up my car.

Anywho, that was about the extent of yesterday. It was a cold, snowy day that didn’t start anything like I thought it should have, but overall it turned out to be an ok day. I even put my clothes away and got Ox’s at least dried.

Today didn’t have a super awesome start. The snow as still coming down at 8 pm when Ox and I went to sleep. When we woke up there were about three or four inches of snow over everything, including my car. I spent time scrapping my windows, letting my car defrost the rest of the way as Ox and I had our morning cigarette together.

The drive to work was far from relaxing, but having my trip back to Lincoln from Fremont two weeks ago as a reference point, I can honestly say I’ve driven through worse. I left an hour early for work and pulled into the parking lot of the clinic on time. I drove 35 mph most of the way down. The roads sucked. There were no track marks from other cars that early in the morning. Most of the time, at least on Hickman Road, I didn’t even know where the center of the road was. Everything was ice and snow and sometimes there were black patches that looked like asphalt. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of oncoming traffic for that road, but it still wasn’t a cool feeling not knowing if I was too far over or not.

Right Brain: Doesn’t matter. I stayed on the road. Go me!

Highway 77 was a little better, but not by much. I was glad to pull into the clinic parking lot at the same time as my FA. The float RN called out due to the roads. She lives significantly further away from the clinic, and further north so she got more snow. With how crappy the drive was for the brief time I was on the road I totally don’t blame her for not coming in.

It was a pretty smooth day today at work. The tech in training is getting better. I know her first few days on her own is going to be overwhelming for her, but the only way for her to find her own flow is for me to not be there. I plan to take a serious step back on Friday. Essentially I’ll be there as a cheerleader. It’s going to be hard to not jump in and help. I’m not good at watching other people work.

We got her checked off on the few skills she needed to be observed performing. So yeah… after this week she’ll be a full-fledged Patient Care Technician. I think if she can get through the overwhelm of the first few weeks on her own that she’ll be fine. She needs to prove to herself that she can do it.

I had a bunch of emails at work today. Tax forms got posted, so I printed those. There were new emails about my leadership course, so I printed that information out. I have dates for all of the class meetings along with what our reading content will be. I plan to see if Audible has the books so I can listen to them while stitching. That would be super cool. I’m really looking forward to Emotional Intelligence 2.0. I want to jump straight to reading that one. Too bad that’s not until May or something like that. It’s one of the last books we’ll be reading for the class. So not cool. ;-;

I got to talk to my FA about taking time off in March to actually travel to Orlando to see my dad and stepsisters and Jon. She’s ok with me going so now I need to iron out the dates that will work for seeing everyone. It would be nice to see Warren #2 while I’m there and my home clinic teammates and my former coworkers at Full Sail. There’s Sir and Big Bad and my Blacksmith. There’s the potential to go to my old dojo and roll with the guys for a night or two. There’s a part of me who wishes I could see Mother Earth but I don’t know how to approach that aspect of my life just yet. I want to see my therapist, too, even if it’s only to give her a hug and to show her how amazingly well I have done since moving.

I know I won’t be able to do everything and see everyone. But at least I know there’s a possibility of it actually happening. The subject wasn’t immediately shot down. In fact, my FA wrote my tentative dates down and said if they changed to let her know. I can’t put into words how grateful, honored, and appreciative I am of her support. I feel like I matter to her as a person. I’m not just an asset. What I want matters and she tries really hard to make sure I’m happy and content both at work and in my personal life.

The new schedule for work came out today as well. That’s a big deal because our clinic will now have two techs, but we’re still only open three days a week. That means there are not enough hours for both of us to meet full-time requirements without covering at other clinics. We were told we would trade off weeks with our sister clinic in Lincoln. One week I would be in Beatrice, covering our three days, and the new tech would be in Lincoln. The next week she would be in Beatrice and I would be in Lincoln.

Neither of us wants to cover anything in Lincoln. XD

Well… with the new schedule, the first week I’m in Beatrice. Score. The second week I cover four days in a row at the Lincoln clinic. Boooooo. But, bright side, I’m either Census 1 or Census 2, which means I don’t have to stay until 9 pm to close the clinic. I’ll be one of the first people, if not the first person, to leave. Not a perfect situation since I still have to go to that particular clinic, but I’ll take it as an acceptable compromise. If I have to be there at least I’ll be out as fast as possible.

My FA also mentioned that she wants me to come to one of the regional FA meets that are held monthly. Sort of like how I sat in on the FHM meeting back in November I think it was. I’m very interested in seeing what those meetings are like. I don’t expect that I’ll contribute a lot, or that anything will really be expected of me. But with the push to have me become a preceptor for our clinic and my participation in the leadership course, our Regional Operations Director wants me to participate in one of these meetings. Like… He specifically spoke to my FA about having me attend.

Right Brain: No pressure or anything… brb while I go hyperventilate by myself in a corner… x.x

Apparently, there was talk about me become a regional float tech for the company since I’m so highly requested whenever there is a staff shortage. My FA told me about that today, too, and how she had vetoed that idea. Part of me is honored that my region as a whole feels like I would do well in a position like that. The other part of me is glad my FA told them no. I like where I’m at. I like knowing my schedule and having a clinic that’s “mine”. I like having “my” patients. I don’t mind picking up overtime every once in a while. I’m getting better at saying no; or at least saying, “I would rather not be the first pick if possible. If I’m the last resort, ok, but I really would like to be able to not have to cover that shift.”

It’s a weird feeling. I never thought I would be here when I started my own training as a dialysis technician. I didn’t even know if it was something I would be able to do. I knew for sure when I was in Orlando that I wouldn’t be able to maintain working 16 hour days. I admit to still having a hard time finding balance with the gym and dojo and school and life while working 12 hour days, but I think I’m more successful with it here in Nebraska then I ever could have hoped to have been in Florida.

I also have had so many more opportunities here to explore and branch out. Being the only tech in my clinic meant I had to step up and learn new things and cover more tasks. I don’t know… I just feel like I’m doing really well and that’s a weird feeling. I never thought about excelling or being a role model/trainer for other technicians. I just wanted to help people and to give my life some feeling of purpose because I didn’t have one when mom died.

I’ve come a long way and I feel good about that, but also sort of solemn and heavy because I wish I could share that with mom physically. I wish we could talk on the phone and I could hear her excitement and pride and happiness for me. Adult me knows she’s proud of me. Adult me knows she’s happy for me. But it would make my inner eight-year-old happy to the point of tears to actually hear it in her voice. To feel it in her hug. To see it in her smile.

Sometimes good things still suck and while I don’t think any of the positive stuff that’s happened for work really falls into the “sucks” category, it’s still tinged with this feeling of sadness because there’s still a part of me who wishes things were different.

So yeah, lots of stuff happened at work.

After work, I drove into Lincoln to drop my car off. Ox and I got dinner at Slim Chickens. They have pretty good salads. I was happy with a healthy dinner since I totally had a donut at work this morning. >.<;

We also stopped at GNC and got two more cases of Bang. Mornings can never be bad when I have that to wake up to. Maybe I should have focused on that yesterday morning rather than how I had to talk to people on my day off… something to keep in mind for next time.

Right Brain: Damnit! I have to talk to people… but at least I have a Cotten Candy Bang. All is still right in the world. : D

When we got home I printed out the other two tax forms I needed. One for the interest I’ve paid on my student loans along with one for my HSA account through work. I don’t know when I’ll actually file my taxes, but at least I have all the forms, that I know of, that I need.

And now I can feel accomplished because I’m at the end of writing. It’s pretty much bedtime, so I don’t think I’ll get to stitch at all, but I’m pretty sure I’m ok with that. I have all day tomorrow to be at home. I don’t have a whole lot of actual chores to do. I need to update my calendar with all of the new dates I have. I want to try to get in touch with my dad. I want to put the rest of the clothes away and cook dinner and other small things like that, but there’s not a whole lot in the way of obligations tomorrow. Really just dinner, which I did to myself, and picking up my car once it’s done.

I think tomorrow will be a good day. I’m looking forward to it.