Daily Post 094: Cleaning Up

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Today is Saturday; the first day of two that I have off. After the few weeks of working overtime that I had, I have a new appreciation for having so much time off in a row.

The morning has been quiet so far. I’ve already loaded up the dishwasher. I’m waiting to run it until Ox is done installing the water filter for the sink.

We sat last night as a family and talked about one of the projects going on with the kitchen. I’m looking forward to starting it today. I’m looking forward to being another part in something that makes this place a little more my own.

Mama Ox even mentioned changing the way some of the things in the kitchen are organized so it’s easier for me to get to my containers. I like the change she recommended. I think it will make me feel like I have more of my own spot rather than eeking out space around everything else. I would have my own shelf with only my things on it rather than crowding in on the Raman noodles.

I’m hoping to get the interior of the kitchen drawers painted today since that’s been on the list of things to do since I moved up here, basically. Since the project for the rolling cabinet will have us going into Lincoln, I also want to be ahead of the ball and already have my grocery list mapped out so I can do the grocery shopping while we’re in town.

It would be nice to clean up a bit, too. The kids’ clothes need to be put away. Vacuuming the rug in the bedroom would be nice. Putting my own clothes away would mean there’s a place for the dirty clothes to go since the laundry basket would be empty.

There’s a lot of little, easy to accomplish things that I could do today that would help me feel better about my environment; not that I’m feeling bad about it. It’s weird… Cleaning makes me feel better. I like making things pretty and organized.

Ox and I are doing well. We talked about my last post since he reads them. I don’t know what else to say about that topic. I like that I’m able to write and that, for the most part, I still feel safe while I do it. The blank page is my canvas for figuring out myself. It sucks when it feels like I can’t do that; when it feels like it’s been taken away from me because of the fear of disapproval or future conflict.

That hasn’t been the case. though. My writing doesn’t break us or cause fights and I think that goes a long way into alleviating those fears. I still have this avenue. I still have this outlet. I still have this corner of the Internet and I’m grateful for being allowed to keep it.

Yesterday was a good day at work. I was tired, so the two incidents that happened hurt more than they should have. Like… contemplating quitting and giving up.

Rage-filled, self-righteous Right Brain: I’m sorry I did something wrong but why does that make it feel like I don’t do ANYTHING right? Do none of the other fifty tasks that I’ve already done, on my own, because you were late, matter at all? Do all of my “rights” count for nothing just because of this one wrong?

After stepping off the floor and having some food I was better able to deal with the emotional side of things. I had the time and space to recognize why I was reacting the way I was. Everything was fine I just needed to breathe and let it go rather than letting it loop inside of my head or eat away at me like acid.

Logical Left Brain: Ok… so you messed up. You know You messed up. Learn from it and move on. It was just a piece of paper. An important piece of paper, sure… but it’s not like you infiltrated your favorite patient. You already filled out a new sheet. The issue is taken care of. Try not to do it again. And try to have a better day. *hugs*

I stayed after work to finish my compliance training. I also called People Services and asked about my paycheck. They weren’t sure why I was given a retention bonus only to have it removed from my check. The assistant I spoke with put in a request to have my check looked at. She thinks maybe it was a mistaken entry but she wanted to get clarification because there weren’t notes anywhere about what had happened.

She did tell me that my backpay for March 14th hasn’t happened yet. That’s nice to know. I will be addressing that issue next week. That’s what I thought the bonus was for. I thought it was my backpay, which is why I was confused about it being removed and leaving me short $300.

I also plan to finish my Concur report so I can be reimbursed for all of the travel I had to do while I was working overtime during June. That will be close to another $500 back. Plus the 15 hours of overtime I was short…

Yeah… This paycheck was supposed to have been pretty freaking amazing, so I was pretty not ok when it wasn’t. I was still able to cover everything I needed / wanted to. But I wasn’t able to make the progress I was hoping to.

I got my hair dyed on Tuesday this week so I’m back to being purple. The roots had grown so far out that you couldn’t tell my hair was dyed anymore. I feel more like me. I also got about an inch cut off the tips so the ends aren’t icky anymore. : D

I also went ahead and ordered my new set of Vibrams for my race on the 14th. According to the tracking information they’re already in Omaha. The delivery date is set for Thursday, but I’m really hoping they come in sooner than that.

I’ve been wanting a bike rack, but alas, I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to get one. Or rather, I’ve been prioritizing other things ahead of it.

There’s a bike trail that goes all the way from Lincoln to Kansas. It’s something like 70 miles. I know I can’t do all of that in one go, but I’ve been wanting to go and bike for part of it. Maybe down to Cortland at first. Then working my way all the way down to Beatrice. That would be about 30 miles on its own. I haven’t felt like I’ve had the extra spending money to get the bike rack though, so I don’t have an easy way to get the bike to the trail. Maybe once everything gets figured out with my check I’ll be able to look into it.

I was pretty angry with my trainer on Thursday, but I think a lot of that had to do with me rather than him. I pushed really hard on Tuesday; harder than I thought I did maybe. All Tuesday night my IT bands hurt. Hurt to the point where I wanted to cry when I was getting out of my car when I got home. Wednesday wasn’t much better and I’m sure work didn’t do anything to help them relax and rest. Thursday still hurt but it got better as the day wore on and I moved around, loosening the muscles up.

When I got to the gym the first thing my trainer said was that I was over my calorie count.

I got on the scale. I’m down another two pounds. I’m officially the thinnest I can ever remember being.

But that doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter that I survived the two weeks of the kids being here. It doesn’t matter that my mom’s birthday is coming up and I’m constantly having to work through the pain of her being dead. It doesn’t matter that I’m constantly having to teach new RNs how to work in my clinic because we’re short staffed. It doesn’t matter that I work 12 hours shifts where I walk six miles and that I’m dead at the end of my days but still push myself to go to the gym and run and extra mile. It doesn’t matter that I’m doing better than I was when I first moved to Nebraska. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t call out; that I showed up to training in the first place even though I didn’t want to.

I’m over my calorie count so I’m a failure.

I’m down two pounds of fat, but I’m a failure.

My workout sucked. I did it. I didn’t skimp out on any of the sets or running, but it sucked.

I cried on the way home because I was so frustrated with everything feeling like it didn’t matter.

I like that my trainer is number and data-oriented, but at the same time I’M A FUCKING HUMAN. I have emotions and shit that I’m having to deal with. I don’t really have a health goal that I’m working on. I don’t care about how many calories I take in. I’m doing awesome with carbs and protein. I’m doing awesome with not compromising or giving in and actually making it to my workouts and doing extra on my own.

Acknowledge some of that. Acknowledge that I do things right instead of making it feel like all I do is wrong.

Wrong this. Wrong that. Wrong everything.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you. Ok. Fuck you. And the horse you rode in on. And the one that sired it. Ok. Just… arg. Fuck everything. /flips shit.

So yeah. I cried frustrated, angry tears as I raged at the Universe for about 15 minutes during my 30-minute drive home and I felt better for it.

No, I don’t do everything wrong. No, that’s not what he meant or what he was trying to convey or make me feel. All of this anger and angst was all just internal bullshit within myself that I needed to address. All of this was MY reaction to impersonal information.

This reaction, these emotions were most likely the fallout from not taking care of my internal self. This was build up from not writing and not having alone time and not working through the ickiness of my daily life. This was finally having an external target to rain down the fireballs of death and destruction that had been building up inside me with no place to go.

I do enjoy working with my trainer. I do feel he is worth the money I spend. I do feel I am getting results and I’m grateful that he wants me to become a better me. I understand that he can only do so much while we’re at the gym together and that most of my progress has to come from me being diligent about what I eat and when. I understand that most of the work is out of his hands and the only thing he can do is hold me accountable, which he does.

If I’m making this much progress, then I’m sure it’s frustrating to know that I could be doing even better if only I would be a little more diligent. But it’s out of his control and all he can do is watch as I make choices that he would rather I not make.

And I guess that’s the biggest difference between him and me. He has a goal in mind for me and I don’t.

I’m training more to keep myself in a routine and to make forward progress even though at the moment I don’t know what I’m working towards.

In Orlando, my driving force was the potential of MMA fighting.

Here… I don’t know. I still haven’t found a dojo yet, though I do have a few I want to look into. None of the dojos I am interested in are very close to where I live so I feel like it would be the same issue I faced with the YMCA. I would have the best of intentions but I would end up not going because by the time I get to the end of the day I’m done. I want to go home. I don’t want to drive further into town or be out longer or around strangers who are “clearly doing better in life than me because look at Mrs. Gym Bunny over there prancing through her workout while I feel like I’m dying”.

Where are the q-tips when you need them? >.<;

But maybe I would be better about going to the dojo than the Y. I didn’t like the YMCAs because they were so busy. I couldn’t make it to the classes I wanted. I wouldn’t have really been doing something that I wanted to do. If I had gone to the gym it would have been more of a “well at least it’s better than nothing” sort of feeling. It would have been an investment of my limited energy into something that I really didn’t care about. It wouldn’t have been fulfilling and therefore closer to a waste than an investment.

Maybe the dojo wouldn’t be like that. One of the dojos offers Judo in addition to Jiujitsu and Aikido. I think Judo would be fun to learn. If it’s something I want to do then I’m more likely to push through the things, like tiredness, that were holding me back. I’m more likely to think it’s worth it to drive to be there.

I don’t know. I can see it going both ways.

I still want to fight. I still miss that aspect of Orlando. I miss the feeling of family and belonging that I had. I miss the guys who became my friends and mentors. I miss sparring and pushing myself and proving that I’m better than I think I am. I miss learning.

I’m “training” for my Warrior Dash but even that I haven’t really been focusing on. It wasn’t until last week that I started running and I don’t really think you can call one run “training”. My goal with my race is to simply do it. I’ve run that race for two years now. I don’t want to feel like I lost it, that I gave my race up, because of the move. I can still have it even though it’s a little different than what it used to be. Instead of being in February in Orlando, it’s in July in Nebraska, but it’s still my race and I want to prove to myself that I am still able to do it. I didn’t lose it. It’s not gone for forever.

I don’t care if I weigh a certain amount. I don’t care if I have a certain percentage of body fat. I don’t have an end goal. I wanted to get back to the point where I wouldn’t be dying at the end of the warm-up if I did go back to a dojo, and I think I’m there. I think I am to the point where I can say I’m at square one again. I’m back to where I was before I got my job in Orlando; before I started working 16-hour shifts and had to give up the dojo and training and the gym and everything that made it feel worth it to live the life I had.

So, if I’m back to the beginning, then I need to figure out where to go from here since every step I take now is a step forward. A new step. A step I’ve never taken before to a me I’ve never been before. A stronger, healthier me that I have to come to terms with and understand. A me I need to sit down and talk to and negotiate with.

I do want to keep losing weight and part of that means I need to be more mindful about calories. I’m doing well with what I’m eating. I’m not eating donuts or junk food, mostly… that giant tube of mint chocolate chip ice cream is still in the freeze… STILL… And I want to point out the amazing amount of restraint I have to NOT have any of that when every night I have to look at it as I pull my burger patties out for dinner.

Fucking bastards…. buying my favorite ice cream… It’s so not fair. ;-;

Anyway… Part of the issue is I get so hungry between 7 am and noon at work. I think I’ve figured that out though. I’ve been trying the Wheybolic shakes from GNC. And you can give me shit all you want for buying something from that store. Right now I don’t care. Once I have it figured out I can worry about “the most bang for my buck” or not supporting a giant corporation of inherent evil that feeds off the tears of orphans… Seriously, with some of the posts I’ve read from people, you would think this is the worst store on the face of the planet.

Regardless of the orphan tear issue, having half of the shake for my morning break and then the other half right before change over starts kept me from wanting to eat the countertops while I was working. It kept me full until I was able to actually eat again. So instead of doing the homemade almond bars, I think I’m going to be doing protein shakes during that part of my day. That will cut out a lot of calories while increasing my protein intake, and if it keeps me full, in theory, it will keep me from eating more during the day.

I’ve also poked around online and found some new recipes to try since I’ve been eating roughly the same things for about a month now and I’m getting disenchanted with them. It sucks to look in the fridge and to see the containers of premade meals and to not want any of them. That’s when it’s hard to say no to the evil voice whispering about the pop tarts on the counter.

Why is the house full of all of the things I like and can’t have? Oh… That’s right… because there was an eight-year-old and a thirteen-year-old here for two weeks… The struggle is beyond real sometimes.

I haven’t had anything Mexican in forever. Or Italian. So this week I’m fixing that. I’m still allowed to eat tasty food. It doesn’t have to just be burger patties and chicken breast.

So… while I still don’t have a goal in mind for really anything in my life, I think I’m doing a bit better than I was.

Writing definitely helps with that and I’m going to actually put in effort to try to write more often. Having time away from work helps. Having a small list of projects to improve my home environment helps. There’s just a lot of little things that add up to making today feel like a stronger more stable day.

So with that, I guess I’ll go so I can make my shopping list and shower since nothing can really happen before the shower because I’m weird awesome.

 

 

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Musing Moments 112: My Favorite Color

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It’s the last day the kids are here.

I’ve survived the two weeks without getting a hotel room or an extended stay and with minimal freakouts over not having my own space. This morning has actually been pretty nice so far. Lil’ Ox and I played Little Big Planet 3 for a while. I made her waffles for breakfast and ate my own premade steak and egg breakfast container next to her.

It’s been a low key morning; one that makes me think maybe I’m not so bad at this parenting / mentoring thing. Maybe it’s not the horrific end of myself and my independence that I feel like it will be. I enjoyed this morning and a lot of the days they’ve been here so, theoretically, it’s possible to enjoy others.

I was still able to go to the gym and train. I was still able to work on my tattoo design and on the nights I was super tired I was left alone in the room to sleep.

Yes, there were hiccups and not everything went smoothly or flawlessly, but it went well enough that I’m still ok for the most part. Ok enough to not be terrified or completely against the future or the “next time”.

We made decorations with pearler beads and went swimming. We got work done out in the garage and in the addition. Work has been going alright even though I was shorted 15 hours on my last check.

I can’t really think of anything major to write about even though I haven’t written in most likely three weeks.

Jon is doing well. I’m looking forward to seeing him and Jason in August. I’m not going to be going to Orlando afterward and there’s a lot of factors that go into that choice. I’ll most likely use the leftover money in my “Me Fund” to switch over my car’s license plate.

My race is in roughly two weeks. I know I won’t be able to run all of it but I think I’ll be content with what I’m able to do. I’ll be running alone which is nice. Ox mentioned going with me and hanging out while I run so he can watch. Nothing has been decided, but I do like the idea of not having to worry about pacing myself to match someone else. I want to do this for me. I want to do this alone.

There’s a lot of things I want to do that I haven’t been doing. Alone time is one of those things.

I’ve been missing mom a lot. It will be her birthday soon.

I feel bad for Ox. When I lived alone I could seclude myself away in my room and hide until I was better. I would drink or cry or sleep or whatever it was I needed to do to survive the waves of grief. I didn’t have to worry about messing up anyone else’s day with my sadness.

I don’t have that option here. We share a room. He has to deal with all of it. There’s no real way for me to “get away”. It doesn’t help or make things easier. I haven’t learned how to cope as an introvert with no safe space. So on top of dealing with his own stuff, Ox is stuck with me on my “hard days”.

I don’t know what else to write about on that part.

I wish mom were here. I wish she was still alive. I wish things had been different and at the same time, I don’t because I wouldn’t be where I am if they had been different and I kind of like where I am.

I think I know why it’s hard to hear my name. Everyone calls me Jen. Ox is the only one who will say Jennifer sometimes. Every time I hear my full name I hurt. I think it’s because my mom was the only one who called me by my full name. I can remember the first night at the hospital when the painkillers finally started wearing off and I asked her if she knew who I was. I can remember how she rolled her eyes at me like it was the silliest question ever.

Mom: You’re Jennifer.

I am Jennifer but that seems like such a hard and impossible person to be. It’s easier to be Jen, the PCT or Kitten, the not girlfriend / not wife nebulous life partner.

It’s easy to get caught up in the trivial, surface level pettiness of Life and to forget that I’m injured, but hearing my full name reminds me. I can’t pretend when I hear it. I can’t fake my way through that pain. I have to face it and I don’t want to.

I guess there’s a large part of me who doesn’t want to be me. I don’t want to put in all of the work it will take to heal all of the injuries I have.

I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life at the moment. I go to work. I pay my bills. I try to eat healthy as I have a bowl of mint ice cream at night that I don’t log on My Fitness Pal.

I’m still doing well at work. I’m still losing weight and gaining muscle. I’m still making ends meet.

I don’t know what it feels like, this life I’ve been living for almost five months now. Maybe that’s because I’m not allowing myself to fully feel it. Sort of like how I ignore my injuries. Maybe I’m just existing through my life at the moment rather than fully immersing myself in it and experiencing it.

There’s a part of me who doesn’t trust it. I’m waiting for it to run out; to end. The good times can only last so long.

I say “I love you,” but I don’t feel it the way I used to. There’s a part of me who doesn’t want to. I love as much as I feel I can. I’m broken. You’ll die. There’s only so much I can give. It doesn’t feel like enough, though. It feels like you deserve more. It doesn’t feel like it used to before mom died and I don’t know if it ever can or will.

Ox: Are you happy?

He’s asked me that a few times and I don’t know how to answer. I’m not “not happy”. I would like my own room. I would like for things to stay organized. I would like for the dirty clothes to not be on the floor. I would like for there to not be pop tarts on the kitchen counter tempting me every morning. But in the scheme of things, I have a roof over my head. I am staying here rent free. I have food. I have a car. I have a job. I have a support structure and people who care about me.

There’s no reason for me to not be happy. But most of the time there’s this feeling of distance. Like I’m holding my breath. A tension.

I hate this part of myself, but I already know what I would try to do if the relationship failed. I already have a “backup plan”. I wouldn’t move back to Orlando. I would try to move to Beatrice so I would be closer to my clinic.

And maybe that’s something else that keeps me from giving fully into whatever this is.

A relationship is supposed to be a compromise. Give and take.

I moved away from my lovers and brother. It feels like I’ve given up my solitude. I have taken on the responsibility of helping to care for two children. I have changed work environments. I agreed to pursue another obligation which I’m going to leave vague because I don’t want to write further about it. Sorry if that’s frustrating.

I knowingly accepted a lot of things before moving.

I want it to feel fair. But when asked if I’m happy the most I can bring up is apathy. I don’t hate where I’m at, but no, I don’t really think I’m happy. I’ve lost too much too fast with very little to compensate that loss to feel happy right now.

I’m happier then I was in Orlando. I don’t hate Life. I think that’s an improvement.

I want to see my brothers. That’s about it. I want to see others but I can’t go to Orlando and see the people there because if I do I know I’ll fuck everything that I have up. Ox and I talked about that aspect about it so he knows.

And I guess that’s something I can admit to and acknowledge within myself. If I went to Orlando I would most likely have sex with Big Bad and my Blacksmith. I don’t know if that’s weakness. I don’t feel like it is. I still care about them. I cared about them before I moved. I still care about them after my move. I didn’t move because the relationships sucked or because they treated me poorly.

I know they had their own issues. Big Bad never said “I love you” back. He sent the drunk text message the day of the Warrior Dash lashing out in his hurt. My Blacksmith and I were never able to spend much time together and that dynamic had its own complications. Then there’s Sir who chose not to see me to say goodbye before I left and all of the history from when we dated.

Maybe this is another aspect of me that’s broken and needs to be worked on.

They still built me up the most during a time where I was at my lowest, though. They let me be myself and didn’t give me shit for it. I still care for them and I still have the mentality that you can love more than one person without it affecting the love you feel for another.

Ox and I agreed to be monogamous so it’s better to not go. I feel like if I went to Orlando I would be choosing myself over the relationship and that the relationship would die because of my selfishness. There’s still a part of me who feels like I’m losing something else, something more, because I am making the choice to not go. I’m giving up more on top of what I have already agreed to let go.

I don’t feel whole. I feel like I function “good enough” and that’s the best I can do. The jagged, broken pieces of myself grind against one another rather than being well oiled and cared for. You can tune out the sound of friction if you try hard enough. I feel like that’s what I do most of the time.

I ignore. I pretend. I go day by day and it’s “good enough” so I should accept it. I’m never going to have mom back so I should learn to be ok with what I have.

I think there’s still a lot of stuff for me to work through and like so many of my other writings I don’t feel like I’ve figured anything out. I still feel like it’s all pointless and a waste of time because I never seem to figure any of it out.

I just keep finding more and more things to try to fix with no solution for fixing them. They’re just problems within myself that keep me from fitting in properly with the world I find myself in now. The world I’ve placed myself in.

I still love people, but I’m not allowed to express that love so I’m wrong. I’m an introvert living in an environment where I can’t be alone so I’m wrong. I don’t want to be a parent but I’m in a relationship with two children so I’m wrong to try to not be a parental figure.

I guess that’s the core of it all. I feel wrong. I feel like I’m the problem. I’m the only one with issues so it’s me that needs to change. Everyone else is fine. I’m the one who’s not.

What do I want?

I want to be ok. I want my mom back. I want to be able to cry and curl up with her urn alone without the fear of someone coming into the room or hearing the TV playing Modern Family.

I want things I can’t have and so I feel defeated. I can’t win so what’s the point of feeling anything?

Am I happy?

No. But I can’t have what will make me happy so I’m “good enough” and right now that’s the best I can do. I’m sorry I can’t do better. I’m sorry I feel this way. I’m sorry I can’t be normal like the rest of the world. I’m sorry I’m myself and I’m sorry for being sorry about that. I’m sorry I make things harder and more complicated than they should be. I’m sorry I don’t game as much as I did in Orlando. I’m sorry for wanting sex more than you. I’m sorry I’m always trying to complete a project or organize something. I’m sorry I don’t know how to relax more. I’m sorry I’m not more social and that I don’t want to find a dead bird for us to play with and hopefully writing that makes you smile knowing that the rest of the Internet is going “What the actual fuck?” right now. I’m sorry everything seems to come back to my mom being dead. I’m sorry I can’t seem to get past that. I’m sorry that you’ll read this and feel some sort of failing on your part. I’m sorry for messing up your day. I’m sorry if now we’re not ok.

I love you and I’m sorry if that’s not enough. I’m sorry if my love is broken and not the same as yours.

Thank you for everything you do and have done for me these past almost five months. Thank you for the nights you let me sleep on the couch without making me feel bad. Thank you for trying so hard to make safe spaces for me. Thank you for your patience and the times you’ve held me while I’ve cried. Thank you for not giving up on me. I promise I’m trying to get better. I promise I’ll try to be ok today.

It’s one of the few things I look forward to; seeing you at the end of my days. No matter how shitty they are, no matter how much work sucks, or how much I feel like I didn’t push hard enough at the gym, or whatever other nonsense my brain plays inside of my head, I always look forward to seeing you. I always think about you, about how I’m almost home, when I see the cell phone tower you pointed out to me because that’s how I know where to turn. I look forward to your hugs. I look forward to your voice. I look forward to you because you’re my favorite color.

I will see you tonight. I love you.

Daily Post 093: Enjoying Summer

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This past week has been one of my rougher ones since moving to Nebraska. I worked five days this week. I survived until Thursday, my first day off, and since that was my main goal I feel like the week was a success.

On top of surviving, I got the news that I’m down a pound in body fat and up two in muscle. That’s validating and motivating.

I went to the Anytime Fitness for the first time to work out on Thursday. I like the gym. I like how it was mostly empty and I was able to do my own thing. I rowed and worked on my arms. What makes that workout even better is the fact that I did it after working with my trainer, so that’s two workouts in one day. I feel like I’m getting back to my “pre-work” level; back when I was able to spend three hours at the dojo pretty much every day sparing with people I now miss.

I feel like I’m back to making progress and that’s a good feeling.

I feel like this next week is going to go smoother in some ways and harder in others. I’m almost done with all of my cooking. I have the laundry to switch over to the dryer. I just got back home with Ox from running out to get new work shoes since my feet have started to hurt again. Since my days are shorter then what they were in Orlando and because I’ve had my shoes for over a year now, I’m pretty sure it’s an issue with the shoes themselves. We’ll see how tomorrow goes with the new ones I suppose.

Ox is going to have his kids for the next two weeks.

That’s where things are going to get harder. I’m prepped better for the coming week but we’ll have the kids…

That’s two weeks that I still have to work and wake up early while they’re on summer vacation. That’s two weeks of them being home on my days off and wanting to do things. Two weeks of “I don’t know how to be a parent what the fuck and I’m supposed to do I need an instruction guide someone please save me”.

I’m thinking about looking into getting an extended stay room close to my clinic for the coming weeks. That would give me a quiet place to retreat to when I need silence and space. That would give me a place to sleep without raining on everyone’s fun.

The downside is that it would be expensive and unlike the hotel rooms I’ve been booking for the nights before my shifts in Omaha, this wouldn’t be reimbursed. I also feel like it would be running away and hiding from something that I have to eventually face.

I haven’t made any decisions yet. But I’m going to have to figure something out soon. The kids will be here Thursday evening. I work both Friday and Saturday. Being tired and sleep deprived and mentally / emotionally tapped out from not having recovery time isn’t an option I really want to entertain. Arg >.<;

Saturday went well. And I guess I should back up to Friday. Friday went well, too. I worked with a new nurse that day since my FA had to go out of town. The nurse was familiar with the machines my clinic uses so that was a plus. The day went smoothly and I was grateful that it went better than I had thought it would.

I drove home and packed for my overnight stay in Omaha before driving into Lincoln to have dinner with Ox. He went with me across the street where I filled my car’s tank up and then wished me well. I’m glad to say that I was able to make the whole trip to the hotel without GPS. It helps that I’ve been staying at the same hotel each time. I’m getting familiar with the staff there. I like their facility. They have a pool that I haven’t been in yet. They also have a fitness room that’s 24 hours which I almost used this time.

Saturday started out nice even though it was a rainy and windy morning. I slept deeply and woke up feeling rested; at least rested enough to make it through the day. I didn’t need the GPS to get the clinic. Go me!

Even with the complications of a machine not working the day went well. I’m more familiar with how tasks are divided up and I have a better idea where things are located. I know how to be helpful past the point of setting up machines and taking care of patients. I can help prep the clinic for the next day. I can make needle packs and organize the morning shift setups.

I was able to close down the water room fine on my own. I was confident this time rather than holding my breath and hoping I did it right. I’ve gotten to the point where I know which steps take a while, so I don’t have to have everything on the floor done before beginning the water room. It doesn’t require my focused, undivided attention. I can get to this particular step then go back out and finish wiping down chairs. I can get to this step then go empty the bleach containers. Once I get to this step I can count the dialyzers.

I can be more efficient with my time, which means I can close the clinic faster than the hour or so it’s been taking me. That’s another good feeling. Efficiency is a big thing for me. I knew I would be slow at first. I knew it would take me a few times to get comfortable with the process. Now I’m getting to the point where I can improve my workflow. I’m no longer “learning”. Now I’m tweaking and figuring out what works for me.

I’m thinking about offering to work Saturdays for their clinic until they can get people through training. It would keep me making overtime while working a fairly chill shift with people I like. I don’t mind the thought of being there. I don’t feel a sand-pappery aversion to the thought. There’s not the crushing, draining weight of “I don’t want to do this,” that makes me cry silent tears on the way to do anyway.

There are grocery stores on the way home I can stop at after my Saturday shift. I can work that back into my weekend routine. Meal plan on Thursday’s most likely since Friday is a 12-hour shift. With meals planned out, I can make a grocery list. With a grocery list, I can do the shopping on Saturday like I used to, along with any prep work that needs to be done once I’m home. Put meats in marinades. Cut up veggies if I need to. Then Sundays can go back to simply being cooking days rather than everything all at once.  With a little bit of planning, a little bit of proactiveness, I think I can make this work for me.

I want to see if I can.

I have already been approved for having July 13th and 14th off. That’s the Friday before my race and the day of my race. I’m actually looking forward to it a little bit. More than I was when I first signed up. I signed up because I knew I wanted to do a Warrior Dash this year. I missed doing the one in Florida. I wanted to see my patients one last time instead. I wanted to give them their thank you cards in person. I didn’t want my Warrior Dash to be the last time I was with Big Bad. I didn’t want the weight of knowing we were saying goodbye to hang over the entire event, which it would have for me. It would have hurt to run it that way. So I didn’t.

But it’s something I think of as “my” race. It’s where I started. That first one; that was my moment of taking me back for myself. That was me giving a giant “Fuck you” to the person so undermined so much of my self-confidence for so long. I could do it. I did do it. I can do it. And there was, is, still a part of me who wanted to run the race even though I didn’t in February.

That’s why I signed up for the one here, in Nebraska, in July. Because there’s a part of me who still needed to run it even though I was feeling bad at the time. I had regressed. I knew I needed to address that and I’m glad I did even though in the beginning it sucked. I’m glad I met with my trainer and I’m glad he’s working with me. I want to do better this race. I want to keep improving. So yeah. I’m a little more jazzed about it than I was when I first signed up. I’m looking forward to it even though it’s a small, soft, vulnerable thing at the moment.

I hope it continues to grow. I hope it becomes a confident and stable thing. A, “I know I’ll do well” feeling rather than a, “I hope I do well” feeling.

I finally was able to spend most of a day outside today. Ox worked a bit in the addition but we’ve run out of 2x4s so he can’t keep working on the walls. We were trying to get work done in the yard, but that required moving a piece of equipment which ended up taking most of the day. We didn’t get done with that until 2 pm. It would be easier to write about if I knew what half the stuff we used was called, but I don’t. All I can say is that my arms and core are sore from all of the work we ended up having to do manually, but it’s a good sore.

We got something done, something pretty major, and we got it done together. We sweated together. We got tired together. We accomplished something together and that makes me feel good. It makes me feel connected and like I’m part of something.

It was a fantastic day outside. Warm. Sunny. I wanted to get more done, so I did. I moved some piles of scrap wood and raked up last years dead leaves and sticks. I’m not through with the raking and there’s a part of me that feels bad for not getting it completed. There’s part of me who feels like I add to the mess and disorganization by leaving something half done, but I could tell my body was wearing down. I was sunburnt. I needed water. I needed food. I still needed to still finish my cooking. At some point, I needed to shower again…

I needed to do all of these things that take time and energy and I only have so much of each to spend and use each day. So as much as I wanted to get everything done, the yard was something left at a state of half complete; contained and better, but not finished.

I would like to finish the yard Tuesday after my shift at Cap City, but I’m not sure how that day is going to go, so… We’ll have to wait and see. I might not be able to really get back outside until Thursday. But yeah, even with that task incomplete I feel really good right now and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was finally outside doing something.

The day actually started later than I thought it would. I woke up at 2 am since I’m conditioned to wake up early. Thankfully I was able to get back to sleep. I slept until almost 9 am; way later than that I thought I would or could have. That’s an additional seven hours of sleep. As Ox said, though, I guess I needed it if my body let that happen. With how little sleep I got for the first part of the week maybe that’s more true than not. Maybe it’s not just pretty words to make me feel better, but a truth I should accept.

That’s harder to do when the Evil Voice nags about how much time was wasted doing nothing. Fucking Evil Voice… I will break out the Q-tips… >.>

I spent the first part of the morning cooking before going outside to help Ox. I think that helped since I had a break from cooking and didn’t have to spend four solid hours in the kitchen.

I used a spice mix last week for the deer roast I cooked which turned out amazing. So amazing I’m actually using it again. I’ve seasoned some steaks with it and chicken thighs as well. It really is that awesome. Since it helps to marinate the meat a bit first, I seasoned everything before Ox and I ran into town.

We went to the Skechers store where I got new work shoes. I was surprised to find out that I get a discount because of the company I work for. A 30% discount. Woo!

We stopped at Walmart after that so I could get another packet of a glaze I tried last week as well. Again, something that turned out to be pretty amazing.

So the cooking is almost done. Just have to bake some stuff now. The laundry is almost done. My hotel for Friday night is already reserved. My bills are already paid and though I’m lower on funds than what I would like, everything is overpaid as far as my debt is concerned and nothing is due until next paycheck which will have my billion hours of overtime on it with my double incentive shift.

I didn’t get my bike rack this weekend, but I’m ok with that because I got the window AC unit with Ox and new shoes and two cases of my Bang energy drink. I got new sunglasses that I actually like. The hotel had my laptop charger in their lost and found when I checked in Friday night since I couldn’t find it when I got back home last weekend.

There’s a lot of warmth going on in my life right now. A lot of progress. A lot of security. I’m not worried about my job anymore which helps.

It’s summer. It’s my time. My season. I’m not sick or working so much that I can’t enjoy it. And though I grieve every day in my own way, I’m not the shattered version of myself I was when mom first died.

It feels like this is the first summer since mom died that I’ll be able to go out and do things and… live… I guess. It’s… it’s a good feeling even though it makes my eyes sting with tears. When I was raking earlier today I remembered how I would help her rake when we lived in South Carolina. I remember how she hated to do yard work and how I would help her because many hands make light work. She would always say it went by faster with help and so I wanted to help her.

I don’t know what else to write or where to go from that train of thought. I guess that’s it. I don’t really feel like writing anymore. My heart aches. It’s not good or bad. It’s just life…

Mom is dead and I can’t rake the yard with her anymore, but I can still enjoy my days and be outside in the sunlight and I can remember her and all of the things she taught me. I can remember all of the moments we had and what they meant to me; what they still mean to me.

Today was a good day. Saturday was a good day. Friday and Thursday were good days, too. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to going to work and telling my patients about my weekend and how I got new shoes.

I don’t dislike my life anymore, mom and I’m sorry that there’s still a part of me who feels guilty about that. I know this is what you want for me. To be happy. To live. To keep going. I’m sorry that it still hurts and sucks sometimes. I’m sorry there’s a part of me who feels like it’s a betrayal to you to be able to keep going. I promise I still love you. I promise it still hurts as much as it ever did; as much as it ever will.

I’m thankful at the same time. I’m here because of you. I know it. It’s one of my truths and I don’t care what other people think or feel about those words. You’ve done so much for me in life and in death. Thanks for helping get me to a point where I actually have the option to enjoy summer again.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

Daily Post 092: Being Right

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I’m doing well today and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I got a full night of sleep last night. It’s the first night since last Saturday evening that I’ve gotten more than three hours of sleep. It makes me realize, once again, how important sleep is in regards to the equation of Life.

And, once again, as seems to be the case so often this past year, it has been a while since I’ve written.

Work is going well.

The patient I infiltrated the other week is doing well. His arm bruised a little, but he said it didn’t bother him and he let me cannulate him during his next treatment. He’s been extremely kind and understanding and I’m grateful for him trusting me enough to still be his tech. We still smile and chit-chat. He still lets me spread his blanket out over him after his treatment is initiated. We’re still ok and that makes me feel ok.

I ended up having a surprise 12-hour shift this past Saturday, which is why it feels like I’ve been playing catch-up until today. I was scheduled to close the South Omaha clinic, which went surprisingly smoothly. While I was in the middle of closing the clinic I received a phone call from another FA saying she, “knew it was a long shot, but would I be willing to close another clinic in the area.”

I guess their tech was sick and then stopped answering her phone and they were pretty much screwed because no one else could close the clinic for them.

I really didn’t want to. I wanted to go home. I was supposed to go to the gym and the grocery store. I was supposed to prep for my five day work week and recover. I ended up accepting the shift, though, because I know what it’s like to work short-handed.

I hadn’t changed into my sandals yet. I was still in work mode. I was still in the area rather than being halfway through my drive home. There was no real reason for me to say no, especially since I was already getting overtime pay and there was a double incentive added for the hours I would be working at the other clinic.

I’m not saying that I accepted it purely for the pay, but I can’t say that it didn’t feel nice knowing that my time was being compensated pretty fairly.

Because I worked so late I was tired by the time I got back to Hickman. The shopping didn’t get done and the gym for sure didn’t get done. I was still tired Sunday when I woke up, too, so I didn’t really start doing much until later in the day. I also had a pretty deep, emotional conversation with Ox that day about our relationship.

I needed the rest in the morning and I feel like we needed the conversation to happen as well. It just sucked that the results of those choices meant I was up pretty late cooking. Since I  wasn’t able to get through all of my cooking Sunday, Monday, after working 12 hours, after going to my rescheduled training at the gym where I died a little bit… I came home and finished up most of the cooking which, again, put me getting to bed way later than I should have.

Tuesday sucked. I was exhausted before I even got out of bed. I covered my shift at Captial City and was grateful that the last hour I was there they had me in the back room making needle packs, alone, away from people, doing a mindless task that didn’t require mental effort.

I came home and slept for a few hours in the afternoon. I didn’t have combat practice this Tuesday because the first Tuesday of the month the group travels to Omaha to practice with people up there. I woke up from my nap when Ox came home. I wasn’t able to fall back asleep until later in the evening since everyone was home and awake and watching TV. It’s one of the downsides to roommates or living with other people in general. I don’t get alone time very often and it will never happen in the evening.

I slept alright Tuesday night once I could finally get back to sleep. I slept more than I had any of the previous nights, but with a 12-hour shift ahead of me I knew it would still be borderline brutal by the time my day was done.

I made it through it, though. Working a normal day at my clinic with my FA was nice. It helped that I had a day off in my future to look forward to.

I submitted and have been reimbursed for my travel expenses for the month of May. I have a report already created for the month of June. As I cover extra shifts I’m adding the expenses to it so I don’t forget anything at the end of the month or have to spend a billion hours filling it out.

I talked to my FA about my position at the clinic since that’s something I’ve been worried about. With the new tech going through training and living in Beatrice I’ve been worried about being pushed out and having to work in locations I don’t care for.

Beatrice is what I think of as “home”. I like my patients. I’ve been there for four months now. I have systems in place. I know where things are at and how they’re organized. I’m confident with the machines they have. I like my ride to work in the morning even though it’s early. I don’t want things to change all that much.

During my conversation, my FA explained that the new tech would have precedence over me at the clinic until we opened the TTS shifts again so I would float to other places until that happened.

After some time alone to process that information I realized I was angry and hurt. I found this out Monday before I went to the gym. I talked to Jon on my way home and he agreed that the information was pretty shitty and that I should tell my FA how I felt.

He jokingly told me not to kill the new tech to which I replied that I didn’t want to kill her, I just wanted her to quit. I wanted her to realize how hard this job was and to realize she wasn’t cut out for it and to quit before she started.

I had met her for a few hours a while back. She had come to the clinic with her trainer. I can’t explain why, but I didn’t like her. It was a feeling. Some sort of itch in the back of my mind that said, “You won’t like working with her.”

As an INFJ I have learned to trust those unexplained feelings. I don’t have to have a logical reason for why. She was nice to me. She seemed well put together. But there was something… dark? about her. Snake-ish. Back-stabby. I could work with her if I had to, but I would never trust her to not throw me to the wolves if it would save her own skin.

That evening I ended up getting a phone call from my FA. She wanted to reassure me that she wanted me on her team. She didn’t want me to feel kicked out or like I didn’t matter. She also said that things change very quickly and that the new tech had just given her notice and would not be working at the clinic.

I’m still trying to figure out those emotions. I had said I wanted her to quit only a handful of hours before getting this information, but I hadn’t really thought she would. I hadn’t meant for my words to actually happen. So there is a small measure of guilt. Sort of like I wished for something ill to happen and it came true and so now Karma is going to be looking for payment.

On the flip side, the reason she gave for quitting was that she “didn’t have enough time to sit down.” Totally in the wrong field if you ever think you’re going to do anything less than six miles during your shift. “Sitting down” is not a thing that happens. When it does you’re grateful for the unexpected blessing. You never go into the day expecting quiet, smooth, non-stressful. You prepare for battle with your most comfortable shoes and accept the day is not going to go how you envision it. Patients will not show up. Patients’ blood pressures will bottom out. Patients will get sick. Patients will be late. Patients will want off their machines early. Patients will want another cup of ice. Patients will want you to get something out of their bags for them.

On top of that, you’ll still have to prepare for the next shift or the next day. You’ll still have to do water checks. You’ll still have to count dialyzers or make needle packs. You’ll still have to generate treatment sheets. You’ll still have to do a million other things.

“Sitting down” isn’t one of those things.

So I can’t say I’m heartbroken over her leaving before she even got halfway through training.

I’m saddened that we will still be running three days a week for a while now. We’re still down two nurses and now a tech. It’s just me and my FA dedicated to the clinic at the moment and my FA honestly shouldn’t be on the floor. She should be doing FA work, not nurse work, but since she’s also an RN she’s filling that gap as best she can until we can get a solid team together.

I’m saddened that it didn’t work out but I’m also relieved that she didn’t get hired on, that we didn’t open back up to six days a week only for her to turn around and quit on us later. I would have rather it happened now rather than in the future where it could have done more harm.

It leaves me feeling more secure in my place at the clinic. I still feel like I made the right choice and I think things will go differently during future interviews as they look for another tech. When Mrs. Quitter was hired on we were still open six days a week. She negotiated during her interview that she would not float to other clinics; she would only work at the Beatrice location.

That’s why things were looking icky for me since we moved down to only three days a week. That’s three 12 hour shifts. She would need all three days to meet full-time standards. That means I would have to go somewhere else since she was specifically a “non-float” team member.

I don’t think they will let that fly during future interviews. I can’t say they won’t for sure, but I think they will consider me a bit more during the process.

I think that’s about it for work. Lots of actual working getting down. I’m up to 56 hours of PTO so the trip in August is looking good. I’ll have the time to cover it without having to starve. Hooray.

Ox and I are doing well. I don’t know what else to say in that regard. I think me working so much is putting strain on me which in turn is straining our time together. I think I do need more alone time then what I am able to get. After next week I think I will refrain from picking up days during the week. I think if I pick up extras it will only be on Saturdays because I need the silence and space I get on my Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I’m grateful for the support and understanding that Ox gives me. I’m grateful that he tries to help me through my stress as much as he can. He lets me cry. He lets me talk. He lets me make my own choices and he helps me get through the consequences.

He answers all of my silly questions like, “Can I still come home?” He encourages me to get my tasks done when I’m feeling low and tapped out and would normally let them slide, leaving my next day that much worse off.

I’ve started to make his lunches. He went to the store and bought gym clothes yesterday. He worked on the addition Sunday. We bought a window AC unit for our room yesterday along with going out to dinner together.

I think that helped me sleep deeply last night; having the cool air circulating around the room. I feel like we’re doing pretty well with adulting the shit out of Life. We got the countertops for the kitchen done finally. We got a new sink that I absolutely love, and we’re in the process of installing a water filter for it as well. That’s currently needing some tweaking, but it’s in the works. There’s still more work to be done with the kitchen, but it’s progressing, as are other areas in the house, and it’s visual progress so my brain is more ok with what’s going on.

I might not get all of the alone time I need or want, but I am fortunate enough to live in a safe and caring environment. I still enjoy living here, even on the days I feel overwhelmed, and I still think that moving was the best choice I could have made for myself.

I had a “weigh in” at the gym today with my trainer. At first, he was giving me a bit of a hard time. According to My Fitness Pal, I’m usually over my calorie intake. He wants to keep me around the 1700 mark, but if I’m under 2000 I feel ill. Since it’s not a “want” but more of a “need” to eat, I haven’t felt bad about eating. I burn roughly 3k in calories at work. I deserve a burger patty damn it!

Well… I got on the scale and it said I was up a pound. More talking from my trainer. More looking at what I’m eating and when. Eggs don’t last long enough. I’m starving by the time I’m able to have lunch…. blah blah blah…

We hooked me up to electrodes to get my body composition…

I’m down one pound of fat and up two pounds in muscle.

Yes. I am a badass and I will still have my burger patty and I will stare you down while I eat it because I’m a bawce that’s why.

It’s one of the reasons I hate scales. The body comp makes me feel validated for all the times I said I was hungry and still ate regardless of what the numbers were. I wasn’t eating carbs. I was eating protein and veggies for the most part. I was trying to be smart about what I was consuming while still listening to my body when it was telling me it wasn’t getting enough.

I think my trainer has a different opinion of me after today. He knew I used to workout hard with jiujitsu and stuff, but I think seeing a two pound gain of muscle shows that I’m not playing games. I’m for real doing this and my numbers can’t be cookie cutter like everyone else, and just because I gain doesn’t mean I’m gaining the “wrong” stuff.

It’s just like all the other times in the past where people would ask me, “You look great! How much have you lost?”

Me: Well… funny story… I’m up 5 pounds even though I’ve dropped 2 pant sizes… Sorry… No awesome, “I’ve lost 50 pounds in four weeks” story here…

It can be demotivating depending on the numbers you look at. The scale sucks. No. Seriously. Fuck that jerk.

That’s the best advice I can give anyone who’s struggling with self-image or letting numbers convince you “you’re not doing good enough”.

If your clothes are fitting better that’s all the proof you need that you’re making progress. That’s not something that’s made up inside of your head. Pants zipping up easier, shirts fitting looser… That’s real. More real than the scale telling you that you’re failing.

All the scale can do is tell you that you are heavier than what you were. It can’t tell you if that’s from fat or muscle or a 20-pound backpack on your shoulders. The scale is stupid.

So yeah… My words of wisdom for the day… Fuck that guy.

In general, I’m feeling better and I’m doing pretty well today. I’ve already killed it at the gym with plans to go to the Anytime Fitness here in Hickman to row for a bit since I have T-Rex arms. ;-;

I got that membership Tuesday after my craptastic day of exhaustion. One of the biggest things adding friction to getting my workouts done is how far away the YMCAs are in relation to where I live. I have to drive further from home or past home to get to them, and after working a full day that is a really hard hurdle to overcome. I want to go home. I want to change out of my scrubs. Adding an extra hour to my day just in travel time is normally a “nope” by the time I get to that point in my day.

With this gym, it’s literally within walking distance. The classes they offer happen at 6:30 so I could always make them after work. They’re 24 hours so I don’t have to worry about them being closed during the time I want to do something. They have nice, new equipment, including jump boxes. So much excite : D

I’m hoping it works out and that I utilize it more than what I have been with the YMCAs. If I do, then I’ll most likely end my membership with the Y, and pay the increased fee to work with my trainer. In my mind, it would be worth it. I don’t like paying for things that aren’t being used and I’m getting really good results with him so I know he’s worth it.

So yeah… I’ve cleaned the kitchen. I’ve done a load of laundry that I still need to fold and put away. I’ve washed the sheets and need to switch them to the dryer so I can wash the blanket. I’ve talked to my brother. I’ve written. I’ve napped. I’ve eaten. I’ve cleaned the room and the kids’ toy shelf…

I’ve been a badass for most of the day. I’m going to try to keep it going by getting up to do things now.

Until next time.