Daily Post 166: Decent Start

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Today is off to a decent start. Better than the previous days. I’m recovering from the Mother’s Day blues. Most likely because I finally cried about it yesterday. Not only cried but screamed. I was in my car driving home from work. I had gone in to train our new tech on how to mix acid for the clinic. It went smoothly. She’s fully trained so I’m no longer the only person able to get the task done which is nice since it’s now a weekly chore that needs to get done. At some point, I need to train our new RN. Hopefully, that gets done in the next week or so.

But, yeah. I slept in a bit since I didn’t have to open the clinic. I went down, did my thing. Had a few donuts since one of the patients brought in fresh bakery baked donuts for the team. Did some microlearning videos during the points where all I could really do was sit around and wait. Got all of the techs skills checked off, then got in my car and still felt sort of crappy.

There’s been a lot going on lately. We might be getting custody of Ornery Ox. I got my official acceptance letter for the LPN program which starts at the end of August. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to get done with that in regards to financial aid, orientation, and books before class begins. I still need to get my second TB test done. There’s a new initiative at work for a PCT Advisory Committee which my FA and I talked about. I applied for it. I still have my leadership class going on. I’m still struggling with the whole health and working out thing more than not. There’s the heaviness of Mother’s Day. And the weather sucks again. It’s cold, rainy, and cloudy.

I’ve felt heavy most of this week. It’s been hard to get out of bed. I know I need to do things, but nothing is a legit need so it’s easier to not do a whole lot. Yesterday was the day it all sort of came to the surface and I was able to let go of some of that heaviness.

I cried. I screamed as I drove home. Not as loud or as long as I have in the past, but it still felt good to do. Or maybe a more accurate way of saying it is I felt better afterward for having done it. Cleaner. Less heavy. Flatline and mildly empty, but being flatline means I’m no longer below ground. I’m on solid ground. I’m baseline again with the chance, not guarantee, to go somewhere other than downhill again.

So here we are at today. I woke up at 3 am with Ox since he had work. I haven’t had work at all this week so far. I’ll be doing the next three days, but I’m ok with that since two of the days will be relatively short days. It’s been nice having such an extended time off. It’s actually worked out to where I’ve had more solitude than normal during these days off as well. I think that’s been helping.

My desk is still a bit of a mess but I’ve made it through all of my “in” pile that had built up. I’ve updated my calendar. I set up meetings with the deans to talk about my experience with the Human Anatomy class. That happens later today, hopefully after lunch with Ox if he gets off work early enough. It’s something I’m looking forward to so I hope it happens.

I’ve also been talking to one of Ox’s exes. He knows about it. I’ve written to her. We were supposed to meet this morning for breakfast but plans got canceled. I can’t say I’m super heartbroken over it since it means I have time to write and do laundry and shower and maybe go to the gym. It frees up a lot of time on this last day off and so I can appreciate the positive that is coming from not having to go out right after I have woken up.

My sister is also graduating from high school. I wrote a letter to her. I hope it extends an olive branch and allows us to begin having some sort of relationship. Since my dad and I were never very close after the divorce, my sisters and I have never been very close. I want to change that so I’m trying to.

I won’t know until the end of June if I make it onto the PCT Committee. My FA is extremely supportive of my application to it. It’s something new our region is doing to improve PCT retention and work culture and such for our PCTs. It’s something I feel strongly about and so I really hope it works out that I’m able to be part of it. I don’t really have love or anything for my company. I think of companies as faceless blobs that don’t care about their employees. I do, however, love my team. And I respect the higher management of our region, and as a PCT myself, I care about my fellow PCTs and the struggles they experience by working such a demanding job. I feel like things need to change culture wise to allow for better work/life balance and this is an opportunity to help make that change a reality. I want to make things better, so this is me trying to do that.

In the next month or two, I will also be going to Denver for preceptor training. That’s a two-day event. I guess I should talk to my FA about it again since I don’t remember the specific dates of the trip. I would rather be proactive than reactive in those regards.

I’m not really sure what else to write. I think that’s mostly everything. Jon is doing well with his new job at the hospital. I saw End Game with Ornery Ox and Ox on Sunday. It was an ok movie. I cross-stitched for a bit and listened to my new leadership book, which is only 7 hours this time. We’re working on cleaning out Papa Ox’s computer room so Ornery Ox can have his own room if we do end up with custody.

So I guess I’ll go for now. I might be able to do a class at the gym before lunch. I should be able to get a decent amount of chores done to help with the productiveness of the day. It’s sunny even though it’s still cold. But that’s a step in the right direction. So far, today, in general, is going in the right direction.

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Musing Moments 137: To My Sister

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Dearest Sister,

Firstly, congratulations on graduating. I received your card in the mail early last week. Your pictures turned out marvelous and I am deeply proud and happy for you. You survived! That alone deserves the highest of high fives.

I know we have never been extremely close and much of what I say in the rest of this letter should have been said much sooner and much more frequently.

I want you to know that I have always thought of you as my sister, regardless of the distance between us or how we’ve never really talked. I have always told people who ask about my siblings, “Yes. I have two brothers and two sisters and I love them very much.”

I was ecstatic when dad told me you were in marching band because it was such a positive experience for me. I hope it has been the same for you. I hope you made lasting friendships and had memorable experiences and grew as a person. I hope it gave you self-confidence and pride and a sense of accomplishment to be part of something larger than yourself; something larger and more meaningful than the day to day grind of homework and assignments and endless lectures. I hope it filled your soul to the brim to turn printed black ink on paper into something which touched people in ways only music can.

I wish I could tell you that life gets easier. I wish I could tell you that even if things seem confusing that one day you’ll wake up and it will all make sense. And I achingly wish I could tell you that nothing bad will ever happen. But I can’t. I can’t lie to you like that and though there may be a touch of sadness in it, I want to give you the honestly that I wish someone had given to me when I was your age; when I had graduated.

Bad things are still going to happen to you and you’re still going to make mistakes. Hearing that, reading that, might sort of suck. I know I have never once woken up in the morning thinking, “Yeah! Let’s make today a super shitty day! Let’s have a horrific experience! Let’s go out and make bad choices!” I have never once WANTED a bad day or bad experience, and yet, somehow, they still happened.

But you know what? That’s ok. Because even though bad things will happen, good things are still going to happen, too.  You’re going to stumble and fall down but you’re also going to get up and jump and skip and climb and soar. You’re going to do amazing and fantastic things, both in your career and your personal life. You’re going to do things that you’ve never even dreamed or thought of.

You’re going to have countless experiences and stories and adventures. Some will make you cry. Some will make you rage. Some will fill you with doubt. Some will fill you with so much joy it will be uncontainable. You are going to live and that, to me, is what life is about. It’s not about never falling or failing. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about getting back up. It’s about never giving in. It’s about getting over that mountain of “can’t” or “never will” looming before you because on the other side is something wondrous and astounding.

The only thing I can tell you for sure, without a doubt, is that life is going to be drastically different than the road map you set for yourself. And that, too, is ok. When life takes its unexpected turns, especially the ones you feel are bad or wrong, it is my hope that you remember this letter and my next words.

You ARE strong. You WILL figure it out. Even if you don’t know how in that exact specific moment, you, my sister, will survive. Just like you survived high school. Just like you have survived every worst day you’ve had up to this point in your life. You will survive, and you know why?

Because you are amazing. Because you are strong. Because you are smart. And above all else, because you are my sister. If you ever find yourself unsure of what to do, or lost, or confused, or hopeless, because those times will come, please know that I AM here. I will listen. I will never judge, and though I can’t promise I will have answers or solutions, I can promise to give you my unbiased and honest perspective.

Life is a journey. Embrace it. All of it. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the scrapped up knees and breathtaking sights.

I love you. I am proud of you. And you will always be my sister, regardless of where life takes you. : )

With warmest regards, utmost respect, and the most heartfelt of congratulations,

Your sister, Jennifer

Musing Moments 136: Mother’s Day Reflection

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I’ve been sick lately. This is the first time in about three weeks where I’ve had an extended amount of time off work to try to recover. The weather is finally turning warmer. The sun is out…

It’s been… nice… I’ve been able to sit on the front porch and stare out at green fields and blue skies and not feel this overwhelming crush to accomplish things. I don’t have demands on my time other than to rest and get better.

As I was sitting this morning / early afternoon, these words came to me. I don’t know why. I’m not really one for poetry, but that apparently doesn’t seem to matter to the Universe.

So here is my Mother’s Day Reflection, preserved in text for later years when maybe I’ll need to reread them.


It’s a few days past, I hope that’s ok.
Better late than never, the words you would say.


Sickness has come, slowly it goes.
Coughing out my lungs, maybe a part of my soul.


In these few days of silence, I’ve heard in my head,
All of the words I wish I had said.


So, yes slightly late and long overdue,
but here are my words this Mother’s Day to you.


Bright daylight sun and dark nighttime moon,
all universal truths are different without you.


Through green summer grass and white winter snow,
regardless of the time, my love for you grows.


Your presence is felt and yet physically missed.
It’s the strength you gave me that gets me through this.


This absence and longing; the horrific alone.
I know that you’re with me, even if you no longer answer the phone.


The promises I made after your last dying breath…
I’ve done my best to keep even in my deepest depths.


Food and showers, it’s a struggle to go on,
It’s been more than hard, mom, now that you’re gone.


Small steps towards accomplishment bringing pain so severe…
What’s the point in any of it when you’re no longer here?


Those words still cut at me while I cry myself to sleep,
but I made those promises and my promises I will keep.


So please know from here to where you are,
that Death can go fuck itself because it doesn’t matter how far.


The love which was given, the lessons you taught,
The person I am is a gift that can never be bought.


Through all of these words, I know one thing is true,
Forever and always a daughter I will be to you.


I love you mom. Happy Mother’s day.

Letters to Mom 024: Your Mother’s Day Card Sent to You with Love

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Hey mom,

It’s mother’s day.

I think this day is hard for you, too. I don’t have proof of this. Nothing rational or logical. It’s just a random thought I had earlier today; a feeling deep in my chest where the ache of your death lives. I think you miss being here just as much as we all miss having you here.

Today has been a day. It’s been painful and heavy. It’s been overcast and cold and wet and dreary. It has been for a while. It makes me think that summer will never come.

I don’t know what else to really say. I miss you. I hope you’re having a good day where ever you are. I hope you know I’m thinking about you. I hope you know I love you and that if you were still here I would have called by now. I would have sent you flowers or a card or something; most likely a cross-stitch with hearts and a sappy message about how much I love you because I never felt like I could say that phrase enough.

Since I can’t send anything to you here on Earth, this is my mother’s day card for you. I hope it finds you. I hope you read it and that it let’s you know how much you still mean to me.

You are the best mom ever. EVAR! You’re my own personal super mom and I’m the luckiest kid, aside from Jason and Jon, to be able to say you’re mine.

Happy mother’s day, mom. Thank you, so much, for being my mom and for all the things you did for me while you were alive and for all the things you continue to do for me after your death.

I love you, great big bunches, forever and for always.

~ Your earth dragon who could, who did, and who still is

Daily Post 165: Moment by Moment

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Today was alright. It’s rainy and dreary. I went into work to help with change over. My FA is back from her week-long meeting in DC. I’m glad to have her back. I think it did benefit the team for her to be out of the facility. We learned to trust each other. We learned how to function without her. At the same time, she learned that she can trust in us, too; that the clinic won’t burn to the ground without her here.

Currently, I’m in a bit of a low mood, though, and I know I am. One of our new patients passed away on Saturday. I didn’t know her well, but it still sucks. It still makes my body and heart ache with shared sorrow. She had a family. She had a life outside of the clinic and her absence is going to be felt by many people, just like mom’s was and continues to be.

It leaves me feeling… something which there aren’t words to express. Shared sorrow is the best I can do and like so many times before in my writing, it doesn’t feel like enough. Those words do not express the depth or complexity which are emotions. Maybe nothing ever truly can. Emotions are felt, not explained.

The rest of everything that has happened in my life feels trivial compared to the realness of life and death. Almost like it’s disrespectful to write about how my life continued to go on while her’s ended and yet I couldn’t have stopped my life anymore than the doctors could have kept hers going.

I went to Walmart and got two new skirts and a pair of shorts. I’m in smaller sizes than the last time I bought clothes. I went to the gym and had a good workout.

Sunday I went to my first “family gathering” with Ox. I met his aunts and cousins. For the most part, I spent the three hours sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunlight and breeze while cross stitching which sparked all sorts of comments from the family members. I felt extremely accepted. There was good food and good conversation. It wasn’t the horrific social event I had envisioned in my mind. I wasn’t shamed out of the home for having purple hair or tattoos.

I also had my first run-in with a tornado warning while Ox and I were out shopping after the family get-together. There’s a big difference between practicing a drill and real-life camping out in a Walmart layaway listening to nature rage around you. I made a post on Facebook to let everyone I was fine and that I made it home safe.

Saturday I spent the whole day sick and in bed. I slept about 16 hours and was better for taking it super slow and easy. Ox was amazingly fantastic in caring for me and allowing me to sleep the day and sickness away.

Lil’ Ox and I got to color a bit together Friday night once I got home from work. It’s the first time in a while that we’ve done something together. Ornery Ox even talked to me for a little bit Sunday during the family time. It was nice. I know I haven’t been extremely involved or present with the kids for a while. This weekend was a small step towards correcting that.

The past two weeks have been sort of rough, work-wise. I’ve been working five days. I can only imagine what they would have been like if I were still trying to take the Human Anatomy class. This coming week is most likely going to be more of the same, but next week should be a little lighter.

At the moment I don’t really think there’s much else to say. My heart isn’t in it right now; in writing, I guess. I don’t necessarily hurt, but I ache. One day at a time. One moment at a time. One task at a time. I’m sort of back to that I think.

Friday is my next day off. I think if I can make it to there then I’ll be alright. I know I’ll be ok. I know I’m not not ok right now. I’m just sad and that too is ok. Sometimes life is sad.

Daily Post 164: Surviving the Conversation

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I am sitting waiting for my leadership class to begin. The internet here isn’t the best. Grammarly, the app I normally write in, won’t load. So instead, I’m writing in a Google Doc. It reminds me of when I first started writing, keeping those thoughts and feelings to myself in folders organized by month and year.

Things are going well. More well then before.

I withdrew from my Human Anatomy class and have been better for it. I don’t feel the stress of failure due to poor structure looming over every minute of every day. I have the emails and phone numbers for a few of the deans who may be interested in my perspective; including the dean of virtual learning. Essentially, the guy in charge of all online courses.

I haven’t set up meets with the deans yet, but I would like to. I want to help make the class better rather than beening resentful and blaming. It’s the schools fault. It’s the instructors fault.

No… It’s no one’s fault. This is a moment in time and this was my experience with it. Let’s make it better so future students don’t have to go through the hellacious three weeks that I did before deciding it was better to stop than keep bleeding out.

Ox and I have had several hard conversations. They went to the point of feeling like breaking up was the only option. The only “solution”. It sucked. It was scary. And yet, we’re still together and better for having addressed our issues.

I remember one point in the conversation, the ultimate low, and knowing that my next words decided everything.

Me: I don’t know what else to say. I am not your past and you are worth it.

We ended up going inside. He let me stay curled up on the bed while he folded the four baskets of clothes that had gathered up in the room. I didn’t mind him folding his own clothes and part of that had more to do with the burnout I was feeling.

Mental Me: Thank you for taking care of your own stuff. I proves to me that you can and that it is a kindness when I do it; a kindness you’re not intentionally or consciously taking advantage of.

Then he started folding my clothes and the uncomfortableness I felt had those silent tears in my eyes as I tried to get up to take care of my own things.

Ox: No. Stay.

The tone, the finality of his voice, made it non-negotiable.

I didn’t want him to fold my clothes. I didn’t want him taking care of me that much when we had just survived a legitimate potential break up. I can take care of my own things. I’m not that broken. This is my job. I should have folded your clothes rather than being petty and vindictive and enjoying the fact that you were doing it instead of me.

I can’t let you fold my stuff. It would be a failing on my part. It would be me not adulting well enough. It would be me being weak and unable to cope and function. I can cope. I can function. Please let me fold my clothes.

But no. I wasn’t allowed. I had to struggle through those emotions and I don’t think that was a bad thing. He’s allowed to care for me in the same ways I care for him. I’m allowed to not do things. I’m allowed to be the one not in charge. Our relationship is allowed to be equal and fair.

We went out the next day to do grocery shopping. Along the way I got a new pair of headphone since one of the cats chewed through the pair I had. We stopped by Best Buy and Game Stop to look at games. We got a couple. Currently, we are trying out Divinity II, Original Sin. And by currently, I mean we have created characters to play together and have made it through the tutorial section. One night worth of game play. Not much to go on, but I like it. I think once I get the interface down that I’ll be able to fully ingage in the story. And I mean, come on, flesh eating elves that set shit on fire… How can that be a bad game?!?!

While we were out, we also stopped by one of the sex shops in Lincoln. I tried on a few school girl outfits because, referring back to my previous post, I’m going to hell but it’s going to be one sexy, slutty trip getting there. I didn’t like either of the outfits I tried on, but I got a couple different things while I was there.

It wasn’t until later that I realized we had both spent about the same amount of money on the things we wanted to bring back into the relationship. It made me feel good to realize that. It felt fair; balanced. It felt right. Sort of like, “This is important to me so I will facilitate it”.

I’ve been going to the gym more. Yesterday my shoulder was still sore from the arm work I had done during my previous gym excursion. I still have the scab on the top of my left foot, too, so my options for working out were a bit limitied. I ended up biking again. I made it to a bit over five miles this time. Still a far cry from the 10 I used to do nearly daily, but I can feel my endurance coming back. I was able to zone out to good music. I was able to connect with myself and listen to my inner self; the self that I keep putting on hold and not making time for.

I feel better about myself. I feel better about the relationship. There’s more contact and connection. There’s more realness. There’s more security and there’s the genuine belief that we will be ok. We got through all of those hard conversations and have come out on the other side.

I guess there’s not a whole lot else to write about at the moment. Class is about to start so I I suppose here is a good a place as any to end for the moment.