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.

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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.

Daily Post 163: On Being Human

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Alert: Content is about sex.


I’m sitting here. I’m writing. I’m feeling better than I did this morning when I first woke up. I didn’t drink enough water yesterday after going to the dojo. I pushed pretty hard, too, which makes the whole not drinking thing a bigger issue than it normally would be.

I busted the top of my left foot because I was frustrated and kept kicking. And kicking. And kicking. And kicking. And oh… my foot kind of hurts. Let me look at it. Well… that’s blood. Guess I should stop so I don’t get any more than I have on the bag…

The top of my right foot is bruised. I think the reason my left foot didn’t fare as well was that there was already a weak spot in the skin from the last time I was at the gym. A little bit of friction burn since I haven’t been wearing my shin guards. I don’t think I did more or pushed harder with my left than my right. I think the skin of the left was already a bit compromised and so it didn’t handle the beating as well.

My knuckles are doing better than I thought they would. No friction burns or anything to worry about during work tomorrow. Alcohol hand sanitizer sucks on busted knuckles. Just so you know.

The frustration comes from my self. I’m not as frustrated today but that’s because I’ve had three conversations since then. One with a person I have been talking to online. And two with Ox.

And I guess this is where I write about super personal stuff and show that I’m human and that not everything is perfect pretty sunshine and rainbows or about mom’s death and that there’s a lot of emotions involved with life.

Ox and I are… doing. We’re not doing badly. But we’re also not doing well. At least not my definition of well. There are certain areas in our relationship that I feel need to be assessed and nurtured and tended to. Like when you’re gardening and you need to prune the bad sections away for the overall health of the plant. It hurts. It sucks. But it’s something that needs to happen in order for things to still be ok.

Ox and I haven’t been pruning. We haven’t really been having the conversations we need to. I think part of that is me. I have a hard time talking about difficult things. I mean, if it were easy then we would do it, right? But they’re not. There’s fear and uncertainty and so it’s easier to keep trucking along drowning myself in work or school and keep waiting for “one day”. The one day where the conversation becomes irrelevant because the problem fixed itself. But those days haven’t come and realistically, they’re not going to because that’s not how life works and on a logical level I know that. That doesn’t make the thought of these conversations easier so OH LOOK AN EAGLE!

Another factor from my side feeding into these “not having the conversations” tendencies is how busy and stressed I’ve been for a while. Especially when the Human Anatomy class started. The mentality then was “holy fuck how am I going to pass,” rather than “I need to pay attention to the health of my relationship”. Priorities can get skewed and things can get pushed to the back burner than shouldn’t and I own up to my part in allowing that, maybe too willingly, to happen.

On Ox’s part, from my perspective, it feels like the conversations we need to have have already happened, in one degree or another, and nothing changed or mattered so why try to have the conversation again or voice my feelings. I struggled through the hardness of saying it once. Why would I do it again and sound naggy or whinny? Why would I go through all of the icky emotions those conversations bring to the surface when it won’t do any good? It’s better just to stay quiet with my head down and let the wall of not okness build up around me and to try to find ways of being ok with the not okness.

So that’s where we’ve been at for a while. Stuff building up that needs to be dealt with, and neither one of us actually effectively dealing with the stuff.

Jumping topics for a bit to tie everything together… I’ve recently started talking to a couple on FetLife. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before. It’s essentially a Facebook site for the BDSM community. I’ve never been very active on it. I don’t normally reach out to people or follow boards or look for events or get-togethers.

I’ve talked to and met some interesting people through it; no different then how I’ve met and talked to interesting people on my blog, it’s just a different type of interest. One of the times I logged on out of boredom I saw that someone had liked one of my pictures. I sent a message expressing my appreciation and that I hoped they and their family were ok since they’re profile listed them as being in an area that was affected by some of the flooding that happened here in Nebraska recently.

That led to us talking more. I’ve met his wife. Her and I are also chatting. And I get that most of society will look at this and be like, “what the hell? They’re married. That means monogamous and no outside partners and that’s horribly slutty behavior and a big no-no and you’re all going to go to hell because you’re sinners. Shame. Shame. Shame.”

Yes. I understand that society has preconceived notions on what marriage and relationships “should” be and “should” look like. Not everything is for everyone and as long as everyone involved is consenting, I don’t think it really matters what society says. I care about harmony and emotional well being. If everyone involved is in agreeance that what’s about to go down is ok, then what does it matter if someone uninvolved has an issue with it?

It’s like someone saying they don’t like the books I read.

Not going to be sorry about it because it honestly really doesn’t concern you. If you don’t like it those are your emotions. Not mine. And I’m not going to internalize them as mine because I actually really do like this books and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

So, yeah. I’ve been talking to both of them. The husband and the wife. I was actually able to meet both of them at their store a few weeks back. Ox agreed that I could go and meet them since it was a public place. I had a time limit since I had to get to the dojo. It wasn’t some dark ally at midnight. I got to look around their store which was actually pretty cool. They repurpose old furniture and have all sorts of nick-knacks and hand made jewelry.

Meeting them in person was nice because they were no longer just words on a computer or phone screen. I had facial expressions and tonal inflections to go with the words. I had a sense of their energy and if there was actually any sort of compatibility for genuine friendship, much less anything beyond that.

Well… there is. I really want to get to know the wife more. Her and I seem to have a lot in common. Book likes. Hobbies. We’re both introverts. We’re both nerds. We both want to have someone we can gush to over the horribly naughty good times we have; the ones we can’t share with coworkers or “normal” friends because yeah… we’re sinners and going to hell but holy fuck it was a mindblowingly amazing trip getting there and let me tell you all of the details about what really happened to me on Valentines day.

There’s a lot of chemistry between me and the husband. We have a lot of the same interests. I know it doesn’t help that I feel disconnected from Ox and here someone is giving me attention and making me feel pretty and wanted because I’m legitimately wanted. It feels nice. It makes me feel sexy. And it’s easier to feel that way because it’s not like I’m in a relationship with him. I don’t have to worry about his dirty clothes being on the floor or what to fix for dinner. It’s all nice, easy, fluffy conversation. Not a relationship that has been established for over a year where you have some battle scars and difficult conversations under your belt. It’s still new and shiny.

The conversations with the husband highlight what I feel I’m missing with Ox. I want Ox to think I’m sexy and attractive. I want Ox and I to have these conversations where I’m mentally and physically stimulated. Conversations and interactions that make me feel alive. That give me energy. That make it feel worth it to do the annoying, stupid, tedious things in life.

Passion. Drive. Warmth. Desire. Sexuality.

All of that. That’s what I want in this area of my life and that’s what I feel like I don’t have which is why it feels like I’m slowly withering away again. I have all of the support and love and compassion and understanding. I have all of the emotional relationship things I want, but very little of the sexual relationship things I want and I’m an extremely sexual person and so part of me is just sitting over here… in the corner… alone… by myself… alone.

Queue frustration of yesterday where I’m angry. Angry that I always seem to find myself in these situations; like this is the lesson I’m supposed to learn in this life and I haven’t fucking figured it out yet, so here’s another attempt for you, Jen, since you didn’t get it last time.

I can have stability or I can have sex. I can fulfill one area, but not both at the same time and not with the same person because fuck you, Jen. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

No. Fuck you, Universe. You are now this punching bag and I’m going to end your world for the next hour.

Or… not…

Punching bag: 1, Jen: 0

I ended up meeting with the husband yesterday after my unsuccessful time at the gym. I needed to talk to him in person because I wasn’t resolving anything inside of my head on my own. And this wasn’t a conversation that could be done over messages or on the phone. It needed to be in person with all of the non-verbal cues and changes in energy. I needed it to be in person.

So we met. I admitted to all of the things I wanted. I admitted to what I wish would / could happen in a perfect world where everything goes the way you want it to go. I talked about the relationship dynamic between Ox and me. We shared stories. He told me his side of the situation. It was a very open, honest, down to earth, all cards on the table, no bullshit type of conversation.

At one point he told me not to cry since I had tears in my eyes.

Me: Trust me. I’m not crying… yet.

It was an emotionally charged conversation though, and intense emotions show up as tears for me. So they were there, but at no point did I feel bad about almost crying in front of a relative stranger. Which is another thing that adds to the suckage and unfairness of the situation.

They both feel like people I can be safe with and around. I don’t feel judged. I don’t feel like I can only be half me. I feel like I can be full me, emotions, fears, uncertainties, fucked up desires and all.

The husband offered to back off of our conversations if it would help. He doesn’t want to cause me emotional distress or put strain on the relationship between Ox and me. He gave me a hug because I asked for one because I needed it. I needed to feel like I wasn’t a horrible person for having the thoughts and feelings I have. Understanding. Reassurance. Acceptance. One of those, “You’re human and it’s ok to be human,” sort of hugs.

His “dad” advice to me before we parted ways was to be true to my self. It didn’t matter if it ended up being with him or later down the road or what, but the more I suppress my true self, the more it’s going to come out later and the less healthly for everyone involved it’s going to be.

That information wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it resonated deeper within myself to hear it from someone outside of my head.

I drove home. I listened to the same song I’ve been listening to for the past three days. The song I listened to for the whole time I was at the gym. It let me sink into myself, my thoughts. I knew I was really late getting home. I hadn’t messaged Ox to let him know where I was or why I was going to be late.

When your partner has a history of being cheated on, that’s not a great way to start the night. “Hey, I’m home. Can we talk?” Recipe for instant failure right there. Want your partner to not believe a single thing you say, because that’s how you get your partner to not believe a single thing you say…

I got home around 5:30. Ox had fallen asleep. Work sucked for him and he had been tired. I had messaged him asking if he could come outside. Since he was asleep he didn’t reply which fueled my fears. He didn’t want to talk to me. I was going to be kicked out and homeless. He was angry with me and the conversation I wanted to have with him wasn’t going to happen.

Eventually, I went inside and found him asleep. It physically hurt to crawl into bed beside him. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I didn’t deserve his love or kindness. I didn’t deserve his support or understanding.

I didn’t deserve him, and yet here I was, invading his space with my horrifically unworthy self.

He woke up. We went outside. I said that this was going to be really hard for me to talk about, so could I talk, and then he talk, and we take turns like that because I was worried about not having a home to live in anymore.

He agreed. I asked if phone calls were considered cheating because the husband and I had talked on the phone. Ox said it depended on the conversation.

I admitted to everything. My feelings. My wants. I admitted to meeting with the husband and what we talked about and the things he said. I admitting to hugging him and how it wasn’t a sexy hug but an, “I understand this is hard for you, make the choice that’s right for you” type of hug.

Ox and I have more ground rules now. I’m ok with them. I’m still allowed to talk to the husband. Ox wants to be there the next time everyone wants to meet. I was allowed to stay home. I was allowed to sleep next to Ox. I was allowed to keep the life I have built since moving here because I felt all of that was in jeopardy.

I’ve been… ok-ish? today.

I woke up with Ox. We had our cigerrette together. I went back to sleep. I got up again. I sat outside for a really long time. It’s sunny. There are birds and squirrels. I watched them. Ox and I talked more through text messages. I explained my headspace. Sort of on the low side of the spectrum, but nothing that isn’t manageable.

I don’t have much to show for myself today as far as productivity. The husband messaged me and asked if I was ok. I told him I was. That part of being true to myself is being honest and that I told Ox about our meeting. I told him Ox and I seemed to be ok to which he was happy to hear.

Ox and I are going to have another conversation tonight to see if we can fix, mend, and figure out some of the things that have contributed to the wall between us. I told him that even when we’re next to each other it feels like he’s far away because of the lack of synergy and harmony. We’re on different pages; in different places and it feels like every time we try to fix it or talk about it nothing gets resolved and so we loop on the same conversations without getting anywhere.

We both want to get somewhere and so we’re going to try again.

It makes me feel more ok than I did. We both love each other. We both want us to work. Talking to the other couple didn’t break us. It made us not hide from issues we both knew were there. I’m hoping this helps us. And I guess that’s what makes this potential conversation feel different from the others.

I feel hopeful again. I feel like we both are aware and present and committed and that we’ll be ok at the end of it. We’ll still be together and I’ll still be his. His wife. His Jennifer.

I don’t want to go back to living inside of a box within myself, only being partly me and trying to pretend or convince myself that I’ll be ok when I know I won’t be. I want to be able to be me, all of me, and for that to be ok; dirty, fucked up sexual desires included.

Daily Post 162: A Pretty Big Decision

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So I’m thinking about something… and… it’s a big sort of something. A something I have never done or thought about doing before…

I’m seriously contemplating dropping my Human Anatomy class. That’s after I spent four hours of Thursday night working through study modules for the online part of the textbook, which are assigned by the teacher; modules which covered topics that were NEVER mentioned ANYWHERE in ANY of the material we were told to study.

Infuriated Brain: What the fuck dude? Do you know what I could have done with four hours of my life instead of sitting in front of my computer feeling like a failure where I tried to guess the best I could to answer questions I had no clue about because you specifically told us to skip over those sections? I could have gone to the dojo, which I didn’t do because I prioritized your class above that hour of self-care. I prioritized reading and trying my hardest to study the different foramen and condyles and processes of the skull with instructions saying, “put a piece of pipe cleaner through [insert random foramen here], now flip the skull to an inferior view to see where the pipe cleaner emerges.”

I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING SKULL IN FRONT OF ME TO DO THIS EXERCISE HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN THIS SHIT?!?

There’s no auditory anything. There’s no kinesthetic anything. There’s no structure or direction for this class and even though I have an A in it currently, the mental and emotional strain it has taken me to get through these past three chapters doesn’t feel worth it. I get that this class is hard. In no way should it be THIS hard. I shouldn’t be answering questions right because I bought a $25 dollar anatomy coloring book on my own accord and it just happened to cover information that I was tested on that wasn’t covered in the actual class material.

I’m sacrificing the leadership class I actually want to do. I’m sacrificing personal time. My work performance is being affected because all I can think about while I’m at work is how I’m not studying and how if I don’t study I’m going to fail.

Ox and I talked about it this morning after I woke up sober from drinking last night. Yes. That’s how bad it was. I was to the point where fuck it. I’m drinking because mentally and emotionally I hurt and I’m tired of hurting and being frustrated. I’m tired of feeling like this so I’m going to drink so for a few hours I feel different or at least am ok with the complete suckage that I’ve made my life.

His suggestion was to drop the class. He said it’s just money. It’s not worth all of the stress I’m having to go through. He said I could drop it and try taking it again in a classroom rather than online. He said I have a lot on my plate right now, more than what I probably should have given myself. He said I have no time for me. And aside from myself, Ox is the most affected person. He pulls me up and helps me keep going. He listens to me and wipes away the tears of fury and crushing self-doubt.

I had never thought of dropping the class as an option. And of course, because I’m me, I started crying at the thought of dropping the class because what if everyone thinkings that I’m not good enough; that I am a failure and a fuck up and a disappointment. What then? What do I tell my patients? What do I tell my boss? What do I tell Jon?

Ox assured me that he wouldn’t think of me as a failure which put me on the road to feeling better. If my partner doesn’t think I’m a failure then how much does it really matter if my patients do?

I talked to Jon and asked him what he thought. He said from what I’ve told him he has to agree with Ox, which might have killed a small part of him on the inside to admit to.

He said the structure of the class sounded fucked up. Even his other nursing friends who he’s told about my class thinks it’s fucked up. Jon thinks it would be good for me to try taking the class at a different time via a different avenue.

So that’s two out of three people who assured me they would still love me, respect me, and not think of me as a failure if I go down this road.

The last person I need/want to talk to about this decision is my FA; my boss. I want her opinion. I want to know that she’ll be ok with me trying this again at a later time. After my leadership class. After my training to become a preceptor for the clinic. After being able to enjoy the warmth of summer finally rather than spending every day all day inside crying over a textbook that gives me no clarity or assurance of being able to pass a test that’s full of uncovered material. After potentially competing in my first Muay Thai tournament.

I’ve felt ridiculously better all day at the thought of not having this class hanging over me. It felt like I could breathe again. Doing laundry and meal prepping and making the bed weren’t horrific tasks that chipped away at the minimal study time I could get while the kids are here.

I feel like I’ve already made up my mind and that talking to my FA is more of a formality. “Hey, so this class is killing me on the inside and instead of getting pushed to the point where I set my life on fire and move halfway across the country again, I would prefer to drop this class and focus on the work obligations that I legitimately want to be successful with verses keeping a class I could retake in a method more conducive to my learning styles. Would you be ok with me as an employee and friend if I did that or would that bring into question the quality of my character?”

Because that’s what it ultimately comes down to for me. I do feel this would be the best option for me, but I don’t want my choice to reflect badly on me or the people I care about and who support me. I want them to understand where I’m at and I want to know their perspective of the situation and that they still support me and believe in me and care.

Money isn’t worth my wellbeing. I don’t know why that resonates so deeply within myself, but having my partner say that to me makes me feel… safe? Cared for? Loved?

He more than anyone else sees how much I’m struggling. It doesn’t matter that I have an A. I feel like I’m clinging by my fingertips to the edge of a skyscraper and that at any moment I’m going to fall and not recover and all of the holding on and struggle and effort will be for nothing. I don’t feel secure in the information I’ve retained. I don’t have faith in studying the right material due to the experience with these last assignments. It’s a ticking time-bomb and the longer it goes on the more I’m going to have to give up and miss out on and lose.

The more times I’ll skip the dojo. The more times I won’t cross-stitch. The more times I’ll be short and bitchy at work. The more I’ll be selfish because of feeling like I’m already giving up so much so fuck compromising or caring about others.

That’s not how I want to be. That’s not who or how I truly am. That’s “stress” me. That’s “beyond burnt out but still having to keep going” me. That’s not a fun me and I keep putting myself in these situations and expecting myself to be ok or to magically be able to function without the things I need to recover.

I’m sort of done with putting myself in Suckville. I don’t want to be there. I don’t deserve to be there so before I end up fully there I’m going to talk to my FA and then go to the campus Wednesday and see what can be done.

I feel like this is a pretty big decision. I feel like it’s going to be hard to explain to a lot of people. I also feel like the most important people in my life understand and that’s all that really should matter in the end. I can’t expect everyone to understand. But two of the three people this choice affects the most are in agreeance that dropping my most stressful and least wanted obligation would be a positive direction for me.

So that’s how I’m going to sleep tonight. Lighter. Freer. Calmer. Less stressed.

It’s a nice, stable feeling. I like feeling stable verses tear-stained and failure feeling.

Daily Post 161: Still Alive

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Things are going well.

The clinic is six days a week again. We have six patients on the TTS shift so far. They’re all super nice and those days are extremely short in comparison to the MWF days. It won’t stay that way, but at the moment, TTS is super chill.

I found a kickboxing app that I’ve been using on my phone. I’ve made it to the dojo a handful of times as well. Actually, they moved to the second floor of the YMCA in Beatrice. It’s super nice. Way more space than their other location. And… if I got a YMCA membership, it would discount the dojo membership…

So I could spend $70 for the dojo, or spend $70 for the dojo and YMCA membership combined and get access to the sauna and all of the classes and the weight room and locker room and all of the Lincoln locations in addition to Beatrice…

It was a bit of a no brainer. Oh… Did I mention that the YMCA is now 24 hours, too?

With all of that taken into consideration, I’m going to be ending my Anytime Fitness membership. I still have a few months to go with it, but that’s ok.

I’ve been doing well at the dojo. I feel like I’m progressing again. I’m starting to use MyFitnessPal again to log my food, water, and exercise when I do it. I stepped on the scale not that long ago and was at 227. That’s not all that far from where I was. Maybe four pounds higher? I would have to break out the last sheet I had from my trainer, but I hadn’t hit the 220 mark. I was close, but not quite there. So I guess I didn’t gain as much as it felt like I had over winter.

Which, while we’re on the subject… I totally survived winter. Woo. Go me. Nothing else really matters in comparison since winter sucked so bad.

I made it past the three-year mark of mom’s death. The past week has been a bit rougher and I’m sure that plays into it, along with being tired with the change in work schedule. For over a year I’ve been used to working every other day. I had that buffer day inbetween working to regroup, grocery shop, sleep, whatever. I don’t have that as much now. I work tomorrow, have Tuesday off, work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then get the weekend. We get the kids on Thursday because it’s the Easter holiday or something special like that.

I’m most likely going to be getting a hotel room for Thursday and Friday night, that way I can stay in Beatrice, do the dojo Thursday night and not have to drive crazy far just to wake up to drive back down for a long day. Instead, I’ll have most of the day to stay in my hotel room alone to study. I’ll get to sleep in a bit Friday morning, wake up and do work, then go to the dojo again if I’m feeling up to it. I’ll get to stay in the area and have Saturday morning, again, alone to study before getting lunch and going to the dojo yet again before coming home to spend the rest of the weekend with the family.

I think it’s a good plan. Human Anatomy is no joke. It’s the first class in a while where I’m struggling just because of the sheer volume of information. I’ve gotten better about not breaking down and thinking I’m going to fail the class. I have a 94 so far with the quizzes and assignments that have been graded. The first exam unlocks tomorrow and is due by Friday. I’m planning on Thursday being my test day.

I had my first leadership class for work. It was fun and engaging. I have the new book that I “need” to start working through. They stressed that the book didn’t have to be read for the upcoming class. It’s not homework or anything, but if we could get through it that would be nice. With everything else going on in my life, knowing that if I need to cut something out I can is reassuring.

I guess that’s about it for now. I know I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been playing Torchlight II with Ox the past few days as a way to de-stress from studying so much. It’s been nice. I might play a bit more today or I might try to work a bit on the cross stitch that I haven’t touched in weeks. Today has been a really low key day. I know I’m not going to get many of them in the future so I’ve been enjoying it while I can. I even went so far as to take a nap. And yes. It was as amazing as it sounds.

Daily Post 160: The Week of Vacation and the Week of Being Back

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Written Saturday March 30th


I suppose now is as good a time as any to try to catch up with my life…

I wrote about the week before my trip. The week where we had the kids when we weren’t expecting to. The week of finishing the Wall of Fame. The week of recertifying my BLS.

It was an alright week. I got a lot taken care of and off the to-do list. I found out a lot of information about school. That week turned into the week of March 17th to the 24th. The week of my vacation to Orlando.

It didn’t start well. It started Monday night. I came home from work and figured out the last of my social obligations. I got dates and times squared away. I got my boarding passes on my phone. I packed. I was ready for my trip and now came the part that sucked. The realization that I would be leaving and this was my last night with Ox for a while.

I crawled into bed with him. There was a little bit of petting. Mild sexiness with light hair pulling. I hadn’t been expecting anything like that but it was nice. What wasn’t nice was when he rolled over, said he would miss me, then instantly fell asleep.

My brain was sort of thrown off by that. No “goodnight”. No going further. No connection happened and in my head, the only thing I could think was even though I was leaving in the early evening the next day, I might as well have already been gone.

Ox had been tired. He had worked all day. And for my part, I had pretty much ignored him as I ironed out the last of my plans when I had gotten home. I felt horribly alone though as he slept peacefully next to me.

I spent most of the night coughing due to the cold I was still fighting off. I spent all of it unable to sleep and crying off and on from the frustration of being unable to sleep even though I had taken Nyquil and feeling like I should have left that night. It didn’t matter that I was still there. It felt like Ox had already said goodbye to me and I was gone.

Since I didn’t sleep those feelings bled over into the morning. They bled all over everything that day. When Ox got off work, we met in Lincoln. The original idea had been to get lunch together before I headed to the airport. I wasn’t hungry due to the emotional discord. Ox wasn’t hungry either. We ended up having what I termed “a driveby goodbye” in a parking lot near the edge of town.

It sucked. I didn’t feel like a wife or girlfriend. I felt like a roommate or a really good friend where it just happened to be convenient to meet up for a few minutes before going away.

I cried on the way to the airport. I listened to music. I thought through my emotions. When I called Ox after parking my car and getting to the terminal we had a pretty good conversation about what was bothering me and why.

He hadn’t realized he had fallen asleep without giving me a goodnight kiss. He hadn’t realized the distance of not being close and connective would affect me so much. He’s an INTJ. I’m an INFJ. While we are extremely similar, we are still different in significant ways and miscommunication still happens.

I’m glad we were able to talk about the situation and to share our different perspectives. It helped make the trip more doable. When I got on the plan I didn’t feel as alone as I had for the past 12 hours. It didn’t feel like my whole vacation was ruined before it started. I no longer had anxiety at the thought of coming home and still having this unresolved issue between us.

I stitched for a while listening to music while I waited for my flight to begin boarding. The flight itself was uneventful. Take off still sucked, but I made it to Dallas fine. I listened to my new leadership book for most of the trip. There was a Moe’s at the Dallas airport. I bought nachos and ate them while talking to Jon since I had time to kill before getting on my last flight of the day. I told Jon how it was silly things like that, missing mom and wishing she was with me and suddenly being at one of the places that was “our place”, that made it feel like she was and is still with me.

The last leg of the journey was, again, uneventful. I made it into Orlando. I figured out the hassle of getting a rental car. I had realized while I was in Dallas I had never received a confirmation email about my rental car… No beuno…

Once I landed I went to the rental car section in the air port. I ended up being able to get a car… minivan actually, and by minivan, I mean a battle tank of death. x.x

It was huge. So much bigger than my tiny little Mazda 2. It was the only thing that Alamo had for rent though, and all of the other places that were open at 1:30 am had crazy long lines. I didn’t want to “shop around” only to find out that their rates were higher, or they had no cars available. I wasn’t going to be charged mileage for the rental with Alamo and they threw in a tank of gas, so I didn’t have to worry about filling up the car before bringing it back. For thinking that I wasn’t going to have a car at all, I bit the bullet, signed the rental agreement, then continued on my way with the ability to actually get to the places I needed and wanted to go.

I made it to the Waffle House I used to go to and had a 2am breakfast with Warren #1. We chatted for a while. He’s still unemployed. He’s still with his girlfriend. He’s looking at going back to school. It was good to see him and to get a hug from him. I still won’t be seeing any money from him any time soon.

From there, I drove to Mother Earth’s house. We curled up in bed and talked for a while before falling asleep. I had a few coughing fits during the night but luckily was able to eventually sleep more than I had the night before.

Mother Earth got up and went to work. Sir came in and let me know he had ordered breakfast for me. I ate it when it arrived before finally getting the motivation to shower and start my day.

I went to my old dojo and hung out with my sensies for a while. It was during the middle of the day, but even still, it was weird having literally no one else in the dojo. Come to find out, it was spring break for Florida.

After the dojo, I drove up to Daytona to spend the evening with Jon. We went to a sushi buffet which was pretty awesome. Very good food and good company. After dinner, we went down to the beach. I got to take pictures of the ocean and a few of us together. I got to feel the cool breeze on my skin and smell the salt in the air. It was soothing to my soul. We saw Captain Marvel at a theater down there. Thankfully I had missed bike week the week before. Small mercies.

It was an extremely good movie and it was fantastic being able to spend time with my brother. We went back to his apartment where he let me sleep in his bed while he took the couch. He stayed in the room playing Starcraft for a bit, but I honestly don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember him leaving the room. I don’t remember anything until I was waking up at 8:30 in the moring; 30 minutes after the time we had agreed to wake up at.

I didn’t mind. It was the first night where I had gotten a full night of sleep and it had been amazing. There’s something to be said for falling alseep surrounded by scents that are familiar and register in your brain as “home” or “safe”. Maybe it’s weird, but being in my brother’s room was like being home; a slightly different home than the one associated with mom, but I spent 20 years growing up with my brother. All of the stress and worry about getting to Orlando and being to places on time… none of that really mattered while I was in his apartment. I could finally start letting things go and relaxing and trying to enjoy my vacation from work. I could feel the tension within my slowly melting away as I laid in his bed thinking back over my life and the most recent year of being in Nebraska.

Eventually, both he and I were awake. We drove down to the Waffle House where we had gotten breakfast for the last time before I left to move to Nebraska. We still missed the turn, just like last time, and had to do a u-turn to get into the parking lot. I guess somethings don’t change. XD

It was a good breakfast and I gave zero fucks about all of the carbs I was consuming or had consumed the night before. I wasn’t going to let food mess with my vacation. I was going to eat what I wanted with who I wanted when I wanted and I would deal with the consequences when I got back home and started working out again.

When we were done eating and had finished our coffee, Jon walked back out to the cars. He told me about an interview he was going to have. We chatted for a bit longer about the clinical he was about to go to. In the end, we hugged and parted ways with the promise to see each other again on Saturday.

It was Thursday already with my itinerary having me leave Saturday evening. I had an appointment at 3pm to see my therapist. It was only 10 or 11. I didn’t have anything planned for this gap of time that I found myself with. Thinking over all of my options, I decided to go to Travel Company to look at a new pair of Vibrams since I didn’t like the ones I had gotten last year. I had run the Warrior Dash in them, but compared to the other styles I had in the past, they didn’t live up to my expectations; the woes of ordering online.

Well, not this time. I got to walk around the store while talking to Ox and testing out a new pair. The sales representative was extremely kind and helpful. I walked out with the new pair along with a new Buff bandana. I found a 24-hour fitness center and went and worked out, testing the shoes and making sure they were a good fit. I even got to shower afterwards. Woo. It was an extremely nice facility and it was a nice workout. I felt good about myself for having done it.

I made it to my appointment on time and it was fantastic to see my therapist again. She’s retiring at the end of March, so I’m sure it’s happened by now. We got to talk about my leadership course and all sorts of things during the hour we had together. It was nice being able to tell her that I feel like things in my life are going well. I’ve been out of crisis mode for a while. I’ve adjusted fairly well to Nebraska. I’ve made it through winter. Even with the hiccups Ox and I still experience, we have open communication and we work through our issues. There were a lot of tears, but they were good tears an I’m glad I had them.

Once therapy was over, I met with Nicole for sushi. We talked for a while then walked over to the bar we frequented and had a drink. I got to see my favorite bartender who also happens to be named Jen. Another friend, a former student, met up with us eventually. It took her longer to get there than anticipated and that led to a bit of discord with Mother Earth, but we recovered from it.

Once social time was done, I headed back to Mother Earth’s home. I spent some time with Sir and her before going to sleep. The next day I had breakfast with Mrs. Gwen. She and I went through the Star Learning program together for DaVita together and we’ve stayed in touch since the completion of our training. We got to catch up on the changes in our lives. After about three hours with her, I came back to spend the rest of the day with Mother Earth and one of her close friends. We got lunch at a Mexican resturant. I had two amazing Long Island Ice Teas. From there we went drunk thrift shopping.

I eventually found a dress that I really liked. I tried it on. It fits well. I look nice in it. Queue emotional breakdown where I feel like it’s pointless to buy it or to look pretty because it doesn’t matter if I dress nice or girly or sexy or any of that. Being attractive doesn’t make me more attractive to my partner so why bother or put in the energy to do it.

Drunk me needed a moment I guess.

Mother Earth and I talked about it. Or rather, I cried about it in the changing room while she sat next to me and listened. I did end up buying the dress. I felt empty after crying. I knew all of it wasn’t out of my system yet and so I was sort of more flatlined than anything, waiting for the rest of it to feel like it was the right time to come to the surface. It didn’t seem to ruin the day, though.

We went to my sports bar for dinner even though I had plans to go there for lunch the next day. We were in the area and no one else had objections to going. We eventually ended up back home. More tears. More figuring things out. More letting go and admitting how I still feel alone a lot of the time because mom isn’t here.

I guess my brain thought crying about everything in my life seemed like a pretty good way to spend my vacation…

I felt extremely better after that cry though. Cleaner. Like everything I had been ignoring and bottling up and limping through my days with had finally gotten the time and attention that it needed. I slept well that night.

The next day was the day I left to go back to Nebraska. I spent the morning having breakfast with the house. Sir and I didn’t get much time together, but I enjoyed the little bit we did have. Mother Earth and I said goodbye, though, for me, it was “I’ll see you later”. It’s how I cope with goodbyes. It’s not the end. I can see these people again at some point even if it’s not physically in this world. That’s what I need to believe in order to be ok, so that’s what I believe.

I drove down to Kissimmee to pick up my dad. We had a really good conversation as we drove back to Orlando to meet up with Jon. Once we were all together we had a fantastic lunch after which we proceeded to stand outside and chat for about another hour. We said our fairwells and I headed down to the airport to return the rental car and to make my way through TSA.

The plane ride back home was long, but most of that might have been due to tiredness and wanting to be home. I survived TSA and the PTSD associated with the take-off experience. I made it off the plane and back to the long term parking lot where I found my car without issue. It even started up when I turned the key. Wooo!

The trip home sucked. It was dark outside. It was sort of rainy. There was a ton of traffic even though it was 11pm at night. It got better for a while once I made it out of the Omaha area, but then it started heavily raining.

Right Brain: Fuck my life… can I just please make it home…

I did, in fact, make it home. Ox was awake and let me cry in his arms as he hugged me on the front porch; reassuring me that I was safe and that I was home and that it was ok. I didn’t even bother bringing my bags in from the car.

I was supposed to have Monday off, but that changed. I only had Sunday to regroup and get ready for the coming week. Sunday, while the kids were here… While I’m burnt out from all of my traveling and socializing.

I brought my bags in. I unpacked. I got all of my clothes washed from the trip. I took care of my meal prep. I even finished the cross stitch I have been working on for a while now.

It was a good trip, but I was glad to be home and though Sunday was busy, it was a quiet busy and I got a decent amount of downtime in. At least enough to make Monday not feel like a disaster of an obligation. I think Sunday was the first day where I found a kickboxing app for my phone. I got to try that out. It was a decent workout. I’m also still really liking my new Vibrams.

Monday was busy. The nephrologist rounded, so my FA was with him most of the time. The workday finished up and I came home and did kickboxing again. I’m working through the “beginner” program. They’re only 10-minute workouts, so I do whatever day I’m on twice; once for each side. I also don’t rest very much during the rest intervals, so instead of 30-second rounds, I’m doing closer to 45 to 50-second rounds. It’s been working for me. I wish the app was better about tracking metrics, but for what it is, it’s nice.

I fought with the scanner for a while after working out, trying to get a picture scanned since I wanted to color one of the pages in a coloring book Ox got me a while ago. I didn’t have fabric to cross stitch so coloring seemed like the thing to do. That took WAAAAAYYY longer than it should have, but we got it figured out, largely in part thanks to Ox realizing that there are three networks in the house and my computer was on a different network form the printer/scanner. I think it would have been easier / less frustrating if Mama Ox hadn’t been standing behind me the whole time trying to tell me what to do to get things working.

Right Brain: Since you hardly know how to run your laptop, I’m pretty sure I’m more qualified to figure this out without your help than with it. >.<;

Sadly, getting the page scanned was only one issue of many I had to figure out. Once I had the page on my computer, I “found” software for Photoshop. That wasn’t all that hard actually but when you grew up in the era of Kazza and torrent downloading it’s not all that hard to find what you’re looking for.

Once I had software I then had to spend 30 minutes trying to find the cord for my tablet so I could use it for coloring. After finding a cord I to fight with my tablet to get the right drivers installed so it would function properly.

Once all of that was said and done I only got to color for about 30 minutes or so. It was fun though. I enjoyed the feeling of using my tablet again and filling in the lines with color. It was relaxing and a nice way to decompress from the day.

Tuesday was a productive day. I did a lot of mental work. I updated my calendar. I was able to worm my way out of the one day I was scheduled to work at the clinic I don’t like by conveniently having one of my leadership classes scheduled for the same day.

Right Brain: Oh darn. I can’t cover the shift…

I got through the “in” pile on my desk that has been building up. Ox and I met up in Lincoln. I tried going to a Target since I’ve wanted new panties for a while and they’re the only place that I can find that sells the ones I want. The store I went to didn’t have them in stock though. Lame.

From there I went to Micheal’s in the hopes of getting more cross stitch fabric. That was a no go… I wasn’t on a very good streak at that point for scratching stuff off the to-do list.

Ox and I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. He’s been wanting to take me there for a while. It was a good lunch. I would go back. After eating we went across the lot to a Hobby Lobby. I bought a rose for mom while we were there. I also picked up some fabric even though it wasn’t the type I wanted. I also found supplies to make the needle kit I’ve been thinking about, so overall it was a good stop. I got a lot more accomplished there then I was expecting to.

We stopped at Walmart before heading home so I could get the items I needed to make the cheesy taco skillet everyone likes. That meant it was a fairly short trip. They happened to have a display of Bang in the center aisle, so we got that taken take of as well while we were out. When we got home we put the groceries away and I began assembling the items we had gotten at Hobby Lobby to make my new cross stitch needle kit.

I love it so far. I’ve been stitching a fair amount this week and have gotten used to the new, larger kit. I can keep my markers and scissors in it comfortably without feeling like I’m cramming things into it. The larger magnate I placed on the top lid has more than enough space for all of the needles I have. There are even leftover compartments to keep the tails of threads I cut off, so I don’t have to worry about keeping a separate baggie somewhere. It’s sturdy and stable and I’m really liking it. I think I can label that project as successful. : 3

So Tuesday ended with me starting a new cross stitch project. It’s another fairy. I’m using pinks this time. No real reason for it I don’t think. I’m liking the colors so far though. They make my brain happy.

Wednesday was an alright day at work. The nurse practitioner rounded along with the dietitian so it was another day of people being on the floor. We made it through it. Nothing super crazy happened. I found out from a patient that New Tech has been accepted to the LPN program. I mentioned that to my FA since that’s something she needs to know. If both of us techs are in school and unable to cover shifts on a specific day due to being at school… that’s sort of an issue with us opening back to six days a week again.

My FA reached out to Net Tech. I’m not sure what the result of that was or is. My FA said she wasn’t going to tell me to not go to school and that if need be they would have someone float in for whatever day couldn’t be covered. She said we would figure it out. I’m appreciative of her support.

I worked out when I got home, though I didn’t do it on Tuesday. Wednesday was the day of 100 modified push-ups… I was and still am proud of myself. Even if they were modified, I did 100 of them. After work even. Go me.

Thursday I started the day by talking to Jon. It was a good conversation. I showered. I battle planned out the day. I continued the quest to find panties. The first Target didn’t have the size I wanted. I drove over the location Ox and I agreed to meet up at. That Target didn’t have them either. Arg…

We drove up to my new sports bar here in Nebraska and had lunch. I enjoyed the wings. They made them more saucey for me. : 3

We went to the mall so I could find a bra to go with the dress I had bought in Orlando. It was the first time Ox had seen the dress. I had to go strapless for the bra style. Not my favorite or preferred style, but even with just a little bit of strap showing, it throws off the whole look of the dress.

That stop took the longest and I had figured it would. It’s one of the reasons I hate “shopping”; clothes shopping specifically. You have to try things on and compare and does it look right and blah blah blah. I really just want to be home curled up with the cats. >.<;

I’m glad I found something that works with the dress, though. Maybe one day soon I’ll actually wear it. XD

With the most nebulous part of the trip taken care of, we went down to a cookie store that was near where we had parked the car. My reward for doing something I didn’t want to do and Ox’s reward for being amazing and sitting on the bench waiting for me while I tried things one. We hopped across the street to send off a package for Papa Ox while we were in town. Ox drove me over to campus so I could pick up my textbooks for the class that starts on Monday. That was pretty expensive.

I had been talking to Finacial Aid a lot that morning. The end result; I found out that I’m most likely paying for this current class out of pocket since I’m technically not accepted into a program of study and therefore not eligible for aid. It’s too late for me to apply as an academic transfer student like they suggested I do. I was prepared to pay for this class on my own, so it’s not a huge huge deal. Just would have been nice to have gotten some sort of help with it.

The campus was the last stop on the list of chores. Ox and I headed home. I cooked the taco skillet for dinner. We tried going to sleep early. At 9:30 I gave up and took a Benadryl.

Work Friday was alright. There were four of us on the floor. Float RN had a two hour PDR after change over. I eventually got to have lunch at 12:30. The end of the day went fine so I don’t know why I felt so overwhelmed and frazzled once the day was done. I had planned to stop by the Beatrice campus to turn in the last bit of paperwork for my program; copies of my certifications and TB test results. I had planned to go to the dojo. None of that happened, though. I came home. Ox and I ate in the kitchen, away from his parents. I didn’t even cross stitch that night.

I took a Benadryl again to make sure I slept and even with that I kept waking up every few hours. I didn’t work out Friday night. I didn’t shower. I tried shutting out the world and was only mildly successful with it and I don’t even think it did much good.

Saturday morning started mildly rough. Maybe frustrating… I’m not sure. It’s been cloudy the past two days and I haven’t been taking my vitamin D like I was before my trip. I think I’m also more “peopled” out that I consciously realized. Add to that, the morning starting with Mama Ox changing how the day was supposed to go down in my head…

Right Brain: I give up. The day is a lost cause… I am defeated before I begin.

Ox was and is still being extremely supportive of me. He let me write this morning. He didn’t pressure me to have breakfast with the family. We took the cats to the vet and he touched me the whole time; softly, gently petting my ankles as I held one of the cats in my lap, my feet resting on top of the container we can carted all three of them to the vet in.

Ox is letting me continue to write and has already said the rest of the day can legitimately be a “rest” day. We don’t have to do anything. We both can stay in the room. I can stitch and watch my new show, cuddled up next to him while he games. We can finish everything tomorrow and just relax today.

I’m totally ok with that thought right now. I’m going to go heat up leftovers for lunch and then sit in my corner with my new fairy cross stitch and my new needle kit. I’m going to chill for today. I might workout. I might do other things, but for the rest of the day there are no obligations and that feels nice.

Daily Post 159: The Week Of Everything Changing

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Written Sunday, March 10th
Edited Saturday, March 30th


Alright. Here we go.

I’ve known for about 10 minutes now that everything for my entire next week has changed and this is me trying to figure out how to get all of the millions of things I still need to get accomplished accomplished.

The change: The kids are not going back to their mom’s tomorrow. It’s spring break. She told both Lil’ Ox and Ornery Ox that they would not be staying with us this coming week. They would be going home to her. Not so anymore. She contacted Mama Ox and said the kids could stay until Friday evening.

I guess for most people that wouldn’t be a big deal. As an introvert that throws a massive giant wrench into everything in my life. Not just everything. EVERYTHING. Yes. A capital everything.

Right Brain: There’s going to be two additional people in the house to think about, plan around, and interact with. I need more than 24-hour notice for this shit. I need like a month’s worth of advanced notice. At least two-week notice. Two weeks is at least professional. How the hell am I supposed to just magically function when all of the solitude and quiet time I had been looking forward to has just been snatched from me? Blindsided. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what this is because you told the kids it wasn’t going to happen, but oh look. Now it’s happening. This thing, this situation had a snowball’s chance in hell… I didn’t plan for this because it wasn’t an option. What the fuck? Fuck you, Universe.

Ok… Now that that’s out of my system…

This is where I get to practice Change Mastery from my first leadership book, I suppose. I know my initial internal tension to this situation is purely spurred by a sense of self-preservation and the threat that this change is going to interfere with all of the things I had planned to get done this week. To prove to myself that I can still get everything accomplished I’m going to write out my upcoming days. With a clearer view of my obligations, I’ll be better able to see how to handle my time.

Theoretical Monday: Wake up early for work. Survive work. Make sure to take pictures of patients for Wall of Fame. Potentially stay a bit late to start piecing things together, or work on piecing things together during my breaks. Come home. Put images of patients into .psd files so the pictures can be printed. Create .jpg files of images and put them on a flash drive so I can take them into town with me for printing. Make grocery list. Find a tailor shop that would be willing to do the stitching for the curtains needed for the Wall of Fame. Cook taco skillet for dinner. Go to sleep.

Actual Monday: Mostly successful. Woo.

Theoretical Tuesday: Potentially get curtains created. Go to campus to talk to Financial Aid about my award statement. Get pictures printed. Meet with Ox for lunch. Go to Wells Fargo for Dart account number. Do grocery shopping. Make sure to pick up a black poster board for the Wall of Fame (maybe two to be safe). Come home. Put groceries away. Make sure pictures are in the car so I can take them to work with me. Print out template of film cell of picture borders. Potentially cut borders for pictures from black poster board (might save for Thursday depending on time). Watch CPR class video. Print out certificate of completion to take to class on Thursday. Cook spaghetti for dinner. Go to bed early for work. I think that’s it for this day…

Actual Tuesday: Forgot patient information at work. Drove to Beatrice to retrieve information. Went to Beatrice campus to talk to Financial Aid. Did shopping in Beatrice instead of in Lincoln with Ox. Completed CPR video. No progress on curtain making. Files completed for pictures. Plans to print them at work Wednesday with FA’s printer and picture paper.

Theoretical Wednesday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if the tank is low enough. Work on Wall of Fame during breaks. Stay late as needed to finish loose ends. Begin typing up essay for entry submission. Go home. Brisket for dinner (make sure Ox knows cooking instructions). Eat. Go to bed.

Actual Wednesday: Pictures printed. CVC packs made. Worked on pictures at home. No brisket for dinner. Can’t remember what it was changed to.

Theoretical Thursday: If unable to finish CPR video on Tuesday, finish Thursday morning. Go to work if needed to finish Wall of Fame. Come home. Eat early-ish dinner (Mama Ox will be cooking for the family). Go to CPR class. Get recertified like a bawce. Come home. Go to bed.

Actual Thursday: Worked on Wall of Fame stuff for a majority of the day at home. Figured out the curtains myself. Passed CPR class that night.

Theoretical Friday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if unable to do so Wednesday. Complete Wall of Fame if needed. Submit entry for Wall of Fame if not already submitted. Go home (blessed silence). Burgers for dinner. Hot chocolate with peppermint Smirnoff as a reward for being a badass.

Actual Friday: Mixed acid. Completed Wall of Fame. Submitted entry.

With how back and forth I’m going to be between Beatrice and Lincoln it doesn’t really make sense to get a hotel room on any of the days the kids are here. Both Ox and Mama Ox have offered to help with the cost of getting rooms since they know I have a hard time sleeping while the kids are here and I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Nothing on my week’s overview accounts for wanting to make progress on my second leadership book. There’s no time allotted for personal time or decompression. No cross-stitching. Just wake up, go, sleep, wake up, go, sleep…

Ox has already explained to the kids that kick out time for the bedroom game systems is 7 pm, so I’ll be able to have a little bit of time “alone”. It might not be a true alone but I’m grateful that the family is pulling together to make sure that everyone is cared for and thought of, including me.

We’ve already sat down as a family, kids included and figured out the meals, which means my next step after this writing is making the shopping list. That was the biggest hurdle this past week; not knowing what to cook for dinners because no one gave me input on what they wanted so grocery shopping didn’t really happen. It was haphazard and sort of sucked for that part of my brain that thrives on structure and plans.

I need to print out or write down the information for my Finacial Aid meeting. I can save that for another day, though. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen and when. There’s more acceptance to the change now that a bit of time has passed. It’s not the awful change my poor little introverted brain thought it would be. Most of the days I’m going to be out of the house, and there’s the evening where I’ll have quiet time to look forward to. I can count on that time. My light at the end of my days.

We’ll see how it goes, but for now, at least I have a battle plan figured out so I can flex and change as life does. Go me. Let’s do this.


I survived the week of the 11th – 16th. I didn’t have a very strong sense of accomplishment when the Wall of Fame was completed. Most likely because my FA ended up helping me because she didn’t think it would get done on time, so things weren’t completed the way I wanted them to be. Quality is in the details, and some of the details were different than what I wanted as the designer. It’s over though. I don’t have to stress over it anymore and the patients love it. I’ve seen a few other entries for our region so I doubt we will win, but I like our wall and I guess in the end that’s all that matters.

I got the clinic to a good place since I had my vacation to Orlando the following week. I didn’t want to leave with things needing to be done and I got all of that accomplished along with the Wall of Fame project. I think I handled the week decently for what I was given.