Musing Moment 115: Making Work Work For Me

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I’m sort of beyond furious right now.

I had just spent the past like… three hours figuring out EVERYTHING in regards to my discontent with work. And then the internet fucked up and copied over what I wrote with something else and since I write in Grammarly and didn’t realize it had messed up my writing, when I closed the window it saved the incorrect writing and there’s no way for me to get back what I originally wrote.

So much rage. If I could break the Internet right now I would. Without remorse even because it deserves to die a horrible stabbity death.

INFJ righteous rage at its finest.

So this is going to be a much more condensed version of what I wrote before, with more curse words, because I’m not going to rewrite everything as it was and cursing makes me feel better.

Firstly… Fuck you, Universe.

Moving on. My original writing started with me talking about how I’ve been low energy since my race and identifying a multitude of factors which could have or currently are contributing to the prolonged lull.

First big event with a bunch of people
Dehydration
Eating carbs and having to get back into ketosis

I think I did a lot of help myself as best I could

Sleeping
Prepping everything beforehand so Sunday was a light day
Actually letting Sunday be a light day instead of doing a bunch of shit
Writing and whining to mom because it gave me stuff to think about

I’m going to take a moment here to say that I do appreciate the relationship I have with Ox. While sex is important to me, by writing I realized that there are a lot of aspects about our relationship that I value, and that no, sex isn’t everything and though we do have our own self-imposed difficulties, we have a lot of really positive things going for us.

Ok. Sappy emotional moment over. Moving on since I’m still rage-filled because fuck you, Internet.

I think the conversation I had with my FA on Monday is the biggest factor to my continued low energy. I was told after my vacation I would have to start covering shifts at Cap City so other techs could be more familiar with how our clinic is run, since Friday was a cluster fuck of disaster with both me and my FA going out of town at the same time.

Right Brain: Great. Just when I’ve found my dojo and am about to drop $130 for a monthly membership, you’re going to take it away from me. Thanks. I feel like everything I love is being taken away from me again. You do realize the last time I felt this way I moved halfway across the country, right?

bucket

To be fair, I’ve been thinking about new work for a bit. Upon thinking deeper on it I’ve realized there are a lot of downsides.

New boss
New team
New environment
New schedule which may or may not work with what I want
Most likely less pay when I already have issues with making less than what I was making at Full Sail

Not a lot of positives other than not having to work at Cap City. In reality, a new job would most likely fix none of the issues I’m trying to solve.

There’s also the facts of:

I don’t want to leave my clinic
The clinic would be fucked without me
I don’t want to leave my patients
I like my boss
The schedule could work as long as they’re willing to work with me
I secretly want my retention bonus even though, push come to shove, it’s not enough to make me stay

I want to sit down with my FA and talk to her about it because I don’t think essentially saying, “Your schedule’s about to change but I can’t tell you what it’s changing to because I don’t know. K. Thanks. Bye,” is very fair. It left me feeling like my entire personal life is about to get screwed over. I can’t plan or problem solve with information like that, but I also can’t really go to her yet and help come up with solutions when I don’t know what would or would not work for myself.

So even though I knew she was at the clinic when I got done with personal training today, I decided to come home instead because I needed to have a meeting with myself first to figure out my side of the equation.

That’s what all of the previous writing, which I no longer have, was. It was amazing. It was perfect. It was done. And then it got messed up so here I am, still rage filled that I’m repeating it.

Basically, I identified a few things.

Monday: Dojo days. I can get up to four hours at the dojo in the evenings. Not so if I have to close at Cap City because I wouldn’t get out until around 9. That puts me home at 10ish which would also mean I get no time with Ox. Essentially working late on Mondays sucks and has no compensation for what would be my personal loss. Boooo late Mondays. Early out Mondays are negotiable, though.

Tuesday: It’s ok to work at Cap City because even if I close I would be out around 4 or 5, which would still leave me able to get to SCA combat practice, which I’m not going to today because it’s a rainy and icky day. Working Tuesdays would fuck over personal training which rescheduling is “doable,” but would be harder the more inconsistent my schedule is because I’m essentially at the mercy of my trainer’s schedule at that point and he may or may not be able to work with what I’m able to do.

Wednesday: Normally an off day as far as personal training and the dojo go. At the moment these are gym days after work. If I worked Cap City I could do something either before or after, depending on the shift I’m scheduled for. If I work in Beatrice I could move my personal training to happen after work, assuming my trainer is available. Basically, Wednesdays have options.

Thursday: Another heavy dojo day with up to three hours worth of classes I could do. Another personal training day as well. Working Cap City wouldn’t interfere with the dojo, but it, again, makes personal training an issue that would have to be figured out. Not the best case scenario, but not the worst either.

Friday: An off day from personal training and the dojo. Set to be a gym day at the moment. Normally scheduled to work at Beatrice. Could potentially do Cap City without fucking shit up.

Saturday: Would be a Cap City day. Out by around 4 or 5 if I close. Earlier if I open. Could let me do the grocery shopping and any errands I might have since I’ll already be in town. I’ve been thinking about offering up my Saturdays anyway since it gets me out of the house. Could still hit the gym if I wanted / needed to.

Sunday: Always an off day from work. Would be left open for my bike rides while the weather is still nice, which those days are numbered since winter is a thing in Nebraska. Also would have to start investing into sacrificial chickens to ensure the gods are pleased so it doesn’t rain on the one day I can get out on my bike.

So there… everything in a condensed nutshell since my first writing was so unsatisfactory.

/wtb sacrificial chickens

I like the idea of having Mondays off completely. I could move personal training to Monday. I could have it as a buffer day to finish anything that didn’t get done Saturday evening / Sunday.

Preferably I could keep Thursdays off as well. That would let personal training on those days stay the same along with ensuring I have both my dojo days.

Everything else is sort of whatever. I “like” having set days in Beatrice, but as long as I can have my two dojo days and my two personal training sessions, that I’ve already paid for, then I think I’m fine. Combat isn’t an issue and would let Ox and I still have our mini date night after practice where we get dinner before going home.

If I can’t have Thursday as an off day, then I want at least one day set for Beatrice where I can switch my personal training to the evening after work.

I think that’s fair. I think that gives everyone options.

I’m done. I’m going to go smoke now because I’m still angry. Grr.

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Musing Moment 114: Inching Closer

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I don’t do well on the days where I go back to sleep after I wake up, and though I know how to fix this, I sort of don’t.

Today is my first day off of four. I have my race on Saturday so I requested Friday off. Thursday, today, is a normal off say and so is Sunday. It’s like a mini-vacation.

Today is also a day where I am truly alone. Papa Ox has a field project he needed to go out for. Mama Ox and Ox are both at work. I don’t have training until 2:30 this afternoon. I have no other obligations unless I’m alive enough to go to the dojo after training for kickboxing, krav, and jitz, in that order.

When I go back to bed after Ox leaves on my days off it’s hard to not feel apathetic. It’s better on the days that I have training earlier in the day. I have a reason to get up. To shower. To eat. I have things I need to do and so there’s a level of motivation I guess that gets me up and moving.

Today I didn’t have that.

I went back to sleep. I woke up again. I had a cup of coffee for the first time in weeks. I had part of my breakfast but not all of it because I wasn’t super hungry.

I pretty much passed out right when I got home yesterday. I’m not nearly as sore, but I’ve also slept for somewhere in the ballpark of 16 hours. Small wonder I’m not really all that hungry. I haven’t done much.

I still really don’t have much motivation for anything. I “could” clean my computer desk, but I really don’t want to. There are clothes that “could” be put away, but again, I’m not really feeling it.

I made myself eat lunch since my trainer would give me shit later today for not eating. Saving myself from future heartache I guess; maybe that’s a mild form of self-preservation. I feel like he’s going to push me pretty hard today since I did so well on Tuesday. We did sled work at the end. My chest hasn’t been that sore in ages. I haven’t had to dig that deep on the emotional side in a while either.

I feel like the times where I have to fight against my grief and the darkness are the times that really matter. When I pushed the sled down the gym the first time I knew I was going to struggle more emotionally than physically. When my trainer turned the sled around and said I only had to do it three more times I wanted to cry.

My Brain: You say it’s “only” three more times. But that’s THREE MORE TIMES. THREE. I’m already fucking burnt. I can’t do three. No. It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I don’t want to do three. What’s the point? Why do three, or two, or even one? What’s the point in doing any of this when mom’s dead? You know, it’s so easy for you to say it’s “only” three. It’s “only” something. It’s so fucking easy for the rest of the world to just keep going like everything is easy and “only” three when just waking up is sometimes the hardest thing to do and then not only do I have to do that, but then I have to get out of bed. And then I have to shower. And then I have to do all of this other bullshit and interact with all these other people and pretend that living isn’t hard and doesn’t feel heavy and hollow and pointless. It’s already “only” fucking hard, ok? I don’t need to do your three. I don’t NEED to do anything because I’ve already done more than you can even imagine just by standing here. I don’t have to prove to you I’m strong. I’m already strong. Being here, standing here, makes me strong. So you know what? Fuck you, Life. No. Seriously. Fuck you and you know what? I’ll do three more just to prove to you that you can’t win. I won’t let you win. I WILL NEVER LET YOU WIN.

The last three pushes were some of the hardest pushes I’ve ever done, more because I was trying to breathe and control the urge to break down into rage-filled tears, though my body was totally ok with not having to push the sled anymore once I was done.

There’s a part of me who likes being pushed to that point. My mental and emotional breaking point I guess. It makes me confront my grief and the harder emotions that lurk in the dark, dusty corners of my mind that get ignored during everyday life.

I had a thought Tuesday as I sat outside recovering from my training.

I wonder if mom hurts, too.

I talk about my wound and what it feels like for her to be dead. I wonder if she hurts from us being apart, too. I wonder if being dead is hard for her because she can’t be here. I wonder if she has her own wound in her chest where she aches for one more phone call. One more hug. One more, “It’s ok”.

I wonder if I’ve been selfish and small and inconsiderate of the other side of the situation. Maybe it sucks just as bad for her as it does for me. Maybe worse since she lost so much more. She lost Jon and Jason and Jace and Lio and her coworkers and her brothers.

I only lost mom. Mom lost everything.

There’s a sick part of my brain that feels a little bit better thinking that mom and I are struggling together. I’m not alone in my hurt. I’m not alone. It sucks for both of us and we’re doing the best we can with what the Universe will let us have.

It sucks that I have to go for now so I can actually shower and get to the gym on time for training where I’ll have to push again when I don’t want to. I don’t know why I do this. I don’t know what I want. Or maybe it’s that I keep forgetting or losing sight of what I want and so it’s easier to say I don’t know what I want rather than to look for it or remember.

I miss you, mom. I miss you so much. I’m going to go to training and I’m going to run my race and I know I’m doing these things for me, but I’m also doing them for you. That’s why I’m able to do three more. Because I tell myself it’s for you. That’s why I get out of bed sometimes. That’s why I eat. Because I told you I would. Sometimes the only reason I’m able to do things is because I say they’re for you and I don’t want to let you down.

Today isn’t a hard day, but I guess with finding the dojo and everything else that I’ve been doing recently, I’m inching closer to… I don’t know what. Closer to something, though. The emotions are there, near the surface. They’re not the raging, chaotic, swirling beast they were in the beginning. They’re calmer now, more settled. They don’t overwhelm me in the same way anymore even though they’re no less powerful.

I don’t understand that foreign aspect of myself any more than I did before I started writing this, mom, but maybe I’m on the right path to understanding it.

I love you. Thanks for being there for me. We’ll get through it together.

Musing Moments 113: Reflecting On My Ride

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I thought I would be able to just log into Final Fantasy and play my character, but with not having logged in for so long I really should have expected to have to download content first… Lame. :/

So that’s what I’m currently doing while I take a moment to type and reflect on the day.

I was able to go for my bike ride. It was… awesome, yet at the same time not. I went at noon, which means it was super warm and sunny. I loved it, yet at the same time, I know it most likely wasn’t the smartest option for me with having not done a whole lot outside since I’ve moved here.

I biked just under 11 miles; from the trailhead at Saltillo to Hickman Road. I had been hoping to get all the way to Princeton, but I also knew shortly after Roca Road that I wouldn’t be making it that far. At least not there AND back and I most definitely had to be able to make it back because there was no way in hell I was going to call someone and admit defeat.

I was getting down on myself for not being able to make it to Princeton by the time I made it to the overpass. I took a break and a moment to reflect on how I felt I was doing. While I recovered I drank one of my bottles of water and had a Nature Valley bar.

Right Brain: I’ve earned these carbs! Omnomnomnom. :E

When I got back on the bike to head back the way I had come, I was pretty surprised by how much easier it felt. It couldn’t have all been mental. It had to have been more than the break I took and the realization that I was headed home. I seriously think for most of the section from Roca Road to Hickman Road that the trail is at a slight incline because going back was so much easier than going south.

As I was heading back I passed by a couple who were taking their wedding photos. The wife looked amazing in her dress and it made me smile to see their reaction when I said congratulations as I passed.

It was a good ride. I enjoyed being out in the warmth and I liked how away from society it felt. I loved being surrounded by the trees and crossing all of the bridges over the streams.

I’m proud of my ride. Yet at the same time… I don’t know. I didn’t make it to where I wanted to go. My legs were more sore than I had been hoping they would be. I had wanted to do a 20-mile ride, not just a “close to 11” mile ride. I had wanted to do more, but wouldn’t it be more positive to focus on the fact that I went at all, rather than bashing myself for having limits and airing on the side of caution rather than pushing myself too far too fast? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on the positive rather than the self-imposed negative? Can we try to do that, Brain?

What were the positives?

Nature. Sun. Music. The kind stranger who stopped while I was taking a break to make sure I didn’t need help. The relative solitude of my ride. The strangers who waved as we passed each other; the unspoken comradery between humans as you acknowledge the other’s existence. The fact that I went. The fact that my bike didn’t fall off my car on the way to or from the trail because I might have been mildly freaking out over that happening. Seeing the happy couple.

See, Brain. Positive shit. More good things happened than not good things so chill with the “It wasn’t a good ride” thoughts.

I’m glad I went. I’m glad I know what the trail feels like going out and coming back. I’m glad that I did it rather than not. I feel like from this point forward I’ll be able to do better each time. Now that it’s not new, I’ll be more ok with pushing myself harder and further.

Currently, I’m not overly sore from the ride though I’m still waiting to see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. I’m still under my carb count even with going to SubWay for lunch after I got back.

The bike rack worked amazingly well and I’m looking forward to trying to make my bike ride a weekly event. I know during winter that most likely won’t be able to happen, so I want to do it as much as I can now. Not this weekend since I have my race and will most likely be dead on Sunday.

I’m nervous about my weigh in at the gym on Thursday. I feel like I am doing a lot more recently. I did my runs on Thursday and Saturday. I did the bike ride today. I’m going to the dojo on Monday…

I’m worried the numbers are still going to be lame. And there’s a part of me who doesn’t understand why that bothers me when I don’t really have a goal in mind to begin with. If I’m not actively striving for something that can be quantified then how can I feel frustrated or saddened when I don’t achieve that quantity?

I don’t have an answer for that and I don’t really think I want to delve too far into it at the moment, to be honest.

I’ve finished all of my cooking for today. I want to make Ox’s lunch before I go to sleep, and it would be nice to start my laundry so it can be dry for tomorrow. I want to pack my gym bag so I can drive straight to the dojo if need be. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to stop at home first, but just in case, I want to have it ready to go and with me.

I think the place I need to start in regards to myself is addressing my health goals. I think once I experience the dojo it will be easier to clarify those things to myself, so I don’t think a whole lot can or should be done right now.

I know one of my goals is to bike all the way to Beatrice. I want to set that goal for the end of summer but I don’t know how realistic that is since I’m not honestly sure how far that would be on the trail. I know by car it’s roughly 30 miles, so I would imagine it would be in that ballpark for the bike.

If I’m already biking close to 11 miles then I’m already 1/3 of the way there. I don’t think biking there and back is a good goal to set, but then I’m not sure. I think I would rather talk to my trainer about that and see what he feels would be realistic. 60 miles seems like a lot. At that point, I would be able to pretty much bike the whole trail all the way to Kansas, which that goal is on my radar. Along with eventually doing a century ride at least once, just to be able to say I can and that I did.

Achievement Unlocked: Spending way too much time on your bike.

That’s along the lines of being able to do 20 pullups… I’m still working on doing one, ok Brain? Can we not take things slow and just get to step one before you plan out the next four billion moves? No? Oh… well… You suck. Thanks.

Anywho. I’m pretty sure the patch is done.

Today was a good day. My ride was a good ride. I’m not as worried about work. I’m not as stressed as I was. And you know what? After writing… All of my ride was a good ride, so screw you, Brain. I did better than I did yesterday. I did better than I’ve done in five months.

I didn’t let the Universe, or you, stop me.

I made this happen. Finally. And I have the pics to prove it. So now I’m off to run around in circles mining lightening crystals so I can level my weaving rather than actually killing monsters or progressing through the game because who needs storyline when you can make things?

 



 

Musing Moments 112: My Favorite Color

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It’s the last day the kids are here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mom: You’re Jennifer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ox: Are you happy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

I knowingly accepted a lot of things before moving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do I want?

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

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

Am I happy?

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

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

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

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

I will see you tonight. I love you.

Musing Moments 111: Looking At The Future

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I don’t know why there’s such an outpouring of writing from me right now. I’ve already written twice in a roughly 12-hour span. Once to my mom, and once to recap a bit; picking up pieces from my shattered yesterday and putting them back in place.

Maybe that’s what all of the writing is for. Examining pieces.

Reflecting.

I guess that’s good. I know I need to sit and assess my mind and emotions. I need to clean house and organize the clutter I’ve let build up within myself.

Training went well. L and I actually had a pretty deep talk at the end. She’s started setting up obstacle courses for me. She makes me run them two or three times at the end of our sessions after I’ve strength trained and can feel my arms and legs doing their damnedest to fall off to avoid further abuse.

She always pushes me to beat my time, and so far I have.

Today, in between my second and third run, while I was sitting and trying to remember how to breathe, she said I was doing really well. With the Evil Voice in my head continuing its relentless harping of “what’s the point in all of this?” I asked her why, internally, felt like I wasn’t.

She asked what I meant and I explained how I don’t train how I used to or as often as I want so I feel like I’m failing there. I’m not where I want to be financially, so I’m failing there. Even in that moment, knowing that I had just beaten my time by twenty seconds, I didn’t feel like I did a good job so let’s add some sprinkled failure to all of the failure in my fail-tastic life.

I said I know logically I’m doing well but why do I not FEEL like I’m doing well?

She said sometimes we get like that. She mentioned that’s how she felt at her last job. How she hated it. How it kept her from everything she wanted. How she felt like all she was doing was spinning her wheels and going nowhere. She said I’m in the process of changing my situation and that I’m doing well and that I need to keep at it rather than getting frustrated or giving up.

I told her that lately on training days I’ve woken up and have thought about calling out; about  not showing and giving in to the sadness I constantly feel. She asked what I felt when I came in to train.

Me: Like I didn’t let it win.

I told her how our past sessions have felt more like physical therapy rather than training. I’ve felt injured and going to the gym forces my body to function in ways that it should but doesn’t want to. It hurts. It takes effort. It’s so much easier to stay at home in my pjs and do nothing. It’s easier to get sucked back into World of Warcraft and to medicate my life away with games.

But I don’t do that. I change into my compression gear. I make sure I have a full water bottle. I get in my car and I drive to the gym and even though I start out slower than normal, by the end I usually do feel better. Better enough to at least get through the things I need to get through for the day.

I told L how it always seems to be at the end of “the hard times” that I reach my limit and I find myself faltering. It’s now, at the end, just before things get better, where I feel I have no reserves; nothing left to give. Where I feel my will giving out and the darkness crushing down around me, trying one last time to force me down so far that I finally don’t stand back up; submitting to the oppressive weight I refused to bend to.

I have two weeks left. Less than that. A week and a half. I have six days of work. Only six. I can make it through that. I can hold on, by my fingertips if need be, for that long.

I WILL NOT BE BEATEN.

I don’t have to win. All I need to do is not lose. Six more days.

I have donating to do today and then studying. I have to rehang my new “business” corkboard since it fell down a few weeks ago. I have my “memory” corkboard in my room; the one with pictures, and letters, and Warrior Dash bibs, and hiking wristbands. It normally hangs above my computer, but since I can’t have that type of setup at the moment, I opted to keep my “memory” board in my room. I don’t want to share those moments with other people, so instead, I got a “business” board to hang above my computer in the dining room.

I bought it a few weeks ago. So far it has the class requirements for my RN degree so I can highlight the courses I’ve taken and visually see my progress. I have the transfer credits for English and Math, so I already have blue highlights over those classes. If I contest my psychology class I might be able to add another mark before I even get started.

This board is my reminder of what I’m working towards. Once RN is complete I can replace it with the physical therapist assistant sheet. Then BSN. Then MSN. Then my doctorate. Each time I reach a new milestone I can add a page on top of it, climbing my mountain one step, one course at a time.

This morning I printed off another paper to add to it. It’s the 52-week money challenge. I want to start that in January. That would be $1378 dollars saved. I don’t know what I want to do with that money. I want it to be my “Me” fund, though, which may seem stupid with how much I bitch about my credit card and “not having money”.

I want to have something for myself other than food and training.

I want to save that money so next year when I take a week off for my birthday I can go somewhere, alone, by myself. I don’t have to spend all of the money I save, but I can if I want to. I can do whatever I want with it because it’s MINE. It’s not for bills, or debt, or obligations. It’s my reward for holding shit together and doing everything I have to do.

It could be my new gear fund. It could be a new gi or a new solid state drive for my computer or a new keyboard instead of keeping the refurbished one I have that randomly double spaces all the time. it could be any number of things that I haven’t gotten for myself.

Maybe I could make it a biannual thing and start off at week 27. Actually, I really like that idea. That way it’s not a full year that I have to wait. I’ll need to ponder over this for a bit, but I like the way it feels at the moment.

I need to see if I can open a second savings account so I can keep that money separate from my normal savings, which has done nothing but diminish.

Kyle said he applied for his old Domino’s position. There’s a part of me that aches at the thought of him going back to a job he hates. I know there is probably a feeling of defeat for him in reapplying. At the same time, I’m grateful. I feel like that means he is keeping his word to me. He said he would apply for “jobs”. He specifically stated it wouldn’t be only CG jobs.

Even if it doesn’t pan out, I’m grateful for his actions.

If it does pan out I know it will help me feel better about having helped him. It would mean I could actually start putting money towards the credit card again. It would mean that Life would be progressing rather than staying stagnate in the mire I feel like I’ve waded into.

It would mean he’s pulling more of his own weight which takes the burden away from me. It would give me the ability to breathe again.

My main source of stress is money at the moment. Work sucks, but I know that’s getting ready to change. I’m getting ready to make more. I’m getting ready to have my days set and spaced out. It will be annoying but not what I would consider stressful. It’s known rather than unknown. It can be worked with and compensated for.

If I can hold on long enough for things to financially right themselves then the tension and uncertainty “should” go away. Then it becomes a matter of focusing on school.

I am stable with work, which was a goal for this year. It wasn’t purely financial stability I was trying to reach, but rather total Life stability.

I needed to come to terms with entering back into the workforce. I dealt with making a career change and getting my foot in the door for a completely different industry. I’ve actually progressed to the point of having goals again and even a roadmap for how to get to where I want to go.

Career-wise, I have a job which will work with me in regards to school. I have a team who cares about me and who supports me. I have a boss who is exceedingly understanding and who actually listens to me when we have conversations. And it’s not that I dislike my work. I dislike how demanding and unthoughtful the system is; how it makes sleep seem like a luxury we indulge in rather than a basic life necessity. I feel that’s most healthcare positions in general, though.

One CNA CANNOT give adequate care to 20 patients who all need to be bathed and dressed. Companies are too focused on bottom line and Excel sheets and metrics. Too many people with a business degree are in charge rather than people who have actually worked on the floor and who understand what their choices actually do. I feel most workers are treated as cells rather than as humans. We are digital text on a screen, expendable, deletable, rather than people with families, lives, goals, hobbies, fears, and insecurities.

I love my patients, and I love my team. I love that I help people and that my patients are grateful that I do the things I do. On days where I’m not overwhelmed with burnout, it does make my job feel like I have a purpose. I matter. My time matters. My actions matter, because all of it goes into keeping someone else alive. It goes into letting them go home to their husband or wife. It lets them go on trips to Tampa to celebrate their 20th anniversary. It lets them see their great grandbaby. It lets them have Thanksgiving.

I WILL NOT stay with this company, but for now, with the changes I hope school forces to happen, I think I’ll be able to stick it out another couple of years. I like the experience I’m getting. I like how I don’t mentally freak out when someone starts bottoming out from hypotension. I know what to do. I’m confident in my choices. I can stabilize the situation and get the required help I need. I’ve seen patients have seizures. I’ve seen a lot of things in my roughly eight months of working.

I want to keep working while going to school because I want the wisdom of experience as well as the knowledge of a degree. I do think if I’m able to find a balance with everything that I’ll be ok.

One of those things I’m considering is changing the time I attend my class in January. At the moment I have it set for 9:30 am. If I don’t get off work until roughly 9 pm it’s going to make training the in morning before school hard. I also do not want to be in the middle of Orlando rush hour traffic in the evening. It may be that training happens in the afternoon and plasma donation happens in the evening.

I could also look into going to a different donation center; one closer to school. Grocery shopping shouldn’t be too bad since there are several stores between here and school.

I guess this is a good sign. I’m acknowledging where there may be friction in the upcoming system and I’m brainstorming workarounds and alterations to relieve that friction. Like with laundry… Maybe it would be best to do it in the evenings when I get home from work. Shower first, toss everything into the wash then go about my evening for an hour, decompressing, eating dinner, prepping for the next day, before switching the wash to the dryer and going to sleep. That way it’s done and not an added item to my to-do list on school days. And even if I can’t tough it out for an hour, I can switch the wash to the dryer in the morning and still have it off of my to-do list before the day even starts.

I don’t know if this writing has really helped. I guess it has. I like how I acknowledged the actions I’m currently doing along with the actions of others. I like how I’ve reminded myself of what is in the very near future. And I like how I’ve changed work to a number of days rather than stretching it into the vast foreverness it felt like before.

Six days.

I have a countdown. I have an end before my restart.

I can do this.

Musing Moment 110: Trust Issues

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I had thought to make flashcards today to study for my certification, but sitting here at my sports bar with most of everything else already done I feel the need to write instead.

I had therapy today and during it, I realized something I guess I’ve always known.

I have trust issues.

Only… it’s more than that.

I don’t trust my friends to be there for me when I need them. I don’t trust my brothers to help me when I fall down. I don’t trust anyone to be there the way mom was and because of that, I feel alone.

I knew I felt alone because mom died and I knew that I don’t think anyone else in my life is reliable. I guess finally realizing the real reason behind being lonely is what’s so sobering.

Out of everyone in my life, all the people who care about me, there isn’t anyone that I would want to do a trust fall with.

Everyone in my life has either let me down or proven themselves to be unreliable.

In a way this realization makes me feel more solid, more stable. At least I know the reason behind my feelings now. At least I know the logic behind not believing anyone when they say something to me. At least I know why I go through these seizing moments of isolating loneliness when things get hard and I feel like I can’t find a solution. At least I know why I don’t reach out to others when things get overwhelming.

No one else is handling their own shit, so what would make me think they can help me with mine?

I can’t talk to my older brother about my emotions. I can’t not clash with my younger brother. I can’t depend on Warren to pay rent. I can’t count on work not to fuck me over.

I trust my blacksmith, but our lives do not cross the way normal relationships do so he cannot be the type of safety net mom was. He can be there in as much capacity as he is able to be, but that’s all. I trust Big Bad as well but pride would prevent me from asking for help if I ever needed it.

Everyone else has a giant wall between me and them. Some I allow closer than others, but no one is on the inside anymore and it was interesting realizing that.

I don’t even know if it’s right for me to say I love people anymore because realizing that I don’t truly trust anyone makes me question how “true” the love I feel is. I feel if you don’t have trust you can’t have anything. Trust is the foundation for everything. So if I don’t trust the people in my life how can I say I love them?

Maybe there are different types, different degrees, of love? I do believe that to be true. I love my patients differently than I love my brothers. So maybe it’s more realizing that the love I feel only goes so far. It only covers so much. Most likely not as much as other people love me.

While people may trust me to be there and to come through, I do not trust others to do the same for me because history shows me they won’t.

I have stopped believing words. People can say anything they want to me. I will hear them and I will make a mental note of what was said, but I won’t truly believe what they say until I see actions which support it.

I’m evaluating my relationships again. I’m realizing how many of them are with people who are content to merely exist rather than to truly live. It’s easier to not do things. It’s easier to not come through. After all, we’re friends so I’ll understand right? It’s not personal. Things just “didn’t work out”.

I think I’m done with those mentalities. I think I’m done bleeding pain and energy into things that aren’t going to change. I think I’m ok with having the trust issues I do because those people have earned my lack of trust.

Maybe this is where quality over quantity comes into play.

I never thought of myself as having many friends. I thought the ones had were of quality, but if I don’t trust them then how healthy are those relationships? Is it worth continuing to maintain them when it feels one-sided and parasitic? Would I be better of being slightly more alone, have slightly fewer friends, but know the ones I do have are trust-worthy and really will be there when I need them?

Wouldn’t it be better to know the numbers in my phone are ones I can call and, no matter what, receive help?

Looking at it that way I wouldn’t have more than 10 numbers.

It’s something I need to meditate on further.

The past two weeks have been hard. I’ve worked 56 hours each week. I’ve had to give up the dojo because I can’t afford both it and rent. I’ve been looking into donating plasma to keep making ends meet. I’ve decided to go back to school for Nursing. I’ve talked to two advisors who want me to pursue becoming a professor and who have helped me map out how to get to that point in life.

I spent Saturday evening with my blacksmith. Monday evening I spent with Big Bad. Mother Earth and I have made plans to go to Daytona Saturday night to watch the sunrise Sunday morning.

There are certain facets of life that suck. I’ll never see Mr. W again. We had to call EMS for him. If he’s alive he’ll be going to a different clinic now, one closer to his facility. I never got to say goodbye to him. I never got to hold his hand and say, “I’m glad I met you.”

Those moments are so fleeting. I’ll never be able to say those words to him and there’s a part of me who so desperately wishes I could. I let that moment go and I will never be able to get it back.

Every class I miss at the dojo is a moment that cannot be redone. Every time I work past when I’m supposed to and I give up something I wanted, it’s gone for forever. Every time I don’t say words I’m risking the chance to never say them again.

I told my blacksmith about losing my patient. He said the first step is realizing it’s not my fault.

I know it’s not my fault. I know mom’s death wasn’t my fault.

I don’t feel guilt.

I feel helpless. I feel like I do all these things and yet they still die.

He said the next step was to realize that as healers, at best, we are speed bumps in life. We cannot stop death. The best we can hope to do is prolong life for a fraction of a second more and to accept that we did our best and healed as fully as we could.

Maybe that’s where I’m at. I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do to stop death. I am powerless, weak, small, and mortal in the face of Death and I always will be. We all will be. We are but humans.

All I can do is live my life to the fullest I can in the moments I have.

I think I’m done with the relationships where I don’t feel there is trust.

I think this is another phase, another transformation in the journey of my grief. I know people will be hurt but I also know I deserve better than hollow promises and empty words.

I owe self-respect to myself.

I’m figuring things out. I’m taking steps forward. Some of those steps are going to take me away from people. I think that’s part of life, though. Part of the journey.

I know I’ll figure it out.

Those aren’t hollow words. That phrase is a fact.

Mom always had a way of convincing me to hold on even though I wanted to give up.

I’m holding on for you, mom. Some things super suck right now but I’m not going to let Life win. I’m going to figure it out and I’m not worried about all of the blood, sweat, and tears it’s going to take. Part of me wants it to be hard. I want to get to the end and have the ability to throw up my middle fingers and to scream in anguish, frustration, pride, and triumph until my lungs give out and my throat is raw.

Fuck you, Life. Fuck all of your complications. Go on and make it hard. I’ll still crush it because I refuse to accept defeat. I’m going to make this, all of this, work, and there’s nothing you can throw at me that will stop me. Not money problems. Not trust issues. Not fear or worry. Not sleepless nights or 16 hour days.

I will do more than exist. I will live my life and you can’t stop me.

 

Musing Moment 109: What I Am

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strong

That is Google’s definition of the word strong.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM strong.

It IS ok for me to accept this aspect of myself. It is ok to be stronger than others. It is also ok to be weaker than others.

Accepting my strength does not make me better or worse than anyone else. It does not make me unfeminine.  It does not make me arrogant or conceded.

Being strong is simply a part of what makes me, me.

My goal is not to be strong. Being strong is a byproduct of being true to myself and that’s ok.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong.

 


 

fitness

This is Google’s definition of the word fitness.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM fit.

I get sick less often and I recover faster when I do. I am less tired and sore after physically demanding activities.

I am more fit than I was in my past. I am more fit than some people, less fit than others, but that does not mean I myself, in this moment, am not already fit.

This is another aspect of myself which is ok for me to acknowledge and accept. Recognizing this as a truth about myself does not make me egotistical or narcissistic.

I can let go of the nebulous goal I’ve had for years. I no longer want to “be” healthy. I AM healthy, and it’s ok for me to want to maintain and improve upon my level of fitness. Much like the term strength, wanting to improve something doesn’t mean I am not already that thing. I am fit and being fit is now a byproduct of being true to myself.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am fit. I am healthy; spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

 


 

Time for Some Goals

 


 

I have affirmed for myself that I am strong and fit, so now comes the part where I figure out what I want my foci to be and why I’m still dissatisfied with myself even though I consciously know I have drastically improved.

Firstly, I have determined there are things I do not want.

I do not want to be a certain size. I do not want to be a certain weight. I do not want to be “buff” or “one of the guys”.

I want to be myself and I want to be human.

Cool. Those seem easy enough to fulfill, right? Go me for setting the bar super high. : D

All joking aside, I have determined there are three things, in particular, I would like to focus on.

I want to improve my cardiac endurance, I want to be more agile, and I want to be more flexible.

 


 

Cardiac Endurance

I will complete the Spartan race in December.

This is now my immediate goal.

I want to prove to myself that I’m able to do it, regardless of if I run the whole course or not. I want to show myself that I’ve improved and that I can keep reaching higher and higher. All it takes is time and determination; dedication.

My reward for completing the Spartan course will be new compression gear. New shirts and shorts; my birthday gifts to myself.

I will begin running twice a week to improve my cardiac endurance.

My next goal will be running the Warrior Dash in February. I will run the whole course. My reward for the Warrior Dash will be new Vibrams and flipflops.

In April, April 4th specifically, I will go to my sensei and express my interest in being a fighter. This will give me two months to reflect on my journey and solidify my next courses of action.

This admission to my sensei will begin the next phase of whatever I decide my life to be.

 

Agile

Agility is the speed and strength at which a motion can be performed.

Being agile will help make me a better fighter and give me an edge against bigger, more muscle-bound opponents. I can improve my agility by incorporating plyometrics into my workouts. I can quantifiably measure my agility by tracking how high I can jump, how quickly I am able to complete sets along with how many repetitions I complete during a set.

My current goal for measuring my agility is jumping the red box at the gym. I am already at blue, a step above both gray and green.

My reward for jumping the red box will be new boxing gloves.

 

Flexibility

While being agile is more connected to speed, flexibility is more concerned with the range of motion one can attain during an action.

This is something I feel I have largely neglected since mom’s death. I can feel how my hamstrings and hip flexors are tight, how sometimes it’s hard to keep my knees from bending while I stretch. My range of motion is not what it used to be and I can feel that difference within myself; that limitation.

I will incorporate yoga back into my routines. I will attend a yoga class once a week.

My goal for measuring my flexibility in my hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders is to hold a complete and properly executed “Standing Bow Pose” for 10 seconds.

At this moment I do not have a reward for this goal.

 


 

So, why so dissatisfied?

 


 

I’m not really unhappy with myself. I don’t look in the mirror and berate myself and say unnice adjectives inside of my head like I’m my own bully. But there is a level of “not quite there yet” within myself that I don’t like.

I don’t have the body I “want” to have and so I haven’t really accepted the improvements I’ve made even though I appreciate them and consciously recognize that they are there.

Like, dude, seriously, I have guns now. And not just nerf guns. Actual bicep definition and yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds.

So what gives? If I like the changes I see then why am I “not ok”?

After researching and looking up the definition to different terms like I was back in middle school or something, I think I’ve figured it out.

I want to be leaner than I currently am. I want to have a different body composition.

The good news?

Becoming leaner is something that is inevitable for me. Like strength and fitness, becoming lean is and will continue to be a byproduct of being true to myself. Nothing needs to be changed or added for me to reach this next “nebulous goal”.

I am leaner than I was six months ago. I am leaner than I was when mom died a year and a half ago. I am leaner than I was four years ago. The dissatisfaction I feel with my body is largely due to the pressers of society and my own mental image of what I “should” look like.

The best thing to do is to not become discouraged that I am not “there” yet. I need to be patient with myself. I need to keep in mind that rest days are important and that there is such a thing as pushing too hard. I need to stay the course and not get frustrated. I want to get “there”, but I want to get “there” in a healthy and safe way. Becoming leaner will come in time. It’s already drastically improved and will continue to do so all on its own.

I’m not sure if becoming leaner counts as a goal. I don’t think it does and I’m ok with that. This isn’t meant to be a goal, more a realization of why I feel dissatisfied with myself. That dissatisfaction is uncalled for on my part. I should remember how far I have come rather than focusing on what society thinks I should be.

I am doing well and this aspect of myself, my body composition, will continue to improve and change as I keep myself focused on my goals and commitments.