Musing Moments 121: Leadership Essay

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This was the essay I submitted with my application for the leadership course my company is offering. I should know by tomorrow if I make it to phase three; the interview phase.


 

Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group of people or an organization. The
connotation of leadership for me, however, goes much deeper. Leadership is about seeing the potential within people around you and cultivating that potential. This notion stems from my firsthand experiences with phenomenal leaders, such as my mother, my Course Director at Full Sail University, and my current Facility Administrator. These experiences also fuel my passion regarding the concept of leadership.

I view my mother as a leader only with the hindsight of her death. My parents divorced when I was extremely young. Not only did she contend with the discord of the divorce while raising two unruly children alone, she did so while also attending school full-time to become an RN. I learned to keep my grades up and to behave properly otherwise there would be consequences. As I grew, my goals changed. My mother’s goal, however, remained to raise me into a respectful and honorable person and she found ways of helping me achieve my own goals while also accomplishing hers. Sometimes leadership requires making hard choices and skillfully guiding others towards a bigger picture; one they may not fully understand at the time.

At Full Sail University not only was I a student, I also became an instructor and worked closely with one of my former professors. While attending classes, my instructor helped me overcome feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy as I began my journey into the extremely competitive industry of Computer Animation. Without my instructor’s support and encouragement, my fear of failure would have kept me from choosing the ambitious projects I did. As I began my career as an industry professional, he guided me through the feelings of anxiety in regards to leading lectures, posting my work online, and heading freelance projects. In this instance, leadership was about helping me overcome internal struggles and intangible challenges which would have held me back and prevented me from being as successful as I was.

After my mother’s death, I left my role as an instructor to begin a new career in the medical field. With nearly two years as a PCT behind me, my focus is towards the future, and as such, much of the support I receive from my current Facility Administrator is also future-oriented. She is extremely encouraging in my goal to return to school to become an RN. She facilitated my participation in Academy which has provided the opportunity for me to become a preceptor myself as well as allowing me to complete the DSS Leadership application. We have had conversations of additional roles within the company I could consider once I become an RN, such as clinical coordinator. Here, leadership is about inspiring others and exposing people to ideas they may not have been aware of or reached for on their own.

I care very deeply about my connotation of leadership; this notion of building people up and helping someone be the best they can be. Leadership entails more than simply leading. Leadership encompasses guidance, support, and empathy as well. Leadership can, and does, fundamentally change lives. How could I not be passionate about leadership when it has had, and continues to have, such a drastic impact on who I am as a person?

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Musing Moment 120: The Confusion of Leadership

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Written yesterday. Posted today since
I’m trying to catch back up with life.

 


 

This is going to be a rough and dirty post and I mean dirty as in more of a “word vomit” sort of way. Gross I know, but a lot of stuff has happened work wise and I want to get some of my thoughts at least out of my head and mildly figured out so I have something to think about while I go about the rest of my day.

I went to Academy for work and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was actually pretty cool and enjoyable for the most part. If given the choice to go back and do it again, I would.

When I got back I had an email saying I had already been picked for the second phase of the leadership course I want to take. That’s the essay part. I have two options to write about. I can explain my passion for leadership or I can write about why I want to move into a leadership role within the company.

Since I don’t really want to move into a leadership role, at least not at the moment, that leaves writing about my passion for leadership.

Queue the reason this is an issue and why I need to write through my thoughts…

I’m not really passionate about leadership…

No. Not leadership. I’m more passionate about leaders and this is why.

I’m passionate about the people who have taken their time and energy to help build me up. The amazing leaders I have interacted with helped me overcome challenges. They’ve inspired me to achieve things I didn’t think I could. They listened to me when I had doubts and brainstormed solutions with me that I wouldn’t have been able to find on my own. They’ve given me information to think about or provided resources for me to look into and then stepped back, giving me the space to find my own way. They watched as I climbed mountains and shared in my feelings of success and victory. They were part of the journey but never demanded credit or recognition for something they clearly had a large part in. They gained happiness out of seeing me succeed.

I feel like I already have several skills that make me a “leader”. I’m good at problem-solving. I’m good at being empathetic. I’m good at seeing not only the big picture but also all of the little steps it takes to get to the end goal. I’m good at organizing and making a roadmap to get to the desired destination. I’m good at seeing the potential in others and helping them see it as well. I’ve already been in “leadership” positions. I’m pretty decent at communicating with others and actually listening when they talk. I’m good at hearing what is said, but also what is not said. I’m good at being open and approachable so people tell me the truth, even the dark, deep, scary stuff they might not normally tell others.

So, if I already halfway sort of think of myself as a “leader” why do I want to do this course?

Because I think it would be fun. I think it would teach me more than I already know. I think I could benefit from it and be exposed to new things that I could use to be an even better person. It could give me new skills that I could use to continue to help build people up because that’s ultimately what I want to do. I want to help make other people succeed in what they’re trying to do.

I want to inspire my team. I want to encourage my coworkers. I want to be someone they trust and willing choose to follow rather than being forced to. It’s one of the reasons I love working with my FA so much. Over the past 10 or so months I have grown to respect her through all of our interactions. From her comment of “I’m not going to let you fail” to simple actions like emptying the bleach containers for me to the wage increase she didn’t have to ask for on my behalf. She does so much to show she cares about me as a worker. I feel safe and secure with her. We’ve talked about me becoming an RN and she’s shared parts of her own journey through the process.

She’s listened to me say, “I feel like I don’t have goals,” and then stated her own observations contradicting my comment. I might not have a specific title or position in mind, but I do have goals. I want to become a preceptor. I want to become a nurse so I can broaden my scope within the clinic and provide a deeper level of care for my patients.

She has encouraged me to step out and apply for things. She covered the floor while I was away at Academy so I could go in the first place. She took a bullet to let me have a win essentially. She didn’t have to go through two days of hell to send me to Dever, but she did because she felt like it was worthwhile to invest in me; that in the long run, it would make our team better, and it has. It will.

I don’t know where I’m going with this…

I guess to me a leader isn’t a leader simply because they are in a higher position in relation to everyone else. I didn’t lord over my students the fact that I knew more than them. I didn’t build myself up and boast that my scripts were used globally. I didn’t brag. I didn’t make myself to seem more than human. In fact, I didn’t really care about my accomplishments. It wasn’t about me. It was about them.

It was about showing them that while yeah, rigging is technical and there’s computer code and super scary shit like that, that it was still learnable and useful and even fun once you got over that fear. Once the fear was gone they went on to make amazing things. They found confidence in themselves and it was fulfilling to be part of that transformation.

Leadership isn’t about a single person. It’s about the team and the potential it has to achieve amazing, unimaginable things. All someone needs sometimes is to know that someone else believes in them, cares about them, is invested in them. Yeah, it’s a really big mountain, but you know what? If you want to climb it I’ll climb it with you, and when it gets hard I’ll be there to help you through it. And when you finally get to the top I’ll be there to give you an epic high five because you did it. You climbed it and that’s awesome. You’re awesome. All of those setbacks and worries and fears didn’t stop you. You got through them and you’re a badass and you proved it to yourself. Not to me because I knew you were a badass. I knew you could do this. You proved it to that evil little voice in your head that whispered or screamed that you couldn’t, that you shouldn’t, that it’s easier to not try than to fail.

That’s what leadership is to me. It’s about caring about others. It’s about having a “we” versus “me” mentality. It’s about caring about the whole more than yourself because together we achieve more.

I don’t know if that really answers anything for me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to cleanly write a rough draft for my essay or not, but I think it’s a good start.

“We” verse “me” seems like a good point. And the “together we achieve more”. Gah, who knew I would be freaking out over a simple, measly 500 word essay. >.<;

Musing Moments 119: A Heartfelt Thank You

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I stayed an extra two hours at the clinic last Friday, wrapping things up and making sure the clinic was in a good spot before my trip out to Dever for training. While I was there I took the time to write a letter to my FA. I had been wanting to do this since getting my wage increase at work but had never made the time to figure out exactly what I wanted to say. Sitting alone, surrounded by the quietness of a place I know feel a part of and comfortable in allowed the words to flow and to express what I never seemed to be able to say during the busy hours of work. This is what I wrote.

 

Side note: I changed the greeting line to avoid using actual names.

 


 

Hey Amazing FA,

Firstly, I hope your morning is off to a good start; at least as good as it can be at 4 in the morning. : p

Secondly, I wanted to type this out since I felt that a sticky note wouldn’t be able to fully explain the stack of papers you’ll find under this one.

I’ve recently had a hard time keeping up with all of the in-service documentation during normal clinic hours. I took time Friday evening to catch back up. While I was cleaning the top drawer of the PCT deck I found a few in-service documents dating back by quite a few months. I apologize for this lapse on my part.

To prevent this from happening in the future I have placed a hanging folder in the second drawer of the PCT deck which will only be used for my incomplete in-service paperwork. This, ideally, should prevent further in-service documentation from being misplaced or forgotten.

     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –     –

And last but not least, on a personal note, I would like to take a moment to write something that I haven’t figured out quite yet how to express in words in regards to my wage increase.

Thank you.

And I don’t mean that in just a normal “thank you” sort of way. I mean it in a heartfelt way. I mean it in a very real and human sort of way in which those words cannot truly express or encompass everything I wish I could convey.

Some people may look at my increase and see only digits being added to my paycheck or dollars being taken away from the company.

This increase to me, however, IS my dojo and I needed you to know that.

It wasn’t just numbers to me. It wasn’t just digits changing the bottom line. Your kindness gave me my safe place. It gave me my “me time”. It gave me personal growth and fun and challenges and my inner strength and a way to cope with my grief over mom’s death.

You made it possible for me to have something that I was struggling to afford and for that, I will always be grateful. For that, “thank you” can never be enough. “Thank you” cannot possibly hope to contain all of the gratitude I feel and yet I have no better words other than those two.

So… thank you, deeply, sincerely. for everything. Thank you for reading this novel of a letter. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me. And most importantly, thank you for being my FA.

Try to have a good week. I’ll see you on Friday. : )

Your PCT,

Jen

Musing Moment 118: Why are you taking this course?

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My CNA class started and so begins the homework assignments and study sessions. Since part of my course is online there are discussion forums where I need to post and reply to show class involvement.

This is the post I wrote for my introduction and answering the question of “Why?”


 

Greetings my fellow humans,

My name is Jennifer. I am an INFJ personality type on the Myers-Briggs scale and I recently moved to Nebraska; as of February this year. Before that, I lived in Orlando, so ask me in a few weeks if I still like the weather. : )

The question of “why are you taking this course?”, for me, is a bit tricky to answer. I suppose the easy answer is because I want to keep moving forward in my career. I have been employed with DaVita Dialysis for about a year and a half. I am currently working at the Beatrice clinic, but I frequently help cover shifts at the Lincoln, Omaha, and Fremont clinics as well. While I was in Orlando I worked in their downtown clinic.

My role is that of a Patient Care Technician. It’s fulfilling but I am limited in what I can do to help the nurses I work with. Becoming a CNA is a step towards LPN, which would allow me to work in a broader scope and provide more not only for my teammates but also for the patients under my care.

While that answer is real, it’s not the deep, dark, real answer; the one secreted away and hidden because it leaves you vulnerable and exposed on the emotional level.

In truth, this is my second career. I used to teach Computer Animation and Game Art at a college in Florida. I have taught students who have gone on to work at places like Dreamworks, Sony, and Microsoft. I have created computer scripts which are used globally by studios and I have a modest following on YouTube and Vimeo for tutorials I have created. I loved teaching and I still, to this day, receive messages from former students thanking me for my time. Life has its own plans for us, however, and we very often find ourselves facing situations we never thought we would.

Two and a half years ago my mother was hospitalized. We spent two weeks in and out of surgery. The doctors were confident in her recovery and we were scheduled to be discharged to a rehab center before being allowed to go back home. On April 4th, 2016 my mother suffered a pulmonary embolism. She did not recover. At the age of 27, I found myself the matriarch of my family as my youngest brother placed her mother’s ring into the palm of my hand.

Sitting in front of a computer for roughly 8 to 16 hours a day didn’t feel fulfilling anymore. Nothing did. I couldn’t go back to the life I had after all of the experiences I had gone through during those two weeks. The only reason I was able to survive the situation of my mother’s hospitalization and the aftermath of her death was because of the kindness and compassion I was given during that time of my life. I couldn’t keep living and not, in some way, give back.

I wanted to be able to help people survive their own dark times because I knew what it’s like to be faced with them and not know how you’re going to make it to the other side or if there even is an “other side” to make it to in the first place. I helped teach my class through a transition it was going through and then resigned from my position with the school, joining the ranks of the unemployed for roughly a year.

During that year I became EKG certified as well as a certified phlebotomist. I took a Nursing Assistant class, but never tested for state certification. A lot of that has to do with my own grief and struggling with the feelings of accomplishment and success, both of which had become painful experiences since mom was no longer there to call afterward and share the experience with. My mom was an RN and would have been ecstatic and that made it all the harder to do.

I had an extremely hard time getting my foot in the door of the medical field. Companies weren’t interested in me because I had no experience. It didn’t matter what awards I had gotten, what my previous accomplishments were. As far as medical, I was found lacking and often was passed over.

I wanted so badly to help others, and yet, I kept being told no. No. No. No. No. Until, finally, one day, I heard a “maybe”. I received a call from a DaVita recruiter. They wanted to know if I would be interested in shadowing at a clinic to see if dialysis was something I thought I could handle. After shadowing I had an interview where I was honest with the three Facility Administrators sitting across the table from me. I told them I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but that I wanted to try and all I could promise was I would do my best because in the end that’s all I can do; my best.

Almost two years later, I’m still with the company. I am an expert level cannulator and working towards becoming a Vascular Assess Manager. I will forever be grateful to DaVita for being the first company willing to give me a chance; for training me and giving me the opportunity to learn new skills and to make a difference in people’s lives.

Securing employment had been my main objective at that point in my life. Since I had accomplished that, obtaining CNA fell to the wayside. Funny how now it is one of the few requirements I need to keep moving forward. I suppose this is a moment of, “live and learn”.

Things are different now. I’ve had time to heal a bit more. I’ve had time to become adjusted to and confident in my new field. I’ve been given the space to meditate and to figure out what I want to do with this new phase of life and so to get to where I want to be I need to become an actual Certified Nursing Assistant.

A potential end goal is the possibility to get back into teaching. That particular direction would see me going back to school to become not only an LPN but also an RN with at least a BSN or even a MSN. I’m sure mom would do the happy dance if I went that far with my schooling. That is still yet to be determined, though, and with how drastically and suddenly life can change, I’m not holding myself to anything at the moment, but rather seeing what happens and what feels right at the time.

I know, for now, this is the direction that feels right and so here I am, and though this may be my second time taking a Nursing Assistant course, I know that this time will be different and I’m looking forward to having it be part of my journey.

Thanks for reading if you did. It was nice to finally be able to share this part of my story.

Musing Moments 117: Waking Up Late

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So I thought I had training at 10 am this morning. Turns out it was set for 8:30 and there’s no possible way for me to make it on time. That sort of sucks. I’ve had a good morning so far and now I feel like I’ve dropped the ball. I’ve already messaged my trainer to see if we can reschedule for later today or possibly tomorrow. I’m waiting to hear back from him.

Aside from that, the morning has been going smoothly. I can’t say I’m heartbroken over the mishap. It means I get to write without feeling rushed. I can still enjoy my coffee as I sit and type everything out. I can potentially to go the gym here, which I didn’t do yesterday. I can get the laundry started, which needs to get done, and I can spend a majority of the day gaming, which is something I want to do.

It can be a lazy day for the most part; slowly productive.

Yesterday wasn’t bad. The more I work the more I realize that no matter what I do, it’s most likely always going to suck and leave me tired. 16 hour days were brutal. 12 hours still kick your ass, though. I’m done, mentally, by the time change over gets settled and then I still have to stick around for another four hours after that until all of the patients finish their treatment. And then I have to close down the clinic and drive about 30 minutes home.

By the time everything is said and done I really don’t want to do anything. I have the energy to chill and relax, but going places, doing actual things, being around more people… I really don’t want any of that. I want to change into comfy clothes. I want to be off my feet. I want to be home and know that I’m done being in charge and making things happen.

I feel like I’ve been writing about the same things lately, over and over again. I whine about work. I whine about the gym. I whine about my eating. I don’t like feeling like I’m whining without taking active steps to fix the things I’m whining about. I don’t want to be “that person”. They’re annoying as fuck. Either fix your problems or stop complaining. >.<;

Well, my job isn’t going to change. That’s a fact. I don’t have the option to work an eight-hour shift. So working different hours isn’t a choice.

I could look elsewhere for employment, leaving my patients, my boss, and my pay which while it might make for pretty wonderings inside my head, comes with its own set of hardships and problems and stress to figure out. It’s not an option I really want to entertain. At least, not at the moment with having no other active certifications to ease the transition into a new line of work outside of dialysis.

Ox suggested doubling up my workouts instead of trying to go to the gym after work. He suggested doing my personal training and then a second workout on the same day.

Blarg. It was easier to do things when I was unemployed. There are certain things I miss about that year of my life. It was easier to focus on improving myself.

At the moment, I like the idea of finishing my writing, showering, then going to the gym to row and do yoga. There’s a peacefulness, a sense of smoothness and unrushed completion. I don’t have to drive far which is an added bonus and something that makes everything here in Nebraska a bit harder to do. Everything is at least a 20-minute drive one way.

Maybe it would be better to move training to after work since I would already in the Beatrice. It wouldn’t be extra driving on my days off. More efficient gas wise.

Arg. I don’t know. I do know that even though I’m back from my trip and doing “better” in most areas then I was before I left, I still haven’t done anything extra in regards to working out like I had hoped and I still can’t fight through the burnout I feel after work to really do much of anything.

Today there’s an SCA combat practice scheduled, but the thought of seeing people I haven’t seen in months and explaining my absence makes me not want to go. I don’t know if that’s anxiety and something I should work through or if I should be patient with myself and go when it feels “right”.

I guess part of it is I don’t feel like fighting. I don’t want to put my armor on. I don’t want to go to the dojo and spar. And at the moment I don’t know what those feelings mean.

I’m worried when I weigh in on Thursday that there still won’t be much progress and that thought is demotivating. Maybe that’s a factor to the “not wanting to do anything” feelings. I feel… defeated in a way. I know I’m going to lose so why fight a battle I can’t win?

That’s not a very healthy mentality. If I would get up and do the things I know I should do, I would be making progress. I would see more changes. I would know it’s not a pointless, unachievable task. Hell. I already know it’s not because I’m sitting here in a pair of my new shorts since I had to go buy new clothes because my old stuff wasn’t fitting well anymore.

I can still see the changes in my arms and legs. I still have way more muscle definition than I’ve ever had in my life. I KNOW my body composition has changed because of what I was doing before my vacation, so why is there so much aversion now and the feeling that it’s pointless?

As much as I dislike this thought, part of it might be my feelings for Ox. I want to come home and see him when I’m done with work. We don’t get much time together. The thought of spending another hour or more away doing my own thing isn’t all that appealing anymore. When I felt more like a roommate I think it was easier. It didn’t feel like it mattered if I was home or not. Who cares if I come home right after work or spend a few hours at the dojo, pulling into the driveway an hour before bedtime?

Well… I care. I want my time with my companion. I want my me time, too, but not as much as I want my hug and comfy clothes I guess.

My trainer just responded. I can meet with him at 3:30 today which means I can still have my lazy morning. I can still go row and warm up, loosen up, and then do some yoga. I can still do the laundry and defrost the chicken. I can still stop by Walmart on the way home and pick up the veggies I want.

The day can still work out nicely even with my unintentional mess up this morning.

I wish there was an easy solution to everything. Or at least a solution I wanted to implement. The whole “push through it and do it anyway” mentality isn’t working for me. Honest answer, I don’t want to go to the gym on my work days. So I guess that leaves finding a different course of action.

I don’t want to wake up at 2 am to go to the gym either, so the option to workout before work gets scratched off the list, too. That leaves working out on my off days or not doing it at all, which I don’t want that option to be on the list either.

So… I guess that leaves trying to pull double duty. That still gives me four days a week to do stuff, theoretically. That’s more than half… so why is there this feeling of not good enough?

Most likely because I WAS unemployed for a year and got the chance to do six days a week, three hours each day. I know what I’m capable of and so I know how much less I’m doing now than I was before.

I also know how much I was doing before I left Orlando, which was only an hour a week. It feels like I’m back there in a way. I do personal training and that’s about it. But I have a personal life in addition to my training, which I didn’t have in Orlando. I sleep fuller nights here, too, since I have more than five hours before I have to turn around and be back to work.

I know that I’m spending $60 a month on a membership I’m not really using, which sucks. It’s wasted money and since it’s a contract there’s no way out of it. I need to start using it to justify not putting that money towards my car or credit card. I know the gym is important to me and I do want to continue on my path to be a healthier me.

Maybe that’s really the whole crux to this area of my life. How do I know when I’m healthier? How do I know when I’ve achieved something I was working towards when I have nothing defined to and for myself or a quantifiable thing to measure?

I’m not consciously, actively working towards something, so all of my actions feel pointless, directionless, and useless.

In addition to the LPN program paperwork, maybe that’s something else I can try to work through today. I need a goal so I know why I’m doing the things I’m doing.

Maybe I should try doing the 30-day challenge again.

I have about six hours before I need to be to training. I guess we’ll see what I can get done and figured out during that time.

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.

Musing Moment 114: Inching Closer

Standard

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.