Daily Post 170: The Post-Work Feelz

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I just got out of work.

It was a day…

And by “it was a day” I mean I got there at 3:45 because I was listed as C2. Census 2. That means as far as how this clinic breaks up tasks, I was supposed to set up the floor. I needed to put out needle packs and treatment sheets and dialysers and string the machines. And today was the day after they bleached the loop, so all of the machines had to be tested for residual bleach so bad shit won’t happen because while bleach is amazing, it’s not amazing inside of your body; specifically inside your bloodstream.

Add to that the knowledge that the new tech, the one I actually don’t really like because she has an avoidance issue when it comes to doing pretty much anything in the clinic, was supposed to open the water room post disinfect…

If somethings going to go wrong it’s going to go wrong this morning, so yeah. I’m going to get there early and work off the clock until 4:15 when I clocked in, because we need to be ahead of schedule for when shit hits the fan… like it did.

There was an issue with the bicarb she mixed. Conductivity on the machines wouldn’t come up. Not a fun way to start the morning.

We recovered. In the grand scheme of things, having to remake bicarb isn’t all that awful. The morning mellowed out after that. Change over wasn’t horrific. I got to dip out 30 minutes early. But even leaving early puts me at less than 12 hours before I have to be awake to get to my own clinic on time for another full day with a nurse from a different clinic who doesn’t know our machines or patients… Less than 12 hours before another rough day where I keep everything afloat… at least that’s what it feels like. I’m the “go-to” person. I’m the one everyone thanks for my hard work.

It would be nice to not be that person right now.

I don’t know why today rubs at the inside of my brain so much, but it does. I’m glad it’s over. I don’t have to go back to that clinic until Wednesday.

My own clinic’s TTS second shift is pretty much full. It’s good in that I can now get all of my hours at my own clinic. Sucky because there are no longer “easy” or “light” days. All days have a changeover and the one for TTS needs to be looked at. I already told my FA that it’s on the borderline of undoable with how patient off and on times are working out. Everything has to run perfect and that’s not how life goes. We need more of a buffer between events or another person on the floor, which won’t happen because there’s such a push on labor hours right now from upper management.

The coming weeks will be more telling, as far as the schedule goes. I’m expecting to have to have some super sucky days before anything changes. The change has to be justified because running behind 30 minutes when there were three of us on the floor wasn’t proof enough. /sigh

Anyway… I guess there really isn’t a whole lot to write about which is sort of sad.

I baked 250 muffins for the patients at all three of my clinics over the past two days. That was fulfilling, though at midnight on Wednesday I was wondering what I had gotten myself into and pretty sure that muffins would be listed as my cause of death. I really was up that late baking, and I still didn’t get all of it done. I had to finish it up Thursday afternoon.

It’s already spread around through the region that I did this “amazing” thing. One of my coworkers today joked about me getting employee of the year to which my reply was “please don’t punish me like that ;-; “

I didn’t bake muffins for special recognition. I don’t want an award or to be called out. I want to stay in the background and to be left alone to do my job. I know it sucks for my patients to come to dialysis on a holiday. So I made them a healthy protein muffin that they could have to celebrate the day in a special way. I didn’t do anything miraculous. Anyone could have baked muffins. And they’re just muffins. I mostly sat around waiting to take them out of the oven and wondering why I was too cheap to buy a second cupcake pan because holy fuck that would have made my life so much easier.

Don’t make it sound like I went to the moon and back because I didn’t. I baked muffins because that’s what I wanted to do. It’s how I wanted to spend my day… sort of. Day… not night and next day, but that’s what the project turned into, so that’s what I did. I had to see it to the end. Hell or high water.

Blah… I don’t want it to turn into a big deal but I feel like maybe it already has. Part of the introvert in me wishes I could undo it. The rest of me, the me who got to see all the smiles and hear all the compliments about how awesome the muffins turned out… that me doesn’t give a fuck about what anyone says or who gets emailed about me being an overachiever. It was worth it to make a bright spot in my patients’ day.

Ox and I are doing alright. The apartment is going ok. Still no internet. So much sad. ;-;

Maybe I’m too burnt out to really appreciate writing right now. I’m sitting at a Slim Chickens with food in front of me, ignoring it as I favor typing more than eating. I have to go across the street to Costco for gas. I figured food and internet would be a nice way to try to decompress from work, but I don’t think it’s really working all that much. I have my headphones in, making my own little bubble in the world as I try to type through this internal frustration and… anger? Maybe that’s what it is?

Why anger?

Maybe because Jon tried calling me while I was at work. I called me once I had clocked out but by then he had company over and wanted to chat later. I want to talk to mom, but I can’t. The closest I can get to that is talking to Jon and he didn’t want to talk. It sucks.

I want to work only at my clinic and not have to worry about covering at one I don’t like with sub-par people who make the day harder than it should be. I’m sort of angry that I’m scheduled to close said clinic I don’t like only to turn around at have to be at my own clinic super early in the morning. What the hell? How is that even fair? Did you not see what you were doing when you were making the schedule? How the hell am I supposed to get sleep inbetween those shifts?

This is one of those moments where I know I’m tired. I know I’m tired and I should just go to sleep because I’m so out of care that I just want the world to burn to ash around me.

When I ask myself “Is it worth it?” My answer is no. I don’t care. I’ve spent my entire day caring and so now I’m done. I have no more care left. The only thing I care about is being able to cry to let it all go and I can’t even bring myself to do that because that requires more effort then I can give.

I want someone to say that they understand that it sucks. That it hurts. That it’s not fair.

I want understanding but the person I want to understand can’t talk back to me. She can’t answer the phone. She can’t sit across from me at the table I’m sitting at. She can’t be here and that sucks. It sucks and it makes me angry.

Maybe that’s where it all started today… One of my patients was saying how he was grateful he was alive and how he is turning 63 and blessed. He’s older than my mom was when she died. It’s just fucking unfair sometimes. And I have to be understanding and supportive while I ache and hurt over a comment that wasn’t meant the way I took it.

It just… fucking sucks sometimes… And right now is one of those sometimes.

I miss you, mom. I’m still doing well. I’m doing so much at work and involved in so many things. I know you are proud of the difference I’m making. I love you. I guess I just need you to know that right now.

I love you and I miss you. I hope you’re doing well where ever you are. I hope you’re doing awesome things, too. I hope when we get to see each other again that we’ll both have tons of stories to tell each other. Good ones. Bad ones. Frustrating ones. Silly ones. Ones that make us laugh and cry and beam with pride and nod in understanding because yeah that might have been a mistake but we’re all human and as long as you learned from it that’s the important thing.

You’re still the best, mom. The best listener. The best confidant. The best perspective. The best. There’s still no one who can replace you and while I’m grateful for that, it still sucks. It sucks because I wish you were here. I wish I could hear you, listen to you, hug you.

I’m sorry it hurts today, mom. I’m pretty sure it hurts you, too, when I’m like this and I don’t mean for it to be that way. I’ll be ok. I’ll get better in a few days. I’m pretty sure what I need right now is to have a really good cry and to go to sleep for 16 hours.

Maybe I’ll be able to do that Sunday. Maybe that’s what I can give myself to look forward to. I can get everything done Saturday so I can sleep Sunday away; staying in pjs all day and not having to interact with people or do things. Just me and myself and solitude and maybe Ox and maybe a movie where we cuddle together again and enjoy being together since we don’t get that very often anymore.

Thanks for listening to me, mom. I feel better for writing to you. I still want to cry, but it feels like when I do actually do it, it will be a clean cry; a healing cry.

I’ll talk to you later, mom. I love you. Forever and for always.

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Daily Post 169: Contemplating School

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Written a few days ago. Not sure when.
All my days blur together at the moment.


I won’t really have a whole lot of time to write, and I did that to myself.

I talked to our RN for over an hour this morning. It was a good conversation. We don’t really get a lot of time to talk about patients and the clinic and ideas we have or concerns that are bothering us. It was a good talk. I feel like the whole team would benefit from having a “team lunch” or dinner or something where we can all get together in a non-work atmosphere and just… talk.

Anyway, the main point of this particular writing is to figure out a few things within my own head. Mostly about school and work and the combination of the two.

Since both me and our new tech are in the LPN program, we’re both going to be unable to be at the clinic on Tuesdays. That means someone is going to have to float in every other week since my FA has meetings in Omaha she has to be at every other Tuesday.

I don’t think our new tech is going to make it through the program. It’s nothing against her… It’s just a feeling and I’m not the only one who feels that way.

While I have these feelings, I also don’t want to leave my clinic screwed and so I’ve been wondering if going to school right now is the best option. Not that I would give up on it completely. I could take a single course. Microbiology or something like that. One of the prerequisite classes for the RN program which I still might continue on to after LPN.

I don’t think I’m fond of the idea of being in the same classes as this tech. I don’t want to be her study buddy. I don’t want to help her get through the program when I’m having to focus on getting myself through it at the same time. I don’t want the stress of worrying about her, but she’s my co-worker, so if I’m not supportive in her requests for help then I’m sort of being a dick.

I could just avoid all of that potential stress and switch to the Lincoln campus or hold off on the program itself for a bit longer.

I still have the issue of not really wanting to be a nurse. I want to be helpful to the clinic and my team. That means an additional degree…

But does it really?

For the next three weeks, since the new schedule came out yesterday, one of my five days is a meeting rather than working on the floor. This coming week will be the first VAM meeting. I asked my FA about it but she really didn’t have a whole lot of information to give me. She thinks it’s more of a brainstorming thing where we solidify what we as a region are going to do to establish consistency between clinics. Knowing I don’t have to have skills checked off or tasks completed before this meeting helps alleviate some of the stress over it. I still don’t like how much of an unknown it is, though. Sort of feels like I’ll be walking into it blind. I’ve never been to a “meeting” before. I sat in on one of the FHM meetings before, but I never really participated in one. I don’t know how to be prepared and that’s annoying inside my brain. Like sandpaper.

What if I get asked questions that I don’t know the answer to? What type of questions will there be? Are there even going to be questions? Who’s going to be there? What should I wear? I know where it is and how long it will be but that’s about all I know. Oh. And that my FA will be there. Arg. >.<

So that’s one of my days. The week after that will be the first PCT Advisory Committee meeting. I’m looking forward to that one. The week after that is my DSS class. Also looking forward to that.

I’m covering several days at our sister clinic along with covering days at Beatrice. We’re up to 11 patients on TTS. That’s almost a full two shifts. Gone are the days of easy days; early days.

If I’m working four and five days out of the week, or the 66 hours I pulled last week… when am I supposed to study so I can be successful and pass my classes?

I don’t really have an answer for that and I don’t think anyone else does either.

Do I want school?

Yes… I’m pretty sure yes. I got the apartment so I could be successful with school. I worked to get all my ducks in a row so I could be accepted into the program in the first place.

Realistically, my leadership class ends before school begins so I will no longer have to worry about reading a book read and completing assignments before the next meeting. The PCT thing meets every three months, so I don’t think that’s going to be as big a deal time wise. I don’t know what the VAM thing means for me work-wise…

I’ve been working for a while to get to this point, to get to the start of this program; to get accepted into this program. Do I want to back out of it right before it starts?

No. Not really. I’ve already told a lot of people that I was accepted into the program. A lot of people are looking forward to me having a broader scope of practice. I’m looking forward to achieving something other than a job. I think I’m ready for that.

In the beginning, it was “I need employment and I want it in the medical field”. That was my goal after mom died. I got that. I had to get my CCHT for the company so I could keep working since that’s a requirement with CMS and stuff. So I did that. I’ve achieved things within the company like becoming an expert cannulator.

LPN will be the first big, personally-driven, professional step since mom died. It will be the longest goal I’ve worked towards since her death. I’ve gotten better about setting short term goals and reaching them. But this one will span about a year and a half. It’s going to stretch through winter which was extremely hard for me to get through last year here in Nebraska.

I don’t have unshakable faith in myself that I will WANT to get through the program enough to actually do it. I know I’m smart enough to, but do I have the will to get through the hard times? And that’s a question I don’t really have an answer to.

There’s a handful of short term benefits if I back out of school, but is that really the smarter of the two options?

Having slept on it, I don’t think it is. I don’t think I should let someone else deter me from moving forward; especially when the general vibe is that she’s not going to make it. Why allow my time table to be pushed back when I could start now and keep going and finish it by the end of next year?

I guess looking at it like that, in terms of do I want school verses do I want to be a nurse, my answer is yes. Yes. I want to go back to school. Yes. I want to prove to myself that I can do this even if it’s painful. I want to know that I am healing and that I have made progress with and in my grief to be able to think about and plan for mildly future-oriented things. Not only plan and think about them but achieve them as well.

I want to do this. I want to show my coworkers that they’re right in believing in me.

I guess I really should start believing in myself again. Maybe that’s really what I’ve sort of lost through all of this. This constant feeling of being broken makes me question my ability a lot more than I think I used to.

I’m not sure. But I do think that’s one of the issues I need to look at and ponder on. Why do I have such a hard time believing in my self right now when other people have no doubt?

Daily Post 151: Still Trying to Catch Up

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I have a bit of time before I need to get ready to head into work for the day. Hopefully, I’ll only be there for the two hours or so of change over instead of the 5.5 I was there for Wednesday. That’s something I’ll cover at a later point, but yeah. I have some time to write now so the game plan is to try to get through as much of my life as possible and finish whatever I’m not able to get to once I get back from venturing out into the world.

I was still on Thursday morning in my last writing. Yeah… Thursday had a lot of stuff happen. Valentine’s day. My one year mark in Nebraska. My one year anniversary with Ox.

The plans for my trip to Orlando were becoming more solid after talking with Sir and my younger brother. I had found out about the death of my friend and the chance that I would still be able to say, “I’ll see you later,” to him.

After the conversation with Rounder’s wife, I had a conversation with Mother Earth. Her final text messages to me before my move had hurt. That hasn’t stopped me from loving and caring for her and feeling like she was missing from my life. I haven’t made zucchini fries or zucchini brownies since my move because it felt wrong to do so. They were something Mother Earth and I had both enjoyed. They were an “us” thing and with “us” feeling not ok it hadn’t felt right to make them or share them with others.

Our phone conversation this past Thursday was a good one. It was good to hear her voice again. It was good to say all of the things I had wanted to say to her and to hear her apology and explanation for her actions and choices. She’s doing well. There have been some pretty low lows in her life since I’ve moved, but there has also been a lot of growth and I feel like she’s doing well for herself. It was good to reconnect with her and it’s not lost to me that it happened on Valentine’s day.

I eventually showered and headed into town to have lunch with Ox. We went to the Chinese place I like. I think of it as one of “our” places. I told him about all of my conversations, including the one with Mother Earth. We talked about what that could potentially mean for the relationship Ox and I have. I, personally, am more ok with mending an extremely deep relationship that I care about rather than trying to find another female to bring into our dynamic.

Firstly, it’s not about the sex or potential of sex. It’s about the emotional connection I feel with someone. I’m not interested in trying to find someone else because there’s a part of me who believes I won’t find the depth of connection I have with Mother Earth with another person. Maybe that’s because I don’t WANT to find that type of connection with anyone else. Relationships and emotions are weird like that. The few times I’ve looked at the profiles on OkCupid the main thought whispering through my head is, “They’re not her.” Well… Duh, they’re not her. No one but Mother Earth can be Mother Earth. But the fact that these new people aren’t is a deterrent. It’s such a conscious “con” on the con list that it makes the attempt a no-go before I even start. Not a good start for the success of a relationship. : /

Ox is worried about me getting hurt again because he knows how much the falling out Mother Earth and I had before my move affected me. I can’t deny the pain I felt and I can’t say his worries are unfounded. It’s something in my head as well.

I told Ox that I hadn’t had a lot of time to process through all of the events of my morning so I didn’t really know what I wanted to ask for. I said that I would like to be able to make the choices I make and to handle the consequences or repercussions of those choices along with experiencing whatever good or positive came from those choices as well. I want Mother Earth to be in my life, even if that’s purely in the form of phone calls and Facebook messages. We live half a country away now. A physical relationship isn’t really in the cards. I highly doubt she would move to Nebraska with everything she has going for her in Orlando. I am not going to be moving back to Orlando even though I miss people who still live there.

So what does that mean for my coming trip?

I don’t know yet. Ox and I haven’t ironed out what is and is not ok for me to do while I’m there. Through other conversations Mother Earth and I have had, we both agree that our primary relationships are more important than temporary gratification. Our everyday lives matter and Ox is part of everyday life for me. If he’s not ok with things happening, then they’re not ok. End of story.

It’s something he and I will have to address in the coming weeks. If at the end of the conversation there’s not a clear yes with boundaries then it will be a no and I honestly am ok with that. I want everyone to feel secure and loved and ok. As much fun as it would be to do super sexy kinky things with Mother Earth, I’m just as ok knowing I have my friend back in my life who I can have “girl” conversations with on the phone for two hours in a gas station parking lot, or that I can make a batch of zucchini fries to share with while we geek out over whatever show we’re watching. I don’t think I can fully explain just how small the sexual side of it is when held against the feelings of belonging and acceptance her and I feel through our interactions.

I’m sure I’ll write more on the topic as the days go by. At the moment I suppose the conclusion for this section of my life is that Mother Earth and I are talking again. I have plans to stay a majority of my nights at the house with her and Sir rather than couch-hopping or spending hundreds of dollars on hotel rooms. Ox is grudgingly ok with those plans. At least that’s what I got from our talks. More talks will be had.

After a lengthy lunch full of talking and discussing, he and I went grocery shopping. I love our trips together. I like not being in the store alone dealing with all the other people by myself. I can, and have, successfully completed grocery trips alone, but I actually like them when Ox is with me. I look forward to them. It’s like our “date” time. Our “us” time.

There was sexy time when we got home. That’s where the wife word came up. At the time, I was pretty sure my brain was screwing with me. I mean… “life” does sound a lot like “wife”, right? And he and I have had conversations where marriage wasn’t in the picture; mostly due to my own insecurities and perspective of marriage but also due to child support and debt on both sides of the relationship. So, there’s no way he called me his wife.

Yeah, it was super hot and sexy and now I have all of these emotions that I have to internalize because I hadn’t realized how much I wanted him to say that word to me, but he totally didn’t say that word… He said life, so all of you emotions that poofed out of nowhere can go back to the box I didn’t know you were hiding in or even existed and stay there for the rest of forever because that word is totally never going to be said so there.

Box. Now.

While Ox and I were outside having our “beta-test” session I admitted that my brain was having a hard time processing through something I thought he had said because I actually didn’t know exactly what he had said. Those emotions weren’t doing a very good job of staying in their box and I wasn’t ok with having them unresolved.

I needed to know. Even if it sucked and he had said life and now things were super awkward because I had misheard… Somehow we would get through it; the awkwardness of me wanting more in the relationship than him. I would get through it. But before I could “get through it” I needed to know what I legitimately needed to get through. I needed to know what had actually been said. Or not said.

Right Brain: But that means actually asking the question. Totally way easier to just freak out over it.

Left Brain: No. Deep breath. Big girl panties. You can do this. He’s always been kind and supportive. You can ask this and still be ok.

And…. I’m going to pause my writing here because work is a thing. >.<

many unexpected hours later

I’m finally back at my computer, writing, and it’s already 7:30 pm; my bedtime.

As much as I hate to do it, I’m not going to continue writing. I’ve done a lot today. I went to work and actually worked. I went to the college and talked to the financial aid specialist. I went to Walmart and returned something along with buying a few groceries. I came home. I applied for scholarships. I filled out my FASFA. I had dinner. I recreated the Google Excel sheet Ox and I use for our budget because numbers are changing. I refactored the payoff for my car now that I don’t have to worry about student loan payments. Ox and I have talked about those changes and our next action steps in regards to our financial goals…

And my brain is dead.

It’s like the more I try to catch up with this week, the further I fall behind. Maybe one day I’ll be able to progress past the day that was last Thursday. Today is not that day.

Daily Post 105: First Day Back

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Today has been my first full day back in Nebraska.

The flight back on Wednesday night wasn’t back. I listened to Ready Player One for all of the three-ish hours I was on the plane. The center seat remained empty. The person sitting by the window didn’t bother me at all during the flight. All in all, it was a good flight.

Ox was there to greet me. It was one of the best hugs I’ve ever had. It was good to feel home. I let Jon know I had landed. Since I didn’t have luggage to worry about, Ox and I got on the road to head home. We stopped at Arby’s for dinner, but other than getting mildly lost in Omaha, the trip was uneventful.

Wednesday night, once we were home, was amazing. I’m not sure if our relationship is deeper or changed due to the events that unfolded, but in this moment I feel more secure, more real and less of the nebulous “more than girlfriend, less than wife” that I’ve been stuck in. I may come back on a later day and write about it, but right now I don’t want to. I cherish what we have and there’s now a physical object to represent our connection. Something I can hold and wear and cherish along with all of the amazing intangible things that make me grateful to have him in my life.

I slept well even though I kept waking up. It was different from all of the sleepless nights I’ve had in the past. I would wake up, realize I was in what I now think of as my own bed, next to Ox, and fall back asleep without an issue. Normally if I wake up that’s it. I’m screwed for the next 30 minutes to an hour while I try to desperately convince my brain to shut up. Not so last night.

Unfortunately, even with being able to fall back asleep all of those times I wasn’t really ready to start the day at 6 am like I had hoped. I woke up with Ox, shared a cigarette with him, then went back to sleep for a few hours. I had training at 10, so around eight, I got up to shower, cook breakfast, and begin the process of getting back on track with my life. I made a grocery list, checked to see if there was anything I needed to add or take off of it, packed my gym bag, then headed out.

My trainer asked if I wanted to wait on weighing in. I’m glad he gave me the option rather than having to ask for it. I could tell through the workout that my muscles were stiff from the trip and lack of any sort of workout for over a week. He eased me back into everything, though, so while it was a good workout, it didn’t leave me feeling dead.

I stopped at Walmart and was able to get most of the shopping done. I restocked on my travel stuff so I can have it ready if I need to cover shifts are other clinics, but also because I want to start utilizing the gym more and I know this is weird, but I like showering before I work out. I went ahead and got a couple extra towels while I was at the store to help facilitate that habit. If I go to the gym after work, rather than before, then there won’t be a damp towel sitting in my car molding away in the summer heat. I’ll be able to take it out of my bag once I’m home so it shouldn’t have a chance to get too icky.

It’s a gross feeling to try to change into a different set of clothes when you’ve been sweating all day at work, regardless of what type of clothes they are. I know I would work out better with a shower first. So… instead of coming home to shower and change, I plan to pack my gym bag and use the showers at the facility. I’m not sure if it will work, but I think it has a higher chance that what I’ve been doing.

So tomorrow is the trial run of that. Even if it’s just yoga. That’s the deal. Two extra days at a minimum. That means tomorrow and Sunday have to happen since my training is set for Thursday and Saturday.

I wasn’t able to get everything at Walmart, but I got everything I needed for my meal prep so I was alright with that.

I stopped at the clinic to see what I would be walking into tomorrow morning. My FA was there so I got a chance to talk to her. It was a really good conversation. I feel like something has shifted between us. I don’t feel like she’s as reserved or distant with me. She’s more open, more jokey, more frank and… I don’t know… more… real I guess. More like we’re even-ish.

She’ll always be my boss but it feels like we interact as humans now rather than as employer and employee. Maybe it’s because we’ve had to work the floor together so much. Maybe it’s because she’s seen my work ethic first hand and doesn’t have to worry about me doing my job. Maybe it’s because whenever she asks about something it’s normally already done.

I don’t know. There’s a lot of stuff that could factor into it, but I like the shift.

I was able to talk to her about the incident that happened the Friday before I left where the RN at the time asked me if she should call a code. I was able to talk about wanting to go back to school and the potential of signing up for classes. She said to set my school schedule and work would work around it. We talked a bit about my vacation and all sorts of other topics. It was nice.

Once our conversation had run its course, I headed back home to take care of the groceries. I ended up getting pulled over about a mile from home. Yep… for going 65 in a 60…

Which meant the cop totally found out my tags haven’t been registered properly for the past six months…

Guess who was the proud recipient of a citation… -_-;

He was pretty gruff with me at first. When he came back with my paperwork he was a lot nicer. Maybe it had to do with having a clean record. No speeding tickets. No traffic violations at all actually.

He gave me a warning for the speeding but said he had to give me the citation for the tags. He said if I was able to get it taken care of within 10 days of the ticket being issued there “might” be a chance for the judge to drop the $75 charge.

So instead of researching the LPN program I gathered up everything I needed for the DMV and headed out there once I was done taking care of the food.

The only thing I was able to get done today in that regard was filling out a piece of paper which got faxed to my bank so they can change the car title over to Nebraska instead of Florida. That’s going to take 7 to 10 business days… All of the paperwork states that I started the process today though, so maybe I’ll still show up on my hearing day and see if the charge can still be dropped.

I know I should have changed the tags over a while ago. It was such a process and expense in Orlando though that I’ve been dragging my feet about it. I feel like I should pay the fine since I know I was in the wrong. At the same time, if it does end up being a $600 expense I really don’t think I’m unjustified in taking so long. Who has $600 laying around?

I’ll wait and see. My court date isn’t until next month so I should be able to get the tags completely taken care of by then. At least I started the ball rolling. Another step closer to being completely done with my moving to-do list.

Oddly enough, my FA had printed directions to the DMV I was supposed to go to since changing my tags was one of the things we had talked about while I was at the clinic. The Universe works in funny ways sometimes.

After the DMV trip, I came back home to do a majority of the cooking. Ox and I had made plans to meet in Lincoln to look at new sheets for the bed and curtains for the window since it’s hard for me to fall asleep early in the evening when it’s so bright in the room.

We went to Bed Bath and Beyond. We found sheets we think we’ll like. We decided to check out Walmart for curtains since there wasn’t a very good selection for the blackout curtains. We also got dish scrubs, a dish scrub holder, and… an electric zoodler.

Or rather, Ox bought me an electric zoodler.

I haven’t used it yet, but I already love it. It makes the girly, squishy, wifey-homemaker inside me melt knowing I have a new kitchen gadget that is totally going to speed up my process. I actually might try doing sweet potato zoodle recipes now. There’s a whole new recipe base for me to explore and try and I can’t help the silly irrational feeling of wanting to go out to the kitchen and hug the box because it’s so insanely awesome that I finally have one of my own.

I’ve already made all of my meals for the coming week, but it’s a safe bet to say that pretty much everything I make for the next forever will use my new zoodler.

We went out to dinner at Dave’s Famous BBQ, which is a place we’ve gone to a few times before. Eating dinner is tricky with me trying to be clean-ish and not have carbs and all of that annoying healthy shit. This place has mostly meat, so it’s easier to find a dinner option that I’m ok with. They also have the best broccoli I’ve ever had.

Originally we were going to try going to a Walmart in town after dinner, but with it being a work night and still having things at home to do, we decided that since nothing on the list “needed” to be bought tonight, that going home was the better option instead.

I stopped at the gas station before going home to fill up the car since I had driven way more than I had originally thought I would. Now I don’t have to hold my breath on the way to or from work.

I preheated the over as soon as I got in the door. I mixed my dye for my hair and painted my head. I set a pot of water to boil for my green beans. I washed the dishes that were in the sink with my new dish scrubs. I finished up my meal prep and made sure my lunch box was clean and that my water bottle was ready to go for the morning.

Currently, I’m just waiting for the roast for finish up so I can have breakfast tomorrow morning. Once I’m done with my writing it will be time to shower and rinse the dye out and that will pretty much conclude today.

Minor things like taking out my contacts and brushing my teeth will be mixed in with the other tasks of winding down for the night, but today has been fantastically productive and connecting. I feel more in tune with my life and with the things I want to do.

I’m glad with how all of today has gone.

I’m glad I’m home.

Daily Post 090: Learning To Be Wiser

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Once again not proofread.  ❤


 

The longer I go without writing the more confusing and distant and disorganized things are going to get. I know it’s already drastically past my bedtime, which is sad because it’s only 9:40, but I have work again tomorrow at my home clinic, thank the Universe, and that means a 3 am wake-up call.

Even still, I know I’ll feel better after writing. I’ll be able to sleep better, deeper knowing that I did this even if it ends up taking a while.

Combat was fun on Tuesday. I keep forgetting that it’s only Thursday. It feels like so much has happened. So much time has passed… But it’s only been two days. Two long, full, near breakdown days.

Tuesday had a lot of new, but it also had a lot of what is becoming routine. I went to training at the gym and even though it happened later in the day, it was nice to go through the same set on the machines. Tuesday I was back up to 200 pounds again but it wasn’t as hard to do as last week. My trainer and I talked about how I had to wear a knee brace for Friday evening and Saturday the week before. We talked about different muscles and more of my past experiences.

We didn’t talk about my metrics so I didn’t have to have the look of disapproval for the piece of pie I shared with Ox; at least not yet. Still dodging that bullet.

We continued doing plyometric work after the machines. I can feel myself getting back into it.

By the end of the session I was feeling better then I had before it. Less tired in some ways, more tired in others. It was a positive improvement and I’m glad I went.

After the gym, I went grocery shopping. My right knee started feeling iffy; sore, much like how my left leg had started acting up the week before. I didn’t have my brace with me, though. I went ahead and bought a second one and put it one before going back into the store to do the grocery shopping. I’m sure I could have completed that task without the brace, but I wanted to be proactive with listening to my body. It was sore and needed to rest, which wasn’t an option, so I did the next best thing and supported the areas that were the most tired.

After the grocery shopping, I dashed home where I put my food away. I didn’t have time to do any prep work with it. Ox needed me to meet him in town before combat practice so I could give him a change of clothes and I still really wanted to stop by the scrub store I had found online so work wouldn’t be additionally stressful with having to bend space and time to do laundry at some point.

I was home maybe 10 minutes before getting back in my car and driving into Lincoln. I was able to pick up a new set of scrubs. I actually really, really like my new set and I will eventually replace the ones I have. I think I’m going to wait to do that for a while, though. The ones I have are still good and if I’m going to be losing a bunch of weight, it seems silly to get all new of something just to turn around and replace it because it becomes too big.

I at least have a very good idea of what I will eventually be getting. The new set is super lightweight compared to what I have. The tops are longer, the pant legs looser. I don’t know. It feels more “me” I guess… I’m more comfortable and ok in them. I’m looking forward to the day I actually do replace my current ones with this particular brand. Not that I dislike the ones I have… I just happen to like the new ones more.

To be fair I’ve only ever owned two types of scrubs. Maybe three depending on how you count them. I had the cotton set that I got from when I took the CNA and PCT classes in Orlando. I had the cotton set from work when I started with DaVita as well. Since they were the same material though, I don’t think they really count. Then I got the set from the Orlando scrub store; Healing Hands 360. And by comparison, there is no comparison. HH360 is way better and I love/loved them. I can’t find the tag with the brand name for the new ones, they’re a set above HH360.

So much love for them. ❤

So now I have four sets of scrubs. I might get one more set just to be safe, but we’ll have to wait and see about that one.

Anyway. I got scrubs on Tuesday. Woo.

I met up with Ox after that and we took my care to the park where the combat practice was going to be. Inside my head I was worried about it turning out like the first one I went to Orlando; that is… rained out with a message saying the practice was canceled being sent out via a Facebook group I was yet to be a part of…

Luckily the weather gods were on my side. The practice was held and Tuesday was the first day I was put in actual armor and put against someone to fight. My teacher/opponent is an experienced fighter who was impressed with how well I did for a starter. She said not only was I swinging multiple blows in varying locations, I was using the shield at times and moving around rather than staying in one place. I know I have a ways to go, but it was a lot of fun.

Ox and I got to meet a handful of cool people and I think his interest is peaked.

We went to my new sports bar after practice for dinner since neither of us had eaten. If we had waited until we had gotten home I wouldn’t have been to sleep until much later than I already was.

I woke up the next day and did my morning stuff before heading to work. It was a fairly smooth day. I was told I would for sure be working at the South Omaha clinic and that a hotel was booked for me. Ox wanted to go to the moot the SCA group was hosting at the library which meant I wouldn’t get to see him for very long.

I went home, packed up what I needed for the night and next day then headed to the library so we could see each other for a few minutes before I left for the night.

He said it was an interesting meeting so far since it was still going on when I got there. He went back inside, I got back in my car and drove to the hotel. I checked in. I talked to Jon for a while, then Ox when he called me. He had gone to dinner with the group after the meeting and it sounded like he had a good time.

I slept deeply. I woke up literally one minute before my alarm went off.

My ankles were bothering this morning instead of my knees so I went to Walgreens and bought ankle compression stuff. I think it helped to have them versus not, but they’re still sore so it’s hard to tell.

The day went well. I love the RN I worked with. She’s super nice and helpful. Both of the techs were new to me, but again, they were amazing to work with and I’m glad I got to meet them.

The day didn’t go badly until the end. I had to close the water room by myself for the first time. I followed the sheet they had but there are steps missing which caused at least one alarm to go off which frayed my nerves a bit. Then there was an issue with the CWP being low on its disinfect. I know how to fix that but I didn’t know where their chemicals were stored. Once the RN and I finally figured it out I couldn’t get the machine to not alarm for “low chemical”.

Me: It’s a new jug. It can’t get any fuller than it is. What the F’ do you want from me, Machine? Please just let me go home. ;-;

The RN and I figured that issue out. So the rest of the tasks should have been easy. And to be fair they were. All I had to do was finish cleaning one station, empty the bleach containers, then leave. That’s it.

The RN asked if I would be ok closing on my own. I said yes, and I was confident in my “yes”.

She asked if I was leaving through the front or back door. I said front because that’s where I parked. She said, in that case, I would need to arm the alarm for the door.

Me: Ok. I don’t know how to do that for this clinic yet.

She gave me the code for it; writing it down on a square, yellow PostIt note which I saw her place on the nurse’s station counter. She went about doing a few other things. I did a few of my things. She asked me again if I would be ok, repeating the code to me verbally.

Me: Yeah. I’ll be fine. Go ahead and go. I’ll be done shortly.

I finished what I was doing. I faxed the papers I needed to fax. I looked for the sticky note… only to not find it… anywhere….

It wasn’t on the back of a book, or under the keyboard. It wasn’t in any of the trashcans. It wasn’t in the breakroom. It. Wasn’t. There…

Ok… Keep calm. You can figure this out, Jen…

The only number I have is the FA’s number… Ok. Not the best option, but I can explain myself if she answers and hopefully resolve this issue easily. Smoothly…

No answer…

Of course not. Who would keep their work phone on while they are on vacation…

Ok… Don’t panic. Call YOUR FA because maybe she’ll be able to call someone else. Again, not the best option, but this is an issue that needs to be solved. You can’t just drive back to Lincoln and leave the clinic unlocked…

No answer…

She’s at a convention for the company and most likely also does not have her work phone on her…

Fuck…. ok… Call the other FA who’s in training…

No answer.

Ok… There’s got to be a book with a list of everyone’s number who works at the clinic. They mentioned it before… Can. Not. Find. The. Freaking. Book.

Me: … *desperation* …

There’s the app on the intranet… People, Places, Things… I can look up the clinic and get a list of everyone who works here. Maybe I can figure out a way to find their number through that or be able to Facebook stalk them enough to send them an SOS message or just… something…

I have no idea what the password is for their computers and it’s not written on them anywhere so I can’t actually get on a computer.

Ok. Now’s a valid time to break down.

I tried calling Ox to have a voice of reason keep me sane and stable with how close I was to tears over not being able to figure my situation out.

No answer.

Fuck my life.

I called Jon who, thankfully, blessedly, answered his phone.

He listened to me explaining my store. While I was in the middle of it, mind you, my phone is at 4% battery, the FA in training calls me back. I tell Jon I’ll call him later, that I need to answer this call and switch the phone over. I explain what’s going on and what I’ve tried to do already.

She said she would reach out and see if she could get ahold of someone for me.

Long story short and a few phone calls later, I’m told that I can leave. Training FA called another FA who can reach out to a member of the South Omaha team who lives close by to can lock the door for me.

Me: Omg. I’m out. So out. Like “I can’t drive out of Omaha and back to the middle of nowhere fast enough” out.

So, two hours after our last patient had left for the day I was finally able to leave and start the roughly hour-long drive back home.

I called Jon back and we talked for a while. During that phone call, Ox tried calling me three times. I called him back after my talk with Jon and we stayed on the phone until I was all the way back home.

I cried while he hugged me. There was a feeling of relief in that hug.

I don’t know why, after all of the shit that I’ve been through in life; my parents divorce, caring for my grandmother, seeing mom in the hospital, everything that happened after her death… why a fucking door code is the thing that makes me want to break down and feel like Life is too much to handle.

I’m actually a little aggravated with myself over it looking back at it but whatever. I didn’t drink when I got home so I’m giving myself massive points for that.

Instead, I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I made dinner since I didn’t have any meals for tonight or tomorrow. I prepped the shrimp I plan to use for a second meal. I ate, and now I’ve written.

The end of the workday sucked and I have learned a very valuable lesson. I knew I needed to make an Evernote with this clinic’s information in it, but I didn’t. I knew that I should have gotten contact information from people, and didn’t. And when I needed that information, I didn’t have it.

NEVER. AGAIN.

That level of stress over something so minor was not worth it and totally avoidable.

Knowledge is having information. Wisdom is applying that knowledge.

Today I was not wise, which means tomorrow and every day from this point forward I can be wiser.

And with that mindset… I’m going to go have one last cigarette and shower before going to sleep to do another 12-hour shift tomorrow in the safety and familiarity of my own, small, eight station home clinic.

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Daily Post 088: Hello Old Friend

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Not proofread because sleep is a thing


 

Hello dearest Microsoft Surface,

It’s been a while since I’ve written on you. It’s been a while since you’ve been charged and updated. I’m sure it’s nice to have the dust brushed off of you. At some point, I’m sure I’ll clean your screen.

I can remember moments with you. Good moments like the ones at my sports bar where I would pay bills while eating lunch after going to kickboxing. I remember you were what I wrote on for my “first birthday”. The first one without mom. I remember that night; how I had been in Vegas for the holiday season. I remember how we all went out to dinner and how other than that it wasn’t a big deal. It was a decent day and yet I still came home and cried as I poured everything out through your keyboard.

I’m grateful for the times you’ve been there for me. I’m grateful for the tasks you’ve helped me complete. I’m grateful for moments like now, where you’re the instrument, the key, to letting me write my thoughts onto a blank page which in turn leads me to understanding myself better.

We’ve been through a lot together even though our times recently have grown more distant.

A lot has happened in the past week. It was the first week of the new schedule at work. It’s been getting better but one of our patients has become pretty unstable and so the days have still been hard. Harder than what I’ve grown used to.

The first day, Monday, tried really, really hard to be on par with the Orlando clinic. It was probably only better because the day was shorter; 12 hours instead of sixteen. I still wanted to cry on the way home with how completely tapped out I was.

Tuesday I met with my trainer again. We went through some of the things he wants me to be doing on my own then did a half work out where he totally destroyed my legs. It was good though. I haven’t had to work that hard in a while and it was a tiredness, an ache, that I’ve missed. The pain of making myself be better than I am.

I mailed my thank you cards to Orlando after stopping by Walmart. The receipt said they should arrive at my old clinic on Thursday. I’m glad I finally got that taken care of. I hope the cards reach my old coworkers well and that my words mean something to them.

After the post office, I went to my clinic where I started on the NFACT training to become an expert cannulator. I made it through all of the video training and printed off all of the P&Ps that I need to read (policy and procedure). I have a print off of everything I need to do to complete the training and I was glad to see so many highlighted lines of things I was able to get done while I was there. Having all of the quiet time to myself made me more ready to face my next workday. It helped me recover from the lameness and overwhelm of Monday.

Wednesday was another crazy day, though not due to A-Level alarms. The morning started off well. Things were going smoothly. Then we had to call EMS for one of our patients. I’m not a doctor. Neither is our RN. We’re only able to handle so much with just the two of us and seven other patients who need our care. It was better for everyone that she agreed to go to the ER.

Mr. Non-compliance showed up, which was good. He needs to be there. He needs his antibiotic since his CVC is infected. He needs to be dialyzed so his blood isn’t full of toxins slowly eroding away at all of the years he still has left to live.

I have never personally been on dialysis, but I know, just like any other disease or hardship, that it doesn’t have to define someone. It’s only the end of it you let it be the end. If Life sucks and starts being a dick tell it to go fuck itself and fight to live the life you want to live. Don’t let it stop you.

Does that mean compromising on a lot of things?

Yes. But better to compromise and have a halfway happy than to give up and have no happy at all.

I guess it’s all about perspective and, for the most part, I try to make mine one of, “I’m going to make this work no matter how hard you try to stop me.”

Another thing that happened Wednesday was my FA reached out to me asking if I would be interested in covering some shifts are other clinics in Omaha. With the rush to get everything squared away from the PCT registry, there are some techs who aren’t able to work and so there are spots that need to be filled until all of the red tape can get figured out.

Normally I wouldn’t be jazzed about working more hours, but there’s incentive pay and it would be overtime if I did work those shifts. I also know what it’s like to work shorthanded. And I guess I was asked for specifically. My FA travels a lot and has mentioned to several other FAs how well I am doing on her team. When the need arose to have someone float to their clinics they wanted to know if I would be willing, thus why my FA reached out to me.

I talked to Ox before making a decision about the first shift. It was for the coming Saturday; a day we would have the kids. Being there two days in a row is hard for me. There’s little downtime where I can recharge and as awful as it might be, the thought of working and being out of the house was better than being constantly bombarded by an eight-year-old. One day I could do. Two was more than I wanted at the time.

Ox said he was ok with me doing whatever I wanted to do; that he supported me, but to make sure I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew.

With Ox’s support, I replied to my FA saying I could cover the upcoming Saturday shift, but that I would need to talk to my trainer about moving my times around before I could say anything about the other days.

I was glad when Wednesday was over. My RN was feeling under the weather and it was her last day which didn’t help make the day any smoother. We had planned a few weeks back to get dinner together and even though both of us were tapped out I’m glad neither of us canceled our plans. I got to meet her daughter. It was a nice evening even though I ended up having to drive home in what felt like a hurricane level downpour in Nebraska.

Thursday I had training again. My legs were still sore from Tuesday so I was worried about how well I would be able to do. We started by looking at my food tracking on MyFitnessPal. I’m doing ridiculously better than I was for the past… we’ll say four months, but I was still over in some areas while being under in others.

I was over in carbs. My limit is 100 or less. The highest I was over was 67, but that’s still 67 that’s taking me away from my goal. I was over in calories by roughly 700 on my worst day, but again, that’s 700 more I have to burn through to make the level of progress I want.

I was drastically under in protein, which I need if I’m going to be working out as hard as I’m going to be.

My trainer and I talked about it. I made mental notes on what I could change and how for the coming week and then proceeded to go to the floor where we had our first full workout.

We started with the machines again, doing the same ones we had done on Tuesday but with slightly lower weight. I was proud that I made it through everything. Maybe it was a psychological thing, but knowing the weight was less made it seem more ok. I had done 200 lbs. on Tuesday. 175 wasn’t necessarily a cakewalk, but it wasn’t 200 so I knew I could do it, and I did.

After the machines, we went to the back room where we did a lot of plyometric stuff. At the end, he said he was pretty impressed. He said I had more coordination than what he was expecting and that it really was more of an issue with getting the nutrient side under control.

I would rather not be insulted by his comment. I know it could be taken that way. It would be easy to have one of those, “What? Did you think I was a sack of potatoes?” type of response to his comment.

I would rather not think of it that way. I know I may not look like much but I’ve done a lot of things in my life so far. Marching band. Boxing. Kickboxing. Aikido. Jiujitsu. Muay Thai. Running. Yoga. Zumba. Warrior Dashs… All of that goes into what I’m able to do now. Not all of that is apparent on the surface.

I talked to him about the changes to my schedule and we worked out times in the evening, after my shifts at the Omaha clinics where we could meet. I knew the coming week would be brutal but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was going to cover those shifts and have my workouts too.

Once I had showered I went to Walmart again so I could make the changes I wanted to foodwise. From there I went to the clinic where I clocked in and read through all of the P&P that I needed to. I wasn’t at the clinic as long on Thursday but I was ok with that. I got the remaining things checked off my list and sent an email to my FA letting her know the only thing left, aside from a training module that appeared to no longer be on the site, was to be checked off on my skills list.

I went home. I did laundry. I unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher, later emptying it again to fill with the dishes from dinner. I cooked a new zoodle recipe which I think turned out pretty good. I made sure I was ready for Friday and went to sleep.

Friday was another rough day.

My left leg was seriously hurting me when I woke up and not in a sore muscle sort of way. It was the back of my knee, towards the outside. It hurt to straighten it completely. It felt like the tendon in that area was overly tight; like a rubber band that you’re trying to stretch too far. I knew I had to make it through my day regardless of how my leg felt so after my shower I took the last IcyHot patch that I had gotten for my back forever ago and put it on the back of my knee. Since it was in a place that would move and flex a lot I wrapped it with adherent wrap a few times and hoped the compression would be enough to let me at least hobble through the day.

My leg wasn’t any better by the time I got to the clinic so I was slower in getting things done but I did the best I could and that’s all I could do. The patient we called EMS for on Wednesday started having issues again. We think it might be an allergy to the dialyzer she’s using, so we have orders from her doctor to try a different one. I’m hoping that makes Monday better.

Since I was going to be working in Omaha the next day I tried finding a hotel room to stay in, but I couldn’t find anything for under $150. I guess there was some super big conference meeting going on. With having the kids Friday night there wasn’t really a way for me to get the amount or quality of sleep that I would need if I was going to be waking up super early to drive that far from home to work a full day.

I ended up getting a hotel room in Beatrice instead. It would make the trip a little longer but, ideally, I would be able to get the proper rest I needed to make it through the day.

Ox and I met near home for dinner. I tried making smart choices with my food; ones in line with the metrics I’m trying to stick with. Even with going out to eat I came in under my limits for calories and carbs. Go me.

Neither of us liked the thought of being apart for the night, but we both understood the situation and that it was a smart choice. The incentive pay essentially covered the hotel cost, so that was negated, but I would still be making overtime pay, so even with the extra expense, I was coming out in the positive. I would be helping my sister clinics and making myself a more valuable team member. I would be getting time with the other machine models so I don’t lose those skills, and I would be meeting more team members and seeing how other clinics are run which could give me insight to how my own clinic could become better.

Overall I was looking forward to my Saturday. Ox and I agreed that I would wake up a little earlier than I had to so I could stop by home in the morning on my way to Omaha so we could still see each other.

He fell asleep shortly after he got home which led to unresponded to text messages and missed calls. It wasn’t a warm fuzzy way to end the night, but I figured something must be going on for him to not respond. I was glad that I didn’t freak out or have the knee-jerk reactions I would have in the past. I didn’t instantly think he had died. I thought, “Maybe he didn’t realize his phone died. Or maybe he forgot to pay the bill.”

I stopped at Walmart before going to my hotel room. I picked up more IcyHot patches with ibuprofen and an actual knee brace. I made it through checkout then immediately found a bench to put the brace on. It felt amazing. I wore it the rest of the night until I was about to go to sleep.

I slept deeply and solidly for the whole night, waking up only a few minutes before my alarm went off, which is actually a nice way to start my day. I like waking up on my own, coming out of a REM cycle rather than having it interrupted by an alarm.

I showered and had half an apple before packing up my car and heading home. I started to worry then since he still wasn’t answering his phone. I could feel the icy fingers of dread trying to curl around my stomach. The closer I got to my turn off the stronger those feelings got.

Luckily he ended up calling me and explained that he fell asleep super hard and that he was just now waking up. I explained where I was at on the road and that we would see each other soon.

It was nice getting a hug from him. I liked the physical reassurance that everything was ok. We still had our cigarette together and I was able to have my Bang energy drink, something I had forgotten to pack with me the night before.

The drive up to Omaha was uneventful. It was actually pretty nice to watch the sunrise as I drove since my shift started at 7:30 am. The clinic was also pretty easy to find; another plus to the day. I got there early to make sure I had time in case I got lost along the way. I was able to sync my account with their systems so I could chart. I got to meet the other team members who were working that day and explain what I felt my strengths were verses my weaknesses. One of the RNs walked me through stringing one of the machines since it has been roughly three months since I had worked with the ones they use.

I’m glad that after seeing it done once that I was able to fall back into the swing of things and that the day was smooth and uneventful. All of the patients were pleasant and kind. I was able to jump in and carry my own weight and as the staff started heading home for the day, each of them stopped and thanked me for coming to help out and that they enjoyed working with me.

I enjoyed my time at the clinic and I wouldn’t mind working there again if they need me. It’s a bit of a drive, but they have a very solid team and, in a way, it reminds me of being back in Orlando. It’s a bigger clinic and not many techs can work in that type of environment. A lot of the clinics in the area are small; eight to twelve stations. So when they have to cover something closer to twenty stations they get overwhelmed. Since that’s the type of environment I started in I just go along with it. It’s nothing new and honestly, it was a pretty easy day, but then TTS days usually are since they’re the “lighter” days. Fewer patients and such.

Once I was clocked out I headed home. Once again Ox wasn’t answering his phone which was frustrating but I knew I would have an answer to why eventually.

When I got home he said he had been sleeping for most of the day. He’s been sick not only with whatever has been plaguing his lungs but also with a stomach bug. We had dinner. I showered. I unpacked a bit. But mostly I went to sleep.

And so now we’re here at today. Sunday.

I woke up. I had my egg and chicken breakfast, crushing my protein intake like a bawce.

Shortly after everyone had eaten Lil’ Ox, that’s what I’ll refer to Ox’s daughter as, since I’m going to stick with the Ox theme I have going, and I went for a bike ride. It’s the first time her and I have been alone together and I think it went well. We made it all the way to the park near our house and played for a bit. Eventually, other people showed up and she played with the other kids that were there. That meant I had to interact with the mom’s and keep cool and not freak out over that fact that I have no idea how to be a parent because Lil’ Ox isn’t actually mine even though she was saying how she had to ask her “mom” for permission to go to the other area of the playground.

Omg. I’m so not ready for this. >.<;

It might have been low of me, but shortly after that, I felt it was time to go home. We had been gone for close to an hour. I had done my part of holding my shit together in the face of a totally foreign situation. It was getting warm. I didn’t have sunscreen on…

Yeah… totally time to go home.

I told Ox about the park adventure. He snickered at me. We had plans to go into town for the day so I showered and changed and we all piled into my car to spend the afternoon together.

We stopped at GameStop first so Ornery Ox, his son, could get a few games. He gets allowance money but rarely spends it. He also had a gift card to the store for his birthday, so he was able to get a couple game all on his own.

Lil’ Ox got a few toys while we were there, using her own allowance money even though she was upset that her brother had more money than her. That caused a little bit of friction on the way to the store since Ornery Ox kept making comments about the amount of money he had.

Honestly, it was like listening to me and Jon when we were younger. I don’t understand how my mom didn’t kill us. XD

We stopped at Best Buy for me where I was a totally irresponsible adult and bought my first TV.

Yep. That’s right. I now am the proud owner of a 38-inch Chromecast compatible TV which I plan to hook my PS4 up to and play through the new God of War game and the remastered Spyro games when they come out in September because Spyro is amazing.

It’s a weird feeling. But… I think it’s a good one. I don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted.

I went across the street to my new sports bar for lunch. After eating I stopped by my storage unit to get the rattan sticks I had gotten forever ago for my SCA swords because that’s something I’m going to be doing again.

It’s something I started looking into shortly before falling asleep Saturday night. There’s a group in Lincoln and their first outdoors fighter practice is going to be Tuesday, the 8th.

I so want to go. I can’t put into words how awesome it would be to make progress in the combative area of my life and to have a group, outside of work, that I belong to.

With working on Wednesdays, there’s not a way for me to make any of the meets for the embroidery guild and I’m not ready to go back to the dojo. I want to wait until after my Warrior Dash to venture back into that area of my life.

But SCA… That’s something that I would totally be ok with being involved in now and it would still be fighting and lining up with my training and… I don’t know.

I’m excited about it. Like… hardcore looking forward to going even though I don’t have any armor or gear that I can use as armor.

We came home after the trip to the storage unit. I hid upstairs for a little bit to decompress from all of the social of the day. I played a little bit of Crash Titans with Lil’ Ox. We’re on a boss level so she got tired of not winning. Booked another hotel room in Beatrice so I could get another good nights sleep without worrying about people having to tiptoe around my early bedtime or me constantly waking up since I’m a light sleeper.

I packed my food for the coming day along with everything I would need for the gym after work since that’s something I would really like to do if I’m able to.

My leg has been way better today but I have the knee brace with me if I feel I need it. I’ve eaten dinner. I’ve set everything out. My alarm is set. I’ve written. I’ve talked to Ox, so really all that’s left is to take my contacts out and go to sleep.

So with that, my dear friend, I guess I’m going to go.

I don’t think I really needed to figure out anything tonight. I think I just needed to write it all out and reflect on the week. It’s had some hard moments, but when compared to everything else, I think I had a really good week and I think there’s a lot of things to look forward to in the coming week.

Thanks for letting me write. Thanks for being there for me, the hard times and good times alike. Get some updates, and hopefully, it’s not another six months before we spend some time together.

Daily Post 069: Lazy Sunday

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It’s Sunday.

I woke up to sunlight streaming through my curtains. I was nice and warm for once. It was a picture-perfect moment of the start to a lazy day. One where you cuddle with your significant other for longer than you should. One where you eventually make your way into the kitchen and make a special breakfast and plan a leisurely day of doing nothing in particular. Maybe a few chores, maybe a random trip out to someplace you’ve talked about going to but never actually seem to have the time to go do…

It feels like that type of morning.

I’m not tired, but there really isn’t drive or motivation to be overly productive. It’s a nice day. I don’t want to crush it under the weight over everything that “needs” to get done because very few of my tasks are actually needs.

Friday morning my FA sent me a text message saying the Nebraska FA had contacted him and I might be receiving a phone call. Nothing about if the email was good or bad. Nothing to prepare me for anything. Just, “Hey, I got an email. You might get a call.”

I replied back saying thank you and went about my day. I had lunch with a friend who I recently reconnected with. She was before Sir. Before Mother Earth. Before Jarrett. I went to a BDSM convention with her in St. Louis one year; her and another person.

I know why we lost contact. It was because of me. It was because I became scared that things were going too far too fast and instead of communicating I went ghost instead. I stopped replying to messages. I deleted accounts. I’ve thought of her fairly often since our last time together. I’ve wondered how she has been, what trials Life gave her to overcome. I’ve wondered if she’s still in Orlando or if she moved away like she talked about.

She sent me a friend request on Facebook early last week. I accepted. We’ve talked a bit. We agreed to have lunch on Friday since we both had that day off. It was a good outing. It was nice hearing about her experiences and being able to share mine. It was nice being able to say, “I might be moving soon and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye.”

I got to explain what happened between us and to say I feel I would handle the situation differently now. I’ve grown since then. I’ve had three or four years worth of experiences. It’s one of those moments where I don’t know how to describe it. I’m still me. I’m still the same person I have always been, but, at the same time, I’m different. I’ve learned things about myself and about Life. I’ve learned things about other people and how words and mean different things; can have different intentions.

My fear of commitment and being trapped in relationships is something I understand better and can talk through now. I’ve learned that even though a fair amount of the relationships I have been in were negative, that not ALL relationships are like that, and not every “us” said to me is a chain obligating me to stay or change something about myself.

I still plan to move if everything works out. Meeting with this person doesn’t alter anything. It gives me a chance to have closure for something in my past that I didn’t know how to handle and possibly to nurture a friendship that didn’t deserve to be punished or die simply because of other past hurts.

It stayed a simple lunch even though we both still felt a connection. We may meet again before I leave. It may or may not progress past the point of a simple meeting. She has her own relationships now and I have mine. If anything did happen we both agree that it would be more of a “One last good memory” type of encounter. Our paths are different then what they were and that’s ok. Different doesn’t mean bad.

While I was at lunch with her I received an email which I almost wrote off as a spam message. It was saying that I had an unclaimed check and that I needed to reach out to them to figure out how it should be handled.

Upon looking further into it, it was an email from Full Sail regarding my last check from them. I never cashed the check and since it’s tax season, they’re trying to reconcile their accounts. They wanted to know what I wanted to be done with the money.

Um… there’s 1k sitting around with my name on it?

Yes, please. Like… not just yes, please, but like… holy shit, you have no idea how much that could help me right now, yes, please.

I have a form I need to print out, fill out, scan, and email back to the business office, but in roughly two weeks I’ll be receiving what should have been my last paycheck from the school. I feel like I don’t deserve all of the positive things happening in my life at the moment. I’m so used to things being hard. I’m so used to struggling and fighting for everything, and now, suddenly, pieces are falling into place. When it looks like something won’t work out some random event happens which solves the problem before it even has a chance to present itself.

Sort of like the situation with the apartment. If Ms. Side Chick moves in, she would take over the accounts. I would close mine, she would transfer hers. Poof. Done. Warren would pay his rent money to me as a way of paying back what he owes. I would annihilate my credit card which would leave me able to focus on the car and then the last bit of student loans I have.

It’s not just a pipe dream. Life could actually not suck soon.

All of this is dependant on the people in Nebraska actually wanting me. It’s the last bit of puzzle piece I’m waiting for official confirmation on. I’m hoping that happens next week. At the very least I plan to talk to my FA and ask about the email. I mean, come on, at least tell me if it was good or not. Jeez… >.<;

Saturday I worked. It was a pretty smooth day. I was able to get to sleep extremely early. Around 7 pm. I woke up feeling able to get through my shift. It’s surprising how much a full night of sleep can change your perspective of the day.

I came home and thought about playing WoW. I did get online and putts around a bit but I turned in early again. Ox doesn’t have internet at the moment because his modem needs to be replaced and a tech can’t get out to his house until Monday. Even if he had been online I don’t think I would have stayed up very long. There wasn’t interest or motivation for higher level thinking. Instead, I went to bed, curling up with my blankets and pillows, falling asleep with the light on and my contacts in until 3:30 am when my alarm unceremoniously woke me up.

I got up and at least took my contacts out before shutting off the light and falling back asleep until roughly 8 this morning.

I’ve talked to Ox, and not just text messages either. I’ve used my phone more in the past month than I have in the entire time I’ve had it. We… talk. And even though I’m introverted… it’s nice. It’s nice to hear his voice. I enjoy starting my day with an actual good morning. I enjoy talking about what I might get done, or how work is going. I enjoy hearing about his day.

I enjoy talking about… everything with him. Which is weird. We both talk about things we haven’t talked to others about, and those we usually preface it with, “I feel awkward/vulnerable saying this…” we still say it and then we discuss why we feel that way before we actually address whatever it is we’ve admitted to.

All of my connections with people are unique. Everyone is different in their own way and everyone has their own flaws and shortcomings. Until Sir, Warren #1 had been my healthiest relationship communication wise. Since then there has been Big Bad. And now Ox.

I don’t know. It’s interesting to see the evolution of my relationships.

I know part of it may be new relationship energy, but I also am aware how that too is different. In a way, it’s similar to how it felt when I first started seeing Big Bad. It’s not fireworks and explosions and fiery passion. It’s more of a content, “this is safe” sort of feeling.

With Big Bad it was most definitely “safe”, with Ox it’s more “home”. A feeling of belonging.

I knew I would most likely never meet Big Bad’s family. With our age difference, his divorce, his kids… there’s a lot that I don’t think works in our favor to ever have a happily ever after. We love each other, but we both started the relationship saying we weren’t looking for anything. We didn’t want commitment. We wanted a companion and to not be alone. We wanted to be accepted for ourselves.

I guess in that regard I’m the one who’s changed. I’m the one who wants a home and to feel like I have a family again. I’m the one who wants to come home to a hug and a kiss on the forehead. I’m the one who wants to fold the laundry and snuggle on the couch before going to sleep.

I’m the one who wants more.

And maybe that’s unfair of me. Maybe Big Bad wants more, too. I don’t see that “more” happening, though. I don’t know what else to say about it. Maybe this is another moment where I should have communicated more and didn’t and because of that something has been potentially lost. Or maybe this is how this universe is supposed to play out and in another one, I did talk to him. Maybe in a different universe, a different life, I stay and we live together and I have a happily ever after with him.

It’s a pretty thought. Thinking that I could have potentially been happy in all of my relationships. That we worked through our differences and found peace and harmony together.

Right now, I feel more content that I have. I’m content with the thought of leaving and continuing to find myself. I’m content with the thought of moving on from my past. I’m content with living in what people consider the middle of nowhere.

I guess that’s as good a way as any to sum those emotions up. I’m content. With my choices. With my possibilities. With my repercussions.

I am making MY choices rather than letting others make them for me and that gives me a feeling of stability and ownership over myself that’s… comforting, reassuring.

I do plan to be a bit productive today. I need to print out the form for my check. I want to go to the gym since I haven’t in almost a month. I want to donate plasma since any extra money I can get will help make this transition smoother. I want to grocery shop for the coming week so I can meal prep on Tuesday.

I want to actually make a to-do list today and do it.

That’s where I’m at this morning. It feels like I’m ready for Life again. I’m ready to take steps forward.

It’s a good feeling.