Daily Post 097: My New Dojo

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I’m tired. I’m sore. I think I’m fighting off a dehydration headache.

And I’m completely ok with all of it because today was pretty awesome.

I woke up for work like normal. Each morning starts off with me groggily opening up a can of Cotten Candy Bang because that stuff is addictive and I neither need nor want intervention. I showered. I had breakfast, which I don’t know if breakfast is what you can call food at 3 am when you still eat at 7 am… but that’s a tangent for another time.

I got dressed. I had my morning cigarette with Ox. I drove to work. I started setting up the clinic a little early since I was there a little early.

I got a phone call from my boss saying she would be late.

And you know… I think I would have been more not ok with that fact if it hadn’t been for my bike ride on Sunday.

This morning though, I was fine with it. I told her it was cool. I was already setting up. I would see her when she got there. I knew the day might be a little rougher, but I was ok with it. She’s human. We all make mistakes. It wasn’t intentional and we would do our best and we would survive and everything would be ok in the end.

She got to work. We got everyone on the machines at their normal times. It was a smooth day; at least as smooth as it can be in dialysis.

I got to talk to several of my patients about my upcoming race. I got to tell them about my weekend ride. I got to explain that I was going to the dojo after work, which led to conversations about my previous experiences and my “history” as far as the evolution of my combat training, which I don’t know if that’s what it could or should be called but that’s what I’m going with.

It was a decent day. We closed the clinic down pretty quick. They have someone to cover for me on Friday so I don’t have to go in, and it’s a tech who’s worked in the clinic before so I don’t have to worry about the clinic burning down to ashes as much as I was. I’m still waiting for my Concur report to be approved. I still haven’t called to figure out what’s going on with my paycheck. I also still need to finish yet another training course before the end of the month.

Mr. Non-Compliance showed up today for the first time in about a month. It was good to see him again. I got to tell him I had been worried about him and that I was glad he was there. I got to cannulate his fistula for the first time. I might be able to get my NFACT training completed since it is a new fistula and then I’ll be an “expert cannulator” which doesn’t give me a pay increase, but it will look good on my yearly review. I’m accomplishing a lot of things, work-wise, and that’s a good feeling.

Another patient brought a gift bag full of goodies for me and my FA long with a remarkably touching card expressing how grateful she is for everything we do for her. There are a lot of moments that make my job worth it. The “Thank you, ladies,” as my patients leave for the day, able to enjoy whatever it is they’re about to do because they were able to get their treatment. The “Good mornings,” and the stories about how their weekends were. The smiles. The jokes and bantering.

This is the first time I have received a card from one of my patients. It makes all of the crazy days and the stress and the sweat and the walking six miles inside the same room worth it.

After work, I drove home and showered super fast since I only had about 20 minutes to get to the dojo for class. As I sort of mentioned before, I sweat when I’m at work and there’s no way to not do that. I didn’t want to change into my gear for the dojo while still having the grimy feeling from my workday covering me.

Maybe it’s a bit of a ritual in some regards or maybe I’m just really weird… but… I want to start off clean. The gym, the dojo, working on the addition… it doesn’t matter that I’m going to get gross and sweaty. I want to start fresh because it’s a start and in my head there’s some sort of honor tied into it. You don’t show up to important things icky. Training is important to me. I want to be clean when I walk through the doors. I want to be clean when I bow onto the mat for the beginning of class. It didn’t help that this would be my first impression for everyone I met. I wasn’t going to go looking raggedy from work.

Kickboxing was at 5:45. Jiujitsu was at 6:45. Krava Maga was at 7:45.

I only stayed for kickboxing and jiujitsu.

It was pretty awesome. The dojo is smaller, both space wise and population wise, then what I’m used to from Orlando. It still felt homey and welcoming. There was only one other guy with me for kickboxing so it was pretty personalized work.

The instructor is a chick who gave me pretty good advice for my kicks. She was complimentary on my work. It was a moderately intense class and I think most of my soreness comes from that first hour.

I didn’t know if I was going to stay for jiujitsu. I was already tired, but I was there, on the mat. I wasn’t exhausted or overly hungry so there was really no reason for me to not stay, but I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

The instructor for kickboxing introduced me to the instructor for jiujitsu. It seemed silly to go after that. Jiujitsu is the thing I’ve been missing most. This was my chance to see if the dojo would really be what I’m looking for. The instructors themselves even said that I could stay for as long as I wanted and if I needed to leave it was ok. They were glad to have me.

So I stayed.

We practiced getting out of standing headlocks.

It was pretty awesome. I was paired with two girls who were half of my weight which sort of sucked. I felt like I could break them if I hugged them too tight, let alone have them in a headlock bracing my weight on their back.

When the instructor worked with me one on one it was better because I was able to do the moves with more intention, more force, more strength. He was a better match for me, size-wise, as an opponent, and he didn’t treat me like a delicate flower. He pointed out where I was leaving myself open for counter moves. I think he was surprised at how quickly I picked things up and by the types of questions I asked.

It was a good practice even though we didn’t get to sparring. He said we would make up for it during Thursday’s class so, of course, I really want to make it to Thursday’s class. XD

I didn’t stay for Krav Maga, more because I was hungry and out of water than because I was too tired to, though with having training at 10 am tomorrow, I think leaving was the smart option.

I had already met a lot of new people in a new environment after working a full day at the clinic on very little sleep since sexy time happened last night. No regrets.

It was a good day and I’m glad for all of the moments that happened. I’m taking advantage of the dojo’s offer for a free week at the moment. I would like to check out the other location just to see what it’s like. The north location offers more classes but since it’s further away I don’t think it will be my main dojo.

I have information about the membership. It would be hard to swing it while still paying extra on all of my bills. I could volunteer to work on Saturdays to help maintain / cover the added expense… At least I would know what I’m working for so it would be worth it.

I haven’t gotten that far, but I’m fairly certain that I will be becoming a member of this dojo.

I drove home and showered after my classes, so yes, I’ve showered three times today. I ate. I’m still working on trying to drink more water to fend off the headache.

I’m looking forward to being able to tell my trainer that I got two runs in and a bike ride and two hours at the dojo. I think it will make him happy to hear that I’m going out and doing more on my own and that I’ve found something that I like and that I finally got my bike rack.

I know I’m pleased and content and I guess that’s really the important aspect of it.

I guess that means I have some soul searching to do and some decisions to make in the near future, but for now, I’m going to finish my water and go to bed. If I wake up overly sore tomorrow I plan to go to the gym here in Hickman to do some yoga to loosen up before my session in Beatrice. I also plan to explain if I’m in any sort of pain so my trainer can adjust our session as he sees fit.

I’m less worried about my weigh in on Thursday. I don’t care about the numbers anymore. I think I’ve found my new dojo. Numbers can’t take away the level of ok-ness that adds to my life.

I’m going to skip out on the SCA combat practice tomorrow to try to get to more of the classes at the dojo while they’re free. I want to feel like I belong there and the more I go the more I’ll feel that way.

I’m looking forward to all of it. I’m glad I have this in my life again.

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Letters to Mom 018: Coping With My First Infiltration

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I’m crying right now as I write this. I feel like I need to admit to that.

There was a comment from a reader on my last post, linking to another post about a woman who also lost her mom and how “she’s still her mother’s daughter”.

At one point she says, “I still need you.”

I’m not the only one who thinks that; who feels that and I don’t know why but it makes it feel like things are ok. I’m not weak or “holding on” or whatever other stupid things I tell myself.

It’s ok to still need you, mom.

I needed you yesterday.

I infiltrated my first patient. In a year and a half, I’ve never infiltrated. I’ve missed. I’ve had the fistula and graphs roll on me like normal veins. I’ve had to restick patients… But I’ve never infiltrated and I’ve never caused a patient to not be able to run their treatment.

Until yesterday.

My patient came in like he always does. I wasn’t able to call him in early. He used to run on first shift, but with having to close the clinic down to three days a week with an ISO patient, he had to be moved to second shift because he is (un)lucky enough to be immune.

He hates running on second shift. His lunch is cold by the time he gets home. It messes his morning up. He’s one of the nicest, quietest people I have ever met and it hurts to know that I can’t make the situation better for him. Whenever there’s an open chair in the morning he’s the first person I call.

Me: *teasing voice* There’s an open chair for you if you happen to feel like coming in early.
Him: I’ll be right there!

It always makes my day to greet him, to spread out his blanket after his treatment is initiated, to help carry his bag to the scale as he’s leaving and saying our farewells.

Yesterday there wasn’t an open chair so I couldn’t call him in early. We flipped the station as quickly as we could. We got everything set up. I smiled a warm and genuine smile when he came into the clinic. We exchanged small talk as I took his standing blood pressure.

I can tell his smiles are real now. They’re different than the ones in the beginning when we were both still strangers. After being there for almost four months I think we both are getting used to each other. I’m not a random stranger stabbing needles into his arm. I’m his tech and he’s my patient and I actually do care about what he’s doing in his garden and what are you talking about? The weather is amazing. I’m from Florida. 100 degrees is basking temperature. You guys are the ones who are weird for thinking it’s too hot.

We moved through all of the different stages of the pre-treatment process. I cannulated his arterial needle fine. I cannulated his venous needle and… hesitated. It didn’t… feel? right…

There was flashback… I pulled the needle back a little… I wasn’t against the wall of the vessel or anything… There was no resistance on the advancement of the needle… But I couldn’t shake the feeling of “wrongness”.

I drew labs from the arterial needle. No resistance. Everything was fine there. I administered his prescribed heparin through the venous needle. Again, no resistance. When I asked if the needle felt ok he said yes.

Ok… Maybe it’s just me…

I connected the bloodlines to the needle lines and initiated his treatment. I watched the machine as the pump started. The needle pressures were within normal ranges. I still wasn’t sold on the whole, “everything’s ok” thing.

I turned the pump up to the prescribed flow. Still ok on pressures…

If nothing is wrong then why do I feel like something is wrong?

With no answer to that question, I reluctantly secured my patient’s lines. I put his feet up and spread his blanket out like normal. I asked if he needed anything else.

Me: Anything else I can do for right now?
Him: Nope. I think that will do.
Me: Arighty. If that changes you let us know.
Him: Will do.

I took my gloves off, rubbing hand sanitizer over them before I began to chart on the computer next to his machine.

That’s when the machine’s alarm went off. Venous pressure had reached not ok levels and the machine automatically shut the pump off. I looked at the machine, reading the alarm message it was giving. I immediately looked at my patient’s arm dread already making my stomach turn to ice. My patient’s arm was so swollen at the venous needle sight, so “not right” that all I could do for the first half a second was stare unbelieving at what I was looking at.

Irrational Right Brain: … But… But everything had been fine…

My next thought was a mild freak out of, “omg is he in pain?”

I asked him if his arm hurt. He said it had for a little bit but it felt fine now.

Irrational Right Brain:  Your arm is not fine. I let this happen. I cannulated you. I did this to you. I hurt you. This is my fault.

Rational Left Brain: It doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t your fault. You’re patient needs you to keep your shit together and not have a fucking meltdown right now. You can do that on break. Right now you need a nurse. You’re not a nurse. Get the nurse.

I called the nurse over. She confirmed it was an infiltration and that his blood could not be rinsed back and he could not run his treatment.

I can’t express the soul-crushing feeling I felt at hearing her words. I hadn’t felt emotions like that since I first started training and would have to be reminded to increase the blood pump speed or hearing the words that I had messed up stringing a machine or being told I had left the saline clamps open… again…

I haven’t felt those feelings of absolute failure since my RN mentor would point out all of the things I was doing wrong, in front of the patients, while I’m trying to already not fall apart because I fucked something up with the last patient I was with, too, and I can’t do anything right and this was totally the wrong choice and why did I think I could ever do anything medical related. I’m just a total failure at life and all of these “wrongs” prove it. I’m a fuck up and I’m sorry and I can’t seem to get it right, just once. I’m sorry I’m a failure.

Those.

Those feelings…

I got through them somehow in the beginning. I had long talks with my coworkers on break. I had my patients thank me at the end of their treatment and tell me that I was doing well. I had several nights of crying in my car after work and talking to Jon. I had all of these moments that helped me get through and fight back that voice in my head that cried out “failure” over every mess up. And eventually, I messed up less. I learned. I got better. I got faster. I got more confident and familiar with the totally new work world I had thrown myself into.

But yesterday… Yesterday I failed.

I failed my patient.

It was so hard to not cry as I explained to him we wouldn’t be able to run his treatment.

Him: Well… It happens.

Irrational Right Brain: NO GODDAMMIT! It doesn’t “happen”. Be angry at me. Be mean to me. I hurt you. I don’t deserve your kindness. I don’t deserve your understanding. I hurt you and I’m so sorry and there’s no way to make it right and I’m so so sorry.

I had to go into the back hallway and cry for a few seconds alone before pulling my shit together to get through the rest of change over. I didn’t have time to feel like a failure. I had other patients who needed me to be there for them and in a way that helped. I had to cannulate three other people and all of those cannulations were flawless.

It helped quite the voice inside of my head saying I should rethink my entire career choice and that I was a horrible fuck up.

After my break, after talking to my brother, I talked to my FA about the incident.

Me: Have you ever infiltrated anyone?
Her: Oh god, yes. That’s part of the job. It happens.
Me: That was the first time it happened to me.
Her: Really? If I had known that I would have been more compassionate. Are you saying in a year you’ve never infiltrated anyone?
Me: No. I haven’t. Which is why I’m having such a hard time right now. I’m trying to complete the NFACT “expert cannulator” thing and yet I infiltrate this patient and have been having a hard time with another patient’s access. It’s hard to not feel like I’m doing a bad job or that I shouldn’t pursue it further.
Her: If you were doing a bad job I would have told you long before this.

I felt better as our conversation continued and she shared her own experiences with me. It reminded me of when I was in Orlando and my trainers would caution me, “You’re going to infiltrate. Everyone does and it’s ok.”

I had accepted, back then, back there, that I would, eventually, one day, infiltrate a patient. And I guess in the year and a half or so since I’ve been working, to only have one on my record is pretty unheard of. I had accepted with phlebotomy that sometimes you miss. It’s not that you’re a bad phlebotomist. Some days are better than others. Some patients are easier to stick than others. The same goes for cannulating a dialysis patient.

Missing doesn’t automatically mean you’re bad. Infiltrating, also, doesn’t automatically mean you’re bad. And that’s something I’m having to work through. I’m not bad at my job. But yesterday I felt like it.

Yesterday I started questioning pretty much everything. I need titles and labels and to understand my roll in all of the dynamics I have; in all of the spots I fill in Life.

Who am I? What am I? What am I working towards? What’s important to me? Why do I wake up in the morning? What’s the point of getting out of bed? What’s the driving force behind doing anything, achieving anything, caring about anything?

Those were the questions going through my head last night.

Everything felt so nebulous and tentative and ready to shatter around me and I don’t know why.

I had already accepted that this incident was not a direct reflection of my skill. Hell, it could have been something as simple as my patient moved his arm while shifting in his chair and the point of the needle infiltrated on its own.

The important thing was I reacted professionally. I made sure the situation was controlled and that my patient was safe and gave the proper instructions for the care of his infiltration while he was between treatments.

Yet, there I was at home, questioning who I am. What I am.

It reminded me of what it was like when you first died, mom. I was no longer a teacher. I was no longer a student. I was no longer an employed member of society. I was no longer anything…

Currently, I’m not a mother but I have an eight-year-old who thinks she’s my daughter. I have a significant other but I’m not a wife or a girlfriend. I’m a nebulous in between. I’m not a nurse but that’s the easiest way to explain things to people because Patient Care Technician is long and confusing and you can see their eyes glaze over with that “not processing” look.

I’m “not” so many things, but then what am I if I’m not those things? What are the constants in my life that I can cling to when everything feels unstable? What are the cornerstones I found for myself during your death that have pulled me through all of the hard times where I wanted to give up?

That’s when I started remembering them…

I AM your daughter. You ARE my mother. I AM a warrior. I AM an earth dragon. And Life can go fuck itself if it thinks I’m going to give up.

It doesn’t matter what other titles I have. It doesn’t matter what other people think I am or am not. I AM your daughter and that is one thing that WILL NEVER change.

I don’t know what else to write, mom. Things aside from the craptastic day of yesterday are going well. I made my first rattan sword this past Saturday and it was awesome. I’m down seven pounds as of today and up one pound of muscle. We’re supposed to be starting serious work in the addition this weekend. The new countertops for the kitchen got installed and they’re pretty awesome. I figured out why I haven’t been back paid for my certification from March. I’m level 20 something in Final Fantasy 14 and I’m still having fun with the game. Jon and I are making solid plans for visiting Jason.

Things are still going really well overall. I feel like I should say sorry for letting this one event shake me so hard, but I’m not sorry so I can’t say it. I can say I will try not to let it eat away at me. I will try not to let it cloud my perception of myself and make me question my self-worth or skill.

But I know myself. This is still an unclosed loop in my head because I have not atoned for the wrong I feel I have committed. I need to figure out something to bring closure to this for me. Maybe writing… Maybe a post for my patient, similar to the posts I make for you, or for the people I can’t say things to…

Maybe saying all the words I wish I could say to him would help me move past this so I can still be the confident, competent patient care technician that I am and that he needs me to be.

I don’t know… But I promise I’ll figure it out, mom.

I love you. And I still need you. And you’re still here even if it’s not the same as it was and I think after reading the post shared with me by my reader that I’m getting better about accepting that.

Thanks, mom, for listening. For everything. I love you. Forever and for always.

Daily Post 070: The Last Day

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There are so many areas of my life to work through at the moment. To clean up; much like the apartment. So many places to empty out, scrub down, sort through… maybe not in that order, but it’s all on the to-do list.

I’m going to start with work because work is easy. It always has been for me and continues to be the easiest area to analyze, figure out, and explain. The easiest section to set to rights and be done with.

I talked to the FA from Nebraska. Apparently, she replied to my email. I never received it and I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t, so I feel it’s more likely that she thought she replied rather than she actually did reply. Either way, we talked on Thursday. I am set up to shadow at one of the clinics on February 23rd, which is a Friday.

There’s not an official offer yet. They want to see how I fit with the team and all that jazz, and honestly, I’m ok with that. That gives me roughly two weeks to myself, though most of the first one will be taken up by traveling and getting situated. During the second week, if not towards the end of the first week, I plan to find a gym and to begin/continue conditioning since that is something I plan to start seriously going back to next week; the week before the move.

I’m thinking that finding a YMCA might be a better option at the moment. I liked the one I used to go to; the one I I would bike to until they closed it down to rebuild it. It won’t be done until the end of this year, but the few times I’ve driven past it have been nice. It’s going to be a gorgeous facility once it’s done. Too bad I won’t be here to enjoy it.

I liked the classes that were offered. It was homey and comfortable feeling for me. I know it’s not the kickboxing or jujitsu that I will eventually find, but for the time being, I want a gym and I want yoga in my life again. So yeah, that will be one of the first things I do outside of becoming comfortable in my new living situation.

So that’s the future of work. Shadowing. Playing the “Game”. Making sure I make good impressions so they like me and follow through with hiring me.

As far as work in Orlando…

I worked my last day today. I feel lighter. Knowing that I’m no longer obligated to the crushing weight of working at one of the most demanding clinics in the area is freeing. I no longer “have” to wake up at 2:20 am. I no longer “have” to work a sixteen-hour shift.

I know the next week is still going to be hard and full of tasks, just as demanding, if not more so in some ways, than what work was, but I’m mostly looking forward to all of those tasks. It’s conflicting because I did enjoy my clinic; my teammates, my patients. I’m also glad I’m not having to give up what feels like a huge part of myself. I don’t have to choose between going to work and self-care at the moment. I can do the things I want and need to do to be ok. It’s liberating at the moment.

I did pick up extra hours this week. I worked part of Monday, a day which I was supposed to have off. I also picked up a shift at a different clinic. It was my first time working outside of my normal environment.

My FA came to me Wednesday afternoon while I was working and mentioned the Airport clinic, the one I trained at, needed someone to cover for one of their technicians and wanted to know if I would be interested in the hours.

Since I’m about to move to a completely different state to work at, potentially, three different clinics, I figured it would be a good experience to have sooner rather than later.

I need to know what it feels like to walk into a facility and to have NO idea where anything is or who the patients are or what the team members are like. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. That I could work a day somewhere else and survive and not kill anyone.

I would have had to face that anxiety at some point so I decided to do it now, while I still had a relative idea of what the clinic looked like, while I still knew who the FA was, while I still knew how to drive to the clinic and where to park and what their breakroom looked like and the type of coffee they have for their fancy coffee machine.

Yeah, it was a fuck ton of “new”, but it was also a lot of familiar. I got to see Jonathan, one of the FA’s who interviewed me when I was first being considered by the company. I got to see Omar who was my trainer during my initial training. I got to tell both of them about my moving and how I was grateful for their support and encouragement. They got to wish me well and congratulate me on surviving and staying with the company.

I got to experience what it’s like to work with new patients who are familiar with their environment. They’re not the visitor. I am. All of them trusted me enough to do their cannulations. Even though I was slower than what I have come to feel is my norm, mostly because I had to keep asking where they kept things, I felt like I held my own and that I was actually helpful.

I proved to myself that I can be the new person and still get the job done and that’s what I needed to know. I can go to other clinics and survive. I can talk to and work with new technicians and RNs and be competent. I can interact with new patients and still be kind, caring, and attentive while dealing with the overwhelm of being in a new place.

I can do it, and that makes the choice to move feel that much more right.

I worked today, my scheduled day, and it was actually a pretty good day. When some of my patients tried to say goodbye to me I said it wouldn’t be the last time they would see me.

I tried saying goodbyes on Wednesday and it made the day so much harder. All of the kind words and hugs and feelings… I didn’t want to go through that again today. I also didn’t want to have to rush through my goodbyes because another patient needed to be taken off the machine, or because I had to reset a station, or whatever other countless tasks need to be accomplished during change over.

I wanted to be able to have heartfelt moments with people who have impacted my life.

So, instead, I decided early this morning that one of the things I will do with my remaining week is to go to the clinic and to say farewell to my patients. I already have thank you cards which I need to fill out. One for each individual I have met while working there, including my teammates.

This is different than leaving Full Sail, and even then I wrote an email explaining the situation, and the people I worked with played a few rounds of laser tag with me as a way of saying goodbye.

I need to say “I’ll see you later” to these people. I can’t not do it and be ok with the move. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to write my personalized, deep, emotional, teary-eyed messages in my thank you cards and give them to each patient I have had the honor of meeting, tucked safely into an unassuming envelope. I’ll shake hands, or hug. I’ll most likely tear up and feel loved and appreciated on levels that I didn’t know where possible, since that’s what most of Wednesday was, and even though I know it will be hard and it will hurt, I know I need to do it.

The wife of one of the patients went out Wednesday night and bought me cupcakes as a thank you for me taking care of her husband. Another patient who served in the Army shook my hand after I had finished taping him up and said, “It was a pleasure serving with you.”

Yeah… all of the feels. I DO make a difference, and that means the world to me because that was the whole point of my career change. I didn’t know how I could keep going without mom. I didn’t know if I had a reason to. I needed to do something that mattered, that was important, so there could be an anchor to hold me here. I needed a job where I HAD to keep going because what I did actually mattered.

Wednesday was, is, undeniable proof that the past nine-ish months of my life have impacted others on levels I never imagined I could.

There’s a “going away” party with my teammates tonight. Several of us are getting ready to leave the clinic so it’s not specifically for me, but I am part of it.

While the thought of not having to go back out into the world and staying at home in my pjs alone sounds amazing, I know if I don’t go I’ll regret it for forever. This is my last hoorah with them. I need to be there, even if it’s only for an hour.

That’s about it as far as work for what I will always think of as my home clinic.

It made me what I am. I’ve worked for nine months at what is considered one of the hardest clinics in our area and I have become a battle-hardened badass. My teammates helped pick me back up when I started questioning myself or feeling like a failure. They shared their knowledge and experiences with me. They were encouraging and supportive, as were my patients.

I am able to confidently move because of my time here and I will always remember that fact. I did not get here alone. And even though I know it will change, the Downtown clinic will always be special to me.

That’s about it for work I think… at least for the moment.

That means I can move on to the harder areas… hooray…. -_-;

Alright… A slightly less hard area… I’ve been closing out accounts and memberships for the things here in Orlando. I canceled my 24-hour fitness membership. That actually worked out extremely well because my personal trainer was there. We’re friends on Facebook, but it was nice to see her. It was nice having the opportunity to explain how everything had progressed to the point it had and to say goodbye in person. It was nice to thank her for everything she did for me because it wasn’t just about having me lift weights.

She was the first person I talked to about conditioning for MMA. She listened to me bitch about work and the apartment. She listened to me on the days that were hard because I was grieving and really didn’t want to workout but I knew that I didn’t want to let my grief win so I showed up. She helped get me to the point of flipping tires and jumping boxes. She was the one who made me realize that I am fit. I am strong. Just because I want to improve on something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

She was another key person during this year of stability for me and even though I was there to cancel my membership, it was a positive moment because it marked a step forward in my life. Beginnings happen because something else ends and not all ends are bad.

I need to still cancel my Title Club Boxing membership, but that requires me to send an email with proof of blah blah blah blah… and I just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. The staff knows I’m leaving and I’ll be refunded the personal training I bought but never had the time to use.

That leaves the dojo… which I went to on Wednesday.

I don’t know why, maybe it was because everything that day had been so emotional, but as I was driving back to my apartment, trying not to break down into tears as I drove, I had the sudden swelling urge to go to my dojo. I NEEDED to see my senseis. I NEEDED to be there, in the one area in all of Orlando that has felt like home for me since mom died.

So I did. I went there. I walked in during the Muay Thai class in my scrubs and work shoes. Both of my instructors were sitting in the back of the dojo with a handful of other people. Mongoose got up and gave me a hug and told me congratulations since she read a post I had made on Facebook. My sensei clasped my hand, a wide smile on his face of genuine pleasure from seeing back at the dojo.

I stayed there for a while, mostly talking with Mongoose. It helped me decompress. It helped me feel like things were ok. It helped me… I don’t know what, but I know it did help. I felt better as I walked out of the dojo barefoot. I felt more connected. I felt stronger.

I have to go through and do a formal cancelation thing, but that’s not what Wednesday night was about. Wednesday night was about going home for a little bit and seeing my pseudo-family. At some point in the coming week, I’ll go back and finish taking care of things.

The only other accounts to close out are the ones for the apartment. I need to switch the internet over to Warren and I need to set a closing date for the power.

Past that it’s getting Ms. Side Chick onto the lease and me off of it. I’ve already been in touch with my landlord so he knows about the situation. I’m waiting on him to send me an application to send to her so she can fill it out and more legal red tape bullshit so I can wash my hands of the apartment and be done with it.

I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Oh my god. Like… for real, I can’t put into words how amazing it will be to drive away from here and to legitimately be able to give absolutely zero fucks about what happens once I’m gone.

I have still, STILL, had to do all of Warren’s dishes. And I get that I don’t “have” to, but when it’s freaking 3 am and the sink is full of his shit and I need to actually use the sink there really isn’t a way around taking care of it. I don’t have time to wait for him to wake up… I have to go to work. Talking to him about it for the past year and some change hasn’t done anything, so why throw a complete bitch fit over it now, the last week that I’m here and burn every possible chance of him actually paying me back?

Because I want to rain down death and destruction on his life for being a shitty roommate. God, the thought of flipping shit on him feels amazing inside of my head. There’s a part of me who wants to break every dish he owns just to prove the point of how sick I am of being his mother.

What’s sort of sad is how Ms. Side Chick is all on board with moving in and taking my spot because, according to Warren, she loves the idea of finally being able to be with him in all of that rose-tinted colored glory.

What’s going to happen is she’s going to move in and see the reality of the situation and get tired of his shit and want to leave.

I’m not saying Amber was an amazing partner to Warren. I’m sure a lot of the stuff Warren told me was truthful, but there was a reason she fell out of love with him and called off the engagement. From the five years I dated Warren to the now year and a half-ish that we’ve lived together… I am willing to bet realizing she had three kids instead of two was a contributing factor.

I’m not going to say jack shit to him about it because I’m fucking tired of trying to talk and being disregarded. I’m going to watch this situation play out and when/if he comes to me crying about how she left, I’m going to ask if he helped maintain the apartment or if she was the only one doing chores. I’m going to ask if he actually helped in any way and showed that he was an independent adult or if she had to manage not only her life but his. Was he an equal partner or a helpless dependent?

I realize this may be a darker side of my personality, but there is going to be a very sick and twist part of me who’s going to do the “I told you so” dance so hard when that conversation happens because it will validate every fucking conversation I had with him where I told him I was unhappy with the situation, offered compromises and alternative solutions, and he did nothing to fix it.

It will be that moment where I get to quietly point out that, oh yeah, I was right the whole time and you should have listened to me but instead you didn’t and here we are… Oh… Sorry. Totally not going to feel sorry for you. You should have done the fucking dishes since they were YOUR dishes. Or swept up the dog fur since it’s YOUR FUCKING DOG instead of having this delusional idea that the dish fairy actually exists.

No. I’m not a fucking dish fairy. I’m a dragon who’s about to rip your throat out because I’m tired of your shit.

No hostility or pent-up frustration over this issue… None what so ever…

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So I guess this is a good place to segway into all of the other hard topics… like relationships… because you know… writing 3000 words and counting isn’t enough…

/sigh

Jon and I are going to have breakfast tomorrow before he goes into work. It may be the last time I see him before I move. I’m sad at the thought, but there’s really not much else to say about that relationship.

We still chat for a few minutes roughly every other day. Mostly it’s him bitching about his new job and how he hates working at a nursing home. I don’t blame him.

I do feel like he and I will stay in relative contact. I do think the move will put some strain on our relationship since he doesn’t agree with my choice. He thinks I’m about to fuck everything and get pregnant and become addicted to heroin…

No. For real. He said all of that to me over the phone.

Like… thanks dude for having so much faith in my ability to make smart rational decisions on my own.

The only way I can prove to him that I’m doing the right thing is to do it and not fuck up. Since it seems to be the season for me to have these irresistible urges to prove people wrong… I’m going to do it. And I’m going to prove to him that moving was the best decision I ever made for myself, next to telling Zane to go fuck himself and Full Sail that it could burn in Hell.

Yeah… both of those decisions were pretty amazing and deliciously satisfying, too… Ah… memories…

So yeah, things with Jon will be whatever they will be and that’s pretty much how it has always been, so there’s nothing really overly new or exciting to write about it I guess.

It’s going to be hard leaving tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to cry. I’m going to miss him even though he’s not really gone… fucking emotions…

I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to see my blacksmith before I leave. I hope so. I have his things that I would like to return. I’m not sure what I will do if I can’t return them. I know I can’t get rid of them, but they’re not mine so I can’t really keep them either…

I don’t know. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there, I guess. Currently, I’m waiting to see if he can get time off work for us to meet one last time. It’s another reminder that we would never have been able to have any sort of real happily ever after.

I went to therapy on Thursday, and I mention that in this relationship section because my relationship with my therapist is changing. It was a pretty intense session since we had to go all the way back to Thanksgiving. I opened the session by mentioning that I was moving. We had to backtrack that far to get to the beginning of the events that led to this moment in my life.

Because I will be moving we have decided that I will no longer be a client and can now move into the position of friend. I am honored and grateful that someone who has helped me survive and heal and grow so much asked if we could be friends on Facebook.

During our session, I was able to talk about Ox. While I do value everyone’s opinion, and I do weigh pros and cons within my head, this is a person who is paid to tell me when I’m being self-destructive and doing stupid shit. If anyone has a right to tell me something’s a bad idea, it’s her, since that’s what she’s literally paid to do.

After listening to me explain all of the events she said it seemed like a positive opportunity for me and that the Universe was doing a lot to allow for this to happen.

She said instead of over analyzing things like I always do I should let it be. I should let it exist for whatever reason that it is. I don’t have to know the why and how. I don’t have to listen to outside voices or wonder if they’re right.

I should listen to my voice. The one that whispers. The one that I always question if it’s real or not. That voice of Intuition that tells me when something’s good or bad even though I can’t really put my finger on why it is what it is.

I didn’t ask her for permission to do this. I didn’t ask if it was the right or wrong thing to do. I essentially asked if I was crazy for wanting to try, and explore, and to see. Just like how that was the main reason for my trip to Nebraska in the first place. I wanted to see if the things I felt were real, or if it was all just make-believe inside of my head.

It was real for the three days I was there. The feeling of absolute peace from walking in the woods even though there was snow on the ground… that was real. The feeling of home and acceptance… that was real.

If it was real for three days, I want to see if it can be real for longer.

She thinks it would be positive for me to try. I think it would have been too late to undo a lot of my choices if she had come back and said, “You realize all of this is batshit insane…”

Yeah… that would have sort of sucked and put a dampener on a lot of things. I wonder if you can undo letters of resignation…

I’m glad and relieved that she thinks I have researched and planned and gone about this in a relatively logical and thought out way. It may be sudden, but it doesn’t seem to be impulsive or causing harm to my self; emotionally, physically, spiritually, or financially.

At the moment, aside from the pain of endings, it has only had positive effects, but all change comes with its own level of hurts so the pain I am feeling in regards to the move is understandable and even expected.

So that’s that… and even though there’s STILL more to write… I’m pretty written out…

The rest can be saved for another day, and with work not demanding my time, I may actually be able to sit and write and process more often than the never it has been for so long now.

I’m looking forward to the coming week. I’m looking forward to a lot of things in the very near future. And in my own, weird, introverted way, I’m looking forward to this going away party tonight. Maybe there’s be a cat I can hang out with or something.

 

Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

Daily Post 052: Mostly Caught Up

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I wrote this the night before last (Tuesday evening) but didn’t have the time to proofread so it’s being posted now. And just a heads up, Warren and I had a spat last night about him not paying rent, again, and not telling me about it… so yeah… that’s going to be a super fun time hashing out all of the emotional fallout when I write tomorrow morning.

It’s whatever though. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I’m going to enjoy my night with Big Bad tonight and beat Life into submission later.

Until then, here’s Monday and Tuesday.

 


 

I’m finally caught up with writing. It’s a weird feeling. Everything is fresh. I can put the emotions and experiences away properly, reflecting on them, analyzing them and then letting them go to where they belong.

Monday was a good day. I opened so the clinic was quiet and empty. The other opener was already there so the machines had been turned on. I like starting the day like that; at square one. I know everything that needs to get done and I know how to do it. There isn’t anything that’s “gone wrong” yet.

Changeover for second shift was a little rough because one of my coworkers was late. We got caught up though and everyone started their treatment on time. At least, everyone who showed up on time, that is. We’ve been having issues with transportation being late, so people aren’t able to get their full treatment. One of the cool / good things about being the lowest person on the totem pole is I don’t have to worry about fixing admin problems like that. Woohoo for not having to make phone calls.

During lunch, I stopped by my FA’s office and asked if we could make an arrangement to sit and chat on Friday. He said he had time now if I wanted to. Since I don’t like waiting and neither does he we went ahead and hashed my issues out.

I started off with explaining how I wanted to go back to school and that’s the main reason I wanted to wait until Friday because I didn’t have much information about it. I explained how I wanted to go for an Exercise Science degree and that at the moment I don’t actively plan to use it for a career change. The thought of going to school and learning about something I’m interested in makes me happy. It makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

When I asked how school would work with work he said they would do their best to maintain my full-time hours in regards to my classes. Essentially I let them know what days I can’t work and they give me what they can.

So that’s pretty awesome to know. Work will be flexible with my potential future inflexibility.

I went on to talk about how one of the things I’m trying to do is find better work/life balance and how I’ve been having a hard time finding it on my own. My true fulfillment comes from the dojo, but working long shifts so many days out of the week keeps me from being there even on my days off.

Before I said anything further he offered to reduce my days to three. I said if it was possible to do that and not adversely affect the team that I would be beyond grateful. He said it wasn’t a problem. There are teammates who want more hours so it, in theory, would actually help for me to work less. As long as I meet the minimum requirements to qualify as “full-time” then everything is good.

I can still have my Monday/Tuesday arrangement so I can have my evenings with Big Bad, which is great because I can keep that small bit of consistency along with always having Sunday off.

I also disclosed how my rent is going up and asked if there was any way for me to make myself more valuable to the company to receive an increased wage.

He said unfortunately because I’m still such a new hire, there wasn’t much I could do.

I said I understood that because I do. I haven’t even been out of training for three months yet and here I am asking for a raise. It was a long shot and I knew it.

I did ask about completing my certification. I asked if completing that was a possible raise or a guaranteed raise once it was achieved. He said it’s guaranteed so it’s something I can take steps towards. Mainly studying and making a fuck ton of flash cards like the nerd I am.

I asked if there was a time restriction on taking the test since originally I had been told there was, but later heard there wasn’t.

He said he wasn’t sure but he would look into it. He actually wrote it down on a notepad so for once I believe I’ll actually get information back about something.

As we were talking, since it was a pretty laid back and conversational atmosphere, I mentioned how I sort of screwed myself over by claiming zero allowances for my taxes, so there’s a large part of my paycheck I’m not actually receiving.

He said I could actually go into the computer and change a number of allowances I claim if I wanted to. I had no idea. For some reason, I thought tax stuff worked like benefit enrollment. You could only change it during certain times of the year or if you had a “qualifying” life change.

I guess not though, so that’s going to be something I look into/do. I want to do some calculations before actually changing it over. It’s nice to know I have that option available.

That pretty much covered all of my issues so I closed with asking how I was doing as an employee.

He said I’ve been doing great. No one has any complaints about working with me.

I asked if it would be possible to schedule myself for the CVC classes since I feel like a liability to my team by not being about to do catheter care. I’ve become secure and confident in my abilities as a tech to feel comfortable enough to learn something new, especially if it can help my team members out.

He said he knew it was a six-month waiting period but he wasn’t sure if it was six months from my hire date or six months from my “out of training” date. I said whatever made it happen sooner was cool in my book. I told him it would be cool if it could be “six months from when I was desperately look for a job” date. We both laughed.

There was actually a lot of laughter during our conversation despite how heavy my topics were. I really am lucky for having such an amazingly laid back supervisor.

Anywho, I’m tired of not being able to work with our CVC patients. We had five CVCs Monday morning. Five. That’s almost half my patients and the only things I can do with them were figure out their fluid removal goal, take their temperature. Oh. And get their blood pressure. Other than that I’m useless because it’s like I’m not even allowed to look at a CVC without having this “one day and now suddenly you’re an expert” class.

Arg. I may or may not have strong feelings over this. >.<;

The good news is my FA is totally on my side. He’s going to see about getting me into a class as soon as possible. Hooray.

He also said I could start learning how to mix bicarb, which would allow me to open the clinic more often. I’m totally cool with that. I want to learn more and I want to open more often. Learning bicarb hits both of those goals, so I’m totally down for it.

Other than not being able to touch CVCs apparently everyone is ok with me. That’s a relief to know. I haven’t crossed any lines or stepped on any toes, at least not that my FA’s aware of. I’m doing well and the issues I talked to him about aren’t new or unsurprising.

The meeting took way longer than my lunch break. When I got back to the floor I explained I had been in the FA’s office talking about potentially going back to school. That sparked a really interesting conversation that lasted for most of the second shift.

The third shift started and the change over was pretty smooth. I was able to leave the clinic shortly after 4 pm.

Originally I wasn’t scheduled to open so I was supposed to stay at the clinic until around 8pm which totally screwed over my plans for seeing Big Bad. I was able to switch shifts with a coworker on Saturday, which is why I did end up working my “normal” shift, but because I wasn’t able to switch with her pretty much the day before I worked, Big Bad and I had already rescheduled our evening together to Thursday.

That meant I had all of Monday evening to myself, so I went home, showered, had a quick snack, then went to the dojo. It was something I had been looking forward to the whole day.

They’ve changed the class schedule at the dojo so every hour they run two classes instead of one. I chose to do the submission grappling (no-gi) class versus Muay Thia.

One of the black belts ran the class. He’s a super cool guy. I was actually at the belting ceremony where he ranked up into black. I enjoy it when he instructs. Because there was an odd number of people at class that night, with me being the only girl, the instructor paired with me so I got one on one training essentually.

It. Was. Awesome.

He’s always super chill and answers all of my questions, which I normally have a lot.

Me: Why do you do it this way? What happens if they do this? Could you do this instead and it still be effective? Where am I supposed to be putting my weight during this movement?

He seemed genuinely pleased with how engaged I was so hopefully I wasn’t too annoying.

During the first two sparring rounds he was my partner. There was one point where he got butterfly hooks on me. That’s where his feet are on the insides of my thighs. It’s a way to control your opponents hips and to limit their mobility.

He ended up rolling onto his back and essentially lifting me off the ground since I had grips on his forearms. I could feel my weight shifting too far forward, giving him an advantage, so I straightened my legs out behind me while I’m balancing on his feet in the air.

It was one of those moments where neither of us thought we would end up in that position, with me in the air like Superman. We both smiled and kind of laughed even as we continued to struggle for a position of advantage.

There was a point early on in our first match where he got my arm and smiled saying, “It’s my arm now.” Later on, I got his arm so I taunted back, “Now it’s my arm” and we both shared a genuine smile as we continued sparring.

Both rounds with my instructor weren’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about being competitive. It was about comradery and fun and I absolutely loved both rounds even though I was pretty wiped afterward.

For my third round, I was paired with a guy I’ve sparred with before. It was a good match but nothing overly special.

My fourth match, because yes, I did do a fourth one, was against a guy I’ve never seen before. It was brutal. He tapped me out three times in our five-minute round, but I liked that. He helped show me what I’m doing wrong by not letting me get away with stuff.

If I left my guard open he took advantage of the opening. If I overextended my arm, he went for an armbar. It’s not like he was mean or overly aggressive. He was doing what he was trained to do, take down an opponent, and I appreciated that.

I can honestly say it was one of my hardest sparring sessions to date. There was one point where he had me in an armbar and he raised his eyebrows at me because I hadn’t tapped yet. He hadn’t pushed me to that point and I wasn’t going to just give it to him. I shook my head no so he pulled further back and I tapped in a hot second because when it’s a legit armbar the only thing you want is to cry uncle and get out of it.

Just like he wasn’t going to go easy on me, I wasn’t going to tap unless it was a legit tap. No softcore shit here.

Once the timer buzzed he laid back on the ground arms extended, breathing heavy, like it had been a struggle or something. I was trying to remember that breathing was a thing  I was supposed to be doing because the only thing on my mind was how I felt like I was dying. Holy fuck was that a hard rough.

Him: You’re strong. That’s good.

I had thought I would stay for a second or even third class, but after my last round, one where I gave all I had, I decided going home was the better option.

I can say I slept amazingly well that night and I think part of it has to do with being so physically exhausted from the dojo.

I woke up at six in the morning since I wanted time before meeting with L for training. I used to meet with her in the afternoon, but we’re switching it to the morning so my day isn’t as broken up.

It worked out extremely well today. I was able to go have breakfast and to type up my last post. I already had my gym bag with me, so once it was closer to go time I packed up and headed to the gym. I got there a bit early so I was able to stretch before my session.

L was very pleased with my “homework”. She liked the conclusions I came to about the terms strong and fit. As she took me through my training we talked about the dojo and how my rounds went.

She explained how she’s going to start incorporating more polymetrics into my workouts, which is where I got the goal for jumping the red box. We both want me to get to that level. Jumps are super fun so it’s only a matter of time.

We did a bunch of burpees in between my sets of weights. It was a much more intense session this time ’round and I thoroughly enjoyed it and made sure to say as much. I was pleased with how well I did during the core section. The “jack-knife” movement she had me to previously didn’t hurt/burn nearly as much. I could have gone a second round I think and been fairly ok.

We set up our appointment for next Tuesday at the same time. We said goodbye to each other, I got my stuff out of the locker room, then went home to begin looking into classes.

I’ve decided the school I originally was looking at isn’t one I want to go it. It’s a for-profit school and the reviews on Google aren’t very flattering. The community college near me doesn’t have what I’m interested in, so that blows.

I looked at UCF just to see what they had since it’s literally on six miles away from me. They offer a minor for fitness training. It seems pretty interesting, but I want to talk to someone about it in person. I called and left a message asking if I could arrange a meeting with someone to discuss the degree further and left it at that.

By that point, I was recovered enough from the gym to be hungry. I showered and went to my sports bar where I actually proofread through my writing and posted to my blog. I also wrote my Musing Moment post. I had my favorite server so I was also able to spend a bit of time chatting with her and getting caught back up since we haven’t seen each other in a while.

I ended up being at my sports bar for almost four hours between all of my writing and researching. My Surface actually died because I didn’t have it plugged into anything and that’s really the only reason I left. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have stayed there longer because I do tend to get caught up in things.

As I was driving home I contemplated the idea of going to the dojo. It was one of my days off. One of the few days I am guaranteed to make it to a class.

I was still pretty sore from my morning session with L, not to mention the no-gi class from the night before. I wasn’t feeling all that social either. I thought about going to Title Club Boxing instead, but that didn’t solve the whole “being sore” thing and most likely needing to do something less intense.

I was mulling it over in my head. Was I being a slacker or should I take the night off and do something like cross stitch?

I decided to check out the gym’s class schedule, just to see if maybe something was being offered that would satisfy my itch to do something else without leaving me dead for work tomorrow.

Wouldn’t you know, there was a yoga class scheduled for 7:30. Since it was only 5 pm I was able to cross stitch a bit before changing back into workout clothes and going to the gym for the second time that day.

The class was fantastic. With each movement I could feel my body relaxing further, releasing more. I’m still not where I was last year, but I could feel a huge difference at the end of the class compared to the beginning. I’m definitely glad I went and it helped confirm my goal of doing at least one yoga class a week.

With how hard I push everywhere else, I need to take at least an hour to relax and stretch.

There was a move during that class that was super cool. We started in down dog before flowing into three-legged dog. From there we bent the knee of our lifted leg and “opened our hips” which means we rotated the lifted leg over our grounded leg. From there we planted our lifted leg back onto the ground so we were in this weird bridge/back bend sort of posture.

It felt soooo amazingly cool. I had no idea I was able to do something like that, but I can. Wooo. One day in the hopefully not so distant future I’ll be able to do Standing Bow Pose, or maybe even King Dancer’s Pose.

Once yoga was done and I was reunited with my phone I saw I had a missed call from my younger brother. We chatted for a bit. It wasn’t anything important, just him bitching about work which I was more than happy to listen to.

From there I came home, ate, drank, and am now done with my writing and ready for bed.

I didn’t find out as much information as I wanted to about the whole school thing, but I wouldn’t be able to start classes until the Spring semester anyway, with March being the deadline for my application. I would like to talk to someone on Friday since that’s my next day off. If not Friday then hopefully next week. I want to get this figured out as soon as possible so I know what I can expect and what I can look forward to.

I might end up taking classes at the community college if they’re able to transfer. I don’t know yet and right now it’s not a major concern.

I’m happy with today. And today is done. So I’m off to sleep so I can wake up and kick ass at work tomorrow.

Daily Post 051: Finishing My Recap

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I want to finish recapping last week before getting too far into this one since I feel there are a lot of events which have led to the conversation I had with my FA yesterday, which, spoiler, I already talked to my supervisor.

So Thursday was the “fuck it” day. Lacking electricity I opted to take the day for myself rather than trying to organize the chaos of my life. And it was a fantastic day. I biked four miles to the dojo, sparred for an hour, biked another five miles and had lunch at Moe’s before biking the remaining mile back home. Later in the afternoon / early evening I went to the gym and trained with L where I once again increased the weight I’m lifting. I also ended up doing 50 lunges with a 30-pound barbell.

L is sneaky like that.

L: Go ahead and do lunges down to that line. *does lunges* Awesome. Now turn it around and bring it back.

My Legs: Mother F-*beeeeeeeeeeep*.

And of course, me and my INFJ “anything you can do I can do better” non-competitive competitive mentality did it because biking 10 miles and sparring with black belts for an hour is no excuse to not be able to do a billion lunges… I’ve never hated having an upstairs bedroom more in my life than I did that night. ;-;

Even with being ridiculously tired after it was all said and done, Thursday was awesome. Thursday was the type of day that I want to have. One where I feel alive and full and warm and like I’m worth being alive.

Which sucks because it makes it sound like my job is soul-crushing and the bane of my existence, when it isn’t. It’s extremely fulfilling in its own way.

I guess the issue is work is an obligation. I wouldn’t be doing dialysis if it weren’t for the fact that I NEED a job. I wouldn’t have gotten certifications in EKG reading or phlebotomy or completed the whole CNA training. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things if it weren’t for the fact that I need income to support myself.

So while, yeah, I love my patients and my heart melts everytime they say thank you or wish me a good day, work is an obligation, not a choice, and I think that’s the biggest issue with it interfering with what I WANT to do, which is train.

It’s my choice to stay with the job I have, but it’s not my choice on if I work or not. I HAVE to work. It’s more of a question of what work do I do?

As long as it’s meaningful, something I can believe in, and contributes to the overall wellbeing of society / humanity, then I’m pretty ok with doing whatever.

Saving people and helping them live life as fully as they can works for me. It’s a good, solid purpose that I can get behind. If I have to give my time to something at least it’s going to a good cause that does make me swell a little bit with pride when people ask me what I do.

Them: Wow. That’s pretty awesome. It’s got to be crazy intense.
Me: Yeah. It is. *thinks about all the crazy shit that makes it stressful* But it’s fulfilling. *thinks about how Mr. S smiled said his day was better now that he got to see me*

I love my job. I do. For as much as I bitch, I do like like.

What I don’t like is the imbalance, which is something that, theoretically, can be corrected. I need to have days like Thursday where I can devote time to me. I need time where all I have to worry about is myself. I don’t have to save lives on days like Thursday. I don’t have to worry about obligations aside from the ones I make. I get to check in with myself. I get to heal my soul in ways I can’t while I’m working or interacting with people; while I’m caring for others.

I need time to care for me.

Having Thursday made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my life. Being tired or busy with work is a valid reason, but it’s also an excuse. I’m allowing work to take that away from me. I’m giving it that power.

Thursday is where my resolve for change really solidified. I can’t deny myself the downtime I need to function properly.

I could feel a difference in myself at work on Friday. Even though it was a long day it was a fairly good day. I didn’t have all of the stress from previous days on my shoulders still. I was ready to come back to work and to actually work. I was ready to be there, fully present, for my patients rather than looking at the clock and counting down the hours until I would be able to leave.

Friday was a good day and I was actually glad to be there. I had reserves of “care” to give so it didn’t feel like something was being taken from me. I got to have my Thursday so I could give my Friday.

I had planned to run after work that evening but that didn’t happen. I think a large part of that has to do with the drive home itself. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get back to my side of town. By the time I get close to the gym my body has already changed gears. I’ve been off my feet. I’ve had time to start processing through my day. I’ve had time to slow down and so the thought of having to speed back up sucks and is harder than to do than it would be if it were still earlier in the day.

Convincing yourself to run a mile after you’ve already worked 16 hours and walked 8 miles isn’t an easy task, and Friday night I didn’t put much effort into trying. I went home, ate, showered, and slept since I had to be into work on Saturday.

I think something which will help combat the “slow down” is to go to the gym closer to work, rather than the one near my apartment on the days I plan to do something after my shift. That gym is only a mile away, so what, like a 5-minute drive if that? I think it’s worth trying out and seeing if it helps me out any. I haven’t tried it yet. That will be tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then there’s not much else to say other than Friday I was a slacker and didn’t care because I was tired.

Saturday I was still a little tired but it was a short day, only 12 hours. I could tough it out and maybe I would wake up enough through the day to do something afterward.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. Saturday was a pretty smooth day. I actually had time to… wait for it…. SIT DOWN! No joke. The only times I ever sit are when I’m on my breaks. But Saturday, for whatever reason, there was a lot of “down time”. Machines weren’t beeping, people came at their scheduled time, most of everything was stocked, needle packs were already made. It was nice. I actually got to doodle on Post-It notes. XD

After work, I came home. It was still a really nice outside, warm with that tinge of coolness because it’s autumn already. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the day, one of the dying days of summer, doing nothing inside, so I decided to go for a bike ride. I would bike up to Arby’s, get a sandwich, then come back.

I showered, changed into workout gear, then headed out. I stopped by CVS first for sunscreen, SPF 100, so I wouldn’t die a horribly burn-tastic death during my ride along with Gatorade so I could keep hydrated.

I noticed as I got further into the bike ride that the bike felt kind of “draggy”. It seemed to take a bit more effort than it should have to get it / keep it going. I was biking against the wind, and for parts of it I was on an incline, but it just didn’t feel “right”.

Once I got to Arby’s, I chained my bike up and ordered my reward sandwich. As I sat pondering on the bike, which wasn’t making any sort of noise, I pulled out my phone and looked up the hours for the bike shop I go to. I wasn’t too far from it. Maybe I had enough time to bike over there and have them check it out for me, just to make sure nothing mechanically was wrong.

I called the store. I explained my situation to the guy who answered and asked if he thought I would be able to bike the distance before the store closed since that would be happening soon-ish. The guy said I should be able to make it before they closed, but if the front door happened to be locked to knock on the side door because he would still be inside.

With that set in place, I hopped back on the bike and got moving. I’m pleased to report I made it to the store before they closed. Woohoo. : D

The guy who answered the phone checked out my tires. My back tire had 20 psi out of 30-60, so yeah, it was no wonder my bike didn’t want to go. The front tire had about 40 psi in it, so the tires aren’t losing air at the same rate. He said there might be a small leak in the tube of the back tire. If it keeps losing air faster than the front it might be worth it to replace the tube.

They filled up my tires and that was that. Mission accomplished. I thanked them profusely for their time and assistance. They’ve always treated me well and I’m proud that I was able to bike all the way there, which left me to bike all the way back home. XD

The bike store is literally across the street from Big Bad’s house so before I had left Arby’s I messaged him saying that I would be at the bike shop and that if he saw me I wasn’t practicing my ninja stalking skills, the bike had an issue I was getting looked at.

Once I was done with the store Big Bad came out and walked the bike trail with me for a little bit before heading back home. I didn’t want to bike the main road in the dark without my bike light. We weren’t together for very long but it was nice to see him for the short time I did. A quick, sweaty hug before getting back on the bike and heading all the way back home.

It ended up being just under a 15-mile ride and it was glorious.

Once I was home I showered, ate, drank a crap ton of water and didn’t do much else for the rest of the night. My body was ok with that.

Saturday showed me that even on days I work I can still do a lot for myself. It’s mainly the 16 hour days that make things so obnoxiously hard.

Sunday was a day off. Sundays are supposed to be my “Me” day, but with the hurricane and work and all of the craziness of the past week, I decided that what would make me feel best is getting my life back on track. So Sunday I did a ton of chores and that too was glorious.

I did laundry. I tossed out all of the stuff in the fridge and freezer because it had spoiled when the power went out. I meal planned and made my shopping list for the store. I vacuumed. I cleaned my bathroom. I went to my sports bar for lunch, which was packed because I guess it’s football season again.

I didn’t mind. I put my spiffy headphones in and began working on the homework L had assigned me.

One of the things we talked about while I was training, in addition to me possibly taking classes, is how I’m unsure about a few terms people apply to me.

Every guy I have sparred against at the dojo has made some comment afterward about me being strong. I told L that I don’t know what they mean. Is it that I’m stronger than they thought I would be? Or that I’m strong for a girl? Or are they using a different measure for “strength” that I don’t know about or understand since words mean different things to different people?

I don’t feel like I’m strong. I still lose a lot of my rounds. I still can’t do a pull-up, though to be fair I also haven’t tried so we’ll assume I can’t and keep going with this train of thought. I still can’t run a solid mile, though that’s more cardio endurance than strength and again, I haven’t tried to do a solid mile, but I digress.

I’ve spent so much of my life feeling “not strong” that being told I am strong is awkward. Just like being told I’m attractive is awkward.

My Brain: What about all those years I was “fat” or “ugly”? That’s all I’ve ever known. This whole “attractive” thing is wrong. It’s not normal. It’s not “right”. Please stop saying it.

This whole “strong” thing is an aspect of myself that I’m unsure about and it was something L and I were discussing.

She said by her standards she thinks I’m strong. She can tell I’m getting stronger because I’m lifting more weight. I’m doing different motions easier. I’m improving. She also said her opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s my opinion and what I tell myself that matters. And she’s most certainly right about that.

It’s like self-acceptance and confidence. It doesn’t matter what other people say if you constantly tear yourself down. You have to believe in you.

I also mentioned how I don’t think that I’m fit or healthy. To which, again, she said she thought I was, but that was her opinion and not mine.

She asked me what strength and fitness meant to me. What did I lack by my definition to not fit those terms?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I had meditated on the word success and so I knew, by my standards, what that word meant and how I did or did not fit within it, but I had never meditated on strength or fitness.

She said maybe that’s something I could do before our next session along with figuring out three things I wanted to improve on.

So while I was at my sports bar, listening to techno music while everyone else cheered or booed respectively for their teams, I wrote about strength.

I have that writing and I will be posting it as a Musing Moment later, but in short, I realized that yes, I am strong and I’m not conceded or arrogant for writing that. I’m not unfeminine for being strong. I can be strong and still seek improvement. Wanting to improve doesn’t mean I’m “not” something.

I also wrote about fitness, which will be part of my Musing Moment post, and again, just because I want to improve something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

I am fit. I am healthy, and just like with strength, typing that, accepting that aspect of myself, does not make me a bad person. It makes me more connected with my reality.

I guess I’m still getting used to myself. I’ve never been as fit or healthy or strong as I am in this moment, sitting in an Einstein’s with my coffee beside me because fuck you Starbucks. I’ve never been this “small”. I can fit into mediums now. It’s a weird feeling, one I’m still adjusting to, and I think accepting these terms, strong and fit, as part of myself is a step in the direction towards actual self-acceptance.

I am myself, and in this moment in my life, I am physically fit and healthy. In my past, I wasn’t. In my present, I am.

Once I finished writing, I paid my bill, packed up, then went to the store to do my grocery shopping. I spent over $100, but that was with replacing all of the things that I had to throw out, so overall I didn’t do too bad. I try to keep my weekly spending on food at $70.

When I got home I started putting stuff away and making my meals. One of my former classmates and I agreed to chat at 3:30 on Sunday, so while my chili was simmering her and I got to catch up. She told me how things were going at her clinic, how things went with the hurricane, and in general what she’s been up to with life, and I did the same.

It was good to talk to someone about work who legitimately understands because she has the same job. My brother can understand because he’s done medical, and a lot of the people in my life can sympathize, even empathize, but Mrs. G knows exactly what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and behind and stressed because she’s fighting on the same battlefield.

Talking to someone and having them share their own stories helped me feel better and more connected with reality. It’s not just me. I’m not alone in my feelings. Mrs. G is going through it, too.

It was a pretty long conversation, but I enjoyed it. We’re going to try to meet up again at some point. Not this weekend since she has a bunch of stuff going on, but hopefully soon.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the cooking and remaining chores I had. I’m most likely going to get rid of my vacuum cleaner since it doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. I’ve cleaned the filter and everything but it’s still leaving little fuzzies everywhere. Warren’s vacuum picked up everything that mine left behind so yeah, I’m most likely going to take it to Goodwill or something. It’s not broken, and it still works, just not as good as something we already have so why have two?

I had thought about cross stitching Sunday night but opted to write instead. I’m glad I wrote. It kept me up later than I most likely should have been, but it felt good. Really good.

And so here we are.

I still have Monday to write through, and then all of what will end up being today, but I feel mostly caught up and written out. I have training with L I need to get to in the next 40 minutes so I’m going to go. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but hopefully, it will be soon. I like feeling like I’m in the present rather than lingering days in the past or floating, swimming, drowning in a sea of “what the f is going on with my life?”.

Yesterday I talked to my boss. Today I train and find out about classes. Those are the key points and I’ll meditate on them further once I’m able to.

For now, it’s time to go be a badass and flip some tires.

Oh, and here’s some cuteness because I actually really did get a chance to doodle at work. :3

 

Daily Post 049: Learning to Care

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I wrote on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, specifically.

Wednesday seemed like another awful day full of overwhelme. I went to the gym after work again. Well, actually… first I went to the dojo. I had kept that as my shining light at the end of the tunnel all day. I could make it through all of the hectic, crazy bullshit because at the end of it I could go to my dojo.

I didn’t get out of work early enough, though. I’m sure rain during rush hour traffic didn’t help with getting me there in record time. By the time I made it to the dojo there was only 30 minutes left of the Muay Thai class and I didn’t have my gi for the following jujitsu class. It sucked realizing my time was going to be so short; almost pointless. I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout, though light and short.

I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout. I bruised the crap out of the top of my foot. I wanted, needed, to get as much out of my body as I could for those few minutes so I pushed harder, kicked harder, and allowed the pain to start washing the day away.

It wasn’t enough to get rid of the angst and tension from work, though, and that was frustrating. It wasn’t enough to make me feel ok.

Sadly, frustratedly, I bowed out for Muay Thai then headed to the gym so I could try running the rest of everything off. The machine I picked to run on hadn’t been reset and I didn’t realize that until I had already been on the treadmill for a song or two. I didn’t care. I wasn’t on it for the numbers that night. I was on it so I could be ok. So I could go home. So I could not cry.

I ran well. I ran faster than I think I ever have, going past 7 mph. At least I think that’s what the number on the treadmill means. Who knows.

By the time RunKeeper told me my workout was done I knew that I needed to stop, otherwise my legs were going to regret it and I would be forced to take extra recovery days. I still wasn’t ok, though. Why couldn’t I shake these feelings, damnit?! What did I have to do?

I didn’t have an answer for myself so I went to the sauna and sat for a bit, trying to meditate my way to inner peace, but that too didn’t work. Nothing seemed to work.

I hurt and felt like a failure and nothing was soothing over the wounds of the day. I was still bleeding out emotionally.

I left the sauna and sat on the first steps of the pool in the gym, soaking my feet in the cold water as I sent a text to my younger brother. I couldn’t call mom. I’ll never be able to call mom. But I could still talk to Jon. I could still hear his voice and tell him that everything sucked.

Me: Busy?

After a few minutes, he replied with no, asking what was up.

I said nothing important. It had been a rough day at work and that I wanted to hear his voice.

He called and we talked for about an hour as I sat in the pool not caring about who heard my conversation.

I explained the past two work days. How I had to work with my head RN and how it always seemed like I did everything wrong in front of her. How days seemed bad now even though recently they had been good, amazing even. We talked about why my RN’s opinion means so much to me. How mom had been an RN and maybe this was my way of getting “mom’s approval” and praise.

It was a good conversation, one which I had silent tears for part of. We talked about his trip back home for the eclipse. We talked about his part time job at the school. We talked about his roommates and mine. By the end of the conversation, I was feeling better. I felt solidly grounded in reality and not falling through the chaos in my head.

I went home and slept deeply not caring about any chores that may have needed to be done. They could wait. Tomorrow would be another 24 hours.

Thursday I slept all day. Ok… not all day. I did get up and rewash the load of laundry that I never switched over to the dryer. But aside from that I really didn’t do much. Pretty sure I showered. I think I chatted with Warren briefly. But for the most part, it was me recovering from Monday and Wednesday.

Yesterday put things into perspective. I worked. It was another rough day. I was sitting in the breakroom during my lunch break when two of my coworkers also came in for lunch. One of them mentioned how I looked “perturbed”.

I said that it felt like the day had been a disaster so far and I could never figure out what happened on rough days to make it domino into such a crap-tastic time. I also acknowledged the fact that I really didn’t know how badly we had done with getting patients on the machines at their scheduled time and that it was entirely possible that things were fine and it was just my perspective on how things were going that was skewed.

They both gave me advice, mostly revolving around “don’t sweat it.”

There’s only so much that my team can do, and the only thing we can consistently do is our best. I’m not going to stop caring because that’s the whole reason I changed careers, but I think I need to adjust what I care about. I can’t care about literally everything because if I do this job is going to kill me. I need to save it for the important things.

Turn over is always going to be organized chaos. There are too many variables for it not to be. One patient might become hypotensive while another takes a longer time clotting and bleeds through their gauze a few times while at the same time another patient wants to come off the machine 15 minutes early, adding to the chaos.

Other times it might run smoothly with no deviations from the expected or intended schedule.

Every day is different. I can’t hold onto the thoughts of, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.”

I guess that’s a lot like having to let go of the life I thought I would have. I thought mom would still be alive. I thought I would have her for another 20 years with her and that she would live long enough to see Jace graduate and become a karate ninja samurai. I thought things would be different, but they’re not. Things are how they are.

I guess that’s the mentality I need with my work days. It doesn’t matter what I thought the day would be like. The day goes how it goes regardless of what I want or expect. “Go with the flow.” “Don’t sweat it.”

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s more like I won’t waste energy on trying to change the course of a river. I can’t change it, I can only go with it and let the current do all of the work. The destination is still the same. I’ll still reach the end of my day. I’ll most likely still be tired at the end of it, but I think one method will leave me with much less stress and inner tension than the other.

I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to implement this new mentality right away. I think it will take some time, but it’s something I’m going to try. Those moments where I feel overwhelmed and like chaos is raining down all around me I’m going to try to remember to step back and let go of trying to control it all. I can’t control it, I can only go with it.

The rest of the day went better after the conversation with my coworkers. All of the third shift patients got put on their machines. I was able to make needle packs for the following day as well as close down the machines we were no longer using. I was able to go to the stockroom and get the supplies we were out of or low on. I was able to update all of the documentation. I was able to finally breath is what it felt like.

I left work around 5 pm. I didn’t want to go to the gym. The dojo was doing randori which I don’t feel I’m ready for. Title Club was still closed as they transition to a new location, and to be honest I don’t think I would have wanted to do anything physical anyway.

Instead, I thought about what I wanted to do with my evening. I needed closure. Something to signify my night was done and that I was now able to relax.

I ended up getting dinner at a little place called Viet-Nomz. They have amazing food, and it’s an extremely small establishment near my apartment which encourages social dining. I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing but it reminds me of one of the customs in Germany where it’s socially acceptable to share tables with strangers as long as you ask if you may sit with them.

Since it was dinner time they were fairly crowded, but I was ok with that. I sort of wanted that feeling; being part of, lost in, the crowd. I sat across from two girls who were chatting together. I put my headphones in and ate my rice bowl. This was my reward for surviving; a bowl full of carbs and protein. Good music and a moment of not having to worry or care.

It was an extremely fulfilling meal. Once I was finished I headed home. I did make a detour to CVS for some Icy Hot patches for my back. It’s been bothering me lately and those have helped in the past.

When I got home I didn’t bother with the kitchen. I took my shoes off and headed straight upstairs to my room. I didn’t bother with anything other than showering and putting one of the patches across my lower back. I changed into comfy clothes and scrolled through Facebook for way longer than I care to admit until I finally crawled into bed. By that point, I didn’t even bother to take out my contacts I was so tired.

My alarm went off at 2 am since I forgot to turn it off. That’s when I figured taking out my contacts would be a smart move. I drank so water while I was up then when back to sleep until about 9 am.

I’m currently at Perkins. My breakfast has been eaten. I’m working on my second up of coffee. I have an appointment for a deep tissue massage at 6:30 this evening. I’m going to be going to kickboxing at 1pm since it’s the grand reopening for Title Club. I have a few odds and ends as far as doing chores goes, but overall it’s a pretty low energy / recovery day. Same with tomorrow I think.

I was supposed to have a sleep over with Mother Earth this evening, but she’s feeling under the weather so we’re going to reschedule our girl time. Big Bad and I have plans to see each other for our scheduled Monday evening. One of my coworkers wants to split my Monday shifts with me, so instead of 4 am I would go in at 10 am and still leave by 5 pm. That gives me time to go to the gym in the morning, shower, eat, and start my week off the way I would really like to. I think that will be a fantastic change for me. I won’t be getting as much overtime, but I also won’t be nearly as burnout as I’ve been fearing I would be. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this change works for both of us since she needs the hours.

I still have the blog award nomination I need to write for, but I think I will save that for either later today or tomorrow. I think I want to go back home for a little bit and rest before going to kickboxing.

I guess looking back at it, this week hasn’t been bad. It’s been long and it’s had a lot of stress, but it’s had a lot of positive moments, too, and for the next two days I’m off and I plan to fully, thoroughly, enjoy them.

Part of learning to care is learning to care for myself. I think a few days of introverted downtime is what I need and I’m not going to give myself shit for it.