Daily Post 220: Being Done

Standard

Hey Chromebook,

I’m getting used to talking to you. I’m starting to enjoy it. I’m starting to find my new normal here at the apartment; my morning routine and flow. It’s a nice feeling.

Things are better and yet slightly worse at the same time.

The better…

I went to the gym again and had another pretty awesome workout. That was at 5am yesterday. I came back home afterward and rested for a couple of hours with the kittens before getting up and taking care of stuff. I went out and bought a bookcase from Walmart; the same one I have bought four times now. Maybe this time I’ll be able to hold onto it for a while and not have to donate it or get rid of it because of moving. I also bought my first phone card for StraightTalk. I still have to add it to my phone, but I have a few more days to get that done.

I went to GNC and bought more energy drinks for the week. They had the flavor I wanted so it’s been nice this morning, sipping on the flavor I’ve wanted for a while. I went to Verizon to try to take care of my last phone payment, but they’re still sort of shutdown with covid. You have to wait outside to be helped, so I opted not to do that yesterday. I also went to Michael’s to see about getting some new fabric, but they literally had no fabric which I thought was weird for a craft store.

Since that was a bust I went to PetSmart to get cat litter and a small bag of cat food. The kittens are almost a year old. They’ll no longer need to eat kitten food and the 16 pound bag I bought a while ago is almost out. I wanted to get something new for them to try since finding a flavor they’ll both like might be a bit of a task. With how they were sniffing and chewing on the bag when I brought it into the room, I think I made a good choice.

I went ahead and got gas for my car, so that task is taken care of. I then came back to the apartment and made three trips up the stairs to get everything into the apartment. That’s after already working out. I totally let myself feel like a bawce for getting everything inside on my own and not waiting for Ox to get off work.

I assembled the bookcase. Ox came over as I was finishing it up. He anchored it to the wall and we began putting my things away. He took apart my computer desk. We moved the entertainment system and my TV and Playstation into my room. I also got the replacement bed set up; that was Monday night. My room got painted Sunday, so everything in my personal space is coming together nicely. I like it so far. I still have some things to do; going through this, finding a home for that… but for the most part, it’s ok enough for me to feel good about being in here. I like it.

The not so good stuff…

Jon and I fought Monday night. Sunday he cooked dinner and asked me to do the dishes. I loaded the dishwasher, taking out some of my pots that he had put in it. I want my pots hand-washed and I told him that shortly after he moved up here. He didn’t have to wash them if he didn’t want to. He could leave them for me to do since I know I’m kind of being weird about how I want my stuff taken care of, but please don’t put them in the dishwasher.

I didn’t say anything to him Sunday night. I took my pots out of the dishwasher and put them back in the sink. I took care of all of the other things, set the dishwasher to run, then went to bed since it was 8 and I had to be awake at 2. Already past my bedtime. I could finish washing the bigger things tomorrow when I got home.

When I did get home, Jon was in a mood. I couldn’t tell what was wrong. He helped carry the box that my bed was in upstairs. He said we needed to talk. When I asked what we needed to talk about he said he didn’t know how to talk to me. That left me feeling defeated and I hadn’t been home five minutes yet. I figured it had to do with the dishes. How dare I don’t be perfect and have everything completely done.

Jon showered, leaving me to stew in my own head for a while. We ended up sitting on the balcony.

He said that coming home and seeing dishes in the sink made him feel like he didn’t matter. Three pots and some minor dishes that couldn’t fit in the dishwasher made him feel like I didn’t care.

I asked if he noticed that I had done anything at all? Did he not notice that I ran the dishwasher? That I had loaded it and that I had told him he didn’t need to worry about my pots since I want them to be hand washed if they’re used? He said he hadn’t inspected the sink before he went to bed, only that he had gone to sleep with dishes in the sink and woke up to the same situation.

It made me feel like nothing I do or did mattered. It wasn’t perfect so it wasn’t good enough.

When I asked if being here was better than Florida he said, no, it’s not.

That hurt. A lot. We kept fighting, neither of us listening to the other person anymore. My effort wasn’t good enough. Taking his dog out for him didn’t matter. Paying for all of the groceries didn’t mean I cared. Letting him use the paint and supplies I had bought didn’t mean anything…

It sucked. I sucked and was just as bad as his previous roommate even though I’ve been doing all of these things to prove that I’m not her.

The argument was a bit of a breaking point for me. If nothing I do proves anything, then fuck it. I moved all of my things out of the living room and into my room. I like it more this way. I, personally, feel more secure. I am surrounded by my things. Things I have spent money on or gifts I have kept over the years. These things matter to me enough to have them and I want to be near them and now I am.

Jon and I didn’t talk yesterday. We work together today for 8 hours. I’m concerned about it being a shitty work environment. Shortly after I woke up I sent Jon some messages.

Me: Are we ok enough to work together?

I still intend to take Queeni out before coming in. If you want the computer chair and the floor mat you can have them. I’m no longer going to have a computer desk in my room. If you don’t want them I’ll take care of them tomorrow so they’re no longer in the living space.

I was thinking of getting a small trash can / trash bag that sits on the cabinet doors like the towel racks so it’s easier to throw small things away while we’re cooking and cleaning in the kitchen. Would you be opposed to trying something like that?

We can still get the paint tonight if you’re still interested in having your room painted.

I don’t think it was fair for you to say being here isn’t better than Florida. If that’s your honest opinion there’s not much I can do to change that other than continue trying my best. I’m not Casandra. I’m me and I love you. I’m also human just like you are. Neither of us are perfect and nothing in life is ever going to be perfect, including the sink and dishes. That doesn’t mean either of us are invalid or that we don’t matter to each other.

I haven’t gotten a reply from him yet. I don’t think I will. I’ve made my peace though.

If three pots make him feel like I don’t care or love him, that’s his own internal issue that I can’t help or solve or fix. Every time I try to do something he lets his inner voice tear it down.

My goal is no longer to try to make him feel like he matters, which may sound harsh when read at face value to taken out of context. No one can “make” you feel something. I don’t “make” him feel valued or unvalued. He does. I will continue trying my best to do the things I say I’m going to do, but the purpose of that is to remain honest, dependable, and truthful, not to make him happy or feel loved.

Only he can allow himself to feel or not feel those things, and I have no control over that, just like he has no control over me allowing myself to feel like a failure and an awful sister because his opinion is that the living situation here is as bad or worse than where he was.

I am not a failure. I am not an awful sister and I’m not going to give him the power to make me feel that way.

So that’s where I’m at today. I’ve done a lot of things in regard to self-care and reflection. I’m done trying to make people feel a certain way because it’s a pointless, futile endeavor. Instead, I will continue to do the things I feel align with my core values and priorities and not hold myself accountable or responsible for how other people choose to react or not react to those actions.

I feel ok today. I feel like I’m closer to myself than I have been in a while. I’m hoping today at work doesn’t suck, and if it does, hopefully, I can have enough space tomorrow to let it go. I have another session at the gym at 5am on Thursday. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good feeling. Prioritizing myself feels good.

I feel Jon has a lot of work to do internally. He has issues with self-worth and that’s not something someone else can fix or help with. That’s his mentality, and so I’m done trying to do something I can’t do. All I can do is be me so that’s what I’m going to do.

Daily Post 206: Half Way Done

Standard

Alright. So here we are, about halfway through my “off” days.

Monday was alright at work. It was fun being able to tell my patients about my social experiment for school. They seemed genuinely interested in how it went and joked and smiled with me as I told my stories. The day would have gone better had the nephrologist not rounded in the middle of change over. Luckily, my FA helped flip a few stations and even started one patient’s treatment for the RN and me. We would have been significantly behind without her help.

The rest of the day went smoothly. I had some frustration at the end of the day. This was the RN who I’m pretty sure mentioned to my FA how she didn’t like me coloring during my downtime. As I’m sweating bullets trying to get the clinic closed up she’s sitting at the computer. It must be nice…

By the time I got home, I was mostly over my frustration. The drive home in sunlight with music helps a lot in getting over things like that. Is something at work frustrating? Yeah. But you know what? It’s over. Fuck it. I’m going to enjoy my drive in the non-snowy weather. I’m not going to let the frustration take this moment away from me.

Monday was raid night for Ox. We went to the gas station together so he could get a few energy drinks. I even partook of one before going back to the apartment. I unpacked from work. Washed the dishes. Cooked dinner. Finished editing my assignment for school. Printed my assignment out and packed it away for Tuesday. Packed for the gym the next day.

I then proceeded to spend most of the night coloring a new mandala, staying up until 11 pm. Blaming the energy drink on that one since I typically can’t stay up much past 7 pm most nights.

I was awake when Ox came over so we had a cigarette together then went to bed.

Tuesday morning was crazy productive. I did my morning routine. I packed up the car with my gym bag, school stuff, and my basket of laundry. I ran over to the vet to finish paying my balance with them. The check from Ox finally cleared so I had the money to take care of financial things.

After the vet, I swung by the house to start my laundry. I then headed into town. I went to Walmart and got a money order to pay rent. I went to Costco and got gas for the car. I hopped across the street and got two packs of wet cat food for the kittens. From there I headed to school feeling good about having gotten all of my morning stuff done.

Class was good. I got to talk pretty extensively about my experiment. Not a lot of other people wanted to talk about theirs. I figured that’s how class would go down. Whatever. I had fun and it was super informative and I wrote extensively about it.

After class, I headed to the gym. It didn’t feel like it would be a good workout. I was tired and thought about not going. Instead of giving up, I stopped at a gas station near the gym to eat my protein bar since I was ridiculously hungry. I was able to have more of my energy drink and Ox was actually able to catch up with me so we got to spend some time together.

All of those things helped me to start feeling better. After about 15 minutes, I continued on to the gym. I still didn’t think it would be a good workout, but at least I wasn’t giving up on it. After a 10 minute warmup on the bike, I was feeling more with it. I reached gear 11 a few times. I ended up biking for 35 minutes, reaching just over 6.5 miles. Not bad for thinking I wouldn’t be able to do much.

I stopped at the gas station in Hickman before going to the house. I use lemon and lime juice frequently and I was running low on them. I figured I would pick new bottles up while I was out instead of having to make an emergency trip later.

Once at the house, I switched my laundry and ate again. I went ahead and spent the $20 to get the set of silicone containers I found on Amazon. They should be here Thursday. I logged my workout, noting that I’ve been improving since my return to the gym at the beginning of the month. My first workout was only 20 minutes and I barely made it past 3 miles on that one.

I also took a moment to recognize that while I may not be losing weight, I haven’t gained anything since November and receiving my cancer diagnosis. If I’m able to maintain while not doing a whole lot at the gym, then, theoretically, once I start pushing again, I should start making progress in that area. It made me feel better to realize I haven’t been doing that bad on the health side of things as I had been thinking. I’m going to give it another month before going back to lifting since that was the advice from my Endocrinologist. She wants me to heal a bit more first before doing crazy shit.

Ox and I had sexy time while I was over. Twice even. That left me dead for the rest of the day. In a good way. Totally not complaining that I didn’t get much of anything else done. When I was recovered enough I packed up my laundry and came back to the apartment and slept for a while. Eventually, I woke up to eat, thought about looking at the rest of my to-do list, but opted to go back to sleep instead.

Ox came over at some point and fell asleep next to me. I halfway sort of remember him getting into bed. I do clearly remember his alarm going off this morning. XD

He woke up for work and got ready, kissing me goodbye before he left.

My back was sore when I woke up at 6. I think it was from sleeping weird, or maybe for so long since I’m pretty sure collectively I slept more than 12 hours yesterday. As I moved around doing my morning stuff the pain went away which I’m grateful for.

As far as today goes, I’ve finally started making progress on my report that’s due March 19th. I’ve been going through my reference material and highlighting the information I want to use in my report. I’ve also got the report body outlined and the text formatted properly. Pretty much all that’s left is to put the information where I want it.

I just put the roast in the oven to cook and I’ve written, so all that’s left is to start plucking away at the minor tasks on my list before going into town for counseling.

Ox and I plan to meet for lunch at the diner. From there I need to go check out one of the apartments Jon and I are interested in. There’s D&D tonight. I’ve already made sure my character sheets are in the bag. XD

It’s going to be another busy day, but it should also be a good day. It’s sunny again which is nice. Summer is on its way. I’m looking forward to it.

Report Cat is Helping

Daily Post 199: D&D and Developments

Standard

Last night’s D&D session went well. It took a bit to get started as we waited for everyone to arrive and get setup. I mentioned how Ox and I would be late to the next session due to my Endrocologist appointment. I didn’t go into details but they were ok with us being late. If I had known I would end up as part of a D&D group, I would have scheduled it for a different day. I’ve waited too long for this appointment to try rescheduling it.

The session itself was fun. I got to use my “Bag of Tricks” finally. It was a gift to my character from the Cat Lord. I now have a Giant Badger as a friendly ally to help me create all sorts of chaos… like chewing on hobgoblins who won’t answer my questions about where the shiny things are. >.>;

On the way home Ox said maybe next campaign I should play a different character. You know… one where everyone else could play too because they wouldn’t be dying from lack of air due to laughing so hard… I’ll consider it. Currently, I’m having so much fun, though.

DM: You find several barrels of brandy.
Me: Can I set them on fire?
DM: Why would you want to do that?
Me: Why wouldn’t I want to do that?

So much fun. XD

We ended up ordering pizza this time. I greatly appreciated having food since my snacks weren’t cutting it.

In other news, today has been a successful day so far. Morning routine. Check. Get to school early enough to get the parking spot in the middle of nowhere that I want. Check. Attend class. Check.

Have a surprise visit from Ox. Totally not on the list, but fuck it. adds to list Check.

That was sort of cute situation. I was too busy internally bitching about how cold the wind was as I was tossing my stuff into my car to notice that the car across from me was the Trax. Ox got out and greeted me.

Me: Oh! Well, hello!

We shared a cigarette. We talked about how my class went. Today we discussed the importance of love and affection for social and psychological development. We listened to a few podcasts about different studies that have been done to scientifically prove that affection during early development is necessary for proper behavioral development and how disorders such as attachment disorder can from due to neglect and isolation. Interesting stuff.

Ox told me about his day. He let me try a new Bang; Candy Apple Crisp. It tastes like a red delicious apple. Not bad, but I prefer green apples because I’m weird. While we were standing around I checked my finances. My federal tax return was sitting in my bank account making me look all rich and stuff. I added paying Allison back onto my mental list of things to do once I got back to the apartment.

Ox and I chatted about how the rest of the day would go down and then parted ways; him for home and me for the gym.

I biked again. Nothing super crazy like Tuesday, but enough to let me feel productive. 20 minutes, 4 miles, top gear at 9.

I stopped at the gas station to pick up some sour cream and cheddar cheese. Part of my meals this coming week will be leftover chili that I had in the freeze. Can’t have chili without cheese and sour cream. I also picked up a couple of packs of cigarettes. I was going to buy a carten, but they didn’t have any in stock.

While I was headed to the gas station from the gym I called Jon since he had tried to reach me during my class. He’s been contacted by my company and has scheduled a phone interview for Monday at 3 pm. I’m totally stoked. Things are going amazingly well in regards to my evil master plan. At the end of our conversation, Jon said he was going to reach out to the college again to get more information about his credits and what he needed to do to see if they will transfer. I haven’t heard back from him but I imagine he’ll either call later tonight or I’ll talk to him in the next few days.

I’ve been productive since being back at the apartment. Finished washing and putting the dishes away. Finished with meal prepping. Bleached the bathroom since everything was purple from dying my hair yesterday. I finished reading chapter four and took the online test. Got a 100. I went ahead and did the reference assignment that’s due next Tuesday so I don’t have school stuff looming over me. I did pay Allison back. I feel good for having that taken care of.

I also filled out the application to renew my CCHT license. That doesn’t have to be done until May, but I want to do it sooner rather than later. There’s a part that my FA has to fill out. I should be able to see her tomorrow. Hopefully, that’s the case so I can get this mailed out tomorrow evening.

That’s about it at the moment. I’m about to head over to the house to enjoy the rest of my evening cross-stitching next to Ox. We’re both wanting to make it an early night tonight. I’m looking forward to going to work tomorrow. I’ve enjoyed my three days off. I’m ready to see my patients. : 3

Daily Post 197: Being Told You Were Right

Standard

Oh, man. Talk about a productive day of evil, mastermind planing.

It started with waking up. Ox wasn’t with me, but I had been prepared for the potential of him not coming over. It was a slow morning. A pre-school morning.

I plucked around on the computer for a bit. I renewed my domain name for my CG website. I haven’t done anything with it since I resigned from Full Sail but I don’t want to let it go either. It was $35 for another two years. Not bad as far as expenses go and with my state refund I wasn’t cutting into the grocery bill.

I also went onto Amazon. I love using green and orange highlighters. I use them for the flashcards I make for school. I use them to mark my progress on cross stitch patterns. Most recently I’ve started using them to mark what I have accomplished on my to-do lists rather than scratching through them with my pen or pencil. Seeing color on the page makes something in my brain happy.

Well… the shitty thing about having a specific color highlighter you want to use is if you run out and need to buy more you typically have to buy a whole pack with a bunch of other colors that are going to collect dust for forever. A quick search on Amazon revealed that I can buy packs of an individual color, other than yellow.

Best. Day. Ever.

I also looked into the whole Amazon Prime thing for students since I’m a student and all. I can use it for six months free. Guess what’s an Amazon Prime item?

Yep. That’s right. My spiffy highlighters of awesomeness. So in two days, I’ll have two 12 packs of happiness tucked away with the rest of my office/computer supplies.

While I was on the site I also ordered a bottle of the leave-in conditioner I like using for my hair. The places here in Nebraska never have it in stock. Is ordering online really destroying “in-store” retail when they never have what I’m looking for?

I decided to splurge a little bit more by buying a box of Pop Corners. I didn’t even know those were a thing until I got a care package in the mail from one of my friends. It was a box full of goodies, mostly high protein stuff for recovery after surgery, but the Pop Corners were a treat. The Sweet Kettle Corn flavor has crack cocaine in it. That’s the only explanation for why they’re so ridiculously good. Since I had gone through the supply from my friend I decided to feed my addiction by seeing what Amazon had to offer.

There was a 28 count box for $15.

Me: Bought!

That item wasn’t a Prime item, but I was ok with waiting.

I did dishes and spent some time with the kittens. By then I didn’t have time to go to the gym before class, which I was ok with. I could go afterward and be fine with my day.

I showered and got ready to leave. I stopped at Walgreens to pick up the refill for my Synthroid. While I was there I ended up talking to my boss on the phone. We talked about how the patient schedule would be changing. It’s nice to know what I’ll be walking into on Friday and Saturday. It was also nice being able to talk to her. Recently I’ve only been able to see her briefly on Fridays.

Class was interesting. We continued the discussion from last Thursday; is it possible for humans to pursue peace or is violence ingrained into our DNA? Is our behavior nature or a product of our culture? Very interesting discussion.

I left class feeling good. Ox was still at work when I called him. We agreed to meet at Hi-Way Diner for lunch. I got a cup of coffee while I waited for him and began typing up my notes. He arrived, petting my head to pull me out of the bubble of solitude I had created for myself with my headphones and music.

Ox: Did I scare you?

Me: No. I don’t think there are many people who would randomly come up and start petting me.

We ordered our food and ate as we talked about the new virus that was discovered in Brazil. More interesting stuff. I didn’t know viruses could replicate, transcribe, or translate DNA. Science is pretty cool.

After eating Ox went to make his car payment while I went to pick up more wet cat food. I haven’t had to buy as much since I’ve been splitting a can between the kittens rather than giving them each a whole can. I still had a few cans left, but it wouldn’t have lasted until next Tuesday so I figured I would get more while I was in the area.

Ox and I met back up at GNC for the energy drinks we like. Sadly they didn’t have any of the Sour Apple Reign for Ox. We got two cases of Bang instead. I carried both of them out to the car. It’s the first time since surgery I’ve carried two at once. The last time I had gone I had to make two trips to the car since I could only lift one case at a time. It sucked.

Not this time though. : D

Ox called me a brat while I did it. I mean… I can understand his viewpoint. Here he is, a macho guy carrying nothing walking next to a chick who’s lugging around two cases worth of energy drinks. This was a victory moment for me though, damnit. I can finally lift normal shit that I took for granted pre-surgery. Let me have my moment!

From GNC we went to Costco. We got gas for the cars. Inside we picked up St. Louis ribs since Papa Ox has been mentioning that he would enjoy having those for dinner one night. I picked up two roasts for future meal prep. We got two containers of cottage cheese; one for the house and one for me.

Ox convinced me to get a bag of dark chocolate covered pretzels. The deal was he had to take the rest of the candy from my care packages. I can’t have all of that chocolate sitting around the apartment. Dark chocolate covered pretzels are a weakness for me. Sooo good. >.<;

While we were walking to check out I noticed a box… a box of Pop Corners. The same box, in fact, that I had just spent $15 dollars on… for only $6.

I couldn’t get my phone out fast enough. XD

Me: Cancel order! Cancel order! Cancel order!

Amazon: Your message has been sent to the seller. Please note that your order may not be canceled.

Me: Fuck my life.

Ox: Well, at least we know for next time.

I put the box of Pop Corners in the cart, hoping that my order would, in fact, be canceled. If not… well… at least I hadn’t paid more than I did.

We checked out. As we were standing next to the cars I got an email notification saying the order was canceled. Woooooo! Even better best day ever!

Ox and I talked for a while, which needs a bit of backstory… as I was leaving the diner, I had gotten a few messages from Jon.

Jon: I called SCC. I spoke to the LPN Director.

Then nothing. Silence. No continuation of his story. No explanation. Just suspense.

My Brain: What the did you talk to her about? What did you ask her? I need details.

I called him and basically said those exact things. That he wasn’t allowed to leave me in suspense like that and to spit it out.

Jon: I thought you were grocery shopping and would talk to me later.

Me: Yeah. That was before you messaged me. I need details so spill it.

Jon: Well, you were right…

So, basically, he called the college I’m going to and talked to the LPN Director. You know… the director I met due to my training at the gym with her husband. The person I spoke with in regards to my cancer diagnosis and seeing what my options with school were. Yeah… that director…

My brother explained who he was and she said she remembered me. Warm fuzzy feelings. : 3

My brother also explained his situation and how he was thinking about moving to Nebraska and wanted to know more about the program and the chances of his credits transferring.

He told me that he had called a handful of schools. Some out in Vegas near Jason. Some in other locations he was thinking about. So far Nebraska seems like the best option for him. I don’t know all of the details from his conversation with the director, but Jon likes the information he got in regards to the college and how the school handles the nursing programs.

That led to a fairly long conversation ending with Jon saying he was going to talk to a few other people and get their perspectives and that we would talk more later. I told him I was proud of him. Not because he was thinking about moving to Nebraska specifically, but because he did research and got more information. He saw that he really does have other options and that some of those options are actually viable.

By making phone calls he showed himself that he’s not stuck in a hopeless situation. It takes effort and courage to call a stranger and spill your soul, admitting that your life currently sucks, and to ask if there’s anything they can do to help.

My Brain: Don’t mind me. I’ll just be over here, being a super proud older sister. >.> /high fives self

So yeah, after shopping at Costco, Ox and I talked pretty extensively about how he felt about the potential for Jon moving here to Nebraska. I wanted to hear his perspective.

Ox’s biggest concern would be if Jon and I ended up moving to Beatrice, which is about a 40-minute drive from the house. Ox and I wouldn’t be able to see each other as much. I would be much closer to school and work. I would be extremely close to my dojo as well. IN some ways it would make the 8 months of school easier. On the other hand, I don’t like the idea of being 40-ish minutes away from dinner or a cigarette or a hug.

Ox had a few other concerns. Never seeing me because I’m spending all my time with my brother. Jon not wanting him over at our residence because he hates Ox on principle… things like that.

They are all valid points. I like to think that I wouldn’t let my love for my brother compromise my relationship with Ox.

Ox and I also talked about potential employment for Jon. He’s a CNA and while he currently works at a hospital in Daytona, he wouldn’t be able to work at a hospital here in Lincoln. The hospitals here have phased out CNAs and LPNs. Jon doesn’t want to work in a long-term care facility…

Ox: Has he thought about working for your company?

That led to another conversation with Jon.

Me: Have you ever thought about being a dialysis technician?

Jon: I mean… I’ve never done it but I’m willing to give it a shot. The clinics here said they couldn’t hire me because of my school schedule.

Me: The clinics here are super understanding when it comes to school. And the company has paid training. They’ll teach you everything you need to know.

So… yeah… that led to another really long conversation. At the end of that one, I told Jon that I would call my boss and talk to her and see what information I could get for him.

I called my boss… again… XD

I explained the situation and how my brother was considering moving here to Nebraska. I explained his work history and how he wasn’t very interested in going back into long-term care. Were there needs in any of our sister clinics?

There are. There are three open positions. With his years of experience as a CNA my FA’s “gut feeling” is that he would be able to get more than base pay. It’s not guaranteed and she didn’t give me a number, but with how much more exposure he has, I would be surprised if he was offered base pay.

Even if he is offered that, it’s more than what he’s currently making.

So long story, long… he’s going to apply and he’s thinking about coming out to see Nebraska during his spring break in school, which would be around March 9th to the 13th.

I want this to work. I want this to work so freaking bad. Jon is going to do a bit more research on his end, but I think he’s finally seeing how much better this situation could legitimately be.

So that was the majority of my afternoon. I went to the gym and biked for 38 minutes. I made it to gear 14. I most likely pushed a bit too much. I went to Walmart afterward and could tell my neck wasn’t happy with me. It didn’t really hurt, but I could tell there were “not happy with you” feelings there.

I got the last bit of groceries needed for my meal prep. I also stocked up on chicken thighs and no-tatoes while I had the money to do so. After that, I went to the apartment and put all of my things away.

I went to the house. One of the pieces of mail was my Cigna paperwork regarding my surgery. I’ve been waiting for this piece of mail to come. I’ve been dreading it; knowing it would appear one day to tell me how financially fucked I am.

My surgery cost $29,942.62. My insurance covered 82% of it. I owe $4,945.88.

Out of nearly $30,000 I only have to pay roughly $5,000.

I guess I really can’t bitch a whole lot. That’s still a lot of money, but the hospital is willing to work with me. I can make payments and not be completely fucked. And compared to what it could have been, that’s really not a lot. I think that’s more than fair. I think 82% makes having insurance worth it. So, not exactly the best of news, but much better than what I was expecting.

We decided to cook the ribs we had bought earlier for dinner. I put them in the InstaPot, showing Mama Ox how easy it was to cook them. Ox and I had mindblowing sexy time while dinner cooked itself. Maybe that’s kind of trashy of me, but if it is, I’m ok with it. I mean… not only did I kickass in school, I also did all my errands, went to the gym, and got my brother to admit that I was right. Fuck yeah, I’m a sexy, productive, bad-ass bitch. Who wouldn’t want this? /flex

We ate dinner and it was super tasty, and that was about it for the night. Papa Ox mentioned that Venus was visible tonight and sure enough you can see it in the west. That’s pretty cool.

Ox got roped into running dungeons on WoW so I decided to come over to the apartment to write and be with the kittens. I might cross-stitch for a bit. Maybe color. Not sure yet. Still sort of in awe of how everything has gone down today.

Maybe this is the Universe apologizing for giving me cancer.

Universe: Hey. I know things have been sort of shitty, so here’s some good stuff to make up for it.

God. I hope this all works out. I really, truly do.

Daily Post 191: Pre-D&D

Standard
Not 100% proof read. My bad.
Didn’t want to be late for D&D ❤

The past few days have been eventful and productive.

Monday went well. Work was decent. Nothing overly exciting happened. I used timers on my phone to work in time to color instead of taking as many smoke breaks. It seemed to work well and something I will continue trying to do.

Monday night went well. I wrote and posted. I did dishes. Ox came over once he was at a stopping point with WoW. I cooked us dinner before we started plucking away at our D&D characters. Dinner wasn’t anything fancy. Just some burger patties. I added mushrooms and onions with pepper jack cheese to mine. Tasty and filling.

This is the first foray into character creation that Ox and I have done by ourselves. When I’ve made characters before I’ve always had someone more experienced guiding me through the process. From a psychological aspect, I can make a fairly solid personality and backstory for a character, but figuring out stats and proficiencies, and traits, and spells or abilities and items, and alignment, and, and, and, and…

It can get daunting pretty fast when you look at the entire task rather than breaking it down into smaller, manageable pieces. It didn’t help that with the D&D Beyond website, my class isn’t listed because it’s not a “standard” class. Of course, cat people wouldn’t be standard… bastards…

Around 10 pm I was tired enough to call it quits. Ox stayed up significantly later, until close to 1 am, working on both our characters. Not only did he figure his out, he also went into the “homebrew” section and created a race specifically for my character that we could use with the D&D Beyond system.

That’s what I woke up to Tuesday morning. I sat down at my laptop to begin typing up my notes for my sociology class and got distracted by investigating the D&D pages left open on my browser. I can’t put into words how touched I was. He took the time to create something specifically for me. It was something I didn’t have to worry about figuring out anymore. It was already done. At least for the most part. All of the information was in there. I dinked around with it for a bit and was able to fine-tune things so modifiers showed up in the right spots and such. But a majority of the leg work had already been done and that was an amazing gift.

I spend about 30 minutes absorbed in D&D stuff. Eventually, I began working on my notes. I showered and got ready for class. I packed up my things then headed into town. I stopped at Walgreens for a refill of my Zoloft. There wasn’t a copay this time, so that was another nice surprise.

I went to school. I got there early so I kept typing up my notes. The class wasn’t all that awesome. We mostly talked about how to properly cite sources in APA format. We talked about “success in college”. That was mildly interesting since we delved into studies and statistics and research. It wasn’t just “take my word for it” BS, but rather scientifically verified things.

Interestingly enough, standardized testing isn’t a very good indicator of success in college. I liked seeing that, actually. For a while, I’ve felt that tests aren’t a true measure of a person’s ability. They’re only one aspect of a much more complex situation.

Towards the end, we starting talking about critical thinking skills, which again, was interesting, but overall I felt like I didn’t gain a lot of information or insight from this particular class session.

After class, I went to Hi-Way Diner. I finished up with most of my notes; formatting the text and such. That helped fill the time while I waited for Ox to get there from work. We ate. I looked at my finances. I’m pretty tight on money right now but I think we’ll be ok.

We went to Costco for water since I’ve been going through it like crazy. I’ve been running warm recently. I’ve been leaving the heat off and opening the window in the bedroom at night so it feels cool enough to let me sleep. I haven’t had a fever, so I have that going in my favor.

I didn’t have a lot of energy for most of Tuesday. Staying up late was the main reason I think. Eating lunch didn’t help give me energy, so once we were done with Costco I was pretty much done with everything. All I wanted was to go home and take a nap.

Ox stopped at the gas station near home and got me a small carton of heavy cream since I needed that for one of my meals. He carried the water into the apartment for me, too, because he’s awesome like that. Once he left I crawled under my weighted blanket and slept for roughly three hours. I woke up feeling better and able to continue plucking away at the to-do I had created in the morning.

I cooked both my meals. I tried making the creamy chicken pasta again. Instead of zoodles, I used cauliflower rice. It’s good, but still a little on the bland side. I’m not sure what would help spice it up. Maybe a tablespoon of Italian seasoning or something along those lines. The recipe has a very soft, subtle flavor and I like my food to be bolder.

I went over to the house around 5:30. Ox and I kept working on our D&D characters. We had dinner with his parents. Steaks with side-salad. No complaints.

I think it was around 9:30 or 10 that we wrapped things up with the characters. I emailed our sheets to the DM so he could have them for Wednesday evening. Ox and I trekked back to the apartment and went to bed together.

He woke up this morning for work. I stayed in bed, once again foregoing the 5:30 am class I had thought I was interested in.

I started my day around 7:30. I had breakfast then went to sit down at my laptop only to realize I had left my backpack at the house. That had me trudging out into the snow that wasn’t supposed to have been falling, to the car, driving to the house, picking up my backpack as Papa Ox snickered at me, driving back to the apartment, to finally begin the day as I had intended. Sans breakfast though since I had foolishly heated up a container of chicken then left it unattended with the kittens… Yeah… totally didn’t get to eat half of my breakfast because of that.

I went through my “in” pile since that’s been building up. I paid all of the medical bills I’ve received so far using my HSA account. That thing has been a life saver. I don’t know what I would be doing without it since I’ve paid almost 1k in medical expenses so far.

I put the laundry away since I had washed and dried it last night while I was at the house. I cleaned the litter box. I washed dishes. I typed up the last bit of my notes, so I’m caught up in that regard. I printed out the D&D sheets for Ox and I to use tonight. That had me fighting with the printer for a while and I still didn’t get it 100% right. I really do dislike this printer. >.<; It should not have taken half the effort it did to print those sheets.

I eventually showered and got dressed. I packed for the gym so I could bike after I was done at school. I drove into town. The roads weren’t bad, but they weren’t perfect either. The snow was starting to stick and certain spots were slick. There was an accident right where I needed to turn to get into the college. That had me running a little late, but at least it looked like a fender bender rather than anything super bad.

Counseling went well. We talked pretty extensively about my past week and my feelings regarding it. I talked about how I’ve been productive and writing more, using my to-do lists as a way to keep myself on track and to remember everything I was able to get accomplished.

We talked about how I felt like at least part of it was coming from the medications. Part of the productivity might be the Synthroid. Having energy after work is unheard of for me, not that I’m necessarily complaining. Just noting that it’s not “normal” for me. The energy hasn’t been interfering with my sleep. I’m able to go to bed at decent times and sleep deeply enough to feel resting, so there’s that. More energy, but not so much more that it’s fucking with my life.

I mentioned how I think sleeping well is factoring into my new found “ok” feeling. I get restorative deep sleep and I think the weighted blanket has something to do with that. I also think having slower, less crazy days factors into that. Taking time for self-care is also affecting things I believe.

The Zoloft may be keeping my depression in check, which I said was a bit disheartening, however, knowing how hard last winter was for me, I’m not ready to try discontinuing it. Maybe it’s the crutch I need while I rebuild all of the habits that help me be ok on my own.

I mentioned how I was going to wait until the weather started warming up and the days were sunnier; most likely towards the end of March. Spring-ish. That’s when I want to see about backing off of the Zoloft. Right now I would rather keep doing well and feeling well about my days than going back to feeling sad and tired all the time.

We talked about my Wellness Assessment at the gym and my workout on Sunday. We talked about my feelings regarding my new baseline and my plans in regards to the gym. I mentioned how at first I had put on my schedule to go to classes early in the morning, but at the moment that wasn’t working for me. I enjoy my mornings at the apartment too much to want to give them up. I like being about to have a slow start to the morning, enjoying my breakfast, doing chores, making my to-do list, actually sleeping until I’m ready to wake up…

I don’t want to give that up just to take a class at 5:30 in the morning that I’m physically not able to complete. I know I can’t do an hour’s worth of cardio yet. I’m not recovered enough for that. It seems to be working better to go to the gym on my own and to do what I want for as long as I want and to be happy and content with that.

We also talked about the upcoming D&D meet this evening, how Ox and facilitated a lot of it, and how in general, he and I are doing really well. We’ve been doing more things together. Intentionally interacting rather than mutually ignoring each other while we’re in the room together. Not that I mind moments like that. I enjoy cross-stitching next to him on the bed while he plays WoW. Honestly, I do. But if that’s the only interaction we have, it can lead to feeling disconnected.

By doing more things together, I can enjoy the times we’re together in solitude and I can enjoy my actual alone time because I have these other moments of connectedness. It’s all about balance and I think we’re finding a better one for us now that things are settling down.

So yeah. Counseling was a good session. We’re going to continue to monitor how the coming week goes and check back in, a bit more indepth, about my feelings regarding the medication issues.

After counseling, Ox sent me a picture of my car, showing that he was in the school parking lot. I went out and had a cigarette with him. I still had to figure out my references for the report assignment in my class, so I didn’t want to leave campus yet. I did want to take advantage of his surprise visit though and see him for a few minutes while I could.

It was a nice transition from counseling to school tasks. I got a hug which almost always makes things better.

He drove me back up to the front of the school so I didn’t have to track back through the snow to get there. I set up camp in one of the booths across from the cafeteria and plucked away at finding decent sources for my paper. I found 7 that I’m thinking about using. I only have to turn in four for the assignment tomorrow. Every extra source I use is extra points. I would rather have too many sources and not use all of them then realize I don’t have enough information to answer all of the questions in the paper.

So yeah, that took about two hours to shift through. I filled out the sheet with all of my reference information that’s’ due for class tomorrow. I’m content with the progress I made in the realm of school for today, so I’m done with that area of my life for the moment.

I went to the gym again. I biked for 30 minutes this time. Got to 5.64 miles and made it to gear six, which is one higher than Sunday. I started to feel my incision, which is where I decided to back off, do a bit of a cool down, then call it quits for today.

I did better than last time, so it was a good workout in my book. I actually worked up a sweat this time. It felt good. I’m happy with my effort.

And now I’m back at the apartment, writing, before taking another shower and heading out to D&D like the nerd I am. I’m looking forward to it. I think we’re all going to be chipping in for pizza. I hope it’s a good night. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. : 3

Daily Post 190: That Old Feeling

Standard

So I’m almost caught up on writing, and this is where I’m going to be able to write much more in-depth about what has been doing on during my weeks. Why? Because I have pages in my notebook covered in green highlighter marks from all of the stuff I’ve been able to accomplish. Go me. : D

I left off with having a good day at work last Monday and hoping that’s how my days would continue to go as my incision healed more.

Tuesday was a school day. Before I made it to school I did a bunch of chores around the apartment. I went to Walmart to buy a handheld vacuum because sweeping up cat litter on hardwood floors sucks. I went and got gas for the car. I stopped at Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich since I had time to do that. I still made it to school early enough to cross-stitch a bit.

That’s something I’ve been doing recently. I’ve been carrying my projects with me so I have something to do in the odd bits of time that I find myself waiting around. Coloring mandalas is another thing I’ve been doing. I keep my book, color pencils, and sharpener in the same bag as my cross-stitch project and I tote it around with me like a slightly crazy lady. I’m ok with it.

School was good. I got to talk to my instructor about what happened the previous Thursday. That whole being told class was canceled only to be marked absent because class was, in fact, not canceled…

Before class had a chance to start, the woman who had told me to go home came in and explained she had gotten the room wrong. I got her contact information and gave it to my instructor. I was given credit for the day I missed along with all of the handouts I missed from the library. Overall I didn’t miss much. Just the tour. No real class content to worry about. I didn’t withdraw from the class. My instructor was super understanding and laughed with me when I said I had figured the start of the semester would be rough due to the surgery. I hadn’t expected it to be THIS rough. XD

So everything is as it should be in the realm of school.

I made an appointment to get my taxes done. That was scheduled for Wednesday evening.

I called Jon about halfway through the day almost in tears. I told him that nothing was wrong. Honestly. Everything was going well and that’s what bothered me. I hadn’t felt this ok, this productive, this able to do things, in so long that I didn’t know how to feel about feeling the way I felt.

It felt like how I used to be pre-mom-death. Where I could think about going out and running errands and actually do those things and feel good about it and not be exhausted from it. We talked about my wariness over this new “old” feeling.

That evening, Ox and I met a couple at the Hi-Way Diner. The wife had posted about wanting to start a D&D group. Ox replied and chatted with her a bit and so there we were Tuesday evening, meeting to see what could work and if we all even got along well enough to want to play a campaign together.

It was a really nice evening and I’m glad we met with them. The game plan is to start playing next Wednesday afternoon. I’m looking forward to it. Ox and I still need to make our characters but that’s one of the things on tonight’s to-do list. :3

Eventually, the day came to a close. By the end of it I had a page full of completed tasks with a page already made for the next day.

Wednesday morning started on the low side emotionally speaking, but after I got up and started moving around things turned around. I completed my meal prep. I packed clothes for the gym since I had a Wellness Assessment schedule at the YMCA after my counseling session. After some more chores, I headed into town.

We talked pretty extensively about my feelings regarding my new productivity during counseling. We also talked about Mama Ox and my relationship with her for a while. Though I care about Mama Ox deeply, I know I keep her at arm’s length emotionally. I don’t want to be super close to her. I don’t want her to be my confidant. I don’t want her to replace mom and there are certain “mom things” that I’m not ok with her doing or being for me. My counselor thinks it’s good that I have that level of awareness about myself and my emotions.

After counseling, I went to the gym. I most likely pushed way too hard. I did step-ups for three minutes. By the end of the first minute, I was winded. By the end of the second minute, my chest was getting tight around my incision. By the end of three minutes, I realized that intense cardio was most likely a bad idea and that I should have stopped sooner.

I did 25 pushups. Again, most likely not my smartest idea of the day. The last 10 weren’t pretty. And when I mean they weren’t pretty, I mean they were probably the saddest pushups you’ve ever seen ever.

The crunches didn’t bother me as much. Maybe there were endorphins involved at that point. Who knows?

The trainer’s advice was to basically take things slow and low. If I lift weights don’t do anything heavy. If I do cardio, don’t push too much. He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but we talked about some things that I could do and how I could slowly eek the intensity up as I felt comfortable with it. The assessment gave me a baseline for my numbers. It also let me know where I was endurance wise which is sad. My endurance is Level: Sad at the moment.

I ended up mailing the cross-stitch I made for Allison’s daughter to her. I donated stuff to Goodwill. I stopped at Walmart again. This time for windshield washer fluid. I made it to my tax appointment. Ox drove us since I don’t like getting into the parking lot. I’m getting close to 2k back this year. That sounds like a lot until you take away the $700 I owe Allison for covering my surgery deposit. I also have to use $250 to renew my CCHT license for work. That will be reimbursed but I still have to pay for it upfront. I also wanted to get the car looked at and tuned up while I have the finances to do it.

So yeah… A lot of my money is already spoken for. That’s Life I guess. I should have known better than to think I could actually pay my car off with my tax return. : /

Thursday. Another school day. The morning started with my morning routine. Breakfast. Meds. Coffee. Random chores. School prep. I stopped at Walmart for conditioner… I’m starting to see a trend in my writing…

School went well. I went to GNC and Office Max after school to kill some time before meeting Ox for lunch. We’ve been going to the Hi-Way Diner a lot. I’m enjoying the food. There’s just something about their Steak Philly omelet that warms a part of my soul.

We ended up going home after after eating. More chores. Cross-stitching, then sleep for work the next day.

Friday. A workday. The morning started off well. I paid bills when I went on my morning break. I worked with my FA that day so it was a pretty smooth day. I completed all of my assigned computer training. That was the big “work” accomplishment for the day.

After work I went to Walmart…. again… but this time it was for my rent check and that was it. I couldn’t get that until I got paid so yeah… that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it. I don’t need Walmart intervention. YOU need Walmart intervention. >.>

After making sure I could pay rent and not get evicted, I came back to the apartment. Ox had the kids but he came over for a little bit. He helped me clip Saber’s nails and replaced one of the light bulbs in the kitchen for me. Yay for having life hostages who do things for you.

I read the second chapter for my Sociology class. I finished coloring a mandala page I had started a few days back. It was fun. I enjoyed spending the time working on it and I like how it came out for the most part. I would do things a little differently if I could, but since I can’t, I’m ok with it. I’ll make better choices on the ones I do in the future.

It was weird having energy after working all day. I got a lot done after work, including going out into public and interacting with people. That was pretty unheard of pre-surgery.

Saturday was another good day. Work went well. I got to cannulate a new fistula and it was perfect. So good. And yes I know that sounds weird, but when you’re in the dialysis field or any sort of profession where you have to put a needle in someone’s vein you can’t help but swoon a little when you get an amazing stick. It totally made my day to have such a clean and perfect stick on a new fistula that is maturing exactly as it should be. Sooooo good.

After work, I came home and did more chores. I took my chapter 2 test and got a 100 on it. I figured out what classes at the gym I could make before school and counseling. I meal planned for the coming week and made a grocery list. I replied to messages. I cross-stitched. All sorts of stuff got done with the knowledge that Sunday was a day off. Not only a day off but also forecast to be 60 degrees and sunny.

Sunday. Omg. All of the green marks on my page. Morning routine. Check. Breakfast at the house with the family. Check. Run errands. Check. Write and post. Check. Work on school stuff. Cross-stitch. Meal prep. Finish coloring a section on my new mandala. Call in a refill for my Zoloft. Go to the gym and workout. Color a little with Lil’ Ox. Have dinner with the family.

All checks.

I even tried a new recipe from the cookbook my older brother and sister-in-law got me for Christmas. Keto Ninja Foodi Cookbook. It has a lot of interesting ideas. I made a creamy chicken pasta with it. I think it turned out well even though I didn’t have enough heavy cream for it and used too much chicken broth. I’m going to try making it again, correctly this time, and see if it turns out even better.

So yeah… Sunday was pretty amazing. I got so much done. I enjoyed the sunlight so much. I wore shorts and flip-flops. I biked for 20 minutes while I was at the gym. I didn’t break any speed records and the highest gear I made it to was 5. I normally start at 10. So much sad still, but hey, I did it. I went there. I did something. Fuck yeah. Take that, Cancer. Fuck you, you fucking son of a bitch. I’m a badass.

And so with that, I’m caught up to today. I’ll save that for another writing, though.

I’ve been so much more productive this past week. I’ve felt better. More me. More with it. More like the me I kept looking for but was never able to find. I don’t know where this change is stemming from.

Is it because I no longer have a lump of cancer in my throat? Is it the Zoloft? Is it the high-ish dosage of Synthroid I’m on? Is it the week off of work that I had? Is it all the self-care stuff I’ve been doing?

I know it’s not a change in my perspective. I haven’t had a revelation. No puzzle piece has clicked into place. So all of these feelings and energy and productivity are coming from something else. I wish I knew what it was. I wish I could say it’s me, but I feel like if it’s from the medication then it’s not truly me. It’s like I’m faking it; cheating it.

On the flip side, it’s really nice to not be tired and sad all the time. It’s nice to not feel like crying at the thought of having to go out to the store; to not be overwhelmed by it because it’s such an impossibly large task.

I’m still cautious of this feeling, but I’m allowing myself to ride the tide of ok-ness for as long as it lasts. I want my days to continue to be full of green marks from all the things I was able to do. I like these feelings. I like feeling like me.

Daily Post 175: Last Day Off

Standard

Another good day and another quick writing since it’s already 9 am. I have work tomorrow at Cap City. I’m ok with that. I can make it through tomorrow. I’m not dreading it like I would have been last week. Time away from everything most likely has a lot to do with that.

Today has gone fairly well. I woke up at 4 am to spend a few minutes with Ox before he went to work. There was an issue with my phone this morning. For some reason, it wouldn’t receive calls. It got itself figured out, though. Not sure how. I’m inclined to think there was an issue with the network.

Anywho, after hugging Ox goodbye I went back to sleep for another four hours. It was pretty amazing. When I woke up I began tackling things on my to-do list since I had taken the time to make one the night before.

I had a lot of social tasks on there. Replying to Facebook messages. Cleaning up Facebook in general and leaving groups I’m no longer a part of or active in. Going through my text messages and making sure there weren’t things there that I forgot to reply to. Letting people know I’m still alive. That sort of thing.

It took a while but I got through all of it. I’m going to request time off from work to try to make it to my friend’s baby shower. Her parents offered to pay for my plane ticket. It’s going to be the only time in a while that I’ll get to see pretty much all of her family at one time. I had originally thought to not go until she mentioned that fact. Her aunt, her grandmother… pretty much all of her family who still lives in South Carolina; they’re going to be there. I want to be able to see them.

So I’m going to ask if I can have time off from work to go. The worst they’ll say is no and then I can go back to my original idea of visiting during spring vacation or something.

After the hour or so it took to get caught up in that area of my life I began working through the 5th chapter of my Structure and Function of the Human Body course. I got through everything I wanted to do. Woo.

I went to a kickboxing class today. That was pretty fun. It wasn’t crazy intense but with being out of the game for so long it was nice to do more of a warm-up routine rather than an “ohgodimdying” routine. I could still walk afterward which was nice because I went to a home improvement store and bought a shelf to go under the window in my kitchen.

I like it. It frees up space on my counter so when I get time this weekend, most likely Sunday, I have a spot to put the Ninja. Can. Not. Wait. /happy dance

Ox came over and helped me put the shelf up. He as spent time with the fur babies. Saber has been super mouthly the last few days. Most of her food doesn’t get eaten. She doesn’t play as much as Dagger either. I’ve been worried about her. I think maybe her teeth aren’t as developed as Daggers and so eating the mix of wet/dry food that I’ve been doing might be harder for her than I realized.

Ox had me try feeding her just wet food and she seemed to do really well with that. I did it again not too long ago and again had really good results so we’ll keep an eye on her.

Once we were able to pull ourselves away from the cuteness, Ox and I got to work crushing our Darebee challenge for the day. Still no team name, but that’s alright. When we were done with our work out, Ox went back home so I could finish making flashcards for chapter 5. When I finally got done with that I packed up my laundry and the chicken I had marinating in the fridge and went to the house to cook dinner.

That turned out well. Ox liked this marinate more than the last one, so that’s another recipe to add to the list of things we can do for variety. He helped me go through chapter 4’s flashcards while I was there. That took most of the evening. I need to go through them on my own so I can hone in the on the ones giving me issues. I also got my laundry started so I can have clean compression socks for work tomorrow.

Instead of cross stitching after dinner, there was sexy time. With how crazy things have been and having the kids both weekends recently there hasn’t been a lot of sexual intimacy. I haven’t been struggling as much with that, maybe because school has me constantly burying my nose in a book. Even still, it was extremely connective to spend time together like that rather than each of us doing our own thing.

I ended up confessing that the 91 I made on my first test really bothers me. Bothers me on a level that I don’t think it should. He said he was proud of me. That even if I didn’t score all that awesome that he would still be proud of me because of the volume of information I’m having to absorb and the amount of effort I’m putting into trying to do well. /warm fuzzy feelings

It makes me feel better about the grade.

Currently, I’m back at the apartment wrapping things up for the day. My lunch is already packed. My protein shake is made. The kittens are fed. My to-do list is made. Once I post this writing I’ll be able to pack up my bookbag, brush my teeth and take my contacts out.

I’m ready for tomorrow. And I’m ready to mark today as done.

Daily Post 173: Post Emotions and Kittens

Standard

This isn’t a letter to mom. This is me writing so some of those swirling emotions inside me can potentially find a way out. I should have known today would go like this. It’s the first day in a while where I’ve had the chance to slow down and breath and because of that, all the emotions are welling up to the surface. I’m surprised it took until now to get to where I’m at. Silent tears running down my cheeks as I sit in front of the computer thinking about the mountain of everything that’s happened in the past few months.

Like normal, I don’t even know where to start.

I suppose I can start with the cutest thing first. I adopted two farm kittens this past Monday. My boss knew someone who wasn’t able to keep them and needed to find a home for them. So they now have a home with me. They’re sisters and they get to stay together. I don’t care that my lease says I can’t have them. I’ve seen the guy across from me come out to his balcony and his cat follows him out. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I accept whatever consequences there may be, including being evicted. They’re worth it.

They had their first vet appointment this morning. They were given a dewormer since mama cat was an outdoor cat and they spent their first six weeks outside eating who knows what bugs they were playing with. The vet said they sound fine and that there aren’t any signs of health issues so far. From the behavior I described to him he says there’s currently nothing to worry about. They go back in two weeks for their first vaccinations.

Their names are Saber and Dagger. Saber is the greyish one, and Dagger is the brownish tiger one. They’re my snuggle buddies. They both love curling up with me in bed. Saber is more reserved than Dagger. Dagger’s going to be the hellion of the house. I can already see it.

Thursday was my last day for DSS Leadership. I had to do my About Me slide. I know when I do it in the future it will be much different. It will have pictures of the kittens on there. It will have my DSS Leadership group picture on there. It will have a lot of different things there because I’ll be further in my journey.

This time it had a lot about mom in it. I talked about how it wasn’t until her death that I felt like an adult and how sometimes life throws you a curveball that you could never be prepared for. I talked about how I went to therapy because I wasn’t equipped to handle everything in my life on my own.

It was pretty emotional. I told my classmates at the beginning of my presentation that life is a lot like a heartbeat. You have ups and downs and that my story was going to have a really low down but there were positives on the other side of it so I needed them to stay with me through the hard parts.

My FA gave me a hand made give with my personal credo on it. “Show up to battle and fight for what you believe in.” I’m going to hang it on my front door so I see it every time I leave the apartment; my reminder to be the type of person I want to be. I had tears in my eyes as she gave it to me.

She also told me that I was chosen to write an article for the October edition of the Tech Talk news letter. It’s the letter that gets sent to literally every PCT in the company, and FA, and who knows who else. Literally, thousands of people are going to get this email with my article in it. It’s an “About Me” article since I guess someone somewhere feels like I should share my store. It’s humbling and intimidating and I’ve already written my rough draft and I’m emotionally exhausted from everything. Work, DSS, writing, studying for school because that’s going on at the same time…

I feel honored for the opportunity to write about my experience so far. I get to say thank you to everyone in my Orlando clinic. I get to include them in my journy and show how the company really is more of a village, a community, rather than a company. At least it can be if you let it.

School is going well so far. I feel fairly on top of my assignments. I finished the flashcards for chapter three in my Human Structure class. I want to take the test tomorrow, but with how little I’ve studied in comparison to what I wanted to do… I’m not sure.

Being sad and tired is factoring into not studying as effectively as I normally would.

I have the shopping list written out, but the thought of actually going to the store right now is draining. Who knows. Maybe I’ll feel up to doing it later tonight once it’s dark and hardly anyone is out and about.

Jon survived the hurricane. Thankfully it downgraded pretty severally before reaching Florida. He was on call at the hospital which got him a ton of overtime. Glad it was fairly uneventful for him.

The next few weeks at work are going to be pretty chill. I only work three days each week. THREE! And only one of those days is going to be at Cap City. I can totally handle that. I want to try to add structure back into my life. I want to figure out a class at the gym do each day I’m not working. I want to do the Adventure’s League at Hobby Town with Ox.

I want to figure out how to have a life again. I think that starts with building a routine. I think I want to go through and to the 30-day challenge again. I think that could help give me structure and focus and help me identify goals and milestones.

Oh. I did my yearly physical for my insurance. I’m .1 freaking point away from an extra $400 off my yearly premium. ONE TENTH OF A POINT! >.<; OMG

That’s so much better than what it first was three-ish years ago. It’s awesome to see that even though I feel like I haven’t made progress since last October, that I still sort of have. If I can get back on the bandwagon of going to the gym along with continuing to eat healthily I should be ridiculously phenomenal next year.

So… yeah… my numbers aren’t where I was hoping they would be at, but they’re still pretty good. Definitely healthier than where I started.

Ox and I had a small talk the other night. I asked him if he could try not smoking in front of me. I’ve been doing really well with not smoking. Not 100% awesome since I’ve had a few drags here and there. I had a whole one with New RN Friday when we worked together. But compared to the over half a pack I was doing a short two weeks ago… I feel like I’m doing pretty freaking awesome.

It’s hard to not want to smoke with the other girls in my LPN class. God, that sounds so much like a high school thing to say, but there you go. We’re all just kids with more expensive toys.

I want to be part of the group. I want to belong and to be part of “them”. But I don’t want to smoke, so if I go and hang out with them while they’re smoking then I’m going to make things awkward. I’ll also want to smoke and that will sort of ruin the whole retiring thing. And yes, I’m going to refer to it as retiring. It was super cute. One of my DSS classmates told me to say retire instead of quit since quitting normally a bad thing.

I can’t lie, saying that I’ve retired sounds way more dignified. XD

Anywho, I’m sort of struggling on Tuesdays more because I want to have a feeling of belonging rather than because I want a cigarette. When I’m with Ox and we’re outside and his smoking it’s sort of hard, too. When we’re out grocery shopping and he has one before getting in the car… It’s hard to not feel denied. I want one, but I can’t have one, but I have to watch while someone else gets to have the thing I want and they shouldn’t share with me because we both know I really don’t want it but I do…

He said he would do his best to be better about not smoking in front of me. I’m grateful for his effort. I don’t mean to be annoying about it.

Surprisingly I don’t really know what else to type about. I sort of want to go to the store now. I feel like I have a bit of energy. I could get the shelves I want for the apartment and keep plucking away at making this feel like my little dragon den.

I guess we’ll see how the rest of the night plays out.

Daily Post 165: Moment by Moment

Standard

Today was alright. It’s rainy and dreary. I went into work to help with change over. My FA is back from her week-long meeting in DC. I’m glad to have her back. I think it did benefit the team for her to be out of the facility. We learned to trust each other. We learned how to function without her. At the same time, she learned that she can trust in us, too; that the clinic won’t burn to the ground without her here.

Currently, I’m in a bit of a low mood, though, and I know I am. One of our new patients passed away on Saturday. I didn’t know her well, but it still sucks. It still makes my body and heart ache with shared sorrow. She had a family. She had a life outside of the clinic and her absence is going to be felt by many people, just like mom’s was and continues to be.

It leaves me feeling… something which there aren’t words to express. Shared sorrow is the best I can do and like so many times before in my writing, it doesn’t feel like enough. Those words do not express the depth or complexity which are emotions. Maybe nothing ever truly can. Emotions are felt, not explained.

The rest of everything that has happened in my life feels trivial compared to the realness of life and death. Almost like it’s disrespectful to write about how my life continued to go on while her’s ended and yet I couldn’t have stopped my life anymore than the doctors could have kept hers going.

I went to Walmart and got two new skirts and a pair of shorts. I’m in smaller sizes than the last time I bought clothes. I went to the gym and had a good workout.

Sunday I went to my first “family gathering” with Ox. I met his aunts and cousins. For the most part, I spent the three hours sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunlight and breeze while cross stitching which sparked all sorts of comments from the family members. I felt extremely accepted. There was good food and good conversation. It wasn’t the horrific social event I had envisioned in my mind. I wasn’t shamed out of the home for having purple hair or tattoos.

I also had my first run-in with a tornado warning while Ox and I were out shopping after the family get-together. There’s a big difference between practicing a drill and real-life camping out in a Walmart layaway listening to nature rage around you. I made a post on Facebook to let everyone I was fine and that I made it home safe.

Saturday I spent the whole day sick and in bed. I slept about 16 hours and was better for taking it super slow and easy. Ox was amazingly fantastic in caring for me and allowing me to sleep the day and sickness away.

Lil’ Ox and I got to color a bit together Friday night once I got home from work. It’s the first time in a while that we’ve done something together. Ornery Ox even talked to me for a little bit Sunday during the family time. It was nice. I know I haven’t been extremely involved or present with the kids for a while. This weekend was a small step towards correcting that.

The past two weeks have been sort of rough, work-wise. I’ve been working five days. I can only imagine what they would have been like if I were still trying to take the Human Anatomy class. This coming week is most likely going to be more of the same, but next week should be a little lighter.

At the moment I don’t really think there’s much else to say. My heart isn’t in it right now; in writing, I guess. I don’t necessarily hurt, but I ache. One day at a time. One moment at a time. One task at a time. I’m sort of back to that I think.

Friday is my next day off. I think if I can make it to there then I’ll be alright. I know I’ll be ok. I know I’m not not ok right now. I’m just sad and that too is ok. Sometimes life is sad.

Daily Post 164: Surviving the Conversation

Standard

I am sitting waiting for my leadership class to begin. The internet here isn’t the best. Grammarly, the app I normally write in, won’t load. So instead, I’m writing in a Google Doc. It reminds me of when I first started writing, keeping those thoughts and feelings to myself in folders organized by month and year.

Things are going well. More well then before.

I withdrew from my Human Anatomy class and have been better for it. I don’t feel the stress of failure due to poor structure looming over every minute of every day. I have the emails and phone numbers for a few of the deans who may be interested in my perspective; including the dean of virtual learning. Essentially, the guy in charge of all online courses.

I haven’t set up meets with the deans yet, but I would like to. I want to help make the class better rather than beening resentful and blaming. It’s the schools fault. It’s the instructors fault.

No… It’s no one’s fault. This is a moment in time and this was my experience with it. Let’s make it better so future students don’t have to go through the hellacious three weeks that I did before deciding it was better to stop than keep bleeding out.

Ox and I have had several hard conversations. They went to the point of feeling like breaking up was the only option. The only “solution”. It sucked. It was scary. And yet, we’re still together and better for having addressed our issues.

I remember one point in the conversation, the ultimate low, and knowing that my next words decided everything.

Me: I don’t know what else to say. I am not your past and you are worth it.

We ended up going inside. He let me stay curled up on the bed while he folded the four baskets of clothes that had gathered up in the room. I didn’t mind him folding his own clothes and part of that had more to do with the burnout I was feeling.

Mental Me: Thank you for taking care of your own stuff. I proves to me that you can and that it is a kindness when I do it; a kindness you’re not intentionally or consciously taking advantage of.

Then he started folding my clothes and the uncomfortableness I felt had those silent tears in my eyes as I tried to get up to take care of my own things.

Ox: No. Stay.

The tone, the finality of his voice, made it non-negotiable.

I didn’t want him to fold my clothes. I didn’t want him taking care of me that much when we had just survived a legitimate potential break up. I can take care of my own things. I’m not that broken. This is my job. I should have folded your clothes rather than being petty and vindictive and enjoying the fact that you were doing it instead of me.

I can’t let you fold my stuff. It would be a failing on my part. It would be me not adulting well enough. It would be me being weak and unable to cope and function. I can cope. I can function. Please let me fold my clothes.

But no. I wasn’t allowed. I had to struggle through those emotions and I don’t think that was a bad thing. He’s allowed to care for me in the same ways I care for him. I’m allowed to not do things. I’m allowed to be the one not in charge. Our relationship is allowed to be equal and fair.

We went out the next day to do grocery shopping. Along the way I got a new pair of headphone since one of the cats chewed through the pair I had. We stopped by Best Buy and Game Stop to look at games. We got a couple. Currently, we are trying out Divinity II, Original Sin. And by currently, I mean we have created characters to play together and have made it through the tutorial section. One night worth of game play. Not much to go on, but I like it. I think once I get the interface down that I’ll be able to fully ingage in the story. And I mean, come on, flesh eating elves that set shit on fire… How can that be a bad game?!?!

While we were out, we also stopped by one of the sex shops in Lincoln. I tried on a few school girl outfits because, referring back to my previous post, I’m going to hell but it’s going to be one sexy, slutty trip getting there. I didn’t like either of the outfits I tried on, but I got a couple different things while I was there.

It wasn’t until later that I realized we had both spent about the same amount of money on the things we wanted to bring back into the relationship. It made me feel good to realize that. It felt fair; balanced. It felt right. Sort of like, “This is important to me so I will facilitate it”.

I’ve been going to the gym more. Yesterday my shoulder was still sore from the arm work I had done during my previous gym excursion. I still have the scab on the top of my left foot, too, so my options for working out were a bit limitied. I ended up biking again. I made it to a bit over five miles this time. Still a far cry from the 10 I used to do nearly daily, but I can feel my endurance coming back. I was able to zone out to good music. I was able to connect with myself and listen to my inner self; the self that I keep putting on hold and not making time for.

I feel better about myself. I feel better about the relationship. There’s more contact and connection. There’s more realness. There’s more security and there’s the genuine belief that we will be ok. We got through all of those hard conversations and have come out on the other side.

I guess there’s not a whole lot else to write about at the moment. Class is about to start so I I suppose here is a good a place as any to end for the moment.