Daily Post 166: Decent Start

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Today is off to a decent start. Better than the previous days. I’m recovering from the Mother’s Day blues. Most likely because I finally cried about it yesterday. Not only cried but screamed. I was in my car driving home from work. I had gone in to train our new tech on how to mix acid for the clinic. It went smoothly. She’s fully trained so I’m no longer the only person able to get the task done which is nice since it’s now a weekly chore that needs to get done. At some point, I need to train our new RN. Hopefully, that gets done in the next week or so.

But, yeah. I slept in a bit since I didn’t have to open the clinic. I went down, did my thing. Had a few donuts since one of the patients brought in fresh bakery baked donuts for the team. Did some microlearning videos during the points where all I could really do was sit around and wait. Got all of the techs skills checked off, then got in my car and still felt sort of crappy.

There’s been a lot going on lately. We might be getting custody of Ornery Ox. I got my official acceptance letter for the LPN program which starts at the end of August. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to get done with that in regards to financial aid, orientation, and books before class begins. I still need to get my second TB test done. There’s a new initiative at work for a PCT Advisory Committee which my FA and I talked about. I applied for it. I still have my leadership class going on. I’m still struggling with the whole health and working out thing more than not. There’s the heaviness of Mother’s Day. And the weather sucks again. It’s cold, rainy, and cloudy.

I’ve felt heavy most of this week. It’s been hard to get out of bed. I know I need to do things, but nothing is a legit need so it’s easier to not do a whole lot. Yesterday was the day it all sort of came to the surface and I was able to let go of some of that heaviness.

I cried. I screamed as I drove home. Not as loud or as long as I have in the past, but it still felt good to do. Or maybe a more accurate way of saying it is I felt better afterward for having done it. Cleaner. Less heavy. Flatline and mildly empty, but being flatline means I’m no longer below ground. I’m on solid ground. I’m baseline again with the chance, not guarantee, to go somewhere other than downhill again.

So here we are at today. I woke up at 3 am with Ox since he had work. I haven’t had work at all this week so far. I’ll be doing the next three days, but I’m ok with that since two of the days will be relatively short days. It’s been nice having such an extended time off. It’s actually worked out to where I’ve had more solitude than normal during these days off as well. I think that’s been helping.

My desk is still a bit of a mess but I’ve made it through all of my “in” pile that had built up. I’ve updated my calendar. I set up meetings with the deans to talk about my experience with the Human Anatomy class. That happens later today, hopefully after lunch with Ox if he gets off work early enough. It’s something I’m looking forward to so I hope it happens.

I’ve also been talking to one of Ox’s exes. He knows about it. I’ve written to her. We were supposed to meet this morning for breakfast but plans got canceled. I can’t say I’m super heartbroken over it since it means I have time to write and do laundry and shower and maybe go to the gym. It frees up a lot of time on this last day off and so I can appreciate the positive that is coming from not having to go out right after I have woken up.

My sister is also graduating from high school. I wrote a letter to her. I hope it extends an olive branch and allows us to begin having some sort of relationship. Since my dad and I were never very close after the divorce, my sisters and I have never been very close. I want to change that so I’m trying to.

I won’t know until the end of June if I make it onto the PCT Committee. My FA is extremely supportive of my application to it. It’s something new our region is doing to improve PCT retention and work culture and such for our PCTs. It’s something I feel strongly about and so I really hope it works out that I’m able to be part of it. I don’t really have love or anything for my company. I think of companies as faceless blobs that don’t care about their employees. I do, however, love my team. And I respect the higher management of our region, and as a PCT myself, I care about my fellow PCTs and the struggles they experience by working such a demanding job. I feel like things need to change culture wise to allow for better work/life balance and this is an opportunity to help make that change a reality. I want to make things better, so this is me trying to do that.

In the next month or two, I will also be going to Denver for preceptor training. That’s a two-day event. I guess I should talk to my FA about it again since I don’t remember the specific dates of the trip. I would rather be proactive than reactive in those regards.

I’m not really sure what else to write. I think that’s mostly everything. Jon is doing well with his new job at the hospital. I saw End Game with Ornery Ox and Ox on Sunday. It was an ok movie. I cross-stitched for a bit and listened to my new leadership book, which is only 7 hours this time. We’re working on cleaning out Papa Ox’s computer room so Ornery Ox can have his own room if we do end up with custody.

So I guess I’ll go for now. I might be able to do a class at the gym before lunch. I should be able to get a decent amount of chores done to help with the productiveness of the day. It’s sunny even though it’s still cold. But that’s a step in the right direction. So far, today, in general, is going in the right direction.

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Daily Post 165: Moment by Moment

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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

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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.

Daily Post 161: Still Alive

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Things are going well.

The clinic is six days a week again. We have six patients on the TTS shift so far. They’re all super nice and those days are extremely short in comparison to the MWF days. It won’t stay that way, but at the moment, TTS is super chill.

I found a kickboxing app that I’ve been using on my phone. I’ve made it to the dojo a handful of times as well. Actually, they moved to the second floor of the YMCA in Beatrice. It’s super nice. Way more space than their other location. And… if I got a YMCA membership, it would discount the dojo membership…

So I could spend $70 for the dojo, or spend $70 for the dojo and YMCA membership combined and get access to the sauna and all of the classes and the weight room and locker room and all of the Lincoln locations in addition to Beatrice…

It was a bit of a no brainer. Oh… Did I mention that the YMCA is now 24 hours, too?

With all of that taken into consideration, I’m going to be ending my Anytime Fitness membership. I still have a few months to go with it, but that’s ok.

I’ve been doing well at the dojo. I feel like I’m progressing again. I’m starting to use MyFitnessPal again to log my food, water, and exercise when I do it. I stepped on the scale not that long ago and was at 227. That’s not all that far from where I was. Maybe four pounds higher? I would have to break out the last sheet I had from my trainer, but I hadn’t hit the 220 mark. I was close, but not quite there. So I guess I didn’t gain as much as it felt like I had over winter.

Which, while we’re on the subject… I totally survived winter. Woo. Go me. Nothing else really matters in comparison since winter sucked so bad.

I made it past the three-year mark of mom’s death. The past week has been a bit rougher and I’m sure that plays into it, along with being tired with the change in work schedule. For over a year I’ve been used to working every other day. I had that buffer day inbetween working to regroup, grocery shop, sleep, whatever. I don’t have that as much now. I work tomorrow, have Tuesday off, work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then get the weekend. We get the kids on Thursday because it’s the Easter holiday or something special like that.

I’m most likely going to be getting a hotel room for Thursday and Friday night, that way I can stay in Beatrice, do the dojo Thursday night and not have to drive crazy far just to wake up to drive back down for a long day. Instead, I’ll have most of the day to stay in my hotel room alone to study. I’ll get to sleep in a bit Friday morning, wake up and do work, then go to the dojo again if I’m feeling up to it. I’ll get to stay in the area and have Saturday morning, again, alone to study before getting lunch and going to the dojo yet again before coming home to spend the rest of the weekend with the family.

I think it’s a good plan. Human Anatomy is no joke. It’s the first class in a while where I’m struggling just because of the sheer volume of information. I’ve gotten better about not breaking down and thinking I’m going to fail the class. I have a 94 so far with the quizzes and assignments that have been graded. The first exam unlocks tomorrow and is due by Friday. I’m planning on Thursday being my test day.

I had my first leadership class for work. It was fun and engaging. I have the new book that I “need” to start working through. They stressed that the book didn’t have to be read for the upcoming class. It’s not homework or anything, but if we could get through it that would be nice. With everything else going on in my life, knowing that if I need to cut something out I can is reassuring.

I guess that’s about it for now. I know I’ve been MIA for a while. I’ve been playing Torchlight II with Ox the past few days as a way to de-stress from studying so much. It’s been nice. I might play a bit more today or I might try to work a bit on the cross stitch that I haven’t touched in weeks. Today has been a really low key day. I know I’m not going to get many of them in the future so I’ve been enjoying it while I can. I even went so far as to take a nap. And yes. It was as amazing as it sounds.

Daily Post 158: Saturday Burnout

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Writing from Saturday morning:


Work wasn’t awful yesterday. My FA was there for a bit in the morning but then had to leave to attend meetings in Lincoln. That left me with Float RN and New RN. We got everyone through their treatments and the clinic closed down on time. Go us!

I was dead by the time I got home. Sadly, the kids are here this weekend, so going to bed early wasn’t an option. I did crawl into bed with the lights off, but the TV in the living room was on and I could hear it. The kids kept running in and out of the rooms and chatting and being kids. It’s one of the pieces of friction with the home situation. I’m not able to have the solitude and quietness away from people when I need it, and yesterday and this morning were definitely times where I needed it.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I’m starting to fight off a cold again. I was congested for most of the night. I woke up several times even with using the Vix Vapor thingy we have in the room.

When I finally gave up on sleeping this morning, everyone was already up. The thought of having to cook breakfast and dealing with people being under my feet while I tried to do stuff or answering questions and just in general interacting with anything living that wasn’t a cat sucked. It all felt heavy. And that’s how my whole day was going to be; constantly surrounded by demands on energy I didn’t have to give.

The pervasive thought this morning is that it’s almost the three-year mark. Three years since mom died. Soon I will have to find another rose to add to her vase; a sign that I have once again survived to reach another year. A sign that I made it through all of the hard days, all of the good days, each and every day that ticked us closer and closer to “this” day.

It sucks. And knowing that I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted, to be left alone, made it worse.

I did end up making waffles for everyone. I used whole eggs this time instead of egg whites. I didn’t eat with the family, but I was told the waffles were good. I stepped outside with Ox for a cigarette after he had eaten. When I came back inside I curled up in bed under the covers with one of the cats. Mama Ox came to the doorway. Since the lights were off she couldn’t see me.

Mama Ox: Where did she go? It’s like she’s hiding. I thought she came in here but I can’t see her.

Right Brain: Um… yeah. I’m hiding. That’s sort of the point of hiding. To not be found or bothered.

Ox and I had some alone time. He let me cry. I had told him about a dream I had last night which might have added to the frustration I woke up with. I had been in the kitchen trying to do something, but there was trash everywhere that no one had thrown away. There was clutter and friction and all of this “stuff” that I had to work around or take care of before I could begin to do what needed to be done. It felt like I was the only one who cared and that made it all feel pointless. I can’t care for everyone. I can’t be the only one doing things all the time. That’s how people burn out and that’s what I woke up with; a burnt out feeling.

I’m glad to say that things are getting better. I’ve worked through all of the emails in my inbox that I didn’t get to on Tuesday. I’ve replied to posts and even an email from one of my uncles. I have a new niece. I doubt I’ll ever be very close to her, but I’m happy for my cousin. I hope she’s enjoying being a parent. I hope her daughter grows up to have a close relationship with her.

I proofread and posted my last writing. I’ve written this one, not that there’s really much to say. I feel tired. I feel emotionally drained. I still feel slightly confined though not as much as I was when I first woke up. I’m hoping to get through this weekend of rainy ickiness where the kids complain that they’re bored and how there’s nothing to do. I’m hoping one day I will have my dragon’s den and it won’t matter if the kids are here; I’ll still be able to sleep after an exhausting day of work. I’ll still be able to have my silence and solitude without interfering with everyone else’s life.

Today isn’t that day, though. Tomorrow isn’t going to be that day either. Right now I just need to breathe through the tension and realize this is a moment in time. Nothing is bad. Nothing is wrong. Everyone here loves me, it’s just not structured to the needs of an extremely introverted INFJ.

For today, I will be grateful.

I am grateful I had my mom in my life as long as I did. I’m grateful I still have her in my life in the ways that I do. I’m grateful that Ox loves me and tries as hard as he does to make me feel safe and cared for. I’m grateful for my life, even if it’s different than what I thought it was supposed to be.

Hopefully, I can remember those things when the tension starts to swell up again. I AM grateful. Even when things are hard and sad and I’m not alone like I want to be, I am grateful.



Written Sunday morning:

Today is off to a better start than yesterday. Granted, it’s only 6:30 in the morning, but already I have been equally as productive as I was for all of yesterday combined.

I woke up yesterday feeling out of it, and maybe that’s not the right way to describe it. I felt alright, just not up to the task of doing anything or socializing with anyone. It was one of those days where if I still lived in Orlando I would have slept all day and stayed in my room cuddling with Scarlet. Maybe if I had been feeling frisky I would have eaten something.

That’s not possible in the enviornment I live in now, though, and it most certainly isn’t possible while the kids are here.

I helped with breakfast yesterday, but I didn’t eat anything with the family. The bit of time I was in the kitchen with Mama Ox going back and forth and inserting her two cents on topics that didn’t matter and were mostly small talk that I had to fain instrest in had me frayed and feeling overwhelemed. It didn’t help that when I tried to go to the room to get away from it all, she followed me and commented about how I was hiding.

Yes. I’m hiding. Please respect that and leave me alone. >.<;

I wrote yesterday and continued with my posting for my leadership class. I have a handful of reflection sections left to post from the first book. I did buy the second book yesterday even though we won’t be working on it for the class until April. I figured since I’m going to be starting my Human Anatomy class soon that it would be better to try to get as ahead as possible. The next book is Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I don’t know much about it, but the audio book is over 13 hours. I may start it up today depending on how things go.

I did start a load of laundry yesterday, but that’s all I did with it. I just switched it over before putting my roast in the oven, so both of those things are going. I’m trying something different with my roast. I used a Grill Mates marinade with it this time since I like how it turns out with chicken so much. We’ll see if it’s a success in about an hour.

Ox and I did go to the store here in town yesterday afternoon. We needed milk and eggs. Mama Ox wanted a new container of cashews. I wanted shredded cheddar cheese for the leftover chili that no one is eating. I got a small bag of the Reese’s snack popcorn that I like.

Other than that, I took a three hour nap yesterday and did a bunch of nothing. I haven’t cooked dinner all week, which I guess isn’t as awful as it sounds. There were leftovers for some of the days, and the others Mama Ox cooked burgers or other simple, quick things that the family liked.

This wasn’t really the best week for me to do much, what with working late and having to travel. Maybe that was part of yesterday; burnout from a rougher week than I had thought it was.

I told Ox last night that I feel like I don’t handle things as well as I used to. I don’t know if that’s me getting older or still being broken from the ordeal that was mom’s death. I don’t remember crying as much during high school, though. I don’t remember feeling as overwhelmed and bombarded by small, simple social interactions. I also didn’t have to deal with them very much for the seven-ish years I lived in Florida. I was able to have my own room and to avoid the world when I wanted to. I still don’t have that option here and so maybe I’m the same it’s just the situations are different. Different stressors, different coping behaviors… I wish I knew.

Ox, for his part, was himself. Ridiculously understanding, supportive, and reassuring. He let me sleep during the day. He dealt with my grouchiness. He held me, encouraging me to take deep breaths when the tension started to build in my chest. He said two months. He doesn’t want me to sleep in the addition with it being so cold. He didn’t want me to sleep in my car either for the same reason when I brought that option up last night. I didn’t want to be away from home, so the thought of a hotel room didn’t sit very well with me.

I just want a quiet space here. A safe space. A “my” space where I belong and I have my things with me instead of them being packed away still in a storage unit I haven’t seen in roughly seven months. I keep thinking in the back of my mind that I’m going to unwrap my china and all of the pieces are going to be broken because of how cold it has been. It’s a shitty thought that doesn’t help anything when my brain is already being a terrorist.

I don’t really know where to go from here as far as my writing goes. Ox said two months. I have my trip next week to see my brother and dad and Mother Earth and Sir. I don’t have a lot of time while I’m there. Maybe I should have tried to plan this better. I don’t think I’ll have time to visit my home clinic. I don’t know if I want to see Warren while I’m there. It will most likely be like pulling teeth and I doubt any headway will be made in regards to the money he owes me. I would like to see my therapist before she retires. I would like to go to the dojo, but I don’t know if I should or not. I haven’t been going to the one here, and though I’ve been better about the gym this past week, I still feel like I’m behind in regards to the workout section of my life.

It was rainy and misirable all day yesterday and it’s suppposed to stay that way for a while. The tempratures are supposed to rise, though. Hopefully spring is arriving and all of this snow will melt and it will be sunny once again. I hope so. I really, really hope that I’m almost at the end of whatever this is and that I do good in school and my yearly review goes well and I eventually get my safe, quiet place and all of this tension and stress and apathy melt away with the snow.

Daily Post 152: Finally Up to Today

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Just a warning… this will most likely be long-ish post.

It’s 7:30 in the morning. Both kids are already up. Bacon is thawing so we can have breakfast in a little bit. Ox is still sleeping, and though I thought I heard Mama Ox moving around, she must have gone back to her room because I didn’t see her when I got up to use the restroom and make coffee.

I’m hoping to have enough time to catch up on my writing before the day starts in full swing. I sort of feel like the Universe is snickering at me behind my back in that regard since the last two or three posts have all been about events from over a week ago at this point.

Continuing from my last post… Ox and I were “beta-testing”. I had finally admitted after maybe about an hour of not knowing that I wasn’t 100% sure what he had said and that I was sorry for that. I was sorry if I had misheard. I was sorry if I was making a big deal out of nothing. I was sorry for being myself and confused about the emotions I felt.

Ox: I said wife.

Everything inside me went still. Quiet. Calm. I don’t think I have ever felt a warmth like that within my chest before. If I have, it must have been in a slightly different way because nothing comes to mind. It felt like I belonged. It felt right. It felt like I had finally been given something I hadn’t realized I ached for.

Me: Ok. I’m your wife.

And that’s how that went down. No proposal. No romantic down on one knee. It was simpler than that. Deeper than that. It was the stating of a fact and an acceptance of that fact as true. Undeniably accurate.

There still aren’t plans for anything legal or formal. I don’t know if that means it’s less “real” to others or not, but as one person put it I didn’t get married to make them happy. If they want it to play out a different way, they can make their own choices. They can do it differently and in a way that works for them.

This way worked for me and Ox. We affirmed something to each other that I think we’ve felt and known for a long time. That we’re not going anywhere. That we’re together regardless of what the government says or recognizes. We’re loyal, considerate, compassionate, respectful and supportive of each other without a piece of paper saying that’s how we’re supposed to be.

I have a new word, a new title to go along with all of the other ones Ox uses to identify me. I’m his kitten. I’m his Jennifer. I’m his wife. And I’m ok with that.

I don’t really remember a whole lot about Thursday after that point. I don’t think a whole lot happened for the rest of Thursday which was totally ok in my book. Thursday was a hell of a long day full of lots of stuff.

Friday I worked. It was the last day before my stay-cation week; this past week. I was with my FA. It was a smooth day. I didn’t go to the dojo. I came home instead. I was tired. I’m pretty sure I went to bed early-ish.

Saturday and Sunday happened. I don’t remember much about those days either. Well… now that I think a bit harder on it. I do.

Saturday started out rough. I had gotten groceries to make protein waffles to go with the eggs and bacon for breakfast. Papa Ox is doing really well with sticking to a keto diet, but it does sort of suck to feel like you can’t have any of the stuff you like or are used to. I’ve had a recipe from my sister-in-law for a while. It was a recipe she had made for me one morning while I was visiting my older brother. It had turned out good, but since no one was on the “healthy eating” train until recently, I never really had a reason to make the waffles.

Well, that was my project for Saturday, the only downside was I had tried making a homemade syrup and it had turned out awful. And I’m not just saying that to be down on myself. This was Grade-A awful stuff and I don’t even know why it turned out that bad. I followed the recipe…

But it sucked and I was left in a “breakfast is ruined” state before it even really began since I had tried the syrup when I got up that morning. The recipe said to refrigerate it overnight. You can’t have waffles without syrup… You just can’t.

So what was I going to do to recover? Drive to the gas station so I could be out of the house and have a breakdown. That will totally solve all of this.

I called Ox while I was there.

Me: I don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m trying to figure it out and I’m sorry.

We talked on the phone for a little bit. Having distance between me and the crushing feeling of everyone being awake and not having a place to retreat to helped me start to feel a bit better. Hearing Ox’s calm voice helped. I found a different recipe to try on my phone. I came back home and made it, and though it still wasn’t what I had been hoping for as far as a syrup goes, it was passable for the time being. Breakfast was salvaged.

After breakfast Ox and I went back into town. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond to look at waffle makers. We have one, but it’s not a very good one. You can’t pop the waffle molds out to wash them. That really bothers me since I’m a bit of a germaphobe. If I can’t clean it “properly” with hot water and soap, then it’s most likely not clean and shouldn’t be used.

Bed Bath and Beyond didn’t have what I was looking for. Mom had a waffle maker that had different plates that could be swapped out. I was looking for something similar. While we were out Ox and I stopped at a grocery store. There was a particular syrup brand mentioned in the protein waffle recipe that was low carb and ok to use. Walmart hadn’t had it when I went grocery shopping the day before which is why I had tried to make my own.

The store we stopped at on Saturday had a HUUUUGGGGEEEE selection of this particular brand. Walden’s Farms. They have salad dressing, syrups, jellies, all sorts of stuff. And so far, everything we have tried has tasted pretty alright. We got a couple bottles of syrup; one pancake and one blueberry. Breakfast on Sunday went over much better. Everyone is ok with the new waffles and the syrup is a pretty good substitute for normal pancake syrup. You can tell there’s a bit of a difference, but it’s not a bad difference.

So that was last weekend. I got a bunch of the chores done. I’m not sure when I got through chapter two, but at some point, I did that. That was a bunch of emotional stuff. I meal planned for the coming week and had a grocery list made out. I went to sleep Sunday night looking forward to not having to get up early for work.

Monday I had a text message from my FA saying patient census was down and that I didn’t need to come in to help with change over. Score. I still had my meeting with the head of the LPN program at 9:30. I drove down and met with her. We talked for about an hour. She gave me some things to look into as far as the application process goes as well as some ideas for as which classes to register for and how. She gave me a few names of people for me to contact in regards to financial aid and my application, and with that, I had a clearer idea of what I needed to get done for school and when.

Tuesday Ox and I met in town for lunch at Arby’s and to do grocery shopping at Walmart. I woke up tired from not sleeping well the night before. The simple act of walking out to my car to drive had me short of breath; like I had just finished a light workout at the gym. When Ox and I hugged I told him how I was feeling. It didn’t feel like sickness. I wasn’t overly congested or anything. It was just hard to feel like I was breathing right. I didn’t have an arrhythmia… I didn’t get it. I didn’t really think there was a reason for me to be feeling the way I was, but regardless of that, this was how I was feeling.

I had planned to try to get my blood drawn after grocery shopping. The school needs to know my immunization status for a few things as part of the application process.

Ox: Why don’t you save that for Thursday. Today we’ll get lunch, do the shopping, then go home.

I was on board with the “not doing much” idea. Lunch was enjoyable. We tweaked the shopping list a bit to try doing a homemade cauliflower crust pizza since the frozen one had been alright, but not awesome. The shopping trip itself went well. We spent about $110 dollars, keeping a few things I wanted as a separate transaction. Mama Ox had left $60 sitting on the kitchen table for me, so it worked out well.

When Mama Ox got home later that night she asked me how much the grocery bill had been. I told her the amount and that it had worked out perfect. Everyone paid a quarter. She said, no, that she needed to give me more money. As she tried handing me another twenty I asked if I was allowed to not take it. It felt wrong to take more money because Ox and I eat the food, too. It’s not like I was buying stuff that we weren’t allowed to touch. We all ate the same meals and that’s what I had bought on the trip. It was food we all were going to be eating and we all had contributed. So if anything, I owed her $10.

Mama Ox: Next time.

She that certain smile… I think it’s a mom thing. It’s that smile where she knows she’s won and you’re going to accept her decision. End of story.

I sheepishly took the $20.

Me: Next time.

I don’t think Ox’s parents are used to someone being as proactive around the house as I am, or as concerned about balance and fairness. I used the extra $20 yesterday to get Halo Top ice cream for Papa Ox since it’s something that had come up in conversation. I really wanted to find SO coconut ice cream since it’s even lower on carbs, but sadly the Walmart I was at didn’t have that brand. Point being, I still used the money for the family. I didn’t spend it on myself because I didn’t think of it as “mine”.

The new pizza crust recipe turned out better than the frozen store bought one. There wasn’t corn starch in the homemade crust and it had more flavor from added spices. It was still pretty soft though instead of crispy so you had to eat it with a fork. I may or may not have forgotten to spray the foil for the first two crusts as well… >.>;

That was a disaster avoided due to Ox being amazing and helping me salvage the crusts. I now have a bag of almond flour so take three of the pizza crust will hopefully be an outstanding success.

So, that was Tuesday. My breathing got easier as the day went along so I’m still not sure what was up with my lungs in the morning.

Wednesday I went in to work for what I thought would be two hours of helping during change over which turned into 5.5 of making sure the clinic didn’t burn to the ground. Yeah…

So the story behind Wednesday…

I woke up thinking it would be a “normal” day. Normal for dialysis. Oh, how foolish of me.

Right before I got into the shower I got a text message from our float RN. She was going to have to leave the clinic for personal matters and wanted to know if I minded staying the rest of the day to cover for her. Um… Last I checked I wasn’t an RN yet so unless my FA was also going to be at the clinic there wasn’t much I could do as far as covering for her. I could be a third person on the floor, but I couldn’t be charge RN.

I told her to give me a few minutes to figure some stuff out. I had planned to use Wednesday to get through chapter three in my book. I didn’t really have time obligations, but working a mostly full day was definitely not having a “stay-cation”. Arg…

As I was driving down to the clinic I tried to call the float RN to figure out what was going on. Her cell phone doesn’t get good reception in the middle of nowhere so I couldn’t get through to her. I tried calling our new tech who was supposed to be at the clinic covering for me this week, but she didn’t answer either. I wasn’t all that surprised. I was calling right at the start of change over. I talked to Ox a bit to let him know the limited information I had. I told him I would keep him posted as to how my day changed.

When I got to the clinic I went straight to the floor. Good thing, too. The new doctor was rounding on our patients with my FA and the nurse practitioner and shit was hitting the fan. Never fear! PCT Jen is here.

I haven’t sweat that much during a change over in a while.

We got all of our first shift patients rinsed back, taped up, and out to go about their day. We got all of the machines disinfected, restrung and ready to go for second shift. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I’m pretty sure I rinsed back three of our patients, reset four of the machines and initiated four of our second shift patients. Out of eight, I did half.

Everyone was extremely grateful that I came in. I stayed until around three. That allowed the new PCT to go to lunch. That allowed my FA to talk to the doctor and round with him for the second shift patients. That allowed the float RN to leave once all of the second shift patients had received their meds. I was able to run an extremely important lab over to the hospital; one that was almost forgotten to be drawn.

I apologized to my FA for not knowing about the lab.

FA: Thank you. But it’s not your job.

Accurate… but my FA shouldn’t be the one to make sure everything gets taken care of either. There has to be some level of reliability, and right now it’s really hard to defend our float RN. She’s a great person. I don’t mind working with her as much as I did in the beginning. But when your boss can’t count on you to cover the shifts your scheduled for or to complete the tasks you’re supposed to be in charge of… I don’t know. It’s rough. And there was more than just those two situations that the RN dropped the ball on Wednesday.

I checked my email while I was at the clinic. My yearly review is coming up so I have a self-assessment to complete. More writing… I could feel my fingers glaring at me as I sat down to type out a few of my answers. I didn’t get it finished, but I’m over halfway through it.

I also got to talk to the social worker and my FA about the Wall of Fame I volunteered myself to do. I have some ideas brewing in my head. Unforantetly I haven’t done much in the way of progress on it. The week just hasn’t played out to let me do a whole lot in that regard.

I also got to talk to my FA about the few things I still needed to get taken care of for my LPN application. She gave me some information about the CPR class I need to take. I guess there’s an online option where all I will have to do is show up, provide proof that I’ve completed the online section, test out of my skills, and call it good. I’m down for quick and easy.

So Wednesday was a good day in the end. I’m glad I was able to help my team. It was good to see my patients smile at me. They hadn’t thought I would be there all week so it was a pleasant surprise when I walked out onto the floor.

Patient: What are you doing here? I thought you were on vacation.

Me: I’m here to join the party. : 3

So, five and half hours later, I clocked out and headed home.

Thursday started out better. I tried to register for a class online and found I couldn’t. The step by step instructions started with “click on this tab” only… I didn’t have that tab on my student page for the college’s website. I didn’t know if there was an issue with my application or what, but since I couldn’t complete the first step there wasn’t much else I could do on my end. I showered. I had breakfast. I meet Ox in town to have lunch at our Chinese place again. After we ate he asked if I wanted him to drive me to the different places I needed to go.

Me: I wouldn’t mind spending more time with you.
Ox: In that case… I’m going home.
Me: Wait! I meant I would mind spending time with you. I totally mind.
Ox: Oh… In that case… I’m going home.

I love how we can banter with each other like that. He did stick around, driving me to the clinic I needed to go to for my blood draw. That actually went extremely smoothly. No resticks or anything. They will automatically send my results to the college. Woo. Another item I can scratch off on the college to-do list.

After that, we went to the Lincoln campus to figure out the registration issue I was having. That got taken care of and while I was there I went ahead and registered for Human Anatomy. That’s going to be $417 dollars for just the one class. It will be another roughly $300 to $400 for the two books I need, depending on if I get hardback or not. Since I need the code which comes with the books, it wouldn’t be a good idea to buy them used or to try to rent them through the book store. The upside? These books will also be used for Human Physiology, so theoretically I won’t have to spend much, if anything, on books for that class. We’ll see…

I didn’t have to pay anything on Thursday for the class and I opted to wait on buying the books. I wanted to talk to Jon to see if the book he used was the same one my class was requiring. I sent him a message asking him to send me a picture of his book later when he got home. He said he would and if it was the same one I was welcome to use it. Code and all. Sweet.

Ox and I then went over to the Hy-Vee store where we had successfully found the pancake syrup over the weekend. I wanted to get salad dressing for Papa Ox since a lot of the meals I cook are served with a side salad. We also got a few jellies to try out.

With all of that taken care of, Ox drove me back to my car and we headed home. Once we got home I began taking care of dinner. I had started it before I left since it was a slow cooker recipe. Shredded buffalo chicken bowls. It turned out alright, but it was definitely missing something that I can’t put my finger on. Not sure if I’ll be making it again in the future. I did listen to about half of chapter three. That happened while we were waiting for Mama Ox to come home. I got a bit of stitching done during that time as well.

Instead of cross-stitching after dinner like Ox had wanted me to, I went back to plucking away at my to-do list. I signed up for the CPR class I need to take. That was $55 dollars, but work will reimburse me for it. I set my debit and credit cards up for travel during my trip. I transferred $600 of my tax return to my credit card to cover the plane ticket and rental car I had already paid for. I updated my calendar. I set up the account I needed to begin making payments on the Trax since we’ve had that information for a little bit. That allowed me to put more papers away rather than having them scattered around my desk. I also created a “school” sub-calendar on my Google calendar since my class starts on April 1st. I’ve been told it’s not a joke and class actually will start that day. We’ll see… >.>

Oh! I also posted a daily post as well as my DSS assignment on Thursday.

For the record… the only reason I remember half of this stuff is because I actually wrote out a to-do list for Thursday so I have something to look back on. By the end of Thursday, I was beat. I felt like I had gotten a lot of stuff taken care of, which, I guess I kind of did.

Friday was another good day. It started with a phone call to Jon. It’s been nice talking to him so much. After talking to him I came inside and began writing for a bit. I didn’t get as far as I wanted to before I had to shower and head down to work.

I wasn’t there as long as I had been on Wednesday. Everyone was still glad to see me again which warmed me. It was just the float RN, the new tech, and myself. Originally my FA was supposed to be there, but personal matters came up which kept her from being at the clinic. The day turned out alright. The three of us found a rhythm that worked well. I helped end treatments and clean/reset machines. The new tech helped with ending treatments and walking the patients out. The float RN initiated the treatments for second shift. As the new tech got freed up, she began initiating treatments as well. Once all of the machines were restrung and ready to go, I also jumped in and helped start treatments. I’m the fastest and most experienced with our machines, and while, yes, the new tech is going to need to hone her skills, she’s going to be going back to Cap City for three weeks until our clinic is opened to six days a week again. Yesterday was not the day for skill honing. It was about surviving, and we did, and the system we found worked really well for us. I’m proud of us. Go, team!

I stayed at the clinic while the new tech took lunch. I checked my email again and replied to a few surveys that were sent out. I made sure some of the closing tasks were done so New Tech didn’t have to worry about them. When she came back to the floor I clocked out and hung out for another hour or so making CVC termination packs. I got to chat with our Administrative Assistant (AA) for a while. I got caught up on her new grandbaby stories and I told her about my continuing adventure with schooling. She’s happy for me.

Oh… And something I don’t remember writing about… On Thursday I found out that I made the Dean’s list for the fall quarter. All I did was take a CNA course. I don’t feel like I earned or deserve recognition for “academic excellence” but never the less, I have a certificate saying that I did well.

Both my AA and FA say they’re proud of me and are looking forward to me being a nurse. They say I’ll make a good nurse. I don’t know how I feel about that. There’s a part of my brain that shrinks away from those comments. It wants to say, “I don’t want to be a good nurse. I just want to help people.”

Another part of my brain feels like being “good” means there’s the potential to let people down or not live up to expectations. There’s the potential to fail. I guess that’s something I need to think more on since there’s a bit of discord there. Overall it was a good conversation. I’m looking forward to seeing my AA again on Monday once I’m back at the clinic.

Once I finally left work, I headed to the Beatrice campus for my college. I wanted to talk to someone in financial aid. After getting registered for my class, one of the other tasks I had tried to complete at home was putting my current loans back into forbearance since I’m officially a student again. That hadn’t been the one-step process I had been hoping for. The website did say that the school could send my information for me, though. I also had questions about additional loans. I mean, really, I didn’t have a lot of questions, but I felt better about talking to someone in person if they had time.

When I called to inquire, the woman I spoke with said any time was fine and to stop in whenever. So I stopped in. Yes, they will automatically send my information to the loan company so there’s nothing further I need to do with that. The deadline for scholarship applications with the school ended at midnight that night, Friday night, so if I was quick, I could still potentially get assistance through scholarships. There was also a step by step sheet of instructions for completing FASFA which wasn’t a lost cause. She explained that even though I already had loans that I might be able to get additional assistance for my new endeavor. It wasn’t guaranteed yes, but it wasn’t a guaranteed no, either. The worst they could say is no, and the application process was free to find out.

I thanked her for taking time out of her day to meet with me. I said I had a clearer idea of how to go about my next steps and that I appreciated her help. From the school I headed back home, stopping at the Walmart in Beatrice for a few extra things we would need over the weekend. Ox wanted me to try to make a keto brownie or cake type recipe for Papa Ox. I wanted to see about finding the keto friendly ice creams I had mentioned earlier in the week. I also needed to return a spice shaker I had bought on Tuesday.

Since I’ve been making my own spice mixes for a while, I’ve been wanting a larger container to keep them in with a shaker top. I haven’t been able to find anything in stores and I don’t want to buy something full of spice already, just to dump it out so I can use the container. That just seems ridiculously wasteful to me.

Well… while Ox and I were at the store on Tuesday I found one that I thought “might” be ok. It was pretty enough. It seemed larger than the containers I was currently using, but I wouldn’t really know how I felt about it until I tried it out.

Fast forward a bit to Tuesday evening when I emptied out a Kraft grated parmesan cheese container…

It’s… perfect.

It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for this whole time. I can fit multiple batches of my spice mixes in it, so I don’t have to worry about mixing them so often. Wooo! And there’s a second one in the fridge that’s almost empty and the tops are different colors so it will be easy to tell my spice mixes apart. Omg. My brain was/is so happy over how perfect they are for what I want. I don’t even have to worry about icky glue being on the side of the container because the container design was shrunk wrapped on. All I had to do was cut it off and poof! Perfectly clear, unmarked large plastic container with a shaker top that can come off if I would rather scoop an amount out instead.

So much happy.

Anywho, since I now had the perfect shaker already at home, I didn’t need the smaller one I had bought from the store. That got returned, and once that was done I was able to officially head home for the day. It was later than what I was expecting, but I had taken care of everything that I needed to and it felt good.

When I got home I told Ox about the scholorship application deadline and the FASFA application. Papa Ox and brought home dinner with Ornery Ox so I didn’t have to worry about making anything for the family. I heated up the leftover shredded chicken and began plucking away at the “paying for college” stuff.

I got the scholarship thing done well before the midnight deadline. I figured out FASFA, too, so that should be processed by the college before too long I hope. I had a half cup serving of the black cherry Halo Top ice cream. It’s not bad. Ox and I got some laundry put away. I got two more posts up on my blog. I got a phone call from New Tech letting me know that she hadn’t been able to get to creating the needle packs, but everything else should be in order for Monday. I told her that was fine and that I appreciated her covering my week off for me. We most likely won’t see each other for a while since she won’t be at the meeting on March 5th. I told her if she needed anything to feel free to call me.

And I think that’s about it for Friday. I woke up around midnight and had a hard time falling back asleep. Lame.

I woke up at 7:30 like I said when I started writing this and so far it’s been a good morning. I’ve spent most of it typing and recapping the past week. It’s not what I had in mind when I wrote my DSS post about starting “weekly recaps” again. I haven’t been all that awesome about getting to the gym or writing daily either, but I think I’m staying afloat.

I’ve been back and forth from the computer a bit. Ox and I made breakfast for everyone. The waffles seemed to go over well, though the kids aren’t giant fans of the new syrups. They don’t know that the waffles are made with oatmeal and cottage cheese.

I have plans to finish listening to chapter three in my book once I’m done writing this post. I’ll most likely cross stitch while I do so. Once I reach the end I’ll make my zucchini brownies for Papa Ox along with a batch of “normal” brownies so we can try to work through a bit of the stuff sitting in the cabinets while the kids are here.

Once I complete those kitchen projects, I’ll start work on the reflection sections for chapter three. This chapter is about purpose so I feel like it will be a bit easier to get through it than the previous two chapters. Purpose is a bit more defined for me. I might not have to dig as deep to find the answers to the questions asked. Only one way to find out… >.<;

I’m not sure what time it will be once I complete that task or if I’ll even be able to see that task to its completion today. It would be nice to start the laundry. It would also be nice to figure out the meal plan for the coming week along with the shopping list associated with it. I would like to make green curry. God that would be so awesome to have for lunches.

Anywho, today should continue to be a chill day. We have blizzard advisory warnings for today into the early morning of Sunday. So far it feels pretty nice outside. Cloudy and overcast, but it’s not ridiculously cold, so I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s been raining off and on. It would suck for temperatures to drop and for the roads to freeze over. I haven’t had to deal with black ice yet. At least not that I know of.

So I guess that’s enough procrastinating on my part. Time to go back and half-heartedly proof-read my writing and get it posted so I can continue going about my day.

It feels good to be caught up. It feels good to say I’m in school. I’m officially working on being a nurse. I’m one step closer to being an RN, mom. I know that would make you smile.

Daily Post 144: A Weekend of Puzzle Pieces

Standard

The past two days have been pretty good.

Friday the RN was late getting to work. She called me as I was driving to the clinic. Of course, that was the morning I decided to wear a jacket over my scrubs in addition to my winter coat. So when my phone started ringing I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t find the pocket of my scrubs to get my phone out.

Right Brain: I know my phone is in there. I can feel it. Why I’m I struggling so hard to get my hand into my freaking pocket?!?! The pocket will not win! I will be victorious! Cower before my might pewny pocket!!!!….. Oh yeah… The jacket… Glad no one was here to see that…

It made for a cute story at work.

Work itself wasn’t bad. The nurse practitioner rounded. Change over didn’t go all that smooth and we ran behind. I would have hated to see what it would have been like with just me and the float RN. It was the last day of training for our new tech. Next week I have the clinic to myself. The week after, she’ll be back and on her own. We’ll see how it goes I suppose.

After work, I actually went to the dojo. Well… first I went to Arby’s and had their smokehouse brisket sandwich; just the sandwich. That’s part of my routine for the dojo. Eat something protein-heavy beforehand with enough time to digest what I ate and drink more water so it has time to get into my system. It seems to work well for me and it gives me a bit of time to let go of the stress from work.

It was… nice going back. And maybe nice isn’t the right word. Comforting. Like putting on a well-worn sweater that has a lot of memories associated with it. There was a feeling of comfort in taking in my gym bag and changing in the restroom. There was a feeling of comfort in walking through the door and bowing to my sensei as he finished teaching the kid’s class. There was comfort in sitting in the seat furthest in the back and wrapping my hands and taking my hair clip out so I could use my hair ties and taking mom’s ring and necklace off and putting my shin guards on. There was comfort in getting ready.

It was all familiar. It was all ritual and I know that word gives it a sort of “other-worldly” feel. But it’s how I think of all of the things I have to do before training. I’m about to honor myself; body, mind, and spirit. I’m about to have my me time. Performing all of the actions leading up to it is part of the process. It puts me in the mindset of, “I’m about to train. Work doesn’t matter. Relationships don’t matter. What other people are doing or how hard they are pushing themselves doesn’t matter. What matters is me. My inner voice. My feelings. My sensations. My internal struggles and battles and worries and concerns. What matters for the next hour is me.”

I didn’t push super hard on Friday. I did most of the warm-up. I did the drills on the bag and got to do some drills with the guys. I was ok with not pushing myself to the point of failure. The main goal on Friday was to simply go. I didn’t even promise myself to stay for a whole class. I hadn’t been in three months, the last of which I had been sick for most of. If the best I could do was 30 minutes then so be it. There would be other days, other classes, where I could and would do better. My accomplishment was showing up and walking through the door. Everything else was bonus points.

It felt good to have a full body sweat. It felt good to throw punches and kicks again. It felt good to do them right even if I wasn’t doing them as hard as I knew I had in the past.

As I bowed to my sensei while I was leaving I said I would see him tomorrow; Saturday.

Left Brain: There. Now I’m honor bound to show up. I have to be here. No chickening out or whining about it and making excuses when we wake up with a sore body in the morning.

I called Ox to let him know I was on my way home. The drive was nice. It gave me more time to myself and to listen to music. I cruised along about 5 miles under the speed limit and didn’t care. I wasn’t in a rush. I wanted to enjoy the drive instead.

The kids were home by the time I got here. I showered. I cooked a dinner of burger patties with onion and mushrooms. I actually drank all of my water and then some last night. Before much longer I went to sleep.

I woke up super sore Saturday morning. My shoulders felt like they wanted to fall off from their own weight let alone the effort it took to actually lift or move things like cooking pans. I knew that doing nothing would be the worst thing for me, but the thought of the dojo class was intimidating. If I’m already this sore, what am I possibly going to be able to do in the class? I had already obligated myself to go, though, and I needed to stop at work anyway, so it was going to happen regardless of how much my body protested.

I needed to type up some notes for my FA. I started to at home but with everyone being awake and what not, it was hard to focus on getting it done. I decided to finish typing the notes at my clinic since I had to be there anyway to sent the email. I had breakfast with everyone. I had a moment of overwhelm that Ox helped me through. I was tired and sore and everything felt so loud and there was nowhere to go to get away from it until I left… I felt, I don’t know, defeated I guess?

While we were cuddling in bed and talking about it he told me to close my eyes, which I did. He got up and rummaged around in one of his drawers. When he came back he slipped something over my wrist. When I looked at it I saw it was a bracelet with a Sagittarius bow and arrow. It’s purple and blue and all stary and nebulous looking. I like it. The band is two braided leather cords framing a solid leather band.

I like it but I don’t think it’s going to be something I can wear often. Not at work at least, and not while I’m at the dojo. I’m glad that it wasn’t an expensive gift because I would feel worse about not being able to wear it if it was. He said it was supposed to be my one-year anniversary gift from him but it seemed like I needed it that morning and more things were on the way so he wanted to give it to me.

I can’t lie. It did help me feel more grounded and connected. Maybe that’s the submissive side of me feeling owned since he put something on me. It’s pretty and I like it and I’m wearing it now.

I drove down to the dojo, stopping in Cortland for gas and cigarettes for the coming week. I still got to the dojo early. There were more people in Saturday’s class than the one Friday night. We started with running and jump rope. Since there were so many people, I didn’t get the rope that I like. I’m thinking about putting mine into my gym bag so I can use it while I’m there rather than struggling to get one I want. I stretched a lot during the warmup phase of the class. My goal, again, wasn’t to push myself. Two days in a row would be a lot; maybe boarder lining not smart, but I was going to do it.

I listened to my body. I got through the whole class. I didn’t spar; only conditioned and stretched. My shoulders felt better after the class. Looser. Less angry. I was super tired, though, and I knew not a lot of physical stuff wouldn’t be able to happen for the rest of the day.

I called Ox when I got out to my car and we talked about the rest of the plans I had. They changed slightly. The weather was actually pretty nice. The sun was out. It was around 40 degrees with a light wind that wasn’t too cold. It was a good day for a car wash. Instead of going to the clinic then to the Walmart in Beatrice, the game plan changed to going to the clinic then driving into Lincoln for my free car wash, then going to the Walmart closer to home.

It worked out well. I spent about an hour finishing up my note typing, then sent an email to my two FAs offering help with the new project requirements if they wanted it. From there I drove to the car wash and waited in line for a while.

When I had gotten my car repaired, one of the things they tossed into the deal was a free car wash code to the facility next to the dealership. I had to spend $4 to upgrade the car wash from uber basic to the “deluxe” where it would wash the underside of the car, but that’s better than spending $14 so I didn’t complain.

After the car wash, I stopped at the Target across the street since there was a Starbucks inside the store. I still had a little bit of money left on the gift card Ox had gotten from his work. I decided since I had been doing fairly well not only for that day but for the past week, that I would treat myself to a small drink.

They had a triple mocha chocolate frappuccino. OMG. It was amazing. I still have half of it to indulge in this morning. Totally looking forward to that part of breakfast.

After getting my coffee drink, I drove to the Walmart where I took care of the small amount of shopping Mama Ox wanted me to do and the few items I needed to replace in my stash. I had used the last of the 57 sauce and Worcestershire sauce the night before when I made the onion and mushroom mix for my burgers. I also wanted to get cauliflower potatoes for my lunches rather than using regular potatoes because carbs are a thing and healthy blah blah blah nonsense.

Once that was done I came home. I ended up talking to Jon for a while. He’s thinking about taking out a student loan since working full time and going to school full time is hard. He has a lot of feelings over that and there’s still some people he wants to talk to but I believe 100% that he’ll figure it out.

I cooked and ate burger patties again, resisting the pizza and pizza rolls everyone else was having. Go me!

I cooked my lunch meal while I was in the kitchen. Chicken with broccoli and no-tatoes. I washed my clothes and got them in the dryer. Again, I didn’t stitch. Instead, I worked on a puzzle with Mama Ox for most of the evening.

There were a lot of emotions associated with that. Puzzles were something my mom and I did. I enjoyed my time with Mama Ox but I felt guilty as I put the last piece into place.

Did this mean I was betraying mom? Were puzzles supposed to be a me and her thing that I didn’t do with anyone else? Was I now a horrible daughter? Would mom have been mad at me if I could have called her and told her about that part of my night?

I don’t think she would have. I think she would have understood that she wasn’t there and that she wasn’t being replaced. I hope she would know that no one could ever replace her. It didn’t stop the tears before bed where I told Ox how I felt. How I was tired of my only options in relation to my grief were anger, sadness, and acceptance. Why can’t being happy and having my mom alive be an option?

I don’t think I’ve made peace with the emotions of last nights puzzle pieces and I don’t think I will until I get some actual alone time to think through it, but at least I’m not in a rut of depression over it. Just sort of solemn and achy around my heart chakra. It was nice to spend time with Mama Ox where she wasn’t critiquing me on buying bananas that were too ripe or throwing away something that was expired but “still perfectly fine and usable”.

So far today hasn’t been bad. Most everyone has still been asleep though, so I don’t have a lot of info to base good or bad on. I woke up at 3:30 and had a piece of toast with almond butter, dark chocolate chips, and a banana sliced on top. I went back to sleep for a while. I woke up with Ox around 6:30. I’ve already cooked my venison roasts and had breakfast. And now I’ve written.

We’re supposed to play some tabletop games with the kids. I would like to stitch since I haven’t been able to much this week. I would like to get to sleep early as well since I want to get to the clinic around 4:15. And a bit of time at the gym rowing or lifting weights might be nice. I’m not nearly as sore as I thought I would be.

It’s been a good weekend so far. Puzzle pieces and tears included.