Daily Post 176: Survived the Day

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It’s later than I would like, mostly because I’ve been messing around on my phone. I’ll get to that, though.

Today started sort of rough. I woke up in the middle of a REM cycle. Never fun. I was dreaming this morning. I was dreaming about my cousin who I haven’t seen since mom died. In the dream, my uncle was being mean to her. We were at my grandfather’s house. He had already died and we, the family, were there to figure out what to do with all of his things. I remember looking at a knife collection but my uncle was getting upset because he didn’t want us messing with any of the objects in the house.

Eventually, I got tired of my uncle’s attitude and I confronted him.

That’s when I woke up to my alarm for work.

It’s an odd dream. I’ve never had a bad relationship with my uncle. My grandfather never had a knife collection. I haven’t had much time to reflect on it.

Since I was in the middle of dreaming, I woke up tired and was never really able to shake that feeling. I made it through my day at Cap City. I smoked more than I have since I went to the ER. Much lame. Tomorrow will be better in that regard.

I was able to leave work 30 minutes earlier than I thought I would. Woo. I went to the home improvement store to get another bracket for my window shelf. Ox mentioned that it was sagging a touch in the middle so it seemed like a good idea to pick one up. I had to drive past the store to go home anyway. Might as well stop while I’m out. I ran in and spent a bit of time gathering up supplies that I wanted for my “coat rack” pot/pan hanger then headed to the apartment.

Ox was here waiting for me. He put up the third bracket for the shelf while I paid bills and researched a few things. I got $500 out of my $800 discount for health insurance. It would be cool if I could get the other $300. That’s been part of tonight being a late-ish night… I was looking into all of the options I have for that.

Ox and I did our Darebee challenge. Go, team! We already discussed tomorrow’s challenge. Since it’s Ox’s birthday, he gets the kids. He said we can still do the challenge but it will have to be later in the evening after the kids have gone back to their mom. I’m ok with that. I’m grateful he’s willing to do it at all.

Ox and I spent a bunch of time in the bedroom with the kittens, too. While we were there he quizzed me with my flashcards. By then it was around 7 pm.

I’ve been looking at the App Store for a good yoga app. I think I found one I’m going to try. While I was poking around, I found a rainstorm app that I’m going to try out tonight, too.

I didn’t cook the stir fry like I wanted to. I was pretty dead after work. I heated up leftovers not too long ago. I’ve been trying to catch up on my water intake, too.

Tomorrow I work at my clinic. Finally. I haven’t been there since Monday. The schedule for the last two weeks of September came out, but there are already several changes that are going to be made to it so… yeah… I doubt what I have is going to be what I actually end up working. It’s frustrating. I wish I had a consistent schedule. : /

But, yeah… not a whole lot to write about since not a whole lot happened. Got to spend some alone time with Ox which is always nice. Got some stuff taken care of. Sort of not looking forward to work but that’s because I’m still tired from this morning.

I guess I should go for now so I can get to sleep.

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Daily Post 172: A Day of Self-Care

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It’s 8:12 as I sit to write this. I have to be up at 2:30. I’m ok with cutting into my sleep, though. It’s the first time in a while where my ability to write overlaps with my will to write. I want to take advantage of it while I can.

I finally have internet at the apartment. Woo! That means I have the ability to write and post in the same sitting. I can pay bills online while staying in my pjs. I can look up new recipes while I sip at my cup of coffee. I can listen to music on my phone without cutting into my data.

It’s stupid, but it makes me happy to have it again. It’s another silly, small thing that makes me feel like an independent adult who has their shit mildly together on the outside because the inside is a lot like this…

In regards to the internet, there was a promotional offer for the first three months free with this particular internet provider. There was also a referral program I could take advantage of since it’s the same internet company Ox’s parents use. All in all, it ended up working out well for me to hold off for so long with getting it set up. It’s nice to finally have it again, though.

Work is still pretty nebulous and I don’t like that. I finally worked with my FA again yesterday. She was gone on PTO for about a week. We didn’t get a chance to talk about anything overly important yesterday; at least not the important things I was hoping to have answers to or clarification on. So I’m left working through feelings of frustration.

I’m still mildly frustrated over the PCT Advisory Committee meeting, too, but I’m coming to terms with those feelings. And since I don’t have a whole lot of time to write, right now most likely isn’t the best time to get into it.

I’ve decided for the time being to keep my head down and simply work through my schedule. That’s all that’s really required of me. I’m still doing five days a week anyway. There’s not a whole lot else I can do or give.

Ox and I had lunch today after he got off work. I’ve listened to a fair amount of the new leadership book for my class on August 5th. I bought the plane tickets and reserved a car for August 18th to the 22nd so I can visit Orlando before the LPN program starts on August 27th. I bought and assembled a new computer desk which I’m currently typing at. I like it. I think it will serve me well once school starts and once I get things put away/organized better. I ordered a gaming chair from Amazon that should be here in a few more days. Got some new cross-stitching thread ordered, too, since I didn’t have all of the colors I needed to complete the project I started. Hard to believe there are still colors I don’t have…

I did finish a small project last night, which is why I started the new one. I’ve switched my focus from larger projects to smaller ones at the moment. Since I don’t allow myself much time to stitch doing smaller patterns lets me still feel a sense of accomplishment or at least progress.

I’ve also been playing Witcher 3 for the past week. Ox set up my tv, the one I bought over a year ago and never had a place to put… He also set up my PlayStation for me while I was washing dishes at the apartment. I restarted my game… again… I’m so tired of killing this freaking griffin. >.<;

Thankfully I’m past the griffin part. I’m enjoying the game and playing and escaping from reality for a few hours at a time. I’m looking forward to sticking with it and getting to new parts that I haven’t already played. It’s also been nice to have my own little entertainment area. I hadn’t realized until just now that I haven’t had my own living room since I first moved down to Florida, what… eight years ago? Maybe nine?

The first apartment I ever had, I lived alone. After that I always had roommates and so the living room was a communal area. Realizing that fact made things feel more… real. More me. More mine and safe and like I have actually achieved something with my life so far. Maybe I’ve been making more progress than I’ve allowed myself to fully acknowledge.

Overall, today has been a low key day and I’m ok with that. I did a fair amount of self-care today. All of my chores were caught up so I could take the time to do the things I wanted to do and it was an extremely nice change of pace.

The next two days I work at the Cap City clinic, but I’m C1 which means I’ll be leaving at 1 pm at the latest. Theoretically… The Universe always loves to fuck with shit when you say it in absolutes like that.

The past two times I’ve opened the clinic things have gone smoothly. I am starting to get a feel for the workflow at that clinic and mixing bicarb doesn’t intimidate me like it used to. I’m not necessarily looking forward to my days at this clinic, but I’m not dreading them either. I know what the tasks are that I need to do as a C1. It’s a confident feeling. Stable. Self-assured. I know what I need to do and I have more faith in my ability to do it well and efficiently since I’ve had to cover so many shifts at this clinic recently.

Anywho… not a whole lot else at the moment. I know I need to write some deep, soul-searchy posts in the near future, but I don’t feel like digging that deep tonight, so it’s off to bed for me.

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 156: Posting Late Because I Forgot >.<;

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I wrote this Sunday and forgot that I had… so when I sat down to write today I figured I would post this first… My bad.

Thursday was a good and productive day.

I wrote. I created the mockup design for the wall of fame at work. I sent the image to my FA and she loved it. It felt good to play around inside Photoshop again and to make progress on something I said I would get done. I have until March 15 to get everything pulled together.

I printed out my recipes, finally. I ended up having to take screen shots of them, turn them into .jpgs, load them onto a flash drive, then take the flashdrive back to Papa Ox’s computer since I couldn’t get anything to print from my computer. Don’t care. Got it taken care of.

I called Financial Aid at the school and spoke to them for a while. I’ll most likely end up paying for the course I’m signed up for out of pocket and do student loans when I start the degree in August. I need to reapply for the fall term, which is now open for registration. I’m going to hold off on that until after my CPR class so I can submit that certification along with my CNA paper and TB test results and be done with everything all at once. One fell swoop. /woosh

I made the grocery list that Ox and I would need. While I was at it I rearranged some stuff in the kitchen, praying that Mama Ox would be ok with it when she got home.

Ox and I met at our Chinese place for lunch. I had shrimp with garlic sauce this time. It was pretty awesome. Tons of veggies. : )

We went to an oriental market so I could get the green curry paste I would need over the weekend. We went to Hyvee as well since it was near by. They had red bell peppers, buy 5 for $5… I bought 15…

To be fair, they freeze really well and are normally close to two bucks per pepper which is why I tend to stick to only green peppers. This was totally a good deal that I wasn’t going to pass up. Mama Ox helped me dice everything up and put them into zip-lock baggies. That was about an hour worth of quality time in the kitchen with her. It was pretty nice.

I made steaks with broccoli notatoes for dinner that night. Sadly, no one was really a fan of the new notatoes, including myself. It was a good experiement and at least now we know it’s a no-go.

Friday was an alright day. I was tired from not sleeping well. New RN got a sympathy card for everyone at the clinic to sign for my FA. I found out on my break that Ox passed his CDL test. Woo! I’m super happy for him.

When I got home we went upstairs and talked about the addition a bit. That’s been rough lately. My brain doesn’t like nebulous, unresolved things. Luckily we talked through it enough for my mind to be happy. Ox said he would work on it a bit over the weekend while I finish up my leadership assignments. We came downstairs and instead of being able to work on my reflection section, we got roped into talking to Ox’s parents for a while. By the time we were able to get away I was done. I didn’t have it in me mentally to work on anything else that’s been piling up on my to-do list. I hadn’t been able to decompress at all between work and figuring stuff out at home. I hadn’t been able to write or cross stitch. I didn’t want to deal with dinner. I curled up in bed instead.

I didn’t sleep well that night. It went so far as to me going out to the couch which only helped mildly.

Saturday started rough. Ox and I hadn’t touched a whole lot the night before, or the days leading up to Saturday and I was feeling the distance. It hadn’t helped that he kept grinding against me the night before in his sleep only to start snoring contentedly in my ear.

Not cool, bro. I want you to be here with me. I want you to connect with me. Not tormenting me mercilessly in your sleep.

We ended up having the connection I wanted early Sunday morning. I was, and am, still grateful for it. Emotionally I’m still a little raw today. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of within myself. Saturday was a long and involved day, and today isn’t going to be much better mentally. I need to take it easy and allow myself the space to recover.

Anywho, yeah. Ox and I were able to connect and that helped me get rid of some of the buildup on the inside. I felt better for it. I made waffles with my new totally amazing waffle maker while Ox made eggs. After breakfast and cleaning the kitchen I worked on my reflection section for chapter six. Once that was taken care of I showered, talked to Mama Ox about a mini shopping list for her and Papa Ox and then headed into town with Ox.

We started at GNC to get bang. They didn’t have Bangster Berry, a new flavor I’ve fallen in love with, but they had Cotton Candy and the Cherry Blade Lemonade that I like. We were also able to get a case of Blue Raze for Ox.

From there we went to Micheal’s to look at craft supplies for the wall of fame project. That ended up taking an hour; maybe a bit longer. I got a black science board with a while poster board to go on the inside. This will make the “movie screen”. I got some small bottles of paint as well as some colored card stock. I wasn’t 100% sure how I was going to go about the film cells for the project, but I had some supplies to play around with. I figured I would be better able to figure out what I wanted to do by experimenting with things.

While we were there I got contact paper for the puzzles Mama Ox, Lil’ Ox and I have worked on together. I’ll try to get those taken care of today in the midsts of doing everything else I need to do.

After Micheal’s, Ox and I went to Jo Ann Fabrics. I didn’t get as much from there, but it was good to price check things. We drove back down to South Lincoln where we got lunch at Wendy’s before going over to Walmart to do the shopping we had originally set out to do. We had already been out of the house for about four hours at that point. With all of the brainstorming and figuring out and thinking on the wall of fame project, I was pretty ready to be done with everything and go home. We got a few more items for the project, along with everything on the list for Mama and Papa Ox. We came home, I put groceries away, I started the taco skillet for dinner, and even made another batch of brownies since I had gotten the correct sweetener on Thursday.

Dinner was nice. The brownies turned out alright. Ox isn’t a fan, but then he doesn’t like dark chocolate because he’s lame.

I didn’t work on my leadership course after dinner. I didn’t cross stitch. I didn’t do much for a while. Eventually I listened to music. I found a few playlists I like. They’re rieki playlists which reminded me that I never researched into that a lot when I first found out about it. So I started reading stuff on Google. That led to reading about palm readings. Eventually that led to reading more about keto since Jon has been asking me a bunch of questions about it.

Yeah… I have no idea how I jumped around to all those different topics, but there you go. It was actually extremely nice to just chill and read things that I wanted to read rather than worrying about all these different things in my life.

Reiki actually has some pretty interesting concepts that resonate with my beliefs. There’s five principles.

For today, I will not worry.
For today, I will not anger.
For today, I will be honest.
For today, I will be grateful.
For today, I will be kind.

It’s not a religion. It’s not a cult following. It’s just five things to strive for each day. We can do anything for one day. I feel like this is similar to what my leadership class has been talking about. Honesty is authenticity. Being true to yourself and others.

It’s food for thought, for sure.

Anywho… I’m going to go for now. I feel like today is on better tracks at the moment. After breakfast Ox is going to go upstairs to work a bit and I’ll be left in the room to listen to my book and cross stitch. If I get time I’ll get the puzzles situated and maybe even experiement with making the curtains for the wall of fame movie screen.

Lots of potential. I’m looking forward to it being pretty chill.

Daily Post 155: Finding the Words

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So far today is going better than Tuesday. It’s almost 7 am. I woke up at 6ish. I stayed in bed for a bit with the cats, knowing Mama Ox would be awake soon. I was trying to avoid over socializing so early in the morning. My bladder wasn’t on board with that idea, though, so I found myself up and about.

I’ve made coffee. I’ve eaten most of my breakfast. The remainder of both are sitting in front of me as I type.

Mama Ox and I had a brief conversation about why I had inquired about Photoshop being on Papa Ox’s computer last night. We’ve talked about teas and different things to help fight off sickness since she’s been extremely congested this week.

Overall, it wasn’t the horrific dreaded task it usually feels like; talking to people. It was actually… mildly pleasant… I think.

Yesterday wasn’t as awful as Monday. The new RN was there. She shadowed my FA for most of the day, learning the nursing side of things. How to give and chart meds. How to chart in the computer systems. Things like that which I know the theory behind, but have never actually had to do since I’m not a nurse, yet.

I mixed acid yesterday. It went smoothly. The whole processes. No hiccups. No bumps in the road. It was awesome. The PD nurse drove down to talk to several of our patients about home modalities for their treatment. Instead of coming to the clinic for four hours three days a week, they could stay at home and do their treatments at night while they sleep. It’s a much more lifestyle friend form of treatment. I know I personally would rather that option or self-cannulation, but then I’ve worked through my fear of needles and I trust myself more than others.

Anywho. The PD nurse was there. The social worker was there. The dietitian was there. And the nurse practitioner rounded as well. It was a party.

We were actually running ahead of schedule. We would have been out early except one of our first shift patients had issues with his standing blood pressure again, which caused our last second shift patient to start late. At least the lateness wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t because we were throwing up our hands and being shitty workers. It was something outside our control and sometimes you just have to roll with it so we did.

I was able to make needle packs as well. New Tech hadn’t been able to get to them Friday last week, which is fine. If that’s the only thing that didn’t get done, then the week was a success in my book. Needle packs are super easy and I don’t mind doing them. I also got some in-service training done.

So yeah. A much better day. Things aren’t getting better for my FA as far as the personal matters requiring her attention. I wish there was more I could do to lighten her workload. I feel the only thing I can do is continuing being a worker she can rely on, so that’s what I’m doing.

I cried most of the way home after work. Even screamed like how I did when mom was first hospitalized and the times when my grief is so intense. I don’t know what it was about yesterday that triggered that type of event for me. Maybe it was left over frustration from Monday on top of all the emotional and mental work I’ve been doing for my leadership class along with my companion of Grief who I seldom give enough time to.

I’m not sure. But when I felt the urge to cry I didn’t try to stop it. I embraced it and when it built to the point of screaming I didn’t give myself shit. Instead, I thought about how I hadn’t screamed in a while. Maybe it’s what I needed. No other cars were around me. I was driving through the middle of nowhere Nebraska. If there were ever a time to do it, now was it. So I did.

I screamed and screamed and eventually, I found the words I wanted to say.

“I miss you. Goddamnit. I miss you, mom. I love you. I want you to meet him. I finally found someone you would be proud of and you’re not here. He buys me waffle makers and is so kind and actually loves me. He wants me to be his wife and I want to be a wife for him. I want to wear a dress and have you tell me I’m pretty and I would actually have a kid with him so you could be a grandma and you’re not here. In a few years, I’ll actually be able to afford potentially having a kid. I finally have my shit together. I’m finally not a fuck up and you’re not here. I’m sorry and I’m sorry for being sorry.”

I could feel her with me as I drove. I felt her the whole way home. If felt good to talk to her.

Ox came outside when I got there because I wasn’t ready to go into the house yet. He hugged me and asked me what was wrong. I told him about my drive home; how I missed mom and it sucked.

He mentioned that Mama Ox wanted to cook dinner again, which I was ok with. I didn’t have it in me to arm wrestle for the task. After eating, I poked around on my computer for a bit. I didn’t stay up much longer after dinner. Ox found a small space heater for our room. I had mentioned that I had been painfully cold for the past few nights and that I felt it was one of the reasons I haven’t been sleeping well.

I slept with the electric blanket wrapped around my feet again. I think the space heater and the blanket helped. I slept the whole night, without Benadryl or alcohol to force me into slumber. I woke up when Ox was getting ready for work. We didn’t have a cigarette this morning, which I think I”m ok with. I’ve been smoking less and less. It’s getting to the point where I can’t finish a whole one on my own. I get to the halfway point and physically I’m done. I can’t do more.

While I do enjoy my morning minutes with Ox, having him hug and kiss me goodbye while I was still wrapped up and warm in bed as also nice. I was able to go back to sleep for a few hours with the cats curled up around me.

And so here I am, a bit later, rested, emotionally even. Not really flatlined. But not jagged and broken either. I think crying yesterday helped. I think it was a good cry. A cleansing cry.

I have ideas of what I want to do today, but I’m not really sure what’s going to get done. I want to shower and go to the gym to see if that fosters more warmth and movement, motivation, within myself. I want to create the mockup image of the Wall of Fame which is why I wanted Photoshop. I want to finish flushing out the grocery list since Ox and I are supposed to meet in town for lunch and shopping. I would like to finally, FINALLY, do something about all the recipes I’ve been trying out. And there’s the ever-present leadership book that I found out has eight chapters, not six, so while I’m still past the halfway mark, I still have three chapters to go… ;-;

I need to go to the school at some point and talk to Finacial Aid. I want to make a hair appointment to have my ends cleaned up and maybe get my brows waxed before my first class meet for the leadership course. That’s coming up. Next week actually. Oh, god. >.<

I think today will be an ok day. I think I’ll get a decent amount of things done.

Daily Post 153: More Leadership and the Walk of Shame

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I’m writing a current post! Hooray for not letting life slip by for another week. : 3

I got a lot taken care of yesterday. We had breakfast which went well. I know I’ve been talking a lot about recipes I’ve been trying. I think eventually I’ll post a few of the links to spread the nifty things I’ve been able to find and that have been enjoyed by the family. I’m pretty sure the ink in the printer got replaced as well so I should be able to start printing out the new successes and adding them to my recipe book. It’s been slightly annoying having to constantly refer to my phone or written instructions in my notebook while I’m in the kitchen.

After breakfast yesterday, I finished with the endeavor of catching up on my writing. The last post I felt was rather lengthy, but I finally made it through the day that was the Thursday before last and all of the events that transpired as the week progressed. I made it through a majority of my “stay-cation” week and wrote about all of the steps forward I had taken in relation to school. I even posted my leadership writing; the first story out of the three I wrote for my chapter two assignment. The second story is going to be longer as well as harder to read. It’s the story about mom and how I reconnected with my dad through that experience.

Once my writing tasks were done I actually had sexy time with Ox. It was most definitely not planned and mind-meltingly amazing. I’ve noticed there seems to be a lot more touching lately, too. Not just sexy stuff, but hugs and hip bumps in the kitchen and silly little random things. It’s nice and a much-appreciated change in our dynamic from only a few months ago where it had felt like I was merely a roommate. It’s something I’ve become more aware of as I’ve realized very seldom do I feel that “alone” feeling any more. Ox still plays his video games most nights and I still do chores or cross-stitch while watching shows or listening to my audiobooks but the physical contact aspect of our relationship is doing better. It makes me feel more connected and fulfilled. It’s nice. It makes me feel warm and noticed and real.

Since there was sexy time, that meant the sheets needed to be washed. Queue the walk to shame to the laundry room that I didn’t want to take with an arm full of dirty sheets. The thought of having to walk by Ox’s parents in the living room with what I felt like was a neon flashing sign of, “I just had sex with your son. I’m a whore,” had me almost in tears.

Right Brain: I’m a good person, damnit! I’m not a whore. I’m not…

Evil Voice: Then why were you a slut having sex knowing people were home? Admit it. You’re a terrible, disrespectful person and those sheets prove it.

Have I mentioned that my brain can be a terrorist sometimes… because my brain is really awesome at totally being a terrorist…

I didn’t feel bad about having sex while it was happening, not that I was really thinking rationally at the time… But owning up to the fact that I had made that choice and non-verbally admitting sex had happened made me feel low; like I had done something shameful.

Ox ended up taking the sheets into the laundry room for me which made me feel worse. He doesn’t ask me to do things very often, and here I am, basically refusing to do a simple task for someone who is so ridiculously kind and understanding and patient with me.

I mean… what kind of person goes out of their way to search for and order the exact waffle maker online for you since you haven’t been able to find the one you want in stores? A really freaking amazingly good person, that’s who. So why can’t I be an adult and take our dirty sheets to the laundry room? We’re both adults. Sex is a natural and healthy part of a relationship. It’s going to happen. I’m not walking around the house in a slutty outfit with a collar around my neck. Washing the bedding is a normal task, not a mark of shame.

Left Brain: Um… Hi… I know you’re having a hard time right now, but could you please be a big girl and take the laundry to the laundry room?

Right Brain: They think I’m a whore! irrational sobbing

Left Brain: You haven’t even left the room yet… They probably don’t even know anything happened.

Right Brain: My life is ruined! I’ll never be able to show my face again. more sobbing

Arg. I don’t think the emotions associated with this situation are fully resolved, but I did actually come out of the room. No one chased me out of the house with torches and pitchforks for being an evil, sinful temptress. And just because I am that type of person… part of my brain is mildly offended over that.

Right Brain: I’m totally an evil, sinful temptress who’s corrupting your son with my evil ways, damnit!

Left Brain: I’m sort of getting mixed signals from you…

I got the wash going so the sheets could be done before bedtime. I also promised Ox that I would do better next time in regards to not freaking out over something that should be a non-issue.

After the small amount of meditation I’ve been able to do on the topic, I don’t think it’s “right” to feel shame over Ox and I physically expressing our affection for each other to each other. At some point, I’ll have to meditate further on the topic.

After I got the sheets in the washer I curled up in the corner of the bed, making a nest out of the pillows and my purple fuzzy blanket. I found where I had left off on chapter three and continued listening to my book. I got through the rest of it. I began writing for the reflection sections not too long after that.

The first section was about core talents. When I was done writing, I didn’t really feel much, which I thought was odd. If I was writing about something that was supposed to be “core” to me, shouldn’t that spark some sort of feeling? I mean, nothing? Seriously? No resonating, no “this is right, this is true”. Just… meh…? Is that my core? I bring “meh” to the table?

I left that section for the time being, moving on to the “core values” section hoping that would provide insight or clarity to what I had done “wrong” for the talents section.

I had to pause before starting that section, though, since it was dinner time. I did the cheesy taco skillet again. Since it’s such a hit with everyone I’m trying to keep it in the rotation. It helps that it’s a super easy meal to make. Liked, easy, quick, and healthy. Fits all of my criteria.

After cleaning the kitchen and dividing up the leftovers into containers to serve as my lunches for the coming week, I got back in front of the computer to tackle my “core values”. When I got to the end of it I felt awesome. Energized. I felt like I had written the essence of myself onto the computer screen. I felt like a badass.

Right Brain: Core Values! Hell yeah! /fist bump

These were the feelings I thought I was supposed to feel with core talents. Conviction. Unshakable certainty. Pride. A “This is me and screw you if you don’t think it’s good enough. I’m a badass,” feeling.

Ox and I stepped outside for a break once I had read my core values reflection to him. I’ve read every reflection to him so far. I told him that I still didn’t know what I had done wrong for the talents reflection, but that the feelings I felt for the values section were what I thought I was supposed to have found during that first writing.

Ox: Why don’t you start by looking up the definition of talent?

So when we got back inside I did. That led to finding a post titled, Skills versus Talents: Do you know the difference, by Marc Miller.

That! That right there! That’s what I had been doing wrong! Communication and time-management, and collaboration… those were all skills I had learned and developed through my life. They weren’t “who I was”. They weren’t “core”. They were just things I happened to be really good at. That’s why they felt so “meh”. They weren’t me. I’m not time-management. Hooray!

It was so… freeing; going back and rereading the last question from the section and knowing how I legitimately wanted to answer it now. I left my original response but created a new section at the bottom to house my new answer; my real answer. When I was done writing, I reread what I wrote.

This. This is what I’m good at. This is what I truly bring to the table when I’m in a group project or working with others. Not “meh”. I knew I wasn’t “meh”.

Right Brain: Core Talents! Hell yeah! /fist bump

I felt so much better and more… real after rewriting that section.

Since I had been a slacker and forgotten to switch my blanket to the dryer before dinner, I ended up cross-stitching while listening to all of chapter 4 once my talents section was rewritten. I’ll be working on the chapter 4 reflection sections once I’m done typing about my life.

Ox and I went to sleep fairly late. It had snowed all day, but by 11 pm, it had stopped and the snow plows had come through, barricading our driveway with a wall of snow and ice we would have to shovel in the morning. Problem for a different time…

We curled up together in bed and slept through the night. When I woke up I began cooking my roast so it could be done before breakfast. Not long after that Mama Ox, Ox, and myself teamed up outside to begin the task of digging out our cars. I got a fair amount done before Ox suggested I go inside and start breakfast, that way they had something warm to look forward to when they came inside. While I would have rather been outside doing hard labor with everyone, I knew that cooking was still helping and a beneficial endeavor.

I made a double batch of the protein waffles with scrambled eggs and bacon. I got the table set with plates and forks and all of the condiments. I poked my head outside and let Mama Ox and Ox know the food was ready and within a few minutes, everyone was sitting at the table.

It was a good breakfast and I’m glad I was a part of it.

Once everyone had eaten I went back to the kitchen to clean up the dishes. My roast was done so I cut it up and put it into containers to have as my breakfasts. I got the laundry switched for Mama Ox so I could wash my load of scrubs. Ox’s clothes were already dry from the night before so I folded them and put them away. Ox took the trash out for me since I cleaned the cats’ litter box.

And so, here we are. It’s a bit later in the day than I expected, but it has been a good day so far. I don’t feel overwhelmed or caged in. I think not having a million people in the kitchen while I was trying to do stuff helped a lot. I was able to play music on my phone and do my own thing without worrying about interfering with someone else’s task. I had everything under control and was able to focus without having to converse with others. It was a quiet, yet productive alone time. And for the most part, I’ve been given the space to write. Lil’ Ox has been in the room for most of the morning, but I’m at my computer with my headphones, typing away, completing something that’s important to me, and about to begin work for my leadership class.

Finishing chapter three put me at the halfway point of the book. It’s downhill from here. Even if the coming sections are harder than the first ones, there’s an end in sight. At least, for this book. I’m almost done with it. I can hold out a bit longer.

I haven’t meal planned for the coming week, but I know what I want to do for Monday and Tuesday. With the roads being so crappy right now, I doubt I would be going into town to do the shopping even if I had a list figured out. So I suppose off I go to keep figuring out this “badass leader” thing.

Core Values! Core Talents! Hell yeah!

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.