Daily Post 107: Lazy Rainy Day

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I’m trying to eek writing in while Lil’ Ox is in the shower.

The day started around 6 am with breakfast and a Cotton Candy Bang. When the kids woke up we continued playing Stuffed Fables. By 9 am Mama, Papa, and Lil Ox headed out. I showered and got dressed so Ox, Oronry Ox, and I could head into town to run errands.

Of course, we forgot that today is Sunday and nearly everything has screwy hours. The game store we wanted to go back to didn’t open until noon. The place we wanted to eat at didn’t open until 10:30. It was a rainy, dreary type of day and even though it seemed like we were hitting brick walls anytime we tried to do something we eventually made it work.

We went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look at pot sets. I was worried about buying one because I didn’t want Mama Ox to not like it or be angry or hurt because she wasn’t part of the picking process. There was a really good return policy with the store, though. If you didn’t like the set you have a year to return it as long as you keep your receipt. Well… it’s hard not to take something home with a return policy like that.

We ended up getting a set that happened to be on clearance. We got a roughly $200 set for $70. Can’t really beat that. And if Mama Ox totally was against it we could bring it back. I still had to fight off anxiety for most of the rest of our trip. I’m always worried about changing things or getting something new. It’s her space and her stuff and I’m the outsider messing things up. I didn’t want the new pot set to be another thing I’m doing wrong.

By the time we were done at Bed, Bath, and Beyond it was late enough for use to get lunch. We went to a burger place. At first, I was frustrated. Everything was on Texas Toast or fried or very much a “I shouldn’t be eating this if I’m trying to lose weight.” My options were pretty much five salads. Six if you included the side salad as an option.

It made me wonder if this is what people with food sensitives go through. It sucks feeling like I’m keeping people from having what they want or making things more complicated. It mildly sucks to feel like people won’t take a bullet for you and go to a “healthy” place instead of a fast food place. Not that Ox has ever done that. He’s amazingly supportive for the most part. Except for this morning where he tried to foist off a donut on me. >.>

I’m proud to report that I didn’t eat the donut and that it’s wrapped up and sitting on the counter still.

Anyway… yeah. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy lunch and that I was going to be spending money to make everyone else happy but that I would be getting shafted with a shitty salad. I ended up getting a cranberry and bacon blue salad. It turned out to be better than I had hoped for. I would be ok with going back there and getting that particular salad again. That helped.

By the end of lunch I was getting tired. All of the driving around and all of the social interaction from yesterday and this morning, combined with the worry about the pots and stress I put myself through with trying to figure out what to eat… I really just wanted to be done with figuring things out.

We decided for our final stop to be Walmart. Ox and I picked out blackout curtains for the room. I got another roast since I’m going to run out of my breakfasts before the week is done. I couldn’t find the stevia packets I wanted, but I remembered to get a replacement container of basil and dryer sheets for the house.

Ox and I got to have some alone time together since Ornery Ox went back to the computer room and no one else was home yet.

When Mama Ox got home we explained the deal with the new pots and went through the old pots and pans, getting rid of the ones that were peeling and icky. We still have to figure out how to arrange things in the kitchen, but I think the new pot set will work. I cooked my burgers in one of the skillets tonight. I like the weight and feel of it. It feels good. Balanced. I like how easy it was to clean up. The set had good reviews online and so far, through my single use of one of its skillets, I have to agree with everything I read.

While I was in the kitchen cleaning, Ox put up the curtain rod and curtains. I like them but we won’t know how effective they are until it’s a sunny day and I’m trying to fall asleep at 7.

We finished playing through the first story of Stuffed Fables. The kids really wanted to continue playing into the second story but Ox and I both agreed it would be better to wait until we have them again to start a new game since we wouldn’t have been able to get to the end before bedtime. I’m glad they’re both so captivated by something away from the computer. I feel like we’ve spent a lot of quality time together and though it still takes a bit of energy, I don’t resent it. It’s not like the times I tried to play Minecraft. I enjoyed spending my energy the way I did.

It makes me more ok with the thoughts of future weekends. I think we’re all finally figuring out how to coexist together. I was still able to get what I wanted and needed to done.

I got to write. I got to go to the gym. I even got to do a bit of my own gaming. My goldsmith is level 36 or 37. I did a few of the challenges in my challenge log. I earned more credits so I can get promoted within my grand company soon. I want to spend about 30 more minutes farming mithril since my character’s buff lasts that long, but it depends on how long it takes me to finish writing and doing my last few chores.

Oh. Another thing that happened while we were in Lincoln was stopping by Goodwill to donate the clothes I just replaced. It’s nice to have the bag out of the house and not taking up space.

It’s supposed to rain all of tomorrow so I’m not sure if SCA combat will happen on Tuesday. The ground might be too wet still.

I’m mostly prepped for tomorrow. I still need to make my protein shakes, but Ox’s lunch is already done.

I guess there really isn’t much else to report.

Ox and I have been more sexual since I’ve been back from my trip. I like it. I don’t know what else to say. I like the way it makes me feel physically and emotionally. I guess there really isn’t anything else to say on that topic. I’m aware of the change. I’m grateful for the change. It makes it feel more ok to be me.

I started looking into the LPN program this morning. I have until October to register for classes in January. There are some prerequisites that I’ll need to take before I can start the program. I’m hoping I can still worm my way out of English 101. I’ve already done did that class.

I want to get the application process started, so I’ll add that to the to-do list for Tuesday most likely. Since I don’t have to worry too much about meal prep or chores or errands, I should have most of the day to pluck away at the paperwork.

Yeah… not a terribly eventful day unless you count defeating evil nightmare minions eventful.

Seriously, Stuffed Fables is a super cute game and I encourage anyone remotely interested in DnD type tabletop games to give it a shot.

And I guess with that I’m going to go so I can finish up the last bit of my to-do list so I can go run around in circles beating up rocks.

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Daily Post 106: On Track, Maybe

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I went to work yesterday after only getting roughly an hour and a half of sleep. It’s just how the night ended up working out. I went to bed after 11:30 and woke up at 2. Going back to sleep seemed pointless since I wouldn’t get a full REM cycle. I stayed in bed resting as much as I could with the cats demanding attention, thoughts of Chinese food for dinner running through my head.

I skipped out on taking a shower which wasn’t as big of a deal as it normally would have been. I had showered before going to bed since I needed to rinse the dye out of my hair.

The drive to work sucked because I was so tired. Once I was at the clinic though, it wasn’t too bad. Moving around and constantly having things to do helps burn the tiredness off or keep it at bay. It sort of shot my plans to go to the gym all to hell though.

I made it through the work day and even got most of my “extra” work tasks done, like making sure my PTO got returned for not taking Friday off like I had originally planned. Overall it was a fairly smooth day. My FA was there to help during turn over so it was smoother than I had anticipated.

By the time the day was done, though, I just wanted to go home. I had my gym bag with me. I knew part of me wanted to go to the gym still, but there was a larger part of me who was starting to get a headache from being up for so long with so little sleep. I was still recovering a bit from the gym the day before and I had an early session scheduled for today.

I’m frustrated that I missed one of my extra days of working out this week. Since I came home and fell asleep almost immediately for an hour and a half I’m hard pressed to be too upset with myself. I woke up to eat dinner. I gamed on Final Fantasy for a short while, then went back to sleep where I, again, fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep until 2:45 this morning.

I woke up to use the restroom, had a small spoon of peanut butter to keep from getting hungry, then went back to sleep. I slept until around 6. I stayed in bed until Ox woke up and asked if I knew what time it was because he was worried I had overslept for my training.

We spent a bit of time together this morning before I got up to have breakfast and change. I went to the gym where I had a decent workout with my trainer. I came home and had a snack which I’m proud of. Skipping snacks is a bad habit I have, but for the days since I’ve been back home I’ve been doing pretty well with my eating. Not perfect, but better. Same with water intake.

Ox and I had made plans to go into town with the kids to look for a tabletop game we could all play together. The store we went to had Zombicide: Green Horde. I’m very interested in getting that at some point, but today we went with Stuffed Fables instead. It’s basically an intro DnD game. You and your group are stuffed animals who much fight the Nightmare Lord, Creepitus, to protect a little girl while she sleeps in her big girl bed for the first time.

It’s actually super cute and so far the kids seem to really enjoy it, especially as we get a better understanding of the rules.

We played for a few hours progressing through the story and killing evil nightmare minions. We stopped since it was time for dinner, after which I… don’t know what happened.

We had BLTs, which were amazing as always. I wrap my tomato and bacon in the lettuce so I don’t have to worry about the carbs from the bread. It’s a meal I can actually eat with the family rather than making my own thing or standing in the kitchen like I sometimes, most of the time, do.

Afterward, I unloaded the dishwasher and began loading it with the new dirty dishes. It’s the second time Mama Ox has come in and mentioned a “pet-peeve” she has with me doing something with the dishes.

I don’t know why it got under my skin so much. I am pretty much the only other person who helps with dishes. It makes me feel like I’m not doing things right or good enough. It most likely didn’t help that it’s the second comment in the three days since I’ve been back. This comes after cornering me during dinner last night about how I haven’t found a new pot set for her.

I was under the impression that she didn’t want one because she wasn’t interested in getting rid of any of the things she has even though the non-stick surfaces are peeling and desperately need to be replaced.

So while I’m standing there, rinsing dishes and loading the dishwasher I’m trying to be patient with myself and understanding that it’s not my kitchen and that if she wants things done a certain way, I should be accommodating, new dishes are being pilled into the sink I’m trying to empty since not everyone finished eating at the same time.

It was… frustrating. By the time I got done handwashing the things that wouldn’t fit into the dishwasher, I was a little sweaty, which was uber gross since I hadn’t showered from the morning’s workout.

When Ox and I stepped outside for a cigarette he asked me what was wrong. I did my best to explain it, but at the time I really didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to go back to the game. I didn’t want to pretend to be ok because for whatever reason, in that moment, I just wasn’t.

His mom had made a comment while I was in the kitchen about Ox and I wearing matching shirts, and that too, crawled under my skin. It’s not a “his and hers” thing. I wanted to wear one of his shirts because it smelled like him. It just so happened he had two of the same color and he put the second one on.

I’m not losing my identity or trying to be cutesy.

Arg.

Wearing black all the time is wrong, but then so is wearing a shirt of color if someone else is wearing that same color.

It’s like I can’t win. I can’t wear the right clothes OR load the dishwasher right.

Ox and I talked through what I was feeling. At least we tried to as best we could with me not wanting to talk about something I didn’t really understand. I knew all of the comments bothered me, but without having the space to process why they bothered me it was hard to articulate the frustration I felt.

We agreed to hold off on the game so I could shower and write since I never got a chance to do it yesterday and I didn’t like the added thought of pushing off writing to tomorrow. I had already pushed off my writing yesterday since I went to sleep instead. Pushing it off further wouldn’t have helped with the feelings of frustration.

The shower I took a little while ago has done wonders for me. Writing, sitting with my headphones on while music plays and taking a break from being the bookkeeper/rule master has been nice as well. Lil’ Ox is going over to Ox’s brother’s house tomorrow for a bit with Mama and Papa Ox. That will give Ox and I a bit of time to do some more errands together. We’re going to see if Ornery Ox wants to go with us.

When everyone gets back home we will most likely try to get through another few pages of the story in Stuffed Fables before dinner, after which I’ll need to go to bed since Monday is a work day.

I still want to pack and plan to go to the gym after work on Monday. I think for the time being I’m going to hold off on the dojo membership. I want to pay off my car more, and if I’m already having a hard time getting to the gym I have a membership to, then adding another, even larger, expense most likely isn’t going to help or fix anything. I want to become more consistent with my “extra” training first. I want to get SCA combat practice to be a habit. I also want to look at the dojo in Beatrice as well since my trainer keeps mentioning it. Maybe it would be easier, more feasible, to go there after work rather than driving close to an hour into Lincoln.

I don’t know what the dojo in Beatrice offers, but since I’m not roped into anything yet I can still look and see if there’s something else out there that might work better for me.

It would be amazing if I could get the car paid off before the end of the year, but without people paying me back I don’t think I’ll be able to. Kyle is still unemployed, so even though we talk, he hasn’t been able to pay me back for the time he stayed with me in Orlando. I reached out to Warren again since he never replied to my message. He actually replied to me, saying today was busy, but he would try really hard to get in touch with me at some point. Sir said he would be able to start paying me back soon, but I haven’t heard from him in a while. Mother Earth and I haven’t spoken in six months…

I don’t have any other corners I can cut financially. If I get a large tax return this coming tax season I could have the car paid off relatively early in the new year. It just sucks looking at my budget and still bleeding in $200 a month in interest into a credit card that I can’t make progress on.

I haven’t looked into the LPN program yet, but that’s more because of the way today has gone. I’m happy with the things I’ve been able to get done. I’ve updated My Fitness Pal with the changes I’ve made to my recipes. I cleaned up my phone, transferring the pictures from our trip the zoo to Dropbox along with other art pictures and inspirational quotes I’ve saved as I’ve browsed through Facebook posts these past months. I messaged several of my friends to stay in touch with them, though there are still people I need to reach out to. I’ve updated my calendar with my new work schedule along with all of the dates I need to keep track of. I’ve paid bills and I’ve allocated my leftover money to the places I want it to go.

Today has been a pretty nice and productive day. I don’t want the spat of frustration I felt early to cloud today with negativity. I think eeking out the time to write helped. I’ve been worried about my writing falling to the wayside again now that I’m back in Nebraska.

You make time for the things that are important.

I spent a large amount of time today with the kids doing something everyone seemed to enjoy. I feel like that’s a victorying in my “non-parent” parenting belt. I also got most of the things I wanted/needed to take care of scratched off of my to-do list. Oh! Which is another thing…

I’ve totally made to-do lists every day since I’ve been back. That’s another thing that’s become a hit or miss, mostly miss, thing for me. I used to religiously write my to-do list as I drank my cup of coffee in the morning. Since mom’s death, I haven’t really worried too much about my lists. If I make one, fine, if not, it doesn’t really matter.

I already have one mostly mapped out for tomorrow, and since Monday is a pretty set day, I have that one fairly ironed out as well.

It’s a good feeling. I feel like I know how to take care of my life because the things I need to get done are figured out already.

I’m hoping my vacation was the break I needed to get my life back on track. I’m hoping it let me get back in touch with myself.

Three days isn’t a whole lot to go on, but so far I think I’m doing alright.

Daily Post 105: First Day Back

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Today has been my first full day back in Nebraska.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or rather, Ox bought me an electric zoodler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m glad I’m home.

Daily Post 104: Last Day

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Fourth day in a row. It would be nice to think that I could keep this habit when I get home. Writing. Processing. Having time and space to do it. I wasn’t making it a priority while I was in Nebraska though and so I’m worried it will fall to the wayside again when I get back. I can’t deny the fact that I’ve felt better for all of the writing I’ve been able to do while I’m here.

It’s 7:30 am. I’ve been up for a while. Jace is about to leave for school. I’ll be gone before he gets back. I don’t know when I’ll be able to come visit again so it sort of sucks.

We played Geek Out last night. It’s an alright game. I think it would have been more fun to play while having a few drinks, but it wasn’t bad. Zombicide was definitely better.

I wrote out a do-to list for Thursday before I fell asleep. There’s a shopping list too but a lot of the stuff on it I need to check. I don’t know what has been used or gone bad while I’ve been gone.

Ideally, I’ll stay awake when Ox goes to work tomorrow. I’ll do the shopping early, before the gym, and the cooking after. I don’t want to do a weigh in at the gym for two weeks. One week to get back into my routine, and then one week to actually make progress, though I don’t think I’ve done all that horrible eating wise while I’ve been gone.

I might stop in at the clinic on my way home Thursday just to make sure things are set the way I want for Friday morning.

I’ve been thinking about the LPN thing. I might aim for next semester at the earliest, which will let me continue to pick up over time in the meantime, which will let me pay off the car faster. At the moment I’m on track to have it paid off early next year. Sooner would be nicer. It would make funding schooling easier. I still have to factor the dojo membership into my budget, so maybe that’s something else I can add to the to-do list… mess with numbers.

I don’t really have much of anything else to write about. No hiking adventures this visit. No trips to the gun range to see who’s better; Army or Air Force. Just a lot of staying at home and regrouping.

I’m going to miss being here, but I’m also ready to be back home. I want what has become my room. I want my car, my gym, my stores. I want my Ox to hug me and tell me that things are ok and that I’m doing well because hearing his voice matters.

We have the kids this coming weekend. It’s two weeks earlier than we thought we would. All I can think is that I’ll figure it out. I’ve survived all of the times they’ve been over so far. I can keep surviving I hope. The thought of an extended stay is unappealing, especially after being away from home for so long.

I don’t know. But yeah… I’ll figure it out.

For now, I’m going to go shower and pack and format my Surface. This is the last post I’ll be writing on it. This marks another moment of moving on and growing and evolving and changing and for whatever reason, it sucks.

I’ve already said goodbye to Jace while I was writing. I’ll be saying goodbye to my sister in law and my brothers in a few hours. I’m saying goodbye to this object and the moments I shared with it.

I’m going home. I guess it would be easier if it didn’t feel like I was losing everything all over again.

Daily Post 103: Day Three In Vegas

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Third day.

We had steaks on the grill for dinner last night with shrimp. We played Zombiecide again with Jon. He finally made it here even though his luggage didn’t. That eventually got figured out but it was one hell of a trip for him to make it here.

He had a nine-hour layover in an airport that wasn’t open 24 hours. They didn’t give him a hotel voucher or any sort of food assistance even though all of the shops at the airport were already closed. He had to hide in a bathroom stall so security wouldn’t escort him off of the premises with nowhere for him to go.

Yeah. It sucked. It’s stories like that that make me not want to fly or go anywhere. And that’s not even touching on the PTSD that I still struggle with during takeoffs. It wasn’t as hard to breathe this time, but there were still the silent tears.

I don’t know what I am today in this moment. Sad, I think. It’s my last full day here. It’s only 11 am but it already feels like I’ve been awake for eternity. I had a hard time falling asleep last night and when I finally did get to sleep I had dreams though I can’t remember much about them.

I remember it was winter outside. There was someone standing in the doorway. A male. I remember having them come inside so the door could be shut and the warmth from the fireplace could stay inside. I remember feeling hesitant about that; about offering hospitality. There was a group of us around the fire, keeping the cold at bay, and now there was this stranger in such close quarters. It didn’t feel wrong, but it felt… awkward. One of those, “I’ve made my choice and now all I can do is see what happens.” Only I woke up so I’ll never know if I made a smart choice or not.

It wasn’t very restful sleep and so maybe that’s part of feeling like I’ve been up for forever.

It’s my last full day here. I leave tomorrow afternoon and get back to Nebraska around 8:30 followed by an hour drive home. Thursday I have training at 10 in the morning. Friday I have a full day of work. Saturday I have training at 9:30 am.

I don’t want to leave. Which is sort of stupid because if I didn’t want to be here then why do I not want to leave? Why does it have to be confusing? Why can’t it be easy?

I miss Ox. I’ll miss my brothers once I’m gone. I’ll miss my nephew and coloring with him and hearing his voice asking me to read him bedtime stories while I struggle with knowing mom’s picture is on his dresser.

It sucks and I wish everything wasn’t a confliction or a contradiction within myself.

I’m sort of tired of not doing anything. I’m sort of tired of not having a car even though there’s nowhere I really want to go. I’m tired of not having my soap and conditioner; my familiar scents. I’m tired of not having a cat to cuddle with. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have a purpose or a goal and the more I thought about this writing the more I wanted to figure something out, something more than what I have since I’ve been here.

It’s the 14th. It’s officially six months since Ox and I started coexisting together. Forever fiancees I think is what we jokingly agreed to not long ago. It’s officially been one month since my Warrior Dash. Five months since I’ve become a CCHT. I don’t know if any of that means anything or has significance.

I want to figure out what it will take to begin classes. I want that figured out by the end of the week. I want to know what paperwork I need to fill out and what the general process will be. I want to know, officially, if I can start classes next semester or if I’ll have to wait until spring. I think that’s something I need to do. I think it’s a realistic goal to set. It’s a goal I feel resistance to, but only because it’s easier to do nothing than something.

I know I’ve wanted to go back to school. I know LPN will give me more options in the immediate future. I know I could get into it faster than the RN program. Hell, I could finish LPN before I could even start RN.

I know LPN could be a stepping stone to other things and that I don’t have to stay as only an LPN if I don’t want to. It gives me options. It opens doorways. I know it can give me a starting point for talking with advisors. I know it’s a step towards something rather than staying where I’m at in life, in my career, in my funk of what feels like purposeless living.

So official “Life/Carrer” goals; research the LPN program in Beatrice. Begin the application process. Set up a meeting with advisors once research has been concluded to a point where a meeting would be productive.

I know the last one is a bit nebulous, but until I do a bit of digging there’s not really a point in meeting with someone, and since I don’t know what information is out there I can’t be sure when I will feel a meeting is appropriate. It’s something I’ll have to have faith with. I’ve done this enough times to know the difference between being ready and not ready. The biggest issue will be not procrastinating on a meeting once I feel I’m prepared.

I want schooling. Schooling would be good for me, on multiple levels. It’s most likely more harmful to myself to not pursue school than to work through the emotional and phycological discomfort of continuing to progress with my life.

I’m not going to worry about the Vascular Access Manager or the Perceptor training at work. If I pick away at it, cool. If I don’t, fine. I work full-time hours. I don’t have to do extra on the side if I don’t want to. If I feel like stopping in at the clinic after the gym, I’ll go for it, but it won’t be, and never was, an obligation. I’ve been proving myself enough by covering all of the different shifts I have been, by holding the clinic together through all of the float nurses who can’t legitimately help on the floor. I don’t need to get another certification or skills checklist added to my teammate file that will only increase my responsibility with no compensation in pay.

It would be better for me to put that energy into schooling. So if I do the extra work stuff, cool. If not, cool. Not an obligation and not something I should let negatively affect my emotional state or sense of self-worth.

That leaves the health area of my life to contend with. Aside from mom’s death and the relationship with Ox in the wake of mom’s death, I think this is the biggest area I’m struggling with.

I don’t have a goal. I don’t have a focus. I’m merely doing and even at that, I don’t think I’m doing much of a good job.

I started the personal training as a way to add structure and routine back into my life after my move. I didn’t have anything making me go to the gym. The meetings with my trainer gave me that. It gave me a level of accountability with what I did at home and what I ate since he tracks my weight much more than any other person has.

In a way it’s good. In another way, it’s annoying.

If you yourself have no goal, then it’s frustrating to feel like you’re letting people down over nothing. I didn’t meet THEIR goal, but I don’t care about their goal. I only care about mine, only I don’t have any, so there’s nothing to care about.

I don’t really know how to fix this because I still don’t have a goal. I don’t want to weigh a certain amount. I don’t want to be a certain size. I think setting my goal to “be more consistent” isn’t solid enough to actually work for me. I also can’t guarantee how work will go so I don’t want to set a quantifiable number for my workouts because what happens on the weeks where shit hits the fan and I can’t make it? Well, then I’m a failure and my goal is fucked.

Not really helping to build me up there, Brain. Thanks.

I want to care more. I like that I have more definition in my body. I like seeing the changes that have already been made. I like the way I feel when I drink enough water or eat enough protein. I like not being tired after work and feeling like I can actually go to the gym for a workout even though I’ve already walked six miles within the confines of the clinic. I like the level of stress relief working out gives me.

So why has it been so hard to actually do it?

If I like all of these things, if there are so many pros to going to the gym and eating right, then why do I skip workouts and cave in and eat donuts when they’re on the counter or skip my snacks? I know those actions are self-destructive and won’t make me feel better, so why do I do them?

To that, I honestly have no answer. But I’m aware that I’m making those choices and so on some level at least I can say I know there’s an issue and that in itself is a big step. Knowing there’s a problem means you’re able to look for a solution.

If only I knew how to solve it.

I guess part of it is feeling like I’m on my own, which, in reality, I am. I’m the only one at home trying to eat clean. I’m the only one trying to get to the gym. I need to accept that if I’m going to do it, then to just do it, and stop caring as much about what goes on around me. Just because Mama Ox buys pop tarts and other stuff doesn’t mean I can or should eat them.

Firstly, it’s not my food. Secondly, it goes against what I’m trying to do. I want to be healthy. That type of food is very obviously not healthy. If it’s so easy to pick up a pop tart, then I need to make it even easier to opt for a healthier option instead. I need to not run low on MY food. I need to have the snacks I want and NEED to combat whatever ease or temptation there is in the house.

I don’t live alone. It’s not fair of me to say “don’t buy those things”. If I lived alone it wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t, so I have to live with it and find a way to work around it. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it’s setting me up for failure. It means I have to care and be dedicated to myself enough to choose the better option, which lately I haven’t and that’s purely on me. Those are my choices not lining up with my priorities.

So… Quantifiable goal… getting down to 20% body fat in the next… two months. Two extra workouts a week, minimum, in addition to my training sessions. Aside from being sick or bodily harm to me or someone in my circle, there’s no reason good enough to not go to training. Sadness isn’t a good enough reason to not go.

It doesn’t have to be a super crazy workout. It could be yoga. It could be my bike ride. It could be rowing or running. It could be a single class at the dojo or the SCA combat practice. Doesn’t matter, as long as I do something extra, out of the house, away from the computer.

I’ve been writing at the kitchen table, but now everyone is back home from the grocery store and the TV is on and it’s hard to focus on writing, so I guess I’ll end here and let my thoughts and goals simmer for a bit.

Daily Post 102: Day Two in Vegas

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Second day in a row. Go me.

I fell asleep pretty early last night. I fell asleep without saying goodnight to anyone, without taking my contacts out, which thankfully I’m far away in Vegas and cannot be represented by Ox for. At least not yet. Hugs and kisses, Ox. : D

I feel a little guilty for that; for falling asleep without saying goodnight, not for the contacts though I should because I know Ox dislikes it when I fall asleep with them in. Saying goodnight is important to me. What if you never wake up in the morning? What if you never get to say your last “I love you”?

There’s not a way to go back to last night and to make myself get up after my phone call with Ox, though. I can’t replace that missing “goodnight” to my brother and sister in law. All I can do is move forward with today and so far it’s been a nice day.

I wasn’t given shit for falling asleep. All of the guilt I have felt has been purely my own. So that has made the morning easier.

Jason and I went out for hibachi last night. It was a decent meal, though I don’t feel it was worth the expense. I’ve had better for cheaper so I feel bad that he spent that much money. But then I have an issue with people spending money on me regardless of how much it is. It was still nice to get out, just the two of us. There wasn’t super deep or heavy conversation. We haven’t talked about mom at all, not that I was expecting or hoping to. We’ve talked a lot of about Jace and how things have gone for the past year and a half. We talked a bit about Lio and her plans for the next little bit. We’ve talked about my move and how work has gone and what I’ve been up to / would like to do in the near-ish future.

It’s been… nice… though I’m not sure if that’s the right word. It hasn’t been negative. It’s made me realize how much has happened to me, for me, in such a short amount of time. It’s made me realize how well I have been doing on my own, which was part of the point of moving away from Orlando. To prove to myself that I could do it. That I could relocate and stand on my own and figure out the problems I was faced with and etch out a spot for myself in the world.

At at the same time, I realize I didn’t do it on my own. Ox helped researching moving companies and prices. He drove with me to Nebraska so I wouldn’t have to make the trip alone. He and his parents have given me a place to stay and have let me have the freedom to make the choices I’ve wanted to in regards to my work, my hobbies, my time, my money. They’ve been supportive and accepting and helped make the move and transition to this new chapter, this new venture, possible.

Talking about my life with my sister in law and brother makes me realize I’m grateful and humbled and that no man is an island.

I read a bedtime story to Jace last night. He asked to me. I was prepared for my mother’s picture on his dresser this time. I read the whole book without having to fit back tears. I tucked him in and gave him a hug and kiss goodnight. We also played the Zombicide tutorial quest. It was fun and I think as we continue to play it more and get used to the game mechanics that we’ll have more fun with it.

Jon is having a hell of a time getting here. His flight out of Daytona was delayed so he wasn’t able to get to Charlette in time to make his connecting flight. He has had to hang out in the airport for nine hours since that would be the earliest flight for him to get to Vegas. It sucks that he wasn’t able to be here last night, at the same time, because he wasn’t supposed to get in until super late we’re really not missing much time as far as hanging out goes. We would have come home and gone to sleep. No games, no family dinner. The situation sucks, especially for him, but it could be a lot worse.

He should be here in a few hours. I’m going to the airport with Jason. Maybe we’ll get lunch after we pick Jon up.

The morning has been quiet so far. It was Jace’s first day of school. I was awake before anyone else. I started the morning with a can of Bang since Lio was kind enough to get some for me while she was at the store, along with eggs so I could make breakfast for myself. I had an egg sandwich, toasting bread to go with it and not really caring about the whole carb thing. It’s early enough in the day that I’m “allowed” to have them. And I’m aware that figuring out my health / food / training thing is something I should spend a bit of time thinking on, but right now I don’t feel like tackling those topics.

Jace work up shortly after I did. I made him breakfast and sat with him while we both ate. We talked for a little bit, as much as you can with a five and a half-year-old. I asked him if he was looking forward to going to school to which he fearlessly answered yes.

My sister in law woke up not long after. I guess today is sort of hard for her. The whole “first day of school” and “growing up so fast” thing. Those are things that I haven’t, and most likely won’t, experience. I don’t have a child of my own. At the moment I don’t think I ever will. Those emotions and experiences aren’t things I have gone through so I can’t really empathize. I don’t know what it’s like. I can suspect and guess at what the emotions would be like, but I don’t know.

Maybe it’s a little detached of me, but it’s interesting to be on the outside, watching. It makes me wonder what it’s like to be a parent, a mother. It makes me wonder what it was like for my mom. It makes me wonder if I would be good at parenthood. It just sucks that shortly after that thought is the thought that mom wouldn’t be here to help me learn to be a mother. It makes it hard to want to actually go through the experience myself. I have a hard enough time figuring out my own schedule and paying my own bills. These past six months are the first months where I’ve felt financially responsible and like I’m actually making progress on my goals. I’m almost 30. If it’s taken me this long to get my life halfway sort of figured out, am I really responsible enough to be entrusted with raising a child to be a decent, respectable member of society instead of a fuck-up?

It’s interesting, having the time and space to ponder through questions like that. It’s comforting being able to sit and write through the different pros and cons and to actually figure out my thoughts rather than pushing them back due to more pressing matters needing attention first.

Do I want kids? I don’t know. Not really. At least I don’t think so. I think there are things I would enjoy about it. I think on some levels I would be good at it. At the same time, I like my freedom. I like not having that burden and stress in addition to what I already contend with. I also recognize that there are experiences and emotions that I can’t identify with because I haven’t gone through those trials personally. There are things that I will never be able to relate because I’ve never experienced them firsthand.

Ox will always have a different perspective than me in certain areas because he is a parent. He has been married. He’s been divorced. Our lives have been different. I wonder if I ever seem petty to him; closed-minded or small in my views because his experiences give him a sense of a bigger picture that I can’t comprehend.

That came up a little during one of our conversations before I left for my vacation. I asked if he ever got tired of me complaining about work. He does construction outside in the heat all day while I stay inside. Is it ever annoying to hear me whine about my day when his can be so much more physically intense than anything I remotely do?

He said no. Our work is different. He deals with things and stuff. I deal with people and lives. They’re different types of hard, neither better or worse than the other.

Maybe I worry too much about silly things, but I don’t know how to worry. I don’t know if has anything to do with being an INFJ, but I don’t know how to not think about how my actions or choices make another person feel or how they might be perceiving me or how something might affect them. It’s draining. It takes energy. All that thought and awareness of others. It’s why I enjoy the quietness of solitude so much. There’s no worry about others. There’s not additional input to process.

There’s just me, and for the most part, I understand myself, so it’s easy.

I know what I want to eat. I know what I want to wear. I know, mostly, the things I want to do and the things I need to do. I know when things need to get done. I know the scents I like. I know where I want things placed and how I want them organized.

There isn’t the balancing act of accounting for others along with myself and finding compromise for everything.

I feel like I’m rambling with no real direction. It’s the first time I feel I’ve been able to pick a single thread of thought and to let it flow to its completion, untangling it from the rat’s nest of a ball that has become my core. Maybe there wasn’t a real point to the thread other than having a better understanding of why I have craved solitude so much recently. Why it’s important to my sense of stress relief.

I feel like something within myself has been organized and finally put away where it belongs. The inside landscape of my mind slightly less cluttered.

It’s a small step I think, but a step that I’m happy I took. There are other threads, longer threads, more tangled and complicated threads, but I took take of this one single one, so I can eventually, with time, take care of the others, too. I can still figure myself out, and that’s reassuring.

I suppose, for now, I should go. It’s about two hours until Jon lands. I’m showered and fed. There’s not much else to do other than wait but I think I’m done with writing. I’m ok with ending here.

Daily Post 101: Day One In Vegas

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It’s been a while since I’ve written. Surprise, surprise.

I’m in Vegas right now, visiting with my family. Jon will be here later tonight so at the moment it’s just me with Jason, Lio, and Jace.

The morning has been nice so far. I spent most of last night talking with my older brother. We stopped at a game store and rented a few games for us to play as a family once Jon gets here. Zombicide and Geek Out. They seem promising.

I slept fairly well last night. At least I slept deeply. It felt like much-needed sleep. The type of sleep where you don’t worry about having to get up to go to work where the RN will be the one to ask you if a code should be called or not because that totally happened on Friday, which is a story in itself.

It was the type of sleep where you realize you finally don’t have to hold up the rest of the world and you can put all of the burdens on your shoulders down and finally rest. The armor can come off. There aren’t battles for a few days. You can breathe and assess and take stock of where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you plan to go without life raining down bullets or fireballs of destruction on you while you try to do it.

I was worried about being here. I cried while Ox hugged me yesterday morning saying how there was part of me who didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to be here. Mom wouldn’t be here. With the constant demand of work and life, it’s I guess… easy… in a way to forget. You can glaze over the fact that things are different.

Here, there’s no way to hide or pretend. There’s an empty chair during dinner. There’s not the smell of cappuccino in the morning. There’s a voice missing. A hug that isn’t there.

My sister in law has already said how I look so much like mom. I’m worried about that. I’m worried it makes it harder for my brothers. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been here. So much about the house has changed. The kitchen has been remodeled. The floors are hardwood. The garage floor has been redone. The outside has been repainted. But it still has the feel of “home”. It still has the feel that mom should be here, and she’s not. She’s missing. She will always be missing. Her absence will always be noticed and felt and known.

It will always be different and that made leaving hard. I don’t want it to be different. I don’t want to acknowledge the fact any more than I have to. Like with physical therapy, I know this trip was something I had to do, but there was such a part of me that didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be here even though I wanted to see my brothers.

It does hurts but not as much as I thought it would. It’s not soul-crushing. It’s something I’m able to at least breathe through. I’m able to handle it even though there was part of me who thought I wouldn’t be able to.

My sister in law is doing a program with her gym so I’m eating decently. We’ve already shared a bunch of recipes with each other. I had thought my progress with my trainer would be completely blown for this week but it doesn’t seem like it will be that way. I might not do a bunch of working out, but since I wasn’t doing that anyway in Nebraska I don’t really think it will be that awful.

I didn’t go to training last Thursday. I didn’t want to.

I covered an extra shift at the Dodge County clinic in Fremont. I enjoyed it. I worked well with their team. They’ve asked me if I would be ok with coming back in the future to which I answered yes.

The schedule for next month came out before I left. I’m still in Beatrice three days a week. No Cap City swaps, at least not yet. I’m ok with that. I’m happy my schedule is still consistent and that I’m not going to be in a clinic that I don’t like. I’m glad I get to stay with my patients.

I’m working on Friday when I get back. Since all the clinics are so short staffed, they weren’t able to find a replacement for me. It was just going to be my FA and a float RN, the one who asked me if she should call a code for one of our patients.

While I was on my lunch break Friday, my FA came out and had a cigarette with me. I asked her if she wanted me to come in the Friday I get back. I told her I would be in town and I could come in if I was needed.

She said it wasn’t fair of her to ask me to give up more of my vacation when I already got screwed out of the first week I had wanted to take off. She said she believes vacations are important and she wanted me to have my time off.

I told her that I didn’t want to leave her screwed over. I didn’t want to leave my patients screwed. I didn’t want to come back Monday to ashes. I was going to be sitting at home Friday trying to play video games and stressing over the thought of shit hitting the fan by me not being there.

I said if she would prefer to have me at the clinic that I could be there.

She said she would definitely prefer to have me there rather than anyone else, so I’m going in, and honestly, I don’t feel bad or cheated out of anything by going in. They’re going to give me back the PTO I had already been approved for that day and let me work the floor instead.

I get back Wednesday night. I have Thursday to myself. I work one day before having a two-day break to meal prep and get my life back to normal and then I have a three day a week schedule with training on my off days.

I have my doctor’s appointment on the 30th for my insurance discount with work. I can potentially do the dojo membership now that I know what my schedule is. I can also talk to my FA about starting classes because the more I talk to people, the more I go to other clinics, the more I’m on my own at my own clinic, the more I feel like going further with school would be good for me.

I think I’ll want to start with the LPN program because that will give me more options in the beginning rather than having to wait two years to even begin the RN program. It’s something I would like to look into while I’m here on vacation and have the silence and space to research and think about it.

I don’t really know what else to say. I know it’s been so long since I wrote, but honestly, not a lot has happened. I’ve worked. I’ve eaten carbs that I shouldn’t have. I’ve not worked out like I’ve “wanted” to. I’ve been sad a lot for no real reason. I haven’t had alone time to figure out the emotions. I’ve been escaping into Final Fantasy a lot because it’s easier to play a game than to figure out life. Almost all of my professions are level 30. I didn’t put my clothes away until yesterday morning because it hasn’t felt worth it to actually do much of anything. My clothes weren’t killing anything by being in a basket for weeks and no one else cared so what was the point?

I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t like thinking those thoughts. I don’t like having tons of projects around me that are unfinished or un-worked on. Boxes are pilling up again. The kid’s shelves are a mess from when they were here for two weeks. They left without cleaning them up; all of my previous hard work undone. It’s hard to keep doing when it feels like the effort doesn’t matter or that it doesn’t make a difference.

Maybe part of the emotions is being burnt out.

I don’t know.

This may be one of the last times that I write on my Windows Surface. Jon might be buying it from me. I can’t say that I was ever in love with it, but I do have memories of writing on it while at Friendly Confines. It was the keyboard I typed on when I wrote for my first birthday without mom. The first Christmas without her.

It was with me for significant moments and so I do feel like there will be a sense of loss when I give it to my brother. It will be another moment of moving on, moving forward. It’s hard to not feel like forward is “away”. Logically, I know I’m not moving further away from mom, but that’s not what the emotions feel like sometimes.

I am still trying to figure out the “loving through separation” thing. I’ve never been good at long distance relationships. I’m too much of a touch-based person. I want my hugs, damnit. I want to feel the people I love. Which… now that I think about it, isn’t all that true.

I still love my brothers when we’re apart. I still have feelings for Big Bad and my blacksmith. I still love Sir, and Mother Earth even though that’s complicated and confusing. I still love my patients in Orlando and my friends in California.

I love so many people even though they’re not in my daily life. I love them regardless of distance and the time in-between when we talk or see each other.

So why is it so hard for me to grasp the concept that even though mom isn’t physically here, that we can still love each other across the distance that separates us and the time between we see each other?

Mom and I still love each other and Death can’t change that. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to remember that, or feel that during the hard days. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to believe it and for it to not feel like a lie and like I’m all alone sometimes.

I think overall that I’m doing well. I think the sadness and the hurt are things that I’m surviving and working through. I think this trip is what I needed and I’m glad I’m here even though there’s still a part of me who wants to hide in the guest room and cry. It would be a healing cry I think. An accepting cry.

I’m supposed to have a phone call with a former coworker from Orlando. I want to call Chrys and chat with her while I have time to as well. Other than that, there aren’t really plans for the day. Jason and I are thinking about going out to dinner before picking Jon up from the airport.

Aside from that, it’s a chillax day. A quiet day. A good day.