Daily Post 162: A Pretty Big Decision

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So I’m thinking about something… and… it’s a big sort of something. A something I have never done or thought about doing before…

I’m seriously contemplating dropping my Human Anatomy class. That’s after I spent four hours of Thursday night working through study modules for the online part of the textbook, which are assigned by the teacher; modules which covered topics that were NEVER mentioned ANYWHERE in ANY of the material we were told to study.

Infuriated Brain: What the fuck dude? Do you know what I could have done with four hours of my life instead of sitting in front of my computer feeling like a failure where I tried to guess the best I could to answer questions I had no clue about because you specifically told us to skip over those sections? I could have gone to the dojo, which I didn’t do because I prioritized your class above that hour of self-care. I prioritized reading and trying my hardest to study the different foramen and condyles and processes of the skull with instructions saying, “put a piece of pipe cleaner through [insert random foramen here], now flip the skull to an inferior view to see where the pipe cleaner emerges.”

I DON’T HAVE A FUCKING SKULL IN FRONT OF ME TO DO THIS EXERCISE HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN THIS SHIT?!?

There’s no auditory anything. There’s no kinesthetic anything. There’s no structure or direction for this class and even though I have an A in it currently, the mental and emotional strain it has taken me to get through these past three chapters doesn’t feel worth it. I get that this class is hard. In no way should it be THIS hard. I shouldn’t be answering questions right because I bought a $25 dollar anatomy coloring book on my own accord and it just happened to cover information that I was tested on that wasn’t covered in the actual class material.

I’m sacrificing the leadership class I actually want to do. I’m sacrificing personal time. My work performance is being affected because all I can think about while I’m at work is how I’m not studying and how if I don’t study I’m going to fail.

Ox and I talked about it this morning after I woke up sober from drinking last night. Yes. That’s how bad it was. I was to the point where fuck it. I’m drinking because mentally and emotionally I hurt and I’m tired of hurting and being frustrated. I’m tired of feeling like this so I’m going to drink so for a few hours I feel different or at least am ok with the complete suckage that I’ve made my life.

His suggestion was to drop the class. He said it’s just money. It’s not worth all of the stress I’m having to go through. He said I could drop it and try taking it again in a classroom rather than online. He said I have a lot on my plate right now, more than what I probably should have given myself. He said I have no time for me. And aside from myself, Ox is the most affected person. He pulls me up and helps me keep going. He listens to me and wipes away the tears of fury and crushing self-doubt.

I had never thought of dropping the class as an option. And of course, because I’m me, I started crying at the thought of dropping the class because what if everyone thinkings that I’m not good enough; that I am a failure and a fuck up and a disappointment. What then? What do I tell my patients? What do I tell my boss? What do I tell Jon?

Ox assured me that he wouldn’t think of me as a failure which put me on the road to feeling better. If my partner doesn’t think I’m a failure then how much does it really matter if my patients do?

I talked to Jon and asked him what he thought. He said from what I’ve told him he has to agree with Ox, which might have killed a small part of him on the inside to admit to.

He said the structure of the class sounded fucked up. Even his other nursing friends who he’s told about my class thinks it’s fucked up. Jon thinks it would be good for me to try taking the class at a different time via a different avenue.

So that’s two out of three people who assured me they would still love me, respect me, and not think of me as a failure if I go down this road.

The last person I need/want to talk to about this decision is my FA; my boss. I want her opinion. I want to know that she’ll be ok with me trying this again at a later time. After my leadership class. After my training to become a preceptor for the clinic. After being able to enjoy the warmth of summer finally rather than spending every day all day inside crying over a textbook that gives me no clarity or assurance of being able to pass a test that’s full of uncovered material. After potentially competing in my first Muay Thai tournament.

I’ve felt ridiculously better all day at the thought of not having this class hanging over me. It felt like I could breathe again. Doing laundry and meal prepping and making the bed weren’t horrific tasks that chipped away at the minimal study time I could get while the kids are here.

I feel like I’ve already made up my mind and that talking to my FA is more of a formality. “Hey, so this class is killing me on the inside and instead of getting pushed to the point where I set my life on fire and move halfway across the country again, I would prefer to drop this class and focus on the work obligations that I legitimately want to be successful with verses keeping a class I could retake in a method more conducive to my learning styles. Would you be ok with me as an employee and friend if I did that or would that bring into question the quality of my character?”

Because that’s what it ultimately comes down to for me. I do feel this would be the best option for me, but I don’t want my choice to reflect badly on me or the people I care about and who support me. I want them to understand where I’m at and I want to know their perspective of the situation and that they still support me and believe in me and care.

Money isn’t worth my wellbeing. I don’t know why that resonates so deeply within myself, but having my partner say that to me makes me feel… safe? Cared for? Loved?

He more than anyone else sees how much I’m struggling. It doesn’t matter that I have an A. I feel like I’m clinging by my fingertips to the edge of a skyscraper and that at any moment I’m going to fall and not recover and all of the holding on and struggle and effort will be for nothing. I don’t feel secure in the information I’ve retained. I don’t have faith in studying the right material due to the experience with these last assignments. It’s a ticking time-bomb and the longer it goes on the more I’m going to have to give up and miss out on and lose.

The more times I’ll skip the dojo. The more times I won’t cross-stitch. The more times I’ll be short and bitchy at work. The more I’ll be selfish because of feeling like I’m already giving up so much so fuck compromising or caring about others.

That’s not how I want to be. That’s not who or how I truly am. That’s “stress” me. That’s “beyond burnt out but still having to keep going” me. That’s not a fun me and I keep putting myself in these situations and expecting myself to be ok or to magically be able to function without the things I need to recover.

I’m sort of done with putting myself in Suckville. I don’t want to be there. I don’t deserve to be there so before I end up fully there I’m going to talk to my FA and then go to the campus Wednesday and see what can be done.

I feel like this is a pretty big decision. I feel like it’s going to be hard to explain to a lot of people. I also feel like the most important people in my life understand and that’s all that really should matter in the end. I can’t expect everyone to understand. But two of the three people this choice affects the most are in agreeance that dropping my most stressful and least wanted obligation would be a positive direction for me.

So that’s how I’m going to sleep tonight. Lighter. Freer. Calmer. Less stressed.

It’s a nice, stable feeling. I like feeling stable verses tear-stained and failure feeling.

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Letters to Mom 023: I Passed

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Hey mom,

I passed my first test for Human Anatomy. I passed with a 95. Pretty awesome, huh? I bet you’re doing the I told you so dance. I bet you rolled your eyes every time I said, “I’m going to fail this class.”

It hurts. Passing my test sucks. I’m doing well and I want you to be here and you’re not. You’re still dead and I’m still not used to it and I still want things to be the way they were.

I think I’m getting better, though. I’m dealing with the hurt better this time. I’m writing to you sooner. I’m remembering that I can still talk to you even if it is sort of a one-sided conversation.

The hurt isn’t as paralyzing as it has been in the past. I don’t think that it hurts less. I think it’s more that I know what it feels like and so I’m able to function through it better. It’s still going to suck going to work tomorrow and having all of my patients ask me how I did and telling them and knowing that it isn’t you. I can’t have you sitting across from me or going to Moe’s to celebrate with me. And goddammit, I get so frustrated with myself for focusing on what I don’t have anymore.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I’m doing well and I’m trying really hard. I think I’m doing trying for today, though. I think I’m going to go curl up in bed after calling Ox and be sad for a little while.

I know it’s been three years, but hopefully, it’s still ok for me to have sad days and to feel sad over silly things like passing tests.

Thanks for listening to me. And thanks for all of the studying tips and tricks that you taught me growing up. I wouldn’t have passed this first test without them.

I love you, forever and for always.

Daily Post 161: Still Alive

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Things are going well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letters to Mom 022: Three Years Later

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Hey mom,

It’s year three since you died. I still ache. I still hurt. I still miss you. Today started rough. Jon and I have talked twice already. It started out on the cold side and icky and overcast since it’s been raining so much.

Honestly, today started out kind of shitty. But it didn’t stay that way.

Ox got off work and called me. We talked for a little bit. We agreed to go into town for lunch. He drove home and picked me up so we could go in together. That gave me time to shower since I hadn’t done that yet.

The only things I had accomplished with my day before his phone call was waking up only to go back to sleep and eating breakfast bars. I didn’t have much to show for myself and it didn’t feel like I would for the rest of the day. Breathing, sitting, being made my body ache with effort much less actually doing any of the things I thought about.

I did get up and shower though. I started a load of laundry. I put my clothes away. As Ox and I were driving into town to get Chinese I looked up a recipe since Ox had mentioned he really enjoyed the smoked sausage in the jambalaya I made the other night. That led to making a shopping list and going to the grocery store before coming home.

I have a meal I’m looking forward to making for everyone. I switched the laundry and started another load. I’ve washed the spinach so it’s ready to use tonight. I plan to cross stitch in a bit and relax until making supper. I’m taking today off from school work since I’ve been doing really well in that regard so far.

I’ve started taking my nursing classes. Right now I’m doing Human Anatomy. I had a minor freak out Tuesday, wondering if I was doing the right thing and how I was going to retain all of the information, but I’m doing really well. I’m surprised at how much I already know and how easily the rest of the pieces are sticking in my brain.

I think you would be proud of me. I’ve figured out college all on my own this time. I’m moving forward with my life. I don’t know if it’s the right direction. I don’t know where I’ll end up since I don’t really have an end goal, but I still think that you would be happy that I’m doing something with my self, for myself.

It makes me wish we could have conversations. You took all of these classes already. Jon’s taken them already. I would be able to… I don’t know what… be part of that world with you. We’re all in the medical field now, but you’re not here so we can’t talk about it. It sort of sucks. It’s like I figured it out too late or something. I know that’s not true, but there’s a part of me that feels like I missed out on something I’ll never be able to get back. There was an aspect of your life you couldn’t share with me because I wasn’t there yet.

Being back in school is hard, emotionally. I think I’ll be fine with the classes themselves. I’ve figured out how best to study for the one I’m in. But just like with everything else, steps forward are hard. They’re heavy and this step is no different but I think I’m coping better.

I have another flower for you. Another rose to mark what this day means for us. I’m sorry you’re not here. I’m sorry it still hurts. I’m sorry I’m still sad and that I still miss you. I’m sorry I don’t write or talk to you as often as I feel like I should. I know you’re still with me though. I still see you in my dreams sometimes and I can still feel your arms around me, hugging me when it feels like I’m alone and that giving up would be easier than struggling.

Thank you for being with me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my friend and my mentor. Thank you for being my mother.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

Daily Post 160: The Week of Vacation and the Week of Being Back

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Written Saturday March 30th


I suppose now is as good a time as any to try to catch up with my life…

I wrote about the week before my trip. The week where we had the kids when we weren’t expecting to. The week of finishing the Wall of Fame. The week of recertifying my BLS.

It was an alright week. I got a lot taken care of and off the to-do list. I found out a lot of information about school. That week turned into the week of March 17th to the 24th. The week of my vacation to Orlando.

It didn’t start well. It started Monday night. I came home from work and figured out the last of my social obligations. I got dates and times squared away. I got my boarding passes on my phone. I packed. I was ready for my trip and now came the part that sucked. The realization that I would be leaving and this was my last night with Ox for a while.

I crawled into bed with him. There was a little bit of petting. Mild sexiness with light hair pulling. I hadn’t been expecting anything like that but it was nice. What wasn’t nice was when he rolled over, said he would miss me, then instantly fell asleep.

My brain was sort of thrown off by that. No “goodnight”. No going further. No connection happened and in my head, the only thing I could think was even though I was leaving in the early evening the next day, I might as well have already been gone.

Ox had been tired. He had worked all day. And for my part, I had pretty much ignored him as I ironed out the last of my plans when I had gotten home. I felt horribly alone though as he slept peacefully next to me.

I spent most of the night coughing due to the cold I was still fighting off. I spent all of it unable to sleep and crying off and on from the frustration of being unable to sleep even though I had taken Nyquil and feeling like I should have left that night. It didn’t matter that I was still there. It felt like Ox had already said goodbye to me and I was gone.

Since I didn’t sleep those feelings bled over into the morning. They bled all over everything that day. When Ox got off work, we met in Lincoln. The original idea had been to get lunch together before I headed to the airport. I wasn’t hungry due to the emotional discord. Ox wasn’t hungry either. We ended up having what I termed “a driveby goodbye” in a parking lot near the edge of town.

It sucked. I didn’t feel like a wife or girlfriend. I felt like a roommate or a really good friend where it just happened to be convenient to meet up for a few minutes before going away.

I cried on the way to the airport. I listened to music. I thought through my emotions. When I called Ox after parking my car and getting to the terminal we had a pretty good conversation about what was bothering me and why.

He hadn’t realized he had fallen asleep without giving me a goodnight kiss. He hadn’t realized the distance of not being close and connective would affect me so much. He’s an INTJ. I’m an INFJ. While we are extremely similar, we are still different in significant ways and miscommunication still happens.

I’m glad we were able to talk about the situation and to share our different perspectives. It helped make the trip more doable. When I got on the plan I didn’t feel as alone as I had for the past 12 hours. It didn’t feel like my whole vacation was ruined before it started. I no longer had anxiety at the thought of coming home and still having this unresolved issue between us.

I stitched for a while listening to music while I waited for my flight to begin boarding. The flight itself was uneventful. Take off still sucked, but I made it to Dallas fine. I listened to my new leadership book for most of the trip. There was a Moe’s at the Dallas airport. I bought nachos and ate them while talking to Jon since I had time to kill before getting on my last flight of the day. I told Jon how it was silly things like that, missing mom and wishing she was with me and suddenly being at one of the places that was “our place”, that made it feel like she was and is still with me.

The last leg of the journey was, again, uneventful. I made it into Orlando. I figured out the hassle of getting a rental car. I had realized while I was in Dallas I had never received a confirmation email about my rental car… No beuno…

Once I landed I went to the rental car section in the air port. I ended up being able to get a car… minivan actually, and by minivan, I mean a battle tank of death. x.x

It was huge. So much bigger than my tiny little Mazda 2. It was the only thing that Alamo had for rent though, and all of the other places that were open at 1:30 am had crazy long lines. I didn’t want to “shop around” only to find out that their rates were higher, or they had no cars available. I wasn’t going to be charged mileage for the rental with Alamo and they threw in a tank of gas, so I didn’t have to worry about filling up the car before bringing it back. For thinking that I wasn’t going to have a car at all, I bit the bullet, signed the rental agreement, then continued on my way with the ability to actually get to the places I needed and wanted to go.

I made it to the Waffle House I used to go to and had a 2am breakfast with Warren #1. We chatted for a while. He’s still unemployed. He’s still with his girlfriend. He’s looking at going back to school. It was good to see him and to get a hug from him. I still won’t be seeing any money from him any time soon.

From there, I drove to Mother Earth’s house. We curled up in bed and talked for a while before falling asleep. I had a few coughing fits during the night but luckily was able to eventually sleep more than I had the night before.

Mother Earth got up and went to work. Sir came in and let me know he had ordered breakfast for me. I ate it when it arrived before finally getting the motivation to shower and start my day.

I went to my old dojo and hung out with my sensies for a while. It was during the middle of the day, but even still, it was weird having literally no one else in the dojo. Come to find out, it was spring break for Florida.

After the dojo, I drove up to Daytona to spend the evening with Jon. We went to a sushi buffet which was pretty awesome. Very good food and good company. After dinner, we went down to the beach. I got to take pictures of the ocean and a few of us together. I got to feel the cool breeze on my skin and smell the salt in the air. It was soothing to my soul. We saw Captain Marvel at a theater down there. Thankfully I had missed bike week the week before. Small mercies.

It was an extremely good movie and it was fantastic being able to spend time with my brother. We went back to his apartment where he let me sleep in his bed while he took the couch. He stayed in the room playing Starcraft for a bit, but I honestly don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember him leaving the room. I don’t remember anything until I was waking up at 8:30 in the moring; 30 minutes after the time we had agreed to wake up at.

I didn’t mind. It was the first night where I had gotten a full night of sleep and it had been amazing. There’s something to be said for falling alseep surrounded by scents that are familiar and register in your brain as “home” or “safe”. Maybe it’s weird, but being in my brother’s room was like being home; a slightly different home than the one associated with mom, but I spent 20 years growing up with my brother. All of the stress and worry about getting to Orlando and being to places on time… none of that really mattered while I was in his apartment. I could finally start letting things go and relaxing and trying to enjoy my vacation from work. I could feel the tension within my slowly melting away as I laid in his bed thinking back over my life and the most recent year of being in Nebraska.

Eventually, both he and I were awake. We drove down to the Waffle House where we had gotten breakfast for the last time before I left to move to Nebraska. We still missed the turn, just like last time, and had to do a u-turn to get into the parking lot. I guess somethings don’t change. XD

It was a good breakfast and I gave zero fucks about all of the carbs I was consuming or had consumed the night before. I wasn’t going to let food mess with my vacation. I was going to eat what I wanted with who I wanted when I wanted and I would deal with the consequences when I got back home and started working out again.

When we were done eating and had finished our coffee, Jon walked back out to the cars. He told me about an interview he was going to have. We chatted for a bit longer about the clinical he was about to go to. In the end, we hugged and parted ways with the promise to see each other again on Saturday.

It was Thursday already with my itinerary having me leave Saturday evening. I had an appointment at 3pm to see my therapist. It was only 10 or 11. I didn’t have anything planned for this gap of time that I found myself with. Thinking over all of my options, I decided to go to Travel Company to look at a new pair of Vibrams since I didn’t like the ones I had gotten last year. I had run the Warrior Dash in them, but compared to the other styles I had in the past, they didn’t live up to my expectations; the woes of ordering online.

Well, not this time. I got to walk around the store while talking to Ox and testing out a new pair. The sales representative was extremely kind and helpful. I walked out with the new pair along with a new Buff bandana. I found a 24-hour fitness center and went and worked out, testing the shoes and making sure they were a good fit. I even got to shower afterwards. Woo. It was an extremely nice facility and it was a nice workout. I felt good about myself for having done it.

I made it to my appointment on time and it was fantastic to see my therapist again. She’s retiring at the end of March, so I’m sure it’s happened by now. We got to talk about my leadership course and all sorts of things during the hour we had together. It was nice being able to tell her that I feel like things in my life are going well. I’ve been out of crisis mode for a while. I’ve adjusted fairly well to Nebraska. I’ve made it through winter. Even with the hiccups Ox and I still experience, we have open communication and we work through our issues. There were a lot of tears, but they were good tears an I’m glad I had them.

Once therapy was over, I met with Nicole for sushi. We talked for a while then walked over to the bar we frequented and had a drink. I got to see my favorite bartender who also happens to be named Jen. Another friend, a former student, met up with us eventually. It took her longer to get there than anticipated and that led to a bit of discord with Mother Earth, but we recovered from it.

Once social time was done, I headed back to Mother Earth’s home. I spent some time with Sir and her before going to sleep. The next day I had breakfast with Mrs. Gwen. She and I went through the Star Learning program together for DaVita together and we’ve stayed in touch since the completion of our training. We got to catch up on the changes in our lives. After about three hours with her, I came back to spend the rest of the day with Mother Earth and one of her close friends. We got lunch at a Mexican resturant. I had two amazing Long Island Ice Teas. From there we went drunk thrift shopping.

I eventually found a dress that I really liked. I tried it on. It fits well. I look nice in it. Queue emotional breakdown where I feel like it’s pointless to buy it or to look pretty because it doesn’t matter if I dress nice or girly or sexy or any of that. Being attractive doesn’t make me more attractive to my partner so why bother or put in the energy to do it.

Drunk me needed a moment I guess.

Mother Earth and I talked about it. Or rather, I cried about it in the changing room while she sat next to me and listened. I did end up buying the dress. I felt empty after crying. I knew all of it wasn’t out of my system yet and so I was sort of more flatlined than anything, waiting for the rest of it to feel like it was the right time to come to the surface. It didn’t seem to ruin the day, though.

We went to my sports bar for dinner even though I had plans to go there for lunch the next day. We were in the area and no one else had objections to going. We eventually ended up back home. More tears. More figuring things out. More letting go and admitting how I still feel alone a lot of the time because mom isn’t here.

I guess my brain thought crying about everything in my life seemed like a pretty good way to spend my vacation…

I felt extremely better after that cry though. Cleaner. Like everything I had been ignoring and bottling up and limping through my days with had finally gotten the time and attention that it needed. I slept well that night.

The next day was the day I left to go back to Nebraska. I spent the morning having breakfast with the house. Sir and I didn’t get much time together, but I enjoyed the little bit we did have. Mother Earth and I said goodbye, though, for me, it was “I’ll see you later”. It’s how I cope with goodbyes. It’s not the end. I can see these people again at some point even if it’s not physically in this world. That’s what I need to believe in order to be ok, so that’s what I believe.

I drove down to Kissimmee to pick up my dad. We had a really good conversation as we drove back to Orlando to meet up with Jon. Once we were all together we had a fantastic lunch after which we proceeded to stand outside and chat for about another hour. We said our fairwells and I headed down to the airport to return the rental car and to make my way through TSA.

The plane ride back home was long, but most of that might have been due to tiredness and wanting to be home. I survived TSA and the PTSD associated with the take-off experience. I made it off the plane and back to the long term parking lot where I found my car without issue. It even started up when I turned the key. Wooo!

The trip home sucked. It was dark outside. It was sort of rainy. There was a ton of traffic even though it was 11pm at night. It got better for a while once I made it out of the Omaha area, but then it started heavily raining.

Right Brain: Fuck my life… can I just please make it home…

I did, in fact, make it home. Ox was awake and let me cry in his arms as he hugged me on the front porch; reassuring me that I was safe and that I was home and that it was ok. I didn’t even bother bringing my bags in from the car.

I was supposed to have Monday off, but that changed. I only had Sunday to regroup and get ready for the coming week. Sunday, while the kids were here… While I’m burnt out from all of my traveling and socializing.

I brought my bags in. I unpacked. I got all of my clothes washed from the trip. I took care of my meal prep. I even finished the cross stitch I have been working on for a while now.

It was a good trip, but I was glad to be home and though Sunday was busy, it was a quiet busy and I got a decent amount of downtime in. At least enough to make Monday not feel like a disaster of an obligation. I think Sunday was the first day where I found a kickboxing app for my phone. I got to try that out. It was a decent workout. I’m also still really liking my new Vibrams.

Monday was busy. The nephrologist rounded, so my FA was with him most of the time. The workday finished up and I came home and did kickboxing again. I’m working through the “beginner” program. They’re only 10-minute workouts, so I do whatever day I’m on twice; once for each side. I also don’t rest very much during the rest intervals, so instead of 30-second rounds, I’m doing closer to 45 to 50-second rounds. It’s been working for me. I wish the app was better about tracking metrics, but for what it is, it’s nice.

I fought with the scanner for a while after working out, trying to get a picture scanned since I wanted to color one of the pages in a coloring book Ox got me a while ago. I didn’t have fabric to cross stitch so coloring seemed like the thing to do. That took WAAAAAYYY longer than it should have, but we got it figured out, largely in part thanks to Ox realizing that there are three networks in the house and my computer was on a different network form the printer/scanner. I think it would have been easier / less frustrating if Mama Ox hadn’t been standing behind me the whole time trying to tell me what to do to get things working.

Right Brain: Since you hardly know how to run your laptop, I’m pretty sure I’m more qualified to figure this out without your help than with it. >.<;

Sadly, getting the page scanned was only one issue of many I had to figure out. Once I had the page on my computer, I “found” software for Photoshop. That wasn’t all that hard actually but when you grew up in the era of Kazza and torrent downloading it’s not all that hard to find what you’re looking for.

Once I had software I then had to spend 30 minutes trying to find the cord for my tablet so I could use it for coloring. After finding a cord I to fight with my tablet to get the right drivers installed so it would function properly.

Once all of that was said and done I only got to color for about 30 minutes or so. It was fun though. I enjoyed the feeling of using my tablet again and filling in the lines with color. It was relaxing and a nice way to decompress from the day.

Tuesday was a productive day. I did a lot of mental work. I updated my calendar. I was able to worm my way out of the one day I was scheduled to work at the clinic I don’t like by conveniently having one of my leadership classes scheduled for the same day.

Right Brain: Oh darn. I can’t cover the shift…

I got through the “in” pile on my desk that has been building up. Ox and I met up in Lincoln. I tried going to a Target since I’ve wanted new panties for a while and they’re the only place that I can find that sells the ones I want. The store I went to didn’t have them in stock though. Lame.

From there I went to Micheal’s in the hopes of getting more cross stitch fabric. That was a no go… I wasn’t on a very good streak at that point for scratching stuff off the to-do list.

Ox and I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. He’s been wanting to take me there for a while. It was a good lunch. I would go back. After eating we went across the lot to a Hobby Lobby. I bought a rose for mom while we were there. I also picked up some fabric even though it wasn’t the type I wanted. I also found supplies to make the needle kit I’ve been thinking about, so overall it was a good stop. I got a lot more accomplished there then I was expecting to.

We stopped at Walmart before heading home so I could get the items I needed to make the cheesy taco skillet everyone likes. That meant it was a fairly short trip. They happened to have a display of Bang in the center aisle, so we got that taken take of as well while we were out. When we got home we put the groceries away and I began assembling the items we had gotten at Hobby Lobby to make my new cross stitch needle kit.

I love it so far. I’ve been stitching a fair amount this week and have gotten used to the new, larger kit. I can keep my markers and scissors in it comfortably without feeling like I’m cramming things into it. The larger magnate I placed on the top lid has more than enough space for all of the needles I have. There are even leftover compartments to keep the tails of threads I cut off, so I don’t have to worry about keeping a separate baggie somewhere. It’s sturdy and stable and I’m really liking it. I think I can label that project as successful. : 3

So Tuesday ended with me starting a new cross stitch project. It’s another fairy. I’m using pinks this time. No real reason for it I don’t think. I’m liking the colors so far though. They make my brain happy.

Wednesday was an alright day at work. The nurse practitioner rounded along with the dietitian so it was another day of people being on the floor. We made it through it. Nothing super crazy happened. I found out from a patient that New Tech has been accepted to the LPN program. I mentioned that to my FA since that’s something she needs to know. If both of us techs are in school and unable to cover shifts on a specific day due to being at school… that’s sort of an issue with us opening back to six days a week again.

My FA reached out to Net Tech. I’m not sure what the result of that was or is. My FA said she wasn’t going to tell me to not go to school and that if need be they would have someone float in for whatever day couldn’t be covered. She said we would figure it out. I’m appreciative of her support.

I worked out when I got home, though I didn’t do it on Tuesday. Wednesday was the day of 100 modified push-ups… I was and still am proud of myself. Even if they were modified, I did 100 of them. After work even. Go me.

Thursday I started the day by talking to Jon. It was a good conversation. I showered. I battle planned out the day. I continued the quest to find panties. The first Target didn’t have the size I wanted. I drove over the location Ox and I agreed to meet up at. That Target didn’t have them either. Arg…

We drove up to my new sports bar here in Nebraska and had lunch. I enjoyed the wings. They made them more saucey for me. : 3

We went to the mall so I could find a bra to go with the dress I had bought in Orlando. It was the first time Ox had seen the dress. I had to go strapless for the bra style. Not my favorite or preferred style, but even with just a little bit of strap showing, it throws off the whole look of the dress.

That stop took the longest and I had figured it would. It’s one of the reasons I hate “shopping”; clothes shopping specifically. You have to try things on and compare and does it look right and blah blah blah. I really just want to be home curled up with the cats. >.<;

I’m glad I found something that works with the dress, though. Maybe one day soon I’ll actually wear it. XD

With the most nebulous part of the trip taken care of, we went down to a cookie store that was near where we had parked the car. My reward for doing something I didn’t want to do and Ox’s reward for being amazing and sitting on the bench waiting for me while I tried things one. We hopped across the street to send off a package for Papa Ox while we were in town. Ox drove me over to campus so I could pick up my textbooks for the class that starts on Monday. That was pretty expensive.

I had been talking to Finacial Aid a lot that morning. The end result; I found out that I’m most likely paying for this current class out of pocket since I’m technically not accepted into a program of study and therefore not eligible for aid. It’s too late for me to apply as an academic transfer student like they suggested I do. I was prepared to pay for this class on my own, so it’s not a huge huge deal. Just would have been nice to have gotten some sort of help with it.

The campus was the last stop on the list of chores. Ox and I headed home. I cooked the taco skillet for dinner. We tried going to sleep early. At 9:30 I gave up and took a Benadryl.

Work Friday was alright. There were four of us on the floor. Float RN had a two hour PDR after change over. I eventually got to have lunch at 12:30. The end of the day went fine so I don’t know why I felt so overwhelmed and frazzled once the day was done. I had planned to stop by the Beatrice campus to turn in the last bit of paperwork for my program; copies of my certifications and TB test results. I had planned to go to the dojo. None of that happened, though. I came home. Ox and I ate in the kitchen, away from his parents. I didn’t even cross stitch that night.

I took a Benadryl again to make sure I slept and even with that I kept waking up every few hours. I didn’t work out Friday night. I didn’t shower. I tried shutting out the world and was only mildly successful with it and I don’t even think it did much good.

Saturday morning started mildly rough. Maybe frustrating… I’m not sure. It’s been cloudy the past two days and I haven’t been taking my vitamin D like I was before my trip. I think I’m also more “peopled” out that I consciously realized. Add to that, the morning starting with Mama Ox changing how the day was supposed to go down in my head…

Right Brain: I give up. The day is a lost cause… I am defeated before I begin.

Ox was and is still being extremely supportive of me. He let me write this morning. He didn’t pressure me to have breakfast with the family. We took the cats to the vet and he touched me the whole time; softly, gently petting my ankles as I held one of the cats in my lap, my feet resting on top of the container we can carted all three of them to the vet in.

Ox is letting me continue to write and has already said the rest of the day can legitimately be a “rest” day. We don’t have to do anything. We both can stay in the room. I can stitch and watch my new show, cuddled up next to him while he games. We can finish everything tomorrow and just relax today.

I’m totally ok with that thought right now. I’m going to go heat up leftovers for lunch and then sit in my corner with my new fairy cross stitch and my new needle kit. I’m going to chill for today. I might workout. I might do other things, but for the rest of the day there are no obligations and that feels nice.

Daily Post 159: The Week Of Everything Changing

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Written Sunday, March 10th
Edited Saturday, March 30th


Alright. Here we go.

I’ve known for about 10 minutes now that everything for my entire next week has changed and this is me trying to figure out how to get all of the millions of things I still need to get accomplished accomplished.

The change: The kids are not going back to their mom’s tomorrow. It’s spring break. She told both Lil’ Ox and Ornery Ox that they would not be staying with us this coming week. They would be going home to her. Not so anymore. She contacted Mama Ox and said the kids could stay until Friday evening.

I guess for most people that wouldn’t be a big deal. As an introvert that throws a massive giant wrench into everything in my life. Not just everything. EVERYTHING. Yes. A capital everything.

Right Brain: There’s going to be two additional people in the house to think about, plan around, and interact with. I need more than 24-hour notice for this shit. I need like a month’s worth of advanced notice. At least two-week notice. Two weeks is at least professional. How the hell am I supposed to just magically function when all of the solitude and quiet time I had been looking forward to has just been snatched from me? Blindsided. Yeah. I’m pretty sure that’s what this is because you told the kids it wasn’t going to happen, but oh look. Now it’s happening. This thing, this situation had a snowball’s chance in hell… I didn’t plan for this because it wasn’t an option. What the fuck? Fuck you, Universe.

Ok… Now that that’s out of my system…

This is where I get to practice Change Mastery from my first leadership book, I suppose. I know my initial internal tension to this situation is purely spurred by a sense of self-preservation and the threat that this change is going to interfere with all of the things I had planned to get done this week. To prove to myself that I can still get everything accomplished I’m going to write out my upcoming days. With a clearer view of my obligations, I’ll be better able to see how to handle my time.

Theoretical Monday: Wake up early for work. Survive work. Make sure to take pictures of patients for Wall of Fame. Potentially stay a bit late to start piecing things together, or work on piecing things together during my breaks. Come home. Put images of patients into .psd files so the pictures can be printed. Create .jpg files of images and put them on a flash drive so I can take them into town with me for printing. Make grocery list. Find a tailor shop that would be willing to do the stitching for the curtains needed for the Wall of Fame. Cook taco skillet for dinner. Go to sleep.

Actual Monday: Mostly successful. Woo.

Theoretical Tuesday: Potentially get curtains created. Go to campus to talk to Financial Aid about my award statement. Get pictures printed. Meet with Ox for lunch. Go to Wells Fargo for Dart account number. Do grocery shopping. Make sure to pick up a black poster board for the Wall of Fame (maybe two to be safe). Come home. Put groceries away. Make sure pictures are in the car so I can take them to work with me. Print out template of film cell of picture borders. Potentially cut borders for pictures from black poster board (might save for Thursday depending on time). Watch CPR class video. Print out certificate of completion to take to class on Thursday. Cook spaghetti for dinner. Go to bed early for work. I think that’s it for this day…

Actual Tuesday: Forgot patient information at work. Drove to Beatrice to retrieve information. Went to Beatrice campus to talk to Financial Aid. Did shopping in Beatrice instead of in Lincoln with Ox. Completed CPR video. No progress on curtain making. Files completed for pictures. Plans to print them at work Wednesday with FA’s printer and picture paper.

Theoretical Wednesday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if the tank is low enough. Work on Wall of Fame during breaks. Stay late as needed to finish loose ends. Begin typing up essay for entry submission. Go home. Brisket for dinner (make sure Ox knows cooking instructions). Eat. Go to bed.

Actual Wednesday: Pictures printed. CVC packs made. Worked on pictures at home. No brisket for dinner. Can’t remember what it was changed to.

Theoretical Thursday: If unable to finish CPR video on Tuesday, finish Thursday morning. Go to work if needed to finish Wall of Fame. Come home. Eat early-ish dinner (Mama Ox will be cooking for the family). Go to CPR class. Get recertified like a bawce. Come home. Go to bed.

Actual Thursday: Worked on Wall of Fame stuff for a majority of the day at home. Figured out the curtains myself. Passed CPR class that night.

Theoretical Friday: Go to work. Survive. Potentially mix acid if unable to do so Wednesday. Complete Wall of Fame if needed. Submit entry for Wall of Fame if not already submitted. Go home (blessed silence). Burgers for dinner. Hot chocolate with peppermint Smirnoff as a reward for being a badass.

Actual Friday: Mixed acid. Completed Wall of Fame. Submitted entry.

With how back and forth I’m going to be between Beatrice and Lincoln it doesn’t really make sense to get a hotel room on any of the days the kids are here. Both Ox and Mama Ox have offered to help with the cost of getting rooms since they know I have a hard time sleeping while the kids are here and I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Nothing on my week’s overview accounts for wanting to make progress on my second leadership book. There’s no time allotted for personal time or decompression. No cross-stitching. Just wake up, go, sleep, wake up, go, sleep…

Ox has already explained to the kids that kick out time for the bedroom game systems is 7 pm, so I’ll be able to have a little bit of time “alone”. It might not be a true alone but I’m grateful that the family is pulling together to make sure that everyone is cared for and thought of, including me.

We’ve already sat down as a family, kids included and figured out the meals, which means my next step after this writing is making the shopping list. That was the biggest hurdle this past week; not knowing what to cook for dinners because no one gave me input on what they wanted so grocery shopping didn’t really happen. It was haphazard and sort of sucked for that part of my brain that thrives on structure and plans.

I need to print out or write down the information for my Finacial Aid meeting. I can save that for another day, though. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen and when. There’s more acceptance to the change now that a bit of time has passed. It’s not the awful change my poor little introverted brain thought it would be. Most of the days I’m going to be out of the house, and there’s the evening where I’ll have quiet time to look forward to. I can count on that time. My light at the end of my days.

We’ll see how it goes, but for now, at least I have a battle plan figured out so I can flex and change as life does. Go me. Let’s do this.


I survived the week of the 11th – 16th. I didn’t have a very strong sense of accomplishment when the Wall of Fame was completed. Most likely because my FA ended up helping me because she didn’t think it would get done on time, so things weren’t completed the way I wanted them to be. Quality is in the details, and some of the details were different than what I wanted as the designer. It’s over though. I don’t have to stress over it anymore and the patients love it. I’ve seen a few other entries for our region so I doubt we will win, but I like our wall and I guess in the end that’s all that matters.

I got the clinic to a good place since I had my vacation to Orlando the following week. I didn’t want to leave with things needing to be done and I got all of that accomplished along with the Wall of Fame project. I think I handled the week decently for what I was given.

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.