Daily Post 087: Kittens Make Everything Better

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Today was a day. Most of it sucked but there were moments of awesomeness that I feel I do need to put into writing so I can appreciate them after I’ve slept.

It started by waking up this morning. I didn’t sleep well last night so I woke up tired. It started with remembering that today was “The Day”. The day the schedule changed at work. The day that was full of new and unknown. It was the day I wasn’t looking forward to and I spent most of the morning mildly dreading the moment where I would have to get into my car and drive myself towards what I knew would be structured chaos.

It’s also the start of “The Week”. The week where I get back on top of my health goals. It’s the Monday where I start tracking what I eat and watching my carbs and counting my protein. It was the first morning of eating my breakfast rice. I want to modify it a bit next week but overall it wasn’t bad. I had my Bang energy drink along with my decongestant pill. I had my cigarette with Ox.

I was going to survive today. And with that mentality, I trudged to my car and drove through the dark to work.

I never realized how bright the moon can be until I moved to Nebraska. It’s just past the full moon so it’s still fairly large. Large enough to make the 4am darkness not feel so dark.

I made it to work at my normal time, pulling into the parking lot at the same moment my FA did. We both went into the clinic where an A-Level alarm was going off for our water system…

Not an ok start to my day, Universe. Thanks…

The alarm was for water temperature which is a big deal because the water system itself is ridiculously expensive and sensitive. If the water gets too hot things can break or not function or deteriorate too much… it’s just bad juju.

We ended up getting that sorted out but at the cost of time. Instead of being able to walk into work and just do my thing we had to wait roughly 20 minutes before being able to really move forward with things. We recovered, thankfully, but then patients started showing up. Of course one of the first ones ended up being late and running into other people’s time. A few other patients had problems with their accesses… By the time everyone was on I was ready for a break from the floor.

I guess it was noticeable because Mrs. K asked me if I was ok. I said I was tired and homesick, which is now my secret way of admitting to grieving. It’s easier to say “I’m homesick” than to explain that I miss my mom and that mom was always “home” and that I just really want to hear her voice or feel her hug me one more time.

Mrs. K said that if there was anything she could do to let her know. She also took that moment to let me know that she enjoyed working with me. She said that I’m a hard worker.

It made me feel good because the last time we worked together I felt like I didn’t hold my own. I felt like she did way more than me and that she must think I’m a slacker. Hearing her words helped a little, but not enough to make me not dread the coming change over.

I took my morning break, eating one of my almond bars. All too soon I had to go back to the floor.

Change over was rough. Mentally. Physically. By the time our last patient showed up, our super non-compliant one, I was done. I didn’t have it in me to chit-chat with him and pretend to be cheerful. I just wanted to do my job and go have lunch because I was starving.

Mrs. K came over and said I was awesome. I had made sure all of the machines were set and all of the documentation was caught up because that’s another big part of my job. While she was nearby I asked if I could request a huge favor. I asked if she could initiate the treatment for Mr. Non-compliance.

She said she would; that she didn’t mind. It allowed me a break from everyone. It let me catch up on all of the PCT tasks I hadn’t been able to get around to. When she asked if she could go to lunch first I didn’t mind. When I went to lunch I had my chef salad and messaged Sir since I had an email regarding him.

That led to a conversation that didn’t help my day. I don’t want to go into details. I really, really don’t. At the same time, this is something frustrating that I need to write about.

I’m not going to let my blog, my dairy, create more drama in my life than it already has. I say and write what I write. While the meaning to me may be clear in the moment of my writing, I have often gone back and reread my own posts and have seen first hand how words can be confusing or seem as if something else was meant or implied.

So… Just for clarification; when I said I was done with Orlando, I meant I was done with the tasks I still needed to take care of. Things like getting off the lease or switching over the internet account or getting my stuff from Warren. Things like figuring out why my CPR certification wasn’t in my teammate file or contacting my old FA. My “to-do” list no longer has anything regarding Orlando on it, so, in my mind, that means I’m done with Orlando.

I’m not done with the people there. I’m not never visiting. I don’t think the state should go burn in hell and everyone along with it. But, in a way, I am done, so that’s what I said in my post.

And just like with the Orlando section of my to-do list, I’m done writing about this moment in my day. I’ve written about it. I’ve acknowledged it. There’s nothing further I wish to say about it on here. I feel like anything more would be petty on my part, not that I don’t feel like it’s already slightly petty but I don’t know what to do.

This blog is supposed to by my spot. My area. I’m supposed to be able to write freely here about whatever I want, however I want. I don’t want to feel like I can’t because other people react to it in whatever way they do.

I hate how I feel like I have to edit the one area of my life that I still have as an emotional outlet. I don’t have the dojo. I don’t have my mom. Let me have my blog.

The rest of the day was itself. It didn’t get better. It didn’t really get worse either. It tried to be on par with an average day at my Orlando clinic and it almost succeeded. Almost.

I racked up 6.2 miles on my Fitbit with over 4000 calories burned. I’ve started wearing it again to get a feel for an average day. It’s more information I can take to my trainer tomorrow.

I had thought to workout after work, but those plans quickly faded early in the day. The only thing I wanted was to be alone, so even the thought of going home made me want to break down and cry in my car.

Jon had tried calling me during the day, so once I was off the clock and in my car giving myself a high five for not actually breaking down, I called him back.

We chatted for a while. It felt good to bitch about my day to someone who understands. He got to tell me about his day and how he’s doing in school. It helped me feel more ok about going home. More like I could do it.

When I got home Ox was waiting on the front porch. I like it when I come home like that. The first thing I see is him. I get a hug before I even get inside the house. I’m able to decompress outside before crossing the threshold. None of the badness can follow me inside. It’s not allowed to.

We stayed outside for a while, me explaining my day and all of the frustrations that went with it. He listened, never making me feel bad or that I was blowing things out of proportion. I know a lot of today’s overwhelm comes from being tired, but it was still a rough day regardless of that fact.

Eventually, we went inside the house. I had two 1/4 burger patties. I’m still about 2000 calories under so there’s that going for me.

I’m tired. I’m fed. I have training in 12 hours. I’ve been approved to work at the clinic tomorrow by myself so I can start tackling the NFACT training I want to do. That means I’ll get a bit of overtime this week.

I got my paycheck figured out today. At least partially. so there’s that.

I did well today. Even if it was a lame day, I did well.

Even Mr. Non-compliance wasn’t all that bad. He told me he was talking with my FA and mentioned how he really liked me because I was kind and sweet and how my FA said that she really liked me, too. That I’m a good worker and she’s glad to have me on the team.

There were good moments in my day. I got to talk to two people who matter to me, even if it was only via the phone. I got to come home to a safe place, even if it doesn’t always feel safe from an introverted standpoint.

I don’t want to go to sleep thinking today sucked when it really didn’t, so I’m not going to.

Today was rough, and I survived. The schedule won’t be as new on Wednesday and I’ve set the clinic how I want it prepped. No other techs will need to be at the clinic from this point on so I won’t have to rely on someone else to do things the way I want them done. I’ll know what I’m walking into. Hopefully, on Wednesday there won’t be an A-Level alarm going off so the day can start properly. Normally. Smoothly.

Today was a start. A rough one, but any start is better than no start.

Oh… and kittens… because kittens make everything better.

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Daily Post 082: Recap Attempt #2

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Hey mom,

I didn’t start crying when I typed that. Go me.

I want to finish telling you about my week since I wasn’t able to finish it last night. I was crying through most of my writing so when the internet crapped out on me I figured it was the Universe saying that I had had enough for the day.

But there’s still so much that’s happened and a lot of it is really good and I really need to tell you about the good stuff.

 


 

Friday – April 6th

Friday was another day where I worked. I was pretty sick and I knew working was going to suck. I also knew it was a shorter day than if I had been in Orlando and that I would tough it out.

I ended up getting a text message from my new FA. She needed me to update some of my personal information in the company’s system, specifically my address, because she was having issues moving me over from Orlando to Beatrice. While we were texting she said I was approved for the Step Up program which will be another boost to my wage.

That’s three raises within a month, mom.

FA: You are a FANTASTIC addition to our team and I want to make sure we do everything possible to show you how much we are so glad to have you! ūüôā

I’m doing good. It’s not just BS inside of my head. I’m excelling and I’m actually getting compensation for it. I might be able to break that $15 mark that has been haunting me. I make less than when I started teaching at Full Sail still. Because I make less I’m failing; taking steps backward in Life.

I save lives every day I work and yet I’m failing.

I know that’s not a healthy way to look at it, but if I could just make what I started at I would feel like I’m at least back at square one. I would feel like I’m out of some intangible hole of darkness that is eroding away the success of my life.

I’m close to being there. So close. And I’ve earned it. It wasn’t handed to me.

I guess that’s what makes it so… vindicating. As a first-year tech I “shouldn’t” have gotten a raise during my yearly review, but I did because my FA thought I did amazing. I passed my national certification because I studied and proved that I knew what I needed to know. I’m approved for the 12-month increase in this program because I’m a competent technician who meets the program’s requirements.

I got myself here. I’ve earned these things and I’ve earned them because you raised me to be who I am. These accomplishments are ours, mom, not just mine and I’m so happy that I can tell you about them. I’m glad that I achieved them even though you died. I’m glad I can say that I’m doing well and it’s not just words or lies or half-truths.

They’re full truths.

The day at work was still brutal, but it wasn’t as bad after getting the messages from my FA.

Ox got his kids for the weekend so I was bombarded by an eight-year-old when I got home from work. You would love her. She’s adorable. I wish you were here to tell me how to be a parent. I wish I knew how you did it when you were tired from work and wanted to be alone. I wish you were here to tell me that I’m doing well. All I can do is try to be a parent like you were to me. You are my example, mom, and I feel pretty lucky to have had you for as long as I did.

I didn’t sleep well that night. Things didn’t feel right between Ox and I because of the money issue. He said everything that everyone else has said. “I’m sorry.” “I’ll pay you back.” “I’m not like the rest of them.”

He said everything I didn’t want to hear which instigated the feelings of “not ok-ness”. I ended up sleeping on the couch for most of the night and only part of that had to do with being sick. I needed the space. At the time I didn’t know how long it would take to come to terms with our situation. All I knew was that I wasn’t ok and I needed to be alone to figure it out.


Saturday – April 7th

I worked again. I was still sick but not as much as I was the previous day. The morning was rough because things still didn’t feel ok between Ox and I. We still had our cigarette together. He still hugged me before I went to work. I wanted to magically fix things to be the way they were before he asked me for the money, but I couldn’t. I had to go to work wanting to say more but not knowing how to.

It was a short day at work, so all I had to do was survive, which I did.

I messaged Warren to see if he had had a chance to take care of the internet account. Not surprisingly, I didn’t get a message back from him.

I also found out that the work schedule had changed and that I didn’t have Monday off like I had thought. No. I had to work Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Four days in a row.

I was glad I found out about the change. I also realized I was sort of fucked on the introvert side of things. The kids were going to be leaving Monday morning so I wouldn’t have any time to recover or prep for the coming week. I was going to have to hobble through the week using duct tape and super glue and hope that things got better not only with my sickness, but with Ox and me, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen unless I talked to him, which I wasn’t ready for.

After surviving work, I went home and celebrated… I need a code name for Ox’s daughter still… but anyway, I celebrated her birthday. She turned eight. That was a bright moment in the day even though I was tired.

I went to sleep early that night still feeling disconnected from Ox.


 

Sunday – April 8th

I had Sunday off, thankfully. I spent most of the day sleeping and trying to feel better for the four days ahead of me. I messaged Warren again in the morning asking him to please reply to me. By the evening I still hadn’t heard from him so I sent another message.

Me: Dude. I get being busy and shit but this is stupid. All I want is to know what’s going on since I’m still getting emails from Spectrum.

Maybe that wasn’t the best way for me to handle the situation, but I had pretty much had it with feeling disrespected and ignored. I know from having lived with him for over a year that he’s glued to his phone and that he’d seen my messages. I know you would be on my side with this, mom. He’s being a jerk and that would sadden you. Maybe you would be able to talk sense into him if you were still here.

I got to text with my blacksmith and Big Bad a bit on Sunday, too. I miss both of them but I also enjoy the life that I have here.

I want the future that’s here and that makes things painful. The tentative plans at the moment are for me to visit Jason and Jon towards the end of August. If I visit Orlando I will want to visit my old clinic. I will want to see Nicole and Warren and a few other select people. I’ll want to visit the dojo and roll with the guys again. And there’s a part of me who will want to have a quiet cup of coffee with Big Bad or a hug from my blacksmith.

I still care about them. I can’t not remember how much they helped me heal and grow during the first year after your death. I don’t know what to do with those feelings right now other than to know that they’re there. I guess that’s something I’ll have to come back to and meditate further on.

I feel like I should be making a list of things I need to think about and figure out. I feel like that’s a theme I’m constantly writing right now. “I need to figure it out. I need to meditate on it.” Maybe I’ll actually get around to figuring all of that shit out at some point.

I went to sleep early again since I had work the next day. I wasn’t even remotely ready to go back in but I also knew I didn’t have a choice. I’m the only PCT for the clinic at the moment. No one else could cover me short notice like that even though I was googling the symptoms of pneumonia.


 

Monday – April 9th

I don’t remember much about work on Monday. I know I made it there. I know I worked. I’m pretty sure I started feeling better the longer the day wore on.

I stayed late that day to do the steps I needed to do to be reimbursed for all of the work expenses I’ve had. I wasn’t able to submit the report, but I got most of it figured out.

Ox and I talked about the money situation when I got home. Or rather, I finally admitted that I wasn’t ok with it. I’m glad we talked. I’m glad he shared his side of the situation with me; specifically his emotions and his reasoning.

I admitted that I was worried about permanently damaging us by letting him borrow the money because now all of those icky feelings are part of our dynamic. The fear of not being paid back. The fear of being used. The feeling of loss over something that I worked hard to earn. The fear that this was a test that I should have said no to and now things are ruined for forever because I can’t let things go.

I cried. We hugged it out. We agreed all we can do is prove to each other through actions that we’re not our exs. In this situation, that means waiting to see how things play out, and that sucks, but I think we’re better for having talked to each other. And I guess I should really rewrite that to say, I’m glad I manned up enough to voice my feelings rather than keeping everything bottled up where it could fester and get worse.

I know we ended up having sexy time that night and I think that helped, too. With being sick and working and the kids being there, we hadn’t had much time to be affectionate towards each other. I’m sure the distance between us didn’t help the money issue feel any better.

The sex helped me feel more connected and grounded. And totally going to have a girl moment and say I slept amazingly well that night because yes. Just… yes. And I know that if we were actually talking, sitting on the couch with Law and Order reruns playing in the background that you would have some silly, quick-witted remark that would have us both cracking up.

I know that you would be/are happy that I finally have a stable relationship with open communication where I can talk through my fears and still be ok. I can admit that I’m not happy with something and have it not be the earth-shattering end I’ve grown to associate with voicing my feelings. I think you would be pleased that it brought Ox and I closer together and that we’re stronger for this challenge we’re being faced with.


 

Tuesday – April 10th

Of all of the days that could have turned into a clusterfuck of disaster, it was this day.

I overslept and was late for work. >.<;

I ended up sleeping on the couch a little bit after sexy time. I was coughing a lot and sleeping elevated seems to help me breath better. So I took some pillows out with me around midnight and left my phone in the room and fell asleep. I wake up at 3 am for work so I can have an unrushed shower and breakfast before getting dressed.

So imagine how screwed, and not in a good way, I felt when I woke up fairly rested, tiptoeing into the bedroom to see what time it was and realizing it was 4:15, I’m supposed to be to work at 4:30 and I have a thirty-ish minute drive to get there and I’m still in night clothes…

*queue cold, sinking feeling of despair in the pit of my stomach as the death of my work life flashes before my eyes*

I totally didn’t shower. I threw things into my lunch box. I don’t even remember what it was. Ox was super apologetic. When my alarm had gone off he assumed I was already in the shower since I wasn’t in bed. He filled my water bottle for me as I dashed around trying to in some way salvage the morning. Of course, the only number I didn’t have was the number for the RN I was scheduled to work with that morning so there was no way to let her know I was running late.

Fuck my life. Seriously, mom, I thought I was so dead. I thought I had ruined the day and there was no recovery.

Surprisingly I made it to work by 5 am. The RN was super chill. She sent me a text as I was driving so I was able to call her and explain the situation. She said not to worry, that we would be fine and we were.

I was able to do the water checks like I needed to do. We got the clinic set up and everyone on the machines at their scheduled times. It was a surprisingly smooth day. While I was on my break, having my cup of coffee, I took a moment to take a picture of the sunrise because that’s one of the things I love about where I work now.

Even with the craziness of the morning and the fear and anxiety of having royally fucked everything to hell and back, I was able to have a moment of quiet, peaceful serenity that made everything worth it.

The move. The goodbyes. The change of everything. The sickness. Even the mad dash to repair the morning. This picture, this moment, and every moment I’m able to have where I can reflect on where I was and where I’ve been able to bring myself, makes me remember that it’s worth it.

 

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I ended up getting a reply from Warren later in the day explaining that his phone has been messed up since the latest OS update. He explained the situation with the Internet account. He didn’t say anything about my spare key or about paying me back, but at least he replied to my messages finally. I’ll tackle all of that when I feel like dealing with more excuses and BS.

I messaged my FA about my expense report since the system wouldn’t let me submit it. I have to have a person to send it to for approval and it won’t let me enter my FA’s name. I think it’s because I’m still listed in the system as being in Orlando. She’s looking into the issue for me so I’m hoping that will get resolved.

I came home and took close to a three-hour nap and it was amazing. When I woke up I made dinner. It turned out really good and it left me with leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day since meal prepping didn’t happen over the weekend.

That night was another night of incredible sexy time.

I know… two nights in a row. My brain can’t even.


 

Wednesday – April 11th

I woke up tired. #noRegrets

I also found out that one of the cats sprayed all over my clean scrubs…

I ended up rewearing the ones from the previous day. Aside from that small hiccup in the morning, the day went smoothly at work. I emailed our AA and requested more things for the clinic.

This was the day that I think I’ve found my direction at work, mom.

I was going through a couple of the notebooks because it seemed like they were redundant. While I was combining them, I found the criteria to become a Vascular Access Manager (VAM). It made me realize that because our clinic is so small, we most likely don’t have a VAM and that if I did this training I could fill that role.

It got me thinking about the different things I already know about, like becoming an “expert cannulator”, which would be more training. It got me to thinking about becoming an LPN instead of going all the way with RN. I want to stay in a tech role while being able to be more helpful to the nurses I work with. LPN gives me that. At least I think it does. It’s something I want to talk to my FA about at least to see what I could potentially be doing to continue to grow.

I don’t know. I just… allowed my self to think about the future. I let my mind wander over what it would be like… What would it be like if I stayed at the clinic for a year? Two years… a lot of years?

I like the thought of being a core person there. Someone who’s knowledgeable and important and… I don’t know… I like the thought of having some sort of “ownership” over it. It’s “my” clinic.

I clean and stock the treatment floor. I know our first MWF patient has a tape allergy and only likes the plastic tape. The fourth patient doesn’t want to walk out with gauze on her arm. She likes bandaids instead. I know the fifth patient on TTS likes her chair pushed all the way back and the screen of her machine turned to block the sun when it rises.

I want to be the best I can be for my patients because I’m the only tech they have. I want to be the best I can be because they deserve to have the best. I’ve listened to their stories, at least as much as we’ve been able to share in the two-ish months that I’ve been working there.

I’m not burnt out anymore, or at least I’m on the road to recovery from it. I like the idea of staying at the clinic. My patients inspire me to be the best version of me I can be. I think you would get a kick out of that, mom. We never thought I would be able to do anything medical because of how I used to pass out at the sight of blood, and now look at me. Little Ms. Dialysis Technican stabbin’ people with needles and shit.

I know you’re proud of me and that you’re thrilled that I touch the world in the way I do now. I never saw my life here.

While I was going through the binders I found the old phone sheet for the clinic. It was a list of all of the teammate’s cell phone numbers, only, over half of them didn’t work at the clinic anymore. Not a very helpful phone sheet…

Since the day was going so smoothly I ended up recreating the phone sheet, structuring it better. I removed the old names and numbers and added the new ones, like mine, that needed to be added. I also added the phone and fax numbers for our “sister” clinics in Lincoln along with the numbers for the FAs and AAs because those are important numbers, too.

Towards the end my RN came over and looked at what I was doing. She said I was way more ambitious than her. I told her that I enjoyed making documentation like that and that my second degree was in Digital Graphics. It was a wonderfully creative outlet which continued the positive energy the day had generated within myself.

I will say that even though I felt good about it, there was a part of me that wanted to downplay what I was doing.

Me: Oh… it’s nothing… really… all I did was open a resume template in Word 2013, delete a bunch of stuff, and then type in the information I wanted… It’s not like I “did” much of anything…

Also Me: You’re a fucking bawce. You know who else updated the phone list? No one. That’s who. You will take your praise and compliments and you will like them!

Once the clinic was closed up for the day I drove home. I changed into comfy clothes and dyed my hair. Mama Ox brought home Chinese food for dinner so no one had to cook. I rewashed my clothes because the cats are jerks.

Ox gave me part of the money he owes me since Wednesdays are paydays for him. He was originally going to give me $100 but I wouldn’t take all of it. I only want $50 payments.

That $50 is already the most anyone has ever paid me back. I don’t want him to limp by the rest of the week because all of his spare money went to paying me back. The relationship is two halves. I don’t want my other half to suffer needlessly. We’re not going anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it takes two months to pay me back instead of one. I would rather it take two and have us both be content and ok, rather than be paid back in a month and my other half be stressed and not ok.

We’re doing ok and I’m more secure in feeling like it’s ok to believe I will actually get my whole $400 back because he is actively paying me back as he can.

It was a good night. I washed the dye out of my hair and crawled into bed. Sexy time didn’t happen but that’s ok. I think my brain would have broke if we had gone three nights in a row.

I did end up sleeping on the couch again. Even though I’ve been feeling better the past three days now, I seem to keep getting coughing fits and last night was one of those times.


 

Thursday – April 12th

And here we are at today. All caught up for the most part.

Today was was my fourth day in a row at work and for all of the stress I put on getting the clothes washed so I could have clean stuff to wear, wouldn’t you know I completely forgot to pack socks in my bag this morning… I ended up wearing my gym shoes all day at work, which got me a lot of comments since they’re the Vibram toe shoes I’m not supposed to be wearing… but it was either those, my sandals, or barefoot because there wasn’t a chance in hell I was wearing my work shoes without socks again.

I took the CWP out of its disinfect cycle. I’m getting more comfortable with my routines at work and how they fluctuate through the week.

The bins I asked to be ordered should be in tomorrow so I’ll be able to play with them at work on Monday. I’m looking forward to that.

One of the doctors made rounds on the patients today, so one of them ran for six hours instead of his normal five. That sucked, but it left me with time to continue making notes and lists of things I want to bring up in our clinic meeting this coming Tuesday.

Once work was over I went to the gym again. I ran and did more upper body work. I picked up a sheet for personal training. I’ve been thinking about that a lot and how to mesh my personal routines with work.

I think I’m going to request to always have Monday’s off. That would give me a day alone before having to go back to work. During the weekend Ox’s parents are home so it’s awkward for me to meal prep or do any of the chores I want to do. And I realize that’s mostly all just inside my head but I feel weird. Everyone else is playing computer games or watching tv and here I am being Ms. Productive and making them feel like slackers. Or… since I’m up and they’re up… having to have actual conversations with people while I’m in my introvert mode… Don’t mind me while I go to the backyard and dig my own grave because that seems more appealing than actually talking to a human right now.

It doesn’t help that every other weekend the kids are here so it’s even harder to do chores or to get to sleep early enough for work since I wake up so incredibly early compared to everyone else.

I also want to start looking at maybe taking a class or two at one of the community colleges. That might be a little tricker, but it’s something I have the motivation to do, and something that would be easier to accomplish with a more set schedule.

Consistently having Monday off would give me a day where I would be alone for most of the day so doing chores and stuff wouldn’t be an issue. I could actually look at having personal training again as well since there would be at least one day I could guarantee a consistent time to meet. Training, ideally, would give me something to do in the morning that would force me out of bed, which has been an issue I’ve noticed for my days off. On my days off I tend to not do much which allows the apathy and sadness a foothold.

Having Monday to myself would ensure that my weeks reset fully. Laundry, meal prep, writing, planning, mapping everything out so I at least have a battle plan that can be modified as needed.

I think I’ve proven myself enough at work that I can ask for a “me” day and get it. I didn’t mind working four days in a row. Even with all of the unashamedly sleepless nights that I’ve had I made it through all of my days with energy to take care of what I needed to.

I’m going to see if I can talk to my FA alone after the meeting on Tuesday and see if something like that can be worked out. I think that would make work as close to perfect as human existence can allow it to be.

I’ve eaten dinner. I got to talk to Kyle a bit. He’s still not able to pay me anything back, but it was nice to be able to chat with him and to hear his voice.

Ox is home from a long day at work. It’s supposed to snow eight inches on Saturday. And I don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

I’m glad I wrote all of this, mom. I’m glad that I didn’t cry through all of it. Not even most of it. I’m glad there was so much positive to tell you about.

I still miss you. I still feel that hurt, that ache. But I’m still going on because I know that’s what I’m supposed to do right now. I’m still going to the gym. I’m still eating healthy. I’m still trying to learn things and to help people. I’m still striving to be a daughter you can be proud of.

I love you, mom. I miss you. I love you, forever and for always. Thanks for listening to me and for being there for me; through all of it. The good. The bad. The new. The scary. Thank you, so much, for loving me and for helping to make me who I am.

I’ll talk to you later.

Daily Post 075: On to a New Week

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Things continue to move in a forward direction.

All last week Ox had his kids. I also worked all last week which wasn’t as much of a struggle as I thought it would be what with having 3 am wake up times for my days.

I went to bed shortly after supper and for the most part was able to get enough sleep to make it through my days, which weren’t nearly as rough as what I was used to in Orlando.

I took my certification test on Wednesday. The drive to Omaha was nice and sunny and I listened to music the whole way to the testing center. I pulled off the interstate to have lunch at an Arby’s which was nice. Ox was on break so we were able to chat for a bit before I continued the last ten minutes of my trip.

I got there about an hour and a half early. Luckily, they let me take my test early so I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and stew.

There were a lot of case study questions. That meant there were a lot of questions with more than one right answer, but you’re supposed to know the “more right” answer. Those were frustrating.

I passed with a 70 something. There’s part of me who wants to feel bad about that. I should be passing with 90s and shit. I should be the best of the best and a total bawce.

The larger part of my self is happy that I get to keep working and that I’ll be reimbursed the two hundred dollars I spent for this test. The larger part of me remembers mom saying “C = RN” while she was taking her classes to get her nursing degree. The larger part of myself remembers Warren encouraging me while I was in Orlando by saying, “What do you call a doctor who got straight Ds while he was in school? You call him Doctor.”

I’m doing well at my clinic. I opened the water room under the supervision of the other tech last Friday. I plan to do it again tomorrow morning and the rest of the mornings this week since I’m still in training. I’m getting more comfortable with the patient population at the clinic. I’m setting things up the way I want them to be so I know where they are and so things are organized. I have a list of ideas to suggest to my FA when we have our clinic meeting.

I’m a good tech. I would rather not let a 150 randomly generated question test make me feel bad about myself. By national standards, I passed. If they wanted to require a 90 to be passing then they should change the requirements. According to them, I’m good enough.

I guess at some point I should let that be good enough for myself as well and stop looping over this moment in my head.

I don’t feel bad, but I don’t feel good either. There was nothing done to mark it. No celebration. No phone call to mom. It’s just a thing that was supposed to be important that happened but nothing followed it so it feels incomplete I guess and I don’t know what to do to complete it.

It’s something internal, so only I can figure it out, I just haven’t yet and I don’t know if I’ll really get around to it this week. I guess that really depends on how much time I take to reflect on things now that the kids aren’t here. It’s hard to be reflective when you have a seven-year-old constantly wanting to do things.

One positive thing to note about work is that the RN I worked with on Friday said that I was doing well and that I would be a good fit for the clinic. That was a warm fuzzy moment. It’s always nice to hear positive support when things are still nebulous and sort of iffy in my head.

Oh. On the subject of work… Dialysis technicians are now required to be part of a registry, like CNAs and RNs. That means there was another fee I had to pay for an application I had to fill out with a bunch of other paperwork I had to submit.

I did all of that on Saturday since I wanted to run into town for craft stuff. It’s nice to have it off of my to-do list, though another thing has been added to it since apparently, my CPR certification isn’t in my teammate file… yeah… the one that I had to stay for since the American Red Cross one I had wasn’t good enough for my company…

I’ve already reached out to my trainer from the Star Learning program to see if it can be located because that’s why I was so exhausted for Allion’s wedding. I had to stay for that class before I could drive the six hours to be in South Caroline to be her maid of honor before driving back to be in Orlando on time for my first day of training… I know I got that f’ing certification and I want it f’ing found… please.

I also got a text message from my FA in Orlando this afternoon asking for me to call him when I had a moment. I’ve successfully not replied to that message all day today. It was my first day alone. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me doing anything work/obligation related. I have a short day tomorrow so I plan to pick back up the adulting mantle and figure out what else is about to hit the fan.

One more positive note regarding work… I hadn’t realized how much has happened regarding work until I started writing…

I got my first full paycheck. I’m getting my full rate of pay rather than training pay. Woo. That meant this past Friday I was able to catch up on ALL of my bills. Things are still tight because I did that, but I don’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks or being late. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Warren still hasn’t started paying me back. Or Kyle. I haven’t gotten my Full Sail check or my tax return, but I’m doing just fine on my own*.

*With the support of Ox and his family

I took the bike out for a ride yesterday morning. I was antsy and wanted to do something without actually having to go anywhere. I only biked for four miles, but that was four miles more than I did the previous day and with the hills here I think it still counted as a pretty good ride. My heart rate was up and when I came inside I definitely worked up a sweat. That’s normally how it works with biking for me. The wind keeps me from sweating too much. It’s only after I stop that I realize, oh yeah, I soaked my shirt. Go me.

The coldness here probably adds to that. I made sure to drink water even though it didn’t “feel” like I needed to. Dehydration can be a sneaky jerk like that.

I haven’t figured out code names for Ox’s kids yet. So that’s going to make writing about them a bit cumbersome until I do, but none the less, that’s a big part of what I need to write about since that’s the other main thing that’s been going on in my life this past week.

Ox’s daughter continues to want to spend time with me. We’re doing pretty well in Crash of the Titans. It’s the Crash Bandicoot game where you can have two players. It does get rough at times with her constantly say, “Hurry up. Wait for me. Do this. We don’t need that. What are you doing? Don’t hit my guy! Sorry I killed you. I want to do the skateboard! This boss is hard. I don’t want to do that.”

I can only handle a few levels before my brain is in overload and I need to step away, but overall I think we’re doing well in the game and I’m handling being thrown into the deep end of parenting with no instruction booklet or training course pretty well. I went on a bike ride with her on Saturday, which most likely sparked my bike ride Sunday. We baked muffins Sunday afternoon to have for breakfast this morning. I’ve gotten her interested in cross stitching which is why I wanted to go into town Saturday; it was just a bonus that I could take care of the application for work at the same time.

Since she’s so small I figured it would be good to start her on 14 count fabric rather than using the 28 count that I use. I also wanted to get her larger needles so they’re easier to thread. She’s doing surprisingly well for never having stitched before and being seven. She’s having a good time with it which is what I was hoping for; her enjoying something other than computer games.

We also made magnates out of Perler beads. That was fun. Maybe we’ll make frames for our little cross stitch cats once they’re done.

I think having the kids for extended periods of time will be easier for everyone once the addition is done. More space and stuff.

I offered for Ox’s son to go with me the next Saturday we’re all together to a Tae Kwon Do class. I haven’t interacted with him much but that’s because he would rather stay in the computer room playing whatever game it is he’s into. I can’t really blame him. He doesn’t get any alone time when he’s with his mother, he’s also not allowed to touch the computer while he’s there so this is the only time he’s able to do electronicy stuff.

He seemed interested, then changed his mind and said no thanks… I said if he changed his mind to let me know. Regardless it’s something I want to look into.

I did find a dojo that seems perfect for what I’m looking for. The only downside is it’s about an hour away in Omaha…

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that. I do know that I need to keep focusing on getting back to where I was. As work continues to ease into a routine and as I make it through mom’s death day and as the Earth continues to turn into spring I think things will naturally align themselves, so I haven’t started giving myself shit yet.

Not much has happened in regards to organizing the addition or making progress on the house, but that’s because everyone has been sick, it’s been cold and rainy and miserable days outside, and the kids have been here. Hopefully, small steps forward will start up again now that things are sort of back to normal.

I know the kitchen feels like a losing battle.

Every time I give myself a pat on the back for clearing out a space or getting rid of something, Ox’s mom goes and spends $100 at the grocery store. It breaks my brain in certain ways.

We were out of ketchup so she went out and got two small bottles. I’m ok with that. I mean… I would have only bought one, but I can see having a spare. Mom would do the same thing. I’m just so used to not having space to store anything that I don’t buy spares.

Well, today she came home with another two bottles of ketchup because they were most likely on sale. You don’t need three bottles of spare ketchup. >.<;

Or another four cans of mushrooms to go with the other eight we still have… >.<;

Arg.

But I can’t really fault her because she did come back with things that the house needed like toilet paper and trash bags.

But frozen pizza isn’t healthy. We don’t need four of them. No one is eating the cereal that we have, why did you buy two more boxes of it?

Me: *thuds head against the kitchen counter in defeat*

I guess it’s really not all that bad. It’s just so different from what I’m used to that I don’t know… it just feels wrong. It doesn’t help with the cluttered feeling. We’re working on it, though.

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the mini fridge that isn’t been used so a pantry can be added instead. If I’m allowed to work things the way I want, I think it will help with the cans and paper product storage. As well as spare stuff.

I want to get slide out drawers for the larger cabinets as well. I think those would be amazing.

This house really does have so much potential. All it needs is elbow grease.

Sadly, today was not a day of applying any. I stayed in bed for most of it. I did a bit of meal prep. I picked up the dirty clothes the kids left scattered in the bathroom. I washed Ox’s clothes and just switched them into the dryer so I could do a load of the kid’s stuff. I’ll most likely save my own laundry until tomorrow since it’s getting close to my bedtime.

I cooked dinner, too, which turned out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was enough left over to have an additional lunch container.

Jon and I have talked a few times over the week. He took a trip to Boston since he was on spring break. He’s back safe and sound in Daytona. I guess he’s made a big impression at work in a short amount of time because all of his patients missed him and wanted to know where he was. That made him feel good, which is good. He’s been having a rough time of it lately, much for the same reasons I am.

It’s a rough time of the year. It starts March 23rd. I guess the universe wanted me to have the 4th of April off because I’m not scheduled to work. I actually have the 3rd and 4th off, though I do go back on the 5th.

I don’t know what else to write about. I’ve touched on subjects that I need to address and haven’t.

I had a dream about mom the other night. Thursday I think it was.

I don’t remember all of it, but I remember I was telling her I wanted to move back home. Things weren’t bad, but there was an issue I wasn’t addressing and instead of fixing it I wanted to move back home with mom because that would “fix” everything.

Mom was exasperated with me. I don’t think she said “no” but I know she didn’t agree with my “throw my hands up” sort of attitude.

It led to a conversation that I think needed to happen with Ox. I think we’re better for it even though it was hard for me to voice those feelings. It’s hard to write about because I know he’ll read this section.

We’re still trying to find a balance with everything, including each other. I like our relationship, though. I like how he came home and we watched a couple episodes of a show while cuddled together before putting groceries away once his mom got home and having dinner together with the family.

Things still feel good and that’s scary for me.

I have a phone appointment scheduled with my therapist, which I think is good and something that could help me figure myself out.

I’m still scared of all of this good. With work. With my relationship. With life.

I actually had time this weekend to sleep in, eat a good breakfast, bike ride, cross stitch, and work on a puzzle.

What the actual fuck?

When did I die? When did this become my life? This stress-free, sit on the porch and swing life away, type of living isn’t meant for me. Or at least hasn’t been for so long that I don’t know how to trust it, accept it. This isn’t how it can continue. Something has to break, or crumble, or shatter. It’s too pretty to be real and yet I desperately cling to this dream of a life because it’s what I’ve wanted for so long.

Yeah… It’s too late to delve further into this, but at least I know it’s there. I love my life right now and that scares me because now I have something I’m scared of losing again.

In a way, I’m glad I had that realization. I’m glad I love my life. It just sucks that I understand where my fear comes from because now I’m aware of my fear.

Blag. I guess that balances out to being neutral. For now, I need to go be an adult and brush my teeth and go to bed. Maybe mom will have more advice for me in my dreams. Maybe we’ll be able to say hi to each other and talk about nothing for a while.

That’s such a pretty thought right now. I hope it happens.

 

 

Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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I’m in a bit of a funk and I know I am. I can feel how my body is tired from everything I did yesterday which I’m sure is a contributing factor. My pulse has an arrhythmia that also isn’t helping I’m sure. And of course, since I’m tired and worn feeling I feel my grief more acutely.

I guess it started last night while I was showering. I was reflecting on how well I did yesterday. I biked to the gym and did a plyometric workout based on the different exercises L has had me do in the past. I followed that up with a half mile run before biking back home. I haven’t plotted the course but I think it was roughly four miles round trip.

Later I biked to Title Club Boxing for the boot camp conditioning class then biked back home. We’ll say that’s another 8ish mile though I think that’s lowballing it.

So yeah. Roughly 12 miles biking, a half mile run, and two conditioning classes. 30 three foot box jumps. Yeah. I pushed myself yesterday and it was awesome. I loved all of the sunlight I was able to get. I ate well and drank plenty of water.

I was thinking about how I’m doing well even though mom isn’t here. I don’t feel guilty for doing well. I don’t feel guilty for living my life and enjoying my bike rides and smiling and¬†living.

But I’m sad now.

I miss her. I want her to be here so I can tell her about my day. I want to tell her how I’m scared I won’t be able to jump the red box on Tuesday even though L says I can.

I want mom to tell me I can, and she can’t. And that sucks.

I guess it’s not really a funk I’m in. I guess I’m sad today and I didn’t really realize it until now.

I woke up this morning and was proud of myself that I got out of bed and downstairs before noon. Before 9 am in fact. I had thought I would be so tired that I wouldn’t do a lot today, and to be fair I haven’t done a whole lot, but the morning started better than I had anticipated.

I made coffee and for the first time in a long time, I made an egg sandwich. I sat outside on my doorstep eating and drinking my coffee instead of smoking a cigarette. I bought a pack a week ago, but it’s gone and I haven’t replaced it. I don’t want to replace it, but I’m wondering now if a lack of nicotine is part of the sadness I feel; withdrawals in addition to everything else.

Regardless, the morning was nice. I felt like I was doing well in caring for myself and recovering. My knuckle is almost back to normal. I thought about going to my sports bar for lunch. I could take my flash cards with me and begin studying for my certification. I could do things today that didn’t require a lot of energy because I didn’t have much to give.

I spent most of the afternoon on the couch instead. I washed my dishes from breakfast and that’s about as far as I made it.

Eventually, around noon, I went back to my room since Warren woke up and was in the kitchen. I didn’t feel like being around people, though we did patch things over yesterday so we’re talking to each other again.

I still don’t feel like being around anyone but at the same time, there’s this need to not be alone. It’s frustrating. Like sandpaper inside my skin. I know there’s this irritation but I’m at a loss on how to ease it; sooth it. Nothing on this plane can make it better. None of the people in my life can be my mom. Not Warren, not my brothers, not Big Bad, or anyone else who loves me or I love in return.

It’s an ache I have to breathe through, function through, fight through, until I adjust to the pain and it fades into the background again, white noise in the chaos that is my life. A vibration that is always there that seems to be louder in the silent, quiet moments I allow myself even though I don’t think my grief itself ever really changes.

When I got to my room I started researching hospice RN positions.

It was something my brother and I talked about when I brought up the subject of going back to school for an RN degree. I don’t think I want to work at a hospital. I don’t want to change patients every day. I like that about the dialysis clinic. I know my patients and they know me. We share inside jokes. We pick on each other. We feel sorrow and pain together. I know them. I care for them. I like that about my job.

I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. I still don’t have an end goal, especially right now with the sadness hugging around my shoulders like a blanket. A soft, heavy blanket that is comforting in its own way. It’s familiar. I know what my grief feels like and I accept it.

The hospice thing is more just looking into other options I gain by becoming an RN. It’s another field I think I may find fulfillment in. I read several posts about what working as a hospice RN is like. I also looked up wages since pay is a logistic concern that would need to be looked into at some point regardless of how fulfilling I think something might or might not be.

It’s definitely more pay than what I’m making as a dialysis PCT.

Aside from that I’ve halfway chatted with a friend from California and arranged to pick up Mother Earth from work. I actually need to leave before too much longer to do that. It’s the only obligation I have today and so I feel shitty for not wanting to do it.

We’ve agreed to go sit and have lunch which I am actually looking forward to. I’m not looking forward to the driving, to having to get gas, to having to deal with traffic.

I’m looking forward to sitting and being injured and for that to be ok. I just wish there wasn’t so much to do to get to that point. The thought of the effort makes my shoulders physically hurt, like getting into my car is some huge weight I have to lift. I know it’s not. I know I can do it. I wish I knew why internally it feels like I can’t.

I’m worried that I won’t be accepted to the RN program since most programs are competitive or have a waiting list. I’m worried that I won’t get much for financial aid. I’m worried I won’t be eligible for reimbursement through DaVita because I haven’t been employed long enough. I’m worried about paying rent. I’m worried about keeping up with my training. I’m worried about Scarlet being sick and aging. I’m worried about letting the people in my life down because I don’t hang out often enough / well enough.

I don’t know why I have all of this hanging over me right now. I don’t know if it’s a matter of “misery loves company” and so it’s easy to see and find the negativity that isn’t really there, or if this is my brain telling me to slow down and process through some of the shit I have going on.

Right now I’m tired.

I’m tired of making sure my ducks are in a row for the meeting with my admissions advisor on Tuesday, which they are so there’s really nothing else to do other than wait.

I’m tired of making sure everything is ok with the lease renewing and that paperwork gets done, which that’s all squared away as well.

Maybe, since a lot of the stuff I’m stressed over is now stuff I can let go of, all of this is the stress I wasn’t allowing myself to feel. I had to keep going, keep doing, keep figuring out, and now, today, I don’t have to. Today I can be sad and tired and cry silent tears and it’s ok. It’s not interfering with anything. All my stuff is done.

I hope tomorrow feels better. I hope work goes smoothly and that the new schedule is out so I can plan my next six weeks.

Everything is temporary, including this moment. I know I’ll get better and I know I’m not broken. I know things are ok. I’m just sad and it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

I love you, mom. I miss you and I hope where ever you’re at that you’re having a good day.

Daily Post 049: Learning to Care

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I wrote on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, specifically.

Wednesday seemed like another awful day full of overwhelme. I went to the gym after work again. Well, actually… first I went to the dojo. I had kept that as my shining light at the end of the tunnel all day. I could make it through all of the hectic, crazy bullshit because at the end of it I could go to my dojo.

I didn’t get out of work early enough, though. I’m sure rain during rush hour traffic didn’t help with getting me there in record time. By the time I made it to the dojo there was only 30 minutes left of the Muay Thai class and I didn’t have my gi for the following jujitsu class. It sucked realizing my time was going to be so short; almost pointless. I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout, though light and short.

I did stay until the end of Muay Thai and it was a good workout. I bruised the crap out of the top of my foot. I wanted, needed, to get as much out of my body as I could for those few minutes so I pushed harder, kicked harder, and allowed the pain to start washing the day away.

It wasn’t enough to get rid of the angst and tension from work, though, and that was frustrating. It wasn’t enough to make me feel ok.

Sadly, frustratedly, I bowed out for Muay Thai then headed to the gym so I could try running the rest of everything off. The machine I picked to run on hadn’t been reset and I didn’t realize that until I had already been on the treadmill for a song or two. I didn’t care. I wasn’t on it for the numbers that night. I was on it so I could be ok. So I could go home. So I could not cry.

I ran well. I ran faster than I think I ever have, going past 7 mph. At least I think that’s what the number on the treadmill means. Who knows.

By the time RunKeeper told me my workout was done I knew that I needed to stop, otherwise my legs were going to regret it and I would be forced to take extra recovery days. I still wasn’t ok, though. Why couldn’t I shake these feelings, damnit?! What did I have to do?

I didn’t have an answer for myself so I went to the sauna and sat for a bit, trying to meditate my way to inner peace, but that too didn’t work. Nothing seemed to work.

I hurt and felt like a failure and nothing was soothing over the wounds of the day. I was still bleeding out emotionally.

I left the sauna and sat on the first steps of the pool in the gym, soaking my feet in the cold water as I sent a text to my younger brother. I couldn’t call mom. I’ll never be able to call mom. But I could still talk to Jon. I could still hear his voice and tell him that everything sucked.

Me: Busy?

After a few minutes, he replied with no, asking what was up.

I said nothing important. It had been a rough day at work and that I wanted to hear his voice.

He called and we talked for about an hour as I sat in the pool not caring about who heard my conversation.

I explained the past two work days. How I had to work with my head RN and how it always seemed like I did everything wrong in front of her. How days seemed bad now even though recently they had been good, amazing even. We talked about why my RN’s opinion means so much to me. How mom had been an RN and maybe this was my way of getting “mom’s approval” and praise.

It was a good conversation, one which I had silent tears for part of. We talked about his trip back home for the eclipse. We talked about his part time job at the school. We talked about his roommates and mine. By the end of the conversation, I was feeling better. I felt solidly grounded in reality and not falling through the chaos in my head.

I went home and slept deeply not caring about any chores that may have needed to be done. They could wait. Tomorrow would be another 24 hours.

Thursday I slept all day. Ok… not all day. I did get up and rewash the load of laundry that I never switched over to the dryer. But aside from that I really didn’t do much. Pretty sure I showered. I think I chatted with Warren briefly. But for the most part, it was me recovering from Monday and Wednesday.

Yesterday¬†put things into perspective. I worked. It was another rough day. I was sitting in the breakroom during my lunch break when two of my coworkers also came in for lunch. One of them mentioned how I looked “perturbed”.

I said that it felt like the day had been a disaster so far and I could never figure out what happened on rough days to make it domino into such a crap-tastic time. I also acknowledged the fact that I really didn’t know how badly we had done with getting patients on the machines at their scheduled time and that it was entirely possible that things were fine and it was just my perspective on how things were going that was skewed.

They both gave me advice, mostly revolving around “don’t sweat it.”

There’s only so much that my team can do, and the only thing we can consistently do is our best. I’m not going to stop caring because that’s the whole reason I changed careers, but I think I need to adjust what I care about. I can’t care about literally everything because if I do this job is going to kill me. I need to save it for the important things.

Turn over is always going to be organized chaos. There are too many variables for it not to be. One patient might become hypotensive while another takes a longer time clotting and bleeds through their gauze a few times while at the same time another patient wants to come off the machine 15 minutes early, adding to the chaos.

Other times it might run smoothly with no deviations from the expected or intended schedule.

Every day is different. I can’t hold onto the thoughts of, “This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen.”

I guess that’s a lot like having to let go of the life I thought I would have. I thought mom would still be alive. I thought I would have her for another 20 years with her and that she would live long enough to see Jace graduate and become a karate ninja samurai. I thought things would be different, but they’re not. Things are how they are.

I guess that’s the mentality I need with my work days. It doesn’t matter what I thought the day would be like. The day goes how it goes regardless of what I want or expect. “Go with the flow.” “Don’t sweat it.”

It’s not that I don’t care. It’s more like I won’t waste energy on trying to change the course of a river. I can’t change it, I can only go with it and let the current do all of the work. The destination is still the same. I’ll still reach the end of my day. I’ll most likely still be tired at the end of it, but I think one method will leave me with much less stress and inner tension than the other.

I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to implement this new mentality right away. I think it will take some time, but it’s something I’m going to try. Those moments where I feel overwhelmed and like chaos is raining down all around me I’m going to try to remember to step back and let go of trying to control it all. I can’t control it, I can only go with it.

The rest of the day went better after the conversation with my coworkers. All of the third shift patients got put on their machines. I was able to make needle packs for the following day as well as close down the machines we were no longer using. I was able to go to the stockroom and get the supplies we were out of or low on. I was able to update all of the documentation. I was able to finally breath is what it felt like.

I left work around 5 pm. I didn’t want to go to the gym. The dojo was doing randori which I don’t feel I’m ready for. Title Club was still closed as they transition to a new location, and to be honest I don’t think I would have wanted to do anything physical anyway.

Instead, I thought about what I wanted to do with my evening. I needed closure. Something to signify my night was done and that I was now able to relax.

I ended up getting dinner at a little place called Viet-Nomz. They have amazing food, and it’s an extremely small establishment near my apartment which encourages social dining. I’m not sure if that’s actually a thing but it reminds me of one of the customs in Germany where it’s socially acceptable to share tables with strangers as long as you ask if you may sit with them.

Since it was dinner time they were fairly crowded, but I was ok with that. I sort of wanted that feeling; being part of, lost in, the crowd. I sat across from two girls who were chatting together. I put my headphones in and ate my rice bowl. This was my reward for surviving; a bowl full of carbs and protein. Good music and a moment of not having to worry or care.

It was an extremely fulfilling meal. Once I was finished I headed home. I did make a detour to CVS for some Icy Hot patches for my back. It’s been bothering me lately and those have helped in the past.

When I got home I didn’t bother with the kitchen. I took my shoes off and headed straight upstairs to my room. I didn’t bother with anything other than showering and putting one of the patches across my lower back. I changed into comfy clothes and scrolled through Facebook for way longer than I care to admit until I finally crawled into bed. By that point, I didn’t even bother to take out my contacts I was so tired.

My alarm went off at 2 am since I forgot to turn it off. That’s when I figured taking out my contacts would be a smart move. I drank so water while I was up then when back to sleep until about 9 am.

I’m currently at Perkins. My breakfast has been eaten. I’m working on my second up of coffee. I have an appointment for a deep tissue massage at 6:30 this evening. I’m going to be going to kickboxing at 1pm since it’s the grand reopening for Title Club. I have a few odds and ends as far as doing chores goes, but overall it’s a pretty low energy / recovery day. Same with tomorrow I think.

I was supposed to have a sleep over with Mother Earth this evening, but she’s feeling under the weather so we’re going to reschedule our girl time. Big Bad and I have plans to see each other for our scheduled Monday evening. One of my coworkers wants to split my Monday shifts with me, so instead of 4 am I would go in at 10 am and still leave by 5 pm. That gives me time to go to the gym in the morning, shower, eat, and start my week off the way I would really like to. I think that will be a fantastic change for me. I won’t be getting as much overtime, but I also won’t be nearly as burnout as I’ve been fearing I would be. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this change works for both of us since she needs the hours.

I still have the blog award nomination I need to write for, but I think I will save that for either later today or tomorrow. I think I want to go back home for a little bit and rest before going to kickboxing.

I guess looking back at it, this week hasn’t been bad. It’s been long and it’s had a lot of stress, but it’s had a lot of positive moments, too, and for the next two days I’m off and I plan to fully, thoroughly, enjoy them.

Part of learning to care is learning to care for myself. I think a few days of introverted downtime is what I need and I’m not going to give myself shit for it.

Daily Post 047: Breakfast Reflection

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I wrote this earlier today but didn’t get a chance to proof it until now, not that I’m really too worried about typos. It’s already 9 pm and I have a 2 am wake up call to go running at the gym. I’m hoping I’m dedicated enough to actually pull it off.

 

Anywho… without further ado, I present the ramblings of my brain.

 


 

After a week I’m finally able to enjoy my Perkin’s breakfast. Though to be fair, it’s closer to noon so it most likely counts as lunch rather than breakfast, but it’s my first meal of the day even though I’ve been up since seven, so it’s still breakfast in my book.

There’s a kid in the booth next to me being slightly loud. I can hear him through my headphones, but even that isn’t really enough to detract from the peace I feel at finally being able to sit and complete this thing, this action I’ve been wanting to do, which is really nothing.

Literally, nothing.

I can sit and give that my full attention. Breathing. Being. Bask in the feeling of being alive and not having to go anywhere, do anything. Of not having to worry about fucking up at work. Not having to worry about chores or errands or obligations or time constraints.

I can finally take a moment to sit and acknowledge that I have survived up to this point.

The past few days have been rough emotionally. I’m slipping back to that place where most things, all things, feel pointless. Why do them? We all die. We all have hardships and struggles and they only ever end when we do. There’s always a new obstacle and so really what’s the point? Why try? Especially when mom’s not here to see any of it. Not the stress, the effort, the failures, the triumphs.

There’s only¬†myself.

Logically, I know there are other people in my life but when my brain gravitates to this area, this saddened, wounded place within myself, I feel alone. I’m hyper aware of the fact that every person in my life is mortal. Everyone I love, at some point, will die, and so even though they are in my life eventually they won’t be, and so it’s hard to argue with the loneliness.

That’s one thing I learned from mom’s death and I’m not sure if my take on it is healthy or not.

Everyone dies.

Even the people closest to you. They’ll leave, or you will, eventually. It’s sad, morbid, maybe, but those qualities do not make it less of a fact. Less true. That’s part of life. It’s why I’ve changed the way I evaluate my relationships and the hurts I feel from those I care about.

Are they worth the pain? The miscommunications, the angry comments, the criticisms, regrets, guilt. Is the person I’m having these emotions over worth it? When they die will they be worth the pain I’ll feel?

The answer for most of the people in my life is yes. They are worth it.

I look at the people I love. I see their mortality and I accept that when they pass, if they pass before me, that I will hurt, ache, mourn, maybe even grieve, though not on the same scale as I grieve for mom. I accept that the pain I will feel is the balance. It will let me know that my love was, is, real. That our relationship existed in the infinite vastness of our universe and that, for me at least, it meant something deep.

The few people who are in my life who I don’t feel are “worth it” I find myself growing more and more distant with and I’m ok with that distance. With work taking so much more of my time I don’t regret not putting energy into something I don’t legitimately want.

But still, even valuing the relationships I have, cherishing them for the love and support I am freely given, they aren’t mom. They can never be mom.

I don’t seek their approval the way I did her’s. I don’t want their praise as much as I desperately wish I could hear her say she’s proud of me one last time. I can’t embrace them the same way I did her because they aren’t, can never be, her.

I’ll never forget those words, spoken through cracked lips while we talked in her hospital room.

I have always been proud of you.

I know she’s proud of me.

Sitting here, surrounded by other people going about their day; getting lunch with family members, having a business meeting, ¬†or what appears to be an awkward first date, I’m sitting here allowing myself to realize that I’ve still survived and that even though I don’t understand it, it’s not pointless.

I save people every day I go to work. I know she would think that’s amazing.

The other day I had one of my patients thank me and tell me I did well. Very often my patients tell me they don’t feel any pain when I cannulate them. I finally earned the trust of one of our more finicky patients. She allowed me to cannulate her for the first time last week after which several of my coworkers came up to me and told me “good job!” and that they were pleased with how I handled myself.

I had another patient not want to come into the clinic one day. I went outside to talk with him. He sat in his wheelchair and wouldn’t look at me while he said he didn’t want to go to his treatment. When I asked why he said because he was tired. He was tired of going inside, of sitting in a chair for four hours every other day. He didn’t want to do it anymore.

My heart broke while I knelt in front of him holding his ¬†hand and listening to him because I know those feelings. I know what it’s like to be tired of trying.

I’m tired of waking up. I’m tired of mom being dead. I’m tired of being tired.

I asked him if he knew what would happen if he didn’t get his treatment. He said yes. I told him I understood that he was tired, that he didn’t want to come inside. I told him he didn’t have to come in, but that I did have to tell the charge nurse that he wouldn’t be there. He said he knew I would.

Before I got up I asked him if I could give him a hug. He said yes, so I stood and wrapped my arms around him in empathy. I told him that I hoped he felt better as I squeezed just a little bit tighter even though I knew that I couldn’t take away any of the tiredness or pain. All I could do was let him know that I knew it sucked and that I cared.

He said thank you and we both had tears in our eyes as I walked back inside. I told the charge nurse about the patient not wanting to come in. She nodded her head and went outside herself shortly after. About 30 minutes later I saw the RN coming in, pushing the patient’s wheelchair. They got him set up and when I had a second I went over and spoke to him again.

Me:¬†I’m glad you’re here.
Patient: I came in because of you.

I’m still moved by that comment. It’s hard not to have tears running down my cheeks while my coffee sits in front of me growing cold, while other people around me laugh, while the kid next to me bangs things on the table, I’m trying so hard not to break down as I think about this one patient and how I made a difference for him.

Every time I have seen this patient I make sure to say, “I’m glad you’re here,” because I am. I’m glad that he’s still fighting, that we both are. I’m glad we’re able to see each other even if it’s under the shitty circumstances of kidney failure.

I’m glad I wrote about that event finally. I’m glad I solidified it through text rather than letting it remain a memory inside of my skull. It’s on paper now. It’s real. It happened. I touched someone’s life and showed them it was worth the struggle and pain. And like wise they have touched my life even if I still stumble from time to time.

I’m glad I wrote about all of these moments because it’s allowing me to remember the good points. The moments where I don’t feel lonely and where I feel like life is worth living and that I really do have a purpose.

I’ve been sad. I’ve been lonely, and it’s not a loneliness that anyone can fix. This is grief. It will always be here within my chest, within my heart. The only thing I can think to do is to keep breathing. I’m not ready to give everything up and I don’t know why. There’s not a point to do anything, but there’s not a point to not do it either.

I guess it comes back to the beginning of my writing and the feeling of being alone.

I truly only have myself. I’m not ready to leave that. I still want to prove to myself that I can do the things I want. I still want to be a fighter. I still want to learn to dance. I still want to run my Warrior Dash. I still want to have my cups of coffee. I still want to play Witcher 3 and kill monsters in horrifically horrible ways. I still want to love the people I love.

I’m not ready for any of that to end.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this writing. To be honest, this wasn’t how I had intended it to go, but it has been soothing. I don’t hurt as much as I did before I sat down, yet in some ways I hurt more. Maybe that’s healing.

The new scheudle for work came out. I’m scheduled for four days every week for the next six weeks. In some ways I’m happy. That means I should get a handful of overtime hours every week. There’s only one week where I’m working three days in a row. The other weeks are pretty spread out so I shouldn’t be too burnt out from the schedule. If it becomes too much I can always trade / give away days to someone else.

On the other side, I’m worried about being too tired for the gym or training. I’m worried about feeling like all I do is work and being so exhausted on my days off that all I do is sleep.

My worry about the schedule factored into my mood last night. I sulked as I played my game, thinking about all the time I wasn’t going to have to do things because of work. It carried over into this morning, though I did recongize that I had more energy than previous days.

Eventually, I got up and showered. It took two hours for me to pull myself out of bed, longer than I feel it should have, but I did, eventually, do it and that action seemed to kickstart things. After I dressed I sat at my computer and made a small to-do list, refraining from adding too many tasks. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. I didn’t want to overwhelme my day off with a massive list that I wouldn’t be able to finish.

No. Just enough to get things done. Enough to feel accomplished. That’s what I needed. To feel like I did things and that I achieved something.

Updating my calendar was one of those things.

After putting the work dates into the computer along with my workout times I think I can find a balance. I also think I know what I need to start doing as far as caring for myself goes.

Sunday will ALWAYS be a rest day. I’ve staked that claim solidly into the ground. No obligations. Ever. That is MY day. If I choose to share it with someone, cool. If I want to do chorese, awesome. But it will never, EVER, be an obligation day.

It will be my “go out for breakfast” day. My “free time to write” day. My “video game” day. My introverted “I’ve trained and worked the past six days the rest of the world can catch on fire and burn, silently” day. My “zero fucks given” day.

Since Tuesday is my other guaranteed day off, that will by my main chore day. Laundry specifically since I need to have some sort of routine for that. I need to know when my work / workout clothes reset. I need to know I can pack my gym bag and have srubs ready to go. I need clothes to not be a stressor in my life, and knowing when they will get cleaned helps with that. It makes things reliable, structured.

So Tuesdays, always, without fail, first thing in the morning so it’s already halfway done, will be laundry day.

I think I’m going to have to change the way I meal prep slightly since I very rarely will get concecuative days off now. I think I’m going to try preping one or two meals at a time rather than having a week’s worth of food ready. That means I’ll be cooking more than once a week, but for smaller intervals. I can also work it to where one meal is a baked dish so I can use the oven while also cooking something on the stove.

Salads are another easy option to add into the mix. So maybe getting three meals prepped in a single day isn’t as hard as I’ve been making it.¬†Maybe my system doesn’t need to change as much as I think it does. Maybe I just need to be more conscious of the cooking methods for the meals I choose.

I suppose we’ll see. Food isn’t a huge stressor for me. I know I can provide for myself, even if it means grabbing a handful of things from the gas station on the way to work because I ran out of pre-made stuff at home.

My biggest concerns are remaining active in my training and continuing to adjust to work. I still need to find that balance between the two and not lose myself in the process.

I feel like this has been a productive writing. It definitely let me reflect and consciously accept different aspects of my life.

It feels good to know I have a dedicated “off” day to reset myself and a dedicated “chore day” to reset for work.

I think with having those two I’ll be able to figure out how everything else fits in over the course of the next six weeks.

Well, my breakfast is most likely good and cold by now. I feel better. A lot better actually. Stable. Solid. Like I have an idea of how to live my life and still take care of things. I’m going to go so I can eat and finish off my to do list.

Thanks for being here for me, mom, even when I’m not always here for myself.

Daily Post 043: Assessing, Reflecting, and Tattoos

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I tried writing the other day, but it was in the middle of a pretty bad thunderstorm. About two paragraphs in the power cut out, my computer restarted, and the internet didn’t want to play nice anymore. I figured that was a pretty clear sign to go to sleep.

Writing has been on my mind a lot lately. More accurately, my lack of writing. I get to the end of my day and I’m tired. I have to be up early the next day so it’s a better option to sleep. Other times I don’t want to take the time to go through the stuff in my head because I know it’s going to be a long and more than likely painful process leading to personal growth/realization.

Well, today is a day off. I don’t have a lot going on and I really don’t have an excuse to not sit down and do this… so I’m doing this.

Work is going well. And I’m conscious of the fact that I start this reflection off with work rather than my relationships or personal life. It seems so natural. I start with my mission. ¬†My sense of purpose. The thing I’m doing to be helpful, useful, and productive to society. I’ve always loved work, and even though I enjoyed my year of unemployment, I’m glad to be working again. I’m glad I’ve found something that makes me feel fulfilled in this way.

Waking up at 2 and 3 in the morning is getting easier. I’m finding ways to make it work for me. I’ve made friends with the gas station attendants at the Wawa I stop at for breakfast and coffee. It’s a nice start to my day, and I’m not going to lie, using the app is pretty nifty.

The days at work aren’t as physically and mentally brutal as what my first week was. I’m finding my flow. All of the tasks I need to do aren’t as overwhelming. I am familiar with more of the patients. I have favorites who always make me smile and who smile when they see me. One of them calls me “Nurse Jen” even though I’m only a PCT. It’s cute. It makes me feel warm and like I belong.

One of my patients got a kidney transplant. I found that out yesterday. Last week one of our patients died at home due to a heart attack. I didn’t know her very well but I remember being introduced to her. It was sobering. Eventually, one of the patients I’m familiar with will die and that day will be hard for me. I don’t know how I’ll handle it. I don’t know if it will stir up the grief from mom dying, but I know eventually that day will come and I know my team will be supportive of me and help me through it.

There’s a girl at my clinic who I call “Academic Dishonesty”. I think I’ve written about her a few times, though I honestly can’t recall and I’m not going to go back through my writings to find out. I shadowed with her and she was in my training class. She was supposed to work at a different location but ended up getting transferred to my clinic. No one on the team is happy about it. They don’t care for her and she’s pretty much pissed everyone off one way or another.

The reason for her nickname is because while she was on the floor, in front of patients, she mentioned how she had forgotten about a test she needed to take for her online class. She had her boyfriend take it for her and she was mad at him for not scoring high enough and costing her the President’s scholarship she had.

… I mean… That’s like saying you convinced someone to rob a bank for you but you’re pissed because they didn’t steal enough money…

Having been a student, and a teacher, I can’t respect someone like that. There are other instances involving patients that bother me and I’ve spoken out about them. She went from being full time to part time, so I only see her every other week. I guess now she’s being changed to per deim. I know one of the patients spoke to the FA about her. I don’t think she’s going to stay for very long.

I don’t wish ill on anyone, but I hope she finds something else or that she leaves because she wants to focus more on school. I don’t think she’s the right fit for dialysis or the team. Anyone who is comfortable lying and cheating like that isn’t a person I want to be associated with.

That’s really the only hardship I have with work. Ms. Academic Dishonesty, and I hardly ever see her. The rest of it is finding my own pace for things and I’m getting better with that. Yesterday was the smoothest, least stressful day I’ve had so far.

I found out that I’m going to be back paid since I wasn’t given the dollar increase I was promised. That was supposed to happen when I passed my certification, which, surprise if I haven’t written about it, I passed and am now certified through DaVita. In about six months I will need to take another test to become nationally certified, but that’s still a little ways away and so for the moment, I’m going to continue to focus on finding my balance.

There are other things I need to be trained on, like how to mix bicarb and acid for the dialysate and how to clean catheters, but catheter care is still about four months off, and there’s no rush for me to do the water training. I think they’re going to wait on that for a bit, too, which I’m ok with. I feel like I’m catching my breath from being through into the deep end. I’m no longer drowning. I’m treading water. I want to recover a bit more before I try swimming.

My FA asked me what I wanted to work; a lot of hours or fewer hours? I told him honestly I didn’t know. These past two or three weeks have been my first weeks on my own and I’m only now starting to feel stable. I think I want to keep it down to two days in a row at most. Last week I had to work three days in a row and that was pretty rough. I did it. I could have done a fourth, but it wasn’t fun and I would rather not do it again for a little bit. Three of my teammates went on vacation at the same time which is why the schedule got sort of screwy. Doesn’t help with trying to establish a baseline for how a “normal” week will feel.

So really, I think the only thing I need with work is time. I’m doing well and I do find my job extremely fulfilling. I don’t know if I’ll be there for forever, but I’m happy with being there for right now. I get to play in the stock room organizing things on my breaks. The patient schedule is getting ready to change due to new CMS regulations and we’re trying to petition to be moved to a newer, better building. I think there’s a lot of potential for me here and I would like to stay with it for a little while to see where it takes me.

Big Bad and I are doing well. We were able to see each other Sunday evening. His mom is in the hospital again but should be released later today. She started having chest pain and shortness of breath at 3 am on Saturday. Big Bad couldn’t remember exactly what the doctor called it. He said he thought it was arterial fibrillation but I’m pretty sure it was an arterial flutter, which is bad, but not as bad as fibrillation.

I didn’t stay the night since I had work the next morning, but it was nice to have sexy time along with the quiet time of cuddling and feeling connected to something other than work. For all that I’m around people my moments with Big Bad are the few moments where I’m actually touched or hugged.

We’ve been able to see each other mostly weekly which has been nice. We decided not to see each other last night since we had time together Sunday. I would have been bummed but we decided to spend the evening together Thursday instead. I have Friday off so it works out pretty well for us and it means I don’t have to go a whole week before my next hug. We’ll even be able to do coffee together. I’m looking forward to it.

I’ve seen my blacksmith a few times as well. It’s been incredible. He was in a car accident one of the evenings we were supposed to meet. He’s ok and no one was hurt. They kept him at the hospital for a while to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong. He’s had family in town and is back to working doubles at work. With my schedule being the way it is and his changing, I think Saturday evenings are going to be our times together. He’s trying to get a DnD group together which could prove to be fun. That’s still in the works but it’s something to potentially look forward to.

Warren and I are doing alright. Still not thrilled to have to have a roommate, but things are a bit better. He takes a few days to do chores but they do eventually get done. He swept yesterday and when I came home the trash had been taken out. Hooray. I’m still waiting to get a rent payment from him. I might ask him about it later since he said he would pay me on Friday. Well… It’s Tuesday… Blarg. At least he’s been paying the full amounts when he does pay.

We’ve broached the subject of the lease and how we’re going to pay for things this coming year. That’s still tentative and nebulous, which I extremely dislike, but there’s not much we can do about it at the moment. The lease is up October 19th. I won’t be able to pay for a year in full again. We’ll most likely switch over to monthly payments where I pay with the credit card that way we don’t have to worry about having to pool a large sum of money together all at once. I can make multiple payments on the card and keep the balance down.

Warren’s new job is going well. He’s out of training. In a few months, he’ll be eligible for bonuses as well as a raise. He’ll be eligible for moving up to assisting with OS issues as well which will be another raise if he gets picked for that promotion. That would help out significantly. A two dollar raise with bonuses. Yes, please.

He’s recently been hanging out and being social with people. He’s picked up the hobby of paddle boarding which gets him out of the house. I can tell he’s dropped a lot of weight. He seems happier and more energetic.

One of the girls he was chatting with was interested in all of the things I do. I guess Warren was telling her about me being a badass with jiu-jitsu and Muay Thia. I ended up meeting her for dinner and we got along pretty well. She went to a kickboxing class with me at Title Club and enjoyed it so much she got a membership. That meant I got a free month. Totally had no idea about the referral thing so that was a pretty nice surprise.

She and I have gone to a few other classes together. We have plans to do boxing tonight at 7:30. She reminds me of me a few years ago. She’s just starting out on trying to get healthier. I think eventually she’ll want to try going to the dojo, but for right now I think she’s doing things right. Taking it slow and figuring out what she likes and doesn’t like and what her limits are.

I haven’t been to the dojo in a while, but that’s because I’ve been waiting for my arms to heal.

Yeah… that’s right… heal.

I got tattoos on my upper biceps and rolling around on the ground with sweaty hands gripping my arms didn’t sound all that hygienic so I’ve been going to Title Club a lot and doing bag work.

Big Bad went with me for the first tattoo on my right arm. I was alone for the second one. Originally my brother was going to be with me but that ended up falling through. I think it was better that way. In the end, I took care of a lot of things alone. I flew with mom’s ashes alone. I drove to my grandparent’s grave with her urn alone. I stayed in the hospital at night with her alone. There were a lot of moments where it was just me and her, me and mom, and so I think it was fitting that I ended the tattoos for her with her, alone.

Overall I think they turned out well. There’s some touch-up work I want done. Now that they’re mostly healed I think the runes in the center need to be a darker red. The ink looked good in the bottle but with my skin tone, it seems pinker. I liked the darker red of when it was scabbed over with blood.

The bands going around the under side of my arm was the hardest part. My triceps bruised all the way down to my elbow. I’m still waiting for the bruise on my left arm to fully go away. The bruises didn’t hurt and were extremely shallow but yeah, you could definitely tell my arms were pissed with me.

The scabs are almost fully healed. There are only a few spots left where the skin needs to flack. I’m thinking I’ll be able to go back to the dojo next week.

One of the realizations I had this morning happened while I was talking to Warren’s friend. I told her how I had training at the gym today along with our plans for boxing in the evening. Somehow through the conversation, it came up that I might have a second cup of coffee since I was being a slacker today.

She asked how I was being a slacker when I had plans for the gym.

That’s when I realized that my definition for “slacker” has changed.

I don’t honestly feel like a slacker, but I am taking it easy today. Easy… when I have roughly 2 hours of intense activity scheduled…

What I don’t have planned is nineteen million other things to go along with those two hours. I don’t have 12 hours of work where I walk six miles while staying in the same room. I don’t have chores or errands. I don’t have projects. I don’t have social obligations.

I have a fairly quiet day, on my own, where I get to enjoy not one, but two cups of coffee while I sit on my couch until noon in my pjs. I don’t have cooking I need to do because it’s already done for the week. I might do laundry, but that’s only because I don’t want to have to do it tomorrow night after work.

I did order more scrubs over the weekend. The ones for work still haven’t come in, which is frustrating, but even if they had, I wouldn’t like wearing them as much as the ones I went out and bought myself. So, last weekend I went to Uniform City and ordered two more sets of the ones I like. That way I’ll be able to make it through four shifts without having to worry about doing laundry on top of getting enough sleep. It seemed like a good investment especially since I like them so much.

But yeah, currently I’m scheduled to work Wednesday and Thursday and I only have one set of clean scrubs… lame. So laundry will most likely happen. It would be one less stressor to worry about.

I haven’t had a legitimate “rest” day is about two weeks. My “rest” days are now my long days at work where I walk about 7 or 8 miles. On my light days at work, where I only walk about 6, I usually get off early enough to still make it to a class, so I go.

I haven’t felt burnt out, it’s been helping me sleep more deeply, and it keeps my muscles from getting too sore or stiff. I think I’ve been pretty good about gauging my body and understanding when I need to stop. Sometimes I only stay for 30 minutes of a class, other times I stay for the whole thing. Sometimes I push hard. Sometimes it’s a lighter workout.

I’ve been consciously focusing on my water intake as well. I drink at least one bottle of water every time I go on break at work. I drink at least two, sometimes three, when I work out. I make sure at least one bottle is a Gatorade to help with electrolytes. I haven’t had any headaches, but there have been a few days where I’ve run “warm”. I feel hot like I’m overheating, but after some fluids, I’m better.

I’m too active to not keep up with what my body needs. So far I think I’m doing pretty ok.

I got new gloves and I love them. For all of you with a fetish for sexy black gloves… you’re welcome.

 

They’re fingerless sparring gloves from Venum. They’re holding up extremely well. I can throw punches harder without destroying my knuckles and still have my fingers free from gripping. If / when I replace them I might go down a size, but at the moment I’m extremely pleased.

I’m thinking about getting new shin guards next. I know I just got a new pair around Novemeber but I can definitely feel how they’re too large for me now that they’re pretty broken in. I gave my old gloves and wraps to K, Warren’s friend who I’ve corrupted to the way of beating things. I might give her my shin guards when I replace them since she’s taller than I am, which is odd for me because at 5 ft 8in not many people are taller.

That will be a month or so down the line when it happens. I would say “if”, but I know I’m going to replace them, so it seems silly to try to deny the fact that I’m eventually going to spend the money.

I recently upgraded all of my gear, actually. New compression shorts and shirts. I got the shirts right before my tattoos so they haven’t seen much action yet. I’ve been wearing only my cover shirts since the sleeves are looser and don’t agitate the skin as much.

I’m starting to see more definition in my abdomen. I try not to think about results all that much but it was nice being in smaller sizes when I upgraded my gear.

The Shefit bras are still doing amazing. So amazing in fact that I got ones for work as well.

I did spend a fair amount of money but I’m ok with it. It’s keeping me going, both work and workout wise. I feel like I’m investing in myself rather than splurging for no reason.

I still have a ways to go, but I’m in a much different position in my life than what I was last year or when I started this journey I didn’t know I was on. I like where I’m at. I’m getting comfortable with this new me. The me where two hours is something I look forward to. It’s a reward. My “me” time. It’s an understood part of my day, not something I have to convince myself to go do.

Mother Earth and I are supposed to meet on Sunday. I’m not really sure what else to write about that. I had been going through my Facebook messages, deleting old ones I no longer wanted to keep. I found messages from her and Josh, messages from when mom first died and they had reached out to me.

I didn’t know what to do with those messages. Keeping them hurts, but I don’t know if I’m ready to let them go either. I messaged Sir explaining my feelings and asked him to let Mother Earth and Josh know that I miss them.

I try to live my life as if it’s my only day alive. If I were to not wake up would I have died with unfinished business, unspoken words? Would I be ok with things being left as they are or is there closure that needs to happen?

This was one of those things where I wouldn’t be ok with leaving it as it is. I needed them to know I missed them. If I were to die, at least they would know I still cared.

He said he would work it into the conversation for me. I was ok with that. I wasn’t trying to bridge a gap. I wasn’t trying for anything other than having peace of mind.

I got a message from Mother Earth a few days later. We started touching on the subject of our separation. She said she would rather meet in person to talk about it because she didn’t want to cause me more pain. I said it was a painful situation. She accused me of trying to steal her husband. She said her and Josh would always be “home” for me and then exiled me through text messages. There’s no way for this to not be a painful situation.

I still feel abandoned. I still feel wounded. I think there’s a lot that’s gone on or that was said that I don’t know about. All I know is my side, but, from my side, mom had just died and two of my closest friends cast me out. I don’t know how to recover from that.

Life doesn’t go backward. We’ll never be able to be where we were a year ago. I’ll never be able to trust or be open like I was before this hurt. I don’t know if I’ll ever want to try for a sexual experience again. I think it will always have that “unsafe” warning flag. Even if we hang out and drink and there’s the “harmless kissing a girl” thing going on, I don’t think I’ll ever give into it because for me it wouldn’t be “harmless”. It will bring up all of these emotions and memories.

In my head, they’re no longer the “safe” people they were. They can be friends, but there will always be a distance there from having been pushed away. I can come back but only to arm’s length.

I don’t even know if they want me to be their friend. I don’t know what this meeting is going to be like. I’m hoping it’s a decent meeting. We’re meeting at a restaurant so I’m assuming it won’t be a screaming match. I don’t know how I’m supposed to be able to eat. Even thinking about it gives me anxiety. I don’t know where I stand with her. I don’t know if this is a meeting for her to tell me to fuck off to my face.

Logically I know that would be really silly. She could do that over text messages again and save both of us the gas and time. But the injured part of me, the one focused on self-preservation and not being hurt again, is worried and because I’m worried eating food sounds like an impossible task.

We haven’t spoken since arranging the meeting. I’m trying to not think about it because there’s really nothing to be done until Sunday so fretting over it is a waste of energy. I would rather enjoy my day off than play the “what if” game. Whatever happens, happens. It would be nice to have some sense of closure.

There’s still the money that is owed to me by both her and Sir. I know both of their situations have improved. It would be nice to have that money back. It would make October less scary. It would be a way to show that I still matter. That promises mean something and are still worth keeping.

Things are going well for Jon. I had a dream the other night that I was at home. I think I knew mom was dead, or that she “wasn’t there” anymore. I was walking from the garage, through the kitchen, down the hallway back to my room. It was darkish though I could still see well enough to know where I was going.

As I passed the door to Jon’s room I got a sense of foreboding. It was like something was in there and I shouldn’t turn my back on it. I had to watch this doorway to darkness because something bad was inside it and if I looked away it would get me.

I woke up feeling uneasy. I turned my bathroom light on for a little bit until it got annoying enough for me to turn it off and go back to sleep.

I called Jon last night after kickboxing and asked him if we were ok. I said I knew it was a weird, out of the blue question and explained my dream to him. He said we were fine and he was sorry about my dream. It was good to hear his voice and to have the reassurance that we’re ok. I’m sure we’ll fight about something eventually. I mean, after all, we’re brother and sister, it’s part of our genetics to fight. But for now, things are good between us.

He’s on summer vacation from school so he’s been playing World of Warcraft a lot and teaching guard camps for marching band. He’s having his own roommate issues, but I think they should be fixed in October assuming he can last that long.

I got my breaks replaced on my car. It’s the first “major” expense I’ve had with it other than getting new tires. The struts need to be changed eventually but those aren’t an immediate concern. I’m able to plan for it a bit and work it into my financial schedule/goals.

I like the place I go to for car service. They’ve always treated me extremely well. Because I ended up having to wait so long for my breaks to get fixed I got a half off oil change with a coupon for another 1/2 price oil change. I would have liked having those three hours of my life back, but they tried to make it better with some form of compensation. They could have done nothing.

Scarlet is doing ok. Still annoying as ever with her whole meowing thing any time there’s running water. She’s been curling up with me at night again which is nice. For a while, she was sleeping in the closet for whatever reason.

I think that’s about it for the moment.

I know I need to meditate about mom, about the tattoos. I haven’t done that. I know there’s pain I need to work through and find balance with in regards to accepting the end to that chapter.

She died. End of story.

End of THAT story.

It’s not the end of MY story, which I guess is why it hurts.

I’m alive. I’m not dead. I still wake up. I still do things and move forward and achieve and fail. I still have things I want to talk about and share.

I’m still here and because I’m still here I feel that pain. I feel that loss. I feel the absence and the void. I feel that end and it sucks because it’s not MY end. It’s not where I wanted it to end.

I’m glad I have the tattoos. They’re heavy, but they remind me that she was real. That she lived. That she influenced my life and made me a better person. I’m glad that I have a way to permanently show the world that I mourn for her.

My tattoos aren’t like her ring or my necklace, things I have to take off when I train. My tattoos are always with me. Unlike the emotional wounds, my tattoos are visible. They remind me of what I’ve been through. They remind me of what I’ve survived.

I’m strong. I’m the matriarch of my family. I’m my mother’s daughter. I’ve made it this far. I’ve told Life over and over again to go fuck itself this past year. I’ve made things work. I’ve taken step after agonizing, inching step forward because I promised I would.

No one can take that away from me. No one can remove my tattoos or take away the insight and knowledge I have gained through the experiences I’ve had. No one can take away my self.

That’s why I got the tattoos I did. The runes are what my mom gave me and no one can take that away. Not Life. Not Death. Not Stress or Doubt, or any of the other countless personified things I struggle with.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.