Daily Post 166: Decent Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Post 165: Moment by Moment

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Today was alright. It’s rainy and dreary. I went into work to help with change over. My FA is back from her week-long meeting in DC. I’m glad to have her back. I think it did benefit the team for her to be out of the facility. We learned to trust each other. We learned how to function without her. At the same time, she learned that she can trust in us, too; that the clinic won’t burn to the ground without her here.

Currently, I’m in a bit of a low mood, though, and I know I am. One of our new patients passed away on Saturday. I didn’t know her well, but it still sucks. It still makes my body and heart ache with shared sorrow. She had a family. She had a life outside of the clinic and her absence is going to be felt by many people, just like mom’s was and continues to be.

It leaves me feeling… something which there aren’t words to express. Shared sorrow is the best I can do and like so many times before in my writing, it doesn’t feel like enough. Those words do not express the depth or complexity which are emotions. Maybe nothing ever truly can. Emotions are felt, not explained.

The rest of everything that has happened in my life feels trivial compared to the realness of life and death. Almost like it’s disrespectful to write about how my life continued to go on while her’s ended and yet I couldn’t have stopped my life anymore than the doctors could have kept hers going.

I went to Walmart and got two new skirts and a pair of shorts. I’m in smaller sizes than the last time I bought clothes. I went to the gym and had a good workout.

Sunday I went to my first “family gathering” with Ox. I met his aunts and cousins. For the most part, I spent the three hours sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunlight and breeze while cross stitching which sparked all sorts of comments from the family members. I felt extremely accepted. There was good food and good conversation. It wasn’t the horrific social event I had envisioned in my mind. I wasn’t shamed out of the home for having purple hair or tattoos.

I also had my first run-in with a tornado warning while Ox and I were out shopping after the family get-together. There’s a big difference between practicing a drill and real-life camping out in a Walmart layaway listening to nature rage around you. I made a post on Facebook to let everyone I was fine and that I made it home safe.

Saturday I spent the whole day sick and in bed. I slept about 16 hours and was better for taking it super slow and easy. Ox was amazingly fantastic in caring for me and allowing me to sleep the day and sickness away.

Lil’ Ox and I got to color a bit together Friday night once I got home from work. It’s the first time in a while that we’ve done something together. Ornery Ox even talked to me for a little bit Sunday during the family time. It was nice. I know I haven’t been extremely involved or present with the kids for a while. This weekend was a small step towards correcting that.

The past two weeks have been sort of rough, work-wise. I’ve been working five days. I can only imagine what they would have been like if I were still trying to take the Human Anatomy class. This coming week is most likely going to be more of the same, but next week should be a little lighter.

At the moment I don’t really think there’s much else to say. My heart isn’t in it right now; in writing, I guess. I don’t necessarily hurt, but I ache. One day at a time. One moment at a time. One task at a time. I’m sort of back to that I think.

Friday is my next day off. I think if I can make it to there then I’ll be alright. I know I’ll be ok. I know I’m not not ok right now. I’m just sad and that too is ok. Sometimes life is sad.

Daily Post 164: Surviving the Conversation

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I am sitting waiting for my leadership class to begin. The internet here isn’t the best. Grammarly, the app I normally write in, won’t load. So instead, I’m writing in a Google Doc. It reminds me of when I first started writing, keeping those thoughts and feelings to myself in folders organized by month and year.

Things are going well. More well then before.

I withdrew from my Human Anatomy class and have been better for it. I don’t feel the stress of failure due to poor structure looming over every minute of every day. I have the emails and phone numbers for a few of the deans who may be interested in my perspective; including the dean of virtual learning. Essentially, the guy in charge of all online courses.

I haven’t set up meets with the deans yet, but I would like to. I want to help make the class better rather than beening resentful and blaming. It’s the schools fault. It’s the instructors fault.

No… It’s no one’s fault. This is a moment in time and this was my experience with it. Let’s make it better so future students don’t have to go through the hellacious three weeks that I did before deciding it was better to stop than keep bleeding out.

Ox and I have had several hard conversations. They went to the point of feeling like breaking up was the only option. The only “solution”. It sucked. It was scary. And yet, we’re still together and better for having addressed our issues.

I remember one point in the conversation, the ultimate low, and knowing that my next words decided everything.

Me: I don’t know what else to say. I am not your past and you are worth it.

We ended up going inside. He let me stay curled up on the bed while he folded the four baskets of clothes that had gathered up in the room. I didn’t mind him folding his own clothes and part of that had more to do with the burnout I was feeling.

Mental Me: Thank you for taking care of your own stuff. I proves to me that you can and that it is a kindness when I do it; a kindness you’re not intentionally or consciously taking advantage of.

Then he started folding my clothes and the uncomfortableness I felt had those silent tears in my eyes as I tried to get up to take care of my own things.

Ox: No. Stay.

The tone, the finality of his voice, made it non-negotiable.

I didn’t want him to fold my clothes. I didn’t want him taking care of me that much when we had just survived a legitimate potential break up. I can take care of my own things. I’m not that broken. This is my job. I should have folded your clothes rather than being petty and vindictive and enjoying the fact that you were doing it instead of me.

I can’t let you fold my stuff. It would be a failing on my part. It would be me not adulting well enough. It would be me being weak and unable to cope and function. I can cope. I can function. Please let me fold my clothes.

But no. I wasn’t allowed. I had to struggle through those emotions and I don’t think that was a bad thing. He’s allowed to care for me in the same ways I care for him. I’m allowed to not do things. I’m allowed to be the one not in charge. Our relationship is allowed to be equal and fair.

We went out the next day to do grocery shopping. Along the way I got a new pair of headphone since one of the cats chewed through the pair I had. We stopped by Best Buy and Game Stop to look at games. We got a couple. Currently, we are trying out Divinity II, Original Sin. And by currently, I mean we have created characters to play together and have made it through the tutorial section. One night worth of game play. Not much to go on, but I like it. I think once I get the interface down that I’ll be able to fully ingage in the story. And I mean, come on, flesh eating elves that set shit on fire… How can that be a bad game?!?!

While we were out, we also stopped by one of the sex shops in Lincoln. I tried on a few school girl outfits because, referring back to my previous post, I’m going to hell but it’s going to be one sexy, slutty trip getting there. I didn’t like either of the outfits I tried on, but I got a couple different things while I was there.

It wasn’t until later that I realized we had both spent about the same amount of money on the things we wanted to bring back into the relationship. It made me feel good to realize that. It felt fair; balanced. It felt right. Sort of like, “This is important to me so I will facilitate it”.

I’ve been going to the gym more. Yesterday my shoulder was still sore from the arm work I had done during my previous gym excursion. I still have the scab on the top of my left foot, too, so my options for working out were a bit limitied. I ended up biking again. I made it to a bit over five miles this time. Still a far cry from the 10 I used to do nearly daily, but I can feel my endurance coming back. I was able to zone out to good music. I was able to connect with myself and listen to my inner self; the self that I keep putting on hold and not making time for.

I feel better about myself. I feel better about the relationship. There’s more contact and connection. There’s more realness. There’s more security and there’s the genuine belief that we will be ok. We got through all of those hard conversations and have come out on the other side.

I guess there’s not a whole lot else to write about at the moment. Class is about to start so I I suppose here is a good a place as any to end for the moment.

Daily Post 163: On Being Human

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Alert: Content is about sex.


I’m sitting here. I’m writing. I’m feeling better than I did this morning when I first woke up. I didn’t drink enough water yesterday after going to the dojo. I pushed pretty hard, too, which makes the whole not drinking thing a bigger issue than it normally would be.

I busted the top of my left foot because I was frustrated and kept kicking. And kicking. And kicking. And kicking. And oh… my foot kind of hurts. Let me look at it. Well… that’s blood. Guess I should stop so I don’t get any more than I have on the bag…

The top of my right foot is bruised. I think the reason my left foot didn’t fare as well was that there was already a weak spot in the skin from the last time I was at the gym. A little bit of friction burn since I haven’t been wearing my shin guards. I don’t think I did more or pushed harder with my left than my right. I think the skin of the left was already a bit compromised and so it didn’t handle the beating as well.

My knuckles are doing better than I thought they would. No friction burns or anything to worry about during work tomorrow. Alcohol hand sanitizer sucks on busted knuckles. Just so you know.

The frustration comes from my self. I’m not as frustrated today but that’s because I’ve had three conversations since then. One with a person I have been talking to online. And two with Ox.

And I guess this is where I write about super personal stuff and show that I’m human and that not everything is perfect pretty sunshine and rainbows or about mom’s death and that there’s a lot of emotions involved with life.

Ox and I are… doing. We’re not doing badly. But we’re also not doing well. At least not my definition of well. There are certain areas in our relationship that I feel need to be assessed and nurtured and tended to. Like when you’re gardening and you need to prune the bad sections away for the overall health of the plant. It hurts. It sucks. But it’s something that needs to happen in order for things to still be ok.

Ox and I haven’t been pruning. We haven’t really been having the conversations we need to. I think part of that is me. I have a hard time talking about difficult things. I mean, if it were easy then we would do it, right? But they’re not. There’s fear and uncertainty and so it’s easier to keep trucking along drowning myself in work or school and keep waiting for “one day”. The one day where the conversation becomes irrelevant because the problem fixed itself. But those days haven’t come and realistically, they’re not going to because that’s not how life works and on a logical level I know that. That doesn’t make the thought of these conversations easier so OH LOOK AN EAGLE!

Another factor from my side feeding into these “not having the conversations” tendencies is how busy and stressed I’ve been for a while. Especially when the Human Anatomy class started. The mentality then was “holy fuck how am I going to pass,” rather than “I need to pay attention to the health of my relationship”. Priorities can get skewed and things can get pushed to the back burner than shouldn’t and I own up to my part in allowing that, maybe too willingly, to happen.

On Ox’s part, from my perspective, it feels like the conversations we need to have have already happened, in one degree or another, and nothing changed or mattered so why try to have the conversation again or voice my feelings. I struggled through the hardness of saying it once. Why would I do it again and sound naggy or whinny? Why would I go through all of the icky emotions those conversations bring to the surface when it won’t do any good? It’s better just to stay quiet with my head down and let the wall of not okness build up around me and to try to find ways of being ok with the not okness.

So that’s where we’ve been at for a while. Stuff building up that needs to be dealt with, and neither one of us actually effectively dealing with the stuff.

Jumping topics for a bit to tie everything together… I’ve recently started talking to a couple on FetLife. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it before. It’s essentially a Facebook site for the BDSM community. I’ve never been very active on it. I don’t normally reach out to people or follow boards or look for events or get-togethers.

I’ve talked to and met some interesting people through it; no different then how I’ve met and talked to interesting people on my blog, it’s just a different type of interest. One of the times I logged on out of boredom I saw that someone had liked one of my pictures. I sent a message expressing my appreciation and that I hoped they and their family were ok since they’re profile listed them as being in an area that was affected by some of the flooding that happened here in Nebraska recently.

That led to us talking more. I’ve met his wife. Her and I are also chatting. And I get that most of society will look at this and be like, “what the hell? They’re married. That means monogamous and no outside partners and that’s horribly slutty behavior and a big no-no and you’re all going to go to hell because you’re sinners. Shame. Shame. Shame.”

Yes. I understand that society has preconceived notions on what marriage and relationships “should” be and “should” look like. Not everything is for everyone and as long as everyone involved is consenting, I don’t think it really matters what society says. I care about harmony and emotional well being. If everyone involved is in agreeance that what’s about to go down is ok, then what does it matter if someone uninvolved has an issue with it?

It’s like someone saying they don’t like the books I read.

Not going to be sorry about it because it honestly really doesn’t concern you. If you don’t like it those are your emotions. Not mine. And I’m not going to internalize them as mine because I actually really do like this books and that doesn’t make me a bad person.

So, yeah. I’ve been talking to both of them. The husband and the wife. I was actually able to meet both of them at their store a few weeks back. Ox agreed that I could go and meet them since it was a public place. I had a time limit since I had to get to the dojo. It wasn’t some dark ally at midnight. I got to look around their store which was actually pretty cool. They repurpose old furniture and have all sorts of nick-knacks and hand made jewelry.

Meeting them in person was nice because they were no longer just words on a computer or phone screen. I had facial expressions and tonal inflections to go with the words. I had a sense of their energy and if there was actually any sort of compatibility for genuine friendship, much less anything beyond that.

Well… there is. I really want to get to know the wife more. Her and I seem to have a lot in common. Book likes. Hobbies. We’re both introverts. We’re both nerds. We both want to have someone we can gush to over the horribly naughty good times we have; the ones we can’t share with coworkers or “normal” friends because yeah… we’re sinners and going to hell but holy fuck it was a mindblowingly amazing trip getting there and let me tell you all of the details about what really happened to me on Valentines day.

There’s a lot of chemistry between me and the husband. We have a lot of the same interests. I know it doesn’t help that I feel disconnected from Ox and here someone is giving me attention and making me feel pretty and wanted because I’m legitimately wanted. It feels nice. It makes me feel sexy. And it’s easier to feel that way because it’s not like I’m in a relationship with him. I don’t have to worry about his dirty clothes being on the floor or what to fix for dinner. It’s all nice, easy, fluffy conversation. Not a relationship that has been established for over a year where you have some battle scars and difficult conversations under your belt. It’s still new and shiny.

The conversations with the husband highlight what I feel I’m missing with Ox. I want Ox to think I’m sexy and attractive. I want Ox and I to have these conversations where I’m mentally and physically stimulated. Conversations and interactions that make me feel alive. That give me energy. That make it feel worth it to do the annoying, stupid, tedious things in life.

Passion. Drive. Warmth. Desire. Sexuality.

All of that. That’s what I want in this area of my life and that’s what I feel like I don’t have which is why it feels like I’m slowly withering away again. I have all of the support and love and compassion and understanding. I have all of the emotional relationship things I want, but very little of the sexual relationship things I want and I’m an extremely sexual person and so part of me is just sitting over here… in the corner… alone… by myself… alone.

Queue frustration of yesterday where I’m angry. Angry that I always seem to find myself in these situations; like this is the lesson I’m supposed to learn in this life and I haven’t fucking figured it out yet, so here’s another attempt for you, Jen, since you didn’t get it last time.

I can have stability or I can have sex. I can fulfill one area, but not both at the same time and not with the same person because fuck you, Jen. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

No. Fuck you, Universe. You are now this punching bag and I’m going to end your world for the next hour.

Or… not…

Punching bag: 1, Jen: 0

I ended up meeting with the husband yesterday after my unsuccessful time at the gym. I needed to talk to him in person because I wasn’t resolving anything inside of my head on my own. And this wasn’t a conversation that could be done over messages or on the phone. It needed to be in person with all of the non-verbal cues and changes in energy. I needed it to be in person.

So we met. I admitted to all of the things I wanted. I admitted to what I wish would / could happen in a perfect world where everything goes the way you want it to go. I talked about the relationship dynamic between Ox and me. We shared stories. He told me his side of the situation. It was a very open, honest, down to earth, all cards on the table, no bullshit type of conversation.

At one point he told me not to cry since I had tears in my eyes.

Me: Trust me. I’m not crying… yet.

It was an emotionally charged conversation though, and intense emotions show up as tears for me. So they were there, but at no point did I feel bad about almost crying in front of a relative stranger. Which is another thing that adds to the suckage and unfairness of the situation.

They both feel like people I can be safe with and around. I don’t feel judged. I don’t feel like I can only be half me. I feel like I can be full me, emotions, fears, uncertainties, fucked up desires and all.

The husband offered to back off of our conversations if it would help. He doesn’t want to cause me emotional distress or put strain on the relationship between Ox and me. He gave me a hug because I asked for one because I needed it. I needed to feel like I wasn’t a horrible person for having the thoughts and feelings I have. Understanding. Reassurance. Acceptance. One of those, “You’re human and it’s ok to be human,” sort of hugs.

His “dad” advice to me before we parted ways was to be true to my self. It didn’t matter if it ended up being with him or later down the road or what, but the more I suppress my true self, the more it’s going to come out later and the less healthly for everyone involved it’s going to be.

That information wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but it resonated deeper within myself to hear it from someone outside of my head.

I drove home. I listened to the same song I’ve been listening to for the past three days. The song I listened to for the whole time I was at the gym. It let me sink into myself, my thoughts. I knew I was really late getting home. I hadn’t messaged Ox to let him know where I was or why I was going to be late.

When your partner has a history of being cheated on, that’s not a great way to start the night. “Hey, I’m home. Can we talk?” Recipe for instant failure right there. Want your partner to not believe a single thing you say, because that’s how you get your partner to not believe a single thing you say…

I got home around 5:30. Ox had fallen asleep. Work sucked for him and he had been tired. I had messaged him asking if he could come outside. Since he was asleep he didn’t reply which fueled my fears. He didn’t want to talk to me. I was going to be kicked out and homeless. He was angry with me and the conversation I wanted to have with him wasn’t going to happen.

Eventually, I went inside and found him asleep. It physically hurt to crawl into bed beside him. I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. I didn’t deserve his love or kindness. I didn’t deserve his support or understanding.

I didn’t deserve him, and yet here I was, invading his space with my horrifically unworthy self.

He woke up. We went outside. I said that this was going to be really hard for me to talk about, so could I talk, and then he talk, and we take turns like that because I was worried about not having a home to live in anymore.

He agreed. I asked if phone calls were considered cheating because the husband and I had talked on the phone. Ox said it depended on the conversation.

I admitted to everything. My feelings. My wants. I admitted to meeting with the husband and what we talked about and the things he said. I admitting to hugging him and how it wasn’t a sexy hug but an, “I understand this is hard for you, make the choice that’s right for you” type of hug.

Ox and I have more ground rules now. I’m ok with them. I’m still allowed to talk to the husband. Ox wants to be there the next time everyone wants to meet. I was allowed to stay home. I was allowed to sleep next to Ox. I was allowed to keep the life I have built since moving here because I felt all of that was in jeopardy.

I’ve been… ok-ish? today.

I woke up with Ox. We had our cigerrette together. I went back to sleep. I got up again. I sat outside for a really long time. It’s sunny. There are birds and squirrels. I watched them. Ox and I talked more through text messages. I explained my headspace. Sort of on the low side of the spectrum, but nothing that isn’t manageable.

I don’t have much to show for myself today as far as productivity. The husband messaged me and asked if I was ok. I told him I was. That part of being true to myself is being honest and that I told Ox about our meeting. I told him Ox and I seemed to be ok to which he was happy to hear.

Ox and I are going to have another conversation tonight to see if we can fix, mend, and figure out some of the things that have contributed to the wall between us. I told him that even when we’re next to each other it feels like he’s far away because of the lack of synergy and harmony. We’re on different pages; in different places and it feels like every time we try to fix it or talk about it nothing gets resolved and so we loop on the same conversations without getting anywhere.

We both want to get somewhere and so we’re going to try again.

It makes me feel more ok than I did. We both love each other. We both want us to work. Talking to the other couple didn’t break us. It made us not hide from issues we both knew were there. I’m hoping this helps us. And I guess that’s what makes this potential conversation feel different from the others.

I feel hopeful again. I feel like we both are aware and present and committed and that we’ll be ok at the end of it. We’ll still be together and I’ll still be his. His wife. His Jennifer.

I don’t want to go back to living inside of a box within myself, only being partly me and trying to pretend or convince myself that I’ll be ok when I know I won’t be. I want to be able to be me, all of me, and for that to be ok; dirty, fucked up sexual desires included.

Daily Post 155: Finding the Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUSING MOMENT 129: LFTIO – STORY 3

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DSS Leadership – Assignment 6.3
Book – “Leadership from the Inside Out”





For the 2-3 most impactful and formative experiences and / or relationships, tell the entire story here: 


Story 3 – The Middle of Nowhere

The first few years after my mom’s death were hard for me. I had lost my strongest support structure, I had lost the relationship I had been in, I had lost my home due to losing that relationship, and I had left my career.

Essentially, everything I had been using to identify who I was had been taken away from me. I was no longer a teacher. I was no longer a girlfriend. I was no longer anything, and so I found myself with a vast expanse of nothingness within myself. A never-ending plane of smooth unmarred whiteness where once there had been “me”, or what I had felt was me.

I found myself in a phase I had never been before. Building. Who did I want to be? What did I want to be? What did I stand for? Why was I alive? What was my purpose, my reason for waking up each day knowing that mom was dead?

It took a while, but eventually, slowly, one day at a time, one breath at a time, I found myself. I found the answers to my questions and with each answer, a brick was laid on the plane of whiteness. A foundation, solid and unshakeable. I was going to be me and I was going to live my life and Life couldn’t stop me from doing it. I wouldn’t let it stop me.

During the first year, I obtained an apartment. Though it never felt like home, it was mine and I no longer had to worry about where I would be sleeping at night. I began taking classes as a way to get my foot into the medical field. I took a nursing assistant class though I never became state certified. The thought of succeeding at something while mom wasn’t there to celebrate with me was still too much to face at the time. I took an EKG class as well as a phlebotomy class where I overcame my fear of blood and needles. Eventually, I interviewed with DaVita. When asked if I felt dialysis was something I could do, I replied with, “I honestly don’t know. But I can promise that I’ll try my best and in the end, that’s all I can do; my best.”

I made it through the Star Learning program; two months of training where I was taught about dialysis and the skills I would need as a patient care technician. Once I was through training I began working full time at the downtown Orlando clinic. As time went on I became a stronger member of my team.

On a personal level, I began going to fitness boxing classes as a way to deal with the strong emotions of my grief. That led to joining a dojo where I learned jiujitsu techniques along with Muay Thai. Martial arts gave me a way to connect with myself. It gave me a new circle of people to interact with and a common interest to bond over. I met several key people in my life during this time which helped build me up as a person. They helped me discover things about myself and the type of person I not only wanted to be, but continue being as well. More bricks to add to my foundation.

During this time of growth and discovery, there were also negatives. I began working 12 – 16 hour days since that’s how the clinic was run. My time at the dojo and the gym became less and less. My roommate was consistently unable to pay rent and I found myself donating plasma as a way to keep making ends meet. I had to drive past my old place of employment nearly every day, a reminder of the emotional pain I had experienced and was continuing to go through, along with previous apartments which had harbored abusive relationships.

While there were positive aspects of my life in Florida, there were also negatives and while I felt this need to “get away” and start over, I didn’t know how. Where would I go? What would I do? How would I move all of my stuff? How would I afford the move when I already struggled with rent and personal bills?

It was a situation where there was so much to figure out it was easier to just stay where I was and accept that life just sort of sucked and would suck for the next while.

During the second Christmas without mom, against all financial logic, I rented a room at an extended stay for a week, packed up my computer, took time off from work, and spent a week alone, away from all of the stressors in my life. I renewed my subscription to World of Warcraft and spent a majority of the week inside my room playing the game with my younger brother.

It was the week of my birthday and this was my birthday gift to myself; surviving and getting through one of the hardest times of the year without having to worry about my roommate’s dirty dishes being in the sink or the endless piles of dog fur floating around the apartment. No patients or teammates to explain my sadness to. Just me and an imaginary world where I could run around and blow up bunnies or pick flowers if I wanted to.

During this week there was a guildmate I began talking to. Through the course of our conversation my discontent for Florida came out and how I wanted to move but didn’t know where I would go and all of the other unknowns that went with the concept of moving.

“Well, Lincoln is pretty much the opposite of all of that,” was his reply to my story.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, a seed had been planted. The name of a town led to an InDeed search for job opportunities. Seeing opportunities led to looking for my own company in the area. That led to receiving the blessing from my former FA to reach out to the FA’s in Lincoln. That led to a trip to Nebraska and an interview, which led to moving halfway across the country to start my own life in the middle of nowhere.

There were people who thought moving was a bad idea. There were people who thought it was a good idea. And then there was me. Lost. Confused. Caught somewhere in the middle. Unhappy but not sure if moving was the right choice to make or not.

I would be leaving my brother. My clinic. My patients. My friends. My dojo. The last remnants of my old life. And I would be leaving for what? A possibility of things getting better? A “maybe life won’t suck as bad”? I didn’t even know if I would have a job when I got there. It was just a promising interview and knowing that medical areas usually had a need somewhere. Did I want to leave everything I knew and trade it all for some unknown leap of faith here I hoped I landed on my feet across this giant chasm?

Would I regret not moving and trying to make it work if I were to die tomorrow?

Maybe a little stark and morbid as far as a decision-making process goes, but one of the final things mom taught me was that life is short. I’m not ok with arriving at my death and regretting my choices, so if I were to die, would I regret moving or not moving more?

After sitting and thinking about my answer, I realized my answer. Yes. Yes, I would regret not moving. I would regret not trying. I would regret not knowing if it had been the best decision I could have made for myself, or the worst one where I would have to figure out, once again, how to recover from a mistake.

So I moved.

Because I moved I am in the healthiest relationship I have ever been in. Because I moved I now have a renewed sense of family and belonging and home. Because I moved I have grown as a PCT. I am now a CCHT and NFACT certified. I am a CNA on the Nebraska registry and about to begin LPN classes with plans to continue to on to RN. I have attended Academy and plans are being laid for me to become a preceptor for my clinic. Because I moved I have floated to six other clinics and met the patients and teammates of my region.

Because I moved I can hear coyotes at night and see the stars filling the sky. I have found a dojo where I feel I belong and can continue to train.

Because I moved I’ve actually have had the time and space to make real peace with my grief.

So many of the positive events which have happened in my life can be traced back to that one week in the extended stay. So much of my life can be attributed to my choice to venture into the scary unknown and I wouldn’t trade any part of it for the world.

Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere, you find yourself.

Daily Post 152: Finally Up to Today

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

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

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

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

Ox: I said wife.

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

Me: Ok. I’m your wife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I called Ox while I was there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mama Ox: Next time.

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

I sheepishly took the $20.

Me: Next time.

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

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

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

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

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

So the story behind Wednesday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FA: Thank you. But it’s not your job.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me: I’m here to join the party. : 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s… perfect.

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

So much happy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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