Daily Post 093: Enjoying Summer

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This past week has been one of my rougher ones since moving to Nebraska. I worked five days this week. I survived until Thursday, my first day off, and since that was my main goal I feel like the week was a success.

On top of surviving, I got the news that I’m down a pound in body fat and up two in muscle. That’s validating and motivating.

I went to the Anytime Fitness for the first time to work out on Thursday. I like the gym. I like how it was mostly empty and I was able to do my own thing. I rowed and worked on my arms. What makes that workout even better is the fact that I did it after working with my trainer, so that’s two workouts in one day. I feel like I’m getting back to my “pre-work” level; back when I was able to spend three hours at the dojo pretty much every day sparing with people I now miss.

I feel like I’m back to making progress and that’s a good feeling.

I feel like this next week is going to go smoother in some ways and harder in others. I’m almost done with all of my cooking. I have the laundry to switch over to the dryer. I just got back home with Ox from running out to get new work shoes since my feet have started to hurt again. Since my days are shorter then what they were in Orlando and because I’ve had my shoes for over a year now, I’m pretty sure it’s an issue with the shoes themselves. We’ll see how tomorrow goes with the new ones I suppose.

Ox is going to have his kids for the next two weeks.

That’s where things are going to get harder. I’m prepped better for the coming week but we’ll have the kids…

That’s two weeks that I still have to work and wake up early while they’re on summer vacation. That’s two weeks of them being home on my days off and wanting to do things. Two weeks of “I don’t know how to be a parent what the fuck and I’m supposed to do I need an instruction guide someone please save me”.

I’m thinking about looking into getting an extended stay room close to my clinic for the coming weeks. That would give me a quiet place to retreat to when I need silence and space. That would give me a place to sleep without raining on everyone’s fun.

The downside is that it would be expensive and unlike the hotel rooms I’ve been booking for the nights before my shifts in Omaha, this wouldn’t be reimbursed. I also feel like it would be running away and hiding from something that I have to eventually face.

I haven’t made any decisions yet. But I’m going to have to figure something out soon. The kids will be here Thursday evening. I work both Friday and Saturday. Being tired and sleep deprived and mentally / emotionally tapped out from not having recovery time isn’t an option I really want to entertain. Arg >.<;

Saturday went well. And I guess I should back up to Friday. Friday went well, too. I worked with a new nurse that day since my FA had to go out of town. The nurse was familiar with the machines my clinic uses so that was a plus. The day went smoothly and I was grateful that it went better than I had thought it would.

I drove home and packed for my overnight stay in Omaha before driving into Lincoln to have dinner with Ox. He went with me across the street where I filled my car’s tank up and then wished me well. I’m glad to say that I was able to make the whole trip to the hotel without GPS. It helps that I’ve been staying at the same hotel each time. I’m getting familiar with the staff there. I like their facility. They have a pool that I haven’t been in yet. They also have a fitness room that’s 24 hours which I almost used this time.

Saturday started out nice even though it was a rainy and windy morning. I slept deeply and woke up feeling rested; at least rested enough to make it through the day. I didn’t need the GPS to get the clinic. Go me!

Even with the complications of a machine not working the day went well. I’m more familiar with how tasks are divided up and I have a better idea where things are located. I know how to be helpful past the point of setting up machines and taking care of patients. I can help prep the clinic for the next day. I can make needle packs and organize the morning shift setups.

I was able to close down the water room fine on my own. I was confident this time rather than holding my breath and hoping I did it right. I’ve gotten to the point where I know which steps take a while, so I don’t have to have everything on the floor done before beginning the water room. It doesn’t require my focused, undivided attention. I can get to this particular step then go back out and finish wiping down chairs. I can get to this step then go empty the bleach containers. Once I get to this step I can count the dialyzers.

I can be more efficient with my time, which means I can close the clinic faster than the hour or so it’s been taking me. That’s another good feeling. Efficiency is a big thing for me. I knew I would be slow at first. I knew it would take me a few times to get comfortable with the process. Now I’m getting to the point where I can improve my workflow. I’m no longer “learning”. Now I’m tweaking and figuring out what works for me.

I’m thinking about offering to work Saturdays for their clinic until they can get people through training. It would keep me making overtime while working a fairly chill shift with people I like. I don’t mind the thought of being there. I don’t feel a sand-pappery aversion to the thought. There’s not the crushing, draining weight of “I don’t want to do this,” that makes me cry silent tears on the way to do anyway.

There are grocery stores on the way home I can stop at after my Saturday shift. I can work that back into my weekend routine. Meal plan on Thursday’s most likely since Friday is a 12-hour shift. With meals planned out, I can make a grocery list. With a grocery list, I can do the shopping on Saturday like I used to, along with any prep work that needs to be done once I’m home. Put meats in marinades. Cut up veggies if I need to. Then Sundays can go back to simply being cooking days rather than everything all at once.  With a little bit of planning, a little bit of proactiveness, I think I can make this work for me.

I want to see if I can.

I have already been approved for having July 13th and 14th off. That’s the Friday before my race and the day of my race. I’m actually looking forward to it a little bit. More than I was when I first signed up. I signed up because I knew I wanted to do a Warrior Dash this year. I missed doing the one in Florida. I wanted to see my patients one last time instead. I wanted to give them their thank you cards in person. I didn’t want my Warrior Dash to be the last time I was with Big Bad. I didn’t want the weight of knowing we were saying goodbye to hang over the entire event, which it would have for me. It would have hurt to run it that way. So I didn’t.

But it’s something I think of as “my” race. It’s where I started. That first one; that was my moment of taking me back for myself. That was me giving a giant “Fuck you” to the person so undermined so much of my self-confidence for so long. I could do it. I did do it. I can do it. And there was, is, still a part of me who wanted to run the race even though I didn’t in February.

That’s why I signed up for the one here, in Nebraska, in July. Because there’s a part of me who still needed to run it even though I was feeling bad at the time. I had regressed. I knew I needed to address that and I’m glad I did even though in the beginning it sucked. I’m glad I met with my trainer and I’m glad he’s working with me. I want to do better this race. I want to keep improving. So yeah. I’m a little more jazzed about it than I was when I first signed up. I’m looking forward to it even though it’s a small, soft, vulnerable thing at the moment.

I hope it continues to grow. I hope it becomes a confident and stable thing. A, “I know I’ll do well” feeling rather than a, “I hope I do well” feeling.

I finally was able to spend most of a day outside today. Ox worked a bit in the addition but we’ve run out of 2x4s so he can’t keep working on the walls. We were trying to get work done in the yard, but that required moving a piece of equipment which ended up taking most of the day. We didn’t get done with that until 2 pm. It would be easier to write about if I knew what half the stuff we used was called, but I don’t. All I can say is that my arms and core are sore from all of the work we ended up having to do manually, but it’s a good sore.

We got something done, something pretty major, and we got it done together. We sweated together. We got tired together. We accomplished something together and that makes me feel good. It makes me feel connected and like I’m part of something.

It was a fantastic day outside. Warm. Sunny. I wanted to get more done, so I did. I moved some piles of scrap wood and raked up last years dead leaves and sticks. I’m not through with the raking and there’s a part of me that feels bad for not getting it completed. There’s part of me who feels like I add to the mess and disorganization by leaving something half done, but I could tell my body was wearing down. I was sunburnt. I needed water. I needed food. I still needed to still finish my cooking. At some point, I needed to shower again…

I needed to do all of these things that take time and energy and I only have so much of each to spend and use each day. So as much as I wanted to get everything done, the yard was something left at a state of half complete; contained and better, but not finished.

I would like to finish the yard Tuesday after my shift at Cap City, but I’m not sure how that day is going to go, so… We’ll have to wait and see. I might not be able to really get back outside until Thursday. But yeah, even with that task incomplete I feel really good right now and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was finally outside doing something.

The day actually started later than I thought it would. I woke up at 2 am since I’m conditioned to wake up early. Thankfully I was able to get back to sleep. I slept until almost 9 am; way later than that I thought I would or could have. That’s an additional seven hours of sleep. As Ox said, though, I guess I needed it if my body let that happen. With how little sleep I got for the first part of the week maybe that’s more true than not. Maybe it’s not just pretty words to make me feel better, but a truth I should accept.

That’s harder to do when the Evil Voice nags about how much time was wasted doing nothing. Fucking Evil Voice… I will break out the Q-tips… >.>

I spent the first part of the morning cooking before going outside to help Ox. I think that helped since I had a break from cooking and didn’t have to spend four solid hours in the kitchen.

I used a spice mix last week for the deer roast I cooked which turned out amazing. So amazing I’m actually using it again. I’ve seasoned some steaks with it and chicken thighs as well. It really is that awesome. Since it helps to marinate the meat a bit first, I seasoned everything before Ox and I ran into town.

We went to the Skechers store where I got new work shoes. I was surprised to find out that I get a discount because of the company I work for. A 30% discount. Woo!

We stopped at Walmart after that so I could get another packet of a glaze I tried last week as well. Again, something that turned out to be pretty amazing.

So the cooking is almost done. Just have to bake some stuff now. The laundry is almost done. My hotel for Friday night is already reserved. My bills are already paid and though I’m lower on funds than what I would like, everything is overpaid as far as my debt is concerned and nothing is due until next paycheck which will have my billion hours of overtime on it with my double incentive shift.

I didn’t get my bike rack this weekend, but I’m ok with that because I got the window AC unit with Ox and new shoes and two cases of my Bang energy drink. I got new sunglasses that I actually like. The hotel had my laptop charger in their lost and found when I checked in Friday night since I couldn’t find it when I got back home last weekend.

There’s a lot of warmth going on in my life right now. A lot of progress. A lot of security. I’m not worried about my job anymore which helps.

It’s summer. It’s my time. My season. I’m not sick or working so much that I can’t enjoy it. And though I grieve every day in my own way, I’m not the shattered version of myself I was when mom first died.

It feels like this is the first summer since mom died that I’ll be able to go out and do things and… live… I guess. It’s… it’s a good feeling even though it makes my eyes sting with tears. When I was raking earlier today I remembered how I would help her rake when we lived in South Carolina. I remember how she hated to do yard work and how I would help her because many hands make light work. She would always say it went by faster with help and so I wanted to help her.

I don’t know what else to write or where to go from that train of thought. I guess that’s it. I don’t really feel like writing anymore. My heart aches. It’s not good or bad. It’s just life…

Mom is dead and I can’t rake the yard with her anymore, but I can still enjoy my days and be outside in the sunlight and I can remember her and all of the things she taught me. I can remember all of the moments we had and what they meant to me; what they still mean to me.

Today was a good day. Saturday was a good day. Friday and Thursday were good days, too. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m looking forward to going to work and telling my patients about my weekend and how I got new shoes.

I don’t dislike my life anymore, mom and I’m sorry that there’s still a part of me who feels guilty about that. I know this is what you want for me. To be happy. To live. To keep going. I’m sorry that it still hurts and sucks sometimes. I’m sorry there’s a part of me who feels like it’s a betrayal to you to be able to keep going. I promise I still love you. I promise it still hurts as much as it ever did; as much as it ever will.

I’m thankful at the same time. I’m here because of you. I know it. It’s one of my truths and I don’t care what other people think or feel about those words. You’ve done so much for me in life and in death. Thanks for helping get me to a point where I actually have the option to enjoy summer again.

I love you, mom. Forever and for always.

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Daily Post 086: There Was Progress

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I guess now is as good a time as any to write.

Today has already been ridiculously productive. I woke up around 5 am and stayed in bed until around 7 am. I finally got up and prepped my food for the coming week along with part of dinner for tonight.

I’ve unloaded and loaded the dishwasher along with handwashing the things that didn’t fit into the load. I’ve swept the kitchen, and before any of that happened I took a shower.

It’s not even noon yet and already I have breakfast for the rest of the week along with my salads for lunch.

I should feel content and yet my brain is wired and not at ease and I guess that’s because next week is a lot of unknown at the moment.

I met with my personal trainer again, which I didn’t realize who I was working with until I was talking to one of my coworkers, which led to an internet search. He’s a big name, and yet he’s now doing personal training in a “middle of nowhere” Nebraska YMCA where he gives all of the money he makes back to the gym. He’s a Ph.D. and founder of multiple companies. He has an interesting, complex story and it’s hard to not feel small when faced with all of the things he’s accomplished in life. It’s hard to, in some ways, not feel unworthy.

Who am I for him to spend his time on? Some lowly CCHT who still struggles with grief over losing her mother? Some nobody? Some chick who can’t even run a solid mile…

I know those are all internal conflicts and struggles within myself. I know I have left my mark on the world already; through the students I taught, the tutorials I made, the scripts I wrote…

I know I’m not unworthy, but still… when standing next to a person who has made literally millions… it’s hard not to feel… less than.

Regardless of those feelings, I’m looking forward to working with him. Our last meeting on Thursday was a lot of talking. He had a printout of the results from the tests he ran on me, which makes me sound like a lab rat, and in a way I guess I am. I like having the numbers. It takes the guesswork out of things. It makes it seem more real and solid. More doable. More quantifiable.

I know how much of what I should be eating and though I don’t like calorie counting, I know that by doing this it will be easier to track the other intakes I’m concerned with. Sodium, carbs, protein especially.

All of the things he told me were things I had already researched and found on my own, so it wasn’t anything new. It was reassuring, however, to hear it repeated from him. It means the stuff I was doing in Orlando, the things that were giving me results, were the right things to do and that I should go back to those habits. It means that our mentalities jive which means working with him, theoretically, will have less friction.

It means that the super hard part, the change to eating habits, really isn’t going to be that big of a deal because I’ve already changed that part. I already meal plan and food prep so I don’t have to learn new skills. It doesn’t mean I’ll be an “easier” client, but I do think it means I’ll be more of a “hands-off” sort of client in that area. I don’t need to be taught, I just need to be left to do my own thing.

In other news…

The clinic is about to do down to three days a week. And I don’t think I’ve written about that yet. I don’t think I’ve written since my meeting at work aside from my homesick letter to mom. And I guess here is a good point to actually go back and look at what I wrote last so I know where I’m at…

 



*Brief Pause In Writing*


 

Ok… so the last time I wrote about life was on April 17th. That was almost two weeks ago.

A lot has happened since then.

I had the meeting at work that day, which is where I found out about the clinic changing its schedule. Because we’re going to be down two nurses for a while, and because there are open seats at our sister clinics, management felt it was better to go from six days a week to three for the next few months.

I agree with their choice. I know it makes things a little inconvenient for our patients, but we don’t have the staff to maintain six days a week anymore. I know there’s a tech going through training. I’m not sure about nurses. My FA will be working the floor with me on Fridays. Mrs. K will be working with me on Mondays and Wednesday until we get more people on the team. Right now the focus is to get the clinic stable with staff and I think that’s a good priority.

I was approved to begin training for NFACT and Vascular Access Manager. So those are things I will begin in the coming week.

I received the documents for the PCT Retention program. I found out that’s more of a bonus rather than a wage increase. I’m still ok with it. It’s more money then I would have gotten otherwise so I’m not going to look a gifted horse in the mouth.

I signed the eDocs and sent them on their way. A few days later I received an email saying I was denied. Queue lame feels…

I messaged my FA and let her know. She replied saying she would look into it for me since she had been told by our region manager that I was approved. At some point this week, I don’t remember the day, I got the paperwork to sign again. I signed it and haven’t heard anything back yet. I didn’t have an additional deposit in my account so I guess it’s still going through flaming hoops of logistics.

I was told my wage increases were approved. I’ve already adjusted my Excel sheet to account for the increase. I’ve also knocked my tax allowances back down to zero. So I’m a little confused as to why I’m short $100 for this paycheck. It’s something I won’t be able to figure out until I go to work tomorrow. It will be nice once all of my financial stuff figures itself out. >.<

I filled out my expense report but I don’t think it sent properly. That’s something I won’t be able to fix until I’m at work with one of my FAs. I want to show them what the system is doing. Hopefully, that can happen tomorrow. Small steps towards completion. It would be nice if it was already completed. /sigh

I don’t know how the new schedule will flow at work and I guess that’s why it’s such an open loop in my head. I know my FA still wants me to show up at 4:30, so I don’t have to wake up earlier which is nice. I’m worried the change over between first and second shift is going to be hard. I’m worried even though the days will still remain shorter than Orlando, that they will be just as stressful, trying to cram everyone into only two shifts.

I know the days will be a little longer. Our last patient will end his treatment around 16:10. That means I most likely won’t be leaving the clinic until around 17:00.

All I can do is wait and see what it’s like and voice my opinion. I don’t like not knowing, though.

I do like the idea of having set days off. I do like knowing I will always have Saturdays off, at least for a little while. It’s why I was able to set up training at the gym so easily. It’s why I’m ok taking on the workload of becoming a VAM. I have consistent times where I can plan to do things.

I finally got my stuff from Warren. That was something that happened last week. I got an email from my old internet providers saying the account was past due. I called and talked to a representative who said the account was still in my name so my credit was the one being affected.

Once I got off the phone with the representative I called Warren. Not surprisingly I got his voice mail. I told him the information I had received. I told him if he didn’t call me back that I was going to close the account. I said that I wasn’t mad or upset. I just wanted him to talk to me so we could figure something out that worked for both of us, but if he didn’t reach back out to me that he wasn’t leaving me a choice. I can’t leave an account open in my name for services I’m not using when the financial burden is falling on me and my credit.

I was furious and betrayed feeling. I had been at the gym when I got that email. I had been in the sauna while I talked to the representative. All of the zen I had built up was trashed, shredded nothingness inside my mind in the face of all of the feelings swarming around inside me.

How could he do this to me? How, after everything, could he still be fucking me over and not telling me?

I drove home trying not to cry in anger.

When I got home I wrote an email to Ms. Side Chick, his girlfriend, since I had her email address from when she was being signed onto the apartment lease. I told her I didn’t know the situation, but that I wanted her to know one of my near future decisions may affect her. I let her know what was going on. I apologized if she wasn’t living at the apartment anymore and if all of my information was unwanted, but I felt she had a right to know about the potential of interruption of internet service if she was still living there.

I was in the process of writing a rage-filled post of hurt about the event when Warren called me back. He was at work and didn’t have long to talk, but we hashed everything out during the time he had.

During the conversation, he said I had a piece of mail from Full Sail along with what looked like a certification. He still had my spare car key, too. He said if he couldn’t get it sent out to me the next day that he would get Ms. Side Chick to do it for him.

Financially he’s still getting back on his feet. Amber fucked him over with a bunch of accounts in South Carolina so he’s catching up on that and it’s taking longer than he thought it would. We’ve agreed to table the issue of him owing me money until next month. June. That’s when I’ll reach out to him again if he doesn’t reach out to me first.

At least I know where we stand and why we’re standing where we are. I feel like it always comes back to this. I’m not unreasonable or uncaring. All I want is to know what the fuck is going on. It’s hard to feel like I matter, that the quarter of my inheritance that went to supporting him meant anything when I hear absolutely nothing in regards to why I’m not seeing payments in my account. It’s just silence and I’m left to hope that I still matter. That it’s not like “all the other times” and that at some point, in the future, some distance far off undetermined time, things will fix themselves magically on their own.

No. Fuck that.

I want to know what’s going.

I deserve to know what’s going on.

I’m owed that.

At the very least, if you’re not going to pay me like you said you would tell me why so I can empathize and not be a raging ball of “Go fuck yourself.”

Last Saturday, while I was at work, I received a text message from Warren. It was a picture of a receipt from the post office saying my package was expected to be delivered on Monday. It was an amazing picture.

Of course, the package didn’t arrive until Tuesday this week, but it arrived. I have my certification for my CCHT. I have something tangible with pretty scripted lettering saying that I am enough. It says that I did something on March 14th that was that is worth recognition. It makes it feel like I actually did something. That I achieved something. That I’m better than I was when I started.

It’s a good feeling and I didn’t realize how much it would mean to me to open that particular envelope and hold that piece of paper in my hands.

I also, finally, got the check from Full Sail. I was able to deposit it through the mobile banking app. I was able to send an email to the representative I’ve been working with and inform her I received the check and that it was safely deposited into my account. She replied a few days later saying she was happy for me. I’m sure we’re both glad to finally be able to scratch this off of our lists of things to keep track of.

I also have my spare key finally, so I don’t have to worry as much about locking myself out of my car. I don’t have to spend money to get a new spare made, either.

So, as far as I can tell, Orlando is 100% done now. I’m completely transferred over to Nebraska as far as work is concerned and there’s nothing left for me to wait for from Warren, other than the money he owes me which is on hold for a little bit.

Looking at it that way, I guess I’m ok with where things are at in those regards. I’m done with Orlando.

A bit of work has been done in the addition at home. Last week we didn’t get to cleaning anything. I wasn’t upset or hurt over it. I can’t remember exactly why it never happened. All I know is that there weren’t feelings of betrayal or being let down. It didn’t happen and it was ok.

This past Tuesday Ox and I cleared out an entire room so there’s more space to move things around.

He’s sick again. I found out Thursday that he went to the ER from work because he was having such a hard time breathing. The doctor said he lungs sounded fine, so it’s not pneumonia or anything. The doctor said it was most likely a severe cold and gave Ox some prescriptions to help with his cough and congestion.

If I ever get done with writing, I plan to go clean a little bit on my own. Mostly vacuuming up sawdust so it’s not as icky out there. I’ve been told I can work on clearing out the basement as well since everything down there is trash.

I know there’s still a lot about my past days that I haven’t touched on. Two weeks of not writing will do that to you I guess. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think there’s a lot of other stuff that’s really important.

I can’t deposit cash at any of the ATMs here. I can only use my branches ATMs to do that and the closest one is in Omaha, about an hour away. So I guess I need to get comfortable spending the cash that Ox gives me. He’s still paying me back for the help I gave him to cover his car payments. I’m grateful for his understanding and support and effort. It makes me feel like things are different.

He’s showing me that things are different.

I signed up for another Warrior Dash. My race is July 14th. I’m realizing that 14 may be one of my numbers…

February 14th is when I arrived here, at home, in Nebraska. March 14th is when I became a PCT. And now, July 14th is when I will run my race.

It’s interesting.

My mind feels quieter. I don’t think I really figured anything out. Maybe reflecting on the progress my life has made helped. Things did get done. Things did move forward. Yes, some things got added, but that’s ok because some things DID get completed. It’s not the overwhelming crushing force it felt like before.

Things are about to change, and that’s ok, too. I think it will be for the best even if in the beginning they’re a little harder.

I’m set for the coming week and even if Monday is a horrific day of unorganized chaos, that’s ok. It lets us know where things can be improved or modified so the rest of the next two months don’t suck so bad. My FA will be there to witness it first hand and as a competent worker, I know my opinion will be heard if I say there’s an issue.

Things will be ok. Worrying is a misuse of the imagination. I would rather feed that energy into making progress here, at home, so that’s what I’m going to do.

 

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 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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I’m not going to apologize for my life. I’m not going to apologize for not writing. I’m not going to apologize for spending money or for playing video games. I’m not going to apologize for being sick or frustrated or tired.

I still don’t feel much at the moment even though the depression and apathy I have been feeling for the past several weeks seem to be easing their grip.

Big Bad and I finally got to spend an evening together. I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. Maybe not until the weekend after next. We enjoyed our time together we both slept well. In the morning, he went to the gym, letting me sleep in, though I did wake up when he text me to let me know he would be back. I replied with my own message to which he replied, “Go back to sleep :p ”

Our exchange made me smile as I snuggled deeper into the blankets and his scent. It made me feel like I belonged which was extremely nice after feeling so alone for so long. We finally were able to share coffee together again. We got to talk about the things going on in our lives which included my trip to the ER.

I had a kidney stone Friday morning. That sucked. Like, literally was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, level of suck which I feel is saying a lot for how hard I play with my partners as a masochist. I was in so much pain I threw up and couldn’t walk. Warren took me to the ER since of course this happened at 1 am and all of the urgent care clinics were closed. FML.

And to make it even better, on the way to the ER the pain faded. By the time we got checked in and I saw someone I was still dazed and fuzzy from the intensity of the pain, but I could walk again, and I could answer all of their questions though I was sort of slow on some of them.

They put an IV in my arm in case the pain came back I and needed medication. I had blood work drawn which included a pregnancy test. Good news. I’m not pregnant. Big Bad was also appreciative of that result. I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

Everything was inconclusive.

The doctor, an extremely nice lady, said given my symptoms and description they believed it was a kidney stone that was too small to show up on the scan.

While I was waiting in between all of my poking and prodding I consulted the wise and mighty Google, asking it what the causes of kidney stones could be.

Basically, it’s one of those, “if you breathe you might get one” sort of things… dehydration could cause it, too much protein in your diet can cause it, being sick can cause it, genetics can cause it. Most adults will experience at least one kidney stone in their life. I’m totally ok with having this off of my to-do list because when I say it sucked and was the worst pain I have ever experienced, it’s not a joke or exaggeration. According to the Internet, kidney stones are worse than childbirth. There’s some food for thought.

I think what happened is the stone formed due to my sinus infection or as a result of the antibiotic I took to fend off the ear infections because of the sinus infection.

Whatever the cause, I’m seriously done with this being sick thing.

On an unrelated note… Big Bad and I said the L word to each other. Actually, we typed it to each other since we were exchanging emails but as introverts, we both count it as “saying” it. Maybe “admitting” would be a better word to use.

I don’t think it will ever be commonplace for us to say it to each other. Not for a while at least. I think we’re both still skittish about things like that due to our past experiences, but we’re both happy we’ve addressed it. I know, at least for myself, when my friend asked me how I felt about telling him I love him I replied with “vulnerable”. I’m pretty sure he’s in a similar boat.

Yes. We love each other. That doesn’t change anything or require anything more or less from either of us. We like how things are. I’m glad that if anything were to happen to me, or to him, that we’ve had the exchange we did. Neither one of us will leave having doubt about the other person’s feelings. That means a lot to me.

I don’t like thinking that I might die and not get a chance to say the things I want to say to the people I care about. It makes me feel like I’m not living my life the way I should be living it. Fully, completely, every day. When I hold back from saying something I’m assuming I’ll have tomorrow, which isn’t true. Nothing guarantees me more time so I want to say and do the things I want to while I can rather than later because there might not be a later.

I finally said what I’ve been holding onto for months. It’s relieving. I’m glad I was able to say it and that we’re still ok.

Work is going well. I was going through overwhelmed feelings, but that’s eased up a little bit. Since I had to miss work Friday due to the kidney stone I’m going to be at my clinic all week next week. No mind numbing power point lecture for me. Woohoo.

Hey, Universe… just for the record… I would have rather sat through the power point than experience pain worse than childbirth… You know… in case you were wondering…

In other news, I have a new gym membership. I know… I seem to be going through them like candy. I feel a need to write this out so I can straighten it out in my own mind.

Because of the work schedule I have now, I can’t make it to classes at the boxing club like I was, so even though I enjoy my membership and I love the instructors, it’s not getting used and won’t be renewed. I’m actually going to talk to them about ending the contract, which that will require more writing about later.

I wasn’t using the YouFit, and the only reason I had that one was because it was $10 a month with no contract and let me run inside while it was cold due to winter. There really wasn’t much else going for it which is why I canceled it as soon as it started warming up.

I still have the dojo membership and I will be keeping this regardless of my schedule. It sort of sucks right now though. I can’t really make it to the classes, not without totally fucking over my sleep schedule, which is why I’ve switched over to doing private lessons twice a week. I’m mostly focusing on conditioning and technique, which I’ve already noticed some pretty serious results, so I’m not complaining too much about the switch. I do need to acknowledge my ache from not being able to spar with my dojo family at the moment. So while, yes, technically I am there, I’m still missing a large part of what it means to be at the dojo. At least for me. It’s a temporary change, but it still aches.

I do miss going to the YMCA like I was when I worked at Full Sail. I stopped attending that because I lost the benefit through work, but mostly because they tore the building down to rebuild it. I would possibly entertain the idea of going back except with my new schedule, even if the building was done, which it won’t be until next year, I would have the same issue as the boxing club. I work too early to workout before work and the classes in the evening are too late for me to do them after work.

So that brings in this gym. 24 Hour Fitness. Warren is actually the one who told me about it since he just got a membership there.

They’re open 24 hours, which is instantly a plus. They have saunas and showers. Already sold.

In addition to having those three of my requirements, they have a nifty system with their studio room. They offer classes during certain hours, but on “off” hours there’s a TV. You’re able to search for different types of classes, combat body, yoga, step class, strength building, whatever. You can select that class and do it on your own by following the instructor on the TV. They’re also working on getting punching bags because that’s a huge request from the gym members, including myself.

There’s a facility within biking distance of my apartment, and walking distance from work, though I would most likely drive, and you get access to all facilities with your membership; no having to pay an extra fee or more expensive membership to get that perk.

I’ve gone to the gym since Wednesday. Thursday I ran for the first time in what feels like forever. I’ve shaved two minutes off my run time. I didn’t hurt during or after my run. I was breathing extremely well through it, too. I’ve had a quiet empty space to do yoga every time I’ve gone, and once I’m done I get to sit in the sauna and relax, doing my dragon thing and basking and in general not giving a fuck about anything going on in Life because Life can’t touch me while I’m surrounded by the heat and warmth. For those 15 minutes, Life doesn’t matter. My run time doesn’t matter. Work doesn’t matter. Rent doesn’t matter.

It’s my 15 minutes of silence and I’m glad I have it back. I think it’s helped.

I still ache in my chest from my grief. I can still feel it. A heaviness. A tenderness that I don’t want to touch or deal with. Sort of like when a cut is infected. It hurts so you don’t want to do anything with it, but until you scrub out the infection and clean the wound it’s not going to get better. The pain has to get worse before it gets better.

I think that’s where I’m at right now. I think I need to do some meditation or further writing to figure out why I’ve hurt so much recently.

I think there’s a lot of factors for it. Not seeing my blacksmith or Big Bad for so long led me to feel disconnected. Being so severely sick didn’t help anything. There’s still stress regarding the apartment. There’s stress from work. Until recently there was also the reduction of workout time, which for me feels like a punishment; like I’m having to give up a part of myself.

I talked to my brother Thursday afternoon as I was leaving work. I needed to talk to someone. I needed someone who would understand why I was sad and crying and I needed to know that I could cry and still be loved I guess. That I wasn’t weak or broken.

I told him that all of my coworkers constantly tell me that I’m doing well. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I told him that I appreciated their words and that they really do mean a lot to me, but that I still felt like a failure because I wanted to hear mom tell me those things. I wanted to know mom believed in me and supported me. I told him that I started trash talking myself in my head, saying that I would never get this and that I should quit, but that I stopped myself because I can’t do that to myself anymore. Mom isn’t here to counter the Evil Voice. I usually don’t let it get very far anyway, but I CAN’T let it erode my confidence away. Mom’s not here to clean up my scrapped knees anymore.

I remembered something on the way home after the conversation with my brother. It was a situation from a while ago. I had been packing up my stuff at the apartment I shared with Zane. At the moment I was working on taking down the cards my mom had sent me. I always kept them taped up around my corkboard so I was taking the tape off of them and putting them away in a box. These were my last words from my mom. I couldn’t get rid of them.

I wasn’t really reading them, but I was looking at them. There was one, a gray and white picture of a baby duck on a board looking down into a large bowl of water.

I picked up the card and pulled the tape off of it, just like I had all the others. When I set it down the card fell open and on the inside was the phrase, “I believe in you”.

I remember I bawled my eyes out as I sat on the floor. And I cried again in my car as I remembered that event because that day all I had wanted was to feel like my mom believed in me and that I was doing the right thing. She’s always believed in me. I have to remember that even though I can’t hear those words the same way anymore.

I know my mom is proud. I used to pass out at the sight of paper cuts and here I am doing dialysis. Go me. Fuck yeah, I’m a badass, and even though I know that about myself I still wish she were still physically here to see it and to say those things to me. And I guess that’s why everything hurts so much right now.

So many things have been happening and I still long for that physical connection. Her hug, her voice, her existence.

I’ve been doing well. This past month will be known as “The Dark Age of 2017” since I’ve survived the plague that’s tried to kill me eight million different ways.

Today is 14 months. One year and two months since her death.

Today has been a decent day. I’ve started playing World of Warcraft again with my younger brother. We spend most of the day running my character through dungeons. I cooked all of my food for the coming week. I even cleaned the apartment.

Internally I’m still heavy though. There wasn’t really happiness today. There hasn’t been for a while. There’s something more real and less fleeting than happiness instead. I don’t think it’s contentment or acceptance. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very flat, calm. It wasn’t a hard or heavy day and in my tired state of mind, I’m glad for that.

Tomorrow I wake up early to go to the gym before work. I work until 3 pm. Afterward, I have training at the dojo. Then I go home, shower, eat, and go to sleep. Maybe I’ll play on the computer for a little bit depending on how tired I am.

I haven’t felt like writing. I haven’t felt like doing much, but despite that, I’ve done a lot and I’ve been hanging in there. I may not be ok. I may not be doing ok. But I’m surviving, and I still want to survive. I want that to count towards something. Like a solid baseline maybe. It’s not positive or negative. Getting through everything I have been contending with goes into strengthing my foundation.

None of this has been as hard as the weeks leading up to or after mom’s death, but a lot of this shit HAS been hard and I still got it all taken care of.

That counts.

Daily Post 004: Learning How to Girl and Deflecting with Humor

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Today has been a day. And it’s not over yet. It’s only 6 pm. There’s still tons of “day” left. Right now I’m tired, heavy, which is annoying for how well the rest of the day has gone.

I stayed with Big Bad last night. Trust me. It’s not as sexy as it sounds. Mostly due to my body hating me. I still feel awkward when I have to say things like, “By the way, we can’t have sexy time because I’m on my cycle.”

Maybe that’s because most guys seem to have issues with healthy, functioning females. I can’t really blame them, though. I mean… come on… from a survival standpoint, would you trust something that could bleed for seven days and not die?

All joking aside I didn’t want to send a text message admitting that yeah… I’m actually still a girl and even on birth control I still have that one week where I’m out of commission for fun time every so often. He’s been ok with me coming over in the past. Actually, Big Bad makes me feel normal and unjudged and accepted. Even without the sex we still hang out and have fun playing video games or cuddling, or whatever it is we do to enjoy our time together.

I don’t know why I still get nervous about it, but I do. I was less anxious last night than the first time I had to bring up the subject, so maybe I’ll eventually get to the point where it’s a non-issue, but last night was not that night.

Me: Can we still spend time together?
Big Bad: I suppose.

In my heart of hearts, I knew it was a joke. In my head I could hear the playful tone he would have used had we been talking face to face. I know in the eight-ish months we’ve been together he has yet to do anything to even hint at being mean, rude, or malicious towards me. I feel like he goes out of his way to make sure emotionally I feel cared for and safe.

Irrational Right Brain: He hates you. You’re an awful person for going through something you have legitimately no control over. Feel shameful and as if you are unworthy!

Fuck you, Brain. Like, for real, can you not for once just chill the fuck out?

I was silent for a while, though from a technical standpoint text messages are always silent… I didn’t know how to reply. I couldn’t think of something cute and witty. I was hurt even though I knew it was silly to feel that way. I knew my reaction was a result of past sensitivities, but knowing all of that didn’t make the emotions go away.

As I sat thinking about how to respond Big Bad sent another message.

Big Bad: I didn’t give you permission to have your period. I’m really going to have to beat your ass now.

And instantly things were ok again. It was a silly, playful, outrageous comment that had me laughing out loud because it was so ridiculous.

Me: If I could kick my own ass I would. Stupid body being a cock block.

So, I still went over to his house. We still wrestled. He still kicked my ass and choked me out with my own arm because he’s lame. We talked. We cuddled. It was actually the first time I’ve showered at his place.

When we woke up this morning we did a strength training workout video. Body Beast I think it what it was called. We both had a lot of fun with it. While we were having our coffee we actually talked about scheduling morning strength workouts. So Tuesday and Friday mornings are our strength days since he always has those mornings free.

We talked about how it would be nice to stretch afterward, which brought up my yogadownload.com membership. I’m supposed to look into flows I think would be good to do after our workout as a way to cool down and stretch out our muscles.

Overall it was awesome and a fantastic way to end the evening / start the morning.

When I got home I changed then hopped on my bike. I went to the gym and ran. Shaved a few more seconds off my time. Woohoo.

It was the first run in my new compression pants, which the shopping adventure of yesterday is a whole story in and of itself.

I had originally gone to Target at the suggestion of the Internet, but I didn’t see anything I really liked. Not enough to spend money on anyway. I tried going to Dick’s Sporting Goods, but they’re crazy expensive and I didn’t feel like spending that much money on something when I wasn’t really supposed to be spending money in the first place.

I was on my way to test my luck at Walmart when I realized I was hungry, which sucked because I was out and about with no food on me. I stopped at Arby’s for lunch and while I was there I realized I was in front of a Ross.

What the heck? Might as well check it out, right? Since I’m here and everything.

Well… best idea ever. I found a style of compression pants that I super liked and instead of paying $48 for them I only had to pay $13.

Cue shopping adventure where I go to four different Ross stores trying to find more pairs. So now I have six in total. Enough to get me through the week with a rest day.

I was super pleased that instead of the XL I thought I would need I was down to an L. That’s right, who’s a sexy badass? Me, while I’m standing alone in a changing room and not in front of a whole bunch of people because introverts would rather hide under rocks than be the center of attention. At least this introvert would rather hide under rocks. But yeah, sexy badass when alone or typing to the Internet. /flex

And thrifty.

Did I mention thrifty?

Sexy, thrifty badass.

I also happened to stop at a Lane Bryant yesterday. I wasn’t finding anything good in the way of sports bras. I figured I could get sized to see what I actually should be wearing and see if they had anything that would work since they have an athletic section.

That was an eye-opening experience. I guess I’ve lost two inches and have either gone up two cup sizes, or I’ve been in the wrong size for the past… four-ish years? Not sure. A long time, though.

I originally got two sports bras while I was at the store but later that night I was thinking about the size discrepancy of what I should be in versus what I’m currently wearing. I decided the workout tops I have are still fine so it would be a better investment to return the sports bras and get a set of regular everyday bras instead.

So, that’s what I did after biking back home from my run. I showered then headed out to return my purchase.

The sales associate I talked to today was super kind and actually explained all of the different styles and helped me expand on my girl knowledge. I really feel like all of the things she told me today were things I should have learned in high school or even middle shool as simply, “This is how you human,” information. I mean… maybe my mom “should” have told me. And maybe way back in the day she did and I just don’t remember it, but honestly, all of it was useful information that actually impacted my life in a positive way.

So currently I have what basically feels like heaven woven into fabric wrapped around my chest. Not even exaggerating.

With the shopping adventure finally at its two-day conclusion I decided to go to my sports bar for lunch. I had thought I would work while I was there, but that didn’t go according to plan. The inauguration speech was taking place. I sat and listened.

I didn’t like either candidate and I don’t have a problem admitting that. I do hope that Trump does well and that he makes smart choices because regardless of how I feel about him, he’s leading the country now. By wanting him to do poorly, or wishing him ill, I’m wishing the country ill and I don’t want that. I do want changes to be made. I’m just hoping they’re the “right” changes for the right reasons.

I was able to meal plan a bit, but the volume was so loud for the speech that I wasn’t really able to focus on anything else, like the design work I had been hoping to do. I was pretty tired anyway, so instead, I paid for my lunch then went home. I had scheduled a vet visit for Scarlet for 5 pm before I had gone out. With so much time before the appointment, I decided to nap.

I woke up feeling pretty good. I puttered around for a little bit then put Scarlet in her carrier and went to the vet.

It was hard being there. I didn’t want to be there. Scarlet didn’t want to be there. Being there is admitting there’s a problem and I don’t want there to be a problem. I want her to be healthy, and happy, and to always be there even though I know that’s now how life works.

I had the same vet I had the last time I took her to be seen. I’m glad I had her. We talked about how Scarlet’s walking as worsened. We talked about a few other behavioral things I’ve noticed.

We’re having lab work done. It won’t be in until tomorrow.

We talked about the quality of life and what the best option would be depending on what the labs show. I know one of the possible outcomes may be that she’s suffering and that ending her suffering would be humane and merciful rather than prolonging her pain simply because I’m too selfish to say goodbye.

I wish I could ask Scarlet what she wants. She’s essentially a 90-year-old human. She’s my little old lady. All I can do is observe how it seems like she can barely walk. How she doesn’t move unless she has to. How she seems to have issues with the litter box now.

It breaks my heart to see. It hurts to know that she’s aged and that even without human intervention, her time is limited. But, if she had the choice, what would she want?

I can’t ask that. I can’t know. And so I’m left waiting. I should know tomorrow, but tomorrow is so far away.

I know there’s not enough information to go on. I know that I should just breathe and wait and see what happens. It’s going to be a long night, though.

It’s going to be rough going to dance class tomorrow and then the dojo for Muay Thai and waiting, the whole time knowing that I’m supposed to be getting a phone call, and knowing that one of the outcomes could be that the “higher” road would be to be humane.

Big Bad and I have actually been talking a bit since I got back from the vet. I told him about the visit. He asked what my thoughts were and I deflected with humor. I know that’s what I do. I can have super deep conversations with people. In fact, I love having quality conversations. But when it’s about my emotions, when it’s about me hurting I try to deflect away from it.

Right Brain: So here’s this deep dark confession about fear and OH LOOK A DISTRACTION! : D

I still feel like I have to be ok for everyone else. I have to hold it together even though right now I want to be held and to cry even though I don’t even know if there’s a reason to cry. Everything might be fine and it’s just old age and arthritis.

I don’t want her to suffer. I don’t want to lose her. She’s been my companion for seventeen-ish years now. Over half my life. She’s been through so many of my life events with me.

It sucks. And until tomorrow I won’t know. So tonight I’m going to cuddle with her and enjoy the time I do have because just like with everything else, all we have is this moment.

Daily Post 002: When You’re An INFJ And You Try to Write A Normal Post…

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This is going to be a normal post. No crazy dreams. No life revelations. No anger or depression or anxiety.

Just a normal post about my normal days, which is most likely boring, but right now I’m totally ok with that. I’ve felt a marked difference in myself these past three days since being back in Orlando, and I’m completely content with what I’ve done with my days and the direction I’m headed in.

I had alone time today. Like actual, “the apartment is empty except for me” alone time, and yes, it was as fantastic as it sounds. Like, angels were singing and god rays were shining through the window at the sheer holiness from the act of the apartment door closing behind Warren as he left me in total solitude.

It started last night when Warren asked if he could possibly borrow my car today. He had been communicating with a guy through a subreddit and had a potential interview. Since his truck isn’t all that reliable he wanted to know if he could take my car to make sure he got there and back safely. After talking through the situation I agreed to let him use it.

I’m happy for him. He seems in better spirits, and if he gets the job he’ll be making significantly more, so the chances of me getting paid back increase considerably. There’s also the prospect of him having to move about three hours away for the job, which will alleviate the stress I’ve been feeling over having a roommate.

I feel like I should apologize for my lack of wanting a roommate, but it’s been three days and the trash bag he said he would take out only just now made it’s way to the outside trash. It wouldn’t be hard for me to do it myself, but taking out the trash is one of two chores he agreed to do. The other being to sweep the top landing of the stairs so the hardwood floors don’t look like they’re carpeted due to the dog fur.

I really don’t think it’s wrong of me to stick to my guns and want those two things taken care of when I’m paying for everything in the apartment and doing the rest of the chores. I also don’t think that’s being too much of a neat freak. It’s trash. Take it outside the same day the can gets full. The only reason to not do it in my mind is laziness, which is frustrating and something I really don’t have much patience for.

But yeah, maybe all of that will get fixed on its own. I’m hoping this helps Warren with his apathy. Even if it doesn’t work out maybe it will give him the spark he needs to actually do things with his life again. I know the breakup with Amber is still something that weighs heavily on him, but if you don’t like where you’re at in life than being stagnant isn’t going to improve the situation.

Going back to the “being alone” thing. It was amazing. I knew I had missed it, the feeling of being alone. Since Warren’s been working nights he’s asleep most of the day, but it’s not the same as being legitimately alone. Maybe if our situation was different and he had a job where he left the apartment I wouldn’t be as overjoyed by the three hours as I am, but he works from home. The only time he leaves is to grocery shop, and that’s usually while I’m already out of the house doing something. Sometimes he’ll take Bruno to the dog park, but that hasn’t happened in over a month, most likely two.

I wished him well during his interview and told him to drive safely, because Florida drivers suck, and then I sat on the couch for a while simply breathing in the silence, the total lack of “other”. I don’t know how to describe it other than complete stillness. There’s no one else’s energy. There’s a total peace that I value, that I cherish. A peace that I haven’t had in longer than I care to admit.

I got a bunch of stuff taken care of today. I fixed the internet account login finally. Paid that bill, too, since it was coming due. I got my Target card figured out. I applied for one randomly when I was shopping back in December. I never got the card and I honestly forgot about the bill until I got one right before I left for my trip to Ohio saying my payment was due, by the way, it was late so here’s a $30 charge on top of my original purchase…

Me: Um… can I at least get my card so I can log in online to make the payment? No… oh… ok, then…

I decided to not worry about it until I got back from my trip. Most likely not the most responsible adult decision to make, but nothing burned down because of it, at least as far as I know, so I don’t feel all that bad. I called today and had a fantastic representative help me out. The fee is being waived, I’m getting issued a new card, and I paid the original balance so that’s taken care of as well. It was a mostly painless experience and the service was outstanding. Very glad it got taken care of.

I re-dyed my hair since I never got around to doing that before the trip.

I went to Target and bought a bike lock. I left my old one with Zane’s bike since he was using it to get to and from work after our breakup. Not sure if we had a breakup, but I’m going to use that term because the relationship ended and I don’t know another term to use.

I don’t know what he’s doing now and I really don’t care. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of trying to get the old one back. Instead, I went and got a new one, drove home, then biked to the gym where I had an incredible run. I did a solid four-minute interval. I think my longest one ever was five minutes. I still did really good on all of my other intervals and I wasn’t crazy sore after my run. I biked home, no problem. Hooray, progress.

It was great being on the bike again. It’s the first time I’ve been out since Big Bad drove me home from the park. The day was pretty warm. The sun was out. I had my contacts in so I looked spiffy cool with my sunglasses on.

Right Brain: Yeah… look at me and my bad self.

I still have plans to go either to the dojo or to dance class and then the dojo. I’m not sure which option I’m going to go with yet. I haven’t been to the dance studio since before the Christmas break. It would be nice to go there.

I saw my blacksmith before I left for Ohio. I’m glad I saw him. I’m happy with how our dynamic is developing. I know that’s pretty vague but I’m mostly sure no one wants to read about BDSM stuff and to be honest, I’m still processing through our last session. I guess it doesn’t help that I haven’t had the alone time to really think deeply about it.

Both my blacksmith and Big Bad build me up. They’re positive influences in my life and I’m grateful for both of them. I’m grateful they both are ok with each other and have agreed to not make me choose between them.

I spent the evening with Big Bad Monday. We have plans to see each other Thursday. He offered for me to come over at a later time than usual, which allows me to still make it to the dojo Thursday night, which is another thing that makes me feel warm and cared for when I think of him. He still lets me have my own life and schedule.

Big Bad and I may be going with a group of people to swim with manatees later this month. I really hope that works out. I think we’ll both have a lot of fun if we go. Even if the plans fall through with the group, it might be something we do on our own.

The trip to Ohio had its moments, both good and bad. There were two spats with my step mother. There wasn’t a lot of one on one bonding time with anyone, but I did get to spend a bit of time with my dad. Jon, Dad, and I were able to spend some time with just the three of us. I got to see both my grandmothers. I got to see other family members since it ended up turning into a family reunion sort of a thing. Not what I had originally wanted, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I got to spend some time with my half sisters, and even though we didn’t spend time alone, I think the time we did have gave us a foundation to move forward with.

Since I didn’t get to talk to anyone privately I plan to make mini podcasts for each of them, telling them the things I wish I had been able to say before I left for the airport. I’m not sure how the podcasts will be received, but, since mom’s death, I’ve taken to telling people how I truly feel because I don’t know if I’ll get another chance to say the words I want to. All we have for sure is right now. If we wait to say things we might never be able to say them.

So yeah, I need to get the ball rolling on that before too much time has passed.

I applied for a tutoring position at a local college last night. I ended up remaking my resume, again… The last one I made is geared heavily towards a computer animation position rather than a teaching position. As such I have the layout mimicking a D&D character sheet. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it, but I figured it wouldn’t go over so well with the HR department of the school I was applying at.

I like the changes to the layout I made. It’s pretty clean, pretty professional. I’m sure changes could be made, but design-wise I’m pretty content with it. I think I sold myself pretty well, too. We’ll have to wait and see if anything comes of it. I’m hoping so. It’s a part-time job, but with it, I could start looking at working my way into an adjunct professor position, or even see about taking additional classes because I would be staff. It’s something I would ask about in the interview if I get one. Forever a student.

I was proud of myself for unpacking almost as soon as I got home. Even did a load of laundry and had everything dried before I went over to Big Bad’s place. I still need to put the clothes away, but with everything else I’ve been staying on top of I think I’m doing pretty alright in the “adulting” department. At least good enough that I don’t feel like a slacker… yet…

I went grocery shopping Tuesday morning after leaving Big Bad’s. I look forward to the mornings with him almost as much as everything else. I enjoy our cups of coffee together and I enjoy seeing him dressed for work and wishing him a good day as we both leave to go about our lives.

That’s one of the things my blacksmith and I talked about while we were together, the dynamic between Big Bad and myself. My blacksmith asked me if Big Bad is “the One”. I told him I didn’t know. That I was scared to think about things like that. Even typing about it now makes my heart quicken and my breathing become shallow. Not from excitement and joy, but from fear, which I know is sorrowful.

When I think about a relationship I think about Zane and the betrayal I felt when I found out he had brought another girl home while I was taking care of mom. I remember how he said it felt like I was abandoning him. I remember the anger and stress and loneliness I felt before everything with mom started. How before life changed I had already felt like our relationship was dying. I remember him not wanting to give me hugs when I got home from work because I was “gross” from biking home even though the only reason I was biking was so he could use my car to get to his job.

All of those negative events, all of those painful emotions and memories… Those are what I associate with relationships. With “boyfriends”. Zane isn’t the only negative experience, but he’s the most recent.

I know I have deep feelings for Big Bad. Maybe deeper than what he feels for me. I know I don’t want to lose him. I want to spar with him and show him the things I’m learning at the dojo. I want to play Soul Calibur with him. I enjoy the sex and BDSM sessions we have together, and honestly, I want to use terms like mind blowing and amazing, but I also don’t want to gush like a girl so we’ll use mildly detached terms like “enjoy” and try to keep it clinical. I love our mornings. I love the cuddles and how he lets me ramble through my stories. I love it when he smiles at me.

I love, and while I’m sitting here on my own, typing at the computer I’m ok with loving. I don’t feel vulnerable admitting it on this page even though it’s going to go onto the internet and be posted for everyone to see.

I’m not sitting in front of someone being asked, “Is he the One?” And having to admit that, yeah, most likely he is. Yes, I love him and I really don’t see myself with anyone else.

It’s funny how I can be nude, restrained, blindfolded and gagged and feel completely safe, but sitting fully clothed in front of someone being asked a simple question makes me feel as if I’m more vulnerable, weak, and exposed than I have ever been in my life.

I keep thinking about that whole, “say what you want to say,” thing. There’s a lot of things I want to say to Big Bad. If something were to happen to me, or him, I want him to know the impact he’s had on my life, and I want him to know how I feel. I haven’t worked through the pain of my past and the fear of his rejection to actually say anything. Luckily, or maybe unluckily, I keep catching myself before the words are formed, spoken.

I feel one day the words will slip out. One day it will feel so natural, so right, that I won’t think, I’ll just say,  and it won’t be until after that I realize what I’ve done. I don’t know what will happen then. I don’t want anything to change. I like how things are. I want to be honest about how I feel and not have to fight through my past and the wall of fear and anxiety to do it. I’m not looking for marriage or labels. I want to be able to say, “I love you,” and to have it mean exactly that. “I have an intense feeling of deep affection for you.”

love

Love changes things for most people, though. I’m scared of how things could change. And I’m scared of being hurt again by someone I deeply care for.

People say trust issues, but to the person who was hurt it’s self-preservation.

It’s something further to meditate on. Something further to work through.

… So… Yeah…

Going back to the original train of thought since I wasn’t supposed to get into super deep, touchy-feely stuff. : D

The grocery trip was successful. After I made it home I continued with my productivity by completing all of the cooking for the week. I’m trying a new recipe this week.

Egg Roll Bowls.

They’re super tasty so far. I added bean sprouts and I used napa cabbage instead of regular cabbage. Next time I might add mushrooms. I also stuck with soy sauce since 1) I had it, and 2) Publix didn’t have the coconut aminos even though the website said they did. Lame.

Super satisfied with the recipe, though. It will definitely be something I make again. The dinner meal is chili. For breakfast, I’m doing black rice with a fried egg and fish.

So… that’s about it I think. Still waiting to hear about the reservation for the vacation home for the week-long Disney adventure. My bride’s maid dress should be coming in soon. I hope it still fits when it gets here. Jim said it looks like I’ve lost more weight since the last time he’s seen me. First world problems…

I guess this didn’t stay all that normal with the huge, deep, “I love someone,” confession there in the middle, but there you go. That’s what you get for reading an INFJ blog. Now I’m off to figure out the rest of my night… and maybe, possibly put my clothes away…

Daily Post 001: First Day Back at the Dojo

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I couldn’t hang for all three hours at the dojo. I mean… I could have, and then regretted every part of that decision. But nope. This is me learning from all of the past mistakes of pushing too hard too fast.

Jujitsu was first tonight, and that had a TON of people. A lot of them I knew so even though there were significantly more people than I am used to, I wasn’t as overwhelmed as I probably would have been only a short month ago.

It was fantastic being able to tell everyone happy new year. I saw Paul and Jim and Akib and Roman and Tommy and Adanous and several other people who I don’t remember their names… but for being awful with names I’m doing surprisingly well.

I didn’t see Carolina tonight. Hopefully, she’s there tomorrow.

The class was good. Us white belts practiced chokes from back mount. I’ve done them before, but only once, so doing them again was nice. At the end, we did three rounds of sparring. I tapped one guy out with one of the chokes we had just gone over, so that was nice. Validation that I do some things right other than not get choked out myself.

I thought about not staying for Muay Thai. I wasn’t sure if I was up for it or not, but when Paul had everyone line up so we could bow out he said, “If you’re staying for Muay Thai get your gear on.” And somehow without realizing it I was in the locker room getting my gloves, shin guards, and mouth guard along with another bottle of water… So… I guess I was staying.

Muay Thai wasn’t as intense as jujitsu, and I say that from the perspective of comparing them to each other. It’s interesting to look back and compare both of these classes to things I’ve done in the past. They’re definitely on a different level than anything I’ve ever done at the YMCA. I think the only thing comparable would be a boot camp class I did while visiting my older brother a few years back. It was something I went to with Lio at the gym on the Air Force base, and that class was no joke. I’m pretty sure if looks could kill the instructor would have been dead when he told me to do more squats that day.

It amuses me, but also makes me feel cared for when we start doing body shots and the guys ask if they’re hitting me too hard with a worried look on their face.

Being a masochist I can fully attest to there being different kinds of pain. Having been in legitimately abusive relationships I can also attest to the fact that there is a difference between consensual BDSM actives and abuse.

I know I can take a hit in both situations. I also know my pain tolerance is higher than most people I have interacted with. So when I get what basically amounts to a love tap and the guys look at me like their about to break me or something it’s sweet and cute in a, “You poor thing, you. You have no idea” sort of way.

 

Me: “No, really. You can come at me, bro.”

 

Usually, the level doesn’t get set until I throw my punches or kicks. I’m still focusing on technique so I’m not going all out like I would if we were doing bag work, but I strike with intention. Once my drill partner sees what I’m comfortable with they normally match it, or go at their level with the understanding of I’m ok with what we’re doing.

It helps that this was the second time I was paired off with Roman. He’s a pretty cool guy. He talked to me more this time. He gave me some tips during the drills like keeping my elbow tucked. Small reminders about things that are important and that I forget as I try to remember everything else I’m supposed to remember about my form.

To me, it’s thoughtful. He doesn’t have to help me get better, but he is, and that means a lot to me. I always say thank you when someone at the dojo offers me advice on how to improve.

Once we bowed out for Muay Thai I thought about staying for submission grappling. By then I was out of water. I could have gotten more from the sink, but Florida water sucks. If you have ever had Florida tap water you know the struggle is real. I also figured it was better to go home and eat since I’ve had a hard time eating for the last little bit.

I’ve still had at least one meal every day, so I have that going for me. I’m hoping with getting back into the routine of the dojo and dance classes and my metabolizing picking back up the issue will fix itself. I know the “not eating” thing is from the emotions of the holiday season and the stress of traveling. Workouts forced me to eat. Going for ten days without much physical activity meant there wasn’t anything going on to force me to intake.

Well, now there is, Body. Suck it up and eat this dericious salad or else.

I also rationalized that after ten days I should ease into things. Going for two relatively light runs and then hurling myself into three hours of intense physical activity isn’t really easing… Hooray for type A personalities.

I could feel my body getting tired, too. A good tired, but if I was already tired at the beginning of submission grappling, then I most likely would be too tired to spar by the time we got to the end of the class, which is really what I would be staying for.

So as I was sitting against the wall watching the class start I decided that I had done well for the day. I had done literally all of the errands I had wanted to do. I had gone to therapy and dealt with not only my emotions of the trip and mom not being physically present for the holidays, but also tackled my angst with the apartment.

I had come home and talked to Warren and we figured out a system which should work for us as far as the chores and dog fur are concerned, so hopefully our situation will feel less one sided now.

Warren and I talked about potential job opportunities for him to look into since I’ve heard a few things that might be of interest to him. We even talked about me not taking the contract for California and started probing options I could look into here.

Surprisingly I might go back into teaching. It would be at a community college instead of Full Sail. I need to do research, but the thought of teaching again makes me happy. I didn’t resign from my job because I hated the job. I left because of the company.

So yeah, a lot of positive progress was made in several areas, and I had already done two hours of intense training. Nope. Going to go home and have dinner and drink more water, and organize my closet and cuddle with my cat and maybe cross stitch while listening to an audio book… all of that after I shower because I swear I lost half my body weight through sweat.

It was a good day. Slow to start, but good. I’m glad I’m back at it with the dojo. Jim asked me as I was leaving if I was going to be there tomorrow night. I have dance class tomorrow, but I should be able to get to the dojo for the last hour which would be more Muay Thai. I think I’m going to do it. I want to be there. We’ll see if it works out.

That’s about it. Good day. Good work out. New bruises. I’m going to label my day as done and go indulge my quirky INFJness obsession for organizing things.