Daily Post 157: An Early Morning Writing

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I have a bit of time before work. Weird I know, but Ox and I went to sleep super early last night so I found myself awake at 1 am. After staying in bed, doing a bunch of nothing, I decided to get up and type through what I could of essentially another week of not writing.

Sunday was extremely nice. Ox worked on the addition. I finished listening to my book along with doing the reflection sections. I went to the gym. I want to say I cross stitched along with doing laundry, though laundry might have been Saturday. I don’t honestly remember. Pretty sure it was Sunday though since I didn’t get the chance to fold mine or put it away.

I made green curry which didn’t go over very well. I did get to try out all of the different kinds of veggie rice which I’ve been picking up here and there. Butternut squash. Broccoli. Beet… None of them were really all that awesome sadly. And I think I used too much of the curry paste since everyone mentioned it was too spicy for them. I thought it was pretty good with the cauliflower rice. Maybe a too much spice but it wasn’t bad. It was nice to have made it again after so long. Maybe next time will be better. It would have been nice to use shrimp instead of chicken.

Anywho, I slept well Sunday night. Physically and mentally I was tired and in need of rest. Monday was alright. I was with Float RN and New RN at work. We didn’t do awful. I did get home sort of late but that’s alright. I don’t remember what was for dinner… I think I had leftover green curry.

Oh. Something else for Monday… I went to the gym again. That night I had a dream about mom, which I’ll make a separate post about. I think it was a good dream. It answered an important question I have been asking myself.

Tuesday was sort of a low day. I woke up from the dream about mom which might have been why I was low energy, along with having been to the gym two days in a row. Meal planning hadn’t happened so I didn’t have a shopping list hanging over my head. I spent some time on the computer transferring the Grammarly writings for my reflections into Word documents so I could print them at work. Eventually, I went into town to meet up with Ox. We took care of the tags and registration for the Trax. After that, we went to my new sports bar for lunch. I haven’t been there in a while, so it was nice to go.

When we were done eating, I stuck around with my Chromebook and my cluttered stack of papers from home. I haven’t been keeping up with my “in” pile, so since I had a meeting at work I had to be to at 4:30, I figured I would kill some time before heading that way. I plucked away through the countless pages in my notebooks. Pages for school. Pages for work. Pages for personal to-do lists. Pages from meetings… So many pages, most of them no longer relevant or needed.

I went through each page, one by one, transferring the information still needed onto a new page; a master page. From there I could get a clearer view of my life. What things had fallen through the cracks, the lines? What tasks still remained scratchless through the months of eeking by that I’ve been doing?

I still need to have my FA fill out my TB test form for school. I had totally forgotten about that… I still need to submit my CNA form and CPR recertification. School’s not 100% officially done yet, but it’s a lot closer than it was. My new condensed master list gave me a regrouping point and tons of loose leaf pages of paper to fold up, marking them as taken care of and accounted for.

While I battled the pages of my life, Ox had gone to take care of some chores himself before heading home. About 30 minutes into the task of organizing my life, I got a phone call from him. He had found out some news financially which changed our time frame for paying things off. He was still nearby so I said for him to come back to me. It would be nice to take a break from all of the mental work I had been doing since he left. He said I was going to be mad at him…

My heart ached. Money can be frustrating and I agree with it being a sensitivity from my past that sometimes I don’t want to handle issues immediately, but the news he had told me wasn’t all that bad. It didn’t make me not want to see him. It most certainly didn’t make me mad. It made me want a hug to know that we were still ok.

Ox did come back to the sports bar for a few minutes after a bit of coaxing. I took a break from my tasks. We had a cigarette together. He explained the situation in full to me. We made a game plan for what we knew still needed to be taken care of. Things are still ok and I’m still not mad. I’m proud of both of us.

Ox left to go back home, for real that time, and I went back inside to continue figuring out my life. I ended up getting a text message from work saying the meeting was canceled.

Oh, darn… guess I’ll have to break out my sad face as I continue working on my stuff and listening to music without a deadline or a social interaction looming over me, said no introvert ever.

Since I didn’t have a time crunch on me anymore I finished up with my papers. I even got to type up the recipes I’ve been using so often, finally. FINALLY. That’s only been on every to-do list I have made for nearly the past month. The recipes aren’t formatted fully. No prettiness with different sized fonts or bloded section headings, but all of the information is in the computer finally. Maybe that can be my project this weekend or during the downtime of my upcoming vacation.

I even got to do other tasks with my freed up time, like setting the cards for my upcoming travel so they don’t get locked down. Woo!

Once I felt satisfied with all of my productivity and accomplishment, I came home. Mama Ox made dinner. I read the writing about my dream to Ox. He held me afterward as I cried and let my heart chakra heal more. I booked a hotel room in Omaha for Wednesday night since Thursday I had my leadership class. Eventually, we went to sleep.

Wednesday I worked with my FA and New Nurse. It was good to see my FA but I could tell she was tired. The day went smoothly. New Nurse and I are getting along. I printed out all of my reflection writings and put them in a binder with page dividers at the beginning of each chapter. It’s nice and clean and organized. My binder is thicker than the book I read… Yeah… -_-;

I got a bunch of other tasks done for work. It was a nice day. When I left I drove home. I had to take care of something with the car insurance when I got home, but that got figured out and resolved rather painlessly. I heated up dinner and ate. I packed up everything I wanted to take with me to the hotel. Ox helped carry my things out to the car. I headed north, stopping for gas along the way.

Mother Earth and I were supposed to chat on my drive up but that didn’t work out as planned. I chatted with a former student for the hour and a half drive instead. It was good to catch up with him. I messaged Mother Earth when I arrived at the hotel to see if she still wanted to talk, but she was watching a movie, so we rain checked our conversation for a later time.

Ox and I talked for a little bit. There were tons of things I could have done. I had my laptop so I could write. I had my cross stitch, so I could stitch. I had gym clothes so I would work out in the fitness room… Instead, I went to sleep. I know that sounds lame, but I was tired. I set my alarm for 6 am thinking maybe I would hit the gym before getting ready for my class, instead.

I had a hard time sleeping that night. I kept waking up only to roll over and go back to sleep. I woke up before my alarm to a group text message at 5:45 am saying my DSS class was canceled due to the weather. That was after receiving an email while I was at work addressing another class mate’s concern over driving in the icky weather. Class wasn’t going to be canceled so plan drive time accordingly… Well… now class is canceled because school’s are going to be closed for the day. Sorry guys. We’ll let you know when it’s rescheduled.

Whatever. At that point, fuck it. I’m going back to sleep. It was still snowing. The roads were awful. There wasn’t a point in getting up and I really couldn’t do much of anything where I was at. I couldn’t work on my work projects. I couldn’t go grocery shopping, not that we had ever figured out a shopping list to begin with… It was cold with a six-inch tall wall of snow between me and my car… Yep. It’s the perfect time to simply not worry. It’s quiet, silent. I’m alone. I’m just going to be for a while, even if that means sleeping until I feel awake.

When I woke up again I went to the lobby and had breakfast. I talked to Jon for a little while. It was an unexpectedly chill and relaxed morning.

Around 10 am I trudged out to my car and got most of the snow brushed off. I was even able to make it out of my parking spot despite the wall of snow the plow had left behind me.

Right Brain: Go, Awesome Little Car! You can do it! I believe in you! You show that snow who’s bawce!

The drive home wasn’t terrible. The further from Omaha I got, the better the roads were. Lincoln didn’t get near as much snow as the areas further north did. Despite mostly clear roads, I was still glad to be home and out of the car after my drive. Ox was running behind at work due to the weather. I was grateful to see him when he got home. There was tons of sexy time, hence why the early bedtime that night. Definitely made up for not going to the gym.

I slept well, I think. I feel mostly rested though I know with being up so early today that I’ll be exhausted by the time I get home. I still have 15 minutes before I need to “get up” so I think I’m going to crawl back into bed and cuddle with Ox. I didn’t expect to get through writing, to be honest. I’m glad I did, though. One less open loop in my brain to contend with.

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Daily Post 153: More Leadership and the Walk of Shame

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I’m writing a current post! Hooray for not letting life slip by for another week. : 3

I got a lot taken care of yesterday. We had breakfast which went well. I know I’ve been talking a lot about recipes I’ve been trying. I think eventually I’ll post a few of the links to spread the nifty things I’ve been able to find and that have been enjoyed by the family. I’m pretty sure the ink in the printer got replaced as well so I should be able to start printing out the new successes and adding them to my recipe book. It’s been slightly annoying having to constantly refer to my phone or written instructions in my notebook while I’m in the kitchen.

After breakfast yesterday, I finished with the endeavor of catching up on my writing. The last post I felt was rather lengthy, but I finally made it through the day that was the Thursday before last and all of the events that transpired as the week progressed. I made it through a majority of my “stay-cation” week and wrote about all of the steps forward I had taken in relation to school. I even posted my leadership writing; the first story out of the three I wrote for my chapter two assignment. The second story is going to be longer as well as harder to read. It’s the story about mom and how I reconnected with my dad through that experience.

Once my writing tasks were done I actually had sexy time with Ox. It was most definitely not planned and mind-meltingly amazing. I’ve noticed there seems to be a lot more touching lately, too. Not just sexy stuff, but hugs and hip bumps in the kitchen and silly little random things. It’s nice and a much-appreciated change in our dynamic from only a few months ago where it had felt like I was merely a roommate. It’s something I’ve become more aware of as I’ve realized very seldom do I feel that “alone” feeling any more. Ox still plays his video games most nights and I still do chores or cross-stitch while watching shows or listening to my audiobooks but the physical contact aspect of our relationship is doing better. It makes me feel more connected and fulfilled. It’s nice. It makes me feel warm and noticed and real.

Since there was sexy time, that meant the sheets needed to be washed. Queue the walk to shame to the laundry room that I didn’t want to take with an arm full of dirty sheets. The thought of having to walk by Ox’s parents in the living room with what I felt like was a neon flashing sign of, “I just had sex with your son. I’m a whore,” had me almost in tears.

Right Brain: I’m a good person, damnit! I’m not a whore. I’m not…

Evil Voice: Then why were you a slut having sex knowing people were home? Admit it. You’re a terrible, disrespectful person and those sheets prove it.

Have I mentioned that my brain can be a terrorist sometimes… because my brain is really awesome at totally being a terrorist…

I didn’t feel bad about having sex while it was happening, not that I was really thinking rationally at the time… But owning up to the fact that I had made that choice and non-verbally admitting sex had happened made me feel low; like I had done something shameful.

Ox ended up taking the sheets into the laundry room for me which made me feel worse. He doesn’t ask me to do things very often, and here I am, basically refusing to do a simple task for someone who is so ridiculously kind and understanding and patient with me.

I mean… what kind of person goes out of their way to search for and order the exact waffle maker online for you since you haven’t been able to find the one you want in stores? A really freaking amazingly good person, that’s who. So why can’t I be an adult and take our dirty sheets to the laundry room? We’re both adults. Sex is a natural and healthy part of a relationship. It’s going to happen. I’m not walking around the house in a slutty outfit with a collar around my neck. Washing the bedding is a normal task, not a mark of shame.

Left Brain: Um… Hi… I know you’re having a hard time right now, but could you please be a big girl and take the laundry to the laundry room?

Right Brain: They think I’m a whore! irrational sobbing

Left Brain: You haven’t even left the room yet… They probably don’t even know anything happened.

Right Brain: My life is ruined! I’ll never be able to show my face again. more sobbing

Arg. I don’t think the emotions associated with this situation are fully resolved, but I did actually come out of the room. No one chased me out of the house with torches and pitchforks for being an evil, sinful temptress. And just because I am that type of person… part of my brain is mildly offended over that.

Right Brain: I’m totally an evil, sinful temptress who’s corrupting your son with my evil ways, damnit!

Left Brain: I’m sort of getting mixed signals from you…

I got the wash going so the sheets could be done before bedtime. I also promised Ox that I would do better next time in regards to not freaking out over something that should be a non-issue.

After the small amount of meditation I’ve been able to do on the topic, I don’t think it’s “right” to feel shame over Ox and I physically expressing our affection for each other to each other. At some point, I’ll have to meditate further on the topic.

After I got the sheets in the washer I curled up in the corner of the bed, making a nest out of the pillows and my purple fuzzy blanket. I found where I had left off on chapter three and continued listening to my book. I got through the rest of it. I began writing for the reflection sections not too long after that.

The first section was about core talents. When I was done writing, I didn’t really feel much, which I thought was odd. If I was writing about something that was supposed to be “core” to me, shouldn’t that spark some sort of feeling? I mean, nothing? Seriously? No resonating, no “this is right, this is true”. Just… meh…? Is that my core? I bring “meh” to the table?

I left that section for the time being, moving on to the “core values” section hoping that would provide insight or clarity to what I had done “wrong” for the talents section.

I had to pause before starting that section, though, since it was dinner time. I did the cheesy taco skillet again. Since it’s such a hit with everyone I’m trying to keep it in the rotation. It helps that it’s a super easy meal to make. Liked, easy, quick, and healthy. Fits all of my criteria.

After cleaning the kitchen and dividing up the leftovers into containers to serve as my lunches for the coming week, I got back in front of the computer to tackle my “core values”. When I got to the end of it I felt awesome. Energized. I felt like I had written the essence of myself onto the computer screen. I felt like a badass.

Right Brain: Core Values! Hell yeah! /fist bump

These were the feelings I thought I was supposed to feel with core talents. Conviction. Unshakable certainty. Pride. A “This is me and screw you if you don’t think it’s good enough. I’m a badass,” feeling.

Ox and I stepped outside for a break once I had read my core values reflection to him. I’ve read every reflection to him so far. I told him that I still didn’t know what I had done wrong for the talents reflection, but that the feelings I felt for the values section were what I thought I was supposed to have found during that first writing.

Ox: Why don’t you start by looking up the definition of talent?

So when we got back inside I did. That led to finding a post titled, Skills versus Talents: Do you know the difference, by Marc Miller.

That! That right there! That’s what I had been doing wrong! Communication and time-management, and collaboration… those were all skills I had learned and developed through my life. They weren’t “who I was”. They weren’t “core”. They were just things I happened to be really good at. That’s why they felt so “meh”. They weren’t me. I’m not time-management. Hooray!

It was so… freeing; going back and rereading the last question from the section and knowing how I legitimately wanted to answer it now. I left my original response but created a new section at the bottom to house my new answer; my real answer. When I was done writing, I reread what I wrote.

This. This is what I’m good at. This is what I truly bring to the table when I’m in a group project or working with others. Not “meh”. I knew I wasn’t “meh”.

Right Brain: Core Talents! Hell yeah! /fist bump

I felt so much better and more… real after rewriting that section.

Since I had been a slacker and forgotten to switch my blanket to the dryer before dinner, I ended up cross-stitching while listening to all of chapter 4 once my talents section was rewritten. I’ll be working on the chapter 4 reflection sections once I’m done typing about my life.

Ox and I went to sleep fairly late. It had snowed all day, but by 11 pm, it had stopped and the snow plows had come through, barricading our driveway with a wall of snow and ice we would have to shovel in the morning. Problem for a different time…

We curled up together in bed and slept through the night. When I woke up I began cooking my roast so it could be done before breakfast. Not long after that Mama Ox, Ox, and myself teamed up outside to begin the task of digging out our cars. I got a fair amount done before Ox suggested I go inside and start breakfast, that way they had something warm to look forward to when they came inside. While I would have rather been outside doing hard labor with everyone, I knew that cooking was still helping and a beneficial endeavor.

I made a double batch of the protein waffles with scrambled eggs and bacon. I got the table set with plates and forks and all of the condiments. I poked my head outside and let Mama Ox and Ox know the food was ready and within a few minutes, everyone was sitting at the table.

It was a good breakfast and I’m glad I was a part of it.

Once everyone had eaten I went back to the kitchen to clean up the dishes. My roast was done so I cut it up and put it into containers to have as my breakfasts. I got the laundry switched for Mama Ox so I could wash my load of scrubs. Ox’s clothes were already dry from the night before so I folded them and put them away. Ox took the trash out for me since I cleaned the cats’ litter box.

And so, here we are. It’s a bit later in the day than I expected, but it has been a good day so far. I don’t feel overwhelmed or caged in. I think not having a million people in the kitchen while I was trying to do stuff helped a lot. I was able to play music on my phone and do my own thing without worrying about interfering with someone else’s task. I had everything under control and was able to focus without having to converse with others. It was a quiet, yet productive alone time. And for the most part, I’ve been given the space to write. Lil’ Ox has been in the room for most of the morning, but I’m at my computer with my headphones, typing away, completing something that’s important to me, and about to begin work for my leadership class.

Finishing chapter three put me at the halfway point of the book. It’s downhill from here. Even if the coming sections are harder than the first ones, there’s an end in sight. At least, for this book. I’m almost done with it. I can hold out a bit longer.

I haven’t meal planned for the coming week, but I know what I want to do for Monday and Tuesday. With the roads being so crappy right now, I doubt I would be going into town to do the shopping even if I had a list figured out. So I suppose off I go to keep figuring out this “badass leader” thing.

Core Values! Core Talents! Hell yeah!

Daily Post 148: It’s Melting!!!

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Written a week ago to the day…
My bad. -_-;

Also… it’s no longer melting…
We’re getting 5 inches of snow tonight ;-;


I has an excite. : 3

Today was sunny and it got above freezing and it was a fantastic day and I actually made it to the gym and I got stuff done around the house and dinner turned out alright and I applied to college again and I’m still totally amped from my day and most likely won’t be able to go to sleep on time. But that’s ok. It was a good day. No regrets. : D

Ok…

Now that I have that out of my system…

Monday was a pretty good day. The testing of the acid went well. So that’s done for the next month or so. I’m working with the float RN tomorrow. We have a visiting patient who will be receiving treatment with us. I’m hoping the day goes mostly smoothly. If not at least I have Friday to look forward to. Another day with my FA before my week off from work for a much wanted stay-cation.

There was amazing sexy time with Ox Monday night. Everytime I think it can’t get better he proves me wrong. I think I’m ok with this. The other part of my brain doesn’t think I could survive better. I mean, at some point it’s got to reach some sort of overload where the brain just gives out. Death by snu-snu or something.



I slept amazingly well last night. Being so physically and emotionally exhausted I think played more of a role in that then the Benadryl. I woke up with Ox, the feelings of afterglow still warming my skin. We shared a morning cigarette before he went to work. I went back to bed, wrapped up in one of his shirts and slept for another three hours.

When I woke up I ate and took my vitamin D gummies. I messaged Jon to let him know I was awake if he wanted to chat later. I made a to-do list for the day and then began plucking away at it.

I finished all of the reflection sections for chapter one in my book. As the days go on I’ll post those writings so as not to overload my blog with new posts. I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. I put the kid’s clothes away along with my own. I watched a TED Talk about depression since I was curious about what is considered the opposite of depression.

I know it’s not happiness, but what is it then?

According to this particular TED Talk, the opposite of depression is vitality. I can see that connection. It was an interesting talk and one that I connected with at certain points.

I updated my calendar so that’s current. I looked up the schedule for the dojo since I know that got changed around a bit. I posted my first reflection post.

When Ox came home there was more sexy time. I ended up going to the gym a bit later where I rowed and stretched afterward.

When I came home I began looking into the LPN program for the community college I went to for my CNA course. I need to look into why I haven’t received anything about being added to the registry yet. I hadn’t realized so much time had passed since taking my state tests. I should have received something by now and I need it for the application process.

I sent an email to the head of the LPN program; the wife of my trainer at the gym. I told her the good news about passing the class and my tests and asked if it would be possible to meet in person again. I’m hoping to hear back from her tomorrow. Her advice and guidance were amazing and I’m hoping she can help me navigate through this next part of my journey.

Dinner wasn’t super awesome, but it wasn’t bad either. Ox had recommended I try to make my own recipes based on different things I’ve liked in the past; particularly Hamburger helper boxed meals that I like the taste of, but hate for how unhealthy they are for you.

So I tried my hand at a tomato basil zoodle recipe with burger. I think using more parmesan cheese with a heavy cream would give the sauce the consistency I’m going for. I also think more basil would have been better. I’ll be trying it again in the future, but for the rest of this week, I have meals figured out. I’ve talked to Mama Ox and Papa Ox and they’re both on board with what I want to make. Mama Ox has already given me money to help cover the grocery trip I plan to do on Thursday, which happens to be the one year mark for Ox and me.

We have plans to get lunch together before going grocery shopping. I know most people are probably reading that with a “WTF? Grocery shopping for an anniversary?” but it makes the girly side of my brain all warm and fuzzy. We’re going to be doing something domestic and couple-y together.

I guess that’s about it for today. Lots of mental work in regards to my leadership class. Getting back on the ball with the gym. Still doing good in regards to cooking dinner for everyone. Steps forward were made in the school department. And all of the snow is melting! I can’t put into words how awesome it was to go outside in shorts and sandals and not freeze. Spring can’t come soon enough. ❤

Daily Post 125: Snowy Nebraska

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I went to the dojo on Friday. I worked Saturday. It snowed today. I work tomorrow. I bought a winter jacket that was supposed to be $100 for only $50. Totally feeling like a badass over that still.

I don’t really know where to start or what to write about.

I guess I should mention that I cut my middle finger knuckle on my left hand Friday while I was opening boxes at work. That sort of sucks. You don’t realize how much you use something until it hurts you to put pressure on it. It’s a pretty clean slice and it doesn’t look infected. Just in a crummy spot for healing since fingers bend so much.

I got invited to go to the FHM meeting for my clinic this coming Tuesday. Facility Health Management. It’s basically a meeting with all of the higher ups who evaluate our clinic based on metrics. I’m essentially going to be a fly on the wall. My FA extended the invitation to me since she thought I would be interested in seeing the other side of the clinic. The business side. The only perspective I have is that of being on the floor interacting with our patients. I don’t know what happens with all of the data we record and keep track of. I’ve never met our medical director.

Even though I won’t be paid or in any way compensated for going to the meeting, I want to be there. I want the experience. I want to know the other side, the one my FA has to contend with in addition to working the floor three days a week.

The dojo was a good experience. It’s small. No one showed up to the Hapkido class at 6 this Friday so the instructor and I got to spend an hour working together. He showed me a very broad overview of the style. We even got into weapons. Switchblade and gun. I stayed for the cardio Muay Thai class. It’s more of a conditioning class rather than focusing on techniques, but I still enjoyed it. He helped me a lot with my footwork and I could feel a massive difference in the power of my kicks.

I want to keep going. I could make Wednesday and Friday classes. If I drove into Beatrice on Saturdays I could do the classes on those days as well. Since I ended up working this Saturday I didn’t, but it’s an option. It would be $65 for unlimited everything. $65 a month with no contract. That’s actually a pretty awesome deal.

It felt good to sweat that much again even though I know I’ve worked out harder in the past. I haven’t gone to the gym since Friday’s classes at the dojo. I did find a new app thanks to my brother. JeFit. It’s pretty nifty. Maybe it will help give me more focus when I work on my own.

I tried a new recipe this week. Chicken Taco Soup. It came out alright. Nothing amazing. The roast for my breakfasts should be fine since I didn’t overcook it this time. I’m doing chili again as well. Just sort of that type of weather. Since it’s cold outside I want things that are warm. Coffee included. I found a new coffee creamer. Dark chocolate peppermint. It warms a part of my soul. ❤

There’s a part of me who likes the cold weather and that there’s snow on the ground. It feels right. With it being so cold there should be some visible sign and here in Nebraska, there is. It reminds me of when I took my trip up here and had my interview back in January. It reminds me of when I first got “home” that night in February. I guess I’ll always have a special spot in my mind for snow now. So many of my recent changes happened while it was covering everything. While the world was white and sleeping my path changed and so far I have no regrets over seeing where it would lead.

Ox and I just ran up to the gas station to see how the roads were. There are some dry spots so hopefully, it won’t be too awful when I have to drive to work tomorrow morning. I’m still leaving about 15 minutes early and my FA has already messaged me saying to take my time. She would rather I arrive late than to get hurt driving too fast.

The South Lincoln clinic ended up having issues Friday and wasn’t able to run their first shift patients. Their FA called me specifically asking if I would be willing to help them Saturday morning. I told her that I didn’t have anything going on and would be willing to help but that I wasn’t cleared to mix bicarb and that I didn’t know any of their door codes. We got that worked out and it was a fairly smooth day. I didn’t mind going in. I’ve wanted to see their clinic for a while now. I got to meet their RN who was extremely kind and friendly to me. Their patients were also kind and welcoming. They appreciated my willingness to come in so they could have their treatments. It was a good experience and it gave me a few hours of over time.

This is the week where I got paid for my 5 and 4 day work weeks on top of getting the second installment of my retention bonus. It was a nice paycheck, which is greatly appreciated and needed.

Ox and I went with his kids to play mini golf yesterday as a belated birthday celebration for both of them after I got home from work. The weather was nice and it was a quaint, pleasant outing. I ended up winning and there’s a childish, silly part inside me who feels accomplished about that. My dad used to golf. When we lived in South Carolina he would take me behind the fence of our backyard. There was a pretty big field out there and he would let me hit balls with him. I didn’t realize that I still enjoyed the challenge. I didn’t realize how much going out and doing something so mundane and family oriented would please something inside of me. I’m glad I went. I’m glad I was a part of it.

After golfing, Mama Ox picked up the kids. Ox and I went to a Goodwill to try to find me some winter clothing. That was a bust, but I did find a decent pair of white shoes for cheap to wear when I begin the clinical portion of my class. One thing off the “to-buy” list. Woo.

We tried going to a few stores to find a winter jacket. Dick’s Sporting goods wanted $230 for theirs so we noped our way out over to Sear’s. All of their girl coats had fur-lined hoods or gold flashing clasps. I didn’t really like any of them. The guy selection was extremely limited. I didn’t see anything that I liked enough to spend money on.

We were about to call it quits when Ox suggested going over to JC Penny. I could tell my energy was fading pretty fast. He offered to drive us over to the entrance even though it wouldn’t have taken much for us to walk there. I’m glad we went. I found the perfect coat in the Men’s section. It’s a 2XL so it’s big and long. It goes almost down to my knees. It’s nice and roomy on the inside and soft and fluffy and it’s black with no fur lining or gold flashy stuff anywhere. Just a nice, big, black coat. And it has a billion pockets! So much love. And it was a super awesome price. I’m happy with it. I like wearing it.

With one of the most important things off of the list, we headed towards the Walmart near home. We stopped at Slim Chickens for dinner. It’s becoming my go-to choice for when we go out. They have good salads that are in line with the health goals I haven’t been working towards. You can get chicken tenders grilled rather than fried, so if I ever wanted something other than a salad I have options. It’s not as awesome as my sports bar from Orlando, but I like it. I already have a “my spot” at the one we seem to be frequenting. It makes me happy that I am finding spots since that was something I knew I was missing. It’s a place I could see myself going to and studying before going to class. It’s a place I could see myself writing at if I ever happen to get a laptop again.

I felt a bit better after Ox and I ate but it didn’t last very long. While we were at Walmart I started getting a headache. My hamstrings, which had already started the day off sore, were reaching the point of pain. I was pushing too far on too little sleep and my body was informing me, none too gently, that I wasn’t being kind to it. Ox agreed to save most of the clothes shopping for a different day and so we switched our focus to the foodstuff we needed to pick up.

We did get two new pillows for the bed. With him being on his computer and me making my nest of blankets and pillows while I cross stitch, we’ve noticed a shortage in the pillow department, even though Ox says we have too many when we go to sleep at night, which is total blasphemy because you can never have too many pillows.

I really like my new pillow. Like my jacket, it’s nice and soft and fluffy. I think it was a good investment. I got a husband pillow while we were there as well and I’ve enjoyed stitching with it behind my back today. It feels like I have a proper cross stitching nest now. I can sit cross-legged in my corner of the bed with my threads and highlighter and pattern papers and clipboard, all tucked in and covered with the blankets that smell like Ox and me and home.

Since we bought pillows that meant we needed to buy new pillowcases, too. I got a new brush as well since the one I’ve been using has started losing its bristles. I’ve had it for years. I don’t know how many. Five or more. I guess it was time to replace it. I’ve only used the new one once so far so I don’t know if I like it or not. We haven’t grown accustomed to each other I guess. Sort of like when I first got my car. We had to get to know each other, which might make me sound crazy since I’m talking about inanimate objects, but there you go. I bond with everything, hair brushes included.

I ended up spending close to $200 at Walmart with roughly half of that being on “frivolous” things like the pillows. I was sort of kicking myself about that on the drive home. I still need to buy thermals and wool socks and a good pair of snow boots. I shouldn’t have spent $100 on “nothing”.

The more I thought about it the more I felt like I was thinking about it wrong. I’ve wanted more pillows for a few months now. I’ve wanted the husband pillow. I worked a crazy amount of overtime. I’m allowed to buy things with my money. I paid all of my bills before we went out earlier in the day. I have everything covered. So I might end up spending $300 extra this week instead of the original $200 that I had set aside from my winter gear budget. I don’t think spending an extra $100 is all that bad. I’m still going to be putting a huge chunk towards the credit card and paying off my CNA class.

I’m allowed to buy a few things for myself every once in a while. I don’t know why there’s a part of my brain that has such a hard time understanding that. I don’t know why I feel like I have to justify it to myself. I bought those things because I wanted to and they made my day and evening nice.

I did most of my cooking today. The clothes are washed and dried though they most likely won’t get put away until Tuesday; maybe Monday evening if I’m feeling up to it.

Tuesday, after the meeting, I plan to try to do the last bit of winter shopping since I’ll be in town.

I’ve still been stitching. I’m on the last page of the pattern. It’s the page with the most work on it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my progress seems to slow down, but I’m content with the progress I’ve made. There’s still a bit of work I want to get done before going to bed or taking my picture of it for this week. Since I still need to shower as well I guess I’ll go for now.

I feel like this post rambled sort of all over the place, but it was nice to write while my second cup of coffee sits in front of me getting cold. It feels normal. It feels nice. It feels like I don’t hate life and that I’m not as angry that I’m still living and mom isn’t. I know there’s still a lot of emotions for me to figure out and I know that it’s drawing closer to the season and days that hurt the most, but right now, I’m… happy? I don’t know. It feels more than content, though.

I like my stitching nest. I like my jacket. I like my coffee creamer. I look forward to those things. I liked my day of mini golf. I want it to not be wrong to like those things. I want it to not be wrong to want more memories like that and I know the only person struggling with the feeling of wrongness is me. The only one struggling with the feeling of happiness and belonging and home is me. It’s me, inside my head, that rages and screams and cries that it’s wrong. How can I be happy? How can I enjoy things? How can I look forward to things? How can I breathe and not feel anguish?

I still miss you, mom. I will always miss you. I miss you every day, every morning. Every time something happens and I can’t call you and have hour-long conversations about nothing. I’m finally to a point where I can go out and buy pillows and a hairbrush and not worry about skimming from my food budget to do it. I’m going back to school. I’m being invited to facility meetings. I’m doing good, mom. I miss you but I’m doing ok and I really, really hope all of this would make you happy. I really hope deep down that you would be proud of me for all the things I’m doing. I miss you mom, but I didn’t give up and this is where I am. In snowy Nebraska learning how to keep living life. I love you. Forever and for always.

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