Daily Post 061: Ending A Long Day

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Today has been a long day.

It started at 3:30 am. I showered, changing back into my night clothes afterward because I refuse to wear my scrubs or a bra any longer than I have to.

It’s part of my morning routine now. Wake up. Shower. Redress since I’m not actually dressed yet. Go downstairs, and yes that is on the “to do” list because that action sucks at 4 am and deserves a gold star for being accomplished. Brew coffee. Heat breakfast. Pack lunch. Fill water bottles. Clean dishes if there are any. Eat and drink, basking in the 15 minutes of silence and stillness I’m able to experience. Sigh when my alarm goes off. Actually get dressed. Make sure I have my cell phone, wallet, keys, and sunglasses not that I actually see sunlight on the days I work. Also check to ensure I have socks and my shoes packed in my gym bag since I wear my flipflops into work; yet another example of my defiance. I refuse to wear my shoes longer than I have to.

I enjoy having my cup of coffee still. I’m glad I haven’t given it up and that I reclaimed those moments for myself rather than trying to drink coffee on the way to work like I was for a few months. There have been times where I’ve let those moments, my coffee moments, last a bit longer than I “should”. I allow myself five more minutes of silence, sometimes ten more minutes. If I’m going to spend the next 16 hours giving and interacting and caring and being fully present, then I deserve an extra five minutes. I’m allowed those five minutes. On those days I still arrive to work on time, I’m just not as early as normal.

Today I didn’t do an extra five minutes. Today I woke up tired, but at the same time refreshed. I knew it would only be three hours at work. I KNEW when I would be leaving and that in itself did wonders for my perspective. I knew everything I was about to experience was voluntary. I knew I had the rest of my day ahead of me and I was looking forward to it.

Work actually went fairly smoothly. Everyone got on the machines on time aside from the one person who showed up late. One person called out from second shift so we were able to arrange for one of the third shift patients to come in early. While my fellow teammate was on break I was able to do ALL of the chores on our side. Before I came back from my own break I stopped by the stock room to load up on the things we needed.

Honestly, there was very little interaction with people today. Aside from treatment initiations and communicating with my teammates it was fairly quiet. It was nice. I even got to have the breakroom to myself since I was the last person to go.

The only shitty thing about work today was leaving my lunch box in the fridge at work, and even that isn’t really shitty so much as it is annoying.

Once I left work I drove to the gym for training. I changed out of my scrubs. I took off my ring and necklace and I committed myself to actually training today. I would make this a good day and with that in mind I took my water bottle and met up with L.

She had me start off by running a bit on the treadmill since I was early. I haven’t been running all that much but I’m pleased that I ran fairly well. I continue to feel stronger and better which I guess is a testament to how I am continuing to improve physically.

Today was intense at the gym. L didn’t hold back and neither did I. I told her how my core has been sore the past two days and how it was a good sore. It’s the type of sore that lets you know you’re getting stronger. The same with my arms.

We focused on legs today. There was a lot of jumping and burpees and inchworms and hating L’s next client for messaging that he was running late because that meant L wanted me to run my obstacle course a third time rather than only doing it twice. I beat my time each time, though, so I guess there’s that.

I was exhausted when I got home. By 10:30 I had already been awake for 7 hours on 4 hours of sleep. There’s some perspective that makes me feel better about my next action…

I curled up on the couch for an hour. I’ve felt bad-ish about that almost all day until the last sentence I wrote. No wonder I was as tired as I was. Not only had I gone to the gym. I had pretty much already done a full day and very little sleep. I totally earned that hour of rest. I take back all of the guilt I felt.

After my hour of rest, I ate then showered so I could donate plasma.

That’s been going well. My account is flagged since I got a tetanus booster shot on the 28th. I’m still allowed to donate, it just means it’s slightly more annoying to check in.

My arm is still sore this time. I think I might end up with a bruise again. I haven’t bruised up since we stopped using my median cubital veins. I was hoping those days were behind me since we found the awesome vein that we’ve been using, but alas, it too might be getting tired and want a break. I don’t blame it. Getting stabbed twice a week with a 17 gauge needle must suck.

The phlebotomist who normally sticks me even mentioned how the vein wasn’t popping as much is it normally does. I asked if that could be a hydration issue and she said that’s what she was worried about. The donation itself went well though and I can’t imagine drinking more water than I already had. I did over a gallon yesterday and was close to a gallon before donating today since I was awake so early in the morning.

I think next week I’m going to switch back to my right arm and see if we can find a better vein on that side. If not maybe using my medians again for a little while would be good. Site rotation and all that jazz.

Anyway, I ended up being pretty hydrated after all. Donation went well and by the time it was over and my arm was taped up it was time for me to head out to go to therapy. I haven’t been in a while. I think my last session was a week or two before Thanksgiving.

I cried a lot during this session.

I talked about my blow up fight with Warren over him ignoring my messages about rent. I talked about getting tired of Kyle. I talked about Jon’s situation. I talked about work and how school is starting.

We talked about mom a lot. I talked about how I felt bad realizing how little I’ve written to her, how little I’ve written this year in general. I talked about how this was supposed to be my year of stability and how I actually think I haven’t done half bad for myself.

She asked about the plasma donating and I explained that I felt better about it then I did in the beginning. I said since it feels like something I’m choosing to do rather than an obligation I’m being forced into that there was a sense of confidence and independence that came from it.

I don’t have to ask people for help. I’m helping myself and fuck anyone who stands in my way. Maybe there’s a level of defiance with it. I refuse to back down. I refuse to work overtime. I refuse to be more scared of an inch and a half piece of hollow metal versus 200 pounds of pure muscle trying to choke me out on the mat.

I refuse to be a victim and if donating helps me change the situation I’m in so I can eventually get out of it, then fine. I’ll do it, and I’ll still train and go to school and work full time while I do it.

That sounds all good and big and bad until I cry my eyes out in therapy and still have to drive myself home, get gas, and figure out food, all while I’m trying not to pass out behind the wheel.

Ok. I wasn’t that tired, but I was so ready to be home and done with the day. I stopped by a Taco Bell after donating but didn’t have time for a full meal before going to therapy. I think eating something helped, but it wasn’t enough, and I certainly didn’t drink enough.

I was tapped out and I knew it. I stopped for gas since I had 5 miles left on my gauge. I went to Publix since it was in the same plaza as the gas station and picked up a rotisserie chicken with coleslaw and a box of mac and cheese. Totally not the healthiest dinner but I wasn’t looking for health. I was looking for warm and tasty and on some level, comfort.

When I got home Kyle was watching something on the TV. I didn’t have it in me to care. I put my stuff down on the kitchen counter since opening the fridge was too much in that moment, then went directly upstairs to my room. For once I couldn’t hear the TV in my room. I normally can, even with my door closed. But today I couldn’t and it was amazing. I cuddled up with Scarlet and let the “not care” flow through me. I dozed for a bit, waking up to find Scarlet snuggled in the crook of my arm.

Eventually, I went back downstairs to eat. I wasn’t hungry but I knew I needed to do that. And drink. More drink than eat, but both were on the list. And switch the laundry because I started that before leaving the apartment to donate.

Kyle was in the middle of turning off the PlayStation which I was grateful for. He tried talking to me and showing me a facial rig some guy made in Unity, but I really couldn’t have cared less. I didn’t want sound. I didn’t want another person’s presence and eventually, he went back upstairs to do whatever.

I devoured most of the chicken barbarian style while I stood in the kitchen with the lights off and no sound. At some point, I managed to start the mac and cheese.

I watched a few episodes of Fate/Stay Night. I think I’m about halfway through the series now. I like the characters but the storyline is pretty weak, which is lame.

And so now here I am. Writing.

Jon wants to play WoW. To be fair I asked him earlier if he would be interested in gaming tonight, but right now I don’t know if I have it in me. Maybe if we were just running around doing easy quests but I really don’t feel like healing our way through dungeons. I don’t want to have to think or do anything important.

I guess I’m going to go for now and see what can be done as far as a compromise. Maybe it will work out that we game on Sunday instead. I do know I have another liter of water to get through before I’m happy with my water intake. So much water. Oh my gawd. >.<;

Seriously. I don’t understand how my eyeballs aren’t floating around inside of my head with how much water I’ve been trying to drink.

Oh. No studying happened today, but I’m ok with that. I’ve done really well this week and I still have two days of work to survive.

I got this.

 

iQBQTwv

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Daily Post 058: Better Then They Have Been

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Written earlier this morning.


 

I’m physically tired right now. It’s taken me about an hour to recover from my training session with L. We worked inner thighs pretty hardcore today since I told her that’s where I feel weak. Tuesday was shoulders and back and I can still feel the tiredness there as well.

I suppose a lot of my tiredness comes from being so active this week after such a hard lull the previous week.

Thanksgiving was pretty good for a shitty day. All of the days leading up to it sucked. I watched Fate/Zero in its entireity in two days. I didn’t feel back about taking over the living room for those two days. I’m hardly ever home. No regrets or remorse.

The show was alright but I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. I watched it more because I wanted to watch Fate/Stay Night which I’ve been told is good. Since I made it through all of Zero I started watching Stay Night Wednesday evening and continued throughout Thanksgiving day with my brother.

I have to admit that one of the reasons I’ve avoided watching these anime for so long is because Zane watched them before we dated. I can remember him having conversations with other people about the show and so I’ve always associated the Fate series with him. Sort of like how I associate Burn Notice with Corey. I don’t know if it’s really overcoming anything to finally watch the series, but it feels less like Zane’s and more like any of the other story lines in my head.

Jon actually took care of most of the cooking, which was a fantastic change from last year where I did all of it and then no one ate anything.

I actually woke up thinking about ditching and just staying home and being sad. I didn’t want to get out of bed. The thought of having to take a shower was borderline too much on top of having to drive the hour up to Daytona. I didn’t like the idea of having to stay with my roommates even less.

Instead, I made a compromise. I would stay in my pjs, get in the car, and make it to my brother’s place. That’s all I had to do. The only “requirement” of my day was driving. Everything else was icing on the cake that I didn’t “have” to do. My brother wouldn’t care if I was in pjs or not. He cared if I showed up. If showering compromised my energy levels for completing the trip then it was ok for it to not happen.

So that’s what I did. I got in my car and drove up to his apartment. There was a hot cup of coffee waiting for me and a hug and no judgment. Only acceptance, and understanding.

I helped a bit in the kitchen when he wanted/asked for it. I helped load the dishwasher a few times, too, so I wasn’t a total slacker and mooch. The turkey was brined which was the first time I had anything like that and it was amazing. Jon is now Lord of the Turkey and we have plans to do pretty much the same thing for Christmas since neither of us can get out to Vegas to spend it with our older brother.

Jon did have a friend come over for Thanksgiving. I guess he didn’t have anywhere else to go and Jon didn’t want him to be alone. It was super socially awkward and Jon even sent me text messages while we were all in the living room asking me not to kill him for inviting the guy over and saying he was sorry. He essentially begged for my forgiveness which I thought was cute.

I told him he owed me and he agreed. Jon said he had forgotten how “off” the guy had been the few times they had hung out. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t all that bad.

Towards the end of the evening, Jon’s roommates came back home and said that their family was going to show up to play board games. Roughly six people in total. That totally went against all of the plans they had agreed to previously with Jon, leaving the apartment empty so he and I could have a place for our own Thanksgiving. When we asked when their family was supposed to show up his roommates said they weren’t sure. Just that they would be there at some point.

I didn’t have a bra on… There was no way I was going to be ok with being in the middle of surviving my second Thanksgiving without mom and dealing with six strangers having a good time while not being “presentable”. Fuck that shit. Like, for real.

I ended up leaving before they showed up. In fact, I’m actually not sure if they ever did. Jon hasn’t mentioned it in any of our conversations. I was sent home with leftovers, a big bear hug, and the whispered words of “You’ll be ok” echoing in my ears as I cried the whole drive home. The leftovers are what got me through the next couple of days because I didn’t do any sort of cooking or prep work on my days off due to being sad.

I don’t remember which day I started feeling better. Maybe it was when I came back home Friday. I know that day at the clinic wasn’t bad even though I thought it would be. One of my coworkers called out sick so we were short a person. My boss came out and worked the floor on my side of the clinic, so that was pretty awesome. The times he’s worked on the floor he normally takes my spot to see how the changes they’re making to the schedule work. This was the first time we worked closely together and he was very complimentary at the end saying that I did what had to be done.

I was expecting that day to totally suck, but it ended up being one of the smoother ones I’ve worked. It was good to see all of my patients and to hear about their Thanksgivings and how they got to see their friends and family and eat good food and enjoy their day. It was nice to share that mine had turned out better than I expected and that I spent it with my brother who made a fantastic meal for us.

I guess going to work forced me to get up. It forced me to not sit at home in the dark where the only things to keep me from thinking about the pain are anima, alcohol, and cigarettes. It made me go out and see people who care about me and who are grateful that I’m alive and do the things I do. It made me go out and connect to things that feel worth it, so for that I am grateful. I may dislike my job, but I’m glad that I have one that gives me purpose.

Warren and I had a fairly friendly conversation. He’s paid full rent for this month. That’s the first time he’s paid fully two months in a row. I’m hoping that December continues with this positive change. This is the month where he should be able to start paying in advance rather than having me use my own money to cover for him and then him paying me back. It would be nice to not feel tension and tightness in my chest when I pay bills. It will be nice to feel secure in the fact that I know everything will be taken care of.

My main mission is still to survive until January. I feel more confident in my ability to do that, especially since it’s only two and a half weeks until my week off. I haven’t figured out anything that I want to really do that week. Maybe getting my hair bleached again since the roots have grown out so far. Maybe it would be good to talk to Big Bad and see if there’s anything he would like to do and if he still plans to take that week off with me or not.

I had thought of giving up personal training for the coming month and solely focusing on work and my certification. I have since decided against that. I want to keep training the little bit that I am, which leads to this week and why I’m so tired right now.

Sunday started with messaging Big Bad. It was light and playful until he asked me if I had had a cigarette since our last time together. I said yes, less than what I normally would have done, but more than none.

His reply message of “I’m disappointed in this behavior” was more soul-crushing that I expected it to be. I actually sat crying at my computer for a little while. I know a lot of people don’t like me smoking and I have always acknowledged and accepted that fact. I don’t like it either.

I decided, after my cry session, that I wouldn’t smoke anymore. I went outside and had my last one and while I smoked it I asked mom to help make it my last one. I wasn’t prepared for those emotions either because asking that made me feel like I was losing a part of her all over again.

Yeah… Sunday was a day full of emotions after a week of already heavy emotions. So tired of emotions right now…

I hadn’t realized I was using smoking as a way to feel close to her. At least I didn’t realize it as consciously as my awareness became during that last cigarette. I cried during it but stuck to my word and threw the rest of the pack away.

Once I was back inside I sat down and wrote an email to Big Bad explaining why I had been smoking these past months and how his message had hurt because I don’t want to let him down. He’s been so supportive and accepting throughout this past year that the thought of letting him down feels like a betrayal in a way.

I haven’t had a cigarette since Sunday. I know that’s not a lot to go on, but I’m content with it so far. The first month is going to be the hardest, especially towards the center of it. So really, this coming week and the week after are the ones I want to really get through.

Big Bad responded to my email saying he was proud of me and that I can do anything. I felt better even though I was emotionally tapped out. I felt more solid and stable. It felt like I had finally made a stand about the whole smoking thing and confronted some heavy things I had been avoiding.

Jon came down and we had lunch together while studying for his Anatomy test. We started with the section for the brain, which was amazing, and then moved into the spine. I think we were both in need of some more time together. We agreed to start playing new characters in World of Warcraft. Horde side this time so I have more drive to actually play. Since Monday was a day off for me we spent most of Sunday night leveling our characters.

While I waited for him to drive home I cleaned my room and the apartment. I ended up doing four loads of laundry to wash all of my blankets and sheets as well as my clothes. Kyle cooked a chicken alfredo dinner and let me have some. It was a pretty low key night after what ended up being a pretty intense day.

Monday went well. It started with canceled breakfast plans. I had made plans with Mrs. G, a former classmate from DaVita’s training program, to meet since we haven’t seen each other in almost six months, if not longer, but she’s been having headaches and asked if we could raincheck out meeting. Though I really do want to see her, I was ok with the cancellation.

It meant that I was able to go to boxing instead, which I think I needed. I didn’t do as well as I’ve done in the past. I was also late because I stopped to pick up my new glasses first. I didn’t let that stop me from going, though. I still went in while everyone was warming up. I put on my shin guards and gloves even though I knew there wouldn’t be any kicking. It’s part of my ritual, just like taking off my necklace and ring. I always do these actions and I will not compromise them just to get onto the mat fast enough to make someone else happy.

I pushed myself pretty hard. I can tell there’s a difference in my core strength. I can feel how my punches, especially my hooks, are stronger, harder. It’s a good feeling. I stayed for all of the core section of the workout, which I sometimes skip out on. For not having done any sort of workout for a while I was happy with my effort. It was a total body sweat. I got to talk to the instructor who was one of my favorites. In January he’s going to begin working with me on footwork and how to move around in the ring with an opponent. I’m looking forward to it.

I took a nap when I got home. I did some cooking. A lot of things were already taken care of due to my burst of motivation Sunday. I ended up going out and finding a new nightshirt to wear at Salvation Army and having a sandwich for dinner at Arby’s.

I spent the evening with Big Bad. We watched a few episodes of Stranger Things. He said he tried watching some of it without me but it wasn’t the same. That gave me warm fuzzy feelings. I got to wear my new top while we cuddled on the couch. It was another quiet, relaxing night after a fairly productive day.

Tuesday was a busy day. I knew it would be and I knew I would be tired before it even began. With how productive I had been Sunday and Monday I knew Tuesday was going to be rough, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I wasn’t going to back out of any of my obligations so instead, I tackled everything head on.

I trained for the second day in a row which is a first for a very long time. That’s where L tore up my shoulders. We did some box jumping as well. Only the red box, but that’s what I wanted. I told her I would rather warm back up into things successfully rather than trying to push too far too fast and compromise my confidence. I’m ok with being on the low side this week.

After training, I donated plasma. I wasn’t as hydrated as I wanted to be, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the one donation where I almost passed out twice. After donating I had a doctors appointment. I had been instructed to fast for the blood work I needed to get done for my bio screening, which is supposed to save me something like $800 on my healthcare premium. So even though I trained and donated, I hadn’t eaten for eight hours. I was edging towards a bitchy mood and I could tell.

I made it to the appointment on time. Didn’t have to pay anything since it counts as my yearly physical. Had to get a tetanus booster shot, and then drive over to the place where they actually do the blood work to have that done. So I got stabbed three times on Tuesday. All while not eating anything. So hangry.

I’m grateful I was able to get the blood work done and out of the way, though. Since I went to the clinic so late there wasn’t a wait time. I was seen pretty much immediately and was assured my results would be in by Thursday, which was perfect. Thursday was my next day off, so my doctor said to come by the office during the afternoon to let her complete the form I needed to be filled out. So I was able to get most of my healthcare stuff taken care of. The only things left were to have the paper filled out and to submit it via the online portal, both supposedly easy things to accomplish on my next day off.

Tuesday was also Nicole’s birthday. We were chatting throughout the day and eventually made plans to meet at a Cracker Barrel for dinner. It was roughly 40 minutes away, but since she drives up to see me all the time I felt like even with how tired I was it was the least I could do to drive halfway to see her on her birthday.

Well… that ended up taking an extra 30 minutes to do because of rush hour traffic and car wrecks. I was super bitchy by the time I sat down, but luckily Nicole let me bitch while we ate our fill of biscuits with apple butter. I even got to order my Country Boy, “there’s no way you could possibly finish all of this food” breakfast. And yes. I did actually eat all of that food. Fuck anyone who thinks poorly of me for doing it. You try strength training, donating, doctor appointments, and driving through Orlando hell on no food for almost 10 hours and see if you don’t devour everything, too.

I will say it was amazing to finally get home. I slept deeply that night, though it wasn’t enough before I had to wake up for work on Wednesday.

Yesterday was rough. I was on my normal side at the clinic but I was paired with the newest team member, who works extremely slow because he’s still new, along with the preceptor who trained me, who is extremely thorough, but also a slow worker. That ended up making things extremely rough. My preceptor went and complained to my boss about the new guys which I didn’t think was fair because she also could have done more than what she did throughout the day. I am actually glad that he came out onto the floor later in the evening because it meant that I got to talk to him and give him my opinion.

I said I didn’t think it was that the new guy is a bad worker. I said I felt like everyone at the clinic has their own strengths and weaknesses and that right now, two slow workers together was not a good idea. He needs to be around two strong workers until he gets his confidence and speed up.

My boss was grateful for my input and I think it helped give a more unbiased opinion about the situation since I also voiced my opinion on how my preceptor handled/didn’t handle the day.

I was pretty dead by the time I got home. It was roughly a 14 hour day and six miles. Maybe closer to 15 hours, but once you get to a certain point it really doesn’t matter. A long day is a long day regardless of how many hours it is.

I ate dinner and checked my mail in Warcraft since I’m back to whoring the auction house. I showered not long after that and went to bed. I slept for a little bit but woke up around midnight hungry and thirsty.

I logged onto Warcraft and chatted with my brother who also happened to be on. I stayed up until around 2 before going back to sleep.

Since then I’ve woken up, gone to training, and am about to go back to the doctor so she can finish filling out my paperwork. After that, it’s donating plasma. Then lunch with maybe some light studying. Then back home to chill for the rest of the evening. I do need to cook one last meal. Doing a load of laundry would be good. But overall my requirements for the day are mostly done.

Speaking of, I’m going to cut this short so I don’t miss my appointment. I’m glad I took the time to write. It was nice reflecting back on everything that’s happened. I’m also glad things feel better than they have been.

 

Daily Post 056: Meditation Needed

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Things have been ok. More ok than not.

My brother might be seeking therapy. He’s having a hard time and I can only do so much. I think it would be good for him to see a professional. Since he doesn’t have health insurance he’s having a hard time finding someone who doesn’t charge $120 an hour. Seriously… My brain can’t even…

I asked my therapist if she had any resources for the Daytona area. She mentioned a few and also offered to work with my brother if I was ok with it.

I am. I think she may be able to help Jon work through his self-worth issues and the feelings of abandonment and rejection he’s struggling with. I think there’s a lot of stuff still buried from mom’s death and his time in the Army. Maybe even from his divorce.

I need to send him my therapist’s contact information, but we’ve already talked on the phone and he knows that he has options now. I think that along helps him feel less lost.

Big Bad and I didn’t end up seeing each other. That sucked and is part of why I’m mostly flatlined today.

We were supposed to see each other Wednesday evening. He was feeling under the weather and I was exhausted from work. We decided to rain check the evening for Thursday instead.

I went to training Thursday. I stopped by the Salvation Army before going home to donate some odds and ends. I also found a swimsuit I liked so I can make use of the jacuzzi at the gym. I donated plasma later in the afternoon. I went to my sports bar afterward to eat and study for my certification. I went to the dojo that evening.

I didn’t do very well. And I guess I need to rephrase that. I did fantastic for already having trained once that day and donating plasma on top of all the other things I got done. I was fatigued before I even stepped on the mat.

We did a lot of cardio for the warm-up with rolls and cartwheels. I was paired with a newer guy I’ve never met who was also about half my size. It made performing the techniques hard. I didn’t want to be paired with someone I didn’t know. I really didn’t want to be learning a new technique. I would have preferred focusing on something I was already comfortable with.

Towards the end, I was paired with a purple belt. I explained why I was so tired. He said that was fine. We could spar for as long as I felt ok, but as soon I started feeling bad to let him know.

We did a few sort rounds alternating from starting in back mount. He was complimentary when I wormed my way out of his holds and answered my questions when I wasn’t sure about something.

I left before the class was over. I didn’t care if it looked bad to others. I haven’t been there much. I didn’t do much during the class. I didn’t stay for all of the sparring rounds.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you, Imaginary Judgemental Person. You have no idea what I have or have not done. You have no idea what my days are like or what I’m going through.

I messaged Big Bad once I was in my car. We had joked around earlier in the evening about playing video games but nothing had been definitively said about me coming over.

When I asked if he wanted company he said he was going to sleep soon and that maybe it would be better to hold off until Monday to see each other.

I’m proud that it didn’t feel like rejection or abandonment on my end. I do think that shows personal growth. My past hurts and insecurities have less sway and influence over my present emotions.

It still wasn’t a good feeling. I had been looking forward to seeing my companion more than once in a seven day period. I was looking forward to being cuddled with him and breathing in his scent. I was looking forward to not being alone.

It didn’t work out that way, though.

He sent a text message saying he missed me. I texted back saying I missed him, too.

Since I ended up with time to myself I went to the gym, put on my new swimsuit and alternated between the pool and jacuzzi. Cold helps with inflammation while heat helps promote blood flow and healing. I went back and forth a few times until I was ready to go home. My body felt better. I know I’ve been pushing it hard this week, especially since I did basically nothing last week. Compared to how I trained before I got this job I feel like I’ve been pretty inconsistent.

It’s weird. I know I’m at a higher level than what I was, but I also know I’m not where I want to be. I guess it’s like how I feel about my writing right now. I’m inconsistent. I let things get in the way. I’m tired of that.

I’ve been sort of sad since last night. Since not being able to fall asleep in Big Bad’s arms. It’s not the same type of sadness as when I hurt over mom. I haven’t thought too much about these feelings to understand them fully. I know what I feel is not rejection or abandonment, which is good. But there is something there that I need to figure out.

I had thought about not doing anything today. I thought about letting that sadness fuel a rest day. Stay home. Chillax. Be anti-social.

Irrational Right Brain: You’re not wallowing. You’re just indulging in not doing anything… Shhh… It’s ok…. Come to the dark side… we have cookies…

Instead, I ended up going to the gym for a HIIT class my trainer was running. Yes, my body was still sore. Fuck it. At least I could spend the rest of the day knowing I didn’t let sadness win.

Only one other person showed up to the class. It was nice to not have to deal with eight or more other people. It was just one other new person and she was pretty cool.

She said she had seen me on Tuesday doing my box jumps and that she was super impressed. I got to talk about how I’m training to be a fighter.

The class itself was pretty intense and I’m glad I went. Afterward, I came home and curled up on the couch for a while. Eventually, I was recovered enough to go upstairs and shower. I put away the clean clothes that were still in my laundry basket before filling it with all my dirty stuff and taking it downstairs.

I started a load of laundry and ran the dishwasher before heading out to my sports bar again. I’ve made it through another chapter in my certification book. I’m trying to make that a requirement on my “off” days. I need to get this certification out of the way, preferably before January so I can focus on school.

I paid rent. I had enough to cover all of it, but that only leaves me with $150 to my name with an electric bill, internect bill, car insurance payment, and phone bill to pay. I messaged Warren asking for his payment so I could pay all of my obligations. I haven’t gotten a reply from him yet. We actually haven’t spoken to each other since Kyle moved in. As long as he pays what he owes I don’t care. My opinion is still that he’s a man child and that our friendship will never be able to recover to what it once was.

My reward for studying and paying as many of the bills as I could was going through my email and catching up on the blogs I’m behind on. I’m also allowing myself the time to write.

There’s a randori session later today at the dojo. I know Jim will be there since he’s running it. I don’t know if I should go or not. I don’t feel like pushing myself. I think Jim would train with me if I asked him to. I haven’t made up my mind. If I don’t go I feel like it would be because I’m sad from not seeing Big Bad.

This is one of the few times I can make it to the dojo and yet I’m not going?

Maybe I do need to sit and meditate on a few things instead. Maybe doing a bit of emotional work would be better in the long run. My shoulder was giving me issues this morning, too. It was more of a sharp pain rather than a muscle pain. I had to modify a lot of the push-up work because it hurt to put weight on my left shoulder.

Blarg. I’ll figure it out.

For right now I’m going to go. I need to run to the store for laundry detergent, also a bottle of Fireball. At the moment drinking a little at the end of my nights is how I’m staying away from cigarettes.

I work tomorrow. Here’s hoping it goes smoothly.

Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness

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

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

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

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

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

But I’m sad now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right now I’m tired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Post 052: Mostly Caught Up

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I wrote this the night before last (Tuesday evening) but didn’t have the time to proofread so it’s being posted now. And just a heads up, Warren and I had a spat last night about him not paying rent, again, and not telling me about it… so yeah… that’s going to be a super fun time hashing out all of the emotional fallout when I write tomorrow morning.

It’s whatever though. I survived mom’s death. I can survive this. I’m going to enjoy my night with Big Bad tonight and beat Life into submission later.

Until then, here’s Monday and Tuesday.

 


 

I’m finally caught up with writing. It’s a weird feeling. Everything is fresh. I can put the emotions and experiences away properly, reflecting on them, analyzing them and then letting them go to where they belong.

Monday was a good day. I opened so the clinic was quiet and empty. The other opener was already there so the machines had been turned on. I like starting the day like that; at square one. I know everything that needs to get done and I know how to do it. There isn’t anything that’s “gone wrong” yet.

Changeover for second shift was a little rough because one of my coworkers was late. We got caught up though and everyone started their treatment on time. At least, everyone who showed up on time, that is. We’ve been having issues with transportation being late, so people aren’t able to get their full treatment. One of the cool / good things about being the lowest person on the totem pole is I don’t have to worry about fixing admin problems like that. Woohoo for not having to make phone calls.

During lunch, I stopped by my FA’s office and asked if we could make an arrangement to sit and chat on Friday. He said he had time now if I wanted to. Since I don’t like waiting and neither does he we went ahead and hashed my issues out.

I started off with explaining how I wanted to go back to school and that’s the main reason I wanted to wait until Friday because I didn’t have much information about it. I explained how I wanted to go for an Exercise Science degree and that at the moment I don’t actively plan to use it for a career change. The thought of going to school and learning about something I’m interested in makes me happy. It makes me want to get out of bed in the morning.

When I asked how school would work with work he said they would do their best to maintain my full-time hours in regards to my classes. Essentially I let them know what days I can’t work and they give me what they can.

So that’s pretty awesome to know. Work will be flexible with my potential future inflexibility.

I went on to talk about how one of the things I’m trying to do is find better work/life balance and how I’ve been having a hard time finding it on my own. My true fulfillment comes from the dojo, but working long shifts so many days out of the week keeps me from being there even on my days off.

Before I said anything further he offered to reduce my days to three. I said if it was possible to do that and not adversely affect the team that I would be beyond grateful. He said it wasn’t a problem. There are teammates who want more hours so it, in theory, would actually help for me to work less. As long as I meet the minimum requirements to qualify as “full-time” then everything is good.

I can still have my Monday/Tuesday arrangement so I can have my evenings with Big Bad, which is great because I can keep that small bit of consistency along with always having Sunday off.

I also disclosed how my rent is going up and asked if there was any way for me to make myself more valuable to the company to receive an increased wage.

He said unfortunately because I’m still such a new hire, there wasn’t much I could do.

I said I understood that because I do. I haven’t even been out of training for three months yet and here I am asking for a raise. It was a long shot and I knew it.

I did ask about completing my certification. I asked if completing that was a possible raise or a guaranteed raise once it was achieved. He said it’s guaranteed so it’s something I can take steps towards. Mainly studying and making a fuck ton of flash cards like the nerd I am.

I asked if there was a time restriction on taking the test since originally I had been told there was, but later heard there wasn’t.

He said he wasn’t sure but he would look into it. He actually wrote it down on a notepad so for once I believe I’ll actually get information back about something.

As we were talking, since it was a pretty laid back and conversational atmosphere, I mentioned how I sort of screwed myself over by claiming zero allowances for my taxes, so there’s a large part of my paycheck I’m not actually receiving.

He said I could actually go into the computer and change a number of allowances I claim if I wanted to. I had no idea. For some reason, I thought tax stuff worked like benefit enrollment. You could only change it during certain times of the year or if you had a “qualifying” life change.

I guess not though, so that’s going to be something I look into/do. I want to do some calculations before actually changing it over. It’s nice to know I have that option available.

That pretty much covered all of my issues so I closed with asking how I was doing as an employee.

He said I’ve been doing great. No one has any complaints about working with me.

I asked if it would be possible to schedule myself for the CVC classes since I feel like a liability to my team by not being about to do catheter care. I’ve become secure and confident in my abilities as a tech to feel comfortable enough to learn something new, especially if it can help my team members out.

He said he knew it was a six-month waiting period but he wasn’t sure if it was six months from my hire date or six months from my “out of training” date. I said whatever made it happen sooner was cool in my book. I told him it would be cool if it could be “six months from when I was desperately look for a job” date. We both laughed.

There was actually a lot of laughter during our conversation despite how heavy my topics were. I really am lucky for having such an amazingly laid back supervisor.

Anywho, I’m tired of not being able to work with our CVC patients. We had five CVCs Monday morning. Five. That’s almost half my patients and the only things I can do with them were figure out their fluid removal goal, take their temperature. Oh. And get their blood pressure. Other than that I’m useless because it’s like I’m not even allowed to look at a CVC without having this “one day and now suddenly you’re an expert” class.

Arg. I may or may not have strong feelings over this. >.<;

The good news is my FA is totally on my side. He’s going to see about getting me into a class as soon as possible. Hooray.

He also said I could start learning how to mix bicarb, which would allow me to open the clinic more often. I’m totally cool with that. I want to learn more and I want to open more often. Learning bicarb hits both of those goals, so I’m totally down for it.

Other than not being able to touch CVCs apparently everyone is ok with me. That’s a relief to know. I haven’t crossed any lines or stepped on any toes, at least not that my FA’s aware of. I’m doing well and the issues I talked to him about aren’t new or unsurprising.

The meeting took way longer than my lunch break. When I got back to the floor I explained I had been in the FA’s office talking about potentially going back to school. That sparked a really interesting conversation that lasted for most of the second shift.

The third shift started and the change over was pretty smooth. I was able to leave the clinic shortly after 4 pm.

Originally I wasn’t scheduled to open so I was supposed to stay at the clinic until around 8pm which totally screwed over my plans for seeing Big Bad. I was able to switch shifts with a coworker on Saturday, which is why I did end up working my “normal” shift, but because I wasn’t able to switch with her pretty much the day before I worked, Big Bad and I had already rescheduled our evening together to Thursday.

That meant I had all of Monday evening to myself, so I went home, showered, had a quick snack, then went to the dojo. It was something I had been looking forward to the whole day.

They’ve changed the class schedule at the dojo so every hour they run two classes instead of one. I chose to do the submission grappling (no-gi) class versus Muay Thia.

One of the black belts ran the class. He’s a super cool guy. I was actually at the belting ceremony where he ranked up into black. I enjoy it when he instructs. Because there was an odd number of people at class that night, with me being the only girl, the instructor paired with me so I got one on one training essentually.

It. Was. Awesome.

He’s always super chill and answers all of my questions, which I normally have a lot.

Me: Why do you do it this way? What happens if they do this? Could you do this instead and it still be effective? Where am I supposed to be putting my weight during this movement?

He seemed genuinely pleased with how engaged I was so hopefully I wasn’t too annoying.

During the first two sparring rounds he was my partner. There was one point where he got butterfly hooks on me. That’s where his feet are on the insides of my thighs. It’s a way to control your opponents hips and to limit their mobility.

He ended up rolling onto his back and essentially lifting me off the ground since I had grips on his forearms. I could feel my weight shifting too far forward, giving him an advantage, so I straightened my legs out behind me while I’m balancing on his feet in the air.

It was one of those moments where neither of us thought we would end up in that position, with me in the air like Superman. We both smiled and kind of laughed even as we continued to struggle for a position of advantage.

There was a point early on in our first match where he got my arm and smiled saying, “It’s my arm now.” Later on, I got his arm so I taunted back, “Now it’s my arm” and we both shared a genuine smile as we continued sparring.

Both rounds with my instructor weren’t about winning or losing. It wasn’t about being competitive. It was about comradery and fun and I absolutely loved both rounds even though I was pretty wiped afterward.

For my third round, I was paired with a guy I’ve sparred with before. It was a good match but nothing overly special.

My fourth match, because yes, I did do a fourth one, was against a guy I’ve never seen before. It was brutal. He tapped me out three times in our five-minute round, but I liked that. He helped show me what I’m doing wrong by not letting me get away with stuff.

If I left my guard open he took advantage of the opening. If I overextended my arm, he went for an armbar. It’s not like he was mean or overly aggressive. He was doing what he was trained to do, take down an opponent, and I appreciated that.

I can honestly say it was one of my hardest sparring sessions to date. There was one point where he had me in an armbar and he raised his eyebrows at me because I hadn’t tapped yet. He hadn’t pushed me to that point and I wasn’t going to just give it to him. I shook my head no so he pulled further back and I tapped in a hot second because when it’s a legit armbar the only thing you want is to cry uncle and get out of it.

Just like he wasn’t going to go easy on me, I wasn’t going to tap unless it was a legit tap. No softcore shit here.

Once the timer buzzed he laid back on the ground arms extended, breathing heavy, like it had been a struggle or something. I was trying to remember that breathing was a thing  I was supposed to be doing because the only thing on my mind was how I felt like I was dying. Holy fuck was that a hard rough.

Him: You’re strong. That’s good.

I had thought I would stay for a second or even third class, but after my last round, one where I gave all I had, I decided going home was the better option.

I can say I slept amazingly well that night and I think part of it has to do with being so physically exhausted from the dojo.

I woke up at six in the morning since I wanted time before meeting with L for training. I used to meet with her in the afternoon, but we’re switching it to the morning so my day isn’t as broken up.

It worked out extremely well today. I was able to go have breakfast and to type up my last post. I already had my gym bag with me, so once it was closer to go time I packed up and headed to the gym. I got there a bit early so I was able to stretch before my session.

L was very pleased with my “homework”. She liked the conclusions I came to about the terms strong and fit. As she took me through my training we talked about the dojo and how my rounds went.

She explained how she’s going to start incorporating more polymetrics into my workouts, which is where I got the goal for jumping the red box. We both want me to get to that level. Jumps are super fun so it’s only a matter of time.

We did a bunch of burpees in between my sets of weights. It was a much more intense session this time ’round and I thoroughly enjoyed it and made sure to say as much. I was pleased with how well I did during the core section. The “jack-knife” movement she had me to previously didn’t hurt/burn nearly as much. I could have gone a second round I think and been fairly ok.

We set up our appointment for next Tuesday at the same time. We said goodbye to each other, I got my stuff out of the locker room, then went home to begin looking into classes.

I’ve decided the school I originally was looking at isn’t one I want to go it. It’s a for-profit school and the reviews on Google aren’t very flattering. The community college near me doesn’t have what I’m interested in, so that blows.

I looked at UCF just to see what they had since it’s literally on six miles away from me. They offer a minor for fitness training. It seems pretty interesting, but I want to talk to someone about it in person. I called and left a message asking if I could arrange a meeting with someone to discuss the degree further and left it at that.

By that point, I was recovered enough from the gym to be hungry. I showered and went to my sports bar where I actually proofread through my writing and posted to my blog. I also wrote my Musing Moment post. I had my favorite server so I was also able to spend a bit of time chatting with her and getting caught back up since we haven’t seen each other in a while.

I ended up being at my sports bar for almost four hours between all of my writing and researching. My Surface actually died because I didn’t have it plugged into anything and that’s really the only reason I left. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have stayed there longer because I do tend to get caught up in things.

As I was driving home I contemplated the idea of going to the dojo. It was one of my days off. One of the few days I am guaranteed to make it to a class.

I was still pretty sore from my morning session with L, not to mention the no-gi class from the night before. I wasn’t feeling all that social either. I thought about going to Title Club Boxing instead, but that didn’t solve the whole “being sore” thing and most likely needing to do something less intense.

I was mulling it over in my head. Was I being a slacker or should I take the night off and do something like cross stitch?

I decided to check out the gym’s class schedule, just to see if maybe something was being offered that would satisfy my itch to do something else without leaving me dead for work tomorrow.

Wouldn’t you know, there was a yoga class scheduled for 7:30. Since it was only 5 pm I was able to cross stitch a bit before changing back into workout clothes and going to the gym for the second time that day.

The class was fantastic. With each movement I could feel my body relaxing further, releasing more. I’m still not where I was last year, but I could feel a huge difference at the end of the class compared to the beginning. I’m definitely glad I went and it helped confirm my goal of doing at least one yoga class a week.

With how hard I push everywhere else, I need to take at least an hour to relax and stretch.

There was a move during that class that was super cool. We started in down dog before flowing into three-legged dog. From there we bent the knee of our lifted leg and “opened our hips” which means we rotated the lifted leg over our grounded leg. From there we planted our lifted leg back onto the ground so we were in this weird bridge/back bend sort of posture.

It felt soooo amazingly cool. I had no idea I was able to do something like that, but I can. Wooo. One day in the hopefully not so distant future I’ll be able to do Standing Bow Pose, or maybe even King Dancer’s Pose.

Once yoga was done and I was reunited with my phone I saw I had a missed call from my younger brother. We chatted for a bit. It wasn’t anything important, just him bitching about work which I was more than happy to listen to.

From there I came home, ate, drank, and am now done with my writing and ready for bed.

I didn’t find out as much information as I wanted to about the whole school thing, but I wouldn’t be able to start classes until the Spring semester anyway, with March being the deadline for my application. I would like to talk to someone on Friday since that’s my next day off. If not Friday then hopefully next week. I want to get this figured out as soon as possible so I know what I can expect and what I can look forward to.

I might end up taking classes at the community college if they’re able to transfer. I don’t know yet and right now it’s not a major concern.

I’m happy with today. And today is done. So I’m off to sleep so I can wake up and kick ass at work tomorrow.

Daily Post 051: Finishing My Recap

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I want to finish recapping last week before getting too far into this one since I feel there are a lot of events which have led to the conversation I had with my FA yesterday, which, spoiler, I already talked to my supervisor.

So Thursday was the “fuck it” day. Lacking electricity I opted to take the day for myself rather than trying to organize the chaos of my life. And it was a fantastic day. I biked four miles to the dojo, sparred for an hour, biked another five miles and had lunch at Moe’s before biking the remaining mile back home. Later in the afternoon / early evening I went to the gym and trained with L where I once again increased the weight I’m lifting. I also ended up doing 50 lunges with a 30-pound barbell.

L is sneaky like that.

L: Go ahead and do lunges down to that line. *does lunges* Awesome. Now turn it around and bring it back.

My Legs: Mother F-*beeeeeeeeeeep*.

And of course, me and my INFJ “anything you can do I can do better” non-competitive competitive mentality did it because biking 10 miles and sparring with black belts for an hour is no excuse to not be able to do a billion lunges… I’ve never hated having an upstairs bedroom more in my life than I did that night. ;-;

Even with being ridiculously tired after it was all said and done, Thursday was awesome. Thursday was the type of day that I want to have. One where I feel alive and full and warm and like I’m worth being alive.

Which sucks because it makes it sound like my job is soul-crushing and the bane of my existence, when it isn’t. It’s extremely fulfilling in its own way.

I guess the issue is work is an obligation. I wouldn’t be doing dialysis if it weren’t for the fact that I NEED a job. I wouldn’t have gotten certifications in EKG reading or phlebotomy or completed the whole CNA training. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things if it weren’t for the fact that I need income to support myself.

So while, yeah, I love my patients and my heart melts everytime they say thank you or wish me a good day, work is an obligation, not a choice, and I think that’s the biggest issue with it interfering with what I WANT to do, which is train.

It’s my choice to stay with the job I have, but it’s not my choice on if I work or not. I HAVE to work. It’s more of a question of what work do I do?

As long as it’s meaningful, something I can believe in, and contributes to the overall wellbeing of society / humanity, then I’m pretty ok with doing whatever.

Saving people and helping them live life as fully as they can works for me. It’s a good, solid purpose that I can get behind. If I have to give my time to something at least it’s going to a good cause that does make me swell a little bit with pride when people ask me what I do.

Them: Wow. That’s pretty awesome. It’s got to be crazy intense.
Me: Yeah. It is. *thinks about all the crazy shit that makes it stressful* But it’s fulfilling. *thinks about how Mr. S smiled said his day was better now that he got to see me*

I love my job. I do. For as much as I bitch, I do like like.

What I don’t like is the imbalance, which is something that, theoretically, can be corrected. I need to have days like Thursday where I can devote time to me. I need time where all I have to worry about is myself. I don’t have to save lives on days like Thursday. I don’t have to worry about obligations aside from the ones I make. I get to check in with myself. I get to heal my soul in ways I can’t while I’m working or interacting with people; while I’m caring for others.

I need time to care for me.

Having Thursday made me realize how much I’ve been neglecting that aspect of my life. Being tired or busy with work is a valid reason, but it’s also an excuse. I’m allowing work to take that away from me. I’m giving it that power.

Thursday is where my resolve for change really solidified. I can’t deny myself the downtime I need to function properly.

I could feel a difference in myself at work on Friday. Even though it was a long day it was a fairly good day. I didn’t have all of the stress from previous days on my shoulders still. I was ready to come back to work and to actually work. I was ready to be there, fully present, for my patients rather than looking at the clock and counting down the hours until I would be able to leave.

Friday was a good day and I was actually glad to be there. I had reserves of “care” to give so it didn’t feel like something was being taken from me. I got to have my Thursday so I could give my Friday.

I had planned to run after work that evening but that didn’t happen. I think a large part of that has to do with the drive home itself. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes to get back to my side of town. By the time I get close to the gym my body has already changed gears. I’ve been off my feet. I’ve had time to start processing through my day. I’ve had time to slow down and so the thought of having to speed back up sucks and is harder than to do than it would be if it were still earlier in the day.

Convincing yourself to run a mile after you’ve already worked 16 hours and walked 8 miles isn’t an easy task, and Friday night I didn’t put much effort into trying. I went home, ate, showered, and slept since I had to be into work on Saturday.

I think something which will help combat the “slow down” is to go to the gym closer to work, rather than the one near my apartment on the days I plan to do something after my shift. That gym is only a mile away, so what, like a 5-minute drive if that? I think it’s worth trying out and seeing if it helps me out any. I haven’t tried it yet. That will be tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. Until then there’s not much else to say other than Friday I was a slacker and didn’t care because I was tired.

Saturday I was still a little tired but it was a short day, only 12 hours. I could tough it out and maybe I would wake up enough through the day to do something afterward.

Well, that’s exactly what happened. Saturday was a pretty smooth day. I actually had time to… wait for it…. SIT DOWN! No joke. The only times I ever sit are when I’m on my breaks. But Saturday, for whatever reason, there was a lot of “down time”. Machines weren’t beeping, people came at their scheduled time, most of everything was stocked, needle packs were already made. It was nice. I actually got to doodle on Post-It notes. XD

After work, I came home. It was still a really nice outside, warm with that tinge of coolness because it’s autumn already. I didn’t want to waste the rest of the day, one of the dying days of summer, doing nothing inside, so I decided to go for a bike ride. I would bike up to Arby’s, get a sandwich, then come back.

I showered, changed into workout gear, then headed out. I stopped by CVS first for sunscreen, SPF 100, so I wouldn’t die a horribly burn-tastic death during my ride along with Gatorade so I could keep hydrated.

I noticed as I got further into the bike ride that the bike felt kind of “draggy”. It seemed to take a bit more effort than it should have to get it / keep it going. I was biking against the wind, and for parts of it I was on an incline, but it just didn’t feel “right”.

Once I got to Arby’s, I chained my bike up and ordered my reward sandwich. As I sat pondering on the bike, which wasn’t making any sort of noise, I pulled out my phone and looked up the hours for the bike shop I go to. I wasn’t too far from it. Maybe I had enough time to bike over there and have them check it out for me, just to make sure nothing mechanically was wrong.

I called the store. I explained my situation to the guy who answered and asked if he thought I would be able to bike the distance before the store closed since that would be happening soon-ish. The guy said I should be able to make it before they closed, but if the front door happened to be locked to knock on the side door because he would still be inside.

With that set in place, I hopped back on the bike and got moving. I’m pleased to report I made it to the store before they closed. Woohoo. : D

The guy who answered the phone checked out my tires. My back tire had 20 psi out of 30-60, so yeah, it was no wonder my bike didn’t want to go. The front tire had about 40 psi in it, so the tires aren’t losing air at the same rate. He said there might be a small leak in the tube of the back tire. If it keeps losing air faster than the front it might be worth it to replace the tube.

They filled up my tires and that was that. Mission accomplished. I thanked them profusely for their time and assistance. They’ve always treated me well and I’m proud that I was able to bike all the way there, which left me to bike all the way back home. XD

The bike store is literally across the street from Big Bad’s house so before I had left Arby’s I messaged him saying that I would be at the bike shop and that if he saw me I wasn’t practicing my ninja stalking skills, the bike had an issue I was getting looked at.

Once I was done with the store Big Bad came out and walked the bike trail with me for a little bit before heading back home. I didn’t want to bike the main road in the dark without my bike light. We weren’t together for very long but it was nice to see him for the short time I did. A quick, sweaty hug before getting back on the bike and heading all the way back home.

It ended up being just under a 15-mile ride and it was glorious.

Once I was home I showered, ate, drank a crap ton of water and didn’t do much else for the rest of the night. My body was ok with that.

Saturday showed me that even on days I work I can still do a lot for myself. It’s mainly the 16 hour days that make things so obnoxiously hard.

Sunday was a day off. Sundays are supposed to be my “Me” day, but with the hurricane and work and all of the craziness of the past week, I decided that what would make me feel best is getting my life back on track. So Sunday I did a ton of chores and that too was glorious.

I did laundry. I tossed out all of the stuff in the fridge and freezer because it had spoiled when the power went out. I meal planned and made my shopping list for the store. I vacuumed. I cleaned my bathroom. I went to my sports bar for lunch, which was packed because I guess it’s football season again.

I didn’t mind. I put my spiffy headphones in and began working on the homework L had assigned me.

One of the things we talked about while I was training, in addition to me possibly taking classes, is how I’m unsure about a few terms people apply to me.

Every guy I have sparred against at the dojo has made some comment afterward about me being strong. I told L that I don’t know what they mean. Is it that I’m stronger than they thought I would be? Or that I’m strong for a girl? Or are they using a different measure for “strength” that I don’t know about or understand since words mean different things to different people?

I don’t feel like I’m strong. I still lose a lot of my rounds. I still can’t do a pull-up, though to be fair I also haven’t tried so we’ll assume I can’t and keep going with this train of thought. I still can’t run a solid mile, though that’s more cardio endurance than strength and again, I haven’t tried to do a solid mile, but I digress.

I’ve spent so much of my life feeling “not strong” that being told I am strong is awkward. Just like being told I’m attractive is awkward.

My Brain: What about all those years I was “fat” or “ugly”? That’s all I’ve ever known. This whole “attractive” thing is wrong. It’s not normal. It’s not “right”. Please stop saying it.

This whole “strong” thing is an aspect of myself that I’m unsure about and it was something L and I were discussing.

She said by her standards she thinks I’m strong. She can tell I’m getting stronger because I’m lifting more weight. I’m doing different motions easier. I’m improving. She also said her opinion doesn’t really matter. It’s my opinion and what I tell myself that matters. And she’s most certainly right about that.

It’s like self-acceptance and confidence. It doesn’t matter what other people say if you constantly tear yourself down. You have to believe in you.

I also mentioned how I don’t think that I’m fit or healthy. To which, again, she said she thought I was, but that was her opinion and not mine.

She asked me what strength and fitness meant to me. What did I lack by my definition to not fit those terms?

I told her that I honestly didn’t know. I had meditated on the word success and so I knew, by my standards, what that word meant and how I did or did not fit within it, but I had never meditated on strength or fitness.

She said maybe that’s something I could do before our next session along with figuring out three things I wanted to improve on.

So while I was at my sports bar, listening to techno music while everyone else cheered or booed respectively for their teams, I wrote about strength.

I have that writing and I will be posting it as a Musing Moment later, but in short, I realized that yes, I am strong and I’m not conceded or arrogant for writing that. I’m not unfeminine for being strong. I can be strong and still seek improvement. Wanting to improve doesn’t mean I’m “not” something.

I also wrote about fitness, which will be part of my Musing Moment post, and again, just because I want to improve something doesn’t mean I’m not already that thing.

I am fit. I am healthy, and just like with strength, typing that, accepting that aspect of myself, does not make me a bad person. It makes me more connected with my reality.

I guess I’m still getting used to myself. I’ve never been as fit or healthy or strong as I am in this moment, sitting in an Einstein’s with my coffee beside me because fuck you Starbucks. I’ve never been this “small”. I can fit into mediums now. It’s a weird feeling, one I’m still adjusting to, and I think accepting these terms, strong and fit, as part of myself is a step in the direction towards actual self-acceptance.

I am myself, and in this moment in my life, I am physically fit and healthy. In my past, I wasn’t. In my present, I am.

Once I finished writing, I paid my bill, packed up, then went to the store to do my grocery shopping. I spent over $100, but that was with replacing all of the things that I had to throw out, so overall I didn’t do too bad. I try to keep my weekly spending on food at $70.

When I got home I started putting stuff away and making my meals. One of my former classmates and I agreed to chat at 3:30 on Sunday, so while my chili was simmering her and I got to catch up. She told me how things were going at her clinic, how things went with the hurricane, and in general what she’s been up to with life, and I did the same.

It was good to talk to someone about work who legitimately understands because she has the same job. My brother can understand because he’s done medical, and a lot of the people in my life can sympathize, even empathize, but Mrs. G knows exactly what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and behind and stressed because she’s fighting on the same battlefield.

Talking to someone and having them share their own stories helped me feel better and more connected with reality. It’s not just me. I’m not alone in my feelings. Mrs. G is going through it, too.

It was a pretty long conversation, but I enjoyed it. We’re going to try to meet up again at some point. Not this weekend since she has a bunch of stuff going on, but hopefully soon.

I spent the rest of the evening finishing up the cooking and remaining chores I had. I’m most likely going to get rid of my vacuum cleaner since it doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. I’ve cleaned the filter and everything but it’s still leaving little fuzzies everywhere. Warren’s vacuum picked up everything that mine left behind so yeah, I’m most likely going to take it to Goodwill or something. It’s not broken, and it still works, just not as good as something we already have so why have two?

I had thought about cross stitching Sunday night but opted to write instead. I’m glad I wrote. It kept me up later than I most likely should have been, but it felt good. Really good.

And so here we are.

I still have Monday to write through, and then all of what will end up being today, but I feel mostly caught up and written out. I have training with L I need to get to in the next 40 minutes so I’m going to go. I’m not sure when I’ll write again, but hopefully, it will be soon. I like feeling like I’m in the present rather than lingering days in the past or floating, swimming, drowning in a sea of “what the f is going on with my life?”.

Yesterday I talked to my boss. Today I train and find out about classes. Those are the key points and I’ll meditate on them further once I’m able to.

For now, it’s time to go be a badass and flip some tires.

Oh, and here’s some cuteness because I actually really did get a chance to doodle at work. :3

 

Daily Post 050: The Aftermath of Irma

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I’ve written a handful of times since my last posting, but never actually posted them. I didn’t have the time to sit and proofread through all of the red squiggle lines of death in the moment and the promise to “get to it later” never happened.

Those writings seem so long ago now. A lifetime ago even though it’s only been a few weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll post them or not. I know I won’t  delete them, but this writing eclipses them and so it seems almost wrong to post. Their time is past.

Honestly, Irma already feels like forever ago and it was only last Sunday, around this time in fact, that the storm actually made its way to Orlando. I remember waking up when the eye passed over because there was a guy outside my window talking on his cell phone. Rude much?

The storm itself wasn’t as scary as some of the ones I stayed through in South Carolina. Floyd is the one I remember being the scariest. I know a lot of people were severely affected by this storm and so I do realize how lucky Warren and I are. The apartment did not sustain any damage and both our cars are fine.

Even though we came through the storm fine the last half of last week and the beginning of this week hardcore sucked.

It started with last Friday being 4 shifts long rather than 3. I was lucky enough to be sent home “early”, around 9:30pm because I had to be back at the clinic at 4am Saturday morning to continue dialyzing patients before the storm.

When I got home Warren asked if his girlfriend could stay with us through the storm. I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. She came over around 6pm on Saturday. By the time the storm hit on Sunday I was ready for her to leave. I was tired of her and Warren making kissy faces at each other and all of the “new relationship energy” filling the apartment.

I just wanted to be home and not around people. I especially didn’t want to feel confined to my room while they took over the living room with a movie marathon. When the storm finally ended there was a curfew in effect until 6pm Monday. When she finally, finally, blessedly left I got a text message from Warren about an hour later saying her apartment was without power, could she come back?

No, but yes because I’m not that much of a jerk even though I wish I could be.

So she came back and I did my best to not focus on the fact that I was going to get no alone time at all on the few days I had off.

Tuesday I didn’t have to go into the clinic until 10am. I went and had breakfast at a Waffle House which was running off of a generator. I left my waitress at $13 tip. I knew her day was going to suck having to work without AC. Hopefully, I helped make her day slightly less shitty.

Tuesday was a crazy day where we ran for four shifts again. The only things I wanted to do when I got home was eat dinner, shower, and go to sleep. That wasn’t in my cards, though. I got home to discover we had lost power at some point during the day.

I ate cold pizza because I couldn’t heat it up. I had a cold shower by the light of my cell phone flashlight. I tried sleeping but wasn’t able to because the air was so stagnant. I had to be back to work at 4am and with each passing hour I felt more hopeless. Wednesday sucked and the entire day I struggled with not breaking down into tears over the smallest things because I was so burnt out and tired.

I had been texting back and forth with Big Bad Wednesday morning. That evening he offered  me to come over to his place since he did have power. I can’t put into words how greatful I was for his offer. I asked if I could shower at his place as well. I had my gym bag with me which meant I had clothes to change into. He said that was fine and that he would see me soon. I stopped at an Arby’s on the way to his place so I could have dinner. Big Bad said he didn’t want anything.

I knocked on his door three times to no answer. There was a larger part than I want to admit to that was worried about him standing me up, or it being some sort of sick joke. I actually walked back to my car and was about to drive away when I decided to try calling him. Maybe he would answer?

He did. He had fallen asleep waiting for me. I can’t blame him.  It was past his bedtime. He opened the door for me and showed me where the towels were before going back to bed. I showered crying silently as the water washed away all of the stress I no longer needed to hold on to. Once I felt clean I sat in the kitchen eating my dinner, enjoying the feeling of being off my feet.

When I finally crawled into bed he wrapped his arms around me and sleepily asked me how my day had gone. We talked for a little while and as we did I could feel myself relaxing and legitimately letting everything go. None of it mattered while I was safe and cared for and away from that part of my life. None of it mattered while I was warm and breathing in his scent. Everything was ok and I would be able to sleep and in the morning I would be able to begin figuring it all out.

I slept amazingly well. Surprisingly well. I felt restored when I woke up in the morning.  I slept so deeply that I don’t remember Big Bad’s alarm going off or him getting out of bed. I don’t remember anything until he came in to wake me up.

We parted ways after breakfast, him to work and me back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power so there wasn’t much I could do. There wasn’t a point in going food shopping since the fridge didn’t have power. I couldn’t do anything chore related like laundry, dishes, or vacuuming and I didn’t really want to stay in the apartment as the day progressed because it was going to suck not having AC.

While I was trying to figure out what to do my phone notified me that there had been a post on the dojo’s Facebook page so I checked it out. The dojo didn’t have power but they were going to be open at noon for anyone who wanted to come train a bit.

I decided to say “fuck it” to the day. Fuck life, fuck responsibility. I just spent I don’t even know how many hours at the clinic making sure not only my patients but other clinics patients were dialyzed. It felt like it had been an eternity since I had seen sunlight and I had to turn around and be back to work Friday and Saturday.

No. Fuck it. I’m taking today to do whatever I want to do and no one is going to stop me or talk me out of it. I’ve earned today.

So instead of doing the mountain of things I “should have” done, I got on my bike and biked to the dojo where I sparred with five other guys for an hour before biking back home. Instead of going straight home though, biked another mile and got lunch at Moe’s. I sat outside for a while after that resting in the shade, enjoying the breeze and letting my food settle before biking the mile back to my apartment.

I still didn’t have power but I didn’t care. I wanted to rest before driving to the gym for my training session with L. Originally it was supposed to be Tuesday, but Irma had everything shut down for a while. I was honestly surprised I was able to reschedule so quickly.

Just as I was getting ready to leave for the gym my power came back on. It was a relief knowing I would be able to take a warm shower once I got home.

My training session went well. I was able to talk to my trainer about a lot of things that have been on my mind. I don’t know if I really want to get into all of it right now, but part of it is the possibility of going back to school for an Exercise Science degree. Not because I want to get a different job. Just because I think it’s interesting and I want to learn more and because the thought of doing it makes me happy.

I talked to my younger brother about it. He’s supportive while at the same time not. He doesn’t think it’s smart to invest a bunch of money and time into something that I’m not going to actively seek a financial benefit from.

At the moment I’m in a “fuck it” mindset with my finances. Not that I’m being reckless, at least not anymore reckless than normal. I’m tired of setting goals to “pay this off” or “get rid of that debt” only to constantly, consistently, fail at doing it because other people won’t pay me the money they owe me.

I just spent $300 on personal training sessions instead of paying down my credit card, and for once I don’t care. I get more fulfillment out of training than I do out of making an extra payment on my card.

Maybe this is a bit self-destructive of me. Maybe this is selfishness. But right now, in this moment, on this blank page where I can actually begin to address my feelings over my situation openly and honestly, I’m angry.

I’m hurt and angry. I still don’t know how I’m going to make things work in October. I’ve openly communicated my situation over and over again to no avail.  Nothing has changed. All I have are hollow, empty, useless promises.

So I’m done with those goals. I don’t know how to make things work but I know it’s not going to be by sacrificing the things that I want. I’m not going to give up the dojo. I’m not going to give up the gym. I’m not going to give up myself because I’ve done that over and over again for the past nine years and it’s gotten me nothing.

So yeah. Screw that. Fuck that, actually. I feel alive at the dojo. I feel alive when I train. I feel like living it worth it when I’m able to bike in the sun and feel the wind moving past me, my legs burning and aching from the effort of maintaining my speed on my highest gear.

I’m letting go of my financial goals because they’ve only ever made me feel like a failure at life. Like I’m not adulting well enough. Warren agreed to pay part of the interest I’ve accrued on the card due to him not paying me back. That brings his total to around 8k for what he owes me. If he paid me that in one lump sum I could almost pay off the card completely. Hell, I could pay it off with the remaining money I have from mom.

But that’s not going to happen. He doesn’t make enough for that to work. With Irma, he hasn’t been able to work at all this past week so I most likely won’t get his rent payment yet again. At least this time there’s a legitimate reason for it. It still sucks though, and it still leaves me in a worse off position than I was, and I still don’t care that I spent the money I did on myself rather than saving it for situations like this or putting it towards something that has no hope of being gotten rid of in the near future.

I’m done sacrificing my life and fulfillment.

My new goal, the one I’m giving my focus to, is to run the Spartan race that will be in Florida in December.

Tuesday I go and find out information about the Exercise Science degree, then later this week, hopefully, I’ll be able to talk to my FA about changing my work schedule.

I’ve proven that I can work the hours I was scheduled because I did work them. And it sucked. Sucked to the point that I had to have other people talk me out of not quitting my job.

I know I need a job to survive. I want one that’s fulfilling. I want one that allows me to have a life outside of work. One that lets me still be true to myself. And one that pays enough for me to be able to support myself. I think my FA will be willing to work with me a bit more now that I’ve proven myself to be an asset. I’m worth keeping around. I’m a hard worker. I get along with my teammates and the patients. I am reliable and for the most part, I’m pretty flexible.

I want to cap my days at 3. They can be three 16 hour shifts or three 12 hour shifts or a mix of whatever they need me to work, but three days. That’s it. That’s all I want to give. I’ll figure out something if it’s not enough hours. They can use my PTO to bump it to 36 hours if I’m short because 36 is what I budget on.

There are all these things that could be done as a way to compromise. I can still be an asset and valuable, but I want to be fulfilled and happy with my life at the same time.

Going back to school is one of those things that will give me happiness and fulfillment. I like learning. I have always desperately wanted to take an anatomy and physiology class. That’s going to be what I take in January hopefully.

Finding a compromise with work so I can still actively and consistently train is another thing which I want to address. That’s where the day cap comes into play. I can work three days, train hard three days, then have a day to recover. That would give me time for school as well when that begins.

Increasing my pay is another aspect I want to explore since a lot of my stress is still financial. I found out I can take my certification test whenever I want. I had been told there was a waiting period, but I guess there isn’t. It’s something I want to clarify with my FA. It would be a dollar increase for me. There might also be additional things I can do to increase my wage.

For a while, I didn’t have any real goals and I think that’s why it was so dark for me all the time.

My goal of “get a job” was accomplished. It then became “become secure with job” so I poured everything into it. I worked whatever was needed. I didn’t speak up all that much if I had to give up something in order to make work happy. But I can’t keep going the way things are.

Something has to change. My goal is no longer “survive”. My goal now is “conquer”. I will run the Spartan. I will become a fighter. I will go back to school and I’m not going to let something like work stand in my way.

If compromises can’t be reached then I’ll begin looking elsewhere. I got one job in the medical field. I can get another. I can always go back to using my animation degree. I have options. I’m not stuck even though for a while it felt like it.

I have a destination in mind. Now it’s just figuring out how to get there.