Daily Post 160: The Week of Vacation and the Week of Being Back

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Written Saturday March 30th


I suppose now is as good a time as any to try to catch up with my life…

I wrote about the week before my trip. The week where we had the kids when we weren’t expecting to. The week of finishing the Wall of Fame. The week of recertifying my BLS.

It was an alright week. I got a lot taken care of and off the to-do list. I found out a lot of information about school. That week turned into the week of March 17th to the 24th. The week of my vacation to Orlando.

It didn’t start well. It started Monday night. I came home from work and figured out the last of my social obligations. I got dates and times squared away. I got my boarding passes on my phone. I packed. I was ready for my trip and now came the part that sucked. The realization that I would be leaving and this was my last night with Ox for a while.

I crawled into bed with him. There was a little bit of petting. Mild sexiness with light hair pulling. I hadn’t been expecting anything like that but it was nice. What wasn’t nice was when he rolled over, said he would miss me, then instantly fell asleep.

My brain was sort of thrown off by that. No “goodnight”. No going further. No connection happened and in my head, the only thing I could think was even though I was leaving in the early evening the next day, I might as well have already been gone.

Ox had been tired. He had worked all day. And for my part, I had pretty much ignored him as I ironed out the last of my plans when I had gotten home. I felt horribly alone though as he slept peacefully next to me.

I spent most of the night coughing due to the cold I was still fighting off. I spent all of it unable to sleep and crying off and on from the frustration of being unable to sleep even though I had taken Nyquil and feeling like I should have left that night. It didn’t matter that I was still there. It felt like Ox had already said goodbye to me and I was gone.

Since I didn’t sleep those feelings bled over into the morning. They bled all over everything that day. When Ox got off work, we met in Lincoln. The original idea had been to get lunch together before I headed to the airport. I wasn’t hungry due to the emotional discord. Ox wasn’t hungry either. We ended up having what I termed “a driveby goodbye” in a parking lot near the edge of town.

It sucked. I didn’t feel like a wife or girlfriend. I felt like a roommate or a really good friend where it just happened to be convenient to meet up for a few minutes before going away.

I cried on the way to the airport. I listened to music. I thought through my emotions. When I called Ox after parking my car and getting to the terminal we had a pretty good conversation about what was bothering me and why.

He hadn’t realized he had fallen asleep without giving me a goodnight kiss. He hadn’t realized the distance of not being close and connective would affect me so much. He’s an INTJ. I’m an INFJ. While we are extremely similar, we are still different in significant ways and miscommunication still happens.

I’m glad we were able to talk about the situation and to share our different perspectives. It helped make the trip more doable. When I got on the plan I didn’t feel as alone as I had for the past 12 hours. It didn’t feel like my whole vacation was ruined before it started. I no longer had anxiety at the thought of coming home and still having this unresolved issue between us.

I stitched for a while listening to music while I waited for my flight to begin boarding. The flight itself was uneventful. Take off still sucked, but I made it to Dallas fine. I listened to my new leadership book for most of the trip. There was a Moe’s at the Dallas airport. I bought nachos and ate them while talking to Jon since I had time to kill before getting on my last flight of the day. I told Jon how it was silly things like that, missing mom and wishing she was with me and suddenly being at one of the places that was “our place”, that made it feel like she was and is still with me.

The last leg of the journey was, again, uneventful. I made it into Orlando. I figured out the hassle of getting a rental car. I had realized while I was in Dallas I had never received a confirmation email about my rental car… No beuno…

Once I landed I went to the rental car section in the air port. I ended up being able to get a car… minivan actually, and by minivan, I mean a battle tank of death. x.x

It was huge. So much bigger than my tiny little Mazda 2. It was the only thing that Alamo had for rent though, and all of the other places that were open at 1:30 am had crazy long lines. I didn’t want to “shop around” only to find out that their rates were higher, or they had no cars available. I wasn’t going to be charged mileage for the rental with Alamo and they threw in a tank of gas, so I didn’t have to worry about filling up the car before bringing it back. For thinking that I wasn’t going to have a car at all, I bit the bullet, signed the rental agreement, then continued on my way with the ability to actually get to the places I needed and wanted to go.

I made it to the Waffle House I used to go to and had a 2am breakfast with Warren #1. We chatted for a while. He’s still unemployed. He’s still with his girlfriend. He’s looking at going back to school. It was good to see him and to get a hug from him. I still won’t be seeing any money from him any time soon.

From there, I drove to Mother Earth’s house. We curled up in bed and talked for a while before falling asleep. I had a few coughing fits during the night but luckily was able to eventually sleep more than I had the night before.

Mother Earth got up and went to work. Sir came in and let me know he had ordered breakfast for me. I ate it when it arrived before finally getting the motivation to shower and start my day.

I went to my old dojo and hung out with my sensies for a while. It was during the middle of the day, but even still, it was weird having literally no one else in the dojo. Come to find out, it was spring break for Florida.

After the dojo, I drove up to Daytona to spend the evening with Jon. We went to a sushi buffet which was pretty awesome. Very good food and good company. After dinner, we went down to the beach. I got to take pictures of the ocean and a few of us together. I got to feel the cool breeze on my skin and smell the salt in the air. It was soothing to my soul. We saw Captain Marvel at a theater down there. Thankfully I had missed bike week the week before. Small mercies.

It was an extremely good movie and it was fantastic being able to spend time with my brother. We went back to his apartment where he let me sleep in his bed while he took the couch. He stayed in the room playing Starcraft for a bit, but I honestly don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember him leaving the room. I don’t remember anything until I was waking up at 8:30 in the moring; 30 minutes after the time we had agreed to wake up at.

I didn’t mind. It was the first night where I had gotten a full night of sleep and it had been amazing. There’s something to be said for falling alseep surrounded by scents that are familiar and register in your brain as “home” or “safe”. Maybe it’s weird, but being in my brother’s room was like being home; a slightly different home than the one associated with mom, but I spent 20 years growing up with my brother. All of the stress and worry about getting to Orlando and being to places on time… none of that really mattered while I was in his apartment. I could finally start letting things go and relaxing and trying to enjoy my vacation from work. I could feel the tension within my slowly melting away as I laid in his bed thinking back over my life and the most recent year of being in Nebraska.

Eventually, both he and I were awake. We drove down to the Waffle House where we had gotten breakfast for the last time before I left to move to Nebraska. We still missed the turn, just like last time, and had to do a u-turn to get into the parking lot. I guess somethings don’t change. XD

It was a good breakfast and I gave zero fucks about all of the carbs I was consuming or had consumed the night before. I wasn’t going to let food mess with my vacation. I was going to eat what I wanted with who I wanted when I wanted and I would deal with the consequences when I got back home and started working out again.

When we were done eating and had finished our coffee, Jon walked back out to the cars. He told me about an interview he was going to have. We chatted for a bit longer about the clinical he was about to go to. In the end, we hugged and parted ways with the promise to see each other again on Saturday.

It was Thursday already with my itinerary having me leave Saturday evening. I had an appointment at 3pm to see my therapist. It was only 10 or 11. I didn’t have anything planned for this gap of time that I found myself with. Thinking over all of my options, I decided to go to Travel Company to look at a new pair of Vibrams since I didn’t like the ones I had gotten last year. I had run the Warrior Dash in them, but compared to the other styles I had in the past, they didn’t live up to my expectations; the woes of ordering online.

Well, not this time. I got to walk around the store while talking to Ox and testing out a new pair. The sales representative was extremely kind and helpful. I walked out with the new pair along with a new Buff bandana. I found a 24-hour fitness center and went and worked out, testing the shoes and making sure they were a good fit. I even got to shower afterwards. Woo. It was an extremely nice facility and it was a nice workout. I felt good about myself for having done it.

I made it to my appointment on time and it was fantastic to see my therapist again. She’s retiring at the end of March, so I’m sure it’s happened by now. We got to talk about my leadership course and all sorts of things during the hour we had together. It was nice being able to tell her that I feel like things in my life are going well. I’ve been out of crisis mode for a while. I’ve adjusted fairly well to Nebraska. I’ve made it through winter. Even with the hiccups Ox and I still experience, we have open communication and we work through our issues. There were a lot of tears, but they were good tears an I’m glad I had them.

Once therapy was over, I met with Nicole for sushi. We talked for a while then walked over to the bar we frequented and had a drink. I got to see my favorite bartender who also happens to be named Jen. Another friend, a former student, met up with us eventually. It took her longer to get there than anticipated and that led to a bit of discord with Mother Earth, but we recovered from it.

Once social time was done, I headed back to Mother Earth’s home. I spent some time with Sir and her before going to sleep. The next day I had breakfast with Mrs. Gwen. She and I went through the Star Learning program together for DaVita together and we’ve stayed in touch since the completion of our training. We got to catch up on the changes in our lives. After about three hours with her, I came back to spend the rest of the day with Mother Earth and one of her close friends. We got lunch at a Mexican resturant. I had two amazing Long Island Ice Teas. From there we went drunk thrift shopping.

I eventually found a dress that I really liked. I tried it on. It fits well. I look nice in it. Queue emotional breakdown where I feel like it’s pointless to buy it or to look pretty because it doesn’t matter if I dress nice or girly or sexy or any of that. Being attractive doesn’t make me more attractive to my partner so why bother or put in the energy to do it.

Drunk me needed a moment I guess.

Mother Earth and I talked about it. Or rather, I cried about it in the changing room while she sat next to me and listened. I did end up buying the dress. I felt empty after crying. I knew all of it wasn’t out of my system yet and so I was sort of more flatlined than anything, waiting for the rest of it to feel like it was the right time to come to the surface. It didn’t seem to ruin the day, though.

We went to my sports bar for dinner even though I had plans to go there for lunch the next day. We were in the area and no one else had objections to going. We eventually ended up back home. More tears. More figuring things out. More letting go and admitting how I still feel alone a lot of the time because mom isn’t here.

I guess my brain thought crying about everything in my life seemed like a pretty good way to spend my vacation…

I felt extremely better after that cry though. Cleaner. Like everything I had been ignoring and bottling up and limping through my days with had finally gotten the time and attention that it needed. I slept well that night.

The next day was the day I left to go back to Nebraska. I spent the morning having breakfast with the house. Sir and I didn’t get much time together, but I enjoyed the little bit we did have. Mother Earth and I said goodbye, though, for me, it was “I’ll see you later”. It’s how I cope with goodbyes. It’s not the end. I can see these people again at some point even if it’s not physically in this world. That’s what I need to believe in order to be ok, so that’s what I believe.

I drove down to Kissimmee to pick up my dad. We had a really good conversation as we drove back to Orlando to meet up with Jon. Once we were all together we had a fantastic lunch after which we proceeded to stand outside and chat for about another hour. We said our fairwells and I headed down to the airport to return the rental car and to make my way through TSA.

The plane ride back home was long, but most of that might have been due to tiredness and wanting to be home. I survived TSA and the PTSD associated with the take-off experience. I made it off the plane and back to the long term parking lot where I found my car without issue. It even started up when I turned the key. Wooo!

The trip home sucked. It was dark outside. It was sort of rainy. There was a ton of traffic even though it was 11pm at night. It got better for a while once I made it out of the Omaha area, but then it started heavily raining.

Right Brain: Fuck my life… can I just please make it home…

I did, in fact, make it home. Ox was awake and let me cry in his arms as he hugged me on the front porch; reassuring me that I was safe and that I was home and that it was ok. I didn’t even bother bringing my bags in from the car.

I was supposed to have Monday off, but that changed. I only had Sunday to regroup and get ready for the coming week. Sunday, while the kids were here… While I’m burnt out from all of my traveling and socializing.

I brought my bags in. I unpacked. I got all of my clothes washed from the trip. I took care of my meal prep. I even finished the cross stitch I have been working on for a while now.

It was a good trip, but I was glad to be home and though Sunday was busy, it was a quiet busy and I got a decent amount of downtime in. At least enough to make Monday not feel like a disaster of an obligation. I think Sunday was the first day where I found a kickboxing app for my phone. I got to try that out. It was a decent workout. I’m also still really liking my new Vibrams.

Monday was busy. The nephrologist rounded, so my FA was with him most of the time. The workday finished up and I came home and did kickboxing again. I’m working through the “beginner” program. They’re only 10-minute workouts, so I do whatever day I’m on twice; once for each side. I also don’t rest very much during the rest intervals, so instead of 30-second rounds, I’m doing closer to 45 to 50-second rounds. It’s been working for me. I wish the app was better about tracking metrics, but for what it is, it’s nice.

I fought with the scanner for a while after working out, trying to get a picture scanned since I wanted to color one of the pages in a coloring book Ox got me a while ago. I didn’t have fabric to cross stitch so coloring seemed like the thing to do. That took WAAAAAYYY longer than it should have, but we got it figured out, largely in part thanks to Ox realizing that there are three networks in the house and my computer was on a different network form the printer/scanner. I think it would have been easier / less frustrating if Mama Ox hadn’t been standing behind me the whole time trying to tell me what to do to get things working.

Right Brain: Since you hardly know how to run your laptop, I’m pretty sure I’m more qualified to figure this out without your help than with it. >.<;

Sadly, getting the page scanned was only one issue of many I had to figure out. Once I had the page on my computer, I “found” software for Photoshop. That wasn’t all that hard actually but when you grew up in the era of Kazza and torrent downloading it’s not all that hard to find what you’re looking for.

Once I had software I then had to spend 30 minutes trying to find the cord for my tablet so I could use it for coloring. After finding a cord I to fight with my tablet to get the right drivers installed so it would function properly.

Once all of that was said and done I only got to color for about 30 minutes or so. It was fun though. I enjoyed the feeling of using my tablet again and filling in the lines with color. It was relaxing and a nice way to decompress from the day.

Tuesday was a productive day. I did a lot of mental work. I updated my calendar. I was able to worm my way out of the one day I was scheduled to work at the clinic I don’t like by conveniently having one of my leadership classes scheduled for the same day.

Right Brain: Oh darn. I can’t cover the shift…

I got through the “in” pile on my desk that has been building up. Ox and I met up in Lincoln. I tried going to a Target since I’ve wanted new panties for a while and they’re the only place that I can find that sells the ones I want. The store I went to didn’t have them in stock though. Lame.

From there I went to Micheal’s in the hopes of getting more cross stitch fabric. That was a no go… I wasn’t on a very good streak at that point for scratching stuff off the to-do list.

Ox and I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. He’s been wanting to take me there for a while. It was a good lunch. I would go back. After eating we went across the lot to a Hobby Lobby. I bought a rose for mom while we were there. I also picked up some fabric even though it wasn’t the type I wanted. I also found supplies to make the needle kit I’ve been thinking about, so overall it was a good stop. I got a lot more accomplished there then I was expecting to.

We stopped at Walmart before heading home so I could get the items I needed to make the cheesy taco skillet everyone likes. That meant it was a fairly short trip. They happened to have a display of Bang in the center aisle, so we got that taken take of as well while we were out. When we got home we put the groceries away and I began assembling the items we had gotten at Hobby Lobby to make my new cross stitch needle kit.

I love it so far. I’ve been stitching a fair amount this week and have gotten used to the new, larger kit. I can keep my markers and scissors in it comfortably without feeling like I’m cramming things into it. The larger magnate I placed on the top lid has more than enough space for all of the needles I have. There are even leftover compartments to keep the tails of threads I cut off, so I don’t have to worry about keeping a separate baggie somewhere. It’s sturdy and stable and I’m really liking it. I think I can label that project as successful. : 3

So Tuesday ended with me starting a new cross stitch project. It’s another fairy. I’m using pinks this time. No real reason for it I don’t think. I’m liking the colors so far though. They make my brain happy.

Wednesday was an alright day at work. The nurse practitioner rounded along with the dietitian so it was another day of people being on the floor. We made it through it. Nothing super crazy happened. I found out from a patient that New Tech has been accepted to the LPN program. I mentioned that to my FA since that’s something she needs to know. If both of us techs are in school and unable to cover shifts on a specific day due to being at school… that’s sort of an issue with us opening back to six days a week again.

My FA reached out to Net Tech. I’m not sure what the result of that was or is. My FA said she wasn’t going to tell me to not go to school and that if need be they would have someone float in for whatever day couldn’t be covered. She said we would figure it out. I’m appreciative of her support.

I worked out when I got home, though I didn’t do it on Tuesday. Wednesday was the day of 100 modified push-ups… I was and still am proud of myself. Even if they were modified, I did 100 of them. After work even. Go me.

Thursday I started the day by talking to Jon. It was a good conversation. I showered. I battle planned out the day. I continued the quest to find panties. The first Target didn’t have the size I wanted. I drove over the location Ox and I agreed to meet up at. That Target didn’t have them either. Arg…

We drove up to my new sports bar here in Nebraska and had lunch. I enjoyed the wings. They made them more saucey for me. : 3

We went to the mall so I could find a bra to go with the dress I had bought in Orlando. It was the first time Ox had seen the dress. I had to go strapless for the bra style. Not my favorite or preferred style, but even with just a little bit of strap showing, it throws off the whole look of the dress.

That stop took the longest and I had figured it would. It’s one of the reasons I hate “shopping”; clothes shopping specifically. You have to try things on and compare and does it look right and blah blah blah. I really just want to be home curled up with the cats. >.<;

I’m glad I found something that works with the dress, though. Maybe one day soon I’ll actually wear it. XD

With the most nebulous part of the trip taken care of, we went down to a cookie store that was near where we had parked the car. My reward for doing something I didn’t want to do and Ox’s reward for being amazing and sitting on the bench waiting for me while I tried things one. We hopped across the street to send off a package for Papa Ox while we were in town. Ox drove me over to campus so I could pick up my textbooks for the class that starts on Monday. That was pretty expensive.

I had been talking to Finacial Aid a lot that morning. The end result; I found out that I’m most likely paying for this current class out of pocket since I’m technically not accepted into a program of study and therefore not eligible for aid. It’s too late for me to apply as an academic transfer student like they suggested I do. I was prepared to pay for this class on my own, so it’s not a huge huge deal. Just would have been nice to have gotten some sort of help with it.

The campus was the last stop on the list of chores. Ox and I headed home. I cooked the taco skillet for dinner. We tried going to sleep early. At 9:30 I gave up and took a Benadryl.

Work Friday was alright. There were four of us on the floor. Float RN had a two hour PDR after change over. I eventually got to have lunch at 12:30. The end of the day went fine so I don’t know why I felt so overwhelmed and frazzled once the day was done. I had planned to stop by the Beatrice campus to turn in the last bit of paperwork for my program; copies of my certifications and TB test results. I had planned to go to the dojo. None of that happened, though. I came home. Ox and I ate in the kitchen, away from his parents. I didn’t even cross stitch that night.

I took a Benadryl again to make sure I slept and even with that I kept waking up every few hours. I didn’t work out Friday night. I didn’t shower. I tried shutting out the world and was only mildly successful with it and I don’t even think it did much good.

Saturday morning started mildly rough. Maybe frustrating… I’m not sure. It’s been cloudy the past two days and I haven’t been taking my vitamin D like I was before my trip. I think I’m also more “peopled” out that I consciously realized. Add to that, the morning starting with Mama Ox changing how the day was supposed to go down in my head…

Right Brain: I give up. The day is a lost cause… I am defeated before I begin.

Ox was and is still being extremely supportive of me. He let me write this morning. He didn’t pressure me to have breakfast with the family. We took the cats to the vet and he touched me the whole time; softly, gently petting my ankles as I held one of the cats in my lap, my feet resting on top of the container we can carted all three of them to the vet in.

Ox is letting me continue to write and has already said the rest of the day can legitimately be a “rest” day. We don’t have to do anything. We both can stay in the room. I can stitch and watch my new show, cuddled up next to him while he games. We can finish everything tomorrow and just relax today.

I’m totally ok with that thought right now. I’m going to go heat up leftovers for lunch and then sit in my corner with my new fairy cross stitch and my new needle kit. I’m going to chill for today. I might workout. I might do other things, but for the rest of the day there are no obligations and that feels nice.

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Daily Post 158: Saturday Burnout

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Writing from Saturday morning:


Work wasn’t awful yesterday. My FA was there for a bit in the morning but then had to leave to attend meetings in Lincoln. That left me with Float RN and New RN. We got everyone through their treatments and the clinic closed down on time. Go us!

I was dead by the time I got home. Sadly, the kids are here this weekend, so going to bed early wasn’t an option. I did crawl into bed with the lights off, but the TV in the living room was on and I could hear it. The kids kept running in and out of the rooms and chatting and being kids. It’s one of the pieces of friction with the home situation. I’m not able to have the solitude and quietness away from people when I need it, and yesterday and this morning were definitely times where I needed it.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I think I’m starting to fight off a cold again. I was congested for most of the night. I woke up several times even with using the Vix Vapor thingy we have in the room.

When I finally gave up on sleeping this morning, everyone was already up. The thought of having to cook breakfast and dealing with people being under my feet while I tried to do stuff or answering questions and just in general interacting with anything living that wasn’t a cat sucked. It all felt heavy. And that’s how my whole day was going to be; constantly surrounded by demands on energy I didn’t have to give.

The pervasive thought this morning is that it’s almost the three-year mark. Three years since mom died. Soon I will have to find another rose to add to her vase; a sign that I have once again survived to reach another year. A sign that I made it through all of the hard days, all of the good days, each and every day that ticked us closer and closer to “this” day.

It sucks. And knowing that I couldn’t have the one thing I wanted, to be left alone, made it worse.

I did end up making waffles for everyone. I used whole eggs this time instead of egg whites. I didn’t eat with the family, but I was told the waffles were good. I stepped outside with Ox for a cigarette after he had eaten. When I came back inside I curled up in bed under the covers with one of the cats. Mama Ox came to the doorway. Since the lights were off she couldn’t see me.

Mama Ox: Where did she go? It’s like she’s hiding. I thought she came in here but I can’t see her.

Right Brain: Um… yeah. I’m hiding. That’s sort of the point of hiding. To not be found or bothered.

Ox and I had some alone time. He let me cry. I had told him about a dream I had last night which might have added to the frustration I woke up with. I had been in the kitchen trying to do something, but there was trash everywhere that no one had thrown away. There was clutter and friction and all of this “stuff” that I had to work around or take care of before I could begin to do what needed to be done. It felt like I was the only one who cared and that made it all feel pointless. I can’t care for everyone. I can’t be the only one doing things all the time. That’s how people burn out and that’s what I woke up with; a burnt out feeling.

I’m glad to say that things are getting better. I’ve worked through all of the emails in my inbox that I didn’t get to on Tuesday. I’ve replied to posts and even an email from one of my uncles. I have a new niece. I doubt I’ll ever be very close to her, but I’m happy for my cousin. I hope she’s enjoying being a parent. I hope her daughter grows up to have a close relationship with her.

I proofread and posted my last writing. I’ve written this one, not that there’s really much to say. I feel tired. I feel emotionally drained. I still feel slightly confined though not as much as I was when I first woke up. I’m hoping to get through this weekend of rainy ickiness where the kids complain that they’re bored and how there’s nothing to do. I’m hoping one day I will have my dragon’s den and it won’t matter if the kids are here; I’ll still be able to sleep after an exhausting day of work. I’ll still be able to have my silence and solitude without interfering with everyone else’s life.

Today isn’t that day, though. Tomorrow isn’t going to be that day either. Right now I just need to breathe through the tension and realize this is a moment in time. Nothing is bad. Nothing is wrong. Everyone here loves me, it’s just not structured to the needs of an extremely introverted INFJ.

For today, I will be grateful.

I am grateful I had my mom in my life as long as I did. I’m grateful I still have her in my life in the ways that I do. I’m grateful that Ox loves me and tries as hard as he does to make me feel safe and cared for. I’m grateful for my life, even if it’s different than what I thought it was supposed to be.

Hopefully, I can remember those things when the tension starts to swell up again. I AM grateful. Even when things are hard and sad and I’m not alone like I want to be, I am grateful.



Written Sunday morning:

Today is off to a better start than yesterday. Granted, it’s only 6:30 in the morning, but already I have been equally as productive as I was for all of yesterday combined.

I woke up yesterday feeling out of it, and maybe that’s not the right way to describe it. I felt alright, just not up to the task of doing anything or socializing with anyone. It was one of those days where if I still lived in Orlando I would have slept all day and stayed in my room cuddling with Scarlet. Maybe if I had been feeling frisky I would have eaten something.

That’s not possible in the enviornment I live in now, though, and it most certainly isn’t possible while the kids are here.

I helped with breakfast yesterday, but I didn’t eat anything with the family. The bit of time I was in the kitchen with Mama Ox going back and forth and inserting her two cents on topics that didn’t matter and were mostly small talk that I had to fain instrest in had me frayed and feeling overwhelemed. It didn’t help that when I tried to go to the room to get away from it all, she followed me and commented about how I was hiding.

Yes. I’m hiding. Please respect that and leave me alone. >.<;

I wrote yesterday and continued with my posting for my leadership class. I have a handful of reflection sections left to post from the first book. I did buy the second book yesterday even though we won’t be working on it for the class until April. I figured since I’m going to be starting my Human Anatomy class soon that it would be better to try to get as ahead as possible. The next book is Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. I don’t know much about it, but the audio book is over 13 hours. I may start it up today depending on how things go.

I did start a load of laundry yesterday, but that’s all I did with it. I just switched it over before putting my roast in the oven, so both of those things are going. I’m trying something different with my roast. I used a Grill Mates marinade with it this time since I like how it turns out with chicken so much. We’ll see if it’s a success in about an hour.

Ox and I did go to the store here in town yesterday afternoon. We needed milk and eggs. Mama Ox wanted a new container of cashews. I wanted shredded cheddar cheese for the leftover chili that no one is eating. I got a small bag of the Reese’s snack popcorn that I like.

Other than that, I took a three hour nap yesterday and did a bunch of nothing. I haven’t cooked dinner all week, which I guess isn’t as awful as it sounds. There were leftovers for some of the days, and the others Mama Ox cooked burgers or other simple, quick things that the family liked.

This wasn’t really the best week for me to do much, what with working late and having to travel. Maybe that was part of yesterday; burnout from a rougher week than I had thought it was.

I told Ox last night that I feel like I don’t handle things as well as I used to. I don’t know if that’s me getting older or still being broken from the ordeal that was mom’s death. I don’t remember crying as much during high school, though. I don’t remember feeling as overwhelmed and bombarded by small, simple social interactions. I also didn’t have to deal with them very much for the seven-ish years I lived in Florida. I was able to have my own room and to avoid the world when I wanted to. I still don’t have that option here and so maybe I’m the same it’s just the situations are different. Different stressors, different coping behaviors… I wish I knew.

Ox, for his part, was himself. Ridiculously understanding, supportive, and reassuring. He let me sleep during the day. He dealt with my grouchiness. He held me, encouraging me to take deep breaths when the tension started to build in my chest. He said two months. He doesn’t want me to sleep in the addition with it being so cold. He didn’t want me to sleep in my car either for the same reason when I brought that option up last night. I didn’t want to be away from home, so the thought of a hotel room didn’t sit very well with me.

I just want a quiet space here. A safe space. A “my” space where I belong and I have my things with me instead of them being packed away still in a storage unit I haven’t seen in roughly seven months. I keep thinking in the back of my mind that I’m going to unwrap my china and all of the pieces are going to be broken because of how cold it has been. It’s a shitty thought that doesn’t help anything when my brain is already being a terrorist.

I don’t really know where to go from here as far as my writing goes. Ox said two months. I have my trip next week to see my brother and dad and Mother Earth and Sir. I don’t have a lot of time while I’m there. Maybe I should have tried to plan this better. I don’t think I’ll have time to visit my home clinic. I don’t know if I want to see Warren while I’m there. It will most likely be like pulling teeth and I doubt any headway will be made in regards to the money he owes me. I would like to see my therapist before she retires. I would like to go to the dojo, but I don’t know if I should or not. I haven’t been going to the one here, and though I’ve been better about the gym this past week, I still feel like I’m behind in regards to the workout section of my life.

It was rainy and misirable all day yesterday and it’s suppposed to stay that way for a while. The tempratures are supposed to rise, though. Hopefully spring is arriving and all of this snow will melt and it will be sunny once again. I hope so. I really, really hope that I’m almost at the end of whatever this is and that I do good in school and my yearly review goes well and I eventually get my safe, quiet place and all of this tension and stress and apathy melt away with the snow.

Daily Post 151: Still Trying to Catch Up

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I have a bit of time before I need to get ready to head into work for the day. Hopefully, I’ll only be there for the two hours or so of change over instead of the 5.5 I was there for Wednesday. That’s something I’ll cover at a later point, but yeah. I have some time to write now so the game plan is to try to get through as much of my life as possible and finish whatever I’m not able to get to once I get back from venturing out into the world.

I was still on Thursday morning in my last writing. Yeah… Thursday had a lot of stuff happen. Valentine’s day. My one year mark in Nebraska. My one year anniversary with Ox.

The plans for my trip to Orlando were becoming more solid after talking with Sir and my younger brother. I had found out about the death of my friend and the chance that I would still be able to say, “I’ll see you later,” to him.

After the conversation with Rounder’s wife, I had a conversation with Mother Earth. Her final text messages to me before my move had hurt. That hasn’t stopped me from loving and caring for her and feeling like she was missing from my life. I haven’t made zucchini fries or zucchini brownies since my move because it felt wrong to do so. They were something Mother Earth and I had both enjoyed. They were an “us” thing and with “us” feeling not ok it hadn’t felt right to make them or share them with others.

Our phone conversation this past Thursday was a good one. It was good to hear her voice again. It was good to say all of the things I had wanted to say to her and to hear her apology and explanation for her actions and choices. She’s doing well. There have been some pretty low lows in her life since I’ve moved, but there has also been a lot of growth and I feel like she’s doing well for herself. It was good to reconnect with her and it’s not lost to me that it happened on Valentine’s day.

I eventually showered and headed into town to have lunch with Ox. We went to the Chinese place I like. I think of it as one of “our” places. I told him about all of my conversations, including the one with Mother Earth. We talked about what that could potentially mean for the relationship Ox and I have. I, personally, am more ok with mending an extremely deep relationship that I care about rather than trying to find another female to bring into our dynamic.

Firstly, it’s not about the sex or potential of sex. It’s about the emotional connection I feel with someone. I’m not interested in trying to find someone else because there’s a part of me who believes I won’t find the depth of connection I have with Mother Earth with another person. Maybe that’s because I don’t WANT to find that type of connection with anyone else. Relationships and emotions are weird like that. The few times I’ve looked at the profiles on OkCupid the main thought whispering through my head is, “They’re not her.” Well… Duh, they’re not her. No one but Mother Earth can be Mother Earth. But the fact that these new people aren’t is a deterrent. It’s such a conscious “con” on the con list that it makes the attempt a no-go before I even start. Not a good start for the success of a relationship. : /

Ox is worried about me getting hurt again because he knows how much the falling out Mother Earth and I had before my move affected me. I can’t deny the pain I felt and I can’t say his worries are unfounded. It’s something in my head as well.

I told Ox that I hadn’t had a lot of time to process through all of the events of my morning so I didn’t really know what I wanted to ask for. I said that I would like to be able to make the choices I make and to handle the consequences or repercussions of those choices along with experiencing whatever good or positive came from those choices as well. I want Mother Earth to be in my life, even if that’s purely in the form of phone calls and Facebook messages. We live half a country away now. A physical relationship isn’t really in the cards. I highly doubt she would move to Nebraska with everything she has going for her in Orlando. I am not going to be moving back to Orlando even though I miss people who still live there.

So what does that mean for my coming trip?

I don’t know yet. Ox and I haven’t ironed out what is and is not ok for me to do while I’m there. Through other conversations Mother Earth and I have had, we both agree that our primary relationships are more important than temporary gratification. Our everyday lives matter and Ox is part of everyday life for me. If he’s not ok with things happening, then they’re not ok. End of story.

It’s something he and I will have to address in the coming weeks. If at the end of the conversation there’s not a clear yes with boundaries then it will be a no and I honestly am ok with that. I want everyone to feel secure and loved and ok. As much fun as it would be to do super sexy kinky things with Mother Earth, I’m just as ok knowing I have my friend back in my life who I can have “girl” conversations with on the phone for two hours in a gas station parking lot, or that I can make a batch of zucchini fries to share with while we geek out over whatever show we’re watching. I don’t think I can fully explain just how small the sexual side of it is when held against the feelings of belonging and acceptance her and I feel through our interactions.

I’m sure I’ll write more on the topic as the days go by. At the moment I suppose the conclusion for this section of my life is that Mother Earth and I are talking again. I have plans to stay a majority of my nights at the house with her and Sir rather than couch-hopping or spending hundreds of dollars on hotel rooms. Ox is grudgingly ok with those plans. At least that’s what I got from our talks. More talks will be had.

After a lengthy lunch full of talking and discussing, he and I went grocery shopping. I love our trips together. I like not being in the store alone dealing with all the other people by myself. I can, and have, successfully completed grocery trips alone, but I actually like them when Ox is with me. I look forward to them. It’s like our “date” time. Our “us” time.

There was sexy time when we got home. That’s where the wife word came up. At the time, I was pretty sure my brain was screwing with me. I mean… “life” does sound a lot like “wife”, right? And he and I have had conversations where marriage wasn’t in the picture; mostly due to my own insecurities and perspective of marriage but also due to child support and debt on both sides of the relationship. So, there’s no way he called me his wife.

Yeah, it was super hot and sexy and now I have all of these emotions that I have to internalize because I hadn’t realized how much I wanted him to say that word to me, but he totally didn’t say that word… He said life, so all of you emotions that poofed out of nowhere can go back to the box I didn’t know you were hiding in or even existed and stay there for the rest of forever because that word is totally never going to be said so there.

Box. Now.

While Ox and I were outside having our “beta-test” session I admitted that my brain was having a hard time processing through something I thought he had said because I actually didn’t know exactly what he had said. Those emotions weren’t doing a very good job of staying in their box and I wasn’t ok with having them unresolved.

I needed to know. Even if it sucked and he had said life and now things were super awkward because I had misheard… Somehow we would get through it; the awkwardness of me wanting more in the relationship than him. I would get through it. But before I could “get through it” I needed to know what I legitimately needed to get through. I needed to know what had actually been said. Or not said.

Right Brain: But that means actually asking the question. Totally way easier to just freak out over it.

Left Brain: No. Deep breath. Big girl panties. You can do this. He’s always been kind and supportive. You can ask this and still be ok.

And…. I’m going to pause my writing here because work is a thing. >.<

many unexpected hours later

I’m finally back at my computer, writing, and it’s already 7:30 pm; my bedtime.

As much as I hate to do it, I’m not going to continue writing. I’ve done a lot today. I went to work and actually worked. I went to the college and talked to the financial aid specialist. I went to Walmart and returned something along with buying a few groceries. I came home. I applied for scholarships. I filled out my FASFA. I had dinner. I recreated the Google Excel sheet Ox and I use for our budget because numbers are changing. I refactored the payoff for my car now that I don’t have to worry about student loan payments. Ox and I have talked about those changes and our next action steps in regards to our financial goals…

And my brain is dead.

It’s like the more I try to catch up with this week, the further I fall behind. Maybe one day I’ll be able to progress past the day that was last Thursday. Today is not that day.

Daily Post 146: Tags, Taxes, and Trips

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Lots of stuff to write about.

Firstly, I’ve started taking vitamin D gummies in the morning. They’re not bad tasting which is a plus. I do think they have been helping. I’ve only been taking them for roughly a week so I know I don’t have an extended time frame to go off of. Everything I’ve been able to find online says it can take up to a month for blood levels to even out, but I have noticed a significant difference in my energy level and overall mood. I’m not as depressed on my days off. I don’t feel as overwhelmed at work and can react to all of the daily craziness in better stride.

In general, I think the vitamin is helping and even if it’s not, I’m glad for whatever change has occurred to improve my mental state.

Another change on the home front is Papa Ox switching to a mostly keto diet which means, by proxy, Mama Ox is switching to one as well. I’ve taken over a lot of the cooking since I am the one with the most experience in that area. While that means my food budget has increased since I’m buying meals for more people, Mama Ox has offered to help with the grocery bill. It also means that after I work a 12 hour day I have to come home and cook, which sort of sucked yesterday. A large part of that had to do with not having anything planned ahead of time. I had to plan, grocery shop, prep, and cook all in one evening.

I’ll have a better handle on dinners in the coming weeks. I’m glad for this change even if it means a bit more work on my end. It will be easier to stick to my own diet goals because I’m not the only one trying to do something anymore while everyone else eats whatever they want and pressures me into conforming to them.

There’s still a lot of stuff in the kitchen and freezer which should be gotten rid of, but we’re on the right track to everyone having a healthier lifestyle. Ox has been supportive. He ate the stir fry I made last night with zoodles rather than regular noodles and while he said it wasn’t as good as normal noodles, the zoodles themselves weren’t bad and he still enjoyed the meal. He’s open to the idea of trying pizza with cauliflower crust and other recipes which he normally wouldn’t go for. He even had leftovers one night which is something he’s usually against.

Having all of the support I’ve been shown so far in all of the various ways it’s been given has helped motivate me. Being healthy no longer feels like a pointless endeavor that I’m the only one who cares about or wants to do.

In other news, Ox has a new car. It’s a 2018 Chevy Trax. While he says it’s “our” car, everything is in his name and he is / will be the primary driver. There’s a lot of backstory which goes into our decision to get the vehicle. We spent a lot of time researching the car itself and going over both of our finances. We’re keeping his old car in addition to the new one. Eventually, in a few years, when Ornery Ox is old enough to need a car, he’ll be given the Dodge Dart, the old car.

We can afford both car payments and their insurance while still meeting all of our other financial obligations. We both recognize the only reason we’re able to do this is that Ox and I live with his parents rent-free; thus why I’m ok with taking on the added responsibility of providing food for everyone. Ox will continue to be the handyman around the house. It’s reassuring to know that if something were to happen to any one of the cars in the household, there’s a backup. We all work too far away in different directions in the middle of nowhere to not be able to get to work. Having transportation is vital and though this adds additional financial responsibility to the equation, I think it was a smart move.

I also feel like it’s the first really big decision Ox and I have made together aside from the choice to have me move to Nebraska. It wasn’t as scary to talk about finances and budgets and payments as it would have been a year ago. I felt secure and safe through all of the conversations we had. I still feel secure and safe through all of the new conversations we’ve had today since he’s been home. I still stand behind my choices; our choices. I still think we got an amazing deal on an extremely good car. No regrets.

With the additional expense comes the decision for both of use to quit smoking. We haven’t stopped 100% yet, but we’ve cut back significantly which I think is still a win. I’m smoking roughly six a day again, which is under half of what I was doing only a week ago. Small steps. Not perfect, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve made toward our goal and I’m not going to give myself shit for not going cold turkey. I would rather be supportive of my efforts than bash myself. If I can cut my intake in half and be ok, then I can cut out the breaks at work and still be ok. If I can cut out the breaks at work then I don’t really need anything while I’m at home either. My personal goal is to stop completely by the end of March because…

I booked my plane ticket and rental car for my trip to Orlando.

Yep. That’s right.

I’m going to be visiting my younger brother and seeing my dad. I’m looking forward to the trip. I haven’t ironed out anything else out about the trip yet, but that’s because I was still waiting to get family time figured out. It seems like we’ll be meeting up for lunch on Saturday before I fly back to Nebraska. This weekend and the coming week I will be reaching out to people and setting up my social itinerary for the trip. I won’t be there for many days so I’m assuming they’ll be pretty busy.

I was able to plan the trip because I was a diligent adult and filed my taxes. I’m getting a pretty penny back. Ox is too, especially with the amendment he made to last year’s taxes where he gets to claim Ornery Ox as a dependant. Nebraska does sales taxes on cars differently than Florida, so there’s a slight expense to getting plates and tags for the Trax that we need to plan for. The dealership is paying for over half of it, though, so that’s part of what made the deal good. I also will be using part of my tax return to pay off the trip once it comes in. I used the credit card to buy the tickets and arrange everything, but the charge won’t be on there for an extended period of time, so I was ok with using it.

Ox has a few other expenses he wants to get caught up on. They fell behind due to working construction and the weather sucking. It was one of the biggest factors for him switching to his new job where his hours are guaranteed. Even with those expenses taken into account and setting aside a chunk of the money as a buffer for himself, he’s still able to pay me back everything that he currently owes me and then some.

I had wanted to use all of the extra money to go towards my car loan, cutting in it half, but with all of the expenses taken out, the amount of “extra” isn’t as much as my unrealistic brain was hoping for. Damn you logic for making sure everything was accounted for. >.<;

Currently, Ox is making an Excel sheet to go along with our updated budget so we can see which debt should be tackled first. There are three things I could pay off in full and still have money remaining as my own personal buffer. But would paying those debts off be as beneficial as putting the extra money towards the credit card?

With all of the different amounts and interest rates and blah blah blah blah blah numbers and logic and insert unknown factor here… My brain was shutting down and getting frustrated rather than continuing to tackle the question of “What’s the best financial debt to go after first?”

That’s where Ox stepped in to rescue me. He offered to figure it out so that’s what he’s working on while I finish typing about my life. It’s amazing how much more do-able today has been because he was a part of it. He figured out and looked up a lot of the numbers I needed. He helped me keep going as long as I did and was patient with me when I started getting frustrated and is now giving me a break from all of it for a little while. It’s awesome. I’m not the only one working on this project. I’m not the only one trying to figure out life and what the best choice would be. I can tap someone else in when I need to take a step back and vice-versa.

Aside from figuring out a debt battle plan, there’s not a whole lot else going on. I have to get gas for my car before tomorrow. I’m cooking chicken taco soup for dinner tonight. The gear I ordered from Venum won’t be here until tomorrow. It was supposed to be delivered today, but with the snow storms, it got delayed. So much lame. : /

That’s something else that gives me warm fuzzy feelings, though. Ox made sure I ordered my gear before things get tighter budget wise. He didn’t want me to keep putting it off and then not be able to get it later when the new car payment is due. I still had some extra from the overtime I worked during the holidays and after fixing up the car. So those are my Christmas / birthday gifts to myself; new 16-ounce Muah Thai gloves, headgear so I can spare, and a new duffle bag to put everything in since the zipper to my current bag got messed up during my trip to Denver. I was really hoping to be able to take everything with me to work to show one of my patients, but I guess I won’t be able to do that until Monday. It also means I won’t have my new stuff for the dojo tomorrow night, though, with how icky the weather has been I might just come home. I’m not sure yet.

We had a meeting for work on Tuesday. It got pretty heated at a few points. At the end of it, I spoke up and said that all of the issues seemed to stem from a breakdown in communication. The people who needed to hear everything that was being said weren’t there and the information most likely wouldn’t be communicated to them. What the clinic needed was a serious “sit down and come to Jesus” meeting.

When I had a chance to talk to my FA yesterday I apologized if I had stepped out of line with my comment. She sort of snickered and said that I hadn’t and that my mentality was one of the reasons she wanted me to do the leadership class. She said that the other FA for our sister clinic was grateful that I had spoken up and said what I did because no one had seemed to be “getting it.” She said they value my opinion and want me there in the future meeting that will be scheduled as a follow up to the one we just had. Hopefully, in the follow-up, things will get figured out and positive, meaningful steps forward begin to happen.

All in all, I can’t complain about anything in my Life other than it’s freaking freezing outside still and I can’t feel my toes even though I have two sets of socks on. ;-;

Guess that means I have to curl up in bed with my electric blanket and cross stitch so I can get warm. Oh, darn.

Daily Post 133: Finally Back Home

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I’ve been back from Dever for a few days now. I got back Wednesday evening around 8:45. I drove home and saw Ox. We went to sleep only to wake back up at 3 in the morning. He headed to work and I drove to Fremont to cover a shift at the clinic there, then came back to Lincoln. Ox and I met up for lunch before going back home. We had Chinese at a place we’ve seen before. I really liked it and hope to continue to be able to go there on those special occasions where we go out.

Thursday evening I should have gone into the class for my last chance to participate in clinical, but I didn’t. Instead, I stayed home that evening, going to bed early to wake back up and cover a shift at my own clinic Friday morning.

I was dead. Not one of those “I’m sort of tired but it will burn off as the day goes on” sort of deads. No. This was a physical barrier of, “I’m your body and you’re asking too much of me so I’m going to make you feel like crap for the whole day because fuck you for not taking better care of me,” sort of deads.

I was ridiculously slow at everything I did on Friday and the only reason we stayed on schedule was because it was me, the float RN, and my FA on the floor and both of them were running circles around me. I’m grateful for them pulling my slack because I wouldn’t have been able to make it through the day without them.

It was good to see all of my patients after an entire week’s absence. I got to share my adventure with all of them and that most likely contributed to me being “behind”. All of the time I spent talking and catching up with people was time that I wasn’t working or making sure all of the tasks on my PCT checklist got done.

It was a pretty good day overall, just one where I knew right from waking up that surviving my day would be my main goal. Mission accomplished, if just barely.

The trip itself wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I ended up getting into Dever close to 4 pm. I messaged Chrys since I had time to kill that evening. I booked an Uber out to Aurora and spent the evening with her and her son. We had homemade spaghetti for dinner and EJ got to read me a few bedtime stories. Once her son was in bed we were able to chat for a bit before I had to get back to the hotel since I had an early morning to prepare for.

Overall, it was a fantastic way to decompress from the trip out there and a very nice last minute addition to the trip. Having some social time with someone I care about was definitely restorative and a pleasant break from my normal routine. I made it back to my hotel room around 9ish. I met my roommate for the event and was pleased that she seemed pretty nice. Her name was also Jen. Go figure. XD

The first day of the event was decent but long. I didn’t sleep well the night before and had to fight off a headache for most of the day. We got into things like the MBTI and communication skills and conflict resolution. All sorts of psychology things, so I was fairly engaged through most of it.

We created our own personal credos and then graded ourselves on how well we were living up to it currently. Balance was one of the things on mine and the area where I graded myself the lowest.

I’ve picked up a lot of overtime for the coming two weeks. This week is going to be my only “normal” week work wise and that’s still with having to take the final tests for my CNA class, so even it isn’t going to be all that restful.

I need to remember to maintain balance and to not burn myself out. I need the things that make me feel fulfilled and which recharge me. I need time to grocery shop and do laundry and meal prep. I need time to go to the dojo and the gym. I need time to sleep enough at night so I don’t limp through my days depending on coffee to survive. I need time with Ox to feel connected with him. I need time to have phone calls with Jon and the other people in my life that I love. I need time to cross-stitch and write.

I need “me time” and I can’t have that if all I do is work seven days a week.

So while I can’t really back out of the obligations I’ve already given myself, I can be more mindful going forward and that’s what I intend to do. The new year should see things being a bit smoother. The new tech will be with me for a few weeks to train on our machines. We just hired a new RN since the other one wasn’t working out. She has to give 30 days at her current job, but it should only take her about eight weeks to go through the training process. I’ve already talked to my FA about taking time off of work in February to visit Florida. I could see Jon. I could run the Warrior Dash that’s held there. Big Bad said he would be interested in running it with me. I guess that means I have to work on that whole running thing again so I don’t suck. I could see my old teammates and patients. I could see a handful of other people from my inner circle. I could have lunch at my sports bar.

There’s all sorts of things I could do that I’ve wanted to do. It gives me something to think about and look forward to.

Chrys ended up having Wednesday off since it was a federal holiday so she drove me to the airport. That was also a nice change of plans. Both the fight out and back were non-stop flights on fairly small planes so I got to have a window seat by myself rather than being stuck between two people the whole time.

When I got to work Friday I had an email saying I had made it to phase two of the leadership application process. I haven’t worked on it any more than the rough post I wrote the other day, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

As far as this weekend goes… I’ve paid bills. I’ve gone through my email inbox. I’ve gone through the pile of papers that was next to my computer desk. I’ve unpacked fully. I’ve done laundry. I’ve meal prepped and am back to doing low carb meals. I’ve sent a message through Facebook to my sensei explaining my extended absence. I’ve bought Christmas cards to give to my patients. I’ve cleaned and dusted my computer desk with plans to open up my computer tower to clean it out later in the week with Ox. Ox has also been extremely helpful. He’s washed the sheets for the bed which we made together. He’s helped me fold the laundry and put it away. He’s cleaned his own areas of the room so it’s not as cluttered or icky feeling anymore.

He went grocery shopping with me yesterday where we had lunch together, just us. We got a new shower curtain and bath mat set this morning while we were out getting aluminum foil which he set up for me while I put bacon on the cooking sheets for breakfast. Go, team!

Spotify sent out their end of year stuff. I’ve listened to something like 4500 new songs this year. That’s almost 12 songs a day. And here I thought I slacking on expanding my music selection.

I finished the fairy cross-stitch pattern I’ve been working on, so I’ll most likely make a post with all of those progress images. I’ve started a new project, but since it’s for Ox and he’s not allowed to see it under penalty of death, I won’t be posting progress images of that one either. I’ll save posting a completed image of it until after Christmas once he’s had a chance to open it.

My class is almost over. This coming Tuesday I have the final test for the class and I sign up for state testing. Thursday is the state written test and for those signed up, the state skills test. Everyone else will have to wait until the following Tuesday to complete their skills test. Part of me wants to go on Thursday and be done with it. The other part of me wants to wait until Tuesday so I have more time to freak out and/or study. Mostly freaking out though since I know that’s what I’ll do.

I really do have other things my time would be better invested in other than freaking out but there you go.

I’m sure there are other things I could write about in regards to my trip or the events leading up to my departure as well as the events since my return home, but I feel this post covers a lot of it.

Ox and I have been doing well. He was supportive of me while I was gone, including taking a phone call where I asked if I could be honest. He said yes and I admitted to wanting to come home while tears rolled down my cheeks. It wasn’t a bad trip, but when you’re an introvert surrounded by 650 other people, forced to participate in team trivia where they ask which Super Bowl did the Broncos most recently win… you kind of just want to curl up in bed under the blankets and hide. Only you can’t because then your roommate is going to want to know what’s wrong or think you’re weird and can’t handle human interaction.

Ox promised that I could come home and hearing those words, as silly as they may seem, made me feel more ok.

We’ve had a lot of sexy time since I’ve been back. Totally ok with all of it. Just yes. All of the yes.

Anywho, aside from feeling like I’m caught back up for the most part with life, I think that’s about it. For now, I’m going to go cross-stitch before working on some discussion posts for my class later in the day. The rest of today should be fairly calm and relaxing. No working on the addition. No trips into town. Just hanging out and resting before what should be a fairly normal day at work tomorrow.

This coming week is the calm before the storm, but I’m already planning for that. I have a container of chili in the freezer. I want to make a batch of chicken taco soup which freezes nicely as well. I want to prep well in advance since I’m going to have so little time in the next two weeks to truly meal prep. I’m doing a keto BLT salad this week which seems to be doing well. I tried it yesterday. I might add more bacon to it the next time I make it, but overall I think it turned out well which is good because it was cheap and simple to toss together. Another meal I can add to my arsenal for the coming battle.

It was a good trip, but I’m glad to be home. And with that, I’m off to continue with my decompressing.

Daily Post 104: Last Day

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Fourth day in a row. It would be nice to think that I could keep this habit when I get home. Writing. Processing. Having time and space to do it. I wasn’t making it a priority while I was in Nebraska though and so I’m worried it will fall to the wayside again when I get back. I can’t deny the fact that I’ve felt better for all of the writing I’ve been able to do while I’m here.

It’s 7:30 am. I’ve been up for a while. Jace is about to leave for school. I’ll be gone before he gets back. I don’t know when I’ll be able to come visit again so it sort of sucks.

We played Geek Out last night. It’s an alright game. I think it would have been more fun to play while having a few drinks, but it wasn’t bad. Zombicide was definitely better.

I wrote out a do-to list for Thursday before I fell asleep. There’s a shopping list too but a lot of the stuff on it I need to check. I don’t know what has been used or gone bad while I’ve been gone.

Ideally, I’ll stay awake when Ox goes to work tomorrow. I’ll do the shopping early, before the gym, and the cooking after. I don’t want to do a weigh in at the gym for two weeks. One week to get back into my routine, and then one week to actually make progress, though I don’t think I’ve done all that horrible eating wise while I’ve been gone.

I might stop in at the clinic on my way home Thursday just to make sure things are set the way I want for Friday morning.

I’ve been thinking about the LPN thing. I might aim for next semester at the earliest, which will let me continue to pick up over time in the meantime, which will let me pay off the car faster. At the moment I’m on track to have it paid off early next year. Sooner would be nicer. It would make funding schooling easier. I still have to factor the dojo membership into my budget, so maybe that’s something else I can add to the to-do list… mess with numbers.

I don’t really have much of anything else to write about. No hiking adventures this visit. No trips to the gun range to see who’s better; Army or Air Force. Just a lot of staying at home and regrouping.

I’m going to miss being here, but I’m also ready to be back home. I want what has become my room. I want my car, my gym, my stores. I want my Ox to hug me and tell me that things are ok and that I’m doing well because hearing his voice matters.

We have the kids this coming weekend. It’s two weeks earlier than we thought we would. All I can think is that I’ll figure it out. I’ve survived all of the times they’ve been over so far. I can keep surviving I hope. The thought of an extended stay is unappealing, especially after being away from home for so long.

I don’t know. But yeah… I’ll figure it out.

For now, I’m going to go shower and pack and format my Surface. This is the last post I’ll be writing on it. This marks another moment of moving on and growing and evolving and changing and for whatever reason, it sucks.

I’ve already said goodbye to Jace while I was writing. I’ll be saying goodbye to my sister in law and my brothers in a few hours. I’m saying goodbye to this object and the moments I shared with it.

I’m going home. I guess it would be easier if it didn’t feel like I was losing everything all over again.

Daily Post 101: Day One In Vegas

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It’s been a while since I’ve written. Surprise, surprise.

I’m in Vegas right now, visiting with my family. Jon will be here later tonight so at the moment it’s just me with Jason, Lio, and Jace.

The morning has been nice so far. I spent most of last night talking with my older brother. We stopped at a game store and rented a few games for us to play as a family once Jon gets here. Zombicide and Geek Out. They seem promising.

I slept fairly well last night. At least I slept deeply. It felt like much-needed sleep. The type of sleep where you don’t worry about having to get up to go to work where the RN will be the one to ask you if a code should be called or not because that totally happened on Friday, which is a story in itself.

It was the type of sleep where you realize you finally don’t have to hold up the rest of the world and you can put all of the burdens on your shoulders down and finally rest. The armor can come off. There aren’t battles for a few days. You can breathe and assess and take stock of where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you plan to go without life raining down bullets or fireballs of destruction on you while you try to do it.

I was worried about being here. I cried while Ox hugged me yesterday morning saying how there was part of me who didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to be here. Mom wouldn’t be here. With the constant demand of work and life, it’s I guess… easy… in a way to forget. You can glaze over the fact that things are different.

Here, there’s no way to hide or pretend. There’s an empty chair during dinner. There’s not the smell of cappuccino in the morning. There’s a voice missing. A hug that isn’t there.

My sister in law has already said how I look so much like mom. I’m worried about that. I’m worried it makes it harder for my brothers. It’s been a year and a half since I’ve been here. So much about the house has changed. The kitchen has been remodeled. The floors are hardwood. The garage floor has been redone. The outside has been repainted. But it still has the feel of “home”. It still has the feel that mom should be here, and she’s not. She’s missing. She will always be missing. Her absence will always be noticed and felt and known.

It will always be different and that made leaving hard. I don’t want it to be different. I don’t want to acknowledge the fact any more than I have to. Like with physical therapy, I know this trip was something I had to do, but there was such a part of me that didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to be here even though I wanted to see my brothers.

It does hurts but not as much as I thought it would. It’s not soul-crushing. It’s something I’m able to at least breathe through. I’m able to handle it even though there was part of me who thought I wouldn’t be able to.

My sister in law is doing a program with her gym so I’m eating decently. We’ve already shared a bunch of recipes with each other. I had thought my progress with my trainer would be completely blown for this week but it doesn’t seem like it will be that way. I might not do a bunch of working out, but since I wasn’t doing that anyway in Nebraska I don’t really think it will be that awful.

I didn’t go to training last Thursday. I didn’t want to.

I covered an extra shift at the Dodge County clinic in Fremont. I enjoyed it. I worked well with their team. They’ve asked me if I would be ok with coming back in the future to which I answered yes.

The schedule for next month came out before I left. I’m still in Beatrice three days a week. No Cap City swaps, at least not yet. I’m ok with that. I’m happy my schedule is still consistent and that I’m not going to be in a clinic that I don’t like. I’m glad I get to stay with my patients.

I’m working on Friday when I get back. Since all the clinics are so short staffed, they weren’t able to find a replacement for me. It was just going to be my FA and a float RN, the one who asked me if she should call a code for one of our patients.

While I was on my lunch break Friday, my FA came out and had a cigarette with me. I asked her if she wanted me to come in the Friday I get back. I told her I would be in town and I could come in if I was needed.

She said it wasn’t fair of her to ask me to give up more of my vacation when I already got screwed out of the first week I had wanted to take off. She said she believes vacations are important and she wanted me to have my time off.

I told her that I didn’t want to leave her screwed over. I didn’t want to leave my patients screwed. I didn’t want to come back Monday to ashes. I was going to be sitting at home Friday trying to play video games and stressing over the thought of shit hitting the fan by me not being there.

I said if she would prefer to have me at the clinic that I could be there.

She said she would definitely prefer to have me there rather than anyone else, so I’m going in, and honestly, I don’t feel bad or cheated out of anything by going in. They’re going to give me back the PTO I had already been approved for that day and let me work the floor instead.

I get back Wednesday night. I have Thursday to myself. I work one day before having a two-day break to meal prep and get my life back to normal and then I have a three day a week schedule with training on my off days.

I have my doctor’s appointment on the 30th for my insurance discount with work. I can potentially do the dojo membership now that I know what my schedule is. I can also talk to my FA about starting classes because the more I talk to people, the more I go to other clinics, the more I’m on my own at my own clinic, the more I feel like going further with school would be good for me.

I think I’ll want to start with the LPN program because that will give me more options in the beginning rather than having to wait two years to even begin the RN program. It’s something I would like to look into while I’m here on vacation and have the silence and space to research and think about it.

I don’t really know what else to say. I know it’s been so long since I wrote, but honestly, not a lot has happened. I’ve worked. I’ve eaten carbs that I shouldn’t have. I’ve not worked out like I’ve “wanted” to. I’ve been sad a lot for no real reason. I haven’t had alone time to figure out the emotions. I’ve been escaping into Final Fantasy a lot because it’s easier to play a game than to figure out life. Almost all of my professions are level 30. I didn’t put my clothes away until yesterday morning because it hasn’t felt worth it to actually do much of anything. My clothes weren’t killing anything by being in a basket for weeks and no one else cared so what was the point?

I don’t like feeling that way. I don’t like thinking those thoughts. I don’t like having tons of projects around me that are unfinished or un-worked on. Boxes are pilling up again. The kid’s shelves are a mess from when they were here for two weeks. They left without cleaning them up; all of my previous hard work undone. It’s hard to keep doing when it feels like the effort doesn’t matter or that it doesn’t make a difference.

Maybe part of the emotions is being burnt out.

I don’t know.

This may be one of the last times that I write on my Windows Surface. Jon might be buying it from me. I can’t say that I was ever in love with it, but I do have memories of writing on it while at Friendly Confines. It was the keyboard I typed on when I wrote for my first birthday without mom. The first Christmas without her.

It was with me for significant moments and so I do feel like there will be a sense of loss when I give it to my brother. It will be another moment of moving on, moving forward. It’s hard to not feel like forward is “away”. Logically, I know I’m not moving further away from mom, but that’s not what the emotions feel like sometimes.

I am still trying to figure out the “loving through separation” thing. I’ve never been good at long distance relationships. I’m too much of a touch-based person. I want my hugs, damnit. I want to feel the people I love. Which… now that I think about it, isn’t all that true.

I still love my brothers when we’re apart. I still have feelings for Big Bad and my blacksmith. I still love Sir, and Mother Earth even though that’s complicated and confusing. I still love my patients in Orlando and my friends in California.

I love so many people even though they’re not in my daily life. I love them regardless of distance and the time in-between when we talk or see each other.

So why is it so hard for me to grasp the concept that even though mom isn’t physically here, that we can still love each other across the distance that separates us and the time between we see each other?

Mom and I still love each other and Death can’t change that. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to remember that, or feel that during the hard days. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to believe it and for it to not feel like a lie and like I’m all alone sometimes.

I think overall that I’m doing well. I think the sadness and the hurt are things that I’m surviving and working through. I think this trip is what I needed and I’m glad I’m here even though there’s still a part of me who wants to hide in the guest room and cry. It would be a healing cry I think. An accepting cry.

I’m supposed to have a phone call with a former coworker from Orlando. I want to call Chrys and chat with her while I have time to as well. Other than that, there aren’t really plans for the day. Jason and I are thinking about going out to dinner before picking Jon up from the airport.

Aside from that, it’s a chillax day. A quiet day. A good day.