Daily Post 182: Small Steps

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It’s been a while since I’ve written. A lot has happened during the lapse in posts.

The kittens are doing well. Saber gained over half a pound by the time we saw the vet again. Switching back to wet food and adding kitten formula to it helped. Both her and Dagger were big enough to get their first round of vaccinations so that process is underway. They have another appointment in two weeks. It’s crazy to see how much they’ve grown since I first got them roughly two months ago.

Yesterday I got an actual litter box for them. At first, they were so small they wouldn’t have been able to get in and out of a normal litter box. I had gotten an aluminum turkey baking tray; one of the disposable ones you can get from Walmart. I cut one of the edges down and wrapped the corners in duct tape. It worked really well as a litter box. The only downside was the kittens would track litter all over the hardwood floors in the bedroom.

The new litter box is a hooded litter box, so even if they go to town trying to find buried treasure in their litter, they can’t make as much of a mess. They seem to be doing well with it. I haven’t seen any messes to clean up in the 24 hours that they’ve had the new box.

So yeah. They’re still super adorable and lovable. They don’t run around as much at 2 am which I’m grateful for.

The spare money I had from my school refund ended up mainly going to new tires on the car. I wasn’t expecting that expense. But when the guy changing my oil came out and told me that my tires sucked and needed to be replaced I didn’t feel like I had many options. Winter is going to be bad this year. It didn’t seem smart to go through another icy, snowy season with shit tires. As logically sound and responsible of a decision it was, I really didn’t want to spend that $500, though. At least I had the money to do it rather than knowing something needed to be done and being unable to afford it.

Because of the unforeseen tire expense, the credit card is still where it was. No massive dent made in that area. Blah…

It’s getting darker earlier and days are already pretty chilly. I’ve been taking vitamin D gummies for about a week now. I haven’t had the AC running. Instead, I’ve been leaving the windows open. I’m hoping that makes rent significantly cheaper for the next few months. Maybe I can use the money I save on electricity to make a little more progress on the card.

I’m still plucking away at the apartment. The things I ordered from Amazon came in. The cubical isn’t exactly what I was hoping it would be, but it works and I don’t mind it. I love my coat rack. A new store opened in Lincoln; At Home. They have an amazing selection of stuff. Ox and I went to check it out last week after having our “date lunch” together before grocery shopping. I actually saw one of my patients there, which led to a really warm and connective conversation during his treatment the next day. I got spatulas last week while Ox and I were at the store since I didn’t have any for the apartment. They are light teal-ish blue and silicon which I love. This week I got a set of three glassware containers for my lunches along with a can opener that matches the spatulas.

I want that to sort of be my reward for doing well with school. Each week I do well I can get one kitchen thing. I feel like that’s a good reward system that also gives capacity and efficiency to my life.

On the subject of the kitchen, not sure if it wrote about it before, but Ox got me a Ninja Foodi a little while ago. I’ve been trying to use it once a week. This week I converted my Chicken Taco Soup recipe into a pressure cooker recipe and it turned out great. The Ninja saved me so much time. I love it.

I also recently got another portable filing box. It’s where I keep all my important paper stuff. My “box of important things”. The one I had was getting really full; mostly with tax stuff since you’re supposed to hold on to them for so many years. When it had been just lonely me, it wasn’t bad. But holding on to Ox’s stuff too and all the information for the three cars… it was making things a bit cramped in the original box. So I got a second one to spread things about a bit more. I feel better about it. I went through all of my papers and threw out what wasn’t needed anymore, rearranged things, updated others. It felt nice to go through and touch all of those papers again, to really know what I have and where it’s at.

Cleaning the apartment should be on my list today but I haven’t really figured out how I want today to go, not yet at least, so that’s up in the air.

School is going well. I think my lowest grade is a 93 or a 91. I met with my nursing advisor this past Tuesday. She’s super nice. We got along really well. She, like my current instructor, used to work in dialysis, so we’re able to share in those experiences. She feels I’m in a good spot. I have a lot of support in my life to help me get through school. She feels I have a high level of self-awareness and that I am already addressing issues or at least aware of what potential issues will be in the future and have mitigated them as much as possible for the time being.

I started going to counseling again. That’s something that is provided by the school. I like my counselor so far. She’s also extremely nice. The first session went really well. I basically explained everything about the past three and a half years. Mom’s death, switching careers, leaving Orlando and living with Ox, getting my own apartment and starting school, work and all of the accomplishments and stress that I’ve had with it. The session yesterday wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. I had a lot of paperwork to fill out so that was roughly half the session. I’m hoping the next session goes a bit better and we can start to focus on my grief and stressors in my life.

On the topic of stressors, I’m through the rough patch with work. I did my four days in a row and then my final three in a row last week. This week I’m doing what will now be my “normal” schedule of Monday, Friday, and Saturday. My FA and I talked pretty extensively about it and eventually, she agreed to try it out. It’s going to take time to recover from the burnout and then more time to adjust to the weirdness of having a consistent schedule. It’s something we talked about in counseling yesterday. It will most likely take me about a month to really find a groove and a routine that works for me.

So far I’m finding that I do better with school work earlier in the day. I like having evenings to myself or to go over to the house and cook dinner for the family. Making flashcards isn’t bad at night, but night time isn’t the best time for doing heavy reading and such.

I made egg roll bowls last night for dinner. It was fairly well-received which is good because I really like that recipe. Super quick and easy and also tasty.

Anywho… yeah… a lot of talking, a lot of studying, and a lot of “just let me get through this last stint of BS.”

Fortunately, I made it through. I’m still doing well in school and, in general, I’m pretty ok with how life is going. I’m taking small steps in several areas to make things better. Since the sun is finally starting to come up, I guess I’ll go for now and figure out what it is I want to get done with the day.

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Daily Post 180: A Small Catch-Up

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Thursday ended up being a smooth day at work. I was on the floor with my FA. Pretty much all of my tasks were caught up. We’ve agreed to work through some of the supplies in the stock room to free up space. That makes the weird organization-junkie part of my brain happy. I can’t wait to have that space back. /happy dance

We got to talk about how I was doing with school and the work schedule. I said that working three days has been do-able so far, but this coming week I’m working four days and I’m worried about it. I said I would prefer to only do three while I’m in school.

I’m thinking about talking to the other tech and seeing if she would be interested in letting me work on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Yes. Every Saturday. Last week seemed to work well schedule-wise. I had days off right after class to sit and study and do assignments. I didn’t have to wait so long in between because of work. It would let me do Adventure’s League on Wednesdays without worrying about rushing to get there or having to leave early because of work the next day. Every Thursday I could do the kickboxing class.

There’s a lot of pros to counter the one “always working Saturday” drawback. My FA said to think long and hard about it before offering something like that to the other tech. She said once I give up Saturdays I’m most likely never getting them back.

As sad as it is to say, I don’t remember a whole lot else about Thursday. Ox and I did our Darebee. I took my laundry over and got that going. I ate dinner…

Oh! There was sexy time. Sort of feel like a jerk for forgetting that… -_-;

The main thing I remember about Thursday was the fact that I didn’t have to go back to work on Friday.

I didn’t see Ox Friday morning. It’s the first morning in a while where we haven’t seen each other off to work. I forgot to set my alarm and he was running behind by the time he called and woke me up. When woke back up, I spent pretty much the rest of the morning in a low-grade depression. I was able to get stuff done, but I was tired and sad and everything took more effort than it should have. Everything was borderline painful. I felt emotionally fragile and raw. I knew there would be tears eventually, I just didn’t know when.

Eventually, I drove into town to have lunch with Ox. We put gas in both cars while we were there. He asked how I was doing and I told him that I hurt but that I was still doing things and not letting the hurt win. I said I didn’t know why I felt the way I did but that I was sad and I was trying really hard. We talked about my feelings for a little while.

A lot has happened in a short period of time. I started nursing school. I graduated from DSS. I passed my first nursing test… All of those things poke at my wound and I haven’t been doing a whole lot in the “tending to my grief” department. I think Friday was the first day since my nursing test where I didn’t have obligations spurring me to keep going. I could take the time to let the emotions have their time, to truly feel them, accept them, and let them go.

Ox and I ended up having a pretty awesome lunch at Village Inn. We meal planned out the next week, which is going to suck. I still need to see if someone is interested in taking my C2 shift or splitting it with me. I don’t want to do four in a row. >.<;

After lunch, we went across the parking lot to Super Saver’s to do the grocery shopping then we went home. By then the kids were at the house so I didn’t stay very long. I came back to the apartment to put the food away and to keep studying. Eventually, I went to sleep.

One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned… Ox got me an iHome for the apartment. Or rather, he found one and brought it home to see if it still worked. It does. I’ve been using it to play thunderstorm sounds while I sleep or the radio while I’m gone so the kittens have something to listen to other than silence. I like it. You can even dim the display so it’s not blindly bright the whole night.

So yeah, Friday was a good day. A connective day even if it was slow and rough to get started.

Today has been decent but also a little rough.

I woke up fairly early and was able to start in on my to-do list. I typed up recipes. I edited the to-do sheets I’ve been using. I really like them. I’m glad I’ve put them back into my routine. One thing I added was a gratitude line.

It’s something I got the idea for in class on Tuesday. We had to do an evaluation of our strengths and weaknesses. Areas I am weak in include hope, gratitude, and perseverance. Ouch… but at the same time… not wrong. …

With my grief, sometimes things do feel hopeless and pointless and sometimes I don’t have much will to persevere. What’s the point in persevering when everything is pointless? And what is there to be hopeful or grateful about when everyone is going to die?

Yeah… some pretty fucked up mentalities right there…

So I’m working on that. From now on, each day I have to write one thing I am grateful for. One thing that I can think about or look at throughout the day to remind me that there are things that I appreciate about my life. Today’s gratitude was for Ox and his love.

Around 7:20 I pulled myself away from my to-do to shower. The kittens has a vet visit at 8 that I needed to be ready for. They were supposed to get their first round of vaccinations today. Lil’ Ox was up bright and early to go with Ox and me. She’s totally enchanted with how tiny the kittens are.

We found out Dagger is actually a boy.

We also found out Saber has lost weight. I explained how for a little bit it didn’t seem like she was eating well so we switched her back to wet food only. The vet said there were sores in her mouth and that she was concerned about feline leukemia and feline aids. She said the test wouldn’t take very long if I was ok with them drawing a blood sample from Saber.

I said ok. They took her from the room and I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited…

Dagger, Lil’ Ox, and Ox were in the room with me but all I could think about was what if the tests came back positive? What if the kindest choice would be to stop Saber’s suffering now? What about Dagger being alone? What about me and my abandonment issues and all of the fear I feel about forming attachments because living things die?

It sucked. Hardcore. It was not how the morning was supposed to go. They were both supposed to be healthy kittens getting their first shots. I wasn’t supposed to be facing the possibility of one of them being terminally ill and losing her before I even really got to establish a bond with her; before she even really had a chance to live.

The test came back negative but they weren’t able to get much blood for the test since Saber is still so small. We’re switching her to a different type of wet food; one higher in calories to try to help her gain weight. It’s a softer wet food to boot. I’ve already noticed her eating even more than she was before, which was an improvement to what she was doing after the first vet visit. I’m also going to be adding kitten formula to her food at the vet’s recommendation.

She’s nearly half a pound behind Dagger in weight. That doesn’t seem like much until you hold both of them in your hands and you feel how fragile and weak she seems in comparison to Dagger. The vet said there’s nothing we can do about the sores in her mouth other than feeding her soft food, which we’re doing. Hopefully, they’re in the process of healing. The vet said it could have been from their mother sort of disowning them and switching to solid food too soon.

At the moment all I can do is keep an eye on her and take her back if I feel like things aren’t getting better. She seems to be doing ok. Still super cuddly. Still purrs and snuggles up with me and Dagger for nap time. Just sort of a shitty start to the morning.

Once we were done with the vet I took the kittens to the house so Papa Ox could spend some time with them. After a little bit, I took them back to the apartment. I plucked away at chores a bit more before going back to the house for breakfast.

I tried baking a keto blueberry cheesecake recipe I found, but it didn’t go well. That was pretty disappointing. Oh well. You win some you lose some. I cross-stitched for a couple of episodes of Black Clover. I came back to the apartment and napped. I got up and studied for my test tomorrow. I ran to the gas station and got a few Bangs since I’m out. Swung by the house to see Ox one last time tonight and to get my sheet from the dryer because oh yeah, I woke up to cat yak in bed this morning. Very not cool…

It was Ornery Ox’s birthday today along with at least two other family members that I know of. They all went to do birthday stuff. I don’t feel bad about not going. I enjoyed my silent time napping and studying. I cooked chicken fajitas in my Ninja. They turned out alright. Not amazing so I most likely will try a different recipe next time, but I’ll be able to get through this week’s lunches without suffering too much.

There’s one more recipe I want to make for the coming week, but I’m most likely going to save it for tomorrow. It’s already getting pretty late and I’m tired again.

Tomorrow should be an alright day. I’m looking forward to breakfast and a cup of coffee and relaxing before taking my test and starting on the next chapter. I’m finding a routine and I think I like it.

Daily Post 179: Long But Not So Bad

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I’m doing a bit better than yesterday. I think a majority of that has to do with Ox coming over and cuddling with me for a while.

Work was rough. I forgot my energy drink this morning. Much lame. Change over was crazy since we ended up having to do blood cultures on two people. I survived. I transferred acid, so that’s done. I got some Star Learning stuff done, too. I got to talk to my FA about a few things, so there’s clarity on some topics.

I made it through the day with only 4 cigarettes. Not as good as I would have liked. Not as bad as I thought I would do.

Adventure’s League didn’t happen tonight. I haven’t had a chance to make my character sheet. I didn’t have it in me to be around people after work today. I had to explain to my patients how I made a 92 on my test. I had to stand there and smile and listen to them congratulate me and tell me how my mom would be proud.

Irrational Right Brain: I already drank last night because I hurt so much over the fact that my mom is dead. Can you not bring up the fact that she’s dead while I’m here, at work, trying to emotionally hold my shit together? No? Oh… Well… Totally going to go cry in the bathroom on my break now. Thanks.

It wasn’t a bad day. It was just… a day. Long. Busy. Drainging both physically and emotionally. It was harder than it should have been because of who I was working with. Blarg. She even left before all of the stuff was done at the clinic. That always sucks.

Irrational Right Brain: Trust me… I get that you’re the nurse and that you have a degree that I don’t and that you’re in a different tax bracket, but we’re a team. I want to go home, too. At last empty the bleach buckets or something… You see that I’m still working. I helped you all day. I was here at the clinic setting stuff up before you even walked through the door. I picked up your slack all day. How do you think it’s ok to dip out at the end? Why am I the one left alone at the end of the day to finish everything by myself? Because it’s PCT work? It’s “beneath your pay grade” work? Arg. >.<

Anyway, getting off the bitch train because I really don’t feel like being on it… Things got better once I was able to get a hug from Ox. We cuddled for a while with the kittens. We talked a bit. I started my dinner cooking. We did our Darebee workout. We talked a bit more. Eventually, he went back to the house and I stayed here at the apartment to eat and study and do school stuff.

I’m content with the progress I made tonight. I have a lot to tackle over the weekend, but I think I’ll be ok. I’m completely done with the assignments for my LPNS 1010 class, so there’s nothing in that area looming over me. That’s a nice feeling.

I’m glad that I’m writing tonight. I’m glad I don’t feel like drinking again. I’m glad I work with my FA tomorrow and that even if the day sucks at least she’ll be the one with me. It makes it seem less sucky. I’ll be with a really strong worker and that makes everything seem a little bit easier.

Not much else to talk about at the moment and one of the kittens is yelling at me so I guess I should go for now. It’s almost 9 pm anyway. Bed time for me.

Daily Post 176: Survived the Day

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It’s later than I would like, mostly because I’ve been messing around on my phone. I’ll get to that, though.

Today started sort of rough. I woke up in the middle of a REM cycle. Never fun. I was dreaming this morning. I was dreaming about my cousin who I haven’t seen since mom died. In the dream, my uncle was being mean to her. We were at my grandfather’s house. He had already died and we, the family, were there to figure out what to do with all of his things. I remember looking at a knife collection but my uncle was getting upset because he didn’t want us messing with any of the objects in the house.

Eventually, I got tired of my uncle’s attitude and I confronted him.

That’s when I woke up to my alarm for work.

It’s an odd dream. I’ve never had a bad relationship with my uncle. My grandfather never had a knife collection. I haven’t had much time to reflect on it.

Since I was in the middle of dreaming, I woke up tired and was never really able to shake that feeling. I made it through my day at Cap City. I smoked more than I have since I went to the ER. Much lame. Tomorrow will be better in that regard.

I was able to leave work 30 minutes earlier than I thought I would. Woo. I went to the home improvement store to get another bracket for my window shelf. Ox mentioned that it was sagging a touch in the middle so it seemed like a good idea to pick one up. I had to drive past the store to go home anyway. Might as well stop while I’m out. I ran in and spent a bit of time gathering up supplies that I wanted for my “coat rack” pot/pan hanger then headed to the apartment.

Ox was here waiting for me. He put up the third bracket for the shelf while I paid bills and researched a few things. I got $500 out of my $800 discount for health insurance. It would be cool if I could get the other $300. That’s been part of tonight being a late-ish night… I was looking into all of the options I have for that.

Ox and I did our Darebee challenge. Go, team! We already discussed tomorrow’s challenge. Since it’s Ox’s birthday, he gets the kids. He said we can still do the challenge but it will have to be later in the evening after the kids have gone back to their mom. I’m ok with that. I’m grateful he’s willing to do it at all.

Ox and I spent a bunch of time in the bedroom with the kittens, too. While we were there he quizzed me with my flashcards. By then it was around 7 pm.

I’ve been looking at the App Store for a good yoga app. I think I found one I’m going to try. While I was poking around, I found a rainstorm app that I’m going to try out tonight, too.

I didn’t cook the stir fry like I wanted to. I was pretty dead after work. I heated up leftovers not too long ago. I’ve been trying to catch up on my water intake, too.

Tomorrow I work at my clinic. Finally. I haven’t been there since Monday. The schedule for the last two weeks of September came out, but there are already several changes that are going to be made to it so… yeah… I doubt what I have is going to be what I actually end up working. It’s frustrating. I wish I had a consistent schedule. : /

But, yeah… not a whole lot to write about since not a whole lot happened. Got to spend some alone time with Ox which is always nice. Got some stuff taken care of. Sort of not looking forward to work but that’s because I’m still tired from this morning.

I guess I should go for now so I can get to sleep.

Daily Post 175: Last Day Off

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Another good day and another quick writing since it’s already 9 am. I have work tomorrow at Cap City. I’m ok with that. I can make it through tomorrow. I’m not dreading it like I would have been last week. Time away from everything most likely has a lot to do with that.

Today has gone fairly well. I woke up at 4 am to spend a few minutes with Ox before he went to work. There was an issue with my phone this morning. For some reason, it wouldn’t receive calls. It got itself figured out, though. Not sure how. I’m inclined to think there was an issue with the network.

Anywho, after hugging Ox goodbye I went back to sleep for another four hours. It was pretty amazing. When I woke up I began tackling things on my to-do list since I had taken the time to make one the night before.

I had a lot of social tasks on there. Replying to Facebook messages. Cleaning up Facebook in general and leaving groups I’m no longer a part of or active in. Going through my text messages and making sure there weren’t things there that I forgot to reply to. Letting people know I’m still alive. That sort of thing.

It took a while but I got through all of it. I’m going to request time off from work to try to make it to my friend’s baby shower. Her parents offered to pay for my plane ticket. It’s going to be the only time in a while that I’ll get to see pretty much all of her family at one time. I had originally thought to not go until she mentioned that fact. Her aunt, her grandmother… pretty much all of her family who still lives in South Carolina; they’re going to be there. I want to be able to see them.

So I’m going to ask if I can have time off from work to go. The worst they’ll say is no and then I can go back to my original idea of visiting during spring vacation or something.

After the hour or so it took to get caught up in that area of my life I began working through the 5th chapter of my Structure and Function of the Human Body course. I got through everything I wanted to do. Woo.

I went to a kickboxing class today. That was pretty fun. It wasn’t crazy intense but with being out of the game for so long it was nice to do more of a warm-up routine rather than an “ohgodimdying” routine. I could still walk afterward which was nice because I went to a home improvement store and bought a shelf to go under the window in my kitchen.

I like it. It frees up space on my counter so when I get time this weekend, most likely Sunday, I have a spot to put the Ninja. Can. Not. Wait. /happy dance

Ox came over and helped me put the shelf up. He as spent time with the fur babies. Saber has been super mouthly the last few days. Most of her food doesn’t get eaten. She doesn’t play as much as Dagger either. I’ve been worried about her. I think maybe her teeth aren’t as developed as Daggers and so eating the mix of wet/dry food that I’ve been doing might be harder for her than I realized.

Ox had me try feeding her just wet food and she seemed to do really well with that. I did it again not too long ago and again had really good results so we’ll keep an eye on her.

Once we were able to pull ourselves away from the cuteness, Ox and I got to work crushing our Darebee challenge for the day. Still no team name, but that’s alright. When we were done with our work out, Ox went back home so I could finish making flashcards for chapter 5. When I finally got done with that I packed up my laundry and the chicken I had marinating in the fridge and went to the house to cook dinner.

That turned out well. Ox liked this marinate more than the last one, so that’s another recipe to add to the list of things we can do for variety. He helped me go through chapter 4’s flashcards while I was there. That took most of the evening. I need to go through them on my own so I can hone in the on the ones giving me issues. I also got my laundry started so I can have clean compression socks for work tomorrow.

Instead of cross stitching after dinner, there was sexy time. With how crazy things have been and having the kids both weekends recently there hasn’t been a lot of sexual intimacy. I haven’t been struggling as much with that, maybe because school has me constantly burying my nose in a book. Even still, it was extremely connective to spend time together like that rather than each of us doing our own thing.

I ended up confessing that the 91 I made on my first test really bothers me. Bothers me on a level that I don’t think it should. He said he was proud of me. That even if I didn’t score all that awesome that he would still be proud of me because of the volume of information I’m having to absorb and the amount of effort I’m putting into trying to do well. /warm fuzzy feelings

It makes me feel better about the grade.

Currently, I’m back at the apartment wrapping things up for the day. My lunch is already packed. My protein shake is made. The kittens are fed. My to-do list is made. Once I post this writing I’ll be able to pack up my bookbag, brush my teeth and take my contacts out.

I’m ready for tomorrow. And I’m ready to mark today as done.

Daily Post 174: Small Steps

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I’m going to try to make this a quick writing since it’s already almost 11 pm. I don’t have work tomorrow, but I am trying to stay on a decent sleep schedule, so staying up much later wouldn’t be a good idea.

I’ve been doing pretty alright this week. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’ve only worked Monday so far. Tuesday was school. Today was a day off. Tomorrow will be a day off as well.

So much time off… it’s almost like I’m unemployed. Only halfway joking… After spending so long working so much my brain can’t wrap around this whole “not being at work” thing. I’m completely soaking it all in, though.

I got a 91 on my first exam. Not super awesome, but not shabby either. I’m waiting to hear back as to what questions I missed. I got a fair amount of studying done this morning. That was a good feeling along with doing chores and feeling like my life is starting to get mildly under control again.

Ox and I met in town for lunch. We went to Costco to put gas in both cars. From there we went to Office Max so I could get printer ink and a hole puncher. I’ve been doing better about making to-do lists. I even went as far as to make my own custom to-do list sheets in Google’s Sheets app.

I like them. There’s color. I have my daily, repeating tasks on there so I don’t have to write them by hand over and over and over. It makes a part of my brain happy. Tonight I finished working on the weekly sheets and monthly sheets. Those are most likely going to need a bit more tweeking, but it’s a good start.

After Office Max we headed back to Costco since most of the things we wanted to get were meats or frozen things. Ox got me a Ninja Foodi while we were there. : x

It’s expensive. At least, to me it’s expensive. I totally didn’t need to have it. I was doing just fine cooking meals without it. But holy fuck does it open up so many more things for me to do. I could cook my very own chicken, without having to get a rotisserie. I can try all of those instant pot recipes I keep seeing. I cannot wait for it to be next week so I can meal plan again.

I feel irresponsible and yet adult-ish at the same time. That was money we could have spent on debt. But I have a toy that can help make my life easier. It’s confusing. I like it. I want to use it. I want to make awesome meals for everyone with it. Awesome healthy meals in line with everyone’s goals.

Speaking of… I tried a new recipe tonight. I found it while I was looking for keto recipes during one of my breaks Tuesday. It seemed promising and it was. Super simple and well liked by everyone. I’ll definitely be making it again.

Other than that… I had to get stabbed three different times today. School is requiring that I get boosters for my vaccinations. Lame. The RN was super nice, though. I’m going to go through my papers and find the immunization forms that I have so those can be added into my medical file since none of them are there for some reason. Glad I have those from mom. Maybe they’ll prevent me from having to get more needles jabbed into my arms.

Ox and I have been doing really well with the Darebee exercises. That was one of the things I wanted to try to do as a goal for my 30-day Push thing. The only downside with that… Ox is his own person and if he wasn’t on board with doing this with me, then I’m sort of set up for failure at the get-go. You can’t control anyone other than yourself, so making a goal that depends or is co-dependant on someone else isn’t a smart move.

He and I talked about it and so far, like I said, we’re doing well. I haven’t been making it to the gym like I was hoping I would. I’ve been really productive and I don’t feel bad about how I’ve spent my time. Maybe I need to reevaluate some of the goals so they’re more realistic. I’m happy that the Darebee goal is going well. That’s still taking steps in the forward direction. It’s 10 minutes, roughly, each day that we’re both doing something together. We don’t have a team name yet. Hopefully we come up with something badass. We also have our “theme song”. At least, that’s what it feels like. We’ve used the same song for the past three workouts. It works though. Good pace, good rhythm. You can’t argue good.

I think I’m going to go for now. It’s getting later and later as I sit and type this. General conclusion, it was a good day. Dinner was awesome. I got to cross stitch afterwards. I started watching Black Clover with Ox. I found the good pair of sunglasses that were missing for forever. I have a new kitchen gadget of amazingness.

Yeah… it was a good day.

Letters to Mom 026: Graduation Day

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Today has been a day full of events, mom.

I graduated from my leadership class today. One day after the three year five month mark of your death. I know the halfway mark is coming up. It’s eating at me, building inside me. I know I’m letting it but I don’t know how to stop it. I don’t know how to not think about it or be aware of it.

I know on the outside graduating from this class might not seem like much of an accomplishment, but it signifies the end of an obligation I agreed to. I finished something. I stuck it out to the end. That hurts. Completion hurts. People were/are happy for me. My FA gave me a hand made gift with my personal credo on it. I got an amazing sweater. There was a plaque created with all sorts of words used to describe me from my fellow classmates.

I found out that I’m going to be writing an article about my journey with the company so far; an article which will be published in the Tech Talk newsletter which gets sent to EVERY PCT in the company. A few thousand people are going to be reading about me in my middle of nowhere clinic.

I hurt right now, mom. I miss you. I talked about you in my “About Me” presentation that I had to do for this final class. I’ve been having anxiety over it for months, since the first class where we found out about this ending presentation. I knew I had to talk about you. Your death has been such a catalyst for everything in my life since that event. I couldn’t NOT talk about you.

I told my class at the beginning of my presentation that life is often much like a heartbeat. There are ups and then there are downs and that my presentation was going to have a really big down, but that it would get positive again and that I needed them to stay with me through the hard section because in the end, it did get better.

I told them about my most senior hobby, cross-stitching, and how you and mama taught me how to do it and that realistically I have been stabbing things for 20+ years. I told them about Jason and Jon and the relationship I have with them. I told them about you. About how you were an RN. About how you got sick and didn’t get better and how I felt so lost after your death. I told them about how I started seeing a therapist because I knew I wasn’t equipped to handle everything that was going on in my life.

I talked about how I eventually found what I wanted my purpose to be; helping others and how DaVita was the first company to give me that chance. I talked about how in a mere two and a half years I’ve grown from absolutely no experience to being a PCT2 expert cannulator, the VAM for my clinic, a DSS graduate, PCT Advisory Committee member, and a future preceptor who is attending nursing school with a tentative goal of becoming a clinical coordinator.

I’ve come a really long way, mom. I know you’re proud of me. Thank you, for everything. For loving me. For listening to me. For supporting me. For believing in me.

I’m trying to believe in myself. I’m trying to be patient with myself. Understanding. Empathetic.

I’m allowed to feel sad when I accomplish things. I’m allowed to let sadness have its time; its moment. It’s allowed to be part of the journey and process.

I’ll try to be better tomorrow, but I don’t think I’ll really start feeling better until the weekend. Tomorrow I work. I have to be around people. This weekend I don’t have to. I can be alone and sad and work through all of these emotions that I haven’t really been able to because I keep myself too busy with Life.

I love you, mom. I just wanted you to know that, and to know that I did another thing. I took another step forward and I’m glad I did even though right now it hurts. I’ll talk to you again soon. Maybe one of these days I’ll be able to do it without tears.