Daily Post 076: Re-Finding My Routines


I’m almost at the end of my second week at my new home clinic.

That means I’ve had almost two weeks to find my routines again. I can’t say that I’m back to them 100%, but I’m getting there.

I wake up in the mornings at 3 am on the days I work. That’s thirty minutes to an hour later than what I had to do in Orlando. An hour may not sound like a lot, but trust me, there’s a huge difference between 2 am and 3 am.

Depending on how the night went and how cold it is in the morning I may shower, or not. When it’s below freezing outside I’m more concerned about being warm rather than not having bed head. I’ve been able to enjoy cups of coffee again with an egg sandwich which I cook fresh instead of having to have eggs premade because that’s the only way I’ll get breakfast if I do.

I pack my lunch box with my premade lunch containers. I add a fruit or protein bar. I add a pudding, too, but I don’t always get around to eating it. I’m not heartbroken over that fact. It’s there if I want it and for whatever reason, that’s comforting.

By the time all those things are done, it’s about time for me to head to work so I’ll go back into the bedroom and let Ox know that I’m about to leave. I’ll change out of my sleep clothes into my scrubs. I have my own locker at work so I’ve started leaving my work shoes and googles there, which means I slip into my sandals, allowing myself to stay in “gearing up” mode during my thirty-minute drive to work.

Ox and I will have a cigarette together on the porch in the darkness of predawn. Lately, I’ve been saving my coffee for that shared moment together; another added layer of warmth to my morning along with our quiet conversations and hugs goodbye. And I realize there’s not much of a “lately” since I’ve only had two weeks to figure out my mornings, and only six of those days have been ones where I’ve actually worked…

Ahhhh data… how I wish I had more of you…

I’ve gotten comfortable with the drive to Beatrice. I’m sure I’ll get iffy with it again once winter comes back and I have to really start driving in the snow and ice, but for now, with the seasons changing, the worst I’ve had to worry about was one morning when it rained. Being from Florida, that didn’t bother all that much. It just sucked that the lines on the road were a little harder to see.

I’ve been getting to work 15 minutes early. I’ve opened the water room on my own a few times so I’m comfortable with adding that to my routine. I think after the next two days of training I’ll be confident in my ability to open the clinic on my own.

Yesterday I was able to talk to my new FA about some of the changes I would like to make. She was on board with them, which is super fantastic since all of the changes would make my life as a tech easier. I also got confirmation that my certification does entitle me to a raise and that I will be retro-paid for it. Everyone still thinks I’m doing well and that I’m a good fit for the clinic. I’ve meshed well with several of the patients. I had one of the say that they’ll keep me which made me smile.

Overall, my work days are settling into a routine that leaves me with enough energy to do things when I get home, or at least with the time I need to recharge for the next day. It’s a nice change from what I’ve been used to for the past year.

My “off” days don’t have as much of a routine, but I’m trying to find one for them.

Today was my first off day where I put real effort into figuring something out. I didn’t stay home all day. I didn’t sleep all day, though I did go back to sleep after Ox left for work.

I got up around 10:30. I made breakfast and had a cup of coffee. I sat on the porch and had another cigarette as I enjoyed the cool breeze and sunlight and quietness. I showered, hoping that would spark me into actually do stuff. I’ve noticed the days where I don’t shower in the morning seem to be harder.

I made a shopping list since I needed things for my lunches at work and for the enchiladas I was supposed to make for dinner.

There was a fitness place I wanted to check out so I called and made sure it was ok to come in for a free workout. I also packed the car with more things that needed to be donated.

It was a pretty light to do list, but I was ok with that. I’ve been having anxiety over getting back into the routine of working out. I know I’m not where I was at this time last year. That’s a hard pill to swallow and it’s easier to not acknowledge that fact rather than actually doing something about it. That doesn’t get me back to where I was, though.

I miss the dojo. I miss punching and kicking things. I wanted to try out 9 Round to see if it could help me find what I feel I’m missing.

It was a decent workout. Definitely the hardest 30 minutes I’ve done in a while, but it’s not really what I’m looking for. I don’t think it would be worth the money they want. I wouldn’t be happy or fulfilled with it. Maybe if it were cheaper… but even then, I would feel like there’s something lacking… It’s only part of what I want.

I’m glad I went. I’m glad I pushed as hard as I did. I coughed for most of the day afterward because I haven’t had to breathe that deep or hard in a while. My body is sore. I’m tired and I feel like I’ll sleep well tonight. I also know that I need to drink more water before going to sleep because I’m running warm still. Blarg…

It’s a good step forward, even if it’s not the route I’ll most likely end up going with.

There are a few other places I want to check out, but I think the dojo in Omaha is going to be the one where I find what I’m looking for.

After my workout, I drove to the Goodwill to donate the stuff in my car. I still had to use my GPS to get there, but after seeing the route on my phone I knew where to go because I recognized the streets. I’m getting better at navigating and I know eventually I’ll be able to do it without double checking myself with my phone.

After Goodwill, I went to the grocery store for the foodstuffs I needed. I treated myself to some cans of Bang, the energy drink one of my senseis turned me on to. I had to use my credit card for the groceries, which that payment is up to $300 now, but I’m ok with that.

I’ve survived March. I’ve paid everything that needed to be paid. I’m doing ok, and this next paycheck is where I start recovering, assuming nothing else hits the fan. I should be getting my tax return and the check from Full Sail soon. I should be reimbursed for my certification test, the registry fee, and retro-paid for my certification. I also should get my raise for my annual review at some point.

All of those things will help once they actually happen and I should be ok until they did actually happen since nothing ever happens in a reasonable time frame… I mean, NOW is a reasonable time frame, right?

After the grocery shopping, I headed home. I stopped by the Dollar General near home since I wasn’t able to find a pumas stone at the grocery store. I most likely overlooked it or something, but it was a new store and I was proud of myself for getting everything else on my list without asking for help so I didn’t mind stopping at a second store that was on the way home to see if I could find what I wanted.

While I was at the Dollar General I got shampoo and conditioner specifically for dyed hair since the stuff I’ve been using eats through the purple dye in my hair. I’m not one to be girly or anything, but I’m used to the dye lasting for a month at least, so when I’m two weeks in and it’s already faded looking I’m not really an ecstatic camper.

Once I checked out, I hopped across the street to the gas station and got gas for the car so I wouldn’t have to worry about that in the morning or after work. I’ve been getting pretty awesome gas mileage even though I’m having to drive a bit further for work. I have literally no stoplights on my way to the clinic. It’s a smooth thirty-ish minute drive of music and sometimes an annoying driver who leaves their brights on because they’re a dick, not that I have strong feelings about that or anything…

When I got home I cleaned up the kitchen and put the groceries away. I bought premade salads. I didn’t think I would have it in me to made a whole much of stuff from scratch but I still wanted to eat well. It was a bit on the expensive side, I mean, $10 for two salads is pretty up there when you can make six for that much if you just buy everything yourself, but if it helps me keep on keeping on then for this week I’m ok with it and we’ll see how next week goes.

I listened to music for most of the day which I also think helps. I’ve found a lot of new songs that I like. I made a bit more progress in organizing and cleaning the kitchen and I was able to make the enchilada dinner for everyone.

It turned out a spicer than everyone was expecting. I wasn’t a fan of the tortilla shells either, but there’s a lot of the meat filling left over, which I was a fan of, so I can have little nacho lunches.

I resisted the urge to get lunch while I was in town, waiting until I was home to make a ham sandwich. Go me. Not sure why that matters, but it does.

Overall it was a pretty low key day, but I think I’m guiding myself back to the path I want to be on. Doing an actual workout took a lot of… something… It didn’t leave me beat, but on a mental and emotional level it took more than staying home would have and I feel I need to let myself acknowledge that. I gave a lot today. I need to not let that go.

I work tomorrow and Saturday. Saturday is a short day though, so I should be done before 1 pm. Ox has said we can do more in the addition this weekend and it’s something I’m looking forward to if the weather isn’t super crummy.

I’m looking forward to going to work tomorrow and taking measurements of the shelving in different spots so I can figure out what size containers we can use to make things more organized and flow better.

There’s a lot of things I’m looking forward to. It’s a good feeling.

On that note, I was supposed to have my therapy conversation today, but that got rain checked. My therapist wasn’t feeling well, so we’re going to try to find a time next week to talk. I’m worried about her because there’s more to the story then I feel I’m allowed to say here. It’s not my story.

I also got a message from my blacksmith this morning. That leaves me feeling sort of defeated. He says I’ve grown distant…

All of the months I was in Orlando where we didn’t talk and things were fine. With him working double shifts and taking care of his granddaughter and being busy… All of the times he didn’t reply to my messages and things were fine.

I move out of state and we go two weeks and suddenly I’m the one who’s distant. It feels unfair. What am I supposed to do differently? In my head, nothing changed. But I guess it did and I don’t know where to go with that.

I had to be understanding and secure and breathe through the feelings of loneliness and accept what I had in regards to our relationship because of the limitations it had. But when the situation is reversed I’m distant and in some way not giving enough.

It… sucks, I guess. If it was supposed to be good enough for me then why isn’t it good enough the other way around?

I talk with Big Bad more, but that’s about the same as it was. Our text messages never really touch on the deeper topics that I need to feel truly connected. It feels like small talk most of the time which is… alienating I guess. There are a lot of people like that in my life right now.

Why is it I always save writing about the deep, dark stuff that I need to meditate on until the end of my day where I need to be unwinding and going to sleep? >.<

Damn you, Brain. Damn you.

I’ll figure it all out eventually. I know I will. Tomorrow starts the two weeks of mom’s hospital stay though, so I’m not all that worried about hand-holding others through their hard times. I’m financially survived my move. Now I need to emotionally survive reliving my worst fear.

I’ll be ok. I know I will be. That doesn’t mean it will be pretty or that it won’t suck.


Daily Post 068: Moving On


I’m back home. Or rather, I’m back at my apartment.

My evening was decent. Big Bad and I talked for a while at the kitchen table before going back to the bedroom to cuddle and sleep. I slept deeply up to a certain point then tossed and turned for a while. My back was bothering for no apparent reason which made it hard to fall back asleep. I eventually did, so I feel fairly rested, more so then I have since I’ve gotten back from my trip. It’s my second day off in a row, another day with few obligations and so I’m hoping for the trend to continue. The trend of recovering and feeling more myself energy wise. More able to do things and less like avoiding people.

Things between Big Bad and I seem fine. He was interested in hearing about my trip. He still seems supportive of my decision to move, and that support feels genuine. I think there are feelings on both of our parts of sadness that our time is finite. Realistically, if I leave when I’m hoping to, we may only see each other another three or four times. One of those times will be the Warrior Dash that neither of us has really prepared for. I know I will do fine on the obstacles but I haven’t run much at all this past year so I feel like most of the course is going to be walked again.

I’m not really sure how I feel about that.

It’s sobering to realize how much I haven’t progressed the way I wanted to physically. Ever since April I’ve done nothing but cut back my time for training. Ever since getting a job. Though I still eat fairly clean I can see a difference there, too. It’s harder to drink water because I’m less active, and I don’t think it has solely do with the fact that it’s winter, though I’m sure that’s not helping things.

I don’t think I’m disappointed in myself. I do think work kept me from doing as much as I wanted to in regards to working out. I think I made smart choices in most situations. At the same time, it would have been nice to progress more than I did. It’s more of a wistful longing rather than shame or disappointment. “It’s not bad, but it would have been nice…” sort of a feeling.

I’m worried that the Warrior Dash won’t be the uplifting event that it has been for me the past two years. I’m worried it’s going to be clouded by the fact that I’m leaving. I’m worried it will be cold and windy that day. I worried it won’t be fun. I’m worried that potentially my last time with Big Bad won’t be a warm, positive memory.

After having our evening together though I think even if it ends up being an icky day that we’ll be ok. We can still have good times together even though they’re numbered. It doesn’t change our friendship or the connection we have. He’s still one of my closest friends and it’s reassuring that even with the news of me leaving, we’re still able to be ourselves.

I haven’t spoken with my blacksmith much. He knows the interview went well, but since I still don’t have official news yet it’s hard to reach out to people. I don’t have answers to their questions.

After speaking with my boss Wednesday we agreed to wait until noon Friday. If the FA in Nebraska still has not contacted either of us by then, then I will call and see if she received my email. I know everyone gets busy and at the moment I may not be their utmost priority, but it’s hard to plan for things when I don’t know, officially, what is going on or in the works.

There’s still the chance for this to fall through, or for the time frame to be drastically different than what I’m expecting. Waiting a month seems doable. Two months would be harder. Three would downright suck. So, hopefully, after my phone call today I will have a better idea of what to plan for.

Since the move in a pending event and because I haven’t been using them the way I intended, I will be canceling my gym memberships today. Both the 24 Hour Fitness and the Title Club Boxing. That would give me roughly $100 of my paycheck. My heart aches from the thought of their cancelation. In a way, I feel like it’s a defeat.

For so long I said I wouldn’t give up the dojo or my training, and yet that’s the first thing that got sacrificed. Actually… my evenings with Big Bad were the first thing to suffer. Instead of my two nights a week it changed to only one. Then came the dojo, then Title Club, then my personal training since I didn’t have a way to pay for it anymore.

It’s frustrating, constantly having to give things up because of outside sources rather than because I want to. Work and shitty roommates not paying rent…

I woke up this morning, a Thursday, a day I had personal training for so long, and decided that instead of fighting and feeling bad for not being able to achieve what I want, I will cancel my memberships and continue to rest and focus my energy elsewhere.

I still need to become certified for work. I need to figure out logistics for the apartment and moving. I need to research cost and potential storage. I need to also ensure I don’t burn out with work, which means downtime away from people and a break from higher level thinking and planning.

Stepping back and being a bit reclusive for the next little bit might make things easier. It’s still winter. It’s still a time for reflection, something I really haven’t done much of, at least not in writing.

I’m still tethered to my roommates at the moment. I got paid this morning. Without their additional contributions rent still won’t be able to be paid. I’ve sent messages to both of them, letting them know the situation. Even once it’s paid I won’t have enough to pay my remaining bills until they finish making their full contribution.

It sucks knowing my bills are the ones in jeopardy. I’m the one having to hold my breath and hope that things work out. I’m the one still donating plasma to stay afloat.

Warren finished his leadership training yesterday. He’s applied for the second interview for the team lead position. I’m hoping that works out for him. It would mean a potential $2 increase.

In that regard, his side chick is interested in moving into the apartment if I leave. Essentially, I would be signed off the lease and she would take my spot. Warren has discussed the situation with her. Financially, this apartment is only slightly more expensive than the one she currently pays for on her own. She has agreed with Warren to continue paying that amount if she moves in, so he would only need to pay the difference. That means most of his extra income could go towards paying me back.

That would be amazing.

I’m not sure what Kyle intends to do, but he knows my leaving is a pending event. Once I know a specific date it will be easier for everyone to start moving forward. Side Chick would have to break her lease, which will be $1800. Between her, Warren, and myself, it shouldn’t be that terrible of an expense all things considered. It’s one of the reasons I plan to continue to donate plasma. Any extra money will help make this happen.

And writing about money makes old wounds ache because I’m still owed so much by so many people. If I had that back, if I hadn’t helped others, I would be better able to help myself right now. It’s fallen to the way of wishful thinking as well. It’s a golden, rose-colored imagining, one which has never held up with brought into the coldness of reality and facts.

Soon I will be able to make the phone call. Soon I should know a better, more solid time frame. Soon I’ll be able to start planning and letting people know logistics. Soon I’ll start being able to set goodbye outings and establishing closure.

Soon I’ll be able to move on.

Daily Post 056: Meditation Needed


Things have been ok. More ok than not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It didn’t work out that way, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blarg. I’ll figure it out.

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

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

Daily Post 054: Comfortable Sadness


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

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

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

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

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

But I’m sad now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right now I’m tired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Musing Moment 109: What I Am



That is Google’s definition of the word strong.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM strong.

It IS ok for me to accept this aspect of myself. It is ok to be stronger than others. It is also ok to be weaker than others.

Accepting my strength does not make me better or worse than anyone else. It does not make me unfeminine.  It does not make me arrogant or conceded.

Being strong is simply a part of what makes me, me.

My goal is not to be strong. Being strong is a byproduct of being true to myself and that’s ok.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong.




This is Google’s definition of the word fitness.

I fit this definition.

Because I fit this definition the next logical step is to accept the fact that I AM fit.

I get sick less often and I recover faster when I do. I am less tired and sore after physically demanding activities.

I am more fit than I was in my past. I am more fit than some people, less fit than others, but that does not mean I myself, in this moment, am not already fit.

This is another aspect of myself which is ok for me to acknowledge and accept. Recognizing this as a truth about myself does not make me egotistical or narcissistic.

I can let go of the nebulous goal I’ve had for years. I no longer want to “be” healthy. I AM healthy, and it’s ok for me to want to maintain and improve upon my level of fitness. Much like the term strength, wanting to improve something doesn’t mean I am not already that thing. I am fit and being fit is now a byproduct of being true to myself.

I am Jennifer Conley, daughter of Susan Conley, and I am fit. I am healthy; spiritually, emotionally, and physically.



Time for Some Goals



I have affirmed for myself that I am strong and fit, so now comes the part where I figure out what I want my foci to be and why I’m still dissatisfied with myself even though I consciously know I have drastically improved.

Firstly, I have determined there are things I do not want.

I do not want to be a certain size. I do not want to be a certain weight. I do not want to be “buff” or “one of the guys”.

I want to be myself and I want to be human.

Cool. Those seem easy enough to fulfill, right? Go me for setting the bar super high. : D

All joking aside, I have determined there are three things, in particular, I would like to focus on.

I want to improve my cardiac endurance, I want to be more agile, and I want to be more flexible.



Cardiac Endurance

I will complete the Spartan race in December.

This is now my immediate goal.

I want to prove to myself that I’m able to do it, regardless of if I run the whole course or not. I want to show myself that I’ve improved and that I can keep reaching higher and higher. All it takes is time and determination; dedication.

My reward for completing the Spartan course will be new compression gear. New shirts and shorts; my birthday gifts to myself.

I will begin running twice a week to improve my cardiac endurance.

My next goal will be running the Warrior Dash in February. I will run the whole course. My reward for the Warrior Dash will be new Vibrams and flipflops.

In April, April 4th specifically, I will go to my sensei and express my interest in being a fighter. This will give me two months to reflect on my journey and solidify my next courses of action.

This admission to my sensei will begin the next phase of whatever I decide my life to be.



Agility is the speed and strength at which a motion can be performed.

Being agile will help make me a better fighter and give me an edge against bigger, more muscle-bound opponents. I can improve my agility by incorporating plyometrics into my workouts. I can quantifiably measure my agility by tracking how high I can jump, how quickly I am able to complete sets along with how many repetitions I complete during a set.

My current goal for measuring my agility is jumping the red box at the gym. I am already at blue, a step above both gray and green.

My reward for jumping the red box will be new boxing gloves.



While being agile is more connected to speed, flexibility is more concerned with the range of motion one can attain during an action.

This is something I feel I have largely neglected since mom’s death. I can feel how my hamstrings and hip flexors are tight, how sometimes it’s hard to keep my knees from bending while I stretch. My range of motion is not what it used to be and I can feel that difference within myself; that limitation.

I will incorporate yoga back into my routines. I will attend a yoga class once a week.

My goal for measuring my flexibility in my hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders is to hold a complete and properly executed “Standing Bow Pose” for 10 seconds.

At this moment I do not have a reward for this goal.



So, why so dissatisfied?



I’m not really unhappy with myself. I don’t look in the mirror and berate myself and say unnice adjectives inside of my head like I’m my own bully. But there is a level of “not quite there yet” within myself that I don’t like.

I don’t have the body I “want” to have and so I haven’t really accepted the improvements I’ve made even though I appreciate them and consciously recognize that they are there.

Like, dude, seriously, I have guns now. And not just nerf guns. Actual bicep definition and yes, it’s as sexy as it sounds.

So what gives? If I like the changes I see then why am I “not ok”?

After researching and looking up the definition to different terms like I was back in middle school or something, I think I’ve figured it out.

I want to be leaner than I currently am. I want to have a different body composition.

The good news?

Becoming leaner is something that is inevitable for me. Like strength and fitness, becoming lean is and will continue to be a byproduct of being true to myself. Nothing needs to be changed or added for me to reach this next “nebulous goal”.

I am leaner than I was six months ago. I am leaner than I was when mom died a year and a half ago. I am leaner than I was four years ago. The dissatisfaction I feel with my body is largely due to the pressers of society and my own mental image of what I “should” look like.

The best thing to do is to not become discouraged that I am not “there” yet. I need to be patient with myself. I need to keep in mind that rest days are important and that there is such a thing as pushing too hard. I need to stay the course and not get frustrated. I want to get “there”, but I want to get “there” in a healthy and safe way. Becoming leaner will come in time. It’s already drastically improved and will continue to do so all on its own.

I’m not sure if becoming leaner counts as a goal. I don’t think it does and I’m ok with that. This isn’t meant to be a goal, more a realization of why I feel dissatisfied with myself. That dissatisfaction is uncalled for on my part. I should remember how far I have come rather than focusing on what society thinks I should be.

I am doing well and this aspect of myself, my body composition, will continue to improve and change as I keep myself focused on my goals and commitments.

Daily Post 041: Not Much To Report


As the title says, there’s not much to report today, which is good because it’s already 9 pm.

I slept most of today. Normally I would feel like a slacker for that, but surprisingly I’m ok with it. All my meal prep was done. I did laundry so I have clean clothes for the remainder of the week. Nothing else really “needed” to be done, so instead, I caught up on resting.

I did go to spin class today. The Shefit bras are still living up to my expectations. I could tell my body was tired from kickboxing because I was putting more weight on the handlebars of the bike. I’m glad I stayed for the whole class, and I feel like I did well. I guess this is more of an awareness that I am only a human who does need time to recover.

I met a woman in the locker room who commented on my purple hair. It led to a really awesome conversation and left me feeling connected with the world. Hopefully, we see each other again at some point.

L created a “workout” calendar for me. Too bad I don’t know what my work schedule is so I can’t promise to actually adhere to that particular calendar. I already have an idea of what I want to do anyway, so I’m most likely an annoying client in some regards. I appreciated her taking the time to create something for me. It gives us a starting point that can always be modified as needed.

She’s going out of town for a few weeks which is another reason she wanted me to have the calendar. L created a couple of workouts she wants me to do while she’s away. I think I’m going to swap some of the excersies out for tire flipping and box jumping. Those are fun and things I am comfortable doing on my own.

Tomorrow is an early day. I’m not going to start off at the gym. I’m going to try to sleep more and go straight to work instead. Depending on how I feel afterward I might go to the gym to row, maybe run. Sitting in the sauna would be nice. I do think it will need to be a lighter day, especially if work is intense. Well, really, regardless of what work is like. I’ve done three intense days in a row and I have plans for kayaking Saturday and a body conditioning class with my brother on Sunday. I  need a break or  I won’t be able to survive the weekend.

My blacksmith and I have tentative plans to see each other tomorrow night. I hope it works out. We had to cancel our plans Wednesday night. I guess his work is being annoying.

I still don’t know my schedule for next week. That’s a bit frustrating. With luck they will let me know tomorrow otherwise I won’t know when to come in…

I still need to ask to have Saturday off. I know that will put me short a few hours but I would rather be short and go kayaking with Big Bad before starting my first official week out of training.

Other than that, I figured out the issue with the gym payment. Since Warren and I are on the same account they were billing him for both his membership and my membership. When I checked in before the spin class I added my card to the account so there shouldn’t be further issues. I also spent about an hour talking to a friend / former student. That’s the main reason for being a bit behind tonight, but I had that phone call scheduled for about a week, so really I did it to myself.

Anyway, since that’s all the excitement of today I’m going to finish my tea and shower so I can try to get about 5ish hours of sleep.

Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything was inconclusive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That counts.