Musing Moment 115: Making Work Work For Me

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I’m sort of beyond furious right now.

I had just spent the past like… three hours figuring out EVERYTHING in regards to my discontent with work. And then the internet fucked up and copied over what I wrote with something else and since I write in Grammarly and didn’t realize it had messed up my writing, when I closed the window it saved the incorrect writing and there’s no way for me to get back what I originally wrote.

So much rage. If I could break the Internet right now I would. Without remorse even because it deserves to die a horrible stabbity death.

INFJ righteous rage at its finest.

So this is going to be a much more condensed version of what I wrote before, with more curse words, because I’m not going to rewrite everything as it was and cursing makes me feel better.

Firstly… Fuck you, Universe.

Moving on. My original writing started with me talking about how I’ve been low energy since my race and identifying a multitude of factors which could have or currently are contributing to the prolonged lull.

First big event with a bunch of people
Dehydration
Eating carbs and having to get back into ketosis

I think I did a lot of help myself as best I could

Sleeping
Prepping everything beforehand so Sunday was a light day
Actually letting Sunday be a light day instead of doing a bunch of shit
Writing and whining to mom because it gave me stuff to think about

I’m going to take a moment here to say that I do appreciate the relationship I have with Ox. While sex is important to me, by writing I realized that there are a lot of aspects about our relationship that I value, and that no, sex isn’t everything and though we do have our own self-imposed difficulties, we have a lot of really positive things going for us.

Ok. Sappy emotional moment over. Moving on since I’m still rage-filled because fuck you, Internet.

I think the conversation I had with my FA on Monday is the biggest factor to my continued low energy. I was told after my vacation I would have to start covering shifts at Cap City so other techs could be more familiar with how our clinic is run, since Friday was a cluster fuck of disaster with both me and my FA going out of town at the same time.

Right Brain: Great. Just when I’ve found my dojo and am about to drop $130 for a monthly membership, you’re going to take it away from me. Thanks. I feel like everything I love is being taken away from me again. You do realize the last time I felt this way I moved halfway across the country, right?

bucket

To be fair, I’ve been thinking about new work for a bit. Upon thinking deeper on it I’ve realized there are a lot of downsides.

New boss
New team
New environment
New schedule which may or may not work with what I want
Most likely less pay when I already have issues with making less than what I was making at Full Sail

Not a lot of positives other than not having to work at Cap City. In reality, a new job would most likely fix none of the issues I’m trying to solve.

There’s also the facts of:

I don’t want to leave my clinic
The clinic would be fucked without me
I don’t want to leave my patients
I like my boss
The schedule could work as long as they’re willing to work with me
I secretly want my retention bonus even though, push come to shove, it’s not enough to make me stay

I want to sit down with my FA and talk to her about it because I don’t think essentially saying, “Your schedule’s about to change but I can’t tell you what it’s changing to because I don’t know. K. Thanks. Bye,” is very fair. It left me feeling like my entire personal life is about to get screwed over. I can’t plan or problem solve with information like that, but I also can’t really go to her yet and help come up with solutions when I don’t know what would or would not work for myself.

So even though I knew she was at the clinic when I got done with personal training today, I decided to come home instead because I needed to have a meeting with myself first to figure out my side of the equation.

That’s what all of the previous writing, which I no longer have, was. It was amazing. It was perfect. It was done. And then it got messed up so here I am, still rage filled that I’m repeating it.

Basically, I identified a few things.

Monday: Dojo days. I can get up to four hours at the dojo in the evenings. Not so if I have to close at Cap City because I wouldn’t get out until around 9. That puts me home at 10ish which would also mean I get no time with Ox. Essentially working late on Mondays sucks and has no compensation for what would be my personal loss. Boooo late Mondays. Early out Mondays are negotiable, though.

Tuesday: It’s ok to work at Cap City because even if I close I would be out around 4 or 5, which would still leave me able to get to SCA combat practice, which I’m not going to today because it’s a rainy and icky day. Working Tuesdays would fuck over personal training which rescheduling is “doable,” but would be harder the more inconsistent my schedule is because I’m essentially at the mercy of my trainer’s schedule at that point and he may or may not be able to work with what I’m able to do.

Wednesday: Normally an off day as far as personal training and the dojo go. At the moment these are gym days after work. If I worked Cap City I could do something either before or after, depending on the shift I’m scheduled for. If I work in Beatrice I could move my personal training to happen after work, assuming my trainer is available. Basically, Wednesdays have options.

Thursday: Another heavy dojo day with up to three hours worth of classes I could do. Another personal training day as well. Working Cap City wouldn’t interfere with the dojo, but it, again, makes personal training an issue that would have to be figured out. Not the best case scenario, but not the worst either.

Friday: An off day from personal training and the dojo. Set to be a gym day at the moment. Normally scheduled to work at Beatrice. Could potentially do Cap City without fucking shit up.

Saturday: Would be a Cap City day. Out by around 4 or 5 if I close. Earlier if I open. Could let me do the grocery shopping and any errands I might have since I’ll already be in town. I’ve been thinking about offering up my Saturdays anyway since it gets me out of the house. Could still hit the gym if I wanted / needed to.

Sunday: Always an off day from work. Would be left open for my bike rides while the weather is still nice, which those days are numbered since winter is a thing in Nebraska. Also would have to start investing into sacrificial chickens to ensure the gods are pleased so it doesn’t rain on the one day I can get out on my bike.

So there… everything in a condensed nutshell since my first writing was so unsatisfactory.

/wtb sacrificial chickens

I like the idea of having Mondays off completely. I could move personal training to Monday. I could have it as a buffer day to finish anything that didn’t get done Saturday evening / Sunday.

Preferably I could keep Thursdays off as well. That would let personal training on those days stay the same along with ensuring I have both my dojo days.

Everything else is sort of whatever. I “like” having set days in Beatrice, but as long as I can have my two dojo days and my two personal training sessions, that I’ve already paid for, then I think I’m fine. Combat isn’t an issue and would let Ox and I still have our mini date night after practice where we get dinner before going home.

If I can’t have Thursday as an off day, then I want at least one day set for Beatrice where I can switch my personal training to the evening after work.

I think that’s fair. I think that gives everyone options.

I’m done. I’m going to go smoke now because I’m still angry. Grr.

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Musing Moment 114: Inching Closer

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I don’t do well on the days where I go back to sleep after I wake up, and though I know how to fix this, I sort of don’t.

Today is my first day off of four. I have my race on Saturday so I requested Friday off. Thursday, today, is a normal off say and so is Sunday. It’s like a mini-vacation.

Today is also a day where I am truly alone. Papa Ox has a field project he needed to go out for. Mama Ox and Ox are both at work. I don’t have training until 2:30 this afternoon. I have no other obligations unless I’m alive enough to go to the dojo after training for kickboxing, krav, and jitz, in that order.

When I go back to bed after Ox leaves on my days off it’s hard to not feel apathetic. It’s better on the days that I have training earlier in the day. I have a reason to get up. To shower. To eat. I have things I need to do and so there’s a level of motivation I guess that gets me up and moving.

Today I didn’t have that.

I went back to sleep. I woke up again. I had a cup of coffee for the first time in weeks. I had part of my breakfast but not all of it because I wasn’t super hungry.

I pretty much passed out right when I got home yesterday. I’m not nearly as sore, but I’ve also slept for somewhere in the ballpark of 16 hours. Small wonder I’m not really all that hungry. I haven’t done much.

I still really don’t have much motivation for anything. I “could” clean my computer desk, but I really don’t want to. There are clothes that “could” be put away, but again, I’m not really feeling it.

I made myself eat lunch since my trainer would give me shit later today for not eating. Saving myself from future heartache I guess; maybe that’s a mild form of self-preservation. I feel like he’s going to push me pretty hard today since I did so well on Tuesday. We did sled work at the end. My chest hasn’t been that sore in ages. I haven’t had to dig that deep on the emotional side in a while either.

I feel like the times where I have to fight against my grief and the darkness are the times that really matter. When I pushed the sled down the gym the first time I knew I was going to struggle more emotionally than physically. When my trainer turned the sled around and said I only had to do it three more times I wanted to cry.

My Brain: You say it’s “only” three more times. But that’s THREE MORE TIMES. THREE. I’m already fucking burnt. I can’t do three. No. It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I don’t want to do three. What’s the point? Why do three, or two, or even one? What’s the point in doing any of this when mom’s dead? You know, it’s so easy for you to say it’s “only” three. It’s “only” something. It’s so fucking easy for the rest of the world to just keep going like everything is easy and “only” three when just waking up is sometimes the hardest thing to do and then not only do I have to do that, but then I have to get out of bed. And then I have to shower. And then I have to do all of this other bullshit and interact with all these other people and pretend that living isn’t hard and doesn’t feel heavy and hollow and pointless. It’s already “only” fucking hard, ok? I don’t need to do your three. I don’t NEED to do anything because I’ve already done more than you can even imagine just by standing here. I don’t have to prove to you I’m strong. I’m already strong. Being here, standing here, makes me strong. So you know what? Fuck you, Life. No. Seriously. Fuck you and you know what? I’ll do three more just to prove to you that you can’t win. I won’t let you win. I WILL NEVER LET YOU WIN.

The last three pushes were some of the hardest pushes I’ve ever done, more because I was trying to breathe and control the urge to break down into rage-filled tears, though my body was totally ok with not having to push the sled anymore once I was done.

There’s a part of me who likes being pushed to that point. My mental and emotional breaking point I guess. It makes me confront my grief and the harder emotions that lurk in the dark, dusty corners of my mind that get ignored during everyday life.

I had a thought Tuesday as I sat outside recovering from my training.

I wonder if mom hurts, too.

I talk about my wound and what it feels like for her to be dead. I wonder if she hurts from us being apart, too. I wonder if being dead is hard for her because she can’t be here. I wonder if she has her own wound in her chest where she aches for one more phone call. One more hug. One more, “It’s ok”.

I wonder if I’ve been selfish and small and inconsiderate of the other side of the situation. Maybe it sucks just as bad for her as it does for me. Maybe worse since she lost so much more. She lost Jon and Jason and Jace and Lio and her coworkers and her brothers.

I only lost mom. Mom lost everything.

There’s a sick part of my brain that feels a little bit better thinking that mom and I are struggling together. I’m not alone in my hurt. I’m not alone. It sucks for both of us and we’re doing the best we can with what the Universe will let us have.

It sucks that I have to go for now so I can actually shower and get to the gym on time for training where I’ll have to push again when I don’t want to. I don’t know why I do this. I don’t know what I want. Or maybe it’s that I keep forgetting or losing sight of what I want and so it’s easier to say I don’t know what I want rather than to look for it or remember.

I miss you, mom. I miss you so much. I’m going to go to training and I’m going to run my race and I know I’m doing these things for me, but I’m also doing them for you. That’s why I’m able to do three more. Because I tell myself it’s for you. That’s why I get out of bed sometimes. That’s why I eat. Because I told you I would. Sometimes the only reason I’m able to do things is because I say they’re for you and I don’t want to let you down.

Today isn’t a hard day, but I guess with finding the dojo and everything else that I’ve been doing recently, I’m inching closer to… I don’t know what. Closer to something, though. The emotions are there, near the surface. They’re not the raging, chaotic, swirling beast they were in the beginning. They’re calmer now, more settled. They don’t overwhelm me in the same way anymore even though they’re no less powerful.

I don’t understand that foreign aspect of myself any more than I did before I started writing this, mom, but maybe I’m on the right path to understanding it.

I love you. Thanks for being there for me. We’ll get through it together.

Daily Post 094: Cleaning Up

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Today is Saturday; the first day of two that I have off. After the few weeks of working overtime that I had, I have a new appreciation for having so much time off in a row.

The morning has been quiet so far. I’ve already loaded up the dishwasher. I’m waiting to run it until Ox is done installing the water filter for the sink.

We sat last night as a family and talked about one of the projects going on with the kitchen. I’m looking forward to starting it today. I’m looking forward to being another part in something that makes this place a little more my own.

Mama Ox even mentioned changing the way some of the things in the kitchen are organized so it’s easier for me to get to my containers. I like the change she recommended. I think it will make me feel like I have more of my own spot rather than eeking out space around everything else. I would have my own shelf with only my things on it rather than crowding in on the Raman noodles.

I’m hoping to get the interior of the kitchen drawers painted today since that’s been on the list of things to do since I moved up here, basically. Since the project for the rolling cabinet will have us going into Lincoln, I also want to be ahead of the ball and already have my grocery list mapped out so I can do the grocery shopping while we’re in town.

It would be nice to clean up a bit, too. The kids’ clothes need to be put away. Vacuuming the rug in the bedroom would be nice. Putting my own clothes away would mean there’s a place for the dirty clothes to go since the laundry basket would be empty.

There’s a lot of little, easy to accomplish things that I could do today that would help me feel better about my environment; not that I’m feeling bad about it. It’s weird… Cleaning makes me feel better. I like making things pretty and organized.

Ox and I are doing well. We talked about my last post since he reads them. I don’t know what else to say about that topic. I like that I’m able to write and that, for the most part, I still feel safe while I do it. The blank page is my canvas for figuring out myself. It sucks when it feels like I can’t do that; when it feels like it’s been taken away from me because of the fear of disapproval or future conflict.

That hasn’t been the case. though. My writing doesn’t break us or cause fights and I think that goes a long way into alleviating those fears. I still have this avenue. I still have this outlet. I still have this corner of the Internet and I’m grateful for being allowed to keep it.

Yesterday was a good day at work. I was tired, so the two incidents that happened hurt more than they should have. Like… contemplating quitting and giving up.

Rage-filled, self-righteous Right Brain: I’m sorry I did something wrong but why does that make it feel like I don’t do ANYTHING right? Do none of the other fifty tasks that I’ve already done, on my own, because you were late, matter at all? Do all of my “rights” count for nothing just because of this one wrong?

After stepping off the floor and having some food I was better able to deal with the emotional side of things. I had the time and space to recognize why I was reacting the way I was. Everything was fine I just needed to breathe and let it go rather than letting it loop inside of my head or eat away at me like acid.

Logical Left Brain: Ok… so you messed up. You know You messed up. Learn from it and move on. It was just a piece of paper. An important piece of paper, sure… but it’s not like you infiltrated your favorite patient. You already filled out a new sheet. The issue is taken care of. Try not to do it again. And try to have a better day. *hugs*

I stayed after work to finish my compliance training. I also called People Services and asked about my paycheck. They weren’t sure why I was given a retention bonus only to have it removed from my check. The assistant I spoke with put in a request to have my check looked at. She thinks maybe it was a mistaken entry but she wanted to get clarification because there weren’t notes anywhere about what had happened.

She did tell me that my backpay for March 14th hasn’t happened yet. That’s nice to know. I will be addressing that issue next week. That’s what I thought the bonus was for. I thought it was my backpay, which is why I was confused about it being removed and leaving me short $300.

I also plan to finish my Concur report so I can be reimbursed for all of the travel I had to do while I was working overtime during June. That will be close to another $500 back. Plus the 15 hours of overtime I was short…

Yeah… This paycheck was supposed to have been pretty freaking amazing, so I was pretty not ok when it wasn’t. I was still able to cover everything I needed / wanted to. But I wasn’t able to make the progress I was hoping to.

I got my hair dyed on Tuesday this week so I’m back to being purple. The roots had grown so far out that you couldn’t tell my hair was dyed anymore. I feel more like me. I also got about an inch cut off the tips so the ends aren’t icky anymore. : D

I also went ahead and ordered my new set of Vibrams for my race on the 14th. According to the tracking information they’re already in Omaha. The delivery date is set for Thursday, but I’m really hoping they come in sooner than that.

I’ve been wanting a bike rack, but alas, I haven’t felt like I’ve been able to get one. Or rather, I’ve been prioritizing other things ahead of it.

There’s a bike trail that goes all the way from Lincoln to Kansas. It’s something like 70 miles. I know I can’t do all of that in one go, but I’ve been wanting to go and bike for part of it. Maybe down to Cortland at first. Then working my way all the way down to Beatrice. That would be about 30 miles on its own. I haven’t felt like I’ve had the extra spending money to get the bike rack though, so I don’t have an easy way to get the bike to the trail. Maybe once everything gets figured out with my check I’ll be able to look into it.

I was pretty angry with my trainer on Thursday, but I think a lot of that had to do with me rather than him. I pushed really hard on Tuesday; harder than I thought I did maybe. All Tuesday night my IT bands hurt. Hurt to the point where I wanted to cry when I was getting out of my car when I got home. Wednesday wasn’t much better and I’m sure work didn’t do anything to help them relax and rest. Thursday still hurt but it got better as the day wore on and I moved around, loosening the muscles up.

When I got to the gym the first thing my trainer said was that I was over my calorie count.

I got on the scale. I’m down another two pounds. I’m officially the thinnest I can ever remember being.

But that doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter that I survived the two weeks of the kids being here. It doesn’t matter that my mom’s birthday is coming up and I’m constantly having to work through the pain of her being dead. It doesn’t matter that I’m constantly having to teach new RNs how to work in my clinic because we’re short staffed. It doesn’t matter that I work 12 hours shifts where I walk six miles and that I’m dead at the end of my days but still push myself to go to the gym and run and extra mile. It doesn’t matter that I’m doing better than I was when I first moved to Nebraska. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t call out; that I showed up to training in the first place even though I didn’t want to.

I’m over my calorie count so I’m a failure.

I’m down two pounds of fat, but I’m a failure.

My workout sucked. I did it. I didn’t skimp out on any of the sets or running, but it sucked.

I cried on the way home because I was so frustrated with everything feeling like it didn’t matter.

I like that my trainer is number and data-oriented, but at the same time I’M A FUCKING HUMAN. I have emotions and shit that I’m having to deal with. I don’t really have a health goal that I’m working on. I don’t care about how many calories I take in. I’m doing awesome with carbs and protein. I’m doing awesome with not compromising or giving in and actually making it to my workouts and doing extra on my own.

Acknowledge some of that. Acknowledge that I do things right instead of making it feel like all I do is wrong.

Wrong this. Wrong that. Wrong everything.

Irrational Right Brain: Fuck you. Ok. Fuck you. And the horse you rode in on. And the one that sired it. Ok. Just… arg. Fuck everything. /flips shit.

So yeah. I cried frustrated, angry tears as I raged at the Universe for about 15 minutes during my 30-minute drive home and I felt better for it.

No, I don’t do everything wrong. No, that’s not what he meant or what he was trying to convey or make me feel. All of this anger and angst was all just internal bullshit within myself that I needed to address. All of this was MY reaction to impersonal information.

This reaction, these emotions were most likely the fallout from not taking care of my internal self. This was build up from not writing and not having alone time and not working through the ickiness of my daily life. This was finally having an external target to rain down the fireballs of death and destruction that had been building up inside me with no place to go.

I do enjoy working with my trainer. I do feel he is worth the money I spend. I do feel I am getting results and I’m grateful that he wants me to become a better me. I understand that he can only do so much while we’re at the gym together and that most of my progress has to come from me being diligent about what I eat and when. I understand that most of the work is out of his hands and the only thing he can do is hold me accountable, which he does.

If I’m making this much progress, then I’m sure it’s frustrating to know that I could be doing even better if only I would be a little more diligent. But it’s out of his control and all he can do is watch as I make choices that he would rather I not make.

And I guess that’s the biggest difference between him and me. He has a goal in mind for me and I don’t.

I’m training more to keep myself in a routine and to make forward progress even though at the moment I don’t know what I’m working towards.

In Orlando, my driving force was the potential of MMA fighting.

Here… I don’t know. I still haven’t found a dojo yet, though I do have a few I want to look into. None of the dojos I am interested in are very close to where I live so I feel like it would be the same issue I faced with the YMCA. I would have the best of intentions but I would end up not going because by the time I get to the end of the day I’m done. I want to go home. I don’t want to drive further into town or be out longer or around strangers who are “clearly doing better in life than me because look at Mrs. Gym Bunny over there prancing through her workout while I feel like I’m dying”.

Where are the q-tips when you need them? >.<;

But maybe I would be better about going to the dojo than the Y. I didn’t like the YMCAs because they were so busy. I couldn’t make it to the classes I wanted. I wouldn’t have really been doing something that I wanted to do. If I had gone to the gym it would have been more of a “well at least it’s better than nothing” sort of feeling. It would have been an investment of my limited energy into something that I really didn’t care about. It wouldn’t have been fulfilling and therefore closer to a waste than an investment.

Maybe the dojo wouldn’t be like that. One of the dojos offers Judo in addition to Jiujitsu and Aikido. I think Judo would be fun to learn. If it’s something I want to do then I’m more likely to push through the things, like tiredness, that were holding me back. I’m more likely to think it’s worth it to drive to be there.

I don’t know. I can see it going both ways.

I still want to fight. I still miss that aspect of Orlando. I miss the feeling of family and belonging that I had. I miss the guys who became my friends and mentors. I miss sparring and pushing myself and proving that I’m better than I think I am. I miss learning.

I’m “training” for my Warrior Dash but even that I haven’t really been focusing on. It wasn’t until last week that I started running and I don’t really think you can call one run “training”. My goal with my race is to simply do it. I’ve run that race for two years now. I don’t want to feel like I lost it, that I gave my race up, because of the move. I can still have it even though it’s a little different than what it used to be. Instead of being in February in Orlando, it’s in July in Nebraska, but it’s still my race and I want to prove to myself that I am still able to do it. I didn’t lose it. It’s not gone for forever.

I don’t care if I weigh a certain amount. I don’t care if I have a certain percentage of body fat. I don’t have an end goal. I wanted to get back to the point where I wouldn’t be dying at the end of the warm-up if I did go back to a dojo, and I think I’m there. I think I am to the point where I can say I’m at square one again. I’m back to where I was before I got my job in Orlando; before I started working 16-hour shifts and had to give up the dojo and training and the gym and everything that made it feel worth it to live the life I had.

So, if I’m back to the beginning, then I need to figure out where to go from here since every step I take now is a step forward. A new step. A step I’ve never taken before to a me I’ve never been before. A stronger, healthier me that I have to come to terms with and understand. A me I need to sit down and talk to and negotiate with.

I do want to keep losing weight and part of that means I need to be more mindful about calories. I’m doing well with what I’m eating. I’m not eating donuts or junk food, mostly… that giant tube of mint chocolate chip ice cream is still in the freeze… STILL… And I want to point out the amazing amount of restraint I have to NOT have any of that when every night I have to look at it as I pull my burger patties out for dinner.

Fucking bastards…. buying my favorite ice cream… It’s so not fair. ;-;

Anyway… Part of the issue is I get so hungry between 7 am and noon at work. I think I’ve figured that out though. I’ve been trying the Wheybolic shakes from GNC. And you can give me shit all you want for buying something from that store. Right now I don’t care. Once I have it figured out I can worry about “the most bang for my buck” or not supporting a giant corporation of inherent evil that feeds off the tears of orphans… Seriously, with some of the posts I’ve read from people, you would think this is the worst store on the face of the planet.

Regardless of the orphan tear issue, having half of the shake for my morning break and then the other half right before change over starts kept me from wanting to eat the countertops while I was working. It kept me full until I was able to actually eat again. So instead of doing the homemade almond bars, I think I’m going to be doing protein shakes during that part of my day. That will cut out a lot of calories while increasing my protein intake, and if it keeps me full, in theory, it will keep me from eating more during the day.

I’ve also poked around online and found some new recipes to try since I’ve been eating roughly the same things for about a month now and I’m getting disenchanted with them. It sucks to look in the fridge and to see the containers of premade meals and to not want any of them. That’s when it’s hard to say no to the evil voice whispering about the pop tarts on the counter.

Why is the house full of all of the things I like and can’t have? Oh… That’s right… because there was an eight-year-old and a thirteen-year-old here for two weeks… The struggle is beyond real sometimes.

I haven’t had anything Mexican in forever. Or Italian. So this week I’m fixing that. I’m still allowed to eat tasty food. It doesn’t have to just be burger patties and chicken breast.

So… while I still don’t have a goal in mind for really anything in my life, I think I’m doing a bit better than I was.

Writing definitely helps with that and I’m going to actually put in effort to try to write more often. Having time away from work helps. Having a small list of projects to improve my home environment helps. There’s just a lot of little things that add up to making today feel like a stronger more stable day.

So with that, I guess I’ll go so I can make my shopping list and shower since nothing can really happen before the shower because I’m weird awesome.

 

 

Daily Post 088: Hello Old Friend

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Not proofread because sleep is a thing


 

Hello dearest Microsoft Surface,

It’s been a while since I’ve written on you. It’s been a while since you’ve been charged and updated. I’m sure it’s nice to have the dust brushed off of you. At some point, I’m sure I’ll clean your screen.

I can remember moments with you. Good moments like the ones at my sports bar where I would pay bills while eating lunch after going to kickboxing. I remember you were what I wrote on for my “first birthday”. The first one without mom. I remember that night; how I had been in Vegas for the holiday season. I remember how we all went out to dinner and how other than that it wasn’t a big deal. It was a decent day and yet I still came home and cried as I poured everything out through your keyboard.

I’m grateful for the times you’ve been there for me. I’m grateful for the tasks you’ve helped me complete. I’m grateful for moments like now, where you’re the instrument, the key, to letting me write my thoughts onto a blank page which in turn leads me to understanding myself better.

We’ve been through a lot together even though our times recently have grown more distant.

A lot has happened in the past week. It was the first week of the new schedule at work. It’s been getting better but one of our patients has become pretty unstable and so the days have still been hard. Harder than what I’ve grown used to.

The first day, Monday, tried really, really hard to be on par with the Orlando clinic. It was probably only better because the day was shorter; 12 hours instead of sixteen. I still wanted to cry on the way home with how completely tapped out I was.

Tuesday I met with my trainer again. We went through some of the things he wants me to be doing on my own then did a half work out where he totally destroyed my legs. It was good though. I haven’t had to work that hard in a while and it was a tiredness, an ache, that I’ve missed. The pain of making myself be better than I am.

I mailed my thank you cards to Orlando after stopping by Walmart. The receipt said they should arrive at my old clinic on Thursday. I’m glad I finally got that taken care of. I hope the cards reach my old coworkers well and that my words mean something to them.

After the post office, I went to my clinic where I started on the NFACT training to become an expert cannulator. I made it through all of the video training and printed off all of the P&Ps that I need to read (policy and procedure). I have a print off of everything I need to do to complete the training and I was glad to see so many highlighted lines of things I was able to get done while I was there. Having all of the quiet time to myself made me more ready to face my next workday. It helped me recover from the lameness and overwhelm of Monday.

Wednesday was another crazy day, though not due to A-Level alarms. The morning started off well. Things were going smoothly. Then we had to call EMS for one of our patients. I’m not a doctor. Neither is our RN. We’re only able to handle so much with just the two of us and seven other patients who need our care. It was better for everyone that she agreed to go to the ER.

Mr. Non-compliance showed up, which was good. He needs to be there. He needs his antibiotic since his CVC is infected. He needs to be dialyzed so his blood isn’t full of toxins slowly eroding away at all of the years he still has left to live.

I have never personally been on dialysis, but I know, just like any other disease or hardship, that it doesn’t have to define someone. It’s only the end of it you let it be the end. If Life sucks and starts being a dick tell it to go fuck itself and fight to live the life you want to live. Don’t let it stop you.

Does that mean compromising on a lot of things?

Yes. But better to compromise and have a halfway happy than to give up and have no happy at all.

I guess it’s all about perspective and, for the most part, I try to make mine one of, “I’m going to make this work no matter how hard you try to stop me.”

Another thing that happened Wednesday was my FA reached out to me asking if I would be interested in covering some shifts are other clinics in Omaha. With the rush to get everything squared away from the PCT registry, there are some techs who aren’t able to work and so there are spots that need to be filled until all of the red tape can get figured out.

Normally I wouldn’t be jazzed about working more hours, but there’s incentive pay and it would be overtime if I did work those shifts. I also know what it’s like to work shorthanded. And I guess I was asked for specifically. My FA travels a lot and has mentioned to several other FAs how well I am doing on her team. When the need arose to have someone float to their clinics they wanted to know if I would be willing, thus why my FA reached out to me.

I talked to Ox before making a decision about the first shift. It was for the coming Saturday; a day we would have the kids. Being there two days in a row is hard for me. There’s little downtime where I can recharge and as awful as it might be, the thought of working and being out of the house was better than being constantly bombarded by an eight-year-old. One day I could do. Two was more than I wanted at the time.

Ox said he was ok with me doing whatever I wanted to do; that he supported me, but to make sure I wasn’t biting off more than I could chew.

With Ox’s support, I replied to my FA saying I could cover the upcoming Saturday shift, but that I would need to talk to my trainer about moving my times around before I could say anything about the other days.

I was glad when Wednesday was over. My RN was feeling under the weather and it was her last day which didn’t help make the day any smoother. We had planned a few weeks back to get dinner together and even though both of us were tapped out I’m glad neither of us canceled our plans. I got to meet her daughter. It was a nice evening even though I ended up having to drive home in what felt like a hurricane level downpour in Nebraska.

Thursday I had training again. My legs were still sore from Tuesday so I was worried about how well I would be able to do. We started by looking at my food tracking on MyFitnessPal. I’m doing ridiculously better than I was for the past… we’ll say four months, but I was still over in some areas while being under in others.

I was over in carbs. My limit is 100 or less. The highest I was over was 67, but that’s still 67 that’s taking me away from my goal. I was over in calories by roughly 700 on my worst day, but again, that’s 700 more I have to burn through to make the level of progress I want.

I was drastically under in protein, which I need if I’m going to be working out as hard as I’m going to be.

My trainer and I talked about it. I made mental notes on what I could change and how for the coming week and then proceeded to go to the floor where we had our first full workout.

We started with the machines again, doing the same ones we had done on Tuesday but with slightly lower weight. I was proud that I made it through everything. Maybe it was a psychological thing, but knowing the weight was less made it seem more ok. I had done 200 lbs. on Tuesday. 175 wasn’t necessarily a cakewalk, but it wasn’t 200 so I knew I could do it, and I did.

After the machines, we went to the back room where we did a lot of plyometric stuff. At the end, he said he was pretty impressed. He said I had more coordination than what he was expecting and that it really was more of an issue with getting the nutrient side under control.

I would rather not be insulted by his comment. I know it could be taken that way. It would be easy to have one of those, “What? Did you think I was a sack of potatoes?” type of response to his comment.

I would rather not think of it that way. I know I may not look like much but I’ve done a lot of things in my life so far. Marching band. Boxing. Kickboxing. Aikido. Jiujitsu. Muay Thai. Running. Yoga. Zumba. Warrior Dashs… All of that goes into what I’m able to do now. Not all of that is apparent on the surface.

I talked to him about the changes to my schedule and we worked out times in the evening, after my shifts at the Omaha clinics where we could meet. I knew the coming week would be brutal but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was going to cover those shifts and have my workouts too.

Once I had showered I went to Walmart again so I could make the changes I wanted to foodwise. From there I went to the clinic where I clocked in and read through all of the P&P that I needed to. I wasn’t at the clinic as long on Thursday but I was ok with that. I got the remaining things checked off my list and sent an email to my FA letting her know the only thing left, aside from a training module that appeared to no longer be on the site, was to be checked off on my skills list.

I went home. I did laundry. I unloaded, loaded, and ran the dishwasher, later emptying it again to fill with the dishes from dinner. I cooked a new zoodle recipe which I think turned out pretty good. I made sure I was ready for Friday and went to sleep.

Friday was another rough day.

My left leg was seriously hurting me when I woke up and not in a sore muscle sort of way. It was the back of my knee, towards the outside. It hurt to straighten it completely. It felt like the tendon in that area was overly tight; like a rubber band that you’re trying to stretch too far. I knew I had to make it through my day regardless of how my leg felt so after my shower I took the last IcyHot patch that I had gotten for my back forever ago and put it on the back of my knee. Since it was in a place that would move and flex a lot I wrapped it with adherent wrap a few times and hoped the compression would be enough to let me at least hobble through the day.

My leg wasn’t any better by the time I got to the clinic so I was slower in getting things done but I did the best I could and that’s all I could do. The patient we called EMS for on Wednesday started having issues again. We think it might be an allergy to the dialyzer she’s using, so we have orders from her doctor to try a different one. I’m hoping that makes Monday better.

Since I was going to be working in Omaha the next day I tried finding a hotel room to stay in, but I couldn’t find anything for under $150. I guess there was some super big conference meeting going on. With having the kids Friday night there wasn’t really a way for me to get the amount or quality of sleep that I would need if I was going to be waking up super early to drive that far from home to work a full day.

I ended up getting a hotel room in Beatrice instead. It would make the trip a little longer but, ideally, I would be able to get the proper rest I needed to make it through the day.

Ox and I met near home for dinner. I tried making smart choices with my food; ones in line with the metrics I’m trying to stick with. Even with going out to eat I came in under my limits for calories and carbs. Go me.

Neither of us liked the thought of being apart for the night, but we both understood the situation and that it was a smart choice. The incentive pay essentially covered the hotel cost, so that was negated, but I would still be making overtime pay, so even with the extra expense, I was coming out in the positive. I would be helping my sister clinics and making myself a more valuable team member. I would be getting time with the other machine models so I don’t lose those skills, and I would be meeting more team members and seeing how other clinics are run which could give me insight to how my own clinic could become better.

Overall I was looking forward to my Saturday. Ox and I agreed that I would wake up a little earlier than I had to so I could stop by home in the morning on my way to Omaha so we could still see each other.

He fell asleep shortly after he got home which led to unresponded to text messages and missed calls. It wasn’t a warm fuzzy way to end the night, but I figured something must be going on for him to not respond. I was glad that I didn’t freak out or have the knee-jerk reactions I would have in the past. I didn’t instantly think he had died. I thought, “Maybe he didn’t realize his phone died. Or maybe he forgot to pay the bill.”

I stopped at Walmart before going to my hotel room. I picked up more IcyHot patches with ibuprofen and an actual knee brace. I made it through checkout then immediately found a bench to put the brace on. It felt amazing. I wore it the rest of the night until I was about to go to sleep.

I slept deeply and solidly for the whole night, waking up only a few minutes before my alarm went off, which is actually a nice way to start my day. I like waking up on my own, coming out of a REM cycle rather than having it interrupted by an alarm.

I showered and had half an apple before packing up my car and heading home. I started to worry then since he still wasn’t answering his phone. I could feel the icy fingers of dread trying to curl around my stomach. The closer I got to my turn off the stronger those feelings got.

Luckily he ended up calling me and explained that he fell asleep super hard and that he was just now waking up. I explained where I was at on the road and that we would see each other soon.

It was nice getting a hug from him. I liked the physical reassurance that everything was ok. We still had our cigarette together and I was able to have my Bang energy drink, something I had forgotten to pack with me the night before.

The drive up to Omaha was uneventful. It was actually pretty nice to watch the sunrise as I drove since my shift started at 7:30 am. The clinic was also pretty easy to find; another plus to the day. I got there early to make sure I had time in case I got lost along the way. I was able to sync my account with their systems so I could chart. I got to meet the other team members who were working that day and explain what I felt my strengths were verses my weaknesses. One of the RNs walked me through stringing one of the machines since it has been roughly three months since I had worked with the ones they use.

I’m glad that after seeing it done once that I was able to fall back into the swing of things and that the day was smooth and uneventful. All of the patients were pleasant and kind. I was able to jump in and carry my own weight and as the staff started heading home for the day, each of them stopped and thanked me for coming to help out and that they enjoyed working with me.

I enjoyed my time at the clinic and I wouldn’t mind working there again if they need me. It’s a bit of a drive, but they have a very solid team and, in a way, it reminds me of being back in Orlando. It’s a bigger clinic and not many techs can work in that type of environment. A lot of the clinics in the area are small; eight to twelve stations. So when they have to cover something closer to twenty stations they get overwhelmed. Since that’s the type of environment I started in I just go along with it. It’s nothing new and honestly, it was a pretty easy day, but then TTS days usually are since they’re the “lighter” days. Fewer patients and such.

Once I was clocked out I headed home. Once again Ox wasn’t answering his phone which was frustrating but I knew I would have an answer to why eventually.

When I got home he said he had been sleeping for most of the day. He’s been sick not only with whatever has been plaguing his lungs but also with a stomach bug. We had dinner. I showered. I unpacked a bit. But mostly I went to sleep.

And so now we’re here at today. Sunday.

I woke up. I had my egg and chicken breakfast, crushing my protein intake like a bawce.

Shortly after everyone had eaten Lil’ Ox, that’s what I’ll refer to Ox’s daughter as, since I’m going to stick with the Ox theme I have going, and I went for a bike ride. It’s the first time her and I have been alone together and I think it went well. We made it all the way to the park near our house and played for a bit. Eventually, other people showed up and she played with the other kids that were there. That meant I had to interact with the mom’s and keep cool and not freak out over that fact that I have no idea how to be a parent because Lil’ Ox isn’t actually mine even though she was saying how she had to ask her “mom” for permission to go to the other area of the playground.

Omg. I’m so not ready for this. >.<;

It might have been low of me, but shortly after that, I felt it was time to go home. We had been gone for close to an hour. I had done my part of holding my shit together in the face of a totally foreign situation. It was getting warm. I didn’t have sunscreen on…

Yeah… totally time to go home.

I told Ox about the park adventure. He snickered at me. We had plans to go into town for the day so I showered and changed and we all piled into my car to spend the afternoon together.

We stopped at GameStop first so Ornery Ox, his son, could get a few games. He gets allowance money but rarely spends it. He also had a gift card to the store for his birthday, so he was able to get a couple game all on his own.

Lil’ Ox got a few toys while we were there, using her own allowance money even though she was upset that her brother had more money than her. That caused a little bit of friction on the way to the store since Ornery Ox kept making comments about the amount of money he had.

Honestly, it was like listening to me and Jon when we were younger. I don’t understand how my mom didn’t kill us. XD

We stopped at Best Buy for me where I was a totally irresponsible adult and bought my first TV.

Yep. That’s right. I now am the proud owner of a 38-inch Chromecast compatible TV which I plan to hook my PS4 up to and play through the new God of War game and the remastered Spyro games when they come out in September because Spyro is amazing.

It’s a weird feeling. But… I think it’s a good one. I don’t know yet. I’ll keep you posted.

I went across the street to my new sports bar for lunch. After eating I stopped by my storage unit to get the rattan sticks I had gotten forever ago for my SCA swords because that’s something I’m going to be doing again.

It’s something I started looking into shortly before falling asleep Saturday night. There’s a group in Lincoln and their first outdoors fighter practice is going to be Tuesday, the 8th.

I so want to go. I can’t put into words how awesome it would be to make progress in the combative area of my life and to have a group, outside of work, that I belong to.

With working on Wednesdays, there’s not a way for me to make any of the meets for the embroidery guild and I’m not ready to go back to the dojo. I want to wait until after my Warrior Dash to venture back into that area of my life.

But SCA… That’s something that I would totally be ok with being involved in now and it would still be fighting and lining up with my training and… I don’t know.

I’m excited about it. Like… hardcore looking forward to going even though I don’t have any armor or gear that I can use as armor.

We came home after the trip to the storage unit. I hid upstairs for a little bit to decompress from all of the social of the day. I played a little bit of Crash Titans with Lil’ Ox. We’re on a boss level so she got tired of not winning. Booked another hotel room in Beatrice so I could get another good nights sleep without worrying about people having to tiptoe around my early bedtime or me constantly waking up since I’m a light sleeper.

I packed my food for the coming day along with everything I would need for the gym after work since that’s something I would really like to do if I’m able to.

My leg has been way better today but I have the knee brace with me if I feel I need it. I’ve eaten dinner. I’ve set everything out. My alarm is set. I’ve written. I’ve talked to Ox, so really all that’s left is to take my contacts out and go to sleep.

So with that, my dear friend, I guess I’m going to go.

I don’t think I really needed to figure out anything tonight. I think I just needed to write it all out and reflect on the week. It’s had some hard moments, but when compared to everything else, I think I had a really good week and I think there’s a lot of things to look forward to in the coming week.

Thanks for letting me write. Thanks for being there for me, the hard times and good times alike. Get some updates, and hopefully, it’s not another six months before we spend some time together.

Daily Post 087: Kittens Make Everything Better

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Today was a day. Most of it sucked but there were moments of awesomeness that I feel I do need to put into writing so I can appreciate them after I’ve slept.

It started by waking up this morning. I didn’t sleep well last night so I woke up tired. It started with remembering that today was “The Day”. The day the schedule changed at work. The day that was full of new and unknown. It was the day I wasn’t looking forward to and I spent most of the morning mildly dreading the moment where I would have to get into my car and drive myself towards what I knew would be structured chaos.

It’s also the start of “The Week”. The week where I get back on top of my health goals. It’s the Monday where I start tracking what I eat and watching my carbs and counting my protein. It was the first morning of eating my breakfast rice. I want to modify it a bit next week but overall it wasn’t bad. I had my Bang energy drink along with my decongestant pill. I had my cigarette with Ox.

I was going to survive today. And with that mentality, I trudged to my car and drove through the dark to work.

I never realized how bright the moon can be until I moved to Nebraska. It’s just past the full moon so it’s still fairly large. Large enough to make the 4am darkness not feel so dark.

I made it to work at my normal time, pulling into the parking lot at the same moment my FA did. We both went into the clinic where an A-Level alarm was going off for our water system…

Not an ok start to my day, Universe. Thanks…

The alarm was for water temperature which is a big deal because the water system itself is ridiculously expensive and sensitive. If the water gets too hot things can break or not function or deteriorate too much… it’s just bad juju.

We ended up getting that sorted out but at the cost of time. Instead of being able to walk into work and just do my thing we had to wait roughly 20 minutes before being able to really move forward with things. We recovered, thankfully, but then patients started showing up. Of course one of the first ones ended up being late and running into other people’s time. A few other patients had problems with their accesses… By the time everyone was on I was ready for a break from the floor.

I guess it was noticeable because Mrs. K asked me if I was ok. I said I was tired and homesick, which is now my secret way of admitting to grieving. It’s easier to say “I’m homesick” than to explain that I miss my mom and that mom was always “home” and that I just really want to hear her voice or feel her hug me one more time.

Mrs. K said that if there was anything she could do to let her know. She also took that moment to let me know that she enjoyed working with me. She said that I’m a hard worker.

It made me feel good because the last time we worked together I felt like I didn’t hold my own. I felt like she did way more than me and that she must think I’m a slacker. Hearing her words helped a little, but not enough to make me not dread the coming change over.

I took my morning break, eating one of my almond bars. All too soon I had to go back to the floor.

Change over was rough. Mentally. Physically. By the time our last patient showed up, our super non-compliant one, I was done. I didn’t have it in me to chit-chat with him and pretend to be cheerful. I just wanted to do my job and go have lunch because I was starving.

Mrs. K came over and said I was awesome. I had made sure all of the machines were set and all of the documentation was caught up because that’s another big part of my job. While she was nearby I asked if I could request a huge favor. I asked if she could initiate the treatment for Mr. Non-compliance.

She said she would; that she didn’t mind. It allowed me a break from everyone. It let me catch up on all of the PCT tasks I hadn’t been able to get around to. When she asked if she could go to lunch first I didn’t mind. When I went to lunch I had my chef salad and messaged Sir since I had an email regarding him.

That led to a conversation that didn’t help my day. I don’t want to go into details. I really, really don’t. At the same time, this is something frustrating that I need to write about.

I’m not going to let my blog, my dairy, create more drama in my life than it already has. I say and write what I write. While the meaning to me may be clear in the moment of my writing, I have often gone back and reread my own posts and have seen first hand how words can be confusing or seem as if something else was meant or implied.

So… Just for clarification; when I said I was done with Orlando, I meant I was done with the tasks I still needed to take care of. Things like getting off the lease or switching over the internet account or getting my stuff from Warren. Things like figuring out why my CPR certification wasn’t in my teammate file or contacting my old FA. My “to-do” list no longer has anything regarding Orlando on it, so, in my mind, that means I’m done with Orlando.

I’m not done with the people there. I’m not never visiting. I don’t think the state should go burn in hell and everyone along with it. But, in a way, I am done, so that’s what I said in my post.

And just like with the Orlando section of my to-do list, I’m done writing about this moment in my day. I’ve written about it. I’ve acknowledged it. There’s nothing further I wish to say about it on here. I feel like anything more would be petty on my part, not that I don’t feel like it’s already slightly petty but I don’t know what to do.

This blog is supposed to by my spot. My area. I’m supposed to be able to write freely here about whatever I want, however I want. I don’t want to feel like I can’t because other people react to it in whatever way they do.

I hate how I feel like I have to edit the one area of my life that I still have as an emotional outlet. I don’t have the dojo. I don’t have my mom. Let me have my blog.

The rest of the day was itself. It didn’t get better. It didn’t really get worse either. It tried to be on par with an average day at my Orlando clinic and it almost succeeded. Almost.

I racked up 6.2 miles on my Fitbit with over 4000 calories burned. I’ve started wearing it again to get a feel for an average day. It’s more information I can take to my trainer tomorrow.

I had thought to workout after work, but those plans quickly faded early in the day. The only thing I wanted was to be alone, so even the thought of going home made me want to break down and cry in my car.

Jon had tried calling me during the day, so once I was off the clock and in my car giving myself a high five for not actually breaking down, I called him back.

We chatted for a while. It felt good to bitch about my day to someone who understands. He got to tell me about his day and how he’s doing in school. It helped me feel more ok about going home. More like I could do it.

When I got home Ox was waiting on the front porch. I like it when I come home like that. The first thing I see is him. I get a hug before I even get inside the house. I’m able to decompress outside before crossing the threshold. None of the badness can follow me inside. It’s not allowed to.

We stayed outside for a while, me explaining my day and all of the frustrations that went with it. He listened, never making me feel bad or that I was blowing things out of proportion. I know a lot of today’s overwhelm comes from being tired, but it was still a rough day regardless of that fact.

Eventually, we went inside the house. I had two 1/4 burger patties. I’m still about 2000 calories under so there’s that going for me.

I’m tired. I’m fed. I have training in 12 hours. I’ve been approved to work at the clinic tomorrow by myself so I can start tackling the NFACT training I want to do. That means I’ll get a bit of overtime this week.

I got my paycheck figured out today. At least partially. so there’s that.

I did well today. Even if it was a lame day, I did well.

Even Mr. Non-compliance wasn’t all that bad. He told me he was talking with my FA and mentioned how he really liked me because I was kind and sweet and how my FA said that she really liked me, too. That I’m a good worker and she’s glad to have me on the team.

There were good moments in my day. I got to talk to two people who matter to me, even if it was only via the phone. I got to come home to a safe place, even if it doesn’t always feel safe from an introverted standpoint.

I don’t want to go to sleep thinking today sucked when it really didn’t, so I’m not going to.

Today was rough, and I survived. The schedule won’t be as new on Wednesday and I’ve set the clinic how I want it prepped. No other techs will need to be at the clinic from this point on so I won’t have to rely on someone else to do things the way I want them done. I’ll know what I’m walking into. Hopefully, on Wednesday there won’t be an A-Level alarm going off so the day can start properly. Normally. Smoothly.

Today was a start. A rough one, but any start is better than no start.

Oh… and kittens… because kittens make everything better.

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Daily Post 084: Two Days In a Row!

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Sorry if it’s annoying, having me post twice in one day. I haven’t done that in a while and I do feel like this is an accomplishment for me. I’m actually caught up and writing a legitimate daily post. I feel better for how much I have written and reflected on recently.

It’s a good feeling. Like I’m getting back on track. Like I’m making time for me and my mental/spiritual wellbeing.

Today was another day that didn’t go according to the plan I had in my head, but that’s ok because it was still a good day even though it was sort of a shitty night.

I had another kidney stone. At least I think I did. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the first one I had, which thinking about it as I laid on the bathroom floor trying to force myself to take deep breaths through the pain, I realized was almost a year ago to the day. Though the pain level wasn’t as bad as the first one which forced me to throw up and take a trip to the ER, it was definitely the same type of pain.

I tried to tough it out and not wake anyone up but after what felt like a while, though it could have been a short amount of time since time perception gets sort of messed up when pain is involved, I decided someone needed to know what was going on because the pain might get worse. I made myself get up off the bathroom floor which sucked but so did laying down so I guess it really didn’t matter. Nothing I did was or could help the pain. I had a cup of water because I knew I needed to drink fluid to help it pass. I went back into the bedroom and woke Ox up. I told him I thought I was passing a kidney stone.

I don’t remember everything that was said mostly because all I could focus on was the pain and I was proud that I had articulated anything in a mostly coherent fashion. He had me lay back down next to him and he cuddled up against my back as he rubbed his hands up and down my side. He talked to me, coaxing me to try to take deep breaths.

It helped with the pain; knowing he was there, feeling his warmth, having his voice to focus on rather than the mildly agonizing pressure and stabby sensations in places that should never be touched and that I couldn’t reach. The pain started coming in waves, growing, then ebbing. I couldn’t stop from writhing and shifting or from making pained whimpers as I moved around during the waves.

And just like last time, I didn’t pass an actual stone, so I don’t know if it was literally a kidney stone or not. I don’t know if it dissolved on its own. I don’t know what happened other then the pain increased to a breaking point and then was gone and I could breathe normally again and the sense of relief from the pain being gone was so overwhelming that I wanted to cry.

I fell asleep next to Ox shortly after the pain subsided. When I woke up I had a mild headache and I could feel ghost pains from the night before. Maybe the pain this morning was all inside my head since the memory of last night’s ordeal was so fresh, or maybe I really was experiencing pain due to inflammation or from the surrounding muscles contracting so hard as a result of the pain.

Whatever it was, I was mostly ok when I woke up aside from that felt like soreness in the side of my back and a headache.

Ox made cinnamon rolls. I cooked eggs and bacon. We ate with his parents. As Ox and I were getting ready to start work on the addition Mama Ox decided she wanted to go into town to look at countertops at Lowes and Home Depot… you know… just to see if maybe they had anything she liked better since she wasn’t 100% in love with what we had found at Menards.

I get it. I totally do… But… At the same time…

Why? ;-;

That’s totally not what we were supposed to do today. I was supposed to make progress here, at home, and not go out into the world where I would have to deal with people and socialize.

As I was getting my towel to shower, since I can’t go out into public without showering, Ox and I had a brief exchange where I mentioned how I was sort of not ok because even though figuring out the counters is a huge step forward, it’s not a visual step and so it would feel like nothing got accomplished on the one weekend we were supposed to do things. We get the kids every other weekend and because of that those weekends are “no work” weekends. That means there’s really only ever four full days in a month that things can get done. I wasn’t ok with the thought of going another two weeks with nothing changing.

We agreed that when we got back from our unexpected excursion that we would finish up the laundry room. I hadn’t gone through the cabinet out there yet. It was a task I was supposed to tackle on my own but was intimidated by.

Ox said we could tackle it together and that would give me the visual progress I needed. I was ok with that and was able to shower and go through the day knowing we had come to a good compromise. A good halfway happy.

Home Depot was by far the best store as far as customer service goes. Their rates were pretty decent, especially when considering professional installation was included in their pricing.

Lowe’s had a way better selection but their service sucked and installation alone was $700. What the actual fuck? That’s the price we were quoted for just the countertops there, so professional installation would literally double the price.

We pretty much noped our way out of the store after that.

I felt drained again, energy-wise. I hadn’t planned on going out. There was still snow on the ground but surprising I wasn’t bothered by the cold. Wearing my new shoes most likely helped with that.

And I’m going to go on a mild rant here because my computer just automatically restarted on me… Goddamnit Windows, this is why no one likes you. I was in the middle of something. I told you not to do anything with my computer and you did it anyway. Thankfully, I write all of my posts in Grammarly first so everything was already saved, but seriously, fuck you. The past three times I’ve sat down to write I’ve been interrupted. I didn’t need those updates. I most likely didn’t want them. I just wanted to write. Go burn in hell. Awrrawrrawrrawrrawr. >.<;

/end rant

Anyway, back to talking typing about my day…

I knew there was still stuff to do. I was still supposed to cook dinner. Ox and I were supposed to work on the house. I wanted to do laundry and make sure I was reset properly for the coming week, but after the countertop adventure, I wasn’t feeling like doing anything other than hiding in a dark hole of nothingness where higher level thinking was banned and human interaction was equivalent to crossing the Line of Demarcation and punishable by death.

Ok… maybe my energy level wasn’t that low… but it was close…

Ox and I ended up going to Greenfields for lunch, which is the place we first had breakfast together during my original trip to Nebraska. It was amazing going back there again. I was able to have a warm cup of coffee followed by a lunch combination consisting of a turkey sandwich, a bowl of French onion soup, and a cup of fruit. The atmosphere was quiet for the most part and we were seated in a corner booth away from everyone.

It helped balance me out and recharge me. We decided since Home Depot seemed like the company we would be going with for the countertops that we would stop by the store again on the way home and pick up more samples for Mama Ox to look at.

With a better idea of what type of countertop we were going to be going with, Ox and I were able to start thinking about how to handle the cabinetry; wood stain versus paint, light versus dark. We were able to get a feel for the type of tiling we want to do on the kitchen wall space between the counter backsplash and the cabinets as well.

It was really nice and I’m glad we went back even though originally it seemed like a dauntingly impossible task.

We went home after that.

We talked with his parents more about the countertops, eventually leaving them with the sample chips to discuss which one they wanted to go with.

I laid down for a bit in our dark and silent bedroom. When I eventually got up Ox and I sorted through the cabinet in the laundry room. We were able to throw a bunch of stuff away. Since we cleaned out a bunch of space there, we were able to move the light bulbs that were being stored in the bathroom cupboard out to the laundry room cabinet. There’s a fairly empty shelf I would like to move most of the cleaning supplies to, but that’s a project for a different day. I would want to get the green light from Mama Ox first before making that change, and since I didn’t have it in me to move forward on that project I decided it was better to wash up and have dinner instead. It was getting kind of late anyway.

Oh. We were able to clear off the top of the freezer while we were working, too, which was another area that needed some serious attention.

I heated up one of the containers of my sriracha chicken since there were leftovers from last night. Originally I was supposed to cook deer steaks but the meat wasn’t thawed enough so it became a “fend for yourself” night. I ate my dinner sitting on the couch behind Mama Ox who was at the table on her computer. We talked about the countertops again. I gave my opinion on the one I liked the best and why then watched the show that was playing on the TV. It was something on the Discovery channel about finding the truth behind the myths of sea creatures and stuff. It was actually pretty interesting.

After eating I loaded up the dishwasher and set it to run. I finished putting away the cleaning stuff I had used out in the laundry room, started a load of laundry, then came back to the bedroom to write.

And so here I am, at the end of my day. I need to switch the wash into the dryer, but workwise, I’m pretty much prepared for tomorrow. I’ve already filled the water filter so I can fill my water bottle before going to sleep and not have to worry about that in the morning. My scrubs are cleaned and put away so the cats can’t be jerks and spray them again. I have clean socks, too, and will shortly put all of them into my backpack so I can have my stash at work. I have leftovers to take to work with me tomorrow for food as well as bread, lunch meat, and chips I plan to take with me so I can make sandwiches on my lunch breaks rather than constantly having to meal prep at home.

That was something I got to thinking about at some point late last week. Since we have such a small team at the clinic, there’s actually space in the fridge and cabinets to keep stuff at the clinic. I think that’s one way I can cut down on my stress. I don’t have to constantly cook and prep stuff. I can keep some things in the clinic breakroom. I’m going to try it out at least.

Monday, tomorrow, I’m going to take everything with me and leave it there through the week. At the end of my work week, which will be Saturday for me, I plan to bring whatever is left back home with me so I can regroup and see what I need more of, grocery shop for the replacement stuff over the weekend, then take the restocked foodstuffs back with me the next time I work, which since the schedule ends this coming week, I don’t actually know what I’ll be working, but I’m hoping to start the whole “Me Day Mondays” the week after this one.

So yeah… lots of stuff on the horizon hopefully with the addition of modified / new routines.

I’m looking forward to work tomorrow since the bins I asked for should have arrived. That means I get to play around and reorganize stuff during my downtime. Woo! I’ll also get to finally check Workday to see if I got my wage increase or not.

Tuesday is my meeting at work so I’ll be able to talk to my FA about becoming NFACT certified with the possibility of moving towards Vascular Assess Manager with the potential move to LPN in the future.

Yes… Lots of stuff to look forward to this coming week. Guess I should get off the computer so I can get to sleep so I can not hate life while I’m doing all of it.

Daily Post 075: On to a New Week

Standard

Things continue to move in a forward direction.

All last week Ox had his kids. I also worked all last week which wasn’t as much of a struggle as I thought it would be what with having 3 am wake up times for my days.

I went to bed shortly after supper and for the most part was able to get enough sleep to make it through my days, which weren’t nearly as rough as what I was used to in Orlando.

I took my certification test on Wednesday. The drive to Omaha was nice and sunny and I listened to music the whole way to the testing center. I pulled off the interstate to have lunch at an Arby’s which was nice. Ox was on break so we were able to chat for a bit before I continued the last ten minutes of my trip.

I got there about an hour and a half early. Luckily, they let me take my test early so I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and stew.

There were a lot of case study questions. That meant there were a lot of questions with more than one right answer, but you’re supposed to know the “more right” answer. Those were frustrating.

I passed with a 70 something. There’s part of me who wants to feel bad about that. I should be passing with 90s and shit. I should be the best of the best and a total bawce.

The larger part of my self is happy that I get to keep working and that I’ll be reimbursed the two hundred dollars I spent for this test. The larger part of me remembers mom saying “C = RN” while she was taking her classes to get her nursing degree. The larger part of myself remembers Warren encouraging me while I was in Orlando by saying, “What do you call a doctor who got straight Ds while he was in school? You call him Doctor.”

I’m doing well at my clinic. I opened the water room under the supervision of the other tech last Friday. I plan to do it again tomorrow morning and the rest of the mornings this week since I’m still in training. I’m getting more comfortable with the patient population at the clinic. I’m setting things up the way I want them to be so I know where they are and so things are organized. I have a list of ideas to suggest to my FA when we have our clinic meeting.

I’m a good tech. I would rather not let a 150 randomly generated question test make me feel bad about myself. By national standards, I passed. If they wanted to require a 90 to be passing then they should change the requirements. According to them, I’m good enough.

I guess at some point I should let that be good enough for myself as well and stop looping over this moment in my head.

I don’t feel bad, but I don’t feel good either. There was nothing done to mark it. No celebration. No phone call to mom. It’s just a thing that was supposed to be important that happened but nothing followed it so it feels incomplete I guess and I don’t know what to do to complete it.

It’s something internal, so only I can figure it out, I just haven’t yet and I don’t know if I’ll really get around to it this week. I guess that really depends on how much time I take to reflect on things now that the kids aren’t here. It’s hard to be reflective when you have a seven-year-old constantly wanting to do things.

One positive thing to note about work is that the RN I worked with on Friday said that I was doing well and that I would be a good fit for the clinic. That was a warm fuzzy moment. It’s always nice to hear positive support when things are still nebulous and sort of iffy in my head.

Oh. On the subject of work… Dialysis technicians are now required to be part of a registry, like CNAs and RNs. That means there was another fee I had to pay for an application I had to fill out with a bunch of other paperwork I had to submit.

I did all of that on Saturday since I wanted to run into town for craft stuff. It’s nice to have it off of my to-do list, though another thing has been added to it since apparently, my CPR certification isn’t in my teammate file… yeah… the one that I had to stay for since the American Red Cross one I had wasn’t good enough for my company…

I’ve already reached out to my trainer from the Star Learning program to see if it can be located because that’s why I was so exhausted for Allion’s wedding. I had to stay for that class before I could drive the six hours to be in South Caroline to be her maid of honor before driving back to be in Orlando on time for my first day of training… I know I got that f’ing certification and I want it f’ing found… please.

I also got a text message from my FA in Orlando this afternoon asking for me to call him when I had a moment. I’ve successfully not replied to that message all day today. It was my first day alone. There wasn’t a chance in hell of me doing anything work/obligation related. I have a short day tomorrow so I plan to pick back up the adulting mantle and figure out what else is about to hit the fan.

One more positive note regarding work… I hadn’t realized how much has happened regarding work until I started writing…

I got my first full paycheck. I’m getting my full rate of pay rather than training pay. Woo. That meant this past Friday I was able to catch up on ALL of my bills. Things are still tight because I did that, but I don’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks or being late. It’s a pretty good feeling.

Warren still hasn’t started paying me back. Or Kyle. I haven’t gotten my Full Sail check or my tax return, but I’m doing just fine on my own*.

*With the support of Ox and his family

I took the bike out for a ride yesterday morning. I was antsy and wanted to do something without actually having to go anywhere. I only biked for four miles, but that was four miles more than I did the previous day and with the hills here I think it still counted as a pretty good ride. My heart rate was up and when I came inside I definitely worked up a sweat. That’s normally how it works with biking for me. The wind keeps me from sweating too much. It’s only after I stop that I realize, oh yeah, I soaked my shirt. Go me.

The coldness here probably adds to that. I made sure to drink water even though it didn’t “feel” like I needed to. Dehydration can be a sneaky jerk like that.

I haven’t figured out code names for Ox’s kids yet. So that’s going to make writing about them a bit cumbersome until I do, but none the less, that’s a big part of what I need to write about since that’s the other main thing that’s been going on in my life this past week.

Ox’s daughter continues to want to spend time with me. We’re doing pretty well in Crash of the Titans. It’s the Crash Bandicoot game where you can have two players. It does get rough at times with her constantly say, “Hurry up. Wait for me. Do this. We don’t need that. What are you doing? Don’t hit my guy! Sorry I killed you. I want to do the skateboard! This boss is hard. I don’t want to do that.”

I can only handle a few levels before my brain is in overload and I need to step away, but overall I think we’re doing well in the game and I’m handling being thrown into the deep end of parenting with no instruction booklet or training course pretty well. I went on a bike ride with her on Saturday, which most likely sparked my bike ride Sunday. We baked muffins Sunday afternoon to have for breakfast this morning. I’ve gotten her interested in cross stitching which is why I wanted to go into town Saturday; it was just a bonus that I could take care of the application for work at the same time.

Since she’s so small I figured it would be good to start her on 14 count fabric rather than using the 28 count that I use. I also wanted to get her larger needles so they’re easier to thread. She’s doing surprisingly well for never having stitched before and being seven. She’s having a good time with it which is what I was hoping for; her enjoying something other than computer games.

We also made magnates out of Perler beads. That was fun. Maybe we’ll make frames for our little cross stitch cats once they’re done.

I think having the kids for extended periods of time will be easier for everyone once the addition is done. More space and stuff.

I offered for Ox’s son to go with me the next Saturday we’re all together to a Tae Kwon Do class. I haven’t interacted with him much but that’s because he would rather stay in the computer room playing whatever game it is he’s into. I can’t really blame him. He doesn’t get any alone time when he’s with his mother, he’s also not allowed to touch the computer while he’s there so this is the only time he’s able to do electronicy stuff.

He seemed interested, then changed his mind and said no thanks… I said if he changed his mind to let me know. Regardless it’s something I want to look into.

I did find a dojo that seems perfect for what I’m looking for. The only downside is it’s about an hour away in Omaha…

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about that. I do know that I need to keep focusing on getting back to where I was. As work continues to ease into a routine and as I make it through mom’s death day and as the Earth continues to turn into spring I think things will naturally align themselves, so I haven’t started giving myself shit yet.

Not much has happened in regards to organizing the addition or making progress on the house, but that’s because everyone has been sick, it’s been cold and rainy and miserable days outside, and the kids have been here. Hopefully, small steps forward will start up again now that things are sort of back to normal.

I know the kitchen feels like a losing battle.

Every time I give myself a pat on the back for clearing out a space or getting rid of something, Ox’s mom goes and spends $100 at the grocery store. It breaks my brain in certain ways.

We were out of ketchup so she went out and got two small bottles. I’m ok with that. I mean… I would have only bought one, but I can see having a spare. Mom would do the same thing. I’m just so used to not having space to store anything that I don’t buy spares.

Well, today she came home with another two bottles of ketchup because they were most likely on sale. You don’t need three bottles of spare ketchup. >.<;

Or another four cans of mushrooms to go with the other eight we still have… >.<;

Arg.

But I can’t really fault her because she did come back with things that the house needed like toilet paper and trash bags.

But frozen pizza isn’t healthy. We don’t need four of them. No one is eating the cereal that we have, why did you buy two more boxes of it?

Me: *thuds head against the kitchen counter in defeat*

I guess it’s really not all that bad. It’s just so different from what I’m used to that I don’t know… it just feels wrong. It doesn’t help with the cluttered feeling. We’re working on it, though.

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the mini fridge that isn’t been used so a pantry can be added instead. If I’m allowed to work things the way I want, I think it will help with the cans and paper product storage. As well as spare stuff.

I want to get slide out drawers for the larger cabinets as well. I think those would be amazing.

This house really does have so much potential. All it needs is elbow grease.

Sadly, today was not a day of applying any. I stayed in bed for most of it. I did a bit of meal prep. I picked up the dirty clothes the kids left scattered in the bathroom. I washed Ox’s clothes and just switched them into the dryer so I could do a load of the kid’s stuff. I’ll most likely save my own laundry until tomorrow since it’s getting close to my bedtime.

I cooked dinner, too, which turned out well. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and there was enough left over to have an additional lunch container.

Jon and I have talked a few times over the week. He took a trip to Boston since he was on spring break. He’s back safe and sound in Daytona. I guess he’s made a big impression at work in a short amount of time because all of his patients missed him and wanted to know where he was. That made him feel good, which is good. He’s been having a rough time of it lately, much for the same reasons I am.

It’s a rough time of the year. It starts March 23rd. I guess the universe wanted me to have the 4th of April off because I’m not scheduled to work. I actually have the 3rd and 4th off, though I do go back on the 5th.

I don’t know what else to write about. I’ve touched on subjects that I need to address and haven’t.

I had a dream about mom the other night. Thursday I think it was.

I don’t remember all of it, but I remember I was telling her I wanted to move back home. Things weren’t bad, but there was an issue I wasn’t addressing and instead of fixing it I wanted to move back home with mom because that would “fix” everything.

Mom was exasperated with me. I don’t think she said “no” but I know she didn’t agree with my “throw my hands up” sort of attitude.

It led to a conversation that I think needed to happen with Ox. I think we’re better for it even though it was hard for me to voice those feelings. It’s hard to write about because I know he’ll read this section.

We’re still trying to find a balance with everything, including each other. I like our relationship, though. I like how he came home and we watched a couple episodes of a show while cuddled together before putting groceries away once his mom got home and having dinner together with the family.

Things still feel good and that’s scary for me.

I have a phone appointment scheduled with my therapist, which I think is good and something that could help me figure myself out.

I’m still scared of all of this good. With work. With my relationship. With life.

I actually had time this weekend to sleep in, eat a good breakfast, bike ride, cross stitch, and work on a puzzle.

What the actual fuck?

When did I die? When did this become my life? This stress-free, sit on the porch and swing life away, type of living isn’t meant for me. Or at least hasn’t been for so long that I don’t know how to trust it, accept it. This isn’t how it can continue. Something has to break, or crumble, or shatter. It’s too pretty to be real and yet I desperately cling to this dream of a life because it’s what I’ve wanted for so long.

Yeah… It’s too late to delve further into this, but at least I know it’s there. I love my life right now and that scares me because now I have something I’m scared of losing again.

In a way, I’m glad I had that realization. I’m glad I love my life. It just sucks that I understand where my fear comes from because now I’m aware of my fear.

Blag. I guess that balances out to being neutral. For now, I need to go be an adult and brush my teeth and go to bed. Maybe mom will have more advice for me in my dreams. Maybe we’ll be able to say hi to each other and talk about nothing for a while.

That’s such a pretty thought right now. I hope it happens.