Friday Complaints

I’m up earlier than I care to be. It seems that my husband was having trouble getting comfortable which means he was flopping all over the place, grunting, breathing in my face, snoring. When I became fully awake, it was impossible to ignore all of this, as much as my tired mind and body craved just one more hour. When I realized that my entire ass was hanging off the side of the bed I felt myself getting irritated so I decided to just give up and come in here to complain on the internet.

I have been struggling for the past few days, well longer than that really, but it has just become more pronounced of late. I have been highly irritable at everyone and everything. I would chalk it up to PMS but I still haven’t had a period. I’ve resented my husband for sleeping; he’s out a good hour before I am and often stays in bed well after I am up. I chalk this up to his lack of responsibility and subsequent lack of actual stress. I am glad for him and it’s not like I want him to be stressed out, heck, that just makes my like even more stressful. It’s just the idea that I am walking around in this constant state of turmoil over all the important business of life and the everyday minutiae that keeps our house up and running and here he is, just moving along, tra la la.

He does stuff. He helps. He does the lawn, he’s been doing a better job with housekeeping. He’s not lying around doing nothing. I just wish he would (could?) do more. I wish he could help financially.

We had a spirited discussion a month or so ago and he was upset that he was having to stress over a small amount of money for something he needed or wanted, but meanwhile we are generous to others. I saw his point at the time and now that I know he feels that way, I feel like I can’t ask him for any financial help as long as I am still being altruistic in any way to others outside our sphere. I’m struggling with this though because I don’t think it’s fair to me.

I should be able to spend my money the way I want to, after I’ve covered my expenses. The problem is that after I cover my expenses, I have to cover his expenses and after that, there is less than nothing left. So I just continue to drown in debt with no end in sight.

I need help but I don’t feel like I can ask for it until I have cut every single extra expense and still come up short. It’s not hard to prove that I would still come up short, the issue is that to prove this point, I have to officially work my ass off to do nothing but survive and the thought of that just makes me so sad. I think I’d just rather live in this endless cycle of debt and enjoy myself from time to time.

I don’t know. I don’t know what the right thing is. I know that I am far better off than most and enjoy luxuries I take for granted. This would be true even if I cut my expenses back to what I consider the bare minimum. Do I need Spotify? No. Do I use it every day? Yes. Do I need all the cable and streaming shit I have? No. Does it keep my dad entertained and out of my hair from time to time? Yes. Every time I go to re-evaluate my budget I run up against this same shit. All the stuff I could cut just makes me miserable and the math still barely works out, so what the fuck is the point?

Anyway. That’s my bitch for this morning. All this noise will fade into the background in a matter of days and I will be back to normal. I’m just glad it’s Friday.

Tragedy

I cried last night watching the news, which is unusual. I think sometimes I’ve become desensitized and then I hear about the violent massacre of children and my heart breaks and it’s proof I still have one.

I’m glad that I’m at middle age, entering into the second half of my life. I’m glad that I had a good childhood and that I have happy memories. This world that we live in right now is so fucked up and I feel awful for the people that only know this reality.

I suppose this is how my parents felt as I grew up. Maybe they thought the world was a dumpster fire then too. Somehow, I think that even if that’s true, things are currently so, so much worse. Maybe my generation just laid down the framework for this next phase.

I didn’t even get a news alert on my phone yesterday. I happened to turn the news on, which I rarely do, but this tragedy wasn’t enough to warrant a ping.

So many families saw their worlds collapse yesterday and mere weeks from now, our collective society will have either moved past it, or politicized it to the extent that no one is thinking about the human beings anymore, in favor of whatever they think the government is trying to take away from them that is somehow more important than a second grader’s life.

I’m so, so tired of it. It makes me sick. It feels like it all just needs to burn to the fucking ground so we can start over clean. Shit is broken, y’all.

Updates While I Eat My Salad

Mini vacay was nice. I barely got out of bed except to get food. I have no regrets; I needed the break.

Sadly, the pace of life did not slow in my absence so there was a lot to catch up on when I returned. I feel like I’m making some headway, but most importantly, I’m allowing some things to just fall aside, temporarily, and not feel bad about them, this blog being one of those.

Em is recovering nicely and was able to do some light exercise on Wednesday. I’m getting really creative with workouts since everyone around me is injured in some way. I’m killing it lately at my workouts, in the driveway and with Ralph. I think the better food is making a big difference. I’m still loving my special scale, so much so that I even brought it with me on vacation.

I found a way that I can see actual numbers if I want to. I peeked a while back and saw that I lost 2 pounds since I started. Ordinarily, I would scoff at that and be discouraged, but the way this thing works, I know that is two pounds off and kept off, not just a hormonal weight shift. I turned the setting back off right away, and decided I’ll just check in every 30 days or so. It’s not scary since I know from the color system that I’m losing more or maintaining, and I’m happy with either.

I used one of those stylist box services for a little wardrobe refresh recently. I already cancelled it because its too expensive and I decided I’d rather just start thrifting instead, but one of the items in the box was this body con animal print dress that I never would have picked for myself. It fits me so well it’s almost obscene. Every single curve is highlighted and in a very positive way. I kept the dress but I’m not sure when or where I will wear it because I will be self conscious in it, even if I feel good in it. I’ve spent a lot of years hiding my shape so to put it out there like that is a little terrifying. I also have no idea what shoes to wear with it.

I’m taking my daughter to the airport tomorrow. She’s going to Alaska for a few months. I haven’t gotten emotional about it yet, I’ll probably just lose my shit and embarrass her tomorrow. I’m excited for her. She’s doing an internship at the Princess Denali Lodge, learning her way around a commercial bakery. Oh, and she’s going with her boyfriend in tow. Should be interesting.

OK. Done with my salad and back to work.

Family Drama and Faulty Organs

I am not a fan of family drama. It is super rare and I’d like to keep it that way. Unfortunately, we had a little flare up.

I stopped by my mom’s house on Friday to drop off a magnificent plant that I would have loved to have kept for myself, for Mother’s Day. My sister was also there and I chose this opportunity to have a little chat with her to apologize for not being mindful over the years of the losses she suffered in her youth and to tell her that I am here for her. I also lightly mentioned that she should probably choose her words more carefully when it comes to describing baby Otto as the ‘first’ grandchild, because Moira is sensitive about it. Holy shit y’all, she got SO mad.

I am not a fan of conflict so I immediately worked to minimize and assure her that no one is mad or anything, but once my sister is set on a path it is near to impossible to get her off it.

First, she essentially denied having said it, which I know is not the case because she has said it to me. I corrected her then, and she brushed it off qualifying that it was the first biological grandchild. I reminded her that blood doesn’t make family. She agreed, but was still furious. I knew at that moment that she was just feeling terrible for hurting Moira’s feelings, because my sister is so unwaveringly kind. Instead of just sitting in that, she wanted to blame someone else for that message being delivered to Moira.

I understood and knew I should leave it alone, which I did and told her I’d talk to her later.

I spoke to her again yesterday and she had time to sit with her feelings and cool down and she admitted that she said it but really just because she was trying every angle she could to get people as excited as she was but that she had done some reading and realized that it’s ok for people not to be on the same page. Thank the lord.

The upshot is that things seem back to normal, but there’s still a little undercurrent of tension, but I’m sure that will fad with time.

In other news, I spent Mother’s Day in the hospital with my husband so he could have an emergency appendectomy, so that was fun. I still haven’t seen my ingrate daughter who I started a war with my sister to defend, but whatever.

Em is recovering nicely and we are on poop watch. He was discharged yesterday morning and I know he’s ready to go but also scared. Honestly, I would be too, under the circumstances.

I’m going on a little mini vacation to Orlando this weekend. Luckily, the only plan we made was to lie around in the hotel room and watch movies so this surprise surgery has not slowed us down at all. I’m glad to be getting out of the house for a while and into an environment where I can’t do anything but relax because heaven knows I can’t do much of that around here.

Otto, Second Chance Spider, and Scale Update

I’m glad I went to the ultrasound after all. My brother was really hoping for a boy but had convinced himself he was having a girl, so it was really cool to watch him lose his shit when he learned he was, in fact, having a boy. He was so happy and relieved. It’s not that he was opposed to having a girl, he was just scared of it, because, he says “all guys are creeps.” I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but I do know it took a long time for me to trust any of them around my daughter, so I get it.

They have decided to name the baby Otto, which I think is adorable. I’m very happy for them and for my sister I guess, since she’s still very deeply invested in this whole thing.

In other news, I was able to save another spider from my house, this one arguably faster and scarier than the last and I can report that he made it into the bushes unscathed. No guarantees he got much farther than that, but I did not witness his demise.

Things have remained very busy otherwise. I have had little to no downtime on any given day. I have been consistent with exercise because at this point I require it for my mental health and have built it solidly into my routine. I haven’t been doing a ton of running, mostly because that takes more time than I have had to dedicate to it and it’s also getting hotter which means I have to get up earlier to get it done and while getting up earlier has proved helpful to me in the past, I really don’t like waking up before the sun.

My one early day is Tuesday, because I have to see Ralph at 730A. I get up at 6A so my digestive system has time to do whatever it’s going to do before I have to leave my house. Otherwise, I’m up around 730A and that feels right from a circadian rhythm standpoint.

All that said, I could find time to write, but I just haven’t really wanted to lately. I’m uninspired, sure, but more than that, I’ve just been enjoying more tactile creative outlets lately. I feel like the desire to write will come back, but I don’t think forcing it is a great idea. I have one project that I am working on with my BFF and I will continue to visit with it regularly, though probably not as often as I had originally planned. She has given me grace in this regard and I am grateful for that. She’s the best.

I finished one crochet project this week Sunday and started another one last night. This will be a baby blanket for my new nephew. I’m having fun making it so that’s what I’m focusing on.

I’m still loving my fancy Shapa scale. I was in green for a long time at the beginning which means my body composition was stable, but I went into Teal for a few days and Blue for one, both of which meant I was making progress toward my ‘goal’ and that was a good feeling. I’m back to green for the past couple of days, but I do not feel like I’ve back slid and I am not demotivated like I would have been in the past with a traditional weight measurement.

I am enjoying the different approach, it appeals to something in my psyche that craves feedback without reinforcing any of the defeatism I am prone to and that is perfect for me. Emmitt signed up recently which made me happy. I told him early on that it was an option, but never pushed the issue. He came to it on his own and I think it will help him. He’s got quite a bit more to lose than I do, so I think he will see blue quite a lot and be motivated by it. He’s already enjoying the little bite sized missions he has to do, like smiling for a whole minute. Weird, sure, but how can it hurt?

For now, I’m off to catch up on all the posts I have missed. Or at least as many as I can read in the next minutes.

Babies, Candles and Spiders… Oh My!

My little brother is expecting his first child with his girlfriend. They are having an ultrasound today to learn the gender, or shall I say, the genitalia, of the baby. I’m excited for him, though not as excited as my sister, who is losing her entire mind over the whole thing. I knew about the ultrasound appointment a while back, but only recently realized that I was invited. Apparently ultrasound parties are a thing now. I’d be super ok just finding out via text but I’m going to go to support my sister, who will probably cry the whole time.

My sister had cancer in her twenties and lost the ability to reproduce. She will be fifty this year and I think this pregnancy, this baby, has brought some deep shit up for her. I had my own infertility journey, but I ended up with my daughter, so even though I never gave birth I still got to be a mom. That wasn’t true for my sister. She can’t even talk about this baby without bursting into tears. It’s joy, for sure, but there is also some unresolved pain there. I feel for her but she is making everyone insane by attempting to get us to reach her level of excitement. Even the parents to be aren’t as jazzed as she is.

My dad and husband are both irritated because she keeps trying to convince them that they are going to hold the baby when it comes and neither of them are interested. I’m honestly not a big baby holder myself, but I’ve escaped her onslaught because she assumes I want to hold the baby, because I’m a girl, I guess. We are all supposed to have dinner together tonight after the ultrasound. I’m hoping my family can just fake it and try to be enthusiastic for my sister’s sake. Fingers crossed. At least I know the food will be good.

In other news, I found out that Bath & Body Works was having a buy 2 get 2 free candle sale. I was as excited for that as my sister is about the baby. I made such a scene, especially when I learned it was the LAST DAY of the sale, that my dad asked me how much money I needed. Fuck yeah, dad. I am the proud owner of 24 delicious candles that should keep my house smelling delightful for probably the rest of the year.

Finally, I have been working to overcome my intense fear of spiders. I have one that I know lives in my car because I see him from time to time. I talk to him and think about him kindly, knowing he means me no harm so that if he reveals himself while I’m driving I won’t wreck and die. When I encounter a small spider in the wild, something no larger than a pencil eraser, I will engage with it, even let it crawl on me if it is so inclined. Today, I realized there was a spider in my hallway. It was of the fast and spindly variety, the scariest of the bunch. It was also about the size of a quarter, far larger than my usual engagement size. I breathed and remained calm. Emmitt was going to call Casey (one of my cats) over to eat him or play with him to death, but I said, “No. I’m going to relocate him”.

I got the bug box and captured him, which was not easy because as I mentioned earlier, he was fast. I didn’t scream once. I took him outside and found a nice spot in the mulch out front. We opened the trap door to the box and out he crawled, his black body shining in the sun. As I patted myself on the back for my good deed, a lizard shot out of the bush and ate the spider.

Circle of life I guess.

I tried.

Lucy and Luther – The Ticket – Chapter 9

Luther headed back to the RV park with a smile on his face. He bopped lightly to the tune on the radio, feeling hopeful. As he crested the hill, a small service station came into view. He glanced at the dash and realized that he needed gas. He stopped at the station, parked at a pump and headed inside. A dour attendant barely glanced up when Luther set a ten and a twenty on the counter and said, “thirty on pump seven, please.” She slid the bills toward her wordlessly and pressed a few buttons, as she did so, Luther stuffed his hand in his pocket and felt something there. He pulled it out and discovered it was a crumpled dollar bill. He straightened it on the edge of the counter, an action which caused the attendant to shoot him a disdainful look.

“One of those scratchers, too. Please.” Luther said.

“Which one?” the attendant asked.

“Surprise me.” Luther said, smiling brightly.

The attendant rolled her eyes, grabbed the bill from Luther’s hand, tore a ticket from the nearest roll and handed it to him.

“Good luck”, said the attendant, with a complete lack of enthusiasm. Luther’s smile held as he thanked her and headed out with a spring in his step.

Luther returned to the pump and began fueling. He retrieved a coin from his pocket and proceeded to scratch his ticket while he waited. The goal was to reveal two identical amounts in the same row; there were six rows of two. Normally, he would have just scratched the whole ticket in one go, but the pump was running so slowly, he decided to draw it out. He scratched the first item in every row, then went back to scratch the second item in order of potential winnings from ticket to ten-thousand dollars.

He was briefly disappointed when he didn’t win a ticket, since that was the best he usually ever did on these things, but he was feeling lucky today and maybe he’d win twenty-five, or even a hundred. As he kept scratching, his smile faltered. No matches. He was down to the last row, the ten-thousand-dollar row. The odds were against him, but he scratched anyway.

Luther was staring intently at the ticket when the pump handle disengaged, startling him. He removed the handle from the RV, replaced it on the pump, screwed the gas cap back on then leaned against the RV, turning his attention back to the ticket in his hand. Could it be true? Luther thought. Did I just win? He brought the ticket close to his face, squinting to find the asterisk or fine print that would reveal the lie but found nothing.

Luther ran back into the store. “I won!” he yelled to the attendant, waving the ticket in the air.

“Good for you” she said, with a complete lack of enthusiasm. She held out her hand for the ticket, and Luther rushed forward, handing it to her. “Oh,” she said, looking up at him. “Wow, you really did win, huh?”

Luther nodded and bounced on the balls of his feet.  

The attendant finally smiled, only slightly, as she handed the ticket back to Luther, who now looked confused.

“It’s too much. You can’t redeem it here. You gotta fill out a form and go to the office or mail it in,” the attendant explained.

“Oh. Ok,” Luther replied, crestfallen. “Thanks”, he said before turning to walk away. The attendant nodded and went back to reading a magazine.

Luther got back in the RV and stared at the ticket. He flipped it over and strained to read the fine print on the back. He realized he was going to have to get online to figure out next steps. No worries. He took a deep breath and his smile returned. While he would have preferred to just get cash in hand today, the fact remained that he just won enough money to keep him going for quite some time and it couldn’t have been more opportune. Big deal, there was a little administrative work to be done. He had all the time in the world.

Luther dropped the ticket into the cupholder, started the engine and headed for home. He had so much to tell Lucy.

My New Interests

Well, I’m within 5 days of being caught up on my reader, so that’s progress. I should be current by the end of the week and that will feel good. I failed to write anything yesterday and was on track to fail again today because I am still un-showered, I have expense reports to complete, some development to provide specs for, reservations for dinner, and five thousand other things PLUS I have nothing interesting to say, but hey. That last thing has never stopped me before, so here I go.

I’ve written in the past about how much I liked information as it related to my physical state of being, like weight, for example. The problem is that weighing myself would very often send me down a dark path of self loathing and defeatism, which invariably led to more behavior in opposition to my desired outcomes.

Because of this, I’ve sworn off the scale. I’ve also stopped doing any kind of calorie counting or macro tracking. It’s been quite a few months and I will admit that I love the freedom, but as time has worn on, I can’t help but yearn for some kind of information about the state of my body beyond how my clothes fit me on any given day.

I went to the trusty internet and did some searching for solutions and was delighted to find that there are things out there that just might scratch that information itch, without making me feel like shit about myself.

The first one is an app called Ate. It’s a food diary, but you just take a picture of what you ate and decide whether it was ‘on track’ or ‘off track’ based on whatever criteria you establish. There are different ‘experiments’ you can do that I think are meant to just make eating a more mindful practice. The one I’m doing now is called Deep Breaths and it entails taking two deep breaths before you eat. That’s it. Just slowing down and breathing. If you do this, you mark the meal as ‘on path’, no matter what it was. There is no end goal or anything, I can do this for as long as I want to see how it affects me, or doesn’t. It’s pretty great. It’s not free, I think it was like $50 for an annual subscription, but for me it has been well worth it so far.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ate-food-journal-health-log/id1164976477

The second thing I got was this scale/app combo called Shapa. It’s a numberless scale which measures more than just weight, which is already great. It takes a 10 day calibration period, during which you weigh in every day and it looks at that time period to establish patterns that are normal for you, versus the rest of the population. Once it figures out what that baseline is, you get a Shapa color, which I’ll admit I don’t fully understand yet because I’m still in the calibration phase, but the upshot is that the color will tell you if you’re about normal, or if you’ve fluctuated up or down out of whatever your baseline range is.

https://www.myshapa.com/

There is also a mindful eating log, (which I’m not really using because I am doing that with the other app), missions, which are small achievable goals that you are given every day based on a questionnaire and (I’m assuming) the data that the scale collects. Like today, my missions are to decide on 2 new, non-food related, ways to reward myself when I have achieved any small goals along the timeline of my program and to consume at least 20g of fiber. Easy, right? Sure, but they require more thought and introspection than I would ordinarily have engaged in. There are also Badges and Community, so that could be fun. I’ll have a better idea of how I feel about it all once I’m out of the calibration stage. I’ve got 4 more weigh ins to go. This is also not free and requires a subscription. I signed up for 18 months because A) it was less expensive per month and B) because I like the idea of a long term, incremental approach. It cost around $140, but it included the scale, and an app enabled scale by itself would run about $80, so I’m not mad at it.

Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m excited about all my new gadgets. I hope I don’t tire of them in a month, which is totally a possibility, but for now, I’m feeling positive.

Oops, I Did it Again

Life got real overwhelming there for a while and as that happened I got behind on many things, one of them being the blog posts from people I follow here.

When I finally felt like I was ready to write a little something, I felt that I needed to catch up on posts first. I know this is basically ridiculous and that no one is sitting around waiting for me to like or respond to their post, but I am genuinely interested in the lives of the people I do follow so I felt like I owed it to them to get caught up before I jumped back in, otherwise it would be like barging into a conversation that had been underway without me and proceeding with zero context.

Of course that assumes that any of the prior conversation had anything at all to do with me, which is highly unlikely and solidifies my behavior as ridiculous.

I will be catching up, slowly but surely, on all of my beloved and prolific bloggers, but in the meantime, I gotta jump back in, even if I have nothing important to say. I missed just writing about nothing, and I suppose that, in itself, makes it important, to me at least.

I’m not going to go back and rehash everything that has happened in the days since I last wrote. Suffice it to say, there was laughter, there were tears, there were fights, there was resolution. Things are pretty good right now and that makes me happy. I feel like I can take a deep breath.

This time, I will try to stay on track and come by more often to bore people with my boring life and not get side-tracked by made-up conditions and imaginary obligations. Lord knows I have enough real ones.

I Did Have a Plan

Well my creative writing plan didn’t quite go, well, as planned. I woke up at 6, brushed my teeth, splashed some water on my face and put on my gym clothes, made a cup of tea and headed to the office to make some magic happen. But then I couldn’t find my files, new laptop and all, so I had to boot up the old laptop and got distracted and then it was time to go see Ralph.

I got back after the gym with every intention of writing but I got distracted by my pesky job and family responsibilities, which have been a little more intense over the past day or so because my dad is dealing with some mysterious neck pain. Yesterday he yelped and squirmed and cursed and I tried to help, but there’s only so much I can do. I tried to get him to make an appointment with his doctor, but he’d rather lay in bed moaning.

In an effort to alleviate some of the discomfort, he took up residence in the recliner in the living room where he has parked his giant walker, smack in the middle of everything. He is either watching M.A.S.H at ear splitting volume, even though I turned the closed captions on, or he’s sleeping in silence, refusing to leave the TV on even for background noise so I’m left to creep as quietly as possible through my own space in the middle of the day.

He’s even more grouchy than usual, because he’s uncomfortable, so I understand, but Em and I are both terrified that he’s going to become quickly accustomed to being in the recliner all day. My nerves are frayed.

Dramatic Re-enactment. My actual dad is smaller but somehow takes up more space and is wearing pajamas. Facial expression and angry remote wielding is about right.

After I made dinner and fed everyone, I watched a little TV with him, but after about two shows I couldn’t take it anymore and I abandoned the space. I could technically be doing my creative writing now, but my brain is too full of real life bullshit. No room for the muse.

Tomorrow is another day. I have a workout in the morning but it’s later, so I should be able to knock something out early. I hope so because I miss creative writing and I’m worried that I have dropped the thread too long and subsequently lost it. I pray I’m wrong.