Boy update

And given where things left off dramatically, I guess probably the most interesting update is with the new relationship.

Though, obviously that update is going to be a lot more limited by keeping to more of my reactions to things and to thoughts that I am comfortable with openly discussing.

To give a generic summary, things are still going well, 4 months in.

My head is a lot more settled than when the last posts were written, obviously LOL. The sort of dramatic and abrupt start has been the exception… things have been pretty much calm and drama-free… far from the roller coaster I’d have expected looking at things objectively.

There are still occasionally moments when the reality of things just suddenly hits me and I shake my head wondering if things actually really happened. But “What the heck? I’m dating again? Seriously?” moments are getting less and less.

But it’s actually sort of hard for me to really explain where I’m at on things.

I think the biggest thing that I can say is it has been completely and totally a different world than any other relationship that I’ve been in, ever. And it has been from the start.

No resemblance. It’s just not even the same thing, at all.

Maybe part of it is being older and having the long time between things. That would explain some of the ways that things just seem to click and work without all of the drama and issues. (The minor exception being a mental battle entirely on my side with feeling like I was going to screw everything up by being able to devote so little time to it early on.)

But I don’t think it’s just a difference from time. It’s just a completely different animal.

The feel is almost a polar opposite at times.

There isn’t the excited butterflies fluttering feeling… the sudden giddy energy bursts from a kiss or an email…

But in its place is this soothing comforting calm, that happens at those same times.

It’s the difference between feeling like you want to jump up and down and shout…. And the sudden relaxation that moment that you slide into a hot tub. Different planets.

It’s not a feeling like you might burst… it’s a gentle melting that just seeps to the core.

It’s an amazing feeling… a peaceful calm that I wouldn’t trade for any amount of the heart flutters.

But sometimes it still just catches me offguard. I’m just not expecting it. It’s not the field that I’m used to playing. Much nicer, but very different.

There’s been this deep comfort pretty much from the start that’s never been there before. Even in relationships that lasted for years, or were moving towards marriage, or that evolved out of friendships stronger than this one was at the time.

The things that I worked so hard for in other relationships with so much effort given for so little return… creating a feeling like I’m just not meant for relationships… and that they weren’t worth the effort required to maintain… now somehow just go naturally and drama-free.

Just a couple of days into the relationship, I took some time and weighed out my worst case scenarios and biggest fears… and I found that for even the worst ones… even if I knew from the start that things were going to have that outcome, I would still have chosen to continue to move forward.

And that is very much still my feeling at this point.

Some of those concerns have gone away… others still dance in the background off and on… and a few others have popped in at times that weren’t even on the horizon earlier. But there are still none that are so horrible of an outcome that I feel like it would be worth the losses to avoid it even if it were a certain outcome.

Back then, there was also a strong feeling that this was a “one last time”.

And that is still there as well, though not as strongly noticed as it was at the time.

If things end, even if on a positive basis, I really don’t feel like there will be future dating.

Not from frustration with dealing with men or with finding good men or avoiding pain or because it’s been rough or anything… or even because of things going good and not thinking there will be another good candidate. It’s just sort of a closure feeling.

But the more time goes on, the more I’m starting to feel more like it might have the possibility of being less of a retirement out of the race, and more a journey completed.

And as much as I wouldn’t have wanted to re-open the door in the not so distant past… I’ve very glad that the door did open for that one last time. Even if it were to end right now, it still would have been enough to change the flavor of everything.

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Job update

So I suppose the next update probably needs to be about the job situation.

So, to recap, as last spring closed, I was working essentially no hours with my existing job, and had no idea how bills were going to get paid.

In July, I started a new full time job on second shift. This was with the intention of changing to first shift at the first open bid time, which was to be January, and in the meantime it would leave the mornings and weekends open for any hours that happened to open up at the existing job.

Well, due to a shift in things, I found myself suddenly working at the old job 4 days a week from 10 until half an hour before I had to be at the new job. Which was a bit rough when I didn’t get off until midnight, but entirely do-able, and opened up the chances greatly at being able to save enough to afford to return to school.

And so, from September until January, I was pulling off 65 hour weeks.

But as they tend to do, things changed on me again, in the form of two promotions, one at each job.

The one at the old job meant a steady 29 hours a week with some event weeks possibly having more, and a huge pay raise… we’re talking around 50%. And it would still work with the second shift hours.

The one at the new job was only a slight increase in pay, and a slight change in job duties.

However, it came at just the wrong time for the original plan. Because it put me as the last trained group before the shift bid. Which took me from having a sure shot at first shift by seniority if I hadn’t been moved up, to no longer having any advantages and being much much lower in the rankings to compete for a whole lot fewer open day shift positions.

And so, I tried to make it work pulling off both jobs as I had been… realizing that it was only 4 more hours a week.

But, the new shift at the new job meant that I wasn’t getting off until 2am.

Which meant about 4 hours of sleep at night, and then trying to throw in a nap 4 days a week for about 3 hours.

I survived for about 2 months, somehow, until I reached the point at which we were allowed to put in requests to have our shifts altered… which I promptly did, to have my shift changed back to starting 1/2 an hour after the old job ended for the day.

But, at that point, I had to admit that I really did not enjoy the job, even beyond the horrible schedule. It’s not like it was awful… I’ve had jobs much much worse. But it was not something that I enjoyed, and not something that I saw myself keeping as a career.

And, by this point, I already knew that school was not going to be happening for the next year… which had been the big reason I kept telling myself that I was working for.

And, not only was it making things rough with my daughter on rarely seeing her, I also had a new relationship that I was barely able to even manage contact with during the week.. with actually being able to be with each other pretty much limited to one evening a week due to my schedule.

With the increase in hours at the old job, I knew I could survive on that job alone. And with the raise, I’d actually be making more working 29 hours a week than working 40 hours a week at the last full time job that I’d had.

So why wasn’t I enjoying the extra hours instead of still making these crazy sacrifices that I knew weren’t going to help the original purpose of making them?

And so, I really had to ask myself why I was still killing myself trying to pull this off… and the only answer that I could come up with was the paycheck.

I had to admit that I liked the freedom of having the money in my hand.

After how rough the last years have been, it has been an absolute relief to be able to realize that I need something, drive to the store, and get the item… without a second thought as to if I had enough money for it or whether or not I could squeeze it into the budget somewhere.

To not have to wait months to be able to get much needed replacement socks. To not have to check how many days until payday before going to the grocery store. To not have to do math and check calenders and make notes to figure out when to pay how much to keep the utilities turned on.

To be able to go out to eat, to whichever place I wanted (not like I tend towards fancy anyway), and get whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Was this a good reason to be working myself to the point where I couldn’t squeeze in a shower during the week without planning it days in advance or weighing if I was willing to give up the precious limited sleep that I could be getting with that time? Of course not!

And so, I made the decision to resign.

A decision made of my own choosing… but one that you’d have never been able to convince me that I’d be making 6 months before.

The very thing I’d been searching for, for years… a full time job, that paid well, with benefits, that wasn’t physically difficult like unloading trucks. That which I’d spent how many hours praying for.. and that much time and effort to find…

And I willingly made my own choice to let it go.

Time will tell if it was the right decision. But for right now, I’m confident that it was the decision that needed to be made…. as crazy as everyone else seems to think I am for making it.

school updates

Probably the first thing that needs updated is that the door of returning to school has been closed.

As much as I was working my tail off, I’d reached the point to where if I had really wanted to go back to the sacrifices I was making while in school before, and back to the way life was then, I could have pulled it off financially.

My ankle is still another story though.

On most days, it doesn’t bother me too much unless I’m on it a lot. But when I’m on it, my tolerance before it starts getting sore is usually still less than an hour… and walking on it reaches the painful point within 2.

There is no way that I can say with any honesty right now that I think that I can handle being on it for an 8 hour shift… and jumping back in with summer classes, I’d be doing 4 of those a week.

I just can’t justify putting myself through the agony and possible re-inury.

As many pain meds and such as we’ve tried, and as much physical therapy… the doctor has basically said that it just takes time.

Unfortunately, as much as the classes build off of each other, I was already not too sure about jumping back in after a year off… and really think it would be a disaster to try and jump in at the same point after two years off. But with each class only offered once a year, that would be the soonest it could happen if not now.

I’m mostly ok with it.

I say mostly because it frustrates me a lot to have worked for so long and invested so much time and effort and made so many sacrifices for something to come to no real benefit at all. It feels very wasted, and a like a loss on something that I really felt like was what I needed to do. I want to see visible and obvious benefit and purpose from that… not just knowing that in the big picture somehow there was a point to it.

But, it’s not a painful wound at this point like it was last spring.

It’s just sort of a matter of fact thing.

It is what it is, and life goes on… rarely the way I think it should go on, but it goes on anyway.

life happens

Ok, so that was a bit of a cliff that writing went off for a while.

Some of it I will probably do some update posts in the next bit, but a lot of it can pretty much be summarized as trying to cram way too much into way too little time.

Looking over the massive pile of things that are in the “to be read over to make sure i want to post publicly” stack… it’s amazing how much different life feels now than it did back when some of these posts were made.

It’s the difference between someone completely weary and feeling like everything was collapsing… and one enjoying some stability and contentment.

And there’s still a lot of elements in my life that haven’t changed much and still need some work.

But it’s amazing how different things can feel so quickly and with just a bit of hope added.

Things are different. And that’s a good thing for a change!

Why I don’t go to the doctor

Why I don’t go to the doctor unless I absolutely have to:

I had a firm lump that i can feel with my finger, a little under marble sized just behind my tongue going to one side, making it hurt and feel tight to swallow.

Call to primary care doc (one of only three places in town that accept my insurance and would take new adult patients): We can’t see you anytime in the next two weeks.

Visit to immediate care place: Since you have a history of being here with sinus issues and having allergies, and since the strep screen is negative, this is probably just swelling from allergies even though you have no other allergy symptoms right now. Here’s a prescription for claritin and a nasal spray… take some tylenol and a decongestant.

36 hours later… now have a lump the size of a walnut that feels like the edge is directly below my uvula… the entire side of my face is killing me all the way from under cheekbone to lower teeth…. and when I swallow pain shoots through my ear. Left work early in tears and go straight to er.

Pulse is over 100 having been doing nothing but sitting and waiting for an hour, blood pressure is sky high.

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ER: Well, we can see a little bit of swelling, think it’s an absess… but we can’t get a visual to know much because its behind the tongue.
(Do you have a dental mirror or something? No.)
So here’s some antibiotics because that would be the first step anyway. Be sure to follow up with your primary care doc on friday or monday at the latest… they will probably need to do a referral to ENT and do some imaging to get a better idea. Here’s 3 days of pain meds in the meantime.

First thing next morning, call primary care doc: We can’t see you for two weeks.
No, we can’t just look at ER notes and skip to referral.
Should you just go back to ER on friday? Well, actually, we have a new PA starting on monday, let me talk with someone who comes in at 9am and call you back.
2:30pm, after no call back, try 1: transferred to someone’s voicemail.
Try 2: Same person answers, put on hold for more than 20 minutes, disconnected.
Try 3: Let me get to a computer… put on hold for 6 1/2 minutes… repeat whole story again to same person… put on hold again for 5 minutes… Ok, we have an appointment for you in a week.

Not sure whether to hope antibiotics are effective enough to knock it down to survive the week…. go back to the er…. or just start calling ent places and see if one will take me and put some pressure for the referral. The insurance website only lists 3 different ENT practices in town that take it… so it’s a short list….

Silly me to expect something partially blocking the throat and causing severe pain to be a priority.

Cat tails

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Springtime always brings with it a renewed passion for sliding out, even though they are fixed.

So when I had several large contractor bags of trash to carry out, the two slippery one slid out in the process, so I let the third one (my cat) go out too.

Well, my cat is a bit skittish… she waits for the others to test the waters first.

As I was taking the last bag out, she was a bit spooked, and tried to dart back inside the house right as the screendoor was closing.

I had the large and really heavy trashbag in my hands, and couldn’t catch the door.

And so it slammed right on her tail.

I dropped the bag quickly and grabbed the door to free her…. only to find that she wasn’t there anymore. But the 3 inches or so of her tail that had been outside still were.

This took me a second to figure out… there wasn’t blood or anything… just what looked like a large “rabbit’s foot” charm with a white string about 6 inches long.

So she had just had the door break off part of her tail, and had pulled hard enough from fear or pain to pull the “string” out.

I ran inside and found her…. no blood gushing from her either, no gore at all actually.

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But she was hiding across the room and hissed when I even came within 6 feet of her.

She loves being brushed and will always come running when you pick it up, so I eventually coaxed her over to me with her brush and got her into a cat carrier to make an emergency vet run.

But because there was a bit of bone exposed, they couldn’t just do a couple of stitches and give her antibitotics and pain killer… they had to do surgery to remove the last section of bone then close the skin over it.

I suppose we’ve been lucky with these cats… as this is the first time we’ve had a vet bill with them other than having them fixed…. but man, they sure caught up on the expenses in a single swoop.

I’m not sure which is worse… dealing with a cat that has just amputated its own tail, or dealing with a freaked out kid who didn’t even witness it.

But even with no blood and gore… the mental image of opening the door to just a tail section sitting there is one it’s going to take me a while to shake.