Monday Mantra & Some Random Thoughts

No cool graphic this week.  We’re keeping things basic. 

Monday Mantra:

Stay the course. 

That is all.  That’s the important thing to focus on right now. 

Now for some other thoughts:

– I have a love-hate relationship with owning a car.  I have at various times tried to convince Homie to sell our car.  Recently I’ve  been off that kick and on an appreciation kick.  I have a nice car.  I have a comfortable car.  I have a safe car.  There is something phenomenally luxurious about sitting on your butt in the car letting it do all the work after biking.  But I found out on Saturday that it has some significant rust and technically needs a $900 repair. Ugh. Eff cars. Eff snow and rust and GMs crappy inability to make cars for the Northeast. 

– My peace lily from my cousin’s funeral has bloomed like crazy the past two weeks. That makes me happy. 

  
– My cousin just got out of the hospital.  He’s been there since July.  I face timed with him a few weeks ago and he looked about like I expected.  A few days after we talked he had a feeding tube put in.  I saw a picture of him yesterday and he looks horrible.  He’s even thinner than a few weeks ago and my uncle shaved his head because he had lost so much of his hair from chemo.   His mom is parading him around like a trophy.  It makes me sick to my stomach to see.  It’s awful.  Seeing him like that yesterday made me doubt my  “I’m not going to borrow trouble, technically his chances of survival are about 50/50 right now. Maybe 60/40 but those are still good odds” mentality.

– My other cousin was telling me about a conversation with her boss.  She let her boss know about our cousin J in case she needs to take time off.  She told her boss that she’ll be fine, she just needs to go home to be there for the rest of the family and her brother.  She said “I’ll probably cry for a day and then I’ll be fine and then I’ll take a week or two to make sure everyone else is okay.”  And I wasn’t upset with her for thinking that but I realized how little she is prepared for this.  I think it will be much worse for her than just a day of crying.  But she’s never lost anyone close to her before.  

– I’ve had trouble sleeping through the night for the last 5-6 years at least with other periods for as long as I can remember.  It’s annoying. It has gotten really bad recently.  Last week I tried a couple of things and had 3 or 4 nights where I slept through the night.  It was amazing!  This morning I woke up at 4 and never fully fell back to sleep.  Lame. 

– I’m glad I have a husband who is totally accepting of the fact that my schedule for the entire week revolves around the fact that Georgia has a big game on Saturday and I wil do nothing except watch the pre-game, game, and post-game coverage all day. 

– I’ve been on a purging kick in our apartment.  I suck at managing stuff and I don’t enjoy it.  So I’m just getting rid of it.  Homie has been inspired and after a week of sorting we donated 3 bags of clothes, 3 bags of household items, and over 200 books.  

On Going Projects

I haven’t blogged as much as I have wanted to recently.  I have lots of things I want to write about, but I find myself feeling like I can either write about them or actually do them.  For example, the goals I set for 2015, overall I have been doing a pretty good job I think.  But it’s August and I think I’ve only talked about one.

I jotted down a list the other day of all the projects that I am trying to put time into or wrap up and when I wrote it out I realized it is a lot of things to be working on.  Especially because in the summer I usually spend at least one if not both days of the weekend at the pool.

But as of now, here are the projects I am trying to work on right now.

Projects:

  • Outfitting my bike for commuting
  • Or possibly getting a bike to outfit for commuting
  • Reupholstering 4 chairs
  • Finishing my dresser
  • Repotting a number of plants
  • Cooking regularly
  • Eating as a pescatarian
  • Simplifying our belongings
  • Finding an end table that fits
  • Paying off my student loans
  • Finding my abs
  • Finding a bridesmaid dress
  • Composting
  • Transitioning to a new position at work
  • Organizing our house
  • Getting our pictures organized and in albums
  • Getting a dog
  • Finding a church
  • Reducing waste

Thoughts On Where We Are

*A stream of consciousness on our relationship and where things are right now.

I don’t like how we fight.

I don’t like how it feels like we aren’t working towards the same goals.

I don’t like how distant I feel from him and I feel like his parents, the unknowns, and what could happen with them are a wedge in our relationship.

I don’t like feeling like I never know if something I’m going to say is going to be unacceptable.

I don’t like feeling like we aren’t on the same page.  I don’t like not knowing how much is going to be asked of me.  I don’t like feeling scared to move forward.  I don’t like being hesitant to make a move.  I don’t like feeling like we don’t have shared goals.  I don’t like feeling afraid of what it will mean to move forward.  I don’t like not knowing what he is going to want.  I don’t like feeling uncertain.  I don’t like feeling like we are co-existing.  I don’t like that the situation with his parents bothers me and that we can’t talk about it.

I don’t like the uncertainty.  This all feels like an emergency and at the same time it feels like a long drawn out serious of conversations we need to have.

It feels like it needs forethought and planning and yet it feels like too much time has already passed without talking about these things and I’m scared.  And I’m scared not to have these conversations and I’m simultaneously scared to have these conversations.

My hands are shaking at the prospects.

It bothers me that he has been bothered by his parents lack of communication and yet he didn’t tell me.  That’s what I mean by the issues with them come between us.  And I feel like we are not a united front.  And I feel like for a good long while we were.  And I feel like we aren’t now.  And I feel like I get blamed and judged for my gut reaction, not my actions.

Why don’t my actions count for more than my emotions?

I feel like we need guidance or counseling or something and at the same time I’m afraid to admit how much I’m struggling.  Like saying it out loud will make in real in a new way.  And yet I want help.

I want someone to tell me this is normal and everyone goes through this and this is no biggie and it doesn’t mean I am deeply and fundamentally flawed.

I just wanted to be normal and better than normal.  And I want us to be on the same page.  And I want to move forward and I want to develop a plan and blast through this challenge.

I just want to know what questions to ask and how to address these things.  But what if I make it worse?  What if we can’t agree and we fight and we damage this?

What if we can’t solve these issues and is drives us apart and instead of stitching our life maps together every conversation becomes a knife tearing and shredding and we can never put the pieces back together again and my fear was right?

The Summary of the Last Few Weeks

The last few weeks have been kind of crazy.

For about a month I was waking up before my alarm went off feeling wide awake and refreshed.  The past two weeks I have slept through my alarm and woken up every morning feeling tired, wrung out, and miserable.  I’m not sure why.  I’m going to bed at the same time, but I’ve been exhausted and I need it to stop.  I can’t function like this.  Plus, it’s not fun.

I’ve been biking to work and it has been glorious.  I’m so excited.  Cutting Metro out of my life has improved my quality of life so much.  That sounds dramatic or like it certainly must be an overstatement but it really isn’t.  More on this later.

Things really aren’t good with my cousin.  We found out this past week that the type of cancer he has only makes up about 2% of the cases.  It’s also virtually unheard of for this type of cancer to occur in a child over the age of 4.  On top of that there are some super crazy issues going on, but they all boil down to he needs chemo and radiation and it’s a very intense treatment and he is seriously malnourished.  That’s a huge can of worms that I haven’t gone in to yet.  But it’s not pretty.  The behavior of his mom is getting more blatant and scary and I’m just hoping that even without the benefit of time that the medical team sees her behavior for what it is.

We found a way to compost!!!  I’m so pumped about this I can’t even tell you.  It’s awesome.

I have been off meat for a while now.  I haven’t been able to stomach hamburgers for a few years, and for the last year and a half I can’t do red meat at all.  Chicken doesn’t taste good anymore and I’m tired of bothering with meat for the sake of meat.  I still cook it for Homie, but I’ve been trying to broaden his horizons.  I broached the topic of just eating as a pescetarian and Homie wasn’t really interested but said he didn’t care what I did.  I made a few things the last couple of weeks that he was obsessed with and he asked me if we could please do a meatless month for August.  Umm heck to the yes.

There are lots of things going on right now and some are good and some are not, it has been a little overwhelming transitioning into some new lifestyle choices.  I felt awesome at first, but I’ve been stressed the last few weeks.  I feel like I need a vacation and I’m about to collapse.  I’m trying to press through this.

This past week was one year at my job and I found myself kind of hating it for the first time.  I feel like going one year before I have a day where I hate it is a great run!  And while the things that made me hate it won’t go away, I think they are actually helpful for motivating me to continue pursuing my end goals.

My Dog

J Bear

My sister’s lab J Bear

I don’t actually have a dog.  But apparently I talk about my future dog in a way that makes people think I have a dog.

It is slightly awkward when after talking about my dog, someone asks me what kind of dog I have.  And I quickly back pedal and explain that I don’t actually technically have a dog. Yet.

One day I was explaining the morning routine my dog and I will have when we move into our house.  My sister asked if Homie gets to live with us or if this is just a house for my dog and I.

I told her not to be silly.  Of course Homie will be there!  I need his income for the mortgage.

I thought that I would take my dog (my actual dog that I owned in real life) to college with me and live in an apartment off grounds.  But she got sick and died unexpectedly my freshman year.  She was only 7.5 which is fairly young for a lab.

That was in 2008.  I’ve basically been waiting anxiously to get another dog since then.

My other sister's Beagle

My other sister’s Beagle

When Homie and I got our first apartment we couldn’t find a place that allowed dogs, but I knew we would only live there for 2 years so it was okay.  I basically counted down the days until we would leave that apartment and I could get a dog.

When we moved into our next place I thought that the first thing I would do would be to get a dog.  But then the place that was clearly the right one for us didn’t allow dogs.  I was fairly confident though that after proving to the landlord that I was a responsible tenant that I could convince them to allow us to have a dog.  After all, we were in a house with a backyard.  It was perfect for a dog!

When we moved from that house I wanted to get a dog and have the dog move with us.  But we hadn’t actually found a place and things were suddenly in flux with my job and we needed to stay with my parents.  My dad told me if I got a dog in those last few days before we moved it was fine and the dog could come to their house too.

But I hesitated to make a dog start it’s life with me in the moving truck and so I didn’t get one.

Then things fell apart with my job and the next job and the one after that.

Our few weeks in my parent’s basement quickly became a much longer prospect than I expected.  And by the time we were able to move out 5 months later we weren’t in a financial position to get a dog.

Never mind that we couldn’t afford any places that allowed dogs, we could barely afford gas and food for ourselves let alone taking care of a dog.

But now things are better and we both have different jobs than when we moved in here and things are finally stabilized financially.  So now my heart is aching for a dog again.

We have actually been looking seriously at moving because we can’t have a dog in this apartment.  I love this apartment.  If I could buy it as a condo and live here forever I would. I don’t want to move from here, but my heart aches a little every day to have a dog.

We had a really long talk about moving and our timeline for buying a place on our anniversary.  I got home the next day to find a “Pet Survey” slid under our door from our management company.

It explained that the current policies do not allow dogs, but that a number of people have inquired about that changing so they are doing a survey to find out how the community feels about allowing dogs!

J Bear, the best dog in the entire world

J Bear, the best dog in the entire world

I freaked out!  I checked the box that said “Yes, I would LOVE to have a dog!”  Then I underlined the word love 5 times and added 4 more exclamation points.  Then I ran down to the office and turned it in.

I woke up at 4 Saturday morning so excited by the prospect of getting a dog that I couldn’t sleep…

I don’t know what I’ll do if the answer comes back no.  Actually, yes I do.  I have mentally composed a letter asking them to reconsider with all the reasons I think they should.  But I’m really hoping I don’t have to use it.

In the meantime, I’m wandering around the apartment mentally dog-proofing it.

Reason 47 Hundred Why I Shouldn’t Have Kids

Homie and I have a half-joking half serious running list of all the reasons we shouldn’t have children.

The current top reason is that we can barely feed ourselves.  A few weeks ago after several days of leftovers, then Chinese carry-out, we opted for Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut, the Thursday night dinner of champions everywhere.

We walked down the street to get it only to arrive home with two steaming pizzas to discover that we locked ourselves out.  Fail.

We had to call maintenance to let us in.  There is nothing like sitting on the front stoop of your building with two pizzas (one for each!) waiting for someone to let you in.  The $25 lock out fee is basically the best money I’ve spent in a while, although it did make for some overpriced pizza.

My parents went on a trip for their 30th anniversary.  That has me playing mom to my two youngest sisters who are 12.5 and 14.5 years younger than me.

It’s not just me though, my other sister, our cousin, and an army of my mom’s friends are helping out too.  It left me with basically 7% of my mom’s normal responsibilities yesterday and it was freaking exhausting.

I woke up this morning feeling like I got completely run over.  And yesterday was only the first day!

So I’m a Mean Person

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You see this beauty? I want it. I want it all to myself. I heard last week that the peak may be delayed and I was pumped!  I selfishly don’t really like the Cherry Blossom Festival. Hordes and hordes and hordes  and hordes of people meandering around, behaving badly.

Do not pick the blossoms. Do not hang on the trees. Do not climb the trees. Do not stop in the middle of a packed cross walk to take a photo. Do not stop in the middle of the street to take a photo. Do not pose your family for 15 minutes while people wait to continue along the sidewalk between you and them. Do not bring your kids in a stroller, the sidewalk is a disaster of tree roots and you will get stuck and spend 5 minutes trying to navigate the stroller off of a single root. Do not let your child pee on a tree. Do not throw rocks at the ducks in the Tidal Basin and laugh when they think it’s food, that’s cruel. The sidewalk around the trees is the size of a normal sidewalk, do not hold hands with your 17 closest bffs and walk down it. Do not open an umbrella unless it is actually raining, you will take out countless eyeballs if you do. Do not hold your wedding ceremony on the sidewalk and mow people down when Park Police show up because you don’t have a permit and the wedding party takes off running in different directions. Do not enter the Metro station and stop directly at the bottom of the escalator and stare. Please please please walk left, stand right on the escalator. And for the love of God do not throw your trash into the Tidal Basin.

Those things should not need to be said. But unfortunately every year I witness some horror of etiquette. The last 2 years the trees have peaked exactly during the festival. But this year, the peak may be delayed! And that means that it may be just a little quieter, a little more peaceful, with a little less hawking of “I ❤ DC” t-shirts when the trees are at full bloom. Maybe that makes me a mean person, but I sure am excited at the prospect of seeing the trees with a little less craziness.