Retreat

I’m sitting here, working the fringe benefits allocation and the FICA allocation, and it is taking all of my willpower not to just get up and walk out. I’m not talking about quitting. I’m talking about Just Not Being Here, and I’m not just talking about work. I’m talking about everything.

If I had a magic wand, I would move a week of my vacation time during the holidays to next week. I would spend the next ten days in complete and utter solitude. At home. With the dog.

The exhaustion that I’m suffering right now seems endless. I can’t hardly keep my eyes open, even after a full night’s sleep. I could sleep for a week, I think, before I felt better.

As someone who has stood on the very edge of sanity and looked over the ledge, I can tell you that while I’m okay in the sense that I’m not a danger to myself or other people, I am losing my mind.

There’s a paranoia welling inside me. I take things the worst way possible. When people speak to me, I question their motives. I question their loyalty and allegiance. When I don’t hear from someone, they’re ignoring me, they don’t care anymore, they don’t want me bothering them. When I do hear from someone, I feel pressured. I hate the constant stream of panic and frustration I’m dealing with right now, and I hate exposing people to it. I don’t want to spend all of my free time completely alone, but I fear companionship. I fear making a fool of myself, I fear being talked about behind my back, I’m afraid of becoming- no, I’m afraid that I’ve already become that person, that girl, the subject of irritation and pity and duty.

The slightest imposition, say, my boss expecting me to do my job, or a coworker needing some information, or a two minute chore for my second job- these things make me seethe with resentment and I’m overwhelmed by the pressure to perform and not let this ordeal affect my performance. I don’t want to go to school, and I don’t want to do my homework, and I don’t want to read my textbooks.

So the only thing that gives me comfort right now, that brings me a sense of calm and well-being, is retreating. Hiding from my life, its pressures and demands. Giving up on my social life in hopes that my attachment to people will fade, so that everything can end quietly and be easy for everyone and I can avoid the humiliation and drama that will come from figuring out that people are rolling their eyes at me and hoping I don’t show up to parties and not telling me about events on purpose.

If I have to calm my Mom down one more time, I’m going to quit taking her calls. I know she’s worried, and I know that she’s going to rightfully react with anger when she feels I’ve been wronged, but her energy is AWFUL, HORRIBLE and TOXIC (see, it runs in the family! i just have the sense to see and admit it), and I. CAN’T. HANDLE. IT.

People want to know what’s going on, and I want to tell them, but I get tired of relaying the same awful information over and over and over again, and I want them to want to know, but I find myself wishing that there was just some way to make them know without having to talk about it ALL THE TIME.

I’ve grown to hate talking on the phone. I wish that people would just come see me, come sit on the porch and have a drink and talk about what color I should paint the living room and whether or not we’ll have a lot of snow this winter and what are you doing for the long weekend. My house is pretty far out from town, though, and people don’t come out. A few people come out sometimes, but for the most part, I don’t have company.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish these entries and call my HR rep and see if I can’t plan a retreat, before I end up in a straitjacket in the psych ward.

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The Key

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains/And we never even know we have the key…”

I love this line from an old Eagles song. It reminds me that the only limitations we really have are the ones we give ourselves. A good natured kick in the ass is almost never a bad thing, you know?

Life has been hard, and I let it drag me down. We all do that sometimes, the current is just too strong, and we are too tired to resist it. Swept downstream, through rapids, banging against rocks. The only way to stop it is to hang on to whatever you can find, as tightly as you can, until you can muster the strength to get out of the water and rest on the bank. I can’t live on the bank, though. It’s a nice place to catch your breath, eat a sandwich maybe, but it’s no place to live.

So then it comes time to find a place to get back into the water. Build a new boat, or patch the one you’ve got. Try to read the water and pick the line you want to run. That’s where I’m at. I’m in an eddy behind some big rocks, surveying what’s downstream and planning my next dance with the current.

I think that the time has come for me to conquer some demons. A few of them have been around far too long, simply because sometimes I’m just to scared to let myself feel the outline of that key in my pocket. The key to the chains I wear, out of some sort of twisted self protection, to ensure that I don’t become too successful or happy.

If I knew why I did this, why any of us lock ourselves up and weigh ourselves down with doubt and fear and shame, I’d never have to work another day of my life as a beancounter.

What I do know is that it’s time to get back in the river.

TMI Thursday: Compliments

Yes, my lovelies, it’s TMI Thursday again…….

TMI Thursday

Last week, I had my first full physical as an adult. This, of course, included a routine pelvic and pap, which I’ve been doing for at least 15 years now. Faint-hearted freaders, go ahead and click elsewhere now………

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Okay. I’m sitting in the stirrups, sporting one of those super fashionable gowns that opens in the front, and the doctor is starting the pelvic exam. For the uninitiated, that’s where he puts a finger or two inside you and then uses his other hand to press on your abdomen so he can feel your ovaries or some sick thing. He pauses in the middle of this exercise- hand in place- to have the following conversation.

Doc:  Where are you at in your cycle? When was the first day of your last period?

VBC: Um, about 14 days ago, give or take a day.

Doc: Oh, okay. That explains it then, you’re mid-cycle.  You have excellent cervical mucus!

VBC:  ~beaming proudly, until she stops beaming to express her displeasure as the doctor attempts to cram his entire fist inside her~

Doc:  Is that uncomfortable?

VBC:   Yeah, I don’t even let my husband do that, and you didn’t tell me I had pretty eyes or take me to dinner or anything. So I’m not real happy at the moment. Is there some other horrible intrusion you’ll need to perform today?

Doc:    Sure, do you want a rectal exam? You don’t need one, but if you wanted one..

VBC:   Um, no thank you. Well, at least I have something to be grateful for.

He finishes the pelvic and pap, comes around to the side of the exam table, takes off his gloves, and smiles.

Doc:   Everything looks great. Beautiful cervix, ovaries look good, and your uterus is tipped  perfectly. So we will have to wait on the pap, but so far, you’re in great shape.

VBC:   Um, thanks. Great news!

Doc:  ~offers his hand~ It was very nice to meet you, VBC. Take care, and call me if you need anything.

VBC:  ~shakes hand while realizing that perhaps this is a little formal, considering~ Nice to meet you too. Thanks.

How weird is that? Fifteen years worth of pap smears, and this is the first I’ve heard any compliments on my lady parts.  Weirder still, I’m proud! Proud of my excellent cervical mucus and perfectly tipped uterus. Why, my secret garden is a specimen, a shining beacon of reproductive possibility, a tribute to both form and function. I just thought you’d want to know.

Little Things

So life is getting back to normal, and that’s a good thing. It also means that after lots and lots of pain and drama, things are getting deliciously boring and vanilla again. Here’s a list of the little things I’ve been enjoying this week.

  • New friends, and waking up to Facebook messages from them.
  • Old friends, and the kind of chats that you can only get over a stiff drink. Or three.
  • Lemonade
  • Vodka
  • Lecturing MH about staying up all night playing computer games.
  • Getting lectured about my Facebook addiction relative to my homework dedication.
  • Being tucked in to bed by a 23 lb. orange tabby cat.
  • Sweet bloggy friends who tell me not to worry my pretty head about Chicago roomies.
  • Seeds coming to life in the garden (lettuces, spinaches) and in my herb bed!
  • Budding Irises
  • Skirt weather! (tomorrow)
  • MH feeding Adicus his very own pancake, and watching Adicus look at in drooly disbelief. “My very own pancake?!”
  • The smell of my perfume on my skin (forgot it when I went to Atlanta), though my supply is dangerously low, and this is not a item accommodated by my current budget. ~sniffle~
  • Hugs.
  • Reading blogs!
  • A certain husband going to the dump tomorrow, to clear out the basement so we can clear the office into the basement, so we can clean the office, so I can work out in there! (I guess MH will want to do stuff in there too, but I’m not super concerned about that…)
  • Starbucks gift cards and errands that require me to be within reasonable distance of said Starbucks.
  • Walmart gift cards that fund the purchase of broccoli transplants and other garden goodies…
  • Decent income prospects for MH. (Cross everything and hold your breath, please! 😉 )
  • Of course, last but never least, YOU.

What are your little things?

TMI Thursday

Okay, so my TMI is real-time. I’m PMS’ing.

I’ve been going through this nearly every month since the tender age of eleven or twelve, and yet, it still takes me awhile to catch on.  Why is that?

Day One:   I want to eat bad stuff. Like peanut butter eggs and hostess cupcakes and fried anything and chocolate chips straight out of the bag, and would it be really rude to drink the clarified butter when I’ve finished my lobster? Yes? Okay, I’ll wait till my boss uses the restroom. Why am I craving all this bad, horrible stuff? Why can’t I put the fork down?

Day Two:  I feel fat. I am five pounds heavier than I was this time last week. I have a bloat bump. None of my clothes look right. Am a cow. Surely will have to grease my ginormous hips through my office door. My face is ugly. My skin is all washed out, and my nose is wrong. My eyes are too small. My hair is gross. Why do I feel so fat and ugly?

Day Three:  I wake up irritated. Irritated with the dog. Irritated with WH (even if he’s not home- why does he leave his boxers on the bathroom counter, when is he going to cook that ground beef he thawed?! HE IS WASTING GROUND BEEF. If he lets it go bad, I will make him eat it raw.). Irritated with drivers- YOU! IN THE PRIUS! THANKS FOR PULLING OUT IN FRONT OF ME AND GOING 20 MILES PER HOUR. OBAMA HATES YOU. HE HATES PEOPLE THAT MAKE ME LATE WHEN MY BOSS IS IN TOWN. JESUS HATES YOU TOO****.  Irritated with WH for asking me to have lunch with him when he knows I can’t commit to that because my boss is here, and why would he do that, is he putting me in a position to have to choose so he can tell me later that I don’t care enough about him, that if I really loved him I would insist that my boss let me have lunch with him? Why couldn’t he just invite me tomorrow? He KNOWS I would rather have lunch with him than anyone else?! And now I feel like I missed out on something and I’m a bad wife and something has been taken away from me. Who to hate more? Boss or husband? The sound of anyone’s voice is like nails on a chalkboard.  Why are all these people being so goddamned difficult?!

Oh. Wait. Hmm. Put third patch on four days ago. Let me check… wait for it… yep! The new moon starts today. Maybe it’s me?
Now that I’ve figured it out, I will continue to be a junk food stuffing, whiny, self-depreciating bitch. I will say mean and nasty things to WH without thinking about it, and then immediately apologize, thus denying him any ability to be hurt or hold me accountable. I will cry at the drop of a hat. My stomach will start to bother me, either as a function of my hormones or as a result from all the crap I’m eating.

And then, at my utter apex of undesirable behavior, I will look over at WH, bat my eyelashes, and threaten him within an inch of his life if he doesn’t serve up the lovin’. Should he want to eat, sleep, or take care of some other need before he addresses mine, I will take it as a sign that our marriage is in trouble and that he hates me. Then, in a an hour or so, when he’s ready, I won’t have anything to do with him. I’ll tell him I don’t feel well. Let’s take a nap. We’ll take care of this later. After my nap. And we will. We will take a nap, and I will wake up bleeding.

I will then wonder why he’s such an asshole for the next week.

Even though we’ve gone through this process every month since we’ve lived together.

Don’t you wish you lived with me?

** When people have religious or political bumper stickers on their car, and they are in front of me and annoying me, I tell them that whoever they support (Obama, Jesus) hates bad drivers. It’s my special kind of road rage. I don’t really think Jesus hates them.

An Apple A Day…..

WH and I have dual doctor’s appointments today. Just a visit with the nurse practitioner to get some prescriptions and get the new patient smell off. However. I’ve never had a physical, so I know it’s coming.

They’re going to look at my family history and see lots of strokes and heart disease and cancer and high blood pressure and high cholesterol and diabetes and rampant mental illness and they are going to put me through the ringer.

I don’t like being poked and prodded; I don’t like having blood drawn, I don’t like routine exams, I just generally do not like being examined, particularly while wearing a paper gown in a cold room. Also? Not looking forward to the big ol’ list of stuff they’re going to want me to cut out or cut down on. A sampling:

butter, salt, vodka, coffee, couch surfing, soft serve ice cream, red meat, pig (bacon, ham, sausage), my no water policy, and white sugar.

Those things, all in, are my wellspring of life. I shall perish without them.

Of course, I’m also afraid of what they’ll find with all of that poking and prodding. Yes, if I have a problem, I want to know so I can address it, blah, blah, whatever. I would also like to quit having nightmares about waking up one day hairless with no boobs. I’m just not ready to accept that I’m of screen-able age and that I have a family health history that dooms me to eternal arm sticking and boob smushing.

Do not want.

The upside of all of this was getting to fill out WH’s paperwork. I totally ratted him out.

Wish me luck this afternoon…

Trying

This weather is trying my patience. We got 6 or 7″ of snow at the house, and I have nary a picture for you, because it was cold and windy outside, and today is Day 1 of the closing, so I had to ask WH to attempt the drive under conditions that we normally would not have risked. The parking lot here is an ice rink. It’s a damn good thing I keep my food stock here at the office at Apocalypse levels, or I would starve today.

We’re trying to spend less time in front of the tv, and the computer, which explains my lack of weekend presence. We’re trying to spend more quality time together, talking and snuzzling and doing things together instead of alone. Our date on Friday night rocked, and so did having company at the grocery store.

We’re trying to be cleaner at home. Keeping the dishes and laundry under control, so they don’t reach critical mass. WH is working on turning the garden as the weather allows, and we’ve got the garden plan done, working on the seed plan this week, to start seedlings next week? Our screened in porch has been cleaned within an inch of its life and is ready for sunny afternoons and balmy evenings.

I’m trying to do a better job with my classes, spending at least an hour a day studying and not waiting till the last minute to get my assignments done and exams taken.

I’m trying to work on work while I’m here, and not work on work when I am not. I’m trying to get the closing organized and under control so that it doesn’t bring me to my knees. I’m trying to find a routine and a rhythm with the side job so that it doesn’t stress me out.

I’m trying to better manage my time. I created a schedule for WH and I. I thought he puked in his mouth a little at the sight of it. It divides the day into half hour increments for both of us, and while I hardly think we’ll stick to such a stringent schedule, it gives us a good idea of what we should be doing when, and a framework to return to when chaos ruins it and slinks off into the sunset again.

WH is trying to squeeze as many hours out of Large Department Store as possible. So far, its working, but he gave up an appointment at Large Big Box store to work last week. If they cut his hours after they purposely screwed him out of a job interview, I’m going up there. Just sayin.

I’m trying to do the best we can with the money we have, keeping things turned on and mostly current and all of that. Oh, and you know, buying food. Because if there is one thing neither WH and I do well at? It’s not eating.

Speaking of not eating, I am trying to cram as much food as possible into my poor, broken mouth. My root canal is a week from today, and when it’s done, I’m going to have boiling hot soup and coffee for lunch and ice cream for dessert.

I’ll be trying to start working out again in the morning, to hopefully counteract the eating BINGE I foresee when the #5 is fixed. Also? I don’t know that I will ever use a straw again……..

So. We are trying.