2018-10-17 Rinse and Repeat

I might thrive on routine but I’m sort of sick of the current 45 I’m going round and round on.

I woke up twice last night, the first time was because I was so congested I could not breathe and the second time I hacked up my second lung. That’s right, I don’t have lungs anymore and the fact that I’m writing this without the ability to supply my body with oxygen is a goddamned miracle. Call the Pope, he needs to get his ass over here and verify this shit. 😜

Anyway, yeah, the second time I woke up it was about 6am and I literally coughed for half an hour. I never went back to sleep. I just got up and got dressed and got in my car and drove to wal-Mart. Better to go at 6:30AM when almost nobody is there and get a few things that have been accumulating on my list. I was home by 7:15, just in time to get the kids up for school.

The rest of the story is already written – morning routine, gym, work, chores, more work, kids come home from school, dinner, evening routine (which now thankfully includes talking to my love), and then to bed and sleep. That’s it. Rinse and repeat.

If I’m lucky I’ll still have energy in the afternoon and evening to work on school stuff. I now have a new deadline for my next packet and it’s a short 7 days away. I need to get my ass in gear and finish (cough-cough, start) writing some essays. If there’s anything that really needs to change, this is it. Me typing that feels like a broken record too. The big questions are how and when? Ugh.

If I’m struggling this much now, just think how it will be next year when I’m selling my house and moving?! 😱 I don’t want to think about that.

What I think I really need is a day off and to just go back to bed. I think I said that a couple of days ago. Nothing has changed. Well today it’s out of the question because I’ve got too much work to do. Again I’m all like “how and when”? Friday needs to get here. I may try and dedicate my whole weekend to sleep and school and sleep and school. Let’s try that 45 on for size? It would also be nice if I grew a new pair of lungs between now and then. Throw in some sinuses in good working order and two teenagers that magically decide to get along again. Now THAT would be the real miracle!! 😂

Time to move on to the next track in the rotation.

Pieces of Eight, Nine, and Ten,

~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-10-15 Can I Get a Do-Over?

The short story…. I’m still sick and it sucks. Today is day seven with whatever sickness this is. It’s getting really old. During the day I’ve got a sore throat and a lot of general soreness all over. My muscles ache. As soon as I lay down the congestion blocks my sinuses completely and keeps me from breathing through my nose. I also have these random coughing fits that keep happening. It’s just rotten.

I typically try to operate normally, or as if I’m on the mend. In truth I don’t know what to do. I’m not sick very often and I don’t know how to take care of myself or get good rest. On Saturday there was too much that needed to get done anyway.

It was a great 60 degree fall day out and knowing that in less than 24 hours there would be snow, time was of the essence. Jim and I rescued 5 outdoor plants in pots, 3 hibiscus and 2 palms, that would have probably not made it through the night outside. We got them all safely back to the house and situated in nice sunny spots inside.

We also did a bunch of other errands around town and consequently I didn’t get a lot of rest. I really felt like I might be feeling better as the day went on but then overnight Saturday was miserable and I woke Sunday feeling like total dog-dodo again.

We did end up spending most of the day Sunday lounging around the house talking and marveling at the mid-October snow fall. Jim took good care of me and encouraged me to just rest. In the afternoon he did some catch up on Work and I took a two hour nap. All I can think now is this has to be close to the end of whatever this sickness is. Not only am I not used to being sick, but when I have gotten sick I’m used to bouncing back quickly. This not feeling well has made the week seem to drag on forever. It also made me feel like I missed the weekend completely.

Waking up today I felt a little better. Had better sleep than Saturday night and so now I really am hoping Im on the mend. I’m sad the weekend is over and am not looking forward to starting the week yet. I’d like just one more day of weekend. Alas, it’s Monday and back to the grind anyway. Work, school, kids, chores, blah, blah, blah. Wow, I sound really negative.

Perhaps if I get rolling with my day I’ll feel better. I’m resisting though. I just want to start the weekend over again. /deep sigh.

Sick and Tired,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-11 World Mental Health Day

World mental health day was yesterday apparently. I missed it because I worked all freaking day while sick and tired. I had a lovely 4.5 hours of sleep because of congestion and probably anxiety about two Work calls I have today and maybe the caffeine I took at 6pm to make it through the evening. I dunno. I could lament more about how crappy my week has been so far but would that do any good? Actually it might.

I realized yesterday that one thing that happens when you work from home is working while being sick. I couldn’t take a sick day and almost nobody I had interactions with knew I wasn’t feeling well. My boss (one of my bosses) called at 8AM and at the top of the conversation he asked how I was. I told him I was feeling I’ll. I received a quick “awww man, that sucks” and that was that. I still worked like a 10 hour day because the clock on the release of the next version of software doesn’t stop for the low man on the totem pole even though I’m the only QA person right now. I did my due diligence all day long on that and ran point on like 4 other projects. I checked all the boxes an powered through.

I didn’t get any sympathy from my teenagers either. It’s not their strong suit. I had a nice conversation with Jim but it wasn’t the same thing as being in person. When you have a person, a partner, you just want to be with that person. Instead we talked while I walked on the treadmill – yeah, trying to walk myself into feeling better (apparently it didn’t work).

Last night I lay in my bed for 2 hours not able to fall asleep and that just doesn’t happen. I’m usually so exhausted by 10 pm I can hardly stay awake. I tried to read but could not focus. I tried to sleep but tossed and tossed. I wrote a little, but that was mostly nonsense. I woke up this AM exhausted as hell. I’ve got no choice but to do it all over again.

I get the kids up, breakfast, fight about being behind schedule, and eventually get them to school. I’ve got another full set of work to do despite how I’m feeling. I’ve got one call that’s supposed to be a training session and I’ve been given very little direction on. I’d be better with that if I was a SME but I’m just a freaking newbie. That’s weighing on me. I’ve got another project call to facilitate today. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel prepared for those sorts of things.

I feel like I just need a sick day. Call it a true sick day or a mental health day or whatever. If the world has a day dedicated to mental health, I think I’d like to have one too. I know all the responsibility will still be there tomorrow… school, work, kids, but I’d like to just ignore it all for a day (or maybe two). Maybe if I get through enough today then tomorrow it would be possible.

Guess this post was a test to see if complaining would make me feel better, and it really didn’t. Oh well, oh well.

Winning Some and Losing Some,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-06 Hell Yeah, That’s My Jam

I’ve seen some good concerts in my day. I’ve also been to some seriously crappy ones and some take-or-leave-it gigs. Last night was one of the better ones. My friend Leah and I took a little road trip to Lincoln to see Fall Out Boy at the arena downtown. It was a great time.

It was a good reminder how much I dig live music. First off, I’m not a seeker of new music, I often leave it to fate to serve up something awesome I’ve not heard before. The “pre-game” show featured a group called Machine Gun Kelly and it’s no surprise I hadn’t heard of them before, but they were good. As I sat through the songs at the end of their set (we arrived about halfway through that), I could feel the beat of the bass reverberating inside of me and was all like “hell yeah!”. That’s the stuff. As a poet you would think I would have better words to describe how it made me feel, but “hell yeah”, pretty much sums it up the best.

It’s something special when you can feel connected to music you have never heard before and just be moved by it. I would totally spend money on their tunes. It kinda makes me regret missing the opening act, I think there was one, but we were having dinner downtown and it took for-ever.

In any case, MGK was a great primer for the sick FOB jams. They played a good mix of old stuff and new and since they’ve been fans of mine for so long, I knew just about every song. The typical concert accompaniments, lights, screens, fire, smoke, etc were good and not overdone. It was just the right amount of flair to not distract too much from the songs or artists. Much better than the shit-show we saw at the Pumpkins concert where I was disturbed by the creepy video going on behind the stage.

The band and the songs didn’t disappoint either. It’s actually not tough to do with such great music. Song after song that elicit memories and feelings. Though we were fairly high in the arena, we were still on our feet rocking out. We were in the front row of our section and I’m sure it pissed people off behind us when we stood up, but I was channeling my boyfriends on stage in “not giving a fuck”. I can’t remember what song it was, but they had vid behind one of the songs which was entirely compose of clips from film and tv and even video games where someone was giving someone else the finger. It was awesome. And then all of a sudden there it was again, that “hell yeah” coursing through my veins.

Unlike most concerts I’ve been to, the lead singer was not the talkative one during the show. It was the guy who is the bass guitarist. I think that’s what his role is, you think I would know since he’s been writing songs for me since like 2008.

His main message to the crowd was that “you, each individual, is worthy” and can do whatever they want. He shared a bit of history about the band in being rejected by studios and labels over 20 times before some company took a chance on them. You can read the outcome in the almighty Wiki. He also randomly bought people beers and called People out of the auduence to come jam out by the stage. That was cool. The lead singer, by contrast, never said anything. Apparently the two of them are the originators of the band and there have been change ups of the other band members over time. The Wiki would know more about that too. I’m not very good at random music facts I guess. I just know what I like.

Fall Out Boy is definitely in my top ten. If there was any question, yesterday sealed that deal. Lincoln was great too. We got lucky with parking and had a good dinner (“hell yeah” I had a cheeseburger). Getting out of town after was even not as bad as expected. 👍🏻 Despite arriving home just after midnight, I was too amped up to fall asleep until some time in the 1 o’clock hour. That made for a short night.. 4.5 hours – ouch!

No rest for the wicked I guess. Today I have Saturday full of adulting which started at 6:45 when I had to get up with Z and take her to the school for ACT testing today. That meant I was at the gym early for cardio which is good because mid-morning I’m headed to Jim’s because we are going to pick out carpet for the house. Fun fun. I find it strange that I’ve made it this far in life and have never had to pick out carpet? 🤷‍♀️

Anyway. That’s it for this SugarCookie today. The weekend is waiting. 😘

Thank You, More Please,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-10-04 Wild Winds and Wandering Thoughts

Yesterday it was 90 degrees outside and this morning we woke to temps in the 40s. It’s not really a slow enough news day that we need to talk about the weather but wow! That’s significant. After dinner last night the kids and I watched as the winds picked up and my neighbors tree lost half it’s leaves. It was cray-cray. Seriously, that wind was bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!! 🤪

We jumped in the trampoline for like half an hour, enjoying the last minutes of summer draining away and now we’re bracing for the impact of winter. My furnace will not be fixed for another week so last night I bought marshmallows to roast in the fireplace. We’re set with space heaters and though the thought of warming my house that way makes me nervous, I think we can manage.

Space heaters are like the #2 cause of house fires. Running 2-4 of them feels like rolling some dice in a game with fate. Luckily, the insulation in my house is the bomb. Though the temps dropped 50 degrees overnight, the house was still 70 this AM. Still, my kids and I are serious whimps when it comes to the cold. I’ve had a long history being frustrated with how cold places are.

It was an issue at my last job, an issue at Matt’s House, Simon’s, and at times also Jim’s. The good news is that Jim’s house has Zone heat like mine, so the office where I work has a thermostat I can control. I guess that’s one advantage to working remotely.. I can be comfortable instead of freezing and wearing a coat all day.

In my defense, my last office was freezing. I wasn’t the only one to complain. I was probably the most vocal. Sometimes when I feel strongly about something I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. That may have been a contributing factor to how my last weeks and months there turned out. 🤷‍♀️

Yesterday I had a very balanced day and it was great. I worked a bit, hung out with my kids and had family time, and then did some school work. I worked out and got my steps in. I met with my financial advisor, which is always great. I mean, if you knew you were headed into a session with good news where people are going to tell you how awesome you are doing, you would look forward to that too. My current situation might be a little sketch with my savings account going the wrong direction each month, but apparently when I retire I’ll be just fine. The bad news is that that’s many years away. The good news is that any deficiency in my short and medium term portfolios will be taken care of when I sell my house.

In the last 24 hours I’ve used words like portfolio, strategy, risk profile, allocation, and diversification. It’s like I’m a real adult. It is a shame I have to wait until retirement age to use most of that $$$. It’s the grand irony of life. The relationships between time and money and health.

When you are young, you have your health and loads of time but no money.

When you are in the prime of your life, hopefully you have your health and probably some money, but never enough time.

By the time you retire you probably have enough money to do the things you have always wanted to do, and you have more time, but health starts to be an issue.

The trick is to retain your health long enough to enjoy the empire you have amassed working your time away. I’d say in the grand scheme of things I’m doing all right. I’m healthy and continue to try to be active every day. That’s why I’m always talking about balance. That’s why I’m learning how to not kill myself with Work. It’s not easy. I struggle with it contatntly. It is getting easier though I think.

Last night I got off my last work call at 5 and another impromptu call for a different project started right after. I elected to not join that call, I hung up my headphones and logged off and went to hang with my kids instead. We had a nice dinner together and then, like I said, went outside to marvel at the wind and leaves falling. It was wonderful.

Today I’m hoping for the same sort of day. I’ll work while they are at school and then turn that off when they get home.

Right now I’m thinking of finishing my cardio set with a quick jog. One song. I can do one song right?! 🤔 Well I cant jog and type at the same time so this is the end of my multitasking for today.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-18 Letting Go

It’s tough when you are in the middle of grief. There’s a method to the madness that includes anger and denial and acceptance and bargaining and depression. It can be a visious cycle, downward spiral, and at times the “acceptance” stage can seem like an impossible uphill climb. Even for the most logical mind, the emotions can play tricks on your reality. I think that’s the costume of bargaining and he’s a stealthy trickster. I met bargaining for the first time about this time of year in 2016 and it mowed me down for a good 2+ months. Eventually the spiral goes back up (hopefully) and you start to climb the mountain of acceptance. That climb took me most of 2017. But what happens after that?

What happens after you have planted your flag somewhere safe on that mountain and can see you have left anger and depression and denial far below. From this vantage point the air is clear and you can see a long way. Take deep breaths, acceptance is sweet. You may be tempted to pitch a tent and stay at this location, relief from your pursuers is a wonderful feeling. However, I would contend that the journey is not over. I would propose there is another stage and unless you continue to climb, part of you will never be free from the grief. That stage is letting go.

Some may argue that acceptance and letting go are just two sides of the same coin, but I believe that they are completely separate. I believe this because I feel I accepted the circumstances from 2016 that left me lost and broken. I accepted the end of a five year relationship I once thought would last the rest of my life and I accepted the reality of the stress my job was placing on me and how it was affecting my health. I accepted my loneliness and my failures, but I realized recently that I really have not let go.

It seems that letting go is also a sneaky trickster. It’s master illusion is making you think you have already let go, that all is well. Then one day when you least expect it, the faces of grief show up again and you have to figure out how to deal with it. Sometimes you have to make a choice, and the choice may seem challenging. It might be crystal clear to those around you, but for some reason, your judgement is clouded. For me, this has manifested in the continued, however infrequent, communication with my ex. My forever love that lasted five years and then ended.

I’ve talked with several people about this and the unanimous consensus is that I should just let him know the door is closed and not to contact me anymore. Why my brain resists this course of action is somewhat a mystery. It’s the logical thing to do yet I still have a tiny voice telling me there is no harm in it and that I’m just being polite when I respond in a friendly way. It’s confusing. Why can’t I just let go?

It’s because letting go is always tough, and the human brain is complex and all those thoughts that creep in again and again make it almost impossible. I’m am happier now than I have ever been in my life. I have a fiancé and we are so in love and the future looks so amazing, why would I have any trouble telling Matt to stop contacting me. Why would I still feel responsible for any hurt he’s still experiencing? It’s because I’m a caring person and I don’t want anyone I ever loved to hurt. I recognize now, after hearing true voices of reason, that things are not what they seem. It’s the continued communication that’s actually hurting me and possibly him.

Rebecca said it best last week and it takes me time to process things but thinking about what she said after the fact makes sense. She said that the contact is hurting me and him and now potentially also Jim. It’s that last one that got through to me. I would never want to do that, ever. I have to cut it off and let go. I have to.

You see, I pitched my tent in a safe and wonderful space, but that’s not good enough. You have to keep moving. You can’t stay where you are ever because everything around you is also in motion. Every life is moving, swaying around the universe and if you stay still, things are going to change anyway. You have to move with life and that’s how you can let go. That means the letting go never really ends. It’s the stage of grief that continues for the rest of your life.

Every person is a collection of their experiences. Whatever that event was that rocked your world is a part of you and will always be. It’s death and new life and injury and love and loss. You just have to keep moving and that’s life.

Truth be told, this whole blog post has been one giant self-pep talk for me. I’ve come to conclusions about what it is I need to do, but needed a little extra help from my inner Miss SugarCookie to get the job done. Today is the day I cut the tie with Matt. I’m letting go. I’m a life in motion and moving forward.

Take a Deep Breath and Just Do It,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-09-08 Day-breaking

I’m so ready to go on vacation .. my brain left for Mexico like two days ago. This morning I’m having a call with my mentor and I’m the picture of unprepared. Yet here I am at the gym trying to make myself feel better by sweating my ass off. I was up at 5:50 am and at the gym by 6:30. I’m grateful at times like these that my gym is 24 hours. If it wasn’t, id probably spend a lot more time wandering wal-mart. What would be really great is if I could stay awake past 9PM and NOT wake up until 7. I’m so lame. Jim and his family call us “day breakers”.. up with the sun naturally. What do you call it when you wake up before the sun?

It’s Saturday but that doesn’t mean anything changes. I still have to work a full day to try and make up for lost time this week. Life was so much easier this time last year when I was enjoying my self-imposed sabbatical. Working sucks. What’s worse is that I haven’t been writing a lot lately either, just uninspired I guess.

The historical pattern with my writing tracks like this… things suck, and I write a lot. My heart gets broken, and I’m sobbing novels out my fingertips. I recover, life turns around, I feel great and all of a sudden the Well is dry. I’ve got nothing to say about rainbows and ponies. Whatever.

I tweeted a couple of days ago (I rarely tweet) and my ex ‘liked’ it or whatever you do with a tweet. I see his stupid 10 year old twitter picture and it makes me want to puke. Why would he do that? Why would he reach out to wish me a happy birthday or want to take me out for lunch? And why the hell would I want to dwell on that instead of all the amazing things I have going on with Jim? It’s stupid. My brain is stupid.

Jim and I have been together like 6 months and have never really argued. Is that strange? He gets me and is extremely supportive. I’ve had conversations with exes who think I need to work harder and milk this start-up thing for everything it can be. But that’s not who I am anymore. I learned a lot about myself and life last year and working harder is not my aim. Working less is my aim as is enjoying life and spending my time doing things that make me happy. I’m working for income and not satisfaction. Sure some of what I’m doing is satisfying. I dig building databases and doing analytics and diagraming data flows and network schematics, but I would be just as satisfied (or more) if I was digging in the dirt or digging into my writing life, or dedicating more of my time to running my house and raising my kids.

I’ve only got a few years left with the kids and I want to savor that. Z already talks about being excited to have her own dorm room. I’m certainly not ready for that, but it’s a good reminder that this time, here, now, is precious and I don’t want to waste it telling her “not now sweetie, mom’s got to work”. I also don’t want to do what I did last night which was promise to sit with her while we work on our respective homework and then flake out and fall asleep by 9PM. 9pm is when she’s just getting started. Of course today is Saturday and she can sleep till noon. My body won’t let me do that.

Well, I’ve been rambling for about an hour now and the sun is up and it’s time for me to move on to the rest of my day.

Laterz Gaterz,

~Miss SugarCookie