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Happy leap day. I probably should use today to get some extra writing or reading in but I’m using the extra day to do nothing at all instead. February isn’t a bonus day, it’s a day that doesn’t exist at all. I’m sure I will regret this perspective later but sometimes doing nothing is just as important as accomplishing something.

Then again, I’m not really doing nothing. I’m hanging out with my wife which is always my favorite way to pass the time. We’ve got plans this evening and, with both of us being over 30 we’ve decided it might be better to conserve our energy until then so we won’t be dragging our feet or feeling irritable for our friend’s birthday celebration tonight.

The plan is Mexican food and margaritas and then we’ll try our luck in a zombie apocalypse themed escape room. I’m looking forward to it, but the week wore me out so bad I feel like I need at least one whole day away from people, at least! I kind of wish I never had to leave this couch again at all. Life is easy and simple here and I have everything I need.

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I made it! It’s the weekend and I am free for two whole days. The weather is going to be gorgeous but I’m not sure I’m up to being out in the world. I’ll be forced out for an evening with friends tomorrow night but outside of that I think I’ll stay in. This week has been physically exhausting and emotionally I don’t think I have anything left to give.

Still, as much as I hate the crowds something about them draws me in. Even tonight when I meant to just run to the pharmacy but ended up window shopping and impulse buying at Target instead of going home where I knew there was peace. I like to be out, and I hate it too. I think this is part of growing old.

I’m home now relieved but not regretful. Shopping was fun. I got a new shirt, a fresh 6-pack of hard apple cider, and a Jimmy John’s sandwich. My wife and I are about to watch Knives Out and I expect there’ll an early bedtime too. This is what a wild Friday night looks like now. Woot!

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We have a new class this week and I can feel a difference in myself. I’m burned out. I’m not giving my best. I’m not enthusiastic or engaging…but I want to be.

I want to get back to being eager to hear other people’s problems and to help them work through their questions. I want to get back to being the kind of person who can lead people from their biases, their past expieriences, and their doubts to new information and ways of thinking and feeling. I want to get back to taking my role in the lives of the children we serve seriously and give these people my very best so they will take it as seriously too.

But I’m burned out and I don’t know how to get back.

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All day I kept thinking it was Thursday when it’s not. I kept thinking Friday was closer than it actually is. I keep finding myself disappointed and exhausted looking at my calendar and down through the rest of the week and imagining the effort it’ll take to get there. It is and will continue to be a very long week.

No, today wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be. The worst of it was waking up a bit late this morning and rushing to get through my routine and out the door on time. After that things were all uphill, in a good way. There’s a lot of work to get done but my coworkers and I had more than a few good laughs and I have the energy to make it through the day. I’m doing better than most. Our problems are often reminders of our blessings, you know?

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It’s infusion day again. I had hoped today would go faster than last week but it’s been an hour and I’m still here hooked up to the I.V. and the bag isn’t even half empty yet. It’s still going to be a shorter stay than it used to be when I was on my old medication so i’m not complaining too much. The only thing that is worse now is that I don’t get to be in the big open comfy room with the big open windows and the gorgeous mountain views.

Instead I’m stuck in a room that I’m convinced used to be a janitor’s closet with no windows at all and no space for my wife to come in and sit with me. I’m told it’s due to the high demand for appointments at this center and because my infusion time is shorter than most others, I’m the one who gets the depressing “private infusion room”.

Oh well, at least the nurses are amazing and I will be out of here soon. I’m still working out what to expect after my infusions so I have the rest of the day off in case I need a nap. If I don’t, I’ll spend it cleaning and catching up on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It’s going to be good day either way because I get to be inside away from the cold and I don’t have to come back here for another month.

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It’s one of the better Monday’s I’ve had in a while. There isn’t much going on for once. Some days there are big projects to do, other days you are just maintaining the process. Today is a maintenance day. The process, the boring but exceedingly important process is what I am focusing on today. Data entry, filing, cross checking, following up, verifying, updating, these are the key tasks for the day.

I love this kid of work. Teaching is great, being on the buses is great too, but sitting behind a desk with my headphones in just flipping through paperwork and organizing information in accessible and understandable formats will always be my where my passion truly lies.

This feels so good, so calming and easy, that I think I will make every Monday “process days” from now on.

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I wish this was another three-day weekend away from work and life’s obligations and though it isn’t, I’m trying to be grateful to have any three-day weekends at all rather than being disappointed that this one isn’t. I’m trying to focus on what needs to be done rather than wallowing in what I’d rather not do.

This week my wife and I swapped our usual house cleaning duties. She took over the laundry, because she gets it done faster and more efficiently than me, and I took over cleaning the bathroom because she hates doing it. She kept the grocery shopping, and I kept the dishes and we are still alternating meal prep duties. I’m grateful for a relationship where gender roles are non-existent and no expectations are set in stone.

Everything is negotiable. Everything is changeable.