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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I was supposed to be in Colorado Springs for a family event but the schedule changed, then changed back too late for my wife and I to make the drive down there. We’d spent the morning getting ready and not wanting to waste the time (and being in need of cheering up) we decided to get out, enjoy the nice weather, and buy ourselves something nice in the process.
We started out on my favorite lawn and garden place to buy new pots and my dream plant, a small monstera deliciosa more commonly known as a split-leaf philodendron.
The warm temperatures and the rows and rows of greenery made it easy to pretend it was Spring. I only wish the weather was going to last. Looking at the extended forecast it seems winter will return at least until next weekend. Maybe I will return and pretend again for a while then.
I got a new book, Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, an impulse buy based totally on the fact that I enjoyed another one of his books, Annihilation. I was tempted to get 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami but that book always scares me. I’m afraid I my expectation of it are too high and that I will ultimately hate it. Next time, next time…
Came home with burgers, fries, and milkshakes for dinner, dimmed the lights and put on The Lighthouse. When the movie ended my first thought was “what the fuck was that”? I didn’t like it but the more I think about it, the more I see the genius of it. It about the lies we tell and the lies we tell ourselves. It about jealousy, socialization (male socialization in particular), desire (male desire in particular), isolation, jealousy, and anger, just to name a few things.
It was entertaining and creepy, but a little too weird to make it onto my list of favorites. Glad I saw it, but I didn’t pay to see it in a movie theater.
The emotional toll I took yesterday is lingering and I find it hard to shake my sympathies for my coworkers pain and my worried that her pain might become my pain some day.
I’m finding it hard to smile or to laugh and my friends, all going through their own small frustrations and sufferings, are unable to pull me out of this whole and I, in turn, am unable to help them too. And that’s okay. They don’t owe me emotional support on demand and I don’t owe them the same. We have to suffer silently sometimes. We all have to learn to self-sooth.
Today I’m choosing to put my headphones in and let music carry me to other moods. I’ve got my calendar out and I’m filling it up with some writing ideas. It’s looking pretty bare but perhaps one or two pieces a month is all I can, or should, ask from myself.
I’m looking forward to going home and being with my wife. She need not cheer me up and I don’t expect her to say the right things or the one thing that will get me out of it. She doesn’t need to do anything to comfort or cheer me. She just has to exist in the same general space as me and suddenly the world, and I, and right again.
Today was hard, emotionally. I’m working with a new employee who’s spouse suddenly died less than two weeks ago. She had only been here for 3 days before he passed and then stopped returning to work saying only that she was (quite understandably) having trouble coping with the loss.
I thought she would not be able to return at all but she called and asked if it was possible to continue her training and since my last class has already been released I had the time and agreed. When she walked in this morning I hardly recognized her as the same person I met two weeks ago. She has lost weight and her eyes—my god her eyes—they looked as though she were lost or still in shock. She’s seems present, but appears to have lost the ability to connect meaningfully with her surroundings.
I feel so bad for her, and at the same time, I’m terrified of her. I’m terrified that her reality could some day be mine and those eyes would be my eyes. All day I longed to be near my wife and I promised myself to spend a little more time holding her, looking at her, kissing her, and making sure she knows I love her in case one day it’s her struggling to cope with the loss of me.