Sick kid.

Just when I thought I’d managed to escape the claws of the plague that has run rampant around the office and even through our home, it remembered me. I’d hoped for a few days that it was allergies, but today the sinus pressure, hot and heavy eyelids, and fatigue took over. Came home a couple of hours early and slept for a solid four hours, got up and made Joshua dinner, forced down some alka seltzer night cold stuff (man, that is some nasty shit), and am headed for my now nightly bubble bath. This cold will not replace my enjoyable self-care with gross medicine, dammit!

I finished Ready Player One today and am hoping to write a little about it on FolioFiles this weekend, and am partway into Maus, which I found at Yes books on Saturday. I can already tell I’m going to want the rest of the series. I love discovering new (to me) authors!

Gratitude:

Um, I’d say cold medicine, but it’s not working yet. Let’s make that tentative.

The world of graphic novels, which I’ve only just begun to explore.

Hot bubble baths and soft blankets to slip under afterward.

Justin the librarian and his rad dad, who replaced Joshua’s glasses for us. How awesome is that??? I feel pretty lucky to know some truly good-hearted, genuine people in a world that often seems devoid of kindness.

Joshua’s self-sufficiency and trustworthiness. Which means I *can* be sick and rely on him to do the stuff he knows he’s supposed to, and not to burn the building down while I rest.

Man, I love therapy.

I especially love therapy when we start the session with Rich telling me how glam I look, and end it with an acknowledgment of how far I’ve come since I first walked through his door. I don’t often allow myself to stop and tell myself, “Hey, you’re kind of a rock star,” but I did today. And thanked him for his part in it, because he has been invaluable. I feel good about choices I’ve made, actions I’ve taken, key relationships in my life and how they work with and not against me. I can celebrate the fact that Joshua’s case manager is discharging him next week, because it means he and I are doing just right together. I feel calm and confident about uncertain aspects of my future that would have had me in a perpetual state of anxiety because they were outside of my control and all I was capable of was fearing loss or an inability to succeed. I have mental and physical energy to take on things that matter to Joshua and me and our well-being, because I am not taking responsibility for everyone and everything else. Even the way I related the events of the last couple of weeks (he was out of town last week) struck him as being a vast improvement over how I would have done so last year – and as soon as he said that, I knew it to be true: my posture was relaxed, my breathing was normal and steady, I didn’t struggle for words, I didn’t trail off because I’d lost my thought in the web of reminders of my failures that competed for, and frequently won, my attention.

It has taken a lot of baby steps, but I can barely see that codependent hot mess of a girl in my rear view. Only that she’s waving, not in a “sad to see you go” way, but a frantic “Why the hell are you looking back, get your glitter-lined eyes back on the road and put that peep-toe to the floor!” sort of way. She can be a little bossy that way; I think she gets that from me.

Don’t worry…

…I’ve not given up writing here! I’m allowing myself a little space to introduce new self-care routines in my days, and I will be back to writing more and daily soon, I promise.

Gratitude:

Laughter.

Brother-sister bonding time, even though the movie sucked.

Bubble baths.

Lengthening days.

Snuggles. Even if the snugglers have sharp claws and teeth and like to use them on me while I’m trying to read and/or fall asleep.

Yep…

…still wanna read more than I wanna write. There are plenty of reasons for this. I will not go into them, because I would like to get back to my book, please and thank you.

Gratitude:

My new hair stylist.

Candid conversations that result in renewed friendships.

Havarti.

Music.

Used bookstores with little rhyme or reason and lots of hidden treasures in the stacks on the shelves, counters, and floors.

I know, I know!

I missed last night because I was out debuting the new ‘do. And tonight I’m engulfed in my book and don’t want to tear myself away long enough to post the entry I’ve had brewing all day full of fab music I’m enjoying lately. Maybe I will get to it later tonight, but probably not. So, look forward to mad tunage tomorrow sometime, and tonight’s gratitude will have to hold you over until then:

Sassy new hair.

Rediscovering my reading obsession.

Etsy, Pinterest, and someecards.

Sugar plum frost.

No alarm tomorrow morning!

Now back to Catching Fire – hope your weekend is off to a delightful start!

Contemplative.

Sometimes, a bit of quiet is the best thing. I am taking that tonight.

I had, for no apparent reason, a time of anxiety today. A period of several hours during which I could not breathe normally, during which I would all of a sudden feel as though I was about to be ill, during which I felt certain something bad was about to happen.

I have mild anxiety; that’s nothing new. I will feel the knot in my stomach, that feeling of dread, and can’t always attribute it to a specific experience. That’s what anxiety is about – irrational fear, disproportionate worry. But nothing that usually calms me did anything for me today. It was pervasive and it was persistent and it was bound and determined to make me take notice.

I did. And I realized, I can’t do anything about this, so I’m just gonna let it happen.

And then, not all at once, but fairly rapidly, it dispersed.

I can’t fix things. I can’t change things. I can’t make things be. I can’t stop things from being.

This is my mantra when anxiety takes hold. I must relieve myself of the responsibilities that support anxiety. Only once I have accepted what I cannot do, is it possible for me to see what I am capable of.

Know what I can do? Lots of things. Just watch me.

 

Gratitude:

The Amy Roy. Especially in her Mister Rogers cardigan. Hot for teacher what??? ;)

Books. Yes, again. Deal with it.

Days without coats!

Sleeping in.

New ways of looking at things.

Passion.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to perform. Even if it was just in the privacy of her own bedroom, putting on “concerts” with her bed as a stage where she was Madonna and her unfortunate younger brother was directed in the art of being a doo-wop boy, and they both got The Belt when they were discovered wooing their “audience” after bedtime. Later, she would discover dance and musical theater, and would receive, and decline, an offer of a full scholarship to a music college. Real life had intervened by then, you see, and in order to receive the scholarship, the girl had to fill out a FAFSA. Which isn’t possible if you are an unemancipated minor who does not live with a parent and whose parent will not provide the necessary income/tax information. So the girl said, okay, guess I have to wait until I’m twenty-four, which is when the law says I can file a FAFSA on my own.

But by age 24, the girl was nearly a decade out from her artistic past. She’d been working full-time and living on her own since graduating high school, a day before her 17th birthday. There was no music school scholarship in her future; if anything, she needed to go to college to get a better “real” job – this making a living and supporting yourself thing was proving impossible.

But somewhere in the depths of the girl’s heart, somewhere she’d known she needed to bury for practicality’s sake, was a need. A need to sing at top volume, if only in the car with the windows up. To dance, if only at the sink while doing dishes. To revel in the arts that sustained her during some of the hardest years of her youth.

And that girl never got rid of her tap shoes, or her sheet music, or a single libretto.

I think that girl is closer to the surface than she’s been in a long time. Just sayin’.

 

Gratitude:

Loving friends.

Music.

The written word.

Perspective.

Glitter.

Super Bass.

I had a post drafted in my head, I swear I did. But I’m tired and feel like ass and really I just want my cats and my pillows and my sleepytimes playlist. So I will give you this, a fun clip that made me a bit weepy (I am easily tearful these days) and also made me laugh delightedly. Hope you enjoy it, as well. Oh, and gratitude:

Random acts of kindness at rite aid.

Kitty snores.

Books. And books and books and books.

Ridiculous slippers that look like fozzie bear feet except pink, and are warm and soft as hell.

Other people’s writing that feels like it could be my own, but isn’t. Which means they get it.

And now, the video:

 

Placeholders.

I owe Lisa a post with a whole bunch of awesomeness we outlined while chatting earlier, but I am reserving that for a night when I feel particularly vindictive. In the meantime, I will mark the date and time so I know which chat log to refer to when the time for that post comes, and will go entertain myself by engaging with another placeholder of sorts. Who knows, maybe I’ll learn something new about myself; it wouldn’t be the first time I’d been surprised by some side of me I didn’t know existed. Don’t wait up, darlings.

Regroup.

You know, as much as I usually want to give Iliena a swift kick that’ll send her flying across the room, sometimes she gets that tonight is not the night to fuck with me. And sometimes she even gets that maybe tonight would be a good night for her to be the cute, cuddly, soothing presence I need pet cats to be. So I am currently smooshed between Iliena and Xander, with Joshua behind me on the computer and books of the electronic and paper varieties in front of me.

Heres the thing. There were some complicating factors in my relationship with K. I’m not gonna get into it all because, quite frankly, it was a huge mess I wanted no part of, but I was involved in before I had enough information to make educated decisions. By the time I knew enough, it was too late. I did my best to adjust to accommodate the data I received as time continued, but I was riding a tide over which I had zero control. That tide has turned, and I have found myself entirely on the outside.

Don’t get me wrong – in many ways, I am hugely grateful not to be directly affected by the drama surrounding this situation. At the same time, all of that drama is the reason I don’t get the privilege of a “normal” breakup, where people give things back that were at each other’s places, make awkward small talk, and hope not to run into one another in social settings. I get to know that neither of us really wanted the other out of our lives, but that it had to happen. The struggle for me is, I don’t know what that means, because this isn’t my crazy party. Does this mean maybe later? Does this mean there’s too much stuff attached to us so this is left in the past for good? Does this mean my part in the mess makes me a bad person and so not someone worthy of reconnecting with in the future?

I don’t know. And I’m not allowed to find out. At least, that’s how it feels. And that sucks, y’all.

But you know what’s okay about it? I loved with my whole heart. I tried to do the right thing. I earned the love I received. And I know that this love still exists, and will always exist, regardless of whether it can be manifested in ways I can see or feel.

It’s not perfect. It’s not ideal. But it’s enough.