I’m back and getting re-centered

Hi all, I was gone out of town for a while. It was awesome in every way. I saw tons of family, including my parents. I walked the beach. I met my little cousins-once-removed or whatever they are.

Then, my mom and I went to a music workshop that was so wonderful. We also had two members of my mom’s music group join. I learned a ton and the area was nice and the food was great and the instructors were SO nice and blah blah blah. Wonderful.

Now I’m back and I’m still retaining motivation to practice music and I’m still motivated to play Pok√©mon Go but I haven’t gotten back into gardening yet and I haven’t gotten back into schoolwork yet. I’m volunteering at the animal shelter still, though, but I haven’t been very timely as of late.

I also need to clean up this bedroom. What a pig sty.

The garden has gotten ignored by me for a couple of reasons. One, when I got back, the lettuce has all become huge and kind of … old. I think it needs to be trimmed back to 2 inches and allowed to regrow. Maybe the new leaves won’t be bitter?

Peas in a pod

Mmm peas

Second, the peas have been allowed to fall forward and become completely, unmanageably tangled into the plants in front of it. So I can’t even get into them anymore. It’s just a low tangle of pea plants now. If weeds grow inbetween, I can’t get to them. If there are bugs that need to be picked, I can’t see them. I can’t even see all of the peas themselves that are growing. So I don’t know what to do with them. and thus have kind of been ignoring them. I have forgotten to water the garden twice and the lettuce suffered. ūüė¶ But, one of these days, I’ll at least deal with the lettuce.

Wood duck in water

Wood duck

I still Pok√©walk with “Joe” each Monday and that’s one of my favorite things to do. I’ve been meeting tons and tons of people due to the new Pok√©mon Go Raids needing certain minimum numbers of people in order to achieve them. It’s been great. But I did meet one person who has physical boundary issues and I’m going to have to address it verbally next time he and I happen to be walking the same areas. “Stand/sit at least 3 feet from me at all times.” I guess when you meet enough people, some are bound to bring something challenging to the table.

I have a head cold right now but I still have energy so I’m still going out. I wore a mask when on public transit yesterday, just in case I were to start coughing (didn’t end up coughing, thankfully).

Note to folks who like to have empty seats next to them on public transit: Wear a very obvious mask. You will likely have a lot of space left just for you.

Okay. Goals for myself:
* Laundry
* Water garden (cut some of the old lettuce?)
* Get halfway into Topic2 homework
* Try another Moltres raid ūüėČ (Pok√©monGo)

Ponies and such

It’s hard to look into the eye of a life change that already happened without you acknowledging it. I moved away a couple of years ago and left my pony behind out of necessity. It’s becoming more “real” that she won’t be mine and I’ve been feeling completely numb and irritable for the past few days.

It’s a GOOD thing for my pony; the lady who wants her is very dominant– exactly what my pony needs in order to listen and stay safe. They’re both full of energy. It should be a good fit. But it’s hard. I’m selfish and “want” this horse to be mine forever. I’ve had her for a very long time. She was still pretty young when I first got her; now she is at least 11.

But it’s the giving up of the horse world. I wonder if I resent that I got involved with a human that isn’t into horses and doesn’t want to live with them on his property. In a past life, I would have found that unacceptable. Now, year by year my old life slips away.

I’m in a city and there are things about that that I like. I like that there are always people around, and their energy. I like all the street lights and people and in some ways, I feel safer in this environment than I ever did alone in the woods.

But at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m home and I don’t expect to live in a city forever. Home is where the horses are. Home is where the mountains are. Home is where the forests are.

I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back home. But I am telling myself that I want to stay here until I get this Accounting degree. AFTER that, I will be free to leave. AFTER it, I will be free to find a horsey place and breathe them and hear them and feel their steps around me. I’ll have a dog again (maybe foster dogs). I will make this happen AFTER I get a degree. It should take 2 or 3 more years.

This is life and I must remember to breathe and enjoy the scents here. There are trees around. There is sometimes a very strong sun and warmth on my face. I might feel lonely at times, but I’m certainly never alone here. It’s strange to me that there isn’t a single horse barn in the city. Not a single one. I guess real estate in populated areas would make it unaffordable, since horses need a lot of room. But it’s too bad. Wouldn’t people pay a bundle for carriage¬†rides through parks?

If this is all there is to life, it will be okay. I am getting outside to walk a lot now (thanks to Pok√©mon Go– which will certainly cause some of you to pull back with some disdain). It’s also got my out and bicycling quite a bit. I’m getting lots of outdoor exercise. What more could I want from life? (Other than to go back to my old-old life, with my parents and my dog, and my pony at the first barn, and gardening and painting and writing and drawing and watching “The Dog Whisperer”…) Funny that the time I’d look back on as my favorite was from a couple of years after my failure at college, and after my Asperger diagnosis, just chilling with my folks, working parttime (at a high-paying job that was very difficult for me) and taking care of my animals and plants. THAT was LIFE.

So I am doing a little bit of “life” right now, with the outdoor exercising. I drew a picture the other day. I knit a tiny bit yesterday (first time in years). But I’m so, so numb right now. Hopefully it will pass quickly. I do need to solidify the transfer of ownership of my pony, however.

Complaint + Random

I’m behind on journaling.

But meanwhile, I am having insomnia tonight. So here I am. I got upset. Things can be up, then boom. But it’s been okay.

But I don’t have to tell you or justify. I don’t have to rationalize that in all of my silence, I’ve been fine, but now that I’m upset, I want to write. I don’t have to balance the equation. I am what I am, and in this moment, I’m upset.

There’s a move coming up. You guys might remember how well I handle that… /fall apart/

School is well. Busy busy. But I like those days. Structured. Busy. People I’m growing to know, a little bit. Certain people I’m getting to recognize and chat with over studying in the tutoring center, where I spend most of my weeks. It’s almost like making friends, but we’re all busy and don’t have time to meet elsewhere in the city.

I’m sitting in an amazing place. I can’t describe it. I’m in the heart of the city in a modern, top-notch building and I stayed emotionally detached for a couple of months, thinking of it as His and Yours. I was just happening here to spend my time with my bf. But now, now that my bed is here is here and I’ve moved a bit more of my stuff in, and I’ve paid some rent and re-organized parts of the kitchen, and kept the shower and sinks clean. Now it’s mine too. And I’ve grown attached to the streets and the views and the amazing space. I’ll never live in a space this nice again; you’d have to see it and the views and the location to know what I’m referring to. I’ll never be this close to public transport or grocery stores again. Now, now that my bf has set his mind to leaving (he was unsure at first and I encouraged him toward leaving, due to the rent$$). Now that he’s certain of leaving, I’ve realized, I LOVE this place. I’ve even learned a few of the streets.

Oh well. It wasn’t a place I would have chosen at first; I certainly couldn’t afford it rationally. But damn. I’ll miss this. Oops, I’ve woken my bf. I have a cat on my lap.

I’ve been sleeping well lately, but tonight, no go. Partly, I’m in pain. I had some yuck food earlier, I think. Stomach ache, but mostly muscle aches and pains. I was exhausted today. One of the ladies I study with even told me so when I first approached the table; that I look exhausted. Yep. That’s because I didn’t have school yesterday and unstructured days are not my best days.

School days are great.

Hey, I have an opportunity to quit my job. I have chickened out so far. But now it’s right out in the open; I can just give the word that even Fridays are too much for me. THEY ARE. But the money… the money… is hard to give up. But commuting to another city each Friday and catching up on a week’s worth of chores and work has been difficult. Not impossible task-wise, but mentally difficult. Exhausting.

Or rather, I’m likely just still exhausted. I’ve been feeling better since getting to increase my thyroid dose nearly back up to where it used to be. I spent years and years at 100 mcg. My doctor said my tests were borderline high and she is worried about future osteoporosis, so wanted me to try 88 mcg instead. I did that for like… a month? And started to lose motivation! And energy. And drive. And the ability or motivation to do anything, even walk to the grocery store. It was getting bad, but I was still studying. I suspect it’s partly the placebo effect, because AS SOON AS I got permission to take a 100 mcg again, I felt improved THAT SAME DAY. ūüôā ¬†So I am alternating now — 88, then 100, 88, 100 etc. It does seem to affect my heartbeat at the higher dose, unfortunately. I forgot to mention that was another reason for going down on it. I can’t count how many times my heart has done odd beats today alone.

This isn’t to mention that we have to move in less than a month. We probably won’t find anything that fast, not here. So the backup plan is to move in with his dad, who always rents certain rooms of the house. It wouldn’t be free and would be temporary. But I’m concerned about space issues; the kitchen is very small and also, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t feel comfortable touching anything there. I wouldn’t feel on a level playing field, you know? It wouldn’t be the same as finding roommates. I like his dad and I love the location, except it’s not that close to the public transport or grocery stores. But the area is beautiful and neighborhood feels fairly safe, which is important. But the space, again, would my stuff fit into the room? Would we put together my bed and wardrobe there, knowing it would be temporary? So many unknowns.

I knit for a while this evening. It was nice. I’m paranoid/ fairly certain that my bf’s roommate’s gf doesn’t like me. I don’t think I’ve done or said anything offensive, but yet she definitely doesn’t talk with me or make eye contact. I might just be being paranoid. Or she just doesn’t like me.

And should I care? Really? Of course I had an image in mind where the four of us get along and we can even watch a DVD together or some such thing that won’t happen in the next less than a month, but / Got distracted. I’ve been listening to, “Welcome to Night Vale” a lot lately. I’m relistening to an episode right now. I’ve been trying to sooth myself since I got upset earlier. Hence why I’m (finally) typing on here again, too.

I zoned out again. I took some anti-anxiety medicine just before starting to type, too. It must be kicking in now. Yay. I haven’t said what upset me. It was a single spoken sentence. Hmm. Maybe it was 2 sentences, or one sentece with a semi-colon. No matter. It’ll be sorted out tomorrow; I just didn’t want to deal with it tonight.

Kitty is so soft and sweet. Man did she get excited when I came out here to the sofa with my laptop. She’s kneading on me right now. But I’m winding down, and then she and the other kitty will have these rooms to themselves again.

I don’t really want to stop typing. The sound and spring of the keys is very soothing. But I do need to lay down and pretend to be sleeping until it becomes a reality. Well, goodnight all.

Woop, zoning out again. (Listening to Welcome to Night Vale). So. Goodnight, all. Kindly do not judge me or my life. Kindly remember I only come here when I’m upset or emotions run high for one reason or another. It is not a full and balanced view of my life. Etc etc. Goodnight, all.

Log: Jul 11 – 15 (Sat – Wed) SLEEP DEPRIVATION

Jul 11 (Sat): BBQ!!! Family
Jul 12 (Sun):
Music in the park
Jul 13 (Mon):
Work
Jul 14 (Tue):
 Therapy 8:30a; Work 10:30a Р2:30p; Primary care dr appt 3:30p;
Jul 15 (Wed): Work

The following image shows my actual sleep logs. I’ll give you a hint: Dark blue means you’re not flailing around. Light blue means I’m restless/moving/waking up. Pink means I got up to pee for the fourth time or just moved around even more than the regular light blue moments. The number on the right is the amount of dark blue I totaled for the night. So it thinks I slept soundly for a total of 4 hr and 13 minutes last night.

My Recent Sleep Logs

My Recent Sleep Logs

Saturday: FAMILY AND FRIENDS BBQ at my aunt & uncle’s place. MUCH FUN. Stayed up way too late. Actually, come to think of it, I stayed up talking with Peter until 4:30 am.¬†After the BBQ, much chatting around and some amateur dancing, Peter and I went to bed but I started talking, and ended up sharing some of my childhood baggage and it lasted a long time. SLEEP DEFICIT CONTINUES.

Sunday: My herpes patch on the side of my nose returned (yeah, I never bothered to write about the first one in the first place. Rest assured, I now get oral herpes on the side of my nose. This is the second batch now).

But in cooler news, we did something really awesome with Peter’s folks at a park. It involved music. I unfortunately can’t be more specific. But really cool. We then had dinner with them and got back to Peter’s place very late. SLEEP DEFICIT CONTINUES.

Monday: Work. I can’t recall it very well now. I doubt I had many tasks. I think I got a few other chores done. Normally I stay Monday nights at my aunt & uncle’s house, so I can get to therapy first thing in the morning, but Peter and his roommate had finally chosen the day we were going to try the nearby Indian restaurant and I had been planning on joining them for two weeks (without a day chosen), so I decided to attend and Peter and I would just have to get up Tuesday morning at 6 am.

So we did. And the dinner was really good and I got to get to know his roommate just a tiny bit better (although I still understand him very little).

What came out of the blue was that one of Peter’s old friends from college years was in town and could meet at 10 pm. So we got back from dinner around 9 pm. I went immediately to the bed and crashed there, not sure if I’d try to join or not (I want to see how Peter is around his friends; that was a big eye-opener with my ex, so it’s important to me). So I tried to go into my “power-saving” mode for a while. I drifted in and out of sleep but also got heartburn since I laid down so soon after eating much Indian food. Then, between 10:30 and 11pm, the friend ended up having to cancel anyway, but by then I had insomnia and took extra time getting ready for bed, doing stretches, putting away a few of my things, etc. SLEEP DEFICIT WORSENS.

Tuesday: We had to get up early (well, *I* had to, and Peter chooses to join me, which I really appreciate). I was going to have to leave the apartment at 7:15am at the LATEST to make it to therapy on time. Somehow, this was accomplished, and it even involved eating breakfast with Peter (he made it while I got ready, which takes me ever so much longer than him). I skipped my shower for it.

I made it to therapy. I can’t say it was perhaps the most productive ever. I was crabby and didn’t want to discuss one of my more recent posts, which was about things I want to do, like the music and such, because that is overly personal for me. I can’t explain why I’m fine typing it here, but it’s nobody else’s business what’s inside of me for that. I suspect I’m just crabby from being tired. So then there was a lot of silence and I fell asleep like five times. Lovely.

Work… It was not busy. I don’t recall what I did, if anything. I drank a large mug of coffee.

I left work early for an appointment with my primary care doctor. I got my mandatory TB test, and I also discussed my sudden increase in acne and some other things I haven’t mentioned on here. She noticed my “rash” near my nose and asked if I wanted a swab for herpes… I said what’s the point. We both know it’s the oral herpes virus (which I blood-tested positive for last month, along with 80% of the rest of the population). She agreed it looked like it. I said I don’t want to spend any more money. It’s a pretty damn safe bet that it’s the herpes. She cautioned me not to kiss or anything, even though it’s up by my nose. Apparently my lips could be shedding the virus anyway. I wish I’d known that four weeks ago.

Oh, also, I’m going to be going down slightly on the my thyroid medicine. The last two bloodtests indicated that my thyroid levels are just touch high. In light of the bloodwork as well as recent heart palpitations and an inability to sleep, we’re going to try lowering the thyroid a touch. If it backfires, back up I’ll go. She wanted me to get bloodtested AGAIN first, but I pointed out that she’d already done a second test and it had showed the same upward trend as the previous. I can’t keep getting tested every time I have an appointment. I’m $900 in the red already this month. Thankfully, she agreed to lower the dose and I’ll get re-tested in six weeks.

So then I got back to Peter’s place and I pet one of the cats for a short time. Then I cooked some plain pasta. Then I waited for Peter to get home so we’d go to the grocery store and get some vegetables. I don’t recall the details, but we talked a lot when he first got home, so we didn’t end up leaving for the store immediately. Dinner took a while since all I’d done in advance was cook plain pasta noodles. He made up a bunch of fancy, delicious food to go with it. I washed spinach and carrots and sliced them up, although in the end he wasn’t in the mood for a salad. It’s funny, but he and I have pretty different eating tastes, I think. The things he could live on, I consider “rare treats”. The things I could live on, he would eat sparingly in the same way. But since we’re both contributing (as much as my exhaustion is allowing me right now), it’s working out just fine, IMO.

I’m too exhausted to continue pursuing the horse front right now. Sell my horse where she is, or bring her to me. If I bring her to me, I pay extra money each month, get to ride her on a beach and have SO MUCH FUN I can’t even picture it, but in the end should sell her anyway because of the continual drain on money. Financially, I should sell her where she is. But I’m too tired to allow myself any decisions on the topic right now. It’s on PAUSE.

So I got upset over something while at the grocery store yesterday. I’ll put it this way. He was super hungry and I was super exhausted by the time we were shopping. I was contemplating toothpaste ingredients and said out loud that¬†I couldn’t remember for sure, but I thought maybe it was the¬†SDS that I was allergic to, and he said he doubted that because that’s a foaming agent that’s in tons and tons of things. So I looked it up online and read some things listed as the common allergens in toothpastes and read some aloud and he said he felt like the website was just choosing any large word people wouldn’t recognize and say that that would be the allergen (he has a very chemist-y background and knows the chemical formulas and other names for each ingredient and their mechanisms of action and such). So I felt there was no point in continuing to speak on that topic so I asked if we could just change the topic. We did and I was able to perk up, but deep down I was stressed about it. He tried apologizing later if he’d come off cranky. But really, I’m so exhausted, everything everyone says to me right now is coming out looking BLACK and negative.

So after dinner, I just needed some Me time. I told him to just ignore me for the rest of the evening/night, and I was going to do the cleanup that night and plug in to my phone and just zone out into my own little world. That’s what I did. I cleaned up all the dishes and counters and stovetop and whatnot and listening to beautiful music and just ignored the whole world and it was wonderful. But what I really need is some fucking SLEEEEEEP. So, all that zoning out got me to a pretty late part of the evening/night. I’m starting to fall apart, I’m so tired. I took 1 mg of clonazepam and I feel like it helped a tiny bit.¬†TOO LITTLE SLEEP.

Wednesday: I had SUCH a hard, painful time getting up again. I’m at work. I got done what I needed to get done. I could probably leave now and not miss anything, but I’d better just stay, especially since I won’t have an income soon. I still feel grouchy.

MOOD RANKING: 4 – 5.1

Log: May 7 + 8 (Thu + Fri) Happy

May 7¬†(Thu):¬†Work 9:30a ‚Äď 5:30p; Go to my uncle‚Äôs after work

May 8 (Fri):¬†Work 9:30a ‚Äď 4:00p; Haircut 5p ‚Äď 6p; Pharmacy 6:45p; “Peter” will help me with some sales items 7:30p

Peaceful evening

Peaceful evening

On Thursday, I decided I was too tired. I was going to go to my uncle’s and stay the night there. And I wanted to spend some quality time with my uncle, because it has been quite a while since we’ve talked.

I biked home from work and felt infinitely better again. I love that bike ride. Got home. Spoke with my uncle for all of 30 seconds when he started trying to convince me to dump “Peter” and “throw that fish back” and find new fish in the sea. (Um, why?)

Maybe it’s his way of saying he misses me. ? ūüôā

Anyway, so then I laid down on my bed for a while, in the silence, just laying there. It was lovely. Then I got up, made myself some tuna salad, snarfed it down and ran out to meet “Peter” for an icecream. (What? ūüôā ) Then we chatted for a long while outside of the icecream shop.

We parted ways, him back to his city and me to my aunt & uncle’s house. They were already asleep by the time I returned, so I quietly entered and… then chatted on the phone with my mom for about an hour. We laughed so hard. I got to tell her all about the train issues the other day, which were pretty funny but would take too long to explain here. So, I did not get to sleep early, but I slept very well.

Friday! I got up early to meet “Peter” for breakfast at work! Crazy and awesome, I know. But it sure motivated me to get out of bed and onto my bike this morning! I had a lovely ride to work and somehow hit a lot of green lights. I was sweating by the time I arrived. Anyway, “Peter” and I had the leftover quinoa + cinnamon applesauce for breakfast, and the free coffee from down the street, and I bought more grounds for work and brought my coworkers back some coffee.

Then “Peter” left for his city (he took today as a vacation day to get some rest). He thinks he’ll probably do a lot of work from home anyway. Y’all probably don’t care to know that but I wrote it anyway, for my own sake. (Random note: It is amazingly hard to use the fake name. I fear I will use the real name accidentally one of these days.)

I’m at work and I’ve been busy and productive all day. I’m feeling great. Still so much more on my to-do lists, but I feel like I’m working toward them, slowly.¬†Mood Ranking for Thu + Fri: 4.5 – 5.5 – 6

Update: I must have met w/ Peter after work, but how? Where? What did we eat for dinner? We had planned on heading back to his city but it got late so we stayed at my aunt + uncle’s house. Oh! We were filling out my passport paperwork! That’s how it got late and we hadn’t left yet.

Log: Apr 29 (Wed) –got a bit stressed today

Apr 29 (Wed):¬†Work 10:00a ‚Äď 5:30p, Lunch with Shelly 1p, Go to beach¬†w/ “Peter”¬†6:40p, Grocery shopping and make food w/ “Peter” 6:30p

The elusive cat

This cat is very shy of me still. He’s come close to me a couple of times. In this photo, he was being quite brave.

Today, “Peter” and I got up around 7:30a to prepare for the day. I needed to be at work by a certain time for a pick-up. So we got ready for the day and enjoyed another amazing home-cooked breakfast (not as elaborate as yesterday, but still amazing to me): I made scrambled eggs, and he made the tea, my non-dairy yogurt with homemade red plum jam swirled into it, and an avocado that I had bought the day before.

We parted ways and I got to work on time. I didn’t have any tasks first thing this morning, so I ended up vacuuming the whole office (it took me 45 minutes and the dust canister was pretty full afterward, so it’s a good thing I did). I also put away the clean dishes, washed the few dirty ones that were in the sink, scrubbed the sink and the counters, and made the coffee. I took the garbage out last night so that was already done. It’s satisfying to do hands-on tasks¬†like that.

I later learned that the pickup had been taken care of by a different coworker earlier in the morning, so although my timely arrival turned out to be non-mandatory after all, I’m glad I was here earlier. I would like to get to work even earlier than this in the future. I’d like to always be here by 9:30a but I’m usually closer to 10:30a or even 11a.

Work has been productive (although now I am at a point where I’m out of tasks; there is a spreadsheet I’ll need to input data into¬†on the horizon but hasn’t been given to me yet). AND I met Shelly for lunch at my favorite nearby restaurant, and that was fun. She gave me some brilliant ideas for my upcoming goal (bring homemade lunches to work for ALL OF MAY). Which leads me to what I really want to discuss: FOOD!!!!!

I’m cutting this and will begin my food discussion as its own post.

***UPDATE*** I am now EXTREMELY anxious. I have not told my uncle that I won’t be home tonight. I wasn’t home last night. And my plan is to not be home tomorrow night, either. I’m super duper anxious. I’ll be leaving soon for “Peter”‘s city, theoretically. I feel like canceling. What if my uncle has been looking forward to seeing me? That’s one anxiety. What if what if what if. A lot of the anxiety is stemming from the fact that I’m breaking my own rule. See, originally, TODAY was when I was headed to “Peter’s” city. We were going to see another of the films of the festival. Only that plan has been cancelled. Music Night was added last night. And instead there is a plan for tonight for heading to the beach. But tomorrow is another film. I have nothing against staying over there three nights in a row. There are no negatives for me, only positives. However, it’s a break in my rules and I’m finding myself very disturbed.

Maybe I should cancel and go home? At home, I would make the food for tonight and leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. At “Peter’s”, we would assumedly be making the food and then going to the beach? No, there is not time for both. That could be adding to the anxiety. It doesn’t add up, does it. How can I get there by 6:45p, shop for some groceries, make food for tonight and tomorrow (7:15 have shopped, 8:30 have cooked?). Yeah, the numbers don’t add up. Shit.

Okay, I just wrote him, along with my meal plan. Carrots, green beans, brussels sprouts, probably chicken, maybe quinoa. He thinks it sounds delicious. I’m still super anxious, so it’s mostly worry about my uncle that’s eating me alive on the inside right now. *DEEP BREATH* I have to write him. | Okay, I have now written to and heard back from my uncle, and all’s well.

***UPDATE X2*** So the evening actually got a bit stressful! First of all, it was wonderful. We went grocery shopping and I wasn’t thinking clearly but managed to pick up some random ingredients. My recipes weren’t going to work because some of the ingredients didn’t look very good in the store, so I got other, random vegetables and such. I got some super fucking exciting news but I don’t know if I’m ready to share it online yet.

Cooking went all right but ran very long because I was so ill-prepared, had been unable to pull together any sort of plan, and depended on “Peter” for way too much of the executive functioning thinking stuff. I got overwhelmed. I should, next time, only offer to be responsible for a single side-dish. Start smaller.

It ran very late. “Peter” was cooking a chicken in the oven but it ran much longer than he expected. I was exhausted. At some point, I did make myself 2 PBJs to bring for lunch today (and an orange). And I have some rice cakes at the work place, and work has peanut butter, so I can make something edible out of that if I get hungry. Anyway, something stressed me that I did but hadn’t meant to do (too long to explain). So I felt really stressed. I even played a song¬†off my phone then, to help ground me¬†(“Stay With My Brother” by The Botticellis). I played it really quietly for myself, three times through and then was calmer and “Peter” started to play piano for a bit.

Exit building BEFORE tweeting about the fire

Exit building BEFORE tweeting about the fire

We went to bed. Everything was good. I slept like a rock until “Peter” got up in the middle of the night and went to the kitchen, where I then heard his roommate. They were there for a while. I wanted to care and I also wanted to sleep, so I didn’t get up. Eventually, I heard his roommate say something in a somewhat upset voice about there being no fire detector in the fucking apartment and something or other, and then he left. I didn’t hear anything else said.

So I finally asked what had happened. It turns out that “Peter” had left a pot of water with chicken bones on the stove, boiling it for a broth, and all of the water had evaporated (I didn’t know there was something boiling on the stove or I wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep). So his roommate had smelled something and investigated, and the kitchen was full of smoke. And there were no fire alarms or detectors. So that is very unsafe!!!!! I think his roommate is going to contact the landlord about it today.

“Peter” was upset because his roommate was upset and because it was his mistake, and they hadn’t really gotten to discuss it before his roommate left to sleep at his workplace for the night. I wasn’t upset because I was too tired to be upset. So we had the windows open and fan running, trying to get the smoke and smell out. He was scrubbing the burned pot. We took a journey to bring the compost down to the building’s compost area. I never looked at a clock; it’s easier for me to feel rested if I’m unaware of the time in the middle of the night.

Eventually, we went back to sleep.¬†Today’s Mood Ranking: 3-5-7¬† (3 from the sudden, intense anxiety¬†before I left work; 7 was only for a short while, after I heard such majorly exciting news)

Pro: Customer service phone calls

Do you ever feel a bit sad when you have to hang up on a wonderful customer service agent at the end of a call? Have you ever had to spend 3+ hours on a technical call with a company and felt a lot of positivity in the interaction? Sometimes, I enjoy chatting with the customer service reps so much that I’m genuinely sorry to have to say goodbye and hang up on them.

I suppose this is nothing new for me. I once spent days chatting with an army recruiter. In the end, we came to realize that my then anxiety disorder would prevent me from being placed in the stations we thought I might fit (i.e. my anxiety disorder then prevented me from being able to leave my near-Home vicinity). It was going to have been some kind of technical work. This was post-college and I didn’t care what I did with my life at that point; I would not “normally” wish to¬†join¬†an establishment that intentionally kills other humans.

Good customer service reps are well able to chat with you and establish a personal-feeling connection.¬†Other reps go overboard — you know the ones who call you and instantly begin to chat with you as if you are old buddies. Sorry, buddy, that’s not how this works. That’s how you get others to resent you because you are being invasive. They are more the sales cold-calls people.

But even with them, some are quite friendly and you can learn a lot about the area where they live if you have an extra minute and don’t mind that they are offering a product. But alas, you must also learn the techniques of a firm “no” or else you will be placed on the “call-back-every-week” list.

I’ve even had a customer service rep from a company I happened to purchase a product from via Amazon call and chat and we hit it off so well, we ended up emailing additional information several times, about the towns where we live.

I love a positive social exchange. I want to learn all of the social rules and etiquette I can cram into my brain so that talking with others is always so smooth. It’s easy with a good customer service rep because they are well trained socially and even the major technical issues we’re working through can often be resolved without either party becoming frustrated by the process. And it’s easy for me to separate out a bad company policy from a bad customer service rep. At least some company feedback surveys allow you to differentiate, so you can express your frustration with the company policies without maligning a good customer service rep.

Anyway, the next time you have to make that call because some service you pay for is not functioning as it should or whatever it may be, feel free to let yourself enjoy the process a little bit.

Log: Apr 25 – 27 (Sat – Mon) Happy days

Apr 25 (Sat):¬†Tree planting with ‚ÄúPeter‚Ä̬†8:00a ‚Äď 2:00p

Apr 26 (Sun):¬†Film Festival and a Park¬†with “Peter”

Apr 27 (Mon):¬†Work 11:00a ‚Äď 6:30p, Grocery shopping,¬†Laundry

Bicycle tire

Bicycle tire

Saturday: This day brought tree planting with “Peter” and we worked hard. We turned out to be the only two members who showed up for the asphalt-removal team! We did not get it all done but we worked hard the whole time. It will be very satisfying to see the new plants that will be¬†grown where these layers of asphalt have been for years.

Afterward, we went to my pharmacy to pick up my waiting prescription, and then walked to a gluten free bakery for lunch. It’s a place that I looove. After that, we went back to my uncle’s house and tried to address “Peter’s” bicycle’s flat tire. It seemed as though I had bought the wrong tube size after all, so I asked my uncle if he happened to have a patch kit. (I knew my uncle was displeased about having “Peter’s” bicycle in his garage all week and so I thought I could at least patch the holey tube and make it back to “Peter’s” city with it, and fix it there. You see, I had tried to be helpful and take care of the tube myself earlier in the week, but ended up taking apart a couple more items than needed to be removed from the bike. Then learned I didn’t have the physical strength to put the new tube on/outer tire over it. Seeing pieces of someone else’s bike in his garage was not a happy occasion for my uncle.) Hmm. My uncle was quite inebriated and quite vexed by my request. But in the end, he ended up taking over the tube replacement and determining that I’d bought¬†the correct sized tube after all, and he put it all together for us. Whew.

We were then on our way. “Peter” and I went to his city.¬†I wish I could remember what we did there! I think he ran a load of laundry. Man, I cannot remember.

Sunday: Hmm. I believe this is when we consulted the details of the Film Festival and we each checked off the ones we were most interested in. We had to rush a bit to eat breakfast and make it to the first film. It was a very interesting documentary. We ate out for lunch and attended another super interesting documentary. Then we went to a park and rested there for a while. I pulled out my book because “reading” had been one of my goals for the day. We read a few sections and then returned to his apartment because it had gotten dark and somewhat chilly (I had three sweatshirts¬†on and was cold). We made dinner and were exhausted; it was already late.

Monday: Lingered too long over breakfast, which had so much variety. We did eggs with fresh, diced tomato in it, non-dairy yogurt, with some of his special jam mixed in, split an orange, had tea, and some sauerkraut, just because. One of the cats was crazy persistent in trying to snag my eggs away from me. She’d already eaten breakfast and even managed to sneak a bite of the other cat’s food. But you know cats.

So we were running later than I prefer, but we both made it to work all right. It was a busy, good day for me at work. I had lots of little tasks. Near the end of the day, a coworker gave me a task that needed to be done before I left, and had not given it to me earlier in the day because he didn’t think it would take me very long. But it involved¬†many small numbers and I was being very cautious, so it took me a lot longer than he was expecting it would. SO in a way, it was good that I had shown up late to work, because I ended up having to stay quite late.

Then I bicycled home (OMG my legs are so tired; too much exercise lately), but made a stop at a grocery store I saw on the way. By the time I made it home, it was quite dark out. I made myself a sandwich complete with half a head of lettuce. I watched some TV with my uncle (what a horrible movie), and ran a load of laundry. I put away some of my belongings. I listened to more of my audiobook (it’s gotten really interesting). When I finally went to bed, I slept HARD. I don’t remember even having trouble falling asleep. I’m stretched kind of thin right now; I need to be more careful again this week.

(I’m tagging eczema just because I’ve been trying to deal with a particularly stubborn patch of eczema for about a week now.) Total Mood Ranking: 5-5.5-6.5

Log: April Fools (Wed)

Apr¬†1 (Wed):¬†Work 1:30a ‚Äď 5:30p, REST (‚ÄúPeter‚ÄĚ might stop by briefly)

Flower from today

Flower from today

I’m writing this from the following day, so I’m having a bit of a stall-out. What did I do on the 1st? I slept poorly — was up coughing much of the night. I went to work very late, to allow for whatever sleep my body would take. I HAD to go in; a coworker needed me to complete one of the figures for his report that needed to be turned in ASAP. I finished it, fixed the tiny thing he’d needed fixed, and then soonafter headed back home.

I did not have any events I’d need to omit mentioning for emetophobics. I coughed a lot, but it didn’t get that far, thankfully. I did schedule a doctor appt for the 2nd. Because I HAVE to be healthy by Saturday!!! (And preferably by Friday!!!)

I tidied up my bedroom. I ordered some food from a Thai restaurant for “Peter” and me (my aunt and uncle declined). He picked it up on his way over from work, and we ate it here at my aunt & uncle’s house. I had the soup that I’d been craving for a while.

My uncle drove the three of us to the grocery store I’d asked him for a ride to earlier in the day. “Peter” helped me to gather the random things I was there to get — honey, ginger, guaifenesin, and tissues. Then I needed some toilet paper and some laundry detergent. My uncle got the dog food and whatever else was on his list. I didn’t have any coughing attacks in the store (-yay-). We got it all put away. And I got to make my ginger-lemon-honey tea that my brother’s previous gf, from Peru, had taught me how to make. It’s soooooo good and all of those fresh ingredients can’t hurt (and supposedly have some helpful properties, to boot).

Mmmm ginger-lemon-honey tea. So good. I’m drinking more right now. Basically, I’ll be drinking this from now until this damn bug goes away. Anyway, so it got late and “Peter” asked to stay the night so he could leave bright and early in the morning for work. (I can’t personally grant permission; I’m just a guest. But I was too chicken to go up and ask. We went to bed quite early so I don’t think we bothered anybody, except for my random coughing.) I was pretty surprised ¬†because he knows I was up all night coughing the night before and probably would be again. And it’s true, I was literally awake the ENTIRE night last night. NO. SLEEP. Just a lot of random bouts of coughing (mostly productive) and I only panicked twice (when coughing and my sinuses are completely blocked, I feel that it will never end and I will just cough forever or until I [omitted]. Or my eyeballs pop out. Something.

I’m cutting the rest to post in Apr 2. Today’s Mood Ranking: 5-6 (I’m not sure which was more dominant)

Log: Mar 29 (Sun)

Mar 29 (Sun): Hike with “Joe” and his mom “bring a flashlight or headlamp” + dinner at his dad’s house afterward¬†9:30a @hike

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush! (one of my favorite wild flowers)

Today. You wouldn’t believe today. Talk about a fuck-up. I mean, which of you couldn’t have guessed upon seeing one sentence above: that “Peter” stayed the night, and then the next day’s plans, with “Joe” and his mom, and NOT seen a major fuck-up coming?

I didn’t have this one planned out in the slightest, obviously. Well, “Peter” and I had a lovely morning. He knew I was about to be picked up for a walk. We quickly got up and showered and got ready for the day. I hurried and made eggs (another miracle, if you knew how much I DON’T COOK) and he found some leftover bread and other snacks from the night before and we had a lovely breakfast. Then it came time to part ways with him headed to the train station and me escorting him to the end of the driveway, and “Joe” had walked down from his mom’s parking spot already and so they actually met. That was not expected for any of us three and I don’t think anyone had the slightest fucking clue as to what to say. I announced each other’s names, and gave no other introductions, seeing as they both knew of the other. I was pretty wracked with guilt. Guilt because I hadn’t told “Joe” that I had a morning guest (I decided that’s not really anybody’s business, right?). Guilt because I then couldn’t remember if I’d been clear WHICH friend was picking me up for the hike this morning, to “Peter” (although in hindsight, I do think I had said so. But I can’t be 100% sure).

Regadless, awkward. Nightmare for me. Both of them said it was fine, separately. I’m wracked with guilt and apprehension but they both said they’re fine and are fine with meeting each other. Like I’ve previously said, they’ve both indicated to me that they’d be willing to go on hikes with each other. It’s me who’s scared about that. Worried that “Joe” wouldn’t actually be able to handle it deep down. Ever since he triggered me that one day, reminding me of my ex, I have treated him as such: fragile; non-resilient; must be protected. It’s unfair of me and a sick dynamic. Things will get figured out, don’t worry. If I can’t remain friends with him, then I can’t. But until then, I’m going to try, because I feel that he and I can make really good long-term friends. (Ranking this mood period as a 5. I was guilty but didn’t make myself intestinally ill from anxious or ruined the entire day completely or anything. Just guilty and concerned. Now I’m somewhat obsessively worrying, but you’ll learn the reason why as I keep typing more.)

Lizard

Lizard

But regardless and beside all this crud, the day was great for me. Worrying over “Peter” aside, the hike that I went on with “Joe” and his mom was really lovely. We took it nice and slow. It wasn’t about racing to the destination; it was about sighting the different birds. It was about photographing the various butterflies and moths, and different plants and trying to locate them on the brochure. It was about identifying different trees. It was about spotting all of the lizards we could find and “Joe” even spotted an awesome caterpillar! I spotted a snake. “Joe” and I went through a cave (I’d remembered my headlamp!). It was a very lovely walk and I took many photographs. One in particular, I think came out well (judging from the camera’s display screen). It’s a photo of a lizard. Update: here is the picture.

Oh! And I also brushed into Poison Oak for the first time in my life! It’s funny because I finally memorized what the plant looked like, on this very trip. Then, I came out of the cave all excited and brushed right against a Poison Oak plant. Part of me was a bit excited — this is an experience I’ve never had. I know it must sound strange to WANT to experience a reaction to poison oak, but I want to experience most things in life at least once. Interestingly, I got no reaction from it. I was careful not to rub it or touch it or anything. When we returned to the visitors center, I asked what I should do. They told me to quickly rinse with detergent (hand soap is all that was available to me) and then rinse with cold water for a solid 2 minutes. Then to make sure I immediately wash my shirt in cold water and detergent when I get home. They said this would be quite effective at preventing a reaction if done within an hour of contact; it was well after an hour by the time I washed, but I never did react. I must not have gotten its oils on me when I brushed against the plant?

I’m still ill but feeling better. It’s back to a gross cough and a mild sore throat. I was EXHAUSTED after dinner, but actually had plenty of energy for the hike. That’s a huge contrast to yesterday, where I got tired just taking the garbage outside.

After the hike, as was planned, “Joe” and I ate dinner that his father made for us. It was really good and afterward, I felt SO exhausted. We drank tea and all three chatted for a while, mostly about Astronomy (his dad is a Cosmologist). And then I asked to be driven back home so that I could get ready for bed, since I’m sick and so wiped out.

Of course, I’m not sleeping, am I. No. I came home and my uncle was quite upset that I’d spent the day with “Joe” and not “Peter”!!! He cannot believe I made that choice and thinks it was the wrong choice! He chastised me; why would I spend all day with another guy if I am dating “Peter”? He seemed upset. Then I texted with my mom for at least 30 minutes, although she was trying to just say goodnight because she was exhausted. But I just HAD to chat with her for a bit. She loved the sound of the hike, at least. But apparently my uncle must have told my brother about my choice today, because my brother had told my mom! She said they are worried that I’m going to blow it with “Peter” because I spent the whole day with “Joe”.

First of all, did I ever write on here that I got lectured for making the announcement to a handful of family that I was now exclusively dating “Peter”??? My uncle was upset. He was so worried that I’d get attached to “Peter” and then hurt and then end up like I was after my divorce. So he DISCOURAGED me from exclusive dating, and was upset that I’d announced it like “Peter” and I were an item until we’d exclusively dated for at least a month and see if he’s actually a jerk or something.

Rewind even MORE!!! When I had gone on a date with a 3rd person, “Bob”, he was all over me about isn’t this enough people already, what am I doing, etc etc.

Basically, I gather he is not happy with something I’m doing but it’s coming out in this dating thing.

Also, I gather that both my uncle AND my brother really liked “Peter”! Because they’re both scared shitless that I’m going to blow it with him!!! Hilarious world this is, really. If I’m sleeping in, it’s bad. If I’m watching Star Trek with “Joe”, it’s bad. If I date multiple people, it’s bad. If I announce that I’m dating one person exclusively, it’s bad (the announcement part). If I then spend a day with another guy (just as a friend), it’s bad. Assumedly because they like “Peter” now that they’ve met him.

Well, I’m a pretty sensitive/emotions-type person and frankly I AM now extremely worried that this will blow things with “Peter”. I did already email him to explain my reasons for the choices I made. Look. Frankly. If he can’t accept the way I think and the way I come to decisions, what good is he for me anyway?!?! I’m never going to fit in to the “norm” decision making process of my uncle and brother. It’s not going to happen. I can’t predict the way they make decisions, just as they can’t FATHOM so many of my own decisions.

Butterfly

Butterfly (Painted Lady)

I believe that “Peter” believes in independence and friends, be them male or female. I think he’s strong and¬†resilient¬†but if this day will end things between us, then it ends things between us. “Joe” and I had these plans already made and “Joe” has been expressing his excitement about this hike to me for a long time. If I was too sick to go, that’s one thing. But if I SUDDENLY learned that “Peter” was available and decided to spend the day with him and back out on “Joe” like that? Doesn’t that seem like it lacks integrity? Would I want to be with a person who would have made that choice?!?! Fuck no! I don’t think you drop someone just because you suddenly have a boyfriend and this boyfriend is suddenly free one day and happens to have stayed the night the night before. Priorities? I don’t know for sure what’s right and wrong, but I chose “Joe” who has stayed by me for a lot of my shit over the past months (I was even texting with him back around the time of my grandpa’s funeral, and had gotten to talk with him all about the meltdown I’d had there with my dad, my brother and my brother’s gf present). “Joe” has stayed by me through the extreme mood swings I went through right off of the Wellbutrin. “Joe” is staying by me even when I told him I was no longer dating him and then later figured out with “Peter” that “Peter” and I are exclusive, and “Joe” is STILL on my side and my friend.

So what am I thinking? He’s my friend. I care about his wellbeing, too. Of COURSE I shouldn’t have cancelled on him on a whim. What the hell are my uncle and brother thinking?! (And besides, it was beautiful there and I saw and learned a lot. Worth it.) TODAY’S MOOD RANKING: 5-7