Wednesday, July 8, 2015

For the last three days, I've found myself getting all the way to noon and realizing I haven't done anything with my morning (even though I've been making a point of getting up early). This is my life: a constant battle between motivation and procrastination. My biggest problem, I think, is that I assign far too much importance to things like cleaning, cooking, and just generally tending to everything/everyone else but myself. But even those things that I deem important have been falling by the wayside lately. I don't want to be, but I think I'm once more dipping a toe into the pool of not caring.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Doing some of the hardest writing I've ever had to do in my life, and I'm not talking about what I'm writing right now. I'm talking about writing my own sister's obituary. What's hardest about it is that she hasn't even left us yet, but we know it's coming. She went into the hospital in late January after contracting an infection in the port in her head, and never came out. She's now in hospice care, and we're down to a period of just days and weeks in terms of her prognosis. My parents indicated that writing the obituary would be a big help to them, but since my brother's busy with school, I've had to take on the majority of the work. We've (my other siblings and I) all been to Seattle to visit her, but of course, it never feels like enough. My mom's been there since December, and my dad, too, more or less (he's made a few trips home here and there to take care of stuff--mainly bills and checking on my grandma, who's also in a nursing home).

I think I'm well past the denial stage now. It's clear we're going to lose her. I have noticed that my other sibs and I have remained relatively numb to everything throughout this whole ordeal. Perhaps it's because we're trying to be sources of strength for our parents? My dad did break down on my shoulder last weekend. They're definitely in need of the support. But what happens when that support gives way--as I'm afraid it might--when my mind finally decides to have a breakdown of its own?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I'm thinking about quitting my job. Hubby and I have agreed that I don't need it, that it isn't worth putting up with the bullying/abuse for the money they pay me.

What did I say in a blog post at the start of the year?:

'It's a coffee shop day, and I do enjoy making fancy drinks and cooking up delicious sandwiches for people, but it's not at all in line with the vision I have for myself. Neither is sitting at a desk [...] and being more or less sedentary for hours [...]. My vision includes not working for anyone and being able to explore my passions and interests freely and without obligation to anyone but myself, hubby and dogs.'

So why didn't I go with that gut feeling at the time? Because I was scared. Scared of the ramifications. Scared of what people might think of me. Scared of what not having a job meant. I also didn't want hubby to think of me as a freeloader (which happened the last time I was unemployed). Luckily, we're in a position (he recently switched to a better paying job at work) where that wouldn't be an issue anymore. Before, if I'd quit my job (even though he wanted me to), it would've been detrimental to our financial situation, and he would've expected me to start looking for another job immediately. I've been considering work-from-home options, or starting my own business, and he's said that he's okay with that (something he'd have never ever said before). He even said he could match the couple hundred bucks I make a week at the coffee shop if I want. At first, that made me uncomfortable. It sounded like I'd be getting an allowance like women in the 40s and 50s did ('You bought another hat?'). He didn't see it that way. In his words: 'You are calling it an allowance. I call it wages for staying home and not putting up with the shit you put up with at work on a daily basis.' I've read up on it, and a lot of couples make it work. Some even say it has helped to decrease their conflict. We already operate on two separate checking accounts while maintaining a joint/emergency account, and that's worked for us for many years.

Just the other day, I told hubby that maybe I should wait til after the holidays to make the leap. After all, the coffee shop, like anywhere, is a more enjoyable place to be this time of year. I had a surprisingly good day at work the other day, and actually felt bad for considering quitting (???). Why do I have such a hard time letting go of things that are bad for me? Hubby doesn't think it's the job itself I'm afraid to let go, but the people--my regulars--and I think he's right. That's really the only thing that keeps me going at work: seeing faces I recognize, knowing them by name/drink/etc., and knowing I can make them happy. Because trust me, there are plenty of people you can never make happy, and I encounter a lot of them on a daily basis, too. Outside of work, I feel like I'm in a town full of strangers, but at work, I feel important and appreciated. All quitting would mean is that I'd have to find another way to make friends. And that the coffee shop would have to take the time/money to train someone new, but why should I be worried about that??? Because I'm afraid of letting people down, that's why.

My sis from Seattle came to visit for a week recently (she left a week ago today), and I was grateful I got to spend some time with her (wish I could spend more). The cancer's gotten really bad. She learned a few months back that it'd spread to her brain, and recently finished radiation of her head. She's on about three different types of chemo, and what seems like fifty different OTC and prescription meds. She's still working, which is admirable, but both my parents and I worry that she won't be able to for much longer. She goes and goes and goes on days she feels good, but then pays for it for days and days afterward. I hated to see her go back to Seattle early this week, but I know it was even harder for my parents to let her get on the plane. The day before she left, she was researching end-of-life planning stuff, which is smart, but also really upsetting. I understand she has to look at the situation realistically, but I also hope it doesn't mean she's giving up. She's been looking at alternative treatment options, because she's running out of conventional ones, and fast.

I know it's her whole situation that's been making me seriously rethink my life and what I want out of it. I don't want to reach the end of my life and realize that all I've done is jump from one meaningless job to another and haven't spent any time doing things I really cared about.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why won't cancer leave us alone? I'm a little late in sharing this here, but my dad informed me and my siblings on father's day that he has cancer in one of his kidneys. I guess I just don't know how to process it. I wondered why I'd been seeing so many doctor appointments on the shared calendar lately. When I saw an ultrasound followed by CT/PET scans, I began to worry. And rightly so, I s'pose. He thought it was kidney stones at first. I wish it had been.

Fortunately, surgery to remove all or a portion of his kidney should get all of the cancer. That's what the doctor's have said anyway. Apparently, neither chemo nor radiation work on the kidneys, so surgery's the only option. His doctor said that if he'd started seeing any symptoms other than the ones he was having, it would've been too late. Of course, he now has to wait til August to have the surgery. According to his doctors, two months won't make a difference in terms of the cancer spreading; I hope they're right and that they know what they're doing.

In other news, we're being sued by the hospital where I received treatment because I haven't been able to pay the medical bills I continue to accumulate with followup care. We received a court summons yesterday. Hubby promised we'd fix it, and we're sending out a cashier's check tomorrow. Since I have to continue getting followup care for the rest of my life, and since the cancer has made me paranoid about every little sniffle I get, I visit the clinic/hospital more often that I'd like. And since the only jobs I've been able to get since finishing treatment are measly minimum wage jobs, I can't afford to meet even the minimum monthly payment. I told hubby I wish cancer had never come into my life. I wouldn't have been fired from job. We wouldn't be on the verge of bankruptcy. I wouldn't have completely obliterated our credit. I wouldn't be a neurotic, depressive, anxiety-ridden freak if I hadn't gone through it. We would've had a better life.

Cancer's cost me everything including friends, jobs, piece of mind, etc. I haven't told anyone this, but I've wanted to give up several times. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that things will get better, that sickness will stop plaguing my family, that hubby and I will someday be in a position where we can spend true quality time together on a regular basis. I'm sick of this shit.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I'm currently relaxing in a hotel suite in the 'burbs while hubby is in work training. He's here through Wednesday, and since I was able to get a couple days off, I decided to join him here last night for a little getaway. I'm sipping coffee and practicing Spanish on Duolingo, an app recommended to me by my multilingual nephew, who graduated high school on Sunday. He's already learned two languages, is currently learning a third, and plans to learn even more! A lot of it's thanks to good schooling, but he also does a lot in his spare time (as evidenced by the bookshelf full of language learning material he showed me Saturday following his graduation party). He does this for fun, people! He paid his own way to France last year (where he stayed with a host family), wants to backpack around Europe next summer, and eventually wants to live abroad and work as an interpreter. He has more ambition than a lot of kids his age, even more than most adults!

Anyway, I had a revelation last night as I was lying in bed: I feel more at home here than I do in my own home. Then it occured to me that I felt that way at the last hotel we stayed at, too. I think I like this room so much because of its size. It's small. It's enough. As I've said before, it's become painfully obvious that while I love the house we bought last year, it's just too big for us. I find I'm forcing myself to use rooms we don't normally use just so they don't sit unused. I miss being a few steps from everything. I miss the coziness of being in separate rooms, yet knowing your significant other is only a short distance away if you need them. I miss the ease of maintenance. Also, the dogs don't know it, but they'd be better off in a smaller house, too. While both have mastered the massive staircase, I worry that they're both going to take a tumble one day. One story was all we needed. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? Our house is this big old cavernous thing, and because most of it isn't carpeted, there's nothing to absorb the noise. So everything--every step, every breath, every bark--is extra loud.

I'll be sad to leave here, just like I'm sad to leave every new place I visit. I'm still waiting for our new(ish) house to feel like home. What is 'home' other than a safe place to spend your non-working hours and rest your head at night? Maybe I'm assigning a deeper-than-needed meaning to it. Maybe hubby's utilitarian approach is the right way of looking at things. His response, for example, when I express an interest in decorating the bedroom to be a sort of oasis or escape, is: 'It's where we sleep at night. No one else sees it anyway.' 'That's not the point,' I tell him. But maybe he's onto something.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

After we'd had a few drinks the other night, hubby and I had a discussion we'd touched on briefly before, but had really sort of been avoiding. I'm talking of course about the kid discussion. He already knew this, but I made mention again about how I'd been questioning whether I not I want to have kids, and how if we ever decided to, how I'd been thinking of adoption as an option. He mentioned that he doesn't feel a biological need to have kids, but that if we were going to do it (adoption or not), he'd want to start before he's 45 (which is less than five years from now). No pressure intended, but still...pressure.

Mainly, I have no interest in being big, fat and pregnant, but also, I just don't think I'm kid-raising material. Mentally speaking, I'm still kind a kid myself, and I don't think I'm willing to give up my freedom. Because once you have kids, your life is no longer your own. I think back to when I was younger and my nephews were still little. Whenever they'd visit and ask me to play, I'd always say something along the lines of, 'Maybe later.' It felt like encroachment--like if I said yes, I'd never be able to escape. I've gotten better about it. In fact, I love hanging out with kids nowadays (maybe because I'm so desperate to be back there), just so long as they go home with someone else.

Everyone always tells me I'd make a good mother, but I know better. I'm still trying to figure out where I want to go in my own life. Also, I have a hard enough time keeping our two dogs in line. If I had a kid, I'm pretty sure I'd just mess it up. Some people say having kids brings it all into focus, but that, to me, just sounds like an excuse to justify one's own existence, which is selfish, and a horrible reason to bring a kid into the world!

I'm not trying to kid-bash here. I've had my moments when I've thought, Aww...wouldn't it be nice? But that's when a kid is being good. As soon as that kid starts being bad, or starts throwing a fit or whatever, that feeling goes right out the window, and I start wishing for infertility.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I'm on the edge of a nervous breakdown. And it isn't just the crap going on at work. It's everything: work, living in a house I can't maintain, having a dog that refuses to stop pissing and shitting everywhere, etc. My mom and dad, after visiting this weekend, told me that the house smelled like urine. It's been miserably muggy these last few days, so that's probably helped to make it more obvious. I try to keep it as clean as I can, but there's just no getting that smell out without burning the place down. There's not an inch of floor in this house that hasn't been squatted on since we brought our second dog (a rescue) home last summer. The carpet, the 80-year-old wood floors...all ruined. I'm not going to give up on her, though, so I guess I should just get used to the fact that our house is going to stink.

Hubby wants me to quit my 'poison' job, but that's easier said than done. It's true I hate going to work now (funny how fast your opinion of a place/people can change), but I also know what it's like to be unemployed (I was for nearly two years at one point), and I don't think I could do it again. I wouldn't even have unemployment this time, and even when I had that, it was only to be used for bills. I basically had no life. I couldn't drive anywhere because hubby didn't want to pay for it (my car actually stopped running because it sat for so long). I either cleaned too much or too little. If I didn't do anything at all, he'd get upset then, too. He makes it sound so appealing this time, though: An entire summer off to do whatever I want to do. Problem is, I'm afraid he'd end up holding it over my head like last time. I wouldn't expect him to make up the difference without my income. He'd give me money to go buy groceries, but he wouldn't pay for my social life (not that I have one). And why should he? I don't want to be a parasite anymore.

If I could go back, I'd quit this job and continue working the 13 hours a week I had at the other job. At least I'd know what to expect. None of this shady scheduling bullshit that I'm dealing with now. Oh well! Live and learn!