Taking Care of Me Helps Me Find My Best “Me”

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Sometimes I feel like I am a child, stumbling along in the dark, and often directly into the path of a bright window, where love radiates and I learn a lesson.  I feel as if I have learned many lessons lately, and the most important one I have learned is this:

I need to figure out what it takes to be the best “me,” and then do THAT.

Throw myself into whatever it is that takes me furthest, whatever makes me happiest, whatever helps those I love the most, whatever serves the greater good but also grows me.

I am a seedling, growing under the care of love and the sun and I am constantly changing and growing and breaking through barriers, yet moving slowly and purposefully as so not to bruise my tender leaves.  I have to be patient with myself and I have to ask others to be patient with me, in turn.

At 35, one might think I should be all grown up and have it figured out.  Let me tell you something:

Anyone that tells you they have it all figured out at 35, they are lying to you with fingers crossed behind their back.

We ALL want to give off the impression that we have it together.  We don’t.  I don’t, you don’t, not completely.  Some parts of our lives are stronger and more figured out than others, but life is a lesson that you keep learning new things about until you are dead.  And if you stop learning, stop growing, become stagnant, your leaves fall off and you die.  You die and you walk around as a husk of a person because you had it in your head that you had to have it all figured out RIGHT NOW.

My goal this week is to be kinder and gentler with myself.  I have been criticizing myself harshly because, as of the last few weeks, I haven’t been as productive (at least traditionally so), as I may have hoped.  I’m going to cut myself some slack though, because I am needing time to heal.

I have been physically under the weather for almost three weeks now, and the mystery illness isn’t letting up.  I have a feeling that stress and strong self-criticism and not allowing myself to just rest and to just be, is what is continuing the sickness.  Not that the illness is in my head, because I think it is very real, just that I am exacerbating it by continuing to expect myself to be Wonder Woman and all things to all people and to check all sorts of things off my “to do” list every day.

So I am taking a break from the harshness of my own voice reprimanding myself.  I am going to try and take it easy.  I am going to try and figure out what makes me the best “me” that I can be, and I’m going to run with it.  Some of my very favorite people in the world are going through rough times right now, too, and I want to urge them, to urge you, to be kind to yourself this week.  To take it a little easier than normal on yourself.

It is positive to motivate yourself to do things, but when your voice turns cruel and you stop giving yourself credit and you decide you are a bad person, just stop.  It really is that simple — stop being so mean to yourself, and give yourself a break.  You will come out ahead, in the end.

 

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This and That

I believe I am committing a sort of bloggie faux pas right now.  I have a day’s worth of comments that I have not responded to yet, and I really need to blog, like right now, because I am starting to drift off and must get this daily blog thing in.  One shouldn’t put up a new post before making sure all comments are answered from the previous day, or should they?  I’ve never understood the appropriate protocol.  Please, other bloggers, leave you thoughts on that bit in the comments.  Maybe now we will get some truth!

I had a very nice day at work, hanging out with BlueCat.  We didn’t make a lot of money, but we made it fun, and that’s what matters.  Ok, so money, yes, is important, but we have to realize that we are in a seasonal business and the “fishing season” is over for everyone except the die-hards.  Like BlueCat and Snickers — they will fish until you can’t get a boat out over the ice, usually early January.  And then there are the ice fishermen, and, well, that’s just a whole different kind of man.

Realized today while looking at the odd ticker tape on my dashboard, that I have not smoked for one week, one day, 10 hours, 39 minutes and 7 seconds. 506 cigarettes not smoked, saving $68.39. Life saved: 1 day, 18 hours, 10 minutes.

I mean, if you think about it, 506 cigarettes is a TON of cigarettes.  There toward the end, I was probably smoking a good three packs/day.  That is just grossness…in my mouth and in my lungs.  Another thing about quitting is that you start to get your sense of smell and sense of taste back.  I have bad news folks — coffee is disgusting.  No, I mean it, its foul.  Tried it with my usual creamer, tried it with milk.  Coffee is a no-go.  This makes me sad because I really loved coffee and the zip it gave me, but I am going to bust out the Iced Tea Maker that Mom and the Big Dawg got me for my birthday.  I can’t possibly have lost my taste for iced tea…surely not.

So, on Tuesday I get to swallow a camera.  Yeppers, it’s not sci-fi, it’s my life.  Unfortunately you have to do all the prep work for the procedure, although its not quite as bad as colonoscopy prep.  The bonus of all of this is that I was able to talk myself into buying a couple extra Gatorades since I can’t eat anything tomorrow and can only drink clear fluids (Gatorade totally counts, they just don’t want you to drink any red or purple).  Keep fingers and toes crossed that this whole little episode goes well.

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That’s right…Auntie Rose in the house. 🙂

Getting Back on the Road of Posting, No Matter What

Am I expecting too much or needing more than is available?  I really don’t think so; I don’t believe these negative feelings are simply the tapes of depression.  I think that what I FEEL is happening, truly is.  And even if it weren’t, it’s my perception and my head and my body and my brain, so I get to decide.

We create our own realities.  I have certainly molded and formed the most quiet and dark box that I could have.  Any small amount of pain I have, I try to wear on the inside, because it seems that people grow weary of the usually mental emphasis on things, but now it is physical AND mental pain.  I would not wish the last five months of my life on my worst enemy.

There is that, all of that, and now lately my brain isn’t working.  I can’t find the right words, I forget things immediately after they are told to me.

I am numb, through and through.

I am being told by my therapist that every little bit of blogging will help, even when I don’t want to,  even when I have nothing to say.  So, here I am.  Maybe tomorrow will be better.

 

 

A Reminder to Put Pants on Every Morning

I have a very dear Uncle, Uncle G, and it is only through medical miracles and (perhaps) prayers sent around the world that he is here with us today.  He is the Big Dawg’s brother, and they share red curly hair, freckles, and a love for the outdoors

Perhaps roughly two years ago, Uncle G was in the midst of getting a divorce.  It was a good thing for him, truly was.  One weekend morning, he hopped on his motorcycle and sped away to the local grocery store, because he was having people over and he was out of toilet  paper.  While on his journey, he was sideswiped by a truck.  He was life-flighted to KU Med, which is where anyone goes when anything really serious happens, in Kansas City, about an hour away.

We didn’t know for quite awhile if Uncle G was going to make it, and then when it became clear that he WAS going to live, we were very unsure that we would get back the same Uncle G that had been literally scraped off the road just weeks before.

My sister, a physical therapist, living in the same town, went and spent time with Uncle G nearly every day.  She read his medical reports, kept family updated, and just spent time with Uncle G.  She was a true blessing for him and for family, for us, to keep us updated.

Time went on and there were many different complications.  More surgeries, more IV’s, more antibiotics.  The guy couldn’t catch a break.  Even after leaving the hospital, he had to be rehospitalized at least once, that I know of.

But little by little, Uncle G was coming back.  And he did it with the most positive attitude I have ever seen in a person, and I mean ever.  Prior to his accident, he was always extremely positive and seemed like a happy person.  This accident didn’t take it away from him.

Today I was home alone, feeling bad for myself, having slept half my day away because I was up half the night, thinking I might as well just go back to bed instead of facing the intolerable loneliness I often feel these days.  Angry at myself for screwing up my psych meds for far too long, angry that the doctors just can’t figure out what is wrong, angry that I still don’t feel good.  Just angry.  Lonely and angry.

And then my favorite Uncle G called.  He wanted to stop by and visit.  He’d be here in five minutes.  The depressed part of  my brain screamed out, “Nooooo!  Your house is a mess and your hair isn’t washed.  Just put him off!”  So, that’s what I did.  Immediately after hanging up the phone, I had a revelation.  Uncle G would SO understand what I am going through.  So, I called him back and asked him to, yes, please come over.

Walking through the house, it really isn’t all that messy.  The kitchen is clean, and other than Avon products strewn across my dining room table, isn’t even cluttered.  I was only worried then about the fact that my now-short hair couldn’t go into a ponytail, but I found a headband and it actually looks rather cute.  To give myself a little burst, I gave myself one squirt of body splash and felt almost immediately better.

I put on jeans.  Better still.  One of my favorite tops.  Even better.  My feet still won’t fit into my shoes, but I jammed a pair of flip flops on and decided that would work.  All of this took less than five minutes.  I timed it.

And then Uncle G came and all was well, all was fine.   We had a really nice conversation and we talked about how it is to be sick for long periods of time and what we can do to make ourselves feel better.  I told him that just changing my clothes was motivating enough that I was going to run out and do a few errands.

So, a phone call and an uncle made my day today.  What’s making yours?

 

Tug Of War

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Every since Kizzie was  a puppy (this pic was taken at about two years old), she has LOVED to play tug of war.  The name of the game was to get the toy close enough to you for you to grab, and then pull it just out of your reach.  Every once in awhile, let you grab it so we can play tug of war.  Once little Kizzie has “won,” she runs around the house shaking the toy.  Best puppy game, ever.

You would think with all this free time I have, I’d be blogging more.  I’m actually mostly sleeping during the day, playing with Kizzie, doing a few light chores, and chatting with friends.  There is a big cloud hazing over my brain and I can’t seem to come up with a decent topic, nonetheless the motivation to write it properly.

So I’m doing this little tug-of-war with myself that DBT would term “opposite-to-emotion.”  Basically, you make yourself do a little bit of that which is opposite to how you are feeling.

My opposite-to-emotions have been ranging from doing diary cards to picking up the kitchen to taking out the trash.  I think I need to add blogging in there, though, because I do miss it.

Five Things of Thankful — Domestic Goddess Edition

As you may or may not have noticed, I am still down with the same bug that was plagueing me last week.  I pondered doing a Ten Things of Thankful — SickiePoo Version 2.0, but I just didn’t feel too inspired about it.  It had been pretty much the same ol’ week and I was pretty much grateful for the same things.

Before I went inpatient at our local psych hospital, my sister and Mom had helped me do a big deep-cleaning a my house.  Kinda airing out the bad DSB spirits (and smells), if you will.  When I was released from the hospital, I was very serious about keeping it clean and did so.  The first few days I was sick, I didn’t care.  About four days in, I started to care.  I mean REALLY care.

Who has more time to look at dirt or grime or goo than a sick person?  A trip from the computer room to the back bedroom takes you through the kitchen and living room, and right past the bathroom.  And you’re walking very slowly, trying to keep your balance and (some) of your dignity.  You see it all.  And if you’re like me and sit very still for long periods of time, trying not to be sick, you see even more.

So I started cleaning, bit by bit.  Doing this and that.  Today I did even more; not because I felt better, but because I’m going maddeningly stir crazy.  It occured to me that this week, there have been some Domestic Goddess products and appliances that I have greatly appreciated over the last 10 or so days.  I thought that, well, since I’m still being thankful and, well, it does still cover a week, that it would be okay if I put my own little spin on it.  Considering that I wrote a short novel for the intro (brain wander much?), I’ll keep the list short (only five…I feel like crap, people!) and to the point.

1) I am immensely grateful for paper towels.  This week they have been used to mop up spilled drinks, clean bathrooms, and blow my nose.  They have also been there for me during meal times when I heat my Ramen too hot.  I have always loved paper towels, much to the chagrin of green family members and friends, but there is so much to love!  I could probably do a post about the greatness of paper towels.  (Don’t worry, I won’t!)

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Obviously, I would LIKE to give a shout-out to toilet paper next, but that’s not really related to this post.  SO, it’s not getting it’s own number, but HOORAY for good TP!

2) I am generally partial to 409, when it comes to serious anti-bacterial scrubbing, but my sister brought this (and left it here!) and it is by far the very best all-purpose antibacterial cleaner.  It takes greasy handprints off walls (thanks, DSB, the welder), spiffies up bathrooms in a hurry, and it doesn’t have a super over-powering scent.  We used almost this whole bottle in that one day, forsaking the loads of other cleaners we could have used.  This is the cleaner I have been using in my bathroom all week, so that if a non-sickie person went in there, they might have a smaller chance of ending up sickie.508240_s7

 

 

3 &4) I am probably always going to be most thankful for my dishwasher.  There is nothing like having a trashed out kitchen and being able to get it totally sparkling with not a dish or papertowel in sight, if you only have a dishwasher and a trashcan.  I’ve got both!  The bonus is that the dishes come out super-clean and you (usually) don’t have to worry about stuff left sticking to the glasses.  I use this fantastic product (in addition to detergent), because I have very hard water.  Works like a dream!

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5) Probably my most favorite Domestic Goddess tool is none other than the Kizzer dog.  She is great about cleaning up small messes, eating the  last bite of the banana, knowing when it’s time for a bone, jumping all over my dad (he hates dogs), and mostly just keeping me company.  I know that doesn’t qualify her as a cleaning product, persay, but she keeps me sane, and if were to not be sane, I probably wouldn’t be cleaning.  Amen to that.

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I’m Gonna Pretend

The more apt words would be:  “I’m gonna fake it till I make it.”  I don’t particularly like this phrase, more than anything because it is really a 12-step mantra.  Now, I don’t have anything against 12-steppers and actually pertains to something else altogether, but it doesn’t really jive with the life I have set up for myself.  So, instead, “I’m Gonna Pretend.”

Last night, I had about six hours sleep, in two 3-hour blocks.  I’ve been sleeping pretty much this way for the last week.  So, I’m gonna pretend that I just rolled off my expensive bed at half past ten, feeling totally refreshed.  I know I can pretend this one, because I have for the past 32 years.  Yep, even as a baby, I wasn’t a good sleeper.  So I can do this.  I have a little under-eye concealer and my clothes match and aren’t wrinkled.  The appearance of success.  I, generally, look like a normal young person ready to walk out the door.

Now if I can just get my foot stuffed into this show, I’d be golden.  The cellulitis (which, Keflex, the treatment, is “apparently” the key to all of my stomach woes, says Dad’s wife who is a nurse).  Shoes are important, but they aren’t terribly important.  I choose my most stretchy pair, even though they look like they need to be run through the washing machine.  Trust me, people are not looking at my damn feet when I walk into a room.  They’re wondering how my hair got just that big, and then maybe wondering the same thing about my butt.

Shoes on, clothes on…will travel.  I’m gonna pretend.

And that’s my plan for today.  I am going to run every single weird-ass errand I have to run, from getting my CPAP looked at to making a run to the Rez to buying gas to seeing if I can’t find some lavender oil drops to make Kizzie less anxious during storms and fireworks.  I might even stop and get my car vacuumed out and washed.  Just because I have the free tickets and because I can.

So my friends, I’m gonna pretend that I don’t still feel slightly crappy, that I’m not tired as hell, that I’d rather be in bed.  I’m gonna pretend and I’m going to try and stay out all day.

Because I am a Talbott-woman, because I rock that, and because I can.  And maybe, just because I can.

(and also, staying inside another minute is going to drive me insane)

(and you would suffer because I would just keep on blogging, on and on)

Ten Things of Thankful, Sickie Poo Edition

 

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I have two lovely TToT banners today, the above courtesy of Mama and the one at the end courtesy of the TToT blog-hop folks.  I like both, so I’m going to use both.  Sorry, I’m feeling defiant after a row with my well-meaning but obnoxious father.  I was going to turn it into a “Open Letter to Dad” but decided against it because I am still just TOOOOO angry.  Will have to settle for a little banner-acting-out behavior instead.

 

1) I am thankful for my mom this week.  When I needed Rx picked up, she jumped right on it.  She also brought me excellent sickie supplies since I was on a clear liquids diet for almost three days, but am now a BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast).  It feels good to be a brat and I cheated and ate ramen noodles for dinner, but hey, there’s probably some rice in those noodles!  So thanks, Mom, for always taking such good care of me, no matter the circumstances.

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2) I am thankful to have a job, a job that I like, a job that I am good at, and a job where I like my co-workers and bosses.  I am thankful they have adapted the last month as I spent a few days in the loony bin and then several days after that being loony and, just when the looniness ceased, developed the killer stomach flu.  And I still have a job.  They still want me back, and I am ready to come back as soon as I can get my fever down and be deemed noncontagious by QoB.  And stop being so dizzy.

3) I am thankful that I have a nice, clean comfortable house, with running and recently serviced AC.  I see many friends sweating it out on FB and all over the blogosphere and I just can’t think how much sicker I would feel if my house was 95 degrees.

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4) I am thankful I have  a “dumb” phone.  My friends and relatives are always having a helluva time with their smart phones.  The fanciest thing I ever do is put Walgreens on speaker.

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5) I know how much I might bitch about them sometimes, but I am thankful for Walgreens.  They rarely mess my stuff up anymore, it’s less than two blocks from my house, and they’re just so speedy and organized.  I could say less for their online site, but this is a POSITIVE post.

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6) I am thankful that Mom is holding onto my debit card for me.  Over the last month I was really doing some ridiculous spending — it’s bad when you don’t have enough left over from your little impulse buys to purchase groceries.  The beauty of it is that I did of my own free volition.  (Atta Girl!)

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7) I am thankful for WP and FB friends, old and new.  You guys are awesome, keeping up with me when I am bored, making me laugh, listening when I cry, just giving me awesome information and new things to look into.  I really do appreciate all of you!

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8) I am thankful for Caller ID, because sometimes, you just want to screen your calls.  There’s some people you REALLY want to talk to, and some you wish would fall into a dark well (temporarily, of course).  I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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9) I am once again, this and every week, thankful to Kizzer pup.  She has been a real trooper.  She was home by herself for almost four days, and she did really well with Grandma paying her visits.  It took awhile for her to get used to me being back, but soon she was up to her Kizzerly tricks again.  It seems since Grandma visited, she gets a lot more bones.  I don’t think that one is all on the Kizzer.

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Kizzer’s Favorite — Dingo Rawhides

10) I am thankful that I have the ability to forgive, because while it won’t be today and it might not be tomorrow, I do have the ability and willingness to call Dad on his crap, and it will happen.  And I will forgive him and he will try and explain and it will be over.

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Bits and Ends

I made a promise to myself that I was going to post every day for the rest of the year, and I guess technically I am still posting tonight.  It just doesn’t feel like much.

I have all of these thoughts and feelings swirling around about a topic I can’t discuss on this blog.  I don’t know if he reads it, but it wouldn’t be right to put it out there.  To put it simply, my biological dad and I are just not on the same page.  That statement is probably not fair to him in some ways, maybe some of it’s me, but I can’t help but feel like an abandoned 6-year old, all over again.  That’s all I’m saying about that.

DSB is still in the hospital.  Pneumonia, severe.  It’s pretty bad, and the treatments for it make all sorts of other things worse.  He’s still gasping for air, I’m reminded of my grandfather, now that my mom has mentioned the similarity.  It brings back old feelings and sadness and such worry.  Extreme worry.  Nail-biting, hair-pulling worry.  And there is nothing I can do.  Nothing.  I’m getting help from QoB tomorrow (thank GOD for QoB and her ability to get a dirty house in fast order) to get the house all cleaned up for his homecoming, whenever that may be.  His doctors aren’t even setting a projected date yet.  DSB and his medical problems could fill every post for a month and I wouldn’t be done.  But I’m not going to burden anyone with that (although I seem to keep doing just that).

Related to DSB not being in the hospital, I am sleeping terribly.  I miss the feel and heat of him lying beside me.  Rascal, his pup, lies right up against me, but it’s just not the same.  DSB never licks my face like that, and he doesn’t shed.  They both fart in bed.  (tee-hee!)  In all seriousness, though, it is super-hard to not have him here.  I rely on him for so many things, that I didn’t even realize.  He is my left hand, he is my rock, he is everything to me.  And I can only see him in three or four hour increments, and he can’t talk for most of that, because he is trying to use oxygen.  It’s about to kill me, the being home alone.  It helps to go to my mom’s, but I’d rather be with DSB, even if I’m just watching TV in his hospital room while he gasps for air and mumbles something to me every so often.

It has come to my attention again today that I have great blog friends.  Emails back and forth, talking about things that are important, that aren’t important, that are.  I love it.  I love you guys.  I really do.

My sister goes back to work tomorrow, and, while I’ve asked for my share of prayers and shout-out’s to the Universe here lately, I ask that you think of her today, just for a minute, and wish her well.  It’s going to be hard for her, I know.  I wish I could live next door and just take care of that baby while she has to be gone, but it isn’t feasible.  I just want to fix it.  It’s probably not broken — my sister likes her work, but she loves that baby.

I am looking for good book recommendations.  I have a few on my Kindle that I’m getting ready to read, but I’m starting to commit myself to reading at least an hour every day, starting this coming Monday.  Suggestions and “holy-shit-stay-away-from-that’s” are welcome in the comments or by email.

Speaking of which, you should email me.  We should be friends.  I love my blog friends, as I said before, and I can never have enough.  So drop me a line, whydontcha.  RosieSmrtiePants at gmail dot com

I think that’s enough for a day.  My friend Bradley tells me he doesn’t like to read long posts and that most people don’t, and I tend to agree with that.  You should go say hi to Bradley, and check out the start of his series on his experiences with being homeless.  His series “Ten Days in Lockdown” about being hospitalized in a psychiatric facility is also very good.

We’ll cap it off here just above 700 words.  Do enjoy the video before you go.  Jack Johnson always soothes me.  Always has, always will.

The Curse of Never Being Satisfied

Halloween is upon us in just one short day.  I am proud to say that I have purchased no Halloween candy, and have not eaten any Halloween candy, other than one Reese’s PB cup that called my name for days until I gave in.  Candy isn’t really my downfall.  My downfall is biscuits and gravy, cheeseburgers, and anything with cheese.

My Weight Watchers weigh-in is tomorrow and I am interested, but not excited.  I am assuming that these steroids are what is making me feel starved all of the time.  I was just reviewing my progress for the week and, Monday thru Thursday I was super-good.  Friday and Saturday were not so good.  This is how it usually trends.  I think that if I can stay away from beer today and not give into this killer urge to get a DQ Pumpkin Pie Blizzard, then tomorrow will be just fine.  And if not, weight is just a number.  I feel thinner, people are commenting about my weight loss, and my clothes are looser.

So, the title of today’s blog, “The Curse of Never Being Satisfied.”  When I sit down to blog, I have all of these ideas running through my head of what I want to write about.  I’m not an organized blogger, where each post is about one topic.  It’s more of a mish-mash and that’s just how I write.  Words come from my fingers almost faster than I can get them out of my head.  I have the tendency to set my title before I type my blog, so sometimes they don’t match.  I rarely go back and change the titles.

I went to my step-sister’s house today to see my niece and check out her new digs.  It’s a tiny house, but she has it decorated very nicely and, while it is not my style, it is very homey.  She has even decorated for fall, complete with hay bales, pumpkins, scarecrows, and the like.  When I went to her house, I felt jealous that she had everything “just-so” and I still don’t have any pictures hung up.  It was kind of depressing.  I even heard these little whispers that told me that my house didn’t measure up.

Then I came home, and that is SO not true.  My house is way cuter, much bigger, has a better layout, and is super-spacious in comparison.  It just isn’t decorated to the 9’s.  It has great light in every room, and I have a lot of nice antique furniture.  The wall colors are all picked out by me, and I feel at home in every single room.  This is the perfect house for me, on the perfect plot of land, and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.  I will get it all decorated eventually, and until then, it still rocks.

Funny how our mind can trick us.  Just yesterday I felt so good about getting my few “big” purchases made for the weekend (gas, dog food, cigs) and didn’t think I needed another thing.  Today, I feel like I need to go to Walmart and buy a tea kettle because a cup in the microwave just isn’t good enough.  I get silly with money like that, and it is sometimes all I can do not to just spend spend spend.  So, I am not going to any stores today.

I looked at recipes today, thinking that I would really like to do some cooking.  But why would I do that?  I have dinner in the freezer, more QoB leftovers, good as the day they came off the stove.  I have some things I could make out of the groceries I already have, but nothing sounds good, except for ham and beans and cornbread, which I will likely have tomorrow when QoB returns from the lake. Eating leftovers saves me money, saves QoB from throwing out huge quantities of food, and I don’t have to cook (which I love and hate, at the same time).  I think I would feel better about it right now if I had been helping her more lately, but deep inside my brain I know the reason for not helping much has been that I have been sick.  I’m tired of being sick, have I mentioned?

In fact, I’m so tired of it, that I have decided at this very minute, that I am no longer sick.  I’m just done.  I will stifle every cough and sniffle, ignore every headache.  I will not complain anymore.  That’s my new goal for the week.  Acting as if I am well, will make me well.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it, nasty illness.  Just go the eff away.

Sheryl Crow, I Can’t Cry Anymore