Reconsider That Scowl

It has been a long day.  While I haven’t been doing exactly manual labor all day, I have been on my feet and moving around about 1000% more than normal.  That’s not an exaggeration, because I usually am up and mobile about 10% of the time on a normal day.  You do the math, because I never was any good at it.

As my “workday” drew to a close, my brain was abuzz.  Thinking about going to the grocery store, picking up my mom’s birthday present, making dinner, seeing DSB for practically the first time that day.  Just random stuff.

After picking my car up for an extremely overdue oil change (thanks to the Q0B for priscillitating that one), I sped over to a very small IGA in a not-very-good part of town to purchase a few items.  As it happens sometimes, I miscounted while shopping and ended up at the register slightly short in the 0l’ pocketbook.  So, my groceries took a tiny little bite out of the money I had set aside for QoB’s birthday present.

And this really stressed me out.  Looking back, it really shouldn’t have, because it was only three dollars and change, but I really do live life pinching the penny.  Ya know, because I have to!  As it turns out, I still have enough to get my mom the gift I had originally intended, so all is well.

Driving back home, thru town, I found myself getting a little road rage-y.  People riding my butt while I go the legal limit through a school zone, motorists obviously intoxicated going 5mph in a 40 that I can’t get around, hoodlums stepping out in front of my car and running across the street (holding their pants up with one hand the whole way).  I could go on, but you get the picture.  By the time I got home, my eyes were nearly crossed and my shoulders were tense with anxious frustration.

On some other day, I would have went in to see DSB and have possibly been short or grouchy or bitchy or whatever you want to call it.  Today, I made a deliberate and conscious decision to be pleasant.  And I was.

I didn’t complain when the dogs needed water or the garbage can needed retrieved (literally) out of the middle of the street.  We sat in my favorite room and had quite delightful and entertaining conversation for about an hour, and then I got dinner started.  I told DSB I needed to catch up on emails and would bring him dinner when it was ready.

And all was good.  There was no fighting, no arguing, no un-comfortableness (I can’t believe that’s a word).  It was just us, being how we are, and blocking out the fatigue and the stress that the day had brought.

Once, I made plans to do something (I don’t even remember what now) that would bring me home around 6:00pm.  When I told DSB, he said he was disappointed.  He said that his favorite time of day was the end, around 4:00 or 5:00, when we would sit and talk about our day.  And then one of us would make dinner and we would go sit in our recliners and watch TV.  Maybe eat a little fruit or popcorn for a snack later.

Those were the best times for DSB.  And I hadn’t realized it until recently.  My best times are in the morning, where we’re dreaming and scheming about what the day and the month and the year will bring.  The day is unblemished and we are the only two people that matter.  That’s it for me.  And, if I think about it, DSB always goes well out of his way to make it special for me.  Well out of his way.

And so I decided I needed to do the same for DSB.  Make his favorite time of day together into something pleasant and special.  I have to be really careful with this, because I lot of the time when I come home, I am anxious and wound-up and tired.  But today I started what will be my daily gift to DSB.  I will make his evening special, put on a nice dinner, tell him funny stories about my day, and avoid all of the negativity.

We are in this together, DSB and I.  We have our moments when things aren’t going well or when I fall apart.  We have our differences and our struggles.  But deep down, we love each other immensely and we are both good at showing that to the other.  It really is the small things that make up a great relationship, and if you can leave that external stress and, frankly, bullshit at the front door, your relationship will be all the better for it.

Telling it Like it Is: The Big Five

Wowza.  I have not posted anything since Christmas Day, and I wasn’t really planning on taking a break, it just kinda happened.  The tagline on this blog is “telling it like it is.”  I have a few things I need to tell myself, keeping in the spirit of the tradition.

1) Klonopin will erase anxiety, but you’re supposed to use skills, too.

I have been having more than my fair share of anxious moments lately, and, really, I am a bit entitled.  DSB just had major surgery, I’ve been jam-packing my days with this and that, and one month and one week later, quitting smoking is still not the easiest thing that I do.  The smartest thing to do would be to use some self-soothe and sacred self skills, and while I have been trying, I also find myself lacking.  I have been showering a good bit more, and even putting on lotion, but the food I put into my body is disgusting.

2) There is nothing about a messy kitchen that a trash can, dishwasher, pantry, and refrigerator can’t take care of within 15 minutes.

DSB has been doing some cooking lately, and it would be putting it nicely to say he makes a bit of a mess.  Empty cans everywhere, flour, flour, flour all over the place, wet paper towels in the sink.  You get the idea.  Now that I have a dishwasher, I don’t mind so much, because it just GOES AWAY.  And it’s easy.  If you don’t have a dishwasher, you should get one, even if you cook fairly rarely.  They are a treasure and don’t let anyone tell you different.

3)  It’s ok to go to bed at 9:00pm if you are tired.  It doesn’t mean you are old.

No, it means that I require 10 to 11 hours of sleep to function optimally.  I don’t know if it’s the meds or the bipolar itself, but I can’t handle less than 10.  It is really, really not pretty when the number dips below ten.

4)  Ok, so  you didn’t do a New Year’s post.  Whoop-de-friggin-dah.

I read a few New Year’s posts, but to be honest, I mostly checked delete all and then emptied my trash.  I don’t need to hear about someone else’s resolutions so that I can compare them to my personal goals (not resolutions) and feel bad about myself.  I did appreciate a few Top Ten Books of 2013 posts, however.  Keep those coming.  In fact, anytime you read a good book, email me or post it in my comments section.  I got the Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and am just figuring out how to interface with my local library, and the results have been ahhhh-mazing.

5) No matter how tough it gets, I have a great support system.

I have a few people in my life that I can count on, time and time again, to drag me through the muck and get me up and running again.  Those people know who they are, and hopefully know how much I appreciate them.  DSB was whining on New Year’s Eve that 2013 had been a crap year.  My exact words to him:

“My life is infinitesimally better with you in it.  Every year will be a great year, and it will keep getting more and more so.”

And then I gave him a big wet sloppy kiss.  And cried.


I Can Make It Through Anything, With You

Things have seriously been hectic around here, getting ready for the holidays, making plans, cancelling plans, changing plans, making more plans, plans, plans, plans.  I figure that since everyone is asleep (QoB included, since 8:00 p.m….she must have finally eaten dinner, bwhahaha!), now would be a good time to crank out a post, as I have not done so in a few days.

It looks like it will be a busy week.  We have inventory at the store, DSB’s surgery on the 2nd, and still Christmas to celebrate again, x2.  DSB and I started our own tradition to open presents on Christmas Eve.  He loved his Dixie horn thing-a-ma-jigger for his truck and was proudly wearing his “Don’t Tread On Me” hat today.  I am enjoying some lovely Yankee candles and a new votive holder.  And then QoB and the Big Dawg surprised me with a dishwasher (that is totally going to change my life), which DSB will install as another part of his Christmas gift to me.

I don’t like the saying, “I feel so blessed.”  I really feel like it is overused and cliched to death, although it might state accurately how you’re feeling.  But even though I don’t like the feeling, I see where the emotion comes from.  I truly am very fortunate to have the people in my life that I do.  And, not being a spiritual person, it is odd for this to come out of my mouth, but I truly believe some special force put them in my life for a reason.  I would not be standing today without the three of them and I do thank the universe for them every night.

I was getting stressed out tonight, talking to my mom and DSB, and my mom left the room for a minute.  He looked at me and said, “Rose, you know that everything is really going to be all right.”  He says that all the time, and I guess I don’t listen, but this time I really heard him.  His eyes were looking into mine so intensely, and it is almost like the words reverberated through my very being.  My heart almost broke right in half, because I know, as long as I have him, everything really will be ok.  I’m getting teary just thinking about the conversation.  And I told him that.  That, yes, as long as I had him, things would always be okay.

It is a beautiful thing that lets us believe in a person so strongly, with so little doubt.  I know he will always take care of me and that I will always take care of him.  I know he’s not going anywhere and neither am I.  I know that, through our spats and slight failings in life, we still have each other and we will always push through the bullshit to get to the real root of the problem so it can be fixed.  I truly do believe that, with DSB by my side, I can make it through anything.


I Won’t Ask You

Time has passed, almost two years.  In that two years, I have been selfish.  I have put my needs and wants before yours, and, as I start to feel better, I can see how unfair I have been.  How much you have had to sacrifice.  Sacrificing your time, sometimes even sacrificing your values and what you stand for.  Sometimes…who am I kidding, it’s been often and you haven’t complained.

In fact you rarely complain, and when you do it is because something completely egregious has come about.  And even then you complain quietly and you don’t do anything about it because you don’t want anyone to get upset.  I don’t want you to have to do that anymore.

You have been my biggest champion in all causes.  You have always believed in me, especially when I didn’t believe in myself.  You have calmed me on so many occasions, with just a few simple words and a hug.  You have made my life infinitely better, just by being in it.  You are the one that is always there, at the end of the day, when life has done it’s worst or it’s best, celebrating with me or talking me through tears.  That has been you.

I don’t give you enough credit.  You are the strongest person I know and I love you with an intensity I have never experienced.  I have not treated you the way you deserve to be treated.  I have loved you, but I have not listened to you, and I definitely have not heard the words that go unsaid.  The words that I think you want me to hear but won’t say out loud.

The “happy” Rose wants to do more for you.  I want to give you more happiness in life, more joy.  I want to take away your heartache and feed you hope.  I am not the only person who lacks hope.  You have hope for me, and so I can have hope for you.  You believe things can be different for me, and I believe things can be different for you.  I know that we, us, as one, are content.  I think, if I was as kind and loving to you, as you are to me, that we could be more than content, as us.

I have decided, starting now, that I am going to try and be less selfish.  I know you hate holidays, and this year I am not going to beg you to come to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You hate it and you’re uncomfortable.  I get that and I saw that last year, and last year apparently I was just an ass and didn’t do anything about it.

This year, those are your decisions.  Whatever you decide, I am fine with.  I am done with putting you in uncomfortable positions.  I won’t ask you to join me, but know that you are welcome if you would like to come.  I won’t ask you to join me at my friend’s “welcome home” festivity, but know that I would like it if you would come.

You don’t ask me to do anything that would make me uncomfortable and I need to respect you and do the same.  So, from now on, I won’t ask you.  The choices are up to you.


Early Morning Perspectives

Morning wakefulness eludes me.  Today is a rare exception.  I wake at 5:00 a.m. and I feel energized.  I did not have a particularly good night’s sleep, so I’m really not sure why that is.  My and DSB’s coffee morning ritual generally doesn’t start until at least 7:00 a.m., so I have two hours on my hands.  I rub my hands over my face, thinking, knowing that I should go back to bed.  There is a stubborn part of me that resists.

The world is so much different, two hours earlier in the day.  Feeling rested and alert at 5:00 in the morning is so much different.  I wonder at all I could accomplish while the rest of the house is still sleeping.  It’s really dark outside.  Even the dogs are asleep, and my neighbors haven’t started any of their annoying comings and goings yet.

I ponder, for just a moment, sending my early-rising sister a text message to see if she is up for a chat.  And then think better of it, think that it is possible my pregnant sister is still resting, sleeping in more than she is accustomed to, and perhaps, herself gazing around in wonder at how different the day is, just two hours later.

An hour passes, with me journaling and drinking large glasses of cold water, trying to rid myself of a headache.  That’s my cure.  Large glasses of cold water.  And a Tylenol.  I know the headache is from lack of sleep, but I press on.  Writing my letters that I will never send to those people that have abused me in life.  A therapy assignment.  At 5:00 in the morning.

And then it is 6:00 a.m. and I am beginning to get restless.  I know I should go back to sleep, but that stubborn part of me wants to get.things.done.  I continue on with my letters, and I long for someone to talk to.  No one I know is awake this early.  I ponder reaching out to a bloggie friend, but I don’t know if any of them are up yet, and I don’t know how to contact any of them.

I finish the letter I have been working on most recently, and the feeling of needing to talk to someone intensifies so greatly, I have a tightness in my chest and it seems the only way it can be relieved is to connect.  After all that writing, all that work, I have to connect.  I don’t want to wake DSB, and still, no one I know will be awake.  Seven o’clock cannot get here fast enough.

Then it comes and 7:00 finds DSB in rare foul humor.  He has had another sleepless night and has “a lot of shit on (my) mind.”  But he doesn’t want to talk about it, and really doesn’t want to talk at all.  I babble for a bit, but mostly we sit there, staring at each other and saying nothing.  It’s not an altogether uncomfortable feeling, but that need to connect is not being met.  Not by all of those unsaid words.  Not every coffee morning with DSB is perfect.  And, by extension, not every coffee morning with DSB is even enough.  No words is not enough.  I need words.

At 8:00, after sitting in silence for an hour, DSB announces that we need to go run some errands.  I resist, because I am not ready to get up and get dressed.  I want to finish my coffee and have another smoke, in peace.  I want to make him talk to me about what is bothering him and I want to be able to talk with  him about what is running through my mind.  Choosing battles being what it is, I compromise.  I will go, if I can finish my coffee first.

By 8:30, we’re out on the road in his big, ancient truck.  It’s loud, and I don’t mean just a little loud, I mean really loud.  And he drives it like it’s on a racetrack, squealing tires and all.  I grab the “oh-shit” handles as we fly around curves and corners, and give him a dirty look, all the while laughing, because he is laughing at me.  He starts to talk a little.

He has too much on his plate.  Too many things to do, not enough money, and not enough time.  He doesn’t feel good because he hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in over a week.  He is worried.  Worried about everything and nothing all at the same time.  And he doesn’t want to talk about it because he doesn’t want to burden me with it, because, he says, I am doing so well, and he doesn’t want that to end.

By 8:50, we’re sitting in Tractor Supply’s parking lot, waiting for them to open.  We already went to the grocery store, where I bought the essentials…orange Kool-Aid packets, French vanilla creamer, and toilet paper.  We drove past a small hardware store that DSB considered going into, but then decided against, for whatever reason.  At Tractor Supply, we watch cars come in, waiting for the doors to open.

A surprising number of cars come wait in line.  What can possibly be inside Tractor Supply that is so essential at such an early hour?  After DSB goes in, and I start seeing people coming out, I can’t help but laugh because most of them are carrying out 50 pound bags of dog food, horse pellets, chicken scratch and mash, and other edibles for animals.  That’s the emergency, the urgency…hungry animals.

When DSB comes out and gets back into the truck, he is silent again.  Out of money, again.  Frustrated, again.  This is such a vicious cycle and I am reminded at once to think of the good things, all the while wishing that DSB could feel more secure with what we do  have.

We get home, after a quick stop for gas, and I come inside to blog and he goes to the shop to work.  The plan is for me to attend to comments and reading, and then blog.  After, I am to go outside and use the riding lawn mower to pick up leaves.  Here I sit, blogging.  And outside, DSB is picking up leaves.  There goes that idea.  And the urge to connect grows stronger and stronger.

The person I most want to connect with is in foul humor and it is unlikely that will lift soon.  I called my dad and texted QoB but it still isn’t quite enough.  I will have a busy day today, and have already accomplished much before lunchtime, but I have to wonder if I will be able to feed that urge to connect today.  Somehow, I doubt it.