Archives for category: more than a little bit of bitching

My neck and back hurt. I did my physical therapy “magic moves”, with limited benefit. I catch myself “pulling on” my neck, even knowing that is not helpful. Background stress drives physical pain, much the same way physical pain makes me more vulnerable to background stress. Yep. It’s a cycle. How best to break that cycle? Choose the most appropriate practice(s) and do that(those) thing(s). “Simple!” (It isn’t.)

Trigger Warner for Snowflakes: discussion of gun control.

I’ll go home early today. I’m fortunate to have a job, a role, and a boss, with room for empathy and compassion. A lot of folks are suffering emotionally this week. Maybe everyone. Another school shooting. Another round of back and forth bullshit over gun ownership vs violence, and the regulations we may need to reduce the latter as a consequence of the former. I have my own thoughts on that. You’ve got yours. Honestly, I’m not opposed to civilian ownership of firearms generally…but… I also think that there are individuals that likely ought not fucking have firearms within easy reach! (Um…duh.) My thoughts? Maybe overly simple…

  1. To own a firearm, I think a person should be required to have specific training on the use and safety practices of each individual type of firearm they wish to own. No exemptions. Pass a fucking test. (There don’t seem to be many objections to the requirement to pass a test to drive a vehicle… just saying.)
  2. To own a firearm, I think a person should be required to be licensed for that firearm in their state – and I think the training requirement and knowledge test isn’t enough; get a mental health “physical”, and demonstrate that you are rationally and emotionally fit to have that weapon. (People routinely have to pass a physical exam to get a commercial driver’s license, or a psychological screening to work in some environments – how is this any different?)
  3. To own a firearm, I think a person should have to carry specific insurance against the chance that their firearm is misused, used in a crime, or accidentally injures someone. (Again, own a car? You’ve got insurance. Own a home? You’ve got insurance. Own a business? I bet you’ve also got insurance.)
  4. One last detail – I don’t think “open carry” is appropriate everywhere, and should be explicitly prohibited for civilians. I think “concealed carry” should be heavily restricted. If your firearm is a “home defense” weapon, keep it at home. If it is a hunting or sporting firearm, keep it secured until you go hunting, or lock it up at the gun club where you do your target shooting.

I’m just saying, I see a huge difference between responsible gun ownership and every ass clown with an agenda having “a right” to have a gun. I don’t understand why any potentially responsible gun owner would object to 1. getting training and passing a test, 2. passing a mental health screening to ensure emotional fitness and ability to assess risks, 3. having insurance to protect themselves financially against any potential bad outcome associated with their firearm, or 4. not carrying their firearm in places where firearms ought not be. What am I missing?

Oh. I know. I know what I’m missing; it’s a misleading question. What I am “missing” is that there are quite a few angry or emotionally wounded individuals who know they are, who want a gun knowing they are potentially at risk of using it inappropriately – or even explicitly intending to – who do not want their “rights” restricted. There are a lot of other folks who just don’t even want to have to deal with the question “should I really have a gun?”, because they have doubts. My next question is – why would we ever let those people make the decisions regarding access to firearms, for everyone?

Too often I read the news, and someone says “obtained the gun legally”, followed somewhere by “could not have predicted…”, when, actually, it’s often far too predictable, because that eventual killer started out as angry, violent at home (or known to have expressed violent ideations on some forum or another), and struggling with their overall emotional wellness. Yes, we fucking could have known – someone probably did know. Maybe someone even reported the individual to law enforcement because they did know, and were concerned, and tried to do the right thing? How horrific is that? To have the solution within such easy reach… and just let it happen all over again?

Maybe get the fuck up out of women’s reproductive decision-making for one fucking legislative season and work on something that really does need (and have) a solution?

Wow. It feels good to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading. Please write and phone your legislators. Ask them to stop being dishonest assholes about this issue and develop some realistic, responsible gun ownership laws. This is not a partisan issue; I promise you none of the slaughtered children were Republicans or Democrats.

I write the word. You read the word. “Tantrums.” We probably both think of children, first. Adults having tantrums are… embarrassingly human. I’ll bet you’ve done it. “Thrown a fit.” Maybe, “lost your shit”? Did you “blow up” over something small? Tired? Not feeling well? Headache? Suddenly you found yourself in the middle of an emotional firestorm, losing both self-control and resilience? I don’t know anyone who can be entirely honest and say they’ve never, ever, lost their composure inappropriately over some moment or another. It’s unpleasant to experience. It’s unpleasant to witness. It’s unpleasant to be around. Each and every one of us who has found ourselves succumbing to the worst of who we are in some moment, who has blasted some innocent bystander, colleague, – or worst – someone we care about deeply over our bullshit, knew right then and there that we were fucking wrong as hell. We probably didn’t say as much. Maybe we never even apologized. Maybe we think because the “facts were on our side” it excuses our shitty behavior? Is it you, this time? Was it them? Do you think you were “right”? Do you think they were? (Do you actually think that matters more than the unpleasant moment you’ve created?)

“Am I the asshole?” Good question to ask oneself in a moment of tension or conflict. Just saying.

I’ve been there, for sure. It’s definitely not “always me”, though; I am but one human among many. Even narrowing the view to just the company I work for. Just my community. Just my family. Just my partnership. Even with my “issues” – it’s not always me. Just saying. Any one of us can, and likely will, succumb to emotional weather, however pleasant the emotional climate may be. Storms come and go.

I sat down to write, over the weekend, but my thoughts had not yet become a thing I could express in words. It was fatiguing weekend of relaxing effort. lol My body was tired. My mind was seeking a moment of quiet to really process things. Maybe I get that moment when I seek it, maybe I don’t. It sometimes ends up being the sort of thing that keeps me restless and wakeful into the wee hours, quiet, and reflecting, filtering, sifting, sorting, all the thoughts and questions, and moments. In the meantime, I’m struggle to put my thoughts into some coherent share-worthy whole. Interruptions. Distractions. Endless seeming “high priority” distractions, and demands on my time and attention.

My Traveling Partner is having his own experience.

Our A/C seemed to be malfunctioning. I mean… it demonstrably was “malfunctioning”, keeping in mind the intention, and settings, should have it cooling the house, and it is doing quite the opposite. Time spent troubleshooting (and snarling at each other), eventually pays off; blown fuse replaced. I struggle to “keep up” with his shifting emotional weather, some days. That was one of those. I imagine my own notion of resilience as a deep, calm, still pool. I perceive his (substantial) resilience more as a wave pool; big swings that reliably settle into calm fairly quickly. We’re each having our own experience. It’s not “personal” – not even truly “adversarial” in any clear way. Just quite different from each other, and sometimes not complementary. We are so similar…and so different. I don’t think I’d change that… I’d just like to be a bit better at it than I am… preferably without having to gain those skills through experience. lol

I continued to write, but ultimately set it aside over distractions. The pain I was in had increased, even though our stressful moment was quite brief, and it colored my thinking. I finally gave up on it. Today it’s days later, and reaching for words in a different moment of stress and conflict, and I find this, half-finished, waiting for me. A reminder that emotional weather comes and goes. That we are each having our own experience. Each seeking to understand the world through the lens and filter of our own experience – and often completely limited to that context, because it is all we truly know. Empathy is hard sometimes. Compassion requires more verbs. Kindness, too. Finding my way to a fully accepting and loving place is hard right now. I’m angry.

I remind myself that my Traveling Partner and I both have only good intentions. That we both love each other. That we are each doing our best with shared goals in mind. That we are individuals seeking to thrive – and help each other to do so – on a shared journey. It’s hard to be the best version of myself when I am feeling angry, or misunderstood, or unappreciated. I know that’s true for him, too. I look at my calendar – another meeting. I take a breath, and begin again.

I woke in a sweat, uncomfortable and shaking, tearing my consciousness from a nightmare that I had gotten pregnant – at 60, post-menopause – and unable to terminate my terribly risky and thoroughly unwanted pregnancy because the law had changed, and my bodily autonomy as a human being was utterly lost. My heart was pounding. I paced restlessly for a moment or two, feeling vaguely unsettled and with a persistent “uncomfortable” feeling in my guts.

I laid back down, fighting sensations very much at odds with each other; the sweats and discomfort, the fatigue and sleepiness. I felt peculiarly averse to going back to sleep. I wasn’t exactly nauseous… but I felt suspiciously as if I might feel better if I got sick and got past it.

Predictably enough, I was quite sick moments later. Something I ate apparently did not agree with me. The stressful nightmare was likely a byproduct of the combination of physical and emotional discomfort – one from whatever I ate that did not agree with me, the other from the recently leaked not-quite-official-yet Supreme Court document regarding the likely end of Roe v Wade. My physical discomfort was greatly eased by vomiting. My emotional discomfort… well, it’s no surprise that it persists.

…Tell me again why someone besides me, myself, has anything to say about whether or not I carry a pregnancy to term? I’ve chosen to be childless. Period. Seriously. I did not want to be a mother. Why would my choice be out of my hands? When I hear people spouting bullshit talking points about the sacredness of life from the moment of conception, I reliably find myself wondering how they are so easily able to overlook the sacredness of the life of the pregnant person, herself? How do they justify what is fundamentally a position that states women should be coercively required – forced – to bear a child? Forced to bring a pregnancy to term that they do not want. Forced to endure a potentially life-threatening pregnancy for months. Forced, potentially, to go through all that and the trauma of giving up a child for adoption in order to avoid motherhood? How is that acceptable?

I hear a lot of religious arguments against abortion. My thoughts on that are basically… by all means, if your faith restricts you from terminating a pregnancy, definitely do not do that, then. I get it. Your religious freedoms absolutely permit that choice for you. My religious beliefs do not in any way restrict me from choosing to end a pregnancy. My religious freedoms should ensure that I continue to have access to a full measure of reproductive medical services – including abortion. I know, it probably sounds like I am taking this damned personally for a woman on the other side of menopause… doesn’t even affect me, directly, right? I am taking this personally. Having abortion available to me ensured I was able to choose to be childless by intent. My choice. I was able to graduate high school. I was able to join the Army once I did. Both of those would have been beyond my reach, without having been able to terminate a pregnancy while I was in high school. I had birth control measures available. I used them. My birth control failed – which is not uncommon. I was fortunate to live at a time when abortion was available to me, when I needed it.

I needed to get that off my mind. Thank you. If I’ve upset you, I regret the distress I’ve caused you. Not enough to change (or withhold) my thoughts on this topic, but it isn’t my intention to cause you suffering if we disagree.

…But… can anyone tell me why it seems acceptable to tell someone that they must be forced to bear a child against their will, or potentially under life-threatening circumstances? Why is the not-yet-viable-outside-the-womb fetus “life” worthy of respect and value – but the living breathing human person with that fetus in their body is less so? I don’t get it. Like it or not, that’s really what is being proposed; forcing people who do not want to bear a child to go through that process because someone else is not okay with an abortion that they have nothing to do with at all. Yes, I’m unreasonably angry about this, and taking it personally. It feels personal.

It’s late. My guts are no longer churned up. I’m no longer sweating. My breathing is relaxed and even. It’s quiet in these wee hours, and I am alone with my thoughts in the night. I’m okay, though. No despair. Just quiet. There’s no stress to these sleepless hours; tomorrow I return home to the welcoming embrace of my Traveling Partner. I’m definitely homesick. I’m eager to be at home all through the month of June.

A yawn unexpectedly splits my face. I’m tired and sleepy. Time to try that sleep thing, again. Tomorrow is a new day, and plenty soon enough for new beginnings. 🙂

Awake again in this noisy place. The lights here have a hum. Each light has its own. Most of them fall just enough outside the frequency range of my tinnitus that I do hear them… and more or less as if my tinnitus has somehow expanded. Super annoying, but in the darkness of night that is not what woke me. It wasn’t even the occasional mechanical grinding of the parking garage door opening, then closing. It wasn’t the talkative folks in the adjacent room; they’ve finally settled down to sleep. It isn’t even the acid reflux that seems to be along for this trip to the office.

…I think I’m just homesick…

I miss my Traveling Partner. He’s getting some uninterrupted work time, which is likely pretty helpful right now. I know he misses me, though. We exchange text messages through the day. Gentle pings. Reminders of love. I appreciate this practice quite a lot. I’m eager to be home, though, and the week feels long and fatiguing.

I’m fortunate to have so much to go home to. I’m eager to return home. I miss that place. I miss my garden. I would miss these things even in a solitary life, sure… but what I miss most is the love that waits for me there.

I sit quietly awhile, writing paused. I reflect on love. I think of my Traveling Partner’s soft breathing as he sleeps. I wish him a good night’s rest from afar. I sip on this bottle of water, waiting on the acid reflux to subside a bit. It’s not quite 2 a.m. this time. I woke around 12:30 a.m., and I’d very much like to get more sleep. lol The work days feel long on these visits (they are), since I’ve little else to do (I tend to be rather focused on purposeful on these trips). I haven’t done much sightseeing, so far. It just seems to require more of me than I’ve got available, energy-wise. So, the work days run longer, compounding the issue. S’okay, though; I’m here to work. So I work. 🙂

In another time and place, I might have gotten dressed, put on my shoes, and gone out into the night to walk awhile. Pretty healthy choice for dealing with insomnia, but Seattle is a big city, and this is not a great neighborhood to be a wandering stranger in. Times have changed and the world feels less safe for that sort of thing, generally. So, I don’t go walking. I consider the small gym downstairs… but the lights there are ridiculously bright, and that would likely result in further sleepless ness.

…I try not to spiral down dark mental alleyways, and avoid looking at the news…

I’m feeling pretty over this acid reflux nonsense. I try to remember why I did not go to the corner store at the end of the street for antacids, earlier… I think I was just tired. Short-sighted. I’m regretting that I allowed fatigue to put me in this situation a second night.

…I can’t believe there were no Tums in my toiletries (there generally are)…

There was a time when I had acid reflux so chronically, even in spite of taking a prescription strength treatment, that I developed a hacking little cough, and was perpetually distracted and bad-tempered with it. My mind mentally wanders through what I recall of the sundries here in the hotel, while I am wondering if a delivery service may provide relief… then I remember that the hotel does have “the pink stuff” in stock. That’ll do, I guess. Some relief – in exchange for the potential that it may “turn up the volume” on my tinnitus (taking aspirin or other salicylates does seem to have that as a temporary consequence, especially with prolonged use).

I dress and walk down the hall, get some Pepto-Bismol, and some Benadryl (because my spring allergies are going nuts here in Seattle). I pick up a cold bottle of sparkling water, too – it sounds refreshing. The night crew in the lobby have the music turned up, playing something with a thumping beat… Beyonce? Could be. I smile as I return to my room. I’m glad they have a good time in the wee hours. Night shifts can be difficult, and a bit of fun helps.

My phone buzzes at me and I realize I was so tired when I crashed for the night (quite early) that I never silenced it. Could be what woke me in the first place, although the acid reflux would have, eventually. I’m already less uncomfortable, now, and soon the Benadryl will have me thinking of sleep… the trick now is to be sure of going back to bed with no less than 2 hours yet to go – otherwise I’ll wake groggy and stupid, and struggle to “restart my brain” when the alarm forces my attention to the new day. lol It’s not yet even 2:30 a.m…. I think I’ve got this. 😀

There’s something to be learned from this; my reluctance to compromise on my solution-of-choice resulted in two nights of poor quality sleep, and two days of discomfort. Was it worth it? It was not. I chose poorly. Something to think about, as I head back to bed.

I’m drinking water. It’s a sunny Saturday in April. The weather is mild and well-suited to getting outside into the garden. At least at the moment, I’m not “there”.

I’m fighting off a UTI, and I’ve been very fatigued recently, though I feel decently well-rested today (and since the antibiotics started doing their thing on this infection). I made a delicious scramble for my Traveling Partner and I to start the day on (he’s working, I’m… doing things that definitely require effort, but don’t “seem like work“). This antibiotic is best taken on a full stomach, so breakfast definitely made sense.

…After breakfast, I cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes…

…I broke down a bunch of cardboard and took it out to the recycling bin…

…then started laundry (towels mostly)…

…then I made the trek down to the city to pick up a snap-together little garden shed to put all my gardening gear in, to get those items out of the shop space that my Traveling Partner needs for other things…

…then I came home (very cramped drive back, since that shed, even in pieces and boxed, barely fit in my car at all) dropped the shed off at the house, and headed out for some quick grocery shopping, and to return an item that didn’t suit the purpose for which it was purchased. Thankfully both tasks could be done at the same retail location.

By the time I got home again, it was lunch time – so I brought lunch home with me and sat down for a few minutes with my partner over a bite to eat between tasks in the shop. He’s got multiple projects in progress. I do my best to be helpful and supportive where I can.

…After lunch, I put the little shed together. Once completed, I asked my Traveling Partner if he’d like to help me decide specifically where to place it – he must have misunderstood my question; he came right out and put it where he wanted it. I’m cool with that; it isn’t heavy, this shed, but it is awkward, and it’s nice to have help. (I could have moved it into position, I’d just forgotten where we had talked about putting it.)

…Then I broke down the surprisingly large quantity of cardboard that the shed arrived in, and stuffed it into the back of my car for a trip to the disposal place next week; it’s too much to fit in the bin here at the house.

…Then I realized I was already feeling fatigued, and it’s not even 2:00 pm (at the time I noticed my fatigue, that is)… so… I sat down, here, with this glass of water for a few minutes of restful self-care. There’s still so much to do…

I had thought I’d spend the day weeding the garden and maybe painting… the decision to go get that little garden shed sort of threw that plan out, in that instant of spontaneous decision-making, and the discovery that there was exceedingly limited local availability of these specifically sized small sheds. I still feel the motivation… but for the moment I am wiped out. I need to give myself a proper break.

…Then…maybe…I’ll get a short walk in, out in the sunshine, around the neighborhood, checking out the progress of Spring in everyone’s flowerbeds along the way, and pick up the mail on the way back… I definitely want to do that; I’ve got new seeds waiting in the mailbox. They won’t do me any good there.

Soon the towels will be dry, and they’ll need to be folded and put away. There’s still plenty of weeding to do in the front flower beds… and my clean laundry (from days ago) has yet to be folded. “Fuck how am I already this tired?” I think to myself, drinking my glass of cool water. I know the answer; resources are finite. That’s it. That’s the whole truth of it. Whether we’re talking about acreage, or fresh water, or cash money, or our actual living life force expressed as our capacity to do work… it’s all dreadfully finite. It’s important to “stay within our budget”, but it’s not always entirely obvious that there is one…

…I felt so incredibly free and energetic – boundless energy and sheer force of will, on demand, at any hour, any day (pretty much) when I was younger. I’m thinking teens and 20s, when I make this observation. That kind of seemingly unlimited individual energy probably wasn’t as unlimited as it seems looking back on it. I do miss having just a bit more to draw upon, when fatigue seems to set in well-before I’ve checked off my to-do list, and before the afternoon can become an evening. Sometimes, a break to rest, to drink water, to sit for a moment with my thoughts, is enough to recharge for the next little while, and I get a few more things done. Yesterday, I even managed to push past my fatigue to prepare an excellent evening meal that we both enjoyed immensely… I wasn’t good for much after that. LOL I had “used up all my spoons”. I went to bed early(ish).

Today I tried to budget my energy – and my time – a bit more wisely. I don’t know that I succeeded at all… but if I stopped right now and did not one fucking thing more, I’d be pretty okay with that… but oh! there is so much more I do want to do today…

…It’s time to begin again…