Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Circle of Life

Matt and SuAnn
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
In the truest sense of the circle of life, I have received the announcement that at almost exactly the time Bob's friend Bill was breathing his last, my friends SuAnn and Matt welcomed their first child into the world. Welcome Abigail! Happy birthday to you little one.

R.I.P. Bill

Bills Fundraiser 020
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
One of Bob's best friends died early this afternoon from cancer of the esophogus. He had been suffering with it for over a year. The past 10 days have been the worst of the struggle. His struggle is now over and he is finally at peace. We will miss you Bill! Bob is sad but not without hope. He just wishes he could have seen you one last time to say goodbye, but our time with you last July was sweet and will be a good memory forever. Rest in Peace Bill. Thanks for being a good friend to my husband. Thanks for looking out for him when he was alone. We will be there for your wife, if she lets us.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Everything Reminds Me of My Failure

My coworkers are not so much my coworkers as they are working mothers and fathers.  Some are even working grandmothers and grandfathers.

My period, though regular, is not as regular as is could/should be and comes every monthmonth after month.  Since getting married, I have had 50 periods. (well, more than that, but I am just rounding off.) 50 months of grief.  50 months of pain and loss.  50 months of hopes dashed.  50 fine, regular, working periods leading tomore fine, working, regular periods I guess.

My 4 cats are great but are a sad story of 2 lonely people needing to give love to something beyond themselves so they choose to give it to pets.  We are the crazy cat couple.

My car was originally purchased over 5 years ago with the thought that it would be a family car.  So far the only family to ride in it has been my Mom, my Grandma, my husband, and occasionally a cousin.  Good thing we sprung for the car seat anchors don’t’cha know.  Theyve come in very handy these past 5 years.

I have 3 cousins that are all in their 20s.  (Two girls and a boythey are siblings.)  Last year the two girls each had a baby within months of one another.  One got married to the baby daddy after the pregnancy was announced, the other didnt.  This year, the boys girlfriend is due with their first any day now.  Thats three babies in a year for that family.  My dads brother is a grandpa by all of his kids.  My dad is only a grandpa by my brother and he only has boys.

The last of my currently married friends to not have children is due any day with her/their first child.  Most of my currently married friends are on their 2nd or 3rd child.  Even the friends who married after me and Bob have had children.

I just want to say thank you to all of you for your kind words and offers of prayer.  It really means a lot to memore than you can ever know.  Someone asked if I have friends or places where I can rant/rave/yell.  That is kind of what this space is for.  I take what is in my heart/mind/soul and put it here so its no longer rattling around in my head.  So if things seem somewhat heavy or BIG or tense or manic or whateverthat is because I take those things and put them in writing so they no longer have such a giant hold on me. 

Speaking of things rattling around in my head, I cant help but still feel that I am huge, colossal failure.  The one thing I have only ever wanted and it continues to elude me. The thing my body was made to do is the one thing it is not able to do.  The one thing so many women so effortlessly achieve is the one thing I seem to not be able to be. It drives me crazy when I hear women say, Oh, Hubby and I decided to start trying to get pregnant so I went off the pill and the next month, I got pregnant!  How does that happen?  To think that as a teen and young 20 I remained a virgin not so much because I desired to remain sexually pure until my wedding day (although that was part of it) but because I feared getting pregnant before being married and all that carried with it.  I wonder if I could have conceived then if I had played around?  Not that I would change that, but I just wonder.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

More Than Accuclear

More Than Accuclear
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
Two days late so I took a pregnancy test. I am clearly not pregnant. Two hours later, my period shows. Great.

Sometimes I wish I were not me.

Sometimes I think I am going crazy.

Sometimes I wonder how Bob can love me.

Sometimes I wish I were dead.

Sometimes I wish I were good at something.

Sometimes I wish I never had to leave the apartment again.

Sometimes I wish I could stay in bed forever.

Sometimes I wonder if things will ever change.

Sometimes I think life sucks.

Sometimes I cry for no reason at all.

Sometimes I wonder how other people do it.

Sometimes I wish I could do things right.

Sometimes I wonder if I could do it all over again if I would get it right.

Sometimes wonder why I even try.

Sometimes I wonder where my baby is.

Sometimes I wonder if I should even have a baby.

Sometimes I wonder what the hell happened to me.

Sometimes I wonder, "why not me?"

Sometimes I wonder what the hell is wrong with me.

I always wish I could be better.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Current Turn of Events

After tossing and turning for hours last night I made the decision to drop the class I am currently taking and take these next classless 3 week to assess where I am at and then join up with my group at the next class.  I hope to take the next 4 classes with my group but I will have to make up this class and a speech class after the first of the year.  That pushes my graduation back to December 2007.  Maybe Springbut 2007 for sure.

I just couldnt finish this class.  Its weird because its a subject I like and am deeply interested in but I couldnt get my butt in gear to get the work done.  I would start and delete and start and delete.  Or worse yet, just stare at a blank screen.  I was behind in my projects and nowhere near ready for class tonight.  I dont know what happened. I used to look forward to class every Monday night.  Now Ive been dreading them.  I havent been using time wisely in preparing for class either.  Ive been slacking and my grades show it.  I am not proud of my work and I need to get back to a place where the school work is important and done in a timely and excellent manner.  How do I get back there?  I dont know.  Im hope 3 weeks off does the trick.  I am not happy about this latest turn of events or in my part in them, but boy did I feel some relief when I finally made the decision.  It was sweet. 

Bob has been working hard at the gas station.  Not only did their regular nightly cashier die unexpectedly but they fired the newest guy hired due to his pilferage and lying. But the boss told Bob that while they are happy to have him fill in, he doesnt want him working 10 hour days 5-7 days a week.  He said they would cover the schedule so if he had to work, his shift would only be 5 or 6 hours.  He really likes Bob and wants him to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.  Bob has been feeling really good since hes been getting some hours and bringing home a paycheck.

Speaking of paychecks, I have had 4 requests for interviews today.  I am scared to reply.  I am scared to stay.  My fear is immobilizing me from changing anything. Arg!  Part of the problem is that these interviewers want to meet me during the work day downtown or further.  I cant take off of work to interview.  I hate being sneaky. Bah.  There is one possibility in a suburb next door that might work over a lunch hour.  Although their position involves some sales and I am not sure I am cut out for that.  Of course the jobs I REALLY want are not calling me.  Maybe I will just keep my eyes open and will only apply for the jobs I REALLY want.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Operation Job Hunt

One Baby Tomato
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
So. Friday. I had a phone screen interview with a hiring rep from another department of Big Bank Co. I think it went OK although I had to admit that I don't have alot of experience in the job they are hiring for. Also, there are sales involved and I am not big on that. If nothing else, I am able to practice my interviewing skills. I do have to say that I do interview well. I have a face to face interview with a guy downtown on Thursday morning and lets not forget my informational interview with the Communications Manger at the Sales and Service magazine! Whee!

Yesterday after work I had to stop at Target. As I pulled up, it started to rain a little bit. The minute I set foot in Target, the deluge began. It was as if the skies opened up. It poured buckets of rain, there was lightning and thunder. It was crazy. I did my shopping and made sure to pick up an umbrella since I didn't have one on me. The checkout guy made a joke about how much I will need it. As I walked my purchases to my car, the umbrella did little to keep me dry since the wind was blowing the rain straight into me. I opened the trunk of my car and had just begun to load the stuff into it when I heard the rain start to plunk. I actually swore and began to load things in faster. It's hard to get a 35 lb thing of kitty litter into a trunk when you are holding an umbrella. However, it's even harder when it begins to rain marble size hail on ya. AND there was a car sitting right behind me waiting for my spot. I made it into my car none the worse for wear.

Bob was working at the station so I picked some hot, yummy food for him and stopped by to see how he was doing. He was happy to see me as he had been worried about me. He said the window in our office was open and he was worried about wetness since the wind seemed to blow strongly ifrom that direction. I told him not to worry about it since there was a tree right in front of that window. I dropped off his food, kissed him and went home to check the damage.

Imagine my surprise when I walked in to see a small/tiny flood right under our office window. The desk had standing water, the floor was wet though not sopped, and the window was soaked. I called Bob and told him I was wrong and he was right. I dried everything off, set up the fan, and shut the window. We had storms off and on the rest of the night and that was kind of nice. I love a good summer storm. My poor flowers got kind of beaten down from the wind and rain, but I think they will be OK.

The nicest thing about this weekend so far was that I was able to sleep in this morning. I did have weird dreams though. Very odd and unsettling. Still, I didn't wake up until 9 and that was heavenly.

I had planned on doing homework all day, but since Bob has to work tomorrow, I decided to put it off until then so I could get the work done. When he is home, he likes to chat and it's hard to get stuff done. Instead, I mailed our father's day cards and decided to stop by the farmer's market. I have lived here for 8 years and this was my first foray to the Minneapolis farmer's market. What have I been waiting for? I picked up a huge bunch of pink peonies for $5, a nice creamy gouda for $3, a mixture of HUGE red and yellow peppers for $3, and 2 tomato plants for $5. Bargains galore are to be had.

Bob was up and awake when I got home. I made him some coffee, chopped up the peppers for freezing, and got my tomato plants ready for planting. I also planted some wildflowers and sunflowers in another pot. We now have flowers and tomatos growing on our patio. We think it looks like a little slice of eden. Check out my Flickr photos and judge for yourself. I planted the pansies, petunias, and geraniums. Bob planted the morning glories. I sat on our patio for some time this afternoon, enjoying the beauty of our patio garden.

The rest of the day was spent alternating between watching TV movies and cleaning. I also made a home made pizza. Our place looks and smells great. Come on over and hang out with us.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Touching Paws
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
The picture of the kittens is one of my favorites. They were sleeping on the couch but only their paws were touching. It was supremely cute. Moreso than the photo conveys.

Today we had a team meeting with my boss, her boss, and a coworker to discuss my boss's performance. It was a good meeting and it has been decreed that she is going to work on communication, coaching, and recognition. Good things to work on. She also said she would help us take classes, seminars, or anything else that might help us in our career quest. This is a good thing because:

I was reading Big Bank Co's company service and sales magazine. I noticed that the editor had a local area code. I looked him up on our work intranet site and sure enough, he is located right here in Minneapolis. I emailed him, introduced myself and asked how one might come to work for him. He emailed me back and asked if I would like to get together for a half how face-to-face informational interview. Would I? (Peg leg.) I emailed my boss to ask her permission, she gave the OK, I emailed him back to say I'm there! Whoot! So we shall see what happens.

In the meantime, I received my last shipment of books for my final semester of school. I also printed out my last 4 syllabi and filled out my last 4 tuition reimbursement requests. Thank God! I have one more class in PR Writing and then 2 weeks off. Yay! Then my last semester begins. Bob and I were talking last night and he is going to give me some cash to through a combo birthday/graduation party. The only thing is, I think I will have to have it in January since December is so packed with stuff. I am going to go to the party store this weekend to see if they have any graduation stuff on discount.

I had counseling today too. That is going well. I am learning that I don't like myself. Duh. My counselor asked if I could still of a time when I ever liked myself. I said no. I could think of accomplishments that I liked, but I would honestly not think of a time that I liked me for me. Sad, huh? So, we are going to work on that. Just add it to the list of all the other stuff I have to work on.

Tonight I am going to an event center off Lake Minnetonka. The event is being held by the radio station I listen to. I hope it's fun. I will take photos. Bob was going to come with me when he was asked to work. So he's at the station tonight.

This is wierd, this afternoon my hands would not stop sweating. Bleh.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

*Sigh* Back to the drawing board

So the 32 hour work week is not going to happen.  At least not at this job.  Its all too technical to get into here but it has to do with full-time staff and billable hours and temps and supervisors and office politics and blah, blah, blah.  What they did offer me was a half day of work on Monday (my school day) and a 9 hour work day the rest of the week.  Y-e-e-a-a-a-h.  Not exactly what I was looking for.  So I am searching the job board to see what I can see. They did have the nerve to ask me if I wouldnt consider putting off my last semester for another year since I seem to feel so overwhelmed.  Ummmno.  I only have 4 classes and 5 months left of this school thing and I dont want to put it off for another year.

Bob called.  He ran over Chloe.  Poor kittens and their infernal curiosity.  She is OK but he said she screamed louder than Zoe and Daisy came running to her rescue.  He said Daisy came running with a low, guttural growl and when she got to him, she arched her back, puffed her fur and hissed at him as though he were plotting the kittens demise.  He hissed back at her and she backed down, but how funny!  Chloe hid for a while but came out to play with her sister later and seemed fine.

Bob worked at the store last night and did I go to bed early?  No, I did not.  I stayed up until well after 10, drinking a Mikes Hard Apple Premium Malt Beverage and playing Text Twist.  It was heavenly.  An earlier bedtime might be in order tonight though.  Poor Bob.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Time to Change?

Guess how many emails 7 days away from work will getcha.  Well, I dont know about you, but for me it equals 112.  I know for some people that is their daily email intake.  My daily email intake is usually about 12 so 112 is a little bit over average.  Thankfully I have finally gotten through all of them.  They have all been addressed, tossed, filed, or forwarded.  Whew.

I forgot to tell you about the hand burning event of yesterday.  I was making chai tea latte in the microwave.  This consists of me pouring about a cup of chai tea mix into my Pyrex measuring cup and then adding about a cup of milk to that.  I put the Pyrex in the microwave and heat it for 3 minutes.  I do this every day.  However, yesterday something happened.  I grabbed my travel mug from Caribou with my left hand and the Pyrex with my right hand.  As I began pouring the hot liquid into the mug, it all exploded and gushed over the mug and onto the counter, floor, and my left hand.  I set the Pyrex down and was about to rinse my burning hand off when the kittens ran into the kitchen to see if there was a treat to be had.  So they wouldnt burn their paw pads or tongues, I grabbed them and put them in the kennel until I was done.  THEN I ran the coldest water possible over my burning left hand.  With my right hand, I mopped the mess off the counter as best as I could.  Once my left hand felt numb from the cold water, I grabbed a mop and cleaned up the floor.  Once everything was clean, I ran water over my hand again.  The rest of the day, my left hand throbbed and ached.  It was red and angry looking and it hurt if I touched, brushed, or bumped it.  Today it looks as though nothing ever happened to it and it doesnt hurt at all.  Weird.

So I met with my boss and am still awaiting word if my request for a 32 hour work week has been approved.  I may not hear for a day or two as we are in the midst of an audit.  Sigh. 

I stayed home from class last night since my hand was throbbing and I wasnt feeling so well.  Im not sure if it was because of the burn or because of my lack of sleep from the night before.  I fell asleep on the couch by 6 and was in bed and asleep by 8.  I thought that would go far to help me get through my day, but I still feel tired and sleepy.  My eyes are heavy and my limbs all feel leaded.  I can hit the hay early tonight as well.  Usually I would feel guilty about that because of Bob. He waits all day for me to get home from work and when I do, I only spend an hour with him before going to bed.  Well, tonight he is working at the gas station until close so I can go to bed at 6pm guilt free.

In other news, I have received 2 calls from Big Bank Co recruiters in other areas.  A while ago I posted my resume on our intranet job recruiting site and I am getting responses today.  I have to call them at lunch.  Im not sure what jobs they are calling me about, but it might be time for a change. 

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm Back

I am back at work today.  I wish I could have taken one more week, but it is probably for the best that I return this week.  I get to sleep late last night, couldnt fall asleep, and once asleep, didnt sleep well.  In fact, I kept dreaming about not being able to sleep.  That never bodes well.  Of course all my fretting seems to be for naught.  Things were fine and are fine at work.  My boss and her boss were worried about me and are going to do what they can to help keep me healthy.  I have asked for scaled back hours.  My first choice is to have Mondays off.  Because of the nature of my work and how highly regulated our business is, that may not be possible.  But my boss assured me she would work with her boss to see if something cant be worked out.  I feel better just sharing all of that.

Zoe seems fine.  She played hard with her sister last night, ate again this morning, and played hard again before I left for work.  She also took a long nap with Bob and Chloe yesterday afternoon/early evening.  So all seems well with her and for that I am thankful.  Unfortunately, Bobs big old goldfish did not fair so well.  Bob has had this giant orange gold fish for at least 4 years now and he had to flush him last night.  Poor guy.  He rolls over Zoe and flushes Goldie in one day.

I havent really shared much about my week off last week.  Ive been working through some stuff in counseling and thats been good.  I am learning that I take on too much, dont ask for help when I should, expect perfection, and then freak when I find myself fallible and flailing.  I also crave support but when its offered, I feel guilty and unworthy so will shun or reject the support I was previously craving.  Mmmmm, healthy!  I also need to let Bob do more, talk more about what Im feeling with him, and stop protecting him from the bad stuff.

Also last week my parents were in town.  So I was able to spend 2 whole days with my mom and that was nice.  Bob and I also were able to attend a Twins game with my dad and grandma.  It was a treat to see them and spend time with them while they were here on business.  Also, I was able to show my mom the yummy places to lunch in the metro area.  We had lunch on the lake at Sunsets on Tuesday and tried the buffet at Qcumbers on Wednesday.  Yum!

So, thats what is going on with me.  I am hurting but healing and trying to adjust things in my life so there is time for everything.  In fact, in an effort to care for me, I am skipping class tonight in order to get to bed early so I dont heap lack of sleep upon lack of sleep.  I just cannot describe to you how much harder my life becomes if I dont get good sleep each night. (Those of you with infants are laughing at me now, I know.)  The extra work I will have to do to make up the class is worth it to care for myself.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Scary Afternoon

Zoe Asleep
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
We just had a scary occurance. Bob was getting ready to take out the trash. As he backed up we heard Zoe scream. Before he could react, she screamed again. We couldn't see her. We didn't know what he rolled over. He rolled back ever so slowly and she came running into the kitchen. I picked her up but Bob told me to set her down so we could see if she was walking OK. She seemed to be walking OK but she had a cough. We put her on the bed while Bob called the vet. I pet her and she purred. Bob did a check up on her and then I got some wet food to feed her. She ate and seemed to be OK. We put her in the kennel so she could rest and we could observe her. She seems to be OK but we are going to watch her closely. We think Bob may have rolled over her tail but it seems to be OK. It was very scary. I did not do so well. As soon as Bob told me to put her on the floor so he could watch her walk, I started to cry. I didn't stop until Zoe started to eat. I am not the person you want to have in your corner during a crisis. Thank God Zoe is OK.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Fog is Lifting

I had a pretty good day today. I slept in and woke up to the phone ringing. It was my boss. I wrote about our plan earlier today. It felt good getting a plan in place.

Later in the morning I found out that an online friend of mine was hosting a summer boutique with a gal I owed dishclothes to. So I loaded up my stuff and took to the streets. I dropped off the washclothes and picked out my payment in product. Unfortunately for me, there are not enough washclothes in the world to keep me in Mily's product. LOVE her stuff. I did have a nice visit with Kathy though and actually felt normal for the first time this week. It was nice to chat and laugh and be silly.

I went to counseling this afternoon. It was a good session. One of the things I'm learning is that I don't allow myself to feel anger. Or at least express it. Both Bob and I grew up in homes where anger was expressed negatively towards us. Thus whenever one of us gets angry the other of us feels as though we were the cause whether or not that is the case. We both have a hard time separating the anger from ourselves. So rather than deal with that, we just don't express anger or outrage of any kind.

The other thing I'm learning is that I have taken on too much. A full time job, the bulk of the breadwinning, full time school and homework, not to mention almost all the household responsibilities except for laundry. I pay the bills. I cook the meals. I clean up after the cats. I do any errand running. I do any administrative stuff that needs doing. And I take care of Bob. It's too much. No wonder I had a near breakdown.

I need to learn to ask for help. As such, I will pursue a lead I found for the spouses of handicapped. Also, Bob and I are going to go to the county government center and see if we can get a social worker to show us what other kinds of help might be available to us. And I am going to see if there is some way someone or several someones in chuch might be willing to help me with some household stuff. I think that's the hardest thing to let go of. It's my home, you know?

For so long I have thought that I had to do it all. That I had to hold us all together. I thought that it all fell to me to take care of us. But it's too much. I know that now. I need to let go and be willing to accept help however it comes.

For now I am going to continue with school. I only have 4 more classes/1 more semester. I can do it. I have to. I need to do this. Yes it's a lot but it's almost over. I've been going to school for 14 months and only have 5 more to go. I will put it on hold if I feel I must, but at this point, I am OK with it.

My counselor and I agree that I need to work on returning to work sooner rather than later, but for sure I will be off this next week. After that, I don't know. I am meeting with her again twice next week. Bob and I will be going to the county building and I am going to try and find the support group.

My counselor asked me if I had one wish that I could make and it would change everything, what would I wish. I thought about it and said I would wish that our livelihood did not depend upon me. And also that I could afford to hire someone to clean our apartment. Ha.

I Wish I Was A Kitten

Zoe not happy to be woken up
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
So the plan is in place. I am on a short term medical leave. I don't know how long it will be and I don't know how I will use this time off to get better. I guess I will just take it one day at a time. I have a lot of people praying for me and the support and love of a wonderful husband. Also, some amazing friends who have really rallied around me. It's somewhat awkward though because people ask how they can help and I don't know. I don't know how they can help other than to not treat me weird.

I see my counselor later today. We will try and come up with some kind of plan I suppose. I don't know if I can afford to see her more than three times a week to begin with but I know I can't afford not to. I am also going to look into some other options as well. There is a church in town that features Christian counseling with a theophostic emphasis. I don't know what it costs but it doesn't cost anything to ask questions. I've also been given a couple of other counseling options by friends, so it might pay to look into those as well. I wish there was a timeline as to how long it takes your heart and soul to heal.

For now I am going to keep going to school. I don't know how to let go of that right now so I am going to keep going.

I feel so guilty. I enjoy staying home but I feel like I should be doing stuff. I should be cleaning. I should be paying bills. I should be cooking. I should be tending to things. Yet I hardly have the energy or motivation to do any of those things. Well, I did pay bills because we use online bill pay and how hard is that? So I have accomplished something today.

I do feel better knowing that I have taken the steps that need to be taken to make sure I am on short term medical leave. With that out of the way, I can concentrate on doing what needs to be done to get better. If only I knew what I needed to do to get better. If only there was an antibiotic that could heal my soul.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Tentative Plan

Chloe and Zoe on the bed
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
So we have a plan. Well, a tentative plan anyway. I am taking the rest of this week and all of next week off as a leave of absence from work. I am meeting with my counselor Friday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then we will assess where I stand. I am not going to check into a hospital just yet. I may end up checking in there eventually though. I am scared to do that right now. Most in patient mental health programs are full and the ones that aren't are full of people worse off than I am. I don't know if I can handle what I'm going through AND a room with schizophrenia. Who knows. Now all I have to do is notify my boss and see what the verdict is at work. Last time I was hospitalized for depression I lost my job. Bob says not to worry about it. He says my health is more important than anything and even if I do lose my job, we will make it somehow. I want to believe him but I am scared to death. Yet, this is the plan that makes the most sense right now. I hope it helps.