Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Biggest Heartache of All

For those of you who don't know, my dad passed away in August. His passing left me totally alone in this world. I'm not married, have no children, and no connections to extended family. Needless to say, it's been a difficult transition from beloved daughter to... whatever I am now in this world.

I've had my ups and downs since he passed, but to be honest, this month has been the absolute hardest. Last year, my dad was well enough to visit me three times in the month of November: once for my birthday, once for Tanners Marketplace, and again for Thanksgiving. I can remember him saying "You are going to be so sick of me by month's end." I laughed and said no way - but inside I thought "I want you here as often as you can make it, because I know that very soon you won't be able to."

My dad's goal was to live to 80, but in June when I visited for Father's Day he told me he wasn't going to make it to April of 2016. I said he'd better... but when I laughed I had tears in my eyes, because I knew his health was failing quickly.

He kept losing his hair, and his face was becoming more and more gaunt. He had become very very thin in the months leading up to June, but after June, he started gaining water weight. And I remembered from my mom's own battle with COPD that water weight gain was not a good thing.

My dad was probably always my biggest fan, but it wasn't until my mom died that he became my best friend. We talked on the phone almost every night that first year after her death - and then it kind of morphed into every other night. Sometimes if I had some particularly good news (or - blech - bad news), I wouldn't wait the second night to call - I'd simply pick up the phone and call.

He always answered.

That first month after his passing I would find myself thinking "I have to call Dad," and almost as soon as the thought flittered through my head, I would realize he was gone.

This month, though, the pain of his loss is so much stronger and feels more real. Maybe that's simply because it's time to make the hard decisions: sell the house, sell the vehicles, arrange for an estate sale. But - if you're the type that believes this - I think part of the reason the pain is so strong this month is because the veil is thin.

I can remember so clearly what my November last year was like - preparing for his three visits, and buying the food he liked and getting excited to spend more time with him. I can remember our trips to do our favorite things - from going to our favorite restaurants in Reno, to shopping at Junkee and Assistance League, to simply just sitting at the table playing Milles Borne or watching a movie from Redbox.

This November just feels so empty. I am so thankful for friends - for Denise, who arranged a birthday get-together. For Benita, who is making sure I have someone to spend Thanksgiving with. To my friend Jodi, who has checked up on me several times.

Then there have been a few surprises from people I don't even know well - a girl at work wanted to be sure I had something to do on Thanksgiving, and one of the managers - with whom I share a birthday - went out the other day to get me a Monster cookie from Homage - one of my all-time favorite bakeries in Reno - as a belated birthday gift.

The emotional ups and downs are tremendous - the downs really hit me hard and sometimes just come out of nowhere. I have started to cry in parking lots, or on my way to work. I don't even always know what triggers it - it just happens.

The ups give me hope. I just really want to learn how to focus on moving forward. That's the challenge I'm facing right now - and one I keep failing at.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Just Say "Yes"

My weekly calender has a little section with some articles in it. Today on my break, I read one of the articles. It was written by Tess Whitehurst (author of The Good Energy Book), and she said when we encounter a difficult situation or person, our first instinct is to say "NO."

If we're encountering change, we resist. If we are dealing with a difficult person, we become enraged, or employ avoidance behavior - or simply ignore it.

Her position is that instead of pushing against the negative things in our life, we should say "yes." Acknowledge that, yes, this is happening. She further stated that by saying "yes," we become one with the situation at hand. Once we're at that point, then we start shifting the energy of the situation, making it possible for a positive outcome.

I really started thinking hard on that concept... and my most recent encounter with something like it. As some of you know, I was in a no-win situation at work. My friend told me I had a target painted on my back. Sometimes I could deflect it or hide it... but she was right, it was there.

I fought it for a long time... and at some point - maybe because I was tired of the fight - I said, "Yep, I've got a target." Once I acknowledged it and accepted it, things began to change for the better.

Now I have a new position at work. In fact, I'm in a whole new department. The people are nicer. The work is steadier. Heck, I even got a (little) bump in pay.

She might be on to something there... this year - and I know it's gonna be difficult - instead of pushing against every single obstacle in my way, I might just try saying "yes" instead. It couldn't hurt, right?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Day That Wouldn't End

I have NO IDEA what the deal was today - it was not a bad day, not in the least. I got up on time. I had plenty of time for my morning coffee. There were no accidents in my way on the drive to work.

There was a lot of work in the queue, but not "too" much - not enough to overwhelm. I didn't get interrupted or bothered. The Manipulator didn't hang out at my desk. My cube mate was out today, so I didn't have to listen to the crunching and sucking of sunflower seeds.

So why was it such an awful day?

I have no idea... sometimes I think it's just something in the air. All I wanted to do was go home. The afternoon dragged on... and every time I looked at the clock, it didn't seem like I was any closer to quitting time than I was the last time I looked at the clock.

I couldn't believe it when the clock finally rang 4 p.m. I got my keys, and almost ran out the door.

I had one errand to run, and I was not going to do it. I just wanted to go home. But the errand was dropping something off at the lab, and as I didn't want to hold up my results any longer than necessary, I went there... grudgingly. It was way out of my way.

Dropped off the sample, and came home. Home sweet home. Opened up a bottle of wine, sat down, and played fifteen hundred games of solitaire.

Now I'm starting to finally feel more like myself. Two more days until Friday. I think I can hang...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Reflections


The year is almost over, and I did not make good on my promise to write more in 2012.

That’s not entirely true – I have been writing more, just not here.

I started a review blog, and it’s seen some marginal success. In the short time it’s been active, the page hits are up and I’ve already received a one product from a company to review. I consider that a success – and one I’m continuing to build on.

However, when it comes to disclosure in my personal blog, I’ve been absent.

The fact is, it hasn’t been the greatest of years. It also hasn’t been the worst of years, so I guess 2012 is a wash for me. Work has been the cause of most of my distress and sleepless nights – and at the risk of sounding trite, I am grateful to have a job – even if it is causing me sleepless nights.

I also realized this year something that hadn’t been readily apparent before: I was in an eleven year relationship with a complete and utter asshole. When we first stopped seeing each other, I would tell people he was a good guy, but we just weren’t a good fit. However, the farther I move away from the relationship, the clearer I see it – and him. There is no denying now that he was an asshole – and of course, then there’s some degree of embarrassment when I realize it took me eleven years to extricate myself from him.

I think his assholeness really came to light when I realized he moved out of state. He had already revealed himself as less than honest when I discovered that he allowed his wife to give away some of the boxes I left behind at his place (with his permission and promise that it would be safe in his shed and if he needed me to come get it, he would let me know). This is an old story I know – I contacted him several times to pick up my stuff, to no avail. Then one day I found a lot of my stuff at Goodwill – and he admitted she gave it all away.

So there was some concrete evidence he was indeed a lying bastard asshole, but one could argue that his wife did it without his knowledge. Okay… but then he moved out of state, and I saw things in a new light. Giving away my stuff was all part of the moving process – so instead of saying, “Hey Ex, we’re moving – come get your stuff,” they just gave it all away. Plus, there was furniture he specifically asked me if he could to keep temporarily – did I get a call to come get that as well? Nope. They either gave that away or sold it or moved it with them.

And I could probably go on – yet I won’t. Instead I’ll just say that the more distance I get from this relationship, the brighter the light that shines on the remnants is. I can’t help seeing it for what it really was – and I suppose in the beginning of the year, I dealt with some embarrassment regarding how much I put up with before giving up completely. I should have cut bait and run after the first two years – and I was very angry with myself for not doing so.

Enough of that – this year was the first year I had success in my garden. By the end of summer, my garden was beautiful – though still not a finished product. It did feel good to spend time out there, playing in the dirt, planting seeds and young plants and changing the landscape of the garden. I am already counting the days until spring comes in 2013 – I can’t wait to get out there again.

I hope to write more next year – to at least write two blog entries a week (I know! When I first started, I wrote every day!). I think writing is a good outlet for me – I really need to tap into that outlet more.

It was difficult, though, to put a lot of things down in print this year… I think I just didn’t want to see it there in black and white… because I really had hoped to forget and move on without leaving behind proof of yet another disappointing year gone by…

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, Monday


1) Good news! My cranky pants came off this morning! So now I'm running around pantsless - or am I?

2) I went on the Reno Wine Walk this weekend - my friends and I dressed up like witches. It's always a good time - and I lucked upon a good looking older gentleman who semi-flirted. Unfortunately for me, I lost track of him.

3) Homey's still got it.

4) Not sure what I've still got, though. It could just be a bad case of the "big head."

5) Snow, snow, snow and more snow. One of my co-workers got stuck in Truckee and can't get into work. Isn't it too early for snow?

6) I don't care what you say - it IS too early for snow.

7) Went for a walk along the Truckee yesterday. It's not the ocean, but it *is* relaxing.

8) Been loving baked sweet potatoes lately - nice and fall-like. Of course, I might have to switch to something else, seeing as it's winter and all.

9) Thank goodness I have my hot flashes to keep me warm.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Not-So-Endless Summer

Summer appears to be over. When did that happen?

Oh sure, we still have some rather nice temps during the day - but it's getting dark earlier and earlier at night. I grabbed a book and started to head towards the garden last night to read, only to be surprised by the darkness. What? Wasn't it only a week ago I could read outside until about 8 p.m.? Or does time really DO go that fast when you're old...er?

I will miss summer. Granted, I didn't do anything really exciting (unless you count painting my toenails red and blue and wowing my co-workers with them). I did, however, spend a lot of time in my garden... finally got some plants to grow and some are even thriving.

I cleaned away years of debris, and freshened up the look. After all that activity, I'm not quite sure I'll know what to do with myself now that summer is at an end and my time in the garden has shortened immensely.

Maybe it's time to dip my toes in the waters of Match dot com. That should keep me busy through winter...

Sunday, August 05, 2012

On My Mind

1) Today I felt fat, so I figured I should feed that feeling with a doughnut.

2) I had it with some coffee, and it was delicious. The doughnut - not the coffee. Although, the coffee wasn't bad.

3) I bought a hanger for my garden at Big Lots today. It was on clearance. I went to hang it in my garden, and could not find any picture hanger contraptions. I've got a million of 'em. Somewhere. Apparently not in plain sight, though.

4) I went to Cost Plus today for something in particular. They didn't have what I was looking for, so I wandered over to the wine section. In a matter of 15 minutes, three different salespeople asked me four different times if I needed help.

5) I know they were just doing their job, but it irritated the crap out of me. Not only did I have to answer the same question four times, but one lady asked me twice... WTF? Do I look confused? (Don't answer in the negative if you know what's good for you!)

6) I bought very small Crock Pot at the Assistance League yesterday. It was $6. So, I thought of the perfect thing to cook in it for Sunday dinner. I went to the store, and bought the cut of meat I needed and went home.

7) This morning, I found that cut of meat still in the bag. Somehow when I put stuff away yesterday, I missed it. Don't ask me how - I'm still confused on the details.

8) I had to make another trip to the store to get some meat. Homey didn't like people today (see #5), so it was quite challenging to have to go out amongst them again.

9) I had work done on my car on Friday - almost $2,000 worth. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get ahead.

10) I do need my car to get ahead, so I will trust it was money well spent.