Thursday, March 1, 2018

That's our thing...

I'm struggling, which isn't really anything new, except to say that it's getting worse. Yesterday was very, very bad. I could've done without February 29th this leap year. I was off work quite early and spent most of the day in tears or staring off into space. The reasons are partially (read: mostly) work related, but not something I can really discuss. The significant thing is that I'm struggling, hard.

When my husband came in, I took one look at him and dumped all my shit onto him. He hadn't even gotten all the way in the door or put his things down. He hadn't taken off his hat or put down his wallet and keys. Yet he stood in the kitchen while I threw things into the dishwasher and listened to me vent about my very bad day. He stood patiently, moving around only to put his things down. Rather than sitting down after a 12 hour shift he stood listening.

When I lost it and resumed the water works, he was right there to make me feel like I wasn't alone... I started to say to "make me feel better" but that's not really it. He didn't try to make me feel better or discount my feelings. He was there to listen and let me know that someone hears me, that he hears me.

Rather than turning on the TV or requesting to know when dinner would be made, he sat beside me in the living room all evening and talked with me about the things that're making it difficult for me. He listened as I told him my fears, concerns, and feelings. He didn't try to tell me my feelings are invalid or that I shouldn't feel the way I do. Or even that I should feel something when all I can seem to "feel" is numb despair.

When he couldn't stay up any longer, I went to lay down with him and he held me. He told me he loves me and that he believes in me, which is all I need in the world. I need him to keep believing in me even when I don't see why anyone should. He almost always seems to know, intuitively, what I need or want and even when he doesn't know, he still tries to be supportive.

Today, I sent him a text to wish him a good day and to say thanks for being there for me. His immediate reply, "We're there for each other, that's our thing." That is how we made it 18 years married. That is how we're still going strong even after almost 20 years together. All of this, his support and love, this is why we're going to make it another twenty.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Well, that was embarrassing...

Did I ever tell you about the time I met a man so good looking, I actually forgot my own damn name? Yeah, that actually happened, like, in real life. It was humiliating and something I will never, ever forget.

It came to mind today while I was listening to a romance audio book. One of the characters had an experience like this, forgetting their own name because the man was so hot. I started to roll my eyes, because, really...  And, then I'm pretty sure I actually blushed. Alone, at home, like anyone could see me. Yes, this actually happens. It happened to me.

A couple of years ago, I took a temp job during the summer. I was teaching at the university at the time, but wasn't working in the summer. There was a bit more too this particular temp job, but it's not really significant, so I'll skip it. On the day of the event, as I like to remember it, a fellow employee was showing me around the department when we crossed paths with one of our bosses.

The man stopped and they made small talk for a second before she turned to me and introduced him. When he looked at me I literally just stared at him. A good minute passed in what felt like an eternity before I realized I was just standing there, gaping at this man like an idiot. I managed to remember that I should introduce myself, but the damage was done. The woman who introduced us was standing beside me grinning like a mad woman.

He was gracious about it, extending a hand to me. We shook and I blushed, and we went about our business. He handled it so smoothly that I wondered at the time whether or not that's ever happened to him before. When he was gone, the woman who had introduced us took the opportunity to rib me about it and then she told everyone else in the department. So, I got a reputation in my group at work as the woman who forgot her own name because the boss was so hot.

But here's the thing, he was good looking. Very good looking--tall, broad shoulders, blue eyes, a strong jaw, soft but masculine voice. He was not, however, so good looking that I should have lost my shit like that. For whatever reason, I did, and to this day I remember it with something akin to embarrassed horror. I wouldn't say he's even the best looking person I'd ever met. Not even close.

So, tonight while listening to my book, I took pity on the poor character and didn't roll my eyes. Instead, I sympathized. That is a really, truly, horrible experience. While everyone has embarrassing moments, that particular thing is a level of embarrassment you never, ever forget. Like, ever. Seriously.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Watch Your Language

Living in Utah for two and a half years now, I think I'm qualified to say that this is the most puritanical place I have ever lived... ever been, really. It's so damn wholesome, at least on the surface, it kind of makes me gag. Everything is geared toward kids and having kids, or religion and recruiting for said religion. It's absurd. There are few things to do here if you're an adult who enjoys adult things, like drinking and museums that're not about Mormon pioneers.

But the most annoying thing, their language. Nobody says fuck, or even damn. Like, ever. Ever. No, they say freak and darn. They don't say "what the fuck?!" They say, "what the freak?!" And somehow, this watered down language has infected me. I've caught the prudish language virus and it's rewiring my brain to be more respectable. I've begun saying freak, instead of fuck. It's pretty damn annoying and Matt has noticed. So, now, every time I say freak he shames me. Which is kind of pissing me off, actually.

No, it's really, really pissing me off. At first, it was only once in a while, but now every time he hears me say freak, rather than fuck, he makes a comment. Yesterday, he said, "you'll feel better if you just let it out," and it took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about. I told him to shut the fuck up because more than his poking at my vocabulary, I'm upset that I've allowed it to happen. I don't want to be a linguistic sheep. I want to be who I am, but hearing people say freak and darn has somehow invaded my language.

I understand dialects. I understand regional colloquial language. I understand how language patterns can change over time and with exposure. When I moved to the south I swore I wouldn't ever say "y'all" and I say it all the time now. I say it without even noticing. I type it in text, use it on social media, and even in blog posts.  And, even though we don't live in Texas anymore, I still say it. It's become a staple in my vocabulary. I do not want freak and darn to become staples in my vocabulary.

I will not submit to this facet of the culture I've been thrust into. I just won't. So, on that note, here's what I'm currently working on to make myself feel a little bit more, well, like myself. It's from Subversive Cross Stitch and is a reminder I need every single day, both because of my anxiety and because of my issues with the soft language I seem to be picking up against my will...

Yes, there's a link up there for the pattern. No, it's not a paid link or endorsement. I just like the product, okay?! Glad we got that settled.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Depression, Obsession

I'm having a little bit of trouble sleeping again. I've wrestled with insomnia off and on since I was 14. About that time I started to develop symptoms of depression and anxiety. As the years have passed, the insomnia is at it's worst when I'm struggling the most. I'm either all in with sleep and want to sleep 15 hours a day, or I can't sleep more than three or four hours a night. Never much in the middle.

But , I've noticed that when I'm dealing with insomnia and trying to sleep, I tend to obsess. It's a completely unhealthy habit and I know it's linked to my anxiety, but yeah, I obsess. Which is saying something since, on a good day, my brain obsesses about everything. This isn't that, not at all. This is so much worse. So much more powerful. My mind latches on to something and beats me over the head with it. I get an idea or a thought it becomes so potent, I'm unable to think about anything else. But the thoughts are so loud, I can barely close my eyes, let alone go to sleep. It's a never ending cycle of obsession and sleeplessness. It fucking sucks.

It's not always, or even usually, anything that matters or that I can control. Most of the time, it's some freak thing my mind latches on to and won't let go. Or, I worry about things that do matter, but that are so far outside of my control that I wouldn't even begin to be able to do anything about them. But, most of the time, it's the random thoughts about completely random crap.

Take last night, for example. I've been listening to a hell of a lot of audio books on Audible. I absolutely love them. I love being read to while I do other things. It's the best of both worlds, it's like reading a book and being able to play video games at the same time. Anyway, I listen almost exclusively to romance novels. Audible has a romance package now and I cannot deal with how many books I can listen to for a small fee every month. I'm taking full advantage. Most of the books are narrated by Sebastian York.

This is where the obsession plays in. For most narrators, you can just Google them and there are pictures. They have social media. You can put a name with the face, which is sometimes good and somethings not, depending on your personal ability to suspend disbelief. For this particular narrator, though, there's nothing. Lots of articles about him and interviews with him, but not a single picture to be found anywhere. It's a pseudonym, of course, which doesn't help.

But, I'm a little bit a lot obsessed with his voice. I literally listen to books because he's narrating them, it just so happens that I've also enjoyed them all. But, my brain could not let go of the fact that there isn't a single picture anywhere. I spent hours scouring the web looking for even one single picture. All I came up with were tidbits of information, like that he's also a pilot in New York City, and the fact that this mystery about him is intentional. Obviously, right, otherwise there would be a picture somewhere. He likes "the mystery."

In the dead of night, when I can't sleep and my mind cannot let go of the search, I pretty much hate the mystery. Hate. It. So, I lay in my bed and obsess, scouring my brain for details I may have missed and calling on my education, which has made me a top notch researcher. But, it's also kind of pointless, which my brain knows in an intellectual way, but can't seem to grasp in an emotional way. Ultimately, I'm aware that it's not even him that I'm obsessing about, it's just the need to latch onto something to obsess over and he's an easy target because I listen so many audio books.

Really though, he's beside the point and is just one example. Whether it's him or not, I'm going to obsess over something. Usually something just outside my reach, like finding a picture of man with an amazing voice, who has gone out of his way to stay obfuscated. I choose to latch onto something that was unreachable, just like always. I think, maybe, if I could find a pic of the man, this obsession might subside... but it would only be replaced with another pointless, baffling, and frankly, ridiculous obsession.

But hey, if he happened to want to send me a pic, I wouldn't say no. ♥

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Gone too soon

The last post was supposed to be my last one of the year. Then tonight I learned that one of our best friends, Tommy, died yesterday. He had a stroke. He was only in his late-30s. And as of right now, it's impossible to wrap my head around. Two days ago we were talking about Christmas and the possibility of Matt and me moving back to Texas. Today, he's gone.

While I try to comprehend the loss, I'm struggling to put it in perspective. All of the shitty things this year, that yesterday shone like blinding light, today are barely a dull glow. This one single thing makes everything else feel petty and unimportant. As I look toward a new year, one that follows so closely on this loss, I can't help thinking about how short life is. How we never know, from one day to the next, when it'll be over or who will be taken from us.

And, I can't help wanting to try harder to make my dreams a reality. To finish writing my book, to lose the weight I've been struggling to shed, to try to be healthier. To try harder to live in a way that's meaningful. But I'm cautious too, because I think death can do this to the living, make us see for a while how fleeting it all is. I'm nearly 40 years old and I can't help feeling like it's now or never, even more so than ever before.

This is the first time I've lost a friend to death. I'm so torn up inside. He was a friend of Matt's from work, who became a dear friend of ours. More than anything, he was an amazing person, always trying to make everyone around him laugh and feel happy. He was a good friend, a very smart guy, and had a great sense of humor. Above all, he was a unique and generous individual who will be missed dearly.

This is a pic I took of Matt and Tommy a few days before we moved to Utah. We all went out for pedicures and then dinner. I can't believe he's gone.