Floundering…flop, flop

Have you ever felt like you’re in a large room of people and things and you’re spinning around with no direction in mind…no one specific person to talk to…no idea what to do? Feel like a fish out of water and your flopping around wondering how to get back to the comfort and safety of the glistening life saving water?   That is what I have been feeling of late.  For a year and a half almost my focus was on my son and all that he needed to get well. Now he is well. Shortly after my last post in July, my old employer faked the business closing so he could lay me off with little guilt on his part. Needless to say the business is still open and he fessed up to the truth of it all to my husband and said he will always need him at the company and kept him. While I miss the stability of the job and spending the days with my husband I do not miss the stress of working for that man.  Since then, I have felt as I have described above. No direction. On a whim, I applied for a job with the post office as rural route carrier. Sent in my resume, passed the online assessments, went in for an in person assessment test and then was called in for an in person interview. When we interviewed, we were then told it was only guaranteed 1 day a week to cover the day off of the career carrier we were subbing for, which was Saturday or Monday. We were not considered career so we weren’t given benefits of any type.  We were also only allowed to work for them because if they called to have us come in other than that specified day off, we had to set them as a priority.  Everyone said this was a great opportunity, a foot in the door. So I said yes.  I went through all the training and started late October fully.  That’s when it went south but as much as I could go on, I wont. Needless to say, it isn’t anything i was told it would be. I don’t see or spend time with my family now because its every weekend and I come home exhausted and practically fall asleep on the couch at 7:30. I haven’t been to an SCA event since early October and unless I find other employment, won’t be at one for a couple months.  I have been searching the post office web site for different jobs to apply for but none are available that I want…or they are two hours away in the city.

I was watching Julie&Julia last night and realized that I felt a lot like Julie in the movie. So many things that I have wanted to do in my life, with my life and just…haven’t. I have a degree in Art and can’t find a thing to do with it for employment. I feel like I chose poorly when I decided on what to pursue for a degree.  I want to desperately work professionally as an embroideress but there are no jobs locally that I have found so far. I see these fabulous works that women make but those jobs seem to be over seas in England or Italy where the fashion trade originates from or where embroidery is still needed for museums and royalty. The Royal School of Needlework in England is a dream to visit..hell I would love to have attended there. Nothing here in po-dunk Port Ewen.  I did come to the decision last night that I was going to attempt to revive my joy of cooking that I once had by digging out my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and trying my hand at a few recipes. I will not be killing myself and doing the whole book in a year as she did..I don’t have the budget for that, but a recipe once a week or every other week wouldn’t be bad.

I guess I’m in a rut. A deep one at that. I want to do it all but have no gumption to get up and start. Admittedly it’s been like this for a while. Everyone tells me I’m so strong but quite honestly I feel anything but strong. I feel weak and sad. Also scatterbrained and without focus or direction. What i want right now in life is to have a good job that pays fairly descent, that lets me have weekends with friends and family to do fun things and isn’t real stressful and doesnt cause my arthritis to flare up daily. Is that so much to ask? I have skills in so many areas and feel like they never quite seem to fit any one thing out there.  Dear powers that be….HELP!

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Pursuit of Happiness..

Happy. A word I have not used very often in the last several months.  I have been stressed, worried, sleep deprived, lonely and isolated at times and also spread very thin like so much butter on toast. My life became working, doing what I had to in order to keep the household going and my self care became secondary. I said “fuck it” to my diet and medication towards it and I know I have gained some of the weight I lost back in comfort eating (OM NOM NOM KRUSTY BREAD AND BROWNIES). I have not knit in weeks having finished my last project and buckled down to finish a committed embroidery project for the kingdom (SCA, FYI) which I did enjoy and looked great in my opinion. Most everything I did was what I HAD to do. Obligations I needed to fulfill. Happiness was fleeting and yes, I had brief moments of it, like when my son went a day or so without stomach illness from his chemo or that he ate solid food voluntarily, asking for it.  When my youngest would do his chores the first time I asked instead of repeated requests to take out the trash, pick up his Nerf darts before the dog ate them, do his laundry, etc.

These last two weeks, other than keeping a committed watch on my oldest to see if he spiked a fever, I can honestly say I have been happy.  It has come to my realization that my happiness is hinging on the wellness of my oldest of late. I worry about him so much with these treatments and how to keep him up both in weight and health. I’m constantly scrubbing his bathroom down. Diligent about his regimen of medications and shots and constantly trying to get him to eat food. I’m a bear about people using hand sanitizer that come to the house and making sure they are well before they come to begin with. If he is doing well, it allows my brain (as well as the rest of me) to relax and enjoy my surroundings.  This last week has been the best I felt in a while emotionally. Physically a little run down, as I managed to catch a sinus cold that lasted a day or two but has caused poor sleep patterns the whole week.

Last night, the neighbor called to let me know that today was the towns Apple Festival and its also the day that people do their last yard sale. This got me very excited! I love my town!   You’re probably asking…why?! Alright..side story. Everyone has seen E.T., right? Who hasn’t, right?! Remember the scene with all the kids walking around on Halloween? Glowing jack o lanterns everywhere, hundreds of kids walking around in glorious and creative costumes? That wonderful small town community you always read about? That’s what I have where I live. I love it here. The only thing I mildly dislike is the fact that we have to get our mail from a post office instead of having it delivered. Want to know why? The people of the community voted it to be that way so they could all socialize at the post office. And they do! Every one waves to you when you’re driving around or walking.  They stop to have a conversation..even in their car in the middle of the street. Its small but it has a lot. Dental office, fitness studio, gas station convenience mart combo, chiropractor, acupuncture, tiny pharmacy, bank, dance studio, barber, Dollar General, adorable library, a tiny town hall with some of the most friendliest people you’ve met. There is a great park a block away from my house. There is the fire house where they hold the cute carnival every year and the streets half shut down for it.  A Boy Scout troop at the local church. Local town sports association for the younger kids. The typical pizzeria, Chinese food, cutely named deli and a diner up the street. All within two miles of where I live. Down the road a few more miles is the just most wonderful little market called the Apple Bin that makes the best apple cider donuts and chocolate chip scones I’ve ever eaten. The store itself looks like something from Little House on the Prairie. Minus the spiders ALL THE PLACES, its my little bit of heaven and we found a wonderful house on a dead end street surrounded by trees in the middle of it. We even have great neighbors!

So, my youngest and his friend took a shift selling apple crisp at the festival for their Boy Scout Troop.  My husband and I, both lovers of a good yard sale, put the leash on Rolo, grabbed a couple bags (cause we actually are courteous and pick up the poo when he goes) and went out for a walk on the town to peruse the sales. Lots out there, but we settled on a replacement curling iron for myself (identical to the one I had but damn near new!!), and under the desk exercise bike for office jobs and a nice fur coat that I can rip apart for the viking garb. Its a lovely blond color and its rabbit fur. Hey, for five bucks, you cant go wrong with that. We ran into friends several times on our walk.   Rolo got to finally  meet a few dogs but he was a bit afraid around them even though they were all very friendly to him.  ALL the people stopped to pet him, say how cute he was, gush all over him and one couple even asked for the breeders name so they could contact her.  When we got back home, I ran a load of laundry and hung it on the line. We sat on the sun porch with cold drinks enjoying the glorious weather we were having. 70 degrees, low humidity and a nice breeze.  It was just a beautiful day and as I was sitting here waiting for LFR to pop in WoW, I realized I was happy and not just that but I had been happy for pretty much most of this past week.  Last night I started a pair of socks to put on the etsy store.  It feels good to be knitting again. I am doing that and working on an embroidery project.  I feel good. I feel happy. Im still a little tired, but it doesn’t damper the happiness I am feeling right now.

Kyle is at the halfway point in his treatments. Being over the proverbial hump and going down towards the second half feels good. The “road map” as they call it has a little over half a dozen more inpatient stays and that makes me feel good that the number is dwindling down.  We still have not made any plans till this is done in regards to weekend activities or vacations or the like. Just taking things day by day, week by week.  Make a Wish foundation came by to visit with him and ask what he wanted. We are unsure if they will grant it or not but, he asked for “a pool and a deck like at Aunt Colleen’s old house”.  They really couldn’t get anything else out of him that he wanted. Let’s face it, he’s a kid that knows what he wants.  We shall see if that is feasible to grant it. Its not like they can do anything with it now anyway being nearing the end of September.

The air has a crisp chill and fresh smell to it. Its suppose to be pretty chilly tonight. We have the windows open and even though my allergies are acting up from it, I love it. Perhaps we’ll light the fire-pit tonight and cook smores.  Right now, life feels pretty good. I hope this feeling lasts for a while. I know this whole thing has ups and downs but i am hoping for more ups than downs here on out.

Oh, and friends? There are so many of you that asked what you can do for us. The best thing you can do is keep in touch. Reach out to us..me. Call. IM. Email. Communication is what we need. Knowing you are still out there. Sometimes it feels like when the diagnosis was spoken, many said “let me know how I can help” and faded back from us. I need your company even if its just virtual.  With having to put our life on hold to give him all that he needs, it feels very isolating and a little lonely.  I miss my friends. I miss the SCA. I miss taking pictures. I miss wearing garb! I miss pageantry! The banners flying in the wind! The clash of weapons in the lists! The smell of glorious foods cooking and wafting from the kitchens. I miss life and the socializing.  Please, Stay in touch.

I am in pursuit of happiness everyday now. Im trying to find it in even the smallest things in each day.  I will not let this beat me and it certainly wont beat him. He is my ARMS warrior and he will beat this. I love my boy!