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One of the things I've asked Light to do is inform me of plans he has with his girlfriend (I can't come up with a name for her and my inability to do so seems to be uncovering some unresolved anger) ,who we'll call Upfront, before I see them on our shared gcals.  Not that I'm going to veto them, I just don't want to find out that way.   My understanding is that when she invites him to do something, it shows up on his calendar whether or not he says yes to it, and that means maybe he can't inform me before I see it on the calendar?  I don't know.  It just made me feel twitchy under my skin and I made an exaggerated scrunchy face to try to move forward and it's not really working.

Abundance was gone last night, and I wanted Nonsense to stay in bed with me, but she wanted her crate, probably because I stayed up until 12:30 reading fanfic while on ambien, so I don't remember much.   Abundance leaves tomorrow for a week, comes back the saturday pretty much immediately before the PSB overnight.   Upfront is moving this weekend, so Light will be with her probably much of Sunday day, and Sunday night.   Now, one of the problems with this is that I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.  No, wait, I have always relied on the boys to take Nonsense for last outs, I don't feel comfortable in my neighborhood after dark. I remember all those years ago, when Light had to spend a month with his family in Philadelphia for medical reasons, I walked Buckets every night (though sometimes I cried at her and begged her to just pee on the kitchen floor).  So obviously, I can walk a dog at night.  Which means maybe my fear is stupid, and not wanting to have to walk Nonsense alone at night is just a way that I'm trying to interfere with Light's lovelife?    Am I going to feel guilty if he comes back to walk the dog and returns to Upfront's? Am I going to feel resentful if he doesn't? Am I going to be cross with myself either way because feelings are dumb and I shouldn't have so many of them?

Also, I don't want to go to the gym, or go buy catfood, or go pick up prescriptions.  I managed to clean the stove and get Nonsense to the dog park and now I'm all full of feelings and want to read in peace.

It's almost certainly time to get another piercing.  Maybe I'll go do that next week.

 

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 Back when I wrote journals for Abundance's eyes only, I used to include a section on what I was coveting on any given day. Sometimes it helped me not buy things, sometimes it helped me pull the trigger on something that actually would make my life better.
 
For the moment, I've passed through the valley of eye makeup.   I know that I need to read or get rid of a lot of books I've got loitering around unread, I usually limit myself to only buying things by authors that I'm already devoted to (Seanan McGuire, Gail Carriger, Max Gladstone were the last three, I believe) and I've channeled my acquistiveness into a giant, excessively organized s/s of the books I want to read.   I've realized that the internet is where to get recipes from, so my cookbook acquisition has ground to a halt as well.  Any day now I'm going to break up with the thirty thousand indie perfume sites I visit and stop ordering samples.  
 
Sidenote: That said, I find the indie makeup reddit a weirdly welcoming and comforting place and I feel like there are other communities like that that I should be availing myself of.  Maybe Captain Awkward forums?  or some other yet-to-be-discovered thing?  I remember fondly the days when 60% of my socializing took place on alt.goth, and then later when a smaller but still significant percentage took place on dar williams and nields mailing lists.  And facebook isn't really the same thing, I'm not actually engaging with strangers there.
 
I don't need more things in the house, I don't feel like I have a good handle on all the stuff that is already in the house. But in the back of my mind, there's a voice that tells me maybe this next thing is going to be the thing that makes me happy enough to tip me over into a state of relative emotional stability.  Maybe the next perfume will make me self-confident, maybe the frank lloyd wright branded pencils will make me feel put together and nerdy enough to stop doubting my every move. Maybe the next kickstarter/patreon will save me.  And I know it's not true, I know that there are things that I'm just going to have to eventually negotiate internally or accept but that doesn't make me look longingly at the sock dreams website with any less regularity.
 
When telling people (light, abundance, my therapist) about my thought/belief/realization that I'm not getting any better, I keep sidetracking myself and talking about not getting better _at_ something (usually poly) rather than just this feeling of trying to achieve some goal of betterness and not getting there.  why else these twenty years of pills and therapy, these thirteen years of sobriety, this striving?
 
I should have made the brie-caramelized onion-apple pizza for dinner tonight, but while running errands today (heading home from dropping Light off at work after his doctor's appointment and buying Tank his birthday present) I did something (hit a pothole? ran over something? did some other thing that panic made me black out on (though I don't think I lost any time)) that gave my car a flat tire.  I drove maybe another block or five, pulled into a parking lot and called Light. AAA showed up very quickly (they were apparently just hanging out in the rite aid parking lot), changed my tire and sent me on my way.  I of course was crying and hyperventilating at this point, but made my way home and then ran out of steam completely.  I should have taken a nap, but even after the adrenalin should have worn off, I was still jittery.  Tired, but jittery.  I watched a baaad horror movie on netflix, cleaned a little, tried to walk the dog (Nonsense was having none of it, she is not a fan of rain) and did very little else, which included not making the pizza.
 
And I just remembered I forgot to pick up the farm share.  Blargh.  And I just noticed how late it is, and have decided to no longer wait for anyone to get home to eat my dinner.
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 Stepping into the shower at the gym today, I crashed, all of a sudden flooded with the thought "I'm not getting any better", and proceeded, unable to shake it loose.
 
Immediately before this thought, I was thinking I needed a nickname for Light's girlfriend, but none of the things I can come up with sound value-neutral enough, and I don't know her very well, and I asked him if he wanted to invite her to see a movie with the three of us, and it's not that I especially want to hang out with her, I just know that I'm supposed to be chiller than I am, and so am going to force myself to perform more chillness than I feel.
 
My mother always told me to behave as if I was happy, that it was close enough to being happy, that it was what everyone wanted. I never bought it, I knew she just wanted me to be easier for her to deal with, but apparently I internalized it enough that the bully that lives inside my skin reminds me it's my job to be easier for other people has the litany memorized.
 
I try so hard to be unflappable.  I'm not, but I try so hard.  Though a couple nights ago I announced that I thought I was a harpy, but then had an internal conversation with myself externally (it was late and we were on our way to bed) about how maybe being a harpy is like being attractive, it's in the eye of the beholder and only the beholder knows how they feel about harpiness or attraction.
 
I fall down so often and so thoroughly and I don't know how to stop.  I feel like whatever the emotional equivalent of my knees is spends a lot of time skinned and dirty. I need to be able to let Abundance and Light be poly in whatever ways they need, despite my fears of losing everyone.  I think Delight doesn't get factored into this conversation because despite my deep, deep love for her, since we don't cohbait, we see each other a couple times a week and while Starchild may mean I get less of her attention, I suspect Starchild will also mean I see her more often, when things settle out.  I need to be more confident, less scared, less volatile.   And I'm 41 years old, there are a lot of places I'm feeling like if I haven't gotten there yet, I'm probably not going to get there in the future.
 
 Self-pity's such a good look, you know.
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 Newsy posts totally count when I don't have the stamina for anything emotional, I tell myself.
 
I went to a memorial today, back in the coastal massachusetts town my grandfather used to own a house in.   When he died, his three sons (my father and his two brothers) couldn't agree on what to do with it, (my father is not talking to one of his brothers, and the other brother, my favorite uncle, runs gobetween).  The whole family was there, including a bunch of basically-cousins that I barely remember. 
 
The ocean was warmed than we expected, and so when my nephews and their fathers (my brothers) charged into the ocean, so did I.  So I got to hang out in the ocean for the third day in a row, laughing racuously with small people and having an absolute blast.  The fog was thick in a stephen king kind of way, but this was the same beach we went to every summer for my entire childhood and then some.   
 
We didn't vacation as children, my mother had epic and awful road trips with her four siblings and my father just didn't travel.  (the running joke was apparently that my grandmother believed you needed a passport to go outside of 128).  This was it, and I mostly hated it because it was just so much family time and so much sun  Still these days I look so pale next to any member of my biofamily.
 
Then home, and dog to the dog park, and puzzle and Survivor with Abundance and Secret World with Light, and I have a new Kris Delmhorst sticker for my laptop.   Today I tore through yet another adorable lesbian romance and now it's time for bed.
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 It's been a good day.

When I woke up this morning, I had another headache and a deep inability to wake all the way up.  And I hadn't even increased the ambien like I'm supposed to.  (the story gets better).  Abundance found me asleep on the couch with the dog when he got up and sent me back to bed.   When I woke back up, I realized that it wasn't the right place in my head for a migraine (migraine - stabby pain behind right eye, headache more like full-skull dull ache).  

I still doubt that I reallly have migraines, maybe I'm just faking it for the good drugs and the excuses they provide. Hell, I still sometimes wonder if I'm faking my alcoholism (thanks, parents!), for attention and excuses and all those things, to be special in some backwards sort of way. My couples counselor tried to give me permission to tell myself maybe sometimes things are just hard, I don't need to doubt all my reactions all the time.

After Abundane ran with the dog, we toasted blintzes from baza, and I ate them with my magical strawberry chocolate jam from Baza.  Then we dropped Light off at Bloc 11 and drove to salem to be on the boat.  It took me a little bit to re-adjust to the boat, it's been a while, but my hot pink watershoes were there and I got to be naked and have sex in a boat on the ocean, and then I even jumped off the boat.   Since we took Nonsense to Revere Beach yesterday, this means I went in the ocean two days in a row.  Took me until September, but I guess that's the way of it.   Well, technically I believe I was in the ocean many times in a row on vacation, but that's different.

Light pointed out that Irma destroyed our favorite vacation spot, and I keep randomly thinking about the strays on the  virgin islands, and thinking I should really try to get to australia and snorkel before everything is ruined/gone forever, but then maybe I should actually try to get SCUBA certified first, and how the hell am I going to find an instructor who actually understand the problems with lots of body fat and stumpy little arms.  

Then we came home, took Nonsense to the dog park.  Even though both Light and Abundance seem to enjoy watching Nonsense run around and it certainly makes my life easier having three pairs of eyes on the dog (I'm a worrier, I worry a lot about being That Dog Parent at the park.) I wonder if it's boring them, if it's selfish to not just take her myself.

Then we went to the book riot book club at PSB, which has the delightful format of a handful of people who j ust talk about whatever it is they read that month, and I got a recommendation for a childrens book that is, among other things, a subtle takedown of toxic masculinity according to the woman who talked about it.  

Then we went to It, up in Burlington with the fancy seats with footrests that pop up at the push of a button.   I do enjoy jump scares, like little tastes of the coming haunted houses this year, but I don't think I enjoyed the movie. I don't think I'll ever see the miniseries or read the book, but I do still love the experience of seeing movies in the theaters.

I've started reading Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and it's maybe a little on the nose about weird internet friendships/relationships (dear gods it makes me uncomfortable to think about how many folks from alt.goth I got into intense internet relationships with in my college years) and being some sort of crazy and one of the main characters is starting college and writes this vaguely unhinged letter to her parents she never sends and it just set off all the feels and so much of the college-related anger I still remember.  Abundance and I and Light and his girlfriend will all be in Philadelphia attending a con in November, and I think I might take Abundance to see my college campus, even if I don't know how I'll react.  (gods, it'll be my twenty year reunion next year.  Maybe I can convince Light and Abundance and Delight to all come with me, openly as my partners and see how that plays out.)

I'm all over the place, and it's time for bed, and I kind of want to talk about how all the things are making me feel old and my weird psychiatrist suggesting I have more of a schedule or get a retail holiday job and it just made me feel like I was either overreacting or explaining things badly, because I do have a schedule most days and I can't imagine a retail job doing anything other than wearing me thinner than I already am these days.  
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I have a sweetly curled up dog, yet another horror movie on Netflix and another migraine.  I had one Sunday, I don't know if I should chalk it up to a couple very bright days and nights of poor sleep, or if things are escalating.  I ordered a pizza and now all I want is an ice cream sundae, complete with hot fudge and possibly even one of those toxic red cherries on top.  I could foodler one up, but somehow that's a bridge too far for even me. 

The omeprazole doesn't seem to be doing as good a job lately, and I know if I go back to the doctor, she'll push for a food diary and possibly another colonoscopy/endoscopy and I don't really want either.  But last night was all heartburn and belching until the wee hours and I don't want that either.

I canceled on Intention this evening, before I even figured out it was a migraine (it's weird that I'm still not great at judging migraine pain until I take the pills and it's absent and I'm like "oh, that's what turning my head is supposed to feel like/not feel like."), when I just thought that I wasn't feeling up to strangers. 

Today felt off. I could barely wake up, I don't even know how I spent the morning, though I suspect cleaning.  Out to Brookline to my psychiatrist, with time to kill I went and bought a bra at Lady Grace, and I know bra sizing is basically black magic, but now I'm a 42C, which doesn't seem quite right and somehow makes me feel like my boobs are shrinking.  It was so hard after the reconstruction, when I got rid of almost all of my clothes because they didn't hang right, because my pre-surgery boobs were larger, because I hadn't understood, hadn't asked the right questions, didn't know how much things were going to change, and my surgeon told me it wasn't that much of a change, that I had the largest implants available.   But once, I was a DD and I don't feel like I've lost weight but I refuse to get on a scale. And the woman suggested I avoid underwires, because of the aforemtnioned implants.   But I felt strange and sad and reminded that I'd lost something.  Oh, and matronly.  Lady Grace does not stock sexy not-underwire bras in my size.  

Then to pick Light up at work, stopped in at Staples and was unable to resist the idea of a staple that contained a pencil sharper. (we needed the stapler, i'm not so sure about the pencil sharpener.)  Then couples, and home, and then meds and pizza and Light's at one of his D&D games and Abundance is at a meetup, and there's all these goals I set myself for the week that I haven't done.   Financial things for our financial advisor, all the dishes, made bananas bread and tibetan burritos, wrangled the rest of the medical billing, finished the cross stitch.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe tomorrow.  And I should catch up on emails, and I should read that dog training book, and find the next class for Nonsense to take, and I should find a volunteer opportunity and yet.

I want to buy all the seasonal fall and halloween indie perfumes, I want everything to be pumpkin flavored. I want it to be time to roast squashes and open the windows. 



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 It continues to bewilder me how quickly some of these days go by, and how I end so many of them doing laps around the dining room table to get up to 10K steps.

I took my dog to the dog park to work with the trainer, and I was struck with how comparatively short a time Nonsense has been with us, and how much of my life she's become. She's no Buckets, to peaceably sleep out her middle and old age on the couch for eight hours at a time, she's no 12lb dog I don't need to worry about training because I can just pick her up if she needs to be re-directed.  And as I told the dog massage therapist at the dog fair, I'm much older than her and have a lot more ability to emotionally regulate, and I'm not over my anxiety, I have no expectation of her ever being not-anxious, I just want to do as much for her as I can.

I got to spend the afternoon with Delight, mostly sans baby.  Something about her being gone for so long during starchild's adoption quest seems to have jacked up the volume on my twitterpatedness with her, and I was already pretty twitterpated to begin with.  

I started to read Emma Cline's The GIrls, and got to a part where the protagonist is in her teens and lies about having seen a movie in order to look cool to her crush-object and gets caught in the lie, and my entire body cringed and I realized this was all bad enough the first through threehundredth time, reliving it doesn't necessarily gain me anything.  I'll try the book again, just because, but today I gave myself a break and started listening to Elizabeth Kostova's latest epic.

I remember how freeing it was to finally learn to just tell Light (and then everyone else) that their cultural referents were lost on me, instead of trying to vague it up to appear to share a language. I remember a kid in high school telling me I was cool because it was obvious I knew the lyrics to a they might be giants song, but didn't feel compelled to sing along to prove that I did.  And I still sometimes want to pretend that I've read all the books, followed all the news, done all the things, but it's good to remember that I'm happier not having to remember all the half-truths. 
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 Day 2.  (it still counts if I write the (admittedly short) post and don't post it)

Startlingly good weekend, despite the addition of a migraine Saturday evening.  Sunday was a blast, we took Nonsense to the Somerville Dog Festival and got her fitted for both a harness for more ease of running with Abundance and a lifejacket, so we can take her out on Abundance's boat.  We also got to see the amazing woman who helped us with Buckets' end of life care, and Nonsense got eat raspberry-duck ice cream with fish skin toppings.

I keep thinking about ideas of friendship, how I've changed, what it was in each decade of my life, what it is now, what I miss and what I don't miss.  I don't have the points to write about it now, but I'm leaving this as a breadcrumb for a future omnia.
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Day 1. (take two)
 
I’m more annoyed by my new laptop not having an indicator of whether or not the numlock is on than is proportional.
 
I spent the three day weekend mostly unwell, with either the world’s least contagious stomach bug (neither of the boys got it nor did anyone I know have it) or a reaction to something I ate.   Having now had food poisoning, I am no longer going to claim anything gave me food poisoning unless it’s Really Bad.   I was fine but slow on Monday, and fine on Tuesday.
 
Tuesday started the whirlwind (I remember thinking once that the word was worldwind and still type it that way sometimes)  I tried to write out the exact order but that just filled me with doubt, so instead I shall list all the things
 
Two cats to vet
Dog to nosework class
Dog to dogpark at least once a day, usually twice
Individual therapy
Couples therapy with Abundance  (which includes picking him up at work)
Couples therapy with Light (which includes picking him up and dropping him off at work)
Picking up both farmshares
Grocery shopping
Laundry
Gym on Wed, Thurs, Friday
Meeting Starchild on Tuesday and getting to hang with Delight and Starchild on Friday.
Going to brookline to see Zoe Quinn speak
The usual cleaning/stitching/reading
Making cheesy bread pudding, the world’s most comforting carb
 
I’m definitely forgetting things, but that at least covers most of it.   And it still feels paltry compared to having to go to a paid job (I was going to say work, but at least a little bit of the above counts as some sort of work).  Hell, I even posted to facebook and watched some guilty pleasure shows while doing other things.
 
Other ongoing things: I keep picking at the problem of Light having his girlfriend over while I’m here. Our house layout is weird, and the bathroom I use and my closet are on the other side of the bedroom in which Light would be entertaining, and the idea of being cut off from my stuff makes me all prickly and bitchy, but I also don’t want to offer him the room that is my room/the guest room.  (significantly smaller than the master bedroom, so it wouldn’t be practical to move my stuff) for his overnight dates.  I don’t know what is a legit feeling, what i should try to be gentle with myself about and what I’m just being a jerk about.  (if i am being a jerk and you feel like you need to tell me so, please be gentle and do so in some other venue).   He and she seem fine with dates at her house when her husband is away, or hotel dates and Light has never told me he’s had a problem with me having my other partners over.   But maybe my ways of being poly don’t have to be one-for-one equivalent to his ways. 
 
Now that starchild is on scene, it seems like I have to start thinking about what happens on the other side of my year of nannying and the thought fills me with existential dread.  I’m not sure what I’m good at, I’m not sure what I’m good at that I can be good at without a cost to myself, I’m not sure what I want to do, I’m not sure where to start.  The boys tell me I’d be good at QA, I think I’d be an excellent office manager/den mother but only to the right group of people.  I dislike people but sometimes I want to do something direct servicey.  I like praise and being good at things, and it would be comfortable to find another job where I just had spreadsheets and data to keep track of and communicate.   I feel like I’ve already aged out of the job market and don’t know how to learn new technologies (see my inability to know how to have a relationship with twitter).  (that said I have developed a redditcrush on a commenter in the one subreddit i frequent)
 
I just bought a dog DNA test and purple ball jars on amazon.  I feel like this says something about my life, I’m not sure exactly what.  
 
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 Day 12? 11? 1?

I'm not sure if I want to start from the beginning, acknowledge that I skipped a day or just keep counting days.  Hopefully I'll decide by next entry.

Yesterday was devoted to a stomach bug I don't have sufficient adjectives for. Suffice to say, I was miserable in many different ways.  Today, however, I'm mildly hungry and that didn't change as soon as I presented myself with food, the headache is about 80% gone and the cramps are significantly less painful.  I did however finally manage to watch a movie with subtitles, because my energy was low enough I didn't want to multitask  (I normally fuck around on the computer or stitch or clean while watching netflix, which means that subtitled movies don't really work.   Train to Busan is a startlingly touching zombie movie.

The original plan was to go hang out on Abundance's boat today, I'm not sure if I'm quite up for that and I'm extremely disappointed in myself.  Maybe I'll feel miraculously better, but it was supposed to be a weekend of sexy fun times and being on the ocean and taking the dog to Cat Rock and all those things.  Why couldn't I be sick like this during the week, when it just inconveniences me and the dog?

Labor day sales tempt me left and right. Squishables, subversive cross stitch, Kiyonna, all the fall-themed perfumes. I used to keep lists of what I coveted, maybe I should start that up again, it felt somehow the same as creating these endless pinterest boards and etsy wishlists, consuming without having to deal with the objects consumed.
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 Day 10.  

Toddlers are exhausting.  Today, among other things, I was stabbed in the face with a blunt wooden knife (no lasting damage, but my face is sore).  Even with that, my nephews remain super-cute.
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Day 9.

Oh god, I think I might need to fire the dog. Sadly, she can't fire me.  (hopefully obviously i love her very much and would never actually fire her)
 
So, she’s been on chicken and rice for a day and half (and oh god did i hate cooking chicken), Abundance twisted his knee so she’s not getting her morning runs for the past handful of days, yesterday at the dog park she was a bully, today she just got into a straight up dog fight.  Is this her equivalent of toddlerhood?   I don’t know if it was her or the other dog instigating, but I felt just this crashing sense of doing something wrong. I don’t know the difference between good play and less-than-good play.  So I freaked out and left and now I never want to go back to the dog park.  And I’m not training her often enough. 
 
Today I have done dishes, gone to the gym, gone to my psych appointment, which was strangely awful, skinned and pureed peaches, gone to the dog park.  It never feels like enough, every sad day feels like a failure, like why should I have quit my job if I’m just going to be sad all the time, i might as well be sad and making money. 
 
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 Day 8.

Migraine.  Nothing to see here.  At least the meds have made it so most of my face and fingers are numb and the pizza means I don't want to vomit anymore.

I did get to go to Stone Zoo in the morning with Teach, Tank and the Highlander.  (youngest niece will now be called highlander, because there can be only one).  Turns out, black bears are still intimidating and arctic foxes make my heart melt because of the game Never Alone (which you should totally play).
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 Day 7.

 
Wore myself out today and now my mood has just plummeted.  Went to the gym, worked out with my trainer, got my 10K steps in, drove to therapy where I once again just cried for a while, about inner critics and my failure to self-parent adequately and all the shit I can’t just force myself to get over and how I don’t understand how people like themselves or do anything without a mean voice in their head reminding them to.  Drove home, boiled chicken and rice for the dog, cleaned, picked up the farmshare, took the dog to the dog park and then fell asleep.
 
Nonsense has her nosework class and I didn’t do her homework and I don’t think she likes her boiled chicken very much.  *hours later* that was a complete misreading of the situation, she’s actually quite enthusiastic about the boiled chicken.  I’ve spent a truly absurd amount of time thinking about the dog’s poop in the past few days, and Light and Abundance assuring me that it’s fine doesn’t soothe me, it somehow makes me think that I’m the one who has to do all the worrying and so I double down.
 
My therapist told me an Elizabeth Gilbert anecdote today (she prefaced it by telling me it was by Elizabeth Gilbert and I did my little two minute hatefest of the author).  Apparently, Audience Member had asked/told her at a reading (or something) that she (audience member) couldn’t understand the idea of loving herself.  Elizabeth Gilbert told Audience Member that it was like rescuing a shelter animal, that you felt that sort of protective warm feeling and even if the animal had behavioral problems or was terrified or something like that, it didn’t make you love the animal less.
 
I of course piped up “but the doggie didn’t do anything” and my therapist, using her a-ha voice, said “neither did you.”
 
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 Day 6.
 
Going to phone it in a little tonight, since it’s past my bedtime already and I meet with my trainer in the morning.   I did manage some of the things I intended to do, cleaned the freezer, stitched for a while, called the vet, did dishes, went to the gym, went to the grocery store, went to the dog park.  Ran into Purple at the gym, had lovely tea with her.  We’ve both had a lot of things happen in the past year, and summing it all up gives me a little bit of emotional whiplash.
 
I still think longingly about working for conventions, about doing good work.  I was so good at going down all the rabbit holes of fandom, I am so good at imagining disasters and trying to create policies that address the inevitable ones while also try to steer around them. If only I could somehow turn my pessimism/hypervigilance/inability to trust into something marketable.  (In between the disaster scenarios, I’d make additional bank by sorting millet from rice or something else appropriately fairytale and compulsive.)
 
There were a handful of friendly dogs at the park today, including a teeny whippet that wanted to play chase with Eagerness (who will now be called Nonsense, I think) and outclassed her in the speed department, but that didn’t seem to negatively impact anyone’s play.   The dog park is long, so decent heads of steam can be built up, and it’s mostly packed teeny gravel/dirt/dust, so when she skids out on the turns, plumes of dust float through the air. 
 
Tomorrow, I get to cook chicken and rice for poor Nonsense, since she’s been having some gastrointestinal distress.  I haven’t cooked meat in a very, very long time, and I will admit that while boiling chicken seems pretty easy, I’ve done my internet research to figure out exactly how.  
 
Fall indie perfumes are coming out, and Chobani has pumpkin flavored ice cream.  Delight’s almost started her journey homewards and I’m going to bed.
 
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 Day 5.  

Stayed up way later than I normally do last night (1am), sucked into a book I was reading and unable to disengage.  Slept in my room, alone, which almost never happens.  I still kind of wish I could sleep with the dog, but I get that she’s happier in her crate.  Sadly, the cats didn’t get the memo and screamed me awake at 6:30 to get fed.
 
Drove out to the ‘burbs to visit my little brother, Media and Saint, and their two kids, Coolidge and Kilometers.  Unexpectedly, it became a family thing and Mech, Teach, Tank and the lone girlchild of this generation joined us.  (maybe it’s a thing, there can be only one girl per generation, though I believe that at least two generations prior to me had no girlchildren born into the family whatsoever).  (I’m glad I got rid of my dad’s last name when I married Light, but sometimes I wish there had been some obvious and unremarkable third option.)
 
Media and his wife and two kids live about an hour from here, in a big house on a private way.  Mech and his wife and their two kids are hoping to move about the same amount away, currently they live about twenty minutes away.  They talk about buying houses that cost twice what Light and I spent on this condominium, and it makes me wonder whether it’s a thing I should be wanting.
 
Been thinking about my history with cars, my patterns of driving and not driving, wondering what would have been different if I hadn’t been so scared of my boss I didn’t dare call out and taken that ill-advised trip on the mass pike that ended up with my car mounted on a guard rail, and how I never got the stain of the coffee that had gone airborne off of the ceiling.  
 
It was hard to learn to drive, I didn’t trust my mother enough to teach me to ride a bike, much less anything more complicated, and my father wasn’t interested in the project.  The driver’s ed teacher told me to have my parents to teach me how to drive in reverse, my parents told me to have the teacher teach me.  So after I got my license, I took the grey ford taurus to a parking lot and tried to understand how the whole thing worked.  I’m still not very good at it, too alarmed by the prospect of bumping someone else’s car.  My depth perception isn’t great, but I can work around it, but something just unravels when I tried to flip it and reverse the calculations.
 
I think I loved driving once. I know I loved my cars, extensions of myself, indisputably mine in a way nothing else ever was. I loved the opportunity to listen to my music as loudly as I could, I loved the anonymity of being alone in a car.  I know that I hated them too, the first one when each repair required a rebalancing of what I was spending money on, the second one another loan I had to pay off, bought only about a month before I had to leave the startup job.
 
I gave that car to Mech when I moved bostonwards, nowhere to keep a second car, we were interested in being a single-car family and I did not want to drive her, and I let those skills atrophy and kept thinking of the cars as Light’s, not mine to drive, not mine to ruin and so just sources of anxiety, even if Light always thought of them as ours.
 
After that second accident, driving became this exhausting process of trying to figure out everything that could possibly move into my path, and have a plan about how to deal with it.  Not just cars and trucks careening towards me in my imagination, but dogs darting into traffic, trees falling.  I’d brace for impact every time I took a corner, every time I merged, believing it was only a matter of when I’d get hit again.
 
It was nice to see them all, it was nice to get to listen to a good solid chunk of my audiobook.  But I still forget to remember that driving makes me tired, even in this new  lightly calmer era. 
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 Day 4.

Home tonight.  Abundance is moored in his boat somewhere on the coast of Massachusetts, on their way to the new mooring in Salem, Light is on the other end of the couch, too sickly for us to go to the Doubleclicks concert we had tickets for, Delight is in St Louis with Starchild.   The cats are screaming for dinner an hour early, and the dog is mostly passed out, though occasionally wakes to bother the cats.   We’ve played a lot of secret world, and I just had the ceremonial dinner of pumpkin spice special K and vanilla yogurt, because the house is out of skim milk and I don’t drive after dark.
 
I didn’t go to the gym today, another day without making the 10K.  Apparently I need to build back up to five day stretches, because now three days in a row of 10K steps is enough to make me a little inert.  I’ve given up on incline on the treadmill, because it always seems to leave my plantar fasciitis flaring up, but I’m getting faster and faster.  I still won’t jog/run, my body seems to fall apart as soon as I try to put a little bounce in it, but I can speed walk at least one fifteen minute mile without flopping off the treadmill. 
 
I’m having a restless streak where my library books are concerned, nothing seems to be capturing me.  I abandoned Poppy Wink Midnight, there was something that gave me a bad feeling about the plot, which was quickly confirmed by reading a couple reviews.  Three Days to Dead just didn’t pick me up, nothing to make me care about the main character, the combination of amnesia and infodump of a new setting just leaving me annoyed.
 
I still want to try to write about the impulse to google people no longer in my life, even though I know it never ends well, there’s nothing I’m going to find on the internet to soothe whatever it is that makes me pick at the scabs. I don’t know why I can’t let go of the ones that left me, even when the leaving makes perfect sense, even when I know I’ve left people too and couldn’t entirely articulate the reasons. 
 
I feel like there’s a key in here somewhere, something that makes sense of most of my fears, of why I feel like too much, of why I’m so afraid of being left, of why I don’t have (m)any friends left from times before the Camberville Years, why I worry that my partners will all eventually realize that I’m some sort of relationship hot potato and it’s time to pass me off to the next sucker or that they need to stop playing the game and holding the goddamn potato, because there are a lot of other games that don’t involve burning your hands.
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A migraine day, but I didn’t realize it until about 5:30pm.  I just thought I was having an undermotivated day.  I cleaned for a while, sauteed things to put on the pizza before I realized the dough had gone rogue, watched shitty tv, listened to the rest of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, took one of those naps that left me more tired than when I went to sleep.
 
The other possibility I entertained was that I was just hung over from therapy Thursday night.  Ended up crying, a lot, some terrible ISF type shit, where I sobbed about having failed my child part by inadequately parenting her, even though there was no way I could have parented her, since adult-me didn’t exist at the time. 
 
Maybe that’s part of where the refrain comes from, ithat thing i tell myself every time I fuck up.  If I was better, smarter, faster, this wouldn't have happened. If I’d grown up better, if I’d grown up smarter, if I’d grown up faster, I’d know how to have relationships, how to have faith, how to like who I’ve turned out to be. I don’t even know if I did the best I could back then. I guess there’s no way to know.
 
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 Day 2.
 
I feel paused. I feel like my only job is therapy and housework and I’m pretty sure I’m not doing those right.  I feel like I can see everyone around me having all these things they crave, even if what it is is just more of the same. And I want that, I want to know what it is I crave.  
 
And those words roll around again. Grace, mercy, safety. And none of those are really within my grasp, because they’re not destinations, they’re just things to keep striving for, to keep unpacking.  Do I want grace because I want to be invisible, because I want to be tidy and small(er) and not bother anyone?
 
One of my therapists told me something about me having a lot of tension between my desires. I want to be taken care of, I want to need no one.  I want to be seen, I want to be invisible. And it goes back to that Nemerov poem.
 
What might I want?  To work with kids? To do nothing but read? To find something I feel truly good at and do that? To walk dogs in shady places? To travel?  To find a narrative thread to follow?  To find something that is truly my own? To actually run a commune? Is it too late, is this what a midlife crisis looks like?
 
I feel like I’m coasting on past triumphs, worn out by pills and surgeries and addictions and heartbreak.  And there’s the lingering conviction that everyone goes through similar things (or worse) and deal with it so much better than I do, that I’ve run out the clock on trauma, I haven’t actually done anything, I haven’t gotten better.  And I don’t know how to talk about this without sounding like I’m fishing for something, so maybe I am fishing.   
 
And it gets so tangled, I feel like pity is what you experience when someone thinks they could have made it through the same situation and ended up less damaged and on the one hand I believe almost anyone could have been/would be better at this, and on the other I still want to be the strongest person you know.
 
We saw Atomic Blonde last night, and though it was a lot of other things, it was also a love letter to vodka, cigarettes and 80s music, all of which were kind of my jam once upon a time, and it made me feel strange and old and faded.

tomorrow's breadcrumb: people no longer in my life/"with me"
 
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Day 1.
 
Took Eagerness to the dog park again today, which she seems to absolutely love (I suspect her love will only grow as temperatures become more, well, temperate). There was a dogwalker there she’d met once before and she was so excited to see them, she jumped all over them, which I think is a first for her. (not the jumping, the enthusiasm with such short acquaintance)  She and Abundance and I all went to Cat Rock yesterday, and she swam, and even managed to function really well hiking off leash (she runs in giant loops around is).  Her anxiety makes for good check-ins, at least.  Also, we started a nosework class yesterday, and her enthusiasm for the instructor (who also was the instructor for basic manners) was actually the best part.  
 
I’m currently listening to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Landline and The Wonder.  I tried to read a Mercedes Lackey book, but I think the maturation of my critical faculties/her writing a enormously transphobic story have soured me for her.  I just finished Stuck Landing, which was a romance novel with a biphobic lesbian as a main character who had to overcome her biphobia to be with the woman of her dreams. 
 
I made peach cobbler with the peaches Hips gave us. Sadly, I accidentally used the recipe for gross biscuits that taste like metal, so I skimmed the top layer off and am going to try again.  At least that's what I'm telling myself.  Next house, a ktichen with a window that can open, or some air flow or, if I'm dreaming big, central air.
 
Now, I stop stalling by trying to find the perfect quote to title this entry, motivate myself gym-wards, mostly by means of wanting to watch the next episode of Stitchers.  Then the grocery store, the farm share pickup, home to make dinner, and then maybe out again to finally see Atomic Blonde with Light and Abundance.  With some dishes and cross stitching somewhere in there.  It’s not exactly deep inner reflection, but I’ve sweated sunscreen into my eyes and I want to just start somewhere, anywhere, here, to convince myself to start posting again.

Breadcrumb for tomorrow's post - feeling paused.
 
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