This Isn’t What I Wanted to Write About

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Isn’t it funny how things never stay the same? I wonder if I would want them to. Well, I guess I would, but only if I could pick when exactly I could freeze everything…

Anyway, back to it. The last couple of weeks have been hard. We lost PoPo after he fought for a week. They thought he would be gone within a couple days of being in hospice, but he fought the whole way. Even until the evening of his death, he was saying that he was going to be around for a lot longer. It was a mercy at the end for him, and for his loved ones. It’s hard to see someone struggle and be in pain.

We miss him so much.

I guess now is a popular time to die because we couldn’t bury him until a week later. The funeral homes and military cemetery were both so backed up that we had to wait in line. And this is where it really gets hard… we couldn’t attend his funeral.

I had to have surgery last Friday and two weeks prior I had to cease all medications to ensure that my system would be clean for what they needed to inject into me. The night of the viewing Will couldn’t wake me up. He didn’t want to leave me either for obvious reasons. The day after, Will’s work exploded and he had to fix it up. If he didn’t, he would have been fired. One does not simply ignore the Department of Agriculture.

Will’s family and I are not on good terms. Well, besides Will’s Dad and PoPo. PoPo is gone, and Will’s dad tore into us when we told him that we couldn’t go to the funeral. Will lovingly refers to his mother as “The Mexican Piranha” because she is tiny, but she will tear you to pieces if you don’t agree with her and do as she says when she says it. She flipped the fuck out. No matter what we said, it wasn’t good enough.

Will finally told her that PoPo would understand. And that is true. He was a family man to the core, and he worked hard his entire life. He was also a military man. He knew hard work and sacrifice. He wouldn’t have wanted Will to lose his job. We are just starting out and trying to save for a house. That would be disastrous.

I could have gone by myself. That much is true. I spent that day home, desperately trying to not throw up or pass out, cursing my doctor for denying me meds that were just starting to work. But if I put my mind to it, I could have gone. So much had been said by Will’s parents that I didn’t feel like venturing into the snake pit. I don’t want to hear the questions of “Where’s Will?”. If anyone would have even recognized me. Most of these people have never met me because Will hides me.

That’s a lie, I want to be hidden. Will has estranged sisters and Aunts and Uncles with criminal records… no. That is a clusterfuck. Not that I’m judging, I’ve disowned most of my extended family. I have an aunt that murdered my grandfather and an uncle that stole my inheritance only to have a change of heart and give it back, sans all the amount he paid in tax penalties on because he didn’t wait for the estate to be handled properly. If that isn’t dysfunction, please tell me what is.

Most importantly, I don’t grieve that way. I don’t need burial rituals. He’s gone. He’s at rest. He is waiting for us. He’s not in a box in the ground. It’s too late for prayers, and he didn’t need them anyway. I’ve never met someone so loved by so many people. The manager at Sonny’s brought him his favorite meal every day so he wouldn’t have to eat hospice food. The manager from Publix brought him cucumbers and asked him if he could be a pall bearer for him. These random people would walk in and ask “Where’s Wayne? Is he doing alright? Can I do anything for him? What about all of you? Tell him I love him. I don’t want to intrude, but can you ask if I can see him? Is he well enough to see me?”….. strangers to us, but family to him. He was damn near close to a saint.

Despite it all, it’s something I regret. I regret that Will isn’t speaking with his parents anymore because of the things they said to him. To me. About him. About me. I am heartbroken that I lost the last person in that family who was understanding, kind, and so very proud of Will. Of me.

Will is someone to be proud of. You know from previous posts that his mother is disdainful because he’s “only a lawyer.” Wasting his life in service to others working for rehabilitation and homeless centers, now for the region’s food bank. Will’s father is upset that Will shattered his knees in a training accident and couldn’t be an Admiral in the Navy. PoPo thought he was amazing. He was so encouraging. That is what I will miss most of all.

This isn’t what I sat down to write about. At all. But it just came out. I guess maybe I’m not over it. I’m still sad. I expect I will be for a while.

I hope when it comes my time, I’ll have been the kind of person who treated others so well that random people will show up looking for me.

But I already told Will to cremate me and call it good. No funeral. No long proceedings. No tears. No prayers. I want to live in a way that no one will feel like they have to have me in a box to be okay. No stress of planning a funeral. No flowers. No boxes. No burial plots. No headstones. Headstones never last anyway. Sooner or later, everything is lost to time anyway, and that’s okay.

I’m Tired

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Will hasn’t been sleeping. Today we went to hospice and sat a little with PoPo. Everything is now a family circus, kids and people and everyone everywhere…

Will’s family is very difficult to understand and handle sometimes. I feel like they resent the fact that they never got to meet me before Will and I were engaged. I know for a fact that they are upset that we didn’t have a wedding. They like to forget that they haven’t always treated Will well. They like to overlook the fact that Will’s sister and husband tried to sabotage him in law school with an internship which is one of the many reasons there is no relationship between the two.

They regret that Will didn’t join the Navy, even though he went to VMI and shattered his knees in a training accident. He’s lucky he can even walk because they didn’t even treat the injury for days no matter what level of pain his was in and how much he begged to see a doctor. They told him to get back up and run along with the other cadets. Yes, you read that correctly. He was forced to run and do obstacles courses for days even though his knees were shattered and he couldn’t walk. He will have to have two knee replacements sooner rather than later because his knees never healed right. The best part? His parents refused to come and get him from the hospital. He had to get his uncle to drive across 4 states, then 4 more, then back again to bring him home while he was in a wheelchair and on crutches.

I was told today that they were happy that Will was re-engaging with the family. His estranged sister cooked up this insane idea that Will didn’t want to be a member of the family because he couldn’t attend all the functions years ago, even though he was in law school, on law review, and working side jobs for three years. They never even tried to understand how difficult and time consuming a law degree is, not counting the other stuff, and they forget that he was in the top 15% at graduation.

This is just one more thing that makes me angry, because at it’s core, it is very unfair. Another thing is that his parents paid everything for his sisters including sorority fees, sorority house dues, tuition, cars, books, clothing, phones… everything. For their entire undergrad and for a masters degree for the estranged sister. They didn’t qualify for scholarships, in fact, one sister needed out of state tuition for two years. Will’s other sister was barely a C student because she was too busy sleeping with everyone on campus and partying to go to class.

When Will went to college, he stayed in town and his undergrad was completely paid for by an academic scholarship for Chemistry. He lived at home to save money. He worked for the honors college and he also worked side jobs to pay for books and the things he needed. His parents promised him that if he made it through his undergrad without costing them anything, they would buy him a car to help him out. Did he cost them anything? No. Did they even help him with a car? No.

When he went to law school, he got a 65% scholarship. They didn’t help Will out one bit here as well, which is why we have student debt and why he works for nonprofits. His mother was disappointed because he chose to only be a lawyer instead of being a doctor. He gets paid absolute shit for a law graduate, but if he doesn’t work non-profit, we have to pay back every cent of the student loans.

So hearing that “re-engaging” comment made me about fucking explode. Meanwhile, neither of his sisters and their husbands are anywhere to be found as we were sitting in the hospice trying to do whatever we could to help. As you read in the last post, his estranged sister is actually making things so very much worse, but “she is a counselor”, and Will’s mother’s favorite child, so it’s okay.

My blood pressure must be through the roof right now. Honestly, he’s thought about disowning his whole family and never seeing or speaking to them again. It feels like all they do is bring him down, that nothing he does will ever make them happy. His mother actually said on his 25th birthday that he was a mistake, and that she wished he’d never been born.

Granted, my extended family is pretty fucked up, and I’ve disowned about 85% of my relatives. But my Mama would never say that. And my Daddy wouldn’t ever let her say that even if she went batshit insane. I’m the only biological child my parents have, my older sister is my half sister, and my oldest sister is her half sister. Would you ever know it? Well, maybe because we don’t look very much alike… But we still treat each other like family because we are family. So I just don’t understand any of this. And I can’t even scream bloody murder like I could with my own family, because it’s just not my place. I’m very much an outsider here. They don’t even know that I know everything.

So all of this is going on in the middle of losing one of the only sane members of this goddamn family. Will was muttering on our way home that the inmates are running the damn asylum, and he’s right. Hopefully at least the bickering stays to a minimum until PoPo is finally at rest.

Ending with Dignity

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Tonight we got the news that Will’s grandfather is entering hospice care. He won’t be able to ever go home again. He doesn’t know it yet.

It was Will’s mom’s birthday dinner tonight, which she spent sobbing into an extremely large glass of Petrone.

Will’s estranged sister with whom we are forced to socialize with even though she has disowned Will and  vice versa, spends the entire dinner talking about how PoPo doesn’t have long and is in pain and how my mother in law needs to start grieving now… and how dare she have gone on a short vacation even though she clearly didn’t know his health was about to decline very suddenly and wouldn’t have gone had she had known…

My mother in law had a whole breakdown at her birthday dinner in the middle of a restaurant because of my sister in law… I swear to God I wanted to get up and choke her. This is why she’s disowned. She touts that she is a clinical psychologist, but doesn’t have enough common sense to look at someone and realize they need peace, calm, and space to grieve on their own.

Have some compassion. Some sympathy. Be merciful. Be kind. Be ready to help when the need is there. Don’t push people to watch them react, or to cause them pain.

How is that complicated? How is that what PoPo would want his daughter to feel on her birthday?

Another G****** Day at Work

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They said I probably should devote a couple minutes a day to keeping a diary. Apparently it’s supposed to make me calmer, bring down my anxiety, and make me happier. Venting rage and frustration in a private way is ideal according to the plan.

Well there is one problem with that: I vent rage immediately and I don’t vent it privately. If I have an issue with you, you fucking know.

So how the hell am I supposed to be zen when my boss and my doctor and my patients are all driving me to a breaking point and I can’t vent on them? I mean, I literally hate my job. The thought of going to work in the morning makes me want to start filing my paper clips into shanks.

I swear to God, who the fuck thinks that it is appropriate to half ass laws? Who finds it appropriate to put their husband in charge of a medical practice when he can’t bother to even show up to work? When he never had any experience in the medical field? When his main love in life is gambling, he’s put in charge of the money? Please tell me how that remotely makes sense.

If I have to sit through one more meeting while being called a member of the “Dream Team” I might fucking puke. We aren’t the “Dream Team”, we are three people who keep the damn place above water. Who never let the patients know how toxic the environment is. Who have to deal with being screamed at, taken for granted, we have no fucking benefits, our schedule is complete shit, and it’s expected that work comes above everything.

We will get yelled at for overtime, but if stuff isn’t done, we should have come in earlier. I didn’t say “stay late” because we always are there late. I’ve had to stay at work 1 1/2 hours late before and didn’t even get home that night until after 8. Because fuck dinner, and fuck being able to see my husband before I have to go to bed in order to get up and get into work the next morning at 7AM. The practice manager works maybe 10 to 3 on days he bothers to show up. The owner comes in later than the staff and leaves right after the last patient is brought out to us (so basically the owner works 1.5 to 2 hours less than they expect us to). And they honestly don’t know that’s bad for morale.

But that’s not even the worst part! Sometimes, we can’t even take a lunch. Why? Because the practice owners are so greedy that they refuse to close the office for any period of time. But the owner still gets lunch. As long of a lunch as they want, while we only get 30 minutes if we are lucky.

We had a bonus system last year that we weren’t expected to make. But we did make bonus quite a bit. So this year, bonuses were cut to 30% of what they were before, but we are expected to turn out 10% more profit in order to qualify for them. We made over a million dollars last year on a staff of 4. We are expected to bring in 1.5 million this year.

For Christmas we were foolish enough to think we’d escaped the horrors of a party… no. At the absolute last second they want to have a party. We just wanted for lunch to be brought in because we were so busy we didn’t have time for anything. We asked for the amount they were planning to spend be divided among us as a little bonus because the holidays are really rough. Nope! Have to have a big Christmas party with all sorts of flashy stuff we didn’t want. That day was 7:00AM to 10:30PM, and we didn’t get paid for any of the time we were “partying”. When I thought I had a conflict and told the owner, I got so much shade thrown at me and I was told that I would ruin everything unless I did what was expected of me.

While I’m ranting, why can’t we get some decent security cameras and door locks and everything else put into place? I’ve had to call the police numerous times. We’ve had at least 5 attempted robberies at my practice. I’ve had someone arrested for God knows what. I have a panic button and a list of people I need to push it for. We aren’t in the best part of town. We have to walk each other out no matter if it’s to our cars, the mailbox, the trash compactor…

And we can’t even get fucking Starbucks for meetings. I cannot wait to leave. I will announce in early December that I’m leaving in two weeks. And then I will leave. I will not train another person, I will not leave a training guide. I will delete everything I did for them including forms, databases, spreadsheets… Because fuck that place.

I will spend the holidays with my husband and then I will look for and find a new job in a different industry in 2017.

 

So.

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My nerves are starting to set in. Tomorrow morning I have a pre-op scheduled and my stomach is starting to contort itself into lovely shapes.

I know that I’m going to be okay. But I just have a terrible, terrible fear of needles, knives, and basically anything having to do with surgery. And as always, for me, the time leading up to a procedure like this is always the worst.

I know I’m going to be okay. I know I already said that. But I’m just… scared. And that makes me feel stupid. I’ve been through worse, and I know it. I’ll go through worse, that’s for sure. But no. I’m just apparently going to sit on the couch like I have been all afternoon, fretting and freaking out about something I elected to do myself because it needs to be done and I know it, but deep, deep down inside I just want to pretend that nothing is wrong and go back to happy, happy ignorance land.

That sounds like a wonderful place.

I’m Not Making a Resolution, Because I Know I Won’t Keep It

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That about sums it up unfortunately. A few days ago I got an email in my Gmail titled “Your Blogging Year In Review”… and I stared at it a little before it registered that yes, I did in fact have a blog. A very neglected one for a couple years, but a blog all the same. Oops.

So this year, I want to bring it back. I was reading through some of my old posts and I loved each and every one of them. I started this blog on the advice of my therapist. About 4? or 3? years ago, I came home in the middle of the night to a message on Facebook. The message was from my Fiance, and it said that he didn’t love me. And that he never had, he just didn’t know how to tell me.

Well, firstly, not in a Facebook message would have been fantastic, and not in the middle of the night, but a guy has to do what he needs to do, right?  Asshole. So basically, my life was ruined in a second. Absolutely ruined. I had to quit my job because that is where we met and where his brother still worked, basically all of our mutual friends were put in that position and I was so grief stricken I lost the basic ability to function.  To be lied to and to have such a rude awakening was absolutely devastating.

This blog became a real outlet where I could think, grieve, and heal. it took me two years to put the pieces back together, and you can see that chronicled throughout the archives. Some posts even bring back those feelings of… complete confusion, loneliness, and unbridled rage.

Feelings

Lots of very angry feelings…

But in the past couple of years, in the time span between all the posts, I’ve started a career, moved, and I met the man who is now my husband. Thanks to him, and thanks in large part by my drive to give a certain someone the middle finger, I’d say I discovered something different than what I had. Which, as you can tell from the title, was the whole purpose.

But I’ve come to realize that I’m always discovering something different. Be it good or bad or maybe a little bit of both.

Thoughts that Get Me in Trouble

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Long overdue for one of these… It’s time for me to share my extremely unpopular opinion and get hate mail! I will set up a disclaimer here though, if you do not wish to hear my potty mouth, proceed no further. And this is a very, very difficult ongoing topic. By no means do I wish to generalize an extremely complex issue. I am no expert on this, this is just my opinion, and I’m very upset, so please take it as such.

So, I’d like to open with the predominately agreeable position that ISIL (or ISIS or IS or whatever term you prefer) is fucking crazy. I think that is honestly the biggest understatement of all time, because how can sane, rational people do the things that they are doing and literally not shut down? It’s not possible. These people were always fucking insane OR made a conscious decision to listen to the radicalized bullshit and buy into it. I’m not sure which is worse.

Don’t even get me started on how people who should have fucking known better leave countries in the west (or anywhere) to go join a terrorist organization trying to call itself a caliphate. How? How can you be filled with so much hate for humanity that you think that’s a good idea? That what they think is an “acceptable” way to live is anywhere near acceptable? This caliphate thing is never going to happen. Literally everyone in the world hates them, rightfully so. They will have no trade, no economy, no willing citizens, no education system worth anything, and no chance at competing in a global arena. Honestly, if it weren’t for the innocent people trapped in Syria, I’d advocate just bombing the hell out of the whole area.

I’m not prone to violence. I believe that everyone can be reasoned with. But these… people, they aren’t people. They are animals. They care for no one and nothing. They are pinning their dreams on some idealistic society that will not work. They preach hatred and violence. They steal young girls, murder their families, rape them, then call the girls “war prizes”. They throw gay people off of buildings. They post fucking recipes for millet balls or whatever the fuck those things were on instagram like this whole war is some sort of social media joke. They take videos of themselves murdering and executing people and post them on Youtube for everyone to see. And you know what, people are listening to them. People are leaving to go help them fight. Women are leaving their homes and families to fly across the world and “marry” them in order to get pregnant and birth the next generation.

I… how is that even a good idea? As a woman, I cannot fathom that. You are going to watch a video and then decide to leave your entire life? You’ll leave your whole family, fly around the world to a war torn, ravaged country that people are fleeing from, and you are going to go there to find your… Mr. Jihadi? Think that through. You have no way out. No way to communicate. Arabic isn’t the easiest language to learn. To speak, or read. And everyone is too damn busy killing innocent people to teach you! They have no institutionalized medical care, sans the people they force at pain of death to work in their field hospitals. The man you marry or whatever that is, because it’s not marriage, will be dead in… like, 4 months. That’s the life expectancy. You’ll be passed around like a baby factory because that’s honestly what you’ll be. Abusive relationship? Too bad. You have no rights. There are no social systems. There are bombings, bullets… what if you lose your glasses? No one can even make you a damn set of glasses. Don’t even ask about running water or sanitation or power…

How is this working? How on earth are they convincing people that living like that is a good way to live? I know that they are feeding on the people that never quite felt that they fit in or that they belonged… but how do you even reconcile that in your brain? These people are not fighting for a way of life. They are fighting to be terrorists and to have that be internationally okay. How do they think that this is going to end?

And no matter what they say, the whole religion guise that they are pulling is utter bullshit. No religion advocates their actions. They take passages out of holy books and twist them to their own perverted agenda. Whatever deity they think they are pleasing and following, I’m pretty sure looks a lot like Satan or the equivalent. Because no one can do what they do and then think of themselves as holy. There is no excuse, nor will there ever be for their actions. They are firmly appalling and morally reprehensible.

If there was ever a case to have a world police, this would be it. I feel that the only thing that can fix this is to exterminate ISIL and everyone in it who chose it willingly. If only everything was that simple. I guess we start with stopping an influx into their numbers. And then we cut them off from the outside. And then we help those willing to fight them if we are unwilling to do so ourselves. Afterwards, I have no clue. But in order to see the ground and know what we, as humans, need to do, you need to clear all the roaches off of it.

And that is my thought on this whole thing. But the world doesn’t obey my thoughts. Maybe that’s good. Or bad. But no matter what, this is a tragedy. I’ve seen too many of those in my short lifetime already and I’m tired of it. My heart hurts after watching what happened to innocent people. This is the modern era, I had thought at one time that humanity was better than that and that we’d come so far.

That was a bitter, painful disappointment.

On Work and… More Work. And Audits.

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So I’ve had quite the last few months. When I was searching for a job up here, I was really frantic and worried. I didn’t want to start off my marriage on one income if I didn’t have to. But I was determined to start my life with Will and a job was not going to get in my way.

I searched for vision centers first, then I applied for hospital systems, and then for regular healthcare admin jobs. I know that moving was my perfect excuse to get out of Optometry but… the thought of that made me sad. I really do love what I do, as weird as that is. I got glowing letters of recommendation from my bosses and I stayed up until 2AM for weeks just putting in application after application. I got a few interviews but… I refuse to work for a place with holes burned in the carpet (cough, cough, Lenscrafters). I was too expensive for a couple other places (cough, cough, PearleVision). I had an interview with a specialty hospital up here but… I wanted to stay with a private practice.

I started my new job a few days after I got married. I didn’t know it at the time, but I work for a specialty practice. We do a lot of fittings for specialty contacts for patients who have some pretty serious issues, like severe dry eyes (so severe the eye attacks itself and wastes away) and patients who were in traumatic accidents. It’s been a learning process, these lenses are unlike anything I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve figured out how to fight insurance and disability battles for my patients. I’ve also had to figure out credentialing, and now I’m a HIPAA compliance officer. This Monday, I basically prayed for the phone to ring because I was going through our internal audit and making a list of the policies and procedures I need to change. I have a whole binder of audit. A binder.

I’m also the IT person because shit never breaks when we are doing catch up work. Nope. Exam lanes all full? Patients waiting? Damn printer breaks. Last month, I was crouched on the floor in 3 inch heels, full makeup, and my ruffled dress with a pair of pliers and a pen light in my mouth trying to fix a part of the feeder that decided to break. Today the server overheated. Pretty soon after I started, the optical computers decided to switch parts of their user menus to some Slavic language and nothing made sense (we got new computers shortly after). I’ve digitized so many files and I’ve updated so many forms. I’m learning encryption right now. That is going to take a while.

I also have started to collect patients that I’m rather fond of. The specialty lens patients are pretty easy to like. I can’t imagine what they go through during this whole process, but they are the most determined and most resilient of all our patients. And also, the most grateful. Plus, we see them all the time so they become almost like friends.

I’m quite happy with my job. But it’s exhausting sometimes. Hopefully I’ll get better at handing the stress.

Of Plagues and Jobs

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I can’t think of a decent title. Maybe that’s a good thing.

I have been sick ever since Wednesday with some horrid cold/flu mixture. Whatever this is, it’s crafty. I was convinced on Wednesday that the end was nigh, this thought cemented by my 101.6 fever. I don’t remember much of Wednesday night.

I went to the doctor on Thursday and… nothing. No symptoms besides my throat being slightly swollen. I leave the doctor, immediately go home and rest, happy that I’ll feel better the next morning. And I did. Then I got home from work on Friday. And then I didn’t. This plague keeps coming back every night. Damn thing.

Of course my husband contracted it too. Today is by far the worst he’s been, I doubt I’ll get his fever to break tonight, but I’m hopeful. I always feel bad when he gets sick  because I know he’s sick because he was taking care of me. I never used to get sick, but since I moved I feel like I’m getting sick every other weekend. Oh, because I am.

Seriously, what the fuck Jacksonville? Why do you hate me?

ANYWAY,

This week was actually pretty decent, plague aside. Will has been looking for another job for a couple weeks after he finally had enough of the work politics. I thought that I had worked some really tough jobs in my life, but honestly, he has the worst luck.

He worked one job in financial services where the normal thing to do was go gambling for your lunch break and shoot up cocaine in the bathroom when you got bored. After he ran like hell switched jobs, he ended up at a place where women were held in high esteem and men were very scarce.

He was accused of being “aggressive” when he asked other departments for documents to submit for state review. He had to copy his (female) supervisor on all of his outgoing emails for months so she could prove he was not aggressive. Then, he was told to put blank papers on his desk (even though all of his files are on his computer because they contain people’s Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, yearly pay, etc.) because “someone walked by and said it didn’t look like you were working because there were no papers on your desk”. After that people complained that he “wasn’t at his desk”, so he had to make his calendar public so everyone could see when he was in a meeting. It goes on and on.

You can imagine how stressful that is. The back stabbing and the favoritism finally became too much. However, he accepted a new job on Friday with better pay, benefits, and hours. And it’s a very small company, so I hope they treat their people decently.

I think I’ll end this on that optimistic note. I hope this weekend found all of you well! I hope to write more soon, but you know how that goes.

More Changes

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I feel as if I’ve completely neglected my blog for the past… year. Because I have.

Anyway, moving right along. I’ve been busy!

I’m married now, I moved to North Florida, I climbed a couple tiers in my career and have a great new job, my name changed of course, and I added several paintings to the collection. I’m looking into starting my own business as well, but that takes more time than I have right now.

Of course there is more going on, but that’s all the big stuff. Now that I feel a little centered in life, and once I establish a schedule around home, work, and hobbies, I’m hoping I’ll have time to blog like I did in years past. This is a whole new chapter that I am very excited for, and will be a great time to learn and grow.

It’s been amazing to come home every day. No traveling, no sad goodbyes every couple days… I go home, to my home, every day. My husband is here, my cat will be here in a couple days, and all of my things are here in one place.

I’m starting to settle into my new home. Learning how to navigate and live in a new city has it’s challenges, but so far has been manageable. This week I get to learn all the administration buildings for the county, thank God none of them are downtown!

I hope this finds all of you happy, healthy, and well. I look forward to catching up as soon as time allows!

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