Today is not yesterday.

Yesterday was definitely a Monday.

First thing I saw on my FaceBook feed was a cutesy post that read: It’s Monday . . . but it’s okay. I was unconvinced and my day did little to nothing to change that. My boss was running late, it seemed like every customer I spoke to was angry, my times sucked, and I ended up going to bed at eight without doing any of the things on my to-do list.

That said, I got up this morning feeling well-rested. My alarm goes off at 6:00 so that I can do my bathroom routine before my other gets up and does his. I packed his lunch. I even Googled 30-Day Ab Challenges (don’t judge me), picked one out, and did three sets, because one felt like not enough.

(Total count was 45 crunches, 45 hip raises, 15 leg raises, and 30 seconds of planking.)

I did last night’s dishes. I made the bed. Once I finish this post, I’ll take out the trash. Kaye, my co-worker who I carpool with, is also trying to lose weight. Once we get to the office, we’ll do a lap around the block before we go in. Little things, but still things.

I have several pieces of scrap paper, from work, that I’ve been scribbling blog ideas on. None really captured me this morning, so this is just ending up being a rambled little free-write session. I’m hoping that today is a better day than yesterday was. I have the aforementioned to-do list that I feel is looming over me at present. It’s not really terribly long, but the things on it have just been sitting on it for weeks, it seems.

Here it is, since I’m writing.

  • Change the shower curtain liner to one that’s not all grimy.
  • Finish putting away the laundry – because I always procrastinate.
  • Organize my dresser/closet to make room for the scrubs I was gifted this weekend.
  • Make and pack a healthy lunch for today, instead of the collection of snacks I took yesterday – bologna lunchable, three cookies n’ cream snack bites, confetti cake.
  • Create a blog post and put it up (this doesn’t count, because it’s so random).
  • Clean the bathroom – wipe down the counter/sink, get the hair dye off the floor, empty that trash can, and organize the cabinets.
  • Study at least two hours for NCLEX.

My goal is to make a follow-up post tonight to see how many things I’ve been able to check off the list. That said, my ride is due in about an hour and I’m hungry.

Breakfast calls, then . . . the rest.



First Stich Fix Box

When I was younger – much younger, actually – I was a complete girly-girl.

On one memorable occasion I threw such a tantrum over not being allowed to get an incredibly expensive dress that I got my mother and I kicked out of the mall . . . I was about three at the time and said dress cost upwards of $500. My mom was right to veto.

As a pre-teen and teen I developed more of a goth/emo/punk aesthetic when it comes to fashion. I wore black eyeliner, Tripp pants, and a leather jacket every day. I never, ever wore shorts, but sometimes I’d fall in love with a skirt and wear it for days at a time.

In my early twenties, I settled into the “style” I still currently have – comfortable, low-key, and affordable. I have a few pairs of plain jeans, an entire drawer of t-shirts (most with quirky sayings or logos on them), a few beach-ready items (light skirts, board-shorts, bikini tops, and a sarong), and a few business casual outfits. Plus a whole ton of pajamas.

That said, I do still find fashion relatively interesting. I think the clothes we wear do, to some degree, reflect who we are. And you can see how society is evolving, in part, through what fashion trends rise and fall. Throw in climate, sub-cultures, and marketing pushes and fashion becomes this multi-faceted beast of modern society. For someone whose primary style is, perhaps, best described as “safe” the entire thing can be overwhelming. That’s why, when I realized at the end of last year that I’ll need to start looking at outfits that are interview worthy now that I’ve graduated with my ASN, I started to feel a little bit of panic.

So, I turned to trusty Google. I searched affordable, rent-able, styled outfits.

And within fifteen minutes I’d signed up for Stitch Fix.

(Let me add the disclosure now – I’m not paid by them, they don’t know I’m reviewing.)

The initial process of signing up for my first Stitch Fix box was extremely simple. On the home page, you select your gender or the gender you wish to dress like.  From there, you enter in a few basics – height, weight, what sizes you generally wear, your proportions (curvy, broad-shouldered, petite, ect). After that, you take a short style quiz. You select how often you wear different items – skirts, pants, dressy clothes, ect. You also let them know what colors and prints you wear and what you’re interested in trying. There’s even an option to let them know what type of budget you’d like to stay in for different items and a place to let them know more about your needs.

For me, I used that box to let them know that I’m entering a new career and looking for appropriate interview blouses. I have slacks and shoes covered, but my selection of business tops is very severely lacking – I have three or four business casual tops that I wore to school, but that’s about it and they’re obviously a bit aged. I also let them know I live in Florida, so even though most of the country is arctic right now, I’m still pretty warm, comparatively, so jackets and heavy material wouldn’t benefit me.

About a week later and $20 poorer (that $20 goes towards any items you choose to keep), I got my first box! My sister happened to be over and in the general excitement and the hurry to do other things that day, I lapsed and didn’t get any pictures of the reveal or myself in the clothes. That said, this is what I got and what I thought of it.

  • Mello Day – Debby Tie Sleeve Blouse – $44. This was pretty, in the box, but not for me once I put it on. It was a muted purple with small flowers printed on it. It was the only thing that didn’t fit me quite right (tight in the shoulders). Suffice it to say that my sister broke into giggles when I came out in it. Final verdict was that it did not suit me – too “hippy.”
  • Hazel – Sancia Tie Neck Blouse- $64. Again, this was nice in the box. It’s closer to my style, because it was a pretty emerald green, but my sister and I both agreed that it was a little too mature to suit me. It reminded us both of something our grandmother would wear. That’s not a bad thing, because my grandmother is very stylish, but I wouldn’t see spending this much money on something I wouldn’t feel good in for another few decades.
  • Status – Berkeley Mock Neck Blouse – $44. This piece caused the greatest division in opinions. I personally sorta liked it. My sister was neutral. My other half made faces at me until I took it off. It was one of two sleeveless options that I was sent, it was a bold orange (my favorite color, but not one I wear), it was a crepe-type material, and it had large white flowers on it. In the end, I think it was a fun pick, but not something I’d commit to buying.
  • Q&A – Jini Ruffle Packet Blouse – $64. If I were better off financially, I would have tried to justify spending the money on this one. It was the other sleeveless option and suited my personal “dressy” style perfectly. Black cami-top under a sheer black polka-dot patterned over shirt with some ruffles. A blend of classic and rocker chic. I have made it a mission to find something similar and buy it.
  • Crescent – Bariel Cold Shoulder Blouse – $44. I would have bought this, if I hadn’t just gone back to working full time and was still catching up on bills. I have never worn a cold-shoulder blouse before and I wouldn’t have chosen one for myself, because I typically don’t like to show my shoulders. This top; however, changed my mind. It was black, which increased my comfort level and the white micro-dot pattern on it made my other half say it looked like a starry night. Loved it!

Okay, so, the breakdown of the pros and the things I wish were different.

First up in the “pro” column is the level of customization and the attention to detail that my stylist had. There’s an option to link to a Pinterest style board or Instagram account, but I didn’t do either and still felt my stylist was great. Everything fit me (mostly), even though the styles were different. Everything also felt wearable – nothing flimsy or cheap or uncomfortable. The box contained an envelope with instructions for returning the items and a personal style-guide with two outfit suggestions per item I was sent. I found the suggestions to be very helpful and followed one almost exactly when I had on the cold shoulder blouse (there were compliments, people!). The return process itself is very simple, because they send a prepaid bag to send everything back in. For $20 that could have gone towards buying something that was sent, I feel it was affordable. I also selected the option that lets me get a box every other month, but you can get them more or less frequently, based on your needs.

I had to really consider things to come up with some things for the “cons” side and even then I feel that they’re more just things I feel would improve the service. I think the length of time the items can be kept should be increased a bit. You have three days to wear everything that gets sent. That might not be as inconvenient, if you don’t get five shirts, but it was kind of a bummer, because I only really wore three of the shirts for substantial periods of time. I think this would be a non-issue if I’d gotten just a couple shirts, a pair of pants or shoes, and a bag or something. My only other suggestion would be to create a tiered discount system. As it is, you get 25% off, if you buy all five items. I would have happily bought two, but I wasn’t impressed enough with everything to get it all. A discount system of 10% for two items, 15% for three items, 20% for four items, and then the 25% for all five makes a little more sense to me.

Overall, I will definitely be doing Stitch Fix again in February or March. I’ll also be sure to take pictures of everything for the second-impression review!

Clicking on that link will, I believe, will waive your first style fee of $20 within the first 30 days. I will also get a $25 credit for Stitch Fix, if you get a box. No pressure, but if it’s something you’re curious about and my review influenced you to try it out, it would be appreciated if you use the link!

Mini Success Stories

This year, my only New Year’s Resolution was not to make any New Year’s Resolutions.

Instead, I made a commitment to take the time to find ways to be successful. Success, much like health, is a highly individualized thing. When I think of success, I think of freedom and self-confidence and accomplishments. I don’t picture any one particular end-goal or person, but rather a full package of characteristics.

I started to have an anxiety attack at around 5:00 PM yesterday. I didn’t want to be having an anxiety attack – in fact, I’ve never wanted to have an anxiety attack. In an effort to distract myself, I decided to write positive things I’ve done so far this year. Mini-success stories to a) distract myself, b) honor my commitment, and c) see what positives I could come up with when I really looked for them.

The list I made follows.

  • Started blogging again.
  • Looked at some potential properties.
  • Tried Stitch Fix for the first time (review to follow soon!)
  • Dyed/cut my hair.
  • Went back to working full-time.
  • Kept the kitchen clean.
  • Refilled my inhaler prescription.
  • Had breakfast every day.
  • Paid off a loan.
  • Watched some of the Winter Olympic trials.

Yesterday, when I stopped and started at this list, I started wondering what the hell I was doing with my life. Not in an existential crisis sort of way. Just in a why-do-these-things-matter kind of way. So I decided to take it a step further and write out the reasons why these seemingly small and inconsequential things do matter.

  • I love to write. Love, love, love it. I’ve had a writer’s bump on my finger since I was five and now I have typist callouses on my fingertips. That said, I haven’t written anything aside from homework assignments in six months and it’s not for lack of an urge. Blogging again acknowledges the urge and reminded me that I can still be an author, even though I’m also going to be a nurse. I’ll just have other things to write!
  • Now that my income will be doubling within a matter of months, my other half and I have been talking about the THREE YEAR PLAN. The plan includes saving money up for either a home or a property upon which to build one. We saw one in particular over the weekend that we both fell in love with and it renewed my desire to start saving/looking into home-buyer’s programs.
  • I tried Stitch Fix on a whim, because I had the $20 to spare and wanted to do something as a just-for-me indulgence. As a submissive in a BDSM relationship, I don’t do that very often. My other half fully supported the splurge and it was fun.
  • I know it’s cliche to change your hair as a sign of a new stage in life, but I did it anyway. I had eight inches cut off my hair (it’s not quite a pixie cut, but not far from it). It was scary, but I now love it and can’t really imagine growing it out in the near future. It suits me and actually makes me feel more girly than I did with the long hair that I only even wore up in a messy after-thought bun.
  • Working full-time, ah, how I missed thee. I like being able to pull my own weight, financially. My other half paid most of the bills during my last six months of school, because I was only earning enough for my phone, our car insurance, and my health insurance. I also got a $1.00 raise at the end of last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing it manifest on my next checks.
  • Breathing is expensive, when you aren’t born with fully functional lungs. For four years I didn’t have health insurance and was never sure how I was going to keep getting my inhalers – I relied on charity sometimes, sometimes on generic nebulizer treatments, sometimes on ER visits. Having health insurance is still something that I’m bemused by, because it turns a $230 a month thing into a $30 a month thing.
  • Keeping the kitchen clean may seem insignificant to some. For me, it’s a sign that I’m moving beyond my upbringing. I grew up with a month’s worth of dishes sitting in a sink at any given moment. Keeping my own dishes washed has been a challenge for me and making a concentrated effort to do them makes me feel more like a well-adjusted and functional adult.
  • Having struggled on and off with anorexia, eating breakfast every day for ten days is also a huge accomplishment. Breakfast is the most easy meal for me to brush off, still, becauseit’s the only one I don’t eat with someone else during the week. Lunch is eaten with my co-workers, dinner with my other half. Breakfast is all on me.
  • The loan was only $60 that I borrowed from a friend when we went Christmas shopping and I thought I forgot my wallet – I didn’t, it was just buried in my backpack. She had already forgotten about it when I stopped by her work to drop it off, but it’s nice not to owe money.
  • I had to really stop and wonder why I included watching some of the winter Olympics as an accomplishment. I came up with two reasons. The first is that my other half knows one of the women who competed in the speed-skating events. She’s from our home town and a good friend of his. It was cool to see her out there, living her own success story.  The second reason is that I’ve always enjoyed the winter Olympics, but haven’t always had the time to watch them.

I’m glad, in a way, that I had the anxiety attack. It also gave me a chance to write a mini success story. I didn’t have to leave work early due to it. I stayed the full day and then came home to eat dinner, have some playtime with my other half, and fall asleep watching Food Network. Because of the anxiety attack – or my response to it – I was able to include a little mental-health exercise in my day. I do, sometimes, have existential crisis moments and looking for purpose is something that’s always been a big deal to me. Bringing my focus small enough to see that something as simple as eating breakfast can have meaning as a personal level actually gave me some breathing room.

That said . . . it’s time to go do the dishes and eat breakfast, before work!

This morning, Annie’s Frosted Flakes are on the menu.

Also! I’m curious . . . what mini success stories have you created, this year?


Starting Over, Once Again

I love blank pages.

I love hitting the “new game” button.

I love the pause before the next song starts.


Except, you know . . . when I don’t.

Mornings when getting out of bed takes an act of congress.

Times when I’m too afraid to begin typing, because I can’t follow my own plot.


Last year was an uphill climb. I thought that New Year’s Day was the summit. I was wrong. Now, nine days later, I understand that I actually just made it to the mountain.

That said . . . it was still a pretty long year. I did accomplish something major, too – even though I abandoned my new year’s resolutions less than halfway through the year.

I graduated from college with an Associates Degree in Nursing. In – hopefully – just a month or so, I’ll be taking the state board exam (NCLEX) and getting a grown-up job in an actual career field. In six months (or less), I’ll start my bachelor’s program. In a year and a half, I’ll graduate from that and add teaching clinical part-time to my income. By the time I’m thirty (three and a half years), I’ll have my masters and be doing I-don’t-know-what. It all seems so structured and so easy.

But, right now, I’m still wearing my pajamas. I haven’t finished my first cup of coffee. I haven’t washed my breakfast dishes. I’m watching Buzz Feed videos on YouTube in a never-ending loop of 30-day workout challenges, decorating hacks, and food porn.

I have to leave for work in about fifteen minutes. In a couple of months, I’ll be a Registered Nurse. Right now, I’m still working in a call center and asking people to please rate their experience on a scale of 1-10. I’m keeping my typing speed up and skills up, not by writing research papers or a best-selling novel, but by typing out customer complaints and proof-reading my newest co-worker’s interviews.



17/52 – Successful Adulting

There is a meme of sorts that has been floating around on the internet for quite a while now. It’s something to the effect of finding yourself in an uncomfortable or stressful situation and realizing, abruptly, that you are the adult in the situation . . . but then looking around for an, “adultier adult, someone better at adulting.”

I had somewhat of a misadventure in the course of my adulting a week (or was it two weeks?) ago. I accidentally made less than the minimum monthly payment for my health insurance for three months in a row, which caused it to be canceled. Understandable. In today’s society, you rarely get something for nothing and I completely understood why it was canceled . . . even when the missing portion only amounted to three dollars. After all, one can be arrested for stealing an .89c candy bar.

That said, I had a few options – doing nothing, doing something, or calling my mom (an adultier adult than myself).

I did two somethings. I called to see if I could get it reinstated by making up the balance owed and I created a contingency plan in the event that I could not. I left home on Saturday at noon to go to a concert with my mom and my sister, not getting back until one in the morning. When I woke up the next day, after my Other had already left for work, I found that an envelope from my health insurance company had arrived and was sitting on “my” side of the couch along with another letter for me.

I did not procrastinate and practically tore into the envelope.

The news was good. My insurance will be reinstated, pending I get my account properly up to date. What’s more is that the lapse won’t show on my account and I will thus not be fined the tax credit.

I consider that a moment of successful adulting.

16/52 – Adversity&Determination

If the road is easy, chances are you’re going to wrong way. – Terry Goodkind

The road I’m currently on certainly isn’t an easy one. I feel like I keep stumbling over my own feet and walking right into spider webs. And I forgot to bring snacks!

Last Friday morning, I signed into my health insurance portal with the intent of making a payment to bring my account up to speed,  because I’d fallen a month behind. Once I signed in; however, I was greeted with a little message stating that I could not make an online payment due to a change in my account status. Well, that was unexpected. I did some snooping around in my account and discovered that my coverage was canceled as of March 31st of this year. Erm . . . what?

Immediately, I checked my bank history and saw the payments I’d been making.

Dismayed, I called the customer service number only to be told that the office wasn’t open until nine. Okay, that’s the same time I start work, but I’ll just take a long lunch and get this issue sorted out and my health insurance reinstated, because I can prove I’ve been making the payments, despite being a month behind. There’s such a thing as grace.

Lunch time, call in, speak to a very nice young man who places me on a brief hold and returns sounding genuinely sorry for me. “I’m sorry, ma’am. The cancellation wasn’t in error. You haven’t made the minimum required monthly payments at all this year.” He explained that I’d been paying roughly $90 a month, which was my bill amount last year, but my minimum payment had increased to roughly $91 at the start of the year.

I have no idea how I didn’t know that. I explained to him that I never received notice of paying the wrong amount and always just got emailed receipts that thanked me for paying. He couldn’t do anything else, though, except let me know that my $90 from April and May would be sent back to me via check within the next ten business days. He also transferred me to a not-so-nice woman who put in a ticket for a special enrollment period for me in an attempt to get it reinstated on the basis of my confusion over the total due. It will be thirty days before I know the outcome of that.

My first instinct was just to call it quits and curl into a little ball of self pity.

But I took a deep breath and took a step back and asked myself . . . what can I do?

Not in a sarcastic way, not in a self-defeating way, not as a throwaway, but really.

And I came up with a few options. All of which were better than nothing. I actually made a plan of action. Determined how I was going to handle this situation now that I was in it, instead of spending time dwelling on the problem itself. I looked for the solution.

First, I’m going to deposit the refunded money into my savings account. I’m going to add to that the amount that I’d planned to pay when I originally signed in. In thirty days, if my health insurance does not get reinstated, I will continue to deposit the $90 dollars I would have put towards it into my savings account, instead. I will not let it turn into Starbucks coffees or Redbox movie rentals or day trips to Daytona. I’ll have about $810 in savings at the end of the year, from putting my “health insurance” bill into it.

If my hasty research into the matter is correct, then that will be more than I need to cover the tax penalty I would be charged for not having insurance for nine months. If, that is, I actually get charged the tax penalty, which I may not. My income has dropped drastically, since I started school. I may qualify for hardship status. In either case – fine or no fine – I am prepared for the situation. If I don’t get fined, then I’ll be starting the new year with more in savings than I’ve ever had.

  • I won’t continue to pay my health insurance bill into my saving account after December, even though taxes are filed later than that, because I’ll get insurance again during open enrollment at the end of the year.

The true downside, of course, is that I won’t have health insurance during the next six months, if it doesn’t get reinstated. That sucks, for a couple of reasons. I have asthma and keep an emergency inhaler on hand for . . . well . . . emergencies. I have about a third of my current one left, which will last me – maybe – the next three months or so. I also; however, have two daily use inhalers saved from when I went to the doctor and he prescribed them. I don’t like taking them, which I know isn’t good, but if I do start taking them as I’m supposed to, they should be enough to keep my lungs and bronchi in good shape for the next three months, which saves my emergency inhaler for the last three months. I also have access to a nebulizer and albuterol, if needed.

I won’t die, essentially, from not having health insurance. Indeed, from the age of eighteen to twenty-four I did not have health insurance. I managed. Not always comfortably, but always adequately.

The other downside, the one I’m really upset about, is that if the insurance isn’t reinstated at the end of thirty days, I will have to confess to Him that I messed up and lost it. He isn’t going to be happy, because he will be concerned for my health. I will, at least, have a plan to present to him. I think he will appreciate that and the fact that I was able to think things through and not just freak out.

A few months ago, this situation would have derailed me for weeks. There would have been tears and panic and eventually acceptance, but no real solution formed. Now, I can deal with this bear in the middle of the road without losing my head. I’ll skirt around it and be more vigilant in the future. I won’t get eaten by it.

Adversity is defined as difficulties or misfortune. Determine is a firmness of purpose, or resolve. I may face other adversity during the next six months as I continue along my Road to Elsewhere, but I am determined that I will make it to the end of the road.

At which time, I’m sure there will be other roads to explore.

15 1/2 – Rated R Update

It’s been months! Somehow, weirdly.

I just posted a general, vanilla update. “Previously, in the life of S,” if you will.

This post; however, is an update on my relationship/kink aspects of life, because there has been somewhat more progress in those areas than there was in others and I felt that it honestly deserved its own little update, because I realize that not everyone who finds themselves interested in my general life is also interested in my “lifestyle,” and the other way around, as well.

So, that being said, here is a list of developments, milestones, and mayhem!

  • “Came out” to my sister – she came over last month and I just simply forgot to put away all the toys in the bedroom/bathroom. This led to her seeing a large dildo (not actually mine, but still . . . ), a harness for my new wand, and my new wand itself. She was chill, just laughed it off. I have an awesome sister.
  • He installed tie-down points on our bed – at long last!!! I would fib and say that I’m not sure how I feel about being tied down and used, but that would be a lie. I liked that he wanted to play rough, because we’ve both gotten so caught up in the other parts of our life that the more intense aspects of our dynamic have slipped a bit. I also liked being tied down, because I just like bondage in general. I didn’t like; however, being naked and all exposed the way I was. I’m self-conscious about that.
  • He also took me by surprise and carried out a long-standing threat by tricking me into the shower with him (don’t ask) in order to give me an *ahem* golden shower. I did not like that. Nope, nope, nope. Not my kink. It is one of his, though, and the fact that he waited six years to subject me to it does actually show a huge amount of restraint and respect, I suppose. It’s actually happened twice in the past month and the only reason I’m okay with it is because I know it makes him happy and I like for him to be happy. Plus, it’s not like I won’t get peed on as a nurse, from what I’ve been warned, so I guess I just need to . . . go with the flow? Hehehehe.
  • We’ve been, in general, more playful with each other. From just verbal banter to him running his hands through my hair to me giving more massages. It’s been nice, because we’ve both been so stressed out that we’d forgotten to just enjoy each other’s company. I’m making more of an effort to not “grr” at him and he’s trying hard to be understanding of the fact that my schedule is more demanding than it was previously. We’ve found a nice balance, for now.
  • I’ve been forced to summon up something I didn’t know I had – a controlling/dominant side! It’s not easy to call it up by any means. I’m sub/slave through and through. Being more assertive, more in charge, is difficult. It’s also necessary, given that I’m learning to become a nurse. I cannot be idle or passive, as a nurse, or even as a nursing student. It’s fine for me to defer to Him in my day to day life, but I have to be able to stand up without Him, too. That’s still a work in progress, but I’m getting better at it and even my classmates have noticed that I’m “coming out of my shell.”

I believe that hits all of the highlights, as far as those things go! There’s more I could write, of course. For instance, I could write the golden shower or being tied down on the bed as a bit of erotica and I may actually do that, if anyone expresses interest. I’ve never actually tried to right erotica before, but I enjoy reading it and may like to try my hand at it in the near future.

As ever . . . thoughts, questions, and other comments are more than welcome.

Until next time – and I promise it won’t be so long!

15/52 – Pulse Check

“You know, the downward spiral is essentially a chain reaction.” – Jacob, from Ink

I can’t really grasp that it’s been three months since the last time I posted, but somehow or other that’s the amount of time that has slipped past. School, work, sleep, repeat.

It’s the first week of my two week break from college, but all that means is that I actually get to work 40 hours for the next two weeks. Which is great, really, though I’m daydreaming of a proper vacation. Disney, the Bahamas, New York City . . . away.

Things are more or less the same as they have been. Same friends, same anxieties, same dysfunctional family dynamic that always seems to work out in the end. I ended last quarter with an A and two B’s, which I’m okay with. I’m a little more nervous about this upcoming quarter. Nursing II and Maternal/Newborn are my only classes, but they each also have a clinical and lab component. I’ll be at the campus two full, eight-hour days during the first week. I’m fine with that, as long as it gives me a chance to get organized.

I’ve been thinking more about six months from now, when I graduate, but I need to remember that I still have a million and one little steps to take before I reach that point.

One of my many goals for these two weeks off include getting a schedule nailed down for this, my sadly neglected blog. I enjoy writing, as much as I enjoy reading, but I’ve gotten so caught up in school that the only of either I manage is related to . . . . well, school.

I also want to finish my competency Humanities course (which consists of three papers).

And it would be great if I could get around to deep cleaning the apartment . . .

14/52 – Drained

Weekends are meant – by and large – to be for recreation, recharging, and relaxation.

Yesterday morning, my SO and I woke up, went for a drive, tried breakfast somewhere new, and then went to browse a flea market. Later, I stayed home and finished a stack of assignments for school that needed to be done during break, and he went to work on his car at a friend’s house. I had three small anxiety attacks.

Today, we went to Wal-Mart first thing this morning, came home and watched TV for a few. I started working on more school assignments and he went back over to work on his car. I started laundry while he was gone. He came home, five hours later, in a bad mood after not making much progress and having lost track of the time. Went out to eat – well, he ate and I sipped a water. Got home, finished laundry – even folded it and put it away. Did the dishes. Figured out how I’m going to juggle money for the next week.

Both of us, rather than feeling recharged and relaxed, are heading into the work week feeling even more drained. I’m so tired right now that I’m basically just rambling and he’s sitting out at the computer, trying to figure out why the wires in his car didn’t do what he needed them to. Tomorrow, the alarm will go off at 6:00 AM and it’ll be work for the next several days.

Sometimes, being a grown-up sucks.

13/52 – Partnership

On a whim, as I was trying to decide what title would encompass this post, I looked up, “What’s the difference between a relationship and a partnership?”

A consensus emerged, without my actually clicking on any of the links. Blurbs are wonderful things, when one is in a hurry, aren’t they? In general, the distinction was that anyone/everyone has a relationship – with their parents, with the cashier who scans their groceries, even with strangers and/or deceased individuals. Relationship are, well, relative. True, the word relationship often adopts a romantic, or at least familial, connotation, but it isn’t inherently or strictly limited by those boundaries. So, relationships, technically, just are a byproduct of existence.

On the other hand, there are partnerships. Again, in general (based just on my quick skimming of the blurbs), partnerships seem to be characterized by two distinctions that relationships aren’t. 1) They are more active. Individuals in partnerships are involved in an active give/take/compromise process. Technically you have a relationship with 7 billion other people on the planet, but  it’s mostly passive – you share a connection, not a conversation.  2) Partnerships are more structured. Now, that’s not to imply that partnerships are never random or short-lived, because they can be, but unlike relationships, partnerships are not necessarily byproducts of existence (though I expect it could be argued that they’re byproducts of civilizations or communities).

I’m thinking about this subject, now, because of the events of my last post and the events that have happened since. To recap: my SO and I got into an argument that basically boiled down to a lack of communication . . . or, more properly, a lack of active listening. I was depressed by the situation, because I felt misunderstood and believed that my point of view was being overlooked by my SO. It was made worse, in retrospect, because he thought he was taking actions that were actually helping my situation, whereas I felt that he was just trying to prove a point.

In the end, we were both probably in the wrong. I should have been more understanding that he was only trying to help me in the way he knows how to, and he should have listened to my concerns. We were both making the age old mistake of thinking that the other didn’t have anything important to contribute to the situation.

We went to bed – if not angry, then at least not happy. The following morning, we went out separate ways – me, to work and school; him, just to work. That afternoon, he picked me up from the campus and said he needed to run two quick errands before taking me back to work. I said that was fine, because he seemed to be in a better mood and I wasn’t willing to let the argument continue to be a barrier in our normally very relaxed/open dynamic. He went to a parts store in an effort to locate an obscure bolt, stopped to get gas, and then stopped at an office supply store that neither of us usually go to.

Now, for the unaware, our argument had been over the existence and the availability of index cards with ruled lines on both sides. We’d looked for them in three places, I was ready to admit defeat, but he was refusing to accept that we couldn’t find them in any of our usual stores and wanted to extend our search radius. I was already at the point where I wanted to move on to studying another way, because my exam was only two days away.

Him, being him, spent his lunch break searching for the index cards. He found them.

I won’t say that I wasn’t happy. I was. I appreciated his effort and proceeded to very happily use the index cards to make flashcards for my pharmacology exam. I will continue to use them as I enter next quarter. That said, I kinda wish he hadn’t felt the need to be “right” regarding the existence of said index cards. Even so, that night, I washed dishes and made dinner, as thanks.

One of the other defining characteristics of a partnership is an element of symbiosis. An “I’ll scratch your back, if you’ll scratch mine,” type of mentality. Or, more kindly, maybe, “Let’s pool our resources to have more together than we could have separately. Let’s take turns standing guard, so we’re both are safe and rested. Let’s alternate carrying the weight, so neither of us stumbles.” It’s teamwork, and loyalty, and mutual appreciation.

That’s the specific kind of relationship I wanted as a kid. I didn’t care about romance, per se. What I want is the intimacy and security of a solid partnership. If there’s romance, that’s great, I guess, but the lack thereof has never been a deal breaker, for me.

Of course, love is another matter. I crave being loved, partly because I fear that I am un-lovable. I know this is probably an unfounded fear, because I know that there are people – my family – who love me . . . but there are also times when I fear that their love is more biologically engineered and happenstance than anything else. If they just randomly met me, would they still love me? I don’t know, but I hope so.

I’ve noted before, in another post, that my SO doesn’t love me in the traditional sense, but that I do love him in the traditional sense. It’s something that’s complicated and sometimes painful and sometimes a blessing. I’m sure that it will continue to be all of those things, but I’m okay with that, because we’re still in this . . . this dynamic? partnership? . . . . together. We’re still supporting each other, making sure both of us are okay, and helping each other to do the things we want to do.

It’s not a typical fairy-tale, but I think it’s better than anything Cinderella ever dreamed of while she was scrubbing floors and talking to the birds. In my humble opinion, Prince Charming ain’t got nothin’ on my SO.