My loves and don't loves about working from home

I've been working from home for over a year now.  Like I said, due to a layoff I was let go from a job I had for 11 years.  No hard feelings, not even when it happened.  I think I was ready to move on.  What I found out quickly is that without a nursing degree, I'm not "qualified" to do the job I've been doing for over a decade.  Ridiculous, I know.  I have been doing THIS particular job for a LONG time.  However, the powers that be feel that I should have an education in physically caring for patients, who, by the way, is something I won't be doing in the course of this job.

Luckily, back in 2011 I started working for a 3rd party data abstraction company.  That's a pretty vague description but I don't want to get too deep into that.  It's brought in a nice stream of second income, sometimes more than the first job did.  It's kept my family afloat, even if I'm not always available to enjoy the ride.  When I lost my main job, I still had this one.  Luckily shortly before the layoff I picked up a huge account that was going to be enough to make up for a little more than half of my hospital salary. 

Since then I've been lucky to keep that income coming, but contract work can be unsteady so I'm always a little worried that my clients are gonna decide to start doing the work in house, and I'm out of a contract.  I have some money in savings to get us through an extra month, and I know I CAN get a job.  I have a good education.  I also simply try to do my best work, keep a good outlook on life, and simply keep hope.

So since it's been a year, I think I can safely make a good assessment of what I love and don't love about it. 

  • Flexible hours.  This is a nice feature but one I can't take advantage of. I currently have two clients.  I know approximately how large the work load is as well as how fast they need it done.  So while I may be able to take a random day off, by plan or by circumstance; I also know that if I slack off too long, I will run out of time end up working all day and night to catch up.   
  • More time with my family.  The exact reason I don't want to be working all day and night.  I enjoy not having to rush thru making dinner.  I have time to help the kids with their homework and listen to stories about whatever they want to talk about.  I can sit outside with the man while he works on the car, although that leads to me helping him somehow, which I hate doing.  I enjoy having time for the family if they need me.
  • Time to run errands.  Its nice to have time to get things done.  If I have a doctors appointment, I can make it almost any time of the day.  Minus drop off and pick up times for the kids, I have the whole day.  I can run errands thru the day and work in the evening if I need to.  I can go grocery shopping without watching the clock.  However, I have been using Instacart to do my grocery shopping.  I love that app.
  • Television.  I love being about to watch TV while I work. Enough said.
  • No traffic.  This is a huge selling point.  My commute was 55 miles each way, 5 days a week.  The drive took anywhere from 45 minutes to work (if I left before 5AM) to 3 hours home (if I left after 3:30 PM).  This also meant a lot of money spent on gas.  I used to fill my gas tank every 3rd day. 10-12 times a month.  Now I only fill my tank every 9 or 10 days.  That is a lot of money to save.
  • Working alone.  This is a nice thing.  There's no workplace drama.  There's no interruptions or people looking over my shoulder on a daily basis.  I do have oversight and people who check my work, be it a colleague or the client, however it's not every day or every few hours.  No workplace drama (although I admit I do kinda miss the gossip).
These are all great things.  I love working from home.  I work a lot, and often.  I am making enough to support my family and be home with them. 

Now there are things I don't love about working from home.  I don't hate them.  I don't hate anything about this job, but there are some downsides.
  • It's hard to stay disciplined.  It is really important to stay disciplined and stay on the schedule I give myself.  Without that, its easy to get too far behind.  Each chart I work on, takes 20 minutes to an hour.  I never know how long it's going to take until I open the chart and get in there so if I run behind, push some work to the next day and then get 3-4 bad charts, that can take up a lot of time that I would be doing other things.  It's easy to get distracted, with the kids, the animals, housework etc.  I try to focus 1-2 hours at a time, and then take short breaks.  I try to only work about 5 hours a day every day.  If I stay focused, I can be done working by 1PM every day.  If I get distracted, I can end up working until 7PM!  Its easy to think I have all the time in the world, but really- I don't.
  • Becoming a hermit.  I admit, lately I don't really want to leave the house.  I like being home in my house with my family and my dogs.  I also enjoy my time alone.  I may like it a little too much, to be honest. I am doing my best to meet up with friends when I can, and not give in to the desire to stay in all the time.
  • Eating.  It's easy to eat all day long.  This hasn't been great on my ass.  I don't move around enough.  I've put on some weight. Lately I've been putting better food options in the house.
  • Lots of interruptions.  The thing about being at home, is that I'm at home.  My house can be a pretty busy place sometimes.  There is the man, three kids, two dogs, two cats and a turtle.  Most of the chores are done by me.  Not all of them, but the ones I don't do, I have to remind, coordinate and check on (otherwise they don't get done).  It's easy to get interrupted, and side tracked. 
  • Losing track of time.  I keep a calendar, but it's easy to lose track of what day it is.  I know that on Wednesday the kids have an alternative school schedule.  Of course they are off on the weekends.  Summer is gonna be a blur. 
  • Because I can work any time, it's easy to work ALL the time.  I enjoy my work.  I really do.  It's important work that changes the way patients are cared for.  That means something to me.  Also, the money is good, so I am always open to take on new clients when given the chance.  I need to make sure I manage my time correctly otherwise all I do is work and I have no time to relax.  I have to remember to give myself time to relax. 
Overall, its a great gig if you can get it.  I can work in my pajamas.  I don't have to wear a bra.  I can vape and chat with friends during the day.   But it's not always easy.  I do feel lucky to have this opportunity and while I may not be able to do it forever, I'm definitely hoping to continue to do it as long as I can.


Dog trainer/ crazy dog mom. You decide.

Tricks my puppy, Bella, can do.
Roll over.
High Five.
Up. (both paws on my forearm)

Working on:
Leave it.
Let go.
Spin in a circle.

I've had her for almost three weeks, and like most relationships-I fell in love hard and fast.  She's 16 weeks old, and she has completely changed the whole atmosphere in the house.  Kids complaining, that's ok, Bella will sit on my lap an cuddle.  The Man is being grumpy, no worries, Bella is always there to give puppy kisses.  I'm exhausted, she's a great nap buddy.  I have errands to run, no sweat, Bella is great in the car AND in her little carrier bag.  Jerkface is paying too much attention to his video games, and not her- she pooped on his bed.  She makes me just STOOPID happy. 

So I have to talk about how I've learned how to train this angel.  Zak George.  He's on You Tube and there is a world of wisdom in these lessons.  His videos are short and easy to understand.  He does do a lot of advertising, but you know, the guy has to make a living, so I get it and I'm not bothered by that.  As someone who has blogged for years, I understand affiliate dollars.  Anyway, these videos have taught me a LOT about how to communicate with both my dogs.  I have mixed in what I've learned there, and the private lessons Max and I have had to come up with training that works for me, and hopefully my dogs.  Bella is easier because she is brand new.  Max has a lot of bad habits that I have to smooth out. 

The biggest problem I have with Max is communication.  It's hard to physically get down to his level, because he is so hyper and he jumps on me.  Often knocking me down.  So we are working on that.  Getting him to NOT jump while I go into a kneeling or squatting position.  Talk about your "leg days." I think I will be able to get his attention better by closing distance between us so I can be more proactive, but also not get a concussion in the process.  I'm determined though.  He's not a bad dog, he's just an untrained dog.  So that's what I'm working on.  Before I can teach him anything new, I need to teach him how to be a little gentler with me.  Not so aggressive in his playing.  We can't play tug anymore, because he doesn't go for the toy, he goes for the hand that is holding the toy.  Raising it in the air is no help either, as he can jump higher than I can raise my arm.  So no jumping is priority #1, unless I want to end up with nubs for fingers.

Now I know you are wondering how in the world I'm teaching Bella to pray.  Well, it's the cutest trick I saw where the dog puts their paws on something (starting with my forearm) and then goes for a treat that is below and between her legs so she is basically putting her head down.  It's fucking adorable.  Starts on the arm, and will move to maybe the chair arm or something, but right now, its just the forearm and she's picking up fast what I'm asking her to do. 

There is something really cool about using tools and watching them work.  It's amazing for me to see the twitchy restraint and how she thinks it thru before her next move.  I want to teach her all of the things.  Jumping thru hoops and over stuff.  She's the only little one in the house who seems to benefit from my advice these days, so it's good for the both of us. 

And while Jerkface does take an active roll in her care, it's more about the cuddling and play time for him.  He is also helping me teach her tricks and we are both going to puppy kindergarten with her next month.  As his ESA, as long as she is there for him when he needs her and he utilizes her in that capacity, then she's fulfilling her job. Otherwise, I am completely ok being with her all the time.  I mean, I wanted a little dog too.

I will try to get some of her tricks on video so I can share them- cause who doesn't want to see THAT????



The mom show.

Nobody REALLY cares that much when mom is not feeling good.  If I'm REALLY sick, then yes.  But if I am just feeling slightly under the weather, bad headache, cramps, or a common cold, nope.  Doesn't really matter.

This is the TRUE test of motherhood really.  How to adapt when you are #1 in responsibilities, but number #10 in getting any sympathy/  I have to visible show signs of illness.  The squinty puffy eyes, the weak and nasally voice, the fever, the vomiting, dizziness.  All of it.  I basically have to come down with SARS before anyone thinks, oh hey, mom needs to sleep, perhaps I should do something for myself around here.

Don't get me wrong, if I'm feeling under the weather, I WILL just lay down and tell the boys to make leftovers or something frozen for dinner.  I will put off housework for the duration. I HAVE to self care because if I don't- who will??  But what I get is "attitude."  The sighs, the groans.  Confirmation that I am making life "inconvenient."   It frustrates me, and makes me slightly resentful, but I get over it.

Everyone knows this too.  I get over things, dangerously fast.  There is no point in staying angry.  To me, this is a blessing and a curse.  I'm the mom, and moms being over worked and underappreciated is really not unique.  Also, I don't think that my family doesn't APPRECIATE me- because I know they do.  I just think they are sometimes selfish and thoughtless.  I'm sure I was the same, and when I got older, I was more appreciative.  I know my audience.


all things dogs

So as I mentioned in my last post, I started training with Max, AND we got a puppy. 

Training with Max has been fun and challenging.  Its clear that he can do it, but he's stubborn and he has a lot of bad habits.  I find that its more about training ME, and how to handle him.  How to let him know that I am in charge.  I am taking private lessons and I feel I am benefiting from it- as well as Max benefitting from me knowing how to communicate with him. 

I cried for half of the first lesson.  I really have a lot of feelings about him.  Frustration, embarrassment and some resentment.  Like I have said, he isn't the dog I wanted, but the man wanted him.  He didn't get trained, life got busy and I am the one who takes care of him.  So now, 5 years later, I am trying to undo the results of what I didn't do to begin with.  Luckily, he does know some basics and that is helping.

It is nice to see that there will come a day that I can take a nice walk with my dog and I won't end up hurting my shoulder, or having a sore arm.  Or like last week when I was trying to get his harness on him, he jumped on me, sending me falling back to hit my head on a propane tank.  Hard. 

I need to build my own confidence with Max.  He's a big strong stubborn dog and I admit I feel foolish half of the time in class.  However, there are those moments when he heels, and stays with me, and sits when we stop.  It's a good feeling, and I was glad when the trainer said that it showed that I have been working with him.  I have to also build up every bit of patience that I have.  With Max, and with myself.  This isn't comfortable for me.  It's not natural.  Its quite the opposite really.  However, a trained dog is something I want, and I know that if I want something, I have to work for it myself. 

We also got a new puppy.  She is a Maltese Mix and a very sweet little girl.  I was lucky to find her photo online at the shelter one evening and the next morning I was the first one there to visit and snatch her up.  She is fun loving and sweet.  She also likes to play and chew so I'm working with her to keep her distracted and chewing on the things shes allowed to chew on.  Not the puppy pads, or her water bowl which she loves to move around, spilling water everywhere.

Bella is the cutest damn thing ever, and I adore her- but we will start training with her very soon as I am not about to have two wild dogs in my house.  She's just 14 weeks, and I'm going to put her and Jerkface in a puppy training class together.  He adores her and so far it is helping him feel less lonely. 

We did introduce the two dogs.  Max was very excited and it scared her.  So when SHE gets her confidence up a little, we will try again.  I know if she had barked at him, he would have backed down.  He's a big scaredy cat. 

The cats are curious about Bella.  Penny comes around and sits close to her ex-pen, and Bella wants to play.  She play bows and wags her tail, but Penny just hissed her back.  Right now Bella is still in confinement, but soon I will give her access to the office when I won't have my back turned.  Puppy steps.

Adorable.  I am so in love.



About a dog

Earlier this week, the man called me from work to tell me that he had found a lost dog.  He wasn't sure what to do with it, but he didn't want to take it to the shelter. 

What I didn't know at the time, but I do know now, is that when you take a found dog to the shelter, the owner has anywhere between 2-7 days to recover their dog from the shelter before they put it up for adoption.  The time depends on the shelter.  ALSO, they will have to pay to get the dog out.  They don't just give it to the owner.  They will have to pay for boarding fees, per day, any shots they give them (rabies).  They might microchip the dog if it isn't chipped, and in some places they will not allow the owner to take the pet before they spay or neuter it.  Daily impound fees are also 2-3x higher if the animal isn't spayed or neutered.  So reclaiming your own pet can cost hundreds of dollars.  Not everyone has a few hundred dollars to drop on this.

We held on to this little pup for about 24 and ultimately found his owner.  It was a sweet reunion and worth it for the internet scouring I did to find him.  I admit that I was sad to let this little guy go.  He was so sweet and well behaved.  I committed that we would do all we could to find this guys owner, but I was also committed to keeping him if we couldn't find the owner.  I was a little sad when we found him. 

Now I have been talking to the man about getting a small dog for a few months now.  I love my Max, but he is so hyper and the boys are afraid of him. (its a long story but lets just say they have no good reason for it)  However, Jerkface (15 y/o) absolutely fell in love with this little pup.  He sat with him, cuddled him, played with him, took him outside.  And overall was just comforted by his presence. 

Jerkface struggles from depression and anxiety (a story for another day), and it occurred to me that it would be a good thing for him to have an emotional support dog.  Someone who can be his buddy, cheer him up and really just get him out of his own head to care for something else.  This would also not be too bad for me either.  I admit it was nice just having someone cuddle up with me that I wasn't worried was going to turn on me and scratch my face off.  (another story for another time)(OMG I have so much to tell you all). 

So since this little guy has left, the Man has admitted that it would be nice to get another dog.  Something smaller and easy going.  Especially for Jerkface.  Also Bonehead, who is 14 is afraid of all dogs.  He was also afraid of the cats when we got them, however due to their size, and after some time passed, he got used to them.  He doesn't engage with them, but he has learned to co-exist.  That's all I want; for him to be able to be around a dog without freaking out.  I believe that in time, this will happen, the way it has with the cats.

First things first, though.  I have decided to enroll Max and I in some one on one obedience classes.  I want to feel confident that I can control him.  He is about 60/40 in training.  He needs some impulse control, and some focused work on basic commands.  I work with him daily, but I am not as confident as I feel I should be.  So this week is our first class.  I figure I'll do a few of these one on one classes and then enroll him in a group obedience class.  Once I feel confident, then we will really start looking for another dog.  Since I am home during the day, I am the one who is going to be caring for them the most.  So I'd like to feel confident that I can handle it. 

I'm a researcher.  So that's what I have been doing.  Researching breeds, how to introduce a new dog, which dogs are best for emotional support, which small breeds get along best with large breeds, etc.  I'm not going to be one of those pet owners who brings in someone new without considering how it will effect the pets who are already there. 

If I'm gonna do something, I want to do it right, or as right as I CAN.


Being older sucks

It really does.

When I was younger, I couldn't wait to be older.  The freedom and the options that were available seemed countless. I think though, that when I wanted to be older, I just wanted to be in my twenties and thirties.  I didn't really consider my 40's and beyond.

Now, readers of my blogs past know that my 30's were kind of a bust.  Filled with babies, school, work and drunk husbands.  So I didn't enjoy them quite the way I expected to.  So I figure that I will make up for that in my 40's. yah!

Except getting older means BEING older.  It's not just the freedom and the options.  It also means the responsibilities, and living with the knowledge of BETTER.  I know better than to act crazy.  I know that while I have freedoms and options, I know better than to exercise them all.  Being older and having kids means mom stuff.  Cooking, cleaning, driving, counseling, scolding and all that other shit we have to do.  Being older means bills, and debt, and groceries.

Being older also comes with a price.  The 'older body'.  This is when we truly pay for the advice we didn't take in our earlier years.  Not wearing good support bras while developing means our tits are no longer perky.  Not eating right while pregnant means the endless struggle to get rid of this "I had kids" body.  Not exercising as a habit means having to muster up the energy to start later in life, and that is no easy task.  This body that aches when I sleep a little bit wrong.  Skin that I didn't properly moisturize in my 20's means fine, or NOT so fine lines in my 40's. 

I don't even know what I could have done better to avoid a little peeing when I laugh, sneeze or basically breathe too loudly.  More kegels?  Perhaps.

The peri-menopausal nonsense has been lingering for a year or so now.  The night sweats are the worst.  Waking up cold and dewy from sweat is not going to have me leaping out of bed thinking, "what a great day this is going to be!"  I wake up hoping that it's sweat and not pee.  And being so damn cold, I don't want to get out from under the covers.  And thinking about how I need to wash the sheets, again. 

I have found that the best way to stop the incontinence is to wear a tampon.  It blocks off just enough of the urethra.  They make special tampons for this, but they cost twice as much, so why bother?  The problem with this is that I still have to wear a damn tampon all day, when I'm not on my period.  And while I'm at it, when is THAT bleeding nonsense going to end??  Its bad enough that my peri-menopausal periods means I'm spotting for almost a week before and after a 2 day period.  I have no use for my uterus anymore.  You can hear the eggs screaming as the fall into oblivion.  There will be no more babies.  Can you just NOT? 

When I see women my age and beyond.  I see how gorgeous they look and how put together they seem.  Sometimes I admit I am snarky about it, but they are my age, so I know they are going thru this shit too.  It's not just me.  So ladies, I salute you.  It really does take A LOT to look as good as you do.  There's a lot going on under the surface. 

Nobody 'woke up like this'.




The prowler that wasn't

So the other night I was in my room and I could hear something in the backyard.  It wasn't wind.  There were footsteps.  Just outside my patio door.

Shit. Shit. SHIT

So I get out of bed and reach for the gun.  I wasn't really sure what to do.  Should I chamber a round so the person could hear it?  Should I yell out the patio door, "I called the police. And I have a gun!"?  Instead I decided to go down the hallway and look out the patio door by the kitchen. 

I moved slowly, watching the boys bedroom doors so they don't come out and see me holding a weapon.  When I got to the end of the hall I still wasn't ENTIRELY sure what I was going to do.  I thought I should have a fucking plan.  I really should have a Standard of Operation here.  I should know what to do. 

The thing is I know what I can do in regards to actually shooting.  I know that I can't shoot someone who isn't in my house.  I know that if that person isn't armed, and isn't trying to hurt me, I can't shoot them.  To be honest, I am not even sure I WOULD shoot.  I'd like to think I'd be brave enough to protect myself of my children if I have to.  At this point, I won't know until I have to. 

So the gun, at this moment, is a scare tactic.

I come around the corner, facing the patio door.  I have a stance.  Legs shoulder width apart.  Knees slightly bent.  Gun forward. 

And there he was.

My dog.

Fucking MAX! 

When I locked up the house, his crate door was closed so I assumed he was inside.  He wasn't.  He didn't bother to bark or anything to let me know he was outside, he just decided to walk around outside my door.  I felt really ridiculous. So I set the gun down and let the dog in.  Give him a few pets and apologize for pointing a gun at him.  He didn't care.  He was not at all impressed by my "stance." 

This is the shit that happens to me!  I continually tell the Man that he has hooked up with Lucy Ricardo.

Later, the Man asked if I had a bullet in the chamber.  I didn't.  He reminded me that I should have put one in the chamber, because if you NEED to chamber your weapon, it can be too late.  check.  No matter though, I wasn't going to shoot the dog. 

I do realize that I practiced very bad knowledge of protecting myself.  I have since discussed it with the man, and I now have a plan.


Adventures in eyelashes

If you follow me on Facebook you will notice that I've been posting more photos of my face, done up with make-up.  Now if you know me, you'll know that makeup is not something that I wear too often.  So why now? 

Well, I'm doing it for a boy.  I know, it sounds ridiculous, but I figure that it wouldn't kill me to try and look nice for the man when he's home.  I'm making an effort. 

Ok, it's more than an effort.  It's a bit of a makeover, but if I'm gonna do something, I'm gonna do it right, and with smoky eyes!

One thing I know he always likes is eyelashes.  It's the oldest trick in the book, batting the eyelashes and all that girly shit.  However, there's a reason it's the oldest trick in the book, cause it tends to work.  My own eyelashes are horribly short so for me to have any eyelash game, I have to wear fake ones.  I have never been great at putting them on, so I went to Professor YouTube and watched a video or two, or three.  Or probably twenty.  However, now I am pretty darn good at it and I can bat my eyes along with the rest of them.

The problem with Prof. YouTube is that its not like in the old days where a magazine would show you how to do it and that's how you do it.  Oh no, there's 100 videos of different ways to do it.  There are options.  Techniques.  Looks!!  Now I have to consider what LOOK I'm going for, and it's more than just "day or night."  So the research takes time. 

Also in the process, I'm learning about my face.  Learning where my cheekbones are, and where I want them to APPEAR to be.  Contouring is a thing!!  And hooded eyes.  I have slightly hooded eyes.  I didn't know that- so there's a different way to wear eyeshadow for hooded eyes.  The lessons are endless. Don't know what hooded eyes are?  There's a youtube channel.  Stephanie Lange.  She'll tell you all about it.  Also, I love listening to her Aussie voice. 

It's no wonder kids are so spoiled these days.  There's so many options!!!  In my youth you put your foundation up on with your fingers, or maybe one of those wedge sponges.   Now you have silicon applicators, these egg shaped sponges, the wedges, brushes, or your fingers.  How do you choose, well, apparently it depends on what kind of LOOK you want.  Again with the look. 

I found out today that while putting on foundation with a brush FEELS damn fancy, it doesn't give you that blended smooth look that the sponge does.  My foundation today looked very thick.  However that is also because I forgot to use my primer. And primer!  That's another new thing I didn't know about.  Maybe when I was young and my skin was naturally dewey and fresh I didn't have to worry about it.  but now, the primer helps keep my skin moist and will avoid your foundation looking dry or thick.  Maybe because I'm older and my skin is NOT so fresh and dewey anymore. I need things like primer. 

And I have so many new brushes, each are used for something different.  I am going to need to label them. 

I admit though, that I don't hate the way I look.  I think maybe I look closer to 40 than 50.  Not that I'm trying to look younger.  I have no illusions that I'm fooling anybody.

My next thing is about my brows.  I don't know what to do with them.  One seems higher than the other, and I don't know if I should fill it in higher, or just dance with the brows  I came with.  Also should I draw them in to line up with the corners of my eyes?  Should I use brown, a soft black?  It can get out of hand fast. 

More research. 

However I realized today that posting selfies on Facebook like a teenager makes me look like, well, a teenager.  So I am going to stop that.  I can do that on Instagram and look and feel less ridiculous.

Also I can put pictures here, cause it's my blog after all.


The kids are eating WHAT?

Really?  Laundry pods?  What in the ACTUAL hell is wrong with kids these days?  I have seen meme's all over about it, and today I looked up if it was an actual real thing. 


OMG, it's true.  Todays youth is so stupid that they are eating laundry detergent, for an internet joke?
I really think this is the answer. 
This has been a running joke since 2013.  However I'm not entirely sure at what point people ACTUALLY started eating them.  However a story came across my feed that about 40 people have been poisoned by them, THIS YEAR.  It's only the 18th people!
I wonder about the parents of these kids.  You know someone is going to blame the internet for this.  I just wonder when I'm going to see the first post come across my facebook feed from a distraught parent, warning other parents about the dangers of internet memes.  Then they will tell us in horrific detail about how their child was poisoned, because they bit into a detergent packet.  Probably start a gofund me, for the medical expenses because their child was not smart enough not to eat LAUNDRY SOAP.  Give it time.
Do kids not get their mouths washed out with soap anymore?  Is that why this is happening?  I would think that anyone who has ever had to bite into a bar of ZEST will know, without a doubt, anything that smells like soap does NOT go in your mouth.  It's something that sticks with you, and you NEVER forget that. 
I have read a lot of stupid things on the internet, but this has to be in the top 10. 
Jerkface (age 15) came out today and said, mom, I saw this thing on the internet, that kids are doing.  And I said "Eating Tide pods" and he said "Yes, oh my god.  Why are people so fucking stupid?" 
It's nice to have the occasional reminder that I didn't raise an idiot.



Fuck.  Why am I here again? 

I constantly start and stop writing.  I don't know what inspires me or DE-inspires me.  But it's something.  And I keep coming back.

I considered going back to writing smut.  Cause that's something I do well.  Erotica is one of those things I do love to write, and I know I did it well.  However, that just isn't in me right now.  Maybe later.  For now, I just feel like writing. 

Life is just awesome.  I think of when I started this blog, and how much pain I was in when it started, and it just makes me sad to think about it.  How could that have happened to me?  How did I allow those things to occur in my life back then?  But they did, and I survived it.  How?  Why?  Because I didn't have a choice.  It's that simple.  I'm not a woman who wallows FOREVER.  For a while maybe, but eventually I get tired of the drama and the negativity.  I get tired of MYSELF and look for a way out.

Mike's death still takes a toll on me though.  I still think about him every day.  I still see things that I think HE would think were are funny, and think "oh I gotta tell him about that."  And then I remember he's gone.  I am not sure when that will ever go away.

I am less angry though.  The bad memories, on most days, have faded out of my periphery and I tend to remember the better times.  The funny times.  I'm just built that way.  My brain is built to forgive and forget, and this time, perhaps that's a good thing. 

But as I was saying, life is awesome.  2017 was a pretty great year for me.  I got laid off from the hospital, and it has been the best thing that could have happened.  I'm working from home now and I LOVE it.  There are challenges, but over all, I really recommend it. 

I have days though that I just don't have the motivation.  There are days that I am too mentally distracted to really accomplish anything.  Luckily though, I don't have daily tasks.  Just jobs that need to be completed in a timely manner.  So as long as I give myself a realistic completion date, I can stand to skip a day or be less productive here and there.  It works for me and it works for my family.  The kids love it, I love it, the man loves it. 

I'm hoping 2018 will be more of the same.  Happy New Year.

Do I believe in God?

It's weird how so many of my "deep thoughts" come from things I see on the internet.

I'm not religious.  I'm not an atheist.  I'm not agnostic. 

I'm different.

I guess you can say that I have believed in a god.  A higher power.  I went through a few spiritual moments in my life- but I admit that I've never "had god" in my life.  I grew up loosely as a Jehovah's Witness but that never really took with me.  Maybe because it didn't make sense, although some of it did.  Maybe because I was too selfish, because I was. 

One branch of my family were heavy "pot smoking jesus freaks".  Yes, that's what I called them when I was a kid- because it just seemed weird to me.  I don't use that term anymore, but I think it felt more like a fan club than a religion.  I was into Duran Duran, but I didn't talk about Simon LeBon all the time. 

Also, they were pot smokers, and to my young eyes, that was illegal- and you can't be a good Christian when you are blatantly doing illegal stuff. 

Into my adulthood I had friends that went to church regularly.  Some spoke of religion as it was something they did, but didn't try to push it on me.  I could respect whatever you do on Sunday as long as you live up to it the rest of the week.  I didn't always see that.  I was engaging in premarital sex- lots of it, and so therefore god wouldn't accept me.  I think I felt that I wasn't good enough for god so I simply ignored it and thought maybe someday I would get to that line on my list of things to do.  Travel, have children, mop the floors, find god.  Just like that.

When my late husband was alive and addicted, I found a higher power that indeed saved my sanity.  I needed it, so I found it.  I needed him and he was there.  Or maybe that's what I tell myself because it worked.  Its so convenient that god will be there when you need him, and when you don't- he'll wait.  Then when you need him again, there he is.  He always answers when you call and if you don't call, he's still watching.  He's always there if you seek him.  Perhaps god is really the biggest doormat ever. 

I believe in facts and science and miracles.  I believe in faith, and in some ways I believe that people coming together in prayer and meditation does create a certain energy.  I am always calmed in houses of worship, even if I am not worshipping.  I think prayer or meditation is a good thing if it centers your mind and brings down your heart rate and helps you sleep at night. 

Do I believe in god?  I don't know.  The "proof" that people claim can usually be explained by science.  Sometimes crazy things happen.  People survive when they shouldn't.  But people also die when they shouldn't.  I have known and seen the most devout and good Christian woman die from cancer at a young age.  That was when I decided, "if there is a god, he's a jerk and I really don't want to subscribe to that magazine anymore." 

I do believe that religion is a way to control the masses.  Laws bigger than the laws of the land.  For that, I guess I'm somewhat grateful.  However, whose god are we talking about?  Different cultures pray to different gods, and if we are to assume that there is only one- then that means that an enormous chunk of the human race is "godless" because they were not born where THAT god ruled supreme.  Or perhaps there are a few different gods.  You can believe in god A, B or C- but stay the fuck away from D or E cause if you do- you're going to hell.  Ok, but nobody believes in gods A-C in some parts of the world, so I guess those people are fucked right?  Sorry, bad genetics, worse geography, not enough google searches for "the one true god." 

It's confusing and frustrating and sometimes frightening. 

 I figured I shouldn't bother believing if I wasn't going to do it "right."  Therefore, I'm fucked because I don't know what's right.  A few years back, I came to an understanding that perhaps God doesn't expect that I know everything.  That it's ok that I question.  That I don't have to be perfect to believe or doubt my beliefs. That helped.  I still don't know that I believe though.  However, I suspect when I need him, he'll be there.  Until then, he will wait.  Doormat.