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I’m on my way…limping along a bit, but still on my way!

As of this evening, I am registered into my two first classes at college – Ethics and Interpersonal Communication. They fit best into the time frames I need for my live online seminars. I am excited and a tiny, tiny bit nervous because I haven’t been to school since 2003…do the math. Do I even know how to student anymore?

So every day I’ve been chipping away at the getting ready to go back to college thing. Whether it’s applying for financial aide, discussing my current credits and what I need to do in order to get my bachelor’s, to scheduling classes, to applying for scholarships, getting supplies (I LOVE NOTEBOOKS!) – I’ve been taking it one task at a time; spreading it all out so it’s not lumped into one stressful day. I mean, day to day live without school can be hard enough. I am ridiculously busy at work ~ there is not enough time in the day to make it all happen but I continue to try.

At home, I feel like I haven’t been as mentally present. Too many moving parts on my end and on Theresa’s. My wife’s been kicking some serious ASS in getting our garden together this year. She built this amazing strawberry stand out of 2×6 wood and gutters so that the strawberries grow in the gutters and hang over the sides for easy picking. She’s put together, with the help of her brother and dad, a greenhouse. She’s purchased a bed for our spare bedroom, making it ready for guests when the COVID is over (or for our own nap times). We’ve sold things, decluttered, re-organized…when I say “we”, more “her”. So while I’ve been focused on preparing for school and maintaining healthy eating habits (for the most part), an exercise routine, and a busy Mercari shop…she’s been working on things that will better and benefit our family. I have been more focused on, I guess, bettering me. Which I hope, in turn, will better all of us.

Life, man. I was telling a co-worker – a kooky dude named Stefan – that I feel like I’ve lived a number of lifetimes to get to where I am today. He can relate and has had some interesting parts of his life, too, before becoming an attorney. He used to test snowboards, make ice cream, count the money in those armored trucks…maybe that’s why I am beginning to like him. He doesn’t seem like someone who knew what he wanted to do from the moment he could walk – I like people who have done different and weird things to get to where they are today. Although I haven’t strayed too far from the law (a two year stint at a gym), my style of life has changed a lot since leaving high school. I can relate, you know? To people who dabbled in this or that before settling into something adultish. Even thought I think the people who dabble forever are just as interesting. I guess people who are HAPPY with who they are and what they are doing are just super interesting to me.

There is no more free time in quarantine.

At least for me. It’s been a hot second since I’ve taken the time to blog ~ I’ve been SO busy with various things.

I am blessed that I continue to work full time without issue. On top of that, I’ve had steady sales from my Mercari shop and have even expanded to depop. Success has been with Mercari so far this quarantine-season and I’m grateful for it. The goal is to sell $1,200 of excess items and handmade goods so I can purchase a new shower for our downstairs bathroom, as that bathroom is declining pretty rapidly.

Affording a contractor may be out of our budget at this point so we will likely try to do as much of things as we can – but will obviously be saving the plumbing work and electrical work for the experts. But knocking down walls, tearing things out, putting a new tile floor in and the tile on the shower walls? We got that.

Plus the goal is just to keep busy and not fall into a funk.

So there is no additional time for me – I do not have hours of time that is suddenly undelegated. That’s also just my personality; I like to be moving forward.

In the spirit of moving forward, I am also in the process of getting ready to go back to college and obtain my bachelor’s degree. I am going to continue my legal education, ya’ll! I might as well, I mean, I’m good at it and I’ve seen some of these attorneys out there…some don’t give a shit, some fall asleep in meetings…I can do better. I will do better, years from now.

Edgy and Tired

If the title of this blog gives any sort of indication as to what the tone will be – I’ll give you two guesses.

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s really “Monday” for me. I am beyond aggravated, annoyed, frustrated, and fed the fuck up. This fed-upness started yesterday after various conversations with people that just left me feeling mentally and emotionally drained. Maybe I’m getting too used to this work-from-home atmosphere where the annoyances are my stepkids and their constant bickering and messiness – that’s the only drama I’ve been dealing with for going on two and a half weeks. I spend even less time on social media and entertaining conversations online because I just can’t take it.

I normally have a very low tolerance for blatant attention-seeking and drama but right now? Trying to fit even a little bit of that in under the circumstances is not even possible.

I’m not in the mood to have any sort of “deep” or “meaningful” conversations because it feels draining to me. I don’t want to talk COVID-19 24/7, nor read the news or other various articles about it. I don’t want to talk about my feelings about everything or make up scenarios in order to put meaning into things that may have none.

Guess what? I’m over here, grateful to have my job but unsure if I will even have it a week from now because everything changes so quickly – it’s like a dance that nobody knows the choreography to – and get my typical spring shit going (a/k/a garden!). I guess I am more focused on slogging through the muck that seems to be the state of life right now, hopeful for a return of a back-to-normal soon. Although I will tell you what – once things do go back to some sort of normal, I will be saving my money a lot more diligently.

Keeping up the optimism for 2020

I find myself staring into the month of February feeling a bit overloaded, stressed, but determined to be optimistic.

Even though I hadn’t talked about it publicly, I had a goal in mind to be part time (down to 30) hours at my job by June. I like having goals and actively working toward something and I was expecting that it COULD work. However, the attorney I work with, Christine, has resigned and will be leaving now in 2 weeks. I’m sad on quite a few levels because I really, really like working with her. She’s smart, she’s approachable, she takes the time to answer my questions and has always been very understanding and supportive. But…she found an opportunity she couldn’t pass up! So while I’m sad for me and my increased workload, I am also happy for her and want her to kill it. I also want to kill it on my end and rise to the occasion, but not to the detriment of my own happiness.

I haven’t been very happy this week. I’ve been tired because apparently now, instead of stress affecting the way I eat, it’s affecting the way I sleep. I’ve been waking up before my wife’s alarm goes off at 4:30 and I’m just kinda awake for the day, making it feel like 2 days in one.

But it’s the weekend and I have today all to myself. I am in my craft room about to get serious about some projects and let my mind wander.

I’m thinking of taking a chance and applying to the Jay Street Marketplace for the summer months. It’ll be a minimum of 5 Sundays through the season and it may be a fabulous opportunity for me to get more of my items out there for sale. It will require me to focus a bit more in my free time, but I really love it. I don’t want to lose track of the things I am working toward just because my full time job has gotten busier.

I’ve been plugging along slowly with new items, my latest being:

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You can find this in my Etsy shop HERE

I’m getting better at using my glass cutter and I was able to get VERY nice lines out of this wine bottle to make this candle. Wine bottles are the hardest because they are so very thick ~ check out the thickness in this close-up:

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This was one of my best cuts yet ~ nice and even.

I don’t want to lose sight of my own personal goals just because work is on my mind a lot more lately. I’ve done that many times in my life – lost focus of what I want due to distractions in relationships, jobs, conflicting goals…sometimes I wonder where I’d be in life right now if I hadn’t made much of my decisions based on the needs of other people. Would I be farther ahead in life? Would I have a higher education? Where would I be living? Who would I be today?

I do think that there’s a grand plan that I’m not in control of, so I don’t tend to focus a lot on the “what-ifs”, but sometimes I do wonder what my life would be like if I had stuck to my guns about more things instead of allowing myself to be swayed.

 

 

Heartache, Optimism, and then Sickness

I’ve had a hell of a week.

A week ago today was my wife’s grandmother’s funeral. Clementina DiCocco was 98 years old and was largely independent up until the turn of the year. Her passing was as peaceful as it could be and it was surrounded by her loved ones. We should all be so lucky to reach her age and live the way she did – on her own and on her own terms. I grieve for those she left behind because even though she lived a very long life, her family is now entering into chapters of their lives that do not include her.

Monday and Tuesday my sister and I went to Manhattan to visit my parents and to attend some doctor’s appointments for my mother’s upcoming new treatments (a different chemotherapy and the beginning of her immunotherapy). The doctors seemed very optimistic and matter-of-fact about the procedure and it’s side effects; I can’t help but feel very positive about everything. It’s a relief; part of the appointments were to scan and evaluate her cancer to see if anything had changed. Even though we didn’t really discuss it, likely I wasn’t the only one wondering if things had gotten worse – too worse for the immunotherapy. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. I swear, even though cancer’s a shit stick no matter what, I can’t help but feel like my mother has been blessed in all of the ways she could be despite having it.

Upon returning to the area, my scratchy throat had gotten worse and it became more evident that it wasn’t just an allergy (as Sunday I had swept the basement and stirred up quite a bit of dust), but something more. I worked about 4 hours on Wednesday before a fever came on that Tylenol didn’t touch brought me home and right to bed. Since then, life’s been a bit of a feverish blur. Yay for the flu and no; I didn’t have a flu shot. I’ve actually never have had one but I think I will do it next cold season.

I’m worried that I exposed my mom to it; had I have known it was something more than an allergy I would have postponed my trip. I’m glad though that she wasn’t at her most vulnerable state. I can’t tell my dad how sick I was because I worry that next time I want to visit, he will question what type of germs I may bring down with me when I am normally a very healthy person. I get one good knock-down, drag-out sickness a year and apparently this is it.

I’m also worried about the mounting workload at the office because I was out for 3 days and then an unexpected 2 and a half days more. I’ll be going back in to some irritated clients; confused as to why I haven’t gotten back to them when I am normally very prompt. I am trying to shake the fucks off about this but it’s hard – I care about people and I care about what I do.

Today I feel well enough to be in my craft room using my desktop, soaking up the heat from the space heater and watching some Netflix. It’s a change of scenery from the couch or my bed, as that’s all I’ve really seen the past 48 hours. I don’t know if I am actually up to working on anything but just being in a different room of my house feels a bit refreshing.

I will share some of the things I have finished and posted recently though!

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Serene Hanging Sea Glass Bottle – Click HERE 

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Lotus Flower and Newsprint Lighted Bottle – Click HERE

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This was created from the bottom of the Serene Hanging Sea Glass Bottle shown above.

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The flower is from a ladies’ vintage clip on earring.

 

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This I made specifically for the Schenectady Trading Company; it will be available there tomorrow!

No matter how I am feeling tomorrow, I have to get out of the house for a bit. Even if it’s just for an hour or two. I plan on going to the Schenectady Trading Company to change out some inventory and if I can go to work for a bit to push out some work that’d be great, too.

Holy moly though, does my head ache. Moving my head, looking from side to side…my eyeballs feel like they are being pushed out of my skull. Adam’s really enjoyed having me around though. He has been my constant companion. That, and a glass of cold water.

Reap what you sow.

I’ve hit another really busy patch of life. Work is pretty busy and so is my real life. I felt super stressed on Monday, which may be why I wrote such a clipped blog post. I needed to get something out, so I did! I also went home and furiously biked for a half hour and I felt a lot better. Yup – I’m still on my Peloton kick.

I’m feeling proud of myself! We’ve had the bike since mid-October and I’ve been using it regularly since, steadily increasing the frequency of my workouts. I’ve never been able to stick with working out from home until now.

2020 is the year of reaping what I sow. Since 2017, my life has been pretty challenging, but that’s what happens when you leave a “dream” job, get a divorce, lose people you thought were friends, lose a beloved animal, fall in love with a woman, come out to your conservative parents, handle a conservative parent on the other side, adjust to having stepchildren, go back to a former job, buy another house, move, start a new job, get married, realize you aren’t as amazing or unique as you thought you were, learn some humility, almost lose your dad, mentally handle a mother’s cancer diagnosis, start a couple of small businesses, fail a lot…

[I tried to put that all in some sort of chronological order but so many things were happening at once, it’s probably not right.]

So, the past 3 years have solidly been a lot of hard work. Good things happened in there too, but it was a lot of struggling. So here I am in 2020 and I feel like despite the fact that we recently just lost someone (Theresa’s grandmother passed away on 1/25 – she was 98), things are really headed in the right direction this year.

Financial things are getting sorted; my mom starts immunotherapy next month. I’m learning new art techniques and am having a lot of fun with that.

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I’m fully embracing my entrance into my late thirties.

I just finished the above candle and am really proud of it and excited about finally learning how to cut bottles after years of wanting to.

This candle is made from a wine bottle that I cut, sanded, then painted. The lightbulb was made from a worn out pair of jeans and a piece of a faux leather skirt. It’s surrounded in teal twine because I’m kind of obsessed with that twine right now. So, not only am I working on my glass cutting skills, I am also simultanously learning how to make candles and dye the wax whatever colors I need. I chose a light blue for this candle and kept it unscented because I’m a bit intimidated by choosing fragrances. My focus is more on the outside of the candle – the actual decoration of it. I’d hate to put so much work into it and have someone love it, but ultimately pass it up because it’s a scent they either dislike or are allergic to. It just feels safer to keep them unscented.

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A plant hanger I made for a friend’s daughter recently.

I also recently learned that the “dream” job I left in 2017 so I could focus on my life  which was unnecessarily dramatic and mean-spirited behind my back afterwards is apparently shutting its doors next month. I normally hate to be all petty and whatever but I am enjoying this.  It’s refreshing. That’s what you get for slinging mud – eventually it gets on you.

Maybe that’s why I had such a troubling 2017 ~  I was owed for past behaviors and actions. I can tell you I’ve been much more careful and considerate since then. Not perfect…but more aware…and am hoping that maybe that’s why things finally feel like they’re headed in a steadily good direction. All that work and hardships of the past few years is starting to noticeably pay off.

Fakeness isn’t for this decade.

I’ve been disappointed in many social interactions. So many of them seem fake and forced; as if the other person can’t even wait for me to answer their question before speaking over me.

Seriously, much of the time I feel like I’m nothing more than a sounding board for someone else’s desire to hear their own voice. It’s a lot of the reason why I don’t go out of my way anymore. I have a full plate and others do too; I don’t really want to be an ear for someone who can’t or won’t be one back. I’m all about reciprocation.

I don’t want false friendships and relationships. It’s give and take.

I don’t want small talk.

I’m done asking people how they are and about their lives when they can’t even be bothered to ask about mine. I mean, that seems like a really strong hint, right? It’s a hint of a non-friendship and I don’t need to be the one who pulls people away from the wall. I don’t need to go out of my way to keep things friendly and copacetic. That’s not my job; I don’t get paid extra for it.