Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

31Dec/200

Ending Hard

Tomorrow I'm going to run errands that involve delicious food for us for a few days. There will be at least one instance of standing in line outside in the rain. Maybe I'll reach out to friends to have a happy hour Zoom.

The end of 2020 is here and I can't say that I'm hopeful about the new year. The accumulation of the headlines this week, the pictures of people screaming for the freedom to not wear a fucking mask as thousands more die.

The reality was hitting me hard today. Umm going to hit the anniversary of not teaching online in just about 10 weeks. March 13, 2020; nearly a year.

The new normal isn't great and I'm afraid it's going to get worse when the election isn't certified in a timely fashion.

26Dec/200

COVID Christmas

Spending Christmas day with just the 2 of us isn't unusual, but this year there was the additional weight of watching the totals of cases & deaths versus the totals of daily air travel.

Between the 22nd and 24th over 6500 people died.

The CDC took today off from giving data.

Merry Christmas.

I wanted to have energy to play games all day, instead I slept very poorly and drug myself through to 3:45, then napped for an hour. Even with a nap, I still felt out of sorts and exhausted. Feeling like on Christmas felt like I was letting the day down.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully feel better and will deliver gifts.

21Dec/200

Funk

I've felt blue and unmotivated all day. Of course I didn't really become fully aware of it until I was crying.

I got stuff done, but everything felt hard and wasn't satisfying. I just feel like a useless jerk.

Christmas Blues and anticipatory therapy angst? Already going into a schedule crash since I'm not teaching for a couple of weeks?COVID despair?

I wish I knew. I think I don't tell CK when I feel this way because I don't understand the cause and don't want to say, "My mood is off and I don't have a good reason."

15Dec/200

Unhappy Mail

I received a letter today I have every reason to believe to be unpleasant. The writing of this letter was triggered by one I had sent. In response to my letter, the writer quickly wrote his response and mailed it out the same day he'd received my letter. I shook my head at this since writing my own letter took a few weeks of effort.

The letter, the response composed within a few hours, perhaps minutes, after reading mine, sits unopened on our dining room table while I decide it's fate.

The same day it arrived the writer of this letter found a place to live to go with the job he does onboarding for this Wednesday. Oddly enough, my letter suggested both of these actions as a way to salvage a friendship.

The friendship is gone. I've been seen as taking sides and I'm sure am lumped into the category of "worthless friends" he was recently complaining about.

I have begun to believe that nearly all straight, white, cisgendered men are one breakup away from becoming outright abusers.

I'm pretty sad about it.

6Dec/200

Jerk Feels

My brain decided I'm a jerk tonight because playing Magic with CK was frustrating. That's after feeling terrible dread about the Collage Guild online party.

The party was great. It all mostly went as planned. We got through my frustrations and after trying something new tomorrow. I made awesome soup for dinner.

I feel like I've been rubbed by sandpaper all day. All this is connected, I know, but it still feels like too much and made my stomach unhappy.

21Nov/200

Meltdown Day

Saturday the 21st, in which a discussion about fruit derails my entire day.

Some days I really hate my brain.

Today evening made me cry for most of the daylight hours leaving me with an even worse headache than yesterday. I ended up watching an anime movie I love, Nausicaä the Valley of the Wind and working up to eating food.

CK suggested I’m feeling burn out. I told her later that my brain’s immediate response to her saying that was, “I can’t be burnt out! I don’t have enough done yet!”

Getting the dishwasher loaded feels like a huge accomplishment. Likewise for getting the last of the instant mashed potatoes into food service containers.

Tomorrow will hopefully be easier.

18Nov/200

Kitten Induced Terror

This morning the kitten flipped himself through the stairwell rails and dropped several feet onto the hardwood stairs. He then ran into the basement and hid while growling.

I thought I would throw up when I realized what happened.

Brow and I both ran down the stairs. Bertie fell down part of the steps he was rushing. He fell again coming up because he was worried.

I felt this terrible shame that is failed to keep the kitten safe. Certain CK would get angry that I wasn't careful.

Ursa seems fine. CK wasn't mad, she reminded me that he's inadvertently knocked himself off the bed twice.

She got why I felt so bad.

Power went out again too. This led to pizza for dinner.

Still feeling sad and demoralized. My students shared today that most of them are feeling the same.

Today the kitten slept with Dora, which was pretty great.

17Nov/200

Not Yet Hopeful

Thank goodness for goofy dogs, tiny kitten, and continued stability for Cancer Kitty.

I'm watching Democratic celebration talk with weariness. I'm not yet feeling hopeful about this country much less celebrating it.

I fought hard to keep from falling into anger again today, but it felt like a huge effort top stay merely blue.

16Nov/200

Cancel Thanksgiving

I forgot creamer when I went to the store to order CK's turkey. It felt like a failure.

I thought I'd run to another market, but CK said she'd rather I hold off making that trip until I need things next week for Thanksgiving next week.

Fred Meyer stores, Kroger, have the same careless, "Don't confront non-mask wearing customers" policy that lead me to stop shopping at Natural Grocers. It is so heartless to the employees and customers.

COVID rates hit a new record daily. People still want their fucking Thanksgiving.

I'm so angry I thought about screaming again but I haven't learned how to without losing my voice. I actually cried for a few minutes because I couldn't even think about making art.

After some art studio organization so I can set up the gift from a friend tomorrow, I felt able to make a comic about feeling so sad and angry today. I get 2 of 3 chores I myself done and told the Inner Jerk to, "Fuck Off!", because it isn't the end of the world if there's wrinkles in the laundry.

The kitten rides my shoulders! While folding laundry! He also flops into my hand or up against my body with tiny, happy squeaks, and goes to sleep.

I'm not sure how this will work if he grows into a big kitty, but it's pretty delightful now. Kittens definitely help the moments where I feel the losses of 2020 so keenly.

6Nov/200

Postponing Joy

I have several articles of clothing I never wear at home. I put them on to leave. I avoid wearing them at home because they’d get dog or cat hair on them, would start to show wear, etc.

These are mostly things I wore to teach. Some things for fancy occasions. My “nice” clothes as opposed to my “play” clothes.

I started wearing a sweater I would wear while teaching to keep me warm at the end and between classes. It finally hit me that I really don’t need to save them, I don’t know when I’ll teach in person again, so I might as well enjoy my clothing now!

It’s made me wonder just how often, and in how many different ways, I postpone joy for dubious reasons. What undercurrent of shame believes I don’t deserve joy in the present moment?

It’s been a tough few weeks with my Shame Monster, “Whinnie”, telling me what a loser I am, what a drain on resources, etc. It’a exhausting, tedious, and driven by the election anxiety.

Maybe tomorrow will have hope.

I’m grateful for an unexpected urban ungulate feasting on windfall apples I saw when I took our leftover pumpkin curry over to AF’s.