so mike and i are going to pittsburgh this weekend for my brother's birthday. i had a full list of things to get ready for today - get things settled for the catsitter, clean the kitchen, do some laundry so i have something to wear, pack, rig up my bike for the weekend, sort out my medications (this takes about a half hour every week to load them into my "morning" and "evening" weekly pill boxes, ugh) ... there was a lot.
the thing is, i have been tired as actual fuck this week. because i end up overcharging my energy credit card during the week, i usually try to save up and pay it off on weekends, meaning i need lots of sleep, relaxing, and a good amount of alone solo-time. because of the recent messes (previous posts), i haven't had a free weekend to myself since the middle of june. this means not only am i exhausted, and carrying around the static background-noise of someone who hasn't been able to ground herself and clear everything out*, but of course the house is a mess and i am behind on everything.
(*i am also suffering from not having my Vicodin at the moment; those four hours of reduced pain help me clear out the static noise and ground myself like fuck, but because i have to go back to formal pain management (which is a process) i don't even have that tool in the toolbox right now.)
so anyway, i am tired and pretty strung out at the moment, but it's jim's birthday and mary wants us to be a surprise, so we'll be a surprise :)
so last night, i come home tired from the pain-load on my circuits. i take two tramadol and a glass of wine, which i'm sure my liver is mad cool about but it helps shut the pain up when i don't have opiates. i crash on the couch for a bit, with cats, and then slowly start hitting my chores. i make a pact with myself because i'm watching Chopped on tv, so every commercial break i get up and do a thing. this continues on, laundry and litterboxes and drugs, via Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay commercials (look, i love BBF, it's all fancy cooking and trash talk, that's my jam), until the second wind wears off and i get tired. well, i say, i'll get up early in the morning to finish it.
the alarm goes off at 5:00.
- i am having a dream where a group of people (no one i know, which is surprising for my dreams) and i are hosting some kind of event luncheon thing with food and wine for fucking Donald Trump and some Republicans, I guess trying to talk some sense into them or come to an accord or argue with them or spy on them or, i don't know, it seems reasonable in the dream. and i'm some kind of power hostess but i'm focusing mainly on the cooking (thanks, fucking Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay), and trying to make points and break up fights while making sure everyone has food?, i mean at one point i fucking leave an argument to go make more fried cornmeal balls (hushpuppies i guess)???? so like: i'm already pretty discombobulated.
- i finally manage to get out of bed, after some snooze buttons, at about 6:00
- i head downstairs, turn on the keurig, head to the basement. pull the dry laundry out of the dryer and put the wet laundry in the dryer. yes, i went to bed with laundry in the washing machine. it was literally only there for like 5 hours, it didn't smell or anything
- i get my coffee and sit down on the floor to fold the laundry but i'm tired as fuck and end up playing out my stamina in FFBE
- i fold the laundry, while finishing FFBE/FFRK stamina, with Iggy and Potato helping. this literally hakes maybe an hour? i'm so tired i feel heavy, like i'm moving slowly because everything weighs 500lb, including my thoughts
- i finish the laundry and go to get the cats ready. write a note, set out food, fill their dishes, give them wet food breakfast, get everything set
- my brain finally processes that i had a dream about catering donald fucking trump, where i made him bruschetta and fucking hushpuppies rather than punching him in the face, maybe with a knife. i spend a good 15 minutes severely disappointed in my subconscious
- it's starting to get close to when i should be leaving for work, and i'm starting to unravel a bit here. i go upstairs to pack. weirdly i fucking gained back 9lb in the month of july, i do not know how, so i'm also trying on everything i want to pack to make sure it fits. a lot of random shit just goes in the bag
- i spend a half hour sorting out my pills. i have 20 empty pill bottles and at least 2-3 refills of each type, which makes everything more confusing than it should be. i do not know how it happened and my brain really wants to know rather than focus on getting each med in its appropriate pill box. eventually the boxes are full
- i scramble to get ready for work, throw some shit on, the jeans are actually still damp but honestly i ignore it bc they stretch out better that way after a wash. hair goes up in a braid, fucks not given
- head down to start loading the car. checking my important list on my phone. get jim's gift in the back seat, bike pump in the trunk because once it had a spider on it. look around the garage, and i don't have my bike rack
- it must be in fucking mike's garage
- i legit spend 20 minutes attempting to cram my goddamn bicycle into the back seat of my fucking honda civic
- i mean, maybe if i take the front wheel off
- the front wheel isn't coming off, the brakes are in the way
- how do i undo brakes
- maybe if i wedge it this way
- fuck it we're gonna have to stop by on the way out and get my bike
- head back in to wash the oil and smudge off of my hands. i am sweaty, and extremely cranky at this point
- hands clean, everything else in the car, head out to get in and go to work
- the bike rack is hanging from one of my ceiling hooks
- someone was helpful and "put it away"
- at this point i am decidedly sweaty, cranky, and obscenely late for work. there's a constant stream of "fuck you, fuck this, fucking fuck, fuck this shit, fuck everything" coming out of my mouth like i'm reciting the world's worst rosary
- while taking the rack down the straps get caught in my hair and pull half of it out. everything is terrible
- the rack is on the fucking car. the bike is on the fucking rack. go wash my hands again.
- get into the car. what's on my seat? oh, it's the post it note of my to-do list. let's check it. i forgot to leave the key for the fucking catsitter
- fuck you, fuck this, fucking fuck, fuck this shit, fuck everything
- the key is safely in a plastic bag in its place
- i am stopping at starbucks if it fucking kills me
- literally i do not care if i am fired for being late i'm getting a goddamn starbucks
- get to work. no one is here. half the group is traveling or on vacation, and the other half is off for 9/80 fridays. all my brain can come up with is "9/11" and i sit staring into space for 20 mins trying to figure out what the 9/11 schedule is
- it is surreal
- i don't know what i'm doing
so now i really just want a nap. and another starbucks
And of course in the dream nothing rose up, and there was no Shattering: and we all felt something dark and hot and burning roll over us in waves. I guess that's how my dream-self was imitating radiation; not like we knew what it felt like. The children screamed, and I was running back through the building and screaming, my skin scorched like a sunburn, and when I got to my dorm room all of my friends were already black and burnt, scarred corpses tipped over or leaning against each other.
The thing is, you wake up from a dream like that and instantly know it isn't true. Your brain is already running through the litany of logic that you need: seven years ago mankind did in fact try to destroy itself, its homes, its planet, by launching nearly every nuclear warhead in existence in a round robin of angry men; but the earth decided it was sick of this shit - our shit - and stepped in. First the world froze time, trapping all of us in this weird viscoelastic stasis where our minds were aware but everything around us had been stopped. Then our planet took a deep breath, which we all heard and felt - and then it shattered what must have been a barrier between its - its power - and us.
No one knew the earth had been protecting us from her magic for so long, although the scientists say it makes sense in retrospect, considering the times magic has leaked through a crack and broken the known laws of physics. But that layer shattered like so much glass - the Shattering - and the power that rushed through vaporized every single explosive that had been fired, and all that hadn't, and just wiped from existence every known warhead and weapon that could damage her.
Then the earth - well, we still don't really know how or why, but the prevailing theory is that our planet needed to tell us something (tell us off, in my opinion; humanity is a gigantic gaping asshole) and it used the history it had: the power coalesced into archetypes of worship, ancient and modern, anything the earth thought mankind might revere and follow. It created the Incarnate, the avatars, the graced: gods and goddesses, angels and devils, from all creeds and all times. Those chosen became vessels for whatever archetypical power had chosen them, and thus began the only way the planet had for us to communicate with her: the best way she had to create protectors that could speak with her voice.
So now, even through apparently everyone had dreams about the end of the world, it hadn't really ended at all - shifted, irrevocably, the complacency with which humanity had lived shattered as well, but not the end. In seven years, I had never dreamed about it. I'd had my share of stupid dreams, sure, but my subconscious had been happy to leave well enough alone - until last night.
I sat up slowly, because even though my brain was doing a great job reciting the facts, I still had this odd feeling in the pit of my belly: almost nauseous, like a physical sense of doom. People said you were supposed to pay attention to your dreams now, with magic out and about, but whatever this had been I didn't really want to pay attention to it.
Coffee would help. I wrenched myself out of the covers and into the kitchen.
I was halfway through the mug and a game on my mobile when it rang. Unknown number, huh. I almost ignored it, but it looked somewhat familiar and that nagged at me. (I haven't memorized a phone number other than my own since I was a small child, so what?) Plus I was still feeling residual existential dread over my dream, and I was mad because I was out of bagels. So I picked it up. "H'lo?"
"Mor," Arston said breathlessly, "I need you to - you need to come over, okay?"
"Arston?" I asked, even though I recognized his voice, and from there remembered I hadn't added his new number to my phone. "Did something happen? Is May okay?" Arston was May's roommate; May was my best friend, had been for almost our entire lives, and had been fighting off a major flu for a while.
"It's May," he said, and my heart dropped - I heard him swallow, and then he continued in an incredibly small voice: "I think she's becoming Manifest?"
"Manifest?" I squeaked, suddenly feeling vertigo. "Incarnate?"
"I - I don't know, Mor, can you please just get over here?" He took in a deep breath, and then exhaled. "She said your name, asked for you."
Shit. Incarnate or not, May would be asking for me, because no one else in her shitty family was going to be any help with any of this. "Yeah, Arston, I'll be there as fast as I can..."
"Good." He hung up.
I realized I was shivering. The foreboding feeling of my dream had mixed with my panic over my friend and created a weirdly toxic adrenaline cocktail. I needed to get to their house - driving would take twenty minutes, biking about the same. If I could calm myself down, I could transport.
My magic wasn't that old - it showed up about five or six years ago, right after the Shattering, but it had taken until about two years ago for it to have solidified enough for me to make use of it. I sat down the coffee mug, checked on the cats' bowls - they would be fine, and took a deep breath. Clasped my hands before me, fingers extended along opposite wrists. Set my intention in my mind. Called up the magic, carefully, focusing only on the spell, trying to shove everything else off into the corners where it could wait. Then I pulled my hands apart, and before I could doubt myself, pushed myself head-first into the glimmering opening the movement had created.
i realize this really isn't the approach anyone wants -- approaching a religion, or spirituality, should be taken seriously; yet I'm finding that I'm That Guy who's gonna walk into a church and be all like, "so I'm gonna take a couple weeks and kinda fuck around with Jesus, dat cool?" I hope I mean no disrespect but I automatically know I am disrespectful as fuck - look, I was born a Dragomire, and we are utterly irreverent shits; we are the team that would push the red button just because we were told not to. So I am trying to approach this in a sense of -- healthy fun, maybe?; I want to give it its due, but I also need to have some dialogue before we jump in the sack, right?
anyway the way this entry is going is that to say, i've actually found some good words in this search to describe what Marzy was in my life and why this particular hole is so fuckin painful, upsetting, uprooted - if i view my life through this particular lens, it's pretty obvious what Marzy was, and even in a scientific / electromagnetic sense, it makes perfect sense.
Marzy was my grounding line. He was my grounding ritual; he was my neutral to ground; he was the thing which, after a long day of static and bullshit and awful, i could take and touch and hold and feel, and he would take all of the negativity and all of the buildup and just wash it away, down into the ground, until all that was left was belly and purr and sweet, sweet neutrality.
Marzy was my ground point and no wonder with him gone I've felt imbalanced and unstable.
fuck man. i was saying it was silly to be so upset about a cat, but in this context - where he was part of a physical ritual bringing me back to myself - i've lost my goddamn grounding wire, i think i have an excuse for building up a fuckin charge over here.
...or some other shittastic ~~pensive~~ title because I'm so fucking out of goddamn fucks already it's the 14th half of january is gone jesus christ stop fucking moving so fast i would like off this ride thanks
I like the organization of "new year resolutions" not really because I believe you need to wait for a calendar year to make serious changes, but because there's something very neat about the way things can slot into having to write a new date on all your sign-offs and checks
do people still use checks? i only have to sign them at work and lists and notes; to the excel spreadsheet that is my mind1, I like the way aligning change with change sorts itself.
This year I am returning to quantifiable goals in some ways, since the general vagueness of "do X more" may be more friendly but does not truly work in the lifestyle I have at the moment. I wanted to do a deep introspective post as a lead in but fuck that, I already have two truly severe horror stories about 20172 and it's the 14th, but I feel like I want to make a statement about the year before I devolve back into bitchcraft and wizardry.
As another change this year, I am looking for friends to help keep me accountable to these things. I've already roped and wrangled a couple people along with me, but if you have similar goals, let's discuss ways we can
shame uh motivate SHAME each other into proceeding, or mainly just me, I require someone to - not compete with, but to keep up with, in a way, anyway, I am terrible so do stop.
So here is a list of my intentions for what I have labeled 12/52/365/20173:
Health. Rather than breaking this down into a tale of my woes and triggering an actual breakdown I will instead list the targets:
- Get more than 4.5 hours of (good, deep, REM) sleep on average. According to my Fitbit, my average in 2016 was below 4.5 hours4. This involves a lot of things, including going to bed earlier and somehow figuring out how robots relax.
- Working out. My goal for working out is to visit the gym - or otherwise work out - on at least 1/3 of the days of 2017: 122/365/2017. 122 visits. This is 2-3 workouts a week on average which should be doable for someone with fibro, assuming I keep them reasonable.
- General. Continue stocking and making healthy food at home. Drink less at home5. Go back to packing lunches for work.
- Weight/Size. Due to medication changes, 3 surgeries, and a major job change with severely increased my responsibilities, I gained 25-30 lb in 2017, putting me into the beginnings of an unhealthy place I don't want to be6. It's also fairly annoying to be at the upper limit of most of my clothing, to be frank. My goal is to use the above 3 points to try to lose 25+ pounds in 2017, OR return to the range of a size 8-107 where my clothing lives. 25/2017. A half a pound a week will do.
Writing. lassarina is my partner here; we have pledged to write a fic a week of at least 100 words using a list of prompts we gathered earlier. (Of course, I am already behind, although I plan to work on that immediately after this entry.) 52/2017. The hope, of course, is that writing small things helps to spur the writing of larger things. They will be posted on AO3 and linked from here.
- subgoal: at least 1 entry a week on DW (52/2017), and 1 entry a week on my secret business blog which I will share once I have some substance (52/2017).
Art. justira is my partner here; we have, quite hilariously, pledged to draw a thing a day. For Ira, those things may be recognizable as art; for me, I reserve the right to draw a shit doodle with my finger on my iPhone, as long as it is a drawing of some sort. They'll be posted right here at the Feymarch Library where most of my art shame lives.
Home. Of course I have big statements to make about the first floor remodel I want to do, but honestly this is about habits, so my 2017 goal is to declutter my life. Every day I will do at least 1 chore dedicated to decluttering my home8 or otherwise making my life easier (cooking a big meal for the week, etc).
Mental. A few mantras I am focusing on:
- Allow hobbies to be chores. This sounds counter-intuitive, but last year I got away from a lot of hobbies I love because I had "so much other shit to do" that was more important in my mind. This year, writing, art, knitting, gaming, reading; these are allowed to be chores I can give priority to. It's okay to write if I still have dishes to do.
- Recharge your battery. If I have a night where I am truly in too much pain to do anything, I need to stop whining and griping about that, and instead focus on my own comfort and recovery, because self-care is allowed to be a priority, also.
- Ground myself. I'm not a nice person by default9 so making a pledge to share the love or be kinder doesn't really mean anything to me; but I believe I can eliminate some of the negative energy by grounding myself more and letting it just pass on into the neutral environment rather than building up a static charge.
- Be more of who you are. I lost my way at work somewhat this year faced with a gigantic new challenge with no lessening of my previous responsibilities, interpersonal conflicts, and some sporadic and questionable criticism. Moving forward I need to remember who the fuck I am and be that lady as hard as possible, because that's where I am awesomest.
- Allow myself to unplug. I don't have to be tied to my phone - not just for work, but texting with friends or playing stamina games. I can leave it in the corner and just be for an evening.
Work. I need to focus on managing more: I am a manager, not a contributor, and I need to focus more on leading and guiding people in big-picture ways towards improvement. Too many people list me as a project leader or member, when I should not be a worker on anyone's project - and this is what makes my job so unmanageable. It isn't just me letting go; I need to make it clear to others that there should be more than one person who knows how to do the things I do.
Family & Friends.
- See my nieces at least once a month. See my parents at least once a quarter.
- Continue to work with my partner on this great relationship we have developed. Learn to ask him for help more, and learn where his boundaries are for asking help. Show love and appreciation better. Develop a good schedule for spending more time together - we are both very obviously happier and healthier when we do.
- Try to visit someone or travel at least once a quarter -- traveling is really costly to me in terms of energy, but I have broken through some of my traveling-and-health fears last year (Japan!) so it would be cool to travel a bit with friends when the opportunity is there.
- Stay in touch: post, email, text. Reach out in new areas.
Seven is my lucky number. That's 2017.
1 (mind palace?? nothing so fancy; my brain is a four-dimensional fully-formulated spreadsheet archive with tabs, complete with charts, graphs, and little programs that sort by categories and make a smiley face out of pixels.)
2 the first, about my fucking furnace; the second, about my fucking supervisor. stay tuned for more great literature on what makes my life a goddamned shitshow s
3 because I want to quantify it and report on things, see, like the project manager i am
4 Now, the reason I am not dead is because there is also some restless sleep in there, but the problem is twofold: (a) i only get 4.5 fucking hours of the good sleep (b) the good sleep comes in 30-45 minute spurts which is nowhere near what's needed for mental recovery (c) for fibromyalgia one of the most productive and healing things you can do is get REM sleep.
6 lots of family history of pre-diabetes; I've already noticed my hypoglycemia and blood sugar problems are getting worse. I realize this isn't always correlated to weight but as there is some data pointing that way (scientific as well as family), I want to be sure to avoid it, because dude if you stack fuckin diabetes on top of this stack of medical bullshit I may just ravine myself
7 since women's sizes can never make up their damn minds
8 on bad days this might actually be something like "put dishes in dishwasher" but let's face it sometimes even that doesn't happen
9 nothing against anyone, I'm just kind of sociopathic and hate people in general; i've learnt to "play nice" and I can and do feel love for specific people, but i'm really just not friendly