Just More of The Unsual Crap: More Roommates, More Moving, More Showing, and More Cats.

Hey there Sunshine, my last ray of sanity. Now that school is back and people are scrambling for last minute accommodations, things at Castle Dumpster Fire are a real treat! We are up to FOUR people in this damn house, and FIVE pets (three of which the landlord wasn’t told about, but we’ll get to that in a bit). There is still one room left, and the X and I are still showing it.

Which brings me to a very important point: not enough people are reading my damn blog! I’ve covered EVERYTHING that’s pissing me off right now in past posts, and this shit STILL keeps happening!

First off, to help alleviate some of the stress showing the rooms has put on the X and I, the landlord asked our newest roommate to show the house a few times. Mind you, the Kid had been living there 3 days the first time he showed it, but he answered all the questions he was asked. Only problem was, he didn’t know all the answers, and he didn’t know what information to throw out there to prospective renters. Why, you ask? Because he didn’t read the damn lease through!

Now, if he had read my previously published post Reading and Understanding Your Lease, then he would have known a few things that he really should have brought up: there is no cable or internet included with the house; there is a pet deposit and all pets have to be approved beforehand by the landlord; you can’t have hot plates or bring fridges into your room, and the like. So what happens? The Camouflage Cowboy shows up and moves in, with his two budgies and his super adorable, sweet, soft, fluffy kitten Max (please don’t tell Bowser and Sketch I said any of that)! Now I’ve got a super playful kitten trying to play with Bowser and Sketch, and Sketch is not having it! Poor little floppy butt has made a nest under my bed and hardly ever comes out, and Bowser has gone into full defense mode to protect his brother. The birds were left out on the porch overnight and attacked by a stray cat, so I now have two birds with three legs between them, their cage hanging from out roof overhang, and they never shut up! And CC still owes me 2/3 of the monthly internet cost, btw.

Of course, we’re still showing rooms, and a good 90% of the people responding to the ad have never read about how NOT to be a Colossal Douche when looking for somewhere to rent. Some very basic things like “if you make an appointment to see a place, actually show up” and “don’t track mud through the house by refusing to take your shoes off in the middle of a damn typhoon” seem so simple, but there’s so damn hard for some people!

But the thing that really ruffles my goats is the people who can’t read the damn ad OR the email they get from the landlord about the place. We have one kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 2 common area/living rooms, a dining room, and 5 bedrooms. Each room holds one renter. Rent includes basic utilities, but not cable or internet. Pets need to be pre-approved and there’s a pet deposit. No smoking indoors, no illegal drugs in the house, and it is listed as a “Quiet, Mature House” for serious students and working young adults. Pretty damn simple, eh?

Well two freaking guys show up on my doorstep today, out of the blue. They had emailed the landlord, got the whole basic spiel, and then decided that they knew what house it was by looking at the pictures of the front of it in the ad so they should just show up. Fine, I’m home anyway, may as well show it. I show them the living room upstairs and they start asking “is this our room?”. No dammit, shut up and listen to me! They took issue with there only being one kitchen, having to share a bathroom, there being pets there, and there being a woman living in the house. Then, when I showed them the room they kept saying that “their” room seemed small, and then were trying to decide where the bunk beds would go. They wants 4 freaking people PLUS a fridge, microwave, hot plates, crockpots, and the downstairs bathroom to themselves.

Ya, they’re not moving in. Pretty sure the landlord has lost all hope for humanity after some of the responses to the ad he’s gotten. People try to negotiate the price, or want to move themselves and 3 kids into a small bedroom, or want 6 people in one room. Read the damn ad! And read the info the landlord gives you!

Then there’s the things that should just be common sense when people move in, which they would know if they read my damn blog. Seriously, I’m a treasure trove of crap advice that fucking works. Somehow, after a week of having new roommates, we as a household have forgotten how garbages and recycling work. After working a 13 hour day on Monday, I had the pleasure of pulling bags of rotting food out of the recycling bin so I could sort out the massive pile junk that hadn’t been sorted one bit when it was haphazardly thrown off the back porch and into whatever receptacle was closest. There have been dishes left in the dish rack for days at a time, or left in the sink for days. Counters are sticky, floors are dirty, and I’m apparently the only one who can master the fine art of wielding a toilet brush.

There’s also the issue of people not knowing when to pipe the fuck down. Sunday I got a text message from the landlord that someone was moving in that day. Buddy hadn’t met the X or I at that point, and neither one of us was at home. The Kid let him in, told him I’d be home after 6pm, and left. So there I am on Sunday night, a bit after 6:30pm, sitting on the toilet when I hear the front door slam open and what sounds like Xena Warrior Princess’s battle cry. I come flying out of the bathroom because I never heard that door close and my kitties are in the house, only to be greeted by at least half a dozen strange men. Some douche nozzle in a camouflage cowboy hat comes walking over to me, yammering on about how his friends are all there to help him, and I have no clue who he is. I try to tell him to close the door so the cats don’t get out, and the douche just talks over me and tells me to calm my ass down!

Luckily the little floppy butt Sketch was freaked out and hid under my bed, and the ever protective Bowser Kitten was guarding him, because if those kitties had gotten out I would’ve dropped the Camouflage Cowboy right then and there! The funny thing is, I’m not the only one in this house whose first meeting with CC resulted in nothing but yelling at him to close the door before cats get out. When he came to see the house in the first place, he marched out onto the back porch while the X was out there and just kept talking while X while X was yelling at him to close the goddamn door. What a great first impression, eh? It’s like the guy has never listened to Panic! At The Disco before or something.

I can see all of this going very, very badly. I’ve already had to say some ridiculous things to my grown-ass adult roomates over the years, things that no one should really have to say to a grown-ass adult. I really don’t want to be cleaning food out of the bathtub drain, hunting down my dishes, wipe spilled food off the floor hours after it spilled, and have to teach people that leaving a pot of noodles on the stove for an hour on high usually results in a fire. I’m done, man. I’m tired, I’m stressed, and this is all totally draining. I’m stressed, the cats are stressed, and we’re still going to eventually get one more roommate to add to all this fun.

Maybe it’s time I start looking for my own place.

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Aaaaaand the students are back……

I know, I know, I went all quiet again. Things got more than a little strange and unusual around Castle DumpsterFire the last few weeks. Add that to my usual brand of strange and unusual awkwardness, and it makes for an interesting time.

Landlord decided to start showing the empty rooms here, which in theory sounds great. What complicates things is that he’s the one feilding all the calls and requests for the rooms from 4 whole timezones away, all the while trying to coordinated showings of the house with me and my schedule that can change on a dime. I actually had a day last week where I got called at 4:45pm asking if I could make it to the downtown branch for 5pm (I made it for 5:15pm). I have no real schedule, so trying to schedule around an non-existent schedule is damn near impossible. I wound up giving a few tours of the house in my pj’s with soaking wet hair because I was getting ready for work while I did them.

You know how this house seems to get dirty even if no one is here to dirty it, so when I wasn’t working or showing the house, I was cleaning. Like, hardcore. I was scrubbing the floors by hand with a scrub brush, cleaning grout with a toothbrush, sweeping the ceilings, things like that. So that just leads to more of my multitaskin relaxin, trying to do ALL the things at once so I get maximum relaxation benefits, while not actually relaxing at all.

Of course, in the middle of all this, I make appointments to go look at some apartments and decide to start teaching myself French too. Why not?

So now that everything is going back to normal around here, that means a whole new batch of bizarre to deal with.

-I went out and saw just what kind of apartment I can afford on my own right now, and it’s so discouraging. So now I’m looking for more work (because somehow two jobs isn’t enough), and asking around to see if anyone knows someone who wants to split on a 2-bedroom apartment. I’m done with the “living with total strangers” thing, but think I could manage living with someone I kinda know before they randomly show up on my doorstep.

-our newest addition to Castle DumpsterFire moved in last night. He seems like a nice enough kid, even if he does have to have his girlfriend cook his meals for him. I had to sit here and listen to her explain how to cook noodles today.

-I was turned down for a few full-time positions, which got to me more than I thought it would.

-I have been letting everything go. I’m not reading as much, or writing much of anything. I haven’t done any of my writing prompts in weeks. I don’t even make my bed every day anymore. I’m not taking time for me lately, and it’s really showing.

-the X and I were getting along great, for the most part. We did have one huge drunken fight the night before the New Kid moved in. It was just neither of us had to work the next day, we both drank more than we should, we’re both stressed from our personal lives, and we took it out on each other.

With everything going on, I just am burning out yet again. Monday was the holiday, and I spent most of the day in bed with the Every Cuddly Bowser Kitten. We laid there until a little after 3pm before I dragged my ass out of bed to show and find food. One quick trip to the Multifoods later, and I have a fridge full of celery and collards, and I wound up with 2 days worth of lemon chicken.

So I’ll be around. No clue what direction this blog is taking right now, to be perfectly honest. I have roughly 20 books checked out right now I’m trying to get through, an apartment search to work on, sorting through 6 years worth of crap I’ve accumulated while living in this house, and a severely neglected Bowser Kitten to worry about. But I’ll keep coming back here, somehow. I always do.

When you say you’re going to keep track of things, but you don’t……….

Remember when I was writing this blog and it was supposed to be like 99% advice for how not to turn out like me? Well at one point I told y’all to write everything down so you have records to fall back on. It’s like keeping receipts online.

Well I done messed up good. I didn’t bother following my own advice.

First off, that advice came after I realized I hadn’t been keeping proper records for years. I suddenly needed a list of all my past addresses, employers, and employment dates for a background check. And they wanted this all going back at least 12 years. Do you have any idea how many times I moved in the 12 years before that? And how many jobs I had held in that time? I couldn’t remember all of that off the top of my head.

This began the week long frenzied search for my past. Between my mother and I, we went through old Christmas cards (for the addresses on the envelopes), drove past old apartments, Googled postal codes, and made a very impressive timeline chart of my employment. I think at one point that week I slept for an hour or so, too!

After that, I swore I would track everything.

I’ve also sworn that I’d cut back on red wine, run a 5K, try vegetarianism, a do yoga everyday for a year. Wanna guess how many of those things I’ve actually done?

I still have those lists from the background check somewhere on my hard drive. And on one of my lists of lists to make, I totally have “update address and employment lists” on there somewhere. It’s right next to “find things on resume to update and shit”. But I’ve been totally slacking on the “keeping track of ALL the things”, and it’s really come back to bite me in the ass.

You see, I did something very very stupid. When the X needed money for things, I lent it to him with the promise that he would pay me back. Now, we’re not talking “I need $20 for gas” a few times. It’s more like I paid his first month’s rent at our place; I paid for his cell phone when he needed a new one; I paid his cell phone bill once when he let it get to high and they were going to shut him off; I lent him the money to buy a minivan from his mom. Then there was the grocery bills (this is a huge topic of debate with him for some reason), alcohol costs (a lot of my stuff went missing over the years), and small loans when he was coming up short. Hell, even this week I had to lend him $50 to gas up his van. We’re talking a few thousand dollars over the little more than 3 years we were together.

It’s not big secret that he’s horrible with money, while I’m quite a bit better with it. I’m in charge of the rent payment for the money, and he pays me a portion each week. Up until our breakup, he had been paying me an extra $50 a month with his rent. Of this, $15 went towards the internet cost (since it’s in my name and I pay the bill), and the other $35 went towards paying off what he owes me. At that rate, it would take him around 5 years to pay off all the money he owes me. We dated for a little more than 3 years.

Here’s where I screwed myself. Since we were dating and living together and *oh so totally in love*, I didn’t bother tracking any of this. When he first moved in, I wrote out how much money I spent on his first month’s rent and a phone bill, and that was it. I didn’t keep track of anything else, figuring we were both on the same page with things.

Well, it turns out I’m a damn moron for ever thinking that. As soon as we were broken up, he suddenly forgot that I had ever lent him money for anything. On top of that, since he had been giving me an extra $35 a month he seemed to think that he was entitled to a cut of the money I had been saving up to get out of our house.

Now, this money thing has been a constant source of stress and endless fights for us. I, being a somewhat adult and wanting a life that doesn’t involve forever living with random students and cleaning up after strangers in my own home, suggested we each save some money to get out of our place and get a little place of our own. That was when he first moved in more than 3 years ago. In that time, I’ve saved a very decent chunk of change to get my sorry ass out of that place. He, on the other hand, saved absolutely nothing. In his mind, since I was saving some money on my own, and he was giving me money for rent, that meant that I was saving our money for him.

We’ve gone over our arrangement a thousand times. He makes more in a week than I make in two weeks sometimes, and gets steady full-time hours plus overtime. His only expenses are rent, phone, and car insurance. He’s not making payments on his debts, or on any student loans, or anything like that. The rest of his money goes to vices, pretty much. I, on the other hand, make less and have an unstable schedule. But I still pay rent, phone, insurances, credit cards, student loans, line of credit, and still manage to save some of what little money is left.

Now that we’ve broken up, I have my finances in order. I have things set so I can move out, get my own place, buy a new cat tree for the Soon To Be Depressed and Lonely Bowser Kitten, and start getting my ink again. And he………. seems to think that I should be giving him money.

The thing is, I have no proof that I don’t owe him money. I mean, he and I both know that I don’t, and he sometimes flat out says so while we’re arguing. But then he’ll flip out and change his tune, and that’s where the trouble starts. He can tell people that I owe him money and refuse to give it to him, convince them of this, and they’ll believe him. I didn’t keep track of the money he was giving me, and where it was going, and now my reputation is on the line.

Last night after I started writing this, I tried to start keeping track of things. So far, that’s only lead to yet another list of things to make lists of. I’m so far behind in all of this that I don’t even know where to start. So, I wasted about an hour on Buzzfeed looking up “how to be an adult” and found a list of things you should be tracking and keeping files on:

-any debts and payments, either that you owe or are owed to you.
-ALL of your card numbers, from debit and credit cards to rewards cards to memberships and library cards.
-contact info, just like your mom used to do in a cute little dollar store phone book that was full of scratched out addresses from people moving over the years
-anything job related (start dates, addresses, supervisors, promotions, awards, big deal projects, training, anything that makes you look good to a new employer)
-mailing addresses from every place you’ve lived
-contact info for any work references, and a list of why they’re your reference
-medical history for you AND your family (to see what kind of stuff your parents and grandparents have genetically cursed you with)
-serial numbers for anything expensive you’ve bought, like cars or computers or genetically modified pachyderms
-Policies. Insurance, health care, pensions, retirement funds, anything that they send you a big pack of info for when you sign up and you get any sort of statement for at least once a year
-Taxes. Keep at least 5 years of tax returns and documents.

Well, I have a few of these things already. Looks like I’m about to have a very, very busy afternoon trying to gather up the rest of this crap. Still have no clue if the X is going to try and insist my money is his money again when he gets home today, and don’t have the spreadsheets to prove otherwise.

This dumpster fire just keeps getting bigger!

I Just Keep Making Lists……

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me lately. I used to be really good at scheduling 37,000 things into my week. At one point in University I worked two on-campus jobs; took 4 courses (two with labs); was on the Board of Directors for an organization, chaired one of their committees, and sat on two other committees; was a volunteer academic adviser; worked with the Welcome Week teams doing events throughout the year; did classroom public speaking for a few organizations; AND I managed to marathon Buffy the Vampire Slayer in it’s entirety and workout 3 times a week.

Man, I was on fire that year.

I was living in a little basement apartment that year, with a giant bedroom with no closet. My roommate would either cook ALL the protein at once, or lock himself in his bedroom while he was home so I didn’t have to deal with him much. It was almost like having my own apartment, since my room was the size of a small bachelor. To keep my schedule straight I had a 4 month dry-erase calendar, a 1 month dry-erase calendar, a day planner, a daily to-do list, a weekly to-do list, and a monthly overview list. I was so freaking happy that year.

These days, with my dumpster fire of a life, it seems like I just have so much piling up and I can never catch up. I still keep a day planner and a wall calendar, but not like I used to. I still make my lists, but now a lot of them are lists of lists I need to make. I used to use lists for motivation, now I can’t even get motivated enough to make a damn list.

For a long time I thought there was just something wrong with me. I had been so motivated before while I was a student, and now it just seems like I can’t get anything done. So I took a look at what was different about what I needed to get done. Back then, it was deadlines. I always had a few dozen looming deadlines, whether it was school work or grading papers or committee presentations. These were all things that were expected of me, things that others were relying on and keeping track of.

Back then it was “go go go” with a purpose. I was running my ass off going crazy because it was things that had to get done. There were other people involved, and my missing a deadline could severely impact them. If I didn’t get my part of a group project done, that effected my entire group. If I didn’t get papers graded on time, then students grades wouldn’t be posted in time for them to sign up for their next classes. If I didn’t get that committee presentation done before the meeting, what the hell would we be doing in the meeting? Everything seemed dire.

Now? I don’t have anywhere near as many things that are that “dire” for other people on my plate. I still make it to work, put in my shift, keep the rest of the house clean. Again, it’s the things for everyone else that gets done.

But what about me?

When it comes to me, I put me off. I will have no issues sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, and wiping down the rest of the house. But when it it comes to my room? I don’t have the giant room I once had before, and everything is just sort of crammed in there. It’s a cramped, disorganized disaster of a room. I’ve made half a dozen lists of things to do to get that room in order, but why bother with that when I can sweep and mop empty rooms that we might rent out someday? I know I need to Marie Kondo the ever-living crap out of my room, but I just never get around to it.

Even when I’m not replacing tasks with stuff for other people, I still put me off. I know I really need to stretch and do some exercises every freaking day. I’ve put on some weight over the years, my knee sounds like Rice Krispies when I walk thanks to falling out of too many trees while drinking (that’s a long story), and I’m not ridiculously flexible like I used to be. But why do that when I could read 27 pages of Not Always Right? I have lists of motivational lists to make to get my ass in gear, but instead I’ll fall asleep on the couch watching old Vines on repeat.

For some reason, when it comes to doing things for myself I just sort of blow myself off. I’ve spent so much time not taking care of myself, that I forget how to. I know, I know, I’ve preached so much damn “self care” in the past I should be an expert on this. But I just can’t seem to get my shit together when it comes to me.

I grabbed a book from the library yesterday that I’m hoping will help (because the cure for everything in my life is either in a bottle or a book). It talks about how we used to have these things called “weekends” back in the day. Even as a student, I had weekends. Yes, I worked on stuff throughout them, but on my terms. I may have to spend a Sunday witting on my bedroom floor surrounded by research and notebooks, but Saturday would’ve been spent at the beach and drinks at the frat house to make up for that. I always took time off for me, and had some sort of discernible weekend. There were no classes for me on Saturday or Sunday, 95% of my volunteer work was during the work week, and my friends’ fraternity only threw keggers on weekends. There was always that solid block of time to look forward to.

Now? Well, somehow I got two days off last week, thanks in part to my twisting my back until it didn’t want to work for me anymore while I was cleaning out A’s room yet again. With that, my work week officially started last Friday, making this day 6 of at least 11. I don’t have my book job schedule at all for next week yet, so I have no clue when I’ll ever get a day off again. Even if they’re short shifts, working every single day wears me out. This book is supposed to help with the “all-work-no-fun” rut I’ve thrown myself into. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t even look at apartments anymore, even though living with the X is driving me insane (literally, my anxiety is ridiculous half the time).

But first, I need to look a little harder at why I keep blowing me off and push myself harder to do things for me again. I’m starting with a trip to Dollarama after work (I know, my life is so thrilling!), and then cooking a real meal tonight. I’ve been existing on McDoubles lately (and yes, I gave away another one in a sad attempt at flirtatious conversation that failed miserably). I’m grabbing some horror movies from the library after work, and I’m going to force myself to put one on while I stretch, read, and maybe work on those motivational lists I’ve been making lists of.

How the hell else do I get myself out of this rut and start doing things for me again?

Too exhausted to title this one

I am more than a little exhausted today. After that 13 day stretch of work, I took one whole day off to help out at my parents’ Christmas in July (but in August) party that was also somehow a 30th birthday party for my brother. Then I had to drag my tired ass in to work at the booze job yesterday just to hear “I can’t believe they make you work on a holiday” a hundred times. I passed out on the couch after giving my fuzzy babies tuna (and some whitefish from my parents), and was curled up in bed with Bowser watching over me by 9pm.

And here I am again, sitting at a desk at the book job. I was passed over for a permanent position here and am still doing the supply thing, so I got called in last minute for a full day shift. If I wasn’t on-call this week with only one pre-scheduled shift, I totally would’ve turned this shift down.

I am just drained. And as much as I love my family, and as much as I love their obsession with Christmas and feeding people, spending my one day off helping with that party just did not help me relax myself at all.

As you all know, I have a lot going on right now. Living with X is really draining me mentally, and it’s to the point that it’s starting to take a physical toll. Saturday night, he started in on his whole “the reason we broke up is because you never ever bothered to make time for us” spiel that he likes to throw at me every week or two. Basically, I had to start working Sundays when out collective agreement was renegotiated at the booze job. I did take time off when he needed me to, for things like weddings and his birthday. But I chose to be at work on my birthday, because that’s where I wanted to be.

I have a long list of things that I’ve wanted to do, and I’ve made brief mention of them in the past. But according to X, I’ve never ever wanted to do any of these things, and have certainly never mentioned them. I’m a horrible person, a complete bitch, for taking a day to go help my family with their party, or to want to take an hour after work to have coffee with a friend, and the entire reason for our relationship falling apart is because of this.

I’m trying to come to terms with what he’s saying to me is doing to my mind. I actually went into my parents’ party feeling guilty for being there. Never mind all the times I did take off, or all the time I spent trying to spend time with him. I let him get into my head like a cockroach and noodle around in there, rearranging things so I just couldn’t find anything happy inside.

Maybe that is why everything seemed to get to me so much. Of course, everyone asks for updates on life when we only see each other twice a year, but my updates were the only ones that people laughed out loud at. My living situation, my stories from work, the condition of my car even were enough to make people laugh. Normally people telling me I should write a book about my life makes me laugh, and sometimes even makes me want to write more. But with the frame of mind I was in already, it just grated on my nerves. By the time people began to trickle out of the yard, internally I was a mess.

Why do we let people get into our heads so much? I know X’s argument inside and out by this point. We’ve argued about it a hundred times over. “We used to have Sundays together. I know it’s not your fault that you have to work them now, but……..”; “You didn’t even take time off for your birthday like I wanted you to……”; “Well of course I took a few hours to myself after work to myself. That’s my me time. You just need to work around that if you want to spend time together”. And we’ve been over the replies to these a thousand times. “………I can take the odd Sunday off for us, but not every week. If I have to constantly give up hours to make time for us, would you be willing to give up a Tuesday and we could both take the day off?”; “………….it was my birthday, I wanted to be at work with my friends, and I didn’t want to do anything to celebrate. I didn’t even want a gift. I just wanted to treat it like any other day.”; “…….. and you have your ‘me time’ every single day. Sometimes you’ll get home from work at 4pm and still haven’t taken a shower yet when I come home at 10:30pm because that was all your ‘me time’. If I have to constantly give up my time to make time for us, then it’s only fair that you give up some of your time for us, especially when I don’t have to work late and get home around the same time as you.”

You see, each argument had a counter-argument with some reasoning behind it. We’ve had that exact argument so many times that I have all of my responses to his basic arguments memorized. I don’t even have to think anymore. I may as well just have them on cue cards and pull out the appropriate one when he starts talking. But every time I counter, he comes up with something new. How dare I even think about making plans with other people, when I never made enough time for us; why do I suddenly want to do things and stuff, even though I’ve been making a list of things and stuff I’ve wanted to do all year.

How do you not let someone into your head? How do you stay strong? It always seems like no matter what we have ever argued about, somehow it has all come back to being my fault and I’m the cause of things.

A few coworkers keep bringing up the term “gaslighting” when I talk about this. I remember hearing the term back in school, but don’t know much about it. Maybe it’s time for a little re-education, see if learning a little more helps me regain a slight bit of sanity. For now, though, I’m sitting at the Kid’s Desk at my book job, trying my hardest not to let my anxiety completely overwhelm me.

Relaxing?

I am exhausted. Like mentally, physically done.

I’ve been trying to get myself to relax, but it’s just not working. I’ve been doing 20+ hours at each job the last few weeks. There’s a lot of running between the two jobs, a lot of bizarre split shifts. One day I’ll be 9-12 and 3-5 at the book job and then 5:15 to 10:15 at the booze job. Another day I’m 9-12, 1-2, and 6-8 at the book job. When I’m home between jobs, I’m cleaning. A just finished moving out, so there is a tonne of things that need to get done at home (like scraping the 37 million pieces of Sticky-Tac off the walls). Some days, I’m lucky to get half an hour to make myself something to eat and sit for a few minutes.

Well yesterday, I was done work by noon. I did a quick drug store run for some hair stuff, and then headed home for the day. The plan was to do a little light cleaning, and then put my feet up and relax with some books.

Well that didn’t happen.

I threw a few things in the sink to soak, made myself a quick lunch, and tried to settle down on the couch to relax. I had books, Netflix, YouTube, some notebooks, and my kitties. I sprawled out on the couch, ready to just block out the world for a little while….. and my brain won’t shut off.

I pulled out a Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic, threw on some Under Arrest on Netflix, and my brain went into overdrive. “What needs to be cleaned? How long will it take to do A’s room? What if we can’t find people to rent with us? Would it be worth it to just start fresh in a new city? If I decide to just take off and move to a new city, should I try to get into that really hot tattooed guy’s pants first? Why is he always playing with his belt and pants when he’s standing in my line? Should I bring him another burger? Should I get myself some burgers? Should I make burgers? How many burgers are int he freezer right now? How bad is A’s freezer? Will I have to deep scrub it? What else needs some deep scrubbing? I wonder what Bowser is thinking right now.”

The louder my brain got, the more I tried to quiet it. I tried meditation, singing random songs in my head, day dreaming, stream of conscious writing, and even tried to close my eyes and nap on the couch.

Nothing helped.

I think I’ve forgotten how to actually relax. I can’t just put my feet up at the end of the day, pour a glass of wine, and let the day go. Now I pour that wine, talk with the X about our days, help finish making dinner, try to find something to watch on Netflix or YouTube, top up my glass of wine, mentally go over my to-do lists for the next few days, go over my work schedule for the next few days, make sure alarms are set, do a few Buzzfeed quizzes, try to pay attention to whatever X put on the TV, and group chat with some friends. Multitaskin Relaxin, that’s what I call this. I try to do ALL the relaxing things at once, because if each one is relaxing on its own just think of how relaxing they’d all be combined!

I’ve read all the articles, looked up hints and tips, read some books, and still can’t figure out how to just relax. I am completely worn out and need some sort of break, but I just can’t take one. As soon as I sit down to relax, I start thinking of all the things I should be doing instead. Instead of catching up on the sleep I need very very badly, I really should be at axe throwing school, or scrubbing the walls, or baking brownies for my coworkers at the store. I tell myself that I need the sleep, and that little voice in my head starts screaming “forget the sleep! You’re wasting your life! Think of all the things you could be doing right now! You’re going to die alone with 37 cats and they’ll eat your face!!!!!”

Ain’t anxiety grand?

So I guess I’ll just keep this routine going. I only have one shift scheduled next week for the book job so far, and I know I should take any time off I get to just relax and take some naps. But I already have a huge to-do list going in my day planner of things to get done when I don’t have to be at work.

Because what could be more relaxing than taking every article of clothing you own out of your closet and dressers, refolding and organizing everything, clearing off all your shelves and under your bed, vacuuming everything including the mattress, doing all the laundry, washing the walls, and dusting every available surface?

July Comes To An End

Well, another month has come to an end. I’ve been working on a few different writing projects on top of this blog, plus the two jobs and all the drama of A moving out. I am exhausted right now. I could really use a week long nap, a week on a beach, and then another week long nap.

So I’m think of combining a few things here. One of the writing projects I’ve been working on is just to get me in the habit of writing more often. I find writing prompts on Pinterest while I’m at work and then ponder over them later. Most of what comes from that is pure, manure-strength crap. But it’s my crap, and I’m learning to love it.

So, in this whole “trying to become a better me and break out of my comfort zones” things I’ve been doing, I’m thinking of doing something I haven’t done in more than 15 years. I think I’ll make a category, or a page, or something on this blog and use that for a bit of prompted creative writing. Out in the public, for anyone to read.

Now, I haven’t had anything other than my blog and one creative piece in university read by the general public since my dark days. Back then, I worked for a local underground magazine and was somehow hired on as the Arts & Culture Columnist. My writing sucked, my pieces sucked, my research sucked, I had no clue what I was doing, and I was to scared and spoiled to ask anyone for help. So, I just continued to suck for more than a year. After that, I hid all of my notebooks and stopped letting people read what I wrote.

Well, I think it’s time to end that. Starting in August (so maybe tomorrow), I plan on throwing a few poorly written writing prompt pieces on here, a little stream of consciousness writing, maybe even dig out some old creative pieces and give them to fresh eyes.