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It’s been a long time since this comet has been spotted, but now you can say that you witnessed Haycomet’s return before you kick it.  And by “it”, I mean the bucket – the big black bucket of death from which there is no return.  I feel like I’ve orbited through a lot a debris in the past two years.  Clearly I’ve been doing everything else but writing, and for that, I think I’ve done myself a huge disservice.  Whether others read it or not, I need to write.  I’ve had the urge now and then, but then shift happens, and ergo there are no posts for you to read. There was a handwritten rough draft some time back, but it’s unfinished, and buried on my ironing board under loose change, pocket lint, and fuzzy mints.  Needless to say, my ironing has gone the way of my writing as well. Though, when you’ve been moving through life as fast as I have lately, the friction and heat takes care of all of the wrinkles.

Here I sit, at my desk, on my lunch break, not so much inspired to write, but feeling like I will explode if I don’t.   I have learned a lot about myself over my last two rotations around the sun:

I’m resilient.

I’m resourceful.

I’m as stubborn as a grease stain on silk.

I’m not going to take shift from anyone.

When you last heard from me, I had discovered my love of craft beer, flipped my SUV (not related to my love of craft beer), and watched a horrible movie starring Ben Affleck (made better by my love of craft beer). After that, I started my plummet towards Earth. My husband lost his job, found a new job, and then started dying in front of my eyes. It’s scary what denial can do to people.  It’s an intangible numbing agent for life’s woes.  The sweep-it-under-the-rug mentality that makes everything “better”.  When you get to the point where there is a mountain under that rug, something has to be done. Yeah, just change to a different section of the couch, so you can see the TV.  Live with it. It worked until my friends stepped in.  When you’re unable to cover up something anymore, and everything is raw and exposed, you can’t help but accept help. So my stubborn husband was literally dragged to the doctor by a large-statured friend of ours.

Something really was wrong; the strong husband I knew had dwindled down to almost nothing and was sent directly to the hospital, where his organs started shutting down.  I watched my rock lose his ability to feed himself, to walk, and to think straight. I knew though, that I had already taken over the responsibility for being “the rock” of the household.  I had been for almost a year. Over the course of eleven days, countless bags of fluid flowing through his IV, sonograms, x-rays, and treatment, my husband started to recover. I won’t go into details of what was wrong, because it doesn’t matter. What matters is that my husband is still alive.

With the long hospital stay came stacks of bills; my husband had lost his new job, and couldn’t have worked anyway – even if he hadn’t lost it. Family and friends stepped in and helped us out, but I had to try something, so I took $99 of our savings (all of our savings) and I started my own business. On top of my current 9am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, 40-minutes-each-way, job. I started selling naturally based products – small batch soaps, lotions, face masks, etc., and I was actually bringing in some extra money. Not much, but enough to treat my daughter to a bubble-tea, and pay a bill here and there.

I also thought it would be fun to start something new. Something to get my mind off of things. I started playing D&D once a week after work, with friends.  What a fun change of pace. I was a software tester, business analyst, secretary, scrum-master-to-be by day, and a wood elf druid by night. I don’t care that I’m almost forty and play a game where I get to pretend to cast spells, and turn into animals.  It’s fun, and my group is made up of great guys.  I have also learned to crochet, and make things for sick kiddos who are staying at the local children’s hospital.  That takes the edge off.

Things were slowly getting back to normal, right?  Ha! You’re optimistic like I used to be, that’s refreshing. No, this comet continued to plummet – my day job got unbearable.  If I worked closer to home, it would help.  I would be able to go home at lunch and have a good cry.  Not a wimpy cry, or a hurt cry, but a cry of sheer frustration. Tears that would wash off the rage of wanting to punch a hole in something!  Instead, I have to sit at work and deal with two managers whose philosophy is, “Sit back and let the project fail, that’ll teach the organization for not giving us enough headcount.” Not being able to vent off the frustration, ate away at my filter, and I stood up for myself, and expressed my opinions to my managers. Yeah, I ticked off both of them in the process, but oh well.

I am extremely thankful for my job, and I know everyone has job issues, but I had loved going to work…now I dread it.  The thought of walking through the doors in the morning makes me sick to my stomach. I’m sticking with it though.  I really don’t have a choice.  The things that I love to do – cake decorating, fishing,  writing, and ballroom dancing  (not at the same time), are not going to pay the bills.

My husband is working again, at a job that he absolutely loves – so that helps. Oh wait, I didn’t mention that my daughter graduated high school this year, had to get her wisdom teeth removed, got braces, and is currently paying for her own core college classes.  Soon, she plans on moving eighteen hours away to pursue the rest of her degree…she is leaving me.  That thought is enough to make any parent proud yet needing to puke.

One of these events can induce stress on its own; it’s overwhelming to have them all happening in less than two years. Everyone has different ways of coping. Some drink, some meditate, some get angry, some quit the job that is driving them crazy, or rely on others to pull them out of the deep shift.  I found myself praying a lot. It is comforting for me to lean on God, and know that He will get me through all of this. He has so far, so I shouldn’t worry.  I’m not really a rock after all, I’m a bunch of ice, dust, and uh…thanks to the cheese I ate on my burger… gas.  Ice eventually melts, and dust blows away, but I think this comet will remain in orbit at least a little longer.

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