2020-01-17 The Perfect Storm for Dissolving Doubt

It feels like a Saturday because everything is closed. The radar when we woke up today looked like something from the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”. A storm cell covering 1/4th of the country, starting in Minnesota and going all the way down into Texas, covering all of Nebraska moving slowly into Iowa. School was called off last night before I went to bed and this AM I was surprised that the alarm did not go off, which meant that Jim’s Office was closed too.

It was perfect timing as we really needed this extra day together to kick the final wedding prep in high gear. We’re making the most of this snow day and have already checked a bunch of boxes. I’m feeling good about things, finally. Mostly I just needed to check with him to review and get buy-in on what I’ve decided- readings, decor, cake, etc. it’s all good.

We are running a few errands today and among them is the courthouse. One of our to-do tasks was to apply for a marriage license. I was sort of on a caffeine/wedding planning/butt kicking high but then the form happened. Nothing kills a good vibe buzz like having to mine your past looking for your divorce date. Why is it with all the paperwork I’ve saved over the years my divorce decree (the official one with the dates) is not in my possession? I literally have my taxes saved back to 1993. I also have most important events in FB back to 2008ish, but not that. Why?

I Ended up digging into my old journal entries to find the exact date. But wowza if reading the surrounding words aren’t a mood killer, I don’t know what is. Not only that, but I found the reason none of it was on FB. I apparently deleted all of it. Or rather.. cut it and pasted it all into that word document at the bottom of my journal entry from March 14, 2010. All the surrounding posts with thoughts, poems, likes, and comments all retained just for this very moment for me to find.

So my divorce was final March 15, 2010 (the Ides!! How appropriate!!!). I kinda remembered that but now I know for a fact that was it. 10 effing years ago almost. And scrolling back through the last 10 years of ones life on FB is trippy.

The last 5 years I’ve not been very active since I hate FB and social media in general. But before that, I apparently posted a bunch. Events, check ins at restaurants, vacations, holidays, etc. I scrolled back through past relationships, Matt and SV and my jobs at OTTR and Methodist Hospital. Lots of pics with people I don’t see or hang out with anymore. Lots of history and also sadness for losing touch with people. Also sort of holding my breath on a few folks I’ve invited to the wedding, hopeful they will show despite not getting RSVPs back (looking at you RH!!!)

Reading that journal entry reminds me how conflicted and confused I was. I was pulling the trigger on a big life decision and yet still held so much doubt. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s exactly how things are now. Doubt is just a part of life I guess and you can never be 100% solid on your decisions.

Things are more 20/20 in the rear view. Getting married at 19 was naive, but i wouldn’t trade it or my life to follow for the world. Getting a divorce was also the right decision. No two ways about it. All the big decisions before and after that have all been good ones. Leaving the hospital after 17 years was good. Leaving OTTR after 5 was one of my best decisions ever. Leaving Matt was also a good call, and now, thinking about all of this, I have gained more clarity on what’s going down 15 days from now.

(Yes.. 15 days to go! 💍💕)

It’s the right decision and my doubt is fading fast. Maybe it’s the adrenaline of this caffeinated snow day that’s got me in this mood. Maybe it’s the worry in me that’s just giving up the fight. It’s losing/lost the battle and walking away. I’m finding myself in the sweet spot between doubt and party/wedding day anxiety.

Jim being here probably has a lot to do with that. He’s such a constant stabilizing force. He’s just amazing. I’m a lucky girl. 🍀💚🥰

That’s enough mush mush for today. What a wild ride for a Friday. Looking forward to the weekend.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-16 In all Honesty

I’m always complaining that there is never enough time in the day. Not enough to do a thing proper so I trudge through to-do lists doing things that seem necessary but not necessarily to the best they can be done.

Someday I am afraid I will look back and say it was all a lie. This life. That I’ve splayed my words out far and wide and said they were raw and organic and trustworthy but have I been? Honest, I mean? With myself and everyone else? I wonder and worry.

I spent at least an hour today floundering in the kitchen, not being able to make up my mind about what to do today. I messed about for at least an hour sewing tiny little wedding looking ribbons and flowers and lace onto two unwitting stuffed groundhogs and I called it progress. I called the Cheesecake Factory about a cake and they just said they have them at anytime just come pick one up. Whatever.

I went to Jazzercise so that is something. I wanted to go to the gym too but lost my nerve to leave the house again. Plus it is so, so cold outside (single digits).

I decided finally to read some of my books for the semester even if nothing will come from that, perhaps I will really enjoy it, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. My mind was thinking about how stupid the book I was reading was and how that guy had loads of poems published and much of what I read today was nonsense. What am I supposed to learn from that other than, given the right set of circumstances, anyone can publish anything. I’m not going to say what book it was. It made me want to take a nap.

I probably fell asleep for about 20 minutes and then woke up with a startled thought in my head. What if I can’t be married on February 2nd because it’s a Sunday. Why would that thought wake me up? The Nerve!!!

Then I wrote a mostly nonsense poem about how every room in this house wants something from me and I can neither escape that nor can I leave because every other place I might go in the world also needs something from me. That’s the Universes honest truth.

If I’m really being honest, which I think I am.. hope I am.. I would say when I read/evaluate my own body of work (as I have had to do in order to try and put together my manuscript) there are some overarching themes that present themselves. One of which is that I always want to run away, escape, be somewhere I’m not, be someone I’m not. I’m dreaming of it all the time. I’ve been dreaming of it since I was about 13. I’ve daydreamed entire lives that I would never live and each time I wake, I’m still in this one.

I wonder what it is I think I will find somewhere else. I have no place else to go. Nobody anywhere else loves me more than the people I have here with me now. Why when I have so much, and have been given the keys to the castle (literally) would I still be daydreaming of running away? Why can’t I be satisfied with this life? I say I want to just be content but then when I have a whole day to do that, I feel as if I’m wasting time.

The sun is already starting to get low in the January sky. It’s not even 4PM yet and yet it feels as though night time is but a blink away.

I’m not going to that reading/fund raiser tonight. I decided it wasn’t in the cards for me and I’d rather spend time here with Jim, even if he has work to do.

I have another few hours before he gets home and maybe I’ll work on the manuscript. I have lots of “tightening” to do. Lots of punctuation and syntax that needs attention. If I do that, perhaps I will feel like I did not waste this entire day. Perhaps.

Perhapsing the Time Away,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-16 Too Much Thinking and Not Enough Action

I’ve got to be quick today as I’ve only got about 20 minutes before I have to be out the door. Truth is, after breakfast I laid back down and didn’t really fall back asleep but fell instead into a thought pattern which apparently sped up time. Before I knew it, I’d been laying there for like half an hour.

I suppose if I’d fallen asleep that would be ok. I really need more sleep. I really do. But I didn’t. I just laid there thinking about all the things.

(16 days to go, by the way…)

I was thinking about:

My lunch with Jackson yesterday and his full court press to get a wedding invite (of which I have no physical invites left to spare).

My worry that my photographer is going to flake out as he’s an acquaintance from a past life.

How I’ve really not got anything substantial to do today so I should work on my manuscript but don’t think I can find the focus for that.

The reading/fund raiser I’d like to go to tonight but it will be me flying solo again because Jim’s day is all jammed up with work stuff.

I’m about to marry that life. The oft single doctor’s wife. The never first priority life. The do what you want when you want but don’t hold your breath for anything else life. Yeah, I’m about to be that wife. Am I ready for that? Who is ever ready for anything really?

/shrug

Despite getting almost everything done on my Monday-Wednesday to-do list, I’m still feeling super unproductive. Why is that?

I dunno. Time to go anyway so forget about it. Whatever it is, it will be different tomorrow.

/shrug

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-14 A Fast Moving Train

Full speed ahead. 18 days to go and last night before falling asleep I touched my forehead to his forehead in bed and asked for him to help me with my anxiety. He promised me it would be alright and that when it comes to it, he’ll talk me away from the edge. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. That’s all I’ve needed, all my days.

I’ve spent the last hour googling love poems and marriage poems and reading through old and new poems, funny and poignant, long and short. I need a few for the reading we are having as a part of the ceremony and it’s one of those details I’ve been procrastinating. One of the many details.

Things are moving fast now though. The days are numbered (for real!) and as the numbers get smaller, my unease becomes more intense. My to-do list today is about 75% wedding related and 25% work and school.

I’ve been pulled into a project for work which may take like 5-10 hours a week and yesterday I got the feedback for the first half of my MFA thesis manuscript and I’m itching to pour through that. I’m easily distracted by these shiny objects but I can’t put off some of this wedding stuff any longer. What I’m trying to avoid is a mad scramble the last 7 days where I lose my mind.

But.. if I do, Jim has promised to talk me away from the edge. I’m keeping those words in my back pocket.

Getting a little cray-cray is probably unavoidable at this point. I need to just focus to get stuff done. I haven’t been able to write much since returning home from Res. I start but then I just sit thinking and can’t seem to find any words. Even now I’m struggling.

I think I’m gonna cut and run for today.. before this post turns into a Tuesday to-do list.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-10 Frying Pans and Forest Fires

One of my goals at Residency is to blog my experience every single day. I almost made it. 8 out of 10 days made their way into the official record. Then things just started moving way too fast and my priorities and desires went elsewhere (appropriately).

At the time I thought to myself that I would catch up on Sunday but I was in serious need of a down day and had to try and recover mentally and emotionally and get myself together. And, oh yeah, sleep.

My average night of sleep at Res was 4.5 hours. Longest night being 5.5 hours and shortest being 2.5. It’s not because I was staying up late drinking and socializing. It’s just cuz I don’t sleep well during immersion. Too much stimulus and I can’t turn my brain off. I digress.

The other reality when I returned home was that there were responsibilities waiting. Not only did I get tapped on by work for some ASAP stuff, but I also had the return of the kids and daily life. If that was it, no problem. But wait, there’s more.

The procrastination has finally caught up with me and now I’m in a mad scramble to move on some wedding planning details. Meeting with the caterer/event coordinator, ordering a wedding cake, gathering supplies for decorations, and touching base with my officiant who, by the way has not met Jim yet. 😱 I’m compiling RSVPs and thinking about readings and vows and the flow of the events (of which there are two), the wedding and the party the night before).

There are 22 days to go, and counting. I’m so full of anxiety that I can barely eat. I mean, I can eat but I’m walking around all day feeling sick to my stomach. I’m not great at asking for help. I’m not great at accepting help. I need to get over that.

That’s really enough, to keep me off my daily routine. But wait.. there’s more…

Because of the wedding planning, wedding, honeymoon thing, about 2-3 weeks of my semester are going to be lost and I had to adjust my deadlines accordingly. This means that the first packet which includes a first draft of my thesis manuscript had to be moved up. That deadline is today. Yup, 75 pages of creative work organized into a cohesive collection with some overarching theme.

Thankfully, I have about 100 passable poems to work with! I literally put that shit together in the space equivalent to about 2 work days. I have to remind myself that it’s just a draft and I have all semester to revise and move things around. But it had to be done ASAP because it needs to be in the hands of my new mentor who has not had a lot of exposure to my work previously.

My thought process was to get this little nugget to him and then shift my focus back to home and work and wedding planning. It’s not a little nugget, it’s a lot to chew on. I’m hoping he takes a couple of weeks on it. If not, At least a week.

I sent two large documents to him this morning with a substantial letter. I’ve sent a draft of what is sure to be a masterpiece into the universe and now?? Now I release myself to walk on my treadmill (which I have not done in 5 days) and write and truly get my thoughts together.

That pretty much sums things up and brings me to the current moment. I’ve been walking for 40 minutes and will keep on till I hit my hour. Then I’ve got a huge set list of tasks that need my attention. Work, house chores, wedding prep, and a few errands. I’ve really got to just take things a task at a time and not get overwhelmed by the list.

First up is house chores. Yay! 😏

I will say that one of the saving graces of my return home and a big part of how I’ve been able to stay sane is Jim and how he did everything while I was away. He even put ALL the Christmas decorations away. That’s hours and hours of work that I didn’t have to do or think about. It was just done. He’s truly the best and I’m a lucky girl!

Ok.. I think that’s really it now. That’s enough already though right??! 😉

Looking Forward,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-04 MFA Day 7 – It Will Find It’s Way Out

(making up for my brevity yesterday apparently so.. long post)

Your voice, your words, your emotions, your suppressed or unsuppressed opinions and thoughts. The things pushed deep inside or those loitering silently just below the surface. Whatever it is, it will find it’s way out. Especially in moments when you feel like you can trust the ones around you or if you are pushed to your limits.

Here in this place I have both conditions active so it’s no wonder that the things I hold inside find their way out. It’s not in the group dynamic mind you, it’s in those intimate moments where I’ve had the opportunity to talk, really talk, one on one or with just two other people about what’s happening in our lives.

And surprisingly it’s not sharing what’s going on with me but listening, really listening, to those people. Feeling with them in their moments of reflection, contemplation, and clarity. It’s incredible actually. It makes me feel like a whole person.

One of the things that have been different about this residency compared to others is that I haven’t given in to the flight or flight response that has caused me to have a need to get in my car and drive home. In past residencies I’ve found myself at a breaking point and just made the executive decision to leave for the night. Not just to sleep in my own bed but to disconnect enough to be in my own space and consider my own issues and make sure I can still reach my center of gravity.

What happens on those 45 minute car rides was unexpected but somewhat reliable. I’m on the highway like 5 minutes, enough time to get out of town and confirm I was headed in the right direction and let go of that and start letting my mind wander. Almost as if a switch has been flipped, I think some thought and am moved to tears.

And not just a teary eye, and uneven breath, but uncontrollable sobbing. The kind where you can’t catch your breath and the highway ahead becomes so blurry like a massive rainstorm when windshield wipers can’t keep up. It’s raining on the inside and everything on the inside just comes out. it pours, for a good 20 minutes and then just as suddenly as it came, it’s gone.

It’s not one thing, it’s all the things. It’s an overwhelming force, but once it’s over, I return to a state where my head is clear and I can start to put together my thoughts in a logical fashion again. I arrive home, find my center (or like I said, at least confirm it’s location), sleep, wake up, and return for another day.

So what’s different this time? I guess it is that I am getting more comfortable, have established relationships and trust with people here, and no longer feel that fight or flight in the same way as before. I have not gone home. I won’t go home until tomorrow when this is all over.

But that buildup of stuff, whatever it is, whatever has contributed to it, whatever it is made of is still happening and has been happening since day zero. I’ve felt myself teetering on the verge of tears. I don’t particularly like crying in public (though it did happen once last Residency and big time), so I breathe through those moments and maintain my composure.

Late afternoon yesterday the last of three graduating students presented their reading. One of the requirements to graduate is to give a 20 minute reading of content that you wrote during the course of your time in the program. She presented three pieces, two narratives and a one act play. It was exquisite. It was so moving and so well written that the narratives felt like long prose poems, constructed with language that carried powerful meaning while also singing and and creating a unique aesthetic experience for those of us fortunate enough to be in the room to hear it. And hear it in the authors voice, which was both soft and and strong in conviction with confidence and, a few times, with the brief line or two which were actual song.

When it was over the typical routine is for people to applaud and then approach and offer hugs and words of encouragement and congratulations. That happened, but as she started receiving hugs the applause did not subside and people began standing. A standing ovation. A first for me to witness here.

After the first hug and words ended, the author looked up and realized it. She was stunned. It was incredibly moving. I was moved to tears (still standing and clapping mind you). A line formed for continued hugs and those quiet words whispered into her ears. I took my plane in line. It was an honor to witness the moment and an honor to be able to tell this woman, who I barely knew, how her writing and presentation moved me.

After that the group dispersed and continued on with their own objectives and plans. I did too.

This morning I woke up just before 4. My mind was immediately there, back in that moment. Perhaps I was dreaming it all over again and moved so much it woke me. I sat up and realized I was about to cry. It came on like that rainstorm in the car, so suddenly and so hard. I wasn’t even fully awake or aware of what was happening. 4 am and it found its way out.

I had a good cry, albeit brief and that was followed by an epiphany. A rush of thoughts about my thesis and it’s content and organization and preface and the accompanying lecture and reading. All in a rush it came to me. What it is and what I have to do next.

I spent the next hour making notes. And now I’m well past an hour (approaching 1.5 hours) on this treadmill writing this post.

Because of the extra time I took today I’m running a little late to find Miss Margret up in the dining room to have our morning breakfast chat. Which means I’ve got to go.

Lots to do In the next 24 hours.

XOXO,

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-01-02 MFA Day 6 – Telegraph for Today

Worst sleep ever. Stop

Literally. Stop

My own fault. Stop

Complete sentences. Gone. Stop

Too much. Stop

Send help. Please.

Stop

Yesterday was a long day and I would recap but I just don’t have it in me right now. I would provide a sneak peek of today, but it’s kinda the same thing. So much has changed from day to day yet everything feels like a repeat of the day before. Same activities, people, food (though I went off campus twice yesterday, once for lunch and again for dinner), same sleep deprivation, same exercise, same thoughts rotating in my brain over and over and over. Still, there’s a progression and developments that contribute and carry me forward to each next minute, a changed being.

That’s fairly non-specific, nebulous, and abstract.

I’m just gonna be honest (not that I have previously been dishonest), but I’m just gonna give this up. I just wanna walk and listen to music, think, and stretch.

Perhaps I need to give myself permission. And not just a pass for this first hour of my day but for other thoughts of what’s required. These requirements are mostly self imposed. So convincing myself that it’s ok not to do something is an inner dialogue and it really should not be such a struggle.

It’s first draft Friday again and perhaps I’ll let that be my contribution and give this day meaning and voice.

On that note. Ciao for now.

~Miss SugarCookie