2020-05-23 Laundry Day 🐱

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had in a long time. I was on such an emotional edge almost all day and barely made it through all the things I had to do.

I participated in an early meeting with a client in which my only responsibility was to take notes and have my brain on to ask intelligent questions. I had no intelligent questions and spent most of the meeting with my head down on the desk. It’s a good thing that everything is Zoom and with the customer it’s audio only.

To be honest, I’m all Zoomed out.

The second meeting was out daily internal team meeting. I said “fuck it” nobody reads these notes anyhow so I didn’t take notes. I mean, I like having the notes because Confluence makes it easy to search for stuff and when people ask about a certain thing, it makes me seem like a damn genius because I have the answer in like a minute.

Again, had my head down listening to the same broken record conversation as every day and thinking about Z and C and how effed up things are right now, I wept. I literally put myself on mute and fought really hard to keep myself together but then let go.

I was also getting FB instant messenger notifications on my phone from my writing group and one of my friends was going through the loss of a pet and I knew that’s what it was about and it just hurts me to think of her hurting and to remember loosing Louie Louie. My sweet first pet as an adult. It was just all too much.

I took some time in the afternoon to get some more of my annuals in pots before the rain came and then it was back inside for my third meeting of the day… sprint retrospective.

This time I was up front about not taking notes. I told the PM before hand that I was having a tough day and didn’t feel like the internal notes for this wasn’t really necessary. Which was self-serving, but whatever.

This time I had more to say so I had to pay attention for my opportunities. The project is on two week sprints and the devs have established a bad pattern of not getting their tickets done. They are supposed to do their work, internal code reviews with each other and then merge all the code changes into the dev branch where KK and I can log in and do QA testing. The tickets can’t be closed until we QA them. So if they wait until the last day of the sprint (or even worse, the weekend after), KK and I are stuck testing on the weekend. That fucking sucks!

She’s the PM and responsible for steering the ship and helping correct that behavior, but there was some serious push back and discussion. If it does not change with the next sprint (after which we release a new version to the customer), it’s going to murder us. I know it’s going to happen again and that makes me want to cry too.

Last time we released to the customer we went into Friday with so much broken it was sickening. We worked our asses off all weekend. Our bosses bought us lunch on Sunday and the week after I received flowers from the company.

To that I say, that’s nice.. and thoughtful, and appreciated, but it doesn’t make up for the lost time with family or the anxiety that affects my health. If I’m burned out or dead, I’ll be useless to the project. It’s disturbing.

What did I not have to do?

I basically ducked out of three different personal meetups yesterday. Virtual happy hour with my company and I was so wrecked that was the last thing I wanted to do. Another one on one with a friend who I’ve been trying to connect with for a while and I just reached out to her to reschedule. And a third meetup with Josh who wanted to meet in person and I just wasn’t in the mood for dealing with the anxiety of that, nor did I feel like getting in my car to drive to meet him. You know, putting real clothes on and trying to make it look like I hadn’t been crying all morning.

So that’s me venting. And I let go last night and drank a bunch and Jim and I had a good night of saying “fuck it” to everything. We got take out. We talked all evening and I have no idea what time we stumbled to the bedroom.

Today I’m not doing any laundry, except maybe airing this dirty nonsense.

I’ve got work to do. I’ve got lit mag stuff to do. And Z Is coming back home so we can hang out more just the two of us.

My aim? Balance and restoration.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.
Happy Caturday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-22 How does one protect those they love from a broken heart?…

On this day 27 years ago, I got married. That lasted 17 years. And in case your curious, nobody gives out prizes for that. I didn’t get a gold star when I was married 10 years and yeah, the marriage was a big party after which there were a few pats on the back, hugs and words of congratulations. But after that it felt like a half-hearted good luck accompanied by a kick in the ass out the door.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so ready to leave those broken nests. The point is.. you’re pretty much on your own in life and so it’s important to make good decisions on who you spend your energy on. And be in it for yourself, and probably humanity as a whole, and the Earth.

I’ve got very little time today for myself, and for my treadmill and I don’t want to waste it dwelling on the past or getting on my lofty soapbox about life. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

My sentiments today are unavoidably colored by the goings-on of yesterday. Which was a shit show of emotions and strange occurrences. I gotta make quick work of this….

My daughter reached out to me in the middle of the night. She was experiencing her first real heart-break. I was sick that I was not there to hold her. I texted her first thing in the AM and she would not tell me what was going on because she wanted to talk in person.

I drove to where she was. Upon arrival we chatted for a few minutes while she prepared herself for the conversation. In short, one of her best friends, who she’s been conspiring with for months about rooming together for their freshman year in college, basically let the clock run out on their opportunity to “pair” in the UNL housing system. She waited until it was literally too late for Z to search other profiles and find another match. At 10:36 pm she sent Z an apology text letting her know she picked someone else, leaving my Z hanging out alone.

Z had texted her all day reminding her of the deadline. They have had hundreds of discussions about this plan over the past year and not once did her friend mention that people advised against it, or that she was already promising this other girl she would room with her too. All of this came out in that long text which was about 1 hour before the pairing option closed in the UNL system.

She described how she felt, crying all night and not being able to breathe at times. She only slept for like 3 hours. She never responded to that text and I advised her to hold off until she had time to sort through feelings. I urged her to write it out, what she’s feeling and what she would like to say to this girl, even if she never sends it.

By the time her and I were talking about it, the sadness had subsided but it was replaced by anger. We talked about the stages of grief and all the things we can control in this situation. I tried to be a good mom despite my own anger and desire to call this girl up myself and give her a piece of my mind. Ugg!

We then spent about 2 hours looking online at her next steps for housing and filling out forms so she can make an appointment with an advisor. We checked a lot of boxes. It was productive and nice to spend the afternoon with just her and I. I said “fuck it” to everything else. That felt great too.

People can be so shitty. This girl was the one person she was counting on knowing at this university which is a big campus. She already has fear of abandonment and fear of being alone. It just sucks so bad I can’t even. I know I can’t protect her from all the hard times and crappy situations and people, but it’s so hard to be witness to.

All I have are words and hugs and just making sure she knows, as long as it is in my power I will never abandon her or leave her alone. I didn’t want to take her back to her dads house. I wanted to keep her at my house.

I’m just so not prepared for this. I’m so fucking mad and sad and I want to scream at the world. My baby. My love.

To the title question, “How does one protect those they love from a broken heart?” .. The answer is that you can’t.

You can’t. I can’t. Nobody can. Just be there to help sort through it all, I guess.

Hugs,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-21 Mother / Daughter Stuff

I’ve got some venting to do but I can predict the future so I’m not going there today. If you live long enough, you too will be able to predict the future. The disclaimer on that is that it all comes from experience. Ride that record right round enough times and there’s no question what the next song will be.

All that to say, I’m skipping the vent session and writing about a relationship topic instead. Not my love, or my kids, or friends who I’m tethered to by responsibility and dedication and love. I’m writing about my mom who has always been a person In my life, albeit not in the forefront, ever.

There’s not enough time or motivation to trudge through all the backstory of why our relationship is the way it is. You know, but it’s always colored by the fact that human beings are mostly self-centered and when it comes to parent / child relationships I sort of feel that the parent should be more selfless but it’s not in my moms nature.

Don’t get me wrong, she always does those things that in her head are requirements of the job… remembers birthdays and sends a card. She reaches out every so often to see how we are doing. She makes a big deal about getting together sometimes. And in the flipside she also expects these things in return.

That being said, outside of one other person, she’s the only one who wanted to talk to me about my Thesis. She genuinely wanted to read it and was happy for me getting my degree and my 4.0. I have a small group of people I’ve met in the MFA that are wonderful and we chat about all things MFA of course, but my mom is the only one outside of that that goes deeper than skin deep in conversation about it.

As I said, she asked for my thesis so she could read it, and I made a few edits and sent it to her. All 138 pages. Within a day she had read through all the poems and sent me back a long text with her feedback. She took the time to really evaluate some of them with her experience in mind and let me know her favorites and why.

She also let me know that reading the “Castle” poems made her sad for me. I’m not exactly painting a pretty picture of my new life here. She’s concerned for me and I told her we could meet up to talk about. It’s too much to text and I’m not one for phone calls. I guess we could do a call but I feel like any week now I’ll be able to see her in person.

Her husband has Parkinson’s and his condition has deteriorated enough in the past year that she’s had to employ help. All his medical stuff is handled by the VA as he served in the Vietnam war and there’s been a direct connection made with his issues and his exposure to Agent Orange. There’s not enough time now for me to elaborate on how absolutely Fucked Up that all is. But you can guess.

So she’s about to start getting weekly visits from a care person because she’s not physically able to do some of what is required. She’s been under tremendous stress with all of it for a while now so the help is a huge relief to her. It also means she can actually leave the house while the care person is there and so she’s looking forward to resuming our lunch meetups. I am too.

People need people yo! I miss all my meetups!

Anyway. It was so wonderful to me that she read my words and she said she’s proud of me. It means a great deal to hear those words from a parent. Inside I’m still that tentative, shy girl who just wants a little recognition from the people who are important. No matter how old I get I’m still seeking approval and hoping to loose my invisibility cloak, even if it is for short little bursts.

I love my mom. Things I write might focus more on the negative side of life, because that’s in my writer’s nature. It’s not often I bust out a happy poem or a positive one, though I’ve written a few of those over the years. I don’t know why I don’t think they are as interesting. It’s the opposite problem of my “poor me” tendencies. It’s too self-congratulatory or boastful or feels too much like bragging. I have to solve that puzzle too.

Anyway, maybe next week my mom can get away. She doesn’t want me to come to her house because she really wants to get out of the house and away. She’ll probably come to my house which Jim has given the OK on and I’ll make us some lunch. I’m looking forward to that.

On the flip side, I think about my daughter and our relationship and I’ve tried hard to make sure she knows she’s number 1 in my book. Her and her brother are tied for number 1. She texted me after midnight last night (she’s at her dads house) and said she needed to talk about something important. No clue what it was about.

She wants me to come get her for lunch today. So that’s what I’m gonna do. Nothing could be more important. Not work, not Jim, not school or writing or anything. About 12:30 I’m gonna cut my day in half and just let go of anything that needs doing. We’ll see how it plays out.

I did confirm with her that it’s not a health issue. So that’s a relief.

That’s it for today. Can’t believe it’s Thursday already. There’s never enough time. Why is that?

With Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-19 Today Miss SugarCookie asks, “What does the Universe Want?” 🤔

Last week was ballz-out crazy and I have high hopes that this week is going to slow down. Is it too high or wishful to believe that it can actually slow down sometime?

What I need, is like a week without obligations or responsibilities. What’s that called again? Oh yeah, a vacation.

I’m missing my spring trip to Austin. I’m missing planning a trip to Colorado. I’m missing day-dreaming with my besties about our next girls trip off the grid. I’m missing musing about where in the world my love and I should go next. In the grand scheme of “what’s different now” because of the pandemic, my daily life hasn’t changed much.

Less trips to the grocery. Wearing masks. No coffee or lunch or HH meetups. That’s all changed and I feel like we are slowly coming out of that haze. Cautiously dipping a toe into the uncertainty of more trips out, getting take-out, and a few visits with friends.

But I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I can travel. Well, big travel anyway. I tried logging in to Ticketmaster on my phone a few days ago (which I had been procrastinating) to check to see if Fall Out Boy in July was on or cancelled or postponed. That’s in California. If it’s cancelled, I guess I need to cancel those plane tickets. I could not get logged in and I took that as a sign from the Universe that I should wait.

Then there’s Elton John in Des Moines in June. That’s getting close now and it’s most assuredly cancelled but I’ve been remiss in looking into that too. I just don’t want those negative feels, you know?

Oh hey… and did I mention my daughters graduation. Probably once or twice before, yeah. My poor pudding pie. She’s sort of over it.. or at least not lamenting outwardly anymore. As a parent, to raise a child and be so freaking proud of the person they have become and then have that “moment” and celebration ripped away, it just sucks big time.

Her unused prom dress is hanging in her room. She dwells mostly in her bedroom and so I’m sure she’s reminded of that missed event everyone she looks at it. That’s part of why I haven’t been looking for the status of my concert tickets. Blissful ignorance I guess.

Her live graduation and party are still pending. The new date for graduation is August 2nd. Any later and she’ll have gone off to college. Well… there’s hope in that too.

I’m officially asking the Universe to help the Humans get this virus under control, figure it out and stop fighting about it, and give us back normal, even if it’s a new normal. What kind of prayers or gifts or sacrifices do I have to offer?

Not going to gamble my heart or soul or life on it (never again).

…Back to this week… It should be more chill. I’ve got flower planting and work and chores stacked up but nothing is on fire. Nothing is burning out of control. it is only Tuesday though. Ha!

I think that’s it today. It’s time for me to stop thinking about doing and to actually start doing. 😉

Cheers to Taco Tuesday,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-14 Revealing My Drinking Age

Yesterday was the first day in a while I felt like I had a handle on life.

Round 2 cutting my daughters hair went well (first try the prior day ended porky).

Five of my son’s missing geometry assignments have now now been verified as complete and we’re on track for catching up this week. There’s a long way to go with world history, and a short amount of time but I’m hoping we can still pull that D+ up to a C. 🤞

I worked for 5 hours, most of which was sprint planning. Those long sessions are killer but I feel we are now finally working as a cohesive unit and on the right track.

I also made progress on the website I’m working on for the new lit mag and the submittable and am happy with how that’s going. Narrowed down to a couple of themes and am at the point of plugging in content. That’s the kind of stuff that I could really spend hours and hours on and it’s super satisfying.

Ask me again in 4 months when my primary role will be doing this on the regular. Ha! The cool thing about all that is that the content will come from other places. I mean, I’ll be writing content too, but for the most part we’ll have a format and will be showcasing other people’s words.

Anyway. At the end of the day I had a few drinks and had a virtual happy hour with a friend and she had lots of updates and it was a great chat. Every time I drink, I’m reminded of my age.

They say “you’re only as old as you feel”. Well, after a few drinks I feel like I’m about 70 and just wanna go to bed at like 9pm. 🤷‍♀️

Unfortunately I’m also reminded again when I wake up and just don’t feel right. I mean, it’s not like I’m pounding “time lords” from the Night Owl. I’m just having a few vodka lemonades.

This is completely predictable though as my mom has previously described the decline of her ability to drink. Her current status is “one and done”. I feel like I’m headed that way and kinda bummed because I like to enjoy a cocktail or two and don’t want to have to worry about how it’s gonna make me feel. Whatever.

I’m trying to walk off that icky feeling now and the jury is still out on if it’s gonna work or not.

I’m also gonna try hard today to have a repeat performance of yesterday. A good balance of everything. I’ve got another Virtual HH meetup again tonight. This time with my Texas Bestie in Austin. Probably gonna forego the drink and just keep the “happy” part. We’ll see.

I’m still procrastinating a lot of things. I’m still trying not to let it bother me too much. Maybe today is the day I order pics from Walgreens for my daughters grad announcement. Maybe today’s the day I give up the idea of dropping my thesis off in person and just drop it in the mail. Maybe today’s the day I clean the toilets. Haha haha. 🤣 Fat chance on that last one.

My personal feeling on this is that since everybody has pretty much their own toilet in this house. They should be responsible for cleaning their own toilet in this house. That seems pretty reasonable right? So maybe I will clean my own toilet and then show the kids where the cleaning supplies are and nudge them in that direction. Wonder how that approach will turn out (I don’t really have to wonder.. I already know).

I guess the degradation of the topics here means I’m done for today. I mean, when it’s down to cleaning toilets, that’s a red flag, “you’re done.”.

Thanks for playing along,
~Miss SugarCookie

PS. If you’re seeing the featured image on this post. That’s Doug joining me today in the gym and he’s using the exercise bike as a bath time platform. I told him that’s not what that equipment is for but he just looks at me like he doesn’t understand the language I’m speaking. 🐱🧡

2020-05-13 No Rest For the Wicked Part 336

Why 336? Because it feels like It might just go on and on and on and one can’t escape being wicked if it’s a part of their nature.

Riddle me this? Why do I have to spend 40 grand on a masters in fine arts which includes thousands (not exaggerating) of dollars for fees for things I don’t even utilize or know what they are AND then have to pay to print my own copies the thesis document that will be bound and forever kept somewhere. The UNO library I think. It was 60 bucks to print that and after the fact (of course) I notice that for poems that extend past one page, the continuation does not start low enough on the page. So there’s an inconsistent look on those pages. The perfectionist in me hates this. The frugal girl wags her finger and says don’t you dare fix that and pay for a reprint. These two people inside me will continue to argue until the damn document is out of my hands.

Mostly I’m lazy and don’t want to open Word and look at it again. Which is one reason I haven’t sent it to my mom, who asked to read it.

The other reason i have resisted sending it to mom is the poems themselves. One or two in particular that don’t paint her in a very favorable light. Well just one really. Jim said to just take that one out and send it. I have two minds in disagreement about this too.

On one hand all those things are a part of who I am. I want to model my behavior after the lovely Amy Plettner who Published her first book and just gave a copy to her mom, unedited (kind of hard to edit a published book like that). She told me that when she saw the book on her moms bookshelf it was markedly thinner. Her mom actually ripped out the pages with poems she didn’t like, ones about her presumably but also any poem having to do with sex or the word fuck (which is a lot of them).

My stuff is much tamer than that. I think the word fuck only shows up in one poem. And I haven’t included any poems that have anything directly to do with sex. But I did compare my mom to a fax machine / clean freak ….

My mom is sensitive like me (or I’m sensitive like her) and that would hurt her and I don’t want to hurt her. If I was Rachael Mckibbins and my mom was truly a bad person, I might feel differently. But my mom is a good person.

Incidentally, Amy also told me that later, after the page tearing out was long past, her mom asked for another copy. Probably she came to terms of what the book really represents. A piece of Amy’s whole heart and that life is rough, you know. Just gotta be more understanding with people and humanity and all its complications.

Wow. That was quite a tangent.

I suppose I don’t really have to cross any bridges that have to do with really publishing a book because that feels so distant or impossible at this point. The first step I suppose is submitting more. I’ve fallen off that wagon and truly the few things I’ve sent out into the universe have either been rejected or not returned.

Starting from zero is not easy. I mean, I’m not exactly at zero, but I’m at like 0.34. Ha! A few more tick marks in the “win” column and I’ll bump myself to a solid 1!!

I spent my day off yesterday working on the parenting thing and the lit mag thing, until I had another breakdown about being a failure. Jim has been very supportive and a huge shoulder to cry on and a good listener. Thank the universe for him. He literally has a hellish schedule at work this week and here I am crying on my day off. Ugh! 🙄

In the end, I was able to let my Failures go. And then it was pretty much time to go to bed. Go figure. 🤷‍♀️

But I’m up and at it again today and getting ready to make coffee and get to work. Round and round I go.

Cheers to Another Opportunity to Try,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-12 No Rest for the Wicked Part 2

Yesterday came and went and it was a freaking blur. The deadline at work was met and the team pulled it off. Alpha version 0.0.1 was demonstrated and released to the customer. If that name doesn’t scream “early, early release” then I don’t know what does. In the end, I was left to sweep up the confetti that was left on the floor and make sure the gift bags were passed out. I was so blurry eyed at that point, I was afraid I was going to screw that up.

Half an hour later, we did an impromptu team huddle and our leaders gave praise for all the hard work and basically gave us a day off. One day this week of our choosing. It was intended to be today but a few people lobbied for Friday. Me? I think I’ll take both days and maybe Thursday too. 😜

Every day I steal from Peter to pay Paul. By now, Paul is a very rich man and I think he’s had enough. And Peter is pretty much lying in a gutter with his arm stretched out to me. It’s time for some rebalance in the force. Last night when I was finally released, the first thought I had was that I’ve been a shitty neglectful parent and I have to make that right.

This involves two things.. reconciling the grade book with my son who now has 28 missing assignments across his 7 classes. Plus a D In AP world history. We have a plan in place to get to work but the second I turn my back, he’s gaming again. That’s a work in progress. Always.

The second thing is some serious QT with my pudding pie. We talked and have a plan for that too. We’re going to Don our masks and make a trip to target today to restock makeup, shop for bras and underwear, and buy box hair dye to do something fun with our hair. She wants a haircut and that’s one of the mom things I know I can do well (with her). Her hair is just like mine so it’s easy.

We’ll probably grab some food while we are out today too. If you’re gonna bust out.. better make it a good one!!

I laid out the plan to Jim last night and he was leery of the target run and asked me about masks. That’s his way of trying to urge us to do the right thing. Such an interesting pickle we’re in right now. And when I say “we” I mean all of us here in Nebraska.

What are the rules is anybody’s guess and mostly it’s “on your honor”. So some times it seems like a free for all and some places you go there are signs that say masks are required. Not sure what will actually go down today. Z doesn’t want to wear a mask. And she said “if I have to, I’m going to make my own so it can at least be cute”. Haha!

All of that doesn’t necessarily make things “Wicked” as the title of this post might suggest. I guess that comes in with the 10 other things I’m putting off while I try to have a successful day parenting.

Lit mag meeting today with my co-eic and I’m no where near ready for that. I had to-dos to do and they are not done. We pushed the website launch from May 1 to May 15 and with the issues we’ve had (and a lack of time) it’s just not going to be ready. Thats 3 days from now.

Even if I busted my ass all day today and tomorrow. I think some things are not baked yet for content. And we kinda need one more team meeting to get actual feedback which was supposed to be live feedback, but that kinda got derailed. Long story. It’s just tough to navigate all the personalities. 🤷‍♀️

What else? I’ve been lacking specificity lately so here’s a very fucking specific list of other things I’m procrastinating:

  1. Dropping off or mailing my thesis. 📬
  2. Sending invites/announcements for Z’s graduation. 📩🎉
  3. Finishing getting my garden in.🌸🌱🌺
  4. Keeping in touch with people. 📞💗
  5. Getting the official paperwork done for the kids’ trusts. Nest accounts, and getting my direct deposit redirected to our new joint account. 📃🖊💰
  6. Follow up on the UNL stuff for Z. ✅✅✅
  7. Cleaning the toilets. 🚽 🧽
  8. Following up on my writing/submissions/rejections.📃❌👎🏻 And updating my own personal website.
  9. Opening and Filing my snail mail. 🐌 📭
  10. Fixing my poor eating behaviors. 😂😂🤣

Well friends. If you’re still reading, I’ll be sending you an official certificate verifying your sainthood. By the way, sending that out will be #34 on my actual list so don’t hold your breath. 😉

That’s my hour. Feels good to get a whole hour!

Peace and love,
~Miss SugarCookie