like the burnin’ end of a midnight cigarette

I just wasted a beautiful day. Honestly, I’m not too disappointed, which is unusual for me. I got to spend half of it lazing around with Tod, which always makes me happy, and then I started my period and felt like curling up on the couch, not galloping around outside. I also felt the need to get a head start on proofing for the week, so I’m not struggling to get the hours in on Friday night. I have a strange desire to watch “The Hills” and the new “Editor-in-Chief” series on MTV tomorrow night, so that should give me a few more good hours of work time too. Hooray! I’ve spent the last two hours reading the new style guides for the quarter, so that has given me a little time without requiring a whole lot of effort – score!

GR was fun: low key, just right. I wasn’t as impressed with the butterfly exhibit as I had hoped to be, but if I had thought about it more beforehand, I would’ve realized a sunny Saturday at a short-lived cool thing would be packed. And it was. The greenhouse was hot and crowded and made me feel claustrophobic and rushed. I felt guilty pausing too long, lest someone (or his/her child) got antsy or felt I was in his/her way. It didn’t actually happen, but I was dreading the idea of it, so as soon as Keith headed for the exit, I went out, too, after Tod introduced me to his old roommate, Brian, who happened to be there with his wife and son. That was a nice encounter – he seems like a cool guy. =)

After a walk around the weird sculpture garden (they could do SO much more with that place… maybe it’s just that no flowers were blooming yet), we headed over to Chili’s for a bite to eat and a break from the walking. The food and service left a little to be desired for most of us, which was disappointing (but not surprising), but it was great to see Jen. I thought she was going to be back, but Tod didn’t think that could be the case yet, but she was! And she joined us for dinner, so we got an update on her status after returning from Charleston. Then most of us (minus her and Jessie) went back to Liz’s and sat around watching TV for a few hours, with Keith periodically asking, “So, are we going to play a game?” and not making a move to pick one out or get out of his chair. =) Classic. Around 9, Jenny and Chris took Keith home for some rest before his 6 a.m. shift and Tod and I headed home. It was nice to be able to get back and stay the night here, wake up together, eat lunch at a leisurely pace, etc. He left for UF in the afternoon and said it was beautiful weather and he got a free Spongebob T-shirt. Awesome!

I called my mom instead of going for a visit today. I figured nice weather meant she would be busy with outdoor tasks, which she had been all day. I find myself clenching my jaw a little every time we talk. We’re both argumentative, tense people. Or at least we can become that way in a split second. I hate that about myself, so I’ve tried to learn to hold it in. But she’s not really into that whole “self-training” thing, so whatever she feels like doing or saying, she does or says without regret. She feels like she’s earned it after 60 years on earth – maybe she has… I don’t know. I guess I value being likable. Sometimes too much, but usually just enough to be effective.

Anyway, while talking to her, I started fretting about moving back home. These past few weeks, I’ve been excited about the idea, because it means getting back to the Wellness Center, regaining the normalcy that I had last year. But what if it’s not the same? What if the idea that I don’t have a steady job or direction is too much to allow me peace in that house? My mom will be home all the time (summer = least busy for her) and so will I, working from home every day, and I worry about the tension that will arise within the first week. The disagreements that will start the first afternoon. We really are that bad.

This thought actually occurred to me today: I wish I could live with Tod’s family instead of mine. Of course, I could never do that, because my mom would officially disown me for being so ungrateful and cruel (regardless of my reasons for doing it). And even though I understand Tod’s dislike for the way his parents can be, they really aren’t as bad as my mom. And being with other people’s parents is SO much easier than being with your own. I feel so much less guilty about not being a success when I’m around them. They have animals and love them – my mom hates most living things. =P They own a motorcycle and take weekend trips, even when funds are tight (not always responsible, but fun; my mom never leaves SE Michigan). They have a hot tub and take time to relax rather than just stomping around all the time or plopping in front of the TV (my mom’s two favorite pastimes). They’re active, walking the dog, cross-country skiing, etc. (my mom mows the yard?). And they’re social, spending evenings at Bible studies, out with friends, going to movies, etc. (my mom and Archie go to Stiver’s on Friday night for dinner – nothing else… EVER). Many of these things end up making ME feel guilty for being active, social, an animal lover, etc. I don’t want to feel that way! I want to be around people who understand why I am the way I am, even if they’re not the same way, even if they don’t get why I would be willing to work at the Humane Society, scooping dog poop, if it meant I got to scratch furry heads all day and throw sticks and comfort frightened cats and dogs. I hate being misunderstood by the person who’s been around me the most in my life, who I feel should know me the best and be my biggest supporter. Why is there such a disconnect?

Tod is such a laid-back person too. I think that’s one of my favorite things about him. In some ways, I think he’s lazy, but in others, I think he achieves the perfect balance of relaxation, activity and responsibility. Or at least he does a better job than I do. =P I am such a work-focused person most of the time. Not so much when I’m blogging while on the clock (haha), but I worry about work. I procrastinate, waste that time, then regret it while I’m working through lunch or staying after to get something finished. If I just did what I needed to do at that moment, then moved on to more enjoyable things, I’d get a lot further in life, on tasks, etc. Anyway, back to what I was saying: I think that would be a mellow household to live in. Not one I could ever actually live in, but one of those things that would be nice if I were 13 years old again and wanted to choose a different life for myself. =P

One of the things I really need to work on is patience. No matter how tense or relaxed my surroundings, I’m still liable to snap without notice. If I learn to be more cool-headed, I can more effectively deal with my mom’s bitterness, antisocial tendencies, lashing out, close-mindedness, insecurity and short temper. Even around Tod’s family, I can sometimes feel my good mood slipping, like when his mom made the Cranium clay into a long, snaky necklace and proceeded to put it around the dog’s neck, dotting it with white hairs. She was nice enough to pull them out and realized what a bad idea it was after I said, “…And now it’s full of dog hair.” I immediately felt bad for saying it, but y’know… I have a short fuse when it comes to “my stuff.” I need to get over that too. =P

I guess I’m just going to do my best to deal with moving home. I’m going to think about the positive aspects as much as I can and recall as often as possible that it is only as permanent as I make it. There’s nothing tying me to that place or my current job or SE Michigan. If I want out, I can go anywhere. I don’t want to have to be an escape artist just to be happy, but if I need to step away for a while, I think that’s OK. Anyway, I’m going to make my transition back as smooth as I can by packing effectively, moving things efficiently, making as little work for others as I can. I will organize everything and try to make livable space in the basement. I will stay out of my mom’s way as much as possible and avoid being an inconvenience. I will make a conscious effort to find places outside my house to do work each week, so I’m not always in the same space as my mom. I will get back to the gym and move back in a good direction with my health. I will spend time outside and try to be more active in other ways, so I’m not always relying on an elliptical machine and a lap pool to keep in shape – I may not always have those things at my fingertips like I do now.

All right, I’m feeling crampy and need to address these Yeti-like legs of mine. Bath time! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Looking forward to more sunny days!

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Filed under fun, health, home, plans, recap

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