Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, December 29, 2013


I miss CoolCat.  The past couple of weeks of illness have been, at least slightly, worse because he is not here.  All of the days I was too weak to do more than lie down on the most convenient horizontal surface would have been enormously improved with him nestled at my side, in my lap or somewhere near, dozing himself, purring or just looking back at me with the love we shared.

I think that aspect of our relationship is what makes it difficult to bring a new cat into my home.  I just still miss him so much.  I have gone through grief when each of my pets died, but, really and truly, but nothing like this.  Everything in its time, for certain, but I cannot see a new family member anytime soon.

Aside from having a companion, nice as that is, a cat means responsibility.  I would have had to get up between naps to feed him and clean the litter box.  Whilst up I would have been able to grab something for myself to eat.  I have been eating fruit and almonds and lots of diet root beer.  The carbonation helped to cut through the gunk in my throat and I count it as good as salty gargling, which triggers my gag reflex.  As I began to feel less like a gooey and feverish mess, we would have played a bit.  He scampering around where I was settled on the sofa.

Missing him is not all that sad, now that I am writing about what that is like.  It is more about feeling lonely without him, remembering how seriously funny he could be.  I swear that he experienced fun and humor just as I did.  

I felt lonely in my other life.  I was alone in that marriage, but I always had the cats.  Cats were the one species that my ex loved above all others.  Even people.  Especially me.  Oh.  It was what it was.  In between naps yesterday, I was thinking about what I still need to do, you know, life-wise.  I have a mental list and in the midst of ticking off what others might call goals (not good at that, so I think of them as just things), I realized that I am one and a half years past the day that I left.  Holy gosh.

I should be further along in this new life, in so many ways.  I feel like, maybe not a failure, but too slackerish and stuck for where I probably should be now.  Oh, well.  Maybe I need to make some actual goals or resolutions or plans with deadlines or something.  Maybe not.  I think that I am stuck on this process because I find myself resisting any kind of control, even self-imposed.  

I lived too long and too frighteningly under all kinds of control and I respond to just ordinary, every day stuff with fear and resistance.  Stupid.  I know that it is the PTSD.  I keep having the same old conversations with my doctor and therapist.  I sometimes think that if I hear some version of 'everything in its time' one more time, my brain with shoot out aneurisms all over the place.  Worse, is that when pressed in the early days of treatment, is that the whole everything in its time was voiced first by me.  Rats.  I thought I was being clever or something, and that sort of thing will come back to bite you in the butt every single time.

Anyway, I do respect the work I and my support people have done and continue to do.  But, I still struggle with all of it.  Especially being, or perhaps more properly feeling, stuck and not where I would like to be.  I am missing some of the best parts of life and I want to reach for them, make my life easier and less fearful, as fear is still the most significant part of every day.

So, some of the things that I want to reach are:

Be able to go out at night.  I can now manage being out after dark when I am coming home from someplace, and I can make myself go to the domestic violence support group now that it is dark when I have to leave for there.  It is a short drive and I manage.  Just.  It is my hope to begin to choose after-dark activities, or even simply sit out on the porch or turn on lights indoors.  The only illumination inside here is the computer screen.  Mastering and overcoming this fear is what I most want to do. 

Choose activities.  Yeah, not just after dark, but anytime.  I keep busy with my volunteer work, therapy and groups.  I, sometime in the past several months...hard to remember..., met my friends for breakfast.  I need to do that more often, but I also really need to find other things to do.  There are often programs at the library and there are regular art-related nighttime things, like a monthly poetry, performance art and music program.  The city has regular gallery tromps and special events.  We have a small zoo and if I were any good at spitting, a big lake close enough to spit at.  I have been attending a nearby church.  There are three and a temple within walking distance and I have become slightly involved with the one I chose.  I attend services (except for the time I have been too ill), help with the after-service hospitality thing, chose a child and sent a holiday present, and spent the Saturday before Christmas helping parents choose presents for their children.  It was at a local agency and the amount and selection available to the families was astounding.  Everyone went home with a huge, black trash bag full of, gosh, so many wonderful things.  I met some really groovy people that day and one of them is a boy that was my partner when his older brother wanted to work alone.  At the end of the day he told me that he wanted to be part of the J & J Team next year.  If I do nothing else this coming year, it will be to partner up with him again.  And, the year after that, and for as long as he wants to hang out with me.

Spend more time with family.   I am so reluctant to spend money on gasoline that I do not go much of anywhere.  I should be seeing family more.  Friends, too.  

Be more organized.  I am.  Organized.  But, I would love to be able to go into my work room and practically be able to grab what I need with my eyes closed.  It is a small room, so that could be easy.

Take better care of my body.   That means using the free YMCA that comes with my extra insurance.  I cannot even write about this.  My lack of physical activity fills me with loathing.  I take the stairs at work now, and that little bit of exercise twice a week is making a difference, so who know how I would feel if I did something exercise-y a couple more days each week.  This has one cost, and that is to find proper gym shoes and some kind of shirt or top that would be proper.  Doing this would improve my desire to find more activities and friends.

Stop being so cheap.  Oh, that old money bugaboo.  Lordy.  I hate to spend any money.  Not the worst quality to hold dear, but the thought of any emergency happening and no money to handle it is making my crazier than I already am.  I am a frugal person, pretty much always have been and I enjoy it.  I like the challenge of getting the most and best for my pennies and I like the satisfaction that comes from having my version of abundance at relatively small expense.  I have an excellent connection to my available funds and I budget well.  I know when my bills are likely to arrive, their due dates and a good idea of how much they will be.  

I have four monthly bills, rent, utilities (heating and electric), my credit card (gas for the car and groceries and household stuff when I forget to take cash with me; and it is paid off in full each month), and my Internet connection fees.  I also have auto and renter's insurance payments twice a year, and I put aside the monthly equivalent so that the full amount is there when it is due.  Speaking of gas, I just topped off the gas tank last week, and it had been seven weeks since I did that, and another fill-up six weeks further back than the second one.  In the warm weather I walk to work

I also budget for food, cleaning products and I bought winterizing supplies, which, unfortunately, are not doing much to block all of the leaks in this old place.  If I could abandon everything and move to a new place and start anew, I would, in a heartbeat, even in the middle of winter.  But, I need my stuff, and the thought of moving all...or any...of it throws me into a brain freeze.   

There is more, although I think that these goals (gives me shudders to write that; seems to be too much responsibility) are enough to start.  Reading back, there are six areas I want to do better, make better, and maybe not have to think about so much any more.

Perhaps one more.  Connect with a small, furry bundle of love and make him my very own.


  1. J, you are further along in your plans than I am! Perhaps I should put mine on paper to clarify them my mind. Now that I have retired things will change a lot. I love reading about how you are going. I think we are the same vintage. I am sure you will end up with another little furry bundle of love. I hope 2014 is a healing year for you.

  2. J, there is plenty of room in your heart to love another furry friend. For yourself and for the bundle of joy as well.. If you would take only one of your wishes and focus on that for as long as it takes for you to feel you have accomplished that task. Does not matter how long it takes. If you look back and see how much you have accomplished over the last 18 months, girl you can do anything, Not saying you will get over the fear that you have but one little step at the time. You obviously are a fighter and anyone that reads your blogs can only admire you for your journey in life. I wish you all the best for 2014. As I keep following your journey I know I will read many mountains that you have concurred. Jacqueline.

  3. You're doing great girl...keep moving on, keep moving forward and remember you don't choose a cat....they choose you...go to a shelter in the new year and see what happens xx Oh and don't jump up and down yelling "PICK ME..PICK ME!" Cats hate that! :D

  4. PS.....A portal.....I never thought of that! I'm gonna go back and check it out! It's a bit small arse might not fit you think there could be zombies...cos I don't fink I would go through if there were! ( and no I haven't been drinking....but I will tomorrow (NYE) ;-D

  5. I stopped doing resolutions because I never keep them,what I do is make improvements bit by bit. I know that I will backslide,but we all do,and I just keep plodding forward. Don't beat yourself up!
    Sounds like you are ready for a new furry friend. They really do make such a difference. (HUG)
    I hope you have lovely 2014!

  6. I truly cannot express how helpful hearing from all of you is.

    It is important for my perspective to keep remembering that everyone has things with which they struggle and we are all in this life together, no matter how distant we are from one another.

    I receive so much help and inspiration from all of you, not just here, but through what I read on your blogs. There is often that moment when I am reading there when I come across exactly what I need to help me.

    As we move into this new year, huge blessings on each of you.