So, I was doing pretty well with the whole writing thing. Heck, even when I was in Georgia I actually managed a couple of entries (mind you they were handwritten, but they fucking got written). I have a rather lengthy one for the 16th in which I examine how the trip down with the munchkins went and several other things including some of the workings that go on at the Department of Family and Children Services. ‘Course, then I drove back up by myself and was like, “Okay, I’ll find time to write about driving on my own and other things like that,” and forgot the number one rule of writing, particularly for writers who are distracty and procrastination-prone at their best: you do not “find” time to write. There are four million other things that will come up that you will want to do or will more feel like doing, up to and including staring at lint, and the writing won’t happen. That’s the point I’ve been at for a week…so here I am staring at Dashboard and a relatively open screen “finding” time.

On Time
Time is a tricky thing: sometimes it works with you, unfolding and playing out in a spiral that makes things fall properly into place; other times, it treats you like you’re a gnat on a tornado-driven breeze, tossed about by its merciless desire to keep going, until it spits you out three thousand miles from home, leaving you with a headache and head spins and not a damn clue how to fix it. Right now? I’m a gnat.

The last few months have been chaotic. Of course, I write that sentence and want to automatically correct it with “the last few years” which I then want to correct with “my life is chaotic” but that would simply be one more distraction of minutia that will get me nowhere in the end, so let’s try again.

Life is chaotic, and sometimes, I’m a bloody chaos field. While everyone goes through periods of chaos and upheaval, I from time to time seem to have an extra dose made just for me and anyone within a hundred feet. What I really should say then is this: the last few months have been full of more upheaval than I have really figured out how to properly deal with. I have gone from one event to the next like a shock victim trying to keep her head above the water and sometimes, that description is much more apt than I want it to be. So many things have happened; so many things have changed. There are so many unanswered questions that I could probably fill a novella length printing with them and still not be done. On one hand, the more logical part of my brain understands that some of that is what the whole “growing up” thing is all about: chaos, upheaval, and learning to land on your feet. On the other, the much less logical part of me is going *runaroundlikeachickenwithheadcutoffwashrinserepeatohnoeztheskyitisfallinohnoezdoom*. (Aren’t you glad you don’t have to run around in my brain?)

One of the biggest overarching themes though has been “time.” One event happened approximately five months before it was supposed to, meaning that five months of theoretical preparation disappeared with one phone call. It was the correct choice; it was the sane choice; it was the healthy choice; however, it was still a complete flip-flop of what was going to happen and it made for a whole lot of wandering about going “ohshitohshitohshit.” Some of that time was spent trying to relearn how to handle some pretty basic things. A great deal of that time was spent playing pseudo-nanny to Miss Ma’am and Mr. Monkey and enjoying the heck out of it. I spent most afternoons working with them on their homework or talking to them about school or simply listening to them play while I poked about on the computer. I learned some things from all of that, both in the intellectual sense and in the personal sense. One of those things is, very simply, that I enjoyed the hell out of that. Sure, there were days they made me want to rip my hair out and Tuesdays were the day from hell due to K and her sentences, but I still enjoyed doing it. I also learned a bit about what it was like to function without worrying about every single thing I said, every bad day I had, and the ripple effect that those things might cause. All right, in truth, I started learning about those things but I still do it and I’m still a skittish little rabbit some days afraid to say a damn word. (That’s part of why I’ve not really shared this blog yet, see?)

However, here, too, time played a role. May came much more quickly than anticipated and things weren’t ready. May and June saw time playing having with a great number of things as about two months of arguing out schedules and talking out details and trying not to lose my mind in the middle of that basically was thrown out the window with two phone calls. It was frustrating and it was frequently a pain in the ass and yet, everyone managed to come out at the end of it alive. It just got to seem that every time I turned around, there was one more change coming from one more direction.

July has seen Rin and I attempting to play catch-up from all of the changes in May and June. Since she and I were supposed to have about two weeks to come up here and work before we brought the kids up but ended up not having them, a lot of the things we expected to already have done aren’t. We didn’t get much of anything done while the kids were up here, in part because well, they are kids and there were lots of things to do with them and in part because I was sick a solid chunk of that time. (Granted, at this point, I’m sick so much that I am beginning to not be able to tell the difference anymore. There is “sick with an infection to the point of almost non-functioning” and there is “functioning on such a low level that it is annoying, frustrating, and down-right frightening some days”.) After I got back from taking the kids to Georgia, we actually did get a start on things, but here we are with less than a week before she and I are supposed to drive to Georgia again, and there is so much not done that it is overwhelming.

I would love to say that we need help; however, I am not certain that I could successfully manage to figure out where and what with. Some of the sheer amount of things that need doing are turning the house here into one that is functional for four people. There are a lot of T’s parents’ old things still here (which is a long story), and there is a lot of chaos and disorganization in T and R’s things. Start adding in mine and K’s and you’re getting all kinds of fun…in not fun kind of ways. What we have managed to do is to get closer to a better organized kitchen. Some of the problem with that is that the cabinet layout in there is pretty terrible which takes a fair bit of working with to make it usable. We’re still working on that. What we have left to do is to get the bigger living room cleaned out and re-organized so that it can become the main living room so that everyone isn’t stepping on each other in the main living space. We also have about three other rooms that need some serious overhauling and re-purposing. It is a lot of work and it is overwhelming and I am so damned annoyed with myself for how little I am managing to get done that I cannot stand it.

Now, time is running against us and that overwhelmed feeling is just getting worse. I suppose at this point what we need to do is sit down and figure out what we can realistically get done, but I’m not sure that talking about it is going to help all that much just now. Some of it is simply going to be a matter of mind over body and an understanding that there will be no spoons left at the end of the week…not that there are all that many now.

I suppose that some of the rush of time lately is not helped by the fact that Saturday is my twenty-ninth birthday and let me tell you, that is kind of freaking me out. No, twenty-nine is not that old (though if you measure the age I feel every day versus the chronological, the difference is kind of disturbing); however, for where I am at in my life, twenty-nine is kind of old…and I suppose that makes a nice segue from the Time subheading to the next one…

On Growing-Up and All That Jazz…
When I was younger (read: in high school when I believed the world was well and truly conquerable), I had plans. The problem was a lot of those plans were based around inaccurate ideas and assumptions about the way the world worked. They were a naive kid’s dreams that revolved around what she thought she wanted: not what she needed. Sure, some of them were pretty clear. I’d do the college thing and find a cool job and take over the world. The only problem is that I’ve always been more like Pinky than Brain and quite frankly, taking over the world is just too damn much work.

A lot of those dreams and ideas changed when I had Miss Ma’am, many of them for the better, I would argue. That kid has scared the hell out of me and taught me so much about what is really important in life and about all the things I’ve missed in life simply because I was afraid that I don’t always know where to start talking about it. I have regrets, sure, one of the biggest being that all of the times that I’ve started a “Dear K” letter in my head, I haven’t written them down. That’s one of my new goals, but it’s a bit lower on the list right now than a few others. But one of the things that the last seven months have taught me is this: with my kid standing with me, I can damn near do anything. When I turned both of our lives upside down, she was the one who came up kicking butt first. She fell into a new pattern of life with relish. Sure, she was scared, too, and she had her days of missing the way things were, but for the most part, she tackled the change like a kid and she made me realize that no matter all of the other crazy things going on, life still goes on and it really will sort itself out.

As we are headed toward the next huge change in our life, she has been trepidatious; however, she has also started to find lots of things to be excited about. For a start, she has discovered through seeing some of Mr. Monkey’s activities that Girl Scouts sounds like a neat idea. She is also excited about the SCA group up here and is quite curious about learning how to be a fighter in the kids’ group. She has taken to dressing her stuffed cats up in SCA costumes which is just bloody adorable. Is she still scared? Is she going to miss Georgia and everyone and everything there? Yes. Is she going to throw herself into it headfirst? Probably. She does that. She’s a smart kid; she makes friends easily; she is growing-up to be amazing and I LOVE that so much. I love watching her put together how things work or do not work. I love watching her try new things, even when she doesn’t want to. I love talking to her and hearing what she has to say.

Most of all, I love that she manages, without trying, to help me keep going. There are a whole lot of things that I do because of her or for her. There are a lot of choices I make that revolve around her. I’ve frequently been accused of not thinking of anyone but myself and of not making the best decisions for my daughter, and yet, I measure the success or failure of something based on how she is doing. Kids let you know real fast if something isn’t working. Can you always change that thing? No. But they still let you know. So far? A lot of the decisions that have been deemed “crazy” have actually gone pretty well for her. Maybe I do have a clue of what I am doing after all. *wry grin*

Ironically, I didn’t start the bit on growing-up to be about K, but it makes sense to me -now- that the section kind of had to start with her. Some of that is very simply that I want her to be more prepared for how to function in adult society than I have been. Some of that has been through faults and choices of my own and some of it has been that there were things that I feel I genuinely wasn’t prepared for. For example, one of the greatest myths of my education was that going to college and getting your degree means something. The reality is that all that a degree means these days is that you stuck with something and finished it. It doesn’t really help you find a job like they all said it would and it certainly doesn’t prepare you for how to go out and get the job you want. I’ve learned more about that from Rin’s step-dad in the past couple of months than I ever learned in high school or at the university.

I spent a great deal of time being dependent upon someone and in a lot of ways I still am and right now, it doesn’t seem to matter which state or which house I am in, I am incredibly dependent upon the people inside of it. Right now, that is scaring the ever-loving shit out of me. I suspect that a lot of the dependency is adding to the trouble with sorting some of the unanswered questions. It also means that one of the biggest things that I have to learn about this whole “being an adult” thing is that while I am going to be dependent on other people in some areas, how dependent am I capable of being while still remaining independent? Someone is going to look at this and say, “Well, duh, that’s part of what you have to figure out in life,” and if that person says it to -me- I might hit them. One of the things I never thought of as part of my future when I was that wide-eyed kid was that I would be dependent upon someone else. I never thought I would frequently feel like a prisoner trapped in my own body trying to find a balance between pain that is tolerable and pain that really can’t be ignored. I never thought there would be days where I couldn’t open my own soda bottle let alone work a decent job and make a household. Yet, each of those things are things I deal with on a daily basis. It is a part of life and it is one that takes a hell of a lot of balancing to manage and right now? I totally do NOT have a handle on it.

The past few months have seen several symptoms getting worse. They have seen new symptoms cropping up. They have seen me battling for insurance and failing to get it again. Now they are seeing me trying to find a balance of meds that is actually affordable…and sometimes choosing which are necessary and which are not. It has not been fun, yet I am managing. Unfortunately, I’m not always managing that well. Pain levels are vicious. As I pointed out to Rin at dinner last night, it’s kind of a nasty cycle: you’re nauseous if you don’t eat, you’re nauseous if you do eat, so what do you do? *headshake* Try to find a balance, that’s what.

Some of my internal battle with age and growing up is this: society teaches us that people are supposed to do certain things at certain points. I’ve been behind a lot of those points, so I’m not sure why I’m shocked that I’m behind -all- of them. Honestly, I’m not sure why I care. I suppose because I am frequently a non-conformist trapped in the head of someone who battles with not wanting to be in trouble. That’s a fun battle, let me tell you. I play a balancing act of attempting to appear like a grown-up and trying to figure out what the hell that actually means. The number of times that I am shocked when someone actually treats me as an equal is somewhat disturbing and though I’m getting better at it, it’s still a rather large hurdle to overcome.

I imagine that some of the hang-up here revolves around the fact that now that I’m not at Mom and Dad’s house, there are a lot of old expectations of my own that I am having to tackle and beat the shit out of. For example, the theory that being out of Mommy and Daddy’s house means you are either in college or have a good job and are doing super awesome. (Did I mention I was quite naive to how the world worked?) *headshake* It is a bit tiring and frustrating and exhausting to have to battle some of these old things and yet, I suppose the more that I actually remember to sit down and write this shit down and try to sort it out the better off I’ll be in the long-run, right? *le sigh* Yes, I know, I speak the common sense now let me apply the clue-by-four to my head yet again. One day, this really will stick…or something.

So…do I meet all of societies expectations of a grown-up. Nah. But do I really want to? Do I really need to? Probably not. So maybe what I have to redefine is what I actually want. What and whose expectations do I need to meet? Wow, those are some epic questions, aren’t they?

On the Future…
So what comes now? Well, in the immediate, it is organizing and making a place and making some of the things I know I want to happen happen. On the 29th it is continuing to hope and pray that we can get K into Hamilton Traditional School. It is still part of the South Bend School Corp district but it is a different set-up from their regular elementary schools and it seems structured in a way that would work for K in SO many different ways. I want this. I want it a lot. It would mean a lot of changes for her, the biggest being uniforms; however, from everything I have seen and heard, Hamilton would be perfect for her. That’s not to say that Hay (the school she will go to if we can’t get her into Hamilton this year) is a bad school. It’s pretty good and has good teachers and will still work for her. It’s just that Rin and I think that Hamilton would be best and gods do I want her to get in there. So, we wait for the 29th when the secretaries are back in their office and we call and find out if we can get her in, or even if we can get her on the waiting list. I WANT this. I want it a lot.

After we figure that out, we can figure out other things, like what she is going to need to start school and all of that fun stuff. Granted, some of that is going to be the same no matter where she goes. On the positive side, they don’t start school up here until 25 August, so that’s handy.

There’s also Celebration to get ready for and a resume to write and a hope that I can MAYBE get the position at Ivy Tech that I would ❤ to have even though it would be a huge challenge and so many other things besides. There are things to sort in three houses and trying to figure out what needs to come up north now and what needs to stay in storage down south and oh, yeah, trying to figure out where in the hell to scrape all the pennies for every thing that needs doing. But we’ll manage and we’ll figure it out cause that’s what we’re good at.

In Conclusion
Rin and Tadhg are home now and I’m losing my train of thought to afternoon conversation. I feel a bit better than I did earlier though I still have a whore of a headache which I’m not amused about. However, hearing about some of the funny things that happen at work is amusing. And hearing Rin explain how she made her life harder this morning by hauling her laptop to work with her like she was going to IUSB is also amusing. “Technology heavy. WHY???” *sniggers* I’m gonna get kicked for that one later. 😀

Also? I got milkshake. HAHAHA for me. Yay for cookies and cream milkshakes from Steak and Shake, dude.

So, yes, in conclusion, my train of thought ends at milkshake and will begin gods only know where at some point in the future. The end.