Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 574

And finally this day is winding down. Soon I will be in bed with the covers pulled way up and a good book on my phone's Kindle app.

So many little frustrations along the way and then the big one: missing one deadline in January of 2016 led to -so- many citations in the survey...fully half. All fixed now, of course, but that doesn't make it feel any better.

Started the day with a low-tire-pressure warning from the car. First gas station's air hose broken. Second worked but every time the tires are either rotated or replaced they somehow manage to re-attach the sensors in a different wrong way. I filled the supposedly-low tire, broke a nail in the process, nearly froze my fingers in the 3-degree weather (three isn't enough degrees) and got back in the car only to realize the sensor was still saying that tire was low. Okay, fine, deal with it after work.

Work, in addition to the inspection, included too much regular work-work. Plus some family drama because after all when it rains it pours. Trip to post office at lunchtime. More work. A bit more drama. It crossed my mind that getting good and drunk didn't sound like a half-bad idea which was immediately followed by "better get some sober supports in place as soon as you get home - like maybe blog first thing?"

By the time I got home the urge had totally passed. I didn't want to drink any more. I wanted to have a tantrum just like a toddler but I settled for a cookie instead. Tried to print something only to discover the printer was - surprise! - out of ink. Well, fine. Added "stop by the new drugstore" to the list of errands ending in "pick up pizza for dinner."  Ordered the pizza - free this time due to frequent-patron "points" - and set out.

Gas station from this morning now had -broken- air pump. Swell. Drugstore had a place for my kind of printer cartridge but it was empty so I asked the nice clerk to look in back: nope, nothing. Went to a different gas station where the air was $1.00 for 3 minutes and filled what I thought was the correct tire...nope, wrong again! They didn't swap left for right this time so they must've swapped front for back but by then my three minutes were up. Have now driven something like -twenty- miles on the improperly inflated tire. Swell.

Shopping for odds and ends went okay and the pizza was ready so that was good. Came home, put on pajamas, ate pizza, ate sweets, called it a night. Except for the wind-down very minor family drama; can't go without that,

But hey, now I can transfer laundry from washer to dryer, go to bed...and sleep as late as I feel like tomorrow. Huzzah.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 573

Praise be for Christmas cookies. I packed some for breakfast today and it was like having s little bit of stockpiled love in every bite. On a day which really needed it.

First thing this morning our 4 citations has sprouted 5 friends for a total of 9 which in the grand scheme of things is probably a fine number but which feels like a lot since we are usually in the 4-6 range.

Then I had that big drive and of course my head was full of nothing but that “everyone’s invited” thing from yesterday and I was still just undone. Si when I got back I fixed it by getting it canceled and the relief was stunning in its degree and physicality. I hadn’t realized just how overcome I had been; I don’t do rage well. I suppose none of us do.

Came home and did as close to nothing as possible. Except for eating way too many more cookies and fudge, that is. I had been doing really really well with the emotional eating but tonight I kept having one more of those tasty treats I had made over the past ten days. Plus a handful of almonds. Had to stop myself and leave the kitchen entirely when I realized I was standing in front of the open pantry nibbling a saltine straight from its sleeve.

I’ve since moved from couch to bed but am amazingly bone-achingly tired...this much angst drains a person.

Throughout it all, though, I didn’t want a drink at all so that’s full of win.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 572

What a day.

Three new inspection citations this morning bringing the total to four. Then too much work including several interruptions for -different- work.

Was pleased with myself for doing the lunchtime tasks exactly as planned even though it was bitter cold. Went back, did more work and then at 3:30 the rug was yanked hard out from under me. Email announcing the closing conference of the inspection was now open to -everyone- not just my department. My. Department. The one of which I am boss.

My head exploded, I scraped it all back into my cranial vault, tried to find my administrative-director-and-dyad-partner but of course he wasn’t around. Sent private email to the meeting organizers (COO & VP) saying I would have liked advance warning of the decision or better still to have been part of the decision making process. I’m sure if I had gone to the emergency room and asked for a blood pressure check I would have been admitted - never been that angry at work before and was lightheaded from it. Never thought about quitting before but did that too.

VP wrote back he had been surprised too. I vented a bit to him then had two back-to-back meetings and wasn’t back to my office till 6:15 when I learned it was -my-director’s- idea to do this open-the-summation-to-everyone bullshit. I was so stunned. I’m still stunned. He apologized profusely and said he realizes now he should have discussed it with me first and so on...but damn, just damn.

Got home and there was family drama too. Mild in the grand scheme of things yet One More Thing.

Despite all that though, I did indeed box up tasty baked treats to send out tomorrow. I rock.

I am also -really- happy to be a sober person too. If I were still a drinker this is the sort of thing over which I would have given myself permission to have “more than the usual weeknight amount” for sure-sure...and then I would have started the morning feeling like shit on top of everything else. SO happy not to be -there- any more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 571

The inspection continues; it's going as well as such things go.

Came home totally tired, cranky and all-round pissy over all the things on my mental To-Do list but before doing any of it I had myself some fudge for dinner which helped immensely.  It isn't grainy at all. Taking time to get oneself in a better headspace is always well worth it because then everything afterwards goes better - slogging along "because I gotta get it done" is just throwing -handfuls- of pebbles into the bag of resentment.

Once the sugar kicked in I made dinner for tonight, a meatloaf for Youngest to bake tomorrow night and - best of all - the last of the holiday baking. Tomorrow I have to go to the bank so I'm going to combine that with getting those Express Mail boxes from the post office so I can send a nice chunk of all the goodies down to the family in the other house and another nice chunk to my dear friend in Hawaii which is why I've kind of been rushing because the cutoff to get something there by Christmas is the 15th. It's a surprise and would be just as good a surprise during actual Christmastide as opposed to Technically Still Advent but still.

The other thing I'm doing between the bank and the post office is taking myself to lunch again. This feels particularly indulgent since I took myself to lunch last week and on Monday I went to my monthly work-colleague trio lunch. However I'm not going to be able to have a nice lunch out or a bit of shopping on Thursday after my Big Loop as I'd planned because of the inspection so I figure doing it tomorrow, which is ahead of time, is a nice way to prevent resentment on the day itself when I end up swinging through a drive-thru and eating in the car on the way back up.

I'm still kind of in denial about Christmas itself though.  It's my turn to be on-call and since I'm already on regular call I also said I'd be willing to do special administrative call so I am required to stay local from 12/22 to 1/2. I don't really mind this as I've been to the other house in August, September, October and November. Plus the weather is always a variable. However SiL works retail and is thus likewise tied to -that- area so Eldest will definitely be staying down there with him. Me here and SiL there are the two fixed points in this constellation of emotional work; everything else is mutable. There have been many proposals.  Some are more appealing than others but given cars and weather and dispositions and such, what I actually -expect- to happen is that Spouse, Eldest and SiL will all stay there while Middle, Youngest, ABL and I all stay here...and "stay here" in this case will mean spending a good chunk of the day itself at MiL's apartment opening presents and having a bad meal with her and Auntie. Hence my denial. I'm not particularly looking forward to that and don't expect to enjoy it very much so I'm trying, over the next two weeks, to become more resigned to and accepting of it.

Who knows? Maybe something totally unexpected will happen.

Some year - not any time soon, I'm sure - I'll get to do what I -really- want over the Christmas holiday: Take a nice long vacation to a non-Christian country or two. Just skip the whole thing completely.

And so it goes.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Day 570

Today was a lesson in shifting priorities. All that stuff from last Friday which had me so upset flew clear off the radar because our every-two-years surprise inspection started first thing this morning.

Had a bunch of errands after work too but after those and dinner I made fudge for the first time in at least a decade...and it turned out! A combination of worry it wouldn’t set, too-small glass of ice water (couldn’t reach in) and inaccurate thermometer meant it got a bit overdone so I fear it may be grainy but the sliver I cut off one edge was not as bad as I feared. So maybe once it cools the magic of chemistry will make it nice.

Candy-making is definitely something happening because of sobriety. Booze and boiling sugar solutions just don’t mix.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 569

The day started poorly but ended better.

Woke up out of sorts and the shopping was horrible: I waited till I knew they'd have non-self-serve checkout lines but it was crowded and there was a lot of restocking going on so the aisles were very clogged. Also I was dragging around a lot of pebbles in my bag of resentment over having to do the menus and the shopping and the meal prep in the first place.

When I got home I made the decision that I wasn't doing anything else at all today apart from dinner - and I was in such a bad mood immediately post-grocery that "dinner" might have been the family sized Stouffer's mac-n-cheese I had in the freezer as backup and not the chicken fajitas I planned. No Christmas baking or fudge-making either...I was way too Grinch-y to even think about holiday festivities.  Other than to set them on fire, that is.

NOT powering through all the stuff on my hypothetical it-would-be-nice-to-do list and giving myself permission to do nothing at all was very helpful.  Self-care means "don't pile on." After a nice lie-down I was able to at least wash the peppers for the fajitas, thinking all the while "I still don't have to make it. See what I feel like when it's time. They'll keep in the fridge." I also told myself that if I didn't want to EVER do any more Christmas baking than what I'd already done that was fine too. It wasn't an obligation, just an idea.  That helped too: instead of letting the resentment build I let it dissipate.

After an afternoon of computer games I felt quite a bit better - amazing how much permission to goof off helps. I considered going ahead with the fudge but thought it was wiser to stick with just dinner instead. Moving away from Grinch Who Incinerated Everything was good enough; no need to jump right back into Suzie Homemaker. So that's what I did.

It seems ridiculously easy in retrospect to respond to "Waah!  The important thing was icky and hard and yucky!" with "Aw, that's too needed done though so to show thanks and appreciation let's just have you take the rest of the day off." In practice, though, it's all too easy to ignore or "power through" the voice saying "hey, wait a minute!" That's not a good idea though because resentment is a big ol' alarm clock for the Drink Now voice. Pro-active self-care, on the other hand, keeps it asleep the way it ought to be.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 568

One of the nice things about not drinking in response to a really lousy day is that you don't end up carrying the lousy into another day.  When I got up this morning - half hour later than usual - I was able to just put aside all of yesterday's nonsense and move into cookie-baking mode.

I did lemon bars, pecan tassies (miniature pecan pies made in a mini-muffin tin; it's a Southern US recipe and I have no idea why they are "tassies.") and sugar cookies then decided I'd had enough and had a nice lie-down then a walk in town with my audiobook. It started snowing during my walk so I put the car in the garage when I got home. That's relevant because I'd planned to make fudge tonight then realized the fudge needed butter, of which I had none having used it all on the earlier baking. Didn't feel like going back out in the snow so I put the fudge on hold.

One thing I notice though: even with using freshly-squeezed lemon juice which has sat around marinating with the lemon zest for a while the lemon bars just aren't really all that lemon-y. This is a bonus to Youngest, who doesn't much like lemon, but it is an annoyance to me because the recipe doesn't call for lemon extract but clearly that's what is needed.  Doesn't call for yellow food coloring either but that would be how to get them looking all pretty. The sugar cookie recipe has an excellent texture (uses oil and powdered sugar in addition to butter and granulated sugar) but even with vanilla extract it doesn't have the same intense Sugar! Cookie! flavor of the kind you buy in a tube in the dairy aisle.  It's both interesting and somewhat annoying that all the artificial flavors and colors have changed our collective palates.

Tomorrow will be the grocery shopping as usual, of course. Have the menus planned and the list already written. Need to remember to stall and head out a little later so they have a real cashier line open.

And so it goes.