Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In a Nutshell

"So little to do; so much time.  Strike that.  Reverse it." - Willy Wonka
 Well we made it.  If you're reading this, we have not been obliterated in a nuclear war over some dipshit's twitter account.  Or, I suppose if we have, then Blogger's servers are robust as hell and your post-apocalyptic priorities are seriously out of whack.

We're in the home stretch of 2017 and it's been a doozy.  This is not, however, an end of the year wrap up.  Mostly just checking in.

I'm older and fatter than I was last year.  I KNOW WHAT I SAID!  And it's still not an end of the year wrap up.  Just...sayin'.  I'm going to attempt to jump back on that old wagon.  The diet and exercise wagon, I mean...not the fat wagon.  Although, if we're being honest, the fat wagon sounds pretty kickass and would also be an awesome band name.  "Fat Wagon".  I digress.  My metabolism has finally caught up with me and I'm going to take my own advice and not wait until the very end of the year as my "starting point" to resolve to get more fit.  Now is as good a time as any. 

Lily is still sleeping weirdly, but I actually think that's gotten a smidge better the last few weeks.  She's been falling back asleep quicker after waking at 3:30 or 4.  That's good stuff...if it lasts.

My home computer was on the fritz, so I had to take it to Best Buy.  They couldn't do anything with it and sent it to some data retrieval company.  They told me it would be anywhere from $250 - 5000 and I was REALLY hoping it wouldn't be $5,000 because... I had a bunch of pictures on there of Leslie and the kids that were duplicated nowhere else.  And I was thinking...I might actually have to pay $5,000 if that's what it takes to get those back.  Even though I don't really look at them, it's nice to know they're there for me and for the girls.  The charge was $450.  I was "happy" with that, honestly.

Now I'm thinking about getting my first Mac.  I've been a PC man all my life, so this change is big.  But it's probably time.  I've been using the lack of a decent computer as my justification for not starting my great american novel.  So I'll remove that hurdle and see what hops in front of it.

This time of year is stressful for lots of reasons, but mostly for me it's just how much shit you have to jam into the remaining time.  Lily's birthday is in a week and a half so that just gets added to the top of everything else.  And buying for her has never been easy.

If there's a saving grace to being slammed schedule-wise it's that it's easier to overlook missing people in our lives.  Obviously I miss her presence, but apart from that sort of...ambient grief, Leslie was a huge part of making the holidays go smoothly for the girls and me, and I'm constantly worried about how the holidays are affecting the girls in that regard.

The weirdest thing for me is how smoothly and effortlessly I can navigate my day without giving it a thought.  Like at times it feels so easy.  But also, if I stop at any point in time, I only have to focus on the loss for a minute.  Not just thinking...Leslie's gone...more like examining our lives without her.  And the tears are flowing.  How can both of those things be at the same time. 

It's like a scab that never fully heals.  Sometimes it itches a little and you think...I'll just scratch the edge and it'll flake right off, but instead it rips away and starts to bleed.  Meh...I'm looking for the right analogy.  That's not it.  Because I want to scratch that itch from time to time.  And I think it's a healing process, not something that makes it worse.  I'll come up with it.

I still have no home health nurse for Lily.  It's been since September.  I started out guns blazing.  I called every week for an update.  A few folks sounded positive.  But then one by one they either bowed out or said, "we'll start recruiting for the position" and I never heard back.  Now I call every few weeks, the list of agencies who haven't outright rejected her case slowly dwindling.  I have to keep calling, at some point my parents are going to burn out.  But they've been handling it since then.
I have to call the neurologist about Lily's epilepsy.  They were supposed to attempt to push through the blood test on my insurance and then notify me, but I haven't heard for months.  This is to determine what medicine she can use as a maintenance drug for seizure control.  It seems...importantish...since they tossed out the term SUDEP during our appointment.  And yet...here we are.

I tried making an appointment with a therapist to chat about 'things', but my first choice was a bust schedule-wise, and my doctor gave me a second name on a sheet of paper that I promptly lost.  It turned up a week or so ago and then I lost the damn thing again.  And there's no magic to this particular person.  My doc actually was like, "Oh!  I had a really great therapist to recommend to you but he died, so here's the name of someone who makes rounds here at the hospital instead."  Not much of a recommendation, but at least it's a name.  And the fact that I know that name is floating around somewhere at home is actually stopping me from just finding someone and calling them.  At the same time, I never remember to look for it when I'm there.  Meh.  I'll get there.

Lily had a great Halloween...visited every house in the cul-de-sac...HAPPILY.  She dressed as Anna from Frozen (second year in a row, but the costume had to be biggie sized).  I didn't dress up...

my attempt at pennywise

stranger things...

Emma finished "Sleepy Hollow" and next week are auditions for the musical.  "Anything Goes"  We'll see how auditions go.  I really hope she gets a part she'll enjoy.  So many talented students at her school, but I think she's one of them, and I'd like her to at least get a taste of the 'limelight' in high school.  This year has been SOOOOoooooo much better for her gradewise.  I don't know if it's just understanding the expectations of high school better?  More mature?  Whatever it is...keep it comin' baby!

Emma and I drove to DC for a "road trip".  We stayed at the W and their rooftop bar overlooks the White House.  That sounds more impressive than it was.  You could see it.  But it wasn't like you could launch water balloons at it.

We went to this cool exhibit of "nutshells".  This woman basically recreated crime scenes in dollhouse form to help the FBI train crime scene investigators wayyyyy backintheday.  It was neat, if somewhat morbid.

We piggybacked that with a trip to the Holocaust Museum.  That is a well done museum.  Probably could have spent a lot more time there, but we needed to check out and head back.  All part of my..."dedicate some time to Emma" campaign.  I need to ramp that up a bit.

Bought a new car.  Finally did what I said I was going to do early this year.  Sold my Altima and then traded the minivan in to attempt to buy one car that:  I could commute in (gas mileage), drive in the snow, drive to the beach.  Got a Subaru Forester.  It's super nice.  I already love it. 

Alright...anyway...busy month.  More later, but I already blew off buying candy for the kids' advent calendar to write this post, so time's a'wastin'. 

Merry ChristmaKwanzakka


  1. Random thoughts: Scratch the scab, some days it will bleed, most days it will become good and happy memories. The effortless days are the days Leslie is there with you, guiding and providing you the ability to continue to live your lives forward. The days that tears arise are natural, no one will replace her role in your life or the girls. It is a loss that deserves it's moments of mourning. Therapy...seems that you have a good one here with writing. Talk to that person you need to, when the time is right for you. Keep up the good work with the girls. There is balance and love. That will win out in the end always.

    1. yeah...the writing helps. But I need a little extra. It's not an emergency...just wanna be the best Jim I can be.

    2. Makes the most sense. You'll get there.

  2. I think a good analogy would be a pint of ice cream. Some days you can take it out of the fridge and scoop some into a bowl, eat it and be happy. Done. But other days you get a spoon and start consuming the whole pint and then before you know it it's gone. So you say damn-I didn't mean to do that. Then you feel sort of bad and guilty and sad you have no more ice cream. OTHER days, you say F that. I NEEDED that!

    1. I tried piecing through this and came up short. Is grief the icecream? is grief me EATING the ice cream? is grief the OPPOSITE of me eating the icecream? When the ice cream is gone...what is that representing?

      I want ice cream now.

  3. A good place to find a therapist is actually the APA website. Just Google APA Psychologist locator. It is a great resource!

  4. Love my Mac. That will be a good change. Back up those photos. As long as you're talking... even to yourself and paper is good as well. Adding a therapist to the schedule is just more work. You know what's wrong. You can't fix it. Or fit it into the box in the attic of your mind. You are putting one foot in front of the other each day. You are not hiding under a blanket. Both good things.

    1. But now that you mention it...a blanket fort sounds kinda fun. Is it healthy to hide under a blanket if it's actually a blanket FORT?

  5. We had a lot of last minute decorations to add, and the staff was eager and willing to help. The food was amazing. The Los Angeles venues have extremely unique and tasty food. Also this place has great views and beautiful big rooms.