Updates, Confessions, and Countdowns

Ahhhhh… The 26th–30th of December have to be the most “restful” days of the year. These were the days when I would start a knitting project for myself and spend a few hours watching sappy rom-coms or bingeing a show, because I literally had nothing else demanding my time (we will not mention the cleaning or second-semester Co-op prep that needs to be done—that can happen between January 1st and 5th, when it’s a new year and I’m supposed to be all motivated and stuff).

But I have a bit of a confession to make: Christmas didn’t really…”happen”…this year. I mean, we did have some presents to open, sorta, on Christmas morning. We spent wonderful time with family. I did manage to get a tree up around 10pm Christmas Eve (my trusty, dusty 12″ backup tree with battery-powered lights, which was all I could bring myself to set up this year). But neither my husband nor I were feeling the spirit, and we were not even motivated by guilt or our children to make the magic happen this year.

See, we’re both kinda jaded and burnt out at the moment. I spent much of the week leading up to Christmas trying to keep a massive inflammatory issue at the Symphony down to a controlled burn. We managed to make some decisions during that week that mitigated the disaster somewhat, but I confess that I am still frustrated, angry, and downright DONE WITH IT. I wish I could go into detail, but I cannot. Suffice it to say, I’d rather go back to Covid policy discussions. Those were a breeze compared to this enormous train wreck I’ve found myself smack in the middle of.

(I’d just finished reading back over old blog posts, and found it somewhat hilarious that I’d been trying to back out of committees and commitments with them, but now I’m so embroiled in everything, even more than I was before! And I am currently so fully fed-up with some of my colleagues that I just might quit earlier than June 30th, when my elected term is up. I’m hanging by a string right now.)

On the military front, my husband’s job is not what it promised it would be, and he’s dealing with a certain level of frustration—but he is home far more often than he used to be and there is a light at the end of the tunnel (which is probably not a train). However, every fiscal year continues to get worse, with how late (and erroneously) they publish active-duty Guard orders. We were five weeks without active-duty eligibility (more than 30 days, which can screw up the works even more if the right incompetent people are in charge), which meant no healthcare for any of us. Their “fix” was to erase our eligibility from the time Husband started his new Title-10 job last June (around the time I fixed our last eligibility issue, following his return from deployment—I should just tell this whole story in another post, because I can go into detail with this, and it’s a doozy!).

Long story short (because I can tell the long version later), I had to start pulling strings that I learned to pull the last time we had an issue like this, and it was like an escape-room puzzle: Pull one string to correct past eligibility (which should not have disappeared!), and you erase current eligibility! Which string do I pull to make us fully eligible, like we have been the entire time my husband has been commuting to work for the past six months?!

AHEM. Near as I can tell, it’s FINNNNALLLLLY been fixed—three whole months later!—and I should be able to start calling doctors, setting up new appointments and rescheduling old ones, and doing the dance of “referral, authorization, or that’s-not-covered-don’t-even-bother”. And somehow I have to figure out whether I still have my vision insurance…

So we’re kinda exhausted. On all fronts.

BUT! We’re also well-fed! The Hello Fresh kit has been super helpful while I’ve been struggling to just barely keep things going at home. I’ve made some very tasty dishes, learned a few recipe hacks, and have figured out at least two nights a week when I can take time to cook the meal kits. I’ve also regained some motivation for cooking some of my own recipes on other nights that may be busier or have less time in the evening to make much. We don’t eat quite as much frozen pizza as we did, and I’m not subsisting on pasta when I’m hungry but lacking motivation to eat it with anything but butter.

And, even though no real Christmas traditions (other than procrastination) were exercised this year, I did get some baking done, and that does wonders for my mood (if not my waistline, LOL), because I’m good at baking, and the smells are uplifting.

Now I’m looking a new year in the face, and I’m trying not to delude myself into thinking that this year is the year I actually keep anything resembling a New Year’s Resolution or list of goals. At this point, I’m happy if I can keep putting one foot in front of the other and gain some ground over what I had before.

I wear a Fossil smartwatch (Google Wear OS), and one of the customizable faces has a calendar countdown. Right now, it’s set for June 30th, 2023, just a little over 180 days from now. I also have an alarm set on my phone for 10pm June 30th, so I can even see how many minutes and seconds until I can FULLY peace out, without the risk of anyone calling me last-minute. I’m not under the illusion that I’ll be entirely free on that date, but I’m going to do the best I can to make a clean cut and not go back, not even to help with any little things (because that is a slippery slope!). My hope is that we’ll have a new CEO in place (even if he is an interim) who will be able to do the straightening up and cleaning house that those of us who’ve been in charge for the last three or four years have not been able to do. I’m praying he’s a great fit, and can right the ship before it drives itself straight into the Bay of Good Intentions and crashes into the Cliffs of Terrible Execution (which is where it’s headed right now).

Ugh. I need more coffee and a break from the computer… Next post, I’ll try to tell the long tale of “Why the Guard Bureau Sucks, and Other Woes of Military Service”. Until then, I hope you have a fabulous transition into 2023!

Great Intentions

I’ve intended to purge my cluttery, junky household for like a decade. I don’t have little babies around anymore, so I don’t really have an excuse for not doing it — well, maybe I do, if I can claim ADHD, OCD, and Executive Function Disorder, but I would really love to be able to rise above that…

Anyway, I recently purged a bunch of expired medicines and junk from the bathroom, out of a couple of drawers that haven’t been touched in, well, a decade (since we moved in). That was a week ago. The bathroom is still half-done. 😅

But, for the first time, I have a plan for a major purge of the kitchen, too. The bathroom and kitchen are both areas where I always feel the need to be overprepared: I need a tool for all occasions. Well, most occasions. I’m still somewhat practical. 😉

I had resisted replacing our “new” blender, which had been used daily (sometimes twice daily) since I bought it a few years ago, even after I almost blended a spoon (it fell in while I wasn’t looking and I didn’t know to check for it, because I don’t know why — but it was a big mess, and kinda banged up the blades a bit). But when I found a new Ninja Foodi that had few attachments, but also could double as a food processor — and was discounted to under $100 — I had to jump on it. I am now able to get rid of my old big Ninja and small Ninja, as well as my big food processor (which I rarely use) and small food processor (which I use even less). The hand blender recently died, so I already got rid of that.

The big challenge is loading all the donatables into the van, then stuffing a crap-ton of cardboard in after it, so I can hit both the recycling transfer station and thrift stores in the same day (in that order). Our recycling has just been reduced from every other week to every four weeks, due to driver shortages, and it’s now the rainy season, so I can’t just leave extra out to be picked up (at no cost, which is nice of them). No, I’m going to have to rid my garage of the accumulation of cardboard on my own time.

I don’t see myself getting my cleaning plans completed by Christmas, which would be the ideal, but I’m SO ready to purge this place! If I can get enough purgeables into one location, I can have another College Hunks Hauling Junk truck come out and take it away. But, for now, I can do donation and recycling runs.

Co-op is done for the holidays, which frees my brain for a minute (but only a minute, because I need to finish planning for next semester). My husband will have some leave when he gets home, so he can help with some projects and heavy lifting. But most of this mess is mine — and I need to be responsible and get rid of it. We probably have a few years left in this house, so I also need to do the one thing everyone wishes they’d done when they get their house ready to sell: purge, paint, and decorate for the ideal living space.

It’s still hella overwhelming, but I’ve seen people do it, and I know I can do it, too, if I just stick with it. I just need to not burn out, I guess. 🙂 My family deserves a better living space than I’ve given them.