Overdone

I am overdone right now. I am so completely out of spoons it isn’t even funny. It’s definitely summer in Texas.

Mr B and I got out in the garden Thursday and tag teamed the weeds and grass. He ran the weedeater while I crawled around pulling weeds and grass by hand in the places he couldn’t run the weedeater. Then we picked blackberries. Then I worked 10 hours yesterday, and it was stupid hot.

I have been handed a reminder that, no matter how normal I have felt since the antidepressants started working, my body still has limits; and that there is a very heavy price for pushing those limits.

Chronic…

It’s one of those weeks when I’m really reminded that I have a chronic condition. My COPD and anemia have me feeling fatigued. The overabundance of things needing my attention combined with my job and the heat/humidity have me exhausted on top of the fatigue. I’m also STILL hurting in my back and hip from the great septic system debacle, which only serves to drain me further.

I can’t drop dead just yet. My boss is going out of town for the weekend, so I have to work all day for the next three days. In the heat and humidity. 

I had planned on resting today. Ass, meet couch. Ass and couch, meet Netflix.

I really need to stop making plans.

Last night, Sunshine made a shitty comment in a shitty tone of voice: “well you could help me out sometimes” (referring to our house construction). I ignored it at the time.

Today, I tried to watch Netflix. But I couldn’t get that shitty comment in that shitty tone out of my head. So I dragged my COPD/anemic/fatigued/exhausted/hurting ass down the hill and sanded the exterior door to prep it for stain and sealer. Then I sanded the exterior door casings to prep them for stain and sealer.

Of course, the hours I spent sanding on those doors will come off the end of my life. I spent spoons I didn’t have to help Sunshine realize his dream of building a house. 

I’ll probably wind up resorting to steroids to get me through the next three days at work. I’ll probably have to resort to steroids to get me through learning to can jam on Monday, too. 

Side note: my neighbor is some kind of canning and cooking genius, and has graciously offered to teach me to can jam.

I’m exhausted, I’m fatigued, and there’s no rest for the wicked this weekend.

Final note: I have chosen what to name the house and Sunshine gets no say in it. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. “El descanso del diablo”. Or “la Paz del diablo”. Either/or. They each mean “devil’s rest” in Spanish, with subtly different nuances. I shall name that house Devil’s​ Rest, and I shall name it in Spanish. I just haven’t yet decided which subtlety to use.

It’s that time of year

It’s starting to get really hot here in Texas. The temperatures aren’t that bad, high 80s to mid 90s, but when the humidity is factored in….

It exhausts me.

Well, that’s not true.

I am exhausted by all of the labor. I’ve picked blackberries until I look like I fought in the zombie apocalypse. I have preserved those blackberries, all by myself. I have preserved cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, and squashes…mostly alone. I have planted parts of the garden alone. I have sliced and chopped fruit and dehydrated it…mostly alone. I also work my ass off at my job on Fridays and Sundays. That alone is enough to exhaust me. My COPD means that I have no stamina.

To do all of that shit in heat and humidity, with a chronic and progressive lung condition…and to do so much of it alone?

I’m tired. I’m tired on so many levels. My body aches, my mind is functioning slowly, and my spirit is sagging.

It’s that time of year.

I need a nap.

I’m still on strike

I’ve taken myself off of most of the meds they gave me for my back injury. It still hurts, sometimes a lot, but I can at least function (more or less). However, I am not attempting to go back to full function with my fingers in all of the pies. I’m not cutting grass, I’m not taking food to the compost pile, I’m not planting things in the garden, and I’m not even doing a lot of physical labor on our little house build.

However, somebody isn’t on strike around here. Two days ago, I was surprised to hear the sound of a lawnmower in my yard. I wandered outside, and I discovered that Sunshine had gotten out my trusty freegan lawnmower from last summer and gotten it cranked. It wasn’t cutting the grass very well because the grass was as out of control as it has ever been here.

side note: saying that the grass was as out of control as it has ever been out here is saying a lot. This place had been abandoned for a couple of years when Mr B purchased it. It LOOKED like it had been abandoned for several years. It was gross and I am very disappointed in myself that I don’t have pictures of the jungle that was growing here back then.

Just for a bit of proof that I’m not making this shit up, this is what the grass looked like while Sunshine was cranking the lawnmower.

very tall grass

I should have snapped some pics of the giant, bushy, very tall clumps of clover and shit that were in the middle of the backyard. Alas, I forgot. Take my word for it, it made the shit in this pic look small.

The lawnmower wasn’t cutting the grass, and Sunshine was getting frustrated with it. I don’t know why on earth he dicked with it for so long when we live ACROSS THE STREET FROM A GUY THAT FIXES SHIT but whatever, Biff got tired of watching Sunshine scowl as he rode the lawnmower around the yard and took it from him.

Biff finally got the lawnmower to cut grass (don’t ask me how, I went inside because my back was hurting).

somebody cut some grass

Of course, he ran out of gas before he could finish the job, so now the lawnmower sits abandoned under my clothesline. And as usual, no weedeating got done. The grass around the magic bus is even taller than the grass around that propane tank. Because everybody wants to ride the lawnmower but nobody wants to use the weedeater.

final note: there’s a whole comedic post just begging to be written about the lonely neglected weedeater, but it won’t be written by me. I’m still on strike. I’m seriously on strike, and I don’t care if I get chiggers or if the grass gets taller than me. My back STILL FUCKING HURTS from the great septic system debacle and I’m not eager to put any more hurting on my body. It’s peak “I have no spoons” season, so I’m having to focus all of my energy on simple respiration.

I am my mother’s child…

So anxiety has been kicking my ass lately. It’s so bad that Sunshine pretty much ordered me to seek professional help. I have an appointment with my primary (for allergies) on Thursday, and the receptionist told me to mention the anxiety to the doctor so that I could get a referral to the mental health care provider. I’m pretty sure that the meds I was taking for the back pain plus the steroid nose spray for allergies contributed to the explosion in anxiety. All that shit is slowly flushing out of my system, so the anxiety is lessening incrementally. I’m still going to get that referral, because Sunshine is right. There are proven methods of dealing with this, and it’s time I tried letting a professional help me.

Today, the anxiety wasn’t too bad until I wandered outside. I got hit by some nasty humidity and now my COPD is showing its ass and that’s causing the anxiety to ratchet back up. Time out for more fun.

In spite of all of the COPD and allergy woes, in spite of the anxiety, I actually feel like cleaning house today. It needs it desperately, and I actually seem to have the spoons for it.

This is where the part about being my mother’s child comes into play. Mom was more than a little bit OCD about keeping a clean house when I was a kid.

side note: I get it, actually. Sometimes, life is just so fucking much, and a clean house is something I can absolutely control. Well, maybe I can’t control Sunshine’s efforts to keep it from being clean, but I can absolutely control how long it stays borked after he borks it. There’s a weird sort of comfort in cleaning my house.

I often rebel against all that OCD cleaning I lived through. I notice dust on the entertainment center, and I want to clean it but I force myself to ignore it. However, that only goes on for so long before I can’t stop myself and I start cleaning. Today is that moment for me.

Yesterday sucked ass. Storms, fatigue, back ache, Sunshine out of town for the day… So I sat here and played around on the internet and texted with my bestest best friend ever. I also bought two pairs of slip-on sneakers, because I have resolved that slip-on sneakers are my new stilettos and I intend to own many many pairs of beautiful slip-on sneakers.

side note: I got a hell of a deal on them. I had the cash to spare, and they will actually get a lot of use. I’ve finally let go of the me I used to be with my sky-high heels and embraced something that works for my life as it is today.

I think I’m digressing, which is apparently a problem today. I have made it my mission to clean my house, and I have tweeted out a call to #thebloggesstribe to hold me accountable. They offered immediate support and some helpful suggestions about doing it in small, easily digestible bites with frequent breaks. Which was brilliant advice that I needed to hear.

I made it through making the bed and putting on not-PJs and then I got distracted by progress at our little house build site. I was down there snapping pics until my phone died. I brought my phone back to the magic bus to charge and promptly forgot to return and use Sunshine’s phone to take more pics because I started cleaning the kitchen because I am my mother’s child and am twitching over how dirty some parts of my house are after a weekend of guests and yesterday’s rain.

Of course, every trip outside is causing the humidity to send my lungs into fits, which starts ratcheting up the anxiety, which causes me to seek distractions, which leads me down rabbit holes on twitter and my favorite shoe shopping site. Hence this post.

Ultimately, I’ll get up and finish cleaning the house. Because it really is gross by my mom’s standards, and I am my mother’s child.

final note: I am actually proud of being my mother’s child. I am oddly comforted by all the quirks I see in myself that I know came from mom and nobody else but mom. Some of those quirks are annoying as fuck, and I don’t care. I am my mother’s child, and I’m fucking grateful beyond words for that.

I’m supposed to be on strike

Seriously. Don’t y’all know I’m trying to binge watch “continuum”?

All jokes and binges aside…

Lately, there have been entirely too many days when I’m the only one out here to deal with the minutiae. Mr B travels a lot, buying shit and going to seminars about intentional communities and such. Sunshine has been working a lot to pay for the construction of our house, and much of that work is out of town. It was exceedingly pleasant to take a break from it all and go on our whirlwind road trip last week.

side note: I’m not saying that Mr B’s purchases and seminars have no value to the community; nor am I saying that Sunshine’s work is not necessary and helpful to our home building goal. I’m just saying that these things keep dragging them away from things that need to happen here in this community they’re trying to build. Isn’t it ironic, doncha think?

When I got back from our trip, I resolved to be kinder to my body. See, even though I was stuck in a fucking car for a large portion of our roadtrip, I could feel the pains lessening in my back and hip. So I resolved to do less so that I could finish healing.

Then along came the urgent need to plant the sprouts in the garden. Sunshine’s employee is here for some work, and he is always willing to help with things around here in addition to the masonry work he does with Sunshine. Except when he’s sickish, like he was yesterday when it came time to plant things. Which meant that I had to get up off the couch and go help; otherwise, it would have taken Sunshine and Mr B several days of working at it in the evenings. As soon as we were done for the day, I stood up to head inside and realized that I had just undone several weeks of healing in my back and hip.

side note: we’re completely skipping over the fact that crawling around on my hands and knees in a dry and dusty garden did absolutely NO FAVORS for my COPD and allergies and that I’m in desperate need of cough syrup and steroid nose spray this morning.

This morning, Sunshine is at work again. Mr B is off to almost Mexico with his tractor in tow. The compost bucket was full to overflowing and desperately needed to be dumped in the compost heap. Since there was nobody else here to do it, of course my dumb ass picked it up and headed to dump it.

Once again, the fucking chickens had scattered the compost heap to the four corners of the earth. It was less compost heap and more vegetable carpet for that corner of the property. Naturally, I started scraping it back up into a heap, because it needs to be in a moist heap to decompose into something that can be used to fertilize a garden. As I scraped that shit back into a heap, I got to thinking; as I got to thinking, I got disgusted.

side note: the chickens came pecking around while I was scraping that shit back into a pile. I stopped scraping so I could throw sticks and hickory nuts at them. I don’t feel bad about it at all. I should probably call my sponsor or something.

When I came back up the hill to the magic bus, I hid the compost bucket. Until somebody does something about the compost heap so that the fucking chickens can’t scatter it to the four corners of the earth, there is no point in trying to compost anything. All food waste now goes in the trash.

side note: I’m sure that this situation will cause complications that will cause some sort of mandate to be issued, and I don’t fucking care. If I don’t have help, I can’t do this shit anymore. I’m sick of the day-to-day minutiae being unimportant and left undone while Sunshine and Mr B do all their “big picture” thinking and planning and ignoring things like the yardwork (which Sunshine did all summer last year and Mr B has done this year with those tree branches he knocked down everywhere weeks ago and has yet to pick up).

So, this morning, with new pains piled on top of old pains in my back and hip, and knowledge of an extended day of work in my future on Friday, I am serious about going on strike out here. We are headed into spring pollen season (and storm season), and my COPD is always so extra this time of year. I will barely have the spoons to take care of what needs to be done inside my home, so anything outside my home has to be stricken from the priority list.

12 step recovery taught me to guard my spiritual, mental, and emotional health. It taught me to guard it like it is more precious than the contents of Fort Knox. It’s long past time I started doing the same for my physical health.

So, I am seriously on strike. When anybody comes at me wondering about the compost bucket, they’ll get told what you’re getting told. Trying to compost our food waste is a total waste of time and energy out here until somebody does something about the compost heap so that it remains a compost heap instead of a vegetable carpet. As for the cats, well, if they get fed then it won’t be by me; those little bastards are supposed to be eating mice and shit anyway, right? The paper we’ve been saving to make logs for the wood stove? Not getting saved and stored by me anymore since we are running out of room and nobody seems interested in making logs out of it anyway. The weedeating around the RV and the pink house? I am not the one. If one of those two lets the chickens out in the morning and forgets to lock them back in the chicken house at night, then the coyotes are gonna have themselves a feast because I’m not trekking down there in the dark to lock the chicken house.

I am done wasting my time and energy on trying to do shit that nobody else seems to care about. I’m going to concentrate on doing shit that I enjoy, and if that means shopping for shoes then I’ll just take on as many hours as I can at work so I can shop for fucking shoes.

final note: I’m sitting here crying. Not a bad or sad cry. Just a gratitude cry. I’m so damn grateful for my girl Tia right now that I have no words to express it. She has been trying to teach me that if I don’t take care of my physical health, nobody else will do it for me. Well, Tia, I’m finally honestly trying to heed your warning. Thank you for being my teacher and my friend.

I can’t sleep

It’s not just the fact that my mind has too many tabs open in its browser or whatever. It’s Sunshine. That man makes more fucking noise in his sleep than most people do when they’re wide awake and screaming. It’s gotten to the point where benadryl doesn’t help anymore, which means I am really truly screwed.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Sunshine didn’t get pissed off at me for being frustrated that I can’t sleep because he makes so much noise while he’s sleeping. It’s not like he doesn’t get it, either; he’s been out of town with Mr B and had to sleep in the hotel lobby because Mr B apparently makes a lot of noise when he’s asleep, too.

This is one of the major drawbacks to living tiny. There is nowhere to go to escape the horror in my RV when Sunshine is making all that ridiculous noise while he’s asleep. I go to the living room to try and sleep on the couch and I can hear him through all the doors between us and over the two heaters or air conditioners that are running (depending on which season it is; and for the record, our air-conditioners are loud as hell).

It’s even worse when we have a houseguest. See, we don’t have a guest bedroom, so his kids have to sleep on the couch when they come visit. Which leaves me stuck in the bedroom listening to all that infernal noise.

I’ve tried tapping him and asking him to roll over. If it actually succeeds at waking him up, it pisses him off to no end. Generally, though, it has no effect at all.

I wake up in the morning, and I am already tired because I haven’t gotten enough sleep. I also wake up in pain; because without proper, deep, and restful sleep my neck and back muscles can’t relax enough to start the healing process and to allow my neck and back to pop back into alignment.

side note: I don’t want to hear any crap about popping my own neck and back. I’ve discussed this with my chiropractor, and he is all for it. Because I am far less likely to cause injury while self-adjusting than he is likely to cause even with all of his training. My chiropractor highly encourages self-adjustment, and I trust my doctor. He is the subject matter expert.

So I start my day tired and in pain. My COPD and anemia combine to make sure I am beyond exhausted by lunch. My lifestyle means that my pain goes from bad to excruciating before I get halfway done with my tasks for the day. It sucks to start each day with a deficit and have no hope of recovering from it. And that is exactly where I am most days: at a deficit with no hope of recovering from it since I have no hope of actually getting any quality sleep, or enough oxygen, or relief from pain.

I suppose the moral of the story is: make sure that you’re ok with having nowhere to escape to before you start living tiny with anybody. Because if your somebody snores, there’s no escaping it in a tiny house.

final notes: Mollie snores too. Which wouldn’t be too bad except for the fact that she likes to sleep UNDER MY PILLOW. Also, I’m trying to figure out a way to insulate me from the noise when we build our little house. Because I can’t continue like this–I need sleep. I need quality sleep that lasts more than a couple of hours.