Monday, April 15, 2013

Fighting Back And Dad's Memorial Fund

Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.” - Turkish Proverb


I haven't blogged in a while because honestly, I really didn't have anything positive to say. I guess you could say I've been floating in the "anger" phase of the mourning process. Little things that didn't bother me much make me pretty much consider punching someone. Only for a fleeting moment, but it's there. No, don't walk on glass around me. I'm actually remarkably stable - just a little, well, raw.
I'm a slow burn fuse kind of person. I don't instantly flame to anger. Instead, I usually take a step back, figure out if it's worth the emotional energy, and then I either let it go, or decide it needs to be address. I still go through that routine, but it's much faster now, so the fuse burns a little brighter. I believe that's the danger of being 'slow to anger'. When those of us that are 'slow burns' do finally actually get angry, it either becomes an explosive/destructive force (not my style) or a very strong motivator (my style).  Anger has movitivated some of the best decisions I have ever made. I helped me not only survive traumatic events (like, oh, let's just say, divorce) but learn to thrive through them.

So, in the efforts of honesty here - picture a boxing or UFC ring and let's fight this out shall we?


Let's get ready to Rumble!

Our roommate forgot to pay his rent, which normally wouldn't be too much of a big deal - except that he left to Find Nemo while we were gone. The simple solution would be to go to the command and let them know so it could be worked out while he's out 'Finding Nemo', however we're all friends here and we make the mistake of having a hand-shake agreement. With no paper to back us up, we're kinda screwed on that front until he returns. Usually we don't "need" his money to get by and we understand the crazy schedules around here, so we've let him slip almost every month over the past year with nothing more than "don't do it again, please," but he picked a really bad month to be forgetful. Our budget is exceptionally tight this month due to travel expenses. If this were the first time, I'd be more forgiving, but you can bet we're going to have some 'fun' discussions when he gets back. (Don't worry. It won't involve any actual punches or wrestling, but now is probably not  the time to get on my righteous-anger side.)

 On top of that, the bill for parking my car in long term parking was nearly $400. Ouch... Now, if aforementioned roommate had paid rent, it would have been a wash. But he didn't... and since we forgot my car keys in California, I had to call in a favor to get someone to take me down to the airport once the keys arrived (via Fed Ex - thanks Mom!) at the we ended up having to pay for extra day in the parking lot anyway. Boo hiss.

I've officially called in a favor from nearly every friend we have in WA in the past month. I am the type who askes for help when I really NEED it, not just when it would be easier. I'm SO glad I had several folks who were able to rush to the rescue. I know for a fact we wouldn't have been able to afford dog sitting/house sitting for the entire time My Sailor and I were gone. What was expected to be 4 days, turned into 16.

With work, there are the piles of phone calls and emails that I've been scrambling on top of. My professional group decided NOW was the time to audit my Continuing Education Units, so they've suspended my membership (as a Certified Professional Coder) until I can get that information to them. Are there more hours in the day? Because I think I need about 27...

It seems the world keeps turning even when mine freezes for a moment.

The adoption agency we were working with gave us a choice: pay them $1500 (which of course, we don't have right now) to keep our case open, or close our case with a $300 credit that we can have credited back to us "someday" when My Sailor and I have time to take the required classes. This really isn't a choice. We don't feel comfortable giving someone $1500 to just sit on paperwork (even if we had it in our back pocket to whip out). So they have closed our application. Not that we're "unfit" parents, but that we can't schedule classes with them, due to the hubby's work schedule. And we need to take classes to foster-to-adopt together. Well, unless they are able to negotiate world peace, the schedule will remain long and unpredictable. So that's $300 (an LOTS of our time) we won't see again.

And then there is North Korea and other things going on in the world. That doesn't effect most people beyond perhaps adding some worry to their every day. For military families, it means something different. It means that My Sailor is about to get really slammed. We're already back to 12 hr days, but we'll be talking night shifts, longer more silent deployments, and, well, lots more work to be done.

How about them punches?

It's times like these when I feel like 'what else could go wrong?!' that I've been hanging on to the 'wins' in my life. And they are at least as numerous as the punches.

Wins From Last Week -

Whatever the Mud, it's good to be in it together.

My Sailor and I are as rock solid as ever. With all the stresses (death in the family, money being tight, adoption falling through, upcoming deployments and jam packed schedules) it's easy for any couple to snap at and blame each other. But the truth is My Sailor can't do anything more to help the situations than he already has. I see that and appreciate it. He's doing his best. I'm doing my best, and that's all anyone can ask. Times like this really show any relationship what it's made of.

Getting out has really helped! My sessions at the gym are already paid for (yeah!) and working out is a great way to help my body work out some stress, and a great way to help my mind get the lift of some endorphines. Not to mention, it was a great 'win' to learn that I haven't lost much ground (if any) from being off lifting and everything except for a couple of runs for nearly a week. Once Dad passed away, my work outs that week just included lots of walking. (My diet included whatever tasted/felt good in the moment.) Today I learned the Turkish Get Up, which was a blast. As TrainerGuy says, "It's fun pushing heavy things around." I also admit to getting a bit of childlike glee out of learning I'm capable of more than I think I am.

Being low on cash means we find more ways to have fun at home. Which can honestly be more bonding than sitting in a movie theater, staring at a screen together. Lately, that's ment cleaning and yard work - not exactly most people's idea of fun. But that said, it feels really nice to work on making this place more 'ours'. We've been in this house for less than a year, and there are lots of things we'd like to accomplish with it. Some big, some small, but it's one area where we can make progress, and making progress on something (anything) feels awesome. Nights in include things like catching up on the few shows we watch on, having fun with the dogs, or trading off playing the latest Tomb Raider Game. Last night we watched Game of Thrones while playing Scrabble together. (I lost, but I'm admittedly probably the least satisfying person to play board games with. I just like to play. I really don't care if I win. I usually don't even bother to keep score.)

Me and MrsD.
There are other adoption options. Though we were most interested in adopting from Foster care, if we can't work that out, we'll find another way. No, I'm not talking about kidnapping. I'm talking about private adoption. It'll probably mean refinancing the house, taking out a loan (as private adoptions run $30-$50k), and finalizing it in another state, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. MrsD (matron of honor at my wedding and all around soul sista') reminded me that this door closing, just means that it's not the right time and or this wasn't the way it was ment to happen. Adoption falling through feels a lot like what I imagine a miscarriage would feel like- especially in the aformentioned 'raw' state. But that doesn't mean it's the end of trying to become a family. It just means we'll most likely have to go about this a different way. International is complicated due to My Sailor's job, but I've heard lots of encouraging stories about private adoptions, so my job, once My Sailor is out Finding Nemo again himself, will be to track down the other methods so we can make some progress on that front in 2014. When life puts you in a prison - bend the bars.

Will I see you in Disneyland in August? Things are falling into place for me to attend the D23 Expo in August. Now, I won't actually be in the Expo. I'll be providing outside fun for my Celebrations Magazine readers. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of them. I'm still working out the details (such as 'when will we do the Haunted Mansion historical ride through meet up?' or 'Can Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen come up with some amazing Celebrations drink and beignet special?' for example). My Sailor won't be able to make it, but I'm recruiting my mom to be the official photographer or the meet up, so I can scrap book and get autographs from readers. I'm really looking forward to connecting with some of my readers - especially as I'm embarking on a new book adventure (non-Disney related) which I hope to complete by the end of the year. Besides, who doesn't look forward to an amazing Disney vacation - even if it'll be somewhat of a 'working weekend'.

There are more little 'wins' that I'm hanging onto right now.

They say that life isn't a dress rehearsal, but I don't believe that. Sometimes the hard times we're surviving through now are just rehearsals so we can overcome other obstacles in our way down the road, or help others through similar obstacles. After all, if we can survive this, we can survive anything, right?

Uphill running, Danskin Triathlon @ Disney California Adventure, 2006

 Trials Teach Us How to Fight Back 

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