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Whole Lotta Shakin’/What’s It All About

The title of this post reflects what’s been happening within my supernova lately. It’s been consumed with new, and yes, exciting events along with the moments of self-doubt that inevitably stealthily creep back up much like that nasty vine that makes a perennial appearance year after year in the garden.

Yeah I said come on over baby,
a-whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
Well we ain’t fakin’,
a-whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Let’s do this in paragraph bursts:
Work has been fulfilling and rewarding. Let’s face it, having a job that’s in your chosen field is bliss anyway. The way that I’ve broken down my position into rapidly consumable pieces in order to be highly productive has not gone unnoticed by my peers. When they see my daily blueprint of shorthand detailing every aspect of how I will get through my shift they are amazed at the detail and how efficient I am. And they used to wonder at how I’m usually the first one ready to be relieved at the end of the shift! I, in turn, am happy to be with peers who constantly teach, are social, have a tendency to ask each other if they need help, are professional and who also enjoy good natured ribbing and laughing every so often as a way to keep a normally very stressful job  pocketed with needed moments of levity and a reason to smile.

School, more specifically, my class, began last week! I’m not sure if anyone appreciates going back to school more than an adult who wants it enough to sacrifice what they love in order to be there. The joy of opening my new book package after I found my seat in class was a joy that could have brought me to tears. This past weekend I located a book bag – complete with buckles and zippered compartments for holding pens, markers, notepad, calculator and other accroutremonts and caught myself in the mirror looking much as a child rehearsing getting ready for their first day of junior high! The professor is engaging, highly knowledgeable, humorous, uses many, many mnemonics as a tool for memory retention and insists on the highest standards. I’ve invested hours of book/study time this past week and feel confident that I’ve made the most of my time in preparation for our first quiz on Wednesday. Hey world, I made it to school!

Reacquainted girlfriend and I haven’t seen much of each other since we rounded up the kids a few Sunday’s ago. My later in the day schedule starts even before she is through for the day. We’ve had the few times a week phone conversations, but getting together is just impossible due to the conflicting hours we both work.

So, here’s a guy who vehemently tossed out such words of anger and spite at God only a short while ago, who now makes time on the daily work commute to recite the rosary. Those of you who know me – actually, none of you do, would never even take a stab at believing that I would do something of this nature. Clutching a rosary and reciting prayers in a car on the way to work? But, you know what? It works for me and I liken it to anyone else out there who anonymously recites a prayer of any type, of any religion or belief, during any given moment of any given day. I figure that I’ve a lot to be thankful for (even amidst my chaos and exploding upheaval) and once more I’ll state that I enjoy the routine. I need more order, and less entropy.

I’ve been realizing that I enjoy keeping a (almost) daily log of what I’ve accomplished day to day. I still use my notebook for the checklist that I depend on, and once crossed off the checklist I add the line to a spreadsheet detailing what’s been done. It’s a sense of achievement and execution of thought into action that I feel thrilled with. To add a new line is smile provoking. To glance at past days in spreadsheet style is warming to my ego.

On the other hand …

The work shift is very difficult for me to get through at many times. The sense of loneliness is almost a physical weight on me and all non-work related thoughts center on not being able to see my children as I have been able to for the past two years. I have one day off a week and that is the night I go to school. The other days off are every other weekend in which I see my treasures. And treasures they are. During the day I am alone and they are at school. During the mid afternoon they are leaving school and I am entering work. No articulation, no phrase-turning, no thoughts of ‘until something better comes along’ are soothing to my soul knowing that as I work, they are seeing me less. My ex is not the type to prod them into calling me and leaving a message on my phone, so I am shackled emotionally with the truism ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and my heart tissue weakens a bit more, and blood pumps more slowly each time I hear that in my mind.

As elated and jubilant I am that I am back in school I am terrified and panicked at the though that I may not be able to keep myself there. Based on my last year’s income, I did not qualify for any financial aid money. However, not working for most of November and all of December crippled my finances. With no savings to speak of, a past major holiday to finance, a school book package that cost me $300 dollars, the tuition bill itself, trying to pay back those many weeks of missed child support to someone who will not allow me an option to pay it back gradually, rent that was just escalated and an impending car insurance bill that I can not afford, I am worried beyond consolation that I will have to release the very thing that will free me from these chains.

I have met someone where I work. She is very fully aware that I am not able to spend time with her and that I have no extraneous time to offer for a relationship. She is as lonely, and alone, as I am. We spent an intimate night in each others arms. I am wracked with gory guilt which I realize is the even exchange for a night of shelter and succor however temporary it was.

I have prayed a lot. I do have faith and believe, blindly, that all situations will work out. But to have even more crippling, additional financial burdens strategically positioned upon me, to not have the soothing relief I would find in the physically blending with my children – my only family ties, to have waited years to get back into school and now find it precipitiously close to vaporizing out of my palms and to be emotionally evacuated because of my untenable need to be held … it is making me wonder and withdraw.

I am still smoking. More. To my detriment. And to my angst.

It was once asked, “What’s It All About Alfie?” If it’s not about love, or in my scenario, if it’s not about the love of life, the possibilities I yearn and reach for, and the stability nestled within the next level, then what is it all about?

As sure as I believe there’s a heaven above, Alfie,
I know there’s something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in.
I believe in love, Alfie.

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