Lonely

On just about every day I’ve had off recently I’ve been running around to various doctors trying to get caught up on all my yearly exams and check ups.  I’ve postponed a few, so I had quite a list.  And the post hospital here doesn’t have much–it’s more like a glorified clinic–so I’ve had to go off post and run around town.  Highly inconvenient, in my opinion.

One of my doctors ordered a test where I had to be put to sleep.  It’s not a huge deal; I’ve had it done before.  But I’ve never been alone before.  We just got here.  I don’t know a ton of people who I feel close enough to to ask them to do that for me.  I knew tons of people would be willing, but I didn’t want a stranger there.

I found out the true definition of lonely that morning.  More than any other time during this stupid deployment, I wanted my DH there to hold my hand.  I’m not scared of needles or hospitals, but it’s scary to be there alone as they’re hooking you up to all the machines.  It’s really scary to wake up without anyone beside your bed.

Two very wonderful women that I trust and love being around helped me out.  I hear I was pretty loopy and chatty on the way home.  I made it though, as mil spouses always seem to do, but it hurt.  I hate always being robbed of those moments with your significant other.  Deployments suck.

Who Me?

To channel Sally Fields:  “You like me!  You really like me!”

Wiley, prolly the coolest Aussie I know, over at Wiley Goes Walkabout  was totally sweet and bestowed upon me the Honest Scrap award.It’s my first award, I’m so so so grateful to her for thinking of me.

This award does come with some stipulations, however, and I have not gotten around to fulfilling them because of the crises that always seem to develop during a deployment, which I’ll get to it some other time.  I feel so bad, and Wiley, I really am incredibly stoked over it.

So condition 1:  Brag about the award.

  • I try very hard to be uncensored in this space, both for myself and for whomever stumbles upon it.  I cannot bring myself to brag that my thoughts are overly exciting, but they are honest and I’m proud of that.  It does tickle me that at least one person out there likes me enough to pass this on.  I feel like I’m inching closer to being a legit mil spouse blogger.  And come on…isn’t that arm defined and gorgeous?  They must have modeled it after mine while I was sleeping.

Condition 2:  Mention the bestower of the award.  Wiley Wiley bo Biley, banana fanana fo Filey me mi mo Miley–Wiley!

Condition 3:  Choose other amazingly honest blogs that deserve this award.  Pass it on by leaving a comment at their site and let everyone else know where they can find them.

  • Wheelin’ Knuckles is a military brat who’s going through a really tough time right now but is finding the strength to be painfully honest.
  • Sis B’s honesty over at Veritably Bare makes my honesty look candy coated.  Totally inspired, Woman.  Just wow.

Condition 4:  Mention at least 10 honest things about myself.

  • I want to believe in the worst possible way that my depression and anxiety struggles were for a reason.  Even with my best friend in the whole world struggling with severe post partum depression, I cannot believe that my pain could serve a higher purpose and help her.  It still feels too unfair.
  • I am embarrassed around my family for no longer eating beef because it gives me digestive problem because my uncle made a living being a feedlot owner and farmer.
  • I am a sugar fanatic.  I try and eat incredibly healthy, but anything frosted makes me weak in the knees.
  • I toy with the idea of piercing my nipples but I don’t even have my ears pierced.
  • I was molested and sexually abused by my first boyfriend and his step father.
  • I sweat like crazy and have to wear extra strength deodorant.  My poor husband is a saint and loves me anyway.
  • I’m afraid I will not like the woman my brother ends up marrying.  He’s a wonderful, sweet man, and I don’t want to lose him to a tramp who doesn’t deserve him.  He hasn’t dated any woman who isn’t a tramp in my book yet.
  • I have no respect for people who cheat on their deployed spouses.  It is despicable and I wish I could think of a punishment equal for their behavior.
  • I secretly read trashy romance novels occasionally even though I think they should not even be considered true literature.
  • I hate the fact that my wedding anniversary ended up being the day after my mother and father-in-laws.  I didn’t know until the reception.  Now it’s like a joint event every year.  I want my day to be special to me and DH alone.  Is it too late for a do-over?

There you have it, folks.  I’m awesome, and now I’ve got bright, shiny red award to prove it.  Thank you again, Wiley.  The next post will return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Bit-o-Kindness

I am running on fumes.  April has not been kind to me.  My to-do list just keeps getting longer, and it seems like no matter how many items I cross off the list, it keeps growing at exponential speed.  I’m just holding my breath until May gets here because I need a good long rest.

Really, I just want a partner again.  I want to be able to say “I’m too busy to grab laundry, can you do it?”  Or “Make sure and pick up milk on the way home.  I’m working late and we’re out.”  Holding the weight of the to-do list all on my own is starting to stress me out big time.

Someone mowed my back lawn yesterday while I was at work.  Thank you.  It’s something little like that that helps me hang in there.

It’s also the reason I wanted to live on post.  The community rallies around those in need exactly at the right time.  Again, thank you Anonymous Lawn Mower.  I cannot tell you what it meant to me.

Tassels

My cap and gown came in the mail today.  Soooo excited.  One step closer!!

Differ’nt Strokes For Differ’nt Folks

The last library I was at was much larger than the one I’m at now.  It was also an academic library, so the patron base was much different.  That being said, no matter what the size or target audience is, all libraries have to work to maintain their collections.

Libraries are not book museums.  They don’t store all books ever printed.  Limited space and limited budgets mean that which books make it into a library is a hard decision–one that is usually given a lot of thought.  Outdated books or books that are out of scope and never used need to be replaced for books that will be more beneficial to the visitors using the library.  Many people gasp at the thought that libraries might get rid of books, but it’s a fact of life.  Just think about medical or computer books.  Books from just five or ten years ago wouldn’t be useful to people studying the subject anymore.  That’s why we get rid of those titles in exchange for the most current information.

My current library is in the middle of weeding the collection and updating the books.  They were struggling on one particular title because the librarian weeding couldn’t bear to part with it.  At my previous library, each book was examined for several criteria.

1.  Is it relevant to the community using the facility? 

2.  Is it so old that it is now public domain and probably available on Google Books?

3.  Do many other libraries carry the title?

4.  Has it been checked out recently?

5. Does the book physically need to be replaced due to damage?

6.  Are there multiple copies?

7.  Is it valuable?

The theory was if you could answer yes to questions 2 and 3 and no to question 4, it was safe to get rid of the book to free up space for something more relevant.  If a patron did need to use the title, there were still other avenues for them to easily access it.  I suggested this tactic to my current librarians, and they interpreted it differently.  If no other library carried the book, it probably wasn’t that great of a book to begin with.

Doh!

The title in question had never been checked out since it was added to the collection over twenty years ago.  It was kept.

Parting with literature is not easy for book lovers.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

 I just finished a book that I loved and made me think, so I wanted to share.  It’s called The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett.

It was a seriously fast read, but the author, a journalist, did a great job and made me think.  To me, that makes the story a success.  The book itself is a true story about a man who stole rare books for the status of owning them and the pure love of old books.

Bartlett does a really good job of presenting the difference between loving the story and loving the physical book itself, which got me thinking.  Which one am I?  Is one superior to the other?  I hope I love the writing, the plot, the characters more than the paper and binding itself.  I beautiful book can fail to grab my attention and leave little impact on my literary memory.  But an aged leather binding and pages worn soft by people fingers before me who cherished the book like I do is so appealing.  I certainly prefer to hold a book in my hands and read than read on the computer or ebook device, and I did my entire Masters degree online.  It would seem to demonstrate a leaning towards one side of the argument in my case.

Would I steal for my love of books?  No.  But do I maybe understand why people steal books?  Perhaps.  Gilkey, the main character, remained a confused and mentally distorted character for me.  I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t care about what’s between the covers of the books they steal, but perhaps that is what made the book so inticing for me.

In an age where temporary digital-ness is replacing everything it seems, the fact that stealing books is a growing crime shows how important and powerful they still are even for Gilkey who sought social status rather than intellectual growth by owning them.  Seriously consider picking the text if you are a fellow book or literature lover.  It won’t disappoint.

I’m Sorry I Said Anything

The back story:  Last week sometime a very nice lady, we’ll call her Lucy (but her name is changed to protect the well-intentioned) came into the library.  She used to be an employee at the library, so we chatted a little more than normal, and it turns out her husband is in the same brigade as my hubby.  She also lives just up the block from me.  We mini rejoiced, and she asked if I’d been going to FRG meetings and other mandatory fun activities because that’s where she’d just come from and hadn’t seen me at any yet.  I told her no.  I hadn’t heard from my leader yet at all, but was busy with work and was limping along learning the community on my own.  I feigned the poor me routine a little too well I guess.

Yesterday I got an email from DH saying I needed to urgently “fix” a problem by contacting my FRG leader because he had been called in by his CO to have a conference call with the battalion commander.  Wha??  That was on my lunch hour.  Then, while at work, I got a flurry of calls from the whole FRG chain of command asking for my info and checking on me and apologizing and blaming me.  Then I got a visit while at work from the commander of the rear detachment doing the same thing.  Wha?!?  Lucy’s husband, I find out a day later, turns out to be a very high-ranking officer at headquarters who passed on to my hubby and various others that I was desperate, lonely, and flipping out here all by myself.  WHA???

I am not flipping out.  I am doing better than I have in five years.  I miss my honey, yes, but I’m ok.  How this story got twisted, I have no idea.

Now I feel obligated to attend FRG meetings and events because I “made such a big deal about being included.”  Newsletters would be nice, but I don’t want to attend forced fun that is geared toward families and small children.  Sigh…  I don’t want to come across as ungrateful, unwilling to volunteer, or antisocial.  I think FRGs are great for those that need and want them.  I have an issue with mandatory participation though.  Between work, family, home stuff, and mental issues, I don’t always know if I’m going to be able to handle extra responsibilities.  I don’t want to be guilted into participating and then feel massively overwhelmed and start to lose it again.  I know my limits, and I don’t want to explain them to perfect strangers all the time.  Grr…

This whole miscommunication really shook me.  I was upset because DH was getting talked to by his bosses because of me.  I was angry because I was getting blamed for jumping the chain of command by going to Lucy’s husband, even when that’s not what I intended or wanted at all.  And I was embarrassed and upset that people were treating me like a scared child who needed her hand held when I’m doing great.  All that in about thirty minutes.  I wanted to cry and scream.  It left me battered and bruised and took me about two days to start feeling normal again.

I’m starting to realize that I’m doing good, but when the Army intrudes into my life and I can’t pretend that this is the arrangement that I wanted all along, I’m shaken to the core.  It reminds me that I’m not doing perfect.  This deployment is hard and hurts a lot.