“It would be better if you were unconscious.”

persistence demonstrated by plant in cement

Welp. The job didn’t work out. Unfortunately, on the first day, I wore the wrong footwear and injured my left foot. I probably pinched a nerve as it caused numbness that has since lessened to just my big toe. I got the proper shoes immediately and used some silicon yoga toes with elevation to speed up the healing process. I learned a surprising amount of useful information in this short duration. Such as standing on cement for hours requires proper footwear. (Like combat boots, she said, while consciously refraining from tearing herself a new one.)

Cleaning in the military is different than cleaning in an apartment complex. (I have to admit; this hurt my feelings a little.) Instead of systematically scrubbing everything from top to bottom, there’s this thing called a spot check, where you visually inspect for what looks gross and start there. Speed is more important than, well, sanitation. The mission is to make everything look clean. It required a compromise. Instead, I tried to clean using the military-style very quickly. 🤭 While this makes for an incredible workout, it still takes too long.

The Army has a saying: If you can’t find time to do it right the first time, how the hell are you going to find time to do it again? I’m married to it. The time commitment was higher than discussed initially, so I quit. I can’t mess with my daily exercise routine. It’s part of my wellness plan. I’ve played with it enough to know I can opt for an hour of cardio plus 20mg Prozac, or 4 hours of cardio per day to maintain homeostasis. (Sadly, neither scenario accommodates Cheetos.) My decision is weather-based because I don’t play with Mother Nature in the winter anymore. (I need my digits, lobes, and nose. I’m still using them.)

Scrabble tiles

The job accomplished the goal of getting me out of my apartment regularly. I also drove around the complex between buildings, increasing my driving confidence. I saw a schnauzer that screamed around strangers, and the pitch went up the longer the dog was uncomfortable. While it was carried down the stairs and out the door, I thought the glass was going to fracture. It was so adorable. Heh. I met an older woman whose date was late to pick her up for lunch. She was super pissed off, (and for some reason, it tickled me.) I said, what a dick, in commiseration, and she laughed.

I had to wear a sports headband and wrist bands because I sweat a lot while scrubbing the yuck as fast as I could. I had to sterilize everything, including my eyeglasses, after each shift. Pretty sure my cleaning ensemble, complete with the sweatbands, orthopedic shoes, cargo pants, and a t-shirt, was fashion-forward. 👍🏽 (Not nary a compliment was heardt.) I gained five pairs of the same pants, ugly but comfy shoes, some muscle, stamina, confidence, a creativity boost, and experience. Sweet.

Soon after I began the job, I had oral surgery. It was pretty extensive, and I still have stitches and soreness. Typically, I wouldn’t have chosen to be unconscious during the procedure. I went in with several questions, but after the doctor entered the room, I was satisfied I was in good hands. I quickly recognized I didn’t have to do anything but show up hungry. Siouxland Oral is fabulous. I saved the pain meds in my zombie bugout bag and used OTC ibuprofen for the first two days. It still hurts, but it would be weird if it didn’t. I get stitches out in a few days, yay.

I discovered my singing bowl helps the pain, which I think is super cool. I also found my blood pressure has been lower around whitecoats the last few times. (M taught me to use meditation.) Since I quit, I’ve been writing like I’m getting paid by the word. It’s like I’m an idea factory—short stories for the vault, for now. Ted Chiang and Ken Liu are having a considerable influence on my writing. I think Octavia Butler would have been just as excited by them. I’m off to band practice. 💜✌🏽

p.s. I’ve recorded one past blog entry so far. I sound weird, too. Heh. Guess I should have seen that coming. 🤭