Sorting, bagging, keeping, and deleting

My dad is the first parent I’ve lost. I always thought grieving a parent would be more like constant crying. If I was alone but not crying, I was doing ok. When I’m in public or talking to others, I probably don’t look any different than I did before. I can fake happiness, but I don’t feel fake by doing so. If I fake it, and you laugh, then I laugh and feel better. Should I say, instead, “acting”?

When I am alone, I expected to be in tears most of the time. I’m not, so I thought this meant that I was on the road to recovery. I had the movie version of grief in my head. It’s all loud and messy. Maybe it is for some, but it isn’t for me. Like drowning. Most people think it’s loud and the struggling swimmer flails her arms about. Drowning is quiet, and that’s what my grief feels like. I look around at books, projects, my laptop, and see only a blur. When I sit down to work on old code or a tutorial, I don’t know where to start. I just stare at the laptop. I have plenty of code to work on. I could tweak. I could redo. I could start over. I could follow #100DaysofCode or do a Wes Bos tutorial. Or I could feel so overwhelmed that I shut the laptop and try to nap.

chocolate and vanilla cake with happy birthday poppa on topMy dad died four days before his birthday. On his birthday, some of the family gathered at my dad and stepmom’s for cake and ice cream. I found my stepmom’s sister in front of a pile of my late stepsister’s costume jewelry. Everything was a mess and dumped in a box. I sat down with her and sorted earrings to find pairs. I started with the larger ones and moved down to smaller studs. As pairs were matched, the pile got smaller. After the earrings, we moved to singles: pendants, rings, brooches. The final challenge was untangling bracelets and necklaces. After a few hours, we had order. We bagged and sorted. We went through and took what we’d like or what reminded us of Mel. The rest would be given to charity, and anything of value would be sold to help fund her sons’ education.

While everything I had been doing before the deaths of my stepsister and my dad might look like a tangled mess, I can get through it if I take a small amount at a time. Re-enter with the easy stuff. No time to prove anything. No one gets a medal for returning to normalcy first. As the simple and small tasks get completed, move on to more complicated tasks and code. Have a clear idea of what I’m working on so that completion is not fuzzy. Vague is not your friend. I have messes, and they need plans.

Mess: code, dev skills

Plan: I’ve reset my 100 Days of Code plan and am abiding by its set of rules. Starting with old homework assignments. Moving to completed code that could use better styling. Return to tutorials. No plan here. If I just do one a day, that’s fine. If I do more, bonus, but one a day is fine now and forever.

Mess: fitness

Plan: 5k to 10k app. Gym 3 days a week. Moving back to 5 days a week. Walking 10 minutes a day moving to 30 or 3×10.

Mess: job applications

Plan: One a day every other day. Moving to 1 a day, 5 days a week. Goal would be 3 a day for 5 days.

Mess: Creative side being ignored

Plan: 15 minutes a day to do something with fiber. Moving to 30 on weekdays and 2 hours on weekends. Slowly. Read fiction before bedtime. Blog once a week. I don’t care what about, just write. Move to 3-5 days a week but not always about coding.

Mess: I miss my dad.

Plan: I don’t know.

Round Two

I don’t know where to begin. My dad was admitted into the ER on 28 January, the day before my stepsister’s service. He passed away on 8 February. Yes. I have lost two family members in less than a month.

While my dad was in hospice, I received a call that a company I applied to would not be moving forward in the interview process. I have never been so happy. It was a good company, but the job was not for me. I was not for them. One clue would be that I did not study before the interview. I couldn’t make time for that company. I made time for Wes Bos, but not for the interview. Oddly, at the time I am trying to tell my dad goodbye and that it was ok to let go, not getting a job was a big relief. It was the only up I had in days and would have for days. Yes, I need stability, but the timing is bad. I get to cry and not beg a new boss to understand.

I need to return to coding tutorials. Grief brain. I have it bad. Tutorials and hand holding are what I need. And this time around, I’m making time to make other things. Before I started to learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I knitted, crocheted, and embroidered. I also read a lot. I think I need to make more time for other creative outlets.

I know. I need to grieve. Trust me. I grieve. Plenty. Lots of tears. So many tears that I’m battling dehydration. Getting back into my coding and job app habits is the return to normalcy I need.

Always, we begin again.


Terribly behind

Manboy is off to the US in April to run Boston. What am I going to do?

I’ll catch up on blogs.
I’ll move into the living room to sleep with my boys.
I’ll finish some projects.

I’m publishing this to hold me accountable. Don’t grade too harshly.

After years of drought, we are back into our seasons: wet and dry. When it’s wet, I don’t often ride. I do, however, try to work on some type of bike.