Thinking “Good” Things Only

Oh my LANTA I am trying. Some moments on some days when for no reason at all (or for a very good reason like a flicker of a memory or a glimpse at a significant date or a looming reality of my new now ) the panic sets in and the gloom creeps up and I can taste the tears coming and i start sweating and feeling like Slim Shady about to have a replay of my lunch in reverse: I literally sit in my office chair and out loud say to myself “STOP IT ROBYN! For the love of all that is holy PULL YOUR DAMN SELF TOGETHER”. Then I force myself to think of the good things…count them out Robyn…give me 5…(like Luna Lovegood trying to help Harry make a Patronus charm!)  and it works…mostly…there has actually been almost no throw up or tears at work in the past week!!  There have actually been very few low moments and many more of the familiar happy, ridiculous, I’m sorry I made you laugh right before you had to talk-oh there I am…I am almost feeling like me again-moments. My workmates are soooo lucky to have me to share a space/hour long van ride with!

As time goes on it certainly gets easier/faster to pull myself back from the down moments. Pull myself back to the happy moments and the reality of now.  That is where I live. I live in the now. The past is the past (it made me who i am and gave me the “things” I need to go forward and I am so grateful for  what I brought with me but it is, nonetheless, gone and unchangeable) and now is now. And I have decided that now is good. Because I have decided there IS good. Even in the hard times; there is still good out there. The bad times can certainly be bad, hard to deal with…hard to cope with…hard to find that “thing” that will get you through times. And I don’t know how or why or where “it” came from (well yes I do…it came from finally understanding what I have been trying to understand and learn for quite sometime that I have been very lovingly and patiently guided to understand), nor do I know why “it” showed up when it did: but show up it did: There is good in this world. There is also bad or wrong or evil. BUT there IS also a space in between those places. It’s not just one or the other; either or. It doesn’t have to be and it definitely should not be. There literally is no good or bad: there is both and  neither are definitive! Whaaaat???

To some, the space between is a vast expanse where people are meant to exist with balance. To me though, where I exist, is a very small space in between…a space that can almost not be quantified…a space so small it’s like the space between breathing in and breathing out: it’s there but so hard to hear and see and catch. I also believe that both views of that space, the dichotomy if you will ( 🙂 ), are absolutely believable and most definitely correct! Because I also decided, that depending on the person viewing the space…the image is different: some people say “my house is cozy” some people say “my house is soo small!” Please don’t get me wrong: I do not feel cramped or unhappy in my small space….I like it here. Maybe this tiny space I occupy helps me be good at what I do. Maybe it makes it easier to care and love and be empathetic (I always try to look at someone else’s “need” from my perspective and ask myself: if this was me what would I want someone to do for me?).  Maybe it makes it easier for me to forgive or understand people/situations or look at people as the people they are now and not their past. I give everyone a chance…. because I guess I would like the same from people. This doesn’t mean I am naive. I am not one to be deluded by pretenses. I can, somehow, feel honesty and integrity in people and that means something to me. I can also feel dishonesty and judgement and hostility. First impressions are important to me but; I build that impression on my own and I don’t let myself be clouded by the judgments of others because that is what FEELS good to me. That is how I stay in my little cozy space in between where I like it…AND my space in between is not the same space as your space….and that is OK!!  That’s what it’s about: finding your own space and making it what you need it to be! (holy ah-ha! moment batman!)


life is a beautiful struggle

It’s new here…it kind of has the that newly set up blog smell!! Although: if it’s like the new car smell its only really appealing for like the first week and then it kind of gives you a headache…thank GODS for those little tree things that smell like vanilla…which is actually weird…anyway…

This is our new home: So Welcome! Its a bit of a mess (kind of like me) and will be for a wee bit while I figure out how things work (also like me), but eventually everything will sort itself out and we will all be fine!  This is just one of many little adjustments to be made and one more learning curve to conquer! Up next is: Why is there no sound on my laptop and what the actual fuck is a sound card and does ANYONE know where I put the receipt for this thing??? followed closely behind by: Where do i plug the one thingy in on the back of the Mac thing so both monitors work?? sigh. I can do a 6 page med rec in like 20 minutes and fax the doctor ,get a response and update the pharmacy all in that time but..this…THIS throws me for a looper! Sigh.  I need to pay more attention to things!

Maybe I will write more..again. Maybe I will take more pictures (I think I need a refresher on the settings of my camera first…) Maybe I will just post screenshots of angry ducks or wet koala bears or raccoons pushing brooms that  I find on the internet because they make me laugh (please google those things and laugh with me!) Who knows what might happen? I’m kind of learning as I go that nothing goes as planned and that this life is full of variables  that like to push you down a road you didn’t even know existed and its better to just let it happen and make adjustments as they come. (Yay. Another learning curve!)


I Hate Deciding Things

I hate deciding things. I just simply don’t want to anymore. I want someone to decide for me: I literally give up on making decisions. I feel like right now I am the epitome of “sometimes bad things happen because you’re an idiot and make BAD DECISIONS”. So… I quit. Is that a “thing”? Can I do that? Probably most definitely not. Turns out decisions are a part of human life. Everyday our 1 billion neurons and synapses preform over 70,000 thoughts: most of them are subconscious and we aren’t even aware of them. Our lives are defined by choices and decisions. Where you are right now is mostly due to millions of micro changes that took place because of choices and decisions you made at one point in time: however, it ALSO turns out that other people’s choices and decisions affect you as well. Yay. That’s fun (sorry if it’s hard to hear me over the sound of the big giant ass bitter bus I am riding right now). It’s fun (not at all fun: it’s the opposite of fun) because in these situations you have no choice but to start making choices and decisions to counter act the other persons choices. It’s not fun because then you feel like saying things like “it’s not fair. I don’t deserve this (ahem hem… I MAY have said this phrase 234,766 times in the last 9 weeks). Why me? This is stupid…which leads to where I am now…I don’t just want to anymore. I don’t want to decide. I “don’t want to” a lot of things right now because it’s not fair. It is stupid. I sure as fuck don’t deserve this. I certainly did not ask for this and I am DEFINITELY not experiencing this because I am an idiot or made a bad choice: “This” is simply the result of 1 million micro choices and changes that happen to have affected me at this time. That all being said: It also turns out I literally, no matter how much I don’t want to: simply do not have a choice but to make a choice. The choices I must make now are also huge-normous life altering- financially involved decisions. The problem is making “forced” choices this way makes me feel angry and sad and scared and hurt all at once. Making decisions right now when I feel like I do and I am not thinking clearly or straight at all is really REALLY difficult because I am so terrified of making another choice that will shoot me sideways down fuck-up-ally all over again…again. Right now I don’t even know how to make a damn decision for myself without having to consider whether someone else will be ok with my choice or decision and then I suddenly remember it no longer matters because I am the only affected by this decision now which makes me feel alone and the grief starts to kick in,  which brings me back to angry about WHY i feel this way and then I get angry that I am angry because I HATE being angry because it’s counter productive and I say mean things and tell people to fuck off when I don’t actually mean it (well…I did mean it in the please go away sense but I could have been nicer about it…I’m very sorry) and then I feel sad and I still haven’t made a decision and I am tired of making decisions because of others people decisions. I already make so many “aware” choices in a day. I decide every single day that it is going to be a good day and try my hardest to make choices that make that happen. I decide that I am going to stay true to my integrity and be a good person (minus the whole fuck off thing…but seriously…) and not set out to hurt anyone with my choices. I decide to be kind. I decide to care. I decide to love unconditionally those who love me the same way because I deserve to be loved like that and I have so much love to give. I decide to try my hardest not to lose hope. I decide to continue to try to find good in people when I know it’s there…even if it hurts sometimes…until I just can’t anymore: then I decide to let go to keep myself as ok as I can. I decide to forgive myself for my mistakes and errors in judgement; learn from them and move on from them. I decide to forgive others for the same but not to let myself forget. I decide things everyday and everyday I have to keep deciding to keep deciding to choose what feels right instead of what is easy most of the time. And now I have to decide to decide to go forward and carry this hurt (that I will get used to feeling someday) and this anger (that I will change to learning) and these deep rooted scars from so much loss in such a short time and so many lies that I have lost trust in people again that will eventually fade but never fully heal because they are now a part of the “me” I am slowly finding) and I just don’t want to make that decision: turns out though, I don’t have a choice but to focus on this moment as it is now, not expect: but except and move forward. Understand I can’t change what “is”; anymore than I can change what “was”.

Everyone Needs a Playlist

I have 23 of them. Yup. They are called things like Happy, Sad, Angry, Laundry, Bike Ride, School Work, Songs That don’t make me want to scream my fucking head off (my favorite lately!), Driving, Driving in traffic, Sleep, Sleep without dreaming, Hemi-Sync, Walking the Dog….you know the usual.

I have had a “bumpy” 6 months (TBH It’s been a shit storm of shitty craptactualr poo with crap on it 6 months) and I am slowly crawling and clawing and fighting my way back out of it and then falling back down and having to start again almost daily BUT I still trying and THAT is what counts right? My playlists have been my saving grace throughout most of it. Music has been my escape from my thoughts lately…it seems before I can do anything I need music. I have been surrounded my whole life by music. Each memory I have has a song associated with it..Sweet Caroline reminds me of car rides to the cottage with my Dad, Beethoven’s Fur Elise reminds me of sitting in the den with my Grandpa Bob listening to records, Stairway to Heaven: obviously high school dance, Change of Seasons by Sweet Thing…2nd first date song, The Tea Party makes me Sad, Mumford and Sons makes me feel homesick, Metric makes me want to clean things, T-Swift makes me want to kick things, Charlie Pride makes me laugh, scratchy staticy needle drops make me so fucking unbelievable happy….you get it: I attach memories to songs and sounds and tastes ( I have cried while drinking tea because of the memories associated with it and felt ill once when someone suggested eating at a certain restaurant for the same reason).

Turns out I am the type of person that needs sound to feel at peace. (I am making a list of Things about me that I didn’t know before: and this is number one on the list): This is something I learned about myself recently after finding myself alone and in the quiet with only my own thoughts for too many days. I turned on the receiver and connected my phone to the Bluetooth (I was so proud of myself for knowing how) and I pressed play and instantly felt peace. For the next (very long) 4 weeks if I was awake there was sound of some sort. I started to listen to guided meditation to fall asleep. If I was walking anywhere alone: even from my parking spot to my office (which is a very short city block) my headphones were in. The radio in my car had died at this exact shitty time as well so, I learned to drive with headphones in.  I downloaded music based on suggestions from other music I had in my playlist and fell in absolute love with a new album by a group I adored,  and I listened to the 4 songs that were released on repeat for days. I started listening to the meanings behind the songs I was listening to and at times became emotional: some were so powerful I had to stop listening to them due the reaction they brought out in me. I started listening to records I found on a shelf I had never taken the time to listen to and learned to understand the power behind the music and the beauty in the composition. Electronic Dance has this amazing weaving of sounds and beats and tempo that in the right space with the right volume (awkward with one ear that hears sound at a different decibel level but I figured it out!) makes me feel euphoric and yet calm and focused at the same time (excellent for writing psychology papers at 2 am!) I found myself unable to focus if it was too quiet. Radio Paradise has been a savior. Youtube is my hero lately for the suggested songs. I miss when GrooveShark was a thing. How did I not know this about myself before? It kind of made me angry that, once again, I felt ripped off from missing out for so long….don’t get me wrong I have always loved music and appreciated it, but this is different and hard to explain. It might seem insignificant or small or even a strange thing to focus on when, clearly, I have bigger fucking fish to fry…but this discovery is important to me. Maybe I am starting to know “me” a little better. Also: everyone should make a “things about me  that I didn’t know before” list…it’s very therapeutic to self reflect like that. Also I need more music to listen to.

Cheers! Xo

I Think I May Have Lost Myself Again…

I haven’t written in such a long time. I haven’t felt the desire or the need or made the time. I forget how to even start. I can’t remember how to organize my thoughts. I can’t seem recall how to get myself into the mindset to focus. I haven’t even so much as logged in to this blog in over a year. It’s not that I was busy. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say because…damn. It’s not because someone or something came along and made it so I couldn’t; I simply just didn’t. My choice. My fault. Mine to own. Mine to regret if I choose. I find myself sitting here tonight wondering why is it that the only time I feel the pull to write is when things are not…great or when life feels extraordinary? It seems like this little forgotten blog is my haven and the place I feel like I can come to put things that need to be put somewhere. Happy, sad or full of love: it all belongs here. As I read through a few of my older posts, I found all my sadness and all my joy and all my love that I left here: safe, intact and complete. I felt every single emotion as though it was the very day I left it here. I wondered for a moment if I should delete some things: some things are certainly different and remembering is quite painful right now; but then I decided that this place is what it is to me because this is where those things belong. My story is my story because of those things and I am me because they happened: Forgetting is not an option. I keep them here so I can come back to them when I need to.  I realized tonight that everyone has an outlet. Some people create beautiful art, some people sing, some people build. I realized that this place is my art form, this is my song, this is my therapy and my healing. This is where I can be me. No matter how big the gap is between creations: they are all such an import piece of my human “self-ness”.  They are all important.  So now… why now? What now? I don’t know the answer to any of that. I don’t know the answer to anything it seems. I can’t make a plan (I probably couldn’t make spaghetti right now) I can’t make sense of a lot of things. I’m having troubling focusing. I’m finding it very difficult to smile: when I do feel joy right now it feels foreign and wrong.  I miss the feeling of extraordinary. I miss the feeling of safe and settled and home and family. I miss not thinking what if and why. I miss not having my heart feel like its being turned inside out a thousand times a day. I miss the feeling of comfortable and the feeling of familiar. I miss not being scared and I miss not having to worry. I miss the feeling of love. I miss the feeling of being special and important. I miss being extraordinary. Until tonight I thought I missed “me”: I thought when it all disappeared that I lost me too. It turns out though, most of me has been here all along – I just forgot where to look. I guess the rest of me will show up when it’s time. I will find all of the things that I feel like I lost someday. I will recognize soon enough that most of those things never actually left they just took on a different form. I will find my strength and be in a place I can put it away again. It’s just going to take time.  Thank you for keeping “me” safe little blog.



edit/ It’s been so long I can’t even remember how to work this thing 😦  I can save your life and probably deliver a baby in a pinch: but I can’t put a picture in a blog post!!! grrrr #alltheswearwords

edit on the edit// All fixed…sort of 🙂 thank you sir for once again knowing all the things that I do not! :))

This is Hard.

I simply forgot how hard this is. Sitting here for hours staring at a screen, reading and re-reading articles and journals and textbook entries looking for a fact I KNOW I READ SOMEWHERE!!!! Then spending hours…LITERALLY hours pouring over the 3000 word essay looking for errors in punctuation or grammar or the ever elusive and dangerous dangling participle. The moment I submit the “thing” to the tutor drop box gives only a fleeting sense of relief because thats when the REAL PANIC begins: Will she hate it? Did that suck as bad as I think it sucked? OMG It totally sucked. She hates me!!! OH my Lord in heaven I think I forgot to reference that one thing…I’m going to jail now for plagiarism. I’m too pretty for jail!!   Do they let you bring your own shampoo to jail? This lasts for days. Until the moment the email comes to alert me the “thing” has been marked and “Comments await you from your tutor”. Oh. No….

This is hard. My back hurts from sitting (I need a new chair). My eyes hurt from reading (I guess I should have replaced my glasses when I lost them a year ago). I have eaten FAR too many Jelly Belly jellybeans (Can you get a bag of JUST cinnamon flavoured Jelly Bellys??…because DAMN!). I am terrified I am not cut out for this. What if I can’t do this? I am way too critical of myself and even though I promised myself I wouldn’t get upset over marks because this in University not community college…here I am: upset over marks (when the 10 year old has to remind you that no one is perfect and therefor there is no such thing as a perfect mark and anything over an 75 is really great….thats a problem). I’m not exactly sure yet how to balance family and house stuff with work and full time school. I know at some point something is going to suffer as a result of this crazy juggling act I am preforming but the real problem remains: none of those things can suffer. They simply can’t.

This is hard right now. I know it will get easier as time goes on. I know I will figure this out. I still don’t fully understand why a dangling participle is so bad…and maybe I never will. Maybe thats ok. Maybe I don’t have to have all the answers to all of the things right now. Maybe for right now the only answer is that right now this is hard…but someday it won’t be.

Waiting on Good-bye

I am sitting here right now literally watching the hours tick by before my beloved Adah-Jane takes her last breath and I think I might being dying a little too. I am waiting on Good-bye and this is terrible.  But wait…everyone dies right?  At some point we will all have to say Good-bye. I should know that. End stage lymphoma or not people and puppy-dogs don’t live forever. My actual job is to hold the hands of people as they take their last breath. I get paid money to do that…I CHOOSE to do that. Sometimes my touch and my voice are the only good-bye they get. I provide comfort and compassion to the hysterical and terrified family members while pushing more pain medication through a SC butterfly. I break up fights between POA #1 and POA #2 about Mom’s money and belongings while poor Mom is laying in bed right beside them. (Just so you know…they CAN still hear you and it DOES bother them so take it outside mmmk??) I offer counselling and support throughout the whole process and then be there to the bitter end when the funeral director arrives to collect the empty shell that was once a human: my job ends and his begins. It’s kinda sick how his job depends on mine. I do this every single day….so why is this so hard? Is because for once there is no guessing game at when the end will be? Is it because of the career I have the disadvantage of knowing exactly what’s happening inside her furry cancer riddled body right now? Is it because when an elderly person passes on I know they have lived a full life and death is just the next step…but this is not fair: she’s only 8…she’s still a puppy. Or is because truth be told…I love my dog and watching her like this: afraid that she might be suffering and knowing that even if she was she wouldn’t let on lest I be sad? Whatever the reason, this is awful. Half of me wishes she would fall asleep and not wake up so I wouldn’t have to put her in the car one last time and walk her in the door of the vet one last time and then I wouldn’t have to know that after it’s over, after she’s gone…we will have to turn around and leave for home one last time without her. I don’t want to wait on good-bye. I don’t want good-bye to come at all.

How I Avoid Burning Out

As I mentioned in the last post –  life is crazy. I think this is true for pretty much everyone who has family, work and a social calendar. Finding a “balance” in all this craziness is a task that is not so simple to say the least. In order for this insanity to carry on – in order for my family not to fall to pieces in the process we had to work together to come up with a “plan” that worked for us all. Truthfully Jay and I did most of the deciding about said plan: but we really paid attention the the needs of the kids when laying it all out. We thought about what was important to them? What, when they look back on  their time at home with Ma and PA, do we want them to be able to take from this lifestyle? What are we willing to give up to allow them more of our “time” – because in the end truly the best gift we can give them is our time and if we work so hard to make a good life for them but don’t enjoy it with them…what’s the point?.  So far it’s been working. Sure we’ve tweaked it here and there to adapt to everyday occurrences as well as realizing as we asked our kids to take on more responsibilities they became more mature and thus allowed us a few more leniences.

A few key pieces of our plan:

Everyone has a job to do. Dishes need done. Laundry needs folded (I know…up until now you thought laundry was a magical entity that just appears folded nicely and smelling lovely in the drawers. It’s a shock…I’ll give you a minute to absorb it) Pets need fed and walked and brushed and loved. Basically: All the things need doing and somebody has got to do them and that someone sure can’t be the grown-ups all the time. We the grown-ups respect that this sucks and that is why we pay you an allowance.

Everybody helps everybody else. There is no such thing as “I didn’t do it/use it/or take it out”. If it’s not in it’s home: put it in it’s home. Which leads us  to…

Everything has a home.  Absolutely EVERYTHING has a home. If we can’t find something a home then we don’t have room for it. Also: All the things belong in their home because when I need the thing I don’t have time to go looking for the thing.

Mealtimes are a family event. If you are home and awake (awake was added cause night shift Mama isn’t always awake and I promise not to wake my family up from their well deserved slumber at 5am to join me for a hastily made bowl of cereal before I head out for a day shift) you are eating with us. We will cook together. We will eat together. We will talk and laugh and be silly ( no bathroom jokes at the table please!) and tease each other. We will enjoy each others company  because THIS is a place where you can have our time and in turn: we get to have yours (FYI: We LOVE your time with us. Thank you for giving it to us)

School is priority NUMBER 1. You will go. You do not have a tummy ache. You will learn. You will do your homework and all of your assignments and study for your tests. We will help you. (even after all the work and everything else, we promise we will make time- no matter how tired we are – to sit with you for as long as it takes to help you) We like to help.

Weekends off are sacred. So much so we don’t even speak of them out loud until they happen. So no, you may not have a sleepover for 3 friends or go hang out in town with your peeps. We want to spend time with you and be a corny family sometimes. This is the time for this. We don’t need a plan and you don’t need to know what we are going to do…you just need to roll with it because at the end of the week and the 15 day stretches we don’t want anymore plans and structured timelines and deadlines.

We will all make sacrifices for each other occasionally. We will not always like it and may in fact bitch about it a little: but we will do it because we love each other. This goes for the rest of our lives too…not just now.

We will be kind. We will not fight or argue or act like someone with complete emotional disregard for everyone else to get attention when the parents attention is directed elsewhere. Also that will happen. Our attention will occasionally be divided and given to one child over the other depending on a situation. I know it sucks. Deal with it. We will be kind and accepting that Jay works from home and that means we have to be respectful of that during work hours (Jay will in turn not huff and puff and blow the house down when we occasionally forget). We will be understanding when Mom needs to sleep (In turn Mom will realize that it’s not YOUR fault she is tired and try to keep her grumpy to a dull roar). We will not be a pest when our sibling is doing homework. We are not jerks and we won’t act like it.

And like I said: This list and these rules are not the be all end all house rules: they are simply guidelines. Looking at it written out its actually quite amazing to see that Jay and haven’t just set rules for our kids so that our house doesn’t fall apart: but we have set standards for them to use and adapt as they grow into adulthood. We are managing to keep ourselves sane while at the same time raising respectful and responsible children (who just happen to be wearing clean clothes they laundered  themselves!)


An Organized Distaster

My life right now. 2 jobs (working all three shifts at random meaning some stretches are 12 days long). 2 kids – 1 of which shares time between our home and her Dads on a week about basis. A Jay that works full time from home – having to travel at random to Florida several times throughout the year – while also running a business part time doing his beautiful art and shooting amazing photography.  We have more pets than people in this house. We have a house under major renovations right now. We have doctors and dentists appointments. 2 vehicles to maintain. We have family spread across the Province. We have more things to do and take of than time to do it all in. It’s a disaster and we are trying our darndest to keep everything straight. We are trying our darndest to also manage to somehow have time for US: to have time together, and for ourselves: to have time to do the things that are important to us individually (for writing, for photography, for art, for reading and just being lazy sometimes).

Finding a system to keep everything organized that works for us both (us being Jay and I: Me being OCD and paranoid about always being on time and him being Mr. We’ll get there when we get there…OH look a shiny thing!) has been…a struggle. We have tried shared calendars online and then updated our phones and the sync just wasn’t there anymore. We’ve tried just telling each other our plans and timelines and got fed up arguing every other day about whether you really DID tell me about your meeting or not. We tried a wall calendar by the door but the pictures were pretty and ended up taped in Ryleigh’s scrap book :/ I’m a definite writer downer: meaning I feel better with things written on paper, so I’ve suggested a daytimer for Jay to use to keep his agenda straight and to help with when he has booked who for what and where: apparently he is very bad at writing thing down preferring instead to count on his memory that, lets be honest here, SUCKS which means he counts on me to keep things straight for him. We’ve downloaded apps and set alerts on reminders and even resorted at one point to writing on the fridge with a marker. A few weeks ago when my work schedule got beyond crazy and I couldn’t remember where I was let alone expect anyone else to, I devised the idea to set up the big white board easel in the dining room, drew a calendar on it, made a colour coded legend and wrote out our life one month at a time.  (NOTE the rule is unless you take part in paying the mortgage you are NOT allowed to TOUCH the white board).

In doing that I also decided to let go a little of the constant worry that I needed to keep everything straight for everyone. I decided that this way it’s all there: all written out for everyone to see, so there is no reason for anyone to be shocked when say the duct cleaners show up at 0830 on Tuesday morning. (If you are still in bed your going to get a shock when he comes in your room and I won’t be home so good luck!).  I decided too that in this house of technology (for reals 4 cell phones 5 computers and tablets and iPods and wireless everything) maybe going back to simple is best. Maybe the in-yourfaceness of the calendar is what we need to keep it together and…so far it’s been good. I think I have had to say only twice “Is it on the calendar? No! Then I guess it’s not my problem!” I still have my calendar in my bag that I use but everyday I do a check before leaving to make sure everything matches up and I rest a little better knowing that we are all on the same page.

An Organized Disaster

My next goal/plan? Is to get myself into a habit of keeping my blog  and photo ideas better organized. I think (ok I know…we live in a digital world and blogging is a digital life) for this to happen I am going to have to get out my comfort zone and away from scraps of paper and notes on the back of my check book and really get comfortable and proficient with using something like Evernote: which I downloaded months ago, played with for literally 10 minutes and then promptly forgot about.  If anyone has any other suggestions or tips and ideas I would certainly LOVE and appreciate the help!  On that note…I better get moving here because according to my calendar….I am due to work in 2 hours for night shift number 3 in the middle of an 8 day stretch!