Struggling.
 
I’m struggling a little in more than a handful of places in my life right now.
 
The commute for my job takes a huge chunk of flexibility and time out of my day. I dread when snow and ice season hits. I’m slowly getting used to it, but still worry how it affects my being a good, involved, father for Vince.
 
My older dog, Maddy May, is slowly slipping towards the day that she will be more pain than dog. I know I’ll have to be strong enough to care about her pain more than my own, and I worry already that I’m being selfish.
 
I was in ‘relationship limbo’ for a few months with a former co-worker. She pursued me aggressively, despite being almost 20 years younger than I, working in HR, and our workplace’s non-frat policy. The longer it went on, the more it became apparent that it wasn’t *work* she didn’t want to find out about us. After several attempts to talk to her to properly end things, she continues to dodge all communication. I was good enough to fuck for several months, but not good enough for a ‘good-bye’. Karma returned.
 
Me and Dumbledore Hand also fight with one and another. My painting, already slow, is positively glacial now. I second guess where each brush stroke is going. 30 years of a skill, gone in an instant of distraction. Sometimes he just doesn’t .. work right.
 
So tired, frustrated, scared, maimed, and alone, having been cleared by my doctor to pick up things heavier than twenty pounds, I walked downstairs to start doing just that.
 
I struggled just to bench 135 for ten rep sets.
25 pounds under my body weight (which is 5-10 pounds over where I like it) and I had to fight for it. A year ago 225 was my bitch. Now Dumbledore Hand complained the whole time, bone fragments grinding around in his fingertips due to the new movements. The bar didn’t feel right. My form was off. My brain came up with dozens of excuses as to why I needed to stop.
 
I’m stubborn and generally disregard my brain’s advice.
 
And with each rep, each struggle to push, what would have been a laughable amount of weight only months ago, towards the ceiling, I started sorting out the bits of weight on my soul.
 
My commute sucks, but the job is a good one, with unheard of benefits and security. My General Manager is an amazing woman. The kind that my feminist friends complain don’t climb to the top in the business world.
 
My dog is still a dog. Every day that is true, is another day I can hug her when I come home. Even if I have to mop up pee afterwards.
 
I can’t fix Courtney’s issues. Everyone has baggage and deamons, I offered to help her with hers – she didn’t want my help. She got exactly what she was after and, once I became a liability, cut me loose. I couldn’t control her carelessness, but I can control how I react to it. I don’t have to act like a child too.
 
Dumbledore Hand is actually a one in a million injury. Missing bones and scar tissue aside, he is more of an inconvenience than a disability. I’ve friends sans legs, arms, and whole hands; lost under conditions far worse than stupid carelessness. And while any loss of limb breaks your perception of being a whole person. I have, and will continue to either force him to comply, or adapt where that function is simply gone.
 
I will once again blend paints like a god.
 
As for being alone? Yeah .. it kind of sucks at times. But I have known love, more than most; certainly more than I’ve deserved. I have friends who watch my back, and in turn I watch theirs. I have an amazing son who has all the good parts of me, with none of my childhood baggage. I often learn more from him in a single day, than I will be able to teach him over the remainder of my life. I think I’ve gotten a good deal out of the Universe.
 
And hey! On Sunday I was given the privilege of going to dinner with a gorgeous (age appropriate) woman. She outwitted me, out maneuvered me, out adult-ed me, and then wove her stories seamlessly throughout my own. She subsequently lost her credit card and an earring inside of twenty minutes – beating my own personal best. I’ve never been so impressed in my life.
 
I fought with the bar, with Dumbledore Hand, one more time, then dropped the weight back into the rests. I know I’ll be sore tomorrow, but the good kind of sore that was hard won. Somehow my heart is a little lighter, my troubles a little smaller. I’ll sleep solidly tonight.
 
I can struggle again tomorrow.