a few small things

First off, and most important:  Happy Birthday Mum!  And happy retirement too (after Monday).  I think it’s time for you to enjoy yourself!

Happy great report card to my oldest!  He worked very hard this term and it shows.  We all shared dessert tonight to celebrate.

Our dog is very smelly and I suspect he’s gassy too.  I think he’s getting the boot out of the room.  I can’t sleep with that olfactory invasion.

I have to shrink my middle.  When sitting in jeans that are loose is uncomfortable around the midsection, it’s time for a bit of targeted work on that midsection.

No.  I did not get my resume updated today.  I see the “guilt-ship” sailing in to my port.  My boss and I were discussing some excellent internal candidates for the vacant counselor job and my boss mentioned that she is reluctant about one because she wants to hire another “me.”  Yes… I squirmed in a big way, as this “me” is really burnt out from being there.  Had a chat with my honey this evening because the house has gone beyond disaster with his return to school and the kids appear to be picking up on our disconnect.  I have no idea what to do and so continues my confusion, worry, and fear about the future.

A pina colada sounds lovely.

The illness I would get from drinking a pina colada does not sound lovely.

…and I’m tired, so I’m heading to bed to be unconscious.

moonfire

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now this sounds nice…

No.  I did not get my resume updated tonight, nor did I begin the applications I know I need to do.  I did my homework and studying instead.  AND I managed to set up the kids with art supplies so they could create to their hearts’ content while allowing my honey and I to do what we needed to do.

I have 20 minutes to bed time.  I could be productive and begin resume updating or I can sit here and tap out yet another whine-fest about my job.  For those keeping stats, we are now down by 3 people as of today.  I was out Friday and Monday due to being sick with this ridiculous gastro-intestinal bug (plus accompanying head congestion, headache and chills).  Now my boss has left due to illness (which she never does) and so have two others, plus one other has been leaving early this week because she’s not healthy either.

My boss – who is a lovely, fit woman – looks like she has lost weight.  One of the other counselors from our production team looks worn completely down.

…So that is my update about the never-ending calamity that is my job and office.

World Nutella Day is coming up in February.  I love Nutella.  I don’t buy it because I could probably eat a jar in one sitting.  I’m going to buy some for this weekend and I’m going to dip a banana in it and LOVE it.  Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Anyone out there experienced with Beyaz?… (a birth control pill, which, irony of ironies, I am on to regulate my damn hormones)… I’m curious.  I am not supposed to be sedentary while on it due to risks for blood clots, but I am wondering how I am supposed to change being sedentary when I work at a computer all day and I’m a graduate student by night?  Other than that little issue, I love it.  I’m not having the raging crying jags – other than those triggered solely by my job – and my skin is now only moderately unhappy with me.

Well, here I am down to 5 minutes until bed.  I have one chapter to read tomorrow night and then I’ll pop open the resume.  It’s going to take some serious restructuring.  I still feel hopeless about searching.   There’s also a healthy dose of guilt for leaving our team and yet another shot to the head because of the fear of financial doom.

And then fatigue whisks those worries away, leaving just the pain in my jaw from another day of clenching my teeth.  Here’s to a hot cup of tea and some vanilla creamer to tease away the last of the day…

moonfire

I don’t know what that means…

I watch Bones.  The tv show, not anything else morbid and disgusting.  Makes me wish I’d finished a degree in science… preferably biological or chemical science.

And then I realized today that I have somehow slipped past possibilities and gone right to feeling old.  I understand the reasoning and logic behind getting my MBA.  I’m now about 10 months away from finishing it and there is satisfaction in finishing something, particularly when I appear to have copious priors for NOT finishing things.

Still.  I miss science.  I’d call it poetry, however, I think it’s more like art than anything.  Now here is where I should normally form some wonderful word connection between the two worlds, showing (not telling) the ways in which the two seemingly-disparate realms actually share compatible traits.

Can’t.  Brain is fried from another day in our office.

People are exhausting.  I understand this.  I accept it.  Still it makes me shrivel up at the end of the day.  I came home tonight (to fresh soup that my honey made) and put on my jammies and robe.  I have nothing left.

So where I was headed with this… and I do have a point… somewhere in here…. is that I deal each and every day with people who have made poor decisions.  We all do it.  I got to tell a woman today that we all go in, with best intentions, and we make the best possible decisions we can given the information we have at the time.  Yes, our decisions are biased by our underlying desires, yet we still have information coming in and we go from that.

Flawed information can mean poor decisions.  Bad luck = bad decisions, in hindsight.  Working from biases and perceptions of need versus the true needs…. all of these things can impact what we do or do not choose to do.

I miss zoology and biology.  I miss college chemistry and the cool identification exercises we did.  I miss organic chem with the brain-busting time we had to put in so we could learn mnemonic devices that would aid in exam survival.  I miss the fruit fly inheritance experiments and how hard I struggled with Calculus.  I wish I’d been able to stay in Cell Biology and that I’d had a chance to take Anatomy and Physiology.

I wish that I had appreciated physics more when I was there.

I don’t know what I’m doing right now.  I have to get my applications out.  I know this, all the way down to my cells.   The question is this:  What the hell do I do now?  No answers are percolating up through the stress and fatigue.  What does all of this mean?  Being with my children is my deepest wish and it is totally impossible.  I got home just before 7pm tonight.  Tomorrow night I’ll try to do better.  A friend told me today that I have a lot of guilt about my children.  I do.  Tired, exhausted, stressed out, tapped out mom is not an engaged or engaging mom.

Everything looks cookie-cutter right now.  Same types of jobs – same low pay – same every where, every thing…

I deal all day with people who have lost jobs, lost homes, lost family and I’m supposed to figure this out?

Did you know that you can take a cut flower and put it in a vase with water that contains food dye and it will absorb the color of the food dye?

moonfire

feeling like an onion…

…and it’s not because I’m stinky.

I’ve returned to counseling with a woman who helped me out in the past.  She’s very quick to get to the heart of the problem and I’m feeling a bit like an onion these days.  We’ve been peeling back the layers to find out the heart of things.

So I haven’t been writing on here in a while.  I am, quite frankly, exhausted and worn down to nothing.  I have no ability to concentrate by the time I get home at the end of the day and my sleep issues have accelerated.  I’m experiencing a lot of pain – much stems from clenching my jaw and the knots in the muscles in my back.  I’m not able to enjoy my class right now because I’m drained by the end of the day, so not much is happening for me academically.

I now have “homework” to attend to from my counseling sessions… all of it productive at least.  I’m writing out much of what I’m trying to process these days.  I’ve got a neat little blank book / journal (thank you Helen!) and I’m getting some of the mind-lint out.  Ok.  It’s not all mind-lint.  Some of it is stuff I’ve been stashing away in my brain, really unable to actually acknowledge until now.

Seems all very “mid-life crisis”-y, doesn’t it?  Ahh, here is moonfire… watch as she melts down in her early 40’s and has to go through psychotherapy.  Except maybe that isn’t so far from the truth at this point.  I shouldn’t be clenching my teeth by 9am.  I shouldn’t be living on sleeping pills.  This just doesn’t seem natural or healthy to me.  And I’m not just talking about the foods I’m eating or the lack of physical exercise (other than housework and chasing after small fries).

Guilt…  fear…  anger…  disappointment…  seeking the approval of others…

Tonight I dug into the heart of something I feel deeply…  I still feel like a little girl inside – hoping to get approval for doing things right.  I’ve been driven to care for others and that’s not such a bad thing for a wife and mother, but how much has it caused issues for me with friends and employment?  Truly, I am more of an introvert than most would guess.  So I drive myself to take this job where the whole focus of it is to deal with people ALL day, every day.  I’ve come to a point where I am a nervous, sensorily-overwhelmed person every day of the work week.

Even as I write this, I’m sitting here and I feel the gravity wells of tension in my back and shoulders.

We worked tonight on letting go of some things.  The phrase we worked on was this:

“Even though I will never be enough, I still love and trust myself completely.”

It strikes me now, as I sit here typing this, exactly how true this is.  If nothing I do is ever enough – at least in my warped and odd perception – then I still have to be good with myself and acknowledge that it’s ok.  Striving is good.  Having goals and pursuing a future is good.

But not at the cost of the present moment.

I hit a wall this week.  It finally became apparent to me that I will run myself into the ground long before I ever find a place of peace with my job.  This isn’t about fear of success or laziness or the inability to do a job.  I’ve been doing it.  I’ve been doing it well, even when taking into account the huge learning curve.  I simply cannot set boundaries that either I or my co-workers can honor.  If I work the “hard 8” as my boss puts it, while my co-workers put in long hours trying in vain to do everything that is required of us, I am a slacker and my team will resent me.  If I put in the long hours (like I have been), I will neither accomplish all that I’m being asked to do nor will I maintain my health and sanity.

I finally realized this week that all of the paths in the maze are dead-ends.  I can stay – prove that I’m “tough” and that I can take a hard environment, to the detriment of my family life and my academic career.  I can go – failing to “make it” and leave behind the impression that they did indeed choose the wrong person after all… something that maybe I worried about in the back of my mind until I finally realized that no, I did work really hard and I did well at it.

My resume takes a big hit.  My references probably won’t want to hear from anyone on my behalf ever again.  (not sure on that one, but it’s possible)

I feel sad.  All that work to get to the professional level and here I am flaming out.  Less than 4 months to go and I’d have made it a year.

As I said though – I came to a wall.  It’s a big wall, with bricks, stones, mortar and I think I see razor wire at the very top (too much living with someone who worked in corrections for years and years).    I came to accept and understand that what I’m doing is unhealthy for me.  This wasn’t some wild, randomly emotional decision.  I was sitting in my office – body vibrating with tension and ungrounded energy – when suddenly I felt this weird peaceful feeling and I just knew.  It was like sitting in the eye of a storm.  I looked at the phone queue maxed out.  I could hear the endless line of people down the hall and feeding into our office.  One of the other counselors had just popped in to ask me to jump on the phones because we were stacked up.  Everything went still in my mind and I realized that this was that “after” moment, the one where something significant happens – a catalyst – and then everything that follows is the after.

When I had a break, I went outside and called my honey.  I told him that I’d finally reached that point and would be sending out my feelers for other jobs.  Thankfully, he joked that he thought for sure I was going to call it quits back in August…  ahh, those 12 hour days…

It’s not anyone’s fault.  They were honest with me about the job and what was necessary.  I was honest about my intentions and my interests.  I work with good, caring people who want to help others.  This isn’t about how there is someone abusive in our office.  It’s not me being lazy or corrupt or failing to live up to what they need.

I have given them my best every day I was there.  I have worked harder than I’ve ever worked.  I have helped people and I’ve failed a few too.  I know there are people that will miss me, but the days will pass and that will fade and someone else will take my place.

The question is: what do I do now?

I’m not totally sure.  But it is bed time and I need whatever rest I can get.  Tomorrow is another day and then I have two for a bit of recovery before it starts again.  At least that’s how it will be until the right next thing comes along.

moonfire

about to seriously geek out, caution!

Oh boy!!  It has been 12-13 years since I’ve had Economics.  It’s like getting really good chocolate.  Sigh…  I’m in the second most stressful time of my job and absolutely miserable.  Then I come home and we have a lovely evening with Monopoly (Brennan kicked our butts) and pizza, then after the boys went down for bed I started on my thread postings for this week.  I simply cannot express how interesting and fun and logical the field of Economics is for me.  I loved it as an undergraduate and here I am, happy as can be that I scheduled this class during this crummy time at my job.

It’s like a wonderful green and silver lining to a giant cloud of misery.

Supply and demand… elasticity….  curves and peaks, equilibrium points.

sigh.

I wish I could afford the hard copy of the damned text.  Reading on the computer sucks.  Just counting down until my financial aid comes in and then I’m buying it.  And I’m keeping it.

Yes, for the record work is a misery right now.  I come home each day with my jaw hurting from clenching my teeth and pain in my back and neck.  Yet, I can pause and say that I truly did help a couple students over this last few days and I was told that I did an exceptional job by a student and his wife, right after I had given them bad news.  It breaks my heart that I love helping my students so much, yet the job itself eats me alive.  I’m trying some energy work with my counselor, in an attempt to build up a decent, reasonable barrier.  Hopefully, it will help me survive this because even as I write about it, the tension builds in me physically.  I’ve taken more pain killers while working there than the last couple of years combined.

Well, enough of the whining.  I’m heading off to bed, with my printed lecture for Econ and warm socks.  Mmmmm, wonderful….

moonfire