Tag Archive: work


Hardcore practice

I’ve been looking forward to having my friend, her boyfriend, and NM over tonight to carve pumpkins.  We made the plans a week or so ago and I spent all day cleaning the house and setting up the living room to be safe for pumpkin mess.

Early in the day, my friend says she doesn’t think her boyfriend will make it.  Then she says she’s feeling sick.  I shrug and keep moving.  It occurs to me that she could use the feeling sick as an excuse to back out, but whatever, she hasn’t yet.  Then in the evening she says she’s still stuck at work and also feeling crampy.  I sigh, but don’t offer a rain check, only sympathy.  Then she gets home and tells me how crappy she’s feeling and that she probably wouldn’t be much fun to be around.

A few hours before the last two text messages I read the next chapter of “The Untethered Soul.”  The chapter I needed to get me through this disappointment.  The chapter says we have to make the choice to be happy.  We have to say “I want to be happy” and not qualify it with things like “unless my friend bails on our plans.”  Am I disappointed? Of course I am, because I thought it would be a really fun night, the four of us hanging out, laughing, carving pumpkins.  I’m sure it would have been, if all the pieces had come together like I wanted them to.  But is this disappointment worth getting unhappy over?  Absolutely not.

So I told her not to worry about it, we’d hang out another time.

NM had messaged me earlier saying some family was in town for today only, so he’d be spending some time with them for a while.  I sighed.  But he didn’t say he wasn’t coming.  But since my friend and her boyfriend aren’t coming, and I know NM must have had quite a busy day, I sent him a message that I would understand if he preferred to just go to his own home after getting done with family.  I haven’t heard back from him yet, so who knows, maybe he’ll decide to come hang out after all.  But I am operating on the assumption that he probably won’t — if it were me, and I’d had as much going on today as he did, I would be eager to get back to my own home and relax.

Again, it’s disappointing.  I do feel these twinges of displeasure, victimhood, “why does this always happen,” etc.  I’m not trying to suppress them, exactly.  At least, I hope I’m not.  I’m just trying to be aware of them, while at the same time being aware that these things do not make me, do not determine whether or not I am happy right now.

One thing that’s rather nice is that I did all that housecleaning earlier.  My house it tidier than it has been in months, and even though it was motivated by the prospect of NM coming over and staying the night, the fact that that’s fallen through doesn’t take away from how absolutely wonderful it is to have a clean house!  And I made black bean hummus and the rest of that pot pie, and they are both delicious!!  And I have been entertaining myself by reading “The Screwtape Letters,” which I have never read but always intended to.  And it is quite entertaining.  And I have a fluffy kitty curled up on the sofa beside me as I read.  These are all things to enjoy and be pleased about.  They, too, don’t define my happiness, but focusing on the positive is helpful, I think.

Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

I hate you.

Love,

m E

 

I feel like shite today.  Like my circuits are overloaded I can’t. slow down enough to catch my breath.  I feel like I need an immediate vacation from myself.

Buzz buzz

Lots going on these days.  With regard to the previous entry, I sent an e-mail to V asking her opinion on the matter, and she replied thusly:

i think, sadly, in general, as we cruise on into the next decade of life especially (but really, this has pretty much been true since college times) that if a woman hangs out with a guy and one or both of them are not explicitly, explicitly gay (and even then there are misunderstandings!), then unless expressly stipulated otherwise, it’s fair to think of it as a ‘date’ in our society.

So.  I don’t know if that’s really the case or not, but it seems like a safe way to approach all future one-on-one encounters.

With regard to SMF (who is really no longer SMF but for the sake of consistency I will continue to refer to him as such), we’ve hung out a couple times as “just friends” and it is honestly a lot less stressful than it was when we were fucking.  In a series of e-mails we both admitted that we would probably not do very well as a romantic couple, but we could probably do smashingly as friends.  So there we are now.  It’s pretty cool.

I am doing a half-ass job (aka using craigslist) of looking for a different job.  I don’t dislike the job I have but the management stinks and it makes some days really stressful.  I’m not dead-set on finding something else, but if something else comes along and can pay me a decent wage, provide some benefits and is inside city limits I will probably jump at it.

I’ve finally taken the leap and filled out the enrollment application for the community college here in town.  I want to take some business classes and see where that takes me.  So now I need to schedule a day I can take off from work and go talk to the people at the school about financial aid, scheduling, etc.  I’m pretty terrified about this but I feel very strongly that this is my next move.  So here we go!

Cold Turkey

I’m 95% sure I’m going to call off the sexual relationship with SMF.  I’ve given myself to/through this weekend to make up my mind.

I asked last night where his smartass-ness comes from and how long he thinks he’s been doing it.  He didn’t really have a good answer.  My whole thing about that is, he’s got this big serious personal thing going on (the divorce/custody mess) and I (and all his other friends I’m sure) try to be sympathetic and kind and comforting about it.  But when talking about anything else all I get is smart-ass responses and joking insults.  It’s strange because I seem to remember when we first hung out, those first couple of nights, he was kind of nice.  And when the big herpes scare happened he came over and gave me a big hug.  So I don’t know what to make of it.  In my experience sarcasm and smartassness spring up as defenses against already existing sarcasm and smartassness.

I don’t know, I’m just really confused right now.  It was a long, tiring night and I’ve been so tired and unmotivated all day.  Things at work are weird and I keep meaning to get my resume back up to date so I can start sending it out.

I really need to just sit with myself for a few moments I think.  Got about 10 minutes ’til I have to clock back in, so that’s what I think I’ll do.

:: Edit ::

After sitting for about 7 minutes I realized I was going about it all wrong.  If I do anything I need to first tell him how his remarks make me feel and ask him to tone it down a little.

So at first I sent him an fb message asking him to set aside some time this evening for us to talk for a bit.  But he texted and asked to know at least the subject that would be discussed (only fair).  I said “being nice.”  He responded “am I mistreating you?” at which point I explained my need for a little more kindness/less meanness.  And he was like, “I can do that.”  That simple.

Honestly I feel much better just having said it.

We may talk a bit this eve so I can maybe explain myself a bit more and hear his perspective.  But it seems like a good start.

Fully medicated reflection

God, yesterday was so miserable.  This morning I felt like a completely different person.

But now I find myself up against a different wall.  Why is all this coming to the surface all at once??  Maybe I’m ready for it, and my subconscious knows it.  I really, really hope so.

I have some work that I agreed to take home over the weekend.  It’s a relatively small thing, just a 4-page mailer (front and back of one 11″ x 17″ sheet, folded in half) to promote some new products that will be available for one of our segments at the start of the new year.  I have a spreadsheet with the necessary data, I have my notes from the brief discussion I had with my boss about it, I took home some samples and the digital camera.  I just have to take a few pictures and throw it all together in a Publisher file.  I keep finding reasons why the conditions aren’t acceptable for working on it.  The light’s too low (admittedly true), the screen’s too bright.  Having a cat who wants to stand in front of the keyboard and butt his head against my hand when I’m trying to edit the pictures doesn’t help.

What gets me, though, is that the same feelings from yesterday have come creeping back while I have been struggling through the work.  It’s as though my defenses are pushing back.  Maybe I’m stretching a bit, but I feel like my subconscious had some silent alarm that went off when I tried to sit down and do Work at Home.  Home Work.  Homework.  The thing I stopped doing, period, when I was 11.  I wish I could better describe how clearly I can feel this analogy.  I wasn’t even thinking about it as “homework,” but my memory, my defense mechanisms weren’t fooled.  And they are pushing back with all these horrible feelings that just cripple me.  It’s the only weapon they have.  To steer me on a safe path. On the path I want.  Right?

Maybe 20 years ago.  These defenses are still in place, trying to steer me to a way of living that has no relevance in my life anymore.  They are screaming out, DON’T DO THIS!! as loud and as frantically as they can.  At one point I was almost on the verge of crying, that sense of loneliness was so overwhelming.  The feelings of rejection.  Everything that wrestled me to the ground yesterday was back, albeit in a lower dose.

It’s so strange to look at it in this way.  To feel it, as I am now, but also to observe it from a distance.  To observe it mindfully.  Knowing that this is not a real feeling, that it is only triggered by a mechanism in my psyche that’s been in place for 2 decades, does not make the sad and lonely feelings go away.  But it does help temper it.  My defenses are like a great snake, hissing, afraid, ready to strike.  I think I will sit mindfully for a few moments and try to be kind to it.  Just pushing back is no good.  I have to welcome it, invite it by the fire, pour it a cup of tea and serve it as a guest.  I can’t resent this part of me that is just trying to protect me in the only way it knows how.

I must love it.  And in loving it and accepting it for what it is, maybe we can work together to develop a new, more relevant function for those energies.

I exhale deeply.  This is huge for me.

Katherine Wheels

Been more “up” than “down” the past week or so.  I wish I knew why.  I’ve experienced these cycles enough to recognize that this is almost certainly not a permanent shift in my sense of wellbeing.  I am doing my best to enjoy it while it lasts, though.

I made a new friend.  I am still kind of in shock, I think.  It’s been such a long time since I had a new friend.  I think we get on alright, considering we’ve only just met.  We’re both a bit awkward, I think, which gives me some degree of confidence.  “It’s not just me.”  I prefer not to go into detail as yet.  Still processing, myself.

I am probably going to move out of mom’s house in the next few weeks.  I found a place I can afford that’s not too far from the uptown area and is big enough to accommodate my needs.  I’m looking forward to moving, but of course with that comes again the concerns about money, finances.  Hard not to think, oh, I should have been saving more all this time.  But I’ll get by.  If I have to scrimp a little, I will, and I’ll be fine.  Definitely not making it out to see Portishead though!

I went to a laughter yoga session last weekend.  It was truly wonderful.  What a joy laughing is!  I intend to continue going when they are available.  I wish I could get others to join me.  I will just have to keep trying.

Been a little stressed at work.  I’d like to have my raise review.  And get a raise.  But that’s just me.

 

Anyway.

Aaaand follow-up

OK.  Nothing in the e-mail that I didn’t anticipate.  He’s mad, I fucked up, I broke my word and didn’t follow through.  Take a deep breath, I can handle this.  I can handle this.  I fucked up, I can’t change that now so no use in dwelling on it.  Got to look forward, not back.  Deep breath.

Here’s the back story: I have a very part-time job mailing out CDs and books for a local personality. The orders come in through the website, I get a notification in my e-mail that the PayPal account has received a payment, then I pack up and ship the order.  The way my schedule is currently (8am-5pm, plus 40min ea..ch way for the commute), I can’t possibly get to the post office during the week unless I go during my lunch hour, which I am loath to do. My other option is to go during Saturday hours, which are something like 9am-1pm. This usually works pretty well for me: any orders I receive over the course of that week get shipped out on Saturday.

So. My client/employer, who travels a lot, needed to ship out some of his manuscripts and realized he wasn’t going to have time to do it before he would be leaving the country at the end of August. He called me up on Tuesday the 30th rather desperate to get someone who would mail them out for him.  I agreed, and we met that evening so he could hand them over to me. There were some demo CDs that were in the process of being pressed — those needed to ship, too, and I agreed to pick them up when they were ready.  WHY DID I DO THAT??  Reflecting, it was pretty crazy of me to think I could/would do all this given the constraints on my time because of my regular job, my tendency to procrastinate and my tendency to get depressed and be completely unmotivated and unproductive on weekends.  But I agreed.  Then came Labor Day weekend, the 4-day work week went by super fast. I was so caught up trying to make sure everything was all set at work that I think I must have forgotten about the mailing.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.

So here I am, on a week-long vacation.  Sometime Sunday or Monday I got an e-mail from my client asking when I mailed the manuscripts because some people were telling him they hadn’t received them yet.  So I had to e-mail back and confess that I hadn’t mailed any of them yet, that I was out of town and would be unable to mail anything until I returned.

I got a response the next day, and I haven’t had the nerve to look at it yet.  Actually, when I went into gmail through the google website and not in my e-mail application, I saw the first line or so, which read something like “This is simply unacceptable. It has been TWO WEEKS…” I get the idea.  And I know his irritation and frustration is completely justified.  I said I would do something for him and I didn’t do it.  I might as well have been lying when I first made the commitment, because the end result was the same: people were waiting for these documents, and they’re not even in the mail yet.

I have almost talked myself into reading the response tonight.  I know I will feel like shit afterwards, but if he sent it on Tuesday morning and it is now Friday night, I’ve already been putting it off for 4 days.  In the instantaneous world of internets and e-mail, that kind of delay is unthinkable.  Unacceptable.

I know why I put these things off.  The slightest admonishment causes me to feel terrible things about myself.  You’d think, after nearly 30 years of life on this earth, that I would have developed a slightly thicker skin.  I guess it boils down to the depression.  If I already believe that I am an unworthy, lazy, unreliable cow, any such admonishment just serves to reinforce that self-loathing, as opposed to compliments, which I can brush off like they’re meaningless.

Anyway, let’s see how I respond to this e-mail.  Just as soon as I work up the nerve and quit stalling.

Hum-drum

Mood:  3; started the morning grumpy due to lack of sleep. better in the afternoon. greasy hair makes me self-conscious so the not showering thing didn’t help. Having trouble coming to terms with the fact that it’s only Wednesday.

Breakfast:  Low on soymilk :(  So instead of cereal it was a slice of toast w/ PB and strawberry jelly, plus hot tea

Snack: about 1/4c-1/3c trail mix and a cup of coffee

Lunch: Roasted red pepper hummus with fresh broccoli & carrots, and an apple

Dinner: delicious summer pasta — fresh tomato, garlic, basil & olive oil over spaghetti; slice of garlic bread.

Exercise: Swimming lesson for 45min!
Self-Maintenance: too sleepy this morning to get up & take a shower. I did shower this evening tho.  Tried mom’s dandruff shampoo to see if it does anything for my weird oily dandruff.

Motivation: Last load of laundry still hanging over the back of my chair… already decided I’m too sleepy to attend to it tonight.

Avoidance: I don’t think I’ve crossed anything off my “To do” list at work the last few days. It’s been all too easy to get sidetracked lately due to other little projects cropping up.

Honesty: Can’t think of anything that came up today that might have involved this category…

breathing, and new form

A friend posted this video to her google+ just a few days before my last post.  What struck me most was the speaker’s assertion that breathing is not determined by “sucking air” through the nose or mouth.  It happens through expanding the “core”, which creates a vacuum and pulls air in to fill the vacuum.  We don’t have to “inhale” in the sense that we consciously pull in air — we merely have to expand and contract the core.  It makes so much sense — and feels good when I concentrate on doing it right! — that I think that will be one of my little projects.  I was working on breathing anyway, and I think training myself to breathe in this way will be very beneficial.

On another note entirely, I talked it over with my therapist and I will be dropping back to once a month sessions.  What that means is that I will be more responsible for keeping up with my progress and paying attention to my moods and reactions.  I came up with a basic list of things I want to monitor, and intend (ha ha) to keep up with it daily.  The format will be as follows:

Mood: Scale of 1-5 overall for the day, with notes as needed for particular events which cause (or seem to cause) a change.
Diet: Record breakfast, lunch, dinner & any snacking. Include alcohol.
Exercise: (if any)
Self-maintenance: Did I brush my teeth? Shower? etc.
Motivation: Making note of things I chose to do or chose not to do, including social, domestic & work-related activities.
Avoidance: Honest assessment of the unpleasant tasks I chose to avoid or chose to face throughout the day.
Honesty: Noting opportunities I had to speak the truth (i.e. my mind), whether I chose to do so, to keep silent, or whether I lied in order to avoid possible conflict.

The last two items are in response to habits I have become aware of in myself to avoid unpleasant tasks and to avoid conflict by either avoiding giving my opinion or sometimes outright lying.  I believe the best first step I can take in change these habits is to make myself aware of how often I employ them, and how often I am able to overcome them.

I hope very much I can continue this throughout the summer at least — a pretty big commitment for me.