Sunday, September 03, 2017

And if I asked you to name all the things you loved, how long would it take for you to name yourself?

So *the* highlight of the year was the girl’s retreat weekend – where I would be partaking in a ladies only, photography retreat in small town British Columbia. I was attending with my friends L and S. This has been a source of excitement and stress for me – I am a planner (I know – you are all shocked!) so attending an event run by an artistic sort is enough to drive me around the bend. I want details – what, where, etc. and I want them sooner than later. Although I try to be all cool and calm, inside, I am a bundle of nerves who just wants some details – anything – everything – give me the deets! Add in boudoir photos, a brain/body that is constantly fighting, a continuing stressful job, a home life that is not enough, and crippling low self-esteem and it was a recipe for disaster. But I paid for this out of my savings and gosh darn I was going to go. It didn’t matter that my knee has been in pain for a year. It doesn’t matter than I dislocated my baby toe the weekend before. It didn’t matter that I had to beg and plead and essentially threaten to get the days off. Add in new appliances/bed, a shed replacement that turned into a garage makeover before we could even get back to the shed, and depression – oh the depression. I DIDN’T CARE – I WAS ATTENDING!

And I did. And for the most part, it was fun. Was it relaxing? Not really. Did I meet or get to know better fabulous women? Yes. There were 3 main people running the show and 5 attendees. All great women who I would love to spend more time with. Did I learn to love myself more? Nope. I was disappointed with that - I really wanted the opportunity to learn to accept myself more and see that side of me that is beautiful and I just didn't really get there.

We ended up getting in later than we figured as we took the scenic route and stopped to check out a waterfall – pretty! Then there was conflicting info on the photo times – I ended up getting my pics done the first day. I honestly don’t think the pictures are going to be great… which I know isn’t true because the photographer is fabulous. That being said, I feel like I didn’t have many different expressions. I feel like my wardrobe was not the most flattering. Some of what I wanted to use wasn’t. I personally think it would have been nice to spend a bit more time in advance talking about what we wanted and were expecting.

The second day we helped the others play dress up before L and I went white water rafting. The morning was fun. Putting on a wet suit (the biggest size they had and for someone much taller than myself) and used shoes over a sore toe, not so good. Being the largest person there was not conducive to the esteem. Then the trail down is really a washed out section that is quite steep. Let’s review – I don’t like boats, I don’t like water over my head, I don’t like walking down unsafe trails, my poor toe was being shoved into a shoe that was not mine, my life jacket was tightened so I couldn’t see past it – like sitting down, I couldn’t see my toes. But I was determined not to chicken out and actually experience something outside my comfort zone. I can’t tell you much about the first half – it was a lot of trying to stay in the boat, paddle in time with the others, and not drown. The second half was much better and quite enjoyable. The group we were with were very determined to have fun, so you can’t help feeding off some of that. We stopped at the grocery store on the way back because I was craving orange juice and yogurt and L wanted a couple things.
Day three was out in nature. Now – I would have liked to know more about this in advance. Again – a not exactly safe trail getting out to cliffs along a river. My toe made it to the top of the first section and I didn’t move from there. I ended up taking off my shoes and socks which helped the toe, but let’s just say – not really my scene. Put me in the dark moodiness of a forest – I’m there. On a cliff, climbing rocks, on a log by a river – it’s just not really me. It seemed everyone else was good there as they climbed like mountain goats. And they all seemed really comfortable with their bodies. I have a feeling there are few pictures of me and how many can you not see the furrow between my brows from the pain. There was a few times when I really wanted to go home or at least take a walk, except there was really nowhere to go. It was funny - at one point S said that she understood if physical pain was holding me back from doing something, but if it was emotional, then she was there to help me through it. Which is all good if I was alone with her and L, but not in a group of people I don’t know. Then again, I would have to be able to express what is going on in my head.

And the final day was home time. L and I were going to stop by the lake we hadn’t gotten to check out, except there was an accident and it took us 2 hours to go 55 kilometers. Needless to say, we did not stop by the lake and we got home quite late.

So the question is would I do it again? Maybe. Not at that location – been there, done that. And I need more info beforehand. Supposedly there was a facebook page except I’m not on facebook. Did I go outside of my comfort zones? Yes. I like to think I even managed to do it without being too bitchy. I feel bad for L for having to support me a couple times when I was trying hard not to have a panic attack and I am really appreciative that she was there.

I’m tired though. I have been putting in crazy hours at work and I am feeling like it is really not worth it. To be fair, this last week has been very trying with acting as manager, facilitating training with a new co-lead, and travelling. I put in an extra 16.5 hours this week in overtime. And that doesn’t include the 7.5 hours I did last weekend or the hours before that. I wrote my manager on Friday with the updates and also said I was taking this weekend off. I wasn’t taking home work or doing any of my training. I needed a break. I feel like I keep giving more and more to work, but I have so little left for outside of work and add in a D who doesn’t do an equal share of work around the house and my ‘well’ is dry. One of my colleagues is leaving and we are getting two others. Another of my colleagues is going for holidays for 3.5 weeks. Part of me is looking forward to having both of those colleagues not around for a while. I get we are all stressed out and on the verge of burn out, but shee-eeet, can we not be so negative or useless? And don’t tell me we need to work smarter not harder when you can’t get your head out of your own arse to see the detrimental effect you bring to the team, when you bring the same attitude to everything even when it is not based in reality. Stop blaming everyone else and see what you can do to help change things. And if you don’t feel like you can change things – then why are you here?

I feel like I am so behind in so many things. I feel like I can’t keep up with what is going on in my life, let along with work. I feel like the boss wants me to take on more and more, but also wants me to give up the few things I enjoy. I was screened out of two job offers – even though I obviously have the experience and skills, I just can’t prove it in writing or interviews. I feel like I give so much at home, I have little energy left at home. I feel like there is something missing at home. There is so much to do and so little time, energy to do it. My neighbor, who is in his seventies, has more energy than I do. I feel like there is no end in sight for this stress and I’m tired of being sore, exhausted, and emotional. And the few weird things I do enjoy, people make fun of me for – I like fresh sheet day – there is something about getting into fresh sheets before you go to bed that is so rewarding for me. I like cleaning my kitchen – again, it just relaxes me to have my kitchen cleaned.

I am torn at work about moving up and making more money versus the stress level. Do I want more stress? My current job is not getting less stressful, but becoming management doesn’t mean less stress, that’s for sure. I need to take some time and figure things out, but honestly I have no energy for that. And I look around the house and all I see are the things that need to be done. By the time, we get the things we want to do down, we will have redone the entire house. Was that my goal? Goodness no. And when can we do this? And how do we afford it? I want to do another away holiday – but that requires time and money. And it sucks right now with some of my mentors at work retiring – which – great for them, congrats and all that – but I have few people who can offer references. I have few people I look up to that can help me.

Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts. For having a weekend off I still feel like I didn’t get enough done. One more day – and D should be home. We really should be working on the garage, but I bet the excuse of a sore back means nothing will get done. If so, then I really need to get a couple more things on my own to do list done. Sighhhh.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

A bed, a fridge, a washer and dryer, and some curtains... defeated by a shed?

I know you’re probably thinking – another post – so soon? Crazy, right? I’m learning to find other things to do once I start my computer because upon opening it, one of my software programs immediately starts a scan and until that is done, it takes forever to do anything else. So usually I clean my desk or organize stuff or play solitaire. Today, I thought I’d start a post.

Let me start by saying I am exhausted. It was a solid 5 plus hours outside for me – weeding the garden and then continuing to tear down the shed. Yep – you heard right – we have finally gotten around to tearing down the shed. There has been some good news. There has been some bad news. Good news – there looks to be concrete under the shed. We say looks because we haven’t quite finished the tear down. This is good because the fear was how much would it cost to prepare a base (cost in both money and brain power to figure this out). Bad news – the shed was much more rotted than we thought. The reason we thought there was soil under the shed is because the whole bottom layer is rotted including what was probably insulation. The area where it joined to the garage – rotted. Not just the fascia, but also the ends of the roof boards as well as the garage roof deck. Also, Bob the bee has let us know that all our efforts a few years ago were for naught as he has set up his nest under part of the shed floor. This could be fun… not. To be fair, we have only seen Bob recently. There was a Steve, but I think he might have been the injured looking bee I found in my weeding bag.

So it has taken us: 8 hours on Monday where we tore off the exterior walls, the shingles, and roof deck (well all but a foot) and cleaned the site; another 5 plus hours today where we tore off the rest of the roof deck and the side walls and cleaned the site. We probably have another full day tomorrow to finish tearing apart the third wall and then the base (hopefully not getting stung by Bob or his counterparts). What is takin the longest is us pulling out the nails and cleaning up afterwards. That is also exhausting work. My arms totally feel it. What’s funny is that doing all of this pretty much kills the battery in my fitbit. My guess is because I’m moving and jolting my arms to much that it keeps setting it off.

Once we get everything down, then we need to regroup and figure things out. I have money for a shed and doing a base. Not sure if that is going to cover the repairs to the garage roof, fascia, and the new shingles required for the garage. Part of me really wants to just rebuild the shed as it is. Part of me wants to buy a shed and install it. Teehee. That could just be the exhaustion setting in. I guess we’ll see how the rest goes.

I know – you’re probably thinking why didn’t we do anything Tuesday through Thursday? Tuesday we had a person give us an estimate for new shears. It was less than I thought, but not by much and still really expensive. Then we had the cars in for the afternoon – D’s due to leaking oil since the oil change two weeks ago and mine as I was finally reaching the 42K mark and it was due for some big service. What was interesting is that technically the new list says I’m not due until 48K. We put it in anyway. D decided we should look at toys while we waited for the oil leak to be fixed and then we’d go do some shopping. Instead we spent three hours talking to a guy about cars. The salesman was wonderful – I would totally recommend him. The problem came at the end when we said we’d like an approximate price, just so we can start planning. I also said this at the start – we are just looking to get an idea of price since my car is getting older (she’s 14, but in good shape and only 42K). Of course, then the manager got involved and after back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, he finally got the hint that we were not buying today. At one point, D just wanted to say something nice to the manager about the salesperson and the manager took it as another opportunity to try a new price.

Take into consideration – we were up early that day; I had breakfast at 9. At 4:30, I had a granola bar because I was getting pretty hungry. By 5 I was really hangry, tired, and getting annoyed: the manager would not take no for an answer, D was being way too nice, and for some reason, even though this car would replace mine, they kept pandering to D, even when D said they should talk to the accountant and pointed at me. So overall, great salesman, not too pleased with the manager (who vaguely remembered us since our last three cars we bought from them), did not buy a car (but D promised we’d consider it), and my car needs additional work on it due to its age (not enough to justify a new car).

So Tuesday night was spent recovering from a frustrating, hangry afternoon.

Wednesday is Ndie day and we all went to Ikea, South Edmonton Common, and Warp One. Then came back home to eat, watch Sausage Party and Sully (an odd mix I know), and just hang out.

Thursday was supposed to be a quick check into a couple places for appliances and such and ended up being 5 hours of shopping research. You see, my main appliances (washer, dryer, fridge, and stove) are 15 years old. We’ve fixed the washer and fridge once already, but I’m a little nervous about the fridge going when it is full of food. Because most of my food is prepared at home, I tend to have a full fridge and freezer. So I wanted to start some research so we can be prepared if there are any awesome sales or if, gosh forbid, something dies before it is replaced. When the furnace died, we had known exactly what furnace we wanted and it just made the stress of replacing that a little less. Plus the province has rebates again. If I can save some money, then I’m happy.

So I have been dabbling for awhile and then got D involved and then it just exploded. Let me add – we have a number of things that need replacing. We’ve been in this house for about 15 years. The appliances were purchased at the time we moved in (except the dishwasher which was replaced a few years ago and the compactor – which is doing fine). The bed was bought a year afterwards when we discovered too many leaks in my waterbed (yup, you heard me, I had a waterbed – a king-sized water bed kept at 34 degrees – let me tell you how much I miss that waterbed, especially in winter!) The window dressing came with the house and I have slowly been replacing them. The shears had recently ripped in a few places and now need replacing. We are in the middle of replacing most of the light fixtures in the house. The carpet desperately needs to be replaced and the living room floor needs sanding or something. The house and our stuff are showing their age.

So I have been dabbling in research and every year something gets moved up the priority list. This year it was a few things. So out we go along 137th ave where there are several stores we can visit. Now, last Friday, we had stopped at Sleep Country to do some bed research and each of us had some internet research we had done and we were coming off of the fight at Ikea because certain people were being moody and not helpful for our research. (Seriously moody – like getting upset because I said no to the 14.99 shears at Ikea – they looked like they were $14.99 for two panels and not understanding why I kept touching all the fabrics.) Now that we had talked it out some more and everyone understood where the other was coming from, we were able to do some good groundwork. It just took a long time to get it all done.

Let me tell you how it went. The Brick was first – a guy met us at the door and started going into the beds with us and then suddenly left us with someone else who was not really a salesperson with answers. Thankfully, we already had a slight clue about beds. The appliance guy was fabulous. Really nice, talkative, funny, helpful. Unfortunately, we looked at so many fridges, I honestly couldn’t tell you which ones I liked. He gave us info on a couple he remembered, but I think after a bit more research, I’m going to go back and look at them again. They have a great finance thing going on which put them in the lead.

Home Depot – when we finally had someone offer to help us, she was great, though not the most knowledgeable. She was learning and you could tell it was interesting to her. Prices were about the same. The one washer/dryer combo was $100 cheaper, but the fridges were more expensive.

Best Buy – does not sell appliances in their stores – only online. Well, we assume since our car salesman told us they had a good sale going on, but there was nothing in the store and no one said hello. As usual, they are at the bottom. I only use them occasionally for sale movies/tv shows.

Sears – So today in the news it was announced the store on 137th is closing. I can see why. No one approached us at all until near the end, supposedly a guy did approach D and apologized for not helping us (I was in the bathroom). Washer/dryers were cheaper; fridges were more expensive, but they had a good variety and they are organized by height (for the most part), which makes it easy to look at. Did not impress us overall.

Leon’s – D and I split up because we were both starving and it was getting late. Both had good salespeople: I got some great information and have pretty much narrowed down which washer/dryer I want. No big sale on though – everything I wanted was regular price, which I know has to happen occasionally, but… they were better than the last three we looked at, so they get second place.

After that, we stopped at Mt Fuji because I was craving some Japanese food and home to recover.

Add in that D was quite sick all last week and hence why our holidays are coming to an end and yet it seems very little has been done. The shed has depressed me a little bit. We were actually feeling like we could get some of the other stuff replaced and keep on our track for paying the debt down. Then seeing the actually damage on the garage makes me reconsider everything. To say I am super happy we didn’t get the car is an understatement. Gosh, I can’t even imagine what my stress levels would be otherwise.

So that’s where we are at for now. Guess I should actually do the stuff I need to do on the computer now.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Do you wanna touch me...

It’s funny. I think of something that would make a good post and so I start up the computer, wait for all the usual stuff to happen, check my emails, and then I’m exhausted and want to be off the computer. Usually because I know I should be doing finances and paying bills, but that is going to take another hour and it is certainly more important than ‘a post.’ So all these thoughts get stuck in my mind and I try to hold onto them for when I have a moment to write up a post. Most of the time, they disappear with just faint echoes of their significance left.

Today I saw the following:
I hate small talk.
I want talk about atoms, death, aliens, sex, magic, intellect, the meaning of life, faraway galaxies, the lies you’ve told, your flaws, your favorite scents, your childhood, what keeps you up at night, your insecurity and fears… I like people with depth, who speak with an emotion from a twisted mind. I don’t want to know “what’s up.”
- The Mind unleashed

It’s very true. I have stayed up or out longer than anticipated because the conversation was meaty and interesting and involved getting to know someone better. So many times I have been near last or last to leave a party because I find often by the end, the people left want to talk. The conversation gets intimate, funny, deep, enlightening. And who wants to end a great conversation? Not me.

That is the introvert in me, the detailed person, the gatherer. To me, learning about people – what they are interested in, what they’ve done, what they laugh at – that is the interesting part of life. I want to hang out and chat. I want to hear your stories and if the stars align, I’ll share mine. It’s not that my life is such a big secret, but it certainly has had its share of discrimination and harassment. Friends get weird because I identify as bisexual or ambiphilic; because I have an interest in alternative lifestyles; because I’m interested in some of the weird and strange things that people believe and do. I have my own biases, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in learning more about things.

I’m struggling though. It takes so long for me to be able to share my stories or thoughts, especially with people I don’t know well, but even with friends. I don’t want to whine or complain or bore people with my problems, so I often don’t talk about what’s going on. Which means I suffer in silence or with people just knowing a bit of something. And I feel like when I go to bring it up, I am repeating myself when really I am just setting up my thoughts again and maybe this time I’ll get a little bit farther.

I’m doing this wonderful event this year that is taking me outside my comfort zone. I’m trying to get used to the idea of some of the stuff that will happen, but gosh, my brain is just a bundle of fears, excitement, terror, giddiness, wonder, stress, and did I say fears? One of the events is a boudoir shoot. I love my body – from my breasts up and calves down. Teehee. Well, I love certain regions in between, but for the most part, that area and I are constantly struggling against each other’s desires. We were told to get a matching bra and panty set and a proper bra fitting. First off – I don’t get the desire of matching. I get it’s pretty, blah, blah, blah. Honestly, give me a pair of Jockey for Her and I’m happy. My bra can be all sorts of sexy, lacy, etc. But I just want a pair of panties that fit, are comfortable, and cover my butt.

So L and I went shopping today. One shop was too busy so we are now have appointments two weeks from now. L got a wonderful woman at the next shop we went to, but it appears once you have an ample bosom, this shop mostly had granny wear. They had a few that fit, but nothing that said wow. Part of it was just that I don’t think shear is all ‘that’ sexy. I’m more of a tease with my clothes – hints, peeks, impressions. Let’s be honest – I’m just a tease. Teehee.

So over to one of my favorite stores (2 locations) – where I found several to try. It was interesting that one store was doing a better sale than the other. Regardless, I bought a couple things – even one set that matches. I know I have lots of sexy bras… it’s really the panties that are the problem. And then I think – do I really want that part of me to be on the camera anyway? And all that fun of finding pretty, sexy bras goes into the trash. There goes the self-confidence and the excitement. Instead, my eyes start looking for suit jackets and pants and clothes that I like rather than underwear. Another location and the same thing happened… like the bras… hate the matching underwear. Sighhhhh. Tomorrow I may go to another of my favorite stores and see if they have matching underwear since I’m pretty sure that is where I went shopping last.

I was reading an article online earlier how being naked helps you reconnect with your body and accept it. I tend to be naked a lot at home and really, I just got good at being less observant of it. And getting naked in front of other people… uh, not really interested. Don’t want to go to the nude beach (uh – remember, vampire pale skin means no direct sun and delicious blood means no locations where mosquitos would have access to delicate areas). I don’t tend to do pools (much against my massage therapist’s wishes as it would help me). And I haven’t found my cuddle pile yet that encourages all sorts of nakedness.

My first boyfriend popped back into conversation today. He was introduced to me by L who was in school with him. This was the guy for whom I was his first and then dumped me after a few months because we had sex too much. Yup... Still makes me shake my head. Still makes me question my sex drive. Amazing the amount of power a memory can have on you.

Anyway, I should get back to doing finances and paying bills. Sadly, they don’t pay themselves. I’m still working through things as you can tell. Someday…

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

If knowledge was all it took, I would be a size 4.

That was my response to The Hat during a conversation recently and it stuck with me. The Hat and I had a great chat even if it was born from sadness. It’s been a tough year for him and when he reached out, I responded because goodness, we have known each other twenty years now. How crazy is that. Our friendship has gone through phases, like life does, but it’s been an interesting friendship. His tough year has led him to question where he is at in his life. Of course, that just leads to me thinking again. Though – really – do I need a reason to contemplate, dwell, ruminate, reflect, think deep thoughts? Teehee.

Add in the background to my comment – In November, I was elated – I had finally broke that darn five pound barrier and entered a lower tens digit in my weight. Whoohoo! Reason to celebrate, right? Except by Christmas, I had put on enough weight to go up to the higher tens digit. And I have fought my body since then trying to at least get back to where I hovered most of last year. Today, the scale brought me back to that spot. While nothing to cheer about, at least I am out of that higher bracket. It was starting to feel that my body was never going to get lighter no matter how much I exercised or ate healthy or what.

Of course, my eating has not been perfect. Usually near the end of winter I am struggling to find the energy/motivation to cook. This year seemed to hit harder than previously. And it has stayed around longer. I am just so sick of being the sole person who cooks. I am tired of coming up with the menu and doing the grocery list. There is a part of me that wants to try new recipes and foods, but like the rest of my life, that part seems to get overridden by utter laziness, procrastination, and sheer boredom. And even though I know better I reach out to fast food at late hours. And even lunches lately – I am just sick of the leftovers I have and I haven’t been cooking enough recipes that have leftovers, so when I do have leftovers, it is sooooo repetitive.

Which brings me to my response – I have the knowledge. What I am missing is that spark that kicks my ass and keeps my motivation going.

Now I have my Fitbit and I love my Fitbit. I signed up for Beachbody on Demand and am enjoying the options. I am trying to get out at least for the morning coffee break with the folks at work for the 15 minute walk. I am trying to manage my stress (not so good on that) and get more sleep (so-so). I am increasing my steps and trying to grab things like fruit, yogurt, or a bowl of cereal for evening snacks. I’ve been eating less of the side stuff that I bring to work. And yet… the struggle is there. The frustration is there.

My friend S said that it all came together for her when she resolved some mental/emotional issues she had. I am pretty sure that is where I am at. I know there are things in my head that I have to deal with. It would help if people didn’t just keep telling me to learn to let things go. That’s as good advice as saying lose weight. Goodness, if it was that easy, wouldn’t we all be our ideal sizes?!?

That is what my boss put in my evaluation for last year – I need to let go and then she listed a whole bunch of things that I would have to give up – tasks that I am good at, that I enjoy, that bring me a change and joy. I know it is weird to people, but I like making a really good excel spreadsheet. I like showing people new things and watching them get excited when they learn something new or finally get something. I get that the boss has to balance what everyone is interested in with operational needs. I get I need to share my many years of knowledge. I need people to be interested. I need time to teach them. I also think though that if people are not doing very well at the basic job, then they should not be rewarded. Most of my team has been involved in a project in our unit. The boss has kept me out so I can work on the basic operational things and do a bunch of analysis and reports. I am enjoying this immensely and I have the skills and work ethic to get this done without much oversight from her. Even though I could do what the others are doing and probably do it faster (that’s why my colleagues say ‘that’s how long it takes in your time, what about real time?’). One colleague has been away on sick leave and is coming back to work slowly (super slowly) and now the boss is trying to give her all the fun stuff I have been doing because ‘that’s what she is interested in doing’. This colleague is very slow in her work and she hasn’t had the greatest attitude at work for a couple years now. And she gets rewarded with the work I was enjoying?

The only reward to doing a good job is more work. That seems to be the attitude at work. If you do a good job, have a good work ethic, and have initiative, then congratulations! You get more work dumped on your desk and it’s not the fun stuff. The people who are not doing a good job and have a bad attitude – they get take on the new projects and do the fun stuff – because just maybe that will change their attitude. Gosh forbid they have to learn to the job properly and regardless of whether they enjoy it. For goodness sake, for more than a year it has been suggested they move on to another department, but neither seems to be putting in much effort. It’s like someone else has to do all that work for them too.

Now I know – I have no idea what is going on in their lives. It’s not like they are sharing with anyone to help us understand. And they don’t have too. But don’t expect my sympathy or understanding if I am kept in the dark. And don’t expect me to do my job and yours because you are too… whatever to do it. If you need sick time (mental or physical), then take it (we have benefits). If you don’t love your job, then go to a different job or put on your big girl’s panties and do the job you have to an adequate level.

I think I mentioned before that as well as letting go of fun tasks, my boss has also said I need to understand that if someone else does it, they may not do as good of a job. I get that – they are still learning. But then she says and the standard of quality will lower. What the—why? It’s one thing that the quality will suffer as they learn, but to lower the standard of quality of our products? Why would we allow that? I’m told that I make it hard to argue for more resources, because I just get things done. Wait – now I’m in trouble for doing a good job? For caring about our clients? For doing the best job I can? Would someone please explain this all to me…I don’t get this thinking and explains a lot of the stereotypes we get called. It doesn’t matter how good a job I do, if there are so many more not doing a good job and getting away with it.

All this has done is encourage me to start looking harder. Mind you, I am kept busy enough that doing proactive things is hard to do. Goodness, my emails and desk look so disorganized. I haven’t had the time I need to clean or file or organize. And of course, that gets left to last. There are so many things I want to do, but it seems every other day there is something more important, of a higher priority, or is a crisis that takes my time.

So what happens is I give my all at work and then come home exhausted and the motivation to exercise and cook goes out the window. Or I stick to the same things over and over which kill any motivation I may try to have. I feel like my house is a mess and I can’t keep up. Spring has sprung and I feel already behind in prepping the garden. And I feel like it is mostly left on my shoulders to do the work, to make the decisions, to keep everything running at home. My emails are behind at home too. All I want to do is sit down, pick up the tablet and just do mindless things. I am behind in reading my magazines and books. I have various tasks a part of me wants to do, but who has the energy to do it.

Maybe it’s me who needs to take some mental health sick time. I’m trying to see friends and hang out with people at work. I am trying to get sleep and do things to the best that I can for that day. I just don’t know what is so different now. Why am I so tired now? Why can’t I keep up? Why does it feel like I am falling behind daily? Goodness knows I eat better now than I used to. I say it must be the less sex, more stress, less quality sleep, more electronics, and just the sheer volume of information that comes at us each day.

Anyway, I just wanted to get some of those thoughts down. I know some are repeats and that’s because I haven’t figured them out yet. I just keep thinking and pondering and I will get there eventually. Now – back to trying to clean some emails out.

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Saturday, March 04, 2017

Be brave. Without bravery, you will never know the world as richly as it wants to be known. Without bravery, your life will remain small- far smaller than you probably wanted your life to be.”-Elizabeth Gilbert

A special friend of mine has a show right now. In her words, the project is: We all have stories we tell ourselves. “You are fat, and ugly, and no one wants you” we say. Or, “You are strong and beautiful and I love you.” The stories change from day to day, hour to hour. Some of the stories were written for us years ago with other people’s words. Some we are writing now, willfully, choosing carefully, deciding what we will become. It isn’t easy.

In this project we will explore the words we use to tell these stories, and the marks they leave on us.

I attended the opening reception and even though I know the project and people who participated, it is amazing the effect there is when seeing the photos together and with some of the stories. Be prepared to leave the show affected and deep in thought. It is interesting to see how different people take in the show and when you discuss it with friends later. In talking with one gentleman, he was saying how he felt the trigger for the horrible thoughts women have is due to boys who don’t have the maturity to handle puberty and breasts and hormones. He seemed to think most of the problems come from males. A discussion with a girlfriend led to how we both agree that other females can be even harsher critics that boys and sometimes all it takes is a comment from a seemingly well-meaning family member to start a life of self-criticism. And let’s be honest, we are our own worst enemies. In one course I was in, we were discussing the words that we say to ourselves every day, every hour, whatever. If we said these things to other people, we would be horrified. And yet, we don’t question it when we say these words to ourselves.

I had dinner with a great friend of mine, S, recently and when she took off her coat, I couldn’t help but notice how lean she looks. When I mentioned it, she said that ever since she had a break-through recently in her thoughts, noticed that her body had changed – like she was holding literally on to weight, size, whatever, because of the mental obstacles. I made a joke that I was obviously holding on to a lot of mental issues. I think we both knew that there was truth in that statement, but being the good queen of de-nial, I adjusted the topic and left it to stew in the back of my thoughts. It takes me a long time to think things through and want to share the thoughts. And usually by the time I am ready to talk, there is no one around to talk to. Whether that is because it took me a while to work up to talking during a girls’ night and now it’s time to go home or whether because I am having so much fun catching up and talking about other things that it never seems the right time to discuss these seemingly random thoughts in my head.
Sadly, this means I usually keep the thoughts to myself. And what are some of these random thoughts:
- Why am I the one who got interested in sex so early and yet my currently life is so vacant of sex?
- Why am I someone who was interested early in polyamory and BDSM and such and yet I’m the one not living this to my full interest?
- Why is my well so damaged and empty that I am full of exhaustion (mental, physical, emotional)?
- How do I fill my well when it seems like my usual methods aren’t doing a very good job?
- How do I find interest and joy in my job again? Is it time for a change? What do I want to do?
- Why am I constantly self-sabotaging my efforts to be healthier and happier?
- Why does it seem like there is less time in the day and less sleep during the night?

At work, the team is not doing well. One is in the hospital and expected to be off for 6 weeks. Another is taking medical appointments every week. The third, who like me does the most work, keeps getting sick and her bouts seem to be getting worse. We have a part-timer who is doing well and has little to do because the rest of us can’t get caught up with our own work to provide her feedback on her work. We finally have another who has returned for a special project, so while he will help with that, it doesn’t help us with the regular work. And then there is me. Fortunately, I haven’t been getting sick, but headaches, tension in the shoulders, tightness and soreness in the legs – it all adds up to the effects of stress. And my boss’s response is that I need to let go, accept that we may have to do less quality work, accept that the others won’t do as good as a job, and give up the few things that bring me joy – like mentoring any new folks, training, and maintenance and improvements on some spreadsheets that I’ve called ‘my babies.’ Fair – hell no. And she approaches me with these ideas and I feel like I can’t say what I want to say. Her latest is that we may be getting a new person. This person has already identified to me that they are coming over because of me and wants to be mentored by me, but the boss wants someone else to do the mentoring to bring up their skills. Do I get where my boss is coming from? Absolutely. Do I think this person needs to work on their leaderships skills? Heck yes. Is it something I would rather do? Oh yeah. So part of me feels like I am doing such great work that I am getting punished; that someone who is not doing very well in their job is getting this honour; that I feel sorry for the new person because I don’t think they’ll get mentored well. I am hopeful that this will be something that will engage this team member and she will return to being on track for being a great person for this position. But I still hear what everyone else is doing and I’m doing triple the work that this person is doing. There is a part of me that is wanting to get out – try something new – take an assignment elsewhere. The problem with an assignment is that they could pull operational needs and pull me back and do I really want to come back to a place where the quality will have decreased significantly with me gone. I see what work these people do and I just think they are not there yet. Some because they are new – some for reasons I can’t fathom. But I am also aware the grass is not always greener and if I don’t do an assignment, then I have no fallback. But really – could I come back knowing how different the quality would be? Do I want to come back if nothing has changed, just the standards lowered? I just don’t know. And to some extent, I feel like my boss wants me to leave – so the standards could be lowered, so that the higher ups could see we are under-resourced and trained, and hopefully, some in the team would pick up their socks and maybe do better. Honestly, it is a very hard environment to work in.

And then I come home and I’m mentally exhausted. I am physically sore and I am uninterested in doing a lot of things. Add in an absentee D who is involved in lots of things and yet can’t seem to make an effort to understand and respect our differences so to help me recover. Who wants to have people over and yet doesn’t understand how coming home at 7 in the evening reduces the opportunity to have people over. Let alone leaving me to be the one to clean the house and prep for people isn’t exactly fair, especially when D comes in and then tries to take over. Uh – no – people who don’t help plan, clean, prep (let alone clean up) for the party, don’t get take over.

I am just finding things quite frustrating right now.

Add in ‘ndie’s mom is in the hospital again and there is worry there. My dad had one knee replaced and goes in for the other in June. Mom’s back is still in utter pain. I rarely get to see my brother and the kids. I barely talk to my other niece and her mother. I feel like I can’t do anything well right now. And this include relaxing, letting go, organizing, cleaning, being. Thank goodness for my kitty – who makes me laugh daily and loves me a lot.

I’m just tired. I found a cute pic of kitty:
I want the three months of sleep. Teehee.
Anyway, I should move on to finishing chores and thinking about supper.

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