Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: Memory Lane

What a year of ups and downs and changes and yet… so much seems the same.

I continue to struggle – how is it that I felt so organized and on top of things just a few short years ago and yet now, I feel like I can’t stay on top of basic tasks. I like to think I have lessened my need for perfectionism, but sheesh, can I feel like I am on top of something?

It’s not all bad – please don’t think that. There are so many good things that happened:

Work: I not only got an assignment with a new department, but was just accepted there permanently. I got the letter the day after I won basically the ‘employee of the month’ award. So I do not have to go back to a unit that is crumbling. In fact, there are only one or two people left in that unit from when I left. There are many people who believe the unit will be removed completely. So yay!

Also, this department is completely different. It’s smaller, but I feel like they actually appreciate their employees and you can see that in the engagement of the staff and management. I am enjoying the work and the people I work with. We won placement in the Christmas decorating contest for our unit. I am learning so much new stuff.

Home: We took a bit of a break from most renos this year. We finished the inside of the shed, got some proper storage for the garage, got eaves trough for the shed and garage, and then redid the front stone walkway. Significantly less work and costs than the previous year.

Hobbies: I have taken up crochet. And I am enjoying it. I have made coasters, small toys, larger toys, and slippers. I’m sure my friends and family will get tired of me doing this, but honestly, I’m enjoying it. It all started with the weekly crochet lunch and learn and continues with hopefully more sessions of crocheting with friends outside of work.

The not so good things:
Work: There is stress and I still have moments where I feel like I am just not smart. I have one project that should have been done months ago but because it keeps getting pushed to the back burner, it lingers on. I’m really hoping to finish it soon. Just to get it off my desk and to do list.

Remember your personal demons should be afraid of you, because you are their home, their food, and as you heal, their executioner. – Laurell K Hamilton

Depression: It lingers. It says nasty things to me that just tear me down. I had placed a lot of hope on changing jobs would lead to less stress, which would lead to more time to exercise and get healthier, including losing weight. The stress did go down and I am moving more that I was before I changed departments, but the depression has been there… keeping me eating when I’m not hungry. Add in physical ailments, which could be depression related or not, and I’m just not where I want to be and I have been hermitting more that I should. Add in too much political unrest and uncertainty, a continuing denial of climate change in an ever heating world, and far too many ‘fake’ news sites – goodness, how are we not supposed to be depressed?

We are now facing not just a technological crisis but a philosophical crisis. – Yuval Noah Harari

Ailments: Sheesh – these ‘hormone’ headaches are still kicking my butt. I had one month where I got a massage just before the headache would start and never had a headache. Oh the relief! So huge! And what’s up with my knees – I mean seriously… between slipping on ice and landing on them, falling arches leading to aching knees, and just overall, old person knee feelings. Sheesh – how am I supposed to exercise if I am suffering from knee pain and/or headaches?!?

My dad got a pacemaker to help his heart, which would be fine except it’s not perfected yet. And that was a scare I really didn’t need and it just makes me think about what is going to happen if one of my parents die. I need to spend some time with my mom to see what she is thinking. I know she is struggling and it scared her more than she is admitting.

My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships – Jada Pinkett-Smitt

Relationship-wise – things are as they are. There have been ups and downs and dealing with repercussions of events from last year. It’s amazing how much I try to trust and the universe seems determined to test me. There is more work to do to get things to be fully healthy, but no one is giving up, everyone is communicating, and that’s important.

Being a hermit and depression and physical pain though is keeping from my friends. I don’t get to travel as much so I can’t see some of my friends in person now. I am on the computer at work so much I hate being on it at home. Though I’m sure the fact that a couple weeks after I clean my office, it is a mess again also discourages me from being on the computer. Right now it’s nicely clean. I do miss my friends and I want to spend more time with them. There were a number of new games obtained this Christmas season, so I’m hoping that will lead to more games nights and such.

So the year has been less tough that the previous year and things are getting better. I’m hopeful as ever that the new year will be better. So to everyone, I wish a life full of live, acceptance, and opportunity. To my friends, I am as always ever grateful for your friendship. Here’s to a year of fun, laughter, wonder, cuddle piles, warm long hugs, deep connections, opportunities, good health, adventure, and love.

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Saturday, June 09, 2018

Seeing the beauty through the pain

Gosh – so much has happened since my last entry.

I got the assignment in the different department. And my manager got me a year assignment, so I have a whole year away from the other department, my other unit. A year to convince the new department that I rock and they should keep me. A year to get some boundaries and priorities back in place. I found out the week after I wrote the entry and I had six weeks to get things in order.

Normally, this would be enough time, but not only did I have to keep doing the same amount of work I was doing, I also had to prepare for two different training sessions that I had to facilitate before I left AND go through over 10 years of paperwork and emails. The first two weeks I was doing this on the down low. I asked for the couple of weeks so I could prepare myself as well as two of the staff were on holidays and I didn’t want to ruin their holidays or ruin the two weeks I was working with someone who is a little more drama driven.

So they found out at the start of April and life did not get easier. It was just a hard month. I was doing 1-2 hours of overtime every day (for free) trying to get through paperwork and emails. I was trying to organize my assignment. I was trying to get people to learn what I knew. Oh, and I had to travel to spend three days of my last week with my team in person – so travelling.

I did the best I could – the training went well. I got through my paperwork, but the emails did not get finished. Oy. And my manager failed me in supporting me in that – in reality, another manager failed me. But he was someone who I finally was seeing for who he was since January. So that’s a whole different story.

Needless to say, I was very happy to try this opportunity. I knew the stress would be less and different because I went from being the expert to feeling like I knew nothing. What I didn’t think about was the fact I would be completely changing gears – I describe it as going just over the speed limit highway driving to entering a school zone. I’ve been there six weeks now and this last Friday was the first Friday where I didn’t have anything to do. The people I had to deal with for the tasks I was working on where gone on Fridays so I couldn’t get feedback and since I’m new, I only a few tasks, so I spent a lot of time reading different documents about my new department and trying to enjoy the different pace. I know it’s going to get busy again – so I need to enjoy the slower moments. It’s tough. Anyone who has been on a highway and then dropped to 50 to go through that small town knows the feeling I’m talking about.

So yeah, six weeks in a new job. After several massage sessions where my shoulders would not release, this last session, they were good. Which is fabulous because some other news I got was that my massage therapist was moving. Across the country. Sighhhh. So I have one more session with her and then I need to find someone new again. I really liked her. She did try to help and gave me suggestions for things to try.

Now I am on holidays. Two weeks off. I am so happy. I need a break – not from the new job, just from work in general. I want to get some stuff done around the house and I want to get some sleep and just enjoy life for a few days with no deadlines. One thing I am not good at – doing nothing. I know, you are all shocked, aren’t you? Teehee.

It’s funny – I usually don’t feel lonely when I am home alone. I often feel the loneliest when I’m in a crowd. But lately, I just don’t know what to do with myself. It’s like I’ve been going so much lately, that when I don’t have to do anything, I sort of feel awkward. Like tonight, D’s away. I hung out with some friends in the afternoon. When I got home, I did some tidying of the front garden and then tidied a bit in the office, but I’m at a loss of what I want to do. These are the days when I wish S lived closer. I just want someone to come hang out. To sit and chat with or do something small – like a walk or a game. My Happy Bunny calendar says – Just not into it I guess. That’s exactly what I feel. I don’t want to watch tv (plus I have nothing exciting taped). I watched a bunch of shows on Netflix yesterday. I caught up on the Internet on Thursday night. I should make dinner, but I’m not super hungry.

I’m just feeling lonely I guess. It’s not like there’s nothing to do. Trust me, there’s always something to do around a house. I don’t want to clean. I don’t want to tidy. But on the other hand, I want to have something to do that is productive – I want to do a reno where you have an outcome – something concrete to see or touch or something. I want to talk to someone and just have a good conversation. I feel like I haven’t sat down and had a deep conversation with someone in a long while. I didn’t want to talk about how stressed I was with the last job. I don’t want to temper my words by avoiding a topic.

The girls’ retreat is happening this year again – I’m not going because of many reasons, but I really just want some good conversation. I think that is what I am really missing and lonely for. You can only talk so deep at work and especially in the new layout (with lower cubicle walls, you hear a lot). D and I talk, but not really deep conversations anymore and I rarely get to see friends. When I do, we spend time catching up because it’s been so long, so you don’t get those ‘stuck in the car for hours’ conversations or ‘chatting after a good meal’ conversations that involve getting beyond the latest news. I want to talk about relationships, feelings, dreams, desires, worries. I miss being passionate in a conversation, being connected, learning someone new about someone.
That is probably a product of being so busy for so long and now having time – time to think, time to breathe, time to do stuff. I’m so used to being busy and shallow, that now that I’m not as busy, I want to get deep. I have the emotional and mental energy to get involved with life again.

I said last time I could feel change in the air and there’s been change. My previous manager got a job in a different unit, so she’s leaving the unit. There are a ton of changes coming in the old unit. I don’t know what it will even look like next year. So I hope things continue to move along and I don’t have to go back to the same environment. I need more. I want more. I deserve more.

Anyway, that’s my news. I’m going to see if I can find something to cook for dinner. Hugs everyone!


Thursday, March 08, 2018

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

There is the taste of change in the air. I don’t know how much of this is the feeling of spring coming and how much of it is the feeling that the stars are aligning and there are some big changes coming. In Change Behavior Therapy, I am waffling between the Determination stage and the Action stage. I am visualizing some changes and I can feel things are happening, I just can’t see it all yet.

At work, I am in a few competitions in which I am steadily progressing and I have been offered an opportunity for a short term assignment with another department. It was very despondent just a couple months ago when I was working to help a colleague get an assignment out of our unit when I was her competition and then just after I heard the news that some of the higher ups were against assignments, I found out another colleague in the unit got an assignment with another unit. It makes you stop and really consider things. And I did some soul searching and came around to acceptance that I would find the things that make me happy at work and focus on those. And then I was offered an opportunity. I talked with my manager who did some negotiation, but told me I had to wait until she talked to her higher ups. So I waited. She talked to them on Monday. It’s Thursday and she hasn’t mentioned a thing. Seriously?!? One would think you would let me know how it went. Do I need to start planning how to pack up my stuff? Do I need to deal with disappointment? I’m off for the next few days so I am going to try to focus on other topics, but a part of me is constantly wondering – what is going to happen? What do I need to prioritize?

As much as my colleagues in my much smaller unit annoy me sometimes, I still love my job. I just wish it didn’t feel like everyone depended on me. Like I am the only one who knows abc or does xyz. I mean I was off today and I sent a text to the boss to remind her of something she needs to do in relation to a ‘crisis’ yesterday and I get several questions back.

I was away the other day due to illness and missed a meeting I was supposed to lead, so my colleagues had to. Now they had all the info. I had written up all my parts, we had talked through the plan a couple times. It’s not like they didn’t have an opportunity to prepare, but it’s like they didn’t because *I* would be there. So when I wasn’t, they actually said to our clients a couple times that they didn’t know something or couldn’t do something because I wasn’t there. Even if that’s true (which it shouldn’t be by now because I’ve been training them), you still don’t say that. You say – that’s a great question, let us get back to you with an answer. The confidence our clients have in my other colleagues is not high.

I have a coffee cup that says: she was comforted by the knowledge that they were helpless without her. I thought it was ironic and funny. The sad fact is I wonder how helpless they are without me. How do you share your knowledge with people who don’t want it? How do you move on to another unit/department/whatever without worrying about the state of the unit you are leaving? This is my strength and my weakness. When I left my last branch, I made binders listing out how to do all the things I did. I have 10 years in my current branch. I have so much knowledge that is based on experience. I don’t have a fear of trying things. I may hesitate, but curiosity encourages me to try and so I learn what works and doesn’t. I can’t always explain why I am doing something. So how do I write a binder on that? One of the questions my boss asked me was some process that hasn’t changed in 4 years, at least. Why are they asking me these questions still?

It’s frustrating to me. And then I come home and I’m tired. I spend so much of my energy at work trying to help people and I come home exhausted. I was talking to a friend from work yesterday who asked if I had slowed down. That I had been working really hard and she was worried still that I was burning out. How do you answer that question? Am I being more conscious of what is happening? Yes. Do I try to put down lines in the sand? Yes. Do people respect those? No. Do I feel like I’m stressed? Yeah. Do I know I am helping people? Yes.

I think I annoyed someone yesterday because I refused to give her the easy answer. I wanted her to learn how to look at our tools so she could see where the error was. One of the complaints we had from our clients was that our responses to their enquiries are too long and aren’t the response they want. Right – because many of them want us to solve things or make decisions without them having to do the work. And then they will turn around and say they need more training. Here we are trying to train them on a day to day basis and they don’t want to do the work to learn, but when asked what they need, they always say more training.

What about what I need? What I need is to prioritize me. My hobbies. My health. How do I get rid of this knot in my shoulders? How do I stop having headaches? How do I move into Action stage more often? How do I set boundaries and get myself some space? How do I get it so I’m exercising more? Doing the things that excite me?

I need to pick some pictures from the girls’ retreat I did in summer. I am so critical and yet if I am so unhappy, why didn’t I speak up? I had expectations and never felt like I got to express them, which led to pictures that are just ‘ok’ for the most part. There is one that is better than I imagined. But in the others, there are things done that I just don’t like, so do I pick them and try not to notice the same thing every time I see the picture? What is missing for me from the pictures is the drama… I am an intense person. I know it. I respect it. I own it. These pictures don’t capture that. I feel like they don’t capture my essence. Which makes me wonder then if my friend who took the pictures doesn’t see that in me or doesn’t know how to bring it out or... I don’t know. I don’t think I hide my intensity (I don’t know that I actually can).

I’m learning things though. Like the event with the other woman didn’t cripple me like it might have in the past. I’m proud that I was willing to trust someone new. That when I felt betrayed, I didn’t let it keep me down for as long as it could have. I focused on what I wanted and I was vocal about it. I shared my thoughts on her with all of you because I want to move past it, forgive her and move on. I felt that by keeping it all quiet, I was doing more harm to myself. Goodness knows, if she thinks I’m going to stay quiet about my thoughts, surprise –not going to. I don’t need to tell everyone what happened; it really isn’t everyone’s business. I just don’t need to keep quiet if I don’t want to. Like I said, I am working towards the Action stage, which means things start happening and changing. And some people may not like the changes.

These are some of my constant thoughts. Some of the things I am working through and moving towards. I just feel like this year has some big changes coming and I want to be a part of those changes. So let’s see where this goes.


Saturday, March 03, 2018

Dear other woman,

Trust D to find someone who is similar to me back when I was in my twenties. But you are not in your twenties… so there is no excuse for what you’ve done. You call yourself polyamorous, but since when does polyamory mean hiding what you are doing from your significant other and encouraging others to do the same? There is a word for that… it’s called cheating, infidelity, unfaithfulness, adultery. Shall I go on?

What makes it harder I think is that I actually thought you were an interesting person and that we could be friends. I wanted to get to know you and so it hurt more when I discovered what you did. I get the feeling of being lost in the moment and things getting a little heated. But see, I’ve seen your texts. I saw how you acknowledged what you are doing was wrong and I saw you making the decision to do it anyway. I saw you then covering your tracks and encouraging D to do the same. I can’t accept that behavior as lost in the moment - that is not a subconscious, in the moment kind of action. That is consciously planned. And to encourage someone who you know is in a relationship with rules to break those – that is not respect or kindness or decency to yourself or others. Those are not the actions of someone who wants a relationship.

Then you had the nerve to ask us to hide the facts from a friend of ours. I get you wanting to be the first to tell him since he is your significant other, but to then tell D that you were not going to tell your significant other the whole truth. I understand people have different rules for polyamory, but I can’t see a relationship built on a lie being the most stable relationship. Not telling him about all of the events or how long it had been happening makes it seem like you have been actively planning this affair and you are trying to actively hide it. It is certainly not the actions of someone who has determined that they want to live a polyamorous life and are introducing their significant other to this reality. I don’t know what to tell our friend and lucky for you, I haven’t seen him yet. You have put us in the complicated position. We have removed him from our invitations because I just can’t be around you at the moment. And yet *I* felt the guilt of removing him – I’m not sure you were even aware. And then when we all got invited to another friend’s party, you check in with D because you want to make sure I am not feeling awkward about attending. How about awkwardness for D, yourself, your significant other, our friends? Do you think this makes you look like the better person? Do you think this will get you back into D’s bed?

How about you take responsibility for what you did? How about you acknowledge to everyone involved what you actually did and how you actually feel about it? How about you not play the ‘I miss you being my friend’ card? What you did was wrong and there are consequences. You are old enough to know this.

Don’t think I am laying all the blame at your feet. I am aware of what happened and who did what. But this letter is to you. I want you to learn to be a better person and to be honest with yourself, let alone with those in your life. I want you to learn what polyamory is really about and actually decide whether it is for you at this time, rather than using it as an excuse for cheating. I don’t think you approached the affair with the malicious intent to destroy a relationship, but you made decisions that certainly weren’t in anyone’s best interest.

I see so many of my friends who know you and like you. I could have gotten to know you and I think I would have liked you to be a friend. Now, I don’t know if I will ever forget what you did and whether I can ever trust you again. I want to forgive you, though I am not quite there just yet. I’m still dealing with the ramifications of you breaking my trust. It sounds strange to say that since we weren’t friends yet, but I guess I put more of myself into getting to know you than I thought. Sadly, you’re not the first to betray my trust. I am trying hard not to set this up to be distrusting of everyone. I just don’t think I can even start to trust you as long as you are being dishonest to people as well as yourself.



Sunday, February 11, 2018

2018 – the year thus far

Oh – my – goodness. Why did the year decide it should be so chaotic from the start?

Right at the beginning of January I actually was shortlisted (out of 2) in a job opportunity. I did not get the job sadly (it went to a colleague of mine). It was a good feeling to be wanted and told I presented well (especially after being rejected so many times throughout the year). The annoying part is that my colleague was very sick with the flu when she went in for the interview and she still got the job. Yes, she knew both the interviewers, but when I heard the details of the interview, I partly feel like they already knew they wanted her. Perhaps I was just a surprise in the pile of resumes. What also made it awkward was that during that time I was acting manager, which meant not only did I not get the job, but I was involved in helping my colleague get the job. Awkward is definitely the feeling there.
Then to make matters more annoying – another colleague is leaving our team for a job opportunity elsewhere. Insert eye roll here. Seriously, that drops us to 4 people in total; one person is pretty new; the other two are not exactly the hardest working; and me.

So work has continued to be arghhhh. We finally got notification on events for next year (could they cut it closer?), but with new senior management, it has been a fight to just do what we need to do. I have been trying to just keep my head down and do my job and not get caught up in the drama, but goodness, it is so hard. Why do people feel like they need to come in and immediately piss over everything? Seriously, take some time to learn what is happening before you start making significant changes.

To be fair, this week has been super hard as I worked through a very bad headache/migraine Monday through Wednesday. Thank goodness I did as my own boss decided to make a change that had no basis in reality and all of my hard work was the only thing that prevented a really bad decision. Thursday was amazing – no headache and I got 8 out of the 10 things on my ‘to do’ list completed. I felt really productive which I followed up with a fairly productive evening at home. It was kind of odd. What is annoying is the headache keeps just hovering. My neck muscles are so tight and they just don’t want to release. During my session two weeks ago, my massage therapist was shocked at how tight my muscles were and could not get them to release. So I keep having the headache linger and sleeping is not helping. Not sure why, but goodness, I just wake up so sore even though I’m not waking up in weird positions.

The good points are that we have a plan to pay off the last of debt, which will then allow us to focus on the mortgage. I would love to be debt-free and mortgage-free. Goodness, that thought just fills me with giddiness. It just adds so many options. It's still a bit away, but a girl can dream.

I have been reading some very interesting books (made one of my random trips to the library and proceed to take out a variety of books):
Curvy yoga – by Anna Guest-Jelley – honestly, if any of my friends have been turned off yoga due to not being flexible or to being too curvy, this book has so many great options for how to adjust the poses to work with your body. Highly recommend.

Furiously Happy – by Jenny Lawson – I enjoyed her first book so it is not a surprise how much I enjoyed the second, but truly, it is a fascinating read. Like Neil Gaiman says in his praise “you know that really shouldn’t be laughing and probably you’ll go to hell for laughing…” and I felt that way at first. Goodness, did I laugh right off the bat. But then I really connected with her again. I love that she talks so honestly about her mental illness and it really makes you feel like “It’s not just me.” Her chapter The Big Quiz really hit home for me – I feel it is exactly how I approach life – oh here is a deep topic, but there is still something to laugh about. It truly made me pause and think – Comparison is the death of joy – Mark Twain. Or “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes look to everyone else’s highlight reel.” Goodness – this is so true for Facebook, twitter, all those social media sites. I really appreciated her comments at the end:
How can we be expected to properly judge ourselves? We know all of our worst secrets. We are biased and overly critical, and occasionally filled with shame. So you’ll have to just trust me when I say that you are worthy, important, and necessary. And smart.

You may ask how I know and I’ll tell you how. It’s because right now? YOU’RE READING. That’s what the sexy people do. Other, less awesome people might currently be in their front yards chasing down and punching squirrels, but not you. You’re quietly curled up with a book designed to make you a better, happier, more introspective person.

You win. You are amazing.

I’ll leave you with that thought because it is true. You are amazing.

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