What was I thinking? /facepalm

Lately, I’ve been feeling the “hey, you haven’t been earning any money” pressure. Bills happen and I need to be contributing financially to the family, in addition to what I do around the house (which isn’t a lot when I’ve been feeling crappy and migrainey and sick). So, I think, what can I be doing to earn some cash?

Well, I have lots of ways to do that. This blog for example. The glass art I (used) to do. Writing. Problem is, I haven’t really done them lately. Now, we can get all up into “why haven’t you done that? what is holding you back? why do you pull away from success?” and I can spend a lot of time analyzing it and trying to figure things out. And I still won’t be actually *doing* anything about it.

To be fair, I have applied at a couple of places around town. The local small-town theatre facility (came very close to landing that one but failed for lack of recent experience in theatre) and the local independent bookstore (a store! full of books! yeah, I could spend my time in there). In the meantime, my brain is saying “you’re not earning any money. you’re not earning any money. you need to earn money.” (Yes, my brain speaks in lower-case. Deal with it.)

So I see the ad for the local fast-food coffee place job fair and something says this is what I should do. I’ve spoken informally to folks who work there and even stopped by last night to pick up an application. Yes, sometimes I am slow for a smart person.

Poking about on the interwebs this morning, I came across http://www.nojobformom.com/ and had my facepalm moment. Why the hell am I thinking about working 20 hours a week for minimum wage slinging coffee with a bunch of disaffected teenagers when I could write about things that interest me and make a lot more dough? Can I not spell r-e-s-i-d-u-a-l-s? What is wrong with me?

Okay, before I go chasing that particular red herring, let me stop and breathe. Now that I’ve had my epiphany, it’s time to lay off the self-flagellation and ask our DBT question:

What is the most effective thing I can do to move forward?

This post is, itself, the answer. I can start writing! Ms. No Job for Mom has a free ebook on how to get started, so that sounds like a good place to get started! Already downloaded and begun. And, instead of scheduling myself for 16 hours a week of minimum-wage mayhem, I can schedule myself for 16 hours a week of income-generating writing. And I don’t even have to apply, or interview myself, or anything!

Whew, that was close. I almost fell victim to “I’m a loser who doesn’t deserve anything but a crap job” and “You’ll never succeed anyway” thinking. Disaster averted. Yay!

What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a-happening…

Random thoughts on the day before All Hallow’s Eve aka Halloween.

Mental status update: Much improved. Seroquel and its side-effects have been jettisoned, trying an herbal remedy that has been surprisingly effective so far. Still plenty of baggage to deal with. Willing to consider the possibility of happiness in my day-to-day life. Still need to relax and trust myself.

Work update: My first attempt at commercial design, a tall window topped by a half-circle window, was accepted by the customer. Yay me! I’m still volunteering at the studio 2–3 days a week.

Physical: After a round of nasty side-effects that nearly crippled me (see Seroquel reference above), I am greatly improved. Back down to just hip bursitis and occasional flare-ups of achilles tendonitis. I’m losing weight quickly—one to two pounds a week (see Seroquel reference above). Not doing as much Wii Fit as I’d like.

Art: Took a studio drawing class and found out that I can draw pretty darn well. Making time to practice art is more difficult, but remains a priority for me.

Family: Doing great! Bri is frighteningly precocious (shock!) and no longer afraid of me. Bryan finally has a job that actually appears to recognize and appreciate his knowledge and contribution. Yay Bry!

Dog: Has fleas. Much vacuuming, laundering, and combing.

All in all, it’s life, in all its messy gloriousness. Whee!

riding the coaster

The last month has been hell, on and off. My emotions are all over the place, mostly down and angry though. I have no resilience or patience, which makes life hard for my child. I feel guilty about this and the cycle continues. It’s not all bad–we have a new family member:

Maggie, a.k.a. Fluffy White Ball of Love ™

Meet Miss Maggie, also known as the Fluffy White Ball of Love(tm) who needs to be housebroken and learn not to pee on our bed.

Mostly, I’m tired. The bursitis has flared up with a vengeance, so I’m almost always in pain. The panic attacks are easing off, but my psychiatrist is encouraging me to rethink my career/job options. I don’t know how I’ll be able to go back to work after this, but since my short-term disability has been extended to October 16, it’s not a question I have to answer today.

Last week was particularly difficult. I experienced a rage attack, which ended up with me doing some (minor) self-harm in order to relieve the feelings. All around, not a good scene. However, this rage was directed at Brianna, so I consider it a success that she was not injured in any way, nor was she exposed to any kind of tirade of hate such as my mother used to visit on me when she was angry and raging. I’ll trade making myself bleed for hurting my child any day.

But really, neither is optimum. So, at my request, my psychiatrist has referred me to the local hospital’s outpatient mental health unit for some therapy. They have a program that I would love to get into: DBT, which includes a meditation component (mindfulness as taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn). However, the waiting list is closed because it is over a year long.

Somehow, I will keep on keeping on. Mostly, I want to sleep and not wake up until my life is better. Really, what I want is to not have to contend with a barrage of self-hatred and negative thoughts. I’m getting really worn down.

Puppy kisses are an excellent antidote however.

What is it?

What is it that helps you to love, to be real, to be free?
What is it that helps you to awake from the slumber of your conditioning?
What is it in your life that helps you to re-member truth?
—Robert Holden from “Happiness Now!”

If you listen to, if you listen to the water
You will hear the sound, you will hear the sound of life
—Traffic, “Hidden Treasure” from the album “The Low Spark of High-heel Boys”

Music, poetry, sitting, zen, caring for my home, caring for myself, reading, writing, learning to relax and just be.

Fortunately, my psychiatrist agrees that a short-term medical leave from work is needed to help be regain that equilibrium, that ability to deal with life that I seem to have lost lately. The key is to be gentle with myself.

My Life of Late

My life of late has mainly consisted of focusing on making it through the day. Everything, from getting out of bed to brushing my teeth to preparing food is taking an immense amount of effort. And the most effort of all is going into getting me to and through work.

As Bryan put it, “Yep, you’re back to work,” (after the panic attacks) “but other than that, you’re a basket case.”

Question: When I look at the distribution of effort over tasks, does it align with my core values, the things most important to me?

Question: What’s most important to me?

Answer: Taking care of myself and my family.

Answer: Not so much.

I need a reset, a hard reset. Where’s that button for my brain?