Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Identity

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

It makes me so frustrated sometimes that my insurance company can’t just believe me when I tell them how ill I am, or has to treat me like I’m actively trying to avoid going back to work. Do you know how much I would LOVE to be working right now? How much I dearly want that part of my life back? I want to be able to drive down. I want a desk, and a chair, and maybe a coffee. I want coworkers. I want to be able to have the work life that I had always thought I would.

I was good at my job. And I loved what I was doing at it’s core. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was over the years before I had to leave, just not having the physical or mental energy to do all of the things that I wanted to do. Watching bits and pieces of my social life, home life, and work life slowly fall away because I was clinging on by my fingernails just to try to make it through the day and go on to the next. Killing myself to keep doing the things that needed to be done. Sacrificing my health to keep doing great for the kids, but still dealing with the stress of coworkers who were frustrated with me for not having the energy to do more. Feeling like it couldn’t possibly be so HARD for everyone else, and wondering how they could run an errand at the end of a work day. Not knowing how that was possible, when I could barely get myself home to fall onto the couch.

I know now why it was so much harder for me.

And I miss it.

Every day I miss it.

I still look at things through a teacher’s eyes.

And yet I also know that I could never handle that level of stress and demands with this illness. It is a wonderful job in its way, but a very intense one. High highs and low lows. Which makes me wonder, even if I do recover, if I will ever truly be able to go back.

But I want to.

And so it saddens me today that I’ve realized somewhere along the line I have stopped telling people I’m a teacher, and have started saying I “used to be a teacher” instead.

Undisputed Overlord of All Things Mindful

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

My desktop computer’s having some issues.  Nothing that The Man can’t fix for me, but for the next few days at least I’m thinking it’s probably safer to just not turn it on.  I’m in an odd sort of computer-limbo anyway these days, as since starting to use the laptop, I hardly ever bother with my desktop anymore.  But everything else is still stored on there.  Including Outlook with all my e-mail.  It’s basically a great big e-mail machine right now.  With its own room.  …But it seemed like an important room at the time.  In my defence my husband’s desktop is in there too. The desktop that he doesn’t use much either since he got a laptop from work.  Sigh.

The laptop we own is a few years out of date and was the absolute cheapest possible option at that time, though (it was really just for word processing and playing videos at our wedding.  …Separately, that is.  There was no word processing at our wedding that I know of), so I don’t think I’m likely to be able to sever ties from the E-Mail and Storage Machine anytime soon.  Also, any video games I indulge in must be really, really old.

The downside to trying to make do without Outlook for a while is that I have a billion different e-mail addresses for different things (give or take 999,999,990).  I like different stuff to have a different address.  Makes me feel all organized, or compartmentalized, or something else that’s good and ends in ized.  Stuff from this website, stuff from my real life, stuff that’s sketchy or likely to generate spam… I have a lot more addresses to check regularly than patience to do it one at a time.  I think I have successfully set up things to forward to one address for a while.  Probably took longer to do than it would have to just find out what needs to be done with my computer and fix it, but ah well.  And yes, of course, I created a new e-mail address just for forwarding things to. :)

I saw the new therapist again (who I suppose will soon need a reference that doesn’t involve the word “new.”  She could be the Hugging Therapist, maybe.  She seems fond of hugging me).  I have the issue that receiving positive feedback and the feeling that I’m doing a good job makes me super crazy happy, but any indication (however small) that there’s more that I could be doing makes me feel terrible.  So this was a great session.  A deliriously happy session.   I’m not sure it was for entirely healthy reasons, but I’m happy this week.  In line with my distortedly high expectations for myself, I am also going to do the BEST JOB AT GETTING BETTER EVER.  I’m torn on whether or not this is a problem.

The hyper SAM-e energy continues. I’m starting to really love this stuff. The thoughts about my future continue also, as a result of the increased energy. It’s really hard to tell what I might be capable of if I actually had a normal amount of energy and a stable mood all the time. It’s amazing what a person can adjust to as “normal.”

Some of my biggest worries are that I won’t be able to do a good job, or that people will be dissatisfied, or that I won’t measure up to my competitors anymore.  …But if I look at them objectively, there’s no reason at all to believe that.  I’m good at work stuff.  That’s one of my strengths.  It comes from my insanely high expectations of myself.  Realistically, I imagine that any service I provide will end up being extremely high quality compared to the rest of what’s out there.  Because I’m like that.  And as much as I would ideally like to tone that down a little, the likelihood of my doing a crappy job with this stuff is slim.  If I was taking on a carpentry business or something else I’m not at all trained for, maybe.  …Though even then, I imagine with the amount of preparation it’s in my nature to do, I might even be okay.   I think truly the biggest danger to my success with this is self-doubt and getting in my own way.

Like usual, then.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be capable of if I was a completely confident person. And not just because I’d be the only one on the planet who could claim that.  ….Well, maybe one of a few.  But I bet the other couple are douchebags.

I’m a sucker for a challenge

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

I think my body is going through another adjustment week with the SAM-e.  As mentioned, it’s supposed to take a week or two to kick in, and for the last two weeks the dose has been increasing steadily, so I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me.  I kind of like the adjustment weeks.  I’m growing fond of them.  I get a little sad when my body seems to level out a little and I no longer feel like there is sunshine pouring out of my eyes.  But like, real sunshine, all full of intense radiation and stuff, not the hazy white beams of stuff that they show in children’s picture books and scenes of the divine.  Anyway, I’m feeling somewhat…intensely energetic…is what I’m saying.

Case in point, yesterday I tackled a whole pile of phone calls and paperwork items that have been sitting around forever.  …And may have sent an e-mail to my sister asking for her new mailing address and loosely implying that I would be sending her a mariachi band (she said she already has one, so there’s no point really in sending them if they’d just be extra).  Most of the things I took care of related in some way to future career plans (the mariachi band was an anomaly).  I think all my psychiatrist’s talk about going back to work got me a little fixated on it (I don’t like not having at least a basic idea of what I’m doing when it comes to important life stuff).  Plus, now that I’m getting back some energy some days, there might be little things I could be doing towards that goal provided I knew what that goal was.  I think my former work situation is WAY too much stress than it was worth for me unless I manage to make some pretty major life/personality changes.  I don’t do well with open-ended.  Or, more accurately, I do TOO well with open-ended.  Way too well.  Especially in combination with creativity.  And helping people.  I tend to just not stop, really.  Combine that with huge difficulties dealing with rejection or criticism, and a lot of people naturally prone to rejecting and criticizing when they’ve had a bad day, and it’s not hard to see where things began to get unbalanced for me.  It’s been a tough thing to recognize, because I dearly LOVE the other aspects of my job.  Love them.  But I don’t think that it’s good for my health right now.

I’m currently on the fence over whether it would be better for me to try working as a high school guidance counselor, or in some other capacity or capacities within the school system.  What kind of capacities, I don’t know. I’m not honestly certain what the possibilities are for me in the future, but there’s got so be something. …Or ten somethings, possibly. I’m the kind of person who likes variety.  If I cook dinner, guaranteed half of it will be seasoned completely differently than the other half.  Just to see.  Last Sunday to tell me he loved me, my husband cooked our dinner with four different variations.  I was smitten.  So if I’m going to make a go of something, it will probably be more than one something.  But that could be fun. 

I am a perplexing combination of very ambitious and eager to be original, with insecure and uncomfortable with change.  This goes about as well as one would expect most of the time.  But if ever there was an opportunity to try branching out in a new direction, this would be a good one. 

But, on the other side, becoming a guidance counselor is quite stable.  And I don’t think I would hate it.  I think would really like working with the kids, it’s just the other crud and accompanying politics that are questionable.  And whether there is still enough demand involved that I’ll be at risk of burning myself out.  But all in all, I may actually end up liking it more than more behind-the-scenes options or something.

Of course, my husband is also in flux about his employment future, because having me drop over ill isn’t enough for us to deal with. ;) We do like a challenge.

So of course, being me, I’ve spent the last few weeks pouring over spreadsheets with every financial scenario I can think of.  My husband is undecided in his career in a very similar fashion right now, trying to decide whether he should accept an opportunity to do something much more lucrative but less enjoyable, or stay with his current job, or start his own company, so we’ve both been thinking and talking about this quite a bit lately.  It looks like in the end, he really would probably be better off taking the more lucrative road and trying to start a business on the side. But of course, an independent business has the potential to either go very well, or very, very badly.  And being the very careful people that we are when it comes to things like that, we’d both feel better if we knew that we could live off the minimal interest of whatever we had in the bank once we decide to retire, if we needed to.  Nice, warm, cushiony safety net.

But it’s nice to see hard evidence that either way we can likely make it work and have the life we want (or at least an approximation of it), and even still a pretty good one if we decide we want kids.  That was reassuring.  My mom struggled with money worries my whole life, and we’ve started off with a lot of debt, so I’ve gotten used to thinking we’d be worried about money the whole way.  Watching out friends lives progress to houses and kids and frequent travel while we’re still making debt payments made it feel like we’d always be behind like that, I guess.  This makes no sense given how hard my husband and I work, the kind of education we have, and the expenses we do and don’t value, but it still hasn’t ever really clicked for me.  When we bought our house I was a little shocked on some level.  My mom has never owned a house in her life.  If all goes well, by the time we’re older we’ll be able to have everything that’s important to us and then some.

The spreadsheets have also told me that if we really do manage to retire just on the yearly interest from our savings, and we happen to live until 130 years old, and don’t end up having kids, some lucky friend’s child or relative is getting one heck of a windfall when we die.

Also that colour-coding is fun.