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The Last Straw?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I wish I blogged with humor like Teeny Bikini, ChicChantal or Stonecot. I wish I blogged with the appreciation for movement like _Linda, Ramona or Nonie-C. I wish I blogged with the zest for self-improvement like OnToVictory or SkinnyInMyHead.

I appreciate these gifted and sincere bloggers. But I also read something deeper than their normal spin. Beyond the humor, the zest or the drive, their words are suffused with positive attitudes in the face of adversity.

Me? I have a positive façade. At work, I hear people being negative about Mondays, uber positive about Friday etc and I always say “_______ is one of the seven fabulous days of the week.” I DO mean that, but, inside is another story.

Friday evening, I saw my check engine light came on. This was after both of my trusted service centers had closed until Monday. My reaction was to be nearly paralyzed with fear. I could not sleep. What if I got stranded going to work today? Do I dare go grocery shopping on my lunch break? How will I get to the Laundromat? What if I can’t afford the repair? On and on.

Over the last couple of weeks, I worked out a budget so I can eventually get out of debt. The day after I paid off one bill, I discovered additional charges BF had not told me about. He watched some pay-per-view movies and had $8 of texts (I have not added texts to our cellphone plan and see no reason to change that). Both surprises were small dollars, but it was the principle. I learned about one through an email confirmation of the order and the other by downloading my bill. Those small charges, coupled with the anticipated increase in utilities (heat means room conditioner runs and a leak means high water charge) mean there’s less to spend on negotiable overhead (groceries and gas) and other things continue to be deferred (hair cut, clothes). He does not / can’t / won’t work so keeping things going is all on my shoulders.

Until things improve, I am tabling my pursuit of Paleo eating. I have lots of staples in the house that I can eat until the pressure on my paychecks lightens. I have brown, red and black rice, about a year’s worth of beans, lentils and cereal. Sigh. I have loved the increase in energy, the absence of digestive issues, absence of mental fog, etc. I will continue to do the best I can, but I must, at least temporarily, surrender to my more practical side.

My knee is feeling better, but I am still very tentative with it. A couple of weeks ago, because it was so bad and because my balance is not great to begin with, I fell 3 times. The cumulative effect of that was a concussion. That makes me even more tentative. As I age, each fall is increasingly dramatic and too much drama. Losing weight will help with balance. I know this, but I am not acting on that knowledge.

I was very close to suicidal a couple of week ago. I got some support and stabilized my thinking. I don’t even have the energy to be depressed. However, not to fear. I promised I would not act on those thoughts, at least not any time soon. Cilantro is a very old cat. Her 17th birthday is Wednesday. Juneau is not quite seven. I promised Juneau I would not leave her. If I did leave, Cilantro would be put down, BF would be homeless and who knows what would happen to Juneau. My cats are so sweet and innocent. I cannot bear the thought of their lives being terminated or turned upside down because of me. When I met Juneau, the shelter rep put her on my shoulder and she purred in my ear and into my heart.

I DO care about my BF, but I know in some ways I would be better off without him. Unfortunately, the way he’s going, that may happen. Among other things, he has heart problems and diabetes, smokes (outside for me) and does nothing to take care of himself.

I am marking time, unable to move forward. I feel as if I am treading water and there is no end in sight. On the other hand, I cannot give up. The increased weight, the impact that would have on my life, is not the answer.

I’m not sure what to say about work. At job #1, the latest wrench is that my coworker gave less than 3 days notice and left. Her new situation is great for her, but it left the department in a lurch. She handled patents, trademarks and copyright releases. We hired a temp who is handling just the patents. I am on the team that’s handling the balance until her permanent replacement can be found. It won’t be the temp – she does not have the background and the agency is too expensive. I’m in over my head, but I treasure the education.

I spent about a week compiling stats and creating an Excel chart of those stats for my boss. I was gratified to learn that he was impressed. I had to relearn how to do the charts (had not done them in over 7 years), but before I could create those, I had to gather and quantify the data. This was a manual process because our new system does not have a robust reporting feature for our legal matters. I had to learn a new formula (took me a few days to find it) and then pull that into the charts in the specific format the VP wants. Tomorrow, I will present and explain the charts and stats to the rest of the legal team. I anticipate that there will be changes based on their feedback.

In last week’s legal meeting, my boss mentioned he was working on something that required reading statutes and interviewing our technical staff before enlisting outside counsel. After the meeting, I asked him privately if I could assist. Statutes and interviews can be paralegal work. He said it was a good idea but he was not ready for me to handle it solo and that we would work it together. I am so stoked! The chances to work one on one with him, to learn from him are rare!

I lose sleep over the volume of work, but I am never bored. I am usually mentally challenged and I LOVE that!

Every Saturday, when I go to job #2, I brace myself for layoff. The job is not interesting or fun, but it is easy and the money is greatly appreciated. I do enjoy the people and the customers. Saturdays are very long and I think that dreading the day is the worst part. The afternoons are long and Sunday, my one day off, is usually consumed with errands and chores.

I could ramble on. I am a deeply flawed human being. Right now, living is impossible and existing is all I can manage. Here it is the end of the first week since the Spark Solution came out. I ordered the book when it was first advertised and was anticipating the arrival, deferring some choices until it came. The book came and I have yet to read it. I have yet to do anything that the team wants. I am sure it will be a valuable asset once I dig into it. www.sparkpeople.com/sparksolut

Thanks for listening…

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are willing to learn new things and stretch your mind. Those are not signs of weakness. Don't be so harsh on yourself. Take a deep breath and tell yourself to take the challenge of meeting each day head to head. emoticon
    1766 days ago
  • RFJSJ50
    I don't quite know what to say to you, except to just keep going forward, one day at a time. Life can be overwhelming and a struggle at times. Always remember that you have friends here on Spark who believe in you and in your abilities. We know that you are strong and won't give up on yourself. Just like your kitties, we're here to "purr" encouragement and love into your ear!
    You are a special woman who has provided so much inspiration and motivation to me throughout our time here on Spark.
    Stay strong - you are in my prayers.
    Sheila emoticon emoticon
    1766 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I honestly don't know how you go on with all you have on your plate :(( Its so very tough when you see a loved one pouring their life down the tubes (more stress you really don't need) you mention the small expenses he costs, but what about the cigarettes, last I heard they were horrendously expensive -if he could give up that one nasty habit, think of all the extra money you would save.. If he truly loves you, that could be one thing he could do to help out (and help himself in the process.
    Its great your job does keep you challenged and I suspect that is your anchor -that huge challenge of keeping up and doing the job to their satisfaction and hopefully even earning the odd tidbit of praise for a job well done.
    Mali, don't ever forget you are a loved and cherished person. You are worth fighting for. Everyone has their own talent and skill that sets them apart from everyone else. You have that incredible mind! Wishing you could be like someone else is pointless, far better to enjoy your own attributes. I know I can never be a runner and don't intend to even try, my joints would hate it, but I will try to be as fit and as active as possible because it make ME feel good. Do the best you can with what you have been given, and one step at a time, you will see improvement. Remember how good it felt for you working out with the kettlebells? We all suffer set backs and injuries, but once we are recovered, its time to slowly and carefully get back into it.
    Feel better soon! Sending healing and soothing thoughts!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1767 days ago
  • ANNMACP0212
    Please hang in there! Don't give up on yourself, you are a child of god and you are special. Yes, life is tough right now, but you have the strength to get through it, there are some good things going on right now (the job project for one), try to focus on that. Believe in yourself and believe that your circumstances are only temporary... It will get better!!
    1767 days ago
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