Thursday, February 14, 2013

Muddling Through

I know I said I was going to be better about blogging this year.  It hasn’t happened.  And neither has tracking what I eat.  Even though they were measurable and easily attainable goals, I have already failed at them.

I have a laundry list of excuses, but you know, it all comes back down to the same thing.
I’m exhausted.
I’m mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.  I know I don’t use the word spiritually much, but I do believe it applies right now.

This past 4 or 5 weeks have been killer.  There was Boo’s emergency trip to the hospital. (Now all that’s left is the being billed and paying for of that little adventure…)  There was my subsequent bout of illness to contend with.  Then there was the long and arduous trip to Texas to tax me even further.  And throughout it all there has been Cookiegate (mostly under control now, just trying to muddle my way through getting rid of the last 400 or so boxes… yeah, 400 boxes…) and network troubles at work.  Oh, and we can’t forget Gak’s been working open to close since the beginning of all this thanks to his boss needing tendon surgery in his arm.  It’s not his fault, but still trying none the less.

That’s enough to tax a normal person.  But for me, I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall and am now plastered against it with nowhere to go and no way to peel myself off of it.  Actually, that might be too kind some days; some days I feel like I’ve then slid down said brick wall and am just a puddle of goo desperately trying to reform into a person.

I’ve been getting sleep.  Not always good sleep lately.  The last week or 10 days I’ve been getting bad sleep thanks to a knee that’s decided to be very painful (but not swollen that I can notice…) and keep me awake in the middle of the night for a couple of hours.  Or one of my other joints on my right side will decide to complain I’ve been laying on them too much.  Therefore, I’m starting the day exhausted and feeling like I haven’t slept.  And because I’m “sleeping in”, I’m not getting my precious “me time” first thing in the morning.  Trust me when I say I need that quiet hour or so to myself every day.  That does as much or more to recharge my emotional and spiritual well-being as sleep does to recharge my mental and physical well-being.

I will freely admit I’ve been eating way too much garbage lately.  Largely it is stress eating at work because it is so frustrating to try and get anything done right now.  And yes, when I eat junk I feel like junk.  But lately the short term “happy” is outweighing the knowledge of what it leads to.  I need comfort and coddling and since I can’t keep my snuggle-bear husband or my snug-a-boo son with me all day… food is often the quick fix unfortunately.  The scale, my clothes and my general well-being reflect this.

Emotionally all the drama with Cookiegate and the stress of the mess at work has me at an all time low for stability.  The littlest thing is likely to make me snap at someone in frustration or all but break down and cry.  It’s not what I normally would call depression, more frustration and anger with an inability to have things “go right” for a bit.  It’s not that I’ve lost interest in doing things that I love or don’t care about things, because I haven’t; it’s more that I’ve become so utterly frustrated by my inability to physically do them that I’m at a breaking point.  I just can’t keep juggling all the balls that keep getting thrown at me and the ones that I want to add to the mix.  They’re all going to come crashing down on my head soon.  And then I’ll be useless to everyone.

Because of the physical stresses, I’m exhausted.  Because I’m exhausted, my mental and emotional state is on shaky ground at best.  And because emotionally I’m at such a rocky point, my spirit feels crushed and broken.  Normally I’m a pretty positive person, but lately, it’s hard to see the positive with myself.  With other things and people, sure I can see the sunshine, but my own life looks pretty miserable.

Point in fact; we had a team meeting at work on Tuesday.  One of the things discussed were goals for the year.  One of the “team goals” our manager, and his manager, wants is a team utilization rate of 80% or better.  This means at least 32 out of 40 hours in my work-week must be charged to a project number.  Meetings, unless project specific, don’t count.  Taking a 5-minute (or 15-minute) break to mentally recharge as I transition between projects, doesn’t count.  Vacation or sick time doesn’t count.  And right now, with my mental and physical state, that’s a damn near impossibility for me.  And I hate the fact that I physically can’t meet this goal.  This shouldn’t be that hard of a goal to reach with the amount of work on my plate.  This should actually be easy to do, if I could just “buckle down” and get things done.  But I can’t.  I have problems staying awake and alert.  I have to get up and walk around for a bit to clear my head and keep myself moving and awake.  And I need the human contact of talking with my friends from time to time at work.  I may be an introvert, but I need to know that my select few favorite people are there and around.  I need to be by myself and in my own world, but not alone.

A little while back I did a thing on Facebook where you list certain things at certain times in your life… one of them was “biggest fear”.  And let me tell you, my biggest fear, well above and beyond the normal fears all parents have and the “normal” day-to-day fears of most people, is that somehow I’m not going to be able to keep this act up and all the balls will drop and scatter and my stable and secure job of 12.5 years will be yanked out from under me because of it and I’ll let everyone, especially my loves, down and we’ll be in a much, much worse situation than we are.

That’s what’s on my mind right now.  That’s what helps keep me awake at night when something else wakes me up.  That is what consumes me and adds to my irritability and anxiety.  And it sure as anything isn’t helping the overall situation.

What can I do to fix it?  I don’t know.  I don’t know that I can fix it.  What I want is for someone, some professional, to say “yes, what you’re going through is real and not in your head and not normal for a young woman of 37 years old.”  Even if they can’t do anything to fix it, to know that yes, this isn’t normal, and that it’s OK to be exhausted like I am and that there’s a real honest, to goodness reason for it, would make me feel that much better.  Make it feel like I wasn’t fighting such an uphill battle.  Make it be OK that I just can’t do it all or even half of it all.  That I’m allowed to be this way and that some things are just going to be impossible for me.  But until that happens, I’m stuck fighting the fight that I feel like I’ll probably never win and no one will ever understand.

On that thought, I will leave you.
Peace to all and may not feel like your life is spinning totally out of control.

p.s. I wrote this at work, but I'm now home because Boo broke out in some kind of rash at nap time and I had to go get him.... *sigh*

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Enough With the Drama Already

7So many things running through my head right now.  I'll try and keep this brief and have it make some kind of sense.  When I say it's been a hell of a couple of weeks, I really mean it.

But, first things first.  I can't escape today without remembering that today would have been Gram's 90th birthday.  She's been gone just over 5 years and I still miss her on a regular basis.  She would have enjoyed Boo so very much, and I would have loved to watch them be together.

So, I guess I should recap the last two weeks.  It's been a rough ride.

Work has had it's own set of challenges and they look like they might continue another few weeks.  I'm not looking forward to that.  I also went to Texas the week before last.  Originally I was supposed to go the week Boo got sick, but I was able to change it to the next week.  Also, I originally was going to do some training, run a few reports and be on my merry way.  Instead, it was run the reports and spend about 12 hours all told doing work that I would have done from the office, but was actually going to be easier on site.  Of course, I still had stuff to clean up once I got back to the office.  And I will never, ever if at all possible put a 6 or 7 hour day in on site and then catch a flight home... My day on site started at about 8 am Eastern and ended at 2 am Eastern the next day when I finally got home.  Of course, I couldn't get to sleep right away I was so exhausted.
The best part of that day, when I got home I went into Boo's room to see him and as I was standing there, he woke up, sleepily saying "Momma??.... Momma!!" and we got to snuggle for a bit.  I think it did both of us well.  Of course, Gak enjoyed me being home again as well.  Thankfully I don't have to travel anywhere near like I used to.  I may end up traveling once a quarter or so.  That shouldn't be too bad and will be both nice and tough at the same time.

I had much more to say about the trip at the time, but I just didn't get around to writing it, and now it seems pointless or silly.  So, I'll skip it.

The other big challenge is what Gak has termed "Cookiegate".  Yeah.  Cookie Sales this year got off to a very rough start and I ended up having to "fire" my Cookie Mom about two weeks in.  Yes, there are several things I could have done better.  Yes, some days our troop meetings are quite chaotic and seem like there is no control.  But, like I've told every parent several times and all the girls, this is the girls' troop and I need their help and input into what we do.  Also, as wonderful as badges are, they're not the end-all, be-all of Girl Scouts and they're all more than welcome to work on as many badges as they want on their own time, or even suggest badges for us to work on at meeting times.  Since they haven't, I've muddled my way through the Breathe Journey (trust me, it's not fun...) and have tried to use troop time for enjoyable activities and things that I hope will teach them something vaguely useful in life.  And yes, I let them have a bit of crazy time at the beginning and end of meetings, but these girls' lives are so structured and scheduled that they need some downtime.  Girl Scouts should not be "school day number 2" but an enjoyable activity that they want to participate in.
Thankfully, there is a light at the end of this tunnel.  There are a few more tasks I have to complete and then it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the sale.  Or so I hope.  And actually, all the parents I've talked to were at the very least relieved that I had taken it back over if not downright thrilled because the original cookie mom had upset them so much and frustrated them.

The bright spot in all this drama and angst, Boo is quite healthy now.  Monday he had his 2-week followup appointment with his doctor and she pronounced him fit as can be.  He still has a cough every now and again, but just a random cough, not an all the time kind of thing.  Within about 2 days of being on the antibiotics he was back to full steam ahead.  And it wasn't the flu he had on top of the pneumonia, but RSV. Same course of treatment at that point, just different virus.  And of course, I came down with strep/upper respiratory infection again that Wednesday thank to no sleep and all the stress and got myself a Z-pack.  I'm not sure it really helped, but I am feeling much better now and only have my normal levels of winter ick going on.  So, yeah, my health didn't help with all the other drama going on.

But, I'm going to wrap this up here.  Things are going well on the health front for the most part.  Gak has a cold again, or at least a very annoying dry cough that started a few days ago.  Work is work and we'll muddle our way through for now.  Cookies and Girl Scouts seem to be heading for smoother waters.  Hopefully February will be much smoother and more fun than January was.

Peace to all and may your health be good and the drama only on TV or the stage....