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I wasn’t going to do entries in March – well I was, but realized I couldn’t get them done, however, my friend stated the obvious in the way he does that causes me to pause and redirect.
It’s amazing having someone in my life whose thought process gets through to me.
It’s April now and I’m there again – for different reasons.
Last month it was my visit to my sister and my step-brother’s death and the volatile nature of my job.
This month my daughter’s beloved puppy became critically ill. She survived! Just! Home yesterday – and of course, this volatile job.
I just entered the first one and the blue squares don’t seem so daunting to me today.
I’d planned to take the afternoon off – except for sales calls. [that’s a break, one might ask?] I put them off because I psych myself in to high gear for them and then have difficulty settling back down.
The puppy’s safely home and my work’s pushed back to opposite sides of the weekend, except for getting a new tire for a lawnmower and chasing down my seasonal employee at his “day job” to avoid the drive to the community where the mower lives.
I also plan to stop by Lowes in the morning to buy another 5 gallons of paint to take to my “rent credit” painter – the one I met in court – this is the tenor of my job lately. This man is the son of a woman I used to work with – a sidebar to this but quite interesting nonetheless. 2005 pre-cancer.
I have to do court filings on Monday – time consuming paperwork task, and so it would be beneficial to drive through the other community also tomorrow – to pick up rents and see who I can cross off the list.
Of course I’ll need to do the paperwork as well in order to not take up the day on Monday with it – and there it is: I’ve worked all weekend trying to tread water.
The phones continue to ring – never stopping. I tense when they do, knowing I’ll have to do something with them.
I pay my son as my assistant to stave off some of the tension. He listens to the messages for me when my angst level rises. He takes notes, numbers and erases them so I don’t have to get too close – at least at this stage.
I was so pleased to get this job: Regional Marketing Manager with a real estate company – not in healthcare any longer! The step I had wanted – to move away from the healthcare.
I accepted the position in August. The job was intense but manageable – then.
My contract included a paragraph about cross training – learning the tasks performed by the site managers in case I would need to take over a property on an interim basis. I knew this and made it my business to support those managers so they would be successful and thereby keep from having to do this.
This worked well for a while. I visited each property providing sales training, developed marketing plans and advertising campaigns. I was called upon to do “operations” tasks but they related to marketing on some level – which home would sell the best – which one should we get ready next – my marketing assessments as they related to the homes.
In December they sold a property. This property was one of two managed by the same person. We were going to keep her on to manage our small property. She agreed but stopped returning calls – the owner got nervous and cut her loose.
My first one then was in early December. I should have known.
There was another, twenty minutes from the first. The manager was low functioning – couldn’t close a sale, a high repo rate. We talked about how we could get one manager for both of them – on site at the larger one but close enough to the second. Of course at the time I had no idea that person would be me.
The owner was getting nervous. Each property had multiple levels of financing. I knew only enough to know I’d better be looking for a way out of there.
My friend counseled me to get busy and look for another job.
I had looked for over a year, trying to make the shift from healthcare. I nearly lost my equilibrium when I discovered they didn’t offer the healthcare. I knew it would have to be interim – but at least it was an income.
Now the job was shifting.
My friend was forceful – he told me to make it happen for myself. I updated my resume and put it back up on Monster & CareerBuilders. It wasn’t the intense search I’d conducted a year ago, but I made a start.
I was in a state of exhaustion. My trip to California was looming and my stamina was low.
I still was under the impression I was the Regional Marketing Manager and tried desperately to keep up – changing ads, writing criagslistings, returning phone calls.
I let my boss know it was too much to handle and asked for a part time assistant. It was clear they weren’t going to hire either of the positions I’d now been given. I never got an answer.
I hired my son to help me, to keep me calm. I was paying him out-of-pocket – a paycut!
My boss had planned a visit but had to postpone the trip. He asked me to go to the properties to do what he had planned to do – operational – assessing homes – making recommendations.
Then an e-mail came from a manager – in the middle of the night – stating that she was terminating her employment, effective immediately. She worked out of her home and stated she was going to put all of the company equipment, including a folder with monies ready for deposit, in a market ready home – the keys to be given to the maintenance person who had also recently quit.
This e-mail woke me up. My trip was to be in two days – now what?
My boss called me: Will you take this on with an assistant? [Now he thought I needed an assistant! Not two jobs ago – but NOW? – how had I not seen this – I thought he understood.. I thought he did… but he was balancing – balancing – and I was what was in the balance.
I didn’t care about long-term – only my damn pay check – I only need to get to July 2010 – only that – fifteen more months – only that.. only til then.. til then.. only til then.
I took the day today – I did the paint run and money run – but – I kept this day for me. I ignored the phones, the computer and looming reports. They were never far away, but I left them alone – knowing the day would come and go as it would – Monday.
I need to put a box around this – to step back – or move closer – SOMETHING different to get through this.
Of course I resent these thoughts because this is my LIFE and I don’t want to get through it – I want to LIVE it. For now this is my life.
I’m going to try this a different way today.
I’m going to do what I can do – and try not to stress about what I can’t.
Deposits, Call the Clerk of Court, Prepare the court documents, Get the trash bags & deliver, Sales calls, Fire safety report for the insurance, Check painter’s progress, Call the power company, Make the list for the post office(s).
STOP trying to be perfection – admit when something is greater than I can accomplish in the given time.
Sip my coffee.
Watch the rain.
Enjoy my dog.
Slow down the pace.
Write my 100 words FIRST.
Except that’s too much to do in one day –
1) Do the bank deposits & journals
2) Pick up the trash bags & deliver them
3) Call the clerk of court
4) Call the power company
5) Make the sales calls
6) Check on the painting while I’m there with the trash bags
1) Complete the court paperwork & file it today
2) Complete the insurance company report on fire extinguishers & smoke detectors
3) Fix the fax machine and figure out why the printer won’t accept the info from the computer
4) Follow-up work orders
My coffee’s ready and the e-mails are starting to plunk into the inbox.
I’m resisting the impulse to look at them because then I’ll start the stress cycle. Of course I did look at them because it’s a draw between which is more stressful – the known or the unknown. In this case the known was not a deal –
It’s raining today. Green outside my window today.
My house is a disaster – I have no time to take care of it or to cook. I eat too many meals out and slip into bed when I return home – nothing in between.
My life has shifted – yes, I acknowledge this IS my life – not just the prelude. When one is sixty years old one can scarcely consider even a moment to be a prelude.
Now the phone rings – the incessant and demanding phone.. and then another e-mail, another phone. I glance at the e-mail to see what it is before the blip that tells me goes away. – it’s ok. Nothing stressful. Only mundane follow-up to what would have been followed up on Friday if the decision maker had been in the office when my request came in. Request – such an interesting word.
I didn’t used to have to make those requests – but there’s been a shift –
The phone again – I don’t rush to answer it – actually, I don’t rush to answer any of them: home office & daughter. My son also – but he’s usually nearby so not a call but a note in front of my eyes while I’m on the phone.. He gets it, this son – he knows the stress of this life at sixty – he feels it at thirty-two – life is stress – life is stress.
Have I written a self fulfilling prophecy now or merely a note about current events?
It’s Sunday today.
Sundays are the best – a day to put off but also to catch up
I had a leisurely brunch with my son and now am writing my 100 words.
I have a couple of reports to get in so they have them in the morning, but nothing overwhelming.
Friday I set myself up for a peaceful weekend.
I’ve also found resolve – about how to handle the current job and, more importantly, about how to get the income I need without this job.
Yes – nodding here, this is a good day – the first one in recent memory. Today
The way we feel is intrinsic – all of it.
Basic philosophy 101 – remedial even.
So why do I do it? Why do I allow the extrinsic occurrences to make my life misery?
Yes, there are situations that truly ARE misery – but they are few.
What I do with the extrinsic is what causes this overwhelm – not what is.
I need to take note of what I’m doing – reverse the effects – think of the ocean – change my breathing – sip my water – take back control.
Read these words, jac – when the overwhelm takes over – read them – be them – own them – be them.
On a day like this it seems that nothing overwhelms – the window’s open and the fan gently spinning. My dog is asleep at my feet and I have open time – no restraints [if I don’t look too far ahead – but stay in the moment.]
Resolve is easy on a Sunday. It doesn’t even feel like resolve. It simply feels like the way life is supposed to feel.
Maybe my perspective today is because my nephew is coming to stay with me. This takes me out of the moment-to-moment and tosses me into the larger view – something that daily overwhelm disallows.
I’m not good at relationships.
I don’t even want to be good at them.
I realized long ago that I’m not the type of person who makes lasting relationships. I have relationships that have lasted, but those are due entirely to the other person’s efforts.
I pull in.
I go quiet.
I don’t answer the phone.
I don’t e-mail.
To see me out, you would have to be quite astute to realize this because I’m the gregarious one – the fun one, the one who makes it all happen.
But back in my car – back in my house – finis
I blamed my husband for missing the signs of my depression. I felt he was at fault for my inability to make my life work. Well, I didn’t actually blame him for my inability to make my life work, that would be too strong – but I did blame him for not coming to me with concern, for not encouraging me to seek help – or at the very least, for not talking to me about it, for not even noticing.
When I wrote my last entry, this came to mind again: “One would have to be quite astute to realize….”
We’ve been apart for years.
My daughter is still angry about the split and blames me for not getting help for myself in order to keep the marriage intact.
The expression “elephant in the room” comes to mind whenever we talk – it has been nearly twenty years – longer since the emotional bond lapsed – lots of elephants, lots of rooms.
She blames me for not “making him be a better husband and father.” Thus, it’s clear she realizes my distress was not the only factor in the split, also clear that she believes it was up to me to fix it.
I’m not the sort of person who does that. I believe a person has the right to be who they are – that I have no right to interfere. Or is it my self esteem that got in the way? When he started to divert his attention elsewhere – did I try to reel him back in? Yes, but subtly. I was the wife who didn’t object to the golf games when they moved from 18 holes to 32 and then all weekend. I was also the wife who railed against his choosing other activities over his children – me no, them YES.
NO – I am not that sort of person. I’ve made few demands upon my children. I respect them & answer their questions. I approach landmines softly – but do approach them.
I have serious concerns about each of them – for different reasons, of course.
I support. I am available. Too much?
Will they move into independence this way?
I’ve had an able partner in keeping them dependent.. An easy dollar is not the way to teach independence.
My life thus far has been about supporting them into adulthood.
At what point will I make the shift?
At what point will they?
Be true to your heart. Don’t let others influence your choices. You live with your choices every moment of your life – long after they cease to matter to anyone else.
Know your needs. Know your wishes. Know the difference.
Be who you are. Know who you are. Don’t deviate from what you know to be true. Accept others but don’t let them infringe on your values or how you live.
Make no exceptions to this.
Each day is its own entity. Yes, they make up the totality of your life, but each day is where you are living right now.
The squirrels have had their way with me this spring. Always before they’d balance on the branch above and assess [do squirrels assess?] the situation, give a leap and land on the ground or the roof.
I have a different feeder with a larger landing surface now. I’ve been certain this was the reason. Have they evolved? They’re climbing down the chain now. What was the shift? Why didn’t they do this before?
This morning I realized with laughter that there was no great mystery.
White board entry: Cut back the limb on the tree overhanging the bird feeder, please.
The ringing phones don’t bother me now. I’m calmer also. I plan each day and when I get redirected, I keep my eye on the plan.
I spent over thirty days in despair – railing against the changes that had been thrust upon me.
I’m getting used to my new role. Change is tantamount to growth. I always thought I liked change. I used tell others that I didn’t have to go elsewhere, the jobs always seemed to change right where I stood.
Why was I so surprised, angered, hurt, and sent into a spiral of despair when this one did?
I'm trying to finish the last two entries of my 100 words and also get to the vet before noon to get the frontline for my dog.
I have to throw on some clothes and drive the ten minutes to get there.
It's already 11:23 so I need to rush, but don't want to stop because I'm so close.
I didn’t make my coffee either. I’m enjoying the laziness of the first Saturday after I decided to accept the change in my job, slow down the pace, and live again.
I need to finish this and get going! OK next!
Ok – that one’s done!
I almost couldn’t get it to go and couldn’t figure out why. Then I noticed in my rush to finish I’d forgotten to click on the date.
Now the phone’s ringing but I’m ignoring it.
Time is now 11:29. I still have time to do this, toss on the clothes, find the keys and grab the frontline before the vet’s office closes at noon.
Ok – checking word count. Only 73.. Odd how when I write a bit it always seems to be at least one fifty, but now when I’m trying to hurry it’s only 73.
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