Buy the Good Wine

Change is in the air. Actually, it happened today at my job. Two more of the original partners of the company are leaving to seek new opportunities. One surprised me, one did not.

I’m not adverse to change. I quite like it actually. There is something exciting when change happens. Yes, there are unknowns, but that’s life, right?

Maybe the news mattered less because I booked my trip to go see my family in a couple months. I mean, that’s what really matters at the end of the day. Being with my family grounds me and fills up my heart in ways only they could. As I age, I realize how precious each day is and how precious time is with those you love.

I think I will take the trip, buy the good wine, and eat deliciously. Live in the moment and make the memories.

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Cut It Out

Since the weekend was dominated by work, come Sunday afternoon, I was finally able to detach. It was then that I started to fight the negative place I fell into. 

I am usually a positive person. I really am. Even when I have a Fibro flare up, I’d rather say nothing than spout out complaints and fiery words. I was raised on the notion, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” Fine by me. I don’t have the energy to expend on expending negativity. My energy is at a premium.

So, how did I claw my way back to happy land? I did something symbolic for myself that also had a goal of visually hiding my latest challenge… hair loss. I chopped my hair off. We’ll, I didn’t. My stylist did. I have thick hair, always have. Since my flare ups have started about a year and a half ago, I’ve lost a lot on the top front of my head.

My everyday ponytail style was getting way old, as well. So, what better way to do a 180 degree job on a bad attitude than to force a change for the better?

Four inches lighter later and I’m feeling the warm fuzzies return to my thoughts and words.

Feeling better already. Now about that job situation… I’ll have to think on that a bit.

Today Rocked.

This is not my usual weekend. I don’t lead a super exciting life. That’s by design. What’s exciting to some, i.e.: going out dancing or meeting up with a group for drinks or taking long walks on the beach, ends up being exhausting for me. Stupid Fibro. I am a homebody, by nature, so I guess it’s okay.

Instead, my weekend had been filled with work-stress. Why? Not because I drag it with me into my home life like a boulder I can’t put down. It’s because I actually had to spend several hours today trying to patch up a series of mess-ups at work that caused me to miss my deadline with supplying a key report for their Executive Leadership presentation. No pressure there. Only enough to split a diamond. We’ve, meaning I’ve, pulled out all the stops to try to get this done for them and another mess-up which was technical internally has prevented me from delivering what I newly promised. Again.

I even tried to cobble together some reports that I hope will suffice as interim information, only to share it with my leader and wait for her response. And wait. And wait. It’s been three hours now. See, I can’t send anything without it being okayed because this has become such a fluster cluck. And it seems the support on this whole thing is conditional. Well, I’m the one that has to deal with the client. I’m the one that will have to get the verbal wrath.

I’m not up for being a punching bag at this point in my life. No thanks.

If you could feel my neck and trap muscles right now, you would feel rocks. This whole work situation with this client has encroached completely on my family time and has tightened me up into knots. This has put a whole new light on this job. I’ve seen some true colors, as a result.

For the first time in my life, my attitude has fallen down the mountain a bit. Oh well, they can fire me if they don’t like it.

I can be rock solid with that.

The Edge of Pain

It’s funny, yet not at all funny, how pain changes a person. I’m not talking about core beliefs or character, although, over time with enough pain, those may fall victim, as well. I mean when an onset of pain occurs; attitude, priorities and relationships are faced with the proverbial machete and chopped down to size to what’s really important. Suddenly, the worry about that work report dissolves into thin air. Who cares. Pain sure doesn’t.

Pain can either clarify things or completely muddle them. Pain is also very selfish, but reasonably so. When the body screams for help, you’d better listen.

This is my battle quite often because of my ghost affliction – Fibromyalgia. It’s the type of chronic condition that affects the musculoskeletal system, causing pain and fatigue. As a bonus, when I’m stressed, I get a flare up as my door prize. Imagine the feeling of your muscles all over your body cramping up and staying that way for long periods of time. Hours. Maybe even a day or two. Imagine your skin being so sensitive that the touch from your spouse feels like fire. It’s not you, it’s me. I have barely anything to give during a flare up. I’m lucky if I have a couple spoons left in a day, if any at all.

I don’t even want to be a taker when I’m in pain. I don’t want anything from anyone. I just want to be. I cannot tolerate a neck rub or a simple light caress. Fibro is an isolating condition. Leave me be in my cocoon of soft clothes, darkness and quiet please.

If my head is not splitting, it is a time when I do a lot of thinking. I think about how grateful I am that my condition is not worse. My pain moments make that crystal clear. I feel for those with Fibro that spend their days in bed and cannot work as a result. Fibro Warriors, indeed. I walk a fine line with my condition and the high-stress my job brings, but I’m darn grateful I can still do it.

Pain may bring me to the edge, but I find strength in the fact that it hasn’t pulled me completely under.

 

Indirectly Killing Trees

This is not me. I swear. I don’t want to be this woman.

The purpose of my job flies directly in the face of the practice de-cluttering and reducing waste. It could be argued that it helps support less clutter, but I know better. This is a realization I need to process through. How do I work and support something I don’t believe in?

Ask my best friend. She’ll tell you that if I could rid the world of anything, it would be… garbage. I picked garbage as my answer before cancer and hatred in the game of “If” during our road trip from CA to IL. And my job contributes to it, to some degree. Most of it can be recycled, but who wants to contribute to the amount of stuff that needs to go through the recycle process? Besides that, I contribute to the increased number of trees that are cut down. That is horrifying. My job supports tree murdering.

I feel like the person enabling puppy mills now. Because buying a puppy at a pet store supports the puppy mills that mass-breed dogs for their shops. It’s a total guise that buying a puppy from a shop “saves a puppy” when behind the scenes the poor mother dog that is caged constantly to continually breed to supply these shops is horrifying, as well. Ok, maybe killing trees is not as drastic, but it does have an impact to our earth, the animals that live in them, the air we breathe and our carbon footprint. I care about that.

I love the people I work with, but I don’t like one of the biggest by-products of my job. And, I’m incentivized to do more of it. I make really good money, but this is not kosher. Not kosher, at all.

I feel a Fibro flare coming on…

 

Epic Fail = Clarity

Well, it took me only a week to ditch my New Years Resolution to write for 29 days straight. A week. What a fail. And the thing is, I didn’t realize it right away. So, the second weekend in January, our family went on a long weekend trip to San Antonio for my son’s football combine weekend. When we left the house at the crack of dawn on a Thursday morning, the adventure started, my routine blew up and writing was the furthest thing on my mind.

I only realized the loss of time when we returned home late afternoon on Sunday after last minute grocery shopping and a quick dinner, when I laid my head down to sleep back in the comfort of my bed. Oops. What surprised me the most was how it was not even a thought in my mind that whole trip. Hopefully that simply meant I was fully present in the moments of my trip. It was a great trip. Except for the first day when I needed to monitor and be responsive on some of my work email.

Anyway, the point is that my 29 day experiment dropped like a rock, regardless that I could have written via my mobile phone. What an epic fail.

I stewed about it for a number of days and then realized another part of the reason for the failure. During my time off through the holidays, my regular routine was blown-up. I had time to do extra things that I wanted to do. I started working out, eating more consciously and taking time for myself.

Naturally, when break was over, my regular routine ensued, which pretty much includes stress-filled work days, scrambling to make a half-way decent dinner, deciding to shower the next day instead, followed by body and mind exhaustion. Fibromyalgia is like that. It gets the best of the energy I used to have. My ghost affliction.

So, I came to the conclusion that I likely would’ve failed even without the weekend trip thrown in the mix. That was the critical moment during my commitment that I needed to dig deep, grit my teeth and carve out time to write. I did for the first few days, but then it felt pressured.

I don’t write well under pressure. I have to feel like doing it. Suddenly, I felt like I was under the gun. An excuse? Maybe. But that’s how I felt.

With all this reflection and reading several articles by Becoming Minimalist, I am getting back up, brushing myself off and will allow myself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent. Great point. I get a do-over. Why not? I am not one to give up. When the rocks fall over, stack them back up.

Thankfully, this thought process resonated with my efforts to write. I enjoy writing – it’s my go-to place to release my cluttered thoughts and become centered. Practicing minimalism is more than letting go of stuff in one’s home. It’s also about gaining clarity in your mind. It may have taken a few weeks to untie the knots in my head about failing epically with my resolution, but now I am clear.

I have also found my focus on what I want to write about. I am starting over my 29 day experiment. I am on a quest to find ways to live more simply and find the balance I need to feel better physically. Maybe, just maybe, it could help others. I can only hope. My journey will be documented here.