I’m Doing My Level Best Right Now.

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Life is complicated right now. I have been overwhelmed by it all .. and I’ve been frozen with fear and anxiety. The top anxiety producers are:

  1. Resigning from my job. It could have been a great job.  It wasn’t – made horrible by a terrible manager and consistently bad experiences .. I call it a death by a 1000 cuts.  I know I’m not alone here – check this out – Why I Quit My Job by Life of Kai.  This is my experience so eloquently written.  I do not mean to diminish Kai’s experience as a PoC, or to diminish that the Ad Industry needs an upgrade.  But this story is my story too (I’m a white woman working in Tech).  Terrible managers and the leadership teams that support them exist in all industries.  It truly is death by a 1000 cuts (politically correct terminology is micro-aggressions).   I just wished I had the strength this woman had to recognize the problem as not mine and resign earlier.  I would have more confidence at this point and have spent less time trying to improve a impossible situation.
  2. Risking My Retirement.  Given #1 above,  I have to support myself. So I decided to sell my #1 asset – my California property.  It is my largest asset.. and I’m selling it 20 years prior to retirement.  Am I crazy?  Yes.  It feels like crazytown right now given the stock market, political landscape, and the uncertainty of the midterms.  Yes, I have a 401K and an IRA (I’ve been saving since I started my career at 24), but those haven’t grown in value nearly as much or as quickly as real estate in CA.  So in order to support myself while I look for another job, I need to sell this asset.  It hasn’t been easy to unload an expensive house in a volatile market.
  3. Planning/managing a home remodel.  I’ve been living in a shit hole. I purchased a house a year ago in as-is condition. It was a rental for 28 years before I purchased it. Everything is in original/terrible condition.  Why did I buy it? Because it was close – 4 blocks – from the family I love.  My living condition has gotten the better of me and I just cannot live like this anymore. Given the current market, finding a contractor is challenging… I finally found one.. and he is available Nov. 15th.   Yeah me!!   But #1 was unplanned and #2 has been challenging, making me stress out about the $$ I’m spending on the remodel (Yes, I put a deposit down… I need this change for my sanity)..

Yes,  I am very aware that these are all self-inflicted wounds.  On top of causing my own trouble, I obsess about being poor, not having a roof over my head, and eating cat food to survive.  What can I say, when you grow up poor, these things never leave you… I wake up physically sick every morning.  I have nightmares about working at Walmart and eating cat food to survive in my old age..  The anxiety is overwhelming.

Given all of this, I struggle every day to get anything done.  And as a Type A person that likes to get shit done, I am mortified by my state.  I literally cannot make myself do what I know needs to be done.  I am doing my best to not let it get to me and to overcome it.  I am embarrassed to share my goals with you at this time as they are tiny… but they do get me out of bed and accomplishing something each day.

Here are a few things that motivate me:

  • Daily emails from Inspire More.  I read these emails every morning and it let’s me know that a) there are good people in this world, and b) I can be one of them with a small, kind gesture.
  • Positive Interactions with Others.  Anytime I go out of my house, I focus on having positive interactions with others. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I am hyper aware of my interactions with others and do what I can to make it positive for the other person.
  • Make a difference.  I do my best to make a difference in every life I touch.  I see others doing this and it makes me happy. I don’t care what it is, if someone has passion to help others and make a positive impact on others, I’m all for it.  For me, its a small action – smiling and saying hi, listening to someone who wants to share there story, or showing appreciation for the help/kindness of others (Home Depot you are the best!!).  The kindnesses I am watching now are:
    • Marc Benioff’s effort to help the homeless.  Hands down we need more Marc Benioff’s.  I have traveled a lot internationally, and the USA is the only country that doesn’t take care of their own… makes me sad. I see how other countries take care of their people. And we, the USA, richest country in the world, do not make it priority to take care of our own peeps.  It hurts me deeply.
    • Kathrine Zellner , Laura Nirider, Alison Claytonand any/all involved with Innocence Projects. Wow, there are a lot of innocent people serving time.  Can you imaging if this was you?  The more I research this, the scarier it is for the the innocent. I have a cousin in prison, serving a life sentence, for a murder she didn’t commit.  I’ll write more about this in a future post, but the justice system is not kind to the innocent.
    • For the Love of Farm Animals.  Why people on this planet that hurt animals is a mystery to me.  I am the person who saves spiders..  I can’t help it.  I imagine their families missing them…  and they do eat misquotes.. What does it hurt to guide them back to the great outdoors?  But what about those awesome animals bred for our food?  I have fallen in love with Esther the Wonder Pig and her friends..  I’m hard pressed to eat pork and turkey at this point in my life.  It’s easy to make a difference – only purchase food from humane farms, donate and save an animal or two, or visit a farm sanctuary near you

A very long, rambling post… yes I’m drinking wine…    I’ll do my best to write more consistently.  🙂

If you have made it this far, then you have probably been in a similar place.  Please let me know how you have gotten over your life challenges, how you get out of your own way, and the path that ultimately set you free..

 

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Think, Think, Think, Think, Think…

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I’m so frustrated with myself for so many reasons.

I’m in Nashville this week, on a business trip. Prior to coming to Nashville, I was in Utah visiting with family and friends.

My birthday was last Friday – I’m officially 44. I spent the weekend with my friends in Park City. They spoiled me with great meals and their fabulous company. C-Licious, one of my best friends, moved to Utah 10 months ago. I miss her desperately. It was so good to see her, but it also made me realize that I do feel really incredibly alone in CA without her. She was the one I visited with most often …we spent a couple of times a week together as well as at least one weekend night. I do have other very close friends near me, but they all have their busy lives and I do not see them often.

Now that I’m in Nashville, I am interacting with folks but I’m not connecting. It is like I am numb all over, and no matter what I do I can’t seem to feel.  Feel anything.  I’ve heard some great stories about people, friends, their families.  Normally I would be totally engaged… moved by the intimacy of sharing experiences.  Not this week – I really like the folks I’ve spent time with, but I am having a difficult time connecting.  That is my thing – I have an ability to connect with most people on just about anything…  I just couldn’t do it this week.

What is wrong with me? I had such aspirations at the beginning of this year. I was so excited, so energized to make changes.  And now the year is almost half over and I’ve done nothing to change the course of my life.  I know I need to, I know I want to, I’ve even written it all out in my 2015 New Years Resolutions. I know the important things take time, but god damn it, I need a bone.  Something, a small sign that this is the right path… that life is going to get better, a light at the end of the tunnel… that things WILL get better soon… I keep thinking that I need some time off, a trip away, a long one where I can regroup and get my bearings back…  but I am not in a financial position to do this.  This is something I will create for myself so this situation never happens again.  But for now, it’s not going to happen.

All I can do is think.  My mind just spins, over and over.  I moving towards my New Years Resolutions, but outside of that, I’m doing nothing.  Because my NYR are taking a while, I feel I’m frozen. I’m standing still, unable to move in any direction. I keep telling myself that I will feel different once I reach my goals – once I lose the extra weight, once I get my finances in order, once I get to where I want to be professionally…. but these things aren’t going to happen if I do not DO SOMETHING.

I am in a sad state.  I know that this is just a phase, and it will pass.  But right now I’m desperate for change. Desperate to get out of this life I’m in – that I wake up to everyday and wish desperately that it was different.  . So much so that I am now seriously considering moving to Utah.  I’ve been looking at real-estate – what I can afford is exactly what I want AND I can afford it.  My biggest fear about moving back is being alone… Salt Lake City isn’t exactly the mecca for singles, especially singles in their mid-forties.  But it’s not like I’ve done that well for myself in CA.  And the good part is a better quality of life, I will be closer to my family, and of course to C-Licious.

Do i stick to my current plan, my New Years Resolutions, or do I just pick up and move on? Moving seems easier, my life would be easier – less financial stress, less job stress, I would be closer to my family and friends.  The thing that hold me back is that I would not be able to get back into the Bay Area (once I sell I can’t purchase again – all prices are out of my range)….. .  the real question is do I really care about having a foothold in the Bay Area?

Well, it’s late in Nashville. There was a party tonight and I couldn’t muster up the energy to go.  One of the first cities that I’ve visited that I didn’t get out and mingle with locals.  Sad really, I was very much looking forward to this trip – to seeing Nashville. I’ve heard so many great things about the city and the people.  Another thing that I didn’t do because i just didn’t have the energy to get out and socialize.

I’m so lame right now.  Lame friend, lame person, dull and unexciting.  I’ve lost my Paula Peppiness… I’ve got to get my groove back.  Any guidance on how to do this would be helpful and appreciated.

Now I need to get to bed so I can catch a plane home.  I get home late on Friday and I’m looking forward to seeing and holding my precious babies.

Life Lesson #4899770.

My-heart-is-so-tiredI picked a random number for the Life Lesson number, but God, it feels like there has been too many of them as of late. How many have I ignored these past years or should have recognized?

This weekend has been brutal for me.  I spent the entire time either crying, sleeping, or getting drunk (yes, by myself).  Except for tonight – Sunday night.  I’m watching one of many movies, one of which was a foreign film, which makes me focus on the words on the bottom of the screen and not the pity party I’ve been having so ensconced in all weekend.

I can’t believe how much I have cried this weekend.  I almost didn’t go out today because my eyes are so swollen (Visine keeps the eyeballs white, doesn’t help with puffiness). And when I did go out, I cried between each stop (3 stops in total) and had to talk myself out of not stopping (stops included Home Depot, Crystal Springs Grocery, and a drop off to a local Thrift Store). I feel like I’m behaving like a child, and honestly speaking, a spoiled child.  I knew how Atrain felt, I knew how I felt, but the loss of his presence is hard…much harder than I thought it would be.  I’ve not spent a weekend alone in 3 years.  It was an odd experience, one I didn’t like.  BUT I did muster through it, I did actually finish the 3 out-of-the-house tasks. That is something.  Or at least it feels like something. I’m celebrating – with a bottle of wine no less!

I do believe the best way to finish a “first weekend without your partner” is to drink a bottle of wine and watch a foreign film.  I recommend this only because it worked for me. I am drinking a bottle from BevMo – Valpolicella.  And the foreign film I’m watching is Happy Happy.  This is classified as a comedy, this IS NOT a comedy.  It’s dark, it’s sad, I don’t know on what planet this would be considered a comedy.  But I understand it. I get the loss, the desire for sex, and ultimately the new beginnings that this movie speaks of….. It’s really about how things come to change through a physical move, a renewed focus, a new perspective. About how life can unfold as you least expect it.  It’s a cross between The Holiday, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Brokeback Mountain, and a little bit of Butter in there…   I don’t know why in the world this would be considered a comedy, but it is…

I did not do any work this weekend. Not because I didn’t think about it, not because it’s not due, but because I couldn’t bring myself to do anything outside of crying, my tasks (as listed above), or working my ass of trying not to focus on my current predicament.  Yes, I will feel the pain tomorrow when clients/customers/colleagues expected something from me and I did not deliver.  I will have to deal with that.  I am wondering how I did this after my divorce – how did I keep my job??  My thought is that my manager helped me out greatly – helped steer me in the right direction while I was not right.

So it is early – but my girls are home with me, I need to get some sleep, and pull myself together for work tomorrow.  I’m preparing for a long week ahead.  Next weekend is a girls weekend, which I’m super unprepared for ..

 

Perception is Reality.

sun_through_clouds_2560x1600Like I know what reality is.  I know what my world is like…  I’ve been busy dealing with my stuff and planning/executing my trip to Australia.  I think I understand what other people’s worlds’ look like….

My stuff… what is that? I’ve moved, shifted the life I wanted but wasn’t real in order to better my future life.  I’ve been feeling morose about the changes, and trying to adjusting to my new life.  I’ve made some major adjustments, the most notable is that I moved out of my house and am now living in a small 1 bedroom cottage, otherwise known as a converted garage apartment.  The loss of “my life” includes the loss of the things I love, the space I love. These changes are essential to me getting back on track financially.  I now have to admit it, I’m depressed about this move.

I now recognize that I’ve been avoiding my situation… and thought I was handling it well.  But this is not the case, not only have I not handled it, its effecting my work.  My manager asked me today if something was wrong, something significant like cancer.  Why? Because I’m not as engaged (dedicated, committed, passionate) as I need to be.  She wasn’t telling me because I’m in trouble, she asked me from sheer concern.  I love this woman, she has busted her ass to “prove herself”, but in reality, she is the best leader at my current company.  When I grow up I want to be just like her. She is amazing, and I appreciate her concern.

I’m surprised it took me so long to recognize/admit my situation.  I fell into the abyss before (during and slightly after) my divorce.  My doctor gave me some pills to help me deal with it, which was fabulous.  I know that there are pills that will help me pull out of my current funk, and my doctor will prescribe them, but I don’t want to use pills this time.  I think this is just part of life – to feel the highs, you have to feel the lows.  I just happen to be experiencing a low period. Just kidding, funny aren’t I??? I think so.   I’d love to have drug to cover this up, but there isn’t one.

Anyway, I now realize that not only HAVE I NOT BEEN hiding/handling it all that well.  I put it off my feelings because I have been dealing with the enormity of “my reality”, which were these life changes that I’m not happy about making.  But the situation is real, I’ve already made the changes, so I need to get over it.  So what does this mean to me? I need to get off my lazy ass and get with a program.  Wake up, drink a plant-based breakfast to get new energy, start exercising, and in general, get my shit together.

Tonight is the night – that I’m not doing anything, once again.  but tomorrow, I need to live my New Year’s Resolutions.  God damn, its March already, it’s time I get my shit together right?  I’m going to drink a plant-based drink for energy, eating more veggies for health, and drink wine for sanity, and in all of this, lose the 20 pounds I need to lose for my Yacht Body!!   Tomorrow I’ll figure out exactly how I’m going to execute on my plan.

Remember Me?

glass-halffullvsemptyI wasn’t sure what to title this post as I have been gone forever.. only writing now because I have a few minutes AND I’m not completely bitchy grumpy (thank you G.G Dirty for teaching me the ways of subliminal aka strikeout).

I think this might be the first night I’ve had to myself in six months.  I should be working, unpacking, organizing.. you name it, it should be happening, I should be doing it.  Instead, I’m doing what I love to do .. write.  So many things are going on in my head, this post will be a dyslexics/multiple personality dream come true.  So, being that I’m OCD, I’ll bullet every thought…

Diet/Exercise/Health.. blah blah blah

  • I stopped taking Qsymia immediately after starting it.. As much as I want to be skinny (and I really really do), this drug made me feel like I was having a heart attack. I had to stop it…  or risk losing my life.  Which I’m o.k. with (losing my life) except that I don’t have a living will in place and I want to make sure that all my financial plans have the appropriate beneficiaries (NOT my ex).
  • I have lost 4 pounds in the last month.  My motivation is clear – I will not be the short fat friend at my friend’s wedding in September.  And honestly, I’m sick and tired of being fat and tired.  I’ve just stopped eating everything – I eat half of what I’m served… . And I’ve cut out carbs for the most part.  That is all I’ve done.  I wish I could say I’ve been eating healthier, exercising more.. but it would all be a lie.  I need to exercise just to clear my head, but alas, I’ve still not been able to do it given my work commitments.
  • I am actually craving a workout. I’m desperate to get away from work… I’m willing to do anything, even if that means exercise. My body needs it, my head needs it.

State of Mind and other Uninteresting Topics

  • I’ve moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend.   Its great in so many ways.  The move wasn’t easy but we did it well together, his ying to my yang, yada yada.  … My boyfriend is so good to me – treats me like a queen, would do anything for me….. but god damn it if I don’t think about My Mr. Big every F-U-C-K-I-N-G day.  What is wrong with me?  I have a great guy who treats me so well, takes such good care of me, but every time I see a BMW 750 IL (doesn’t even matter what color these days) I think of him.  The man retreated from my life without notice, never to appear again (at least hasn’t tried to make contact in the last 2+ years that I’m aware of).  I am well aware of the good and bad we shared. In my 42 years of life, what I shared with My Mr. Big was unique and special… It’s not that I’m not over it, it’s just that I would like to experience it again.  I loved the feeling of being cherished while cherishing that same someone.  That unique connection, that apparently I only felt… but still, I want to feel that again.
  • I’ve got a serious case of “the envies”. I am no fun to be with.  Everyone else’s life seems easier to me right now.  I am so heavy with responsibility, with financial weight, with physical weight (see topic above)…  I’m just so sick of myself and envious of those that are skinny, thin, don’t have to work, are supported by trust funds, rich husbands, or in general don’t have to work a 16 hour workday (yes, those of you who are union who complain about an 8  hour day, go somewhere else, I can’t hear you).
  • In addition to the above, I have nothing going on hobby wise.. I have no time for my jewelry making, for catching up with friends, for exercising, for anything other than sleep.  My new sewing machine is still sitting in the box that I received it in from Amazon in January. As my mom used to say, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all”…  I’m only silent when I’m not drinking… which unfortunately for me (and the rest of you) has been too much of my time.

In general, I’m a Pissy Patty.. a Negative Nelly… a Bitter Betty…  I’m no fun to be with. I don’t even like myself right now. If I could take a shower and rinse myself of myself (shit, I scrub myself raw to get out of this skin), I would do it….

How do I get out of this funk? How does a person wake up one day and choose to see a glass half full?  I’ve been trying, making a concerted effort to think about it every day… but god damn, if at the end of every day, I don’t think to myself that a) “that was wishful thinking”, and b) “when is my head going to become dislodged from my ass”?

What is it that tips the scale that pushes someone to just give up and not care vs. waking up and giving it one more shot (one more day)?  When I wake up, I’d love to just go back to sleep and not wake up…..  but I drag myself out of bed, get myself ready for work, and get another day under my belt…  When will I start caring about what I’m doing vs. just going through the motions?  Is it the job? Is it my relationship? Is it my situation? What tugs at your heart-strings? Your health strings? Whats important to your life, how do you know it, and how do you keep track of it, stay on top of it?

One last thing, a few posts ago I said I knew how to use Facebook.  I lied. I don’t get it. I tried to change my picture from a half hotdog to a real picture and it didn’t work. I give up.

Oh, and one more thing. I live walking distance to downtown San Mateo, CA.  Outside my window I can hear a guy walking home a drunk girl. He is being really nice, asking her where she lives… .. she’s not sure what block her house is on.  So I ask you, whose fault is that? This girl is too stupid to know NOT to get too drunk that she can’t walk to her own house/condo/home?  I am just disgusted with her… stupid girl.  If I see this girl on Maury Povich in 10 years and doesn’t know the father of her baby, I get it.  She set herself up.

Nope, stupid girl isn’t going to be my last thought for tonight.   I’m grateful for my wonderful cats. The transition to the new house has been almost seamless.  You know why? Because they thing I was most worried about – the cats – has caused me zero worry. They have taken the move in stride and are as comfortable here, in the new condo, in a more condensed area, as they were spread out at the Big Casa. They are the best pets/kids anyone could ever ask for. I’m lucky they picked me and stuck with me!!  Now I just have to worry that they will stay with me…..

Workplace Bullying.

Some people just aren’t very nice.  What makes them this way?  Why do they enjoy hurting other people?

I found this link on workplace bullying – http://www.academia.edu/161810/Potential_Legal_Protections_and_Liabilities_for_Workplace_Bullying

They define workplace bullying as:

“Workplace bullying can be defined as the “repeated, malicious, health-endangering mistreatment of one employee by one or more employees”

This results in significant harm to the mistreated employee:

“Bullying can inflict devastating harm on targeted employees. According to Dr. Gary Namie, severely bullied workers may experience conditions such as clinical depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, impaired immune systems, and even symptoms consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many of these individuals are faced with life-altering decisions about whether to stay in or leave a job.”

I have experienced everything listed here.  I gained 10 pounds. I have significant digestive issues – I take 8 pills a day to help me with digestion, regularity, etc.   My doctor has also given me several prescriptions to help me deal with my anxiety and depression, and my last blood test indicated high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which has NEVER been an issue before now.    His recommendation to me was to quit my job – that is was having a negative impact on my health.

I wanted to make things work.  I spent most of the year trying to “turn her around”; have her see the real me (not her version of me), or at the very least just respect me and the work that I do.  I gave up about a month ago – when a another colleague came into town, and she was nice, friendly, and kind to him.  The words “thank-you” actually escaped her lips, to  him of course, when the truth is, he put us 3 days behind schedule.  It was this point that I lost it – I realized, that no matter what I did, how I did it, it was never going to be enough. She has just had it out for me since the beginning for whatever reason. It is the way it is and there is nothing I could possibly do to change her opinion of me.  

These last 10 months have been so difficult, so challenging. I experienced something that I never thought could ever happen to me. I’m not a victim – I’m likable, professional, and easy to work with.  I’m friendly, I’m kind, I’m a team player, I like people, I like to solve problems. It really never ever occurred to me that this would be the end to this professional chapter.

Yes, my management was/is aware of the situation.  I did not contact HR (I believe that HR is there to protect the company, not me), and to be honest, I didn’t have time. I was truly working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, for many many months.

This is it for me. I’ll write about my vacation and the amazing oppotunities and adventures I have ahead of me.

Its My Fault You See.

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t leave well enough alone… I’ve got to know,  why did Mr. Showtime fall off the face of the earth?

So, I sent Mr. Showtime an email, a nice one, basically stating that I had enjoyed getting to know him, but I was now clear, based on his actions, that he was not interested in pursuing anything with me, I told him that I would have preferred for him to tell me in person, that I’m just that kind of gal.   I also let him know that I would be sending his things to him and asked that he return my eye pillow.  Wished him well… yada yada.

The good news is he responded.  The bad news is that I’m still in the dark….  here is his response.

 Hi “Paula”,
I will forward your eye pillow of course, and thank for the nice note and for forwarding my things. While we had an amazing time, you made it perfectly clear on several occasions that you don’t do drama, and I have some sudden and serious drama in my life right now, so to spare you the drama I thought it best to walk away. I am sorry if my actions caused you any pain, but I assure you the drama would have been worse.
Please take care of yourself.

 I do appreciate that he responded, and I’m relieved that he is still alive (albeit in a some sort of “serious drama” hell).  I’m not any closer to an answer, but this will just have to do. It’s clear to me he has zero intention of calling me back or reconnecting with me.  

So to answer the question from my original entry – how do people do it?  Here is a good example of how they do it – they just shut down/off and walk away.

And on a side note, unlike Dear Paula Letter Writer’s response, Mr. Showtime’s response seems to be his own (not cut and pasted from other emails, websites, etc.)….

I will have to update my Roster to reflect my time with Mr. Showtime.  As quickly as this unexpected goodness came into my life, it has also ended.