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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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.