I was diagnosed with SLE Lupus a while back. It was a suspected diagnosis for years, although anyone with Lupus will tell you that an official diagnosis takes a long time to get. I have no idea why... I think it has to do with sunspots or alien life on earth. Just my guess...
I work with a group of frat house boys. Not literally, but certainly figuratively. Every conversation is speckled with expletives and raunchy stories of days gone by. There is an abundance of booze and drunkenness and unbelievably uncomfortable conversations in the evenings. There seem to be no boundaries when they are together. But, it is different for me. I am criticized for either being too engaged, or not engaged enough. It is perplexing.
I spent a few days out of town recently at a team meeting, and ended up sick, as happens when you have no immune system. I didn’t want to go out and play the last two nights and was criticized immensely for it. “Be a team player” “Your co-workers feel like you are distant” “The team dinners and off-time are critical to forge a bond that is needed in this job” and yet told “Be careful what you say” “Don’t get too personal with your co-workers” “keep your distance”. I don’t know what to do with this advice except laugh and call it a double standard, and little bit of bullshit.
This company is male abundant. Most technology companies are. This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that this is one of the few times I feel a different set of rules apply because I am a woman and not a man. It makes me feel vulnerable and lacking control – something I have tried very much to avoid in my career.
Admittedly I do not currently have much of a filter when it comes to sharing. I tend to just be me. It is uncomfortable for some people, and I suppose I “get” that. But I do understand politics and business how to behave around customers.
What escapes me is a solution. I can get very good at what I do so that the other stuff doesn’t matter, grow some tougher skin, keep my mouth shut, or move on. Money is such a little whore though – and I really like having it so moving on isn’t all that appealing. That makes other fun options less intriguing (like becoming a writer or construction worker).
I lie awake in bed, waiting for the cellophane haze of the Ambien to surround me. I notice that I am always tense; my shoulders, back, neck, hands. My attempts to relax are useless, as if my mind and body have no real connection. I remember a period of time when my brother and I were much, much younger and he was faced with sleeping issues. He would try tensing every muscle and then relaxing them each one by one, trying to teach his body to relax. I have tried this. I have tried meditation. I have tried baths, candlelight, exercise, chamomile tea, reading, television, sticking to a schedule, complete silence and darkness, wine, Benadryl, Trazadone, Tylenol PM, Unisom, ditching all caffeine. And yet, sleep eludes me.
The rare times I am able to fall asleep unaided by medical intervention, I am awake after only a few hours as if I have been asleep all night. This of course leads to three o’clock death march later that afternoon. I am constantly thinking about how to get more sleep. I Google insomnia and read about how it is all psychological, all the while wishing my head were screwed on right. The same advice is everywhere – follow a schedule, get up if you cannot sleep, try not to worry about things before bed, keep a journal, do not drink alcohol or caffeine, get exercise and eat well, stop worrying about not sleeping because it won’t kill you – unless it does.
I wish I knew then what I know now – knew the things I would encounter, the emotions I wouldn’t understand, the advice I would CRAVE. I wish I had queued up a million questions for my mother and forbade her to die until she answered every single last one of them. I wish I had listened to the stories of what I said when I was three, five, eight. I don’t remember those things…the ones that seemed insignificant to me – I was trying so desperately to grow up, not to relish each painful, demoralizing moment.
I see the other side of the coin now. My kids will ask a question, display a behavior, act out in some way, and it makes me pause. I wonder what that means in the grand scheme of their character. I wonder if it is learned, experimental, natural… Did I do that? Was I like that? Were my brother and I like that? How did our mom LET US LIVE PAST 5?
In the car today, after picking up the boys, we were inundated with non-stop noise from both Roark and Cole. They were not saying anything – just trying to get a moment’s notice – some validation that we missed them, cared about them, cared about one of them more than the other one…something. And they clearly were not getting what they wanted. It escalated quickly, causing me to go crazy for 5 minutes of silence which was never to be experienced. It was almost as if they were feeding off of the frenzy of mind-madness I had brought home from work with me. They saw a weakness and went for it. The torture implement was their non-stop noise and poking at each other. All through dinner, all through errands, all the way to an hour early bedtime because I may have killed them if they were awake for one more minute.
I sit here now thinking about what happened… about the testing and trying that the boys put us through and I wonder where I will ever get a leg up. At what point do they decide it isn’t fun to mess with parents anymore? At this point, it is 9:30pm and I am just diving back into hours of work, and by now, I have no patience to think clearly through anything. I just want to veg, go to sleep and not dread tomorrow.
I find myself annoyed with the boys more than I think I should be. They fight, they test me, they complain constantly, they know no other volume than AS LOUD AS THEY CAN TALK/YELL. I don't know if it is that they are five, that there are two of them, that they are boys, a combination of those, or if it's me. God, don't let it be me...
- Take that back in the kitchen
- Cole, CUT THAT OUT
- Roark, we don't use bathroom words when talking about people
- STOP HITTING HIM
- Quit kicking your brother
- Don't tell me NO!
- Go to your room.
- I will NOT ask you again.
- Use your inside voice please.
- USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE.
- LOOK AT ME.
- If you don't use your inside voice, I will put you outside.
- No - You cannot go outside.
- Dude, stop yelling. I am right here.
- Food. IN THE KITCHEN.
- What did you JUST SAY????
- Leave that alone.
- Put that back.
- That is not yours.
- Go to the bathroom before you wet yourself. Good grief!
5 year olds argue a lot. With each other. With their parents - namely me. Yesterday Cole actually told us that he thinks we don't know anything and his friend Caden in Kindergarten knows EVERYTHING. I didn't remember these things starting so young. I remember thinking my mother knew nothing...but I really thought that started later. With the girls, they hit that mark around 11 and never really grew out of it.
Question posed during a routine health questionnaire: How many drinks per week on the average do you consume?
Depression and anxiety is a funny thing. Not as in "haha" - more like "wow, so everyone doesn't feel like this?"
"So tell me what depression feels like, how do you know you are not just sad?"
The boys turned 5 last week...two weeks ago...I don't even remember anymore. Let's just say a while ago. And those first two sentences are exactly what is wrong with me these days. I am ridiculously busy and losing my damn mind.
I have embarked on a new fitness fiasco: Strength and Muscle Training. I am not sure who to blame, perhaps my damaged brain. I want muscles. And not tiny little girl muscles - but hardcore (smallish) back, arm, calf, ab muscles. I don't want to look like a skinny, no-muscle, girl. And so I have adopted The 4 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split. If for no other reason than the kick-ass name. Seriously - who doesn't look good doing something titled The 4 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split? That's what I thought!
I have sort of turned into a running fool. People who know me would argue that I am already a fool. I don't listen to those people anymore.
The little Vegas vacation didn't happen. The whole losing-the-job activity sort of put a damper on many plans. Instead - we went camping for a night. Mother in law has not exactly been anything close to self-sufficient so it was pretty much all we could manage without putting her in respite care, which is quite expensive.
I have been emotional lately. Almost like a real girl. It is like PMS 24x7...I think. I don't really ever get PMS. Please stop giving me the evil eye - it isn't my fault. However lately, since "the job incident", I have been just on the edge of, oh - I don't know... losing my shit? I am touchy. I am on edge. I am ever-so-slightly-unstable way down at the inner core of my being. I don't even know that anyone else notices it - but I do. I don't feel the same cocky confidence that I seem to achieve so easily. My "work personality" is a bit shattered and I am left with the insecure INTJ type of person that I am inside, just oozing out of my seams. And you know what? I am not fond of this situation.
We register the boys for Kindergarten tomorrow.
At first you don't even notice anything is different. Things float along like they always have with an occasional hiccup, which you dismiss as a normal annoying occurrence of life. After all, things go wonky for all of us every now and then, right?
So your customer is driving you crazy. They keep changing their mind, demanding quick responses, asking for the impossible. "It is difficult to do business with them" you say. Well, how easy is it to do business without them? Do you know why the phrase The Customer is Always Right exists? It is really quite simple. If you don't have customers - you don't have a business. Are they always right? No, but their opinion certainly does matter. In fact, their opinion is EVERYTHING.
We have booked a little weekend vacation to Vegas - and I am as excited as a 12 year old boy with his father's playboy! I need a weekend away from the kids and responsibilities of normal life - and there is nowhere on earth that oozes irresponsibility like Vegas baby. Vegas.
We have a word game I am sure I have written about before that we play at our house. More specifically that the boys like to play. I don't know how it started, however we end up listening to this on every car ride now:
My husband just came inside after walking the dog. I asked how it was out there. His response: Nice. I mean it's not that cold. It is something like 33 degrees.
I recently finished dealing with two speeding tickets that I received inside a two week period late last year. One resulting in defensive driving and a hefty fine. The other resulted in legal fees, a hefty fine, and a promise to behave for 60 days. The common denominator here was HEFTY FINES. And while I don't like parting with my hard-earned money, I have come to accept that I will be doing so, at least periodically, while I am continuing to drive. And because of this, I would like to make a plea to the government...