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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Stuff I must work out 
3rd-Feb-2010 06:41 pm
Figuring shit out
First off: I love my job, and I love the people in my life, et cetera.

...so now you know I'm going to kvetch here.

Also? There will be those who want to smack me upside the head because what I'm kvetching about is that there is too much awesome in my life. Which may sound like "Hey, if that's your biggest problem..." But we know it's not, so we can set that aside for now, plzkthx. Because I am genuinely having a difficulty here.

In a nutshell: My entire Boston life, over the past few years, has been highly structured. Even if it hasn't looked that way from the outside. I've taken on a lot of miscellaneous projects and responsibilities... mostly because I could, because I wasn't working. So I was the person who had the time to manage everything. And that life was very much a well-oiled machine. I got a lot done. Sometimes got overwhelmed, but hey, it was a lot, and my medical upfuckery is essentially a full-time job on its own.

And so now I have shoehorned four hours of work and two hours of commute into each weekday.

And my intricate Jenga has gone tits-up.

Today's the first day I've spent a significant amount of time home and awake in a full week.

...keep in mind that I still have medical upfuckery.

This is not good.

It's not good when I'm up past my body's demands of SLEEP NAO just trying to figure out how I can possibly fulfill my weekend commitments. Said to Mark on Gchat: "I need to know like now if you can pick Elayna up for the TeenLife Volunteer Fair on Sunday, because $COLLEAGUE is taking the LSAT on Saturday and is having a party that night that'll run after the buses stop and if Elayna has a ride I can see if I can crash there and we can just go straight to the fair (where we are tabling for BARCC) from his place, but if she doesn't have a ride, I have to go home between, and would have to take a cab - or not go to the party, but I feel guilty because I never get out to people's stuff. And there is that other party right after the Fair, but Elayna may have to sell Girl Scout cookies then. She has to on Saturday. I'm helping with that sale, then going to the Saturday party, but I need to know your plans like now oh god I'm tired."

There may have been more punctuation, but I refuse to swear to that.

I would *like* to be dating more. But when I joke at peer supervision meetings that whoever I date next has to become a CAPS volunteer so I can see them at meetings and tablings, I am not actually joking.

So. I have a lot going on.

And all of it is important, and none of it can be delegated.

My brain locks up every time I try to list everything. But basically there is kid stuff, work, writing, volunteer stuff, social life, making stuff, medical stuff... and the house is a wreck, and I don't get help with that, but that, I know, is because Adam and Elayna have different standards of clean and sometimes just do not see the issues I see. Of all of that? I can try delegating house stuff, but it hasn't worked so far.

Have I mentioned I'm tired?

And the social stuff is worth preserving. You may quirk an eyebrow over the two parties. But if all I'm doing is working myself to the bone and not allowing myself time with friends? That's not good either. And this weekend's gatherings = two entirely different social groups. (But I will be attempting to effect a crossover.) The problem with loving so many people is that then you have so many people to hang out with!

I could volunteer less, now that I work at BARCC and would therefore not be taking any time away from them, as they get more of my time than ever before. And truly, I have cut back. But I like my volunteer work. More than almost anything else, it energizes me. I love it and I'm good at it and I do good things.

So I'm trying to figure out a balance. I feel okay about the fact that I haven't yet; this would be a massive adjustment for anyone. But I keep feeling like I'm never going to not be running myself ragged unless I give stuff up, and I can't bear the thought of giving any of my stuff up. I need to figure this out.

In the meantime, instead of being the housecleaning dervish I told myself I needed to be this afternoon, I curled up and read a book. I still feel "aaaaagh" about the house. But I'm still wiped out, and figure I'd be even worse off if I *hadn't* taken reading time.

I have tomorrow after work as unstructured time, and Friday afternoon as well. Friday night I'm tabling for BARCC at a production of the Vagina Monologues. If you want to spend time with me this week, you should go. *wry smile*

Now I watch SNL with the family.
Comments 
3rd-Feb-2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Just a reminder to keep inline with the golfballs of your life.

Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed, I remember this, and things fall into place.
4th-Feb-2010 12:13 am (UTC)
I know that story.
4th-Feb-2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Hee! I'd never heard that story before.

And now I want to try it and see if it actually works physically.
3rd-Feb-2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
So, really, the complaint is not "there is too much awesome" but "I'm having trouble adjusting the balance among my awesomes", yes?
4th-Feb-2010 12:58 am (UTC)
That, yep.
(Deleted comment)
4th-Feb-2010 12:03 am (UTC)
You need to find someone whose idea of a good date is cleaning house...
4th-Feb-2010 01:02 am (UTC)
I so wish.
4th-Feb-2010 12:13 am (UTC)
I think I get it. It's tough when there's so much that needs you, that you need, and not enough of you to go around and still stay healthy and sane (and when you have wonky health, it's even less predictable).

If you figure it out, let me know? I just got handed an assignment that could enable me to write my own ticket someday...provided I don't choke on it all :-)
4th-Feb-2010 12:19 am (UTC)
Too Much Awesome actually IS a genuine problem. It's not as obvious a problem as Too Much Suck, but at least, with Too Much Suck, you know that the goal is to reduce the Suck.
4th-Feb-2010 12:25 am (UTC)
There's also the whole "Major life changes [like returning to work] are stressful and require adjustments and that's hard, even when they are major life changes that are Awesome and Wanted."
4th-Feb-2010 12:20 am (UTC)
I...I got tired just reading that, and I haven't got your medical upfuckery!

I mean, Damn you need to be at least two people to handle that load... I mean, not even Bruce Wayne has that level of work/social-life/work overload going on.

I think you seriously need to think about cutting back on something at least...
4th-Feb-2010 12:26 am (UTC)
You're trying to find a balance, in the face of your "I know my candle might be short, so I will burn it all the brighter" mindset, which you somehow failed to mention in this post, despite acknowledging the medical upfuckery. But that's a constant pervasive pressure, and it's contributing to all of the rest of this.

If something has to give (and it will) let it be the house.
4th-Feb-2010 01:05 am (UTC)
*nods* I worry that I harp on that too much, but yeah, it's a factor.
4th-Feb-2010 12:26 am (UTC)
I know that feeling really well. *hugs*
4th-Feb-2010 12:29 am (UTC)
There is an episode of Scrubs that I feel is relevant, which really, is no surprise. I think you guys watch, now I can't remember. But I'm going to pretend you do. Remember when Dr. Cox got promoted and started dropping all kinds of balls like forgetting to pick up his kid, and people kept telling him that with all his new responsibilities he was going to have to let some stuff go and he was all "NO I WILL NOT I AM DR. COX I DO WHAT I WANT" only, you know, different words. :) And in the end he did exactly that, it took him a few months to get it all sorted out, but he kept things the way he liked them. So you will get there. Because it's what you want, and you are a stubborn little thing. Or, you know, tenacious. ;)
4th-Feb-2010 12:30 am (UTC)
It's even harder than saying it to Elayna: sometimes you just have to tell yourself "no". It sucks. Your friends will not hate you for taking care of you. If they do, they are not your friends.

Hang in there. Have fun. But be firmer about personal limits. I mean it. If you do, you can have a gluten-free cookie. ;)
(Deleted comment)
4th-Feb-2010 01:38 am (UTC)
before you declare with certainty how none of this can be delegated, ask yourself two things: 1) how many friends do i have? and 2) if I suddenly became physically unable to do all this, what would *actually* happen?

then remind yourself of the likely consequences of being on overdrive for weeks on end, and pleasepleaseplease find a way to delegate before the tottering Jenga mass becomes a heap of random pieces on the floor.

4th-Feb-2010 01:48 am (UTC)
-huge hugs- I hope you figure out the balance soon.
4th-Feb-2010 03:25 am (UTC)
You have undergone a lifestyle change. This means there needs to be an adjustment. You'll learn what you can and cannot handle and you'll adjust. It takes time. Try to be forgiving and patient with yourself.

And try to be forgiving and patient with yourself when you realize you CAN'T do everything. It may very well be that you'll have to cut back on something somewhere. Life is one long juggling act!
(Deleted comment)
4th-Feb-2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Good luck with finding your balance. :)
4th-Feb-2010 05:04 am (UTC)
Oh, I am so in the same place right now...

Instead of working a single "9 to 5" type job, I've got several small part time gigs going, as well as working to start up my own business...

Add in all of my volunteer stuff... and managing my recently deceased grandmother's estate issues...

And I'm having trouble keeping all of the balls in the air...

And this is coming from the queen of juggling...

I may just have to be demoted to princess of juggling...

Hopefully it's just how change works for us... we both need to give ourselves lattitude to let some things go because we need time to adjust to what's going on around us...

*hugs*

And don't feel guilty about taking "me time"... it's the only way to stay sane, and healthy...
4th-Feb-2010 06:51 am (UTC)
You will figure this out. That may mean some things slip or are de-emphasized...and that's okay.
4th-Feb-2010 12:52 pm (UTC)
Taking time for yourself is a good thing to do. I hope you can find the help, balance, and reassurance you need to keep up the level of awesomeness to which you have become accustomed. :-)
4th-Feb-2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Here's to lives with tons of stuff worth agonizing over balancing!

I hope you post more about this as you figure out how to balance things, because man, I am looking for tips (especially from people like you who seem to Be Doin' It Right) in the overload department.
4th-Feb-2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
You may growl for this suggestion. You may think it's the craziest damned thing ever to suggest. You may say, "That is NOT what this job is for!" It may sound insane. But.. think about it a bit, and it may sound less insane.

Have you thought about hiring a once-a-week cleaning lady? (Not a service, those are usually more expensive.)

I read your stuff everyday. I KNOW money is tight. I also know the house stuff--cleaning, I mean--is the least of everyone's worries and tends to get pushed to the back burner by everyone (not everyone in your life, everyone EVERYone). But coming home to it can also be very very draining, metally and also physically for when it does get caught up.

I know it sounds crazy, I do... but... ...sometimes it's entirely worth it.
(Ie if having a cleaning person makes it so you can keep your job and be sane.)
4th-Feb-2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
Balance will come in time. You'll work it out. I know you will. Breathe in, breathe out. :D
5th-Feb-2010 05:29 am (UTC)
First off, *hug*

I have had to do time-juggling acts in my life at times. Sometimes it has meant giving something up or doing less of something I want to do. All I can say is: you shoehorned all the stuff you wanted to do before this into the available time you had. This available time is now reduced by 25% or so a week if my math is right. I do not envy you the decision you will eventually make because each one will feel like a loss. Barring a chauffeur bringing you to and from work it doesn't look like you can squeeze more time out.

I feel for you.
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