Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Amma Must Be Due, Because I'm a Mess

Life has been moving 90 miles an hour since my unemployment ran out unexpectedly in September (yes, I’m still tripping on that).  That’s not to assume no good things have happened, because they have.  My weight loss is steady since weight loss surgery in June (84 pounds down), I've been published with a by-line more than once in the local paper, Elizabeth is doing well in school, and Leslie is still cooking up a storm.  Despite various stress related twitches, we’re all more or less healthy.  Yet, keeping on top of home finances without busting a vein has been a challenge.

Initially, I was focused on finding work, and of course, I wanted full time work.  It wasn't happening, particularly that close to the holidays.  Thanks to previously blogged guardian angels, I got two part time jobs that I continue to be very grateful for.  They are both temporary positions I expect to wrap up by the end of March, although there has always been uncertainty around one of them. 

I was determined to get through Christmas on a good note because it’s important to me.  Not because I’m religious in the conventional sense, but for other more personal reasons.  I needed to provide my family with a decent holiday, and I was anxious about it. It wasn't a materialistic one, but it was meaningful.  Both Elizabeth and Leslie were happy and appreciative, and our little tree was the most beautiful we've had in years. I totally fell in love with it.

I've done a lot of worrying over the last four months, which isn't me.  I'm not the worrier in the family.  I'm usually confident it'll turn out alright (whatever it is) and cool with waiting to see what happens.

Lately I've been unable to see that far, if you know what I mean.

Leslie, Elizabeth and I were out last Sunday evening, and, as I was walking around, I felt normal one moment and super funky, I mean really down low, the next.  I thought my hormones were acting up, as though perhaps it was “that time in a woman’s life” (and, by the way, it more or less is, although I like to think I’m being graceful about it).  The melt-down I had the end of the night was inevitable because I tried to push through it, when I should have rested.

The next morning I woke up with my muscles stuck to the mattress, sick as a dog. The whole day was about staying hydrated so I wouldn't end up in the hospital.

Yesterday, I felt much better, but not well enough to go to work.  Still, I tagged along with Leslie on an appointment to get some fresh air. I waited for her in the car. It was the first time in months I've had a quiet hour to myself.  So there I was in the van, jotting down my thoughts on a pad and watching the people go by.  

Finally, I was able to think.

All this worry I'm doing challenges me on a basic and personal level. My last experience with corporate wasn't a good one. It was more like the polar opposite of good, or like getting a root canal that lasts a year. However, despite the personal cost and the anxiety, it gave me a way to take care of my family.  Now, as it becomes increasingly difficult to live on part-time jobs, I find myself longing for the consistency of regular full-time corporate employment.  The alternative, be it writing or another part-time job, just isn't coming through, and that isn't acceptable. 

As Leslie says, "You need to jump back into it." 

How's that for ironic.

My spiritual mother, Sri Karunamayi, is due in the Bay Area in mid-March, the same general time my temporary jobs are supposed to wrap up.  I'm convinced it’s no coincidence that these insecurities around being a provider and corporate work break out of their little cages just as Amma’s visit approaches.  It’s happened this way before.  The spiritually minded believe these things happen the way they do to highlight what we most need to work on in the presence of the masters. 

Well, I definitely get the message.  

Amma must be due, because I'm a big, nervous, worried mess.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Will writing save us again?

I woke up with anxiety today, and I’m not used to this outside of Corporate. I think all the economic nonsense we’ve been through is making me gun shy. I’m still at the gallery, but the gal I’m covering for could be back in a month. And there is only one more semester of college papers before school is out.

Then what?

I called my old boss right after Christmas because I didn’t have her address and couldn’t send her a card.  I wanted to see how she was. She was let go before I was, and then in the following months her husband was laid off of his job, as well, leaving them with one quarter of their previous income.  In our conversation, she mentioned her husband went to a seminar wherein a speaker described the working landscape in Europe as being full of contractors.  People there take a succession of temporary or part-time jobs.  This, of course, eliminates both on-boarding and benefits costs to companies. 

I wonder what it’s done to the workforce.  I know what's it's doing to me.

How do you avoid worrying about where the next job will come from?

I keep hoping, wishing and hoping, that all this writing I’m doing will amount to something. My last press release was published in the Pacifica Tribune with a by-line. That’s my second by-line for the Trib. I’ve got another article coming up this week, too.  And the work I’m doing for the AGP blog gets compliments from everyone.  I’m knee deep in my novel, too, although I’ve done numerous re-writes and changed the title.  Soon, I’ll be ready for Book 2.

I love to do art, and I have a really cool idea for the next AGP exhibition, but my writing is what saves me, I think.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it saved us this time?
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