Monday, August 6, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
The Year of the Rooster
Saturday, February 18, 2012
- I must find a new job. Not negotiable.
- I must plan my sister’s wedding. Not negotiable.
- I must lose 10 pounds for sister’s wedding. More like dream scenario. Not exactly best way to negotiate with self.
- I must learn how to plan a wedding. See number two.
- I must stop eating chocolate donuts. And plantain chips. This could be the most daunting of any of these tasks, including planning the damn wedding.
- I have to apply to jobs, but I keep getting distracted by kitten pictures.
- Wedding boards on Pinterest are fu*%$!g awesome, but when the hell will I find the time to make any of that shit?
- In my mom’s words: I am not a responsible person. But I still want a kitten...Presumably because the things on this list are creeping up and scaring me, so I want to assume the fetal position. If I had a kitten I think I would be less scared.
- A kitten would love me.
- I would love a kitten. And the circle of life continues.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Head over Heels - When life threatens to crush you.
Sometimes, life starts pushing at you in various forms. Your job, your family, your friends - each piece eventually melds together to become one blinding force that you feel is going to overwhelm you.
As a protective mechanism (and maybe a reflex, the older you get) you push away all the things that frighten you or make you uncomfortable. In your inner sphere, your goal is to include only those things or people that act as a balm to you. The rest you will willfully ignore because it’s a threat to you.
But ignoring only leads to a time bomb. The blinding force is still there, albeit unseen, and one day, when you least expect it, it can fall out of the sky and crush you.
- Maybe it’s your boss, who demands too much from you and can’t stop to appreciate what you have done and instead focuses only on what you haven’t. Your In-Box and your flagged items become a slimy, one-eyed monster that you can’t escape, but which you cannot kill. Yet. Push.
- What if a small paycheck (or none at all) have left you in a state of fear and speechlessness? Push.
- There might be a new person in your life who gives you all sorts of great feelings, but in a heartbeat can erase all the good and drag you into a vicious negative thought cycle. Maybe said person makes you question if you shouldn’t keep looking, since you’re afraid they already have. Push.
- What about that pile of books on your desk that you haven’t made a dent in? You might keep promising to make a little time everyday and get through the books. The stressor could be that you keep breaking these promises and revile yourself even further because of it. The books, you understand, are not the issue, but your own failed attempts to ever make progress, with anything. Push.
- Maybe it’s the scale in the hallway, which refuses to recognize the pounds you’re determined to lose and insists on showing you the wrong weight. Every day. Push.
- Maybe it’s your quest to quell the emotional roller coaster that brings you up and brings you crashing down. The search for the right prescription, the right supplement, the one thing that could fix you, but is just out of your reach because the universe likes to laugh at you. Push.
- I know sometimes I worry about my grandmother. I want to make enough money so that I can buy her everything she needs to live comfortably and stop working. At 70 years old, she is still working. This is a good thing - working after retirement staves off mental decay like Alzheimer's. But I wish I could make enough so that she only had to work for fun, not because she's worried about making her house payments. I’m afraid I will never make enough in time to help her. Push.
Sometimes, life pushes. And we have to push back. Even if it’s awful and it’s overwhelming and it’s difficult and we hate it. We have to push because quite frankly, there is no other choice. But when life threatens to crush you, take some time out and protect yourself. Sometimes, a weekend by yourself or a veg in front of the couch is good for you. Write, read, cook, cry. This may not be enough, so find what works for you. Find a support group. And yes, sometimes you have to admit that you need support.
When I get overwhelmed and I feel like I’m about to be pushed head over heels on my face I try to remember that there are so many people in the world suffering, starving, dying. I know that I can’t fix that either, but it gives me perspective. And you can push back little by little to regain your footing. Baby steps.
Sometimes, I go shopping. And the comfort I get in that is knowing that I may be head over heels and overwhelmed, but I’ve got on a great pair of fuckin’ shoes. And it’s a bit easier to push back.
Maybe it's a great pair of shoes or a favorite movie. Share your push-back methods.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Saturday, August 20, 2011
6 ways I have tried to deal with procrastination.
- Make a list with all current projects I am procrastinating on.
- Tomorrow, go over list and write down the reason I am putting said projects off.
- Next week, make a new list, an UPDATED list, that lists NEW deadlines for these projects.
- After one month, revisit UPDATED list and determine if will meet deadlines.
- If not, scratch current projects and start all-new projects, as previous projects obviously are not working out.
- Buy new notebook to write down new list of new projects.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I read an article in the New York Times today about a college graduate who has been unable to find a job. Scott Nicholson graduated in 2008, but it seems the state of the economy hasn’t afforded him any good opportunities to put his skills to work. His parents are worried and frustrated, but Nicholson is pretty optimistic. Recently, he was offered a job at an insurance agency with a salary of $40,000 a year, but he had one problem with that offer: he chafed at the idea of telling his parents he had turned the job down.
Nicholson said he doesn’t want to get buried under the weight of dead-end work, and who can blame him? Once we get caught up, we’re caught up. And there’s a big fear that those early years will turn into twenty years and before you realize it all the ideas, hopes and freedom you had are swept away with the tide.
Nicholson isn’t handing over his 9 to 5 time to just any company. He knows the value of his freedom and he’s not giving it up that easily. The article, entitled “American Dream is Elusive for New Generation”, details how this recession has left the millenials (18-29-year-olds) in one of the worst positions: with a nearly 14 percent unemployment rate, comparable to that same age bracket during the Great Depression. But the American dream isn’t elusive for millenials; it’s just going to take a little longer to kick-start that engine.
After all, this dream is based on freedom and the idea that anyone who works hard and maybe has a good idea can succeed in this nation. Nicholson believes it and he’s been more able to wield the power of that idea by waiting for a career move that can give him more of what he wants out of life. Isn’t that what we all want anyway?
Of course, Nicholson’s parents are at comfortable income levels and he doesn’t have to take any job just to get a paycheck. He doesn’t have to pay rent or pay back student loans, but he knows that if he takes just any job his freedom and his quality of life will suffer. That’s one sacrifice he isn’t willing to make. And I applaud it. We want to work, but we want an environment we can thrive in. We have seen the effects on our peers and our parents, whose lives have taken the tolls of going to work and not really liking it, and we want to steer away from it as much as possible. I understand the feelings of futility, frustration and numbness that are left over after writing and mailing cover letters and hearing only the gentle hum of silence afterwards. There are jobs out there, some that pay $15,000 and some that pay $40,000, but it takes a lot of courage for someone to hold out for something great.
Nicholson keeps himself busy: he does odd jobs for neighbors and is a volunteer firefighter. Believe me, after all the résumé-polishing and the anxieties of interviewing, volunteering and fixing fences for your neighbors seem like much more valuable uses of our time. I, like Nicholson, am optimistic. The freedoms we seek to pursue and preserve, for ourselves and our families, are waiting for us. And we’ll get there one day. We might have to wait a little longer for it, but good things come to those who wait. At least, that is our hope.