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Maybe I am unemployable. 

Maybe I am incapable of working for someone else; for very long.  And maybe I am not cut out to be a government worker. 

Just maybe. 

Today has been an exercise in watching and listening to people whose main priority was and is to cover their own asses, thus ensuring proper coverage of their government employer’s ass, which by the by is a very large ass.  Meaning there is a lot of ass covering to ensure. 

Meanwhile, my ego and self-worth both became larger and more trampled on as the day progressed.  Funny thing how wanting to be ‘right’ and its accompanying desire of wanting others to acknowledge one’s own rightness creates a big brouhaha.  Inside one’s own head, at least.  The one in this case, is me.  Time to deflate the old ego mania; to take off the eyeglasses of judgment and inhale a big cleansing breathe. 

Oh yeah.  Reminder to self ~ remember to exhale.

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These past few weeks have been an exercise in cravings, delayed satisfaction, impulsive choice making, setting aside, procrastination, misplacing my mojo, re-discovering my mojo, percolating, marinading, and popcorning ideas, thoughts, theories, plain silliness, deep convoluted thinking meanderings and missing my blog. 

What I have been up to and the revolving re-occuring topics in my head have included, but have not been limited, to:

the hour and minute combination of 11:11 and the significance I have ascribed to this time

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Spring Fever, which morphed into Sunshine Fever, which changed to Restless Life Syndrome

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loving my job, total dissatisfication with the same job, searching for new job, applying for new jobs

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retirement preparedness, freaking out that I have failed, as in utterly, to formulate any such plan,

vesting, vacillating between commitment to stay for 3+ years to wear this retirement vest, back

to freaking out at the thought of such a long term commitment

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health issues, tipping over, milestones in sleeping upright, off low sodium plan, back on,

yo-yo eating plan

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poor body image, hating, shameful feelings, attempts to embrace my physical self

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vacations, destinations, monetary commitment toward vacations, gratitude for abundance

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Setting aside, walking through, moving around, navigating life’s detritus, waking up, being amazed,

feeling flummoxed, groaning disappointment, side-splitting hilarity, tears of pain and surrender,

loving and receiving affection

Man alive!  No wonder I have been absent.  That there is whole hella lot of living. 

Yes, indeed. 

Where I work there is a department called the Transitional Services Unit (TSU) that helps incarcerated youth return to their communities.  I understand that it was not that many years ago that this unit did not exist and that youth who had aged out of the juvenile justice system were simply released.  Set out on the curb so to speak.  Now each departing youth has a team who works with them and on their behalf to help them navigate the numerous changes and challenges. 

This morning, I realized that I need one of these TSUs of my very own.  Now whether or not I would make good use of their offered services, I do nots know for sure.  But I cannot help but think that there might be some comfort in just knowing I had this team of humans who were looking out and ahead for me, even for a little while. 

Because where I am today is a familiar place.  Familiar but full of danger and darkness.  This place where I end up after the ground opens underneath me and I experience the free fall into depression, a cavern of great depth.  This time, I did what I used to do many years ago, I pretended I was not falling ~ for a while.  That is until either the invisible tether securing me to the landscape of life, separated or the growing velocity of the plunge forced me to admit I was in this place, once again. 

I must snap out of my funk.  Create toe and finger holds to climb, pull and grunt my way to the surface.  Pronto.  Today is my middle grandson’s 14th birth day family celebration.  I love this boy, dearly.  I am to bring the cheese bread.  Cheese bread ~ his Grammie’s cheese bread ~ is one of his most favorite foods.  To not show up, cheese bread in tow, is not acceptable.  I love this boy. 

So I must figure my way out of this quagmire of self indulgent angst once again in order to leave my home, get in Buster Blue, drive to the grocery, purchase the ingredients, return home, make the cheese spread, drive to my daughter’s home, participate in the family birth day celebration and be part of my life ~ part of my middle grandson’s life. 

Where are the TSU personnel?  Hello?  Can you hear me? 

With or without other human help, I must assist mine own self.  I have been in this place before, many times in fact.  Surely I must know the way up and out.  I will look for some markers and familiar signs pointing ahead.

I am off of the main drag taking a side road that’s unpaved and overgrown. 

I think I may have missed the Detour signage.

Yes.  I just might get out of my own way…  any minute now. 

Yes.  Out of my own way, I might just move. 

There seems to be a slight problem, a little thorn in the side of the rose.  In fact, there most definitely is a blockade preventing me from moving over, which would then allow me to get out of my own way.  The problem is my exhaustion. 

Yes.  The utterly fatigued state of my being is locking me into place like molasses on a right cold night. 

Not getting a good night’s sleep for so long that I cannot recall when the last time was that I had a good night’s sleep will get me every time.  Gets me in this bone weary and slate wiped clean state of mind. 

Even with all of that, I am still holding out a little hope that I just might be able to move out of my own way.  Sometime in the future.  Hopefully sometime in the near and soon future.  A move I might make.

Should I stay or should I go?  This question has me off kilter, off balance, out of sync.  Centered I am not. 

It seems this question of where I will live or more specifically, where will I grow roots has been a long asked question.  One that hovers over me sort of like a lazy man’s lasso ~ too loopity-looped to really ensnare anything.  For all the years that I lived in California attending grad school, I was unsettled.  This condition was due, in large part, in knowing that upon graduation, I would be called upon to make a decision ~ to choose between a warmer clime and those whom I call my family.  The choice though is never that simple or at least it feels laden with much more. 

I chose to return to the Land of Almost Always Winter to be close to my clan.  And now here I am again at the crossroad of choice.  Do I apply for a position in a much warmer climate near the ocean or do I take a pass and continue on here?  If I take my familia out of the equation, I have to admit there would still be considerations.  Things like a regular paycheck at a job that I will have held for a year next week, a rented living space that I like (even with the leaky roof) and a few local friends whom I enjoy their company.  And then, of course, there is the little or actually big fact of not having to pack up and move, again. 

Now, some might say that I am putting the cart before the horse.  I mean really, why don’t I just go ahead and apply for the position and then consider all of this other stuff.  Well because in order to apply, I must request letters of recommendation and only want to ask this favor of colleagues if I am truly interested in the job.  Plus, I realized that it’s go time as in let’s get it together and figure out where I am going to commit to living for a while.  If I am going to stay put then I could and should (beware of the should says a little voice) begin taking the steps to open a small private practice in addition to my 4-day work week. 

Come on self.  What’s the hold up?  The hang up?  What exactly is the sticky wicket?  The answers are here within my heart and mind.  Right?  Allowing myself to know what I know is easier said than done in the moment.

Get ready

Get set

Not ready, yet.

Just the other day, which at this stage of my life can mean a couple of weeks or months ago, I realized that if I were to die in that moment I would not feel ready to take my leave of this life time.  This realization arrived with no small surprise.  You see, I have spent big chunks of energy, time, effort, imagination and sheer will power to keep my precarious hold to this earthly planet.  And that is not to speak of my multiple beseechings of the Universal Powers to alternately open my eyes to the wonders that this life has to offer or to take me quickly to another place, another planet, another existence or to simply extinguish my flickering flame altogether. 

I have struggled with varying gradations of melancholy and depression as far back as my memories travel.  Years of spiritual searching and guidance seeking ~frequent findings and losings of faith ~ years worth of various therapies ~ book after book of helping myself books read, re-read, dog-eared and cursed ~ multiple sundry eating plans, herbs and self-medication, followed by much self castigation with equal amounts of guilt for being so un-grateful for life’s abundance.  

Scattered amongst this turmoiled angst, moments and sometimes days of brightened mood.  Such a welcome respite in a choppy sea of deep blue and inky black depths.  

A certain thought has cropped up now and then of ‘if I were to die right now… .”  The thought  followed by a variation of ‘it wouldn’t be a moment too soon’  or ‘a perfect moment to leave.’  So one might understand a bit more the surprise, the startle if you will, that I felt with that initial response of ‘no, I am not ready.’  Not ready to leave this life, my life, in this moment.  As I have mulled over this new response, which has remained, I have come to understand that my life feels more precious to me than in the past.  Many other realizations have crystallized as the marinading of this new experience continues. 

Today though I wanted to share that I am here.  I am alive.  I am not ready to leave.  I am living.

The other day I read the headline or byline or small snippet of an article based on the theory that humans are incapable of simultaneously loving someone and worrying about that same someone.  In other words, worry is not tantamount to love.  This byline, this fragment of what appeared to be a lengthy piece of writing, has now been popcorning around in my head. 

My knee jerk reaction was to exclaim, “You sir or madam, are wrong!”  That urge most likely comes from the fact that I am a notorious worrier over the safety of those I hold dear.  And I suppose I must be equating worry to the strength of my caring and out-and-out affection for these folks.  Pious, perhaps?  Martyr, maybe?  I mean, really, does any “good” parent not worry about their children’s safety, futures, happiness and health?  And does not their worry make their “love” even stronger? 

If I were a predictor of the future, one gifted with psychic abilities if you will, I might foresee my search for this particular catalyst of thought and emotion provoking article in order to read beyond the byline.  I mean, after all, one must have some understanding of what one vehemently disagrees with, correct?  Plus, beyond my initial uncensored reaction there lies a curiosity and openness to this new idea.  For when the day is all said and done, worry does not seem to enrich the lives of either the lover or the object of their affection. 

So sign me up for new ideas and careful considerations of a new way of approaching the sacred experience of love.  My knee seems to be healing nicely from its recent acute reaction.

It appears that a simple function termed threading of film onto a projector eludes me.  Baffles me even after some time and effort spent cleaning the very old equipment and online searching for helpful how-to instructions.  Not surprising I suppose ~ this road block of sorts.  After all, this is no ordinary antique projector.  This is my adoptive parent’s projector and the 8mm and super 8mm film reels housed in their bright yellow Kodak cardboard boxes hold family history  family secrets  family surprises.  This film plays silently with only the loud thrum of the machinery accompanying the grainy color images. 

At least that is how I remember the viewings as a child and young adult when after much pleading, my mother would finally acquiesce, giving my father permission to haul out the projector and the film.  As adopted daughters, my sister and I, yearned even more than the average kid to see again and again the evidence of our belonging, of our history.  A history that only went back to when we arrived in America, bought by these White American parents.  I was a Korean adoptee and so was my sister, arriving from different backgrounds and first families to form our very own little tribe of two in a land where no one looked like us ~ to a land where for all of our childhoods we were known as The Adopted Korean Girls. 

Fast forward many years and here you will find me.  Finally pushing through my myriad of fears, resistance and ambivalence to allow myself to figure out another piece of my foundation.  Sounds heavy for such a simple task of figuring out an old projector and watching a few canisters of film.  Simple or not, these actions have been many years in the making. 

It seems that the gathering of our lives lived through memories, yearnings, wishes and dreams is a life long journey.  A journey which offers experiences of joy, sadness, grief, longing, laughter, anger, tears, breath taking ah-ha’s, rage and acceptance.  I figure that I am somewhere a little past mid-way of this journey of this life time and it is looking more possible than naught that there will be future viewings of these little films.  Where those particular pieces of the puzzle will fit is not quite clear, yet.  Thankfully there is a focusing mechanism on this antiquated projector. 

 

I seem to be thriving of late with last minute decisions to do things.  Last minute as in spontaneous choice making.  A little out of character one might say except for the times when looking at a calendar of planned events makes me feel weighed down and suffocated.  Even when the spoken for time is meant for fun and recreation. 

I blame this schedule phobia or heightened anxiety to the many years of single parenthood, raising my daughter, alone.  All the while, working 2-3 jobs and attending college part-time and sometimes with a full credit load.  Woah Nelly.  Overload to the max.  I don’t think I ever quite recovered from the stress strain and demands of my time and efforts.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that any of that whole scenario was unworthy of my attentions, particularly the raising of my daughter part.  She was, and is and will always be, worth every single bit of care and consideration that I ever have or ever will proffer. 

I am just saying that I got worn out and used up in a sort of whole person, mind, body, emotions, psyche and spirit kind of way.  That even though I have re-charged and many years have passed since that totally uber time, there have been other demanding times (e.g., running businesses and grad school spring to mind) that have collared a lot of my focus. 

So today I am going with the flow and have decided to run out and meet the day in a retail sort of way this morning.  Wish me luck!  I’ll be with friends and family, which has it’s very own share of the upside and the potential downside ~ if you receive my meaning. 

Ahhh, life in the times of me.  I’ve said it before but it bears saying again, simple folks living simple yet extraordinary lives.  Yep.  That’d be me included in with that bunch, for sure.  Hope your day is a good one.

December 2018
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