I dug a hole

I’ve been in something of a slump in the past few weeks.

It all started with me going back to work after taking 4 weeks off over Christmas to stay at home with the kids. Going back was hard and made me realise how much I hate the 9 to 5 existence. I hate the clothes, hate the commuting, hate the pointless activities I do throughout the day (because sometimes, frequently, even, my boss will tell me that task X absolutely, positively must be done RIGHT NOW!! and then when I’m checking her email for her later I’ll see that she hasn’t even touched the super urgent work that I prepared for her).

At my first counselling session of the year, we discussed this slump, and I told my therapist how I always devise escape plans. When I feel depressed, the despair drives me into action, to seek some way out of it. And earlier this year, I did just that. I started coming up with plans for other careers, researching into study I could do to get myself out of this unbearable situation.  I posted on Facebook that I was thinking of quitting my job. I was thinking about just getting a job in a supermarket somewhere.

At some point, though, I stopped. Stepped off the hamster wheel, stopped furiously going nowhere and have just let myself sink into this sadness. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still functioning and all. Still going to work, still feeding my kids, still doing all the things I normally would. The tears are not far from the surface, but for once I’m not struggling against it. I’m not trying to “solve” myself – I’m just accepting that my feelings are there.

And it kind of helps. When I’m not furiously trying to escape my current state, when I just slow down and let everything be, I can catch glimpses of the reasons why I’m unhappy. I’m aware, as I said above, that I’m not living a life I want to live. I accept, of course, that I have to work. And I can’t think of any jobs I’d rather do than my current one, so maybe it’s just a case of building a life outside of work that I enjoy. Which is just not happening at the moment.

Or maybe that’s just another means of escape.

I dunno. I guess al I can do is just let those thoughts be, too.

Acceptance or surrender?

So, it’s been a while since I posted here.  I’ve been busy.  Well, not really busy, but occupied.  It’s been school holidays and Christmas and whatnot.  I had about 4 weeks off work (leave without pay) all up.  I think this is the longest I’ve spent with my children in about 5 years.

And I don’t know if it was spending this time with my kids – just being around when they are around, being there to take them places when they need or want it – but I’ve been feeling very strongly that this is what I want to do.

I returned to work last week and I’ve felt very disengaged.  I think I was slightly disengaged before, but now it’s much more so.  I don’t want to do this anymore.

And I know I’ve complained about that before, but I think perhaps having had a solid break from doing this type of work for the first time in a long time, and I’ve come to the realisation of how much I just really don’t enjoy it.  I mean, I like being occupied, and having something to do, but honestly, I could take or leave it.

I’ve tried really hard over the past several months and years to take some ownership over what I do.  People ask me, “What do you do?” and I say, “I’m just an admin.”  And they chide me and tell me I’m not “just” anything, how an admin is really an important part of any business, etc.  And I know this.  I know that admins are important.  I know that I am, and have been, important to my bosses.  I know that I’m good at it.

So I had been working at taking pride in what I do.  But you know what?  I don’t.  There’s always been a part of me that has refused to accept that that is who I am.  And for a while I was enthusiastic about my new job as an executive assistant, I admit.  I figured I had moved to a role that would give me a lot of scope for personal development.  And it is a good job!  I’m lucky to have it.

But still, I find that I just don’t care about a lot of my tasks.  I just don’t.give.a.fuck, and I have to fake the energy to get through it.  Meanwhile, I understand that most people have to do that with their jobs, but it doesn’t sit well with me, personally.  It doesn’t feel very authentic.

So while I was on leave, I was trying to come up with ideas for some kind of job that I would genuinely enjoy.  Something that would really speak to me.  But I could not come up with one single thing.  Yes, there’s plenty of things that I could potentially do that would be a logical step from administrative work:  for example, accounting, human resources, project coordinator, etc.  Loads of things.  But I am simply not interested.

It has occurred to me before that maybe I should just get a job in a supermarket or something.  And I’m feeling that very strongly at the moment.  Something I don’t have to think about, that just brings in money.

And I wonder: is this self-acceptance, or surrender to inevitability?  Am I finally accepting that I don’t feel the need to be ambitious?  That I don’t feel the need for a career?  Am I accepting that life doesn’t have to be lived according to the prescribed schedules of others?

Or am I just giving up.  Have I stopped caring?  Does my lack of ambition stem from a lack of self-awareness?  Am I surrendering to mundanity in a big way?

 

 

 

 

Conversations in my brain

I have my next counselling session this Saturday, and I haven’t done my homework.

I was meant to have a discussion with my partner about how I feel about our relationship. How I dream about being free. How I think separation might be the best thing for both of us.

But I haven’t. The right moment hasn’t arisen. We still stick to our own individual routinea and spaces each night, bith of us avoiding conversation with one another. Of course an opportunity isn’t going to arise like that. I could probably give him the “We need to talk” routine, but that would immediately get his back up. He’d be on the defensive and it would just become an argument, and I don’t want that.

I imagine myself having the conversation with him and him being in complete agreement. We agree to figure things out over the next year, and I move out at the beginning of 2016. During the school holidays, so the kids can get settled. We agree that it doesn’t have to be bitter and acrimonious and the kids are our priority. I imagine myself struggling on my single income, but still happily single. I have rented a 3-bedroom villa in the next suburb. He has started a relationship with a longterm friend of his. She’d be perfect for him: outdoorsy and horse-faced and relentlessly independent. She would want companionship and sex, and someone to travel with, rather than a relationship.

Maybe it could all be happily ever after, after all.

Compulsion

It’s the silly season, and my mind is playing games with me. Dabbling with thoughts of drinking. “Just a champagne at the Christmas party. Just while you’re with your co-workers. Just don’t bring it home.”

There’s a part of me that think this seems reasonable, and another part that thinks I’m an idiot.

Meanwhile, I’m shopping on eBay like there’s no tomorrow, heedless of the fact that I’m going to be without an income for 4 weeks over Christmas. I haven’t been at my job for long enough to receive annual leave, so I’m taking it as leave without pay.

Luckily we had put aside the majority of my bonus from my previous job, so that will pay for Christmas. I’m selling a bunch of stuff on eBay as well, so that should bring in a few hundred as well.

But still, I’m searching for that perfect item that will bring me complete happiness. My excuse is I need to rebuild my work wardrobe for my new job, which is partly true, but I just can’t seem to help myself. It’s that momentary surge of exhilaration when you find something prety, something that fits, something that looks just perfect. But of course it’s short-lived, and then I’m off in search of my next hit.

I don’t know how to break this cycle.

Uncomfortable

I am overweight.

When I had my eldest child, my weight ballooned as I comfort ate to help deal with the overwhelming depression I was experiencing. After about a year, I took myself in hand and started exercising and watching what I ate, and I lost around 25kg. I wasn’t skinny, but I was a comfortable, easily maintainable weight, but most importantly I was fit and healthy. I put in a few kg again after my second, but nothing out of the ordinary. After my third, I comfort ate and drank again, and my weight got to the highest it has ever been. I have lost 10kg since then, but for the past 5 years, my weight has been more or less stable.

I have been okay with this. I dress quite well, and look after my skin, and generally take a lot of care about my appearance. I’m still an attractive woman, despite the excess weight.

I’ve tried to enthuse myself into a fitness regime from time to time over the years, but it has never seem to stick. And, frankly, I didn’t care enough before.

Something’s changed though. I’m noticing I look flabbier than I did before. I am noticing I’m puffing more than I did before. I have a bad hip and back, and I’m sure it’s due to excess weight. When I bend over, it’s uncomfortable.

I think being fat is no longer comfortable for me. Or maybe it’s just that now I’m working part-time, the pace of my life has slowed enough for me to notice.

Time for some changes, I think.

“I hate this life”

I sent that in a text to my partner the other day, when I was on the train to work.  And I do.  I just don’t know what I hate about it.  He didn’t respond, but that evening he said to me, “You need to figure out what it is that you hate about it and start fixing it.”

And I resented that.  Because I know that already.  I resented the fact that he can’t see that I have been desperately trying to “fix” it for the past god-knows-how-many years, but I go nowhere.  I still feel lost and directionless.

I don’t even know what it is that I hate, really.  Well, I hate having to go out to work, that’s for sure.  I hate being one of the people in suits and heels trundling along the platform and jostling for the best position in the train of a morning/afternoon.  My job is okay, I guess, but I hate the need for it.  I hate being one of thousands of people all doing the same thing.  I hate making meetings for people so that they can set agendas for other meetings.  I hate having to get up at 5.45.  I hate that my weekends are almost always spent at home in front of the tv or  computer once the running around after the kid activities is over with.  I hate that I have no friends that I can catch up with on my days off; that there is no-one that I can even think of to go for a coffee with.  I hate housework.

I hate that I’m just existing and not living.  I hate that I can’t find myself something that brings me true joy, that is just for me, so instead I go shopping to give myself a lift.