Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting my life back some more...

I spent the last few days cleaning out an old house and going through 40 years' worth of my shit and belongings. I found tons of old journals and some old poetry and writing I have done. Verrrrry interesting. Some of it is not terrible - some of it is pretentious and some of it just left me shaking my head, saying, "Damn, was I ever really that young?"

Oh, and I did some reading this weekend and discovered a new favorite writer, Donna Ison. I will post a link to goodreads here.....
The Miracle Of Myrtle: Saint Gone Wild The Miracle Of Myrtle: Saint Gone Wild by Donna Ison

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Do yourself a favor and enjoy this!

After watching Donna Ison, the author, do a tremendous reading this past week, I was inspired to read her novel.

This had been a harrowing weekend, and I give this author full credit for entertaining me and keeping me going!

View all my reviews.

Lost days

I have been cleaning out my old house and so have not written, nay, have not even done my writing practice, since Tuesday or Wednesday. This is completely counterproductive for my hopes and ambitions, so I have been beating myself up for it. So I today I look to the work I have accomplished in the the last 5 days- more than I ever thought could be done - and I am forgiving myself and the situation for all of it. And moving on.
So look for writing to resume tomorrow as I shake the dust from my feet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today... One Day at a Time

Today I am going to drive about 400 miles to both work in my official capacity as well as get some personal work accomplished. I will be getting to go to Berea, KY, a great little town where I used to live and still miss. So that is a good thing. On the other hand, I will also be doing work that others should be working on, and have once again been left holding the bag when real work or effort is needed.
I guess these are lessons I will have to learn, but they suck, and this is not a very good time to have to learn them.
So I leave now on my travels and hope I have the physical strength to do this all alone.
And the mental strength to be able to attend the poetry reading to see a writer friend in action, and the concert for which I prepaid for tickets.
This is going to be one hell of a day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Writing exercise - draft

I was working on a writing exercise this morning, and so I decided to make it a rough draft. I am looking for some folks to read it and then just tell me if it is terrible or not, or what can be fixed with it. If you are available to do this, please let me know. And I will send it or post it here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

When is one out of rope? as in the end of it?

Tonight I went to a meeting and it ended up that just my sponsor and I showed up. We ate some cookies I made, I sipped orange manadrin green tea, and we talked.
We discussed bad behavior - when is enough enough? How do I communicate that I am no longer going to accept bad behavior. When do I just leave? And when do I uproot my children, my life and everything and just move on?

I want to write. I don't want to do direct care in the human services. I am not a nurse, I don't want to be a nurse, and I don't want to be a caregiver anymore. To anyone. I will complete my tour of duty with my kids, because I caused them, but I am no longer interested in saving anyone else's life. Does this make me a bad person? Or merely a tired, fed up person?

Tonight I am doing a writing exercise - I may put it on here.....

And tomorrow I get up even earlier than I planned so I can do the work that I have asked someone else to help with for almost 2 years, and he has refused to do it. So once again, I do my part and his too, and I move on. This time hopefully for good. I am not sure I am interested in salvaging anything anymore.

If I could remember the things I've forgotten, I might be a well-rounded person, instead of just round.

Yesterday I worked a bit on a rantpoem I have been mulling over in my head, and I must say: I have forgotten how to write. Not in a can't sign my checks type of way - although that might be more helpful - but in a I have the words inside my head and yet nothing I commit to page looks intelligible.

Maybe I am putting too much emphasis on intelligible?

Seriously, I remember twenty years or so ago I used to flow poetry from my very veins, and it was painful not to write. Now I am dried up, a husk of an ambition, and it basically just sucks.

Where is my voice?

And what is stultifying me into silence?


I have committed myself to a project this summer: working through Writing Down the Bones again. I am also holding my other long-ago bible, Bird by Bird, as well as a place to find a way to communicate again.
Maybe some of my exercises will make it here.
Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What I am is what I am is what I am is what?

Today I spent some time with a friend whom I haven't been able to hang with a long time, and it was awesome. It is great to spend time with people that you don't have to be someone else for. People who think you are okay no matter what, no matter where you work, what you make in salary, no matter how crazy you are. And if they can appreciate your craziness, all the better.

So I am working on a new poem of sorts, loosely based on the ideas concerning spirituality and philosophy and my own personal neuroses. It is quite humorous and edgy, if I do say so myself. And for now, that will have to satisfy as I am the only one who has read it!

I was invited to a party tonight and I am toying with the idea of going. It is usually not my scene as it takes alot of mental energy for me to survive such scenes. I am thinking there may be some cool people there I like, but I am not sure that I am up to exerting control over my social weirdness and social phobia. I know it is wrong, and I know I need to stop isolating, but I really want to lie in bed and read. I want to work on my writing - maybe - today has not been overwhelmingly creative for me, so I am not sure I actually would work on writing, but there is the idea of it, at least.

Oh and I made Tim cut my hair. Here it is - before I washed it and the little itchy shorn strands from my person:

It still cries out for a semi-creative type to even up the bushy backsides of it. But what do you want for nothing, right?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Searching and Fearless Moral Inventories

Tonight and tomorrow I will be finishing up my 4th Step. I have worked on this Step between shifts and sleeping for the past month and a half, and I would be lying if I did not say I will be glad when I am finished. The unexamined life is not worth living, someone once said, and I am usually inclined to agree. But at the moment I have battle fatigue from hiking and fighting the snarls in my own mind and past.
What has been helpful throughout this process is knowing that I am treading a path that has worked for many others, and that I do not walk this path alone. This has been extremely important and invaluable in giving me the courage to persist in the process. Also throughout this process I have been constantly remembering the words of the Serenity Prayer. There is a hell of alot that I cannot change. What I have been butting my head against for years is that for most of my life I have tried to change things that were not in my power to change, or simply were not my business to change. I won't lie and say that I have cured myself of this fruitless behavior, but I will say that I am doing it less and less. Progress, not perfection.
Also I have been thinking about the concept of forgiveness quite a bit during this process. I am finding it easier to forgive others. Now for the really hard part - forgiving myself.
I am not an alcoholic, and up until I starting trying to work the Steps in earnest I was judgmental and cold when I considered where others are coming from in life. This is changing too. And in this I am finding I can learn from and be amazed by the most interesting and diverse people. I give people a chance more. This has been extremely rewarding.
Thanks for listening/reading. I will finish tonight or in the morning, and am looking for someone to share my 5th Step with, because my sponsor says she will not be available for another week or so to talk to me about this. Have a happy, peaceful and serene Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A recommendation from my 2007 reading...

Those Who Save Us Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best books I have ever read!

It is a wonderful story of identity and self-definition. I highly recommend it to anyone brave of heart.

View all my reviews.

Another day in paradise

Today I had an interview scheduled for a second job - to replace the job I quit all of 4 days ago - and the car would not start. I tried over 50 times, and the bad started just kept clicking and clicking. So, with no further ado, I called and asked to reschedule. They said they would get back to me, and they haven't. The job was just a part time retail gig, but as Tim still isn't working - not since October of last year - I am panicked with the idea of only having one job to support us. I know it takes more than the $1300 a month my current consultant gig brings in to support us. But as I sweat all my makeup off in the sun trying to start that car, I came to a realization:

This is not mine to do alone.

There is no rule that gives him a free pass for the past 8 months, to take a free vacation and live in the lap of luxury without having to do any type of work or contribute in any way.

The only rule has been the fact that my sense of over-responsibility has led me to try to do it all, without his help.

So I spent my energies this afternoon completing online applications for him for two retail jobs. If I can work entry level retail with a Masters, he can do it as an old man with a GED. And I am helping him with creating a resume, so he can apply for other better jobs... and step up to the plate and do what he needs to do.

I am happy with one job. I need a partner, not another dependent. The choice is now his. And I can do no more.... actually by my inner Al-Anon standards, I feel I have already done way too much.

Thanks for listening. I am getting some peace now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting my life back

Today I went back to my original job, and worked. It felt very wonderful and weird to only have to work one job, and to be in a place where I can actually get something done because I have the room, the tools and the time to complete my tasks. It also was great to work with people I actually can rely on to support my work, and that are pleasant and working hard themselves. I have learned that I took all this for granted earlier. And it is very important that I not ever take this for granted again.

I got things done. I was able to prioritize my own tasks and given the time to do them, so things actually got done.

This may seem insane, but it was just nice to work in an efficient and supportive place. I have missed it.

Now, I am taking the next day or so to spend some time writing and working on a plan to get my work out to some publishers. If anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it.

I am very grateful today!

More on boundaries....

After much contemplation - and THANK YOU to my commenting readers! - I have determined why I am so stuck on this issue. Like many of us, I am operating out of a place of woundedness, where nothing I have or can do can fill this hole inside me. It is chiefly lack of self-love. I am thinking it is because I am not well acquainted with the notion that I am lovable or worthy of love. And so I do not love myself.

I am learning that the love I have for others is merely a shadow without loving myself.
But old habits are hard to break, and old ways of thinking - 40 years' worth of self-derision, to be exact - are hard to reverse.

Having patience with myself is hard when I am lost.

Thanks for caring enough to read my words. It helps me heal and find my way.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Boundaries: Do we have the right to ask for love?

Tonight I am thinking about boundaries. I have been told that asking for love is a form of controlling another human being. What do you think?

Today is the first day of the rest of your life...

So today I am back to being a consultant only, back to one job only.

Time to decide what I want to be when I grow up. Or not grow up at all.

And to WRITE again...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day....

This is the second year in a row that I have spent mother's day apart from the mothers in my life. I don't usually go into great detail about the family situation. I do love my family, but I have found that my happiness is adversely proportional to the amount of time I spend with them. I am sure this is not an isolated phenomenon.

Today I planned on spending the day with my children, but they have also chosen to play with the neighborhood kids and give me peace instead.

So I am making my own celebration, and forcing my husband to take me to see a movie. I will foot the bill, but I will force him to accompany me.

As the saying goes, if Mama ain't happy, nobody's happy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Why does Saturday go so quickly when I want it to last forever?

My days off are so precious, I want them to last forever.

I did get back to a meeting today, going back to Al-Anon after not going to a meeting for over a week. I am finally feeling somewhat better after being sick for THREE WEEKS. I still can't hear out of my left ear, but I have candled it, and no one from the state health department called me back to tell me I had swine flu, so those are good things.

It pays to look on the bright side.

Also today I have been contemplating alternate futures for myself. Today's mulling: a small catering business. Any need for catering for your next event in the Central KY area? Anyone?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not as jaded as I thought I was, I guess...

Today I came to the realization that I am not a social worker. Let me clarify. Having spent the better part of the last 10 years working in social services/human service field, I have been referred to as, and worked along side social workers. However, I have always clarified that I am a rehabilitation counselor, not a social worker. Today I realized that my core value is more in line with rehab - I want to help, but I want those I help to want the help. I also want them to participate in their own help/solution, as much as and to the extent they are able. I do not want to do for others what they can do for themselves. In this job this is often looked at as a cold-hearted.
Now, having said that, I also want to say that for the past couple of years I have felt that I am jaded and burned out, and have lost touch with just why I went into this field in the first place. I still am not sure this is what I want to do anymore. However, I still possess the ability to get very fired up on behalf of those I am supposed to be serving. Today the advocate in me raised her ugly head several times. And I am not sure I can ethically support what I am supposed to do anymore. So I am doing some hard thinking right now.
It looks like I will be embracing poverty again very soon. As much as I hate it, I think it is still the less evil alternative in my life at this point.

I hope I am wrong. But something has to give, if I am to live.