Meeting

Our school meeting went…surprisingly well.  The VP spoke to my daughter like she was a human being, and made her feel like she is part of the decision about how to manage her phone use at school.

She’s happy with the result.  Whether it is helpful remains to be seen – but I know that her buying in is more than half the battle.

So the solution is this:  When a teacher sees her using her phone inappropriately, they will casually walk by and place a hand on her desk. A non-verbal cue, so that she doesn’t feel singled out.  Her job then will be to put it away.

The final thought left with her this meeting was that she has control over what happens next.  If it goes well, then there will be no need to change anything.  If not, she knows that things will escalate.  But, whether or not they escalate is up to her.

It’s a compromise between her phone being a tool to cope with anxiety, and it being a hindrance to schoolwork.

Fingers crossed.

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Therapy day

The best thing that happened to me today happened on my way into therapy.  I parked my car outside the hospital, and went to the machine to pay for parking.  Just as I was about to stick my coins in, a woman leaving the lot waved to me from her car.  I walked over, she smiled as she handed her all-day pass to me.

There is kindness.

The rest of my day was not so heartening.  We had a two hour all-staff meeting at work.  I hate these meetings.  They happen a few times a year, and they’re supposed to be an opportunity to meet new staff, and find out what is going on in each section.

My section has been grossly understaffed until a few weeks ago, when they finally filled a position that had been vacant for a year.  A year in which I had to wear many hats- or I should say, all of the hats.  I wore all of the hats, covering three positions in total, while all the while management’s expectations remained high.  I felt like I was being set up to fail.  Even though I think I fucking performed miracles daily, I constantly felt like I was saying no more than yes, and looking like I was underperforming, which I know, is ridiculous.

In comes in new team member.  She is great, I really like her, but the thing is, she has way less experience than me.  She is constantly coming to me for advice, which she willingly takes (it could be worse that way, I know).  She is grateful, I know that.

Thing is, the rest of the office sees her as some sort of messiah, as if nothing was happening while that position was vacant.  UM, HELLO? And now I am invisible.  People are going to her, not responding to my emails, and worst of all, attributing credit for some great things happening on our team to her.  They don’t realize that this work didn’t come from nowhere.  It was months of my planning and implementation and ironing out glitches.

That all said, it is not about my ego.  I’m not looking for glory, just credit where credit is due, and more importantly, recognition that I did pretty fucking well considering I was doing three jobs on my own.

So yes, I am bitter.

And in the background simmers my anxiety about my daughter and what this school meeting tomorrow will bring.  I know it is going to get worse with her before it gets better.  I am tired of people saying to me, “You just have to do it- take her phone away.”  Well, duh.  I will do what I have to do- that doesn’t mean I don’t know what that will look like- the yelling, the meltdowns (hers *and* mine), the refusal to go to school, the hours I will have to miss from work, the alcohol I will feel compelled to consume to give me a bit of relief at the end of the day.  She is a kid who will resist and defy and argue and protest just to wear. me. down. at a time that I have so many other things wearing me down.

So with all that and more, I got myself to therapy for session 2 with A.  I just sort of went on and all over the place with the many sources of my stress and anxiety, to the point of breathlessness.  My mother, my ex-husband and his years of infidelity, blending families, my old house which isn’t selling, the trauma of anonymous cyberharassment.  And more.  I think she was a bit stunned.

I pondered out loud that the universe is trying to tell me something, but that I couldn’t figure out what it is.

I’m trying to recognize that there isn’t much I can do about the various sources of shit being flung at me.  We all get it at some point in our lives. It is how we react that matters.  How we cope.  What I can have a teensy bit of control over is how I replenish and take care of myself – which right now consists of alcohol and hours lost to playing 1010.

She said, start with 10 minutes a day.  Read a favourite book.  Or listen to music.  Or go for a walk.

I will have to mull that one over.  I don’t even know what feels good anymore.  I just know that what I am currently doing is not getting me into a better place.

Didn’t didn’t done

Never did ride my bike today.  I set myself up, big time.  The boy missed his bus, he ran back home in a panic, off I sent him, back to the bus stop to wait for the next one.  By the time I got my lunch together (and blogged) it was already 8:45.  Too late.

I need to be out of the house by 8:00 a.m. to really do that.

Then I thought, it’s okay.  I’ll get on the spin bike when I get home.  But, just before I left the office, an email from the girl’s school.  She’s having problems staying off her phone in class.  A meeting is scheduled for later this week to come up with a “solution.”

Drama ensued when I got home from work.  I don’t understand her anxiety and what she needs to cope (chatting with her friends online, apparently).

I do understand anxiety.  Big time.  She doesn’t see (or want to see) that her ‘anxiety’ became more of a problem when she got a phone.  I don’t doubt it is part of her constellation- but I hate also feeling like I am being played because really, she just would rather chat with her friends that do school work.

I am weary.  This is only the third week of school.

I feel like I am never going to get back to a world where I have time to take care of myself.  To exercise a few times week.  Maybe get a pedicure, or go out with a friend.  Instead self-care has become about making it through the day so that I can escape with some Netflix and wine before bed.  I know this isn’t right.

I go back to therapy today after a long absence.  I don’t know where to start with A.  We’d only had one session before she went off on vacation. I only have to focus on getting there I guess, for now.

Ok.  Time to get off my butt and moving.  The day is beginning.

I can do this.

I am fed up with how I feel and look.

I have gained 40 lb in two years and I am not happy about it.  It was nesting into new relationship, stress galore caused by my ex-h’s drama, Seroquel, and too much wine to either numb (during the week) or celebrate (at the end of the week).

I am trying to not be all-or-nothing in my thinking.  This is always a set-up for failure with me.  Intellectually, I know it is all about small changes that add up.  Lifestyle.  Blah blah blah.  I know it will help with keeping depression and anxiety at bay.  I am doing alright, but I could be doing better in the mood department and it is time to take next steps beyond meds and therapy.

So, today I’m riding my bike to work.  It won’t be pretty.  But I just have to get there and then get home.  And I know how my brain works.  Once I’m on it and going I will love it.

Here I go.  I can do this.

Month Three & Randomness

I am three months in to blended-family-land.  It really is a whole other world. While he and I have spent many longer extended periods of time alone, throwing kids into the mix- especially with each other- adds a whole other dimension.

I am proud of my kids for being as resilient as they are.  As fun and nimble as they are.  As intelligent and questioning and independent.  Things that I always knew, but see with an even clearer lens now that there are others in the fray.

His daughter is easy going, with a sense of fun and gentleness that reminds me of him.  His son is like him in that while he can talk to people when he has to, he is at the heart an introvert.  But there are other things that I see, that grate on me, that are everything I have heard about his mother.  He is particular, in the way only a first born boy treated like a prince can be.  He must have the last word.  He is entitled and unwilling to entertain the feelings of others.  He’s going to be my biggest challenge.

The house is slowly, slowly being detangled from chaos.  I miss the simplicity of my old house, where I had, after five years of being, achieved the perfect just-so balance of my physical world.  The utter relaxation of having hours in front of me where I didn’t have to account to anyone.  There is very little alone time these days.

Yet, I love him and he loves me in a way that is completely unlike anything I have ever experienced.  He makes me a better person.  He is kind and ethical and considerate.  He would lay across tracks for me and makes me feel safe.

***

In other news, I am hating my job.  Not the job, exactly, but working full-time. Four days would be saner, three days…all the better.  I am trying to think of ways to make this possible.  I miss the things in my life I used to have more time for.  Puttering.  Writing.  Projects at home.  Cooking in a slower, less frantic way.  And, oh, the garden.

***

The kids are both at a new school this year.  Grade nine and ten.  So far, so good.  She has made a friend – I am hopeful.  Last year she was a social outcast.  I know that having even one friend will help.  It is a fresh start.

***

So many things.  I am tired of feeling rushed and depleted and not having the time to take care of myself.  I want to lose weight and dye my hair and seize that high I used to get when I worked out four times a week.  I had that two years ago, but why does it feel so unattainable right now?

***

It occurred to me the other day that I haven’t had a period this calendar year. Maybe that explains my moods…not depressed exactly, just…uninspired. And I am constantly hot.  I feel like I need to shower twice a day just to be barely presentable.

***

As nonsensical as my ramblings are this cool, humid night, I am glad I have put them onto my screen.  My fingers are feeling more limber.  This is a start.  My space in a house where no space is completely my own.

***

I miss the feeling of my cat purring, narrow-eyed on my belly as I lie on the sofa or in bed.

She knows things are different now.