Archive for The grind
** As I’m sure even those of you who don’t give a crap about basketball are aware, the Miami Heat are the new champs of the NBA. I spent most of the series thinking I was cheering for the Thunder and yet during the actual games cheering for plays made by the Heat. It was all very confusing until Game 5 when Mike Miller rained down a barrage of three’s even though he could clearly barely walk up and down the court thanks to his old-man back. That’s when I realized that although I preferred the Thunder stars (KD, Westbrook and Ibaka in particular, Harden needs to shave his beard and then maybe) I can’t stand a lot of their role players. (Two words: Derek Fisher. ’Nuff said.) The opposite is true of Miami, I love their role players (c’mon, Haslem, Turiaf, Battier, Chalmers, Cole, and Miller with his Gatorade commercial worthy Game 5, what’s not to love about all those guys?) and at the end of the day, I’m a gal that loves role players. To me, they make up the heart of the team and they are always overlooked despite the fact that a role player is almost always the difference maker in winning a championship. Stars will do their thang, it’s the role players and their gutsy, no glory performances that make the difference. What can I say? I’m a dirty work gal, and I prefer the dirty work players of Miami to those on the Thunder. So even though I thought I wanted the Thunder to win, I find myself overjoyed for all the players who contributed to the Miami win. Well done boys. And just like when the Giants won the World Series a couple years ago, I really, really love that moment when the win sinks in and grown men turn into little boys. It always makes me smile (unless it’s the Lakers, of course).
** Have you guys heard about those little monsters that bullied a 68-year old grandma on the school bus? I admit, I couldn’t watch more than a few seconds of the video without wanting to burst out into tears. Reading the descriptions of the things that were said were bad enough. One of my friends said the dreaded phrase, “kids being kids” and I completely lost it at him. If that is “kids being kids” then kids must be vile little creatures. I get kids bullying other kids, but what has happened to our society that kids have the nerve to bully a senior citizen? My first thought was, wow, I hope their parents are completely ashamed of themselves. Of course, the sad fact is, they’re probably not. How else could they have raised such disgusting, disrespectful, foul-mouthed little creatures? I read in an ABC article that one of the father’s said he thinks his son has been punished enough. Well, it’s exactly that kind of attitude that has let your son turn into an adult-size asshole right before your eyes. If that was my kid? First of all, I’d be asking what I did wrong, and second, I would be marching my child over to Mrs. Klein’s house and tell him he better get down on his hands and knees and beg for forgiveness. I would also be doing everything I could to apologize (in person, none of this writing a letter and sending it through the news media bullshit) to that poor lady and her family. And you better believe, every single video game cartridge memory card my kid owned would be deleted immediately, not to mention grounding for the entire summer (or maybe until they graduate from high school). But again, I doubt any of that will happen to these kids because their parents are probably too busy telling them it’s not their fault. Thank goodness the little twerps were dumb enough to film the whole thing themselves and put it up on the internet of their own accord, thinking it would be just hilarious. At least now Mrs. Klein will have enough money to retire and never have to be within five feet of those awful “children” again. Here is the best article I’ve read so far on the whole thing.
** My friend Lian pointed out this Atlantic Magazine article to me entitled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All. I found it fascinating, particularly in that the reasons Slaughter gave for why it is difficult for women with families to succeed in the world of international relations are directly applicable to the field I work in. Long hours in the office? Check. Frequent travel? Check. Inflexible schedules? Check. And let’s face it, Wall Street is still very much an “ol’ boys club.” I consider myself lucky that I work in a San Francisco branch office because the work-life balance here is leaps and bounds better than it would be if I were in NYC, but even in SF there is the pressure to put in facetime and never take time off unless you absolutely have to. For example, I get four weeks of vacation each year but haven’t even come close to taking that amount of time off. Last year I rolled over the maximum allowed ten days and right now I’m sitting on 26 days of vacation time. I’ve recently started thinking long and hard about what direction my career will take if this pregnancy is successful and I have yet to come up with any answers. There are only a handful of women in the office who have a role similar to mine and only ONE that has a child. The one that does have a child is much older than I am, had her child only very recently (I have never asked but my guess is she plans to have only one, given her age) and was already extremely senior in the firm before she got pregnant. Most of the men I work with have children, but they also almost all have stay at home (or work from home) wives. I don’t really have anyone to look to for how to be the kind of working mother I’d like to be if I stay within my current position, and I do find that somewhat upsetting. I think there are a lot of ways that I could easily do my job at least part of the time from home, but I don’t know if the culture of my job (not just at my firm, but across the entire street) would be open to that. Hopefully (there’s that word again!) this will be something I actually get to try to figure out in 8 months or so.
Things happen in God’s time.
This is what I tell myself. What I repeat over and over again in my head, even though I’m not sure I can honestly say I feel it in my heart.
I’m sick of myself, I’m sick of replaying the same old thoughts, sick of feeling the same thing when I wake up every day.
This morning I responded to a work email that included a group based out of Asia. I immediately received back no less than three “out of office” messages proclaiming that the receipient was out on maternity leave. Three different people. In a country with one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Three women in one team, in my company, out on maternity leave, at the same time. A group I never interact with and yet had to email this morning in reply to a completely stupid question that they didn’t even actually need to get me involved in.
Seriously, Universe? What the fuck?
I’m so upset right now and it’s my own fault. I’m upset with myself. Again. Upset to the point that I can’t help the tears of anger.
I wish it would help to throw things, to shout every cuss word I know or can make up, to put my fist through a wall.
But none of it is going to help or change a thing.
I got my blood taken this weekend, and it went well. I went in expecting things to be, at worst, unchanged from my last check which showed things to be stable (not improving but stable at acceptable levels). I’ve been feeling really good, well as good as I’ve felt in a long time. No aches and pains to speak of, decent energy levels, everything pointed to things being good.
And they were. Well at least the first few tests I’ve gotten back showed things actually improving this time which got my mind spinning with thoughts of maybe, maybe being able to get pregnant next year.
Then there was today. Today where ironically I went to a women’s networking event put together by my company. An event where they talked a lot (mostly) about how to balance having children with the challenges of a male-dominated, time-sucking industry. And I somehow ended up in a seat (next to my client) where the sun was blasting in directly onto me during almost the entire three hour event.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to excuse myself, to move to another seat out of the sun, because I was worried how it would look and what my client would think.
And an hour later I’m already paying for it. The joints in my arms and legs hurt. I feel exhausted. I do have a sunburn on my legs even though supposedly glass is supposed to at least block UVB rays which cause sunburn (lucky me, I googled after the event that UVA rays cause the most issue for people with lupus and yup, you guessed it, UVA goes through glass).
So basically I’m fucked. I fucked myself. I fucked myself ONCE AGAIN and probably set myself back at least another few months if not longer all for my fucking job.
Fuck this shit.
I don’t even know what else to say.
Is this a sign??!? Because it feels like a sign.
Only I don’t know where it’s pointing.
All I know is right now? I hate myself.
Unsurprisingly, all the stress was for naught.
The hubs withdrew himself from the running for the position today, I don’t have all the details but basically he found out the pay would not be enough, at least not to start. Their money is tied up due to the “pending matter” so the potential is still there, but really it was a stretch in terms of our finances even with the assumption that he’d get a small pay raise, there’s really no way we can responsibly make it work if he actually has to take a paycut to start. Or else we’d have to accept being 400 miles apart for at least a couple of years which I don’t think either of us are willing to do at this point in our lives.
So once again I sit here red-faced, and completely embarassed at how incapable I am of trusting God to guide us when He has never failed me before.
And, yet another reminder of how little real control I have over anything, we had yet another round of you-know-what’s at work today.
All that positivity I was feeling last week?
Gone. Totally gone.
On Sunday after service I was actually wondering if perhaps God wasn’t trying to tell me that I should be content at my job, that even though it can be REALLY tough to be a Christian in this environment, that was exactly the reason I needed to stay. The sermon was about how we can glorify God in everything we do. I thought it was speaking to me. I thought it was a sign.
Now I have another sign. I feel terrible. Physically terrible. I shouldn’t even be sitting up typing this right now since my arms are aching up into my shoulder blades. My back hurts. My knees hurt. My kidneys ache. Everything hurts.
I’m exhausted, I feel anemic. And sadly, I know what that feels like. It feels like this. And this feels like another big fucking flare coming on.
And I’m pissed. I’m pissed at myself for not knowing my limits. I’m pissed that once again, just when I was feeling better and hopeful about my health and reproductive possibilities for the future, this is happening again. I’m pissed that I did this to my own body for a fucking paycheck. I’m just…so…pissed…at me.
Last week I went out to a baseball game with a client. I didn’t really want to go but my senior guy wanted me to come. It felt like the sunniest freaking day of the summer. I brought a big hat, I covered myself with my jacket even though I was sweating. But I should have known that I should have told them I needed to go inside. That I couldn’t be in that kind of sun even if I was all covered up. But I didn’t because I was afraid of how it would look. And now this.
And of course this was probably the most stressful week for the markets since I’ve started in my new role. Of course. And of course one of my senior guys was out so I had to put so much more pressure on myself than I normally do (which is still probably too much). Of course. And of course, I can’t take time off even though that’s probably the one and only thing that can stave off this flare right now. Such is the nature of what I do.
I don’t know why I do this to myself or how much longer it can go on. I really don’t.
I’m dreading going to the doctor. I don’t want to. I’m going to up my steroids and hope that helps.
These are some crazy times we’re living in. Between the Eurozone meltdown and the debt ceiling crisis here at home, work can sometimes feel like a battle zone. I can tell you this much, there is a lot of panic and massive mood swings floating about in the markets.
And then, of course, my husband’s company announced layoffs and promptly let a bunch of people go. Luckily he made it through this time but they were pretty clear about the fact that they aren’t done. He works in the same industry as I do but right now he’s working for one of those quasi-government agencies so layoffs are pretty rare (unlike investment banks which go through a routine “pruning” exercise every year or every few months it seems these days) and that makes this all the more that disturbing.
But maybe this is just God’s way of hinting at the fact that I really need to work on trusting Him and not in my own plans, as I love to do.
Of course, the hubby and I imediately started making contingency plans for what we’d do if he does lose his job in the near term. (Among them? Move to Arizona - which surprised me because if two Cali-born-and-raised-never-lived-outside-of-perfectly-temperate-year-round-weather people like us could consider moving away, the situation here must look pretty bleak. (Hm….yup, sure does!). Still don’t know if I could do it, but I never thought it’d be something I’d even THINK about).
Guess old habits die hard.
Another hectic, chaotic and above all, another change-filled week at work to follow the last one.
Long story short?
I lost half my team this week. They moved onto better opportunities so nothing to be sad or disturbed about on that front, but well, change always makes me uncomfortable. I know this makes me a total lame-o, but I’ve always been one of those people who approaches major changes in life with a weary suspicion as opposed to exuberance and/or excitement.
Although part of me does wonder…
In my last post, I was sort of all but flat out asking God for a sign, don’t you think? I don’t know if that came through, but I was really praying last week, is this job right for me? Is this what I should be doing, not even long-term, but even right now? I was starting to really wonder if maybe the time was here for me to seriously start thinking about whether or not this is good for me – mainly because I was starting to feel like it probably isn’t.
But all the things that happened this week? They felt like doors opening for me without me even having to move. Doors I still don’t even know if I want open, but nevertheless doors that seemed to have been blown wide open by this crazy breeze called life.
So maybe this is my sign? Not the one I expected, but still, maybe this is it?
I’m still not convinced that this is what I’m meant to do for the rest of my life, but I do recognize that especially when it comes to my career, God has always spoken pretty loudly and clearly. Things have always just gone in a direction where things have ultimately worked out for the best – that is of course unless I’m completely wrong and have actually gone done a terrible path that will actually ultimately lead to an early demise and lots of misery.
I don’t know!!
Why can’t I just be happy about good things happening? What the hell is wrong with me?
Don’t answer that.
Despite my silence, life is definitely happening.
Except, of course, the one thing that I really, really want to happen.
Not so much.
But, what we are having is another round of cuts at work. That’s always unbelievable fun right? This time felt even worse than the previous one(s) since someone I’ve worked with pretty closely since I started (I even interviewed with him!) was let go.
And it’s funny because I’ve FINALLY gotten my butt into gear and started to actually schedule some acupuncture consults/initial treatments and yesterday I finally used this grou.pon that I bought back at the beginning of the year and had a consult/mini-treatment..and…part of the reason I actually felt so motivated is because of how stressed out I’ve been lately. Over work…and being overworked. Two weeks ago I started “backing up” a fourth person who moved out from the mothership and while I appreciate the confidence that they must have in me to have me support so many peoples’ business…it’s…a…lot. Like a freaking lot. I’ve literally only had time to go get myself lunch ONE day this week so far out of four. Since two of my team members are out again tomorrow, my guess is I won’t be able to tomorrow either, but we’ll see.
I have to time my bathroom breaks. People are always asking me for shit. Every. Fucking. Minute. Of. The. Day.
For eleven hours.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about work. I think about work on Saturday mornings. Mostly I’m thinking about how I’m not learning fast enough and need to read more and omg what if people start to question why I don’t know more than I do after nine months?!
And then I breathe into a paper bag for awhile (oh and this past Saturday morning in particular, I strongly considered taking one of the anti-anxiety pills they gave me at the hospital last year but eventually decided against it since I really didn’t want to see what fun side effect might come along with shoving yet another pill into my system).
And I realized while I was thinking about all this that I’m a very tightly wound person by nature. I am easily irritated. Even by the little things. Maybe, especially by the little things. And I’m pretty sure my job is only aggravating that lovely trait because I look around me and everyone I work with is sort of the same way. I guess because it’s our job to make sure things are done perfectly and um, well, life is the opposite of perfect.
When I told my friend this morning that I need to be more zen-like and calm, he told me, “If you’re looking for relaxing you’re in the wrong industry.” I’m not discounting other peoples stress at all, but I’m pretty sure that there aren’t that many jobs where you feel more constant pressure (other than military and those who are dealing with peoples’ lives). There’s a lot of money at stake and things are usually moving very quickly. A small mistake can cost the firm a lot of money (client’s too, but that usually also ends up costing the firm money when the client gets pissed and stops doing business with us). And as the person in the middle, you have no real power, but you will get all the blame from both sides. Part of our job (and yes, we are paid pretty well for it) is simply to absorb a ton of abuse and think of ways to circumvent the abuse by minimizing everyone else’s mistakes by anticipating said mistakes and somehow preventing them.
You have to be “on” all the time, just in case. And when you actually have to physically leave the desk to, God forbid, pee, if someone needs you while you’re off, that’s your fault. Bodily functions are not an acceptable excuse. ‘Cause you should have been there.
So I was thinking, I’m essentially I’m a person with a disease that is aggravated by stress in a job where I will be stressed out by default.
Is that smart?
I’m thinking probably not.
But, I really can’t afford to not have a job or even take a lower paying one so…I’m completely stuck. I was wondering if I’d view being let go as a sign from God, I think I would have, but I definitely am thankful that I wasn’t.
I just need to overcome my stress. Which is why I’m looking into acupuncture.
Hopefully this way I can keep my job (which I actually do like when I look beyond running around like a chicken with my head cut off for eleven hours straight and waking up at 4am) and not give myself a massive flare when I try to taper eventually….
I realized today that I still have yet to let go of the adolescent notion that somehow life is supposed to be fair.
An old acquaintance from the, er, crazier days of my youth is pregnant, or at least all signs point to that being the case (thanks ambiguous FB status updates!).
As mentioned before, I’m surrounded by pregnancies and talk of offspring on a pretty much nonstop basis, most of which doesn’t really bother me. But this one sort of feels like that one other one that did.
I know that I have no right to judge. That everyone walks their own path and that every child is a miracle. Trust me, I know what I’m about to say reflects poorly on me and my character in so many ways. But it’s the truth, it’s what I’m feeling deep down, and if I can’t be honest here, then I’m not being honest with myself right?
So here’s me in all my honest ugliness.
I can’t help but feel like it’s not fair.
She partied through high school, never even made an attempt at college, and generally seems to live a lifestyle that one would not reconcile with having an infant. People change, I know, obviously I’ve changed quite a bit since then myself, but from what I can see (again, only through FB updates so perhaps not a fair picture, but my brain is not in a fair place right now) not much has.
And I had to block her status updates because no, I can’t do it. I can’t watch this unfold. I just…can’t.
It makes me question my whole life. It makes me question everything I’ve done. All those “right” things.
Sure, I’ve had my blips along the way, and continue to, but shit. There I am five days a week, struggling to wake up in the dark so I can work my eleven hour day to pay my damn mortgage. Why did I do all this? What am I working so hard for?
It doesn’t seem to be paying off at the moment.
I know how I sound, I know how lucky I am. I have no right to complain. Sure I’ve worked hard for everything I have, but a lot of people have worked hard and have nothing to show for it…for better or for worse, sometimes that’s just how life works.
But when I see someone else who hasn’t necessarily achieved “success” in the eyes of society and yet has still managed to achieve something I may never get…it feels like how I felt when I was about to graduate from college and had no idea what was coming next. I had spent nearly twenty-two years believing that upon the completion of this major milestone (college), the future would suddenly fall into place - only to come to the harsh realization that there was no epiphany waiting around the corner and I was still going to have to figure out what to do with my life. I suddenly felt like I had been lied to my whole life but I couldn’t figure out who exactly had been feeding me the lies.
I’m just so…tired. Tired of trying so hard. Tired of being sick. Tired of my own, plentiful, shortcomings.
I recently broke my second, stronger, more reinforced NTI – the one supposedly designed to reduce grinding over time based on how it dispersed pressure on the jaw. The first time I broke it, my dentist told me he’s never really seen anyone break it in their mouth before, usually when people need replacements it’s because a pet got to it or they tossed it out on accident. And yet, I’ve gone through two now (and for the record, am still not sure where the piece I cracked off this time went, hopefully I didn’t swallow it). I asked my dentist this time (same clinic) why it didn’t seem to be working for me and she said, “You must have a lot of stress, there’s nothing we can do about that.”
It’d be nice, though, wouldn’t it, if it could all be fixed by something as simple as a night-guard?