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“down these highways and dirty streets”

February 17, 2011

I had an epic breakdown the other day. It is remarkably unpleasant to not be in control of your own body.

It also kind of shot the whole evening to hell, which is especially problematic as it was the only evening this week we were going to be home to do anything. Which is kind of funny, as that was kind of what was freaking me out. (It wasn’t actually because Jamie is going to buy an appallingly colored car, though i think she still thinks that’s it. The color does make me a little anxious, but i don’t think it’s quite panic inducing.)

I think my priorities are totally twisted. More accurately, my priorities are fine, but  my life lines up with them very little right now. That, and i still can’t figure out why i’m so busy, since all i do is work (and i’m not the workaholic sort, so it’s not  a matter of actually working all the time).

Here is the thing about work – i am finally pretty good at my job, which is cool. I used to miss being a video store clerk sometimes, because, really, sometimes it’s just nice to be awesome at what you do – especially when you’re trying to wade through something you don’t know anything about. And i like my job – i like what we do, and i like my coworkers. All that is nice, but my job is not terribly important to me. It’s not this job; it’s work in general. I never had a “what i’m going to be when i grow up” and i’ve only recently realized that i still don’t, i probably never will, and i don’t terribly mind that.

But it wears me out. Sometimes it wears me out because we’re busy doing awesome stuff and i have to work late or don’t have any downtime. Sometimes it wears me out because we have all-day Saturday meetings or events. Sometimes it wears me out because i’m not doing a damn thing. That actually wears me out the most. That and sitting at a computer all day; it makes me sleepy and gives me headaches and kills my interest in good computer things (like blogs).

I think my main problem is not the time and energy i spend on work; it’s what i don’t spend my time and energy on instead. Cleaning the house, cooking dinner and training my dogs fall high on the list. Wedding planning falls on the list of things i must do, whether i want to or not. Taking care of my girlfriend when she’s sick, which is usually (i’m unsure more time would make me any better at it; caretaking is not my strong suit). Relaxing. Relaxing is high on my priority list, but, while i do a fair bit of nothing, i don’t relax at all with all the things i ought to be doing looming.

My problem may be that i’m just lazy. If so, it’s not going to change, which renders it kind of irrelevant.

Whatever it is, it’s stretching me out; i’ve been kind of disconnected and nervous, and it sucks. I’ve got no idea where to go from here, but it’s slightly reassuring to have a more concrete idea of what is going on. I’m toying with dropping fencing so that i can focus more on getting my shit together. It’s only one night a week, but this week that would have doubled the time i spent at home. I would certainly go back to it; i love it and it’s awesome, but i’m not sure i have room for it right now – as shown by the frequency with which i have not been able to make it anyway. On the other hand, it’s one more thing to not feel like a failure about. Not that i’m good at fencing, but i have in the past been good at showing up. It seems ridiculously minor, but it’s kind of the only part of my life that i feel like i can actually affect right now.

Lady Brett

"People Talkin'" - Lucinda Williams
5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2011 10:58 pm

    Miss talking to you.
    I think the job thing is a gemini problem because I can totally relate. Also the doing a lot of nothing and yet not being able to relax is where I was before I started taking drugs to stabilize my mood and improve motivation. Unfortunately I still spend a lot of time doing that, and I usually call it procrastination because I’m doing things I need/want to do, but those things are not the highest priority tasks, ya know?

    I wish I could give you some helpful tips, but I’m not really sure what pulled me out of my funk except the drugs. I have found list making and checking off of items very helpful, adjusting priorities, and breaking everything down into bite sized bits. For example, maybe you can’t clean the whole house, but you can sweep, or wipe the counters, or windex the bathroom mirror and shine your spout! Only one of these at a time, but at least it would give you the satisfaction of having done something good for yourself and your house. I’m not very good at this. In fact, despite my lack of employment or live classes to attend, my clean laundry has been in a pile for two months. I’m totally ashamed of it but I let it get out of hand, and now it’s causing me so anxiety that I’m avoiding it.

    That got kinda long, sorry. My point is that I understand what’s going on in your life, and I hope that you’ll be able to cultivate a place of peace amidst the whirlwind of activities and responsibilities.


  2. February 18, 2011 9:10 am

    I also understand what you’re going through and it seems overwhelming. This is why I’m suggesting Yoga. I used to hate it but when I gave myself over to it I realized how fantastic it made me feel. It really centers me and relaxes me and makes me better at living my life in general. I know I’m adding to your schedule instead of taking away but I think it’s worth it. You can’t really hold up the sky if you lack balance.

  3. February 21, 2011 10:32 pm

    Love the whole fencing thing… If you ‘enjoy’ it I would stick with it. Something like that always seems to be hard to get back into once you get out of it.

  4. February 23, 2011 7:12 pm

    Oh Lady Brett, how I can so utterly relate with the. I will offer no advice here except to say that my godmother, Ruth, is almost 90 and besides being one of the most amazing people in the world she is also up and kicking with a much richer social life/ life in general than most have ever had or will have and she always tells me,

    “Ask yourself this and ask yourself this a lot, ‘Is this what I want to be doing?’ If the answer is no do something different as quickly as you can and then ask yourself again and again and again, ‘Is this what I want to be doing?” And repeat and repeat and repeat.

    I do that often. Sometimes it gets me in pretty good trouble but then I just call Ruth and tell her what went down and she’ll just laugh and say, “Great! And in the end you didn’t have to do that anymore. So, good for you!”

  5. February 25, 2011 6:12 pm

    oh my, thank you all.

    i especially appreciate each of your advice (original or otherwise), though i think i am going to take exactly none of it at the moment.

    i am petrified of medication of that (or any) sort, though i understand (i think). that is one that i will say is slightly less than in my control – in that i promised jamie that if she ever really thought i was (problematically) crazy, i would do whatever i needed to to fix that…but it isn’t going to be under my own prerogative.

    as for yoga, i really like the idea – i only don’t think i’m up for the “new” of it at the moment. as for fencing, i’ve been too busy to make it regularly, and i think i would prefer to concretely take a break from it than to just miss 2/3 of the time. ya’ll are totally welcome to beat me up about it if i don’t go back to it before this summer, though!

    oh, and jesse – ruth’s advice is my very favorite! is it strange to think, though, that while this is not entirely what i want to be doing, i feel very much that this is what i want *us* to be doing?

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