I’m failing, and I will get up

I am failing.  At least I feel like I am failing, so the end result is the same.  Stress and anxiety.

The good news is that I feel like I am failing in my professional life, not my personal life.  Plus, I am aware that I am failing.  I have had some instances in the past where I thought I was doing a good job, but those around me didn’t.  I would rather be “in the know” on this topic and not surprised at the end.

Feeling like a failure is no fun.  It really sucks, actually.  My confidence is tested, I question my judgement about most everything, my nerves are stretched, and I may, just may, have a small touch of paranoia.  (Now, I’ll be concerned that you all are talking about me behind my back after reading this post.  Hmmm….maybe should rethink posting this.)

While I am not enjoying this interlude, I am not fearful of it.  Some of the most important milestones and turning points in my life have happened as a result of a failure.

I have recently heard a lot of people around me say things like, “I refuse to fail” or “I will do anything to keep from failing” or the old standby “Failure is not an option” and I think “That’s unrealistic.”  And it’s a lost opportunity to grow.

I have learned more from my past failures than from any of my successes.  No lie.  As painful as they were when I was going through them, I know that I am a better person because of those failures.

I used to interview up to around 100 people per year for a training program.  One of my favorite questions to ask was “Tell me about a time when things didn’t go the way that you planned.”  A very open-ended question.  Most of the candidates that I interviewed were just out of college, looking for their first “real” job, so I heard lots of stories about group projects that weren’t smooth, or summer jobs that weren’t all that were promised and so forth.  I was interested in hearing how their project had gone awry and how they tried to mitigate, but I was always most interested and impressed by those who ended the answer by then saying, “And what that experience taught me was…..”  Yes, I used to think, someone who learned from adversity.

So, I’m in a super-sucky place right now.  I wonder what I’ll learn.  I’m really looking for a bright side here, and learning is it.  Smile at me, people, when you see me walking by, and just know–my brain cells are expanding from all the learning going on.

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Completely and totally changing topics, I mentioned in my last post that I was going to start spicing up my tweets.

Did It.  By Accident.

My friend, Nikki, and I had dinner last night and we discussed how we didn’t understand all the selfies girls took these days where they were pooching out their lips, like duck lips.  So, today I tweeted Nikki a selfie of me doing the duck lip thing:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 8.18.34 PM

Then I quickly had to tweet:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 8.19.04 PM

 

I hate when I get my “d”s and “f”s confused.  It causes all kinds of issues.  Eh, in this case, however, it was probably ok either way.

 

It’s really crowded in this head of mine

I had a super, terrible, bad week.  It was just one of those weeks that kicked me six ways to Sunday.  (I just looked up what that phrase meant, by the way, and it still doesn’t make sense, but it rolls off the tongue well.)  Regardless, there was much crying and gnashing of teeth.

I wanted to do this:

photo-41

This is what I felt I actually accomplished:

Home P2

I feel lucky that I realized my error.

In truth, I am sure that I was more and accomplished more than I actually feel like I did.  My problem is that I get caught up in my own head.   If it is possible to think too much, I do it.  Some thoughts are on a perpetual loop, playing over and over in my head; some thoughts are like boomerangs, they come in, fly around, then leave, and their trajectory is a little wild.  Some thoughts are like flocks of geese — they have their own seasonal pattern and can be counted on to show up on a recurring basis.  And some are like fire crackers — they are just popping off randomly — boom!  Boom, boom!  BOOM!  Boom, boom, boom!  BOOOOOOM!  It’s madness up there.

I have mentioned before that I have fought (and won) battles with depression in the past, involving some therapy.  During therapy I learned that some of my depression is caused by this conflagration of thoughts in my head.  I’ve tried lots of exercises to calm my mind, to strive for mindfulness, to concentrate on one thing.  It’s difficult, but it can be done.

That’s one reason why reading is so relaxing to me — I can turn my own thoughts off while I read.  It’s soothing.

Matt and I recently had a conversation that highlighted how differently we approached our surroundings:

me:  I’ve been thinking about finding another lawyer to do our wills.  I need to find someone to take Louie [my dog] if something happens to me.

Matt:  ok

me:  I talked to Mom and she said that she was sure that you would keep him if I died, but I know that you wouldn’t really want to.  And I don’t want you to be burdened and he shouldn’t be a burden to someone.  So I need to find a lawyer.

Matt:  this is what you have been thinking about?  Worrying about dying and what would happen with your dog if you did?  It must be hell being in your head.

me:  it is!  It is hell worrying about all this stuff.  Don’t you worry about stuff like this?

Matt:  no.

me:  well, what do you think about?

Matt:  kayaks.

I love that about Matt.  He helps keep me stable.  It would be awful around here if there were two of us all caught up in our heads.

Now, next week, I’m going to do some Epic Shit.  It’s a promise to myself and all my pesky thoughts.

Grateful that I don’t have to be grateful any more

Today I am grateful that it is not a law that I write a blog about being grateful every day.  It was sucking the fun out of writing a blog.  I was beginning to approach blogging like a chore, a drudge, a (*gasp*) job.  Enough’s enough!  This is supposed to be fun.  No more self-imposed blogging every day.  I’ll write when I have something to say, whether it’s interesting or not.

But I do have a month’s worth of things for which I am grateful.  I’ll just list them instead of writing about each:

  1. Family and friends
  2. Sister
  3. Chocolate soy milk
  4. antidepressants
  5. Elastic waist bands
  6. Digital libraries
  7. Harry Potter books
  8. air conditioning
  9. hugs from my husband

Actually, I’m having a hard time coming up with my list.  I think that I’m distracted by hunger because I just started to list “Cinnamon Life Cereal”….

I’ve had several bad days recently–no sleep, a cold, work-related stress.  I have a picture that perfectly expresses my mood.  It’s a picture of my roommate from freshman year in college, Grace* (*not her real name).  She was in the middle of what we called an “all-weeker” (instead of an “all-nighter”) during finals week.  I’ve never sympathized with Grace more than this past week.  I’ve wanted to give the whole world the bird.

Grace, I feel your pain.

Doodle Dee, Doodle Dum

I go to a lot of meetings at work.  Some days, it feels like I do nothing but sit in different meeting rooms around the building.  On good days, the topics are different.  On difficult days, the topics sound eerily similar, and an 8-hour day can seem like that movie Groundhog Day — a day that lasts forever.  Or actually, I guess, it would be a day that plays itself out over and over and over again.  Whatever, let’s just say that those days blow.

The ability to amuse myself during l-o-o-o-n-g meetings is one of the only ways that I am able to keep my sanity and my patience.  When the topic is something that doesn’t concern me, I have to find a way to recharge my batteries while sitting still.  Recently, my iPad has helped me refresh and renew my mind with my Noteshelf app that lets me doodle (while appearing to be taking notes).  I am NO artist, but I wanted to share my recent artistic endeavors.
Do you notice a theme?  I want a dog in theory (not so much in reality), so I spend a lot of time thinking about getting a dog.  Right now, I apparently spend a lot of time drawing dogs, too.  The dog above has a really big tongue (“the better to lick you with, my dear…”)
The next one is my favorite:  I drew it during one meeting while we were talking about a topic that had been discussed ad nauseam.  i.e. we were beating a dead horse.  You are welcome to print out my dead horse for use in your own meetings.  (I’ve been asked what the red blotch is in the middle of the horse — it’s his intestines to indicate that he’s dead — I was a little afraid that the word “DEAD” wasn’t enough.)
Next time you see me on my iPad, you can ask yourself “Is she taking notes or is she creating another Doodle Masterpiece?”  Only time will tell…

Kindergarten Memories

I met one of my good friends for dinner the other night (*waves* Hi, Nikki!) and one of the things that we talked about was her oldest child starting kindergarten this fall semester.  She’s excited and proud and nervous (about him potentially riding the bus) all at once.

Waking up for the first day of Kindergarten

I started to think about my first day at school, and yes, that included riding the school bus.  Mrs. McConnell was my kindergarten teacher and I remember walking into the school room full of other kids.  Here, I met Marla Miller, Scott Bare, Jimmy Thompson and Lance Shumate.  I remember Marla being the first one to talk and play with me (I was too shy to talk to another kid first myself).  I remember Jimmy Thompson kissing Vicky Barker and being shocked (I was a strict rule follower and kissing definitely didn’t follow the rules of the classroom).

And on the bus home that afternoon, our neighbor’s son, Jamie, who was in 7th grade, took my hand and walked me up the bus aisle and helped me climb off the bus.

Waving “Good-bye” on my first day

Marla, Jimmy, Scott and Lance were friends until we graduated from high school.  With the creation of Facebook, I actually know a lot about what is going on in the lives of many of these same people.  Where they live, what they do for a living, if they have children, even what their children look like.  Kindergarten is definitely a watershed moment in a life.  A great beginning — to make friends that can last for the rest of your life, to begin the journey of learning, to begin the process of your world opening up beyond the confines of your family.  I’m a little jealous that I don’t have any such “big Milestone” moment left in my life.

As I look at these pictures, however, I think that my days are actually not that much different than they were back in kindergarten.  I look pretty much the same when I wake up (no “bright-eyed”, morning person for me).  Then I wave good-bye to Matt and head to work.  Sometimes, though, work feels like spending my day with 5 year olds, fighting for attention and arguing over toys.  “I didn’t do it.  He did it.”  “No, she did it.”  “It wasn’t us.” echo around the halls.  The only thing missing is nap time.  And we aren’t as cute with milk mustaches.

And like in kindergarten, whether I end the day with my name in the column for making good decisions or in the column for being a poopy head is entirely up to me.  I don’t wanna be a poopy head so I’ll do my best not to be.  Unless someone kisses me, then all bets are off.