Friday, May 25, 2012

In Which Our Heroine Lets Off Steam

If I had blinked, I would have missed out on May entirely. It flew by in a haze of puppy watching, working too much, sleeping too little and next to no art making. I'm worn out, like 'stick a fork in me and then leave me alone and don't ever talk to me again' tired. There have been good things and bad, but mostly it's been a blur of monotonous puttering about with the occasional ache to write or draw something, which inevitably leads to me staring at a blinking cursor or blank page for an hour before giving up.

Does that happen to anyone else? When you've been ground down, emptied out or are just so sapped that you end up in an unresponsive funk? It's frustrating. No, let me rephrase. It's extremely frustrating to want so badly to do the things you enjoy and that make you tick only to discover that you only have just enough energy to eat, pet the fur babies and kiss your lover before you pass out for the night. I don't know how people live with this sort of schedule and feel fulfilled in any way shape or form. How in the seven hells do you work full time (which I'm not supposed to since I'm a 20 hr employee, but seem to do all the fucking time), take care of your home, your garden, your family, your very needy baby (fur or human), sleep enough and still find time for yourself and the things that make your soul sing? HOW? It seems impossible to do all of those things and still maintain a legitimately happy quality of life, unless you're immune to needing sleep.

Then again, I could just be extra curmudgeonly because I typically get that way when I'm cut off from my spiritual avenues and spend too much time in this ridiculous society of ours, where everyone wants everything to have happened yesterday. Before they even knew they wanted it. I find that among my peers, I'm sort of a whack job oddball in the way I view life, the universe and everything. For instance, and please hold on to your seats, I'm not a huge fan of technology. I often feel like instead of bringing us closer together, more often than not technology drives us apart. How often have you found out about important stuff via text message or worse, Facebook, rather than someone calling you? How many times have you dealt with the rude jackass who's on their cell phone in line, in a museum, anywhere where it will annoy the people around them? That's not to say I hate all of it. Do I enjoy blogging and meeting people? Having information at my fingertips? Yes, I do. But do I see a need to carry the internet around in my pocket so I can check Facebook or my email a million times a day, or so I can constantly be on top of every breaking news piece? No, I have the ability to unplug and walk away and in fact I hate that my cell phone provider is moving into the land of smart phones only. I don't want one and I'm not paying for one. And please, don't get me started on my views on television and couch potatoes, or television as a baby sitter, or television as the only thing you do with your significant other because I will rant and rave for hours and possibly days on how fucked up and lazy people have gotten in the past 20 years. But day in and day out, I meet these people and am forced to listen to them complain about how they didn't overdraft their accounts, someone else did it... yet when asked if they paid a $300 cell phone bill or spent $200 at a restaurant they say 'yes.'

I go to a job twice as often as I signed up to be there because we are perpetually understaffed and I like the two ladies I work with and hate that they're being screwed over too, to be told by managers and their managers and their manager's managers that we need to 'step up our game' and talk these people who are too busy talking on their phones and being rude or are hundreds of dollars in the red into getting new accounts. How about, thanks for coming in and not quitting despite the fact that we've been screwing you for over a year? No? Then this bitch isn't selling a damn thing. This bitch wants time to get into the woods, to spend with her gods, family and friends, to get into the garden so she can grow her own food and not rely on others, to scribble and read and get a full night's sleep.

Some will ask, why not just quit? Theoretically, I could. We could scrape by on one income and I could be home 24/7. However, we own a home where things sometimes break, we own a car that will require maintenance and repairs and we have the devil that plagues seemingly every 20 something I know looming over us; student debt. My income is digging us out of the hole and going into savings to maintain our home and vehicle. We don't live lavishly or above our means, yet two incomes is a necessity right now if we want to reduce our bills. And so, I stick it out while looking in this ridiculously glum job market for something that I might actually enjoy and where I'll be treated like a person and not a fucking automaton.

On the bright and shiny side, I have the next 11 days off. I had scheduled a vacation to go home to New Jersey, but Luna is a bit too young to make the trip and I'm not about to kennel the poor thing right now so I'm having a stay-cation. My new manager said not leaving town on vacation means I'm 'on call' this week... I told him if he calls me I'll quit then and there; I'm a bank teller not emergency personnel. I plan to soak up some sun, snooze in my hammock with a book of some sort next to me, go hiking, weed and prune my poor gardens, try to revive my poor roses, make art and recharge my batteries. I plan to use these 11 days to get back to myself.

P.S. If you made it through this, thank you. It's been building for a while with no real outlet save general grumpiness.

P.P.S. Roses. Anyone have them? Anyone good at keeping them? I have these two roses that bloomed beautifully last year, all giant deep red flowers and luscious green leaves. This year, the roses came out, got nailed by heavy rains and then stark hot sun and died within a week. The bushes themselves looks like sad sticks and the leaves are sort of dry with spots that signify, as far as I can tell, black spot. I plan to treat the black spot but is there anything else I can do to revive and help the poor things? I feel like the worst plant momma ever this year, with so little time to spend caring for everyone. *sigh*


  1. No such thing as 'on call' during scheduled vacation days. That's bull. You're welcome for reading, thank you for being willing to vent and letting those of us who read you listen. And I have a black thumb so I have no plants, let alone roses. So sad they're having a bad year :( Enjoy your stay-cation!

  2. Managers can be such dickheads... Hope you get to enjoy your stay-cation!

    As for the roses, my husband's aunt has planted about 15 in our backyard and the temp is usually over 100 here. If you cut the parts that aren't looking so good, they'll just grow back healthier. So they might just need a bit of a trim and in a couple of weeks, they should be back to blooming.

    1. Thanks, so far so good!

      I'm going to give cutting them back a bit a try. :)

  3. Hey if ya can't bring your stuff and dump it here, well then that sucks. Of course I understand. I worked in the "real" unreal world with stupid people who were always right and I just ate bananas and waited on their every need, so I get it.
    Your staycation sounds like perfection. Don't answer the phone for those that are devil spawn and keep your fun....geared directed for Danni only. You deserve to re-group, re-coop, and not give a poop about anyone but you and maybe Joe if he is really good.
    You are being very wise in working to be in a good spot, money wise. But with the sterling behavior on your part, unfortunately you have to put up with the dickhead squad....remember let it move through you, not dwell within you.
    Love the hell outta you goodie......Oma Linda (literally)

  4. Oh Dani girl, I am so glad that you're setting boundaries and taking time to rejuvenate even though it may not be long enough. It's so easy to be "nice" and to try and please everyone without taking care of ourselves. Actually, it's more difficult in the long run to waste ourselves here and there. It sounds like you're conscious and aware of how you're burning out and what your limitations are. Good for you to tell your boss not to call you. How can you be a good employee if you don't take good care of yourself first?

    11 days I hope of sheer self indulgence, playing with the furbabies and getting some love from your b.f. I hope you can truly take the time to relax and release (maybe some type of letting go ritual?). Mother Goddess needs to take care of you now. Speaking of the Goddess, I want to get my print of Gaia, how do I do that from you?

    Blessings and hugs to you.

  5. Its Shelley Darling....I understand of what you speak...Im right there with ya Soul Sister. Love and hugs and kisses to you and yours!

    1. Just so you never forget, I love you and yo' momma too! <3

  6. You go right ahead and vent! No sense keeping it bottled up. Finding a decent boss is almost impossible any more. Especially in a big city. Most are such jerks and will walk all over those working under them. Keep looking for your ideal job. It's out there. And try to take a few minutes every day to do nothing but connect with Nature. Just sit and let the day's aggravations drain away. Yes, it's hard to find enough time in the day to do all that we'd like to do and sometimes we must leave things unfinished. When my kids were little, I was given a good piece of advice - "Leave the dishes for another day, the kids are little only once. Enjoy them while thy're little." I'm not advocating that you let things go. But I have found that it's not all that important that my garden remain weed free or that the beds are always made or that the floor is always swept.
    As for roses - Black spot is caused by a fungus. Most hybrid roses are susceptible to black spot as well as many other problems brought on by the hot, humid South. You might want to replace the roses with more Earth-friendly versions that can withstand the torturous Southern climate. The Antique Rose Emporium in Texas has a nice selection. And if you choose not to replace them, then cut out the old canes slightly above ground level. In the early Spring, sprinkle alfalfa pellets and epsom salt around the plant and water well. Keep us posted on their progress.
    Enjoy your stay-cation! ♥

    1. I think I'm going to have to keep that in mind, but change baby to puppy. :-) The hubby helps out around the house too, but with both of us working full time stuff sometimes just doesn't get done in a timely manner. I'm going to need to work on letting that sort of thing go - I'm sort of a clean freak. x_x

      As for the roses, they're pretty well established from what I can tell. They're pretty thick at the base and I can see a few years worth of dead cane stubs where they were poorly pruned back. I'm going to try the cutting you suggested and also cleaning the mulch beds of the fallen leaves and flowers and adding new mulch. Our yard has so many of the shrub roses, but these ones with the large canes and flowers (not sure what they're called - traditional maybe?) are by far my favorites. I'll keep you posted!

  7. As promised in my Facebook comment (because I know you've been waiting with bated breath).

    It sounds like you hit a wall with all of your responsibility and no pleasure and burnt yourself at both ends of the candle. We are all guilty of this and it is the Goddess' was of bring us back to our roots. It's awesome that you realized this and are nurturing yourself. Pleasure is a necessary and unfortunately too many women martyr themselves and deny themselves pleasure. When I was working full time and commuting 1 hour each way to work (in my mid-twenties before kid) I burnt out and ended up having a nervous breakdown. I was running a one woman law firm and when I called out sick the entire office closed down. I'm not tooting my own horn, it is what it is. I had 2 weeks of vacation a year and during that time I would still get calls. Because I was young and dumb, I took those calls because I really did love my boss and knew she was totally fucked if I didn't answer. Was it worth having a nervous breakdown? Hellz no. I quit my job (well, she ended up letting me go because I lost my shit and she felt sorry for me. When you're let go you get unemployment. When you quit you don't).

    We were still able to pay our bills with my unemployment so all was good in that sense.

    After a few months I ended up going back to work for her when she joined a firm and I could work part-time. I was happy with my 20 hour work week (which was actually 20 hours not this bullshit you are describing where they are fucking you up the ass).

    I don't know how people work for the public. Yes, I had clients and yes they were a pain in the ass but just working in a "law firm" I had an immediate amount of respect. I know, bullshit right? Lawyers suck a bag of dicks.

    As for technology. I honest to gawd think Facebook, Twitter and texting have removed so much from society as a whole that everyone is becoming an asshole. I'm not going to repeat what you've said on your blog about them, but just know I agree wholeheartedly about it.

    The T.V. thang, I must admit I love to watch t.v. If I may redeem myself in any way, I don't just plop it and flip through channels. I have "shows" that I watch that have 99% of the time been DVR'd and I watch them at my leisure. I also love watching movies. Some of these shows I watch alone but many of them me and The Husband watch together. We talk about them during it, hit pause often and then when they are over we further discuss them and how we would act in that situation or if it's a funny movie we name people we know who would be characters in the movie. I know it's not always serious talking....but we've been together for 18 years, we've said a lot to each other, sometimes mindless chatter is just what the psychotherapist ordered = )

    Fuck your boss and this on-call crap. Unless you are a doctor, nurse or in some type of emergency job, they can suck a bag of dicks. Oooops, my phone died for the entire 11 days I was on vacation, then miraculously it worked when I came back.

    I love your plan of using the 11 days to get back to yourself. It is a very wise and mature decision that will recharge you and bring your vigor back. You may also make some decisions during this time that will affect the way you live your life when you go back to work.

    Sorry for holding court in your comments section.

    1. There's nothing to apologize for, I blog because I like hearing what other people think and to connect with kindred spirits; even those that are as mouthy and bitchy as myself. ;-)

      I'm 100% on you with on all of this, including the tv bits. I realize I may have come off as totally hating all that is television, but that's not the case. The dude and I have a few shows we watch at our leisure (usually after the season's ended and we can marathon that shit) and I like to veg right before bed either with the boob tube or a book. My point is more that I can't take people who use their tv as a babysitter or as the only thing which they can derive pleasure from or as their only topic of conversation. People whose live revolve nearly entirely around it. I won't begrudge anyone watching shows or movies in moderation. ;-)

  8. It seems like we are experiencing the same things at the same time! I recently took on a second job as a nanny and I work Sunday through Friday, usually over 40 hours a week. My secret, time management. I'm not going to lie though, I had to put blogging on the back burner because too much is going on. I don't have to work if I didn't want to, but just like you, my income is going into savings and pulling us out of debt. We finally paid off the last of my fiance's credit cards and are going to begin blasting the student loans next month. As soon as we reduce the debt, I can probably quit working in a job I hate (not the nanny job...that I love...a lot). The best you can do is schedule some time for you and no one else. Having a vacation is going to be great, but afterwards, make sure you give yourself an hour a day to go for a walk, tend your garden, or do whatever, but try and do it alone. I make sure I have at least an hour to myself to do what I love each day. It usually means I work out and then read. Also, try to get at least 8 hours. If that means cleaning your house doesn't get done, then fine. Cleaning is not as important as recharging. Adequate sleep and an hour a day to yourself will make a WORLD of difference. It is for me. Just try and make a schedule of your day, everyday. Leave 2 hours unaccounted for in case something hit the fan and make the rest flexible. That's what I do and its helping. Trust me, I know exactly how you are feeling and I have to say, it gets better. Stay positive and hang in there!

    PS: As far as I am concerned, you are not on call. You are not a doctor or mortician (as in Jonathan's case) and therefore there is no reason to call you in. If he tries, I would take it up with corporate. If you are not scheduled to work they cannot make you, force you, or fire you for not coming in. The government at least gave us that much protection. =D

  9. Thank you all so much for just listening and even more for your advice and words. I'd reply back to everyone individually, but it's beautiful outside today and I've got some roses to tend to, some herbs to plant and a serious nap in the shade calling my name.

    Just know that I appreciate every single word and all the friendship I've found in this wee blog circle. It makes a world of difference in the sane/mental dance that has been my life these past few weeks. <3

  10. Hang in there, honey!! Vent away.. that's what we're here for!

    As for you roses, are you cutting them back in the spring/fall?

    Hug yourself for me.

    1. Wow! I love this post so much that I was nodding too hard and my head nearly fell off :D I couldn't agree more with every word!

      I hope you have a great time to relax and recharge.

      As for the roses, I'd cut them right back, leaving enough leaves not to kill them. Burn the affected leaves as blackspot spreads! They need a good mulch around the base to stop them drying out and lots of tlc. Good luck.x

  11. Vent, vent and vent some more. It's good for the soul, we all need to let off steam once in a while. I hope your work situation improves for you but until then, put up your feet, forget your troubles and enjoy your vacation. The world will still be there when you're ready to get back to it, for now just chill.

  12. Ahhh, that's the workplace I remember! At least my having the baby (non-furry kind) means not having to go back...but like you we could seriously use a second income! You are one of the most awesome people I've met in my 35 years on Earth...don't let it grind you down! Beautiful pics on the blog, btw. Enjoy your stay-cay!

    Brooke W.

  13. I just found your blog and I want to let you know I already love it!

    I love the way you write, you make it so easy to understand what you mean and you get the way your feeling across so well - I feel what you feel.

    I hope your stay-cation was great and your boss didn't give you any trouble about not being "on-call" (what in the hell is that? Just because you're not going away doesn't mean you're on call). I look forwards to reading more from you.

    Best wishes



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