Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I was feeling really uninspired.

More than that, I was feeling absolutely stressed and miserable and at a dead end. My job is really hard right now, and I'm hoping that after this three week crunch passes, things will lighten up. Otherwise, I will have to think about my long-term planning AGAIN.

Because one thing I've learned the hard way is that the physical effect of stress is NOT worth any paycheck. (And it sure as shit isn't worth THIS paycheck.)

I've been sleeping badly - actually I sleep okay for most of the night, but when I wake up, usually after a boring yet stressful dream, I realize that I am curled up like a sweaty, tense, pretzel. I have almost comically boring and weird dreams involving forms and spreadsheets and deadlines. Not that I am normally distressed by any of those things, but when you are doing the work that is usually handled by a normal-sized staff, or at least with serious outside counsel assistance, and it's you and three other people expected to do the impossible with nothing, the stress is really more than I need. In the last few weeks I actually have to untangle my limbs when I wake up, because my arms are crossed protectively across my chest, my knees are drawn up, ankles crossed - like I'm shielding myself from a bomb blast in my sleep. Yeah. This is not a good thing.

So I was focused on my stress, and finally realized that I was not doing the things that were working. Writing affirmations? Oh, how silly and woo-woo, Serious People don't do that. I thought that until I sat in a presentation by the very successful founder of an international real estate company, who reached into his pocket and pulled out a fat sheaf of yellow legal pad paper and waved it around - the affirmations he'd written that morning. He's been writing affirmations for many years and after he persuaded them his entire executive team does it daily, and he wants all his agents to do it too. He didn't share what he writes because it was personal to him, but he was hardly the only really successful person who swears by this. It's a thing. Google it.

And I'd done it for a while, and slacked off...right about when things started getting shitty, actually, now that I think about it. I'll add that to my changes - get back to writing affirmations every morning.

But then, the positive things: Out of the blue, I got three emails in one day, about a job fair, a surprise and random lead on a job from a friend, and a sudden bombardment of new options via CareerBuilder. The job market has turned around - it's not wildly robust (as it was in the boom before the crash) but it's the steady level of "stuff worth sending a resume" that existed before the boom and bust - which is to say, a handful of jobs a week. My resume is pretty much a niche at this point - I'm not a "closer" real estate paralegal who processes files all day, but my paralegal background is a deal killer for most non-legal jobs. I wear the Scarlet P. I think I need to take advantage of some of AARP's career gurus to rewrite my resume.

Two positive things about this day: the comment below from a regular reader who said that I'd actually inspired her to make some changes, and they are working. KatyaR mentioned this book: VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good.

I haven't read it, but I think it's a fabulous idea. Again, I'm not Vegan with a Capital V, because you can be Vegan to the Max and live on crap. I'm 90-95% Whole Foods Plant Based, but that other 5-10% depends on my best options when that's not a practical option - business dinners don't happen that often, so I don't feel any need to be a pain in the ass and make my dietary preferences an issue, grilling the wait staff about the ingredients in each dish. I pick the best choice as described on the menu and move on. (If I had to eat out 3+ times a week for business, I'd probably have to rethink my very casual strategy, but for me, this works.)

And honestly, if you are changing your diet for health reasons, going vegan/WFPB 90%, or hell, 75% of the time, can only be a good thing. The medical science behind it is extremely solid, and more and more doctors are coaxing patients to make this kind of dietary change as an alternative to medications or worse, surgery.

VB6 sounds like a great book! Thanks, KatyaR!

As the Happy Herbivore's 28 Day Challenge is drawing to an end, the exciting announcement: she's going to turn this challenge (which I've done an absolutely shitty job of sharing here) into an e-book and expand it into a year's worth of life improvement challenges. I'll buy it.

1 comment:

KatyaR said...

You're so sweet! 'm blushing over here....

I'm laughing, too, because your job sounds a bit like mine at the nonprofit. We are always understaffed and overworked, and people don't stay around very long, which means lots of turnover and retraining. Luckily what I do is a bit siloed, but I am called on a lot to do lots of different things. It can keep it interesting, but it's also very stressful. This time last year we were dealing with the aftermath of the May 20 tornado. Nothing like days of scrounging through websites and Facebook looking for names that you might know in the lists of the injured and death to make you a bit insane, especially when children were involved.

Your comments about affirmations reminded me--I used to write down every day the 5 things about each day that I was grateful for. I need to start that again. It's a really small thing, but it does make a big difference.

Thanks again for the shoutout. I am slowly moving into feeling better!