I am Exhausted

Life is hard sometimes.

I haven’t been getting any of the jobs I have been applying for. Thank God for Goodwill. They really appreciate me. I just wished my job used some, any, of the skills I worked so hard to obtain.

I have stopped over-valuing my MBA. There are too many baristas out there with advanced degrees. Having the education without the real-world experience is a handicap to finding employment. People need to get the experience first and then, and only if their boss says “If you want a promotion, you need such-and-such a degree”, get the degree. Then they have both experience and education. They are good to go. The sky’s the limit.

My problem is that I got my degree and then spent the next six years taking care of Barry. The reality is that I will never be “the right fit” for a position because there will always be someone with more experience than I have.  This is why people put their loved ones in nursing homes: they have to get on with their own lives. They simply cannot put their lives on hold indefinitely.  People don’t go into nursing homes, generally, because their health takes a sudden downward turn. No. People go into nursing homes because their family members just can’t take care of them anymore. It’s too physically, emotionally, and career damaging to the caretakers. By the time someone goes into a nursing home, their health has usually been going downhill for years.

Reality: I should have put Barry into a nursing home a few years ago. But I would have felt guilty and he was so remarkably self-reliant for so long. And I would have had to sacrifice all savings for Medicaid and Medicare to pay for it. I truly thought I was doing the right thing. I was soooooooo wrong. And now I am paying the price. I truly feel like I am being punished for doing what I mistakenly thought was the right thing by the job market. I knew I was making a sacrifice but I did not fully understand the permanence of the sacrifice. He’s been dead over a year and the sacrifice is ongoing.

I even thought of ending myself. I may still do it eventually, but I am too exhausted to deal with it now. My car needs fixing. My apartment has bugs,  which I think might be termites. And the people at work genuinely appreciate me. I do not take that for granted. When that is no longer enough to keep me up and running, all bets are off the table. I live in a bad neighborhood and I live alone now. No one would blame me for getting a pistol for self-defense.

So many choices seem like “a good idea at the time.” Such famous last words.

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Back from Florida

I feel like I am finally recovering from my first holidays without Barry.

The drama around here has been the weather, so cold that the Goodwill closed. Wow.

I have an interview at Davenport for a part-time proctor job this upcoming Wednesday. It got postponed from last week because of…you guessed it…the weather.

The lady without boundaries at work that wanted me to tell others what to do is gone. She got pneumonia and gave it to a co-worker. She never fully came back to work.

Reading “Journey of Souls” and “Destiny of Souls” has been very enlightening. They seem to integrate religion, science, and spirituality in a way that makes sense on so many levels. Things make so much more sense.

I don’t know about commitments, other than work. I want to keep my work commitments, but I feel vulnerable. I don’t know what to do. I need to know what I really want because anything I do needs to come from deep within. Nothing else is worthwhile.

Starting to Meditate Regularly

The world has stopped temporarily. It has been so cold that even mail delivery has not occurred. Worse still, there was a fire at a Consumers Energy location that Governor Whitmer issued an emergency declaration, telling Michiganders to turn their thermostats down to 65 degrees or lower until Friday.

That means no work or anything. So I have been home alone, reading, watching TV, and meditating.

I finally am not emotional toast from Barry’s death.

I have been reading Journey of Souls by Michael Newton. A few years ago, I would have seen such a book as abstract and academic. Now I want to know where Barry went. And it goes into so many energy-based things I find fascinating: meditation, ghosts, karma, mercy, and soul development, just to name a few.

This upcoming week will be crazy. I work four days in a row, have Tuesday off, work Wednesday and Thursday, and then spend five days in Florida with my folks. And it will be crazy for the rest of the Midwest as well because now everyone is behind. With everyone staying home in the record cold, I assume there will be a lot of Halloween babies nine months from now.

It all feels pre-ordained.

Things Working Out

Soon, for a few days, I will go to Florida. I was concerned about the shutdown and its effect on air travel, but the shutdown has been put on hold.

I am so relieved. Now it is unlikely politics will be the first thing Dad wants to talk about. I am not going to the sunshine state to talk politics.

I am so happy that Nancy Pelosi knows how to handle Trump. He is a bully. I see him as a toddler throwing a tantrum in a Meijer aisle. She took him by the hand, hauled his butt outside, slapped his hiney good, looked him in the eye, and said, “Now, Donny, don’t you ever do that again. Do you understand?” His understanding is still highly questionable, but her strength of character is not. This is his first time being being President; this is not her first go-round as House Speaker. She knows the rules and understands how the three branches of government check each other’s powers. He does not. She is the adult in the room and now everyone knows it.

Will the government shutdown again? Probably. But I won’t be flying by then. I think declaring a national emergency would be playing into Pelosi’s hand. Let Trump take money from wildfire and hurricane victims. Remember Harvey in Houston? I can’t think of a more efficient way of turning Texas blue.

That’s my rant of the day.

Having to Let Go

I booked my flight to see my parents in Florida early February. Why did I put it off? I was waiting for the government shutdown to be over.

It may be a nightmare or it could be borderline normal or it might be over by the time of my flight.

I know my dad will want to talk about politics if the situation affects my flight. I cannot do that. I have to be the adult in the room. That’s all there is to it. I have to maintain my self-control in the face of a Trump supporter. The ultimate challenge. Wish me luck.

Unexpected Movement?

Today, two odd things happened to me.

Number one, the career services lady at my alma mater emailed me about a possible proctoring job. I couldn’t find it through the link she gave me, but I might be willing to apply if it doesn’t interfere with my Goodwill job. The point is, I haven’t heard from her in probably over six months.

Number two, the guy from Michigan Rehabilitative Services called regarding my working at Goodwill. I emailed him the information he requested. The point? He is going to call them probably and talk to a manager, which is super cool.

Why do I think this is cool? Because I have been gradually opening up. I have a manager that is interested in “picking” my brain. That is so awesome. I am looking for ways to be useful and I gave her a list of things I know a lot about. I feel like I am coming out of my shell gradually and it feels good. I think I must be sending the universe some kind of signal.

What is Normal?

I spent time with a friend today, who told me all about her mother that has no boundaries. The mother told her (the mother’s) neighbor that my friend has shingles. She took her mother to task for that. Why on earth does the neighbor need to know? Her mother has done weirder things than this, even with me present.

It reminds me of my family and work situations. I blogged about dodging a bullet with a co-worker who wanted me to tell others what to do (“You’re not telling them. You’re guiding them,” she said), to which I had a visceral “Are you freaking kidding me?” type of response.

Here’s the context. About a decade and a half ago, I joined the Greek Orthodox church. (Wow, is that a long story in and of itself.) There was this woman I instantly got along with (a bad, bad sign given my family’s total lack of appropriate boundaries). People kept warning me about her, saying she was controlling and/or just plain nuts. I maintained my relationship with her because she always treated me well, although her presents were very odd and assorted behaviors seemed off-kilter. She was one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. She actually knows church history and I could have an intelligent conversation with her about topics that interest me, a rarity.

But she was basically stalking the priest. Sending him long, emotional emails and looking to always speak with him. It was Holy Week. The priest informed me that if she tried to speak with him the following week, “she won’t get the best of me.”

She and I are talking on the phone and she says she will speak to the priest the next week. I say, “Not a good idea.” She says, “It’s important.”

I say, “Fine. But you’ve been warned. I will not protect you. And I don’t want to hear about it when it blows up in your face and it so will.”

That was basically the end of our relationship after five or six years of being extraordinarily close. She was essentially kicked out of the church. And I learned a massive amount regarding narcissistic personality disorder and what the signs are.

This is why I am so exultant that I avoided the relationship with the co-worker. I never, ever want to go through that again.

I must be attracting these people into my life, along with people that, like me, come from families that don’t seem to have any boundaries. Some families must have boundaries. It is kind of like when I tell people, “I am sure that people exist that do not abuse alcohol and that can drink socially. I’m just not related to any of them.” I think I am attracting some more normal-ish people into my life, but I am starting to suspect that functional people might be the minority.

The reason I feel so lucky is because I am particularly vulnerable right now, with Barry’s death less than a year ago. I could really use some more friends right about now. And, worse still, I have spent most of my adulthood looking for mentors. The lady at the Orthodox church took me under her wing as a newbie. I have always wanted role models worth looking up to. In my life, it has always seemed like the people most intent on telling me what to do with my life have had theirs spinning out of control. And, to make matters even more severe, part of me really wants to impart wisdom into the next generation. The idea of “You’re not telling them what to do. You’re guiding them,” is unbelievably seductive to me at this stage of my life.

But I can just imagine the awkward conversation with one of the managers when other employees start complaining about me telling them what to do. How would it sound to a real manager if a peon said, “I’m not telling them what to do. I’m guiding them,”? I am so glad I never have to have that conversation.

But the vulnerability is still there. I still seek mentors. And I do want to pass on my hard-earned wisdom to upcoming generations. I am trying not to allow my unmet emotional needs to kick my ass once again. It’s just hard to know what’s appropriate, given my history, familial and otherwise.